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In evaluating the quality of table eggs and the developmental stages of embryonic eggs, spectroscopic techniques provide greater efficiency than traditional, time-consuming and laborious approaches. This review summarises recent developments in the spectroscopic analysis of table eggs, including the determination of the chemical composition (ratios of performance to standard deviation of 4.38, 2.25, 2.28, 2.31, and 3.03 for fat, moisture, and protein in egg yolk and moisture and protein in egg albumen, respectively, have been reported). A Haugh unit detection accuracy RMSEP (root mean square error of prediction) for quality of 6.29 was obtained by hyperspectral imaging) for table eggs and fertility detection (for white-shell eggs, fertility detection has been realised at a promising rate of 93.5%) and gender determination in hatching eggs. In conclusion, hyperspectral imaging generally outperforms visible or near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy when evaluating both consumption eggs and hatching eggs, and near-infrared reflectance Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy exhibit a strong potential for gender determination prior to hatching. Scientists have attained a correct sexing rate above 90% at 3.5 d of egg incubation without removing the inner shell membrane. In the detection of blood-spot eggs or fertile eggs, eggshell colour proved to be a negative factor.
Observation of the ion source generated background has been an area of focus during our routine analytical work. It is noted that the results of very-low-ratio samples are dependent upon the particular procedures for measurement using the present-day Cs+ sputter ion sources. When measured without excessive Cs+ fluxes and without interleafing with other higher-ratio samples and references, the accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) sensitivity can be somewhat improved. In some cases, it appears possible to assess old radiocarbon (14C) samples to beyond the long-standing 60 kyr limit. A number of observational studies are made for the sole purpose of minimizing the final contamination to the rare isotopes that is generated within the ion source.
England has recently started a new paediatric influenza vaccine programme using a live-attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV). There is uncertainty over how well the vaccine protects against more severe end-points. A test-negative case–control study was used to estimate vaccine effectiveness (VE) in vaccine-eligible children aged 2–16 years of age in preventing laboratory-confirmed influenza hospitalisation in England in the 2015–2016 season using a national sentinel laboratory surveillance system. Logistic regression was used to estimate the VE with adjustment for sex, risk-group, age group, region, ethnicity, deprivation and month of sample collection. A total of 977 individuals were included in the study (348 cases and 629 controls). The overall adjusted VE for all study ages and vaccine types was 33.4% (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.3–54.6) after adjusting for age group, sex, index of multiple deprivation, ethnicity, region, sample month and risk group. Risk group was shown to be an important confounder. The adjusted VE for all influenza types for the live-attenuated vaccine was 41.9% (95% CI 7.3–63.6) and 28.8% (95% CI −31.1 to 61.3) for the inactivated vaccine. The study provides evidence of the effectiveness of influenza vaccination in preventing hospitalisation due to laboratory-confirmed influenza in children in 2015–2016 and continues to support the rollout of the LAIV childhood programme.
Music or other background sounds are often played in barns as environmental enrichment for animals on farms or to mask sudden disruptive noises. Previous studies looking at the effects of this practice on non-human animal well-being and productivity have found contradictory results. However, there is still a lack of discussion on whether piglets have the ability to distinguish different types of music. In this study, we exposed piglets to different music conditions to investigate whether the piglets preferred certain music types, in which case those types would have the potential to be used as environmental enrichment. In total, 30 piglets were tested for music type preference to determine whether growing pigs respond differently to different types of music. We used music from two families of instruments (S: string, W: wind) and with two tempos (S: slow, 65 beats/min (bpm); F: fast, 200 bpm), providing four music-type combinations (SS: string-slow; SF: string-fast; WS: wind-slow; WF: wind-fast). The piglets were given a choice between two chambers, one with no music and the other with one of the four types of music, and their behaviour was observed. The results showed that SS and WF music significantly increased residence time (P<0.01) compared with the other music conditions. Compared with the control group (with no music), the different music conditions led to different behavioural responses, where SS music significantly increased lying (P<0.01) and exploration behaviour (P<0.01); SF music significantly increased tail-wagging behaviour (P<0.01); WS music significantly increased exploration (P<0.01); and WF music significantly increased walking, lying, standing and exploration (all P<0.01). The results also showed that musical instruments and tempo had little effect on most of the behaviours. Fast-tempo music significantly increased walking (P=0.02), standing (P<0.01) and tail wagging (P=0.04) compared with slow-tempo music. In conclusion, the results of this experiment show that piglets are more sensitive to tempo than to musical instruments in their response to musical stimulation and seem to prefer SS and WF music to the other two types. The results also suggest a need for further research on the effect of music types on animals.
Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology offers a real-time solution to monitor behavioral responses of individual animals to various stimuli, which provides crucial implications on farm management and animal well-being. The objectives of this study were to (1) develop and describe an ultra-high frequency radio frequency identification (UHF-RFID) system for continuously monitoring feeding and drinking behaviors of individual broilers in group settings; and (2) validate the performance of the UHF-RFID system against video analysis in determining the instantaneous bird number (IBN) and time spent (TS) at feeder and drinker. The UHF-RFID system consisted of cable-tie tags, antennas, a reader and a data acquisition (DAQ) system. The antennas generated electromagnetic fields where tags were detected and registered by the DAQ system. Electromagnetic fields of the antennas were modified to cover areas of concern (i.e. tube feeders and nipple drinkers) through a series of system evaluations and customizations including tag sensitivity test, power adjustment, radio wave shielding, and assessment of interference by add-ons (e.g. plastic wraps for protecting antennas and an empty carton box for zoning out broilers) and feed/feeder. System validation was performed in two experimental rooms, each with 60 tagged broilers. The results showed that the max reading distances of tags with an identical manufacturer’s specification were markedly different, indicating large variations in sensitivity among the tags. Desired electromagnetic fields could be achieved by adjusting the power supplied to antennas and by partially shielding antennas with customized stainless steel sheets. The protection materials and fully loaded feeder had little effect on electromagnetic fields of the antennas. The accuracies of the UHF-RFID system for determining IBN and TS were, respectively, 92.5±4.2% and 99.0±1.2% by the feeder antennas and 94.7±4.2% and 93.7±6.9% by the drinker antennas. It is concluded that the UHF-RIFD system can accurately detect and record feeding and drinking behaviors of individual broilers in group settings and thus is a useful tool for investigating impacts of resource allocations and management practices on these behaviors.
Heading date (HD) and flowering date (FD) are critical for yield potential and stability, so understanding their genetic foundation is of great significance in wheat breeding. Three related recombinant inbred line populations with a common female parent were developed to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) for HD and FD in four environments. In total, 25 putative additive QTL and 20 pairwise epistatic effect QTL were detected in four environments. The additive QTL were distributed across 17 wheat chromosomes. Of these, QHd-1A, QHd-1D, QHd-2B, QHd-3B, QHd-4A, QHd-4B and QHd-6D were major and stable QTL for HD. QFd-1A, QFd-2B, QFd-4A and QFd-4B were major and stable QTL for FD. In addition, an epistatic interaction test showed that epistasis played important roles in controlling wheat HD and FD. Genetic relationships between HD/FD and five yield-related traits (YRTs) were characterized and ten QTL clusters (C1–C10) simultaneously controlling YRTs and HD/FD were identified. The present work laid a genetic foundation for improving yield potential in wheat molecular breeding programmes.
Lateral memristors consisting of planar Ag electrodes (with sub-micrometer separation) supported on thin films of amorphous zinc-tin-oxide have been characterized. After an initial filament-forming process, each device exhibited volatile, resistive switching. In the low resistance state, the transport mechanism and conductance depended on prior activity and on the imposed current limit, mimicking biologic synaptic plasticity. Microscopic observations performed on each device revealed nanoscale filaments between the electrodes. These filaments were subject to Rayleigh instability and exhibited relaxation times determined by their effective radii. The relaxation times and on:off resistance ratios suggest suitability for threshold switching selector devices.
We present the results from the abundance analysis of 21 primary stars in Sirius-like systems with various masses of white dwarf companions and orbital separation to understand the origin and nature of Ba stars. Three new Ba dwarfs are found for which masses are relatively low compared to Ba giants. Large fraction of the sample are found to be non-Ba stars, however, some of them have required WD mass and/or close orbital separation. Observed s-process abundances in Ba dwarfs are in good agreement with AGB models of respective WD companion mass, however, it required different pollution factors.
To investigate the control effect of the synthetic jet on the aerodynamic characteristic of rotors, a numerical simulation procedure for the rotor flowfield is established. First, a moving-embedded grid method and an unsteady Reynolds Averaged Navier–Stokes (URANS) solver are established for predicting the complex flowfield of rotors. A velocity jet boundary condition over the jet actuator orifice is constructed, and a numerical method for simulating the active flow control on rotors is developed. Then, the effectiveness of the simulation method is validated by comparing the numerical results of jet control on NACA 0015 aerofoil with the experimental data. At last, the aerodynamic characteristic of rotors with synthetic jet actuators located on the suction surface of the blade in forward flight is calculated. The results indicate that the synthetic jet has the capability of improving the aerodynamic characteristic of rotors, especially in inhibiting the flow separation over the surface. In addition, the increase of the jet momentum coefficient and the jet angle can both enhance the lift coefficient in the retreating side. Compared with a single jet, jet arrays have better control effects on improving the aerodynamic characteristic of rotors in forward flight.
Hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) is an acute infectious disease caused by serotypes of the enterovirus (EV) family. HFMD reinfection occurs commonly in lack of cross-protection between different EV serotypes. In this study, we investigated the hazards of HFMD reinfection using Cox-proportional hazard model. Retrospective data of 95 209 HFMD cases in Wuhan during 2008–2015 was used. Kaplan–Meier survival methods and Cox-proportional hazard model were used to estimate the hazard probabilities. Of the all HFMD cases, about 2% experienced reinfection (1842/95 209). Kaplan–Meier curves revealed the reinfection risk sharply increased before 40 months from first infection. Higher hazards of reinfection were detected among those who were males, aged 3 years and below, scattered children, belonging to urban areas and first infected with coxsackievirus (CV)-A16 compared with their respective counterparts. Cox-proportional hazard model suggested that gender, age, group, living area and serotypes of first infection had significant effect on reinfection even after adjusting for potential confounding effects of other selected factors considered in the study. These results indicate that boys aged 3 years and below, especially those living in urban areas and first infected with CV-A16 are more prone to reinfection. Interventions should be imposed on these high-risk populations.
In ovo feeding (IOF) of l-arginine (Arg) can affect growth performance of broilers, but the response of IOF of Arg on breast muscle growth is unclear, and the mechanism involved in protein deposition remains unknown. Hense, this experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of IOF of Arg on breast muscle growth and protein-deposited signalling in post-hatch broilers. A total of 720 fertile eggs were collected from 34-week-old Arbor Acres breeder hens and distributed to three treatments: (1) non-injected control group; (2) 7.5 g/l (w/v) NaCl diluent-injected control group; (3) 0.6 mg Arg/egg solution-injected group. At 17.5 days of incubation, fertile eggs were injected 0.6 ml solutions into the amnion of the injected groups. Upon hatching, 80 male chicks were randomly assigned to eight replicates of 10 birds each and fed ad libitum for 21 days. The results indicated that IOF of Arg increased relative breast muscle weight compared with those of control groups at hatch, 3-, 7- and 21-day post-hatch (P<0.05). In the Arg-injected group, the plasma total protein and albumen concentrations were higher at 7- and 21-day post-hatch than those of control groups (P<0.05). The alanine aminotransferase activity in Arg group was higher at hatch than that of control groups (P<0.05). The levels of triiodothyronine at four time points and thyroxine hormones at hatch, 7- and 21-day post-hatch in Arg group were higher than those of control groups (P<0.05). In addition, IOF of Arg increased the amino acid concentrations of breast muscle at hatch, 7- and 21-day post-hatch (P<0.05). In ovo feeding of Arg also enhanced mammalian target of rapamycin, ribosomal protein S6 kinase-1 and eIF4E-bindingprotein-1 messenger RNA expression levels at hatch compared with those of control groups (P<0.05). It was concluded that IOF of Arg treatment improved breast muscle growth, which might be associated with the enhancement of protein deposition.
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 mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) has been shown to be involved in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced immune responses in many mammal cells. Here, we suggest that the mTOR pathway is involved in the intestinal inflammatory responses evoked by LPS treatment in chicken embryos. The intestinal tissue from Specific pathogen free chick embryos was cultured in the presence of LPS for 2 h. Secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) concentrations, messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of cytokines, and protein levels of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), mTOR and p70 ribosomal S6 kinase (p70S6K) were determined. The results showed that LPS treatment increased sIgA concentrations in a dose-dependent manner. The mRNA levels of interleukine (IL)-6, IL-8, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor-α and Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 were upregulated by LPS treatment (P<0.05). Lipopolysaccharide increased the phosphorylation of Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), p38 MAPK and NF-κB (P<0.05) while decreasing the phosphorylation level of mTOR (P<0.05). Supplementation of leucine at doses of 10, 20 and 40 mM dose-dependently decreased sIgA production. Leucine supplementation at 40 mM restored the phosphorylation level of mTOR and p70S6K while suppressing the phosphorylation levels of NF-κB (P<0.05) and partially down-regulating the phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and JNK. The transcription of IL-6 was significantly decreased by leucine supplementation. These results suggested that leucine could alleviate LPS-induced inflammatory responses by down-regulating NF-κB signaling pathway and evoking mTOR/p70S6K signaling pathway, which may involve in the regulation of the intestinal immune system in chicken embryos.
