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Optimizing the dietary calcium (Ca) level is essential to maximize the eggshell quality, egg production and bone formation in poultry. This study aimed to establish the Ca requirements of egg-type duck breeders from 23 to 57 weeks of age on egg production, eggshell, incubation, tibial, plasma and ovary-related indices, as well as the expression of matrix protein-related genes. Totally, 450 Longyan duck breeders aged 21 weeks of age were allotted randomly into five treatments, each with six replicates of 15 individually caged birds. The data collection started from 23 weeks of age and continued over the following 35 weeks. The five groups corresponded to five dietary treatments containing either 2.8%, 3.2%, 3.6%, 4.0% or 4.4% Ca. The tested dietary Ca levels increased (linear, P <0.01) egg production and egg mass, and linearly improved (P <0.01) the feed conversion ratio (FCR). Increasing the dietary Ca levels from 2.8% to 4.4% increased (P <0.01) the eggshell thickness and eggshell content. The tested Ca levels showed a quadratic effect on eggshell thickness and ovarian weight (P <0.01); the highest values were obtained with the Ca levels 4.0% and 3.6%, respectively. Dietary Ca levels affected the small yellow follicles (SYF) number and SYF weight/ovarian weight, and the linear response (P <0.01) was significant vis-à-vis SYF number. In addition, dietary Ca levels increased (P <0.05) the tibial dry weight, breaking strength, mineral density and ash content. Plasma and tibial phosphorus concentration exhibited a quadratic (P <0.01) response to dietary Ca levels. Plasma calcitonin concentration linearly (P <0.01) increased as dietary Ca levels increased. The relative expression of carbonic anhydrase 2 in the uterus rose (P <0.01) with the increment of dietary Ca levels, and the highest value was obtained with 3.2% Ca. In conclusion, Longyan duck breeders fed a diet with 4.0% Ca had superior eggshell and tibial quality, while those fed a diet with 3.6% Ca had the heaviest ovarian weights. The regression model indicated that the dietary Ca levels 3.86%, 3.48% and 4.00% are optimal levels to obtain maximum eggshell thickness, ovarian weight and tibial mineral density, respectively.
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
Curcumin has been attributed with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial activities, and has shown highly protective effects against enteropathogenic bacteria and mycotoxins. Ochratoxin A (OTA) is one of the major intestinal pathogenic mycotoxins. The possible effect of curcumin on the alleviation of enterotoxicity induced by OTA is unknown. The effects of dietary curcumin supplementation on OTA-induced oxidative stress, intestinal barrier and mitochondrial dysfunctions were examined in young ducks. A total of 540 mixed-sex 1-day-old White Pekin ducklings with initial BW (43.4±0.1 g) were randomly assigned into controls (fed only the basal diet), a group fed an OTA-contaminated diet (2 mg/kg feed), and a group fed the same OTA-contaminated feed plus 400 mg/kg of curcumin. Each treatment consisted of six replicates, each containing 30 ducklings and treatment lasted for 21 days. There was a significant decrease in average daily gain (ADG) and increased feed : gain caused by OTA (P<0.05); curcumin co-treatment prevented the decrease in BW and ADG compared with the OTA group (P<0.05). Histopathological and ultrastructural examination showed clear signs of enterotoxicity caused by OTA, but these changes were largely prevented by curcumin supplementation. Curcumin decreased the concentrations of interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α and malondialdehyde, and increased the activity of glutathione peroxidase induced by OTA in the jejunal mucosa of ducks (P<0.05). Additionally, curcumin increased jejunal mucosa occludin and tight junction protein 1 mRNA and protein levels, and decreased those of ρ-associated protein kinase 1 (P<0.05). Notably, curcumin inhibited the increased expression of apoptosis-related genes, and downregulated mitochondrial transcription factors A, B1 and B2 caused by OTA without any effects on RNA polymerase mitochondrial (P<0.05). These results indicated that curcumin could protect ducks from OTA-induced impairment of intestinal barrier function and mitochondrial integrity.
Nitrogen (N) application and irrigation to winter wheat may decrease leaf temperature and enhance photosynthesis: as a result, more photosynthates will be allocated to the grains, resulting in higher grain yields. To investigate this hypothesis, a 2-year field study was conducted with three levels of N fertilizer application (no fertilizer, N0; 240 kg N/ha, N1; 360 kg N/ha, N2) and two different water regimes (rainfed with no irrigation, R; irrigation at the over-wintering, stem elongation and grain filling stages, W). The results show that both N application and supplemental irrigation significantly increased grain yield with increases in both grain number/m2 and the 1000-grain weight, viz., WN2>WN1>WN0>RN2>RN1>RN0. In addition, application of N under both water regimes significantly increased flag leaf area, above-ground biomass and single stem productivity and decreased leaf temperature, which led to an increase in net photosynthesis rates and ribulose bisphosphate (RuBP) carboxylase activity. Moreover, analysis of the chlorophyll α fluorescence transient showed that N fertilizer application and supplemental irrigation significantly increased electron donor and acceptor performance of the photosystem II reaction centre.
