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Full-scale simulations of a (Magnetorheological) MR damper are carried out for revealing its hysteretic behaviors associated with implementation of semi-active control using the routine of computational fluid dynamics. By virtue of the structural symmetry of the MR damper, a two-dimensional configuration for finite element simulation is built up. Herschel-Bulkley model is employed to represent the property of the MR fluid, of which the control parameters and their relevances to the input current are addressed. Typical cases involving sinusoidal and irregular displacements, steady and transient currents loaded upon the MR damper are investigated. Numerical investigations reveal that the damper force has a positive correlation with input current, excitation amplitude and excitation frequency. The full-scale simulation is proved to exhibit a sound accuracy through the validation of experimental data. It provides a logical manner revealing the true performance of MR dampers under desirable operating modes in practice, and can be readily integrated with the gain design of the associated semi-actively controlled structure. This progress bypasses the technical challenge inherent in the traditional tests with low-frequency cyclic loadings due to the limitation of experimental setup. Besides, comparative study between two-dimensional and three-dimensional configuration simulations of the MR damper shows that former has a better applicability, which can be carried out on a low-cost platform.
Rhizoctonia solani Kühn and Pythium aphanidermatum Edson cause cabbage seedling damping-off, resulting in severe yield losses. The current study demonstrates the production of toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by two strains of Bacillus mycoides and the evaluation of a potential use of B. mycoides as a biocontrol agent to control cabbage damping-off. Two VOCs, dimethyl disulphide and ammonia, were found to reduce radial growth, cause hyphal deformation and result in organelle degeneration in both R. solani and P. aphanidermatum. Pathogen hyphae, after being exposed to VOCs, showed poor rigidity, shrinkage, curling and swelling. The amount of VOCs produced by B. mycoides and the antagonistic activity against plant pathogens varied, depending on the type of medium used to culture bacteria. Application of B. mycoides cell suspensions to cultivation medium promotes growth of five different plant species tested. Experiments conducted in greenhouses revealed that B. mycoides did not reduce damping-off incidence caused by R. solani. However, B. mycoides reduced damping-off incidence induced by P. aphanidermatum by as much as 45% on cabbage seedlings. The results provide valuable information on the feasibility of utilizing B. mycoides as a biocontrol agent in controlling cabbage damping-off.
Recent studies indicate that early postnatal period is a critical window for gut microbiota manipulation to optimise the immunity and body growth. This study investigated the effects of maternal faecal microbiota orally administered to neonatal piglets after birth on growth performance, selected microbial populations, intestinal permeability and the development of intestinal mucosal immune system. In total, 12 litters of crossbred newborn piglets were selected in this study. Litter size was standardised to 10 piglets. On day 1, 10 piglets in each litter were randomly allotted to the faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) and control groups. Piglets in the FMT group were orally administrated with 2ml faecal suspension of their nursing sow per day from the age of 1 to 3 days; piglets in the control group were treated with the same dose of a placebo (0.1M potassium phosphate buffer containing 10% glycerol (vol/vol)) inoculant. The experiment lasted 21 days. On days 7, 14 and 21, plasma and faecal samples were collected for the analysis of growth-related hormones and cytokines in plasma and lipocalin-2, secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA), selected microbiota and short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in faeces. Faecal microbiota transplantation increased the average daily gain of piglets during week 3 and the whole experiment period. Compared with the control group, the FMT group had increased concentrations of plasma growth hormone and IGF-1 on days 14 and 21. Faecal microbiota transplantation also reduced the incidence of diarrhoea during weeks 1 and 3 and plasma concentrations of zonulin, endotoxin and diamine oxidase activities in piglets on days 7 and 14. The populations of Lactobacillus spp. and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and the concentrations of faecal and plasma acetate, butyrate and total SCFAs in FMT group were higher than those in the control group on day 21. Moreover, the FMT piglets have higher concentrations of plasma transforming growth factor-β and immunoglobulin G, and faecal sIgA than the control piglets on day 21. These findings indicate that early intervention with maternal faecal microbiota improves growth performance, decreases intestinal permeability, stimulates sIgA secretion, and modulates gut microbiota composition and metabolism in suckling piglets.
