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Recent researches have showed that probiotics promote bone health in humans and rodents. The objective of this study was to determine if probiotics have the similar effects in laying hens. Ninety-six 60-week-old White Leghorn hens were assigned to four-hen cages based on their BW. The cages were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 treatments: a layer diet mixed with a commercial probiotic product (containing Enterococcus faecium, Pediococcus acidilactici, Bifidobacterium animalis and Lactobacillus reuteri) at 0, 0.5, 1.0 or 2.0 g/kg feed (Control, 0.5×, 1.0× and 2.0×) for 7 weeks. Cecal Bifidobacterium spp. counts were higher in all probiotic groups (P<0.001) compared with the control group. The percentage of unmarketable eggs (cracked and shell-less eggs) was decreased in both 0.5× and 2.0× groups compared with the control group (P=0.02), mainly due to the reduction of shell-less eggs (P=0.05). The increases in tibial and femoral mineral density and femoral mineral content (P=0.04, 0.03 and 0.02, respectively), with a concomitant trend of increases in humerus mineral density and tibial mineral content (P=0.07 and 0.08, respectively), occurred in the 2.0× group. However, the bone remodeling indicators of circulating osteocalcin and c-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen were similar among all groups (P>0.05). In addition, the plasma concentrations of cytokines (interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, interleukin-10, interferon-γ and tumor necrosis factor-α) and corticosterone as well as the levels of heterophil to lymphocyte ratio were similar between the 2.0× group and the control group (P>0.05). In line with these findings, no differences of cecal tonsil mRNA expressions of interleukin-1β, interleukin-6 and lipopolysaccharide-induced tumor necrosis factor-α factor were detected between these two groups (P>0.05). These results suggest that immune cytokines and corticosterone may not involve in the probiotic-induced improvement of eggshell quality and bone mineralization in laying hens. In conclusion, the dietary probiotic supplementation altered cecal microbiota composition, resulting in reduced shell-less egg production and improved bone mineralization in laying hens; and the dietary dose of the probiotic up to 2.0× did not cause negative stress reactions in laying hens.
We calibrated portions of the radiocarbon time scale with combined 230Th, 231Pa, 14C measurements of corals collected from Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu and the Huon Peninsula, Papua New Guinea. The new data map 14C variations ranging from the current limit of the tree-ring calibration [11,900 calendar years before present (cal BP), Kromer and Spurk 1998, now updated to 12,400 cal B P, see Kromer et al., this issue], to the 14C-dating limit of 50,000 cal BP, with detailed structure between 14 to 16 cal kyr BP and 19 to 24 cal kyr BP. Samples older than 25,000 cal BP were analyzed with high-precision 231Pa dating methods (Pickett et al. 1994; Edwards et al. 1997) as a rigorous second check on the accuracy of the 230Th ages. These are the first coral calibration data to receive this additional check, adding confidence to the age data forming the older portion of the calibration. Our results, in general, show that the offset between calibrated and 14C ages generally increases with age until about 28,000 cal BP, when the recorded 14C age is nearly 6800 yr too young. The gap between ages before this time is less; at 50,000 cal BP, the recorded 14C age is 4600 yr too young. Two major 14C-age plateaus result from a 130 drop in Δ14C between 14–15 cal kyr BP and a 700 drop in Δ14C between 22–25 cal kyr BP. In addition, a large atmospheric Δ14C excursion to values over 1000 occurs at 28 cal kyr BP. Between 20 and 10 cal kyr BP, a component of atmospheric Δ14C anti-correlates with Greenland ice δ18O, indicating that some portion of the variability in atmospheric Δ14C is related to climate change, most likely through climate-related changes in the carbon cycle. Furthermore, the 28-kyr excursion occurs at about the time of significant climate shifts. Taken as a whole, our data indicate that in addition to a terrestrial magnetic field, factors related to climate change have affected the history of atmospheric 14C.
