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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.
The Antarctic subglacial drilling rig (ASDR) is designed to recover 105 mm-diameter ice cores up to 1400 m depth and 41.5 mm-diameter bedrock cores up to 2 m in length. In order to ensure safe and convenient drilling, drilling auxiliaries are designed to support fieldwork and servicing. These auxiliaries are subdivided into several systems for power supply, drill tripping in the borehole, ice core and chip processing, and drill servicing and maintenance. The required equipment also includes two generators, a drilling winch with a cable, logging winch with a cable, control desk, pipe handler with a fixed clamp, chip chamber vibrator, centrifuge, emergency devices and fitting and electrical tools. Additionally, several environmental protective measures such as a new liquid-tight casing with a thermal casing shoe and a bailing device for recovering drilling fluid from the borehole were designed. Most of the auxiliaries were tested during the summer of 2018–2019 near Zhongshan Station, East Antarctica while drilling to the bedrock to a depth of 198 m.
Drilling to the bedrock of ice sheets and glaciers offers unique opportunities for examining the processes occurring in the bed. Basal and subglacial materials contain important paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental records and provide a unique habitat for life; they offer significant information regarding the sediment deformation beneath glaciers and its effects on the subglacial hydraulic system and geology. The newly developed and tested Antarctic subglacial drilling rig (ASDR) is designed to recover ice and bedrock core samples from depths of up to 1400 m. All of the drilling equipment is installed inside a movable, sledge-mounted, temperature-controlled and wind-protected drilling shelter and workshop. To facilitate helicopter unloading of the research vessel, the shelter and workshop can be disassembled, with individual parts weighing <2–3 tons. The entire ASDR system weighs ~55 tons, including transport packaging. The ASDR is designed to be transported to the chosen site via snow vehicles and would be ready for drilling operations within 2–3 d after arrival. The ASDR was tested during the 2018–2019 summer season near Zhongshan Station, East Antarctica. At the test site, 2-week drilling operations resulted in a borehole that reached bedrock at a depth of 198 m.
A new, modified version of the cable-suspended Ice and Bedrock Electromechanical Drill (IBED) was designed for drilling in firn, ice, debris-rich ice and rock. The upper part of the drill is almost the same for all drill variants and comprises four sections: cable termination, a slip-ring section, an antitorque system and an electronic pressure chamber. The lower part of the IBED comprises an auger core barrel, reamers, a core barrel for ice/debris-ice drilling and a conventional geological single-tube core barrel or custom-made double-tube core barrel. First, the short and full-scale field versions of the IBED were tested at an outdoor testing stand and a testing facility with a 12.5 m-deep ice well. Then, in the 2018–2019 summer season, the IBED was tested in the field at a site ~12 km south of Zhongshan Station, East Antarctica, and a ~6 cm bedrock core was recovered from a 198 m-deep borehole. A total of 18 d was required to penetrate the ice sheet. The retrieved core samples of blue ice, basal ice and bedrock provided valuable information regarding the Earth's paleo-environment.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a prevalent mental disorder characterized by impairments in affect, behaviour and cognition. Previous studies have indicated that the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) may play an essential role in the pathophysiology of depression. In this study, we systematically identified changes in functional connectivity (FC) for ACC subdivisions that manifest in MDD and further investigated the relationship between these changes and the clinical symptoms of depression.
Sub-regional ACC FC was estimated in 41 first-episode medication-naïve MDD patients compared to 43 healthy controls. The relationships between depressive symptom severity and aberrant FC of ACC subdivisions were investigated. In addition, we conducted a meta-analysis to generate the distributions of MDD-related abnormal regions from previously reported results and compared them to FC deficits revealed in this study.
In MDD patients, the subgenual and perigenual ACC demonstrated decreased FC with the posterior regions of the default network (DN), including the posterior inferior parietal lobule and posterior cingulate cortex. FC of these regions was negatively associated with the Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire scores and largely overlapped with previously reported abnormal regions. In addition, reduced FC between the caudal ACC and precuneus was negatively correlated with the Hamilton Anxiety Scale scores. We also found increased FC between the rostral ACC and dorsal medial prefrontal cortex.
Our findings confirmed that functional interaction changes in different ACC sub-regions are specific and associated with distinct symptoms of depression. Our findings provide new insights into the role of ACC sub-regions and DN in the pathophysiology of MDD.
This review involved 60 articles chosen from 336 empirical studies identified in five leading journals on the learning and teaching of Chinese as a second or foreign language in mainland China during the period 2014–2018. The selected studies document Chinese researchers' efforts to improve the teaching and learning of the Chinese language in terms of language pedagogy, language learning and teacher development. We contend that these studies on the teaching and learning of Chinese as a second or foreign language (CSL/CFL) can contribute to the advancement of second/foreign language education theories even though they were largely conducted to address local needs and interests in the Chinese context. Unfortunately, the impact of these studies on international language education research and pedagogical development remains limited and peripheral. For this reason, this review concludes with recommendations for Chinese researchers and journal editors in the field of Chinese language teaching and learning research on how to promote quality empirical research and enhance their contributions to second/foreign language education research.
