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Due to the increased prevalence of human infections with bird schistosome larvae (cercarial dermatitis) associated with bathing in Danish lakes, a nationwide survey of infected intermediate host snails was conducted in 2018–2020. Pulmonate snails (10,225 specimens) were collected from 39 freshwater lakes (in the four major geographic regions in Denmark) and subjected to shedding. Released schistosome cercariae were isolated and identified by polymerase chain reaction and sequencing whereby Trichobilharzia regenti, Trichobilharzia franki, Trichobilharzia szidati and Trichobilharzia anseri were recorded. Infections were primarily determined by biotic factors such as the presence of final host birds and intermediate host snails and water temperature was noted as an important abiotic parameter associated with the infection. No clear connection with other abiotic factors (conductivity, alkalinity, pH, nitrogen, phosphorous) was seen. The widespread occurrence of infected snails, when compared to previous investigations, suggests that climate changes at northern latitudes could be responsible for the increased risk of contracting cercarial dermatitis.
An acute gastroenteritis (AGE) outbreak caused by a norovirus occurred at a hospital in Shanghai, China, was studied for molecular epidemiology, host susceptibility and serological roles. Rectal and environmental swabs, paired serum samples and saliva specimens were collected. Pathogens were detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction and DNA sequencing. Histo-blood group antigens (HBGA) phenotypes of saliva samples and their binding to norovirus protruding proteins were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The HBGA-binding interfaces and the surrounding region were analysed by the MegAlign program of DNAstar 7.1. Twenty-seven individuals in two care units were attacked with AGE at attack rates of 9.02 and 11.68%. Eighteen (78.2%) symptomatic and five (38.4%) asymptomatic individuals were GII.6/b norovirus positive. Saliva-based HBGA phenotyping showed that all symptomatic and asymptomatic cases belonged to A, B, AB or O secretors. Only four (16.7%) out of the 24 tested serum samples showed low blockade activity against HBGA-norovirus binding at the acute phase, whereas 11 (45.8%) samples at the convalescence stage showed seroconversion of such blockade. Specific blockade antibody in the population played an essential role in this norovirus epidemic. A wide HBGA-binding spectrum of GII.6 supports a need for continuous health attention and surveillance in different settings.
Stratospheric airships are promising aircraft, usually designed as a non-rigid airship. As an essential part of the non-rigid airship, the envelope plays a significant role in maintaining its shape and bearing the external force load. Generally, the envelope material of a flexible airship consists of plain-weave fabric, composed of warp and weft fibre yarn. At present, biaxial tensile experiments are the primary method used to study the stress–strain characteristics of such flexible airship materials. In this work, biaxial tensile testing of UN-5100 material was carried out. The strain on the material under unusual stress and the stress ratio were obtained using Digital Image Correlation (DIC) technology. Also, the stress–strain curve was corrected by polynomial fitting. The slope of the stress–strain curve at different points, the Membrane Structures Association of Japan (MSAJ) standard and the Radial Basis Function (RBF) model were compared to identify the stress–strain characteristics of the materials. Some conclusions on the mechanical properties of the flexible airship material can be drawn and will play a significant role in the design of such envelopes.
A disruption database characterizing the current quench of disruptions with ITER-like tungsten divertor has been developed on EAST. It provides a large number of plasma parameters describing the predisruptive plasma, current quench time, eddy current, and mitigation by massive impurity injection, which shows that the current quench time strongly depends on magnetic energy and post-disruption electron temperature. Further, the energy balance and magnetic energy dissipation during the current quench phase has been well analysed. Magnetic energy is also demonstrated to be dissipated mainly by ohmic reheating and inductive coupling, and both of the two channels have great effects on current quench time. Also, massive gas injection is an efficient method to speed up the current quench and increase the fraction of impurity radiation.
