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Exploring the composition and structure of the faecal microbial community improves the understanding of the role of the gut microbiota in the gastrointestinal function and the egg-laying performance of hens. Therefore, detection of hen–microbial interactions can explore a new breeding marker for the selection of egg production due to the important role of the gut microbiome in the host’s metabolism and health. Recently, the gut microbiota has been recognised as a regulator of host performance, which has led to investigations of the productive effects of changes in the faecal microbiome in various animals. In the present study, a metagenomics analysis was applied to characterise the composition and structural diversity of faecal microbial communities under two selections of egg-laying performance, high (H, n = 30) and low (L, n = 30), using 16S rRNA-based metagenomic association analysis. The most abundant bacterial compositions were estimated based on the operational classification units among samples and between the groups from metagenomic data sets. The results indicated that Firmicutes phylum has higher significant (P < 0.01) in the H group than in the L group. In addition, higher relative abundance phyla of Bacteroides and Fusobacteria were estimated in the H group than the L group, contrasting the phyla of Actinobacteria, Cyanobacteria and Proteobacteria were more relative abundance in the L group. The families (Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Acinetobacter, Flavobacteriaceae, Lachnoclostridum and Rhodococcus) were more abundant in the H group based on the comparison between the H and L groups. Meanwhile, three types of phyla (Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Cyanobacteria) and six families (Acinetobacter, Avibacterium, Clostridium, Corynebacterium, Helicobacter and Peptoclostridium) were more abundant in the L group (P < 0.01). Overall, the selection of genotypes has enriched a relationship between the gut microbiota and the egg-laying performance. These findings suggest that the faecal microbiomes of chickens with high egg-laying performance have more diverse activities than those of chickens with low egg-laying performance, which may be related to the metabolism and health of the host and egg production variation.
Rumen-protected betaine (RPB) can enhance betaine absorption in the small intestine of ruminants, while betaine can alter fat distribution and has the potential to affect the meat quality of livestock. Hence, we hypothesized that RPB might also affect the meat quality of lambs. Sixty male Hu sheep of similar weight (30.47 ± 2.04 kg) were selected and randomly subjected to five different treatments. The sheep were fed a control diet (control treatment, CTL); 1.1 g/day unprotected-betaine supplemented diet (UPB); or doses of 1.1 g/day (low RPB treatment; L-PB), 2.2 g/day (middle RPB treatment; M-PB) or 3.3 g/day (high RPB treatment; H-PB) RPB-supplemented diet for 70 days. Slaughter performance, meat quality, fatty acid and amino acid content in the longissimus dorsi (LD) muscle, shoulder muscle (SM) and gluteus muscle (GM) were measured. Compared with CTL, betaine (including UPB and RPB) supplementation increased the average daily weight gain (ADG) (P < 0.05) and average daily feed intake (P < 0.01) of lambs. Rumen-protected betaine increased ADG (P < 0.05) compared with UPB. With increasing RPB doses, the eye muscle area of the lambs linearly increased (P < 0.05). Compared with CTL, betaine supplementation decreased water loss (P < 0.05) in SM and increased pH24 in the SM (P < 0.05) and GM (P < 0.05). Compared with UPB, RPB decreased water loss in the GM (P < 0.01), decreased shear force (P < 0.05) in the LD and SM and increased the pH of the meat 24 h after slaughter (pH24). With increasing RPB doses, the shear force and b* value in the LD linearly decreased (P < 0.05), and the pH24 of the meat quadratically increased (P < 0.05). Compared with CTL, betaine supplementation increased the polyunsaturated fatty acid in the GM (P < 0.05). Compared with UPB, RPB supplementation decreased the saturated fatty acid (SFA) content in the LD (P < 0.05) and increased the unsaturated fatty acids (UFA), mono-unsaturated fatty acids and UFA/SFA ratio in the LD (P < 0.05). Compared with CTL, the content of histidine in the LD increased with betaine supplementation. Compared with UPB, RPB supplementation increased the content of total free amino acids and flavor amino acids in the LD of lambs (P < 0.05). With increasing RPB, the isoleucine and phenylalanine contents in the LD linearly increased (P < 0.05). Overall, the data collected indicated that the meat quality of lambs (especially in the LD) improved as a result of betaine supplementation, and RPB showed better effects than those of UPB.
