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Leg weakness (LW) issues are a great concern for pig breeding industry. And it also has a serious impact on animal welfare. To dissect the genetic architecture of limb-and-hoof firmness in commercial pigs, a genome-wide association study was conducted on bone mineral density (BMD) in three sow populations, including Duroc, Landrace and Yorkshire. The BMD data were obtained by ultrasound technology from 812 pigs (including Duroc 115, Landrace 243 and Yorkshire 454). In addition, all pigs were genotyped using genome-by-sequencing and a total of 224 162 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were obtained. After quality control, 218 141 SNPs were used for subsequent genome-wide association analysis. Nine significant associations were identified on chromosomes 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12 and 18 that passed Bonferroni correction threshold of 0.05/(total SNP numbers). The most significant locus that associated with BMD (P value = 1.92e−14) was detected at approximately 41.7 Mb on SSC6 (SSC stands for Sus scrofa chromosome). CUL7, PTK7, SRF, VEGFA, RHEB, PRKAR1A and TPO that are located near the lead SNP of significant loci were highlighted as functionally plausible candidate genes for sow limb-and-hoof firmness. Moreover, we also applied a new method to measure the BMD data of pigs by ultrasound technology. The results provide an insight into the genetic architecture of LW and can also help to improve animal welfare in pigs.
Alanyl-glutamine (Ala-Gln), a highly soluble and stable glutamine dipeptide, is known to improve gut integrity and function. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether dietary Ala-Gln supplementation could improve growth performance, intestinal development and digestive-absorption function in weaned piglets. A total of 100 purebred Yorkshire piglets weaned at 21 days of age were assigned randomly to four dietary treatment groups and fed a basal diet (control group) or a basal diet containing 0.15%, 0.30% and 0.45% Ala-Gln, respectively. Compared with the control group, piglets fed the Ala-Gln diets had higher average daily gain and lower feed : gain and diarrhea rate (P < 0.05). Moreover, dietary Ala-Gln supplementation increased villous height and villous height : crypt depth ratio in duodenum and jejunum (P < 0.05), as well as the activities of maltase and lysozyme in jejunum mucosa (P < 0.05). In addition, a decrease in serum diamine oxidase activity and crypt depth in duodenum and jejunum was observed in piglets fed the Ala-Gln diets (P < 0.05). Serum cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) concentration and gene expression of cPLA2, Na+-dependent glucose transporter 1, glucose transporter 2 and peptide transporter 1 in jejunum were increased by feeding Ala-Gln diets relative to control diet (P < 0.05). These results indicated that feeding Ala-Gln diet has beneficial effects on the growth performance of weaned piglets, which associated with maintaining intestinal morphology and digestive-absorption function.
Porphyrins are vital pigments involved in biological energy transduction processes. Their abilities to absorb light, then convert it to energy, have raised the interest of using porphyrin nanoparticles as photosensitizers in photodynamic therapy. A recent study showed that self- assembled porphyrin-silica composite nanoparticles can selectively destroy tumor cells, but detection of the cellular uptake of porphyrin-silica composite nanoparticles was limited to imaging microscopy. Here we developed a novel method to rapidly identify porphyrin-silica composite nanoparticles using Atmospheric Solids Analysis Probe-Mass Spectrometry (ASAP-MS). ASAP-MS can directly analyze complex mixtures without the need for sample preparation. Porphyrin-silica composite nanoparticles were vaporized using heated nitrogen desolvation gas, and their thermo-profiles were examined to identify distinct mass- to-charge (M/Z) signatures. HeLa cells were incubated in growth media containing the nanoparticles, and after sufficient washing to remove residual nanoparticles, the cell suspension was loaded onto the end of ASAP glass capillary probe. Upon heating, HeLa cells were degraded and porphyrin-silica composite nanoparticles were released. Vaporized nanoparticles were ionized and detected by MS. The cellular uptake of porphyrin-silica composite nanoparticles was identified using this ASAP-MS method.
