[Experimental] List of manuscripts available for review volunteers
24 manuscripts available for review volunteers
December 8, 2017
This paper selected clonal cutting seedlings from the F1 hybrid varieties of Physocarpus amurensis Maxim (♀) × Physocarpus opulifolius “Diabolo” (♂) as research material to study the response of the photosynthetic gas exchange parameters and chlorophyll fluorescence parameters of Physocarpus amurensis hybrids and their parental leaves to NaCl stress (with concentrations of 0, 50, 100 and 200 mmol·L-1). The results showed that under saline stress, the stomatal conductance (Gs), transpiration rate (Tr), and net photosynthetic rate (Pn) of the three kinds of P. amurensis all significantly decreased. When the NaCl concentration was below 100 mmol·L-1, the intercellular CO2 concentration (Ci) of leaves of the three samples declined with the increase of salt concentration; however, when the concentration increased to 200 mmol·L-1, Ci did not decrease significantly, especially when the Ci of P. opulifolius “Diabolo” presented a slight increase. This indicated that the decline of photosynthetic carbon assimilation capacity induced by saline stress was the consequence of interaction between stomatal factors and non-stomatal factors, and the non-stomatal factors played an important role when the saline concentration was below 200 mmol·L-1. Compared with P. amurensis, the photosynthetic gas exchange capability of P. opulifolius “Diabolo” leaves was more sensitive to saline stress, and the limitation of non-stomatal factors was relatively evident, but the photosynthetic capacity of hybrid Physocarpus amurensis Maxim leaves with the desired purple color was improved compared with Physocarpus amurensis. Under saline stress, the PSII activity of the three kinds of P. amurensis leaves declined, the electron transfer was inhibited, and obvious signs of photoinhibition were present. The PSII activity of P. opulifolius “Diabolo” leaves was more sensitive to saline stress than in Physocarpus amurensis. Under saline stress, the NPQ of P. opulifolius “Diabolo” leaves decreased greatly, while under high saline concentrations the degree of photoinhibition in Physocarpus amurensis and hybrid P. amurensis were reduced due to a relatively high NPQ. With the increase of saline concentration, the Vk of P. amurensis and hybrid P. amurensis leaves presented a decreasing trend, but the Vk of P. opulifolius “Diabolo” leaves increased slightly. This suggested that the effects of saline stress on the oxygen-evolving complex (OEC) of the three P. amurensis sample types were relatively limited and only the OEC of P.s opulifolius “Diabolo” leaves were slightly sensitive to saline stress. The salt tolerance of photosynthetic functions of hybrid Physocarpus amurensis (♀) × Physocarpus opulifolius “Diabolo” (♂) leaves was improved compared with that of parental Physocarpus opulifolius “Diabolo,” and the hybrid shows obvious hybrid vigor in the aspect of photosynthesis.
December 5, 2017
The basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor gene family is one of the largest gene families and extensively involved in plant growth, development, and stress responses. However, limited studies are available on the gene family in poplar. In this study, we focused on 202 bHLH genes, exploring their DNA and protein sequences and physicochemical properties. According to their protein sequence similarities and the bootstrap values, the genes can be classified into 25 groups with specific motif structures each. In addition, we performed gene expression profiling using RNA-Seq and identified 19 genes that display tissue-differential expression patterns before salt treatment. Furthermore, under salt stress, we found 74 differentially expressed genes, which are responsive to the treatment. Eighteen of the 19 genes correspond well to the differentially expressed genes. Besides, we validated the results using quantitative real-time PCR. This study lays the foundation for future work in gene cloning, transgenes, and biological mechanisms.
December 1, 2017
The present study examined the effects of exercise utilising traditional resistance training (leg press) or ‘cardio’ exercise (recumbent cycle ergometry) modalities upon acute physiological responses. Nine healthy males underwent a within session randomised crossover design where they completed both the leg press and recumbent cycle ergometer conditions. Conditions were approximately matched for effort and duration (leg press: 4 x 12RM, recumbent cycle ergometer: 4 x 60 second sprints). Measurements included VO2, respiratory exchange ratio (RER), blood lactate, energy expenditure, muscle swelling, and electromyography. Perceived effort was similar between conditions and thus both were well matched with respect to effort. There were no significant effects by ‘condition’ in any of the physiological responses examined (all p > 0.05). The present study shows that, when both effort and duration are matched, resistance training and ‘cardio’ exercise produce largely similar physiological responses.
November 30, 2017
The science of vaccinology has substantially progressed over the past 40 years and has remarkably helped to prevent or contain diseases. Oncovaccines development, however, has been less steady due to some unique challenges presented by cancer. With the recent advancement of our insight in oncoimmunology, vaccine technology, and medicine, we hope to better comprehend the intricate process of antitumor immunity to combat our old adversary. Numerous prophylactic and one therapeutic oncovaccine have been authorized by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for manufacturing and marketing. Where prophylactic vaccines have seen momentous success in terms of effectiveness and clinical acknowledgment, a significant amount of research is still lacking to achieve same destiny for therapeutic vaccines. This review shines a light on the development of both types of vaccines and their acceptance into the marketplace. We would likewise discuss FDA approved products, their mechanism of antitumor immunity, indications, and uses.
November 29, 2017
The Kaidu-Konqi River Basin was chosen as the study site in this paper in order to investigate suitable scales of natural and artificial oases with a specified water resource and water quantity planned by the local government. Combined with remote-sensing images in 2013, water resources in 2013, 2020 and 2030, and weather and socioeconomic data, suitable scales of oases were analyzed. The results showed that: (1) The total available water quantities in the Yanqi Basin and the Konqi River Basin without river base flow, and the input of water into Bosten Lake and Tarim River, over high-, normal and low-flow periods, in 2020 and 2030, were 19.04×108m3, 10.52×108m3, 4.95×108m3, 9.95×108m3 and 9.95×108m3, as well as 21.77×108m3, 13.95×108m3, 10.11×108m3, 12.50×108m3, and 9.74×108m3. (2) The water demand of the natural oasis in the Yanqi Basin and the Konqi River Basin was 5.33×108m3, and 5.91×108m3, respectively. (3) The total water consumption of the artificial oasis in 2013, 2020, and 2030 were 18.16×108m3, 17.63×108m3 and 17.63×108m3 in the Yanqi Basin, respectively, and 17.11×108m3, 16.54×108m3 and 16.54×108m3 in the Konqi River Basin, respectively. (4) Under government planning, the optimal area in 2020 and 2030 should be 3198.98 km2 in the Yanqi Basin oases, and 3858.87 km2 and 3081.17 km2 in the Konqi River Basin oases, respectively, under the different inflow variations, and 3129.07 km2 in the Yanqi Basin oases, and 3834.58 km2 and 3061.78 km2 in the konqi River Basin oases, respectively, under the appropriate proportion. (5) The natural and artificial oases in these basins should be greatly decreased in the future due to limited water resources.
November 27, 2017

