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Previous work led to the proposal that the precision feeding of a high-concentrate diet may represent a potential method with which to enhance feed efficiency (FE) when rearing dairy heifers. However, the physiological and metabolic mechanisms underlying this approach remain unclear. This study used metabolomics analysis to investigate the changes in plasma metabolites of heifers precision-fed diets containing a wide range of forage to concentrate ratios. Twenty-four half-sib Holstein heifers, with a similar body condition, were randomly assigned into four groups and precision fed with diets containing different proportions of concentrate (20%, 40%, 60% and 80% based on DM). After 28 days of feeding, blood samples were collected 6 h after morning feeding and gas chromatography time-of-ﬂight/MS was used to analyze the plasma samples. Parameters of oxidative status were also determined in the plasma. The FE (after being corrected for gut fill) increased linearly (P < 0.01) with increasing level of dietary concentrate. Significant changes were identified for 38 different metabolites in the plasma of heifers fed different dietary forage to concentrate ratios. The main pathways showing alterations were clustered into those relating to carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism; all of which have been previously associated with FE changes in ruminants. Heifers fed with a high-concentrate diet had higher (P < 0.01) plasma total antioxidant capacity and superoxide dismutase but lower (P ≤ 0.02) hydroxyl radical and hydrogen peroxide than heifers fed with a low-concentrate diet, which might indicate a lower plasma oxidative status in the heifers fed a high-concentrate diet. Thus, heifers fed with a high-concentrate diet had higher FE and antioxidant capacity but a lower plasma oxidative status as well as changed carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism. Our findings provide a better understanding of how forage to concentrate ratios affect FE and metabolism in the precision-fed growing heifers.
Guanidinoacetic acid (GAA) can improve the growth performance of bulls. This study investigated the influences of GAA addition on growth, nutrient digestion, ruminal fermentation and serum metabolites in bulls. Forty-eight Angus bulls were randomly allocated to experimental treatments, that is, control, low-GAA (LGAA), medium-GAA (MGAA) and high-GAA (HGAA), with GAA supplementation at 0, 0.3, 0.6 and 0.9 g/kg DM, respectively. Bulls were fed a basal diet containing 500 g/kg DM concentrate and 500 g/kg DM roughage. The experimental period was 104 days, with 14 days for adaptation and 90 days for data collection. Bulls in the MGAA and HGAA groups had higher DM intake and average daily gain than bulls in the LGAA and control groups. The feed conversion ratio was lowest in MGAA and highest in the control. Bulls receiving 0.9 g/kg DM GAA addition had higher digestibility of DM, organic matter, NDF and ADF than bulls in other groups. The digestibility of CP was higher for HGAA than for LGAA and control. The ruminal pH was lower for MGAA, and the total volatile fatty acid concentration was greater for MGAA and HGAA than for the control. The acetate proportion and acetate-to-propionate ratio were lower for MGAA than for LGAA and control. The propionate proportion was higher for MGAA than for control. Bulls receiving GAA addition showed decreased ruminal ammonia N. Bulls in MGAA and HGAA had higher cellobiase, pectinase and protease activities and Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens, Prevotella ruminicola and Ruminobacter amylophilus populations than bulls in LGAA and control. However, the total protozoan population was lower for MGAA and HGAA than for LGAA and control. The total bacterial and Ruminococcus flavefaciens populations increased with GAA addition. The blood level of creatine was higher for HGAA, and the activity of l-arginine glycine amidine transferase was lower for MGAA and HGAA, than for control. The blood activity of guanidine acetate N-methyltransferase and the level of folate decreased in the GAA addition groups. The results indicated that dietary addition of 0.6 or 0.9 g/kg DM GAA improved growth performance, nutrient digestion and ruminal fermentation in bulls.
Human-computer hybrid teams can meet challenges in designing complex engineered systems. However, the understanding of interaction in the hybrid teams is lacking. We review the literature and identify four key attributes to construct design research platforms that support multi-phase design, hybrid teams, multiple design scenarios, and data logging. Then, we introduce a platform for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) design embodying these attributes. With the platform, experiments can be conducted to study how designers and intelligent computational agents interact, support, and impact each other.
