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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.
Introduction: The prevalence of pulmonary embolism (PE) among patients with syncope is understudied. Based on a recent study with an exceptionally high PE prevalence, some advocate investigating all syncope patients for PE, including those with another clear cause for their syncope. We sought to evaluate the PE prevalence among emergency department (ED) patients with syncope. Methods: We combined data from two large prospective studies enrolling adults with syncope from 17 EDs in Canada and the United States. Each study collected the results of investigations related to PE (i.e. D-dimer or ventilation-perfusion (VQ) scan, or computed tomography pulmonary angiogram (CTPA)), and 30-day adjudicated outcomes including diagnosis of PE, arrhythmia, myocardial infarction, serious hemorrhage and/or death. Results: Of the 9,091 patients (median age 66 years, 51.9% females, 39.1% hospitalized) with 30-day follow-up, 546 (6.0%) were investigated for PE: 278 (3.1%) had D-dimer, 39 (0.4%) had VQ and 347 (3.8%) patients had CTPA performed. 30-day outcomes included: 874 (9.6%) patients with any serious outcome; 0.9% deaths; and 818 (9.0%) patients with non-PE serious outcomes. Overall, 56 patients (prevalence 0.6%; 95% CI 0.5% 0.8%) were diagnosed with PE, including 8 (0.1%) of those admitted to hospital at the index presentation. Only 11 patients (0.1%) with a non-PE serious condition had a concomitant underlying PE identified. Conclusion: The prevalence of PE is very low among ED patients with syncope, including those hospitalized following syncope. While acknowledging syncope may be caused by an underlying PE, clinicians should be cautious against indiscriminate over-investigations for PE.
Starter feeding is usually used in lamb production to improve rumen development and to facilitate the weaning process, but molecular mechanism of which is not well understood. Therefore, the objective of this study is to investigate the effect of starter feeding on the expression of ruminal epithelial genes involved in cell proliferation, apoptosis and metabolism in pre-weaned lambs. We selected eight pairs of 10-day-old lamb twins. One twin was fed ewe milk (M, n=8), while the other was fed ewe milk plus starter (M+S, n=8). The lambs were sacrificed at 56 days age. Results showed that the lambs fed M+S had lower pH in the rumen and a higher concentration of acetate, propionate, butyrate and total volatile fatty acid (VFA). Compared with the M group, the concentration of β-hydroxybutyric acid in plasma had an increased trend, and the concentration of IGF-1 in plasma had an decreased trend in the M+S group. The length, width and surface of rumen papillae increased in the M+S group compared with the M group; this was associated with increased cell layers in the stratum corneum, stratum granulosum and total epithelia. Messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of proliferative genes of cyclin A, cyclin D1 and cyclin-dependent kinase 2 in the ruminal epithelia of M+S lambs was increased compared with M only lambs. The mRNA expression of apoptosis genes of caspase-3, caspase-8, B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) and Bcl-2-associated X protein (Bax) in the M+S group was decreased compared with M group, but the ratio of Bcl-2 to Bax were not changed between the two groups. Expression of IGF-1 mRNA was decreased, but the mRNA expression of IGF-1 receptor was higher in ruminal epithelia in the M+S group. Furthermore, the mRNA expression of VFA absorption and metabolism genes of β-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase isoforms 1 and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA lyase had an increased trend in the M+S group than in the M group, but the mRNA expression of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA synthase isoform 1, monocarboxylate transporter isoform 1 and putative anion transporter isoform 1 had a decreased trend in the M+S group than in the M group. These results suggest that starter feeding increased proliferation and inhibited apoptosis of ruminal epithelial cells, and may promote the VFA metabolism in ruminal epithelium in pre-weaned lambs. These findings provide new insights into improving rumen development by nutritional intervention strategies in pre-weaned lambs.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
We present techniques developed to calibrate and correct Murchison Widefield Array low-frequency (72–300 MHz) radio observations for polarimetry. The extremely wide field-of-view, excellent instantaneous (u, v)-coverage and sensitivity to degree-scale structure that the Murchison Widefield Array provides enable instrumental calibration, removal of instrumental artefacts, and correction for ionospheric Faraday rotation through imaging techniques. With the demonstrated polarimetric capabilities of the Murchison Widefield Array, we discuss future directions for polarimetric science at low frequencies to answer outstanding questions relating to polarised source counts, source depolarisation, pulsar science, low-mass stars, exoplanets, the nature of the interstellar and intergalactic media, and the solar environment.