Resonant soft x-ray scattering (RSoXS) leverages chemical specificity to characterize thin films but is limited near the nitrogen edge. The challenge is that commercially available x-ray transparent substrates are composed of Si3N4 and thereby absorb incident x-rays and generate incoherent fluorescence. To overcome this challenge, we designed and fabricated Al2O3 free-standing films for use as RSoXS windows. Al2O3 films offer higher x-ray transmittance and minimal fluorescence near the nitrogen edge. As an example, Al2O3 windows allow for nitrogen RSoXS of conjugated block copolymer thin films that reveal domain spacings, which are not apparent with commercially available Si3N4 substrates.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: Characterize the expression kinetics of HIV-1 Envelope and their relationship to virus production at the cellular level. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: In vitro and ex vivo laboratory analyses. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Initial studies addressing the kinetics of cell surface. Envelope (Env) expression reveal that Env expression to peaks on day 2 post infection. Next steps include a series of experiments to compare the kinetics of Env cell surface expression with broadly neutralizing antibody (bNAb)-mediated ADCC and the characterization of virus production kinetics in this same context. To be maximally effective, ADCC elimination of infected cells should occur before peak Env expression. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: Potent bNAbs to HIV-1 recognize vulnerable sites on the HIV-1 Envelope (Env) protein and are of great clinical interest due to their potential use in the prevention and treatment of HIV-1 infection. Their effectiveness depends not only on the neutralization of viral infectivity, but also on the elimination of productively infected cells via antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). On a cellular level, ADCC dynamics are determined by the timing and level of Env expression on the surface of HIV-infected cells. This study aims to delineate the expression kinetics of HIV-1 Envelope and their relationship to virus production. We expect that it will provide new insights into the utility of bNAb-mediated ADCC in treating and possibly curing HIV-1 infection; therefore results might have substantial impact on future HIV treatment strategies.
We prove Zhang’s dynamical Manin–Mumford conjecture and dynamical Bogomolov conjecture for dominant endomorphisms
. We use the equidistribution theorem for points of small height with respect to an algebraic dynamical system, combined with an analysis of the symmetries of the Julia set for a rational function.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is one of the leading causes of death and morbidity associated with liver disease. Risk factors identified for the transmission of HCV include contaminated blood products, intravenous drug use, body piercing, an infected mother at birth, sexual activity, and dental therapy, among others. However, the exact diversity of the HCV genotype and genetic variation among patients with low-risk factors is still unknown. In this study, we briefly described and analysed the genotype distribution and genetic variation of HCV infections with low-risk factors using molecular biology techniques. The results suggested that genotype 1b was predominant, followed by genotypes 2a and 1a. Genetic variations in the 5′ UTR sequences of HCV were identified, including point mutations, deletions, and insertions. The frequency of genetic variations in 1b was higher than in 2a. This study provides considerable value for the prevention and treatment of liver disease caused by HCV among patients with low-risk factors and for the development of HCV diagnostic reagents and vaccines.
Pig farmers and veterinarians have high prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) due to the occupational livestock exposure, while few reported this association on slaughterhouse workers. We conducted this cross-sectional study to explore the phenotypic and molecular characteristics of S. aureus and MRSA in slaughterhouse pig-related workers and control workers in Guangdong Province, China. Participants were interviewed and provided two nasal swabs. Swabs were tested for S. aureus, and isolates were further tested for antimicrobial susceptibility, virulence genes and multi-locus sequence typing. Compared with control workers, pig-related workers have significantly higher prevalence of MRSA carriage (adjusted odd ratio (aOR) 3·70, 95% CI 1·63–8·40). The proportions of MRSA resistant to clindamycin, erythromycin, tetracycline or chloromycetin were significantly higher in pig-related workers than in control workers. The predominant phenotypes of S. aureus were resistant to penicillin, clindamycin, erythromycin and tetracycline. Three MRSA CC9 isolates with livestock-associated characteristics (resistance to tetracycline and absence of immune evasion cluster (IEC) genes) were detected in pig-related workers but not in control workers. For human-associated CCs (CC7, CC59, CC6, and CC188), there was no significant difference in IEC profile or antimicrobial resistance between the groups. These findings reveal that there may be a potential risk for livestock-to-human transmission of LA-MRSA and human-to-human transmission of human-associated MRSA.
This study aimed to evaluate subjective symptom changes in obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnea syndrome patients following nasal surgery, and to explore treatment efficacy in improving patient quality of life.
