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Antibiotics are designed to affect gut microbiota and subsequently gut homeostasis. However, limited information exists about short- and long-term effects of early antibiotic intervention (EAI) on gut homeostasis (especially for the small intestine) of pigs following antibiotic withdrawal. We investigated the impact of EAI on specific bacterial communities, microbial metabolites and mucosal immune parameters in the small intestine of later-growth-stage pigs fed with diets differing in CP levels. Eighteen litters of piglets were fed creep feed with or without antibiotics from day 7 to day 42. At day 42, pigs within each group were offered a normal- or low-CP diet. Five pigs per group were slaughtered at days 77 and 120. At day 77, EAI increased Enterobacteriaceae counts in the jejunum and ileum and decreased Bifidobacterium counts in the jejunum and ileum (P < 0.05). Moreover, tryptamine, putrescine, secretory immunoglobulin (Ig) A and IgG concentrations in the ileum and interleukin-10 (IL-10) mRNA and protein levels in the jejunum and ileum were decreased in pigs with EAI (P < 0.05). At day 120, EAI only suppressed Clostridium cluster XIVa counts in the jejunum and ileum (P < 0.05). These results suggest that EAI has a short-term effect on specific bacterial communities, amino acid decarboxylation and mucosal immune parameters in the small intestine (particularly in the ileum). At days 77 and 120, feeding a low-CP diet affected Bifidobacterium, Clostridium cluster IV, Clostridium cluster XIVa and Enterobacteriaceae counts in the jejunum or ileum (P < 0.05). Moreover, feeding a low-CP diet increased the concentrations of Igs in the jejunum and decreased pro-inflammatory cytokines levels in the jejunum and ileum (P < 0.05). At day 120, feeding a low-CP diet increased short-chain fatty acid concentrations, reduced ammonia and spermidine concentrations and up-regulated genes related to barrier function in the jejunum and ileum (P < 0.05). These results suggest that feeding a low-CP diet changes specific bacterial communities and intestinal metabolite concentrations and modifies mucosal immune parameters. These findings contribute to our understanding on the duration of the impact of EAI on gut homeostasis and may provide basis data for nutritional modification in young pigs after antibiotic treatment.
A continuum perspective to understand persecutory delusions suggests that non-clinical persecutory ideations are at the mild end on the same spectrum of persecutory delusions. Based on clinical studies, reasoning biases such as 'jumping to conclusions' (JTC) style, attributional biases (AB), and Theory of Mind (ToM) deficit have been suggested as cognitive risk factors of persecutory delusions, with most robust evidence for JTC. Consistent with the continuum perspective, it is of interest whether these reasoning biases are risk factors of persecutory ideations in the non-clinical population as well.
To examine the association between JTC, AB, ToM deficit, and persecutory ideations in non-clinical populations.
To test the following hypotheses:
1. JTC, AB, and ToM deficit will be found in individuals with non-clinical persecutory ideations.
2. Among the three biases, JTC will be more strongly associated with the severity of persecutory ideations in the non-clinical population.
Twenty studies from 2001 to 2013 analyzing the relationship between reasoning biases and severity of persecutory ideations in non-clinical populations were systematically reviewed.
JTC, AB and ToM deficit were found in individuals with non-clinical persecutory thinking but at reduced levels of severity as compared to the clinical populations. A consistent association between JTC and non-clinical persecutory thinking was found across studies. However, studies of AB and ToM deficit yielded conflicting findings.
Current findings confirm the role of JTC in the pathogenesis of persecutory delusions, and support the development of early interventions targeting data-gathering for individuals at risk of developing persecutory delusions.
It is assumed that dysfunctional meta-cognitive beliefs about one's thoughts increase problematic appraisals and coping behaviors, which further contribute to the development of mental disorders (Wells and Matthews, 1994; Wells, 2000). Although this research interest originated around generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), recent studies have begun to examine similar meta-cognitive processes in other disorders. The majority of studies using Meta-cognitions Questionnaire (MCQ; Cartwright-Hatton & Wells, 1997) and its variants to assess meta-cognitive beliefs.
We conducted a meta-analysis to integrate empirical findings on group differences in meta-cognitive beliefs between healthy individuals and patients with various psychiatric disorders.
