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The Straw-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus zeylanicus is one of South-East Asia’s most threatened songbirds due to relentless demand for the regional cage-bird trade. The species was recently uplisted from ‘Endangered’ to ‘Critically Endangered’ only two years after its previous uplisting. Intriguingly, populations in highly urbanised Singapore appear relatively secure. However, the last Singaporean density estimates, derived from traditional census methods, were obtained nearly two decades ago in 2001. A recent population estimate in 2016 was derived from the census work in 2001 coupled with relative abundance indices from population trends. We thus performed systematic field surveys using the distance sampling method, estimating 573 ± 185 individuals nation-wide, with a break-down of 217 ± 81 on the main island of Singapore and 356 ± 104 birds on the satellite of Pulau Ubin. Taken together, the total population estimate reported here comprises 22.9–57.3% of the global wild population, underscoring the importance of Singapore as a stronghold for the species. In spite of its apparently secure status in Singapore, the species remains susceptible to local and foreign trapping pressures. Based on our assessment, we propose a number of local and regional conservation measures to ensure the continued survival of populations in Singapore.
Spatiotemporal analysis is an important tool to monitor changes of tuberculosis (TB) epidemiology, identify high-risk regions and guide resource allocation. However, there are limited data on the contributing factors of TB incidence. This study aimed to investigate the spatiotemporal pattern of TB incidence and its associated factors in mainland China during 2005–2013. Global Moran's I test, Getis-Ord Gi index and heat maps were used to examine the spatial clustering and seasonal patterns. Generalized Linear Mixed Model was applied to identify factors associated with TB incidence. TB incidence presented high geographical variations with two main hot spots, while a generally consistent seasonal pattern was observed with a peak in late winter. Furthermore, we found province-level TB incidence increased with the proportion of the elderly but decreased with Gross Demographic Product per capita and the male:female ratio. Meteorological factors also influenced TB incidence. TB showed obvious spatial clustering in mainland China and both the demographic and socio-economic factors and meteorological measures were associated with TB incidence. These results provide the related information to identify the high-risk districts and the evidence for the government to develop corresponding control measures.
We investigated the first presence of qnrA among Shigella sonnei clinical isolates in Jiangsu Province, China. The qnrA-positive isolates coexisted with the mutation in gyrA at codon 83, these isolates were resistant to nalidixic acid and 22·2% (2 of 9) of them were resistant to norfloxacin.
The E2F transcription factor family is distributed widely in eukaryotes and has been well studied among mammals. In the present study, the E2F transcription factor 4 (E2F4) gene was isolated from fat bodies of Antheraea pernyi and sequenced. E2F4 comprised a 795 bp open reading frame encoding a deduced amino acid sequence of 264 amino acid residues. The recombinant protein was expressed in Escherichia coli (Transetta DE3), and anti-E2F4 antibodies were prepared. The deduced amino acid sequence displayed significant homology to an E2F4-like protein from Bombyx mori L. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that E2F4 expression was highest in the integument, followed by the fat body, silk glands, and haemocytes. The expression of E2F4 was upregulated in larvae challenged by bacterial (Escherichia coli, Micrococcus luteus), viral (nuclear polyhedrosis virus), and fungal (Beauveria bassiana) pathogens. These observations indicated that E2F4 is an inducible protein in the immune response of A. pernyi and probably in other insects.
Deploying resistant cultivars is an economical and essential management method in controlling viral diseases, and there are several mutational resources for tobacco. In the present study, the inoculation of tobacco plants with tobacco viruses was performed in a greenhouse from 2011 to 2014 to identify mutants resistant to tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) and cucumber mosaic virus (CMV). The high-throughput screening included seeding uniformly, transplanting in seedbeds, inoculating by cloth brushes and reporting symptoms based on disease indices. A total of 4000 second generation segregating (M2) mutants of tobacco cultivar Zhongyan100 were screened. Seeds from highly resistant mutant M2 plants were selected and planted separately. The M3 were grown and mutational stability was measured. For TMV, ten highly resistant plants were selected in the M2 generation and the mutation rate was 0·012%. In the M3 generation, there were seven mutants with hereditary high resistance and, according to the results of real-time polymerase chain reaction, the N gene was detected in all seven M3. Two hereditary immune M4 mutants, one of which was a male sterile line, were identified and evaluated in the glasshouse and in the field. For CMV, seven highly resistant plants were selected from the M2 generation and the mutation rate was 0·009%. In the M3 generation, there was one mutant with hereditary high resistance. The results indicate that hereditary mutants may be identified in the M4 generation and back-crossed to wild-type Zhongyan100 to identify anti-viral genes.