Patients with nasal blockage accompanied by habitual snoring were stratified into four groups. Their subjective symptoms were evaluated before and after nasal surgery.
There was a significant decrease in the nasal blockage symptom visual analogue scale, Epworth Sleepiness Scale, Snore Outcomes Survey, Spouse/Bed Partners Survey and Sino-Nasal Outcome Test 20 scores for all patients at six months after surgery. The visual analogue scale score for subjective olfactory function was significantly improved in the severe obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnea syndrome patient group.
Nasal surgery can effectively improve the subjective symptoms of patients with simple snoring accompanied by nasal blockage and of patients with obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnea syndrome, thus improving their quality of life.
Personality may predispose family caregivers to experience caregiving differently in similar situations and influence the outcomes of caregiving. A limited body of research has examined the role of some personality traits for health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among family caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD) in relation to burden and depression.
Data from a large clinic-based national study in South Korea, the Caregivers of Alzheimer's Disease Research (CARE), were analyzed (N = 476). Path analysis was performed to explore the association between family caregivers’ personality traits and HRQoL. With depression and burden as mediating factors, direct and indirect associations between five personality traits and HRQoL of family caregivers were examined.
Results demonstrated the mediating role of caregiver burden and depression in linking two personality traits (neuroticism and extraversion) and HRQoL. Neuroticism and extraversion directly and indirectly influenced the mental HRQoL of caregivers. Neuroticism and extraversion only indirectly influenced their physical HRQoL. Neuroticism increased the caregiver's depression, whereas extraversion decreased it. Neuroticism only was mediated by burden to influence depression and mental and physical HRQoL.
Personality traits can influence caregiving outcomes and be viewed as an individual resource of the caregiver. A family caregiver's personality characteristics need to be assessed for tailoring support programs to get the optimal benefits from caregiver interventions.
EVA foams, like all other polymers, also exhibit strain-rate effects and hysteresis. However, currently available approaches for predicting the mechanical response of polymeric foam subjected to an arbitrarily imposed loading history and strain-rate effect are highly limited. Especially, the strain rates in the intermediate rate domain (between 100 and 102 s–1) are extremely difficult to study. The use of data generated through the drop tower technique for implementation in constitutive equations or numerical models has not been considered in past studies. In this study, an experiment including a quasi-static compression test and drop impact tests with a high speed camera was conducted. An inverse analysis technique combined with a finite element model for material parameter identification was developed to determine the stress–strain behavior of foam at different specific strain rates. It was used in this study to simulate multiple loading and unloading cycles on foam specimens, and the results were compared with experimental measurements.
Floral organ development influences plant reproduction and crop yield. The mechanism of floral organ specification is generally conserved in angiosperms as demonstrated by the ‘ABC’ model. However, mechanisms underlying the development of floral organs in specific groups of species such as grasses remain unclear. In the genus Oryza (rice), a spikelet consists of a fertile floret sub-tended by a lemma, a palea, two sterile lemmas and rudimentary glumes. To understand how the lemma is formed, a curve-shaped lemma-distortion1 (ld1) mutant was identified. Genetic analysis confirmed that the ld1 mutant phenotype was due to a single recessive gene mutation. Using a large F2 population, the LD1 gene was mapped between markers Indel-7-15 and Indel-7-18, which encompassed a region of 15·6 kilo base pairs (kbp). According to rice genome annotations, two putative genes, LOC_Os07g32510 and LOC_Os07g32520, were located in this candidate region. However, DNA sequencing results indicated only 1 base pair (bp) substitution (T⇨C) was found in LOC_Os07g32510 between the wild-type and the ld1 mutant. Thus LOC_Os07g32510, encoding a DNA binding with one zinc finger (DoF) containing protein, was the candidate gene for LD1. Further analysis showed that mutation of the amino acid cysteine (C) to arginine (R) was likely to lead to zinc finger protein deactivation. Phylogenetic and conservation analysis of the gene from different species revealed that cysteine was critical to LD1 function. As a new gene controlling lemma development, the study of LD1 could provide insights into rice floral organ formation mechanisms.
