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The association between executive dysfunction, brain dysconnectivity, and inflammation is a prominent feature across major psychiatric disorders (MPDs), schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder. A dimensional approach is warranted to delineate their mechanistic interplay across MPDs.
This single site study included a total of 1543 participants (1058 patients and 485 controls). In total, 1169 participants underwent diffusion tensor and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (745 patients and 379 controls completed the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test). Fractional anisotropy (FA) and regional homogeneity (ReHo) assessed structural and functional connectivity, respectively. Pro-inflammatory cytokine levels [interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α] were obtained in 325 participants using blood samples collected with 24 h of scanning. Group differences were determined for main measures, and correlation and mediation analyses and machine learning prediction modeling were performed.
Executive deficits were associated with decreased FA, increased ReHo, and elevated IL-1β and IL-6 levels across MPDs, compared to controls. FA and ReHo alterations in fronto-limbic-striatal regions contributed to executive deficits. IL-1β mediated the association between FA and cognition, and IL-6 mediated the relationship between ReHo and cognition. Executive cognition was better predicted by both brain connectivity and cytokine measures than either one alone for FA-IL-1β and ReHo-IL-6.
Transdiagnostic associations among brain connectivity, inflammation, and executive cognition exist across MPDs, implicating common neurobiological substrates and mechanisms for executive deficits in MPDs. Further, inflammation-related brain dysconnectivity within fronto-limbic-striatal regions may represent a transdiagnostic dimension underlying executive dysfunction that could be leveraged to advance treatment.
This study aimed to elucidate whether molecular signalling involved in upper airway remodelling is enhanced in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea.
Twenty patients with mild obstructive sleep apnoea (control group) and 40 patients with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnoea (obstructive sleep apnoea group) who desired uvulopalatopharyngoplasty were recruited for the study. After uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, surgical specimens of the uvula were subjected to haematoxylin and eosin, Masson's trichrome and immunohistochemical staining. Western blot and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction were used to evaluate the protein and messenger RNA expressions.
The obstructive sleep apnoea group showed more severe inflammation, increased collagen deposition and higher immunohistochemical staining intensity for TGF-ß and MMP-9 as well as higher protein and messenger RNA expression of MMP-9, VEGF, TGF-ß, p38 MAPK, SMAD 2/3, AKT and JNK in the uvula than control group.
Patients with obstructive sleep apnoea demonstrated more severe inflammation, increased airway remodelling, and increased protein and messenger RNA expression of pro-inflammatory and pro-fibrotic cytokines in the uvula than control participants.
Root-lesion nematodes (Pratylenchus spp.) are a group of economically important pathogens that have caused serious economic losses in many crops. In 2019, root-lesion nematodes were recovered from tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) root samples collected from Sichuan Province, People's Republic of China (PRC). Extracted nematodes were disinfected, and one individual female was cultured on a carrot disc for propagation at 25 °C by parthenogenesis and designated the SC isolate. Afterwards, the isolate was identified on the basis of morphometric and molecular markers. Both morphometric characters and molecular analysis of the internal transcribed spacer region gene (ITS) of ribosomal DNA, the D2-D3 expansion region of the 28S rDNA gene and the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (mtDNA-COI) gene revealed that the species of root-lesion nematode was Pratylenchus scribneri. The Bayesian tree inferred from the ITS rDNA, 28S rDNA and mtDNA-COI gene sequences also showed that this isolate formed a highly supported clade with other P. scribneri isolates. The pathogenicity of the root-lesion nematode SC isolate on tomato was assessed, showing that tomato was a suitable host for P. scribneri. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of P. scribneri on tomato in Sichuan Province, PRC. These are also the first molecular data obtained from P. scribneri on tomato in the PRC, and the pathogenicity of P. scribneri to tomato was studied for the first time. This study provides scientific data for the detection, identification and control of tomato root-lesion nematode disease.
This study aimed to investigate the association of nasal nitric oxide and olfactory function.
A cross-sectional study was performed in 117 adults, including 91 patients with chronic rhinosinusitis and 26 healthy controls. Scores on the 22-item Sino-Nasal Outcomes Test, Lund-Mackay scale and Lund-Kennedy scale were recorded to assess severity of disease. All participants were screened for common inhaled and food allergens. Nasal nitric oxide and fractional exhaled nitric oxide testing, acoustic rhinometry and anterior rhinomanometry testing were performed to measure nasal function. The validated Sniffin’ Sticks test battery was used to assess olfactory function.
