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Laser interaction with an ultra-thin pre-structured target is investigated with the help of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. With the existence of a periodic structure on the target surface, the laser seems to penetrate through the target at its fundamental frequency even if the plasma density of the target is much higher than the laser’s relativistically critical density. The particle-in-cell simulations show that the transmitted laser energy behind the pre-structured target is increased by about two orders of magnitude compared to that behind the flat target. Theoretical analyses show that the transmitted energy behind the pre-structured target is actually re-emitted by electron ‘islands’ formed by the surface plasma waves on the target surfaces. In other words, the radiation with the fundamental frequency is actually ‘surface emission’ on the target rear surface. Besides the intensity of the component with the fundamental frequency, the intensity of the high-order harmonics behind the pre-structured target is also much enhanced compared to that behind the flat target. The enhancement of the high-order harmonics is also related to the surface plasma waves generated on the target surfaces.
The water film due to rain falling on a radome surface causes severe losses in radio wave transmission. Hydrophobic coatings have been applied as a remedy to reduce the film thickness and to minimize the losses. However, quantitative accounts of the wave scattering are mostly based on empirical estimates of the film thickness. We describe a fluid-mechanical theory for the film under steady rain falling on a textured surface formed by a square array of pillars. Assuming the water surface on top of the pillars to be in the Cassie–Baxter state, the analysis is carried out by making use of the sharp contrast of length scales between the film thickness and the radome radius. The textured surface is viewed as a periodic array of cells around pillars. The macro-scale flow is simple and linear but the micro-scale flow in a typical lattice period is fully nonlinear. These two problems are coupled and are solved iteratively to obtain the slip length and the spatial variation of the film thickness. Numerical results are presented to show the effect of solid fraction on local flow field, the slip length and the non-uniform reduction of the film thickness. To examine the influence of the macro-scale geometry on film formation, the theory is also modified for a hydrophobic roof top formed by two inclined planes.
The aim of the study was to investigate any association between extrauterine growth restriction (EUGR) and intestinal flora of <30-week-old preterm infants. A total of 59 preterm infants were assigned to EUGR (n=23) and non-EUGR (n=36) groups. Intestinal bacteria were compared by using high-throughput sequencing of bacterial rRNA. The total abundance of bacteria in 344 genera (7568 v. 13,760; P<0.0001) and 456 species (10,032 v. 18,240; P<0.0001) was significantly decreased in the EUGR group compared with the non-EUGR group. After application of a multivariate logistic model and adjusting for potential confounding factors, as well as false-discovery rate corrections, we found four bacterial genera with higher and one bacterial genus with lower abundance in the EUGR group compared with the control group. In addition, the EUGR group showed significantly increased abundances of six species (Streptococcus parasanguinis, Bacterium RB5FF6, two Klebsiella species and Microbacterium), but decreased frequencies of three species (one Acinetobacter species, Endosymbiont_of_Sphenophorus_lev and one Enterobacter_species) compared with the non-EUGR group. Taken together, there were significant changes in the intestinal microflora of preterm infants with EUGR compared to preterm infants without EUGR.
Dietary delivery of bacterially expressed double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) has a great potential for management of Leptinotarsa decemlineata. An important first step is to discover possible RNA-interference (RNAi)-target genes effective against larvae, especially the old larvae. In the present paper, five putative Broad-Complex (BrC) cDNAs (Z1-Z4, and Z6) were identified in L. decemlineata. The expression of the five LdBrC isoforms was suppressed by juvenile hormone signaling, whereas the transcription was upregulated by 20-hydroxyecdysone signaling at the fourth (final) instar larval stage. Feeding of bacterially expressed dsBrC (derived from a common fragment of the five LdBrC variants) in the third- and fourth-instar larvae successfully knocked down the target mRNAs. For the fourth-instar LdBrC RNAi hypomorphs, they had a higher larval mortality compared with the controls. Moreover, most dsBrC-fed beetles did not pupate normally. After removal of the apolysed larval cuticle, a miniature adult was found. The adult head, compound eyes, prothorax, mesothorax, metathorax were found on the dorsal view. Distinct adult cuticle pigmentation was seen on the prothorax. The mouthparts, forelegs, midlegs, and hindlegs could be observed on the ventral view of the miniature adults. For the third-instar LdBrC RNAi specimens, around 20% moribund beetles remained as prepupae and finally died. Therefore, LdBrC is among the most attractive candidate genes for RNAi to control the fourth-instar larvae in L. decemlineata.