We followed the PRISMA guideline (Liberati et al., 2009). A systematic literature search was conducted. We included studies that involved a diagnosed psychiatric group and healthy controls (aged 18 or above), reported group comparisons of metacognition, and were published during the period of 1990–27 August 2015. Effect sizes were computed.
A final set of 43 studies was included. Large combined effect sizes were found on each subdomain of the MCQ, indicating increased levels of dysfunctional meta-cognitive beliefs in patients. Subgroup analyses were carried out based on psychiatric diagnosis (i.e. psychosis, n = 10; GAD, n = 7; obsessive-compulsive disorder, OCD, n = 15; anorexia nervosa, n = 5). All patient groups were more dysfunctional on each subtype of meta-cognitive beliefs than controls. Effect size of U/D was particularly large for GAD, and that of CSC was particularly large for OCD.
Dysfunctional meta-cognitive beliefs are evident across several psychiatric disorders, with specific types of beliefs being more marked in certain diagnoses.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Dysfunctions in metacognition have been reported in individuals with anxiety disorders. Although recent studies have examined metacognition in other disorders, how dysfunctional metacognition compares across disorders is not clear. This review aimed to ascertain the importance of dysfunctional metacognition in various psychopathologies, and to identify similarities and differences in metacognitive profiles across disorders.
Forty-seven studies were selected from 586 articles published between 1990 and August 2015, including a total sample of 3772 patients and 3376 healthy individuals. Studies that measured metacognition using the Meta-Cognitions Questionnaire (MCQ) and its variants were included. We conducted five meta-analyses including 49 to 55 effect sizes, comparing psychiatric patients to healthy individuals on respective metacognitive dimensions of the MCQ.
We found elevated metacognitive dysfunctions in patients, as a group, on all MCQ dimensions. Group effects were large and robust for the two negative beliefs (i.e., beliefs about the uncontrollability and danger of thoughts, and beliefs about the need to control thoughts), and moderate and unstable for the positive beliefs. Patients showed decreased cognitive confidence and heightened cognitive self-consciousness on moderate to large levels. Moderator analyses revealed that negative beliefs about uncontrollability and danger of thoughts were most prevalent in generalized anxiety disorder, whereas heightened cognitive self-consciousness was more characteristic in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and eating disorders manifested more similar metacognitive profiles than other disorders.
Our findings supported dysfunctional metacognition as common processes across psychopathologies, with certain dimensions being more prevalent in particular disorders.
A new generation of high power laser facilities will provide laser pulses with extremely high powers of 10 petawatt (PW) and even 100 PW, capable of reaching intensities of
in the laser focus. These ultra-high intensities are nevertheless lower than the Schwinger intensity
at which the theory of quantum electrodynamics (QED) predicts that a large part of the energy of the laser photons will be transformed to hard Gamma-ray photons and even to matter, via electron–positron pair production. To enable the investigation of this physics at the intensities achievable with the next generation of high power laser facilities, an approach involving the interaction of two colliding PW laser pulses is being adopted. Theoretical simulations predict strong QED effects with colliding laser pulses of
focused to intensities
Sufficient amino acid (AA) transport is essential to ensure the normal physiological function and growth of growing animals. The processes of AA sensing and transport in humans and murine animals, but rarely in goats, have been arousing great interest recently. This study was conducted to investigate the messenger RNA expression patterns of lysophosphatidic acid receptor 5 (LPAR5), guanine nucleotide-binding protein α-transducing 3 (GNAT3) and important partial AA transporters in digestive tracts, metabolic organs and muscles of growing goats. The results showed that these genes were widely expressed in goats, and had different expression patterns. LPAR5, GNAT3, solute carrier (SLC38A2), SLC7A7, SLC7A1 and SLC3A1 were rarely expressed in the rumen, but were highly expressed in the abomasum and intestine which are the main sites of AA absorption. GNAT3, SLC38A1, SLC38A2, SLC6A19, SLC7A7 and SLC7A1 showed comparatively high expression in the pancreas and the vital digestive glands, and the relatively high expression of these nine genes were noted in the tibialis posterior, the active muscle in energy metabolism. The correlation analysis showed that there were certain positive correlation among most genes. The current results indicate that the AA sensing and transport occur extensively in the abomasum and small intestine, metabolic organs and muscle tissues of ruminants, and that related genes have tissue specificity.