Higher nasal nitric oxide was an independent protective factor for odour discrimination and odour threshold in participants with chronic rhinosinusitis after adjusting for age, gender, drinking, smoking, 22-item Sino-Nasal Outcomes Test, Lund-Mackay score, Lund-Kennedy score, immunoglobulin E and the second minimal cross-sectional area by acoustic rhinometry. Nasal nitric oxide also showed high discrimination in predicting impaired odour discrimination. In addition, nasal nitric oxide was lower in older participants, those with higher Lund-Mackay or Lund-Kennedy scores and higher with elevated total serum immunoglobulin E concentrations above a threshold of 0.35 kU/l.
Higher nasal nitric oxide is associated with better odour discrimination in chronic rhinosinusitis and is modulated by age, degree of allergy and severity of chronic rhinosinusitis.
The aim of the present study was to perform a retrospective review of the lesion sites in congenital middle-ear cholesteatoma and any accompanying ossicular defects, as well as to explore the possible aetiology of congenital middle-ear cholesteatoma associated with such ossicular chain defects.
The clinical characteristics and pathogenic mechanisms of ossicular chain defects were investigated in 10 patients with early-stage congenital middle-ear cholesteatoma confirmed by surgery, from August 2011 to February 2019.
Monofocal cholesteatoma was located in the anterosuperior quadrant in 3 cases and in the posterosuperior quadrant in 7 cases; all 10 cases showed an absence of the long crus of incus, and 8 cases showed a complete or partial absence of stapes superstructure. The lesions were confined to the vestibular window and the stapes region and had no contact with the long crus of the incus or stapes in nine cases. None of the 10 patients had any recurrence of cholesteatoma.
Although cholesteatoma can cause erosion of ossicles, the present cases suggest that residual epithelium of the cholesteatoma may coexist with ossicular malformations. Therefore, the aetiology of the clinical characteristics in these patients may derive from residual epithelial hinderance of ossicle development.
The commercial Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software STAR-CCM+ was used to simulate the flow and breakup characteristics of a Liquid Jet Injected into the gaseous Crossflow (LJIC) under real engine operating conditions. The reasonable calculation domain geometry and flow boundary conditions were obtained based on a civil aviation engine performance model similar to the Leap-1B engine which was developed using the GasTurb software and the preliminary design results of its low-emission combustor. The Volume of Fluid (VOF) model was applied to simulate the breakup feature of the near field of LJIC. The numerical method was validated and calibrated through comparison with the public test data at atmospheric conditions. The results showed that the numerical method can capture most of the jet breakup structure and predict the jet trajectory with an error not exceeding ±5%. The verified numerical method was applied to simulate the breakup of LJIC at the real engine operating condition. The breakup mode of LJIC was shown to be surface shear breakup at elevated condition. The trajectory of the liquid jet showed good agreement with Ragucci’s empirical correlation.
Considering the shortcomings of current methods for real-time resolution of two-aircraft flight conflicts, a geometric optimal conflict resolution and recovery method based on the velocity obstacle method for two aircraft and a cooperative conflict resolution method for multiple aircraft are proposed. The conflict type was determined according to the relative position and velocity of the aircraft, and a corresponding conflict mitigation strategy was selected. A resolution manoeuvre and a recovery manoeuvre were performed. On the basis of a two-aircraft conflict resolution model, a multi-aircraft cooperative conflict resolution game was constructed to identify an optimal solution for maximising group welfare. The solution and recovery method is simple and effective, and no new flight conflicts are introduced during track recovery. For multi-aircraft conflict resolution, an equilibrium point that maximises the welfare function of the group was identified, and thus, an optimal strategy for multi-aircraft conflict resolution was obtained.
Manure is a primary source of methane (CH4) emissions into the atmosphere. A large proportion of CH4 from manure is emitted during storage, but this varies with storage methods. In this research, we tested whether covering a manure heap with plastic reduces CH4 emission during a short-term composting process. A static chamber method was used to detect the CH4 emission rate and the change of the physicochemical properties of cattle manure which was stored either uncovered (treatment UNCOVERED) or covered with plastic (treatment COVERED) for 30-day periods during the four seasons? The dry matter content of the COVERED treatment was significantly less than the UNCOVERED treatment (P < 0.01), and the C/N ratio of the COVERED treatment significantly greater than the UNCOVERED treatment (P > 0.05) under high temperature. In the UNCOVERED treatment, average daily methane (CH4) emissions were in the order summer > spring > autumn > winter. CH4 emissions were positively correlated with the temperature (R2 = 0.52, P < 0.01). Compared to the UNCOVERED treatment, the daily average CH4 emission rates from COVERED treatment manure were less in the first 19 days of spring, 13 days of summer, 10 days of autumn and 30 days of winter. In summary, covering the manure pile with plastic reduces the evaporation of water during storage; and in winter, long-term covering with plastic film reduces the CH4 emissions during the storage of manure.
