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Chitinase is responsible for insect chitin hydrolyzation, which is a key process in insect molting and pupation. However, little is known about the chitinase of Spodoptera exigua (SeChi). In this study, based on the SeChi gene (ADI24346) identified in our laboratory, we constructed the recombinant baculovirus P-Chi for the expression of recombinant SeChi (rSeChi) in Hi5 cells. The rSeChi was purified by chelate affinity chromatography, and the purified protein showed activity comparable with that of a commercial SgChi, suggesting that we harvested active SeChi for the first time. The purified protein was subsequently tested for enzymatic properties and revealed to exhibit its highest activity at pH 8 and 40 C. Using homology modeling and molecular docking techniques, the three-dimensional model of SeChi was constructed and screened for inhibitors. In two rounds of screening, twenty compounds were selected. With the purified rSeChi, we tested each of the twenty compounds for inhibitor activity against rSeChi, and seven compounds showed obvious activity. This study provided new information for the chitinase of beet armyworm and for chitinase inhibitor development.
BioEmbroidery for medical applications offers the potential of a directed fiber alignment, density and distribution and allows the production of properties that are customized to the needs. The adaption of the mechanical properties of biomaterials to the requirements of human tissues often results in substrates with space-resolved distribution of stress and thus highly anisotropic behavior. A demonstrative example for such a material would be a stress adapted hernia mesh showing a high stiffness in the area of the abdominal opening and a graduated transition in the marginal area discharging into the material properties of the surrounding tissue. For evaluating the influence of the reinforcement patterns a measuring method had to be established featured by the optical measuring system ARAMIS. This study was drafted to establish a method to analyze embroidered reinforcement structures by optical measurement. A feasible base material had to be identified showing a high and isotropic elasticity assuring no influence on the measuring outcomes. A proper procedure had to be established to gain suitable data and to define significant criterions. An embroidered reinforcement pattern could be applied on an isotropic polyurethane foil (Ellastolan soft 45, BASF Polyurethanes, Germany) and tested in a biaxial texting device successfully in uni- and equibiaxial direction. The images could be edited with ARAMIS software, the deformation visualized and local strains determined. An optimum tuning for the ARAMIS parameters facet size and grid point distance could be identified. By placing section lines parallel to the x- and y- axis during deformation a medium strain could be calculated, allowing the quantification of an anisotropy criterion. A higher anisotropy of the reinforced embroidered samples compared to the plain foils could be proved. The measuring set-up established a method to evaluate the influence of different embroidered reinforcement patterns on the anisotropy of the base material.
High dynamic range (HDR) technology is rapidly changing today's video landscape by offering spectacular visual experiences. The development in display technology to support higher luminance levels for commercial and consumer electronic devices such as TVs, smartphones, projectors etc., has created an exponential demand for delivering HDR content to viewers. The essential component of the HDR technology is “expanded contrast,” which allows richer black levels and enhanced brightness, providing dramatic contrast that reveals finer details. The use of “wide color gamut” allows wider color spectrum and richer colors providing aesthetically pleasing true-to-life feel. Such visual enhancements clearly establish HDR as one of the most significant upcoming video technologies.
In this paper, we review major technical advances in this exciting field of study. Quantization of HDR signals is reviewed in the context of transfer functions that convert optical signals to electrical signals and vice versa. They mainly consist of Perceptual Quantization and Hybrid-Log-Gamma approaches. Compression of HDR content is another broad area of study involving several coding approaches, often categorized in terms of backward-compatibility and single/dual layer methods. Some key industry applications of HDR processing systems are also discussed, followed by some future directions of HDR technology.
Understanding food choices made for meals in overweight and obese individuals may aid strategies for weight loss tailored to their eating habits. However, limited studies have explored food choices at meal occasions. The aim of this study was to identify the usual food choices for meals of overweight and obese volunteers for a weight-loss trial. A cross-sectional analysis was performed using screening diet history data from a 12-month weight-loss trial (the HealthTrack study). A descriptive data mining tool, the Apriori algorithm of association rules, was applied to identify food choices at meal occasions using a nested hierarchical food group classification system. Overall, 432 breakfasts, 428 lunches, 432 dinners and 433 others (meals) were identified from the intake data (n 433 participants). A total of 142 items of closely related food clusters were identified at three food group levels. At the first sub-food group level, bread emerged as central to food combinations at lunch, but unprocessed meat appeared for this at dinner. The dinner meal was characterised by more varieties of vegetables and of foods in general. The definitions of food groups played a pivotal role in identifying food choice patterns at main meals. Given the large number of foods available, having an understanding of eating patterns in which key foods drive overall meal content can help translate and develop novel dietary strategies for weight loss at the individual level.