In recent years, the effect of Toxoplasma gondii infection on the cerebrum and neuropsychiatric patients has been increasingly highlighted. However, there is limited information about the epidemiology of T. gondii infection in psychiatric patients in Shandong province, eastern China. Therefore, through a case-control study, 445 patients hospitalized for diacrisis or treatment in Weihai, eastern China, and 445 control subjects from the general population of the same region matched by gender, age, and residence were examined with enzyme-linked immunoassays for the presence of IgG and IgM antibodies to T. gondii and associated sociodemographic and behavioural characteristics in a population of psychiatric patients. Seroprevalence of IgG antibodies to T. gondii in psychiatric patients (77/445, 17·30%) was significantly higher than in control subjects (55/445, 12·36%) (P = 0·038). Fourteen (3·15%) psychiatric patients and 10 (2·25%) control subjects had IgM antibodies to T. gondii (P = 0·408). Multivariate analysis using logic regression showed that T. gondii infection was associated with cats at home and consumption of raw/undercooked meat in psychiatric patients. Considering that most psychiatric patients usually have lower cognitive functioning and additional transmission routes related to their inappropriate behaviours that could enhance the risk of infection, psychiatric patients should be considered as a specific group of T. gondii infection.
We studied seasonal patterns of swine hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection in China. From 2008 to 2011, 4200 swine bile specimens were collected for the detection of HEV RNA. A total of 92/2400 (3·83%) specimens in eastern China and 47/1800 (2·61%) specimens in southwestern China were positive for HEV. Seasonal patterns differing by geographical area were suggested. In eastern China, the major peak of HEV RNA prevalence was during March–April, with a minor peak during September–October, and a dip during July–August. In southwestern China, the peak was during September–October and the dip during March–April. The majority of subtype 4a cases (63/82, 76·83%) were detected in the first half of the year, while the majority of subtype 4b cases (26/29, 89·66%) were concentrated in the second half of the year, suggesting that different subtypes contribute to different peaks. Our results indicate that the distribution of HEV subtypes is associated with seasonal patterns.
Transoral rigid laryngoscopy with videostroboscopy is the most practical method to visualise the vocal folds. The optimal topical anaesthesia regimen for transoral rigid laryngoscopy has not yet been established.
To compare patient comfort and compliance with various topical anaesthetics for transoral rigid laryngoscopy.
Each of 10 patients received a random topical administration of either 2 per cent lidocaine gel, 1 per cent tetracaine gel or 1 per cent tetracaine solution, 10 minutes before undergoing rigid laryngoscopy with videostroboscopy. During follow-up laryngoscopies, the agent with the lowest mean visual analogue scale score for discomfort was then used to study the timing of topical anaesthetic application: the agent was given to the patient 5, 10 or 15 minutes before laryngoscopy (with the timing randomly selected).
Compared with lidocaine gel or tetracaine gel, laryngoscopy with topical tetracaine solution was more comfortable. There was a statistically significant difference in discomfort score between the 5 and 10 minute application groups, but not between the 10 and 15 minute groups.
In order to investigate the dynamics of Septin4 (Sept4) expression and its function in the formation of fibrotic livers in mice infected with Schistosoma japonicum, we constructed the mouse model of S. japonicum egg-induced liver fibrosis for 24 weeks. Immunohistochemical staining, qRT-PCR and Western blot were used to detect the expression of Sept4 and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA). We found Sept4 localized in the perisinusoidal space where hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) distribute in the periphery of circumoval granulomas and the portal venule. The expression of Sept4 and α-SMA had a similar significant tendency of an up-regulation to a peak at 12 weeks post-infection (p.i.) followed by a down-regulation. At 24 weeks p.i. both were at a low level. These results suggest that Sept4 and α-SMA may interact together in HSCs. Based on this evidence, we hypothesize that Sept4 seems to be involved in the formation of inflammatory granulomata and subsequent liver fibrosis by regulating HSCs activation.
