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Dietary chitosan (CS) supplementation could improve the growth rate, small intestinal morphology, nutrients apparent digestibility and digestive enzyme activities in pigs, broiler chickens, rats and fish, whereas no data has been reported about the effect of CS on the growing Huoyan geese. Therefore, this study was designed to investigate the effects of CS on growth rate, small intestinal morphology, nutrients apparent utilization and digestive enzyme activities of growing Huoyan geese. Three hundred and twenty (28 days of age, gender balance) Huoyan geese were randomly divided into control, CS100, CS200 and CS400 groups (based on BW) with 20 geese per pen and 4 replicates pen per group, and the feeding experiment lasted for 4 weeks. The 4 diets contained 0, 100, 200 and 400 mg CS per kg feed, respectively. The results showed that CS200 groups had higher average daily gain, final BW, apparent utilization of DM and CP, and lower feed/gain ratio compared with the control group (P < 0.05). Meanwhile, CS100 and CS200 groups had higher villus height, villus height/crypt depth ratio and lower crypt depth in duodenum and jejunum than those in the control group (P < 0.05). The geese in CS100 and CS200 groups had higher villus height, villus height/crypt depth ratio and lower crypt depth of ileum compared with those in control and CS400 groups (P < 0.05). In addition, compared with the control group, CS200 group has higher trypsin activities and lower lipase activities in duodenal, jejunal and ileal contents (P < 0.05). The results suggested that addition of 200 mg/kg CS had positive effects on growth rate, small intestinal morphology, nutrients apparent utilization and digestive enzyme activities of growing Huoyan geese.
We return to the long-standing question ‘Who owns the assets in a defined benefit pension plan?’ Unlike earlier studies, we condition the market's assessment of implicit property rights on the sponsoring firm's financial health. Valuations of financially strong firms, and those that are strengthening, are more responsive to pension plan funding. For these firms, each extra dollar of net plan assets is valued at between $0.50 and $1.00. In contrast, for weak and weakening firms, valuation effects are statistically indistinguishable from zero. This result is consistent with the higher likelihood that they will renege on their pension obligations.
Employing atomic-scale simulations, the response of a high-angle grain boundary (GB), the soft/hard GB, against external loading was systematically investigated. Under tensile loading close to the hard orientation, strain-induced dynamic recrystallization was observed to initiate through direct soft-to-hard grain reorientation, which was triggered by stress mismatch, inhibited by surface tension from the soft-hard GB, and proceeded by interface ledges. Such grain reorientation corresponds with expansion and contraction of the hard grain along and perpendicular to the loading direction, respectively, accompanied by local atomic shuffling, providing relatively large normal strain of 8.3% with activation energy of 0.04 eV per atom. Tensile strain and residual dislocations on the hard/soft GB facilitate the initiation of dynamic recrystallization by lowering the energy barrier and the critical stress for grain reorientation, respectively.
The objective of this study was to determine how much improvement red edge-based vegetation indices (VIs) obtained with the RapidSCAN sensor would achieve for estimating rice nitrogen (N) nutrition index (NNI) at stem elongation stage (SE) as compared with commonly used normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and ratio vegetation index (RVI) in Northeast China. Sixteen plot experiments and seven on-farm experiments were conducted from 2014 to 2016 in Sanjiang Plain, Northeast China. The results indicated that the performance of red edge-based VIs for estimation of rice NNI was better than NDVI and RVI. N sufficiency index calculated with RapidSCAN VIs (NSI_VIs) (R2=0.43–0.59) were more stable and more strongly related to NNI than the corresponding VIs (R2=0.12–0.38).
Over-application of nitrogen (N) in rice (Oryza sativa L.) production in China is common, leading to low N use efficiency (NUE) and high environmental risks. The objective of this work was to evaluate the ability of the CERES-Rice crop growth model to simulate N response in the cool climate of Northeast China, with the long term goal of using the model to develop optimum N management recommendations. Nitrogen experiments were conducted from 2011–2015 in Jiansanjiang, Heilongjiang Province in Northeast China. The CERES-Rice model was calibrated for 2014 and 2015 and evaluated for 2011 and 2013 experiments. Overall, the model gave good estimations of yield across N rates for the calibration years (R2=0.89) and evaluation years (R2=0.73). The calibrated model was then run using weather data from 2001–2015 for 20 different N rates to determine the N rate that maximized the long term marginal net return (MNR) for different N prices. The model results indicated that the optimum mean N rate was 120–130 kg N ha–1, but that the simulated optimum N rate varied each year, ranging from 100 to 200 kg N ha–1. Results of this study indicated that the CERES-Rice model was able to simulate cool season rice growth and provide estimates of optimum regional N rates that were consistent with field observations for the area.