The aim of this study was to explore the frequency and distribution of gene mutations that are related to isoniazid (INH) and rifampin (RIF)-resistance in the strains of the multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) in Beijing, China. In this retrospective study, the genotypes of 173 MDR-TB strains were analysed by spoligotyping. The katG, inhA genes and the promoter region of inhA, in which genetic mutations confer INH resistance; and the rpoB gene, in which genetic mutations confer RIF resistance, were sequenced. The percentage of resistance-associated nucleotide alterations among the strains of different genotypes was also analysed. In total, 90.8% (157/173) of the MDR strains belonged to the Beijing genotype. Population characteristics were not significantly different among the strains of different genotypes. In total, 50.3% (87/173) strains had mutations at codon S315T of katG; 16.8% (29/173) of strains had mutations in the inhA promoter region; of them, 5.5% (15/173) had point mutations at −15 base (C→T) of the inhA promoter region. In total, 86.7% (150/173) strains had mutations at rpoB gene; of them, 40% (69/173) strains had mutations at codon S531L of rpoB. The frequency of mutations was not significantly higher in Beijing genotypic MDR strains than in non-Beijing genotypes. Beijing genotypic MDR-TB strains were spreading in Beijing and present a major challenge to TB control in this region. A high prevalence of katG Ser315Thr, inhA promoter region (−15C→T) and rpoB (S531L) mutations was observed. Molecular diagnostics based on gene mutations was a useful method for rapid detection of MDR-TB in Beijing, China.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Bordetella bronchiseptica is a potential zoonotic pathogen, which mainly causes respiratory diseases in humans and a variety of animal species. B. bronchiseptica is one of the important pathogens isolated from rabbits in Fujian Province. However, the knowledge of the epidemiology and characteristics of the B. bronchiseptica in rabbits in Fujian Province is largely unknown. In this study, 219 B. bronchiseptica isolates recovered from lung samples of dead rabbits with respiratory diseases in Fujian Province were characterised by multi-locus sequencing typing, screening virulence genes and testing antimicrobial susceptibility. The results showed that the 219 isolates were typed into 11 sequence types (STs) including five known STs (ST6, ST10, ST12, ST14 and ST33) and six new STs (ST88, ST89, ST90, ST91, ST92 and ST93) and the ST33 (30.14%, 66/219), ST14 (26.94%, 59/219) and ST12 (16.44%, 36/219) were the three most prevalent STs. Surprisingly, all the 219 isolates carried the five virulence genes (fhaB, prn, cyaA, dnt and bteA) in the polymerase chain reaction screening. Moreover, the isolates were resistant to cefixime, ceftizoxime, cefatriaxone and ampicillin at rates of 33.33%, 31.05%, 11.87% and 3.20%, respectively. This study showed the genetic diversity of B. bronchiseptica in rabbits in Fujian Province, and the colonisation of the human-associated ST12 strain in rabbits in Fujian Province. The results might be useful for monitoring the epidemic strains, developing preventive methods and preventing the transmission of epidemic strains from rabbits to humans.
Longan is an economically important sub-tropical fruit tree native to southern China and southeast Asia. Its production has been affected significantly by climate change, but the underlying reasons remain unclear. Herein, the potential growing areas of longan were simulated by the Maxent model under current and future conditions. The results showed excellent prediction performance, with an area under curve of >0.9 for model training and validation. The key environmental variables identified were mean temperature of the coldest quarter, minimum temperature of the coldest month, annual mean temperature and mean temperature of the driest quarter. The optimum suitable areas of longan were found to be concentrated mainly in south-western, southern and eastern China, with a slight increase in optimum suitable areas under two different emission scenarios of three global climatic models. However, its future potential growing areas were predicted to differ among provinces or cities. Suitable growing areas in Sichuan, Jiangxi, Guangxi and Chongqing will first increase and then remain approximately unchanged between the 2050s and 2070s; those in Yunnan, Guangdong and Hainan will remain approximately unchanged from the present to the 2070s; those in Fujian and Guizhou will fluctuate slightly from the present to the 2050s and then increase to the 2070s; those in Taiwan will first decrease and then increase. In summary, the major future production areas of longan will be Guangdong, Hainan and Guangxi provinces, followed by Chongqing, Yunnan, Fujian and Taiwan. Thus, this study serves as a useful guide for the management of longan.
Electric-powered disposable unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have wide applications due to their advantages in terms of long time flight and load capacity. Thus, improving their endurance has become an important task to enhance the performance of these UAVs. To achieve this, we investigated a battery dumping strategy which splits the battery into several packs that are used and dumped in sequence to reduce the dead weight. The Peukert effect is also considered. In this paper, the sensitivity analysis method was employed to analyse the endurance benefits for different battery weight ratios, Peukert constants and capacities, quantitatively. The results show that the endurance benefits are significantly affected by all three parameters. For ideal batteries, the endurance can be improved by 20% and 28% respectively when employing a double-pack or triple-pack battery strategy (for a battery weight ratio of 0.4), but these benefits will fall rapidly if the Peukert constant exceeds 1.0 or the battery weight declines. Besides, the endurance will be 10% longer if the lift coefficient rather than the velocity remains constant after the battery packs are dumped at a Peukert constant of 1.2.
