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A 2-year fertilization experiment was conducted to study the effect of different ratios of organic (pig) manure on wheat yield and nitrogen use efficiency (NUE). The four treatments were no nitrogen (N) (CK); 100% chemical fertilizer N (urea; T1); 70% chemical fertilizer N + 30% organic manure N (T2) and 50% chemical fertilizer N + 50% organic manure N (T3), with the same amount of applied nitrogen (120 kg/ha). The results showed the maximum grain yield (3049 kg/ha), crop nitrogen uptake (216 kg/ha), NUE (65.4%) and accumulated nitrate nitrogen (NO3−-N in 0–200 cm, 142 kg/ha) were observed in the T1 among all treatments in the first year. However, the largest grain yield (5074 kg/ha), crop nitrogen uptake (244 kg/ha) and NUE (82.5%) were under T2 treatment in the second year. Furthermore, T2 had the maximum NO3−-N content in 0–100 cm layer (116 kg/ha), especially 0–40 cm layer, and the lowest NO3−-N content in 100–200 cm (58.8 kg/ha). However, 50% organic manure N in T3 increased apparent nitrogen loss by 39.0% compared to that in T2. Therefore, 30% organic manure N application was more conducive for enhancing wheat yield and NUE and promoting environmental safety after 1-year fertilization time.
Previous work led to the proposal that the precision feeding of a high-concentrate diet may represent a potential method with which to enhance feed efficiency (FE) when rearing dairy heifers. However, the physiological and metabolic mechanisms underlying this approach remain unclear. This study used metabolomics analysis to investigate the changes in plasma metabolites of heifers precision-fed diets containing a wide range of forage to concentrate ratios. Twenty-four half-sib Holstein heifers, with a similar body condition, were randomly assigned into four groups and precision fed with diets containing different proportions of concentrate (20%, 40%, 60% and 80% based on DM). After 28 days of feeding, blood samples were collected 6 h after morning feeding and gas chromatography time-of-ﬂight/MS was used to analyze the plasma samples. Parameters of oxidative status were also determined in the plasma. The FE (after being corrected for gut fill) increased linearly (P < 0.01) with increasing level of dietary concentrate. Significant changes were identified for 38 different metabolites in the plasma of heifers fed different dietary forage to concentrate ratios. The main pathways showing alterations were clustered into those relating to carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism; all of which have been previously associated with FE changes in ruminants. Heifers fed with a high-concentrate diet had higher (P < 0.01) plasma total antioxidant capacity and superoxide dismutase but lower (P ≤ 0.02) hydroxyl radical and hydrogen peroxide than heifers fed with a low-concentrate diet, which might indicate a lower plasma oxidative status in the heifers fed a high-concentrate diet. Thus, heifers fed with a high-concentrate diet had higher FE and antioxidant capacity but a lower plasma oxidative status as well as changed carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism. Our findings provide a better understanding of how forage to concentrate ratios affect FE and metabolism in the precision-fed growing heifers.
Considering the decision-making requirements of airport, airlines and passengers, a bilevel programming model which contains two parts was proposed in this paper. One part is to improve the utilization of gates of the airport (upper level), so the objective function of the upper level to the minimum overall variance of slack time between two consecutive air crafts at the same gate. The other part looks at maximize the airline revenue and passengers more conveniently and comfortably (lower level). The lower level has two objective functions — the minimum passenger transfer failure and the minimum passenger average transfer time, respectively. According to the latest data of an airport in Eastern China, the adaptive genetic algorithm is used to solve the above-mentioned bilevel optimisation problems. The numerical experiment shows that the model not only reduces the variance of the relaxation time, but also optimises the flight gate allocation and achieves the initial goal.
Attention, working memory (WM), information processing and memory deficits are important features of schizophrenia. WM functions appear to be mediated by the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Functional imaging studies have shown a failure to activate the DLPFC during working memory tasks in patients with chronic schizophrenia. The primary aim of this study is to determine whether there are brain activation changes in the dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) as a result of engaging in a randomized, controlled 12 week course of cognitive remediation therapy (CRT) in inpatients with chronic schizophrenia.
Patients with DSM IV schizophrenia are randomized to a 12 week trial of Cognitive Remediation (CR) using a Computerized CR program (COGPACK) or to a 12-week control condition. Patients receive at baseline and endpoint an fMRI scan with a cognitive task (N-back task), a neuropsychological test battery (MATRICS), functional and symptom assessments.
