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This report is on the synthesis by electrospinning of multiferroic core-shell nanofibers of strontium hexaferrite and lead zirconate titanate or barium titanate and studies on magneto-electric (ME) coupling. Fibers with well-defined core–shell structures showed the order parameters in agreement with values for nanostructures. The strength of ME coupling measured by the magnetic field-induced polarization showed the fractional change in the remnant polarization as high as 21%. The ME voltage coefficient in H-assembled films showed the strong ME response for the zero magnetic bias field. Follow-up studies and potential avenues for enhancing the strength of ME coupling in the core–shell nanofibers are discussed.
White-light continuum can be induced by the interaction of intense femtosecond laser pulses with condensed materials. By using two orthogonal polarizers, a self-induced birefringence of continuum is observed when focusing femtosecond laser pulses into bulk fused silica. That is, the generated white-light continuum is synchronously modulated anisotropically while propagating in fused silica. Time-resolved detection confirms that self-induced birefringence of continuum shows a growth and saturation feature with time evolution. By adjusting laser energy, the transmitted intensity of continuum modulated by self-induced birefringence also varies correspondingly. Morphology analysis with time evolution indicates that it is the focused femtosecond laser pulses that induce anisotropic microstructures in bulk fused silica, and the anisotropic structures at the same time modulate the generated continuum.
In the livestock husbandry compensatory growth may be explored as a means to improve nutrient utilization, to reduce gut health problems due to excess protein intake, to simplify feeding strategies and thus to improve production efficiencies. This study investigated the effects of early protein restriction (EPR) and early antibiotic intervention (EAI) on growth performance, intestinal morphology, colonic bacteria, metabolites and mucosal gene expressions during the restriction phase and re-alimentation phase. A total of 64 piglets (10.04 ± 0.73 kg) were randomly divided into four treatment groups according to a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement with two levels of proteins (14% v. 20%) and two levels of antibiotics (0 v. 50 mg/kg kitasamycin and 20 mg/kg colistin sulphate). After a 30-day restriction phase with four kinds of diets, all groups were fed the same diets for another 74 days. The results showed that EPR decreased BW, average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake in the restriction phase (P < 0.01) and increased ADG on days 66 to 104 of the late re-alimentation phase. Early protein restriction could decrease the villus height in the jejunum (P < 0.05), while shifting to the same diets restored the villus height. Meanwhile, during the re-alimentation phase, pigs in the protein restriction groups had increased concentrations of total short chain fatty acids (P < 0.05), and modified the abundances of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes in the colon. Furthermore, the lower microbial diversity caused by EPR was improved, and gene expression analysis indicated a better barrier function in the colon. During the whole trial, EAI had no interaction with EPR and played a dispensable role in compensatory growth. Collectively, the retardation of growth caused by EPR can be compensated for in the later stages of pig raising, and accompanied by altered intestinal morphology, microbial composition.
A hybrid graphene–gold nanomesh, realized through Au deposition on a patterned graphene nanomesh with a focused ion beam, is introduced and illustrated for enhanced light absorption in the visible spectrum. Numerical studies reveal that the hybrid nanomesh with dual resonances in the visible spectrum exhibit ~50% light absorption and enhancement factor as high as ~1 × 108. The simulations also show that the enhanced optical absorption is associated with the excitation of surface plasmons. This is confirmed through the localization of electric fields at the resonant wavelengths. Such a hybrid graphene–gold nanomesh exhibiting enhanced light-matter interactions paves the way toward plasmonics, surface-enhanced Raman scattering applications, etc.
In the livestock industry, subcutaneous and visceral fat pads are considered as wastes, while intramuscular fat or marbling fat is essential for improving flavor and palatability of meat. Thus, strategies for optimizing fat deposition are needed. Intramuscular adipocytes provide sites for lipid deposition and marbling formation. In the present article, we addressed the origin and markers of intramuscular adipocyte progenitors – fibro-adipogenic progenitors (FAPs), as well as the latest progresses in mechanisms regulating the proliferation and differentiation of intramuscular FAPs. Finally, by targeting intramuscular FAPs, possible nutritional manipulations to improve marbling fat deposition are discussed. Despite recent progresses, the properties and regulation of intramuscular FAPs in livestock remain poorly understood and deserve further investigation.
Childhood maltreatment (CM) plays an important role in the development of major depressive disorder (MDD). The aim of this study was to examine whether CM severity and type are associated with MDD-related brain alterations, and how they interact with sex and age.
Within the ENIGMA-MDD network, severity and subtypes of CM using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire were assessed and structural magnetic resonance imaging data from patients with MDD and healthy controls were analyzed in a mega-analysis comprising a total of 3872 participants aged between 13 and 89 years. Cortical thickness and surface area were extracted at each site using FreeSurfer.
CM severity was associated with reduced cortical thickness in the banks of the superior temporal sulcus and supramarginal gyrus as well as with reduced surface area of the middle temporal lobe. Participants reporting both childhood neglect and abuse had a lower cortical thickness in the inferior parietal lobe, middle temporal lobe, and precuneus compared to participants not exposed to CM. In males only, regardless of diagnosis, CM severity was associated with higher cortical thickness of the rostral anterior cingulate cortex. Finally, a significant interaction between CM and age in predicting thickness was seen across several prefrontal, temporal, and temporo-parietal regions.