In this paper, the generation of relativistic electron mirrors (REM) and the reflection of an ultra-short laser off the mirrors are discussed, applying two-dimension particle-in-cell simulations. REMs with ultra-high acceleration and expanding velocity can be produced from a solid nanofoil illuminated normally by an ultra-intense femtosecond laser pulse with a sharp rising edge. Chirped attosecond pulse can be produced through the reflection of a counter-propagating probe laser off the accelerating REM. In the electron moving frame, the plasma frequency of the REM keeps decreasing due to its rapid expansion. The laser frequency, on the contrary, keeps increasing due to the acceleration of REM and the relativistic Doppler shift from the lab frame to the electron moving frame. Within an ultra-short time interval, the two frequencies will be equal in the electron moving frame, which leads to the resonance between laser and REM. The reflected radiation near this interval and corresponding spectra will be amplified due to the resonance. Through adjusting the arriving time of the probe laser, a certain part of the reflected field could be selectively amplified or depressed, leading to the selective adjustment of the corresponding spectra.
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.
Surface waves called meniscus waves often appear in systems that are close to the capillary length scale. Since the meniscus shape determines the form of the meniscus waves, the resulting streaming circulation has features distinct from those caused by other capillary–gravity waves recently reported in the literature. In the present study, we produce symmetric and antisymmetric meniscus shapes by controlling boundary wettability and excite meniscus waves by oscillating the meniscus vertically. The symmetric and antisymmetric configurations produce different surface capillary–gravity wave modes and streaming flow structures. The root-mean-square speed of the streaming circulation increases with the second power of the forcing amplitude in both configurations. The flow symmetry of streaming circulation is retained under the symmetric meniscus, while it is lost under the antisymmetric meniscus. The streaming circulation pattern beneath the meniscus observed in our experiments is qualitatively explained using the method introduced by Nicolás & Vega (Fluid Dyn. Res., vol. 32 (4), 2003, pp. 119–139) and Gordillo & Mujica (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 754, 2014, pp. 590–604).
Ovarian follicle selection is a natural biological process in the pre-ovulatory hierarchy in birds that drives growing follicles to be selected within the ovulatory cycle. Follicle selection in birds is strictly regulated, involving signaling pathways mediated by dietary nutrients, gonadotrophic hormones and paracrine factors. This study aimed to test the hypothesis that dietary Ca may participate in regulating follicle selection in laying ducks through activating the signaling pathway of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)/protein kinase A (PKA)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), possibly mediated by gonadotrophic hormones. Female ducks at 22 weeks of age were initially fed one of two Ca-deficient diets (containing 1.8% or 0.38% Ca) or a Ca-adequate control diet (containing 3.6% Ca) for 67 days (depletion period), then all birds were fed the Ca-adequate diet for an additional 67 days (repletion period). Compared with the Ca-adequate control, ducks fed 0.38% Ca during the depletion period had significantly decreased (P < 0.05) numbers of hierarchical follicles and total ovarian weight, which were accompanied by reduced egg production. Plasma concentration of FSH was decreased by the diet containing 1.8% Ca but not by that containing 0.38%. The ovarian content of cAMP was increased with the two Ca-deficient diets, and phosphorylation of PKA and ERK1/2 was increased with 0.38% dietary Ca. Transcripts of ovarian estradiol receptor 2 and luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR) were reduced in the ducks fed the two Ca-deficient diets (P < 0.05), while those of the ovarian follicle stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR) were decreased in the ducks fed 0.38% Ca. The transcript abundance of ovary gap junction proteins, A1 and A4, was reduced with the Ca-deficient diets (P < 0.05). The down-regulation of gene expression of gap junction proteins and hormone receptors, the increased cAMP content and the suppressed hierarchical follicle numbers were reversed by repletion of dietary Ca. These results indicate that dietary Ca deficiency negatively affects follicle selection of laying ducks, independent of FSH, but probably by activating cAMP/PKA/ERK1/2 signaling pathway.
