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The gut is composed of a single layer of intestinal epithelial cells and plays important roles in the digestion and absorption of nutrients, immune and barrier functions and amino acid metabolism. Weaning stress impairs piglet intestinal epithelium structural and functional integrities, which results in reduced feed intake, growth rates and increased morbidity and mortality. Several measures are needed to maintain swine gut development and growth performance after weaning stress. A large body of evidence indicates that, in weaning piglets, glutamine, a functional amino acid, may improve growth performance and intestinal morphology, reduce oxidative damage, stimulate enterocyte proliferation, modulate cell survival and death and enhance intestinal paracellular permeability. This review focuses on the effects of glutamine on intestinal health in piglets. The aim is to provide evidentiary support for using glutamine as a feed additive to alleviate weaning stress.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Co-receptor tropism has been identified to correlate with HIV-1 transmission and the disease progression in patients. A molecular epidemiology investigation of co-receptor tropism is important for clinical practice and effective control of HIV-1. In this study, we investigated the co-receptor tropism on HIV-1 variants of 85 antiretroviral-naive patients with Geno2pheno algorithm at a false-positive rate of 10%. Our data showed that a majority of the subjects harboured the CCR5-tropic virus (81.2%, 69/85). No significant differences in gender, age, baseline CD4+ T-cell counts and transmission routes were observed between subjects infected with CXCR4-tropic or CCR5-tropic virus. The co-receptor tropism appeared to be associated with the virus genotype; a significantly more CXCR4-use was predicted in CRF01_AE infections whereas all CRF07_BC and CRF08_BC were predicted to use CCR5 co-receptor. Sequences analysis of V3 revealed a higher median net charge in the CXCR4 viruses over CCR5 viruses (4.0 vs. 3.0, P < 0.05). The predicted N-linked glycosylation site between amino acids 6 and 8 in the V3 region was conserved in CCR5 viruses, but not in CXCR4 viruses. Besides, variable crown motifs were observed in both CCR5 and CXCR4 viruses, of which the most prevalent motif GPGQ existed in both viral tropism and almost all genotypes identified in this study except subtype B. These findings may offer important implications for clinical practice and enhance our understanding of HIV-1 biology.
Recent experiments on thin films flowing down a vertical fibre with varying nozzle diameters present a wealth of new dynamics that illustrate the need for more advanced theory. We present a detailed analysis using a full lubrication model that includes slip boundary conditions, nonlinear curvature terms and a film stabilization term. This study brings to focus the presence of a stable liquid layer playing an important role in the full dynamics. We propose a combination of these physical effects to explain the observed velocity and stability of travelling droplets in the experiments and their transition to isolated droplets. This is also supported by stability analysis of the travelling wave solution of the model.
Vessel flexure can be triggered naturally by surgical operation, heart pulsation and body movement. It may affect the mechanical behavior of the stent and the existence of a stent may in turn cause vessel injury. In the present study, the finite element method is employed to study the interaction between stent and vessel during vessel flexure. Two- and four-link stents made of stainless steel 316L and magnesium alloy WE43 are considered. Results indicate that longitudinal deformation of the stent can be caused by vessel flexure, and the higher levels of stress exist in the link struts. The existence of the stent could induce significant stress concentration and straightened deformation on vessel wall in the course of vessel flexure. Stents with more links or made of harder materials show greater anti-deformation capability, thus inducing a more severe stress concentration and straightened deformation on the vessel wall. The bending direction also affects the mechanical performance of the vessel-stent system. The results obtained could provide useful information for better stent designs and clinical decisions.