Severity and type of CM may impact cortical thickness and surface area. Importantly, CM may influence age-dependent brain maturation, particularly in regions related to the default mode network, perception, and theory of mind.
Dietary delivery of bacterially expressed double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) has a great potential for management of Leptinotarsa decemlineata. An important first step is to discover possible RNA-interference (RNAi)-target genes effective against larvae, especially the old larvae. In the present paper, five putative Broad-Complex (BrC) cDNAs (Z1-Z4, and Z6) were identified in L. decemlineata. The expression of the five LdBrC isoforms was suppressed by juvenile hormone signaling, whereas the transcription was upregulated by 20-hydroxyecdysone signaling at the fourth (final) instar larval stage. Feeding of bacterially expressed dsBrC (derived from a common fragment of the five LdBrC variants) in the third- and fourth-instar larvae successfully knocked down the target mRNAs. For the fourth-instar LdBrC RNAi hypomorphs, they had a higher larval mortality compared with the controls. Moreover, most dsBrC-fed beetles did not pupate normally. After removal of the apolysed larval cuticle, a miniature adult was found. The adult head, compound eyes, prothorax, mesothorax, metathorax were found on the dorsal view. Distinct adult cuticle pigmentation was seen on the prothorax. The mouthparts, forelegs, midlegs, and hindlegs could be observed on the ventral view of the miniature adults. For the third-instar LdBrC RNAi specimens, around 20% moribund beetles remained as prepupae and finally died. Therefore, LdBrC is among the most attractive candidate genes for RNAi to control the fourth-instar larvae in L. decemlineata.
Sparsely distributed and self-organized gold-nanocones are fabricated by broad argon ion beam sputtering on the gold surface with grazing incident angle. The rotation of the sample with respect to the vertical axis has found to influence the morphology of the obtained nanostructures. Ion beam irradiation of the sample leads to formation of nanoripples when the sample is held stationary, otherwise nanocones are formed if the sample is rotated during irradiation. A hybrid gold-nanocone/graphene/gold-nanohole based surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) sensor is proposed and shown to exhibit an enhancement factor of 109 via finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) simulations.
Cucumber powdery mildew is a destructive foliar disease caused by Podosphaera xanthii (formerly known as Sphaerotheca fuliginea) that substantially damages the yield and quality of crops. The control of this disease primarily involves the use of chemical pesticides that cause serious environmental problems. Currently, numerous studies have indicated that some plant extracts or products potentially have the ability to act as natural pesticides to control plant diseases. It has been reported that turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) and its extract can be used in agriculture due to their insecticidal and fungicidal properties. However, the most effective fungicidal component of this plant is still unknown. In the current study, the crude extract of C. longa L. was found to have a fungicidal effect against P. xanthii. Afterwards, eight fractions (Fr.1–Fr.8) were gradually separated from the crude extract by column chromatography. Fraction 1 had the highest fungicidal effect against this pathogen among the eight fractions. The active compound, (+)-(S)-ar-turmerone, was separated from Fr 1 by semi-preparative high-performance liquid chromatography and identified based on its 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and 13C NMR spectrum data. The EC50 value of (+)-(S)-ar-turmerone was found to be 28.7 µg/ml. The compound also proved to have a curative effect. This is the first study to report that the compound (+)-(S)-ar-turmerone has an effect on controlling this disease. These results provide a basis for developing a new phytochemical fungicide from C. longa L. extract.
At present, we do not have any biological tests which can contribute towards a diagnosis of depression. Neuroimaging measures have shown some potential as biomarkers for diagnosis. However, participants have generally been from the same ethnic background while the applicability of a biomarker would require replication in individuals of diverse ethnicities.
We sought to examine the diagnostic potential of the structural neuroanatomy of depression in a sample of a wide ethnic diversity.
Structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were obtained from 23 patients with major depressive disorder in an acute depressive episode (mean age: 39.8 years) and 20 matched healthy volunteers (mean age: 38.8 years). Participants were of Asian, African and Caucasian ethnicity recruited from the general community.
Structural neuroanatomy combining white and grey matter distinguished patients from controls at the highest accuracy of 81% with the most stable pattern being at around 70%. A widespread network encompassing frontal, parietal, occipital and cerebellar regions contributed towards diagnostic classification.
These findings provide an important step in the development of potential neuroimaging-based tools for diagnosis as they demonstrate that the identification of depression is feasible within a multi-ethnic group from the community.