In this article, we investigate the horizontal trajectory tracking problem for an underactuated stratospheric airship subject to nonvanishing external disturbances and model uncertainties. By transforming the tracking errors into new virtual error variables, we can specify the transient and steady-state tracking performance of the resulting nonlinear system quantitatively, which means that under the proposed control scheme, the tracking errors will converge to prescribed residual sets around the origin before a preselected finite time with decay rates no less than a preassignable value. To address unknown items, minimal learning parameter (MLP) techniques for neural networks (NNs) approximation are employed, which efficaciously relax the computational burden, enhance the robustness against dynamics uncertainties and provide an improved property for disturbances rejection. A finite-time convergent observer (FTCO) is incorporated into the control framework to realise output-feedback control, ensuring that estimation errors are bounded during operation and approach zero within a finite time. Stability analysis proves that all the closed-loop signals are uniformly bounded. The effectiveness and advantages of the proposed control strategy are verified by simulation results.
As an epigenetic modification, DNA methylation may reflect the interaction between genetic and environmental factors in the development of schizophrenia (SCZ). Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene is a promising candidate gene of SCZ. In the present study, we investigate the association of COMT methylation with the risk of SCZ using bisulfite pyrosequencing technology. Significant association between DNA methylation of COMT and the risk of SCZ is identified (P = 1.618e−007). A breakdown analysis by gender shows that the significance is driven by males (P = 3.310e−009), but not by females. DNA methylation of COMT is not significantly associated with SCZ clinical phenotypes, including p300 and cysteine level. No interaction is found between COMT genotypes and the percent methylation of this gene. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve shows that DNA methylation of COMT is able to predict the SCZ risk in males (area under curve [AUC] = 0.802, P = 1.91e−007). The current study indicates the clinical value of COMT methylation as a potential male-specific biomarker in SCZ diagnosis.
The development of digestive organs and the establishment of gut microbiota in pullets play an important role throughout life. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of Bacillus subtilis (BS) on growth performance, intestinal function and gut microbiota in pullets from 0 to 6 weeks of age. Hy-line Brown laying hens (1-day-old, n = 504) were randomly allotted into four diets with a 2 × 2 factorial design: (1) basal diet group (control); (2) antibiotics group (AGP), the basal diet supplemented with 20 mg/kg Bacitracin Zinc and 4 mg/kg Colistin Sulphate; (3) BS group, the basal diet supplemented with 500 mg/kg BS and (4) mixed group, the basal diet supplemented with both AGP and BS. As a result, when BS was considered the main effect, BS addition (1) reduced the feed conversion ratio at 4 to 6 weeks (P < 0.05); (2) decreased duodenal and jejunal crypt depth at 3 weeks; (3) increased the villus height : crypt depth (V : C) ratio in the duodenum at 3 weeks and jejunal villus height at 6 weeks and (4) increased sucrase mRNA expression in the duodenum at 3 weeks as well as the jejunum at 6 weeks, and jejunal maltase and aminopeptidase expression at 3 weeks. When AGP was considered the main effect, AGP supplementation (1) increased the V : C ratio in the ileum at 3 weeks of age; (2) increased sucrase mRNA expression in the duodenum at 3 weeks as well as the ileum at 6 weeks, and increased maltase expression in the ileum. The BS × AGP interaction was observed to affect average daily feed intake at 4 to 6 weeks, and duodenal sucrase and jejunal maltase expression at 3 weeks. Furthermore, dietary BS or AGP addition improved caecal microbial diversity at 3 weeks, and a BS × AGP interaction was observed (P < 0.05) for the Shannon and Simpson indexes. At the genus level, the relative abundance of Lactobacillus was found to be higher in the mixed group at 3 weeks and in the BS group at 6 weeks. Moreover, Anaerostipes, Dehalobacterium and Oscillospira were also found to be dominant genera in pullets with dietary BS addition. In conclusion, BS could improve intestinal morphology and change digestive enzyme relative expression and caecum microbiota, thereby increasing the efficiency of nutrient utilization. Our findings suggested that BS might have more beneficial effects than AGP in the study, which would provide theoretical evidence and new insight into BS application in layer pullets.