The Californian single-leaf pinyon (Pinus monophylla var. californiarum), a subspecies of the single-leaf pinyon (the world's only 1-needled pine), inhabits semi-arid zones of the Mojave Desert in southern Nevada and southeastern California (US) and also of northern Baja California (Mexico). This subspecies is distributed as a relict in the geographically isolated arid Sierra La Asamblea, between 1,010 and 1,631 m, with mean annual precipitation levels of between 184 and 288 mm. The aim of this research was i) to establish the distribution of Pinus monophylla var. californiarum in Sierra La Asamblea, Baja California (Mexico) using Sentinel-2 images, and ii) to test and describe the relationship between this distribution of Pinus monophylla and five topographic and 18 climate variables. We hypothesized that i) the Sentinel-2 images can be used to accurately detect the P. monophylla distribution in the study site due to higher resolution (x3) and increased number of bands (x2) relative to Landsat-8, and ii) the topographical variables aspect, ruggedness and slope are particularly influential because they represent important microhabitat factors that can affect where conifers can become established and persist.

Methods. It was used an atmospherically corrected a 12-bit Sentinel-2A MSI image with eleven spectral bands in the visible, near infrared, and short-wave infrared light region combined with the normalized differential vegetation index (NDVI). Supervised classification of this image was carried out using a backpropagation-type artificial neural network algorithm. Stepwise multivariate binominal logistical regression and Random Forest regression including cross valuation (10 fold) were used to model the associations between presence/absence of pinesand the five topographical and 18 climate variables.