We report on a novel processing route to prepare La0.8Ce0.2(Fe0.95Co0.05)11.8Si1.2/Cu bulk composites by low-temperature hot pressing. With increasing copper content, the compressive strength of the composites first decrease and then increase owing to the buffering effect of copper, but the magnetocaloric effect reduces to some extent. Copper addition improves the thermal conductivity of the composites, which compensates for the decrease in thermal conductivity due to porosity. A relatively large entropy change of 5.75–7.19 J/(kg K) at 2 T near the Curie temperature (249 K), good thermal conductivity of 7.51–15.55 W/(m·K), and improved compressive strength of 151.1–248.0 MPa make these composites attractive magnetic refrigeration materials.
Superior and inferior rice grains have different weights and are located on the upper primary branch and lower secondary branches of the panicle, respectively. To study differences in germination vigour of these two types of grain, a number of factors were investigated from 0 to 48 h of germination. The present study demonstrated that in inferior grains the starch granule structure was looser at 0 h, with full water absorption at 48 h, while in superior grains the structure was tight and dense. Relative water content increased, and dry matter decreased, more rapidly in inferior grains than in superior ones. Abscisic acid and gibberellin levels, as well as α-amylase activity, also changed more rapidly in inferior grains, while soluble sugar content and amylase coding gene expression increased more rapidly in inferior than superior grains during early germination. The expression of OsGAMYB was higher in inferior grains at 24 h but higher in superior grains at 48 h. The phenotypic index of seedlings was higher in seedlings from superior grains at the two-leaf stage. However, the thousand-grain weight and yield per plant in superior and inferior plants showed no significant difference at harvest. The present study indicates that inferior grains germinate faster than superior ones in the early germination stage. Although inferior grains produced weaker seedlings, it is worthwhile using them in rice production due to their comparative yield potential over that of superior grains.
This paper reports the measurement of the energy loss of protons at the energy of 100 keV penetrating a partially ionized hydrogen plasma. The plasma of ne ≈ 1015–16 cm−3; Te ≈ 1–2 eV and lifetime of about 8 µs is created by the hydrogen gas discharge. The experimental results show an increase of a factor of 2.8 in the energy loss, which are in good agreement with the Bethe, Standard Stopping Model, Li–Petrasso and Vlasov models’ predictions within the error limit. The Bethe–Bloch Coulomb logarithm term is found to increase by a factor of 4.0 for free electrons as compared with the situation where bound electrons prevail. The potential application of protons energy loss for diagnosing the electron density in plasma is proposed too.
The effects of soluble fiber inclusion in gestation diets with varying fermentation characteristics (fermentation kinetics and short-chain fatty acids (SCFA)-profile) on lactational feed intake of sows and their piglet growth over two parities were investigated using an in vitro–in vivo methodology. After breeding, 90 multiparous Landrace sows were randomized to one of three experimental diets: the control (CON) diet, konjac flour (KF) diet or sugar beet pulp (SBP) diet. All diets had similar levels of net energy, CP, insoluble fiber and NDF, but KF and SBP diets had higher soluble fiber levels than the CON diet. During gestation, the sows were restrictively fed with three different diets, but during lactation, all the sows were similarly fed ad libitum. The three gestation diets were enzymatically hydrolyzed using pepsin and pancreatin, and enzymolyzed residues were used in in vitro fermentation. Gas and SCFA production were monitored during fermentation. After fermentation, enzymolyzed residues of KF or SBP diets resulted in higher final asymptotic gas volume than those of the CON diet. The enzymolyzed residues of KF diet were mainly part of rapidly fermented fractions, whereas those of SBP diet were mainly part of slowly fermented fractions. In addition, the acetic acid, butyric acid and total SCFA concentrations of enzymolyzed residues of KF diet were higher (P<0.01) than the control and SBP diets. In the in vivo studies, on day 90 of gestation, the KF diet sows had higher plasma SCFA concentration (P<0.05) at 4 h after feeding than the CON diet sows. Furthermore, the KF diet sows had lower plasma free fatty acid (FFA) concentration (P<0.01) at 4 h after feeding, and a lower value of homeostasis model assessment (HOMA)-insulin resistance (P<0.05), but a higher value of HOMA-insulin sensitivity (P<0.01). The KF diet sows also consumed more feed during lactation (P<0.01) and weaned significantly heavier pigs (P<0.01) than the CON diet sows. The overall results showed that the high fermentation capacity KF diet contributed to an increased lactational feed intake and improved performance of piglets in the second reproductive cycle.
