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Grape seed procyanidins (GSPs), widely known for their beneficial health properties, fail to bring about the expected improvement in piglets’ growth performance. The effects of dietary supplementation with GSPs on nutrient utilisation may be a critical influencing factor. Hence, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of dietary supplementation with GSPs on nutrient utilisation and gut function in weaned piglets. One hundred and twenty crossbred piglets were allocated randomly to four treatment groups, with three replicate pens per treatment and 10 piglets per pen. Each group was given one of the four dietary treatments: the basal diet (control group) or the basal diet with the addition of 50-, 100- or 150-mg/kg GSPs. The trial lasted 28 days. Faeces were collected from d 12 to 14 and from d 26 to 28 for measuring the coefficient of total tract apparent digestibility (CTTAD) of the nutrients. Blood samples were collected on d 14 and 28 for detecting the blood biochemical parameters. Two piglets per pen were slaughtered to collect the pancreas and intestinal digesta for evaluating the digestive enzyme activity and the coefficient of ileal apparent digestibility (CIAD) of the nutrients. On d 14 and 28, supplementation with 150-mg/kg GSPs significantly decreased the CTTAD of DM and CP in piglets. On d 14, GSPs supplementation at a concentration of 150 mg/kg led to a remarkable decrease in the CIAD of CP and gross energy (GE). On d 28, GSPs supplementation at a dose of 150 mg/kg generated a marked decline in the CIAD of DM, GE, CP and ether extract. Grape seed procyanidins supplementation at concentrations of 100 or 150 mg/kg inhibited the activities of lipase and amylase. In contrast, the jejunum mucosa maltase and sucrase activities increased due to the inclusion of GSPs at a concentration of 100 mg/kg in the piglet diet. Compared with the levels of the control group, the serum glucose and total protein levels were enhanced significantly by supplementation with GSPs at 100 mg/kg and reduced dramatically at 150 mg/kg. The serum diamine oxidase activity and endotoxin levels were decreased by GSPs supplementation in piglet diets. In conclusion, higher concentrations of GSPs in weaned piglet diets attenuated nutrient digestion and inhibited digestive enzyme activity; however, suitable concentrations of GSPs could promote brush-border enzyme activity, enhance serum glucose and total protein concentrations and decrease epithelial permeability.
Monolithic integrated thin film tandem solar cells consisting of a high bandgap perovskite top cell and a low bandgap thin film bottom cell are expected to reach higher power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) with lower manufacturing cost and environmental impacts than the market-dominant crystalline silicon photovoltaics. There have been several demonstrations of 4-terminal and 2-terminal perovskite tandem devices with CuInGaSe2 (CIGS) or CuInSe2 (CIS) and, similar to the other tandem structures, the optimization of this device relies on optimal choice for the perovskite bandgap and thickness. Therefore, further advancement will be enabled by tuning the perovskite absorber to maximize the photocurrent limited by the current match condition. Here, we systematically study the optical absorption and transmission of perovskite thin films with varying absorber band gap. Based on these results, we model the photocurrent generations in both perovskite and CIS subcells and estimate the performances of projected tandem devices by considering the ideally functioning perovskite and CIS device. Our results show that for perovskite layers with 500 nm thickness the optimal bandgap is around 1.6 eV. With these configurations, PCEs above 20% could be achieved by monolithically integrated perovskite/CIS tandem solar cells. Also by modelling the absorption at every layer we calculate the quantum efficiency at each subcell in addition to tracking optical losses.
Methods of obtaining large grain size and high crystallinity in absorber materials play an important role in fabrication of high-performance methylammonium lead iodide (MAPbI3) perovskite solar cells. Here we study the effect of adding small concentrations of Cd2+, Zn2+, and Fe2+salts to the perovskite precursor solution used in the single-step solution fabrication process. Enhanced grain size and crystallinity in MAPbI3 films were obtained by using 0.1% of Cd2+ or Zn2+in the precursor solution. Consequently, solar cells constructed with Cd- and Zn-doped perovskite films show a significant improvement in device performance. These results suggest that the process may be an effective and facile method to fabricate high-efficiency perovskite photovoltaic devices.