A nonlinear station-keeping control method for a multi-vectored propeller airship under unknown wind field with thrust saturation is developed, which is composed of three modules: nonlinear model predictive controller (NMPC), disturbance observer (DOB) and tracking differentiator (TD). The nonlinear kinematics and dynamics models are introduced, and the wind effect is considered by the wind-induced aerodynamic force. Based on both models, an explicit NMPC is designed. Then a nonlinear DOB is introduced to estimate the wind disturbance. A TD, showing the relationship between the maximum propulsion force and the maximum flight acceleration, is proposed to handle the thrusts’ amplitude saturation. Stability analysis shows that the closed-loop system is globally asymptotically stable. Simulations for a multi-vectored propeller airship are conducted to demonstrate the robustness and effectiveness of the proposed method.
Analysis of the potato yield gap and the corresponding nutrient gap can help in devising strategies and measurements to increase productivity for closing the gaps through improved practices. On-farm experiments conducted in the main potato production areas of northwest China were used to determine attainable yield. Official statistical data were used to determine the actual on-farm yield. Yield gap was the difference between attainable yield and actual on-farm yield. Nutrient gap was calculated by dividing the size of yield gap by partial factor productivity. Results indicated that nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) fertilization increased potato yield by an average of 1169–7625, 2937–5336 and 2331–7338 kg/ha, respectively. The maximum attainable yields (the 90th percentile yields) were 50 145, 37 855, 30 261 and 56 616 kg/ha and the average actual on-farm yield were 14 179, 16 732, 10 271 and 19 990 kg/ha in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (IMAR), Gansu, Ningxia and Qinghai provinces, respectively. In the above four regions, yield would need to increase by 165, 70, 112 and 121% from actual yield to reach 75% of attainable yield. Compared with recent 3-year average NPK rates by farmers, the total NPK rates need to increase by 90.1–134.3% for IMAR, 42.9–69.2% for Gansu, 68.1–111.2% for Ningxia and 48.1–83.8% for Qinghai to improve productivity to near the 75% attainable yield. In conclusion, the high yield responses to fertilizer application provide opportunities to close the large yield gaps through balanced nutrition.
Information on morbidity burden of seasonal influenza in China is limited. A multiplier model was used to estimate the incidence and number of outpatient visits for seasonal influenza by age group for the 2015–2016 season in Beijing, the capital of China, based on reported numbers of influenza-like illness consultations and proportions of positive cases from influenza surveillance systems in Beijing, general consultation rates and other parameters from previous studies, surveys and surveillance systems. An estimated total of 1 190 200 (95% confidence interval (CI) 830 400–1 549 900) cases of influenza virus infections occurred in Beijing, 2015–2016 season, with an attack rate of 5·5% (95% CI 3·9–7·2%). These infections resulted in an estimated 468 280 (95% CI 70 700–606 800) outpatient visits, with an attack rate of 2·2% (95% CI 0·3–2·8%). The attack rate of influenza virus infections was highest among children aged 0–4 years (31·9% (95% CI 21·9–41·9%)), followed by children aged 5–14 years (18·7% (95% CI 12·9–24·5%)). Our study demonstrated a substantial influenza-related morbidity in Beijing, China, especially among the preschool- and school-aged children. This suggests that development or modification of seasonal influenza targeted vaccination strategies need to recognize that incidence is highest in children.
This paper presents a new approach to simulate the propagation of elastic and cohesive cracks under mode-I loading based on the vector form intrinsic finite element method. The proposed approach can handle crack propagation without requiring global stiffness matrices and extra weak stiffness elements. The structure is simulated by mass particles whose motions are governed by the Newton's second law. Elastic and cohesive crack propagation are simulated by proposed VFIFE-J-integral and VFIFE-FCM methods, respectively. The VFIFE-J-integral method is based on vector form intrinsic finite element (VFIFE) and J-integral methods to calculate the stress intensity factors at the crack tips, and the VFIFE-FCM method combines VFIFE and fictitious crack models (FCM). When the stress state at the crack tip meets the fracture criterion, the mass particle at the crack tip is separated into two particles. The crack then extends in the plate until the plate splits into two parts. The proposed VFIFE-J-integral method was validated by elastic crack simulation of a notched plate, and the VFIFE-FCM method by cohesive crack propagation of a three point bending beam. As assembly of the global stiffness matrix is avoided and each mass particle motion is calculated independently, the proposed method is easy and efficient. Numerical comparisons demonstrate that the present results predicted by the VFIFE method are in agreement with previous analytical, numerical and experimental works.
