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Taurine (TAU) plays important roles in the metabolism of bile acids, cholesterol and lipids. However, little relevant information has been available in fish where TAU has been identified as a conditionally essential nutrient. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of dietary TAU on the metabolism of bile acids, cholesterol and lipids in tiger puffer, which is both an important aquaculture species and a good research model, having a unique lipid storage pattern. An 8-week feeding trial was conducted in a flow-through seawater system. Three experimental diets differed only in TAU level, that is, 1·7, 8·2 and 14·0 mg/kg. TAU supplementation increased the total bile acid content in liver but decreased the content in serum. TAU supplementation also increased the contents of total cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol in both liver and serum. The hepatic bile acid profile mainly includes taurocholic acid (94·48 %), taurochenodeoxycholic acid (4·17 %) and taurodeoxycholic acid (1·35 %), and the contents of all these conjugated bile acids were increased by dietary TAU. The hepatic lipidomics analysis showed that TAU tended to decrease the abundance of individual phospholipids and increase those of some individual TAG and ceramides. The hepatic mRNA expression study showed that TAU stimulated the biosynthesis of both bile acids and cholesterol, possibly via regulation of farnesoid X receptor and HDL metabolism. TAU also stimulated the hepatic expression of lipogenic genes. In conclusion, dietary TAU stimulated the hepatic biosynthesis of both bile acids and cholesterol and tended to regulate lipid metabolism in multiple ways.
Synaptotagmin 1 (Syt1) is an abundant and important presynaptic vesicle protein that binds Ca2+ for the regulation of synaptic vesicle exocytosis. Our previous study reported its localization and function on spindle assembly in mouse oocyte meiotic maturation. The present study was designed to investigate the function of Syt1 during mouse oocyte activation and subsequent cortical granule exocytosis (CGE) using confocal microscopy, morpholinol-based knockdown and time-lapse live cell imaging. By employing live cell imaging, we first studied the dynamic process of CGE and calculated the time interval between [Ca2+]i rise and CGE after oocyte activation. We further showed that Syt1 was co-localized to cortical granules (CGs) at the oocyte cortex. After oocyte activation with SrCl2, the Syt1 distribution pattern was altered significantly, similar to the changes seen for the CGs. Knockdown of Syt1 inhibited [Ca2+]i oscillations, disrupted the F-actin distribution pattern and delayed the time of cortical reaction. In summary, as a synaptic vesicle protein and calcium sensor for exocytosis, Syt1 acts as an essential regulator in mouse oocyte activation events including the generation of Ca2+ signals and CGE.
Repetitive motion planning and control (RMPC) is a significant issue in the research of redundant robot manipulators. Moreover, noise from rounding error, truncation error, and robot uncertainty is an important factor that greatly affects RMPC schemes. In this study, the RMPC of redundant robot manipulators in a noisy environment is investigated. By incorporating the proportional and integral information of the desired path, a new RMPC scheme with pseudoinverse-type (P-type) formulation is proposed. Such a P-type RMPC scheme possesses the suppression of constant and bounded time-varying noises. Comparative simulation results based on a five-link robot manipulator and a PUMA560 robot manipulator are presented to further validate the effectiveness and superiority of the proposed P-type RMPC scheme over the previous one.
In this paper, adaptive noise estimation is used along with a previously proposed Huber-based robust algorithm for cooperative localisation of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs). The Huber-based robust cooperative localisation algorithm named Huber-based Iterative Divided Difference Filtering (HIDDF), proposed in our previous work, effectively achieved a robust result against abnormal measurement noise, enhanced the stability of the filtering algorithm and improved the performance of cooperative localisation state estimation. However, its performance could be significantly further improved if it could estimate the system's noise statistical properties online in real time and then adaptively adjust the filtering gain matrix accordingly. In this paper, a novel adaptive noise estimation algorithm is proposed based on a covariance matching method. The proposed algorithm is suitable for adaptively estimating Gaussian and non-Gaussian measurement as well as process noise. The efficacy of the proposed algorithm has been verified through simulation results. In order to further verify the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm in practical systems, lake tests were conducted. Then, based on offline test data, the performance of the cooperative positioning algorithm under dual-pilot and single-pilot schemes was simulated. The advantages and feasibility of the algorithm are analysed and compared through performance comparison. Cooperative localisation accuracy of the previously proposed Huber-based robust algorithm has been enhanced significantly when used with the proposed adaptive noise estimation algorithm.