Saunders's Gull Larus saundersi is a breeding endemic of Common Seepweed Suaeda glauca habitats on the east coast of China and south-west coast of South Korea. Much of this habitat has been lost and degraded due to human land use and expansion of the introduced Smooth Cordgrass Spartina alterniflora. Yancheng National Nature Reserve (NNR) is one of three breeding and wintering areas in China. We used satellite images from 1992 to 2007 and visual interpretation combined with ground truthing to classify the land cover and quantify changes in land use and land cover (LULC) in areas of Yancheng NNR used by Saunders's Gull. The Common Seepweed habitat, in which this species nests, decreased in area by 79.1% (27,358 ha) over 15 years, predominantly as a result of conversion to aquaculture ponds (18,929 ha), and is now centred in the south-east of Yancheng NNR. The total population size of Saunders's Gull was maintained at over 900 individuals from 1999 to 2006 in Yancheng NNR, but was only 575 in 2007, and the number of breeding sites decreased from eight in 1992 and 1994 to a single site in 2000–2006 and two sites in 2007. From 1999 to 2007, the breeding population in the core area of Yancheng NNR accounted for 94.93% of the total population, and its nest-site spatial turnover rate was 0.84 ± 0.08 (n = 7 years), but it tended to decrease by about 40% in 2007 because of degradation of the Common Seepweed community. The conversion of Common Seepweed habitats to other habitat types and expansion of introduced Smooth Cordgrass were the major and direct reasons for the loss and degradation of breeding habitats of Saunders's Gull. Smooth Cordgrass habitats increased in area by 321.9% (11,057 ha) during this period and centred on the east, gradually occupying the mudflats, except the beach from Liangduo River to the south of Yancheng NNR, where potential breeding sites for the Saunders's Gull could be located. We discuss the implications of our results for the conservation this species and management of its habitats.
The Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) has a major radius of R0 = 1.75 m and a midplane halfwidth of 0.5 m. It has been operated with a toroidal magnetic field B0 = 2 T and Ip ≤ 500 kA. The evolution of the plasma equilibrium is analysed between discharges by Equilibrium Fitting Code (EFIT). Limiter, single-null and double-null diverted configurations have been produced. A plasma elongation in the range 1.3 ≤ κ ≤ 1.9 and a triangularity in the range 0.1 ≤ δ ≤ 0.55 have been sustained. The operation space of elongated discharges is also presented based on the EAST database.
A matched and serologically confirmed case-control study was carried out to investigate the source of an outbreak of acute hepatitis involving 290000 cases in the suburbs of Shanghai, in January 1988. A total of 132 patients with acute hepatitis from six different hospitals were chosen as cases and the same number of control patients without hepatitis were matched for gender, age, admission date and area of residence. Serum specimens from both case and control patients were detected for specific anti-hepatitis A (HA) IgM antibody and a questionnaire was used to investigate probable risk factors related to the outbreak. The positive rate of anti-HA IgM was 98·48% in the case group and only 0·76% in the control, indicating that the infection was caused by HA virus. The results revealed that the source and mode of transmission were due to the consumption of contaminated and inadequately cooked clams (Anadara subcrenata lischke). There was a highly positive dose-response relationship between the odds ratio of contracting HA and the quantity or frequency of clam consumption. The odds ratios of acquiring HA from clams were up to 62·4–63·4 by both group stratification and multiple unconditional logistic regression analyses.
We present the optical emission line properties of a sample of 155 bright X-ray selected ROSAT Seyfert 1 type AGN. The measured properties are gathered for correlation analysis. The strong correlations between Hβ redshift, flux ratios of Fe II to Hβ broad component and [O III] to Hβ narrow component are found.
Zinc powder reacts with equivalent elemental selenium in solvent ethylenediamine at 120 °C for 6 h to form a complex, which is converted to ZnSe nanoparticles by pyrolysis or protonization. X-ray diffraction results suggest that the as-formed products have wurtzite structure. Transmission electron microscopy observation show that particles with spherical and laminar morphology were produced by pyrolysis and protonization, respectively. The formation of ZnSe nanoparticles is also investigated by infrared and thermal analysis.