APETALA2/ethylene-responsive factor (AP2/ERF) family transcription factors play a vital role in plant growth and in response to hormones and abiotic stresses. In the current research, it is reported that OsDERF2, one of the drought-responsive ERF, is a member of the DREB sub-family. OsDERF2 is a nuclear-localized protein and has transcriptional activity in yeast. Expression of OsDERF2 was induced by drought and inhibited by abscisic acid (ABA). However, OsDERF2 RNA interference (RNAi) knock-down transgenic lines enhanced tolerance to drought stress at seedling stage and were much more sensitive to ABA treatment, which may result from the increased ABA level in vivo. The basic leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factor family plays an important role in the ABA signalling pathway of abiotic stress. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that the bZIP family gene OsbZIP20 and ABA-response gene OsABA45 were up-regulated 25 times and 120 times, respectively, in OsDERF2 RNAi knock-down lines under drought stress, which were up-regulated five and seven times in wild type under drought stress. The current data reveal that OsDERF2 negatively modulates drought stress response in an ABA-mediated pathway through regulating gene expression of other ABA-response transcription factors.
Persistent complex bereavement disorder (PCBD) is a protracted form of grief included in DSM Section 3 indicating a need for more research. Two other criteria sets [prolonged grief disorder (PGD) and complicated grief (CG) disorder] are also currently in use by researchers. This study evaluates rates of diagnosis of each proposed criteria set in a clinical sample of bereaved individuals participating in clinical research.
Two groups in which persistent grief was judged to be present or absent completed an assessment instrument that included items needed to diagnose PCBD as well as PGD and CG. One group included grief treatment-seeking participants in our multicenter National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-sponsored study who scored ⩾30 on the Inventory of Complicated Grief (ICG) and the other comprised bereaved adults enrolled in clinical research studies who scored <20 on the ICG. Rates of diagnosis were determined for proposed PCBD, PGD and CG criteria.
PCBD criteria diagnosed 70 [95% confidence interval (CI) 64.2–75.8] % of the grief treatment-seeking group, PGD criteria identified 59.6 (95% CI 53.4–65.8) % of these individuals and CG criteria identified 99.6 (95% CI 98.8–100.0) %. None of the three proposed criteria identified any cases in the bereaved comparison group.
Both proposed DSM-5 criteria for PCBD and criteria for PGD appear to be too restrictive as they failed to identify substantial numbers of treatment-seeking individuals with clinically significant levels of grief-related distress and impairment. Use of CG criteria or a similar algorithm appears to be warranted.
A scheme for the improvement of proton beam quality by the optimized dragging field from the interaction of ultraintense laser pulse with a complex double-layer target is proposed and demonstrated by one-dimensional particle-in-cell (Opic1D) simulations. The complex double-layer target consists of an overdense proton thin foil followed by a mixed hydrocarbon (CH) underdense plasma. Because of the existence of carbon ions, the dragging field in the mixed CH underdense plasma becomes stronger and flatter in the location of the proton beam than that in a pure hydrogen (H) underdense plasma. The optimized dragging field can keep trapping and accelerating protons in the mixed CH underdense target to high quality. Consequently, the energy spread of the proton beam in the mixed CH underdense plasma can be greatly reduced down to 2.6% and average energy of protons can reach to 9 GeV with circularly polarized lasers at intensities 2.74 × 1022 W/cm2.
A two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulation is carried out to study the focusing effects of the long proton beam propagating in background plasmas. It is found that the smooth beam, with the long length and the small density gradient profile, is focused to high density. The sharp beam, with long length and the large density gradient profile, is modulated into many high density and periodic short beam pulses due to the wakefield induced by the beam. In addition, increasing the plasma density and adopting the non-uniform plasmas are the effective ways to reduce the wakefield.
