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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.
The modelling of edge carbon transport and emission on EAST tokamak under resonant magnetic perturbation (RMP) fields has been conducted with the three-dimensional edge transport code EMC3-EIRENE. The measured vertical distribution of CVI emission by the extreme ultraviolet spectrometer system for the perturbed case shows a reduction in the CVI emission by 20 % compared to the equilibrium case. The chord-integrated CVI emission can be reconstructed by EMC3-EIRENE modelling, which presents an increase in the CVI emission with RMP fields. The discrepancy between experiments and simulations has been investigated by parameter study to examine the sensitivity of the simulation results on the edge plasma conditions and the impurity perpendicular transport. It is found that the variation of edge plasma conditions for the equilibrium case cannot resolve the discrepancy in the CVI emission between simulations and measurements. The simulations with enhanced impurity perpendicular transport coefficient allows a reasonable agreement with the measured reduction of CVI emission.
We completely classify the possible extensions between semistable vector bundles on the Fargues–Fontaine curve (over an algebraically closed perfectoid field), in terms of a simple condition on Harder–Narasimhan (HN) polygons. Our arguments rely on a careful study of various moduli spaces of bundle maps, which we define and analyze using Scholze’s language of diamonds. This analysis reduces our main results to a somewhat involved combinatorial problem, which we then solve via a reinterpretation in terms of the Euclidean geometry of HN polygons.
This paper presents a soft robot which can imitate the crawling locomotion of an earthworm. Locomotion of the robot can be achieved by expanding and contracting the body that is made of flexible material. A link of the earthworm-like robot is combined with three modules, and a multi-cavity earthworm-like soft robot is combined with multiple links. The multiple links of the earthworm-like soft robot are fabricated by silicone in the three-dimensional printed customized molds. Experiments on a single module, two-links, and three-links show that the soft robot can move and bend on condition of modules extension and contraction in a specified gait. The development of the earthworm-like soft robot shows a great prospect in many complicated environments such as pipeline detection.
The cotton-wheat double-cropping system is widely used in the Yellow River Valley of China, but whether and how different planting patterns within cotton-wheat double-cropping systems impact heat and light use efficiency have not been well documented. A field experiment investigated the effects of the cropping system on crop productivity and the capture and use efficiency of heat and light in two fields differing in soil fertility. Three planting patterns, namely cotton intercropped with wheat (CIW), cotton directly seeded after wheat (CDW), and cotton transplanted after wheat (CTW), as well as one cotton monoculture (CM) system were used. Cotton-wheat double cropping significantly increased crop productivity and land equivalent ratios relative to the CM system in both fields. As a result of increased growing degree days (GDD), intercepted photosynthetically active radiation (IPAR), and photothermal product (PTP), the capture of light and heat in the double-cropping systems was compared with that in the CM system in both fields. With improved resource capture, the double-cropping systems exhibited a higher light and heat use efficiency according to thermal product efficiency, solar energy use efficiency (Eu), radiation use efficiency (RUE), and PTP use efficiency (PTPU). The cotton lint yield and biomass were not significantly correlated with RUE across cropping patterns, indicating that RUE does not limit cotton production. Among the double-cropping treatments, CDW had the lowest GDD, IPAR, and PTP values but the highest heat and light resource use efficiency and highest overall resource use efficiency. This good performance was even more obvious in the high-fertility field. Therefore, we encourage the expanded use of CDW in the Yellow River Valley, especially in fields with high fertility, given the high productivity and resource use efficiency of this system. Moreover, the use of agronomic practices involving a reasonably close planting density, optimized irrigation and nutrient supply, and the application of new short-season varieties of cotton or wheat can potentially enhance CDW crop yields and productivity.
We present a long-term seasonal tree ring cellulose oxygen isotope (δ18Oc) time series created by analyzing four segments (S1, S2, S3, and S4) per year during the period of 1951–2009 from southeastern Tibetan Plateau. This intraseasonal δ18Oc reveals the onset and mature phase of the summer monsoon precipitation in this region. Analysis indicates that the δ18Oc of S1 has the strongest correlation with precipitation during the regional monsoon onset (29–33 pentads, May 21–June 10, r = −0.69), and the δ18Oc values for S2, S3, and S4 correlate strongly with June, July, and August precipitation, respectively. Combined δ18Oc of S2, S3, and S4 shows the most robust correlation (r = −0.82) with the mature-phase monsoon precipitation (June-July-August, JJA), passing rigorous statistical tests for calibration and verification in dendroclimatology. These results demonstrate the feasibility in using long-term intraseasonal δ18Oc to reconstruct the Asian summer monsoon's intraseasonal variations.
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.
The Arsenic (+3 oxidation state) methyltransferase (AS3MT) gene has been identified as a top risk gene for schizophrenia in several large-scale genome-wide association studies. A variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) of this gene is the most significant expression quantitative trait locus, but its role in brain activity in vivo is still unknown.