Curcumin has been attributed with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial activities, and has shown highly protective effects against enteropathogenic bacteria and mycotoxins. Ochratoxin A (OTA) is one of the major intestinal pathogenic mycotoxins. The possible effect of curcumin on the alleviation of enterotoxicity induced by OTA is unknown. The effects of dietary curcumin supplementation on OTA-induced oxidative stress, intestinal barrier and mitochondrial dysfunctions were examined in young ducks. A total of 540 mixed-sex 1-day-old White Pekin ducklings with initial BW (43.4±0.1 g) were randomly assigned into controls (fed only the basal diet), a group fed an OTA-contaminated diet (2 mg/kg feed), and a group fed the same OTA-contaminated feed plus 400 mg/kg of curcumin. Each treatment consisted of six replicates, each containing 30 ducklings and treatment lasted for 21 days. There was a significant decrease in average daily gain (ADG) and increased feed : gain caused by OTA (P<0.05); curcumin co-treatment prevented the decrease in BW and ADG compared with the OTA group (P<0.05). Histopathological and ultrastructural examination showed clear signs of enterotoxicity caused by OTA, but these changes were largely prevented by curcumin supplementation. Curcumin decreased the concentrations of interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α and malondialdehyde, and increased the activity of glutathione peroxidase induced by OTA in the jejunal mucosa of ducks (P<0.05). Additionally, curcumin increased jejunal mucosa occludin and tight junction protein 1 mRNA and protein levels, and decreased those of ρ-associated protein kinase 1 (P<0.05). Notably, curcumin inhibited the increased expression of apoptosis-related genes, and downregulated mitochondrial transcription factors A, B1 and B2 caused by OTA without any effects on RNA polymerase mitochondrial (P<0.05). These results indicated that curcumin could protect ducks from OTA-induced impairment of intestinal barrier function and mitochondrial integrity.
The triplite LiFeSO4F displays both the highest potential ever reported for an Fe-based compound, as well as a comparable specific energy with that of popular LiFePO4. The synthesis is still a challenge because the present approaches are connected with long time, special equipments or organic reagents, etc. In this work, the triplite LiFeSO4F powder was synthesized through an ambient two-step solid-state route. The reaction process and phase purity were analyzed, coupled with structure refinement and electrochemical test.
One view of major Solar Energetic Particle (SEP) events is that these (proton-dominated) fluxes are accelerated in heliospheric shock sources created by Interplanetary Coronal Mass Ejections (ICMEs), and then travel mainly along interplanetary magnetic field lines connecting the shock(s) to the observer(s). This places a particular emphasis on the role of the heliospheric conditions during the event, requiring a realistic description of the latter to interpret and/or model SEP events. The well-known ENLIL heliospheric simulation with cone model generated ICME shocks is used together with the SEPMOD particle event modeling scheme to demonstrate the value of applying these concepts at multiple inner heliosphere sites.
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.
Over the past 8 years, human enteroviruses (HEVs) have caused 27 227 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in Xiamen, including 99 severe cases and six deaths. We aimed to explore the molecular epidemiology of HFMD in Xiamen to inform the development of diagnostic assays, vaccines and other interventions. From January 2009 to September 2015, 5866 samples from sentinel hospitals were tested using nested reverse transcription PCR that targeted the HEV 5′ untranslated region and viral protein 1 region. Of these samples, 4290 were tested positive for HEV and the amplicons were sequenced and genotyped. Twenty-two genotypes were identified. Enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackieviruses A16, A6 and A10 (CA16, CA6 and CA10) were the most common genotypes, and there were no changes in the predominant lineages of these genotypes. EV71 became the most predominant genotype every 2 years. From 2013, CA6 replaced CA16 as one of the two most common genotypes. The results demonstrate the vast diversity of HFMD pathogens, and that minor genotypes are able to replace major genotypes. We recommend carrying-out long-term monitoring of the full spectrum of HFMD pathogens, which could facilitate epidemic prediction and the development of diagnostic assays and vaccines.