To examine urban–rural disparity in childhood stunting, wasting and malnutrition at national and subnational levels in Chinese primary-school children in 2010 and 2014.
Data were obtained from two nationwide cross-sectional surveys conducted in 2010 and 2014. Malnutrition was classified using the Chinese national ‘Screening Standard for Malnutrition of Children’.
All twenty-seven mainland provinces and four municipalities of mainland China.
Children aged 7–12 years (n 215 214; 107 741 in 2010 and 107 473 in 2014) from thirty-one provinces.
Stunting, wasting and malnutrition prevalence were 1·9, 12·3 and 13·7 % in 2010, but decreased to 1·0, 9·4 and 10·2 % in 2014, respectively. The prevalence of stunting, wasting and malnutrition in both urban and rural children was higher in western provinces, while lower in eastern provinces. Although the prevalence of wasting and malnutrition was higher in rural children than their urban counterparts, the urban–rural disparity in both wasting and malnutrition decreased from 2010 to 2014 (prevalence OR: wasting, 1·35 to 1·16; malnutrition, 1·50 to 1·27). A reversal occurred in 2014 in several eastern provinces where the prevalence of wasting and malnutrition in urban children surpassed their rural peers. The urban–rural disparity was larger in western provinces than eastern provinces.
The shrinking urban–rural disparity and the reversal in wasting and malnutrition suggest that the malnutrition situation has improved during the post-crisis period, especially in the western provinces. Region-specific policies and interventions can be useful to sustainably mitigate malnutrition in Chinese children, especially in rural areas and the western provinces.
The accuracy in an X-ray pulsar-based navigation system depends mainly on the accuracy of the pulse phase estimation. In this paper, a novel method is proposed which combines an epoch folding process and a cross-correlation method with the idea of “averaging multiple measurements”. In this method, pulse phase is estimated multiple times on the sampled subsets of arriving photons' time tags, and a final estimation is obtained as the weighted average of these estimations. Two explanations as to how the proposed method can improve accuracy are provided: a Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR)-based explanation and an “error-difference trade-off” explanation. Numerical simulations show that the accuracy in pulse phase estimation can be improved with the proposed algorithm.
Suicidal behaviours in adolescents are prevalent and multifactorial. This study was conducted to examine the associations between exposure to suicide attempt (ESA) or suicide death (ESD) and suicidal behaviours in a large sample of Chinese adolescents.
Participants included for the analysis were 11 831 adolescent students who participated in the baseline survey of the Shandong Adolescent Behavior and Health Cohort (SABHC). Participants were sampled from five middle and three high schools in three counties of Shandong province, China. A self-administered structured questionnaire was used to collect data on demographics, behavioural and emotional problems, family environment, suicidal behaviours (suicidal thought, plan and attempt), and history of ESA or death of a family member, relative, friend or close acquaintance. Based on the sources of exposure, the participants were divided into four groups: non-exposure, exposure from relatives only, exposure from friends/close acquaintances only (EFO) and exposure from both relatives and friends (ERF). Logistic regressions were used to examine the associations between ESA or ESD and suicidal behaviours.
