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In this study, an active defence cooperative guidance (ADCG) law that enables cheap and low-speed airborne defence missiles with low manoeuverability to accurately intercept fast and expensive attack missiles with high manoeuverability was designed to enhance the capability of aircraft for active defence. This guidance law relies on the line-of-sight (LOS) guidance method, and it realises active defence by adjusting the geometric LOS relationship involving an attack missile, a defence missile and an aircraft. We use a nonlinear integral sliding surface and an improved second-order sliding mode reaching law to design the guidance law. This can not only reduce the chattering phenomenon in the guidance command, but it can also ensure that the system can reach the sliding surface from any initial position in a finite time. Simulations were carried out to verify the proposed law using four cases: different manoeuvering modes of the aircraft, different speed ratios of the attack and defence missiles, different reaching laws applied to the ADCG law and a robustness analysis. The results show that the proposed guidance law can enable a defence missile to intercept an attack missile by simultaneously using information about the relative motions of the attack missile and the aircraft. It is also highly robust in the presence of errors and noise.
Weapon target allocation (WTA) is an effective method to solve the battlefield fire optimisation problem, which plays an important role in intelligent automated decision-making. We researched the multitarget allocation problem to maximise the attack effectiveness when multiple interceptors cooperatively attack multiple ground targets. Firstly, an effective and reasonable fitness function is established, based on the situation between the interceptors and targets, by comprehensively considering the relative range, relative angle, speed, capture probability and radiation source matching performance and thoroughly evaluating them based on the advantage of the attack effectiveness. Secondly, the optimisation performance of the particle swarm optimisation (PSO) algorithm is adaptively improved. We propose an adaptive simulated annealing-particle swarm optimisation (SA-PSO) algorithm by introducing the simulated annealing algorithm into the adaptive PSO algorithm. The proposed algorithm can enhance the convergence speed and overcome the disadvantage of the PSO algorithm easily falling into a local extreme point. Finally, a simulation example is performed in a scenario where ten interceptors cooperate to attack eight ground targets; comparative experiments are conducted between the adaptive SA-PSO algorithm and PSO algorithm. The simulation results indicate that the proposed adaptive SA-PSO algorithm demonstrates great performance in convergence speed and global optimisation capabilities, and a maximised attack effectiveness can be guaranteed.
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.
Quaternary selenide, Pb4In2.6Bi3.4Se13 (x = 2.4 member of the Pb4(InxBi6-xSe13 solid solution), was synthesized by a solid-state technique, and its structure was determined using powder X-ray diffraction (XRD). Pb4In2.6Bi3.4Se13 crystallizes in the orthorhombic space group Pbam (No. 55) with Z = 4. Lattice parameters and calculated density were determined to be a = 22.152(5) Å, b = 27.454(5) Å, and c = 4.1354(6) Å, V = 2515.0(11) Å3, and Dx = 7.490 g cm−3. The structure consists of Z-shaped ribbon units and corner-shared infinite one-dimensional [InSe4]∞ chains running parallel to the c-axis. The chains and ribbons are further connected by Pb atoms to form a three-dimensional network. Pb atoms are situated in the center of bicapped trigonal prisms. The compound exhibits a semiconductor feature. The Seebeck coefficient of Pb4In2.6Bi3.4Se13 was found to be −180 μV K−1 at 295 K and −380 μV K−1 at 600 K. Combining the values of Seebeck coefficient, electrical conductivity, and thermal conductivity yield a figure of merit, ZT, of about 0.175 at 700 K. The powder XRD pattern of Pb4In2.6Bi3.4Se13 was also determined.
The effectiveness of mechanical thrombectomy (MT) in elderly stroke patients remains debated. We aimed to describe outcomes and their predictors in a cohort of patients aged ≥ 85 years treated with MT.