Starch digestion in the small intestines of the dairy cow is low, to a large extent, due to a shortage of syntheses of α-amylase. One strategy to improve the situation is to enhance the synthesis of α-amylase. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signalling pathway, which acts as a central regulator of protein synthesis, can be activated by leucine. Our objectives were to investigate the effects of leucine on the mTOR signalling pathway and to define the associations between these signalling activities and the synthesis of pancreatic enzymes using an in vitro model of cultured Holstein dairy calf pancreatic tissue. The pancreatic tissue was incubated in culture medium containing l-leucine for 3 h, and samples were collected hourly, with the control being included but not containing l-leucine. The leucine supplementation increased α-amylase and trypsin activities and the messenger RNA expression of their coding genes (P <0.05), and it enhanced the mTOR synthesis and the phosphorylation of mTOR, ribosomal protein S6 kinase 1 and eukaryotic initiation factor 4E-binding protein 1 (P <0.05). In addition, rapamycin inhibited the mTOR signal pathway factors during leucine treatment. In sum, the leucine regulates α-amylase and trypsin synthesis in dairy calves through the regulation of the mTOR signal pathways.
Pathogenesis of pregnancy toxemia (PT) is believed to be associated with the disruption of lipid metabolism. The present study aimed to explore the underlying mechanisms of lipid metabolism disorder in the livers of ewes with PT. In total, 10 pregnant ewes were fed normally (control group) whereas another 10 were subjected to 70% level feed restriction for 15 days to establish a pathological model of PT. Results showed that, as compared with the controls, the levels of blood β-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA), non-esterified fatty acids (NEFAs) and cholesterol were greater (P<0.05) and blood glucose level was lower (P<0.05) in PT ewes. The contents of NEFAs, BHBA, cholesterol and triglyceride were higher (P<0.05) and glycerol content was lower (P<0.05) in hepatic tissues of PT ewes than those of the controls. For ewes with PT, excessive fat vacuoles were observed in liver sections stained with hematoxylin–eosin; furthermore, inner structures of hepatocytes including nuclei, mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum were damaged seriously according to the results of transmission electron microscope. Real-time PCR data showed that compared with the controls, the expression of hepatic genes involved in fatty acid oxidation (FAO) and triglyceride synthesis (TGS) was enhanced (P<0.05) whereas that related to acetyl-CoA metabolism (ACM) was repressed (P<0.05) in PT ewes. Generally, our results showed that negative energy balance altered the expression of genes involved in FAO, ACM and TGS, further caused lipid metabolism disorder in livers, resulting in PT of ewes. Our findings may provide the molecular basis for novel therapeutic strategies against this systemic metabolic disease in sheep.
The present study aim to explore temporal–spatial patterns of water use (WU) efficiency and its influencing factors of maize production in China during 1998–2010. WU and productivity (WP) were quantified by taking irrigation loss into account and the links between WP and nine selected indicators were revealed by the partial least squares regression (PLSR) model. Results showed that national WU and WP in maize production were 138.56 cubic gigametres (Gm3; 0.755 green and 0.245 blue) and 1.079 kg/m3, respectively. WP was enhanced in the present study due to an increase in irrigated crop yield. Provinces located in the middle–lower part of the Yellow River had high proportions of green water and WP, while high proportions of irrigation water and low WP were found in Northwest China. The dosage of pesticides per unit area, relative humidity, average temperature and precipitation were the dominant factors that affected WP. However, the relationships between WP and solar radiation, fertilizer, agricultural machinery power, irrigation proportion and irrigated efficiency were not significant. Findings of the present research may also provide a reference for regional agricultural water management.