Mean age of the participants was 14.97 ± 1.46 years and 50.9% were boys. Of the participants, 9.4% reported having ESA, and 6.6% reported having ESD. The prevalence rates of suicidal behaviours were significantly higher in adolescents who had been exposed to suicide attempt or death than those who had not. Multivariate logistic regressions showed that ESA and ESD were both significantly associated with increased risks of suicidal thought (ESA: OR = 1.96, 95% CI = 1.66–2.31; ESD: OR = 1.59, 95% CI = 1.31–1.94), plan (ESA: OR = 2.37, 95% CI = 1.84–3.05; ESD: OR = 1.62, 95% CI = 1.18–2.23) and attempt (ESA: OR = 2.73, 95% CI = 1.92–3.89; ESD: OR = 1.82, 95% CI = 1.18–2.82), respectively. When participants were exposed to suicide attempt, ERF and EFO groups had significantly higher risks of suicidal thought (ERF: OR = 2.61, 95% CI = 1.28–1.64; EFO: OR = 1.96, 95% CI = 1.64–2.36), plan (ERF: OR = 3.72, 95% CI = 2.04–6.78; EFO: OR = 2.31, 95% CI = 1.74–3.01) and attempt (ERF: OR = 4.83, 95% CI = 2.30–10.17; EFO: OR = 2.57, 95% CI = 1.73–3.81), respectively.
ESA or ESD was associated with increased risks of suicidal behaviours in adolescents. Exposure to suicidal behaviours of relatives and friends/close acquaintances appeared to have different influence on adolescent suicidal behaviours. Further research is warranted to examine the biological and psychosocial mechanisms between suicidal exposure and subsequent suicidal behaviours in adolescents.
In this paper, a triple-wideband bandpass filter (BPF) with controllable bandwidths based on two multi-mode stub-loaded resonators (MMSLRs) and a triple-mode resonator is presented. The MMSLR is loaded with two identical folded open-ended stubs and a T-shaped stub. Each passband of the tri-band BPF is formed by four resonant modes, which provide sufficient bandwidths to meet various application requirement. By adjusting the lengths of open-ended stubs, three passband bandwidths can be controlled individually. The center frequencies of the triple-wideband BPF are allocated at 2.7, 3.67, and 5.44 GHz, with the 3 dB fractional bandwidths (FBWs) of 20.1, 14.7, and 26.3%. Among the three passbands, the highest one covers the 5 G WiFi band (5.15–5.85 GHz). The measured results of the proposed filter exhibit excellent agreement with simulated results.
This study aimed to investigate the effects of dietary live yeast (LY) supplementation on growth, intestinal permeability and immunological parameters of piglets challenged with enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli K88 (ETEC). Piglets weaned at 21 d were allocated into three treatments with six pens and six piglets per pen, receiving the control diet (CON), diets supplemented with antibiotics plus zinc oxide (ANT–ZnO) and LY (Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain CNCM I-4407), respectively, for a period of 2 weeks. On day 8, thirty-six piglets were selected as control without ETEC (CON), CON–ETEC, ANT–ZnO–ETEC and LY–ETEC groups challenged with ETEC until day 10 for sample collections. Piglets fed ANT–ZnO diet had the highest average daily gain and average daily feed intake (P<0·05) during the 1st week, but ADG of piglets fed the ANT–ZnO diet was similar as piglets fed LY diet during the second week. Piglets with LY–ETEC or ANT–ZnO–ETEC had markedly lower diarrhoea score (P<0·05) than piglets with CON–ETEC during the 24 h after ETEC challenge. Relative to piglets with CON, the counts of E. coli, urinary ratio of lactulose to mannitol, plasma IL-6 concentration, mRNA abundances of innate immunity-related genes in ileum and mesenteric lymph node tissues were increased (P<0·05), whereas the villous height of jejunum and relative protein expression of ileum claudin-1 were decreased (P<0·05) in piglets with CON–ETEC; however, these parameters did not markedly change in piglets with LY–ETEC or ANT–ZnO–ETEC. In summary, dietary LY supplementation could alleviate the severity of diarrhoea in piglets with ETEC, which may be associated with the improved permeability, innate immunity and bacterial profile.