Previous studies showed that spermine could protect the organism from oxidative damage in vivo. However, in vivo information on the antioxidant-related underlying molecular mechanism of spermine is limited. In this experiment, we further evaluated the effects of spermine supplementation and extended spermine administration on the antioxidant status and antioxidant-related signaling molecules gene expression in the liver and longissimus dorsi of piglets. A total of 80 piglets were randomly distributed to two groups, that is, those with adequate nutrient intake administrated with spermine (0.4 mmol/kg BW) or those with restricted nutrient intake supplemented by saline. The piglets were fed in pairs for 7 h or 3, 6, or 9 days. The results are as follows: (1) spermine can promote the antioxidant capacity by increasing enzymatic antioxidant capacity, glutathione content and clearance of oxygen radicals; (2) spermine significantly increased the mRNA levels of enzymatic antioxidant substances, NF-E2-related nuclear factor 2, Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1, and the mammalian target of rapamycin but decreased the mRNA levels of ribosomal p70 S6 kinase in the liver and longissimus dorsi of the piglets.
Precision agriculture (PA) may improve the sustainability of Chinese agriculture. Ten experts were interviewed and 34 farm workers surveyed regarding their understanding, attitudes and perceptions towards PA. PA technologies were considered inaccessible, unsuitable and unnecessary for smaller farms. High cost, lack of perceived benefits, and skills and capability required to adopt PA represented barriers to adoption. Financial incentives/subsidies, the need for tangible benefits and tailored solutions to be demonstrated to farmers, and agronomic and peer support were desired. Future research should further explore PA with Chinese stakeholders and end-users in China, to inform future socio-technological developments.
The effects of in ovo feeding (IOF) of creatine pyruvate (CrPyr) on the hatchability, growth performance and energy status of embryos and broilers (Arbor Acres) were investigated. Five treatments were arranged as non-injected treatment (Control), 0.6 ml physiological saline (0.75%) injected treatment (Saline), and IOF treatments injected with 0.6 ml physiological saline (0.75%) containing 3, 6 or 12 mg CrPyr (CrPyr3, CrPyr6 or CrPyr12) into the amnion per fertile egg on day 17.5 of incubation. After hatching, 80 male chicks from each treatment with similar weight close to the average BW of their pooled group were selected and randomly assigned into eight replicates of 10 chicks each. The results showed that the hatchability was not affected among groups, whereas the hatching weight of broilers in CrPyr12 was significantly higher than the control and saline groups (P<0.05). At 21 day post-hatch, the BWs of broilers in CrPyr6 and CrPyr12 were increased relative to the control and saline groups (P<0.05). Chickens in CrPyr6 and CrPyr12 exhibited higher BW gain and feed intake than the control and saline groups during 8 to 21 days post-hatch and the entire experiment period (P<0.05). Compared with the control and saline groups, the total and relative weight of pectoral muscle of embryos or chickens were greater in CrPyr6 and CrPyr12 at 19th day of incubation (19 E), hatch, 3 and 21 days post-hatch (P<0.05). The concentrations of glucose and glycogen in liver were increased in CrPyr6 and CrPyr12 at 19 E and hatch (P<0.05). Neither glycogen nor glucose concentration in pectoral muscle was altered among treatments (P>0.05). Irrespective of dosage, the concentrations of creatine and phosphocreatine, and activities of creatine kinase in embryos were enhanced in CrPyr treatments at 19 E when compared with the control and saline groups (P<0.05). The activities of glucose-6-phosphatase in liver in CrPyr6 and CrPyr12 treatments were higher than the control and saline groups at 19 E (P<0.05). In conclusion, these results indicated that IOF of CrPyr, especially at the level of 12 mg/egg, could improve energy status of embryos and hatchlings, which was useful for enhancing hatching weight, BW and pectoral muscle weight until the end of the experiments at 21 days post-hatch in broilers.