The fruit of Ligustrum lucidum (FLL, Nuzhenzi in Chinese) is an important traditional medicine, and have attracted significant research attention because of their various biological activities. However, there are few research reports available on the use of FLL as a feed additive in livestock nutrition, particularly in layers. This study was conducted to determine the effects of supplementation of the diet of laying hens with FLL on laying performance, egg quality and blood metabolites. A total of 360 72-week-old hens were allocated to three dietary treatments (eight replications of 15 hens/treatment group) and were fed either a control diet or a diet supplemented with an inclusion level of 0.25% or 0.50% of FLL powder in the final feed, until 78 weeks of age. Hens were housed in a three-tier cage system. Feed and water were provided ad libitum. Blood samples and eggs were collected at the end of the experiment. The results showed that dietary supplementation with FLL did not affect egg weight, feed conversion ratio, eggshell thickness, albumen height, egg yolk color, eggshell breaking strength or egg shape index. However, FLL supplementation significantly decreased (P<0.001) mortality, cracked-egg rate and blood serum levels of cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides and alanine aminotransferase, and increased (P<0.001) blood serum levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. No differences in serum levels of total protein, albumin, glucose, calcium, aspartate aminotransferase or alkaline phosphatase were observed in hens fed FLL compared with the control group. It can be concluded that FLL, at a supplementation level of 0.25% final feed, can be used as an effective feed additive to improve the performance of laying hens during the late laying period.
Methylphenidate and atomoxetine are commonly prescribed for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, their therapeutic neural mechanisms remain unclear.
After baseline evaluation including cognitive testing of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB), drug-naive children with ADHD (n = 46), aged 7–17 years, were randomly assigned to a 12-week treatment with methylphenidate (n = 22) or atomoxetine (n = 24). Intrinsic brain activity, including the fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) and regional homogeneity (ReHo), was quantified via resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging at baseline and week 12.
Reductions in inattentive symptoms were related to increased fALFF in the left superior temporal gyrus and left inferior parietal lobule for ADHD children treated with methylphenidate, and in the left lingual gyrus and left inferior occipital gyrus for ADHD children treated with atomoxetine. Hyperactivity/impulsivity symptom reductions were differentially related to increased fALFF in the methylphenidate group and to decreased fALFF in the atomoxetine group in bilateral precentral and postcentral gyri. Prediction analyses in the atomoxetine group revealed negative correlations between pre-treatment CANTAB simple reaction time and fALFF change in the left lingual gyrus and left inferior occipital gyrus, and positive correlations between pre-treatment CANTAB simple movement time and fALFF change in bilateral precentral and postcentral gyri and left precuneus, with a negative correlation between movement time and the fALFF change in the left lingual gyrus and the inferior occipital gyrus.
Our findings suggest differential neurophysiological mechanisms for the treatment effects of methylphenidate and atomoxetine in children with ADHD.
Soluble starch synthase II (SSII) plays an important role in the biosynthesis of starch and in rice it consists of three isoforms encoded by SSII-1, SSII-2 and SSII-3. However, the genetic effects of various SSII alleles on grain quality have not been systematically characterized. In the present study, the japonica alleles on SSII-1, SSII-2 and SSII-3 (SSIIa) loci from a japonica cultivar, Suyunuo, were respectively introgressed by molecular marker-assisted selection into a typical indica cultivar, Guichao2, through successive backcrossing, generating three sets of near-isogenic lines (NILs). Grain quality and starch property analysis showed that NIL-SSII-3j exhibited significant decreases in the following parameters: amylose content, average granule size, and setback viscosity and consistency; but increases in peak viscosity, hot paste viscosity, gelatinization temperature and relative crystallinity. Moreover, the proportion of short amylopectin chains and branching degree also increased when compared with those of NIL-SSII-3i (Guochao2). Similar effects were observed in NIL-SSII-1j, and certain alterations in the fine structure of starch (granule size) were revealed. However, NIL-SSII-2j did not exert significant effect on grain quality and starch properties. In brief, among the SSII gene family, the functional diversity occurred on SSII-1 and SSII-3, and not on SSII-2. Therefore, it appears that more attention should be directed to SSII-1 and SSII-3 loci for improving the eating and cooking quality of rice.