An oral starch administration trial was used to evaluate glucose homoeostasis in grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) and Chinese longsnout catfish (Leiocassis longirostris Günther). Fish were administered with 3 g of a water and starch mixture (with 3:2 ratio) per 100 g body weight after fasting for 48 h. Fish were sampled at 0, 1, 3, 6, 12, 24 and 48 h after oral starch administration. In grass carp, plasma levels of glucose peaked at 3 h but returned to baseline at 6 h. However, in Chinese longsnout catfish, plasma glucose levels peaked at 6 h and returned to baseline at 48 h. The activity of intestinal amylase was increased in grass carp at 1 and 3 h, but no significant change in Chinese longsnout catfish was observed. The activity of hepatic glucose-6-phosphatase fell significantly in grass carp but change was not evident in Chinese longsnout catfish. The expression levels and enzymic activity of hepatic pyruvate kinase increased in grass carp, but no significant changes were observed in the Chinese longsnout catfish. Glycogen synthase (gys) and glycogen phosphorylase (gp) were induced in grass carp. However, there was no significant change in gys and a clear down-regulation of gp in Chinese longsnout catfish. In brief, compared with Chinese longsnout catfish, grass carp exhibited a rapid increase and faster clearance rate of plasma glucose. This effect was closely related to significantly enhanced levels of digestion, glycolysis, glycogen metabolism and glucose-induced lipogenesis in grass carp, as well as the inhibition of gluconeogenesis.
In this paper we are concerned with modelling the reliability of a system subject to external shocks. In a run shock model, the system fails when a sequence of shocks above a threshold arrive in succession. Nevertheless, using a single threshold to measure the severity of a shock is too critical in real practice. To this end, we develop a generalized run shock model with two thresholds. We employ a phase-type distribution to model the damage size and the inter-arrival time of shocks, which is highly versatile and may be used to model many quantitative features of random phenomenon. Furthermore, we use the Markovian property to construct a multi-state system which degrades with the arrival of shocks. We also provide a numerical example to illustrate our results.
Familial monozygotic (MZ) twinning reports are rare around the world, and we report a four-generation pedigree with seven recorded pairs of female MZ twins. Whole-genome sequencing of seven family members was performed to explore the featured genetic factors in MZ twins. For variations specific to MZ twins, five novel variants were observed in the X chromosome. These candidates were used to explain the seemingly X-linked dominant inheritance pattern, and only one variant was exonic, located at the 5′UTR region of ZCCHC12 (chrX: 117958597, G > A). Besides, consistent mitochondrial DNA composition in the maternal linage precluded roles of mitochondria for this trait. In this pedigree, autosomes also contain diverse variations specific to MZ twins. Pathway analysis revealed a significant enrichment of genes carrying novel SNVs in the epithelial adherens junction-signaling pathway (p = .011), contributed by FGFR1, TUBB6, and MYH7B. Meanwhile, TBC1D22A, TRIOBP, and TUBB6, also carrying similar SNVs, were involved in the GTPase family-mediated signal pathway. Furthermore, gene-set enrichment analysis for 533 genes covered by copy number variations specific to MZ twins illustrated that the tight junction-signaling pathway was significantly enriched (p < .001). Therefore, the novel changes in the X chromosome and the provided candidate variants across autosomes may be responsible for MZ twinning, giving clues to increase our understanding about the underlying mechanism.
In this paper, a triple-wideband bandpass filter (BPF) with controllable bandwidths based on two multi-mode stub-loaded resonators (MMSLRs) and a triple-mode resonator is presented. The MMSLR is loaded with two identical folded open-ended stubs and a T-shaped stub. Each passband of the tri-band BPF is formed by four resonant modes, which provide sufficient bandwidths to meet various application requirement. By adjusting the lengths of open-ended stubs, three passband bandwidths can be controlled individually. The center frequencies of the triple-wideband BPF are allocated at 2.7, 3.67, and 5.44 GHz, with the 3 dB fractional bandwidths (FBWs) of 20.1, 14.7, and 26.3%. Among the three passbands, the highest one covers the 5 G WiFi band (5.15–5.85 GHz). The measured results of the proposed filter exhibit excellent agreement with simulated results.