Results. Probably, P. monophylla covers 4,955 hectares in the isolated in Sierra La Asamblea, Baja California (Mexico) via supervised classification of Sentinel-2 satellite images. The NDVI was one of the variables that contributed to the detection and clearly separated the forest cover (NDVI > 0.35) from the other vegetation cover (NDVI < 0.20). The ruggedness was the best environmental predictor variable and indicated that the probability of P. monophylla occurrence was higher than 50% when the degree of ruggedness was greater than 17.5 m. When average temperature in the warmest month increased from 23.5 to 25.2 °C, the probability of occurrence of P. monophylla decreased.

Discussion. The classification accuracy (Kappa) was similar to other studies using Sentinel-2A MSI images.Ruggedness is known to generate microclimates and provides shade that decreases evapotranspiration from pines in desert environments. Identification of P. monophylla in Sierra La Asamblea as the most southern populations represents an opportunity for research on climatic tolerance and community responses to climatic variation and change.

November 24, 2017
Cycads, an ancient group of gymnosperms, that are almost all threatened or endangered an are now popular landscape plants. The Cycad aulacaspis scale (CAS), Aulacaspis yasumatsui Takagi (Hemiptera: Diaspididae), has been one of the most serious pests of cycads in recent years; however, the potential distribution range and the management policy of this pest are unclear. A potential risk map of CAS was created by MaxEnt and using occurrence data under changing climatic conditions. Moreover, this research provide a theoretical reference framework for developing policy for the management and control of this invasive pest. The model suggested the current invasive risk was mainly constrained by the annual temperature range (Bio07), mean temperature of coldest quarter (Bio11) and mean temperature of driest quarter (Bio09). Meanwhile, the niche models showed high environmental suitability for the continents of Asia and North America, where the species has already been recorded. The potential expansions or reductions of distribution ranges were also predicted under different climate change conditions. Although biotic factor and spread factors were not considered in the current analysis, using climatic factors to achieve a better understanding of the invasion patterns of this species can help improve the management of this invasive species and develop policies for its control.
November 22, 2017
West Nile Virus (WNV) is a disease transmitted by mosquitoes. It has become endemic across the continental United States following its arrival in 1999. Recent work is often limited by the simple assumption that the disease cases increase with mosquito numbers. However, spikes in numbers of cases do not always correlate with higher numbers of mosquitoes. Our objective is to examine the important factors, which influence the abundance of mosquitoes and the numbers of infected humans, independently. We developed statistical models to elucidate factors influencing mosquito abundances and numbers of disease cases, including time lag effects. We found that mosquito birth and mortality rates, day length, Missouri river gage height, dew point, and snowfall are influential factors in controlling mosquito numbers. The numbers of human disease cases were related to mosquito abundances, a fraction of mosquito expectorate virus, and bird competence index. In addition to identifying key factors controlling mosquito abundances and the numbers of disease case, the study results suggest that these developed models can be used to predict the onsets and human disease cases. From these findings, this study will lead to a broader understanding of disease dynamics and suggest a new strategy for the prevention and control of WNV.
November 21, 2017
Many studies have shown that during the resting state cerebral activity recorded by electroencephalography (EEG) is strongly modulated by the eyes-closed condition compared to the eyes-open condition. However, little research has demonstrated the influence of the eyes-closed condition on the motor cortex, particularly during a self-paced movement. This prompted the question: how does the motor cortex activity changes between the eyes-closed and eyes-open conditions. To answer this question, we recorded EEG signals from 15 voluntary healthy subjects who performed a simple motor task (i.e., a voluntary isometric flexion of the right-hand index) under two conditions: eyes-closed and eyes-open. Our results confirmed strong modulation in the alpha band (7-13 Hz) with a large event-related desynchronisation. However, no significant differences have been observed in the beta band (15-30 Hz). Furthermore, evidence suggests that the closed-eye condition influences the behaviour of subjects. This study gives us greater insight into the motor cortex and could also be useful in the brain-computer interface (BCI) domain.
November 21, 2017
The emissions of CO 2 from soil in response to precipitation are correlated with changes in water availability and depend on the resources of available carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) in soil. However, global warming results in increased precipitation in semiarid and arid ecosystems in some regions of the world , and the effects of C and N availability on soil CO 2 emissions are poorly understood. In a field experiment, soil in a semiarid grassland region of northern China was subjected to simulated increased precipitation to investigate the response of soil CO 2 effluxes to the addition of labile C (glucose (G) , 48 g C/(m 2·a)) and N (NH4 NO3 , 10g N /(m2·a)). Soil microbial biomass C (MBC) content displayed a positive response to G addition alone as well as to the addition of both N and G, whereas no response to N addition alone was observed. N addition alone had no effect on soil CO 2 emissions, but G addition and the addition of both N and G significantly increased soil CO 2 emissions. The cumulative CO 2 effluxes over 168 hours displayed positive linear relationships with soil MBC and DOC content in both of the two water addition events (WEs) that occurred in the experiment. Although N addition, G addition and their interaction had no significant impacts on the rate of soil CO 2 efflux, G addition significantly increased the rate of soil CO2 efflux after individual rainfall events; moreover, the rate of soil CO 2 efflux was unrelated to soil temperature and had a significant but weak relationship with soil moisture. These findings imply that under patterns of increased precipitation in the future, C availability might be a primary limiting factor for soil microbes, particularly under increased N deposition. Moreover, C availability might influence the magnitude of soil CO 2 efflux after rainfall.
November 21, 2017
Science communication is seen as critical for the disciplines of ecology and conservation, where research products are often used to shape policy and decision making. Engagement is increasingly performed online, on social media, or news. Such media engagement has been thought to influence or predict traditional metrics of scholarship, such as citation rates. Here, we measure the association between citation rates and Altmetric Score, along with other forms of bibliometric performance (year published, journal impact factor, and article type). We found that Altmetric Score was positively correlated with citation rates, but with increasing media exposure required per citation over time to achieve equivalent citations. Citations correlated with journal impact factors up to ~10, but then plateaued, demonstrating that maximizing citations does not require publishing in the highest-impact journals. We conclude that ecology and conservation researchers can increase exposure of their research through social media engagement and, simultaneously, enhance their performance under traditional measures of scholarly activity.
November 20, 2017