Extensive insecticide use has led to the resistance of mosquitoes to these insecticides, posing a major barrier to mosquito control. Previous Solexa high-throughput sequencing of Culex pipiens pallens in the laboratory has revealed that the abundance of a novel microRNA (miRNA), miR-13664, was higher in a deltamethrin-sensitive (DS) strain than a deltamethrin-resistant (DR) strain. Real-time quantitative PCR revealed that the miR-13664 transcript level was lower in the DR strain than in the DS strain. MiR-13664 oversupply in the DR strain increased the susceptibility of these mosquitoes to deltamethrin, whereas inhibition of miR-13664 made the DS strain more resistant to deltamethrin. Results of bioinformatic analysis, quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, luciferase assay and miR mimic/inhibitor microinjection revealed CpCYP314A1 to be a target of miR-13664. In addition, downregulation of CpCYP314A1 expression in the DR strain reduced the resistance of mosquitoes to deltamethrin. Taken together, our results indicate that miR-13664 could regulate deltamethrin resistance by interacting with CpCYP314A1, providing new insights into mosquito resistance mechanisms.
Litter size has a great impact on the profit of swine producers. Uterine development is an important determinant of reproduction efficiency and could hence affect litter size. Chinese Erhualian pig is one of the most prolific breeds in the world, even though large phenotypic variation in litter size was observed within Erhualian sows. To dissect the genetic basis of the phenotypic variation, we herein conducted genome-wide association studies for total number born and number born alive (NBA) of Erhualian sows. In total, one significant single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) (P<1.78e−06) and 11 suggestive SNPs (P<3.57e−05) were identified on 10 chromosomes, confirming seven previously reported quantitative trait loci (QTL) and uncovering six QTL for litter size or uterus length. One locus on Sus scrofa chromosome (SSC) 13 (79.28 to 90.43 Mb) harbored a cluster of suggestive SNPs associated with multiparous NBA. The SNP (rs81447100) within this region was confirmed to be significantly (P<0.05) associated with litter size in Erhualian (n=313), Sutai (n=173) and Yorkshire (n=488) populations. Retinol binding protein 2 and retinol binding protein 1 functionally related to the development of uterus were located in a region of 2 Mb around rs81447100. Moreover, four genes related to embryo implantation and development were also detected around other significant SNPs. Taken together, our findings provide a potential marker (rs81447100) for the genetic improvement of litter size not only in Chinese Erhualian pigs but also in European commercial pig breeds like Yorkshire, and would facilitate the final identification of causative variant(s) underlying the effect of SSC13 QTL on litter size.
l-Arginine is a nutritionally essential amino acid for spermatogenesis and plays versatile roles in animal health and can be utilized as a potential agent to improve reproductive performance of boars under high ambient temperature. The present study aimed to determine whether dietary l-arginine could alleviate heat stress-induced infertility in boars. In all, 20 boars (PIC 1040; 248.59±3.84 kg BW and 407.65±6.40 days of age) were selected and randomly assigned to four groups (group 0.0%, basal diet; group 0.6%, 0.8% or 1.0%, basal diet added with 0.6%, 0.8% or 1.0% l-arginine (wt:wt), respectively.) The four diets were made isonitrogenous by addition of appropriate amounts of l-alanine. Boars were pre-fed the corresponding experimental diet for 42 days. Then, the semen characteristics and libido were accessed for 6 weeks during the hot summer period (25.5° to 33.0°C). Results show that dietary l-arginine remarkably improved sperm motility, normality, total sperm number and effective total sperm number. Also, dietary l-arginine improved semen antioxidant capacity, such as decrease of malondialdehyde and 8-Hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine content in sperm (P<0.05), increase of the ratio of glutathione and oxidized glutathione, total antioxidant capacity, glutathione peroxidase and catalase activities in seminal plasma (P<0.05). Most of mitochondria contained intact ultrastructure in l-arginine-supplemented group which also accompany with higher ATP content than the 0.0% group. The boars fed 0.8% l-arginine show increased levels of estradiol-17β and testosterone and exhibit improved libido performance than boars in the 0.0% group. Adding dietary l-arginine linearly increased (P=0.002) nitric oxide content (as l-arginine increased). The scrotal surface temperature in the 0.6%, 0.8% and 1.0% group were decreased by 0.9°C, 0.9°C and 0.4°C, respectively, compared with the 0.0% group. l-Arginine levels caused linear effect on semen quality and antioxidant capacity, also caused quadratic effect on libido performance. During the hot summer months, the predicted optimal l-arginine levels for best semen quality and antioxidant capacity was 0.8% to 1.0% and for best libido performance was 0.8%. It can be concluded that l-arginine can be used as an effective agent to alleviate heat stress-induced infertility of boar, and that 0.8% to 1.0% can be considered as the optimum dosage.