Data from consecutive patients aged ≥ 85 years undergoing MT at two stroke centers between January 2016 and November 2019 were reviewed. Admission National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), pre-stroke, and 3-month modified Rankin scale (mRS) were collected. Successful recanalization was defined as modified thrombolysis in cerebral ischemia score ≥ 2b. Good outcome was defined as mRS 0–3 or equal to pre-stroke mRS at 3 months.
Of 151 included patients, successful recanalization was achieved in 74.2%. At 3 months, 44.7% of patients had a good outcome and 39% had died. Any intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) and symptomatic ICH occurred in 20.3% and 3.6%, respectively. Logistic regression analysis identiﬁed lower pre-stroke mRS score (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.52; 95% CI, 0.36–0.76), lower admission NIHSS score (aOR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.83–0.97), successful recanalization (aOR, 3.65; 95% CI, 1.32–10.09), and absence of ICH on follow-up imaging (aOR, 0.42; 95% CI, 0.08–0.75), to be independent predictors of good outcome. Patients with successful recanalization had a higher proportion of good outcome (45.3% vs 34.3%, p = 0.013) and lower mortality at 3 months (35.8% vs 48.6%, p = 0.006) compared to patients with unsuccessful recanalization.
Among patients aged ≥ 85 years, successful recanalization with MT is relatively common and associated with better 3-month outcome and lower mortality than failed recanalization. Attempting to achieve recanalization in elderly patients using MT appears reasonable.
Previous studies have revealed associations of meteorological factors with tuberculosis (TB) cases. However, few studies have examined their lag effects on TB cases. This study was aimed to analyse nonlinear lag effects of meteorological factors on the number of TB notifications in Hong Kong. Using a 22-year consecutive surveillance data in Hong Kong, we examined the association of monthly average temperature and relative humidity with temporal dynamics of the monthly number of TB notifications using a distributed lag nonlinear models combined with a Poisson regression. The relative risks (RRs) of TB notifications were >1.15 as monthly average temperatures were between 16.3 and 17.3 °C at lagged 13–15 months, reaching the peak risk of 1.18 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02–1.35) when it was 16.8 °C at lagged 14 months. The RRs of TB notifications were >1.05 as relative humidities of 60.0–63.6% at lagged 9–11 months expanded to 68.0–71.0% at lagged 12–17 months, reaching the highest risk of 1.06 (95% CI 1.01–1.11) when it was 69.0% at lagged 13 months. The nonlinear and delayed effects of average temperature and relative humidity on TB epidemic were identified, which may provide a practical reference for improving the TB warning system.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to significant strain on front-line healthcare workers.
In this multicentre study, we compared the psychological outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic in various countries in the Asia-Pacific region and identified factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes.
From 29 April to 4 June 2020, the study recruited healthcare workers from major healthcare institutions in five countries in the Asia-Pacific region. A self-administrated survey that collected information on prior medical conditions, presence of symptoms, and scores on the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales and the Impact of Events Scale-Revised were used. The prevalence of depression, anxiety, stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) relating to COVID-19 was compared, and multivariable logistic regression identified independent factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes within each country.
A total of 1146 participants from India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam were studied. Despite having the lowest volume of cases, Vietnam displayed the highest prevalence of PTSD. In contrast, Singapore reported the highest case volume, but had a lower prevalence of depression and anxiety. In the multivariable analysis, we found that non-medically trained personnel, the presence of physical symptoms and presence of prior medical conditions were independent predictors across the participating countries.
This study highlights that the varied prevalence of psychological adversity among healthcare workers is independent of the burden of COVID-19 cases within each country. Early psychological interventions may be beneficial for the vulnerable groups of healthcare workers with presence of physical symptoms, prior medical conditions and those who are not medically trained.