Background. Different anticancer drugs are used in combination or alone to treat breast cancer depending upon the status of the patient. Oncologists need to know a drug’s efficacy; therefore, they compare different chemotherapies by considering side effects and overall survival so that suitable drugs can be prescribed. We present a comparison of adjuvant chemotherapies treating breast cancer with docetaxel plus cyclophosphamide (TC) and doxorubicin plus cyclophosphamide (AC) showing pathological markers and overall survival.

Method. For 4 to 8 cycles, (after every 21 days) out of 358 patients, 189 received TC (140 ml/m2 of docetaxel (IV) plus 1000 mg/m2 of cyclophosphamide) and 169 women were treated with AC (50/100 ml/m2 of doxorubicin (IV) plus 1000 mg/m2 of cyclophosphamide. On the basis of patients’ assessment by pathological markers, side effects of docetaxel, doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide are listed in our database using R programming language. The common factors and side effects given in MedlinePlus, NIH US database and from our database are separated to be included in comparison for this study. Statistically, we used Chi-Square Test for Homogeneity of Proportions at α = 0.05.

Results. There was no significant difference between proportions of patients with vomiting, extreme tiredness, diarrhoea, mild anaemia, stability and overall survival because p value > 0.05. However, p value < 0.05 for AC remains less toxic by 22.6%, 25.7% and 25.3% than TC in changes in taste, muscle pain and hands burning respectively, whereas TC remains less toxic by 52.9%, 26.3%, 11.3%, 32.5%, 15.5% and 1.75% in dizziness, sore throat, moderate anaemia, weight loss, blood transfusion and haemoglobin level respectively.

Discussion. TC is less toxic than AC in more aspects, whereas both combinations have same overall survival rate.