Scabies is a parasitic disease caused by the ectoparasite Sarcoptes scabiei, affecting different mammalian species, including rabbits, worldwide. In the present study, we cloned and expressed a novel inorganic pyrophosphatase, Ssc-PYP-1, from S. scabiei var. cuniculi. Immunofluorescence staining showed that native Ssc-PYP-1 was localized in the tegument around the mouthparts and the entire legs, as well as in the cuticle of the mites. Interestingly, obvious staining was also observed on the fecal pellets of mites and in the integument of the mites. Based on its good immunoreactivity, an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using recombinant Ssc-PYP-1 (rSsc-PYP-1) as the capture antigen was developed to diagnose sarcoptic mange in naturally infected rabbits; the assay had a sensitivity of 92·0% and specificity of 93·6%. Finally, using the rSsc-PYP-1-ELISA, the Ssc-PYP-1 antibody from 10 experimentally infected rabbits could be detected from 1 week post-infection. This is the first report of S. scabiei inorganic pyrophosphatase and the protein could serve as a potential serodiagnostic candidate for sarcoptic mange in rabbits.
More than 200 molecular clouds were newly found distributed beyond the Outer arm in the extreme outer Galaxy (EOG) region by MWISP. Those MCs roughly following the HI′s distribution well delineate the outermost spiral structure (the Outer Scutum-Centaurus arm) and warp of our Galaxy. Besides, those MCs show different σv-Radius relation and exhibit higher value of αvir than MCs in the inner Galaxy.
We examined the in vitro developmental competence of parthenogenetic activation (PA) oocytes activated by an electric pulse (EP) and treated with various concentrations of AZD5438 for 4 h. Treatment with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h significantly improved the blastocyst formation rate of PA oocytes in comparison with 0, 20, or 50 µM AZD5438 treatment (46.4% vs. 34.5%, 32.3%, and 24.0%, respectively; P < 0.05). The blastocyst formation rate was higher in the group treated with AZD5438 for 4 h than in the groups treated with AZD5438 for 2 or 6 h (42.8% vs. 38.6% and 37.2%, respectively; P > 0.05). Furthermore, 66.67% of blastocysts derived from these AZD5438-treated PA oocytes had a diploid karyotype. The blastocyst formation rate of PA and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos was similar between oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 2 mM 6-dimethylaminopurine for 4 h and those activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h (11.11% vs. 13.40%, P > 0.05). In addition, the level of maturation-promoting factor (MPF) was significantly decreased in oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h. Finally, the mRNA expression levels of apoptosis-related genes (Bax and Bcl-2) and pluripotency-related genes (Oct4, Nanog, and Sox2) were checked by RT-PCR; however, there were no differences between the AZD5438-treated and non-treated control groups. Our results demonstrate that porcine oocyte activation via an EP in combination with AZD5438 treatment can lead to a high blastocyst formation rate in PA and SCNT experiments.
Porous silicon nitride ceramics are attracting extensive attention due to its high strength and low dielectric loss. However, further strength enhancement at elevated temperatures is hindered by its intergranular phase, forming from sintering additives. This paper describes the fabrication of porous silicon nitride ceramic materials, by using a replacement method of carbothermal nitridation. The initial samples which were obtained from the sintering of mixed powder consisted of 95 wt% Si3N4 and 5 wt% Y2O3. After the removal of the oxide intergranular phase and the infiltration of mixtures of phenolic resins and silica sols, carbothermal nitridation process was carried out at 1550 °C for 2 h under nitrogen. X-ray diffraction and microstructural analysis revealed a complete replacement of oxide intergranular phases by the newly formed Si3N4 intergranular phase. The unmodified ceramic exhibited lower flexural strength at 1400 °C, which was only 50% of the room-temperature strength. Although the modified ceramic attained a slightly lower flexural strength at room temperature after the replacement of intergranular phase, its strength measured at 1400 °C could attain 90% of room-temperature strength.
The BiOBr/Ag3PO4 composites were fabricated by a facile in situ deposition of Ag3PO4 nanoparticles on the BiOBr microsheets and analyzed by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscope, high resolution transmission electron microscope, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, UV–vis diffuse reflectance absorption spectra, Fourier transform infrared, Raman, photoluminescence (PL), and photoelectrochemical techniques. The photocatalytic performances of as-prepared samples were investigated and compared through degradation of Rhodamine B (RhB) solution. The results suggested that 30 wt% amount of BiOBr in the composites possessed the highest photocatalytic activity. The remarkably improved photocatalytic performances of BiOBr/Ag3PO4 composites could be ascribed to the efficient separation of electron–hole pairs, due to suitable energy band potentials between BiOBr and Ag3PO4. Furthermore, the photoelectrochemical and PL tests verified the separation and transfer efficiency of charges was promoted.