While studies suggest that nutritional supplementation may reduce aggressive behavior in children, few have examined their effects on specific forms of aggression. This study tests the primary hypothesis that omega-3 (ω-3), both alone and in conjunction with social skills training, will have particular post-treatment efficacy for reducing childhood reactive aggression relative to baseline.
In this randomized, double-blind, stratified, placebo-controlled, factorial trial, a clinical sample of 282 children with externalizing behavior aged 7–16 years was randomized into ω-3 only, social skills only, ω-3 + social skills, and placebo control groups. Treatment duration was 6 months. The primary outcome measure was reactive aggression collected at 0, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months, with antisocial behavior as a secondary outcome.
Children in the ω-3-only group showed a short-term reduction (at 3 and 6 months) in self-report reactive aggression, and also a short-term reduction in overall antisocial behavior. Sensitivity analyses and a robustness check replicated significant interaction effects. Effect sizes (d) were small, ranging from 0.17 to 0.31.
Findings provide some initial support for the efficacy of ω-3 in reducing reactive aggression over and above standard care (medication and parent training), but yield only preliminary and limited support for the efficacy of ω-3 in reducing overall externalizing behavior in children. Future studies could test further whether ω-3 shows promise in reducing more reactive, impulsive forms of aggression.
The process of the magnetic polarity reversal of the Sun has been an important subject in the solar physics. The objective of this study is to investigate how solar global magnetic field change over solar cycle by tracking the migration of open magnetic flux regions. The results show that the open magnetic fluxes migrate from one pole to the other crossing the equator during a solar cycle. The migration rate is approximately 10 m s−1, comparable to meridional flow. The results have been published in Scientific Reports (Huang et al. (2017)).
Characterizing ruminal parameters in the context of sampling routine and feed efficiency is fundamental to understand the efficiency of feed utilization in the bovine. Therefore, we evaluated microbial and volatile fatty acid (VFA) profiles, rumen papillae epithelial and stratum corneum thickness and rumen pH (RpH) and temperature (RT) in feedlot cattle. In all, 48 cattle (32 steers plus 16 bulls), fed a high moisture corn and haylage-based ration, underwent a productive performance test to determine residual feed intake (RFI) using feed intake, growth, BW and composition traits. Rumen fluid was collected, then RpH and RT logger were inserted 5.5±1 days before slaughter. At slaughter, the logger was recovered and rumen fluid and rumen tissue were sampled. The relative daily time spent in specific RpH and RT ranges were determined. Polynomial regression analysis was used to characterize RpH and RT circadian patterns. Animals were divided into efficient and inefficient groups based on RFI to compare productive performance and ruminal parameters. Efficient animals consumed 1.8 kg/day less dry matter than inefficient cattle (P⩽0.05) while achieving the same productive performance (P⩾0.10). Ruminal bacteria population was higher (P⩽0.05) (7.6×1011v. 4.3×1011 copy number of 16S rRNA gene/ml rumen fluid) and methanogen population was lower (P⩽0.05) (2.3×109v. 4.9×109 copy number of 16S rRNA gene/ml rumen fluid) in efficient compared with inefficient cattle at slaughter with no differences (P⩾0.10) between samples collected on-farm. No differences (P⩾0.10) in rumen fluid VFA were also observed between feed efficiency groups either on-farm or at slaughter. However, increased (P⩽0.05) acetate, and decreased (P⩽0.05) propionate, butyrate, valerate and caproate concentrations were observed at slaughter compared with on-farm. Efficient had increased (P⩽0.05) rumen epithelium thickness (136 v. 126 µm) compared with inefficient cattle. Efficient animals also spent 318% and 93.2% more time (P⩽0.05) in acidotic (4.14% v. 1.30%) (pH⩽5.6) and optimal (5.6<pH<6.0) (8.53% v. 4.42%) RpH range compared with inefficient cattle. The circadian patterns revealed lower (P⩽0.05) RpH and no differences (P⩾0.10) in RT pre-, during, and post-prandial periods in efficient compared with inefficient cattle. In essence, superior feed efficiency in cattle seems linked to rumen features consistent with improved efficiency of feed utilization. Microbial abundance, rumen epithelial histomorphology, and RpH, may serve as indicators for feed efficiency in cattle. The divergences of assessments made on-farm and at slaughter should be considered in the development of proxies for feed efficiency.