November 19, 2017
Background. Satisfaction evaluation is widely used in healthcare systems around the world to improve healthcare service quality and levels, in order to obtain better health outcomes. In the evaluation of healthcare reform, patient and medical staff satisfaction with this reform is a key criterion. The aim of this study was to measure employee work satisfaction and patient satisfaction status in the Wuhan region, China; the unsatisfactory factors as discovered through the evaluation will be used as a reference by healthcare policy makers and management so that they can adopt reasonable and effective measures to decrease the risk of dissatisfaction in the future. Methods. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 14 medical institutions in Wuhan from October to November 2016. The medical institutions included public general hospitals (tertiary and secondary) and community healthcare service centers/stations (primary). Stratified sampling of target medical staff and patients was carried out and the final valid sample comprised a total of 696 medical staff and 668 patients. Results. In the Wuhan area, it was found that the reliability levels of medical staff work satisfaction scales and patient satisfaction scales comprised Cronbach's alpha=0.973 and Cronbach's alpha=0.949, respectively. The studies in Wuhan and Guangzhou showed that the psychometric characteristics of the scales were basically the same. The overall satisfaction levels of medical staff and patients were 58.28±14.60 and 65.82±14.66, respectively. The medical staff satisfaction ranking in sequence from most to least satisfied was: work itself, work environment and atmosphere, hospital management, practicing environment, and job rewards. The patient satisfaction ranking in sequence from most to least satisfied was: physician-patient relationship and communication, service organization and facilities, continuity and collaboration of medical care, access to relevant information and support, and healthcare and related services. There were differences in the overall satisfaction levels of medical staff based on gender, age, educational level, job title, nature of the job, employment status, and whether staff were at the standardized training stage (p<.05 or .01). There was no statistically significant difference in various demographic variables in terms of overall patient satisfaction (p>.05). Discussion. The overall satisfaction evaluation of medical staff was average. In the future, healthcare policy makers and management staff of medical institutions should focus on job rewards and practicing environment in order to decrease the risk of dissatisfaction amongst medical staff. This would allow them to increase their work happiness and sense of belonging, which in turn would allow them to provide better medical services to patients. The overall patient evaluation was satisfactory, with patients satisfied at all levels of the satisfaction evaluation.
November 17, 2017
Introduction: Using spatial-temporal analyses to understand coverage and trends in elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (eMTCT) efforts may be helpful in ensuring timely services are delivered to the right place. We present spatial-temporal analysis of 7-years of HIV early infant diagnosis data collected from 12 districts in western Kenya from January 2007 to November 2013, during pre-Option B+ use. Methods: We included in the analysis infants up to one year old. We performed trend analysis using extended Cochran–Mantel–Haenszel stratified test and logistic regression models to examine trends and associations of infant HIV status at first diagnosis with: early diagnosis (<8 weeks after birth), age at specimen collection, infant ever having breastfed, use of single dose nevirapine (sdNVP), and maternal antiretroviral therapy (ART) status. We examined these covariates and fitted spatial and spatial-temporal semi-parametric Poisson regression models to explain HIV-infection rates using R-Integrated Nested Laplace Approximation (INLA) package. We calculated new infections per 100,000 live births and used Quantum GIS to map fitted MTCT estimates for each district in Nyanza region. Results: Median age was 2 months, interquartile range (IQR) 1.5 to 5.8 months. Unadjusted pooled positive rate was 11.8% in the 7-years period and declined from 19.7% in 2007 to 7.0% in 2013, p<0.01. Uptake of testing ≤8 weeks after birth was under 50% in 2007 and increased to 64.1% by 2013, p<0.01. By 2013, the overall case rate was 447 infections per 100,000 live births. Based on Bayesian deviance information criterion comparisons, the spatial-temporal model with maternal and infant covariates was best in explaining geographical variation in MTCT. Discussion: Improved EID uptake and reduced MTCT rates are indicators of progress towards e-MTCT. Co-joined analysis of time and covariates in a spatial context provides a robust approach for explaining differences in programmatic impact over time. Conclusions: During this pre-Option B+ period, the PMTCT program in this region has not achieved e-MTCT target of ≤50 case rates per 100,000 live births. Geographical disparities in program achievements may signify gaps in spatial distribution of e-MTCT efforts and could indicate areas needing further resources and interventions.
November 16, 2017
Although water and sanitation are considered as a human right, about three out of ten people (2.1 billion) do not have access to safe drinking water. In 2016, 5.6 million students were enrolled in the 33.9% of Brazilian schools located in rural areas. Only 72% of them have a public water supply network. Herein, we proposed to evaluate the efficacy of environmental intervention for water treatment in rural schools of the Western Amazonia. The study is characterized by an experimental design with environmental intervention for the treatment of water for human consumption, through the installation of a simplified chlorinator, in 20 public schools in the rural area of Rio Branco municipality, Acre state. Before the intervention, the results revealed 20% (n = 4), 100% (n = 20) and 70% (n = 14) of schools having water outside the potability standards for Turbidity, Faecal coliforms, and Escherichia coli, respectively. There was no significant difference in the turbidity results after the intervention (p = 0.71). On the other hand, there was a very significant difference in the results of Faecal coliforms and Escherichia coli after the intervention (p<0.001). The actions carried out in this intervention have considerably improved the water quality of the schools, thus decreasing children’s health vulnerability due to inadequate water provided to the school community in the rural area. The activities of training, educational lectures, installation of equipment, supply of materials and supplies (65% calcium hypochlorite, and reagents) were fundamental to the obtained results.
November 15, 2017

