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Deficits in event-related potential (ERP) including duration mismatch negativity (MMN) and P3a have been demonstrated widely in chronic schizophrenia (SZ) but inconsistent findings were reported in first-episode patients. Psychotropic medications and diagnosis might contribute to different findings on MMN/P3a ERP in first-episode patients. The present study examined MMN and P3a in first episode drug naïve SZ and bipolar disorder (BPD) patients and explored the relationships among ERPs, neurocognition and global functioning.
Twenty SZ, 24 BPD and 49 age and sex-matched healthy controls were enrolled in this study. Data of clinical symptoms [Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale (PANSS), Young Manic Rating Scale (YMRS), Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD)], neurocognition [Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS), Cattell's Culture Fair Intelligence Test (CCFT), Delay Matching to Sample (DMS), Rapid Visual Information Processing (RVP)], and functioning [Functioning Assessment Short Test (FAST)] were collected. P3a and MMN were elicited using a passive auditory oddball paradigm.
Significant MMN and P3a deficits and impaired neurocognition were found in both SZ and BPD patients. In SZ, MMN was significantly correlated with FAST (r = 0.48) and CCFT (r = −0.31). In BPD, MMN was significantly correlated with DMS (r = −0.54). For P3a, RVP and FAST scores were significant predictors in SZ, whereas RVP, WAIS and FAST were significant predictors in BPD.
The present study found deficits in MMN, P3a, neurocognition in drug naïve SZ and BPD patients. These deficits appeared to link with levels of higher-order cognition and functioning.
Two population-based cross-sectional surveys involving randomly selected Chinese adults aged 35–74 years were conducted in Qingdao, China in 2006 and 2009. Nine thousand fifty-five subjects from the two surveys were grouped into four birth groups of fetal/infant exposed (born between 1 January 1959 and 31 December 1962), childhood exposed (born between 1 January 1950 and 31 December 1958), adolescence exposed (born between 1 January 1942 and 31 December 1949) and the unexposed (born before 1941 and after 1963). Multivariate logistic regression models were used to calculate the OR and 95 % CI of hyperuricaemia in different exposed groups. Overall, famine exposure in the fetal/infant period, childhood and adolescence was not associated with adulthood hyperuricaemia (all P > 0·05). In females, childhood exposed group (OR = 1·59, 95 % CI 1·25, 2·02) and adolescence exposed group (OR = 1·74, 95 % CI 1·30, 2·33) both had higher risks to have hyperuricaemia in adult. However, this difference was not found in fetal/infant exposed group. In males, no significant relation was observed in any famine exposed group (all P > 0·05). Exposure to famine in childhood and adolescence is associated with an increased risk of hyperuricaemia for adulthood of females, but not in males. Adequate nutrition during early life appears to be beneficial to prevent hyperuricaemia of adult females.
Redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus L.) is a dominant weed in soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] fields in Heilongjiang Province, China. High selective pressure caused by the extensive application of the protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO)-inhibiting herbicide fomesafen has caused A. retroflexus to evolve resistance to this herbicide. Two susceptible and two resistant populations (S1, S2, R1, and R2) were selected in this study to illustrate the target-site resistance mechanism in resistant A. retroflexus. Whole-plant bioassays indicated that R1 and R2 had evolved high-level resistance to fomesafen, with resistance factors of 27.0 to 27.9. Sequence alignment of the PPO gene showed an Arg-128-Gly substitution in PPX2. The basal expression differences of PPX1 and PPX2 between the S1 and R1 plants were essentially nonsignificant, whereas the basal expression of PPX2 in R2 plants was slightly lower than in S1 plants. Compared with the PPX1 gene, the PPX2 gene maintained higher expression in the resistant plants after treatment with fomesafen. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay showed a similar basal PPO content between the susceptible and resistant plants without treatment. After fomesafen treatment, the PPO content decreased sharply in the susceptible plants compared with the resistant plants. Furthermore, after 24 h of treatment, the resistant plants showed increased PPO content, whereas the susceptible plants had died. The PPO2 mutation resulted in high extractable PPO activity and low sensitivity to fomesafen along with changes in PPO enzyme kinetics. Although the mutant PPO2 exhibited increased Km values in the resistant plants, the Vmax values in these plants were also increased. Changes in the properties of the PPO enzyme due to an Arg-128-Gly substitution in PPX2, including changes in enzyme sensitivity and enzyme kinetics, are the target-site mechanism of resistance in A. retroflexus.