Crystal structure and electronic structure of YMnO3 were investigated by X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy related techniques. According to the density of states (DOS), the individual interband transitions to energy loss peaks in the low energy loss spectrum were assigned. The hybridization of O 2p with Mn 3d and Y 4d analyzed by the partial DOS was critical to the ferroelectric nature of YMnO3. From the simulation of the energy loss near-edge structure, the fine structure of O K-edge was in good agreement with the experimental spectrum. The valence state of Mn (+3) in YMnO3 was determined by a comparison between experiment and calculations.
Heading date (HD) and flowering date (FD) are critical for yield potential and stability, so understanding their genetic foundation is of great significance in wheat breeding. Three related recombinant inbred line populations with a common female parent were developed to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) for HD and FD in four environments. In total, 25 putative additive QTL and 20 pairwise epistatic effect QTL were detected in four environments. The additive QTL were distributed across 17 wheat chromosomes. Of these, QHd-1A, QHd-1D, QHd-2B, QHd-3B, QHd-4A, QHd-4B and QHd-6D were major and stable QTL for HD. QFd-1A, QFd-2B, QFd-4A and QFd-4B were major and stable QTL for FD. In addition, an epistatic interaction test showed that epistasis played important roles in controlling wheat HD and FD. Genetic relationships between HD/FD and five yield-related traits (YRTs) were characterized and ten QTL clusters (C1–C10) simultaneously controlling YRTs and HD/FD were identified. The present work laid a genetic foundation for improving yield potential in wheat molecular breeding programmes.
Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) are one of the most common and severe symptoms of schizophrenia, but the neuroanatomical abnormalities underlying AVHs are not well understood. The present study aims to investigate whether AVHs are associated with cortical thinning.
Participants were schizophrenia patients from four centers across China, 115 with AVHs and 93 without AVHs, as well as 261 healthy controls. All received 3 T T1-weighted brain scans, and whole brain vertex-wise cortical thickness was compared across groups. Correlations between AVH severity and cortical thickness were also determined.
The left middle part of the middle temporal gyrus (MTG) was significantly thinner in schizophrenia patients with AVHs than in patients without AVHs and healthy controls. Inferences were made using a false discovery rate approach with a threshold at p < 0.05. Left MTG thickness did not differ between patients without AVHs and controls. These results were replicated by a meta-analysis showing them to be consistent across the four centers. Cortical thickness of the left MTG was also found to be inversely correlated with hallucination severity across all schizophrenia patients.
The results of this multi-center study suggest that an abnormally thin left MTG could be involved in the pathogenesis of AVHs in schizophrenia.
In this paper, the occurrence of the stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) and its effects on stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) pulse compression in FC-40 are investigated. As the experimental medium, the characteristics of FC-40 are suitable for pulse compression. Firstly, the frequency shifts and the threshold of SRS in FC-40 are studied with a mode-locked laser system as pump source, without taking the SBS effect into account. On the basis of the experimental results, the competition between SRS and SBS as well as its effect on pulse compression is investigated. Results show that SRS gets higher gain and grows rapidly with the increase of the laser intensity by pump effect, which will result in decreasing of SBS energy reflection.
On 1996 May 10, the All-Sky Monitor aboard RXTE revealed that Cyg X-1 started a transition from its hard state to soft state (Cui 1996). Throughout this interesting episode, snapshots were taken with more sensitive detectors on ASCA, RXTE, and CGRO to monitor the temporal and spectral variability of the source over a broad energy range.
