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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.
Flavonoid-rich foods have shown a beneficial effect against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in short-term randomized trials and animal experiments. It is uncertain whether the usual dietary intake of flavonoids may benefit patients with NAFLD. This study evaluated the association between the usual intake of total flavonoids and their subclasses and the risk of progression in NAFLD. The prospective study included 2694 adults from the Guangzhou Nutrition & Health Study. Face-to-face interviews using a 79-item food frequency questionnaire were administered to assess habitual dietary flavonoid intake, while abdominal ultrasonography was conducted to evaluate the presence and degree of NAFLD, with measurements conducted three years apart. After adjustment for potential confounders, higher flavonoid intakes were gradely associated with reduced risks of worsen NAFLD status. The relative risks (95% CI) of worsening (vs. non-worsening) NAFLD in the highest (vs. lowest) quintile were 0.71 (0.54, 0.93) for total flavonoids, 0.74 (0.57, 0.95) for flavanones, 0.74 (0.56, 0.96) for flavan-3-ols, 0.90 (0.68, 1.18) for flavonols, 0.73 (0.56, 0.93) for flavones, 0.79 (0.61, 1.02) for isoflavones and 0.74 (0.57, 0.96) for anthocyanins. Sub-group analysis found that the beneficial associations were evident only in overweight/obese participants (P-interactions=0.015). An L-shaped (non-linear) relationship was observed between total flavonoid intake and the risk of NAFLD progression. Path analyses showed that the association between flavonoids and NAFLD progression was mediated by decreases in serum cholesterol and HOMA-IR. This prospective study showed that higher flavonoids intake was associated with a lower risk of NAFLD progression in the elderly overweight/obese Chinese population.
This paper proposes a set of novel indices for evaluating the kinematic performance of a 3-RRS (R and S denote revolute and spherical joint respectively, R denotes active joint.), parallel mechanism whose translational and rotational movements are strongly coupled. First, the indices are formulated using the decoupled overall Jacobian matrix, which is developed using coordinate transformation. Then, the influences of the homogeneous dimensionless parameters on these indices are investigated. In addition, the dimension synthesis of the 3-RRS parallel mechanism is carried out by minimizing the mean value of the kinematic performance indices and their standard deviation. The results demonstrate that the established approach facilitates good global kinematic performance of the parallel mechanism.
The European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) guidelines recommend the Royal Free Hospital-Nutritional Prioritizing Tool (RFH-NPT) to identify malnutrition risk in patients with liver disease. However, little is known about the application of the RFH-NPT to screen for the risk of malnutrition in China, where patients primarily suffer from hepatitis virus-related cirrhosis. A total of 155 cirrhosis patients without liver cancer or uncontrolled co-morbid illness were enrolled in this prospective study. We administered the Nutritional Risk Screening 2002 (NRS-2002), RFH-NPT, Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST) and Liver Disease Undernutrition Screening Tool (LDUST) to the patients within 24 h after admission and performed follow-up observations for 1·5 years. The RFH-NPT and NRS-2002 had higher sensitivities (64·8 and 52·4 %) and specificities (60 and 70 %) than the other tools with regard to screening for malnutrition risk in cirrhotic patients. The prevalence of nutritional risk was higher under the use of the RFH-NPT against the NRS-2002 (63 v. 51 %). The RFH-NPT tended more easily to detect malnutrition risk in patients with advanced Child–Pugh classes (B and C) and lower Model for End-stage Liver Disease scores (<15) compared with NRS-2002. RFH-NPT score was an independent predictive factor for mortality. Patients identified as being at high malnutrition risk with the RFH-NPT had a higher mortality rate than those at low risk; the same result was not obtained with the NRS-2002. Therefore, we suggest that using the RFH-NPT improves the ability of clinicians to predict malnutrition risk in patients with cirrhosis primarily caused by hepatitis virus infection at an earlier stage.
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.
In this study, the glass forming ability, thermal stability, and room-temperature mechanical behavior of a high Zr-containing Zr71Cu11Ni10.5Al7Ti0.5 bulk glassy alloy were investigated. The glassy alloy exhibits a high glass-forming ability with a critical casting diameter of 5 mm using copper mold injection casting, and its critical cooling rate is estimated to be smaller than 40 K/s. A small kinetic fragility index m of 32 indicates its good thermodynamic stability and glass-forming ability. Compressive tests indicate that the glassy alloy displays a significant average plastic strain of 12.3%, a high fracture strength of 1592 MPa, and Young's modulus of 74.5 GPa. The good ductility is attributed to the introduction of more free volume and local compositional inhomogeneity with increasing Zr addition. This finding may provide useful guidelines for the development of novel high Zr-containing glassy alloys.
