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Bile acids (BA) have emerged as signaling molecules regulating intestinal physiology. The importance of intestinal microbiota in production of secondary BA, e.g. lithocholic acid (LCA) which impairs enterocyte proliferation and permeability, triggered us to determine the effects of oral probiotics on intestinal BA metabolism. Piglets were weaned at 28 days of age and allocated into control (CON, n=14) or probiotic (PRO, n=14) group fed 50 mg of Lactobacillusplantarum daily, and gut microbiota and BA profile were determined. To test the potential interaction of LCA with bacteria endotoxins in inducing damage of enterocytes, IPEC-J2 cells were treated with LCA, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and LCA+LPS, respectively, and expressions of genes related to inflammation, antioxidant capacity and nutrient transport were determined. Compared with the CON group, the PRO group showed lower total LCA level in ileum and higher relative abundance of Lactobacillus genera in feces. In contrast, the relative abundances of Bacteroides, Clostridium_sensu_stricto_1, Parabacteroides and Ruminococcus_1, important bacteria genera in BA biotransformation, were all lower in PRO than in CON group. Moreover, PRO piglets had lower postprandial glucagon like peptide (GLP)-1 level while higher glucose level than CON piglets. Co-administration of LPS and LCA led to down-regulated expression of glucose and peptide transporter genes in IPEC-J2 cells. Altogether, oral Lactobacillusplantarum altered BA profile probably by modulating relative abundances of gut microbial genera that play key roles in BA metabolism, and might consequently impact glucose homeostasis. The detrimental effect of LCA on nutrient transport in enterocytes might be aggravated under LPS challenge.
Ketosis is a metabolic disease of dairy cows often characterized by high concentrations of ketone bodies and fatty acids, but low milk protein and milk production. The Janus kinase 2 (JAK2)-signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (STAT5) and the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathways are central for the regulation of milk protein synthesis. The effect of high levels of fatty acids on these pathways and β-casein synthesis are unknown in dairy cows with clinical ketosis. Mammary gland tissue and blood samples were collected from healthy (n = 15) and clinically-ketotic (n = 15) cows. In addition, bovine mammary epithelial cells (BMEC) were treated with fatty acids, methionine (Met) or prolactin (PRL), respectively. In vivo, the serum concentration of fatty acids was greater (P > 0.05) and the percentage of milk protein (P > 0.05) was lower in cows with clinical ketosis. The JAK2-STAT5 and mTOR signaling pathways were inhibited and the abundance of β-casein was lower in mammary tissue of cows with clinical ketosis (P > 0.05). In vitro, high levels of fatty acids inhibited the JAK2-STAT5 and mTOR signaling pathways (P > 0.05) and further decreased the β-casein synthesis (P > 0.05) in BMEC. Methionine or PRL treatment, as positive regulators, activated the JAK2-STAT5 and mTOR signaling pathways to increase the β-casein synthesis. Importantly, the high concentration of fatty acids attenuated the positive effect of Met or PRL on mTOR, JAK2-STAT5 pathways and the abundance of β-casein (P > 0.05). Overall, these data indicate that the high concentrations of fatty acids that reach the mammary cells during clinical ketosis inhibit mTOR and JAK2-STAT5 signaling pathways, and further suppress β-casein synthesis.
In this paper a one-dimensional numerical study on the nonlinear behaviour of an electrically charged jet of Oldroyd-B viscoelastic, Taylor–Melcher leaky dielectric liquid is carried out. The effect of surface charge level, axial wavenumber and finite conductivity on the nonlinear evolution of the jet is investigated. Different structures including beads-on-a-string with/without satellite droplets, quasi-spikes and spikes are detected, and their domains in the plane of the non-dimensional axial wavenumber and the electrical Bond number are illustrated. The underlying mechanisms in the formation of the structures are examined. It is found that tangential electrostatic force plays a key role in the formation of a quasi-spike structure. Decreasing liquid conductivity may lead to a decrease in the size of satellite droplets or even the complete removal of them from a beads-on-a-string structure, induce the transition from a beads-on-a-string to a quasi-spike structure or postpone the appearance of a spike. On the other hand, finite conductivity has little influence on filament thinning in a beads-on-a-string structure, owing to the fact that the electrostatic forces are of secondary importance compared with the capillary force. The difference between the finite conductivity, large conductivity and other cases is elucidated. An experiment is carried out to observe spike structures.