Objective: The analysis of ill-health related job loss may be a relevant indicator for the prioritization of actions in the workplaces or in the field of public health, and a target for health promotion. The aim of this study was to analyse the medical causes, the incidence, and the characteristics of employees medically unfit to their job.

Methods: This one-year prospective study included all workers followed by occupational physicians in an occupational health service in the South of the France. Our study design allowed two data frames to be merged (followed up workers and “unfit” patients who lost their jobs due to ill-health). We performed a multivariate analysis in order to adjust the Odds ratio for the age groups, sex, occupation and the activity sectors which are strongly associated with job loss.

Results: Seventeen occupational physicians followed 51,132 workers. The all-cause incidence of being unfit to return to one’s job was 0.778%. The two main causes of being unfit for one’s job were musculoskeletal disorders (47.2%) and psychopathology (38.4%). Being over 50 years old [Odds ratio (OR) 2.63, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) [2.13-3.25] and being a woman [OR 1.52, 95% CI 1.21-1.91] were associated with the all-cause unfitness, independent of occupations and activity sectors.

Conclusions: Identification of occupational and demographic determinants independently associated with ill-health related job loss may provide significant and cost-effective arguments for health promotion and job loss prevention.
November 14, 2017

Background. Participation rate is one of the main challenges medical researchers face. We examined how demographic background and trust in medical research affect the willingness of people to participate in medical research in Taiwan.

Methods. Data from the 2011 Taiwan Genomic Survey were used. A total of 3,159 people aged 18 to 70 years were sampled, and 1,538 of them completed the survey. Missing data were excluded. A total of 1,389 respondents were included in the final analysis.

Results. About 12 percent of the respondents answered that they would be willing to participate in medical research. Respondents who had a college degree or above and were married orlived with a significant other were less likely to participate in medical research. By contrast, respondents who were men and who or their close family members had a biomedicine-related degree were more likely to participate in medical research. After adjustment for demographic factors, respondents who expressed trust in doctors who conduct medical research, agreed that doctors would never ask them to join a medical research study that might harm them, thought that participating in a medical research study is safe, and agreed that medical researchers have no selfish reasons for doing research were more likely to participate in medical research.

Discussion. Some of our findings, such as the effect of education level and marital status on participation in medical research, are different from the findings of most previous studies conducted in other countries. This study is useful for the development of strategies for improving participant recruitment.