Plant height and lodging resistance can affect rice yield significantly, but these traits have always conflicted in crop cultivation and breeding. The current study aimed to establish a rapid and accurate plant type evaluation mechanism to provide a basis for breeding tall but lodging-resistant super rice varieties. A comprehensive approach integrating plant anatomy and histochemistry was used to investigate variations in flexural strength (a material property, defined as the stress in a material just before it yields in a flexure test) of the rice stem and the lodging index of 15 rice accessions at different growth stages to understand trends in these parameters and the potential factors influencing them. Rice stem anatomical structure was observed and the lignin content the cell wall was determined at different developmental stages. Three rice lodging evaluation models were established using correlation analysis, multivariate regression and artificial radial basis function (RBF) neural network analysis, and the results were compared to identify the most suitable model for predicting optimal rice plant types. Among the three evaluation methods, the mean residual and relative prediction errors were lowest using the RBF network, indicating that it was highly accurate and robust and could be used to establish a mathematical model of the morphological characteristics and lodging resistance of rice to identify optimal varieties.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
The Universe is permeated by hot, turbulent, magnetized plasmas. Turbulent plasma is a major constituent of active galactic nuclei, supernova remnants, the intergalactic and interstellar medium, the solar corona, the solar wind and the Earth’s magnetosphere, just to mention a few examples. Energy dissipation of turbulent fluctuations plays a key role in plasma heating and energization, yet we still do not understand the underlying physical mechanisms involved. THOR is a mission designed to answer the questions of how turbulent plasma is heated and particles accelerated, how the dissipated energy is partitioned and how dissipation operates in different regimes of turbulence. THOR is a single-spacecraft mission with an orbit tuned to maximize data return from regions in near-Earth space – magnetosheath, shock, foreshock and pristine solar wind – featuring different kinds of turbulence. Here we summarize the THOR proposal submitted on 15 January 2015 to the ‘Call for a Medium-size mission opportunity in ESAs Science Programme for a launch in 2025 (M4)’. THOR has been selected by European Space Agency (ESA) for the study phase.
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.
Introduction: Chest pain and symptoms of acute coronary syndrome are responsible for a large proportion of ED visits and acute hospitalizations. However, only about 15% of patients presenting to the ED with high-risk symptoms do, in fact, have an acute coronary syndrome. The objective of this study is to derive a 2-hour high-sensitivity Troponin T (hsTnT) testing algorithm with outcome based-cutoffs to rapidly rule out acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in a large proportion of ED chest pain patients. Methods: Patients included consecutive ED patients with a chief complaint of cardiac chest pain who had an hsTnT assay performed at ED arrival and 2 hours after ED arrival. Administrative databases were queried to identify troponin results and major adverse cardiac outcomes (MACE) including death, MI, and revascularization. Test characteristics of iterative combinations of initial troponin level and absolute change in troponin level were quantified in order to identify the testing algorithm that identified the greatest proportion of patients eligible for early discharge while maintaining a target sensitivity of 98.5% for the primary outcome of 7-day AMI. Results: 755 eligible patients had hsTnT assays performed at ED arrival and at 2 hours. 91 patients (12.1%) had a 7-day AMI while 108 (14.0%) had 7-day MACE. An initial hsTnT level of less than 14 ng/L, in combination with a 2-hour absolute change of less than 10ng/L had a sensitivity of 98.9% (95% CI 94.0,99.8) and an NPV of 99.8% (95% CI 98.7, 100.0) for 7-day AMI. This identified 58.5% of all patients as being suitable for early discharge. Sensitivity and NPV for 7-day MACE were 90.0% (95% CI 83.3, 94.2) and 97.3% (95% CI 95.3,98.4) respectively. Sex-specific differences in test characteristics were not clinically important. Rule-in hsTnT cutoffs were also evaluated, with specificities ranging from 85-95%, although cutoffs with higher specificity had less ability to rapidly rule-in AMI, leaving more patients with indeterminate results after 2 hours. Conclusion: A hsTnT algorithm can safely and accurately rule out AMI in 58.5% of ED chest pain patients within 2 hours of ED arrival. The lower sensitivity of this algorithm for MACE compared to AMI speaks to the importance of clinical assessment and ECG findings in identifying patients at risk for acute coronary syndromes.
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).
While Liriomyza sativae (Diptera: Agromyzidae), an important invasive pest of ornamentals and vegetables has been found in China for the past two decades, few studies have focused on its genetics or route of invasive. In this study, we collected 288 L. sativae individuals across 12 provinces to explore its population genetic structure and migration patterns in China using seven microsatellites. We found relatively low levels of genetic diversity but moderate population genetic structure (0.05 < FST < 0.15) in L. sativae from China. All populations deviated significantly from the Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium due to heterozygote deficiency. Molecular variance analysis revealed that more than 89% of variation was among samples within populations. A UPGMA dendrogram revealed that SH and GXNN populations formed one cluster separate from the other populations, which is in accordance with STRUCTURE and GENELAND analyses. A Mantel test indicated that genetic distance was not correlated to geographic distance (r = −0.0814, P = 0.7610), coupled with high levels of gene flow (M = 40.1–817.7), suggesting a possible anthropogenic influence on the spread of L. sativae in China and on the effect of hosts. The trend of asymmetrical gene flow was from southern to northern populations in general and did not exhibit a Bridgehead effect during the course of invasion, as can be seen by the low genetic diversity of southern populations.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
Human infection with the emerging avian influenza A(H7N9) virus in China in 2013 has raised global concerns. We conducted a retrospective descriptive study of 27 confirmed human influenza A(H7N9) cases in Jiangsu Province, to elaborate poultry-related exposures and to provide a more precise estimate of the incubation periods of the illness. The median incubation period was 6 days (range 2–10 days) in cases with single known exposure and was 7·5 days (range 6·5–12·5 days) in cases with exposures on multiple days, difference between the two groups was not significant (Z = −1·895, P = 0·058). The overall median incubation period for all patients was estimated to be 7·5 days (range 2–12·5 days). Our findings further highlight the necessity for public health authorities to extend the period of medical surveillance from 7 days to 10 days.