Altered heart rate variability (HRV), an index of autonomic nervous system function, has been reported in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), but the results have been mixed. Thus, the present study, using a large sample size and better methodology, aims to examine whether GAD is associated with impaired HRV, both at rest and in response to posture challenges.
In total, 1832 participants were recruited in this study, consisting of 682 patients with GAD (including 326 drug- and comorbidity-free GAD patients) and 1150 healthy controls. Short-term HRV was measured during the supine-standing-supine test (5-min per position). Propensity score matching (PSM), a relatively novel method, was used to control for potential confounders.
After PSM algorithm, drug- and comorbidity-free GAD patients had reductions in resting (baseline) high-frequency power (HF), an index for parasympathetic modulation, and increases in the low-frequency/HF ratio (LF/HF), an index for sympathovagal balance as compared to matched controls. Furthermore, the responses of HF and LF/HF to posture changes were all attenuated when compared with matched controls. Effect sizes, given by Cohen's d, for resting HF and HF reactivity were 0.42 and 0.36–0.42, respectively.
GAD is associated with altered sympathovagal balance, characterized by attenuation in both resting vagal modulation and vagal reactivity, with an almost medium effect size (Cohen's d ≈ 0.4), regardless of medication use or comorbidity status.
The interaction between galaxies is believed to be the main origin of the peculiarities of galaxies. It can disturb not only the morphology but also the kinematics of galaxies. These disturbed and asymmetric features are the indicators of galaxy interaction. We study the velocity field of ionized gas in galaxy pairs based on MaNGA survey. Using the kinemetry package, we fit the velocity field and quantify the degree of kinematic asymmetry. We find that the fraction of high kinematic asymmetry is much higher for galaxy pairs with dp⩽30h−1kpc. Moreover, compared to a control sample of single galaxies, we find that the star formation rate is enhanced in paired galaxies with high kinematic asymmetry. For paired galaxies with low kinematic asymmetry, no significant SFR enhancement has been found. The galaxy pairs with high kinematic asymmetry are more likely to be real interacting galaxies rather than projected pairs.
Swelling deformation tests of Kunigel bentonite and its sand mixtures were performed in distilled water and NaCl solution. The salinity of NaCl solution has a significant impact on the swelling properties of bentonite, but not on its surface structure. The surface structure was characterized using the fractal dimension Ds. Based on the fractal dimension, a unique curve of the em–pe relationship (em is the void ratio of montmorillonite and pe is the effective stress) at full saturation was introduced to express the swelling deformation of bentonite–sand mixtures. In mixtures with a large bentonite content, the swelling deformation always followed the em–pe relationship. In mixtures with a small bentonite content, when the effective stress reached a threshold, the void ratio of montmorillonite em deviated from the unique em–pe curve due to the appearance of a sand skeleton. The threshold of vertical pressure for mixtures in different solutions and the maximum swelling strains were estimated using the em–pe relationship. The good agreement between estimates and experimental data suggest that the em–pe relationship might be an alternative method for predicting the swelling deformation of bentonite–sand mixtures in salt solution.
Maternal one-carbon metabolism during pregnancy is crucial for fetal development and programming by DNA methylation. However, evidence on one-carbon biomarkers other than folate is lacking. We, therefore, investigated whether maternal plasma methyl donors, that is, choline, betaine and methionine, are associated with birth outcomes. Blood samples were obtained from 115 women during gestation (median 26·3 weeks, 90 % range 22·7–33·0 weeks). Plasma choline, betaine, methionine and dimethylglycine were measured using HPLC-tandem MS. Multivariate linear and logistic regression models were used to estimate the association between plasma biomarkers and birth weight, birth length, the risk of small-for-gestational-age and large-for-gestational-age (LGA). Higher level of maternal betaine was associated with lower birth weight (–130·3 (95 % CI –244·8, –15·9) per 1 sd increment for log-transformed betaine). Higher maternal methionine was associated with lower risk of LGA, and adjusted OR, with 95 % CI for 1 sd increase in methionine concentration was 0·44 (95 % CI 0·21, 0·89). Stratified analyses according to infant sex or maternal plasma homocysteine status showed that reduction in birth weight in relation to maternal betaine was only limited to male infants or to who had higher maternal homocysteine status (≥5·1 µmol/l). Higher maternal betaine status was associated with reduced birth weight. Maternal methionine was inversely associated with LGA risk. These findings are needed to be replicated in future larger studies.