An outbreak of acute hepatitis recently occurred in a nursing home in Zhejiang Province, China. The objectives of this study were to confirm the outbreak and identify the aetiology, source and transmission patterns. All residents and staff in or near the nursing home during the period from 1 October 2014 to 21 May 2015 were investigated regarding hygiene and for epidemiological information including water and food (eating meat especially pork products). Serum and stool specimens were collected for detection of hepatitis E virus (HEV) antibodies using ELISA and RNA using RT–PCR. Samples that were RNA positive were genotyped. Of 185 senior residents and 24 staff in the nursing home, there were 37 laboratory-confirmed cases during the outbreak. Of these cases, 12 patients (three deaths) were symptomatic with jaundice, a common clinical symptom for hepatitis E infection. HEV strains were isolated from three cases and they formed a single cluster within genotype 4d. A case-control study was conducted to investigate potential risk factors for the outbreak and the results revealed that cases more often washed their dishes and rinsed their mouths using tap water than the controls (P < 0·05). Based on hygiene investigation and meteorological information, it is likely that HEV-infected sewage and faeces contaminated the water network on rainy days. Collectively, these results suggest that the outbreak of HEV genotype 4 infection was most likely caused by contaminated tap water rather than food.
The abundance and cross-linking of intramuscular connective tissue contributes to the background toughness of meat, and is thus undesirable. Connective tissue is mainly synthesized by intramuscular fibroblasts. Myocytes, adipocytes and fibroblasts are derived from a common pool of progenitor cells during the early embryonic development. It appears that multipotent mesenchymal stem cells first diverge into either myogenic or non-myogenic lineages; non-myogenic mesenchymal progenitors then develop into the stromal-vascular fraction of skeletal muscle wherein adipocytes, fibroblasts and derived mesenchymal progenitors reside. Because non-myogenic mesenchymal progenitors mainly undergo adipogenic or fibrogenic differentiation during muscle development, strengthening progenitor proliferation enhances the potential for both intramuscular adipogenesis and fibrogenesis, leading to the elevation of both marbling and connective tissue content in the resulting meat product. Furthermore, given the bipotent developmental potential of progenitor cells, enhancing their conversion to adipogenesis reduces fibrogenesis, which likely results in the overall improvement of marbling (more intramuscular adipocytes) and tenderness (less connective tissue) of meat. Fibrogenesis is mainly regulated by the transforming growth factor (TGF) β signaling pathway and its regulatory cascade. In addition, extracellular matrix, a part of the intramuscular connective tissue, provides a niche environment for regulating myogenic differentiation of satellite cells and muscle growth. Despite rapid progress, many questions remain in the role of extracellular matrix on muscle development, and factors determining the early differentiation of myogenic, adipogenic and fibrogenic cells, which warrant further studies.
Elucidating the detailed process of ligand binding to a receptor is pharmaceutically important for identifying druggable binding sites. With the ability to provide atomistic detail, computational methods are well poised to study these processes. Here, accelerated molecular dynamics (aMD) is proposed to simulate processes of ligand binding to a G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), in this case the M3 muscarinic receptor, which is a target for treating many human diseases, including cancer, diabetes and obesity. Long-timescale aMD simulations were performed to observe the binding of three chemically diverse ligand molecules: antagonist tiotropium (TTP), partial agonist arecoline (ARc) and full agonist acetylcholine (ACh). In comparison with earlier microsecond-timescale conventional MD simulations, aMD greatly accelerated the binding of ACh to the receptor orthosteric ligand-binding site and the binding of TTP to an extracellular vestibule. Further aMD simulations also captured binding of ARc to the receptor orthosteric site. Additionally, all three ligands were observed to bind in the extracellular vestibule during their binding pathways, suggesting that it is a metastable binding site. This study demonstrates the applicability of aMD to protein–ligand binding, especially the drug recognition of GPCRs.
Solutions of the Einstein equations evolve from initial data given on a three-dimensional manifold M. The initial position and velocity of the gravitational field are given by a Riemannian metric g and a symmetric (0, 2) tensor K. The metric g will be the metric induced on M as a spacelike hypersurface in the spacetime S which evolves from the data, and the tensor K will be the second fundamental form of M in S. Thus an initial data set is given by a triple (M, g, K). There is currently interest in higher-dimensional gravity in the physics community, so when convenient we will discuss initial data on an n-dimensional manifold Mn which will evolve to an (n + 1)-dimensional spacetime Sn + 1 (n ≥ 3).
A basic fact of life for the Einstein equations is that the initial data g and K cannot be freely specified, but must satisfy a system of n + 1 nonlinear partial differential equations. These are called the constraint equations, and Section 8.2 deals with recent progress on solving this set of equations. On the one hand the constraint equations present a complication in the study of the initial value problem since it is a difficult (and as yet unsolved) problem to fully analyze their solutions. On the other hand, it is because of the constraint equations that physical notions of energy and momentum can be defined. It is also because of them that geometric and topological restrictions hold in certain cases on the initial manifold M, and for black holes in Σ.
We do not have the space here to give a comprehensive survey of the initial value problem, so instead we have focused on several questions on which there has been recent progress and which are currently active areas of investigation. We have chosen to give brief outlines of the main ideas involved in the study of these specific questions rather than to attempt to touch on all aspects of the field.