Se can enhance lactation performance by improving nutrient utilization and antioxidant status. However, sodium selenite (SS) can be reduced to non-absorbable elemental Se in the rumen, thereby reducing the intestinal availability of Se. The study investigated the impacts of SS and coated SS (CSS) supplementation on lactation performance, nutrient digestibility, ruminal fermentation and microbiota in dairy cows. Sixty multiparous Holstein dairy cows were blocked by parity, daily milk yield and days in milk and randomly assigned to five treatments: control, SS addition (0.3 mg Se/kg DM as SS addition) or CSS addition (0.1, 0.2 and 0.3 mg Se/kg DM as CSS addition for low CSS (LCSS), medium CSS (MCSS) and high CSS (HCSS), respectively). Experiment period was 110 days with 20 days of adaptation and 90 days of sample collection. Dry matter intake was higher for MCSS and HCSS compared with control. Yields of milk, milk fat and milk protein and feed efficiency were higher for MCSS and HCSS than for control, SS and LCSS. Digestibility of DM and organic matter was highest for CSS addition, followed by SS addition and then control. Digestibility of CP was higher for MCSS and HCSS than for control, SS and LCSS. Higher digestibility of ether extract, NDF and ADF was observed for SS or CSS addition. Ruminal pH decreased with dietary Se addition. Acetate to propionate ratio and ammonia N were lower, and total volatile fatty acids (VFAs) concentration was greater for SS, MCSS and HCSS than control. Ruminal H ion concentration was highest for MCSS and HCSS and lowest for control. Activities of cellobiase, carboxymethyl-cellulase, xylanase and protease and copies of total bacteria, fungi, Ruminococcus flavefaciens, Fibrobacter succinogenes and Ruminococcus amylophilus increased with SS or CSS addition. Activity of α-amylase, copies of protozoa, Ruminococcus albus and Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens and serum glucose, total protein, albumin and glutathione peroxidase were higher for SS, MCSS and HCSS than for control and LCSS. Dietary SS or CSS supplementation elevated blood Se concentration and total antioxidant capacity activity. The data implied that milk yield was elevated due to the increase in total tract nutrient digestibility, total VFA concentration and microorganism population with 0.2 or 0.3 mg Se/kg DM from CSS supplementation in dairy cows. Compared with SS, HCSS addition was more efficient in promoting lactation performance of dairy cows.
At present, analysis of diet and bladder cancer (BC) is mostly based on the intake of individual foods. The examination of food combinations provides a scope to deal with the complexity and unpredictability of the diet and aims to overcome the limitations of the study of nutrients and foods in isolation. This article aims to demonstrate the usability of supervised data mining methods to extract the food groups related to BC. In order to derive key food groups associated with BC risk, we applied the data mining technique C5.0 with 10-fold cross-validation in the BLadder cancer Epidemiology and Nutritional Determinants study, including data from eighteen case–control and one nested case–cohort study, compromising 8320 BC cases out of 31 551 participants. Dietary data, on the eleven main food groups of the Eurocode 2 Core classification codebook, and relevant non-diet data (i.e. sex, age and smoking status) were available. Primarily, five key food groups were extracted; in order of importance, beverages (non-milk); grains and grain products; vegetables and vegetable products; fats, oils and their products; meats and meat products were associated with BC risk. Since these food groups are corresponded with previously proposed BC-related dietary factors, data mining seems to be a promising technique in the field of nutritional epidemiology and deserves further examination.
There seems to be geographical differences in decisions about breast conserving surgery (BCS) in breast cancer patients. This study was to evaluate patients’ attitude to BCS and to assess the factors affecting cancer practice in West China.
A structured questionnaire was distributed to 184 patients, eliciting information about the patients’ characteristics, occupation, education, family life, recognition of illness, knowledge about BCS, the main means of gaining surgery information, selecting surgery approaches, preferences to breast reservation.
In all, 163 patients completed the questionnaire. The results indicated that only 7.4% of patients received BCS and 23% of the remaining patients desired to have BCS and the affecting factors were significantly associated with their family life, recognition of illness and the main means of gaining surgery information (P < 0.05). No associations were between BCS selecting and the other variables studied. The most frequent reasons for selecting BCS were keeping the female shape and improving quality of life (71%), the second most were postoperative recovery, minimal influence of physical function (47%) and patients’ knowledge about BCS (42%). The most frequent reasons for not selecting BCS were uncertainty about BCS results and worry about recurrence (81%), the second most was the elderly age unnecessary for BCS (40%).