(−)-Hydroxycitric acid (HCA), a major component of Garcinia cambogia extracts, has been shown to suppress BW gain and fat accumulation in animals and humans. However, the mechanism remains unknown. In this study, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was used to analyse serum metabolites, and principal component analysis and partial least-squares-discriminant analysis models were generated to analyse serum metabolite changes in broiler chickens after the administration of (−)-HCA at 0, 1000, 2000 and 3000 mg/kg diets for 28 days. Metabolites showing significant changes were screened by ‘variable importance in the projection’ plots. The results showed that 20 metabolites in the 1000 mg/kg (−)-HCA treatment group and 16 metabolites in 3000 mg/kg (−)-HCA treatment group were significantly altered. Metabolites pathway enrichment analysis indicated that these metabolites were mainly associated with metabolism of amino acids, protein synthesis, citric acid cycle, and uric acid and fatty acid synthesis. The data indicated that (−)-HCA promoted protein synthesis by regulating the metabolic directions of amino acids. At the same time, (−)-HCA treatment inhibited fatty acid synthesis by promoting the citric acid cycle, resulting in reduced cytosolic acetyl-CoA content in broiler chickens. The present study identified global changes in metabolites and analysed the main canonical metabolic pathways in broiler chickens supplemented with (−)-HCA. These results will deepen our understanding of the mechanism of (−)-HCA’s effects in animals.
From KNK metric, we have shown that there may exist some kind of celestial bodies which can not collapse to black holes provided that the proportion of the content of the magnetic monopoles to the nuclei ξ = Nm/NB exceeds a critical value ξc (l-a2/Rg2), in which ξc =√G mB/gm ∼ 4.4 ×1021, a = J/Mc, Rg =GM/c2.
The musk deer (Moschus berezovskii) is an economically important species from which musk is extracted and used in perfumes and medicines. Cestodes (parasitic flatworms) of the genus Moniezia are important parasites that infect this endangered species and can cause high mortality in young deer. In 1982, Moniezia (S.) sichuanensis sp. nov. was described from a specimen obtained from wild musk deer. The new species was distinct from the other described species of Moniezia by the sawtooth-shaped interproglottidal glands, the thick vagina and the absence of a cirrus spine. In the present study, 12 cestodes collected from musk deer were examined morphologically and confirmed to be M. sichuanensis. Molecular characterization was performed by amplifying and comparing the internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) and 5.8S rRNA gene (ITS1–5.8S) of ribosomal DNA with available sequences from other Moniezia species. The amplified sequences ranged from 761 to 764 bp and similarity ranged from 98.7–100%, compared to 67.8–92.4% with other Moniezia spp. Construction of a phylogenetic tree using the neighbour-joining method indicated that all 12 ITS1–5.8S sequences formed a single clade, confirming M. sichuanensis as a separate species. This study provides novel molecular insight into M. sichuanensis that could prove useful for future diagnosis and control of monieziasis in musk deer.
Detrimental effects of ultraviolet (UV) light on living organisms are well understood, little is known about the effects of blue light irradiation. Although a recent study revealed that blue light caused more harmful effects on insects than UV light and blue light irradiation killed insect pests of various orders including Diptera, the effects of blue light on physiology of insects are still largely unknown. Here we studied the effects of blue light irradiation on cuticular melanin in larval and the immune response in adult stage of Bactrocera dorsalis. We also evaluated the effects of blue light exposure in larval stage on various age and mass at metamorphosis and the mediatory role of cuticular melanin in carryover effects of larval stressors across metamorphosis. We found that larvae exposed to blue light decreased melanin contents in their exoskeleton with smaller mass and delayed metamorphosis than insects reared without blue light exposure. Across metamorphosis, lower melanotic encapsulation response and higher susceptibility to Beauveria bassiana was detected in adults that had been exposed to blue light at their larval stage, thereby constituting the first evidence that blue light impaired adult immune function in B. dorsalis as a carryover effect of larval exposure.
Necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) is a common disease in premature infants characterised by intestinal ischaemia and necrosis. The only effective preventative strategy against NEC is the administration of breast milk, although the protective mechanisms remain unknown. We hypothesise that an abundant human milk oligosaccharide (HMO) in breast milk, 2′-fucosyllactose (2′FL), protects against NEC by enhancing intestinal mucosal blood flow, and we sought to determine the mechanisms underlying this protection. Administration of HMO-2′FL protected against NEC in neonatal wild-type mice, resulted in a decrease in pro-inflammatory markers and preserved the small intestinal mucosal architecture. These protective effects occurred via restoration of intestinal perfusion through up-regulation of the vasodilatory molecule endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), as administration of HMO-2′FL to eNOS-deficient mice or to mice that received eNOS inhibitors did not protect against NEC, and by 16S analysis HMO-2′FL affected the microbiota of the neonatal mouse gut, although these changes do not seem to be the primary mechanism of protection. Induction of eNOS by HMO-2′FL was also observed in cultured endothelial cells, providing a link between eNOS and HMO in the endothelium. These data demonstrate that HMO-2′FL protects against NEC in part through maintaining mesenteric perfusion via increased eNOS expression, and suggest that the 2′FL found in human milk may be mediating some of the protective benefits of breast milk in the clinical setting against NEC.
Recent studies indicate that intestinal oxidative stress and microbiota imbalance is involved in weaning-induced intestinal dysfunction in piglets. We have investigated the effect of feeding a carvacrol–thymol blend supplemented diet on intestinal redox status, selected microbial populations and the intestinal barrier in weaning piglets. The piglets (weaned at 21 days of age) were randomly allocated to two groups with six pens per treatment and 10 piglets per pen. At weaning day (21 days of age), six piglets were sacrificed before weaning to serve as the preweaning group. The weaned group was fed with a basal diet, while the weaned-CB group was fed with the basal diet supplemented with 100 mg/kg carvacrol–thymol (1 : 1) blend for 14 days. On day 7 post-weaning, six piglets from each group were sacrificed to determine intestinal redox status, selected microbial populations, messenger RNA (mRNA) transcript levels of proinflammatory cytokines and biomarkers of intestinal barrier function. Weaning resulted in intestinal oxidative stress, indicated by the increased concentration of reactive oxygen species and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances present in the intestine. Weaning also reduced the population of Lactobacillus genus and increased the populations of Enterococcus genus and Escherichia coli in the jejunum, and increased mRNA levels of tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), interleukin 1β and interleukin 6 (IL-6). In addition, decreased mRNA levels of zonula occludens and occludin in the jejunal mucosa and increased plasma diamine oxidase concentrations indicated that weaning induced dysfunction of the intestinal barrier. On day 7 post-weaning, supplementation with the carvacrol–thymol blend restored weaning-induced intestinal oxidative stress. Compared with the weaned group, the weaned-CB group had an increased population of Lactobacillus genus but reduced populations of Enterococcus genus and E. coli in the jejunum and decreased mRNA levels of TNF-α. The results indicated that weaning induced intestinal oxidative stress and dysfunction of the intestinal barrier. Dietary supplementation with 100 mg/kg carvacrol–thymol (1 : 1) decreased the intestinal oxidative stress and influenced selected microbial populations without changing the biomarkers of intestinal barrier in weaning piglets.
