Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Shandong


We screened Orientia tsutsugamushi from 385 domestic rodents and 19 humans with scrub typhus in rural Tai'an District, Shandong Province, a new scrub typhus epidemic area in northern China. Sequence analysis identified 7 genotypes in the rodents, of which 2 were also identified in the humans.

Concepts: Shandong, Scrub typhus, Orientia tsutsugamushi


The concentrations of particulate mercury (PHg) and other trace elements in PM2.5and PM10in the atmosphere were measured at the summit of Mount Tai during the time period of 15 June - 11 August 2015. The average PHg concentrations were 83.33 ± 119.1 pg/m3for PM2.5and 174.92 ± 210.5 pg/m3for PM10. Average concentrations for other trace elements, including Al, Ca, Fe, K, Mg, Na, Pb, As, Se, Cu, Cd, Cr, V, Mo, Co, Ag, Ba, Mn, Zn and Ni ranged from 0.06 ng/m3(Ag) to 354.33 ng/m3(Ca) in PM2.5and 0.11 ng/m3(Co) to 592.66 ng/m3(Ca) in PM10. The average concentrations of PHg were higher than those at other domestic mountain sites and cities in other counties, lower than those at domestic city sites. Other trace elements showed concentrations lower than those at the domestic mountain sites. Due possibly to increased control of emissions and the proportion of new energy, the PHg and trace element concentrations decreased, but the PHg showed concentrations higher than those at the Mountain sites, this showed that the reasons was not only severely affected by anthropogenic emissions, but also associated with other sources. The concentration changed trend of the main trace elements indicated that PHg, trace elements and particle matters present positive correlation and fine particulate matter has a greater surface area which was conductive to adsorption of Hg and trace elements to particles. On June 19, June 27 and July 6, according to the peak of mercury and trace elements, we can predict the potential sources of these three days. The results of principal component analysis (PCA) suggested that, crustal dust, coal combustion, and vehicle emissions were the main emission sources of PHg and other trace elements in Mount Tai. The 24-h backward trajectories and potential source contribution function (PSCF) analysis revealed that air masses arriving at Mount Tai were mainly affected by Shandong province. Mount Tai was subjected to five main airflow trajectories. Clusters 1, 2, 3, and 5 represented four pathways for local and regional sources and cluster 4 originated long-distance transportation. Central Shandong was the main source regions of PHg, Pb, Se, As, Cu and Cd. Southeastern and northwestern Shandong province and northern Jiangsu province were the most polluted source regions of Mn, Zn, and Ni. The crustal elements Fe and Ca had similar distributions of potential source regions, suggested by the highest PSCF values in southeastern Shandong and northern Jiangsu.

Concepts: Principal component analysis, Particulate, Henan, Shandong, Jiangsu, Jinan, Tai'an, Mount Tai


The partial skeleton of a leptoceratopsid dinosaur, Ischioceratops zhuchengensis gen. et sp. nov., was excavated from the bone-beds of the Upper Cretaceous Wangshi Group of Zhucheng, Shandong Province, China. This fossil represents the second leptoceratopsid dinosaur specimen recovered from the Kugou locality, a highly productive site in Zhucheng. The ischium of the new taxon is morphologically unique among known Dinosauria, flaring gradually to form an obturator process in its middle portion and resembling the shaft of a recurve bow. An elliptical fenestra perforates the obturator process, and the distal end of the shaft forms an axehead-shaped expansion. The discovery of Ischioceratops increases the known taxonomic diversity and morphological disparity of the Leptoceratopsidae.

Concepts: Cretaceous, Shandong, Paleontology, Liaoning, Dinosaur, Ornithischia, Late Cretaceous, Ceratopsia


While great success in malaria control has been achieved in China, imported malaria has become a major challenge in the context of malaria elimination. This retrospective study describes the epidemiological profile of imported malaria and identifies the at-risk population during the period of 2001-2011 in Jiangsu Province.

Concepts: Malaria, Yangtze River, Henan, Shandong, Jiangsu, Nanjing, Shanghai, Suzhou


The eutrophic Bohai Sea receives large amount of suspended material, nutrients and contaminant from terrestrial runoff, and exchanges waters with the northern Yellow Sea through a narrow strait. This coastal region provides an ideal model system to study microbial biogeography. We performed high-throughput sequencing to investigate the distribution of bacterial taxa along spatial and environmental gradients. The results showed bacterial communities presented remarkable horizontal and vertical distribution under coastal gradients of spatial and environmental factors. Fourteen abundant taxa clustered the samples into three distinctive groups, reflecting typical habitats in shallow coastal water (seafloor depth ≤ 20 m), sunlit surface layer (at water surface with seafloor depth >20 m) and bottom water (at 2-3 m above sediment with seafloor depth >20 m). The most significant taxa of each cluster were determined by the least discriminant analysis effect size, and strongly correlated with spatial and environmental variables. Environmental factors (especially turbidity and nitrite) exhibited significant influences on bacterial beta-diversity in surface water (at 0 m sampling depth), while community similarity in bottom water (at 2-3 m above sediment) was mainly determined by depth. In both surface and bottom water, we found bacterial community similarity and the number of OTUs shared between every two sites decreased with increasing geographic distance. Bacterial dispersal was also affected by phosphate, which was possible due to the high ratios of IN/IP in this coastal sea area.