We first performed a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan of 101 healthy subjects during a memory span task, trained all subjects on an adaptive memory span task for 1 month, and finally performed another fMRI scan after the training. After excluding subjects with excessive head movements for one or more scanning sessions, data from 93 subjects were included in the final analyses.
The VNTR was significantly associated with both baseline brain activation and training-induced changes in multiple regions including the prefrontal cortex and the anterior and posterior cingulate cortex. Additionally, it was associated with baseline brain activation in the striatum and the parietal cortex. All these results were corrected based on the family-wise error rate method across the whole brain at the peak level.
This study sheds light on the role of AS3MT gene variants in neural plasticity related to memory span training.
Real-time and accurate fault detection and isolation is very important to ensure the reliability and precision of integrated inertial navigation and global navigation satellite systems. In this paper, the detection performance of a residual chi-square method is analysed, and on this basis an improved method of fault detection is proposed. The local test based on a standardised residual is introduced to detect and identify faulty measurements directly. Differing from the traditional method, two appropriate thresholds are selected to calculate the weight factor of each measurement, and the gain matrix is adjusted adaptively to reduce the influence of the undetected faulty measurement. The sliding window test, which uses past measurements, is also added to further improve the fault detection performance for small faults when the local test based on current measurements cannot judge whether a fault has occurred or not. Several simulations are conducted to evaluate the proposed method. The results show that the improved method has better fault detection performance than the traditional detection method, especially for small faults, and can improve the reliability and precision of the navigation system effectively.
Exosomes derived from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells are nanovesicles and are involved in the occurrence and development of HCC, they also serve as important carriers and drug targets of nanodrug delivery systems. The external shape and internal structure of exosomes are important indexes of identification, and isolated intact morphology is crucial to biological function integrity. However, given their susceptibility to various influencing factors, the external shape and internal structure of exosomes derived from HCC cells remain incompletely studied. In this study, exosomes purified from HCC cells were isolated at different centrifugation speeds and examined via multiple electron microscopy (EM) techniques. The results demonstrate that exosomes possess a nearly spherical shape and bilipid membranous vesicle with a concave cavity structure containing electron-dense and coated vesicles, suggesting the possible existence of subpopulations of exosomes with specific functions. The exosomes isolated at ultracentrifugation (UC) speed (≥110,000×g) presented irregular and diverse external morphologies, indicating the effect on the integrity of the exosomes. Transforming growth factor signaling bioactive substances (TGF-β1, S100A8, and S100A9) can be found in exosomes by performing Western blotting, showing that the internal content is associated with metastasis of HCC. These findings show that EMelectron microscopy and UC speed can affect exosome characteristics, including external shape, internal structure, and content of bioactive substances. The electron-dense and coated vesicles that had been discovered in exosomes might become new additional morphological features, which could help to improve the interpretation of experimental results and widen our understanding of exosome morphology.
Previous studies of amyloid diseases reported that the aggregating proteins share a similar conserved peptide sequence which can form the cross-β-sheet-containing nanostructures like nanofilaments. The template-assisted self-assembly (TASA) of peptides on inorganic substrates with different hydrophilicity could be an alternative approach to shed light on the fibrillization mechanism of proteins/peptides in vivo. To figure out the effect of interfaces on amyloid aggregation, we herein employed in situ atomic force microscopy (AFM) to investigate the self-assembling of a Parkinson disease-related core peptide sequence (TGV-9) on a hydrophobic liquid–solid interface via real-time observation of the dynamic fibrillization process. The results show that TGV-9 forms one-dimensional nanostructures on the surface of highly ordered pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) with three preferred growth orientations, which are consistent with the atomic lattice of HOPG, indicating an epitaxial growth or TASA. Conversely, the nanostructures formed in bulk solution can be free-standing nanofilaments, and the fibrillization mechanism is different from that on HOPG. These results could not only deepen the understanding of the protein/peptide aggregation mechanism but also benefit for the early diagnosis and clinic treatment of related diseases.
Ta–W co-alloying was realized by double glow plasma surface metallurgy technology, and their effects on high-temperature oxidation behavior of γ-TiAl were studied. Ta–W co-alloying coating was composed of a deposited layer and interdiffusion layer. The results of isothermal oxidation experiment indicated that a compact mixed oxide film of Ta and W was formed on the sample. The interdiffusion layer reduced the oxygen intrusion that improved the high-temperature oxidation resistance of γ-TiAl. The effects of Ta–W co-alloying on oxygen adsorption energy and electronic structure of γ-TiAl(111) were analyzed by first-principle calculation. The results showed that the optimal adsorption sites of O atoms changed from fcc-Al to hcp-Ti and hcp-Al, indicating that Ta–W co-alloying inhibited the diffusion of O. The electronic structure analysis of γ-TiAl(111) after Ta–W alloying indicated the affinity of Ti and O was inhibited, which resulted in decreased TiO2 in the oxide film.