The tea green leafhopper, Empoasca vitis Göthe, is one of the most serious pests in tea growing areas. This study investigated the roles played by olfaction and vision in host orientation behavior. The compound eye of E. vitis was found to be a photopic eye; few olfactory sensilla were found on the antennae, while abundant gustatory sensilla were recorded on the mouthparts. Three opsin genes (EV_LWop, EV_UVop, EV_Bop) were isolated and found to be mainly expressed in the compound eye compared with other parts of the body. Immunolocalization indicated that the opsins mainly located in the different regions of rhabdom. The transcription levels of EV_LWop, EV_Bop and EV_UVop were reduced by 77.3, 70.0 and 40.0%, respectively, by RNA interference induced by being fed a special RNA-rich diet for 6 days. The rate of tropism to host color was effectively impaired by 67.6 and 29.5% in the dsEV_LWop and dsEV_Bop treatment groups, but there was no significant change in the dsEV_UVop group. The determination of the cause of the tropism indicated that odors from the host over long distances were unable to attract E. vitis and were only detected when the insects were close to the host. The developed compound eye of E. vitis plays a leading role in host location, and the long-wavelength opsin significantly affects the tropism to host color; the lack of olfactory sensilla results in long-distance odors not being able to be detected until the insect is near to the host-plant. The understanding of these behavioral mechanisms, especially the importance of opsin genes is expected to be useful for pest management.
The role of the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii in the pathogenesis of liver disease has recently gained much interest. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors associated with T. gondii infection in patients with liver disease from three cities in Shandong and Henan provinces, China. A case–control study was conducted from December 2014 to November 2015 and included 1142 patients with liver disease and 1142 healthy controls. Serum samples were collected from all individuals and were examined with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the presence of anti-T. gondii IgG and IgM antibodies. Information on the demographics, clinical, and lifestyle characteristics of the participants was collected from the medical records and by the use of a questionnaire. The prevalence of anti-T. gondii IgG was 19·7% in patients with liver disease compared with 12·17% in the controls. Only 13 patients had anti-T. gondii IgM antibodies compared with 12 control individuals (1·14% vs. 1·05%, respectively). The highest seroprevalence was detected in patients with liver cancer (22·13%), followed by hepatitis patients (20·86%), liver cirrhosis patients (20·42%), and steatosis patients (20%). Multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that consumption of raw meat (odds ratio (OR) = 1·32; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·01–1·71; P = 0·03) and source of drinking water from wells (OR = 1·56; 95% CI 1·08–2·27; P = 0·01) were independent risk factors for T. gondii infection in liver disease patients. These findings indicate that T. gondii infection is more likely to be present in patients with liver disease. Therefore, efforts should be directed toward health education of populations at high risk of T. gondii infection and measures should be taken to protect vulnerable patients with liver disease.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small non-coding RNAs that negatively regulate gene expression of target messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and miRNAs have been proven to play vital roles in skeletal muscle development. The miRNA-499-5p has been reported to be negatively related with the expression of Sox6, a critical transcription factor for the maintenance of fast-twitch skeletal muscle. In this study, we amplified a length of 2012-bp mRNA that contains a 1512-bp porcine Sox6 (pSox6) 3'UTR from skeletal muscle of a Duroc×Landrace×Yorkshire pig. By luciferase reporter assay we verified that pSox6 is a target of miR-499-5p. In extensor digitorum longus and Soleus muscles of pigs, the expression levels of miR-499-5p and pSox6 mRNA were also inversely correlated. Besides, overexpression of miR-499-5p in porcine satellite cells promoted the expression of MyHC I and MyHC IIa mRNA, along with a reduction of pSox6 mRNA. Taken together, these results indicate that miR-499-5p may facilitate the oxidative myofibers formation by downregulating pSox6 expression.