Based on a refined dynamical model, afterglows from jetted γ-ray burst (GRB) remnants are investigated numerically. Measuring of GRB beaming by using orphan afterglow surveys is addressed. The possible existence of a kind of cylindrical jets is also discussed.
The Cosmic Background Explorer, launched November 18, 1989, has nearly completed its first full mapping of the sky with all three of its instruments: a Far Infrared Absolute Spectrophotometer (FIRAS) covering 0.1 to 10 mm, a set of Differential Microwave Radiometers (DMR) operating at 3.3, 5.7, and 9.6 mm, and a Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment (DIRBE) spanning 1 to 300 µm in ten bands. A preliminary map of the sky derived from DIRBE data is presented. Initial cosmological implications include: a limit on the Comptonization y parameter of 10−3, on the chemical potential μ parameter of 10−2, a strong limit on the existence of a hot smooth intergalactic medium, and a confirmation that the dipole anisotropy has the spectrum expected from a Doppler shift of a blackbody. There are no significant anisotropies in the microwave sky detected, other than from our own galaxy and a cosθ dipole anisotropy whose amplitude and direction agree with previous data. At shorter wavelengths, the sky spectrum and anisotropies are dominated by emission from ‘local’ sources of emission within our Galaxy and Solar System. Preliminary comparison of IRAS and DIRBE sky brightnesses toward the ecliptic poles shows the IRAS values to be significantly higher than found by DIRBE at 100 μm. We suggest the presence of gain and zero-point errors in the IRAS total brightness data. The spacecraft, instrument designs, and data reduction methods are described.
The details of the formation of the first objects, stars and galaxies and their subsequent evolution remain a cosmological unknown. Few observational probes of these processes exist. The Cosmic Infrared Background (CIB) originates from this era and measurements of its anisotropy can provide information to test models of both galaxy evolution and the growth of primordial structure. Such measurements should provide a sensitive probe of the large-scale variation in protogalaxy density at redshifts, z ~ 0.5-3, while optical galaxy surveys provide complementary information at z < 0.5 and Lyman alpha absorption forest studies and Cosmic Microwave Background measurements add information at higher redshifts.
Arginine kinase (AK) is an important regulation factor of energy metabolism in invertebrate. An arginine kinase gene, named HaAK, was identified to be differentially expressed between Cry1Ac-susceptible (96S) and Cry1Ac-resistant (Bt-R) Helicoverpa armigera larvae using cDNA-amplification fragment length polymorphism analysis. The full-length open reading frame sequence of HaAK gene with 1068 bp was isolated from H. armigera. Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assay revealed that HaAK gene is specifically expressed in multiple tissues and at larval developmental stages. The peak expression level of HaAK was detected in the midgut of the fifth-instar larvae. Moreover, the expression of HaAK was obviously down-regulated in Bt-R larvae. We further constructed a dsRNA vector directly targeting HaAK and employed RNAi technology to control the larvae. The feeding bioassays showed that minute quantities of dsRNA could greatly increase the larval mortality and delay the larval pupation. Silencing of HaAK significantly retarded the larval development, indicating that HaAK is a potential target for RNA interference-based pest management.
We determined the prevalence and seasonality of infections by Fasciola of goats and bovine species (cattle and water buffalo) in Hubei and Anhui provinces of China. Faecal samples were collected at 2- to 3-month intervals from 200 goats in Hubei province and from 152 bovine species in Anhui province. All faecal samples were examined for the presence of parasites. We determined the nucleotide sequences of the first and second internal transcribed spacers (ITS-1 and ITS-2) of the nuclear ribosomal DNA (rDNA) of 39 Fasciola worms from Anhui province. The prevalence of Fasciola infection in goats ranged between 3.5 and 37.0%, with mean eggs per gram (EPG) ranging between 29.0 and 166.0. Prevalence and EPG exhibited downward trends over time with significant differences. The prevalence of Fasciola infection in cattle ranged between 13.3 and 46.2% (mean EPG, 36.4–100.0), and that of water buffalo ranged between 10.3 and 35.4% (mean EPG, 25.0–89.6), with a higher prevalence of infection and EPG from June to October compared with December to March. Analysis of ITS-1 and ITS-2 sequences revealed that F. hepatica and F. gigantica were present in all bovine species of Anhui province and that F. gigantica mainly infected water buffalo. This is the first demonstration of Fasciola infection in Hubei province and detection of F. hepatica and F. gigantica in Anhui province. The present study of Hubei province shows that mass treatment of livestock with closantel sodium injections in April and August/September controlled Fasciola infection effectively.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.
