The clinical features and immune responses of asymptomatic individuals infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have not been well described. We studied 37 asymptomatic individuals in the Wanzhou District who were diagnosed with RT-PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections but without any relevant clinical symptoms in the preceding 14 d and during hospitalization. Asymptomatic individuals were admitted to the government-designated Wanzhou People's Hospital for centralized isolation in accordance with policy 1 . The median duration of viral shedding in the asymptomatic group was 19 d (interquartile range (IQR), 15-26 d). The asymptomatic group had a significantly longer duration of viral shedding than the symptomatic group (log-rank P = 0.028). The virus-specific IgG levels in the asymptomatic group (median S/CO, 3.4; IQR, 1.6-10.7) were significantly lower (P = 0.005) relative to the symptomatic group (median S/CO, 20.5; IQR, 5.8-38.2) in the acute phase. Of asymptomatic individuals, 93.3% (28/30) and 81.1% (30/37) had reduction in IgG and neutralizing antibody levels, respectively, during the early convalescent phase, as compared to 96.8% (30/31) and 62.2% (23/37) of symptomatic patients. Forty percent of asymptomatic individuals became seronegative and 12.9% of the symptomatic group became negative for IgG in the early convalescent phase. In addition, asymptomatic individuals exhibited lower levels of 18 proand anti-inflammatory cytokines. These data suggest that asymptomatic individuals had a weaker immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. The reduction in IgG and neutralizing antibody levels in the early convalescent phase might have implications for immunity strategy and serological surveys.As of May 24, 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by SARS-CoV-2, has affected more than 5 million people around the world. Most patients with SARS-CoV-2 infections have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath, which might appear 2-14 d after exposure. However, there are other patients who are diagnosed by a positive RT-PCR test but are either asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic 2-6 . Increasing evidence has shown that asymptomatic individuals can spread the virus efficiently, and the emergence of these silent spreaders of SARS-CoV-2 has caused difficulties in the control of the epidemic 2,5 . However, our
Insects are the most speciose group of animals, but the phylogenetic relationships of many major lineages remain unresolved. We inferred the phylogeny of insects from 1478 protein-coding genes. Phylogenomic analyses of nucleotide and amino acid sequences, with site-specific nucleotide or domain-specific amino acid substitution models, produced statistically robust and congruent results resolving previously controversial phylogenetic relations hips. We dated the origin of insects to the Early Ordovician [~479 million years ago (Ma)], of insect flight to the Early Devonian (~406 Ma), of major extant lineages to the Mississippian (~345 Ma), and the major diversification of holometabolous insects to the Early Cretaceous. Our phylogenomic study provides a comprehensive reliable scaffold for future comparative analyses of evolutionary innovations among insects.
To better determine the history of modern birds, we performed a genome-scale phylogenetic analysis of 48 species representing all orders of Neoaves using phylogenomic methods created to handle genome-scale data. We recovered a highly resolved tree that confirms previously controversial sister or close relationships. We identified the first divergence in Neoaves, two groups we named Passerea and Columbea, representing independent lineages of diverse and convergently evolved land and water bird species. Among Passerea, we infer the common ancestor of core landbirds to have been an apex predator and confirm independent gains of vocal learning. Among Columbea, we identify pigeons and flamingoes as belonging to sister clades. Even with whole genomes, some of the earliest branches in Neoaves proved challenging to resolve, which was best explained by massive protein-coding sequence convergence and high levels of incomplete lineage sorting that occurred during a rapid radiation after the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction event about 66 million years ago.
Optogenetic tools enable the causal examination of how specific cell types contribute to brain circuit functions. A long-standing question is whether it is possible to independently activate two distinct neural populations in mammalian brain tissue. Such a capability would enable the examination of how different synapses or pathways interact to support computation. Here we report two new channelrhodopsins, Chronos and Chrimson, obtained through the de novo sequencing and physiological characterization of opsins from over 100 species of algae. Chrimson is 45 nm red-shifted relative to any previous channelrhodopsin, important for scenarios where red light would be preferred; we show minimal visual system mediated behavioral artifact in optogenetically stimulated Drosophila. Chronos has faster kinetics than any previous channelrhodopsin, yet is effectively more light-sensitive. Together, these two reagents enable crosstalk-free two-color activation of neural spiking and downstream synaptic transmission in independent neural populations in mouse brain slice.
The Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas belongs to one of the most species-rich but genomically poorly explored phyla, the Mollusca. Here we report the sequencing and assembly of the oyster genome using short reads and a fosmid-pooling strategy, along with transcriptomes of development and stress response and the proteome of the shell. The oyster genome is highly polymorphic and rich in repetitive sequences, with some transposable elements still actively shaping variation. Transcriptome studies reveal an extensive set of genes responding to environmental stress. The expansion of genes coding for heat shock protein 70 and inhibitors of apoptosis is probably central to the oyster's adaptation to sessile life in the highly stressful intertidal zone. Our analyses also show that shell formation in molluscs is more complex than currently understood and involves extensive participation of cells and their exosomes. The oyster genome sequence fills a void in our understanding of the Lophotrochozoa.Oceans cover approximately 71% of the Earth's surface and harbour most of the phylum diversity of the animal kingdom. Understanding marine biodiversity and its evolution remains a major challenge. The Pacific oyster C. gigas (Thunberg, 1793) is a marine bivalve belonging to the phylum Mollusca, which contains the largest number of described marine animal species 1 . Molluscs have vital roles in the functioning of marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems, and have had major effects on humans, primarily as food sources but also as sources of dyes, decorative pearls and shells, vectors of parasites, and biofouling or destructive agents. Many molluscs are important fishery and aquaculture species, as well as models for studying neurobiology, biomineralization, ocean acidification and adaptation to coastal environments under climate change 2,3 . As the most speciose member of the Lophotrochozoa, phylum Mollusca is central to our understanding of the biology and evolution of this superphylum of protostomes.As sessile marine animals living in estuarine and intertidal regions, oysters must cope with harsh and dynamically changing environments. Abiotic factors such as temperature and salinity fluctuate wildly, and toxic metals and desiccation also pose serious challenges. Filter-feeding oysters face tremendous exposure to microbial pathogens. Oysters do have a notable physical line of defence against predation and desiccation in the formation of thick calcified shells, a key evolutionary innovation making molluscs a successful group. However, acidification of the world's oceans by uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide poses a potentially serious threat to this ancient adaptation 4 . Understanding biomineralization and molluscan shell formation is, thus, a major area of interest 5 . Crassostrea gigas is also an interesting model for developmental biology owing to its mosaic development with typical molluscan stages, including trochophore and veliger larvae and metamorphosis.A complete genome sequence of C. gigas would enable a more th...
Recent transcriptome studies have revealed that a large number of transcripts in mammals and other organisms do not encode proteins but function as noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) instead. As millions of transcripts are generated by large-scale cDNA and EST sequencing projects every year, there is a need for automatic methods to distinguish protein-coding RNAs from noncoding RNAs accurately and quickly. We developed a support vector machine-based classifier, named Coding Potential Calculator (CPC), to assess the protein-coding potential of a transcript based on six biologically meaningful sequence features. Tenfold cross-validation on the training dataset and further testing on several large datasets showed that CPC can discriminate coding from noncoding transcripts with high accuracy. Furthermore, CPC also runs an order-of-magnitude faster than a previous state-of-the-art tool and has higher accuracy. We developed a user-friendly web-based interface of CPC at http://cpc.cbi.pku.edu.cn. In addition to predicting the coding potential of the input transcripts, the CPC web server also graphically displays detailed sequence features and additional annotations of the transcript that may facilitate users’ further investigation.
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