Athetis lepigone (Möschler) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a new outbreak pest in China. Consequently, it is unclear whether the emergence and spread of the outbreak of this pest are triggered by rapid in situ population size increases in each outbreak area, or by immigrants from a potential source area in China. In order to explore the outbreak process of this pest through a population genetics approach, we developed ten novel polymorphic expressed sequence tags (EST)-derived microsatellites. These new microsatellites had moderately high levels of polymorphism in the tested population. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 3 to 19, with an average of 8.6, and the expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.269 to 0.783. A preliminary population genetic analysis using these new microsatellites revealed a lack of population genetic structure in natural populations of A. lepigone. The estimates of recent migration rate revealed strong gene flow among populations. In conclusion, our study developed the first set of EST-microsatellite markers and shed a new light on the population genetic structure of this pest in China.
The icing wind tunnel can simulate the air flow at a high altitude; such an air flow contains supercooled droplets moving at certain velocities. An integrated experiment method was proposed, and it included the icing test and shear stress measurements in the simulated environment of the icing wind tunnel. The error caused by the change in experimental environments was completely eliminated with this novel method. Thus, there was no discrepancy between the real-time and experimental values of shear stress between the ice and substrate. The experiments of icing and shear stress measurements are carried out by varying the following parameters: icing temperature, mean volume diameter (MVD) of droplets, and surface roughness of the substrate. The results indicate that the shear stress between the ice and the substrate increases with the decrease in temperature provided the temperature is relatively high. When the MVD value is 22 μm, the liquid water content is about 1 g/m3 and surface roughness is 2 μm. Under these conditions, the shear stress reaches its maximum value at a temperature of –15°C. The shear stress is also affected by the MVD values of droplets, and the surface roughness of substrate.
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.
Diarrhea is a common cause of morbidity and mortality and the incidence of diarrhea in the world has changed little over the past four decades. To assess the prevalence of and healthcare practices for diarrhea, a cross-sectional study was conducted in Pudong, Shanghai, China. In October 2014, a total of 5324 community residents were interviewed. Respondents were asked if they had experienced diarrhea (defined as ⩾3 passages of watery, loose, bloody, or mucoid stools within a 24-h period) in the previous month prior to the interview. The monthly prevalence of diarrhea was 4·1% (95% CI: 3·3–4·8), corresponding to an incidence rate of 0·54 episodes per person-year. The proportion of individuals with diarrhea who sought healthcare was 21·2% (95% CI: 13·4–29·0). Diarrhea continues to impose a considerable burden on the community and healthcare system in Pudong. Young age and travel were identified as predictors of increased diarrhea occurrence.
Louvered cavities are extensively employed in engineering applications. In the configurations of flow past these cavities, self-sustained oscillations will be excited. This can give rise to structure vibrations or noise. Numerical models are established to analyze excitation condition for of these oscillations. Computational results reveal that the excitation condition can be quantitatively described by the ratio of gap width G to the boundary layer thickness δ at the separation edge. When G/δ exceeds a certain critical value G/δc, self-sustained oscillations are excited. Otherwise, disturbances will dissipate and the flow configuration along the louver will be like a parallel plate flow. The critical value G/δc decreases with the ratio of G to the thickness of the louver plate H. This suggests that the excitation condition is more easily satisfied for a louver with sparse fins. The bottom boundary of the cavity restricts the feedback flow and then suppresses the excitation of self-sustained oscillations. With an increasing cavity height Hc, which reflects the distance between the louver and the bottom boundary, the critical value G/δc decreases and the decreasing rate reduces gradually. In contrast, because G/δc is relatively insensitive to the cavity length Lc, the side boundaries have no obvious influence on the excitation condition.