The objective of this study was to determine if a moderate or high reduction of dietary CP, supplemented with indispensable amino acids (IAA), would affect growth, intestinal morphology and immunological parameters of pigs. A total of 40 barrows (initial BW=13.50±0.50 kg, 45±2 day of age) were used in a completely randomized block design, and allocated to four dietary treatments containing CP levels at 20.00%, 17.16%, 15.30% and 13.90%, respectively. Industrial AA were added to meet the IAA requirements of pigs. After 4-week feeding, blood and tissue samples were obtained from pigs. The results showed that reducing dietary CP level decreased average daily gain, plasma urea nitrogen concentration and relative organ weights of liver and pancreas (P<0.01), and increased feed conversion ratio (P<0.01). Pigs fed the 13.90% CP diet had significantly lower growth performance than that of pigs fed higher CP at 20.00%, 17.16% or 15.30%. Moreover, reducing dietary CP level decreased villous height in duodenum (P<0.01) and crypt depth in duodenum, jejunum and ileum (P<0.01). The reduction in the dietary CP level increased plasma concentrations of methionine, alanine (P<0.01) and lysine (P<0.05), and decreased arginine (P<0.05). Intriguingly, reducing dietary CP level from 20.00% to 13.90% resulted in a significant decrease in plasma concentration of IgG (P<0.05), percentage of CD3+T cells of the peripheral blood (P<0.01), also down-regulated the mRNA abundance of innate immunity-related genes on toll-like receptor 4, myeloid differentiation factor 88 (P<0.01) and nuclear factor kappa B (P<0.05) in the ileum. These results indicate that reducing dietary CP level from 20.00% to 15.30%, supplemented with IAA, had no significant effect on growth performance and had a limited effect on immunological parameters. However, a further reduction of dietary CP level up to 13.90% would lead to poor growth performance and organ development, associated with the modifications of intestinal morphology and immune function.
Limited information is available on the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the general population in China. A community-based epidemiological study was conducted in three counties in eastern China. A total of 149 175 individuals were investigated in 60 communities in three counties in Jiangsu province, eastern China, of whom 1175 subjects [0·79%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·74–0·83] were HCV antibody positive. The prevalence was low in children (0·09%, 95% CI 0·04–0·17), but increased progressively from adolescents (0·20%, 95% CI 0·15–0·28) to adults aged ⩾21 years (95% CI 0·15–1·64). Women had a higher prevalence of HCV infection than men in most age groups. In a multilevel regression analysis, age, sex, education, occupation, blood transfusion [odds ratio (OR) 2·91, 95% CI 1·09–5·37], invasive testing (OR 1·28, 95% CI 1·14–1·61), and dental therapy (OR 2·27, 95% CI 1·41–3·42) were associated with HCV infection. In conclusion, although the prevalence of HCV in this population was lower than reported from national levels, the total reservoir of infection is significant and warrants public health measures, such as health education to limit the magnitude of the problem.
Schizophrenia patients have higher rates of minor physical anomalies (MPAs) than controls, particularly in the craniofacial region; this difference lends support to the neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia. Whether MPAs are associated with treatment response in schizophrenia remains unknown. The aim of this case–control study was to investigate whether more MPAs and specific quantitative craniofacial features in patients with schizophrenia are associated with operationally defined treatment resistance.
A comprehensive scale, consisting of both qualitatively measured MPAs and quantitative measurements of the head and face, was applied in 108 patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia (TRS) and in 104 non-TRS patients. Treatment resistance was determined according to the criteria proposed by Conley & Kelly (2001; Biological Psychiatry 50, 898–911).
Our results revealed that patients with TRS had higher MPA scores in the mouth region than non-TRS patients, and the two groups also differed in four quantitative measurements (facial width, lower facial height, facial height, and length of the philtrum), after controlling for multiple comparisons using the false discovery rate. Among these dysmorphological measurements, three MPA item types (mouth MPA score, facial width, and lower facial height) and earlier disease onset were further demonstrated to have good discriminant validity in distinguishing TRS from non-TRS patients in a multivariable logistic regression analysis, with an area under the curve of 0.84 and a generalized R2 of 0.32.
These findings suggest that certain MPAs and craniofacial features may serve as useful markers for identifying TRS at early stages of the illness.