In a rice (Oryza sativa L.)–wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) rotation system, a study was conducted to determine the effects of different fertilization regimens (no fertilization, replacement of a portion of chemical fertilizer with composted pig manure, chemical fertilizer only, and straw return combined with chemical fertilizer) on the weed communities and wheat yields after 4 and 5 yr. The impact of the long-term recurrent fertilization regimen initiated in 2010 on the composition and diversity of weed communities and the impact of the components and total amount of fertilizer on wheat yields were assessed in 2014 and 2015. Totals of 19 and 16 weed species were identified in experimental wheat fields in 2014 and 2015, respectively, but the occurrence of weed species varied according to the fertilization regimen. American sloughgrass [Beckmannia syzigachne (Steud.) Fernald], water starwort [Myosoton aquaticum (L.) Moench], and lyrate hemistepta (Hemistepta lyrata Bunge.) were adapted to all fertilization treatments and were the dominant weed species in the experimental wheat fields. The greatest number of weed species were observed under the no-fertilization treatment, in which 40% of the weed community was composed of broadleaf weeds and the lowest wheat yields were obtained. With fertilizer application, the number of weed species was reduced, the height of weeds increased significantly, the density of broadleaf weeds was significantly reduced, the biodiversity indices of weed communities decreased significantly, and higher wheat yields were obtained. Only the chemical fertilizer plus composted pig manure treatment and the chemical fertilizer–only treatment increased the density of grassy weeds and the total weed community density. The treatment with chemical fertilizer only also resulted in the highest density of B. syzigachne. Rice straw return combined with chemical fertilizer yielded the lowest total weed density, which suggests that it inhibited occurrence of weeds. The different fertilizer regimens not only affected the weed species composition, distribution, and diversity, but also the weed density. Our study provides new information from a rice–wheat rotation system on the relationship between soil amendments and agricultural weed infestation.
Population-based colorectal cancer (CRC) screening programs that use a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) are often faced with a noncompliance issue and its subsequent waiting time (WT) for those FIT positives complying with confirmatory diagnosis. We aimed to identify factors associated with both of the correlated problems in the same model.
A total of 294,469 subjects, either with positive FIT test results or having a family history, collected from 2004 to 2013 were enrolled for analysis. We applied a hurdle Poisson regression model to accommodate the hurdle of compliance and also its related WT for undergoing colonoscopy while assessing factors responsible for the mixture of the two outcomes.
The effect on compliance and WT varied with contextual factors, such as geographic areas, type of screening units, and level of urbanization. The hurdle score, representing the risk score in association with noncompliance, and the WT score, reflecting the rate of taking colonoscopy, were used to classify subjects into each of three groups representing the degree of compliance and the level of health awareness.
Our model was not only successfully applied to evaluating factors associated with the compliance and the WT distribution, but also developed into a useful assessment model for stratifying the risk and predicting whether and when screenees comply with the procedure of receiving confirmatory diagnosis given contextual factors and individual characteristics.
Mental impasse has long been recognized as a hallmark of creative insight, but its precise role has been unexplored. The aim of the present work, consisting of two studies, was to experimentally probe mental impasse perspective from insight experience, namely impasse-related experience during insight. In Study 1, participants were requested to complete a compound remote association task and a forced-choice subjective experience depiction task that could provide data on impasse-related experience. The results showed that reports of negative experience, such as feelings of loss (t = –5.51, p < .001, Cohen d = 1.07) and personal experience (mirrored by ‘other’ response; t = –2.62, p < .05, Cohen d = 0.48), were more common in the impasse condition than in the no-impasse condition; correspondingly positive affect and positive cognitive experiences such as happiness (t = 4.20, p < .001, Cohen d = 0.77), ease (t = 5.90, p < .001, Cohen d = 1.20), certainty (t = 7.46, p < .001, Cohen d = 1.36) and calmness (t = 4.42, p < .001, Cohen d = 0.81) were experienced more frequently in the no-impasse condition. These findings were replicated in Study 2, in which participants were invited to solve a set of classic insight problems and to freely report any feelings of being at an impasse. Across two studies, this work suggests that impasse-related experience during insight problem solving is multi-faceted and consists of negative affective and cognitive components. The implications of these findings are discussed.