Preliminary results of this ongoing study show that patients after 12 weeks of CR showed (1) significantly more improvement in WM functions than patients who participated in the control group and (2) improvement in accuracy on the verbal letter 2-back task during the fMRI scan. Signal difference between 2-back and 0-back was not present or only present minimally at baseline (Pre-CR); however, at endpoint (Post-CR) there was signal difference present, which corresponds to an increase in activation in the areas of the DLPFC. This increase in activation pattern may be reflective of the effects of the exposure to the CR intervention.
Modafinil was tested for efficacy in facilitating abstinence in cocaine-dependent patients, compared to placebo.
This is a double-blind placebo-controlled study, with 12 weeks of treatment and a 4-week follow-up. 210 treatment-seekers with DSM-IV diagnosis of cocaine dependence consented and enrolled. 72 participants were randomized to placebo, 69 to modafinil 200mg, and 69 to modafinil 400mg, taken once daily on awakening. Participants attended the clinic three times per week for assessments and urine drug screens, and had one hour of individual psychotherapy once per week. The primary outcome was the increase in weekly percentage of non-use days. Secondary outcomes included: decrease in the weekly median log of urine benzoylecgonine, subgroup analyses of balancing factors and co-morbid conditions, self-report of alcohol use, addiction severity, craving, and risk behaviors for HIV.
125 participants completed 12 weeks of treatment (60%). The GEE regression analysis showed that for the total sample, the difference between modafinil groups and placebo in the weekly percentage of cocaine non-use days over the 12-week treatment period was not statistically significant (p=0.95). A post-hoc analysis showed a significant effect for modafinil, only in the subgroup of cocaine patients without alcohol dependence. Modafinil 200mg also showed significant effects of an increase in the total number of consecutive non-use days for cocaine (p=0.02), and a reduction in craving (p=0.04).
These data suggest that modafinil, in combination with individual behavioral therapy, was effective for increasing cocaine non-use days in participants without co-morbid alcohol dependence, and in reducing craving.
rs10761482 in ANK3 gene showed a significant association with schizophrenia in a genome-wide association study (GWAS). Another marker rs10994336 in ANK3 with the risk of bipolar disorder (BD) which might have more genetic overlap with schizophrenia, had been reported in two meta-analyses of GWAS. In this study, we investigated the association between ANK3 polymorphisms and the susceptibility of schizophrenia in Chinese Han population.
Population-based (schizophrenia patients = 516 and controls = 400) and family based (trios of early onset schizophrenia= 81) study was performed through genotyping the most promising makers rs10761482, rs10994336, and two missenses rs3808942 and rs3808943 near promoter of ANK3. Particularly, we conducted an association analysis for the combined case-control and family samples.
Our population-based study replicated the association between rs10761482 (P = 0.0268 with C allele) and schizophrenia, and detected a novel association with rs10994336 (P = 4.0 × 10−4 with T allele). Haplotype analysis revealed the higher frequencies of C-T, and T-C (rs10761482–10994336) in the cases than controls (P = 0.0032 and P = 0.0012, respectively). In the family study, the C allele of rs10761482 (P = 0.0940) and T allele of rs10994336 (P = 0.0832) were slightly over-transmitted, and T-C was significantly associated with schizophrenia (P = 0.0304). The results from the combined samples analysis were consistent with independent analysis. rs10761482, rs10994336, C-T, and T-C were significantly associated with schizophrenia (P = 3.3 × 10−6∼3.9 × 10−5), whilst rs3808942 and rs3808943 did not reach normal significance.
Our data strongly support ANK3 gene is a schizophrenia susceptibility gene, and also provide further evidence for the shared susceptibility loci between schizophrenia and BD.
Previous studies have shown that the polymorphisms in COMT gene and environmental factors affect the risk of drug dependence, but there’s no research shown in relapse of heroin dependence, and the mechanism underlying remains uncertain.
Examine the interaction between allelic variants of the catechol-O- methlytransferase (COMT) gene and environmental factors (encountering drug-related environmental situations, social support) in contribution to relapse in heroin dependence.
Construct the gene-environment interaction model in order to understand the mechanism for relapse in heroin dependence.
The 249 heroin dependent subjects who followed up at one year after abstinent by using the natural history interview (NHI), social support rateing Scale (SSRS), and other questionnaires were genotyped for eight tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) on the COMT gene. General Multifactor Dimensionality Reduction (GMDR) was used to construct the gene-environment interaction model which impacting relapse in heroin dependence.