To evaluate the effects of different anthropogenic activities on zooplankton and the pelagic ecosystem, we conducted seasonal cruises in 2010 to assess spatial heterogeneity among the mesozooplankton communities of Xiangshan Bay, a subtropical semi-enclosed bay in China. The evaluation included five different areas: a kelp farm, an oyster farm, a fish farm, the thermal discharge area of a power plant, and an artificial reef, and we aimed to identify whether anthropogenic activities dominated spatial variation in the mesozooplankton communities. The results demonstrated clear spatial heterogeneity among the mesozooplankton communities of the studied areas, dominantly driven by natural hydrographic properties, except in the area near the thermal discharge outlet of the power station. In the outlet area, thermal shock caused by the discharge influenced the mesozooplankton community by decreasing abundance and biomass throughout the four seasons, even causing a shift in the dominant species near the outlet during summer from Acartia pacifica to eurythermal and warm water taxa. Unique features of the mesozooplankton community in the oyster farm may be due to the combined effects of oyster culture and the natural environment in the branch harbour. However, kelp and fish culture, and the construction of an artificial reef did not exert any obvious influence on the mesozooplankton communities up to 2010, probably because of the small scale of the aquaculture and a time lag in the rehabilitation effects of the artificial reef. Thus, our results suggested that the dominant factors influencing spatial variations of mesozooplankton communities in Xiangshan Bay were still the natural hydrographic properties, but the thermal discharge was an anthropogenic activity that changed the pelagic ecosystem, and should be supervised.
Trichinella spiralis is a parasitic helminth that can infect almost all mammals, including humans. Trichinella spiralis infection elicits a typical type 2 immune responses, while suppresses type 1 immune responses, which is in favour of their parasitism. DNA vaccines have been shown to be capable of eliciting balanced CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses as well as humoral immune responses in small-animal models, which will be advantage to induce protective immune response against helminth infection. In this study, serine protease (Ts-NBLsp) was encoded by a cDNA fragment of new-born T. spiralis larvae, and was inserted after CMV promoter to construct a DNA vaccine [pcDNA3·1(+)-Ts-NBLsp]. Ts-NBLsp expression was demonstrated by immunofluorescence. Sera samples were obtained from vaccinated mice, and they showed strong anti-Ts-NBLsp-specific IgG response. Mice immunized with the pcDNA3·1(+)-Ts-NBLsp DNA vaccine showed a 77·93% reduction in muscle larvae (ML) following challenge with T. spiralis ML. Our results demonstrate that the vaccination with pcDNA3·1(+)-Ts-NBLsp plasmid promoted the balance of type 1 and 2 immune responses and produced a significant protection against T. spiralis infection in mice.
Flavonoids may play an important role in the protective effects of vegetables, fruits and tea against colorectal cancer. However, associations between flavonoids and colorectal cancer risk are inconsistent, and a few studies have evaluated the effect of flavonoids from different dietary sources separately. This study aimed to evaluate associations of flavonoids intake from different dietary sources with colorectal cancer risk in a Chinese population. From July 2010 to December 2015, 1632 eligible colorectal cancer cases and 1632 frequency-matched controls (age and sex) completed in-person interviews. A validated FFQ was used to estimate dietary flavonoids intake. Multivariate logistical regression models were used to calculate the OR and 95 % CI of colorectal cancer risk after adjusting for various confounders. No significant association was found between total flavonoids and colorectal cancer risk, with an adjusted OR of 1·06 (95 % CI 0·85, 1·32) comparing the highest with the lowest quartile. Anthocyanidins, flavanones and flavones intakes from total diet were found to be inversely associated with colorectal cancer risk. Compared with the lowest quartile, the adjusted OR for the highest quartile were 0·80 (95 % CI 0·64, 1·00) for anthocyanidins, 0·28 (95 % CI 0·22, 0·36) for flavanones and 0·54 (95 % CI 0·43, 0·67) for flavones. All subclasses of flavonoids from vegetables and fruits were inversely associated with colorectal cancer. However, no significant association was found between tea flavonoids and colorectal cancer risk. These data indicate that specific flavonoids, specifically flavonoids from vegetables and fruits, may be linked with the reduced risk of colorectal cancer.