This is an observational cohort study comparing 156 patients evaluated for acute stroke between March 30 and May 31, 2020 at a comprehensive stroke center with 138 patients evaluated during the corresponding time period in 2019. During the pandemic, the proportion of COVID-19 positive patients was low (3%), the time from symptom onset to hospital presentation was significantly longer, and a smaller proportion of patients underwent reperfusion therapy. Among patients directly evaluated at our institution, door-to-needle and door-to-recanalization metrics were significantly longer. Our findings support concerns that the current pandemic may have a negative impact on the management of acute stroke.
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).
In this paper, the generation of relativistic electron mirrors (REM) and the reflection of an ultra-short laser off the mirrors are discussed, applying two-dimension particle-in-cell simulations. REMs with ultra-high acceleration and expanding velocity can be produced from a solid nanofoil illuminated normally by an ultra-intense femtosecond laser pulse with a sharp rising edge. Chirped attosecond pulse can be produced through the reflection of a counter-propagating probe laser off the accelerating REM. In the electron moving frame, the plasma frequency of the REM keeps decreasing due to its rapid expansion. The laser frequency, on the contrary, keeps increasing due to the acceleration of REM and the relativistic Doppler shift from the lab frame to the electron moving frame. Within an ultra-short time interval, the two frequencies will be equal in the electron moving frame, which leads to the resonance between laser and REM. The reflected radiation near this interval and corresponding spectra will be amplified due to the resonance. Through adjusting the arriving time of the probe laser, a certain part of the reflected field could be selectively amplified or depressed, leading to the selective adjustment of the corresponding spectra.
There seems to be geographical differences in decisions about breast conserving surgery (BCS) in breast cancer patients. This study was to evaluate patients’ attitude to BCS and to assess the factors affecting cancer practice in West China.
A structured questionnaire was distributed to 184 patients, eliciting information about the patients’ characteristics, occupation, education, family life, recognition of illness, knowledge about BCS, the main means of gaining surgery information, selecting surgery approaches, preferences to breast reservation.
In all, 163 patients completed the questionnaire. The results indicated that only 7.4% of patients received BCS and 23% of the remaining patients desired to have BCS and the affecting factors were significantly associated with their family life, recognition of illness and the main means of gaining surgery information (P < 0.05). No associations were between BCS selecting and the other variables studied. The most frequent reasons for selecting BCS were keeping the female shape and improving quality of life (71%), the second most were postoperative recovery, minimal influence of physical function (47%) and patients’ knowledge about BCS (42%). The most frequent reasons for not selecting BCS were uncertainty about BCS results and worry about recurrence (81%), the second most was the elderly age unnecessary for BCS (40%).
The findings indicate that breast cancer patients in West China do not take BCS as the first choice as the best treatment method. It is warranted that further study of more patients, attitude of patients’ partners and physicians to BCS.
Recently, a triple-network model suggested the abnormal interactions between the executive-control network (ECN), default-mode network (DMN) and salience network (SN) are important characteristics of addiction, in which the SN plays a critical role in allocating attentional resources toward the ECN and DMN. Although increasing studies have reported dysfunctions in these brain networks in Internet gaming disorder (IGD), interactions between these networks, particularly in the context of the triple-network model, have not been investigated in IGD. Thus, we aimed to assess alterations in the inter-network interactions of these large-scale networks in IGD, and to associate the alterations with IGD-related behaviors.
DMN, ECN and SN were identified using group-level independent component analysis (gICA) in 39 individuals with IGD and 34 age and gender matched healthy controls (HCs). Then alterations in the SN-ECN and SN-DMN connectivity, as well as in the modulation of ECN versus DMN by SN, using a resource allocation index (RAI) developed and validated previously in nicotine addiction, were assessed. Further, associations between these altered network coupling and clinical assessments were also examined.
Compared with HCs, IGD had significantly increased SN-DMN connectivity and decreased RAI in right hemisphere (rRAI), and the rRAI in IGD was negatively associated with their scores of craving.
These findings suggest that the deficient modulation of ECN versus DMN by SN might provide a mechanistic framework to better understand the neural basis of IGD and might provide novel evidence for the triple-network model in IGD.