CMOS-compatible fabrication and etching processes are often used in subwavelength grating structures manufacturing, it normally generates tapered sidewall profile of the gratings. In this work, we have studied the impacts on resonance mode characteristics of subwavelength grating structures due to the tapered sidewall profile, as well as grating with high aspect ratio. Our simulation results have revealed that both of these two factors play important roles on the resonance mode behavior of subwavelength grating devices. We also discussed the mechanism between the guided mode resonance and the grating cavity mode resonance. Our study will provide guidance for a series of integrated photonics devices applications, such as compact optical filter, photonics amplifier, and lasers, while the realistic subwavelength grating structure is considered.
One main difference between practical device and ideal design for subwavelength grating structure is the tapered sidewall profile of grating, which is normally obtained by the practical CMOS-compatible fabrication and etching process. Our work has investigated the impacts of tapered sidewall profile on the subwavelength grating wideband reflector characteristics. Both zero-contrast gratings (ZCG) and high- contrast gratings (HCG) are numerically investigated in detail and the results show a distinct differences of the impacts of tapered sidewall profile of grating. The simulation results reveal that this factor play a critical role in determining the reflection bandwidth, average reflectance, and the band edge. Our study has potential in guiding the utilization of subwavelength grating wideband reflector on application of a variety of nanophotonic devices and their integration, as well as to facilitate the design of the fabrication process on the control of tapered sidewall profile.
Nitrogen (N) supply is essential for achieving high grain yield in maize production, but excessive N application can lead to lodging risks and potential yield loss. The main objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of ethephon application under different N fertilizer rates in reducing maize lodging. Field experiments were conducted to determine the interactive effects of ethephon (0 and 180 g/ha) and N rate (0, 75, 150 and 225 kg N/ha) on the morphological and chemical characteristics of basal internode and yield across two summer maize-growing seasons (2011/12) in Wuqiao of the North China Plain. Findings showed that ethephon significantly increased the maximum diameter of the 7th to 14th internodes, and decreased the internode lengths, which led to a decrease in plant and ear heights under different N rates. Significant ethephon × N interaction effects were observed on the diameter and length of internode, dry weight per unit internode length and breaking resistance. Ethephon significantly increased N, cellulose and hemicellulose contents of the basal internode, but cellulose and hemicellulose contents decreased as the rate of N application increased. Internode diameter, dry weight per unit internode length, and N content of the basal internode were significantly positively correlated with breaking resistance. Ethephon significantly increased grain yield and harvest index in 2011, but not in 2012. Grain yield and above-ground biomass were increased with increasing N application in both growing seasons, showing linear and quadratic responses. These results suggested that ethephon could increase stalk strength by improving the morphological and chemical characteristics of the basal internode, and maintain high yield and biomass under high N rates.
We determined the prevalence and seasonality of infections by Fasciola of goats and bovine species (cattle and water buffalo) in Hubei and Anhui provinces of China. Faecal samples were collected at 2- to 3-month intervals from 200 goats in Hubei province and from 152 bovine species in Anhui province. All faecal samples were examined for the presence of parasites. We determined the nucleotide sequences of the first and second internal transcribed spacers (ITS-1 and ITS-2) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA (rDNA) of 39 Fasciola worms from Anhui province. The prevalence of Fasciola infection in goats ranged between 3.5 and 37.0%, with mean eggs per gram (EPG) ranging between 29.0 and 166.0. Prevalence and EPG exhibited downward trends over time with significant differences. The prevalence of Fasciola infection in cattle ranged between 13.3 and 46.2% (mean EPG, 36.4–100.0), and that of water buffalo ranged between 10.3 and 35.4% (mean EPG, 25.0–89.6), with a higher prevalence of infection and EPG from June to October compared with December to March. Analysis of ITS-1 and ITS-2 sequences revealed that F. hepatica and F. gigantica were present in all bovine species of Anhui province and that F. gigantica mainly infected water buffalo. This is the first demonstration of Fasciola infection in Hubei province and detection of F. hepatica and F. gigantica in Anhui province. The present study of Hubei province shows that mass treatment of livestock with closantel sodium injections in April and August/September controlled Fasciola infection effectively.