Discovery of ultra-compact dwarfs (UCDs) in the past 15 years blurs the once thought clear division between classic globular clusters (GCs) and early-type galaxies. The intermediate nature of UCDs, which are larger and more massive than typical GCs but more compact than typical dwarf galaxies, has triggered hot debate on whether UCDs should be considered galactic in origin or merely the most extreme GCs. Previous studies of various scaling relations, stellar populations and internal dynamics did not give an unambiguous answer to the primary origin of UCDs. In this contribution, we present the first ever detailed study of global dynamics of 97 UCDs (rh ≳ 10 pc) associated with the central cD galaxy of the Virgo cluster, M87. We found that UCDs follow a different radial number density profile and different rotational properties from GCs. The orbital anisotropies of UCDs are tangentially-biased within ~ 40 kpc of M87 and become radially-biased with radius further out. In contrast, the blue GCs, which have similar median colors to our sample of UCDs, become more tangentially-biased at larger radii beyond ~ 40 kpc. Our analysis suggests that most UCDs in M87 are not consistent with being merely the most luminous and extended examples of otherwise normal GCs. The radially-biased orbital structure of UCDs at large radii is in general agreement with the scenario that most UCDs originated from the tidally threshed dwarf galaxies.
This study was conducted to investigate the effects of konjac flour (KF) inclusion in gestation diets of sows on nutrients digestibility, lactation feed intake, reproductive performance of sows and preweaning performance of piglets. Two isoenergetic and isonitrogenous gestation diets were formulated: a control diet and a 2.1% KF-supplemented diet (KF diet). Both diets had the same NDF and insoluble fiber (ISF) levels, but the KF diet had higher soluble fiber (SF) level. The day after breeding, 96 multiparous sows were assigned to the two dietary treatments. Restrict-fed during gestation, in contrast, all sows were offered the same lactation diet ad libitum. Response criteria included sow BW, backfat depth, lactation feed intake, weaning-to-estrus interval, litter size and piglet’s weight at parturition and day 21 of lactation. On day 60 of gestation, 20 sows were used to measure nutrient digestibility. Results showed that the digestibility of dry matter, gross energy, crude fiber and ADF were not affected by the dietary treatments. The inclusion of KF in gestation diets increased NDF digestibility (P<0.05) and tended to increase the digestibility of CP (P=0.05) compared with the control diet group. In addition, dietary treatment during gestation did not affect litter size, BW and backfat gain during gestation, lactation weight, backfat loss or weaning-to-estrus interval of sows. However, sows fed the KF diet consumed more (P<0.05) lactation diet per day than sows in the control group. Accordingly, sows fed the KF diet showed greater average piglet weights on day 21 of lactation (P=0.09), and the litter weight of sows fed the KF diet on day 21 of lactation increased by 3.95 kg compared with sows fed the control diet (not significant). In conclusion, the inclusion of KF in gestation diets increased lactation feed intake of sows and tended to improve litter performance.
Fertilizer application can play an important role in soil organic carbon (SOC) retention and dynamics. The mechanisms underlying long-term accumulation and protection of SOC in intensive maize cropping systems, however, have not been well documented for cool high-latitude rainfed areas. Based on a 23-year fertilization experiment under a continuous maize cropping system at Gongzhuling, Jilin Province, China, the effects of fertilization regimes on SOC content and soil aggregate-associated carbon (C) composition were investigated. Results showed that, within the 0–1·0 m soil profile, SOC contents decreased significantly with soil depth in all treatments. In the topsoil layer (0–0·2 m), SOC concentrations in balanced inorganic fertilizers plus farmyard manure (MNPK), fallow system (FAL) and balanced inorganic fertilizers plus maize straw residue (SNPK) treatments were significantly greater than initial levels by 61·0, 34·1 and 20·1%, respectively. The MNPK and SNPK treatments increased SOC content by 50·7 and 12·4% compared to the unfertilized control in the topsoil layer, whereas no significant differences were found between balanced inorganic nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium fertilizers (NPK) and the unfertilized control treatment. There were no significant differences in aggregate-size distribution among the unfertilized control, NPK and MNPK treatments, whereas the SNPK treatment significantly enhanced the formation of micro-aggregates (53–250 μm) and decreased the formation of silt+clay aggregates (<53 μm) compared to the unfertilized control, NPK and MNPK treatments. Moreover, SOC concentrations in all aggregate fractions in the MNPK treatment were the highest among treatments. Furthermore, the MNPK treatment significantly increased SOC stock in micro- and silt+clay aggregates, which may slow down C decomposition in the soil. These results indicate that long-term manure amendment can benefit SOC sequestration and stability in the black soil of Northeast China.