Twenty Small Tailed Han (STH) and 20 Ujumqin (UJU) ewes naturally infected with gastrointestinal nematodes were randomly assigned to one of four treatments arranged in a 2 × 2 factorial design, receiving anthelmintic treatment (AT) or non-anthelmintic treatment (NonAT) prior to lambing. After lambing, the effects of AT on feed intake, digestion and milk yield in ewes, and the growth rates of lambs fed their mother's milk were assessed for 28 days. Faecal samples were collected to determine faecal egg counts (FECs), milk was collected to measure milk yield and ewes and lambs were weighed to quantify daily body weight change. The results showed that AT significantly increased ewe dry matter intake (2411 g/d for AT and 2209 g/d for NonAT) and decreased FECs (50 eggs/g for AT and 2655 eggs/g for NonAT). All ewes lost weight after lambing, but body weight loss in the AT (43 g/d) was significantly less than in NonAT (84 g/d), and STH ewes (70 g/d) lost more weight than UJU ewes (58 g/d). Anthelmintic-treated ewes produced more milk for their lambs to consume. However, the extent of these positive effects of AT differed between STH and UJU ewes. The average daily body weight gain of lambs in AT was higher than those in NonAT. In conclusion, effective AT in ewes before lambing benefits subsequent lactation in ewes and growth rate in lambs.
Laser-driven relativistic electrons can be focused onto a high-Z convertor for generating high-brightness γ-rays, which in turn can be used to induce photonuclear reactions. In this work, photo-transmutation of long-lived radionuclide 135Cs induced by laser–plasma–interaction-driven electron source is demonstrated using Geant4 simulation (Agostinelli et al., 2003 Nucl. Instrum. Meth. A506, 250). High-energy electron generation, bremsstrahlung, as well as photonuclear reaction are observed at four different laser intensities: 1020, 5 × 1020, 1021, and 5 × 1021 W/cm2. The transmutation efficiency depends on the laser intensity and target size. An optimum laser intensity, namely 1021 W/cm2, was found, with the corresponding photonuclear reaction yield reaching 108 J−1 of the laser energy. Laser-generated electrons can therefore be a promising tool for transmutation reactions. Potential application in nuclear waste management is suggested.
Bipolar disorder is a highly heritable polygenic disorder. Recent
enrichment analyses suggest that there may be true risk variants for
bipolar disorder in the expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) in the
We sought to assess the impact of eQTL variants on bipolar disorder risk
by combining data from both bipolar disorder genome-wide association
studies (GWAS) and brain eQTL.
To detect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that influence
expression levels of genes associated with bipolar disorder, we jointly
analysed data from a bipolar disorder GWAS (7481 cases and 9250 controls)
and a genome-wide brain (cortical) eQTL (193 healthy controls) using a
Bayesian statistical method, with independent follow-up replications. The
identified risk SNP was then further tested for association with
hippocampal volume (n = 5775) and cognitive performance
(n = 342) among healthy individuals.
Integrative analysis revealed a significant association between a brain
eQTL rs6088662 on chromosome 20q11.22 and bipolar disorder (log Bayes
factor = 5.48; bipolar disorder P =
5.85×10–5). Follow-up studies across multiple independent
samples confirmed the association of the risk SNP (rs6088662) with gene
expression and bipolar disorder susceptibility (P =
3.54×10–8). Further exploratory analysis revealed that
rs6088662 is also associated with hippocampal volume and cognitive
performance in healthy individuals.
Our findings suggest that 20q11.22 is likely a risk region for bipolar
disorder; they also highlight the informative value of integrating
functional annotation of genetic variants for gene expression in
advancing our understanding of the biological basis underlying complex
disorders, such as bipolar disorder.
We derive zphot for sources in the entire (~0.4 deg2) H-HDF-N field with the EAzY code, based on PSF-matched broad-band (U band to IRAC 4.5 μm) photometry. Our catalog consists of a total of 131,678 sources. We find σNMAD = 0.029 for non-X-ray sources. We also classify each object as a star or galaxy through SED fitting. Furthermore, we match our catalog with the 2 Ms CDF-N main X-ray catalog. For the 462 matched non-stellar X-ray sources, we improve their zphot quality (σNMAD = 0.035) by adding three additional AGN templates. We make our photometry and zphot catalog publicly available.
The aim of this study was to investigate the variations in meat quality, lipid metabolism-related genes, myosin heavy chain (MyHC) isoform genes and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) gene mRNA expressions in longissimus dorsi muscle (LM) of two different pig breeds. Six Rongchang and six Landrace barrows were slaughtered at 161 days of age. Subsequently, meat quality traits and gene expression levels in LM were observed. Results showed that Rongchang pigs not only exhibited greater pH, CIE a*24 h and intramuscular fat content but also exhibited lower body weight, carcass weight, dressing percentage, LM area and CIE b*24 h compared with Landrace pigs (P<0.05). Meanwhile, the mRNA expression levels of the lipogenesis (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma, acetyl-CoA carboxylase and fatty acid synthase) and fatty acid uptake (lipoprotein lipase)-related genes were greater in the Rongchang (P<0.05), whereas the lipolysis (adipose triglyceride lipase and hormone sensitive lipase) and fatty acid oxidation (carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1B)-related genes were better expressed in the Landrace. Moreover, compared with the Landrace, the mRNA expression levels of MyHCI, MyHCIIa and MyHCIIx were greater, whereas the mRNA expression levels of MyHCIIb were lower in the Rongchang pigs (P<0.05). In addition, the mRNA expression levels of PGC-1α were greater in Rongchang pigs than in the Landrace (P<0.05), which can partly explain the differences in MyHC isoform gene expressions between Rongchang and Landrace pigs. Although the small number of samples does not allow to obtain a definitive conclusion, we can suggest that Rongchang pigs possess better meat quality, and the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible for the better meat quality in fatty pigs may be partly due to the higher mRNA expression levels of lipogenesis and fatty acid uptake-related genes, as well as the oxidative and intermediate muscle fibers, and due to the lower mRNA expression levels of lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation-related genes, as well as the glycolytic muscle fibers.
