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The study of enclaves in granitic plutons provides fundamental information on the petrogenesis of their host rocks. Here we combine U–Pb zircon ages, petrography, geochemistry and Nd–Hf isotope composition to investigate the origin of dioritic–granodioritic enclaves and their host granodiorites and biotite granites in the Xuehuading–Panshanchong area, which is a pivotal site to study the Palaeozoic intracontinental orogenic processes of the South China Block. Obtained ages indicate that the host rocks were formed in early Silurian time (c. 432 Ma). The enclaves are fine grained, but with mineral assemblages similar to their hosts and contain amphibole, biotite and plagioclase. All rocks have fractionated rare earth element patterns ((La/Yb)N = 2.86–8.16), except for one biotite granite that has a concave rare earth element pattern ((La/Yb)N = 1.50). Most rocks are depleted in Ta–Nb–Ti, and have negative Eu anomalies and ϵNd(t) (–8.86 to –5.75) and zircon ϵHf(t) (–13.30 to –4.11, except for one, –39.08). We interpret that the enclaves were formed at the borders of magma-ascending conduits, where the mafic mineral crystallization was enhanced by rapid cooling. Conversely, the biotite granites were produced by fractional crystallization from a related granodiorite magma. The sample with a concave rare earth element pattern may have been influenced by hydrothermal fluid–melt interaction. Geochemical modelling suggests that the granodiorites were likely generated by disequilibrium melting of heterogeneous amphibolites in the middle–lower crust. Considering the geological data for the Palaeozoic magmatic rocks in the South China Block, we propose that the Xuehuading–Panshanchong magmatism was likely triggered by piecemeal removal of the thickened lithospheric root and subsequent thermal upwelling of mantle, without a mantle-derived magma contribution to the granites.
The associations between sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) and artificially sweetened beverage (ASB) consumption and the risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS) remain controversial. A quantitative assessment of dose–response associations has not been reported. This study aims to assess the associations between the risk of MetS and SSB, ASB, and total sweetened beverage (TSB, the combination of SSB and ASB) consumption by reviewing population-based epidemiological studies.
We searched PubMed, Embase and Web of Science databases prior to 4 November 2019, for relevant studies investigating the SSB–MetS and ASB–MetS associations. A random effects model was used to estimate pooled relative risks (RR) and 95 % CI. Dose–response association was assessed using a restricted cubic splines model.
We identified seventeen articles (twenty-four studies, including 93 095 participants and 20 749 MetS patients).
The pooled RR for the risk of MetS were 1·51 (95 % CI 1·34, 1·69), 1·56 (1·32, 1·83) and 1·44 (1·19, 1·75) in high consumption group of TSB, SSB and ASB, respectively; and 1·20 (1·13, 1·28), 1·19 (1·11, 1·28) and 1·31 (1·05, 1·65) per 250 ml/d increase in TSB, SSB and ASB consumption, respectively. Additionally, we found evidence of non-linear, TSB–MetS and SSB–MetS dose–response associations and a linear ASB–MetS dose–response association.
TSB, SSB and ASB consumption was associated with the risk of MetS. The present findings provide evidence that supports reducing intake of these beverages to lower the TSB-, SSB- and ASB-related risk of MetS.
Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite, which can infect almost all warm-blooded animals, including humans, leading to toxoplasmosis. Currently, the effective treatment for human toxoplasmosis is the combination of sulphadiazine and pyrimethamine. However, both drugs have serious side-effects and toxicity in the host. Therefore, there is an urgent need for the discovery of new anti-T. gondii drugs with high potency and less or no side-effects. Our findings suggest that lumefantrine exerts activity against T. gondii by inhibiting its proliferation in Vero cells in vitro without being toxic to Vero cells (P ≤ 0.01). Lumefantrine prolonged mice infected with T. gondii from death for 3 days at the concentration of 50 μg L−1 than negative control (phosphate-buffered saline treated only), and reduced the parasite burden in mouse tissues in vivo (P ≤ 0.01; P ≤ 0.05). In addition, a significant increase in interferon gamma (IFN-γ) production was observed in high-dose lumefantrine-treated mice (P ≤ 0.01), whereas interleukin 10 (IL-10) and IL-4 levels increased in low-dose lumefantrine-treated mice (P ≤ 0.01). The results demonstrated that lumefantrine may be a promising agent to treat toxoplasmosis, and more experiments on the protective mechanism of lumefantrine should be undertaken in further studies.