The present study evaluated the effects of isovalerate supplementation on the development of the small intestinal mucosa in dairy calves. Forty-eight Chinese Holstein bull calves at 15 days of age and 45.1 ± 0.36 kg of body weight were assigned randomly to four groups. The treatments were control, low-isovalerate, moderate-isovalerate and high-isovalerate with 0, 3, 6 and 9 g isovalerate per calf per day, respectively. The study comprised 75 days with a 15-day adaptation period followed by a 60-day sampling period. Calves were weaned at 60 days of age. Six calves were chosen from each treatment at random and slaughtered at 30 and 90 days of age. The small intestine morphology and activities of amylase and trypsin improved significantly with increasing age. No interaction between treatments and age was observed. The small intestine length, mucosa layer thickness, villus height and crypt depth increased linearly with increasing isovalerate supplementation. However, the ratio of villus height to crypt depth was not affected by treatment. Activities of amylase and trypsin increased linearly. The lactase activity increased linearly during the 75-day period and for pre-weaned calves but was unaltered for post-weaned calves. The relative mRNA expressions of growth hormone receptor, insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor and sodium-glucose co-transporter-1 in the small intestine mucosa increased linearly, and a similar pattern was observed for the expression of peptide transporter-1 in the duodenum and proximal jejunum. The results suggested that small intestine development was promoted by isovalerate in a dose-dependent manner.
Branched-chain volatile fatty acids (BCVFA) supplements could promote lactation performance and milk quality by improving ruminal fermentation and milk fatty acid synthesis. This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of BCVFA supplementation on milk performance, ruminal fermentation, nutrient digestibility and mRNA expression of genes related to fatty acid synthesis in mammary gland of dairy cows. A total of 36 multiparous Chinese Holstein cows averaging 606±4.7 kg of BW, 65±5.2 day in milk (DIM) with daily milk production of 30.6±0.72 kg were assigned to one of four groups blocked by lactation number, milk yield and DIM. The treatments were control, low-BCVFA (LBCVFA), medium-BCVFA (MBCVFA) and high-BCVFA (HBCVFA) with 0, 30, 60 and 90 g BCVFA per cow per day, respectively. Experimental periods were 105 days with 15 days of adaptation and 90 days of data collection. Dry matter (DM) intake tended to increase, but BW changes were similar among treatments. Yields of actual milk, 4% fat corrected milk, milk fat and true protein linearly increased, but feed conversion ratio (FCR) linearly decreased with increasing BCVFA supplementation. Milk fat content linearly increased, but true protein content tended to increase. Contents of C4:0, C6:0, C8:0, C10:0, C12:0, C14:0 and C15:0 fatty acids in milk fat linearly increased, whereas other fatty acids were not affected with increasing BCVFA supplementation. Ruminal pH, ammonia N concentration and propionate molar proportion linearly decreased, but total VFA production and molar proportions of acetate and butyrate linearly increased with increasing BCVFA supplementation. Consequently, acetate to propionate ratios linearly increased. Digestibilities of DM, organic matter, CP, NDF and ADF also linearly increased. In addition, mRNA expressions of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ, sterol regulatory element-binding factor 1 and fatty acid-binding protein 3 linearly increased, mRNA expressions of acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase-α, fatty acid synthase and stearoyl-CoA desaturase quadratically increased. However, lipoprotein lipase mRNA expression was not affected by treatments. The results indicated that lactation performance and milk fat synthesis increased with BCVFA supplementation by improving ruminal fermentation, nutrient digestibility and mRNA expressions of genes related to milk fat synthesis.
A numerical comparison of the Monte Carlo (MC) simulation and the finite-difference method for pricing European options under a regime-switching framework is presented in this paper. We consider pricing options on stocks having two to four volatility regimes. Numerical results show that the MC simulation outperforms the Crank–Nicolson (CN) finite-difference method in both the low-frequency case and the high-frequency case. Even though both methods have linear growth, as the number of regimes increases, the computational time of CN grows much faster than that of MC. In addition, for the two-state case, we propose a much faster simulation algorithm whose computational time is almost independent of the switching frequency. We also investigate the performances of two variance-reduction techniques: antithetic variates and control variates, to further improve the efficiency of the simulation.