In the near future, ruminants may be forced to consume low-quality water since potable drinking water will become increasingly scarce in some regions of the world. A completely randomized design trial was completed to evaluate the effect of increasing concentrations of total dissolved salts (TDS) (640, 3187, 5740 and 8326 mg TDS/l) in drinking water on the performance, diet digestibility, microbial protein synthesis, nitrogen (N) and water balance using 24 Red Sindhi heifers (200 ± 5 kg) that were fed Buffel (Cenchrus ciliaris) grass hay and concentrate in a ratio of 50 : 50. After a 15-day diet adaptation period, the digestion study was completed over a 5-day period and the performance trial was completed over a 56-day period. Dry matter intake, average daily gain, feed:gain, intake and digestibility of most feed components were unaffected by the concentration of salt in the water. However, intake and digestibility of neutral detergent fibre declined linearly as TDS inclusion rate increased. Further, the inclusion of TDS resulted in a linear increase in the intake of drinking water and total (food plus drinking) water intake. Similarly, TDS inclusion levels resulted in a linear increase in total water excretion, with urine being the major route of water excretion. In contrast, increasing concentrations of TDS caused a linear decrease in creatinine and allantoin excretions. Finally, increasing the inclusion rate of TDS resulted in a linear decrease in N retention and a linear increase in urinary N excretion, which may pose a considerable challenge for farmers with respect to the reduction and management of nutrient losses.
The present work focuses on the deformation and recovery mechanisms of aged monoclinic U–Nb alloy under tension and load–unload cycle testing using in situ X-ray diffraction (XRD). The U–6.2wt% Nb (U–6.2Nb) alloy was prepared and aged at 200 °C, and then underwent tensile testing followed by the in situ XRD. The experimental results indicate that the change of diffraction peaks can serve to accurately characterize the macroscopic deformation and recovery. Compared with the as-quenched alloy, the aged U–6.2Nb alloy displays different behavior during deformation and subsequent recovery. Phase transformation competes with twin rearrangement to dominate the deformation and recovery between elastic stage and slip stage of the alloy. The lattice plane relationship between α″ and γ° during phase transformation has also been given.
The study of the evolution of organic matter subjected to space conditions, and more specifically to Solar photons in the vacuum ultraviolet range (120–200 nm) has been undertaken in low-Earth orbit since the 1990s, and implemented on various space platforms. This paper describes a photochemistry experiment called AMINO, conducted during 22 months between 2009 and 2011 on the EXPOSE-R ESA facility, outside the International Space Station. Samples with relevance to astrobiology (connected to comets, carbonaceous meteorites and micrometeorites, the atmosphere of Titan and RNA world hypothesis) have been selected and exposed to space environment. They have been analysed after return to the Earth. This paper is not discussing the results of the experiment, but rather gives a general overview of the project, the details of the hardware used, its configuration and recent developments to enable long-duration exposure of gaseous samples in tight closed cells enabling for the first time to derive quantitative results from gaseous phase samples exposed in space.
To improve the urine distributing mechanism of bladder power pump, a novel urethra valve was proposed in this study. The urine-flow-rate performance equation of the valve was derived on the basis of hydromechanics and electromagnetic theories, and the effect of different parameters on the urine-flow-rate performance was analyzed. The reliability simulation model of the valve was established according to the working principle and fault tree of the valve, a reliability simulation algorithm was proposed based on the basic idea of Monte Carlo method, and some reliability indexes were gained. The results show that increasing electromagnet current and decreasing air gap can increase the maximal urine-flow-rate, the reliability of the valve reaches 0.73 when the average life of the valve is 50000 times, and the shedding and aging of elastic bands are the weak links of the valve. The conclusions can provide the basis for the structural optimization and reliability improvement of bladder power pump, as well as the guidance for the design of implantable biomedicine electromechanical device.
Genetic selection for residual feed intake (RFI) is an indirect approach for reducing enteric methane (CH4) emissions in beef and dairy cattle. RFI is moderately heritable (0.26 to 0.43), moderately repeatable across diets (0.33 to 0.67) and independent of body size and production, and when adjusted for off-test ultrasound backfat thickness (RFIfat) is also independent of body fatness in growing animals. It is highly dependent on accurate measurement of individual animal feed intake. Within-animal repeatability of feed intake is moderate (0.29 to 0.49) with distinctive diurnal patterns associated with cattle type, diet and genotype, necessitating the recording of feed intake for at least 35 days. In addition, direct measurement of enteric CH4 production will likely be more variable and expensive than measuring feed intake and if conducted should be expressed as CH4 production (g/animal per day) adjusted for body size, growth, body composition and dry matter intake (DMI) or as residual CH4 production. A further disadvantage of a direct CH4 phenotype is that the relationships of enteric CH4 production on other economically important traits are largely unknown. Selection for low RFIfat (efficient, −RFIfat) will result in cattle that consume less dry matter (DMI) and have an improved feed conversion ratio (FCR) compared with high RFIfat cattle (inefficient; +RFIfat). Few antagonistic effects have been reported for the relationships of RFIfat on carcass and meat quality, fertility, cow lifetime productivity and adaptability to stress or extensive grazing conditions. Low RFIfat cattle also produce 15% to 25% less enteric CH4 than +RFIfat cattle, since DMI is positively related to enteric methane (CH4) production. In addition, lower DMI and feeding duration and frequency, and a different rumen bacterial profile that improves rumen fermentation in −RFIfat cattle may favor a 1% to 2% improvement in dry matter and CP digestibility compared with +RFIfat cattle. Rate of genetic change using this approach is expected to improve feed efficiency and reduce enteric CH4 emissions from cattle by 0.75% to 1.0% per year at equal levels of body size, growth and body fatness compared with cattle not selected for RFIfat.