The study of extremely metal-poor (EMP; [Fe/H] <−3.0) and ultra metal-poor (UMP; [Fe/H] <−4.0) stars is crucial for better understanding first-star nucleosynthesis and constraining the initial mass function in the early Universe. However, UMP stars discovered in the past 25 years only number ~25. A few recent theoretical studies have pointed out that there is likely to exist large numbers of EMP and UMP stars in the periphery of the Galactic halo, at distances exceeding 30-50 kpc. We present identifications of several new EMP/UMP stars and introduce a survey to expedite discovering hundreds to thousands of EMP/UMP stars in the outermost halo (as well as in the local volume) over the next few years, which could revolutionize chemical-evolution studies of the Galaxy.
The grounded ice in the Totten and Dalton glaciers is an essential component of the buttressing for the marine-based Aurora basin, and hence their stability is important to the future rate of mass loss from East Antarctica. Totten and Vanderford glaciers are joined by a deep east-west running subglacial trench between the continental ice sheet and Law Dome, while a shallower trench links the Totten and Dalton glaciers. All three glaciers flow into the ocean close to the Antarctic circle and experience ocean-driven ice shelf melt rates comparable with the Amundsen Sea Embayment. We investigate this combination of trenches and ice shelves with the BISICLES adaptive mesh ice-sheet model and ocean-forcing melt rates derived from two global climate models. We find that ice shelf ablation at a rate comparable with the present day is sufficient to cause widespread grounding line retreat in an east-west direction across Totten and Dalton glaciers, with projected future warming causing faster retreat. Meanwhile, southward retreat is limited by the shallower ocean facing slopes between the coast and the bulk of the Aurora sub-glacial trench. However the two climate models produce completely different future ice shelf basal melt rates in this region: HadCM3 drives increasing sub-ice shelf melting to ~2150, while ECHAM5 shows little or no increase in sub-ice shelf melting under the two greenhouse gas forcing scenarios.
Twenty-two annually banded samples of coral from 1977 to 1998 were collected from Daya Bay, South China Sea, and bomb 14C concentrations were determined. The interannual variation of coral Δ14C is controlled mainly by oceanic factors. In ENSO years, the coastwise upwelling current of the South China Sea has been intensified; hence, the coral Δ14C displays its minimum value. The interannual variation curve of Δ14C in coral bears a relationship with the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) curves: the correlation coefficient between Δ14C and (SOI)w is 0.43 and the correlation coefficient between Δ14C and (SOI)y is 0.27. The coral Δ14C has no remarkable response to the variation of solar radiation energy. In the past 20 yr or so, the general situation and oceanic thermal structure of the South China Sea are still stable even though interannual variations in atmosphere-sea interaction and upwelling current driven by the tropical energy have occurred.
Near-infrared (1-3μm) emission lines of molecular and ionized hydrogen are excellent tools for investigating the morphology, energetics and kinematics of planetary nebulae, especially those PNe which contain large amounts of dust and are thus obscured at shorter wavelengths. The southern planetary nebula NGC 3132 was imaged with UNSWIRF (University of New South Wales Infrared Fabry-Perot) and IRIS on the 3.9m AAT Images in the H2 v=1-0 S(1) and H2 v=2-1 S(1) lines at 2.12μm and 2.25μm, and in Hii Brγ at 2.16μm are presented.
The objective of this study was to determine if a moderate or high reduction of dietary CP, supplemented with indispensable amino acids (IAA), would affect growth, intestinal morphology and immunological parameters of pigs. A total of 40 barrows (initial BW=13.50±0.50 kg, 45±2 day of age) were used in a completely randomized block design, and allocated to four dietary treatments containing CP levels at 20.00%, 17.16%, 15.30% and 13.90%, respectively. Industrial AA were added to meet the IAA requirements of pigs. After 4-week feeding, blood and tissue samples were obtained from pigs. The results showed that reducing dietary CP level decreased average daily gain, plasma urea nitrogen concentration and relative organ weights of liver and pancreas (P<0.01), and increased feed conversion ratio (P<0.01). Pigs fed the 13.90% CP diet had significantly lower growth performance than that of pigs fed higher CP at 20.00%, 17.16% or 15.30%. Moreover, reducing dietary CP level decreased villous height in duodenum (P<0.01) and crypt depth in duodenum, jejunum and ileum (P<0.01). The reduction in the dietary CP level increased plasma concentrations of methionine, alanine (P<0.01) and lysine (P<0.05), and decreased arginine (P<0.05). Intriguingly, reducing dietary CP level from 20.00% to 13.90% resulted in a significant decrease in plasma concentration of IgG (P<0.05), percentage of CD3+T cells of the peripheral blood (P<0.01), also down-regulated the mRNA abundance of innate immunity-related genes on toll-like receptor 4, myeloid differentiation factor 88 (P<0.01) and nuclear factor kappa B (P<0.05) in the ileum. These results indicate that reducing dietary CP level from 20.00% to 15.30%, supplemented with IAA, had no significant effect on growth performance and had a limited effect on immunological parameters. However, a further reduction of dietary CP level up to 13.90% would lead to poor growth performance and organ development, associated with the modifications of intestinal morphology and immune function.