November 13, 2017
Performance on the Embedded Figures Test (EFT) has been interpreted as a reflection of local/global perceptual style, weak central coherence and/or field independence, as well as a measure of general intelligence and executive function. The variable ways in which EFT findings have been interpreted in the past demonstrate that the construct validity of this measure is unclear. In order to address this lack of clarity, we investigated to what extent performance on a new Embedded Figures Test (L-EFT) correlated with measures of general intelligence, executive functions and estimates of local/global perceptual styles. In addition, we compared L-EFT performance to the original group EFT to directly contrast both tasks. Taken together, our results indicate that performance on the L-EFT does not correlate strongly with estimates of local/global perceptual style, intelligence or executive functions. Additionally, the results show that performance on the L-EFT is associated less with memory span and fluid intelligence compared to the group EFT. These results suggest that the L-EFT does not reflect a more general perceptual or cognitive style/ability. These results further emphasize that empirical data on the construct validity of a task do not always align with the face validity of a task.
November 11, 2017
Studies of mating and reproductive behavior have contributed much to our understanding of various animals' ecological success. The desert locust, Schistocerca gregaria, is an important agricultural pest. However, knowledge of locust courtship and precopulatory behavior is surprisingly limited. Here we provide a comprehensive study of the precopulatory behavior of both sexes of the desert locust in the gregarious phase, with particular emphasis on the conflict between the sexes. Detailed HD-video monitoring of courtship and mating of 20 locust pairs, in a controlled environment, enabled both qualitative and quantitative descriptions of the behavior. A comprehensive list of behavioral elements was used to generate an eight-step ethogram, depicting from first encounter between the sexes to actual copulation. Further analyses included the probability of each element occurring, and a kinematic diagram based on a transitional matrix. Eleven novel behavioral elements are described in this study, and two potential points of conflict between the sexes are identified. Locust sexual interaction was characterized by the dominance of the males during the pre-mounting stage, and an overall stereotypic male courtship behavior. In contrast, females displayed no clear courtship-related behavior and an overall less organized behavioral sequence. Central elements in the sexual behavior of the females were low-amplitude hind-leg vibration, as well as rejecting males by jumping and kicking. Intricate reciprocal interactions between the sexes were evident mostly at the mounting stage. The reported findings contribute important insights to our knowledge of locust mating and reproductive behavior, and may assist in confronting this devastating agricultural pest.
November 9, 2017
Anogenital warts are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV genotype 6 and 11 are most often associated with anogenital warts. The diversity of HPV genotypes found in Thai patients with genital warts is not well-characterized. The objective of this study was to investigate HPV-associated anogenital warts in the Thai population and whether genotypes found are represented in the vaccine. A total of 206 anogenital swab samples were analyzed for HPV DNA by PCR and sequencing. HPV positive was identified in 88.3% (182/206) of the samples. The majority of HPV (75.2%) were low-risk genotypes HPV6 and HPV11. Thus, HPV6 and HPV11 were most common infection in genital wart. We conclude that the quadrivalent vaccine could potentially prevent 84.5% of the genital warts found in the Thai population.
November 7, 2017
The development of an underwater near-infrared spectroscopy (uNIRS) device has enabled previously unattainable measurements of peripheral muscle hemodynamics and oxygenation to be taken within the natural aquatic environment. The purposes of this study were (i) to trial the use of uNIRS, an experimental technology, in a real world training study, and (ii) to monitor the effects of a swim training program upon muscle oxygenation status in short distance swimming. 14 junior club level swimmers completed a repeated swim sprint test before and after an eight week endurance training program. A waterproof, portable NIRS device was attached to the vastus lateralis. uNIRS successfully measured changes in muscle oxygenation and blood volume in all individuals; rapid sub-second time resolution of the device was able to demonstrate muscle oxygenation changes during the characteristic swim movements. Post training heart rate recovery and swim performance time were significantly improved. uNIRS data also showed significant changes. A larger rise in deoxyhemoglobin during individual sprints suggested training induced an increase in muscle oxygen extraction; a faster recovery time for muscle oxygenation suggested positive training induced changes and significant changes in muscle blood volume also occur. As a strong correlation was seen between an increased reoxygenation rate and an improved swim performance time, these findings support the use of uNIRS as a new performance analysis tool in swimming.
November 1, 2017

Background: Kawasaki disease (KD) is an immune-mediated systemic vasculitis and infection plays an important role in the pathophysiology of KD. The susceptibility to infectious disease in patients with KD remains largely unclear. This study aimed to investigate the risk of respiratory tract infection (RTI)-related hospitalizations in children with KD.

Methods: Data from Taiwanese National Health Insurance Research Database was analyzed. Children with KD were selected as KD group and age- and sex-matched non-KD patients were selected as control group with 1:1 ratio. Both cohorts were tracked for 1 year to investigate the incidences of RTI-related hospitalizations. Cox regression hazard model was used to adjust for confounding factors and calculate the adjusted hazard ratio (aHR).