The relapse group had higher frequencies of encountering drug-related environment (EDE) and G allele and GG genotype frequencies on COMT gene rs4680 locus and less Social Support Scale scores than that in the abstinence group. Logistic regression analysis showed that encountering more drug-related environment and GG genotype carriers were the risk factors for relapse in heroin dependence. GMDR analysis showed that the COMT gene was interact with the frequency of EDE and social support level to impact the relapse in heroin dependence.
Gene-environment interaction between COMT gene and the frequency of EDE and social support were related to heroin dependence relapse.
To evaluate the upper airway morphology changes associated with ageing in adult Chinese patients with obstructive sleep apnoea.
A total of 124 male patients diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea by overnight polysomnography, who underwent upper airway computed tomography, were enrolled. The linear dimensions, cross-sectional area and volume of the upper airway region and the surrounding bony frame were measured. The association between ageing and upper airway morphology was analysed.
Soft palate length, minimum cross-sectional area of the retroglossal region, lateral dimensions at the minimum cross-sectional area of the retropalatal and retroglossal regions, nasopharyngeal volume, and average cross-sectional area of the nasopharyngeal region were found to significantly increase with ageing in all patients, while the upper airway shape flattened with ageing. The volume of the retropalatal region increased with ageing among the patients with a body mass index of less than 24 kg/m2. The volume of parapharyngeal fat pad increased with ageing among patients with a body mass index greater than 28 kg/m2.
A number of dimensional, cross-sectional and volumetric parameters of the pharynx increased with age, indicating that non-anatomical factors may play a more important role in the pathogenesis of obstructive sleep apnoea in aged patients.
Combining different swine populations in genomic prediction can be an important tool, leading to an increased accuracy of genomic prediction using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chip data compared with within-population genomic. However, the expected higher accuracy of multi-population genomic prediction has not been realized. This may be due to an inconsistent linkage disequilibrium (LD) between SNPs and quantitative trait loci (QTL) across populations, and the weak genetic relationships across populations. In this study, we determined the impact of different genomic relationship matrices, SNP density and pre-selected variants on prediction accuracy using a combined Yorkshire pig population. Our objective was to provide useful strategies for improving the accuracy of genomic prediction within a combined population. Results showed that the accuracy of genomic best linear unbiased prediction (GBLUP) using imputed whole-genome sequencing (WGS) data in the combined population was always higher than that within populations. Furthermore, the use of imputed WGS data always resulted in a higher accuracy of GBLUP than the use of 80K chip data for the combined population. Additionally, the accuracy of GBLUP with a non-linear genomic relationship matrix was markedly increased (0.87% to 15.17% for 80K chip data, and 0.43% to 4.01% for imputed WGS data) compared with that obtained with a linear genomic relationship matrix, except for the prediction of XD population in the combined population using imputed WGS data. More importantly, the application of pre-selected variants based on fixation index (Fst) scores improved the accuracy of multi-population genomic prediction, especially for 80K chip data. For BLUP|GA (BLUP approach given the genetic architecture), the use of a linear method with an appropriate weight to build a weight-relatedness matrix led to a higher prediction accuracy compared with the use of only pre-selected SNPs for genomic evaluations, especially for the total number of piglets born. However, for the non-linear method, BLUP|GA showed only a small increase or even a decrease in prediction accuracy compared with the use of only pre-selected SNPs. Overall, the best genomic evaluation strategy for reproduction-related traits for a combined population was found to be GBLUP performed with a non-linear genomic relationship matrix using variants pre-selected from the 80K chip data based on Fst scores.
Pedophilia is a disorder where sexual preferences of adults are directed towards children. This disorder impacts society with 1–2 out of every 10 children being sexually approached by an adult, often resulting in prolonged negative psychological effects. Prior research reported structural and functional amygdala alterations in pedophilia. As the neurophenomenological model of sexual arousal suggests the importance of the amygdala in the emotional component, we focused on amygdala functional connectivity in pedophilia.
To investigate amygdala functional connectivity (FC) modulated by expectancy and salient stimuli in pedophilic patients.
Thirteen pedophilic patients and 13 matched healthy controls underwent a salience expectancy task in a 7T ultra high fMRI study. Subjects perceived pictures of naked adults and children. Half of the pictures were preceded by an expectancy cue. Participants were instructed to actively expect the picture depending on the cue. We conducted psychophysiological analysis (PPI) to examine amygdala FC changes in two amygdala sub-regions for child/adult stimuli during the expectancy period and the visual stimuli consummation period using as seed regions the basolateral (BLA) and central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA).