We describe preliminary results from our study of multi-scale structures in Centaurus A (NGC 5128) obtained using the Chandra X-ray Observatory HRC-I observations. The high-angular resolution Chandra images reveal X-ray multi-scale structures in this object with unprecedented detail and clarity. The region surrounding the Cen A nucleus, believed to be associated with a supermassive black hole, shows structures on arcsecond scales clearly resolved from the central source.
Chinese psychiatrists have gradually started to focus on those who are deemed to be at ‘clinical high-risk (CHR)’ for psychosis; however, it is still unknown how often those individuals identified as CHR from a different country background than previously studied would transition to psychosis. The objectives of this study are to examine baseline characteristics and the timing of symptom onset, help-seeking, or transition to psychosis over a 2-year period in China.
The presence of CHR was determined with the Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes (SIPS) at the participants' first visit to the mental health services. A total of 86 (of 117) CHR participants completed the clinical follow-up of at least 2 years (73.5%). Conversion was determined using the criteria of presence of psychotic symptoms (in SIPS). Analyses examined baseline demographic and clinical predictors of psychosis and trajectory of symptoms over time. Survival analysis (Kaplan–Meier) methods along with Log-rank tests were performed to illustrate the relationship of baseline data to either conversion or non-conversion over time. Cox regression was performed to identify baseline predictors of conversion by the 2-year follow-up.
In total 25 (29.1%) of 86 completers transitioned to a psychotic disorder over the course of follow-up. Among the CHR sample, the mean time between attenuated symptom onset and professional help-seeking was about 4 months on average, and converters developed fully psychotic symptoms about 12 months after symptom onset. Compared with those CHR participants whose risk syndromes remitted over the course of the study, converters had significantly longer delays (p = 0.029) for their first visit to a professional in search of help. At baseline assessment, the conversion subgroup was younger, had poorer functioning, higher total SIPS positive symptom scores, longer duration of untreated prodromal symptoms, and were more often given psychosis-related diagnoses and subsequently prescribed antipsychotics in the clinic.
Chinese CHR identified primarily by a novel clinical screening approach had a 2-year transition rate comparable with those of specialised help-seeking samples world-wide. Early clinical intervention with this functionally deteriorating clinical population who are suffering from attenuated psychotic symptoms, is a next step in applying the CHR construct in China.
The present study investigated the effects of different levels of urea nitrogen (N) fertilizer on nutrient accumulation, in vitro rumen gas production and fermentation characteristics of forage oat straw (FOS) from oats (Avena sativa L. ‘Qinghai 444’) grown in the Tibet region of China. Fertilizer, applied at seeding (day 1), stem elongation (days 52–54) and heading (days 63–67), increased plant height and prolonged the maturity stage of the plant by 4–11 days compared with the non-fertilized control. Oat plants were harvested at maturity at the node 3–4 cm above ground, and then separated into grains and FOS. Both FOS and grain yields increased quadratically with increasing N fertilization, and their theoretical maximums occurred at the N fertilizing rates of 439 and 385 kg/ha, respectively. Increases in N fertilization did not affect the hemicellulose content of FOS, but substantially promoted the accumulation of crude protein, cellulose and lignin, resulting in a decrease in the energy content available for metabolism. A 72-h incubation of FOS with rumen fluids from lactating cows showed that increasing N resulted in FOS that showed a slower fermentation rate, decreased in vitro dry matter disappearance and lower cumulative gas production, but unchanged fermentation gas composition. Nitrogen fertilization increased the final pH in culture fluids and decreased the microbial volatile fatty acid (VFA) production. The molar proportions of acetate and propionate were not affected, but molar propionate proportion decreased linearly with increasing urea fertilization, and consequently, the ratio of lipogenic (e.g., acetate and butyrate)-to-glucogenic acids (propionate) tended to increase. In brief, increasing urea N fertilization promoted the growth of forage oats and increased the biomass yield as well as the crude protein and cellulose content of FOS. Considering the negative effect of increased lignin content on nutrient digestibility and total VFA production, the suggested range of urea N fertilization is 156–363 kg N/ha for forage oats planted in Tibet to retain the nutritive value of FOS in the rumen.