Results: Between January 1996 and December 2012, 13,760 patients with KD were identified as KD group and 13,709 patients were enrolled as control group. An obviously reduced risk of RTI-related hospitalizations was observed in KD patients (aHR: 0.53, 95% confidence interval: 0.49-0.57). The decreased risk persisted through the 1-year follow-up period with a peak protection in 3-6 months (aHR: 0.46, 95% confidence interval: 0.40-0.53).

Conclusions: KD patients had approximately half reduction of risk for RTI-related hospitalizations. The protective effects persisted for at least 1 year. Further studies are warranted to elucidate the entire mechanism and investigate the influences of intravenous immunoglobulin.

October 28, 2017
Background : Although, most of the research focus on the effect of birth methods on postpartum hemorrhage (PPH), there is, however, a lack of studies that examine whether the association between PPH and birth methods is different between nulliparous and multiparous women. We aims to compare the effects of birth methods on PPH between nulliparous and multiparous women. Methods: The data on 151,333 eligible women, who gave birth between January 2014 and May 2016, was obtained from the electronic health records in Shanxi province, China. The ordered logistic regression model was used to examine the association of birth methods and varying degrees of PPH between nulliparous and multiparous women. Results: In comparison with the odds for SVB, the odds of increased PPH for CS in multiparous women (aOR: 4.32; 95% CI: 3.03-6.14) was more than twice that in the nulliparous women (aOR: 2.04; 95% CI: 1.40-2.97). However, the PPH risk for episiotomy between multiparous (aOR: 1.24; 95% CI: 0.96-1.62) and nulliparous women (aOR: 1.55; 95% CI: 0.92-2.60) were nearly the same. The PPH risk of forceps-assisted birth was much higher in multiparous women (aOR: 9.32; 95% CI: 3.66-23.71) than in nulliparous women (aOR: 1.70; 95% CI: 0.91-3.18). Meanwhile, that for vacuum-assisted birth in multiparous women (aOR: 2.41; 95% CI: 0.36-16.29) was more than twice the PPH risk in the nulliparous women (aOR: 1.05; 95% CI: 0.40-2.73). However, the difference was insignificant. Uterine inertia was more prone to cause PPH in the multiparous women (aOR: 5.54; 95% CI: 1.76-17.50) than in the nulliparous women (aOR: 3.03; 95% CI: 1.48-6.21). In contrast to uterine inertia, vertex malposition presented a decreased effect to the development of PPH in the multiparous (aOR: 1.93; 95% CI: 1.25-3.00) and nulliparous women (aOR: 0.87; 95% CI: 0.63-1.22). Conclusion: The associations between birth methods and PPH are different between nulliparous and multiparous women. Therefore, the choice of birth methods should be tailored for nulliparous and multiparous women at labor to lower the severity of postpartum hemorrhage.
October 18, 2017
Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are known to promote plant growth and nutrient uptake, but the role of AM fungi play in nitrogen (N) uptake is still unclear. Therefore, a pot experiment was conducted to assess the effects of N addition (0 and 200 kg N ha−1 yr−1) and AM inoculation (Diversispora eburnea, Claroideoglomus etunicatum, Paraglomus occultum, 1:1:1 mixture of each AM fungal species and a non-mycorrhizal control) on AM root colonization, plant growth, N and P nutrition. Our results showed that AM root colonization was unaffected by N addition, but was significantly affected by different AM fungal species. D. eburnea and C. etunicatum showed a significant higher root colonization than P. occultum. Plant biomass, N and P content was significantly enhanced by N addition when inoculated with D. eburnea and AM mixture, but unaffected by N addition when inoculated with C. etunicatum and P. occultum. On the other hand, inoculation with different AM fungal species resulted in different plant response. For instance, inoculation with D. eburnea and AM mixture contributed substantially to plant biomass, N and P nutrition. Whereas, inoculation with C. etunicatum and P. occultum did not significantly enhance plant biomass, N and P content regardless of N addition. In conclusion, these results indicated that the plant response to N addition depends on AM fungal species, and emphasized that significant functional diversity exists among AM fungal species.


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