This study aimed to examine the efficacy of combining paroxetine and mirtazapine v. switching to mirtazapine, for patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) who have had an insufficient response to SSRI monotherapy (paroxetine) after the first 2 weeks of treatment.
This double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, three-arm study recruited participants from five hospitals in China. Eligible participants were aged 18–60 years with MDD of at least moderate severity. Participants received paroxetine during a 2-week open-label phase and patients who had not achieved early improvement were randomized to paroxetine, mirtazapine or paroxetine combined with mirtazapine for 6 weeks. The primary outcome was improvement on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression 17-item (HAMD-17) scores 6 weeks after randomization.
A total of 204 patients who showed early non-response to paroxetine monotherapy were randomly assigned to receive either mirtazapine and placebo (n = 68), paroxetine and placebo (n = 68) or mirtazapine and paroxetine (n = 68), with 164 patients completing the outcome assessment. At week 8, the least squares (LS) mean change of HAMD-17 scores did not significantly differ among the three groups, (12.98 points) in the mirtazapine group, (12.50 points) in the paroxetine group and (13.27 points) in the mirtazapine plus paroxetine combination group. Participants in the paroxetine monotherapy group were least likely to experience adverse effects.
After 8 weeks follow-up, paroxetine monotherapy, mirtazapine monotherapy and paroxetine/mirtazapine combination therapy were equally effective in non-improvers at 2 weeks. The results of this trial do not support a recommendation to routinely offer additional treatment or a switch in treatment strategies for MDD patients who do not show early improvement after 2 weeks of antidepressant treatment.
Photocatalytic hydrogen production from water is a facile and clean approach to convert rich solar energy into chemical fuel. Developing efficient and robust catalysts to accelerate water-splitting speed is key. Porphyrins exist widely in green plants and are a key photosensitizer to absorb and transfer light energy to other parts of the photosynthesis system of plants. They are considered an ideal model to construct artificial photocatalysts for hot-carrier-mediated hydrogen production. This article discusses recent achievements in constructing porphyrin-based photocatalysts for hydrogen production, including porphyrin molecules, self-assembled porphyrins, metal–organic frameworks, conjugated porphyrin polymers, and hybrid nanomaterial-based photocatalysts. The design and synthesis principles, structure–property relationships, as well as urgent issues to be solved in the future for every type of photocatalyst are also discussed.
The passive oscillations of inverted flags are investigated both experimentally and theoretically in this paper. First, the force and energy distributions of inverted flags, which contain elastic and inertia components, are analysed based on the experimental data. Two main differences between inverted and conventional flags are found: (1) the elastic energy of a conventional flag is concentrated near the free end, while the fixed end of an inverted flag presents the largest elastic energy; and (2) the elastic component is several orders of magnitude greater than the inertia component for an inverted flag, while they are of the same magnitude for a conventional flag. Second, a linear analysis shows that the critical flow velocities obtained from the experiments at small mass ratios are scattered around the theoretical curve of wavenumber
, which is in contrast with
of a conventional flag. For large mass ratios, the mass ratio has a certain influence on the critical velocity rather than being irrelevant. For two parallel inverted flags, both the experimental and theoretical results indicate that the range of the in-phase flapping mode becomes smaller with an increase in the separation distance, and a multiple flapping state may occur. For
parallel inverted flags, the theoretical results show that two of all coupled flapping modes are dominant with most parameters. These findings could contribute to a better understanding of the passive oscillations of inverted flags.
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.
This study seeks to identify healthcare utilization patterns following symptomatic respiratory tract infections (RTIs) and the variables that may influence these patterns.
RTIs are responsible for the bulk of the primary healthcare burden worldwide. Yet, the use of health services for RTIs displays great discrepancies between populations. This research examines the influence of social demographics, economic factors, and accessibility on healthcare utilization following RTIs.
Structured interviews were administered by trained physicians at the households of informants selected by cluster randomization. Descriptive and multivariate binary logistic regression analysis was performed to assess healthcare utilization and associated independent variables.
A total of 60 678 informants completed the interviews. Of the 2.9% informants exhibiting upper RTIs, 69.5–73.9% sought clinical care. Healthcare utilization rates for common cold, influenza, nine acute upper RTIs, and overall RTIs demonstrate statistically significant associations with the variables of age, type of residence, employment, medical insurance, annual food expenditure, distance to medical facilities, and others. The odds ratios for healthcare utilization rates varied substantially, ranging from 0.026 to 9.364. More than 69% of informants with RTIs sought clinical interventions. These findings signify a marked issue with the large amount of healthcare for self-limited RTIs.