The current experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of different dietary protein levels and rumen-protected folic acid (RPFA) supplementation on ruminal fermentation, microbial enzyme activity, bacterial populations and urinary excretion of purine derivatives (PD) in growing beef steers. Low-protein (LP) or high-protein (HP) diets were fed to eight ruminally cannulated first-generation cross-bred (Blonde d'Aquitaine × Simmental) beef steers with or without RPFA supplementation. Steers were fed a total mixed ration, and dietary concentrate to maize silage ratio was 50 : 50 (dry matter (DM) basis). No interaction between dietary crude protein (CP) levels and RPFA supplementation was observed during the experiment. Ruminal pH was unaffected by RPFA supplementation, but decreased with increasing dietary CP levels. Ruminal total volatile fatty acid concentration increased with increasing dietary CP levels or RPFA supplementation. Molar proportion of acetate increased with RPFA supplementation, but tended to decrease with increasing dietary CP levels. The proportion of propionate decreased with RPFA supplementation, but was unaffected by dietary CP levels. As a result, the acetate to propionate ratio increased with RPFA supplementation, but tended to be lower for the HP diets than the LP diets. Ammonia-nitrogen content decreased with RPFA supplementation, but increased with increasing dietary CP levels. In situ ruminal degradability of maize straw and concentrate increased with increasing dietary CP levels or RPFA supplementation. Microbial enzyme (carboxymethyl-cellulase, cellobiase, xylanase, pectinase, α-amylase and protease) activity, bacterial populations (Ruminococcus albus, Ruminococcus flavefaciens, Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens, Prevotella ruminicola, Fibrobacter succinogenes and Ruminobacter amylophilus) and urinary PD excretion increased with increasing dietary CP levels or RPFA supplementation. The current study showed that increasing dietary CP levels from 109·1 to 130·7 g/kg DM or supplementing 75 mg RPFA improved ruminal fermentation and microbial protein synthesis by increasing bacterial population and microbial enzyme activity.
Prospective data on the associations between vitamin D intake and risk of CVD and all-cause mortality are limited and inconclusive. The aim of the present study was to investigate the associations between vitamin D intake and CVD risk and all-cause mortality in the Caerphilly Prospective Cohort Study.
The associations of vitamin D intake with CVD risk markers were examined cross-sectionally at baseline and longitudinally at 5-year, 10-year and >20-year follow-ups. In addition, the predictive value of vitamin D intake for CVD events and all-cause mortality after >20 years of follow-up was examined. Logistic regression and general linear regression were used for data analysis.
Participants in the UK.
Men (n 452) who were free from CVD and type 2 diabetes at recruitment.
Higher vitamin D intake was associated with increased HDL cholesterol (P=0·003) and pulse pressure (P=0·04) and decreased total cholesterol:HDL cholesterol (P=0·008) cross-sectionally at baseline, but the associations were lost during follow-up. Furthermore, higher vitamin D intake was associated with decreased concentration of plasma TAG at baseline (P=0·01) and at the 5-year (P=0·01), but not the 10-year examination. After >20 years of follow-up, vitamin D was not associated with stroke (n 72), myocardial infarctions (n 142), heart failure (n 43) or all-cause mortality (n 281), but was positively associated with increased diastolic blood pressure (P=0·03).
The study supports associations of higher vitamin D intake with lower fasting plasma TAG and higher diastolic blood pressure.
Isovalerate supplements could stimulate rumen development by improving morphology and function of rumen mucosa, and then promote the growth of calves. This study was done to evaluate the effects of isovalerate supplements on morphology and functional gene expression of rumen mucosa in dairy calves. In total, 48 Chinese Holstein male calves with 15 days of age and 45.1±0.36 kg of BW were randomly assigned to four groups. The treatments were: control, low-isovalerate, moderate-isovalerate and high-isovalerate with 0, 3, 6 and 9 g isovalerate per calf per day, respectively. Supplementary isovalerate was hand-mixed into milk in pre-weaning calves and into concentrate portion in post-weaning calves. The study consisted of a 15-day-adaptation period and a 60-day-sampling period. Calves were weaned at 60 days of age. Three calves were slaughtered from each of the four treatments at 30, 60 and 90 days of age. The weight of body and stomach were measured, samples of ruminal tissues and blood were analyzed. Total stomach weight, total stomach to BW ratio, rumen wall and keratinized layer thickness, serum growth hormone and IGF-1 for both pre- and post-weaning calves increased linearly with increasing isovalerate supplements. Rumen to total stomach weight ratio, the length and width of rumen papillae, and serum β-hydroxybutyrate increased linearly for post-weaning calves. However, abomasum weight to total stomach weight ratio decreased linearly for both pre- and post-weaning calves. The relative messenger RNA expression for growth hormone receptor, IGF-1 receptor and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA synthase 1 in rumen mucosa increased linearly for post-weaning calves. Our results suggested that isovalerate supplements promoted rumen development in a dose-dependent manner. The optimum dose was 6.0 g isovalerate per calf per day.