The influence of TiO2 addition to LF refining slag on Ti-stabilized stainless
steel was evaluated using a vacuum induction furnace at 1873 K. The effect of
CaO-SiO2-MgO-Al2O3 basic slags with different TiO2 contents on the titanium loss,
aluminum loss and total oxygen content in the steel was studied. It was observed that the
oxidation rate of Ti first decreases and then increases with the increase in the content
of TiO2 in slag and
reaches the minimum when 8%TiO2 is added to the slag. However, the change in the
oxidation rate of Al shows the opposite tendency. The total oxygen in the molten steel
remains unchanged with time when 8%TiO2 is added to the slag, and the total oxygen of the
others increases monotonically with time. The activities of TiO2 and Al2O3 from the calculation of the ion
and molecule coexistence theory (IMCT) in the initial slag present the same change
tendency, and both first increase and then decrease with the gradual increase in
TiO2 in the slag
and reach the maximum when 8%TiO2 is added to the slag. The results of a kinetic analysis
showed that the rate-determining step of the oxidation of Ti in the steel is the mass
transfer on the slag side, and the rate-determining step of the oxidation of Al in the
steel is the mass transfer on the metal side.
Assessing carbon footprint (CF) of crop production in a whole crop life-cycle could provide insights into the contribution of crop production to climate change and help to identify possible greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation options. In the current study, data for the major crops of China were collected from the national statistical archive on cultivation area, yield, application rates of fertilizer, pesticide, diesel, plastic film, irrigated water, etc. The CF of direct and indirect carbon emissions associated with or caused by these agricultural inputs was quantified with published emission factors. In general, paddy rice, wheat, maize and soybean of China had mean CFs of 2472, 794, 781 and 222 kg carbon equivalent (CE)/ha, and 0·37, 0·14, 0·12 and 0·10 kg CE/kg product, respectively. For dry crops (i.e. those grown without flooding the fields: wheat, maize and soybean), 0·78 of the total CFs was contributed by nitrogen (N) fertilizer use, including both direct soil nitrous oxide (N2O) emission and indirect emissions from N fertilizer manufacture. Meanwhile, direct methane (CH4) emissions contributed 0·69 on average to the total CFs of flooded paddy rice. Moreover, the difference in N fertilizer application rates explained 0·86–0·93 of the provincial variations of dry crop CFs while that in CH4 emissions could explain 0·85 of the provincial variation of paddy rice CFs. When a 30% reduction in N fertilization was considered, a potential reduction in GHGs of 60 megatonne (Mt) carbon dioxide equivalent from production of these crops was projected. The current work highlights opportunities to gain GHG emission reduction in production of crops associated with good management practices in China.
Undoped layers of GaN grown by MOVPE on sapphire substrates have been characterized by photoluminescence, photocapacitance and photoinduced current transient spectroscopy (PICTS). Photocapacitance reveals in all samples two specific signatures at photon energies of 1 eV and 2.5 eV. The photocapacitance decrease observed at 1 eV seems to be due to an electron capture process from the valence band, whereas the capacitance increase at 2.5 eV is related to an electron emission process. The fact that the capacitance step at 1 eV is only seen after photoionization at energies above 2.5 eV, and the observed correlation between its amplitude and the photoluminescence intensity of the “yellow band”, lead us to conclude that both transitions are linked to the same trap, which is also suggested to be responsible for the yellow band. The position of this trap, at 2.5 eV below the conduction band, is confirmed by PICTS measurements, that show a hole thermal emission activation energy of 0.9 eV at 350 K.