The extent of intertidal flats in the Yellow Sea region has declined significantly in the past few decades, resulting in severe population declines in several waterbird species. The Yellow Sea region holds the primary stopover sites for many shorebirds during their migration to and from northern breeding grounds. However, the functional roles of these sites in shorebirds’ stopover ecology remain poorly understood. Through field surveys between July and November 2015, we investigated the stopover and moult schedules of migratory shorebirds along the southern Jiangsu coast, eastern China during their southbound migration, with a focus on the ‘Critically Endangered’ Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea and ‘Endangered’ Nordmann’s Greenshank Tringa guttifer. Long-term count data indicate that both species regularly occur in globally important number in southern Jiangsu coast, constituting 16.67–49.34% and 64.0–80.67% of their global population estimates respectively, and it is highly likely that most adults undergo their primary moult during this southbound migration stopover. Our results show that Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Nordmann’s Greenshank staged for an extended period of time (66 and 84 days, respectively) to complete their primary moult. On average, Spoon-billed Sandpipers and Nordmann’s Greenshanks started moulting primary feathers on 8 August ± 4.52 and 27 July ± 1.56 days respectively, and their moult durations were 72.58 ± 9.08 and 65.09 ± 2.40 days. In addition, some individuals of several other shorebird species including the ‘Endangered’ Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris, ‘Near Threatened’ Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica, ‘Near Threatened’ Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata and Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii also underwent primary moult. Our work highlights the importance of the southern Jiangsu region as the primary moulting ground for these species, reinforcing that conservation of shorebird habitat including both intertidal flats and supratidal roosting sites in this region is critical to safeguard the future of some highly threatened shorebird species.
To improve the corrosion resistance and to increase the hardness of copper substrate in marine environment, the Cu-Ni/Ni-P composite coatings were prepared on the copper substrate using the galvanostatic electrolytic deposition method. The deposition current densities were explored to find the optimized deposition conditions for forming the composite coatings. Corrosion resistance properties were analyzed using the polarization curves and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). Considering the corrosion resistance and hardness, the −20 mA/cm2 was selected to deposit Cu-Ni coatings on copper substrate and the −30 mA/cm2 was selected to deposit Ni-P coating on the Cu-Ni layer. The Cu-Ni/Ni-P composite coatings not only exhibited superior corrosion resistance compared to single Cu-Ni coating in 3.5 wt.% NaCl solution, but also showed much better mechanical properties than single Cu-Ni coating.
Previous studies have inferred a strong genetic component in schizophrenia. However, the genetic variants involved in the susceptibility to schizophrenia remain unclear.
To detect potential gene pathways and networks associated with schizophrenia, and to explore the relationship between common and rare variants in these pathways and abnormal white matter integrity in schizophrenia.
The analysis included 100 first-episode treatment-naïve patients with schizophrenia and 140 healthy controls. A network-based analysis was carried out on the data collected from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Phase I (PGC-I). Based on our genome-wide association study and whole-exome sequencing data-sets, we performed a gene-set analysis to detect associations between the combining effects of common and rare genetic variants and abnormal white matter integrity in schizophrenia.
Patients had significantly reduced functional anisotropy in the left and right anterior cingulate cortex, left and right precuneus and extra-nuclear (t = 4.61–5.10, PFDR < 0.01), compared with controls. Generated from co-expression network analysis of the PGC-1 summary statistics of schizophrenia, a subnetwork of 207 genes associated with schizophrenia was identified (P < 0.01), and 176 genes were co-expressed in four gene modules. Functional enrichment analysis for genes in each module revealed that the yellow module was enriched with highly co-expressed, innate immune response genes. Furthermore, rare variants of enriched genes in the yellow module were associated with reduced functional anisotropy in the left anterior cingulate cortex (P = 0.006; Padjusted = 0.024) in patients only.
The pathogenesis of schizophrenia may be substantially influenced by genes involved in the immune system, via both pathway and network.
The Yellow Sea region is of high global importance for waterbird populations, but recent systematic bird count data enabling identification of the most important sites are relatively sparse for some areas. Surveys of waterbirds at three sites on the coast of southern Jiangsu Province, China, in 2014 and 2015 produced peak counts of international importance for 24 species, including seven globally threatened and six Near Threatened species. The area is of particular global importance for the ‘Critically Endangered’ Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea (peak count across all three study sites: 62 in spring  and 225 in autumn  and ‘Endangered’ Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer (peak count across all three study sites: 210 in spring  and 1,110 in autumn ). The southern Jiangsu coast is therefore currently the most important migratory stopover area in the world, in both spring and autumn, for both species. Several serious and acute threats to waterbirds were recorded at these study sites. Paramount is the threat of large-scale land claim which would completely destroy intertidal mudflats of critical importance to waterbirds. Degradation of intertidal mudflat habitats through the spread of invasive Spartina, and mortality of waterbirds by entrapment in nets or deliberate poisoning are also real and present serious threats here. Collisions with, and displacement by, wind turbines and other structures, and industrial chemical pollution may represent additional potential threats. We recommend the rapid establishment of effective protected areas for waterbirds in the study area, maintaining large areas of open intertidal mudflat, and the urgent removal of all serious threats currently faced by waterbirds here.