The musk deer (Moschus berezovskii) is an economically important species from which musk is extracted and used in perfumes and medicines. Cestodes (parasitic flatworms) of the genus Moniezia are important parasites that infect this endangered species and can cause high mortality in young deer. In 1982, Moniezia (S.) sichuanensis sp. nov. was described from a specimen obtained from wild musk deer. The new species was distinct from the other described species of Moniezia by the sawtooth-shaped interproglottidal glands, the thick vagina and the absence of a cirrus spine. In the present study, 12 cestodes collected from musk deer were examined morphologically and confirmed to be M. sichuanensis. Molecular characterization was performed by amplifying and comparing the internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) and 5.8S rRNA gene (ITS1–5.8S) of ribosomal DNA with available sequences from other Moniezia species. The amplified sequences ranged from 761 to 764 bp and similarity ranged from 98.7–100%, compared to 67.8–92.4% with other Moniezia spp. Construction of a phylogenetic tree using the neighbour-joining method indicated that all 12 ITS1–5.8S sequences formed a single clade, confirming M. sichuanensis as a separate species. This study provides novel molecular insight into M. sichuanensis that could prove useful for future diagnosis and control of monieziasis in musk deer.
In this paper, we perform an absolute equation of state (EOS) measurement on the principal Hugoniot of aluminum using a near-symmetric impact method. The flyer plates are accelerated to high velocities using the laser-ramp-driven method. An aluminum flyer plate of ~25 µm is accelerated to the velocity range from 4 to 12 km/s. Then the aluminum flyer plate propagates across a vacuum gap and impacts with an aluminum step target. A line-imaging optical recording velocity interferometer for any reflector (ORVIS) is used to measure the aluminum flyer plate and the shock velocity simultaneously. Aluminum EOS data were measured with pressures range from 50 to 200 GPa. This absolute EOS measurement method may be used for studying a variety of materials.
Ectropis grisescens Warren and Ectropis obliqua (Prout) are two morphologically similar sibling species with overlapping ranges. In this study, manipulative laboratory experiments were conducted to examine the possibility of reproductive interference in sympatric populations of E. grisescens and E. obliqua and the potential consequences of the mating interaction. Our results showed that the presence of males or females of different species could incur mating interference and significant reduction of F1 offspring. The reduction was not significant relevant to the initial relative abundance of E. grisescens and E. obliqua. Detailed observations of mating opportunity showed that female mating frequencies of both species were not significantly affected by the absolute species density, but the mating success of E. obliqua females with conspecific males depended on species ratio. In addition, adding males to the other species resulted in lower number of offspring suggesting that the males’ behaviour might be linked with mating interference. Males of both E. grisescens and E. obliqua could interfere the intraspecific mating of the other species, but the impact of the mating interference differed. These combined data indicated that asymmetric reproductive interference existed in E. grisescens and E. obliqua under laboratory conditions, and the offspring of the mixed species were significantly reduced. The long term outcome of this effect is yet to be determined since additional reproductive factors such as oviposition rate and progeny survival to adulthood may reduce the probability of demographic displacement of one species by the other in overlapping niches.
Declines in populations of the Critically Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaeus have been rapid, with the breeding population now perhaps numbering fewer than 120 pairs. The reasons for this decline remain unresolved. Whilst there is evidence that hunting in wintering areas is an important factor, loss of suitable habitat on passage and wintering areas is also of concern. While some key sites for the species are already documented, many of their wintering locations are described here for the first time. Their wintering range primarily stretches from Bangladesh to China. Comprehensive surveys of potential Spoon-billed Sandpiper wintering sites from 2005 to 2013 showed a wide distribution with three key concentrations in Myanmar and Bangladesh, but also regular sites in China, Vietnam and Thailand. The identification of all important non-breeding sites remains of high priority for the conservation of the species. Here, we present the results of field surveys of wintering Spoon-billed Sandpipers that took place in six countries between 2005 and 2013 and present species distribution models which map the potential wintering areas. These include known and currently unrecognised wintering locations. Our maximum entropy model did not identify any new extensive candidate areas within the winter distribution, suggesting that most key sites are already known, but it did identify small sites on the coast of eastern Bangladesh, western Myanmar, and the Guangxi and Guangdong regions of China that may merit further investigation. As no extensive areas of new potential habitat were identified, we suggest that the priorities for the conservation of this species are habitat protection in important wintering and passage areas and reducing hunting pressure on birds at these sites.
A super-wideband (SWB) omnidirectional antenna is reported in Lau et al. in 2005 and 2008, but the antenna structure was complex and the radiation properties were unsatisfactory. In this paper, a SWB omnidirectional antenna with simple structure and improved radiation properties is presented. The antenna just consists of a two-stage inverted cone and two shorting pins. The proposed two-stage cone can improve the impedance matching in super-wide bandwidth, and the optimized shorting pins can reduce the cut-off frequency more than 50%. The calculated and measured results are investigated to confirm the antenna performances. The impedance bandwidth of the antenna for voltage standing wave ratio ≤ 2 achieves more than 1:22.1, covering 0.905 GHz to the above band. The smaller sizes than those referred by Lau et al. in 2008 are obtained. The profile of the antenna is 0.078λc, and the diameter of the radiation body is 0.217λc (λc is the wavelength of the cut-off frequency of the antenna). In addition, the radiation properties of the kind of SWB omnidirectional antenna are improved obviously. In the whole band, the ripple levels in horizontal radiation patterns are not more than 6.6 dB, and the cross-polarized levels are reduced by 9 dB.