Having enterprises engaged in environmentally friendly behavior is an important part of reducing negative environmental impacts. This study makes a quantitative analysis against the backdrop of China's transitional economic system. The results show that politically-connected enterprises significantly reduce environmental expenditure, but this only holds for state-owned enterprises; private enterprises with political connections spend significantly more. Analysis of the efficiency of environmental expenditure indicates that, for private enterprises, environmental spending is used as a way to maintain political connections, with rent-seeking as the likely motivation. Politically-connected private enterprises have not reduced their emissions to the same extent as state-owned enterprises, despite increased expenditure. Given the scale of environmental degradation in China during a period of massive economic and social upheaval, the results of this analysis provide a quantitative case for policy change: governments should shift focus to the results that environmental spending produces.
In the current research, a 60-day experiment was conducted with the purpose of exploring the impacts of methionine on growth performance, muscle nutritive deposition, muscle fibre growth and type I collagen synthesis as well as related signaling pathway. Six diets (iso-nitrogenous) differing in methionine concentrations (2.54, 4.85, 7.43, 10.12, 12.40 and 15.11 g kg-1 diets) were fed to 540 grass carp (178.47 ± 0.36 g). Results showed (P < 0.05) that, compared with methionine deficiency, optimal level of dietary methionine (1) increased feed intake (FI), feed efficiency (FE), specific growth rate (SGR) and percentage weight gain (PWG); (2) increased fish muscle protein, lipid and free amino acid contents, and improved fish muscle fatty acid profile as well as increased protein content in part associated with TORC1/S6K1 signaling pathway; (3) increased the frequency distribution of muscle fibre with >50 µm of diameter; (4) increased type I collagen synthesis partly related to TGF-β1/Smads and CK2/TORC1 signaling pathways. In conclusion, dietary methionine improved muscle growth, which might be due to the regulation of muscle nutritive deposition, and muscle fibre growth and type I collagen synthesis related signal molecules. Finally, according to PWG and muscle collagen content, the methionine requirements for on-growing grass carp (178-626 g) were estimated to be 9.56 g kg-1 diet (33.26 g kg-1 protein of diet) and 9.28 g kg-1 diet (32.29 g kg-1 of dietary protein), respectively.
To investigate the effects of dietary fibre on follicular atresia in pigs fed a high-fat diet, we fed thirty-two prepubescent gilts a basal diet (CON) or a CON diet supplemented with 300 g/d dietary fibre (fibre), 240 g/d soya oil (SO) or both (fibre + SO). At the 19th day of the 4th oestrus cycle, gilts fed the SO diet showed 112 % more atretic follicles and greater expression of the apoptotic markers, Bax and caspase-3, and these effects were reversed by the fibre diet. The abundance of SCFA-producing microbes was decreased by the SO diet, but this effect was reversed by fibre treatment. Concentrations of serotonin and melatonin in the serum and follicular fluid were increased by the fibre diet. Overall, dietary fibre protected against high fat feeding-induced follicular atresia at least partly via gut microbiota-related serotonin–melatonin synthesis. These results provide insight into preventing negative effects on fertility in humans consuming a high-energy diet.
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.
The nitrogen-decorated CeO2/reduced graphene oxide nanocomposite (CeO2/N-rGO) was one-step synthesized by a facile hydrothermal technique and applied as counter electrode materials for dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). For comparison, CeO2/rGO and rGO were also synthesized by adjusting corresponding reactants. It was found that the as-synthesized CeO2/N-rGO shows better electrocatalytic activity for triiodide/iodide reduction than that of pure rGO and CeO2/rGO, and a synergistic effect of nitrogen and CeO2 on the rGO sheets was observed. The photoelectric conversion efficiency of DSSCs based on CeO2/N-rGO counter electrode was 3.20%, which is higher than that of CeO2/rGO (2.45%) and rGO counter electrode (1.37%). Furthermore, the synergistic effect of nitrogen and CeO2 on the rGO sheets was also discussed in detail with different CeO2 amount levels. It is believed that this one-step synthetic method is a potential way to synthesize low-cost and efficient rGO-based multiple composited counter electrode materials to replace more expensive Pt.