MicroRNAs are endogenous ~22nt RNAs that negatively regulate gene expression at the posttranscriptional level via binding to the 3′-untranslated region (3′UTR) of target mRNAs. The microRNA miR-27a was reported to depress the expression of myostatin, a critical inhibitor of skeletal myogenesis, by binding to its 3′UTR in mouse. In this study, we cloned the full-length 3′UTR of porcine myostatin by rapid amplification of 3′-cDNA ends (3′-RACE) and demonstrated that the 3′UTR of porcine myostatin is targeted by miR-27a. The phenomenon that the level of myostatin inversely correlated with miR-27a was observed in fat and heart of pigs and also in proliferating porcine myoblasts. Besides, overexpression of miR-27a in porcine myoblasts promoted cell proliferation by reducing the expression of myostatin. Our data suggest that miR-27a positive regulates porcine myoblast proliferation via targeting myostatin.
The relationship between recurrent major depression (MD) in women and suicidality is complex. We investigated the extent to which patients who suffered with various forms of suicidal symptomatology can be distinguished from those subjects without such symptoms.
We examined the clinical features of the worst episode in 1970 Han Chinese women with recurrent DSM-IV MD between the ages of 30 and 60 years from across China. Student's t tests, and logistic and multiple logistic regression models were used to determine the association between suicidality and other clinical features of MD.
Suicidal symptomatology is significantly associated with a more severe form of MD, as indexed by both the number of episodes and number of MD symptoms. Patients reporting suicidal thoughts, plans or attempts experienced a significantly greater number of stressful life events. The depressive symptom most strongly associated with lifetime suicide attempt was feelings of worthlessness (odds ratio 4.25, 95% confidence interval 2.9–6.3). Excessive guilt, diminished concentration and impaired decision-making were also significantly associated with a suicide attempt.
This study contributes to the existing literature on risk factors for suicidal symptomatology in depressed women. Identifying specific depressive symptoms and co-morbid psychiatric disorders may help improve the clinical assessment of suicide risk in depressed patients. These findings could be helpful in identifying those who need more intense treatment strategies in order to prevent suicide.
Many kinds of mechanical systems can be modeled as spatial rigid multibody systems (SR-MBS), which consist of a set of rigid bodies interconnected by joints, springs and dampers. Vibration calculation of SR-MBS is conventionally conducted by approximately linearizing the nonlinear equations of motion and constraint, which is very complicated and inconvenient for sensitivity analysis. A new algorithm based on constraint-topology transformation is presented to derive the oscillatory differential equations in three steps, that is, vibration equations for free SR-MBS are derived using Lagrangian method at first; then, an open-loop constraint matrix is derived to obtain the vibration equations for open-loop SR-MBS via quadric transformation; finally, a cut-joint constraint matrix is derived to obtain the vibration equations for closed-loop SR-MBS via quadric transformation. Through mentioned above, the vibration calculation can be significantly simplified and the sensitivity analysis can be conducted conveniently. The correctness of the proposed method has been verified by numerical experiments in comparison with the traditional approaches.
A code that models signals produced by charge-exchange reactions between fast ions and injected neutral beams in tokamak plasmas is described. With the fast-ion distribution function as input, the code predicts the efflux to a neutral particle analyzer (NPA) diagnostic and the photon radiance of Balmer-alpha light to a fast-ion Dα (FIDA) diagnostic. Reactions with both the primary injected neutrals and with the cloud of secondary “halo” neutrals that surround the beam are treated. Accurate calculation of the fraction of neutrals that occupy excited atomic states (the collisional-radiative transition equations) is an important element of the code. Comparison with TRANSP output and other tests verify the solutions. Judicious selection of grid size and other parameters facilitate efficient solutions. The output of the code has been validated by FIDA measurements on DIII-D but further tests are warranted.