Childhoods in urban or rural environments may differentially affect risk for neuropsychiatric disorders. Here, we leveraged on dramatic urbanization and rural-urban migration since the 1980s in China to explore the hypothesis that rural or urban childhoods may differentially influence memory processing and neural responses to neutral and aversive stimuli.
Explore the underlying mechanisms of childhood environment effect on brain function and neuropsychiatric risk.
We examined 420 adult subjects with similar current socioeconomic status and living in Beijing, China, but with differing rural (n = 227) or urban (n = 193) childhoods. In an episodic memory paradigm scanned in a 3 T GE MRI, subjects viewed blocks of neutral or aversive pictures in the encoding and retrieval sessions.
Episodic memory accuracy for neutral stimuli was less than for aversive stimuli (P < 0.001). However, subjects with rural childhoods apparently performed less accurately for memory of aversive but not neutral stimuli (P < 0.01). In subjects with rural childhoods, there was relatively increased engagement of bilateral striatum at encoding, increased engagement of bilateral hippocampus at retrieval of neutral and aversive stimuli, and increased engagement of amygdala at aversive retrieval (P < 0.05 FDR corrected, cluster size > 50).
Rural or urban childhoods appear associated with physiological and behavioural differences, particularly in the neural processing of aversive episodic memory at medial temporal and striatal brain regions. It remains to be explored the extent to which these effects relate to individual risk for neuropsychiatric or stress-related disorders.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
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.
The benefit of late window endovascular treatment (EVT) for anterior circulation ischemic stroke has been demonstrated using perfusion-based neuroimaging. We evaluated whether non-contrast CT (NCCT) and CT-angiogram (CTA) alone can select late-presenting patients for EVT.
We performed a retrospective comparison of all patients undergoing EVT at a single comprehensive stroke center from January 2016 to April 2017. Patients planned for EVT were divided into early (<6 hours from onset) and late (≥6 hours from onset or last time seen normal) window groups. Incidence of symptomatic hemorrhagic transformations (sHTs) at 24 hours and 3-month modified Rankin scores (mRSs) were compared.
During the study period, 204 (82%) patients underwent EVT in the early and 44 (18%) in the late window. Median (interquartile range) NIH Stroke Scale Score was similar between groups (early: 18 [15–23] vs. late: 17 [13–21]), as were median ASPECT scores (early: 9 [8–10] vs. late: 9 [7–9]). In the late window, 42 (95%) strokes were of unknown onset. Similar proportions of sHT occurred at 24 hours (early: 12 [6%] vs. late: 4 [9%], p = 0.43). At 3 months, the proportion of patients achieving functional independence (mRS 0–2) were comparable in the early (80/192 [42%]) and late (16/41 [39%]) windows (p = 0.76).
NCCT- and CTA-based patient selection led to similar functional independence outcomes and low proportions of sHT in the early and late windows. In centers without access to perfusion-based neuroimaging, this pragmatic approach could be safe, particularly for strokes of unknown onset.