In this research communication, a cell model with elevated β-CASEIN synthesis was established by stimulating bovine mammary epithelial cells with 0.6 mM methionine, and the genome-wide gene expression profiles of methionine-stimulated cells and untreated cells were investigated by RNA sequencing. A total of 458 differentially expressed genes (DEGs; 219 upregulated and 239 downregulated) were identified between the two groups. Gene Ontology (GO) analysis showed that the two highest-ranked GO terms in ‘molecular function’ category were ‘binding’ and ‘catalytic activity’, suggesting that milk protein synthesis in methionine-stimulated cells requires induction of gene expression to increase metabolic activity. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes analysis revealed that within the ‘environmental information processing’ category, the subcategory that is most highly enriched for DEGs was ‘signal transduction’. cGMP-PKG, Rap1, calcium, cAMP, PI3K-AKT, MAPK, and JAK-STAT are the pathways with the highest number of DEGs, suggesting that these signaling pathways have potential roles in mediating methionine-induced milk protein synthesis in bovine mammary epithelial cells. This study provides valuable insights into the physiological and metabolic adaptations in cells stimulated with methionine. Understanding the regulation of this transition is essential for effective intervention in the lactation process.
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.
As an emerging infectious disease, COVID-19 has involved many countries and regions. With the further development of the epidemic, the proportion of clusters has increased.
In our study, we collected information on COVID-19 clusters in Qingdao City. The epidemiological characteristics and clinical manifestations were analyzed.
Eleven clusters of COVID-19 were reported in Qingdao City between January 29, and February 23, 2020, involving 44 confirmed cases, which accounted for 73.33% of all confirmed cases. From January 19 to February 2, 2020, the cases mainly concentrated in the district that had many designated hospitals. Patients aged 20-59 y old accounted for the largest proportion (68.18%) of cases; the male-to-female sex ratio was 0.52:1. Three cases were infected from exposure to confirmed cases. The average incubation period was 6.28 d. The median number of cases per cluster was 4, and the median duration time was 6 d. The median cumulative number of exposed persons was 53.
More attention should be paid to the epidemic of clusters in prevention and control of COVID-19. In addition to isolating patients, it is essential to track, screen, and isolate those who have come in close contact with patients. Self-isolation is the key especially for healthy people in the epidemic area.
The experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of dietary threonine (Thr) on growth performance and muscle growth, protein synthesis and antioxidant-related signalling pathways of hybrid catfish Pelteobagrus vachelli♀ × Leiocassis longirostris♂. A total of 1200 fish (14·19 (se 0·13) g) were randomly distributed into six groups with four replicates each, fed six diets with graded level of Thr (9·5, 11·5, 13·5, 15·4, 17·4 and 19·3 g/kg diets) for 56 d. Results showed (P < 0·05) that dietary Thr (1) increased percentage weight gain, specific growth rate, feed efficiency and protein efficiency ratio; (2) up-regulated growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), proliferating cell nuclear antigen, myogenic regulation factors (MyoD, Myf5, MyoG and Mrf4) and myosin heavy chain (MyHC) mRNA levels; (3) increased muscle protein content via regulating the protein kinase B/target of rapamycin signalling pathway and (4) decreased malondialdehyde and protein carbonyl contents, increased catalase, glutathione-S-transferase, glutathione reductase and GSH activities, up-regulated mRNA levels of antioxidant enzymes related to NFE2-related factor 2 and γ-glutamylcysteine ligase catalytic subunit. These results suggest that Thr has a potential role to improve muscle growth and protein synthesis, which might be due to the regulation of GH-IGF system, muscle growth-related gene, antioxidative capacity and protein synthesis-related signalling pathways. Based on the quadratic regression analysis of specific growth rate, the Thr requirement of hybrid catfish (14·19–25·77 g) was estimated to be 13·77 g/kg of the diet (33·40 g/kg of dietary protein).