The cross-plane thermal conductivities of InGaZnO (IGZO) thin films in different morphologies were measured on three occasions within 19 months, using the 3ω method at room temperature 300 K. Amorphous (a-), semi-crystalline (semi-c-) and crystalline (c-) IGZO films were grown by pulsed laser deposition (PLD), followed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) for evaluation of film quality and crystallinity. Semi-c-IGZO shows the highest thermal conductivity, even higher than the most ordered crystal-like phase. After being stored in dry low-oxygen environment for months, a drastic decrease of semi-c-IGZO thermal conductivity was observed, while the thermal conductivity slightly reduced in c-IGZO and remained unchanged in a-IGZO. This change in thermal conductivity with storage time can be attributed to film structural relaxation and vacancy diffusion to grain boundaries.
The development of the smart grid, impelled by the increasing demand from industrial and residential customers together with the aging power infrastructure, has become an urgent global priority due to its potential economic, environmental, and societal benefits. Smart grid refers to the next-generation electric power system that aims to provide reliable, efficient, secure, and quality energy generation, distribution, and consumption, using modern information, communications, and electronics technology. A distributed and user-centric system will be introduced in smart grid, which will incorporate end consumers into its decision processes to provide a cost-effective and reliable energy supply. In the smart grid, the modern communication infrastructure will play a vital role in managing, controlling, and optimizing different devices and systems. Information and communication technologies will provide the power grid with the capability of supporting two-way energy and information flows, rapid isolation, and restoring of power outages, facilitating the integration of renewable energy sources into the grid and empowering the consumer with tools for optimizing their energy consumption. The introduction of the cyber infrastructure needed to realize the smart grid also brings with it vulnerability to security breaches. Thus security is amajor concern in the development of the smart grid. Moreover, the widespread deployment of smart meters and sensors such as phasor measurement units results in the generation of massive amounts of data that can be exploited in optimizing and securing the grid. This chapter addresses these two issues by investigating the applications of big data processing techniques for smart grid security from two perspectives: exploiting the inherent structure of the data, and dealing with the huge size of the data sets. Two specific applications are included in this chapter: sparse optimization for false data injection detection, and a distributed parallel approach for the security constrained optimal power flow problem.
Preliminaries and motivations
The smart grid is a modernized power system, which enables bidirectional flows of energy and uses two-way communication and control capabilities to improve the efficiency, reliability, economics, and sustainability of the production and distribution of electricity . In the conceptual model of the smart gird, seven components are introduced as described in Table 8.1 , and an illustration of their interactions is given in Figure 8.1.
A completely randomized experiment for planting highland barley in 36 field plots of the Lhasa Agricultural Experiment Station was applied to investigate the effect of urea nitrogen (N) fertilization levels of 0 (control), 156, 258, 363, 465 and 570 kg/ha on nutrient accumulation, in vitro rumen gas production and fermentation characteristics of highland barley straw (HBS). Each urea application was divided into three portions of 0.4, 0.3 and 0.3 and sequentially fertilized at seeding (growth stage (GS) 0), stem elongation (GS 32) and heading (GS 49), respectively. The maturity stage lasted 5–13 days longer in response to the urea N fertilization compared with the control. After removing grains, HBS biomass was harvested at maturity. The biomass yields of leaf, stem, straw and grain were increased quadratically with increasing urea N fertilization, and HBS and grain yields peaked at the estimated urea N fertilization levels of 385 and 428 kg/ha, respectively. The increase of urea N fertilization increased the accumulation of crude protein, cellulose and lignin, and decreased the content of ash and hemicellulose in HBS, resulting in a decrease of the energy content available to be metabolized. After incubating HBS for 72 h with rumen fluids from lactating cows, the urea N fertilization decreased in vitro dry matter disappearance and cumulative gas production, and slightly altered fermentation end-gas composition. Urea N fertilization decreased microbial volatile fatty acid production, but did not alter the ratio of lipogenic acetate and butyrate to glucogenic propionate. In a brief, the current urea N fertilization strategy promoted the growth of the highland barley and increased biomass yield, protein and cellulose accumulation of HBS. A urea N fertilization level ⩽385 kg/ha could be sufficient for growth of highland barley in Tibet without a consequent nutritive reduction in ruminal digestion.