Feathers play a critical role in thermoregulation and directly influence poultry production. Poor feathering adversely affects living appearance and carcass quality, thus reducing profits. However, producers tend to ignore the importance of feather development and do not know the laws of feather growth and development. The objective of this study was to fit growth curves to describe the growth and development of feathers in yellow-feathered broilers during the embryonic and posthatching periods using different nonlinear functions (Gompertz, logistic and Bertalanffy). Feather mass and length were determined during the embryonic development and posthatching stages to identify which growth model most accurately described the feather growth pattern. The results showed that chick embryos began to grow feathers at approximately embryonic (E) day 10, and the feathers grew rapidly from E13 to E17. There was little change from E17 to the day of hatching (DOH). During the embryonic period, the Gompertz function (Y = 798.48e−203 431exp(−0.87t), Akaike’s information criterion (AIC) = −0.950 × 103, Bayesian information criterion (BIC) = −0.711 × 103 and mean square error (MSE) = 559.308) provided the best fit for the feather growth curve compared with the other two functions. After hatching, feather mass and length changed little from the DOH to day (D) 14, increased rapidly from D21 to D91 and then grew slowly after D91. The first stage of feather molting occurred from 2 to 3 weeks of age when the down feathers were mostly shed and replaced with juvenile feathers, and the second stage occurred at approximately 13 to 15 weeks of age. The three nonlinear functions could overall fit the feather growth curve well, but the Bertalanffy model (Y = 116.88 × (1−0.86e−0.02t)3, AIC = 1.065 × 105, BIC = 1.077 × 105 and MSE = 11.308) showed the highest degree of fit among the models. Therefore, the Gompertz model exhibited the best goodness of fit for the feather growth curve during the embryonic development, while the Bertalanffy model was the most suitable model due to its accurate ability to predict the growth and development of feathers during the growth period, which is an important commercial characteristic of yellow-feathered chickens.
Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) are a detoxifying enzyme family that is essential for parasite blood-feeding and survival, and represent potential targets for hookworm vaccine development. Multiple GST-encoding complementary DNAs (cDNAs) have been cloned from Ancylostoma caninum and Necator americanus, but there are no reports about the cloning of this enzyme from Ancylostoma ceylanicum, the animal-derived zoonotic hookworm. To study the molecular nature and tissue localization of GST of A. ceylanicum (Ace-GST), we designed primers based on the GST gene sequence of A. ceylanicum in GenBank, amplified the Ace-GST cDNA by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, and analysed its homology and genetic evolution relationship. The amplified product was cloned into the pET-32a vector and transformed into Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3) for expression. To prepare anti-GST polyclonal antibodies, the recombinant protein was purified and used to immunize Kunming mice. The level of immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody in the serum of immunized mice was detected by indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and the Ace-GST localization in adult worm was determined using the immunofluorescence method. The results showed that the full-length cDNA encoding Ace-GST was 468 bp, which had the highest homology with Ac-GST-1 (60.1%) and clustered into one branch (v-class) with Ac-GST-1 and Na-GST-1 in a phylogenetic tree. Mice immunized with recombinant Ace-GST showed specific IgG antibody response. Immunolocalization revealed that natural Ace-GST is mainly located in the epidermis, muscle and intestine of the adult. These results may lay a foundation for further studies on the biological function of Ace-GST.
Patients with severe mental disorders in low-resource settings have limited access to services, resulting in overwhelming caregiving burden for families. In extreme cases, this has led to the long-term restraining of patients in their homes. China underwent a nationwide initiative to unlock patients and provide continued treatment. This study aims to quantify household economic burden in families after unlocking and treatment, and to identify factors associated with increased burden due to schizophrenia.
A total of 264 subjects were enrolled from three geographically diverse provinces in 2012. Subjects were patients with schizophrenia who were previously put under restraints and had participated in the ‘unlocking and treatment’ intervention. The primary outcome was the current household economic burden, obtained from past year financial information collected through on-site interview. Patient disease characteristics, treatment, outcomes and family caregiving burden were collected as well. Univariate and multivariate linear regression were used to construct risk factor models for indirect economic burden.
After participating in the intervention, 85% of patients continued to receive mental health services, 70% used medication as prescribed and 80% were never relocked. Family members reported significantly decreased caregiving burden after receiving the intervention. Mean direct and indirect household economic burdens were CNY963 (US$31.7) and CNY11 724 (US$1670) per year, respectively, while family total income was on average CNY12 108 (US$1913) per year. Greater disease severity and poorer patient psychosocial function at time of study were found to be independent factors related to increased indirect burden.
The ‘unlocking and treatment’ intervention has improved the lives of patients and families. Indirect burden due to disease is still a major economic issue that needs to be addressed, potentially through improving treatment and patient functioning. Our findings contribute to the unravelling and eventual elimination of chronic restraining of mentally ill patients in low-resource settings.