For artificial agents trading off exploration (food seeking) versus (short-term) exploitation (or consumption), our experiments suggest that uncertainty (interpreted information, theoretically) magnifies food seeking. In more uncertain environments, with food distributed uniformly randomly, exploration appears to be beneficial. In contrast, in biassed (less uncertain) environments, with food concentrated in only one part, exploitation appears to be more advantageous. Agents also appear to do better in biassed environments.
In this paper, the design of a graded honeycomb radar absorbing structure (RAS) is presented to realize both a wide bandwidth and absorption over a wide range of angles. For both transverse-electric and transverse-magnetic polarization, a fractional bandwidth of more than 118.6% is achieved for at least a 10 dB reflectivity reduction when the incident angle is <45°, an 8 dB reduction when the incident angle is <55° and a 5 dB reduction when the incident angle is <70°. Meanwhile the 10 dB reduction upper angle limit is approximately 30° for the uniform coating honeycomb RAS in the literature, which loses its absorbing ability when the incident angle is larger than 55°. Furthermore, the total thickness of our design is 10.7 mm, which is only approximately 1.29 times that of the theoretical limitation. The good agreement between the calculated, simulated, and measured results demonstrates the validity of this optimization.
Northeastern China is a region of high tick abundance, multiple tick-borne pathogens and likely human infections. The spectrum of diseases caused by tick-borne pathogens has not been objectively evaluated in this region for clinical management and for comparison with other regions globally where tick-transmitted diseases are common. Based on clinical symptoms, PCR, indirect immunofluorescent assay and (or) blood smear, we identified and described tick-borne diseases from patients with recent tick bite seen at Mudanjiang Forestry Central Hospital. From May 2010 to September 2011, 42% (75/180) of patients were diagnosed with a specific tick-borne disease, including Lyme borreliosis, tick-borne encephalitis, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, human babesiosis and spotted fever group rickettsiosis. When we compared clinical and laboratory features to identify factors that might discriminate tick-transmitted infections from those lacking that evidence, we revealed that erythema migrans and neurological manifestations were statistically significantly differently presented between those with and without documented aetiologies (P < 0.001, P = 0.003). Twelve patients (6.7%, 12/180) were co-infected with two tick-borne pathogens. We demonstrated the poor ability of clinicians to identify the specific tick-borne disease. In addition, it is necessary to develop specific laboratory assays for optimal diagnosis of tick-borne diseases.
We present the first data release of the SkyMapper Southern Survey, a hemispheric survey carried out with the SkyMapper Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia. Here, we present the survey strategy, data processing, catalogue construction, and database schema. The first data release dataset includes over 66 000 images from the Shallow Survey component, covering an area of 17 200 deg2 in all six SkyMapper passbands uvgriz, while the full area covered by any passband exceeds 20 000 deg2. The catalogues contain over 285 million unique astrophysical objects, complete to roughly 18 mag in all bands. We compare our griz point-source photometry with Pan-STARRS1 first data release and note an RMS scatter of 2%. The internal reproducibility of SkyMapper photometry is on the order of 1%. Astrometric precision is better than 0.2 arcsec based on comparison with Gaia first data release. We describe the end-user database, through which data are presented to the world community, and provide some illustrative science queries.
Cognition is multidimensional, and each domain plays a unique and crucial part in successful daily life engagement. However, less attention has been paid to multi-domain cognitive health for the elderly, and the role of lifestyle factors in each domain remains unclear.
We conducted a cross-sectional study of 3,230 older adults aged 60+ years in Xiamen, China, in 2016. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) was used to measure general cognition and six specific sub-domains. To account for educational effects, we adjusted the MoCA score and divided respondents into three education-specific groups (low, moderate, and high education groups with ≤5, 6~8, and ≥9 years of education, respectively). A series of proportional odds models were used to detect the associations between two categories of lifestyle factors – substance abuse (cigarette and alcohol) and leisure activity (TV watching, reading, smartphone use, social activity, and exercise) – and general cognition and the six sub-domains in those three groups.