This manuscript describes, defines, and discusses the process of cold sintering, which can consolidate a broad set of inorganic powders between room temperature and 300 °C using a standard uniaxial press and die. This temperature range is well below that needed for appreciable bulk diffusion, indicating immediately the distinction from the well-known and thermally driven analogue, allowing for an unconventional method for densifying these inorganic powders. Sections of this report highlight the general background and history of cold sintering, the current set of known compositions that exhibit compatibility with this process, the basic experimental techniques, the current understanding of physical mechanisms necessary for densification, and finally opportunities and challenges to expand the method more generically to other systems. The newness of this approach and the potential for revolutionary impact on traditional methods of powder-based processing warrants this discussion despite a nascent understanding of the operative mechanisms.
Spatiotemporal analysis is an important tool to monitor changes of tuberculosis (TB) epidemiology, identify high-risk regions and guide resource allocation. However, there are limited data on the contributing factors of TB incidence. This study aimed to investigate the spatiotemporal pattern of TB incidence and its associated factors in mainland China during 2005–2013. Global Moran's I test, Getis-Ord Gi index and heat maps were used to examine the spatial clustering and seasonal patterns. Generalized Linear Mixed Model was applied to identify factors associated with TB incidence. TB incidence presented high geographical variations with two main hot spots, while a generally consistent seasonal pattern was observed with a peak in late winter. Furthermore, we found province-level TB incidence increased with the proportion of the elderly but decreased with Gross Demographic Product per capita and the male:female ratio. Meteorological factors also influenced TB incidence. TB showed obvious spatial clustering in mainland China and both the demographic and socio-economic factors and meteorological measures were associated with TB incidence. These results provide the related information to identify the high-risk districts and the evidence for the government to develop corresponding control measures.
Worldwide 350 million people suffer from major depression, with the majority of cases occurring in low- and middle-income countries. We examined the patterns, correlates and care-seeking behaviour of adults suffering from major depressive episode (MDE) in China.
A nationwide study recruited 512 891 adults aged 30–79 years from 10 provinces across China during 2004–2008. The 12-month prevalence of MDE was assessed by the Modified Composite International Diagnostic Interview-short form. Logistic regression yielded adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of MDE associated with socio-economic, lifestyle and health-related factors and major stressful life events.
Overall, 0.7% of participants had MDE and a further 2.4% had major depressive symptoms. Stressful life events were strongly associated with MDE [adjusted OR 14.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 13.7–15.7], with a dose–response relationship with the number of such events experienced. Family conflict had the highest OR for MDE (18.9, 95% CI 16.8–21.2) among the 10 stressful life events. The risk of MDE was also positively associated with rural residency (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.4–1.7), low income (OR 2.3, 95% CI 2.1–2.4), living alone (OR 2.6, 95% CI 2.3–3.0), smoking (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.3–1.6) and certain other mental disorders (e.g. anxiety, phobia). Similar, albeit weaker, associations were observed with depressive symptoms. Among those with MDE, about 15% sought medical help or took psychiatric medication, 15% reported having suicidal ideation and 6% reported attempting suicide.
Among Chinese adults, the patterns and correlates of MDE were generally consistent with those observed in the West. The low rates of seeking professional help and treatment highlight the great gap in mental health services in China.