We identified human paleodietary changes from inhabitants of the Guanzhong basin since 8000 BP, based on published carbon and nitrogen isotopic measurements on bones, fauna and plant remains. We also directly measured 14C ages, δ13C and δ15N values from bones unearthed at the Zhouyuan site, west of Guanzhong, in order to reconstruct paleodietary changes of the ancient inhabitants. We found that during the Laoguantai period, animal foods were the main source of nourishment with supplementary plant-derived foods. After this period, plant-derived foods became the main food source, with supplementary animal sources. The development of dry farming led to increased consumption of foxtail millet and broomcorn millet. This trend persisted and marked a fundamental shift from hunting, gathering, and fishing to farming and animal domestication. The dietary trends of the ancient inhabitants also show pronounced regional differences through time. The use of domestic animals was proportionally higher in the eastern part of the Guanzhong region, while wild animals were more common in the west.
This study aimed to describe the expression profiles of microRNAs (miRNAs) from mammary gland tissues collected from dairy cows with Streptococcus agalactiae-induced mastitis and to identify differentially expressed miRNAs related to mastitis. The mammary glands of Chinese Holstein cows were challenged with Streptococcus agalactiae to induce mastitis. Small RNAs were isolated from the mammary tissues of the test and control groups and then sequenced using the Solexa sequencing technology to construct two small RNA libraries. Potential target genes of these differentially expressed miRNAs were predicted using the RNAhybrid software, and KEGG pathways associated with these genes were analysed. A total of 18 555 913 and 20 847 000 effective reads were obtained from the test and control groups, respectively. In total, 373 known and 399 novel miRNAs were detected in the test group, and 358 known and 232 novel miRNAs were uncovered in the control group. A total of 35 differentially expressed miRNAs were identified in the test group compared to the control group, including 10 up-regulated miRNAs and 25 down-regulated miRNAs. Of these miRNAs, miR-223 exhibited the highest degree of up-regulation with an approximately 3-fold increase in expression, whereas miR-26a exhibited the most decreased expression level (more than 2-fold). The RNAhybrid software predicted 18 801 genes as potential targets of these 35 miRNAs. Furthermore, several immune response and signal transduction pathways, including the RIG-I-like receptor signalling pathway, cytosolic DNA sensing pathway and Notch signal pathway, were enriched in these predicted targets. In summary, this study provided experimental evidence for the mechanism underlying the regulation of bovine mastitis by miRNAs and showed that miRNAs might be involved in signal pathways during S. agalactiae-induced mastitis.
Previous studies have thoroughly investigated the prevalence and risk factors for completed suicide. In marked contrast is the lack of a better understanding of attempted suicide in the elderly. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of attempted suicide in the elderly and examine the associated factors.
Using a multi-stage cluster sampling approach, a cross-sectional survey of 8,399 elderly house-dwelling residents was conducted in Shanghai, China.
The two-week prevalence of attempted suicide in the elderly was 0.75%. In the bivariate analysis, having no caregivers, depressive, anxiety, sad, fear, obsessive-compulsive and anger symptom, and lower scores on the Barthel Index of Activities of Daily Living and the Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale were significantly associated with an increased risk of attempted suicide in the elderly. In the multivariate analysis, sad and fear symptoms were significantly and independently associated with a higher risk of attempted suicide in the elderly.
The two-week prevalence of attempted suicide in the elderly is relatively high when compared with the annualized or lifetime prevalence reported in China and foreign settings. Elderly individuals with certain mental symptoms should be targeted for suicide prevention and provided with timely mental health support.
Epilepsy is now recognized as the second most common neurological disease in China. To determine the genetic cause of epileptic encephalopathy, we performed a multiomics study using mouse models of controls, anticonvulsant mice treated with five drugs and epileptic mice. Based on genome-wide profiling analysis, we discovered four genes in the epileptic mouse group with differentially-expressed mRNA. After isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) validation, only one gene, SNCA, remained, which was associated with apoptotic response of neuronal cells, and regulation of dopamine release and transport. We also identified three miRNAs targeting SNCA, out of which mmu-miR-21a-3p demonstrated a seven-fold change in expression between control and epileptic mice.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) has become a global public health problem. Many studies have been conducted to identify risk factors for HCV infection. However, some of these studies reported inconsistent results. Using data collected from 11 methadone clinics, we fit both a non-spatial logistical regression and a geographically weighted logistic regression to analyse the association between HCV infection and some factors at the individual level. This study enrolled 5401 patients with 30·0% HCV infection prevalence. The non-spatial logistical regression found that injection history, drug rehabilitation history and senior high-school education or above were related to HCV infection; and being married was negatively associated with HCV infection. Using the spatial model, we found that Yi ethnicity was negatively related to HCV infection in 62·0% of townships, and being married was negatively associated with HCV infection in 81·0% of townships. Senior high-school education or above was positively associated with HCV infection in 55·2% of townships of the Yi Autonomous Prefecture. The spatial model offers better understanding of the geographical variations of the risk factors associated with HCV infection. The geographical variations may be useful for customizing intervention strategies for local regions for more efficient allocation of limited resources to control transmission of HCV.