Phytase has long been used to decrease the inorganic phosphorus (Pi) input in poultry diet. The current study was conducted to investigate the effects of Pi supplementation on laying performance, egg quality and phosphate–calcium metabolism in Hy-Line Brown laying hens fed phytase. Layers (n = 504, 29 weeks old) were randomly assigned to seven treatments with six replicates of 12 birds. The corn–soybean meal-based diet contained 0.12% non-phytate phosphorus (nPP), 3.8% calcium, 2415 IU/kg vitamin D3 and 2000 FTU/kg phytase. Inorganic phosphorus (in the form of mono-dicalcium phosphate) was added into the basal diet to construct seven experimental diets; the final dietary nPP levels were 0.12%, 0.17%, 0.22%, 0.27%, 0.32%, 0.37% and 0.42%. The feeding trial lasted 12 weeks (hens from 29 to 40 weeks of age). Laying performance (housed laying rate, egg weight, egg mass, daily feed intake and feed conversion ratio) was weekly calculated. Egg quality (egg shape index, shell strength, shell thickness, albumen height, yolk colour and Haugh units), serum parameters (calcium, phosphorus, parathyroid hormone, calcitonin and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D), tibia quality (breaking strength, and calcium, phosphorus and ash contents), intestinal gene expression (type IIb sodium-dependent phosphate cotransporter, NaPi-IIb) and phosphorus excretion were determined at the end of the trial. No differences were observed on laying performance, egg quality, serum parameters and tibia quality. Hens fed 0.17% nPP had increased (P < 0.01) duodenum NaPi-IIb expression compared to all other treatments. Phosphorus excretion linearly increased with an increase in dietary nPP (phosphorus excretion = 1.7916 × nPP + 0.2157; R2 = 0.9609, P = 0.001). In conclusion, corn–soybean meal-based diets containing 0.12% nPP, 3.8% calcium, 2415 IU/kg vitamin D3 and 2000 FTU/kg phytase would meet the requirements for egg production in Hy-Line Brown laying hens (29 to 40 weeks of age).
Reducing dietary CP content is an effective approach to reduce animal nitrogen excretion and save protein feed resources. However, it is not clear how reducing dietary CP content affects the nutrient digestion and absorption in the gut of ruminants, therefore it is difficult to accurately determine how much reduction in dietary CP content is appropriate. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of reduced dietary CP content on N balance, intestinal nutrient digestion and absorption, and rumen microbiota in growing goats. To determine N balance, 18 growing wether goats (25.0 ± 0.5 kg) were randomly assigned to one of three diets: 13.0% (control), 11.5% and 10.0% CP. Another 18 growing wether goats (25.0 ± 0.5 kg) were surgically fitted with ruminal, proximate duodenal, and terminal ileal fistulae and were randomly assigned to one of the three diets to investigate intestinal amino acid (AA) absorption and rumen microbiota. The results showed that fecal and urinary N excretion of goats fed diets containing 11.5% and 10.0% CP were lower than those of goats fed the control diet (P < 0.05). When compared with goats fed the control diet, N retention was decreased and apparent N digestibility in the entire gastrointestinal tract was increased in goats fed the 10% CP diet (P < 0.05). When compared with goats fed the control diet, the duodenal flow of lysine, tryptophan and phenylalanine was decreased in goats fed the 11.5% CP diet (P < 0.05) and that of lysine, methionine, tryptophan, phenylalanine, leucine, glutamic acid, tyrosine, essential AAs (EAAs) and total AAs (TAAs) was decreased in goats fed the 10.0% CP diet (P < 0.05). When compared with goats fed the control diet, the apparent absorption of TAAs in the small intestine was increased in goats fed the 11.5% CP diet (P < 0.05) and that of isoleucine, serine, cysteine, EAAs, non-essential AAs, and TAAs in the small intestine was increased in goats fed the 10.0% CP diet (P < 0.05). When compared with goats fed the control diet, the relative richness of Bacteroidetes and Fibrobacteres was increased and that of Proteobacteria and Synergistetes was decreased in the rumen of goats fed a diet with 10.0% CP. In conclusion, reducing dietary CP content reduced N excretion and increased nutrient utilization by improving rumen fermentation, enhancing nutrient digestion and absorption, and altering rumen microbiota in growing goats.