Isobutyrate supplements could improve rumen development by increasing ruminal fermentation products, especially butyrate, and then promote the growth performance of calves. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of isobutyrate supplementation on growth performance, rumen development, blood metabolites and hormone secretion in pre- and post-weaned dairy calves. In total, 56 Chinese Holstein male calves with 30 days of age and 72.9±1.43 kg of BW, blocked by days of age and BW, were assigned to four groups in a randomized block design. The treatments were as follows: control, low-isobutyrate, moderate-isobutyrate and high-isobutyrate with 0, 0.03, 0.06 and 0.09 g isobutyrate/kg BW per calf per day, respectively. Supplemental isobutyrate was hand-mixed into milk of pre-weaned calves and the concentrate portion of post-weaned calves. The study consisted of 10 days of an adaptation period and a 50-day sampling period. Calves were weaned at 60 days of age. Seven calves were chosen from each treatment at random and slaughtered at 45 and 90 days of age. BW, dry matter (DM) intake and stomach weight were measured, samples of ruminal tissues and blood were determined. For pre- and post-weaned calves, DM intake and average daily gain increased linearly (P<0.05), but feed conversion ratio decreased linearly (P<0.05) with increasing isobutyrate supplementation. Total stomach weight and the ratio of rumen weight to total stomach weight tended to increase (P=0.073) for pre-weaned calves and increased linearly (P=0.021) for post-weaned calves, whereas the ratio of abomasum weight to total stomach weight was not affected for pre-weaned calves and decreased linearly (P<0.05) for post-weaned calves with increasing isobutyrate supplementation. Both length and width of rumen papillae tended to increase linearly for pre-weaned calves, but increased linearly (P<0.05) for post-weaned calves with increasing isobutyrate supplementation. The relative expression of messenger RNA for growth hormone (GH) receptor and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA synthase 1 in rumen mucosa increased linearly (P<0.05) for pre- and post-weaned calves with increasing isobutyrate supplementation. Blood concentrations of glucose, acetoacetate, β-hydroxybutyrate, GH and IGF-1 increased linearly (P<0.05) for pre- and post-weaned calves, whereas blood concentration of insulin decreased linearly with increasing isobutyrate supplementation. The present results indicated that isobutyrate promoted growth of calves by improving rumen development and its ketogenesis in a dose-dependent manner.
The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effects of isovalerate supplementation on growth performance and ruminal fermentation in pre- and post-weaning dairy calves. Forty-eight Chinese Holstein male calves at 15 days of age and 45·1 ± 0·36 kg body weight (BW) were assigned randomly to four groups. The treatments were: control, low-isovalerate, moderate-isovalerate (MIV) and high-isovalerate (HIV) with 0, 3, 6 and 9 g isovalerate per calf per day, respectively. Isovalerate was hand-mixed into milk in pre-weaning calves and the concentrate portion in post-weaning calves. The study lasted 75 days, including a 15-day adaptation period followed by a 60-day sampling period. Weaning was conducted when calves were 60 days old. Six calves were chosen from each treatment at random and slaughtered at 30 and 90 days of age. Average daily weight gain increased linearly whether during pre-weaning or post-weaning period with increasing isovalerate supplementation. Dry matter intake linearly increased at 90 days of age with increasing isovalerate supplementation. During weaning, ruminal pH and ammonia nitrogen (N) decreased linearly, whereas total ruminal volatile fatty acid concentration increased linearly with increasing isovalerate supplementation. The ratio of acetate to propionate increased linearly with increasing isovalerate supplementation due to increased acetate concentration and the unchanged propionate concentration. Activities of caboxymethyl-cellulase, cellobiase, xylanase and pectinase linearly increased at 90 days of age, α-amylase and β-amylase activities linearly increased at 30 and 90 days of age. Relative quantities of Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens, Ruminococcus albus, Fibrobacter succinogenes and Ruminococcus flavefaciens increased linearly with increasing isovalerate supplementation. Ruminal fermentation, enzyme activities and cellulolytic bacteria were higher for HIV and MIV than for the control. The present results indicate that isovalerate accelerated growth of calves by improving ruminal fermentation, microbial enzyme activities and cellulolytic bacteria growth during weaning. In the experimental conditions of the current trial, the optimum isovalerate dose was about 6·0 g isovalerate per calf per day.