Identification of individuals within pairs of monozygotic (MZ) twins remains unresolved using common forensic DNA typing technology. For some criminal cases involving MZ twins as suspects, the twins had to be released due to inability to identify which of the pair was the perpetrator. In this study, we performed a genome-wide scan on whole blood-derived DNA from four pairs of healthy phenotypically concordant MZ twins using the methylated DNA immunoprecipitation sequencing technology to identify candidate DNA methylation markers with capacity to distinguish MZ twins within a pair. We identified 38 differential methylation regions showing within-pair methylation differences in all four MZ pairs. These are all located in CpG islands, 17 of which are promoter-associated, 17 are intergenic islands, and four are intragenic islands. Genes associated with these markers are related with cell proliferation, differentiation, and growth and development, including zinc finger proteins, PRRX2, RBBP9, or are involved in G-protein signaling, such as the regulator of G-protein signaling 16. Further validation studies on additional MZ twins are now required to evaluate the broader utility of these 38 markers for forensic use.
New organic/inorganic mesoporous luminescent hybrid materials containing lanthanide (Eu, Tb) complexes chemically bonded to mesoporous SBA-15 [a kind of mesoporous silica with two-dimensional hexagonal (P6mm) structure] have been successfully synthesized by co-condensation of the modified hexafluoroacetylacetone (HFAASi) and tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) in the presence of Pluronic P123 surfactant as a template. The luminescent properties of these resulting mesoporous hybrid materials [denoted as Ln(HFAASi-SBA-15)3phen, Ln = Eu, Tb; phen = 1,10-phenanthroline] were characterized by Fourier transform infrared, small-angle powder x-ray diffraction, N2 adsorption measurements, transmission electron microscope, ultraviolet-visible diffuse reflection absorption spectra, and photoluminescent spectra, and the results exhibit that they all have uniformity in mesostructure and high surface area. Moreover, the mesoporous hybrid materials Eu(HFAASi-SBA-15)3phen and Tb(HFAASi-SBA-15)3phen exhibit the characteristic luminescence of Eu3+ and Tb3+, respectively, indicating that the effective intramolecular energy transfer between HFAASi and the lanthanide ions has been achieved.
In this work, sulfurizing metal precursors prepared by magnetron sputtering was applied in Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) thin film fabrication. Three precursor structures, namely substrate/ Zn/(Cu&Sn), substrate/Zn/Cu/Sn/Cu and substrate/Zn/Sn/Cu, were compared for their synthesized CZTS film quality. It is notable that CZTS film made of the precursor structure of substrate/Zn/(Cu&Sn) has the best film quality with no obvious voids and biggest average grain size. When applying this precursor structure into device fabrication, a working CZTS device with an efficiency of 2.26% was made. The impact of metal precursors on the structural property of CZTS film were characterised by SEM, XRD, Raman and TEM. Thick MoS2 interfacial layer (∼200nm) between absorber and back Mo contact and ZnS formed in the front and back absorber regions are the possible reasons limiting short-circuit current and fill factor of the cell.
The focus of this work is on back contact improvement for sputtered CZTS thin film solar cells. Three methods have been investigated including a thin Ag coating, a thin ZnO coating on the Mo back contact and rapid thermal annealing of the back contact. All of these methods have been found to reduce defects such as voids as well as secondary phases at the back contact region and inhibit the formation of MoS2. Consequently all the mothods effectively enhances Voc, Jsc, FF and therefore efficiency significantly.
Secondary phases are likely to occur in the Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) films since the CZTS is thermodynamically stable in only a narrow region of the phase diagram. The CZTS solar cell performance can be influenced by the existence and precipitated position of secondary phases. Therefore, locally investigate the distribution of secondary phases is important to further improve CZTS solar cell efficiency. In this study, two different kinds of transmission electron microscopy imaging techniques, bright field scanning TEM image (BF-STEM) and High-angle annular dark-field (HAADF) image, are applied to analyze the distribution of secondary phases. Due to the atomic number differences between CZTS and secondary phases, secondary phases are evident in the HAADF images. Therefore, HAADF image is a more powerful and convenient method to analyze the secondary phases than the BF-STEM image.