Muscle fiber characteristics comprise a set of complex traits that influence the meat quality and lean meat production of livestock. However, the genetic and biological mechanisms regulating muscle fiber characteristics are largely unknown in pigs. Based on a genome-wide association study (GWAS) performed on 421 Large White × Min pig F2 individuals presenting well-characterized phenotypes, this work aimed to detect genome variations and candidate genes for five muscle fiber characteristics: percentage of type I fibers (FIB1P), percentage of type IIA fibers (FIB2AP), percentage of type IIB fibers (FIB2BP), diameter of muscle fibers (DIAMF) and number of muscle fibers per unit area (NUMMF). The GWAS used the Illumina Porcine SNP60K genotypic data, which were analyzed by a mixed model. Seven and 10 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were significantly associated with DIAMF and NUMMF, respectively (P < 1.10E-06); no SNP was significantly associated with FIB1P, FIB2AP or FIB2B. For DIAMF, the significant SNPs on chromosome 4 were located in the previously reported quantitative trait loci (QTL) interval. Because the significant SNPs on chromosome 6 were not mapped in the previously reported QTL interval, a putative novel QTL was suggested for this locus. None of the previously reported QTL intervals on chromosomes 6 and 14 harbored significant SNPs for NUMMF; thus, new potential QTLs on these two chromosomes are suggested in the present work. The most significant SNPs associated with DIAMF (ALGA0025682) and NUMMF (MARC0046984) explained 12.02% and 11.59% of the phenotypic variation of these traits, respectively. In addition, both SNPs were validated as associated with DIAMF and NUMMF in Beijing Black pigs (P < 0.01). Some candidate genes or non-coding RNAs, such as solute carrier family 44 member 5 and miR-124a-1 for DIAMF, and coiled-coil serine rich protein 2 for NUMMF, were identified based on their close location to the significant SNPs. This study revealed some genome-wide association variants for muscle fiber characteristics, and it provides valuable information to discover the genetic mechanisms controlling these traits in pigs.
There is evidence indicating that using the current UK energy feeding system to ration the present sheep flocks may underestimate their nutrient requirements. The objective of the present study was to address this issue by developing updated maintenance energy requirements for the current sheep flocks and evaluating if these requirements were influenced by a range of dietary and animal factors. Data (n = 131) used were collated from five experiments with sheep (5 to 18 months old and 29.0 to 69.8 kg BW) undertaken at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute of the UK from 2013 to 2017. The trials were designed to evaluate the effects of dietary type, genotype, physiological stage and sex on nutrient utilization and energetic efficiencies. Energy intake and output data were measured in individual calorimeter chambers. Energy balance (Eg) was calculated as the difference between gross energy intake and a sum of fecal energy, urine energy, methane energy and heat production. Data were analysed using the restricted maximum likelihood analysis to develop the linear relationship between Eg or heat production and metabolizable energy (ME) intake, with the effects of a range of dietary and animal factors removed. The net energy (NEm) and ME (MEm) requirements for maintenance derived from the linear relationship between Eg and ME intake were 0.358 and 0.486 MJ/kg BW0.75, respectively, which are 40% to 53% higher than those recommended in energy feeding systems currently used to ration sheep in the USA and the UK. Further analysis of the current dataset revealed that concentrate supplement, sire type or physiological stage had no significant effect on the derived NEm values. However, female lambs had a significantly higher NEm (0.352 v. 0.306 or 0.288 MJ/kg BW0.75) or MEm (0.507 v. 0.441 or 0.415 MJ/kg BW0.75) than those for male or castrated lambs. The present results indicate that using present energy feeding systems in the UK developed over 40 years ago to ration the current sheep flocks could underestimate maintenance energy requirements. There is an urgent need to update these systems to reflect the higher metabolic rates of the current sheep flocks.