Choline and betaine are essential nutrients involved in one-carbon metabolism and have been hypothesised to affect breast cancer risk. Functional polymorphisms in genes encoding choline-related one-carbon metabolism enzymes, including phosphatidylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PEMT), choline dehydrogenase (CHDH) and betaine-homocysteine methyltransferase (BHMT), have important roles in choline metabolism and may thus interact with dietary choline and betaine intake to modify breast cancer risk. This study aimed to investigate the interactive effect of polymorphisms in PEMT, BHMT and CHDH genes with choline/betaine intake on breast cancer risk among Chinese women. This hospital-based case–control study consecutively recruited 570 cases with histologically confirmed breast cancer and 576 age-matched (5-year interval) controls. Choline and betaine intakes were assessed by a validated FFQ, and genotyping was conducted for PEMT rs7946, CHDH rs9001 and BHMT rs3733890. OR and 95 % CI were estimated using unconditional logistic regression. Compared with the highest quartile of choline intake, the lowest intake quartile showed a significant increased risk of breast cancer. The SNP PEMT rs7946, CHDH rs9001 and BHMT rs3733890 had no overall association with breast cancer, but a significant risk reduction was observed among postmenopausal women with AA genotype of BHMT rs3733890 (OR 0·49; 95 % CI 0·25, 0·98). Significant interactions were observed between choline intake and SNP PEMT rs7946 (Pinteraction=0·029) and BHMT rs3733890 (Pinteraction=0·006) in relation to breast cancer risk. Our results suggest that SNP PEMT rs7946 and BHMT rs3733890 may interact with choline intake on breast cancer risk.
Psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and major depressive disorder
(MDD) are likely to be caused by multiple susceptibility genes, each with
small effects in increasing the risk of illness. Identifying DNA variants
associated with schizophrenia and MDD is a crucial step in understanding
the pathophysiology of these disorders.
To investigate whether the SP4 gene plays a significant
role in schizophrenia or MDD in the Han Chinese population.
We focused on nine single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) harbouring the
SP4 gene and carried out case–control studies in 1235
patients with schizophrenia, 1045 patients with MDD and 1235 healthy
controls recruited from the Han Chinese population.
We found that rs40245 was significantly associated with schizophrenia in
both allele and genotype distributions (Pallele = 0.0005, Pallele = 0.004 after Bonferroni correction; Pgenotype = 0.0023, Pgenotype = 0.0184 after Bonferroni correction). The rs6461563
SNP was significantly associated with schizophrenia in the allele
distributions (Pallele = 0.0033, Pallele = 0.0264 after Bonferroni correction).
Our results suggest that common risk factors in the SP4
gene are associated with schizophrenia, although not with MDD, in the Han
In this paper, a simplified constellation architecture consisting of only two navigation satellites located around the Earth-Moon L1,2 libration points is obtained for the Universe Lighthouse. In order to determine the feasible constellations that can achieve continuous global coverage for lunar orbits, an exhaustive search over all possible combinations of libration point orbits is performed first. With the use of a fitting procedure, amplitude relations between the feasible L1 and L2 libration point orbits are derived by polynomial interpolation. After that, a cislunar navigation simulation is conducted to verify the navigation performance of the candidate two-satellite constellations. The final Monte Carlo simulation results indicate that the simplified system is available for cislunar navigation and the best accuracy of a few tens of metres can be achieved for both the trans-lunar cruise phase and lunar orbit phase.