In order to utilize germplasm resources more efficiently for peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) genetic improvement, a core collection of 576 accessions and a primary mini core collection of 298 accessions were developed previously from a collection of 6839 cultivated peanut lines stored at the Oil Crops Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences at Wuhan. For an efficient evaluation and characterization of the most useful agronomic and disease-resistant traits, an even smaller collection of peanut accessions that represent a spectrum of phenotypes could be more desirable. For this reason, a mini-mini core collection with 99 accessions from the core accessions was developed based on the analysis of 21 morphological traits. It was demonstrated that there were no significant differences between the core and mini-mini core collections in 20 out of the 21 morphological traits studied. Further, the mini-mini core collection captured the ranges of all of the 21 traits displayed in the core collection. The newly developed mini-mini core collection was assessed for resistance to bacterial wilt disease caused by Ralstonia solanacearum. Two accessions showing a high level of resistance to bacterial wilt were identified, demonstrating the usefulness of the mini-mini core collection. The mini-mini-core collection provides a more efficient means of germplasm evaluation and will be resequenced as part of the International Peanut Genome Consortium sequencing project at the UC-Davis Genome Center.
Owing to their ability and flexibility to describe individual gene expression at different time points, random regression (RR) analyses have become a popular procedure for the genetic analysis of dynamic traits whose phenotypes are collected over time. Specifically, when modelling the dynamic patterns of gene expressions in the RR framework, B-splines have been proved successful as an alternative to orthogonal polynomials. In the so-called Bayesian B-spline quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping, B-splines are used to characterize the patterns of QTL effects and individual-specific time-dependent environmental errors over time, and the Bayesian shrinkage estimation method is employed to estimate model parameters. Extensive simulations demonstrate that (1) in terms of statistical power, Bayesian B-spline mapping outperforms the interval mapping based on the maximum likelihood; (2) for the simulated dataset with complicated growth curve simulated by B-splines, Legendre polynomial-based Bayesian mapping is not capable of identifying the designed QTLs accurately, even when higher-order Legendre polynomials are considered and (3) for the simulated dataset using Legendre polynomials, the Bayesian B-spline mapping can find the same QTLs as those identified by Legendre polynomial analysis. All simulation results support the necessity and flexibility of B-spline in Bayesian mapping of dynamic traits. The proposed method is also applied to a real dataset, where QTLs controlling the growth trajectory of stem diameters in Populus are located.
As an emerging powerful approach for mapping quantitative trait loci (QTLs) responsible for dynamic traits, functional mapping models the time-dependent mean vector with biologically meaningful equations and are likely to generate biologically relevant and interpretable results. Given the autocorrelation nature of a dynamic trait, functional mapping needs the implementation of the models for the structure of the covariance matrix. In this article, we have provided a comprehensive set of approaches for modelling the covariance structure and incorporated each of these approaches into the framework of functional mapping. The Bayesian information criterion (BIC) values are used as a model selection criterion to choose the optimal combination of the submodels for the mean vector and covariance structure. In an example for leaf age growth from a rice molecular genetic project, the best submodel combination was found between the Gaussian model for the correlation structure, power equation of order 1 for the variance and the power curve for the mean vector. Under this combination, several significant QTLs for leaf age growth trajectories were detected on different chromosomes. Our model can be well used to study the genetic architecture of dynamic traits of agricultural values.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the immediate and long-term effects of early feed restriction (ER) on morphology and gene expression of lateral gastrocnemius muscle. Newly hatched crossbred broiler chickens were allocated into control and ER groups, the latter being free-fed on alternate days from hatch to 14 days of age (14 d), followed by ad libitum feeding as the control group until 63 d. The lateral gastrocnemius muscle was taken at 14 and 63 d, respectively for myofibre typing by both myosin ATPase staining and relative quantification of myosin heavy chain (MyHC) mRNA for slow-twitch (SM), red fast-twitch (FRM) and white fast-twitch (FWM) myofibres. The body weight and lateral gastrocnemius weight were significantly lower in the ER group, accompanied by significantly reduced serum triiodothyronine. The ER group exhibited significantly higher SM and FRM MyHC expression at 14 d, but lower SM expression at 63 d. Myosin ATPase staining revealed a similar pattern. The percentage of SM was higher at 14 d while lower at 63 d in the ER group. These morphological changes were accompanied by changes of mRNA expression for growth-related genes. The ER group expressed lower insulin-like growth factoar I (IGF-I) and higher IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR) at 14 d, yet significantly increased growth hormone receptor and IGF-IR mRNA at 63 d. These results indicate that ER may delay the slow to fast myofibre conversion as an immediate effect, but would result in a lower percentage of slow fibres owing to compensatory growth in the long term, which involves changes of mRNA expression for the growth-related genes in the muscle.
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