Human parainfluenza virus (HPIV) infections are one of the commonest causes of upper and lower respiratory tract infections. In order to determine if there have been any recent changes in HPIV epidemiology in England and Wales, laboratory surveillance data between 1998 and 2013 were analysed. The UK national laboratory surveillance database, LabBase, and the newly established laboratory-based virological surveillance system, the Respiratory DataMart System (RDMS), were used. Descriptive analysis was performed to examine the distribution of cases by year, age, sex and serotype, and to examine the overall temporal trend using the χ2 test. A random-effects model was also employed to model the number of cases. Sixty-eight per cent of all HPIV detections were due to HPIV type 3 (HPIV-3). HPIV-3 infections were detected all year round but peaked annually between March and June. HPIV-1 and HPIV-2 circulated at lower levels accounting for 20% and 8%, respectively, peaking during the last quarter of the year with a biennial cycle. HPIV-4 was detected in smaller numbers, accounting for only 4% and also mainly observed in the last quarter of the year. However, in recent years, HPIV-4 detection has been reported much more commonly with an increase from 0% in 1998 to 3·7% in 2013. Although an overall higher proportion of HPIV infection was reported in infants (43·0%), a long-term decreasing trend in proportion in infants was observed. An increase was also observed in older age groups. Continuous surveillance will be important in tracking any future changes.
Nanosecond (ns) pulsed dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) actuator in a laminar flat plate boundary layer is investigated numerically in an attempt to gain some new insights into the understanding of ns DBD actuation mechanism. Special emphasis is put on the examination, separation and comparison of behaviors of discharge induced micro shock wave and residual heat as well as on the investigation of response of external flow to the two effects. The shock wave is found to introduce highly transient, localized perturbation to the flow and be able to significantly alter the flow pattern shortly after its initiation. The main flow tends to quickly recover to close to its undisturbed state due to the transient nature of perturbation. However, with the shock decay and final disappearance, another perturbation source in the vicinity of discharge region, which contains contribution from both residual heat and shock, becomes increasingly pronounced and eventually develops into a perturbation wave train in the boundary layer. The perturbation is relatively weak and may not be a Tollmien-Schlichting (TS) wave and not trigger the laminar-turbulent transition of boundary layer. Instead, it is more likely to manipulate the flow stability to achieve the strong control authority of this kind of actuation in the case of flow separation control. In addition, a parametric study over the different electrical and hydrodynamic parameters is also conducted.
As the central component of heightened vascularization in glioblastoma (GBM), endothelial cells (EC) are arguably the most responsive stromal cells in the tumour microenvironment during conventional treatment using ionizing radiation (IR). Although the inherent tumor tropism and angiogenic property of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) has been documented in many cancer types including GBM, little is known about the function of MSC that are recruited to the GBM tumor microenvironment. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the effect of MSC on irradiated EC. Here we studied the influence of IR, MSC or MSC condition media (CM) on human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). IR was found to up-regulate mRNA levels of CXCL5, CXCL10, ICAM1, VCAM1, VEGF-c and tissue factor (TF) in a dose-dependent manner whereas MSC co-culture boosted the expression of ICAM1, VCAM1, VEGF-c, TF, and MCP3. An additive effect of IR and MSC-culture was most detected with respect to ICAM1, TF and CXCL5 under 2Gy. MSC co-culture decreased IR-induced phospho-p53 in HUVECs at 15Gy. In addition, IR decreased the level of phospho-Akt in HUVECs as well as cell proliferation. Notably, both effects were countered by MSC CM. Interestingly, up-regulation of the same set of IR-driven genes in GBM was positively correlated with poor survival in the TCGA GBM database, a correlation that was lost if using gene list that was obtained from IR and MSC combine. These findings suggest that MSC promotes angiogenesis in GBM by overturning the IR-induced active state of endothelial cells and rendering them radio-resistant.
Schizophrenia patients have a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) than normals. We examined the relationship between IGT and clinical phenotypes or cognitive deficits in first-episode, drug-naïve (FEDN) Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia.
A total of 175 in-patients were compared with 31 healthy controls on anthropometric measures and fasting plasma levels of glucose, insulin and lipids. They were also compared using a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Neurocognitive functioning was assessed using the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). Patient psychopathology was assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS).
Of the patients, 24.5% had IGT compared with none of the controls, and they also had significantly higher levels of fasting blood glucose and 2-h glucose after an oral glucose load, and were more insulin resistant. Compared with those patients with normal glucose tolerance, the IGT patients were older, had a later age of onset, higher waist or hip circumference and body mass index, higher levels of low-density lipoprotein and triglycerides and higher insulin resistance. Furthermore, IGT patients had higher PANSS total and negative symptom subscale scores, but no greater cognitive impairment except on the emotional intelligence index of the MCCB.
IGT occurs with greater frequency in FEDN schizophrenia, and shows association with demographic and anthropometric parameters, as well as with clinical symptoms but minimally with cognitive impairment during the early course of the disorder.