Healthy controls, relative to patients showed significant stronger left CeA to right post-central gyrus FC during expectancy of adult > child picture. For picture condition (adult > child picture) we found significant stronger left CeA to left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex FC in patients compared to healthy controls.
These findings add to the recent literature by indicating that amygdala dysfunctional connectivity is involved in development of deviant sexual behavior.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Compared to healthy controls, adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) showed stronger activation in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in resolving emotional conflict. Whether subthreshold depression (StD) at an advanced age is also accompanied by similar changes in brain activation in coping with emotional conflict remained unknown.
By using face-word Stroop task, the current study explored the neural correlates of emotional interference processing in old adults with StD.
Participants were 19 community-dwelling older adults with StD assessed by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale (CES-D) scores. We collected magnetic resonance images of their brain compared to images of 18 healthy aged-matched adults. We used SPM to analyze differences in brain activations in emotional interference processing between the two groups.
Results showed that elderly individuals with StD have stronger activation in DLPFC, ACC, default mode network (DMN) and visual extrastriate cortex compared to healthy controls. Furthermore, the brain activations of the DLPFC, DMN and visual extrastriate cortex were significantly associated with participants’ behavioral interference effect in StD.
Stronger brain activation in DLPFC, ACC, DMN and extrastriate cortex in old adults with StD suggests that the working efficiency of their brain is quite low and their cognitive control is impaired to some extent.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Childhoods in urban or rural environments may differentially affect risk for neuropsychiatric disorders. Here, we leveraged on dramatic urbanization and rural-urban migration since the 1980s in China to explore the hypothesis that rural or urban childhoods may differentially influence memory processing and neural responses to neutral and aversive stimuli.
Explore the underlying mechanisms of childhood environment effect on brain function and neuropsychiatric risk.
We examined 420 adult subjects with similar current socioeconomic status and living in Beijing, China, but with differing rural (n = 227) or urban (n = 193) childhoods. In an episodic memory paradigm scanned in a 3 T GE MRI, subjects viewed blocks of neutral or aversive pictures in the encoding and retrieval sessions.
Episodic memory accuracy for neutral stimuli was less than for aversive stimuli (P < 0.001). However, subjects with rural childhoods apparently performed less accurately for memory of aversive but not neutral stimuli (P < 0.01). In subjects with rural childhoods, there was relatively increased engagement of bilateral striatum at encoding, increased engagement of bilateral hippocampus at retrieval of neutral and aversive stimuli, and increased engagement of amygdala at aversive retrieval (P < 0.05 FDR corrected, cluster size > 50).
Rural or urban childhoods appear associated with physiological and behavioural differences, particularly in the neural processing of aversive episodic memory at medial temporal and striatal brain regions. It remains to be explored the extent to which these effects relate to individual risk for neuropsychiatric or stress-related disorders.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Nutritional therapy is a cornerstone of burns management. The optimal macronutrient intake for wound healing after burn injury has not been identified, although high-energy, high-protein diets are favoured. The present study aimed to identify the optimal macronutrient intake for burn wound healing. The geometric framework (GF) was used to analyse wound healing after a 10 % total body surface area contact burn in mice ad libitum fed one of the eleven high-energy diets, varying in macronutrient composition with protein (P5−60 %), carbohydrate (C20−75 %) and fat (F20−75 %). In the GF study, the optimal ratio for wound healing was identified as a moderate-protein, high-carbohydrate diet with a protein:carbohydrate:fat (P:C:F) ratio of 1:4:2. High carbohydrate intake was associated with lower mortality, improved body weight and a beneficial pattern of body fat reserves. Protein intake was essential to prevent weight loss and mortality, but a protein intake target of about 7 kJ/d (about 15 % of energy intake) was identified, above which no further benefit was gained. High protein intake was associated with delayed wound healing and increased liver and spleen weight. As the GF study demonstrated that an initial very high protein intake prevented mortality, a very high-protein, moderate-carbohydrate diet (P40:C42:F18) was specifically designed. The dynamic diet study was also designed to combine and validate the benefits of an initial very high protein intake for mortality, and subsequent moderate protein, high carbohydrate intake for optimal wound healing. The dynamic feeding experiment showed switching from an initial very high-protein diet to the optimal moderate-protein, high-carbohydrate diet accelerated wound healing whilst preventing mortality and liver enlargement.