Among the 3,230 respondents, 2,617 eligible participants were included with a mean age of 69.05 ± 7.07 years. Previous or current smoking/drinking was not associated with MoCA scores in the whole population, but unexpectedly, the ex-smokers in the low education group performed better in general cognition (OR = 2.22) and attention (OR = 2.05) than their never-smoking counterparts. Modest TV watching, reading, and smartphone use also contributed to better cognition among elderly participants in the low education group. For the highly educated elderly, comparatively longer reading (>3.5 hours/week) was inversely associated with general cognition (OR = 0.53), memory (OR = 0.59), and language (OR = 0.54), while adequate exercise (5~7 days/week) was positively related to these factors with OR = 1.48, OR = 1.49, and OR = 1.53, respectively. For the moderately educated elderly, only modest reading was significantly beneficial.
Lifestyle factors play different roles in multidimensional cognitive health in different educational groups, indicating that individual intervention strategies should be designed according to specific educational groups and different cognitive sub-domains.
As a promising new way to generate a controllable strong magnetic field, laser-driven magnetic coils have attracted interest in many research fields. In 2013, a kilotesla level magnetic field was achieved at the Gekko XII laser facility with a capacitor–coil target. A similar approach has been adopted in a number of laboratories, with a variety of targets of different shapes. The peak strength of the magnetic field varies from a few tesla to kilotesla, with different spatio-temporal ranges. The differences are determined by the target geometry and the parameters of the incident laser. Here we present a review of the results of recent experimental studies of laser-driven magnetic field generation, as well as a discussion of the diagnostic techniques required for such rapidly changing magnetic fields. As an extension of the magnetic field generation, some applications are discussed.
We present laboratory measurement and theoretical analysis of silicon K-shell lines in plasmas produced by Shenguang II laser facility, and discuss the application of line ratios to diagnose the electron density and temperature of laser plasmas. Two types of shots were carried out to interpret silicon plasma spectra under two conditions, and the spectra from 6.6 Å to 6.85 Å were measured. The radiative-collisional code based on the flexible atomic code (RCF) is used to identify the lines, and it also well simulates the experimental spectra. Satellite lines, which are populated by dielectron capture and large radiative decay rate, influence the spectrum profile significantly. Because of the blending of lines, the traditional
value are not applicable in diagnosing electron temperature and density of plasma. We take the contribution of satellite lines into the calculation of line ratios of He-
lines, and discuss their relations with the electron temperature and density.
Astrophysical collisionless shocks are amazing phenomena in space and astrophysical plasmas, where supersonic flows generate electromagnetic fields through instabilities and particles can be accelerated to high energy cosmic rays. Until now, understanding these micro-processes is still a challenge despite rich astrophysical observation data have been obtained. Laboratory astrophysics, a new route to study the astrophysics, allows us to investigate them at similar extreme physical conditions in laboratory. Here we will review the recent progress of the collisionless shock experiments performed at SG-II laser facility in China. The evolution of the electrostatic shocks and Weibel-type/filamentation instabilities are observed. Inspired by the configurations of the counter-streaming plasma flows, we also carry out a novel plasma collider to generate energetic neutrons relevant to the astrophysical nuclear reactions.
Based on our previously developed ship collision avoidance steering system, this paper develops a more extensive collision avoidance decision-making system for non-uniformly moving ships. A real-time simulator based on the Six-Dimensional (6D) Manoeuvring Modelling Group (MMG) model is used to simulate the ship's motion. To validate the manoeuvring mathematical model, sea trial measurements of a container ship (C-3) have been selected. This study incorporates Nomoto's second-order model into a numerical model to calculate the turning characteristics of the ship. The manoeuvring indices of Nomoto's model are the knowledge base of the simplified ship simulation model. To verify the ship collision avoidance system with respect to different traffic factors, simple and complex collision avoidance cases have been designed in fast-time simulations with multi-ship encounter conditions. The simplified simulation model developed here can quickly determine the helm angle when the ship makes a collision avoidance manoeuvre, which is helpful for the safety of ship navigation in heavy traffic areas.