Indoor positioning systems have received increasing attention for supporting location-based services in indoor environments. Wi-Fi based indoor localisation has become attractive due to its extensive distribution and low cost properties. IEEE 802.11-2016 now includes a Wi-Fi Fine Time Measurement (FTM) protocol which can be used for Wi-Fi ranging between intelligent terminal and Wi-Fi access point. This paper introduces a framework of Wi-Fi FTM data acquisition and processing that can be used for indoor localisation. We analyse the main factors that affect the accuracy of Wi-Fi ranging and propose a calibration, filtering and modelling algorithm that can effectively reduce the ranging error caused by clock deviation, non-line-of-sight (NLOS) and multipath propagation. Experimental results show that the proposed calibration and filtering method is able to achieve metre-level ranging accuracy in case of line-of-sight by using large bandwidth. Estimation results also show that the proposed Wi-Fi ranging model provides an accurate ranging performance in NLOS and multipath contained indoor environment; the final positioning error is less than 2·2 m with a stable output frequency of 3 Hz.
We investigate the phased evolution and variation of the South Asian monsoon and resulting weathering intensity and physical erosion in the Himalaya–Karakoram Mountains since late Pliocene time (c. 3.4 Ma) using a comprehensive approach. Neodymium and strontium isotopic compositions and single-grain zircon U–Pb age spectra reveal the sources of the deposits in the east Arabian Sea, and show a combination of sources from the Himalaya and the Karakoram–Kohistan–Ladakh Mountains, with sediments from the Indian Peninsula such as the Deccan Traps or Craton. We interpret shifts in the sediment sources to have been forced by sea-level changes that correlate with South Asian monsoon rainfall variation since late Pliocene time. We collected 908 samples from the International Ocean Discovery Program Hole U1456A, which was drilled in the east Arabian Sea. Time series of hematite content and grain size of the sediments were examined downcore. We found South Asian monsoon precipitation and weathering intensity experienced three phases from late Pliocene time. Lower monsoon precipitation, with a lower variability and strong weathering intensity, occurred during 3.4–2.4 Ma; an increased and more variable South Asian monsoon rainfall, along with strengthened but fluctuating weathering intensity, occurred at 1.8–1.1 Ma; and a reduced rainfall with lower South Asian monsoon precipitation variability and moderate weathering intensity marked the period 1.1–0.1 Ma. Maximum entropy spectral analysis and wavelet transform show that there were orbital-dominated cycles of periods c. 100 and c. 41 ka in these proxy-based time series. We propose that the monsoon, sea level, global temperature and insolation together forced the weathering and erosion in SW Asia.
Situated between the North China Craton to the east and the Tarim Craton to the west, the northern Alxa area in westernmost Inner Mongolia in China occupies a key location for interpreting the late-stage tectonic evolution of the southern Central Asian Orogenic Belt. New LA-ICP-MS zircon U–Pb dating results reveal 282.2 ± 3.9 Ma gabbros and 216.3 ± 3.2 Ma granites from the Yagan metamorphic core complex in northern Alxa, NW China. The gabbros are characterized by low contents of Si, Na, K, Ti and P and high contents of Mg, Ca, Al and Fe. These gabbros have arc geochemical signatures with relative enrichments in large ion lithophile elements and depletions in high field strength elements, as well as negative εNd(t) (−0.91 to −0.54) and positive εHf(t) (2.59 to 6.37) values. These features indicate that a depleted mantle magma source metasomatized by subduction fluids/melts and contaminated by crustal materials was involved in the processes of magma migration and emplacement. The granites show high-K calc-alkaline and metaluminous to weakly peraluminous affinities, similar to A-type granites. They have positive εNd(t) (1.55 to 1.99) and εHf(t) (5.03 to 7.64) values. These features suggest that the granites were derived from the mixing of mantle and crustal sources and formed in a postcollisional tectonic setting. Considering previous studies, we infer that the final closure of the Palaeo-Asian Ocean in the central part of the southern Central Asian Orogenic Belt occurred in late Permian to Early–Middle Triassic times.
In the present work, an efficient route has been further explored to achieve the batch synthesis of inorganic fullerene (IF)-WS2 nanoparticles, and the self-lubricating film is conveniently prepared by coating these nanoparticles on the surface of metal substrates. The as-synthesized IF-WS2 nanoparticles have a closed hollow structure with an average particle size of about 50 nm and are evenly distributed in the self-lubricating film. Further friction tests show that the film has excellent friction properties, with its lowest friction coefficient of approximately 0.008, which can be mainly attributed to the unique hollow cage structure and a smaller particle size of the IF-WS2 nanoparticles.
Although alienation toward parents is important for children (for current mental health status or later interpersonal relationships in adulthood), it is undervalued and even lacks a standardized tool of assessment. Moreover, the large number of left-behind children in China is a cause of public concern. However, their experienced alienation toward their parents remains unclear, which may be important for early detection or intervention for behavioral problems in this population. Hence, the current study aimed to develop an alienation inventory for children and then use it to investigate the experienced alienation toward parents in Chinese left-behind children.