The findings indicate that breast cancer patients in West China do not take BCS as the first choice as the best treatment method. It is warranted that further study of more patients, attitude of patients’ partners and physicians to BCS.
Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental illness which is characterized by the development of various detrimental clinical features, and its etiology still remains unknown. Based on the evidence from neurobiological and pharmacological research, dysfunctions in central serotonergic transmission may be involved in the development of schizophrenia. Tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2), a newly identified isoform of tryptophan hydroxylase (the rate limiting enzyme in the biosynthesis of serotonin), regulates the brain-specific serotonin synthesis.
To further clarify the role of TPH2 in the development of schizophrenia.
We performed a case-control study to examine the association of the TPH2 gene with schizophrenia and its clinical features.
We genotyped three putative functional polymorphisms (rs4570625, rs7305115 and rs4290270) within the gene and carried out a case-control study consisting of 304 schizophrenia patients and 362 healthy subjects. The severity of psychotic symptoms was assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS).
The frequencies of genotypes and alleles of rs4570625, rs7305115 and rs4290270 did not differ significantly between schizophrenic patients and controls. However, the PANSS positive symptom subcore was significantly associated with rs4570625 (P = 0.022).
These results suggest that rs4570625 of TPH2 may play an important role in the development of positive symptoms in Han Chinese schizophrenic patients.
It is to estimate the trend of suicide rate changes during the past three decades in China and try to identify its social and economic correlates.
Official data of suicide rates and economic indexes during 1982–2005 from Shandong Province of China were analyzed. The suicide data were categorized for the rural / urban location and gender, and the economic indexes include GDP, GDP per capita, rural income, and urban income, all adjusted for inflation.
We found a significant increase of economic development and decrease of suicide rates over the past decades under study. The suicide rate decrease is correlated with the tremendous growth of economy.
The unusual decrease of Chinese suicide rates in the past decades is accounted for within the Chinese cultural contexts and maybe by the Strain Theory of Suicide.
There is currently a variety of initiatives to improve the quality of care for schizophrenia, but there is no established core set of quality indicators in schizophrenia. In 2009, Weinmann and Becker published a set of indicators for quality monitoring of schizophrenia care. This study aims to evaluate the feasibility of these indicators.
Adult schizophrenic patients insured by the Federal Association of Local Health Insurance Funds (AOK) were recruited in two large psychiatric hospitals. Participants were evaluated using PANSS, CGI, Camberwell Assessment of Need-European Version (CAN-EU) and the Verona Service Satisfaction Scale (VSSS) at discharge and after six month. Furthermore, 18-month AOK administrative data was available for all patients included. Feasibility of structural and quality indicators described by Weinmann and Becker (2009) will be tested by applying the full set of indicators.
82 patients with a mean age of 40 and an average GAF score of 44.3 were included. We were able to calculate all indicators. Outpatient data was available with a delay of over six month. Patients had on average 1.6 additional psychiatric diagnoses (S1) and a mean length of stay of 44 days (S6). 67% of the patients were satisfied with the treatment received (Q17). 25% of the patients were re-admitted to an inpatient psychiatric care within 30 days after discharge.
The usage of Quality Indicators seems to be feasible in routine care. However, delay in the availability of outpatient data has to be considered if these indicators are implemented.
Alleles of the D2 dopamine receptor (DRD2) and the alcohol dehydrogenase 2 (ADH2) genes were determined in 69 French Polynesian alcoholic patients and 57 controls matched for racial origin. Three racial groups were studied: pure Polynesians (PP), Polynesians mixed with Caucasian (PCA) ancestry and Polynesians mixed with Chinese (PCH) ancestry. DRD2 A1 allele frequencies in the alcoholics compared to their controls in these groups were: PP,.26 vs .32 (P = .69); PCA, .44 vs .35 (P = .46); PCH, .40 vs 0.39 (P = .88). ADH2 1 allele frequencies in alcoholics compared to their controls groups were: PP, .56 vs .62 (P = .66); PCA, .75 vs .56 (P = .09); PCH, .78 vs .32 (P = .009). In the PCA group, the combination of the DRD2 A1 genotypes and the ADH2 1 homozygotes was strongly associated with alcoholism (P = .0027). This preliminary study shows the importance of ascertaining racial ancestry in molecular genetic association studies. Moreover, it suggests that a combination of genes are involved in susceptibility to the development of alcoholism.