Concepts: Water, Lake, Water pollution, Microorganism, Shandong, Surface runoff, Yellow Sea, Bohai Sea


Controversy surrounds the role of the private sector in health service delivery, including primary care and population health services. China’s recent health reforms call for non-discrimination against private providers and emphasize strengthening primary care, but formal contracting-out initiatives remain few, and the associated empirical evidence is very limited. This paper presents a case study of contracting with private providers for urban primary and preventive health services in Shandong Province, China. The case study draws on three primary sources of data: administrative records; a household survey of over 1600 community residents in Weifang and City Y; and a provider survey of over 1000 staff at community health stations (CHS) in both Weifang and City Y. We supplement the quantitative data with one-on-one, in-depth interviews with key informants, including local officials in charge of public health and government finance.We find significant differences in patient mix: Residents in the communities served by private community health stations are of lower socioeconomic status (more likely to be uninsured and to report poor health), compared to residents in communities served by a government-owned CHS. Analysis of a household survey of 1013 residents shows that they are more willing to do a routine health exam at their neighborhood CHS if they are of low socioeconomic status (as measured either by education or income). Government and private community health stations in Weifang did not statistically differ in their performance on contracted dimensions, after controlling for size and other CHS characteristics. In contrast, the comparison City Y had lower performance and a large gap between public and private providers. We discuss why these patterns arose and what policymakers and residents considered to be the main issues and concerns regarding primary care services.

Concepts: Health care, Health economics, Medicine, Public health, Health, Socioeconomic status, Population health, Shandong


The West Liao River Valley and the Yellow River Valley are recognized Neolithic farming centers in North China. The population dynamics between these two centers have significantly contributed to the present-day genetic patterns and the agricultural advances of North China. To understand the Neolithic farming expansions between the West Liao River Valley and the Yellow River Valley, we analyzed mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and the Y chromosome of 48 individuals from two archeological sites, Jiangjialiang (>3000 BC) and Sanguan (~1500 BC). These two sites are situated between the two farming centers and experienced a subsistence shift from hunting to farming. We did not find a significant difference in the mtDNA, but their genetic variations in the Y chromosome were different. Individuals from the Jiangjialiang belonged to two Y haplogroups, N1 (not N1a or N1c) and N1c. The individuals from the Sanguan are Y haplogroup O3. Two stages of migration are supported. Populations from the West Liao River Valley spread south at about 3000 BC, and a second northward expansion from the Yellow River Valley occurred later (3000-1500 BC).Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 1 September 2016; doi:10.1038/jhg.2016.107.

Concepts: DNA, Human, Mitochondrial DNA, Genetic genealogy, Population genetics, Shandong, Hebei, Haplogroup


Aphids are infected with a wide variety of endosymbionts that can confer ecologically relevant traits. However, the bacterial communities of most aphid species are still poorly characterized. This study investigated the bacterial diversity of the cotton aphid Aphis gossypii associated with Bt cotton in northern China by targeting the V4 region of the 16S rDNA using the Illumina MiSeq platform. Our sequencing data revealed that bacterial communities of A. gossypii were generally dominated by the primary symbiont Buchnera, together with the facultative symbionts Arsenophonus and Hamiltonella. To our knowledge, this is the first report documenting the facultative symbiont Hamiltonella in A. gossypii. Moreover, the bacterial community structure was similar within aphids from the same province, but distinct among those from different provinces. The taxonomic diversity of the bacterial community is greater in Hebei Province compared with in samples from Henan and Shandong Provinces. The selection pressure exerted by the different geographical locations could explain the differences found among the various provinces. These findings broaden our understanding of the interactions among aphids, endosymbionts and their environments, and provide clues to develop potential biocontrol techniques against this cotton aphid.

Concepts: Evolution, Symbiosis, Endosymbiont, Henan, Shandong, Yellow River, Aphid, Hebei


This paper studied the sustainability of China’s New Rural Cooperative Medical System (NCMS) by evaluating the satisfaction rate of its participants-the farmers. The study related the overall satisfaction of the farmers to their satisfaction with the four different aspects of the program. It also identified which personal and program attributes affect the farmers' satisfaction rate. Survey data of 1278 households from 66 counties in Shandong Province of China were collected in 2011 using a multi-stage stratified cluster-sampling method. To overcome the nepotistic barriers in rural China, field surveys in each township were conducted by university students from the same place. Data were analyzed using multiple regressions and structural equation modeling method. The results showed that 86% of the farmers were either satisfied or very satisfied with the NCMS and 82% indicated their intention to continue participating in the program. Aside from its financial benefits, both the publicity and reimbursement procedure of the program were found to be significant factors in influencing the satisfaction of the farmers. Majority of the participants held positive opinions toward the NCMS, contradicting the negative assessments made by many previous studies. Given the high proportion of farmers willing to continue with the program, it is likely to be sustainable in the near future. Greater publicity and education efforts should be made to make the farmers better informed about the program, and measures should be taken to improve its reimbursement procedure and the setting of the premium level.

Concepts: People's Republic of China, Han Dynasty, Programming language, Henan, Shandong, Jiangsu, Structural equation modeling, Control flow


Bacillus subtilis Bs-115 was isolated from the soil of a corn field in Yutai County, Jinan City, Shandong Province, People’s Republic of China, and is characterized by the efficient synthesis of poly-γ-glutamate (γ-PGA), with corn saccharification liquid as the sole energy and carbon source during the process of γ-PGA formation. Here, we report the complete genome sequence of Bacillus subtilis Bs-115 and the genes associated with poly-γ-glutamate synthesis.

Concepts: DNA, Bacteria, Genome, Republic of China, Shandong, Yellow River, Jinan, Qingdao