The University of NSW’s Automated Patrol Telescope is a modified Baker-Nunn satellite tracking camera, now used for CCD imaging of astronomical objects. The f/1 Baker-Nunn optical design gives a 30° field of view with an approximately spherical focal surface of radius ≈500 mm. While the focal plane curvature is tolerable across the 1.4° × 1.0° field of the present CCD, it becomes unacceptable when a larger CCD is used. In addition, the use of glass filters in the highly convergent beam produces intolerable spherical aberration. We present a design modification to the original Baker-Nunn which enables a 5° diameter flat field to be produced when using B, V, R or I filters. By making this modification, we plan to perform multicolour imaging, using a new large-format CCD with a 2.9° × 1.9° field of view.
Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia L.) is an important market vegetable in the tropics. The objectives of this study were to (1) conduct a preliminary evaluation of genetic diversity in bitter gourd flesh (without seeds) for phytonutrient (carotenoid, ascorbic acid and tocopherol) contents with the aim to understand which phytonutrients might be increased through breeding, (2) assess the association between fruit traits and phytonutrient contents and (3) evaluate the effect of the fruit harvest stage on phytonutrient contents. A total of 17 diverse bitter gourd entries of various commercial market types were evaluated for fruit traits and phytonutrient contents for 2 years. Significant differences (P= 0.05) among the entries were detected for total carotenoids, total tocopherols, dry matter and fruit traits. Mean total carotenoid contents of the entries ranged from 10 to 1335 μg/100 g fresh weight in year 1 and 10 to 1185 μg/100 g fresh weight in year 2. Mean ascorbic acid contents were 69 and 61 mg/100 g fresh weight in year 1 and year 2, respectively. Total tocopherol contents among the entries ranged from 480 to 1345 and 445 to 2145 μg/100 g fresh weight in year 1 and year 2, respectively. Total carotenoid and ascorbic acid contents were highest at 12 days after fruit set (DAFS), but total tocopherol contents were highest from 14 to 20 DAFS. A 100 g portion of bitter gourd fruit can meet 190, 17 and 8% of the recommended daily allowances of vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A, respectively, for adults.
The effects of WO3 doping in 4,4’-bis-9-carbozyl biphenyl (CBP) were studied through detailed electrical device characterization. A series of hole-only devices have been fabricated, where the doping level was varied from 10-40mol% and the doped CBP thickness was varied from 5-40 nm. It was found that, to achieve effective doping for improved hole injection and transport, the doping level should be greater than 20mol% and the doped layer should be at least 10 nm thick. It was also found that an energy barrier exists at the doped and undoped CBP interface, resulting in an additional voltage drop. This finding was explained by a large downward shift of the Fermi level in WO3-doped CBP, which causes band bending and depletion at the interface. Finally, simplified green phosphorescent organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) with CBP as the hole transport and host material were fabricated. With a WO3-doped hole transport layer, the OLEDs attained brightness above 105 cd/m2 at 20 mA/cm2, and exhibited an improved reliability under constant-current stressing as compared to undoped OLEDs.
Stabilized Au NPs were directly deposited on nanostructured ZnO and ZrO2 by a simple one-step strategy based on sacrificial anode electrolysis. The annealed nanocomposites are proposed as active layers in resistive gas sensors for low-cost processes. Results on the performance of gas sensors based on pristine and Au-doped MOx nanostructured thin films, used for the detection of NO2 gas, were reported at an operating temperature of 300°C, evaluating the effects of the MOx chemical composition and morphology, and the Au-doping.
In this study, the growth of LbL film of polyallylamine hydrochloride (PAH), polyvinyl sulfonic acid (PVS) and glucose oxidase (GOx) in porous anodic alumina substrate (PAA) was accompanied by total reflectance technique. The PAA substrate was synthesized with aluminum anodisation and sample morphology was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM).