In this work, experiments were performed to study the effect of cathode materials on the amplitude of the super-short avalanche electron beam (SAEB) current and X-ray density during discharges in atmospheric-pressure air. In the experiments, discharges were generated by three nanosecond-pulse generators in air gaps between a plane anode and a tubular cathode made of different metals. The output pulse of the three generators had a rise time of 0.3, 1, 15 ns, and a full width at half maximum of 1, 2, 30–40 ns, respectively. For the generators with pulse rise-time of 0.3 and 1 ns, the cathodes used in these experiments were made of stainless steel, permalloy, titanium, niobium, copper, brass, and aluminum. For the generator with pulse rise-time of 15 ns, the cathodes were made of stainless steel, titanium, copper, and aluminum. When the rise time of the applied pulse is 0.3 ns, our experimental results show that the amplitude of the voltage across the gap depends on the cathode material and reaches its maximum value when a stainless steel cathode is used. It is also observed that, under such situation, the maximum amplitudes of the SAEB current occur at maximum voltages across the gap when all other factors are equal. Furthermore, the amplitude of the SAEB current hereof is found to depend not only on the material of the sharp edge of the tubular cathode, but also on the material of the side surface of the tubular cathode. When the rise time of the applied pulse is 1 ns, the experimental results show that the average number of electrons in SAEB is also affected by the cathode materials. In addition, in the case that the rise time of the voltage pulse is 15 ns and the gap spacing is 8 cm, the experimental results show that the cathode material has no effect on the voltage amplitude across the gap and the X-ray density. The increase of the pulse repetition frequency from 250 to 500 Hz under such condition can lead to a three-fold increase in X-ray density in a repetitive pulsed mode.
Studies have criticized the low level of agreement between the various methods of personality disorder (PD) assessment. This is an important issue for research and clinical purposes.
Seven hundred and forty-two participants in the Hopkins Epidemiology of Personality Disorders Study (HEPS) were assessed on two occasions using the Personality Disorder Schedule (PDS) and the International Personality Disorder Examination (IPDE). The concordance between the two diagnostic methods for all DSM-IV PDs was assessed using standard methods and also two item response analytic approaches designed to take account of measurement error: a latent trait-based approach and a generalized estimating equations (GEE)-based approach, with post-hoc adjustment.
Raw criteria counts, using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), κ and odds ratio (OR), showed poor concordance. The more refined statistical methods showed a moderate to moderately high level of concordance between the methods for most PDs studied. Overall, the PDS produced lower prevalences of traits but higher precision of measurement than the IPDE. Specific criteria within each PD showed varying endorsement thresholds and precision for ascertaining the disorder.
Concordance in the raw measurement of the individual PD criteria between the two clinical methods is lacking. However, based on two statistical methods that adjust for differential endorsement thresholds and measurement error in the assessments, we deduce that the PD constructs themselves can be measured with a moderate degree of confidence regardless of the clinical approach used. This may suggest that the individual criteria for each PD are, in and of themselves, less specific for diagnosis, but as a group the criteria for each PD usefully identify specific PD constructs.