Blazars (BL Lacertae objects and flat spectrum radio quasars) are strong γ-ray emitters, the γ-ray emissions are strongly beamed. In this work, we compiled a sample of Fermi blazars with available beaming factors, δR, to investigate the correlation between the γ-ray flux density, logfγ, and redshift, logz for the whole sample and the subclasses of the present sample. The analysis shows that there is no correlation between logfγ and logz for the observed γ-ray flux density, but there are strong correlations between the de-beamed flux densities, logfγdb and logz for the whole sample and the subclasses. Our results confirm that the γ-ray emissions are strongly beamed and imply that it is possible for one to use the radio beaming factor, δR for the beaming effect discussions in the γ-ray bands for Fermi blazars.
In this work, we investigated the correlation between the γ-ray luminosity, logLγ and the core-dominance parameter, log (1+R), for a sample of 124 Fermi blazars with available core and extended radio emissions. Our analysis shows that there is no correlation between the γ-ray luminosity, log Lγ and the core-dominance parameter, log (1+R). However, there is a closely linear correlation between log Lγ − log LExt and log (1+R), log Lγ−log LExt = (0.95 ± 0.08) log (1+R) + (2.72 ± 0.11), for the whole sample. The result suggests that the γ-ray emissions are composed of two components, one is beamed, the other is unbeamed.
In the past two decades, the growing global demand for solar energy has spurred scientific interest in alternative technologies to conventional silicon. In particular, CuIn1-xGaxSe2 (CIGS) has emerged as a competitor. We have developed a scalable deposition technique using RF magnetron sputtering of quaternary CIGS. Notably, the resulting films do not require postselenization, reducing processing time and cost. We have fabricated devices above 10% efficiency using this approach, showing its promise as a production method for highperformance CIGS photovoltaics. However, the morphology of the sputtered CIGS layer is markedly different from conventional evaporated films; grain sizes vary through the thickness of the film, with numerous small grains dominating at the Mo/CIGS interface that then either terminate or grow in an inverted-pyramid fashion to form large, columnar grains at the CIGS/CdS interface.
To better understand the origin of this morphology, we have studied the growth behavior of the CIGS layer using a combination of atomic force microscopy and electron microscopy to observe initial nucleation and grain growth behavior of quaternary-sputtered CIGS. We also discuss the effects of interfacial layers at the Mo/CIGS interface, demonstrating a novel wetting layer that conformally coats the Mo surface.
This study aimed to investigate the relationship between hepatitis B virus (HBV) covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) in the ovary and vertical transmission of HBV. HBV DNA and HBV cccDNA were assayed in the ovaries of 33 pregnant women who were positive for HBV DNA. The HBVM (HBV markers, including HBsAg, HBsAb, HBeAg, HBeAb, HBcAb) level and the HBV DNA content in peripheral blood of infants were measured. The overall positive rate of HBV DNA and HBV cccDNA in samples was 51·52% (17/33). The intrauterine infection rate of the infants was 12·12% (4/33). When HBV DNA and HBV cccDNA were both positive, the intrauterine infection rate of infants was significantly higher than when they were both negative (P<0·05). Levels of HBV cccDNA and the rate of positive samples were significantly higher in mothers with infants with intrauterine infection than in those without (P<0·01 and P<0·05, respectively). HBV can infect the human ovary and may transmit to the filial generation via the ovum.
We report fabrication of random nanometer-scale radial p-n junction solar cells (SCs). Nanoholes were fabricated on the Si wafer by combining silver film annealing and metal catalyzed electrochemical etching (MECC) of the material. The dimension of the holes can be adjusted by varying the annealing conditions and the thickness of the Ag film. Systematic investigations on the effects of the nanohole size and the doping conditions on the cell efficiency were performed.