Peripheral blood viral load is an important indicator of viral production and clearance. Previous studies have suggested that viral load might predict the rate of decrease in CD4+ cell count and progression to AIDS and death. Here, we conducted a retrospective analysis of the trends in HIV-1 viral load in southeast China. Among inpatients newly diagnosed with HIV infection, we found that viral load has increased over the past decade from 4·20 log10 copies/ml in 2002 to 6·61 log10 copies/ml in 2014, with a mean increase of 0·19 log10 copies/ml each year. However, the CD4+ cell count was stable and insensitive to changes in viral load. Thus, increasing viral load appears to be an emerging trend in newly diagnosed HIV-infected inpatients.
With the increasing use of complex quantitative models in applications throughout the financial world, model risk has become a major concern. Such risk is generated by the potential inaccuracy and inappropriate use of models in business applications, which can lead to substantial financial losses and reputational damage. In this paper, we deal with the management and measurement of model risk. First, a model risk framework is developed, adapting concepts such as risk appetite, monitoring, and mitigation to the particular case of model risk. The usefulness of such a framework for preventing losses associated with model risk is demonstrated through case studies. Second, we investigate the ways in which different ways of using and perceiving models within an organisation both lead to different model risks. We identify four distinct model cultures and argue that in conditions of deep model uncertainty, each of those cultures makes a valuable contribution to model risk governance. Thus, the space of legitimate challenges to models is expanded, such that, in addition to a technical critique, operational and commercial concerns are also addressed. Third, we discuss through the examples of proxy modelling, longevity risk, and investment advice, common methods and challenges for quantifying model risk. Difficulties arise in mapping model errors to actual financial impact. In the case of irreducible model uncertainty, it is necessary to employ a variety of measurement approaches, based on statistical inference, fitting multiple models, and stress and scenario analysis.
Nitrogen (N) supply is essential for achieving high grain yield in maize production, but excessive N application can lead to lodging risks and potential yield loss. The main objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of ethephon application under different N fertilizer rates in reducing maize lodging. Field experiments were conducted to determine the interactive effects of ethephon (0 and 180 g/ha) and N rate (0, 75, 150 and 225 kg N/ha) on the morphological and chemical characteristics of basal internode and yield across two summer maize-growing seasons (2011/12) in Wuqiao of the North China Plain. Findings showed that ethephon significantly increased the maximum diameter of the 7th to 14th internodes, and decreased the internode lengths, which led to a decrease in plant and ear heights under different N rates. Significant ethephon × N interaction effects were observed on the diameter and length of internode, dry weight per unit internode length and breaking resistance. Ethephon significantly increased N, cellulose and hemicellulose contents of the basal internode, but cellulose and hemicellulose contents decreased as the rate of N application increased. Internode diameter, dry weight per unit internode length, and N content of the basal internode were significantly positively correlated with breaking resistance. Ethephon significantly increased grain yield and harvest index in 2011, but not in 2012. Grain yield and above-ground biomass were increased with increasing N application in both growing seasons, showing linear and quadratic responses. These results suggested that ethephon could increase stalk strength by improving the morphological and chemical characteristics of the basal internode, and maintain high yield and biomass under high N rates.
Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is an acute contagious condition caused by a spectrum of human enteroviruses. HFMD reinfection is common in the absence of cross-protection from other virus subtypes. This study focused on reinfection in children in Anhui province, China between 2008 and 2013 using surveillance system data. We classified 8960 cases as reinfected, corresponding to a rate of 2·02%. The reinfection rate was higher in boys than in girls [odds ratio (OR) 1·27, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·21–1·32, P < 0·001], children aged < 3 years (OR 3·82, 95% CI 3·58–4·07, P < 0·001), and children living in rural areas (OR 1·09, 95% CI 1·04–1·14, P = 0·001). The reinfection rate in children who were originally infected with non-enterovirus A71 (non-EVA71) enteroviruses was higher than those infected with EVA71 (OR 1·36, 95% CI 1·02–1·80, P = 0·034). Influential factors of reinfection rate included annual incidence (β coefficient = 0·715, P = 0·002) and the proportion of EVA71 in patients with mild HFMD (β coefficient = −0·509, P = 0·018). These results demonstrate that boys aged <3 years, especially those in rural areas or regions with a lower EVA71 proportion are more prone to reinfection, and specific health education programmes should be developed to protect these susceptible populations.