Two studies were carried out. Study 1 was designed to develop a standard inventory of alienation toward parents (IAP). In study 2, 8361 children and adolescents (6704 of them were left-behind status) of the Chongqing area, aged between 8 and 19 years old, were recruited for investigation. All participants were surveyed with a standard sociodemographic questionnaire, children's cognitive style questionnaire, children's depression inventory, adolescent self-rating life events checklist, and newly built IAP in study 1.
In study 1, we developed a two-component (communication and emotional distance) and 18-item (9 items for maternal or paternal form, respectively) IAP questionnaire. In study 2, exploratory factor analysis indicated an expected two-factor structure of IAP, which was confirmed by confirmatory factor analysis. The Cronbach's alpha coefficients showed a good reliability (0.887 and 0.821 for maternal and paternal form, respectively). Children with absent mother experienced the highest alienation toward parents. Boys as well as children aged 8–10 years old experienced higher alienation toward parents. Poor communication with parents (sparse or no connection), level of left-behind condition (parents divorced, been far away from parents), and psychosocial vulnerability (stressful life events, negative cognitive style) were risk factors of alienation toward parents.
The current study develops a two-factor (communication and emotional distance) IAP, which offers a reliable tool to assess experienced alienation of affection toward parents in children aged between 8 and 19 years old. Our result is the first investigation of experienced alienation and potential influential factors in Chinese left-behind children. The findings that children with absent mother experience higher alienation toward parents, as well as three recognized risk factors for alienation of affection toward parents (poor communication with absent parents, worse left-behind condition, and psychosocial vulnerability), give valuable guidance for parents who intend to leave or who are already leaving as well as for government policymaking.
Varicella is an acute respiratory infectious diseases, with high transmissibility and quick dissemination. In this study, an SEIR (susceptible-exposed-infected-recovered) dynamic model was established to explore the optimal prevention and control measures according to the epidemiological characteristics about varicella outbreak in a school in a central city of China. Berkeley Madonna 8.3.18 and Microsoft Office Excel 2010 software were employed for the model simulation and data management, respectively. The result showed that the simulated result of SEIR model agreed well with the reported data when β (infected rate) equal to 0.067. Models showed that the cumulative number of cases was only 13 when isolation adopted when the infected individuals were identified (assuming isolation rate was up to 100%); the cumulative number of cases was only two and the TAR (total attack rate) was 0.56% when the vaccination coefficient reached 50%. The cumulative number of cases did not change significantly with the change of efficiency of ventilation and disinfection, but the peak time was delayed; when δ (vaccination coefficient) = 0.1, m (ventilation efficiency) = 0.7 or δ = 0.2, m = 0.5 or δ = 0.3, m = 0.1 or δ = 0.4 and above, the cumulative number of cases would reduce to one case and TAR would reduce to 0.28% with combined interventions. Varicella outbreak in school could be controlled through strict isolation or vaccination singly; combined interventions have been adopted when the vaccination coefficient was low.
Freshwater habitats in China are potentially suitable for invasive alien turtle species and, consequently, raising turtles in aquaculture facilities and the trade in turtles this supplies pose risks to habitats and native wetland communities when exotic turtles escape or are released deliberately. Online trade (e-commerce) is making an increasing contribution to turtle sales in China, seemingly driving demand and thus potentially exacerbating the risk of release. We document the scale and spatial pattern of online sales of non-native turtles over 90 days on China's Taobao.com e-commerce site. The majority of sales were in the ecologically sensitive middle and lower Yangtze river basin (82.35% of > 840,000 slider turtles Trachemys scripta elegans, and 68.26% of > 100,000 snapping turtles, Chelydridae spp.). These species are native to the Americas. Concurrently, over 2008–2018, we found 104 mentions of feral turtle issues listed on Baidu News where, among the 53 prefectures mentioned, issues with invasive turtle populations also focused predominantly in the middle and lower Yangtze river basin. Although circumstantial, this association suggests that the substantial online sale of alien turtles could be having detrimental effects in China's Yangtze river basin. It is important to safeguard these wetland habitats, which are of global importance, by improving policies for detecting and regulating invasive alien turtle issues and by warning consumers about the ecological hazard of their purchases.
Adopting multiple stakeholder orientation as measurement for CSR and using the data of publicly listed Chinese firms from 2011-16, we examine how firms allocate attention to the five key stakeholders’ interests under potential resource constraints across different ownership types. Main results suggest that privately owned firms are more likely to prioritize the societal-orientation, compared to state-owned and foreign-invested firms; foreign-invested firms are more likely to attend to investor-orientation, consumer-orientation and environment-orientation, compared to the other two types. Weak difference is detected in employee-orientations across the three types of firms, which may be due to a general attention to employee benefits. In the context of potential conflicting interests, results suggest that different types of ownership lead the firm to make different choices in trading off different stakeholder interests, with foreign-invested firms trading off between internal stakeholder interests and external stakeholder interests, privately owned firms trading off investor and employee interests for customer interests, and all firms trading off customer interests with environment interests.
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.