The present study investigated the effects of condensed tannins (CT) on intestinal immune function in on-growing grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella). A total of 540 healthy grass carp were fed six diets containing different levels of CT (0, 10·00, 20·00, 30·00, 40·00 and 50·00 g/kg diet) for 70 d and then challenged with Aeromonas hydrophila for 14 d. The results showed that, compared with the control group, dietary CT (1) induced intestinal histopathological lesions and aggravated enteritis; (2) decreased lysozyme and acid phosphatase activities, complement 3 (C3), C4 and IgM contents and down-regulated the Hepcidin, liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide (LEAP)-2A, LEAP-2B, Mucin2 and β-defensin-1 mRNA levels in the proximal intestine (PI), mid intestine (MI) and distal intestine (DI) (P < 0·05); (3) down-regulated the mRNA levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, TGF-β2 (not in MI and DI), IL-4/13A (not IL-4/13B), IL-10 and IL-11 partly correlated with target of rapamycin (TOR) signalling; and (4) up-regulated the mRNA levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines interferon-γ2, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8 (not in PI), IL-12p35, IL-12p40, IL-15 and IL-17D partly related to NF-κB signalling in the intestine of on-growing grass carp. Overall, the results indicated that CT could impair the intestinal immune function, and its potential regulation mechanisms were partly associated with the TOR and NF-κB signalling pathways. Finally, based on the percentage weight gain and enteritis morbidity, the maximum allowable levels of CT for on-growing grass carp (232·22–890·11 g) were estimated to be 18·6 and 17·4 g/kg diet, respectively.
Autonomous ships are gaining in importance and are expected to shape the future of the global shipping industry. This evolutionary shift raises serious issues about compliance with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 (COLREGs). This paper reviews the literature on autonomous ships from the perspective of the obligations of good seamanship imposed by COLREGs. The authors conclude that to facilitate the introduction of autonomous ships, the application barriers presented by COLREGs need to be analysed. With this goal, this paper presents a perspective from navigational practice. Four nautical scientists and two deck officers were invited to give their opinions. The analysis indicates that COLREGs require further elaboration and amendments to eliminate uncertainty of interpretation. In particular, the paper highlights the need to amend the ‘look-out’ rule (COLREGs Rule 5) to permit look-out by ‘computer vision’ alone while, at the same time, preserving the distinction between vessels navigating in restricted visibility and in sight of one another.
Polyhedral YVO4: Ln3+ (Ln = Eu, Sm, Yb/Er, Yb/Tm) microcrystals were fabricated via a facile sol–gel auto-combustion method using NH4VO3 as vanadium source in the presence of glycine. The X-ray diffraction patterns were well matched with pure YVO4, and the doped lanthanide ions did not change the host structure. The YVO4 microcrystals annealed from 500 to 1000 °C for 3 h were polyhedral and ranged in particle size from 0.1 to 2 μm. The luminescence properties of YVO4: Ln3+ (Ln = Eu, Sm, Yb/Er, Yb/Tm) samples indicated that all of the YVO4: Ln3+ samples exhibited typical emission spectra of Ln3+ cations, suggesting that the Ln3+ cations were well doped in YVO4 and could be excited efficiently through matrix absorption. In addition, the corresponding mechanisms of emission and energy transfer in the YVO4: Ln3+ are proposed.
Needles of Juniperus rigida are used in Chinese traditional medicine for the treatment of brucellosis, dropsy, skin disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. This is the first study that reports anatomical structures of the J. rigida needles collected at different altitudes. The most common anatomical, phytochemical, and histochemical techniques and methods are used. The results show that anatomical structures and chemical composition change significantly at different altitudes. The main anatomical characters are significant xeromorphic structures (thick epidermis, hypodermis, and cuticle), a stomatal band, a developed vascular bundle, and a marginal resin duct. The xeromorphic structures become more pronounced with increasing altitude. The phytochemical and histochemical results demonstrate that the content of the main chemical compounds (phenols and terpenoids) basically increases at a higher elevation. Histochemical analysis localizes the phenols in epidermal cells, sponge tissue, endothelial layer cells, and stomatal bands, and the terpenoids in palisade tissue, sponge tissue, and the edge of the resin duct. This work reveals the relation between anatomy and chemistry in J. rigida needles, contributes to the quality control of its ethno-medicine, and provides the evidence to develop the commercial cultivation.