Single-phase nanocrystalline Co9S8 was prepared by hydrothermal treatment of Co(Ac)2 and NH2CSNH2 in hydrazine solution at 170 °C. The products were characterized by x-ray powder diffraction (XRD) technique, transmission electron microscope (TEM), and wet chemical analysis. XRD indicated the product was the cubic Co9S8 phase. The relative crystallite size was 6.3 nm as determined by the Scherrer method. TEM images showed the particles were agglomerative. The electron diffraction pattern also revealed their nanocrystalline nature. In this hydrothermal formation process of Co9S8, hydrazine was a critical factor. The formation process is discussed.
A bulk sample of La0.6Mg0.4MnO3 has been prepared from coprecipitated carbonate precursor for the first time in this study. Structure analysis conducted by powder x-ray diffraction indicates that the sample is in the cubic perovskite phase. It shows a metal-insulator transition at 115 K (Tp) When applied to an external field, GMR effects are observed in the whole measured temperature range. The maximum negative MR value reaches as large as 480% at 105 K and 5 T. There may be two different mechanisms governing the GMR effects in the sample for the temperatures below and above Tp.
Copolymer latexes of poly(styrene/acrylic acid) were closely packed into two-dimensional arrays on glass, mica and silicon substrates respectively. When the small latexes were negatively charged due to −SO4− and −COO− groups on the surface, their film formation, in some degree, was affected by the electrostatic interaction between two particles as well as capillary force. Different electrolytes were added into the colloid to adjust the particle interaction so that the attractive and the repulsive forces were properly balanced and the ordered arrays were achieved. Thin metal film was deposited on the latex monolayer through thermal evaporation in vacuum. Then, the spheres were dissolved away to leave behind a surface with features located where the interstitial spaces between the densely packed spheres had been. This process depended upon the interaction between the microspheres and the substrates, and the adhesion between the film materials and the substrates. Different patterns of honeycomb net, triangle islands and separate spots can be obtained by controlling the ultrasonic time and intensity.
Direct images of the surface morphology of a series of the poly(styrene-b-butadiene-b-styrene) (SBS) ultrathin films have been obtained by atomic force microscopy (AFM). These films were formed under kinetic control. The resulting films consist of 25 nm-diameter spherical structures and/or cylindrical ones. These structures are surprisingly different fi-om alternative-lamellar structures which should be formed under annealed conditions because of the nearly equal length of two blocks of SBS. In nonselective solvents, the surface of the cast solution layer induces the copolymers to self-organize into micelle consisting of a polystyrene (PS) core and a polybutadiene (PB) shell in order to decrease film surface energy. The final structures depend on the property of the solvent used and filn-forming condition.
The implantation of Ag into MgO (100) single crystals, followed by thermal annealing at 1100°C, leads to dramatic changes in their optical properties. The changes in the optical properties are due to the presence of small Ag clusters which are formed in the annealed samples. The small Ag clusters are obtained by thermal annealing of the implanted MgO crystals between 600°C and 1100°C to investigate the changes in cluster sizes and to correlate with changes in their optical properties. Sample characterization is carried out using optical spectrophotometry to confirm the effective presence of Ag clusters and Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry (RBS) to study the profile of Ag clusters.
Plasma immersion ion implantation (PIII) has been applied to fabricate shallow p-n junction diodes and MOS test structures. BF3 ions created by an electron cyclotron resonance source were implanted into n-type Si(100) at an accelerating voltage of −2 kv. The implant doses ranged from 4 × 1014/cm2 to 4 × 1015/cm2. In some cases, the top layers of the Si(100) substrates were preamorphized by a 3 × 1015/cm2 to 1016/cm2 implant of SiF4 by PIII at −7.2 kV prior to the BF3 implant. The ideality factor exhibited in both non- and preamorphized samples during forward bias is 1.02 to 1.05. Reverse leakages were measured at 30 nA/cm2 at −5V. High frequency capacitance and high field breakdown measurements of the oxide test structures showed no significant damage to the oxide.