Background: Assessment of ischemic penumbra during the acute stage of cerebral infarction is crucial for a decision to initiate thrombolytic therapy and for predicting stroke evolution. Although controversial as a perfect equivalence to penumbra, perfusion weighted imaging (PWI)-diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) mismatch may predict the response to thrombolysis. Due to the reliance on contrast agents in PWI, noninvasive alternatives remain an unmet need. Methods: We herein investigate the potentials of SWI as an alternative to PWI in defining ischemic penumbra and in predicting stroke outcome. A multimodal magnetic resonance imaging work-up which includes conventional magnetic resonance imaging sequences (T1WI, T2WI and FLAIR), DWI, PWI and SWI was performed. The Alberta Stroke Programme Early CT Score (ASPECTS) was used to evaluate the changes in DWI, SWI and PWI. Results: The mismatch of SWI-DWI was comparable with that of PWI-DWI (p>0.05). Furthermore, the grade of prominent vein and the cerebral blood volume in the ipsilateral brain tissue were positively correlated. Conclusions: SWI can be used as a noninvasive alternative to identify occlusive arteries and to evaluate the ischemic penumbra. The susceptibility vein sign may represent thrombosis in arteries whereby being helpful to identify responsible blood vessels in ischemic stroke.
Field effect transistors with graphene channels were interfaced with arrays of semiconductor quantum dots (QD). The electrical characteristics of the elements were assessed. The channel response to white light illumination was also assessed as a function of drain-source and gate-source biases.
Despite substantial research, uncertainty remains about the clinical and etiological heterogeneity of major depression (MD). Can meaningful and valid subtypes be identified and would they be stable cross-culturally?
Symptoms at their lifetime worst depressive episode were assessed at structured psychiatric interview in 6008 women of Han Chinese descent, age ⩾30 years, with recurrent DSM-IV MD. Latent class analysis (LCA) was performed in Mplus.
Using the nine DSM-IV MD symptomatic A criteria, the 14 disaggregated DSM-IV criteria and all independently assessed depressive symptoms (n = 27), the best LCA model identified respectively three, four and six classes. A severe and non-suicidal class was seen in all solutions, as was a mild/moderate subtype. An atypical class emerged once bidirectional neurovegetative symptoms were included. The non-suicidal class demonstrated low levels of worthlessness/guilt and hopelessness. Patterns of co-morbidity, family history, personality, environmental precipitants, recurrence and body mass index (BMI) differed meaningfully across subtypes, with the atypical class standing out as particularly distinct.
MD is a clinically complex syndrome with several detectable subtypes with distinct clinical and demographic correlates. Three subtypes were most consistently identified in our analyses: severe, atypical and non-suicidal. Severe and atypical MD have been identified in multiple prior studies in samples of European ethnicity. Our non-suicidal subtype, with low levels of guilt and hopelessness, may represent a pathoplastic variant reflecting Chinese cultural influences.
Aberrant functional connectivity within the default network is generally assumed to be involved in the pathophysiology of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD); however, the genetic risk of default network connectivity in OCD remains largely unknown.
Here, we systematically investigated default network connectivity in 15 OCD patients, 15 paired unaffected siblings and 28 healthy controls. We sought to examine the profiles of default network connectivity in OCD patients and their siblings, exploring the correlation between abnormal default network connectivity and genetic risk for this population.
Compared with healthy controls, OCD patients exhibited reduced strength of default network functional connectivity with the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), and increased functional connectivity in the right inferior frontal lobe, insula, superior parietal cortex and superior temporal cortex, while their unaffected first-degree siblings only showed reduced local connectivity in the PCC.
These findings suggest that the disruptions of default network functional connectivity might be associated with family history of OCD. The decreased default network connectivity in both OCD patients and their unaffected siblings may serve as a potential marker of OCD.
The symptoms of major depression (MD) are clinically diverse. Do they form coherent factors that might clarify the underlying nature of this important psychiatric syndrome?
Symptoms at lifetime worst depressive episode were assessed at structured psychiatric interview in 6008 women of Han Chinese descent, age ⩾30 years with recurrent DSM-IV MD. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatoryfactor analysis (CFA) were performed in Mplus in random split-half samples.
The preliminary EFA results were consistently supported by the findings from CFA. Analyses of the nine DSM-IV MD symptomatic A criteria revealed two factors loading on: (i) general depressive symptoms; and (ii) guilt/suicidal ideation. Examining 14 disaggregated DSM-IV criteria revealed three factors reflecting: (i) weight/appetite disturbance; (ii) general depressive symptoms; and (iii) sleep disturbance. Using all symptoms (n = 27), we identified five factors that reflected: (i) weight/appetite symptoms; (ii) general retarded depressive symptoms; (iii) atypical vegetative symptoms; (iv) suicidality/hopelessness; and (v) symptoms of agitation and anxiety.
MD is a clinically complex syndrome with several underlying correlated symptom dimensions. In addition to a general depressive symptom factor, a complete picture must include factors reflecting typical/atypical vegetative symptoms, cognitive symptoms (hopelessness/suicidal ideation), and an agitated symptom factor characterized by anxiety, guilt, helplessness and irritability. Prior cross-cultural studies, factor analyses of MD in Western populations and empirical findings in this sample showing risk factor profiles similar to those seen in Western populations suggest that our results are likely to be broadly representative of the human depressive syndrome.