The 2009 novel H1N1 influenza pandemic had a significant impact on Shenzhen's population with 2063 laboratory-confirmed human H1N1 cases and five deaths being reported. We used parameters from two population-based surveys and the Shenzhen Influenza Surveillance System to estimate the total number of H1N1 influenza infections in Shenzhen in the 2009 pandemic. The attack rate of influenza-like illness (ILI) in family households was 11·2% (95% CI 9·4–13·0), with 80·2% (95% CI 77·8–82·5) seeking medical care. The ILI attack rate in workers was 38·1% (95% CI 34·3–41·7) with 72·5% (95% CI 66·9–78·0) seeking medical care. The average H1N1 positive rate in individuals reporting ILI and testing by polymerase chain reaction was 22·7%. A total of 611 000–768 000 people, or 4·7–5·9% of the Shenzhen population, are estimated to have experienced H1N1 influenza. The estimated total number of cases of H1N1 is likely to be 330 times greater than the number of laboratory-confirmed cases.
A probabilistic model to predict the statistical distribution of grain boundaries in the thin-film transistor (TFT) with an arbitrary transistor-to-grain size ratio is proposed in this paper. Performance of the TFTs, such as carrier mobility, can be estimated and the corresponding performance variation of the fabricated devices becomes predictable when the statistical distribution of grain boundaries is known. The proposed model is still applicable even when the transistor size becomes comparable to the grain size. Reliability and accuracy of the modeling results have been extensively verified by experimental data. It is believed that the model can provide design and optimization guidelines of device variation for grain-enhanced polysilicon TFT technology.
The photochemical growth of polycrystalline and amorphous Ge films on SiO2, GaAs and NaCl by photodissociating GeH4 with excimer laser radiation in parallel geometry is reported. For substrate temperatures (TS) below the pyrolytic threshold for GeH4 (553 K), two distinct regions of film growth are observed. In the 425< TS < 553 K range, the ultraviolet (UV) laser “seeds” the reactor with Ge2H6 which readily pyrolyzes at the surface, forming several monolayers of Ge which subsequently catalyze the pyrolysis of GeH4. The activation energy (Ea) in this region is the same as that for the normal CVD growth of Ge from GeH4 (Ea = 0.9 eV). If, however, the laser is pulsed throughout the film growth run, Ea falls by a factor of at least 2 and growth is observed for TS as low as 300 K. In this laser sustained region, film growth ceases in the absence of UV laser radiation. These results clearly demonstrate the ability of a UV laser to alter the reactor chemistry and dictate the species responsible for film growth.
The design of molecular crystals with specific optical properties, which are thought to arise from constituent molecules’ polarizability properties, is a desirable but currently unachievable goal. One can partially achieve this goal by choosing compounds with specific molecular attributes and empirically determining the manner in which these are translated into crystal properties. Besides the fact that there are no certain rules for prediction of crystal packing arrangements, there is also a problem in specifying molecular properties from what are today incomplete polarizability structure-property relationships. We have, realizing these limitations, identified new molecular crystals by a nonlinear optical (powder-SHG) scouting-screening program from lists of compounds chosen because of desirable molecular properties. Examination of successful materials has revealed interesting, new alignment motifs. Some of these materials, a set of halogen and cyano derivatives of aromatic compounds, are described relating properties and structures of molecules and crystals. In particular, the orientation directing influence of intermolecular halogen-cyano interactions and the use of heterocyclic compounds to improve transparency in the near infrared and in the blue and near ultraviolet spectral regions are demonstrated.
Approximations are applied to the three-level perturbation theory expressions for the third order optical polarizability. We conclude there will be three competing dominant terms, γ ≈ γc + γn + γtp each of which can be optimized at different molecular electronic structures. The two-photon term, γtp, has been commonly ascribed as the most dominant one for γ. However, the other two terms, which optimize at different structures, potentially offer equivalent or larger overall γ. The term, γn, will be optimized at structures with large second order polarizability β, while the term, γC, optimizes at certain centrosymmetric free electron structures with large first order polarization, α Optimization by γc is the preferred route, since this leads to elimination of the canceling terms which limit optimization by γtp or γn. Recent EFISH results have confirmed our earlier speculations that the free electron squarylium dye structures are particularly good for optimization by way of γc. Strategies are presented to selectively optimize to either of the three structure types and to obtain molecules with even larger γ.