The E2F transcription factor family is distributed widely in eukaryotes and has been well studied among mammals. In the present study, the E2F transcription factor 4 (E2F4) gene was isolated from fat bodies of Antheraea pernyi and sequenced. E2F4 comprised a 795 bp open reading frame encoding a deduced amino acid sequence of 264 amino acid residues. The recombinant protein was expressed in Escherichia coli (Transetta DE3), and anti-E2F4 antibodies were prepared. The deduced amino acid sequence displayed significant homology to an E2F4-like protein from Bombyx mori L. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that E2F4 expression was highest in the integument, followed by the fat body, silk glands, and haemocytes. The expression of E2F4 was upregulated in larvae challenged by bacterial (Escherichia coli, Micrococcus luteus), viral (nuclear polyhedrosis virus), and fungal (Beauveria bassiana) pathogens. These observations indicated that E2F4 is an inducible protein in the immune response of A. pernyi and probably in other insects.
As a disconnection syndrome, schizophrenia has shown impaired resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC); however, the OFC is a rather heterogeneous region and the rsFC changes in the OFC subregions remain unknown.
A total of 98 schizophrenia patients and 102 healthy controls underwent resting-state functional MRI using a sensitivity-encoded spiral-in imaging sequence (SENSE-SPIRAL) to reduce susceptibility-induced signal loss and distortion. The OFC subregions were defined according to a previous parcellation study that divided the OFC into the anterior (OFCa), medial (OFCm), posterior (OFCp), intermediate (OFCi), and lateral (OFCl) subregions. The rsFC was compared using two-way repeated-measures ANOVA.
Whether or not global signal regression, compared with healthy controls, schizophrenia patients consistently exhibited decreased rsFC between the left OFCi and the left middle temporal gyrus and the right middle frontal gyrus (MFG), between the right OFCi and the right MFG and the left inferior frontal gyrus, between the right OFCm and the middle cingulate cortex and the left Rolandic operculum. These rsFC changes still remained significant even after cortical atrophy correction.
These findings suggest a selective functional disconnection of the OFC subregions in schizophrenia, and provide more precise information about the functional disconnections of the OFC in this disorder.
An outbreak of acute hepatitis recently occurred in a nursing home in Zhejiang Province, China. The objectives of this study were to confirm the outbreak and identify the aetiology, source and transmission patterns. All residents and staff in or near the nursing home during the period from 1 October 2014 to 21 May 2015 were investigated regarding hygiene and for epidemiological information including water and food (eating meat especially pork products). Serum and stool specimens were collected for detection of hepatitis E virus (HEV) antibodies using ELISA and RNA using RT–PCR. Samples that were RNA positive were genotyped. Of 185 senior residents and 24 staff in the nursing home, there were 37 laboratory-confirmed cases during the outbreak. Of these cases, 12 patients (three deaths) were symptomatic with jaundice, a common clinical symptom for hepatitis E infection. HEV strains were isolated from three cases and they formed a single cluster within genotype 4d. A case-control study was conducted to investigate potential risk factors for the outbreak and the results revealed that cases more often washed their dishes and rinsed their mouths using tap water than the controls (P < 0·05). Based on hygiene investigation and meteorological information, it is likely that HEV-infected sewage and faeces contaminated the water network on rainy days. Collectively, these results suggest that the outbreak of HEV genotype 4 infection was most likely caused by contaminated tap water rather than food.
It has been demonstrated that microRNAs (miRNAs) play important roles in the control of melanogenesis and hair color in mammals. By comparing miRNA expression profiles between brown and white alpaca skin, we previously identified miR508-3p as a differentially expressed miRNA suggesting its potential role in melanogenesis and hair color formation. The present study was conducted to determine the role of miR508-3p in melanogenesis in alpaca melanocytes. In situ hybridization showed that miR508-3p is abundantly present in the cytoplasma of alpaca melanocytes. miR508-3p was predicted to target the gene encoding microphthalmia transcription factor (MITF) and a luciferase reporter assay indicated that miR508-3p regulates MITF expression by directly targeting its 3′UTR. Overexpression of miR508-3p in alpaca melanocytes down-regulated MITF expression both at the messenger RNA and protein level and resulted in decreased expression of key melanogenic genes including tyrosinase and tyrosinase-related protein 2. Overexpression of miR508-3p in melanocytes also resulted in decreased melanin production including total alkali-soluble melanogenesis, eumelanogenesis and pheomelanogenesis. Results support a functional role of miR508-3p in regulating melanogenesis in alpaca melanocytes by directly targeting MITF.