The aim of this study is to explore the different patterns of self-management among people with schizophrenia, in order to help professionals provide more effective support tailored to different characteristics and needs of clients.
Totally 214 clients with schizophrenia living in 8 communities of Beijing, China were assessed, using Chinese version of Schizophrenia Self-Management Instrument Scale (SSMIS). Cluster analysis was performed to categorize clients based on their scores in 6 self-management areas.
K-means cluster analysis revealed four different self-management patterns. 'Self-confident and Autonomous' (n=63), clients actively participated in self-management and had a certain skills. 'Overconfident' (n=94), these clients had high self-efficacy and did well in medication compliance, while not in other areas. In their eyes, this was enough and they were experienced enough. 'Passive and Compliant' (n=51), clients often relied on their caregivers to manage the disease, yet did worse either in dimensions of symptom management or using health resource and support. 'No involvement' (n=6), clients' self-efficacy was low. They rarely participated in self-management and did worse in every self-management areas. Four pattern clients had significant differences in educational level, work status and financial burden (P<0.05).
There are subgroups of schizophrenic people with unique multidimensional patterns of self-management behaviors. This may help health professionals provide more customized support to improve clients' health status.
The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of attribution retraining group therapy (ARGT) versus selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
109 patients with MDD, GAD and OCD were recruited from the outpatient department of a tertiary referral hospital between 2007 and 2008. Subjects were sequentially recruited and randomized into ARGT group (n=63) and SSRI group (n=66) for an 8-week treatment period. 54 outpatients in ARGT group and 55 outpatients in SSRI group completed the study. All subjects were assessed using Hamilton Depression Scale, Hamilton Anxiety Scale before and after treatment. Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale was employed only for OCD subjects. Plasma hormone levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, cortisol, adrenocorticotropic hormone, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) were measured at baseline and at 8 weeks.
Symptom scores were reduced significantly in both ARGT and SSRI treatment groups (p< 0.001) at the end of the treatment course. However the patients in the ARGT group had significantly lower plasma cortisol concentrations compared to baseline (p< 0.05). on the other hand, patients receiving the SSRIs showed significantly increased plasma levels of serotonin (p< 0.05) and BDNF (p< 0.01).
Our findings suggest that ARGT may modulate plasma cortisol levels and take effect to the HPA axis as opposed to SSRIs which may up-regulate plasma serotonin and BDNF levels via a different pathway to produce an overall improvement in the clinical condition of patients.
Repeated administration of haloperidol and olanzapine causes a progressively enhanced disruption of conditioned avoidance responding and a progressively enhanced inhibition of phencyclidine (PCP)-induced hyperlocomotion in rats. Both actions are thought to reflect the intrinsic antipsychotic activity.
The present study examined to the extent to which antipsychotic-induced sensitization in one model (e.g. conditioned avoidance response model) can be transferred or maintained in another (e.g. PCP hyperlocomotion model).
Methods: We first induced behavioral sensitization in one model through repeated administration of haloperidol or olanzapine to male Sprague-Dawley rats, then tested its expression in another model, and finally retested its expression back in the first model.
Repeated haloperidol and olanzapine induced a robust behavioral sensitization in both models. Its expression was highly situational specific as it only manifested itself in the model in which it was being induced.
Based on these and other findings, we propose that three behavioral mechanisms regulate antipsychotic sensitization and its situational specificity:
(1) Repeated antipsychotic treatment induces an unconditioned and nonassociative enhanced behavioral effect (i.e. sensitization) by progressively decreasing motivational salience of stimuli, an effect attributable to the direct pharmacological action of a drug;
(2) Distinct contextual cues develop an association with unconditional drug effects via a Pavlovian conditioning process, thus acquiring the ability to elicit antipsychotic-like effects. This associative learning process may potentiate the sensitized behavioral response in an expected situation;
(3) Contextual stimuli and interoceptive drug state also serve as occasion-setters to modulate the expression of sensitized responses.