We derive zphot for sources in the entire (~0.4 deg2) H-HDF-N field with the EAzY code, based on PSF-matched broad-band (U band to IRAC 4.5 μm) photometry. Our catalog consists of a total of 131,678 sources. We find σNMAD = 0.029 for non-X-ray sources. We also classify each object as a star or galaxy through SED fitting. Furthermore, we match our catalog with the 2 Ms CDF-N main X-ray catalog. For the 462 matched non-stellar X-ray sources, we improve their zphot quality (σNMAD = 0.035) by adding three additional AGN templates. We make our photometry and zphot catalog publicly available.
In this study, we have investigated various approaches to improve CIGS solar cells after thin film deposition. CIGS devices have been fabricated by a hydrazine solution based process. Post-deposition treatments by sulfurization were studied with focuses on the change of material structures and physical properties. Sulfurization has shown to increase grain size and band gap of the absorber layers at higher temperatures. This property change has shown a direct impact on open circuit voltage of the solar cell devices. Through these post-deposition processes, improved quality of CIGS materials can be obtained and the associated solar cell devices show better performance.
We developed a unique preparation technique to eliminate surface damage on the c-plane of sapphire and render it atomically flat. AFM images of c-plane sapphire annealed at 1380 °C for 1hour show terrace-like features with about 0.2 μm long terraces. The GaN layers grown by MBE on annealed sapphire have [0 0 2] symmetric and [1 0 4] asymmetric full width at half maximum (FWHM) of about 60 and 132 arcsec, respectively. This compares with 408 and 600 arcsec, respectively, for GaN grown on sapphire having gone through conventional chemical cleaning.
We developed a rapidly-gelling chitosan sponge crosslinked with Guanosine 5'-Diphosphate (GDP). GDP has not been previously explored as an anionic crosslinker, and it was used in this application since the nucleoside guanosine has been shown to improve remyelination in situ, and thus its presence in the sponge composition was hypothesized to induce Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cells' (OPC) differentiation. In addition to the chemical composition tailored to target OPCs, the developed chitosan sponge possesses a wide range of desirable physicochemical properties such as: rapid gelation, high porosity with interconnected pores, moduli of elasticity resembling that of soft tissue and cytocompatibility with many cell types. Moreover, protein encapsulation into the sponges was possible with high encapsulation efficiencies (e.g. BMP-7 and NT-3). In this study, BDNF was encapsulated in the chitosan sponges with an encapsulation efficiency greater than 80% and a sustained release over a 16-day period was achieved. We demonstrate here for the first time, the attachment of human fetal OPCs to the sponges and their differentiation after 12 days of culture. Overall, this newly-introduced injectable sponge is a promising therapeutic modality that can be used to enhance remyelination post-spinal cord injuries.
The front surface of dielectric passivated silicon wafers were spray coated with polyacrylic acid (PAA) using an ultrasonic coating system. A simple model was proposed to correlate the degree of coverage with the number of spray passes. The sprayed PAA films enabled good etching of the dielectric, using a process referred to as aerosol jet etching (AJE), despite the fact that the PAA thickness was non-uniform over the substrate. The AJE tip-to-substrate distance and diameter of the tip were tuned to balance process throughput and the etched line width. Controlling the level of condensation in the aerosol jet printer (AJP) fluid path was critical for etching 156-mm pseudo square silicon wafers.