Large surveys and follow-up spectroscopic studies in the past few decades have been providing chemical abundance data for a growing number of very metal-poor ([Fe/H] <−2) stars. Most of them are red giants or main-sequence turn-off stars having masses near 0.8 solar masses. Lower mass stars with extremely low metallicity ([Fe/H] <−3) are yet to be explored. Our high-resolution spectroscopic study for very metal-poor stars found with SDSS has identified four cool main-sequence stars with [Fe/H] <−2.5 among 137 objects (Aoki et al. 2013). The effective temperatures of these stars are 4500–5000 K, corresponding to a mass of around 0.5 solar masses. Our standard analysis of the high-resolution spectra based on 1D-LTE model atmospheres has obtained self-consistent chemical abundances for these objects, assuming small values of micro-turbulent velocities compared with giants and turn-off stars. The low temperature of the atmospheres of these objects enables us to measure their detailed chemical abundances. Interestingly, two of the four stars have extreme chemical-abundance patterns: one has the largest excesses of heavy neutron-capture elements associated with the r-process abundance pattern known to date (Aoki et al. 2010), and the other exhibits low abundances of the α-elements and odd-Z elements, suggested to be signatures of the yields of very massive stars (> 100 solar masses; Aoki et al. 2014). Although the sample size is still small, these results indicate the potential of very low-mass stars as probes to study the early stages of the Milky Way's halo formation.
Astronomical telescopes continue to demand high-endurance high-reflectivity silver mirrors that can withstand years of exposure in earth-based observatory environments. The University of California Observatories Astronomical Coatings Lab has undertaken development of protected silver coatings suitable for telescope mirrors that maintain high reflectivity at wavelengths from 340 nm through the mid-infrared spectrum. We present promising results of enhanced corrosion barriers using plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition (PEALD) of aluminum oxide (AlOx) as a top barrier layer. Novel coating recipes developed with ion-assisted electron beam deposition (IAEBD) of materials including yttrium fluoride and oxides of yttrium, tantalum, and silicon are used to compare the endurance of physical vapor deposition-grown barriers with PEALD-grown barriers of similar thickness. Samples of these mirror coatings were covered with conformal layers of AlOx deposited by PEALD using trimethylaluminum as a metal precursor and plasma-activated oxygen as an oxidant gas. Samples of coating recipes with and without PEALD oxide undergo aggressive high temperature/high humidity (HTHH) environmental testing in which samples are exposed to an environment of 80% humidity at 80°C for ten days in a simple test set-up. HTHH testing show visible results suggesting that the PEALD oxide offers enhanced robust protection against chemical corrosion and moisture from an accelerated aging environment. Mirror samples are further characterized by reflectivity/absorption before and after deposition of oxide coatings. AlOx is suitable for many applications and has been the initial material choice for this study.
We have investigated the effect of oxygen pressure during growth (PO2) on the electronic and magnetic properties of PrAlO3 films grown on TiO2-terminated SrTiO3 substrates. The films are smooth, with flat terraces. Resistivity measurements show an increase in the sheet resistance as PO2 is increased from 10–3 to 10–4 torr, with an usual peak as a function of temperature for the sample grown in higher oxygen pressure. We measured a moderate positive magnetoresistance (MR) at low magnetic fields that evolves into a larger negative MR at high fields, for both PO2 samples. Hall effect data exhibit a complex temperature dependence that suggests a compensated carrier density. We observe behavior consistent with two different types of carriers at each of the two different interfaces.
A range of optical and optoelectronic applications would benefit from high refractive index (n), dense and transparent films that guide, concentrate and couple light. However, materials with high n usually have a high optical extinction coefficient (κ) which keeps these materials from being suitable for optical components that require long optical paths. We studied titanium hafnium oxide alloy films to obtain high refractive index (n>2) with minimum optical extinction coefficients (κ < 10−5) over the visible and near IR spectrum (380-930 nm). Titanium hafnium oxide alloys were deposited using pulsed DC reactive magnetron sputtering with and without RF substrate bias on silicon dioxide. For a given deposition condition intended for a specific titanium/hafnium molar fraction ratio, the ion energy of deposition species was explicitly controlled by varying the RF substrate bias. Spectroscopic ellipsometry, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) were used to characterize the films. It appears that applying RF substrate bias reduces the nanocrystalline size, changes the surface morphology and increases the refractive index while maintaining comparable titanium/hafnium cation molar fraction. Precise control of the nanostructure of ternary metal oxides can alter their macroscopic properties, resulting in improved optical films.