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.
On 23 September 1998 there was a 3B/M7.1 flare event starting at 06:40 UT with more than 100 minute duration radio bursts of 1134 sfu peak flux at 2840 MHz and accompanying a CME. In this paper, the event is analyzed with the data observed by Beijing Astronomical Observatory (BAO), OSRA-Tremsdorf (AIP) and SSRT-ISTP. In particular, we compare the fine structures (FS) during the triggering phase revealed in different regimes and discuss their implications.
Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is a type of pathogenic bacteria that cause diarrhea in piglets through colonizing pig small intestine epithelial cells by their surface fimbriae. Different fimbriae type of ETEC including F4, F18, K99 and F41 have been isolated from diarrheal pigs. In this study, we performed a genome-wide association study to map the loci associated with the susceptibility of pigs to ETEC F41 using 39454 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 667 F2 pigs from a White Duroc×Erhualian F2 cross. The most significant SNP (ALGA0022658, P=5.59×10−13) located at 6.95 Mb on chromosome 4. ALGA0022658 was in high linkage disequilibrium (r2>0.5) with surrounding SNPs that span a 1.21 Mb interval. Within this 1.21 Mb region, we investigated ZFAT as a positional candidate gene. We re-sequenced cDNA of ZFAT in four pigs with different susceptibility phenotypes, and identified seven coding variants. We genotyped these seven variants in 287 unrelated pigs from 15 diverse breeds that were measured with ETEC F41 susceptibility phenotype. Five variants showed nominal significant association (P<0.05) with ETEC F41 susceptibility phenotype in International commercial pigs. This study provided refined region associated with susceptibility of pigs to ETEC F41 than that reported previously. Further works are needed to uncover the underlying causal mutation(s).
The addition of a CdMgTe (CMT) layer at the back of a CdTe solar cell should improve its performance by reflecting both photoelectrons and forward-current electrons away from the rear surface. Higher collection of photoelectrons will increase the cell’s current, and reduction of forward current will increase its voltage. To achieve electron reflection, conformal CMT layers were deposited at the back of CdTe cells, and a variety of measurements including performance curves, transmission electron microscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy were performed. Oxidation of magnesium in the CMT layer was addressed by adding a CdTe capping layer. MgCl2 passivation was substituted for CdCl2 in some cases, but little difference was seen.
We report a stable CdS/Sb2S3/SnSe heterojunction thin film solar cell deposited on SnO2:F (FTO) – coated glass substrates. Thermal evaporation at 10-5 Torr with substrate temperature of 400 °C was used to deposit Sb2S3 and SnSe thin films of 450 nm and 160 nm, respectively. Thin film Sb2S3 has an optical band gap (Eg) of 1.48 eV and photoconductivity (σp) of 4x10-7 Ω-1 cm-1 and thin film SnSe has an Eg of 1.28 eV and σp of 2 Ω-1 cm-1. The chemically deposited CdS thin film heated at 400 °C shows an Eg of 2.34 eV and σp of 0.1 Ω-1 cm-1. Stabilized solar cell structures with these thin films, FTO/CdS/Sb2S3/SnSe/C-Ag, showed open circuit voltage (Voc) of 0.60 V, short circuit current density (Jsc) of 5.51 mA/cm2 and power conversion efficiency (η) of 0.96% with a fill factor FF of 0.29. In the absence of the SnSe layer, Jsc decreases to 4.77 mA/cm2.