Phase retrieval is necessary for propagation-based phase-contrast imaging (PB-PCI). Arhatari established a model for predicting the impact of the sample-to-detector distance and the system noise on the phase retrieval performance. We have extended Arhatari's model to account for the parameters of excessive source size, finite detector resolution, and geometrical magnification for more practical cases. However, there exist interaction effects among these parameters resulting in difficulty of predicting the phase retrieval performance. In this study, we found that optimizing the trade-off among these parameters for phase retrieval is consistent with the improvement of edge enhancement to noise ratio (EE/N) in the “forward problem” of the PB-PCI. Hence, we engaged in establishing a relationship between EE/N and phase retrieval performance in terms of the “forward problem” and “inverse problem” of the PB-PCI, respectively. Our results showed that, at fixed detector resolution, phase retrieval from the phase-contrast projections at the same EE/N level resulted in the consistent phase retrieval performance. Therefore, the performance of phase retrieval can be predicted based on the EE/N level and be quantitatively optimized by increasing EE/N.
This article overviews the ultrasonic welding process, a solid-state joining method, using the example of welding of a magnesium alloy as well as the joining of magnesium alloys in general. In situ high-speed imaging and infrared thermography were utilized to study interfacial relative motion and heat generation during ultrasonic spot welding of AZ31B magnesium (Mg) alloys. A postweld ultrasonic nondestructive evaluation was performed to study the evolution of local bond formation at the faying interface (contact surface of the joint between the top and bottom Mg sheets) at different stages of the welding process. Two distinct stages were observed as the welding process progresses. In the early stage, localized reciprocating sliding occurred at the contact faying interface between the two Mg sheets, resulting in localized rapid temperature rise from the localized frictional heating. Microscale (submillimeter) bonded regions at the Mg–Mg faying surface started to form, but the overall joint strength was low. The early-stage localized bonds were broken during the subsequent vibrations. In the later stage, no relative motion occurred at any points of the faying interface. Localized bonded regions coalesced into a macroscale joint that was strong enough to prevent the Mg–Mg interface from further breakage and sliding. With increasing welding time, the bonded area continued to increase.
With growing demand for better fuel economy for automobiles, multimaterial solutions are increasingly being utilized in the automotive industry for reducing weight in the vehicle body structure. This poses challenges in terms of joining dissimilar metals, especially those with vastly different properties such as aluminum to steel joining. General Motors has developed a new resistance spot-welding technique for dissimilar materials using a multi-ring domed (MRD) electrode and multiple solidification weld schedules to address this challenge. Originally developed for aluminum to aluminum resistance spot welding, this technology is being deployed as the mainstream aluminum joining solution to leverage existing infrastructure and workforce competency in resistance spot welding. With the recent expansion of MRD technology to aluminum to steel resistance spot welding, there is an ever-greater need to experimentally verify the quality of each aluminum to steel resistance spot-weld application with limited time and resources. Nondestructive evaluation (NDE) would enable the transfer of resistance spot-welding technology to dissimilar aluminum to steel joints. This article describes the current state of the art of aluminum to steel resistance spot welding and the challenges in developing a robust NDE process for this technology.
We explore the meaning of parochialism (xiao nong yi shi, 小农意识) to explain certain paradoxical Chinese managerial behaviors. We discuss how cultural, political, and economic traditions in China formed a salient context to cultivate parochialism. Qualitative data from Chinese and American managers reveal that the conceptual framework of parochialism includes a cognitive dimension of closed-mindedness, a behavioral dimension of self-protection, and a relational dimension of in-group focused social relationship. Parochialism hampers effective globalization of Chinese firms because it negatively impacts key facets of organizational culture: employee development, communication, customer orientation, social responsibility, strategic planning, and innovation. The study offers theoretical and practical implications for Chinese management research and the development of global competence.