The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is an open access telescope dedicated to studying the low-frequency (80–300 MHz) southern sky. Since beginning operations in mid-2013, the MWA has opened a new observational window in the southern hemisphere enabling many science areas. The driving science objectives of the original design were to observe 21 cm radiation from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR), explore the radio time domain, perform Galactic and extragalactic surveys, and monitor solar, heliospheric, and ionospheric phenomena. All together
programs recorded 20 000 h producing 146 papers to date. In 2016, the telescope underwent a major upgrade resulting in alternating compact and extended configurations. Other upgrades, including digital back-ends and a rapid-response triggering system, have been developed since the original array was commissioned. In this paper, we review the major results from the prior operation of the MWA and then discuss the new science paths enabled by the improved capabilities. We group these science opportunities by the four original science themes but also include ideas for directions outside these categories.
The small intestine is an important digestive organ and plays a vital role in the life of a pig. We tested the hypothesis that the length of the small intestine is related to growth performance and intestinal functions of piglets. A total of 60 piglets (Duroc × Landrace × Yorkshire), weaned at day 21, were fed an identical diet during a 28-day trial. At the end of the study, all piglets were sacrificed, dissected and grouped according to small intestine lengths (SILs), either short small intestine (SSI), middle small intestine (MSI) or long small intestine (LSI), respectively. Positive relationships between SIL and BW, average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI) and gain-to-feed ratios (G : F) were observed. Final BW, ADG, ADFI and G : F significantly increased (P < 0.05) in MSI and LSI piglets compared with SSI piglets. Short small intestine and MSI had greater jejunal mucosa sucrase and alkaline phosphatase activities (P < 0.05) than LSI piglets. The mRNA level of solute carrier family 2 member 2 (Slc2a2) in the jejunal mucosa of SSI piglets was the greatest. The MSI piglets had a greater (P < 0.05) ileal villus height than other piglets and greater (P < 0.05) villus height-to-crypt depth ratios than LSI piglets. However, the LSI piglets had a greater (P < 0.05) ileal crypt depth than SSI piglets. No significant differences in duodenal, jejunal, caecal and colonic morphologies were detected among the groups. Moreover, luminal acetate, propionate, butyrate and total short-chain fatty acid contents were greater (P < 0.05) in SSI and MSI piglets than those in LSI piglets. In addition, there was greater serum glucose concentration in MSI piglets than other piglets. Serum albumin concentration in SSI piglets was the lowest. In conclusion, these results indicate that SIL was significantly positively associated with growth performance, and in terms of intestinal morphology and mucosal digestive enzyme activity, the piglets with a medium length of small intestine have better digestion and absorption properties.
Twins Research Australia (TRA) is a community of twins and researchers working on health research to benefit everyone, including twins. TRA leads multidisciplinary research through the application of twin and family study designs, with the aim of sustaining long-term twin research that, both now and in the future, gives back to the community. This article summarizes TRA’s recent achievements and future directions, including new methodologies addressing causation, linkage to health, economic and educational administrative datasets and to geospatial data to provide insight into health and disease. We also explain how TRA’s knowledge translation and exchange activities are key to communicating the impact of twin studies to twins and the wider community. Building researcher capability, providing registry resources and partnering with all key stakeholders, particularly the participants, are important for how TRA is advancing twin research to improve health outcomes for society. TRA provides researchers with open access to its vibrant volunteer membership of twins, higher order multiples (multiples) and families who are willing to consider participation in research. Established four decades ago, this resource facilitates and supports research across multiple stages and a breadth of health domains.
In this study, the thermal deformation of a machine tool structure due to the heat generated during operation was analyzed, and embedded cooling channels were applied to exchange the heat generated during the operation to achieve thermal error suppression. Then, the finite volume method was used to simulate the effect of cooling oil temperature on thermal deformation, and the effect of thermal suppression was experimentally studied using a feed system combined with a cooler to improve the positioning accuracy of the machine tool. In this study, the supply oil temperature in the structural cooling channels was found to significantly affect the position accuracy of the moving table and moving carrier. If the supply oil temperature in the cooling channels is consistent with the operational ambient temperature, the position accuracy of the moving table in the Y direction and the moving carrier in the X and Z directions has the best performance under different feed rates. From the thermal suppression experiments of the embedded cooling channels, the positioning accuracy of the feed system can be improved by approximately 25.5 % during the dynamic feeding process. Furthermore, when the hydrostatic guideway is cooled and dynamic feeding is conducted, positioning accuracy can be improved by up to 47.8 %. The machining accuracy can be improved by approximately 60 % on average by using the embedded cooling channels in this study. Therefore, thermal suppression by the cooling channels in this study can not only effectively improve the positioning accuracy but also enhance machining accuracy, proving that the method is effective for enhancing machine tool accuracy.