The solid oxide membrane (SOM) electrolysis process has been successfully tested on a laboratory scale to produce silicon directly from silica in a cost-effective and eco-friendly way. A one-end-closed yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) tube was employed to separate a molten salt containing dissolved silica from a liquid metal anode placed inside the YSZ tube. When an applied electric potential between a liquid tin cathode in the molten salt and the anode exceeds the dissociation potential of silica, oxygen ions are transported out of the molten salt through the YSZ membrane and oxidized at the anode while the silicon cations in the flux are reduced to silicon on the surface of the liquid tin cathode. A potentiodynamic scan (PDS) was performed to determine the dissociation potential of silica in the molten salt system. Electrolysis was performed at 1.05 V for 8 hours. The presence of high-purity silicon crystals on the surface of liquid tin cathode was confirmed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and electron dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS).
This article presents the findings of a study to investigate the impact perforation resistance of sandwich structures. The dynamic response of sandwich panels based on PVC foam cores has been evaluated by determining the energy to perforate the panels. The impact response of the sandwich structures was predicted using the finite element analysis package Abaqus/Explicit. The validated FE models were also used to investigate the effect of oblique loading and to study the impact response of sandwich panels subjected to a pressure differential equivalent to flying at an altitude of 10,000m.
Low velocity impact testing has shown that the energy to perforate the sandwich panels is dependent on the properties of the core. It has been shown that increasing the density of the crosslinked PVC foams by a factor of two yielded a 600% increase in the perforation resistance of the sandwich structures. At higher densities, the crosslinked foam sandwich structures offered a superior perforation resistance to the linear PVC structures. The numerical analysis accurately predicted the perforation energies of the sandwich panels, as well as the prevailing failure mechanisms following impact. Finally, it has been shown that sandwich panels impacted at high altitude offer a similar perforation resistance to those tested at sea level.
The clinical urination assist measures are usually taken to overcome the neurogenic bladder difficult to cure, but easily cause patients bladder stones, urinary system infection and other complications. To solve the problem of the urination assist of neurogenic bladder, a bladder power pump (BPP) driven by external electromagnet was proposed in this study according to the structure and micturition mechanism of human urinary bladder. The mathematic models of the BPP were established based on the theories of electromagnetics and fluid dynamics. A simulated experiment system with a bladder physical model for simulating human urinary system was designed according to the similarity criterion of fluid dynamincs. The micturition performance of the BPP was investigated by simulation and experiment. The results showed that the intravesical pressure and urine flow rate of the bladder physical model can be controlled by adjusting electromagnet exciting current. The micturition performance of the BPP is basically accordant with that of human urinary bladder detrusor. The established mathematic models are simple and practicable, which can provide the theoretical guidance for the performance analysis and structural optimization design of the BPP.
We present a preliminary analysis of the self-absorbed [CII]-spectra observed with SOFIA/GREAT towards NGC 2024. Together with the detected [13CII] hyperfine satellites, the observed spectra require surprisingly high column densities of C+, both in the warm core and the foreground absorption component. Such high column densities are a challenge to explain with present state-of-the-art PDR models of the UV/molecular cloud interaction.
We compare the characteristics of ferrogels prepared with and without the presence of a uniform magnetic field using Fe3O4 and Fe2O3 nanoparticles immobilized in hydrogels of N-isopropylacrylamide. The spatial distribution and agglomeration of the nanoparticles within the ferrogels were investigated using ultra small angle x-ray scattering (USAXS) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Hydrated ferrogels were also studied for magnetization using direct current superconducting quantum interference device (DC-SQUID). Volume size distribution resulting from USAXS data of the Fe3O4-ferrogel prepared under a uniform 225 G magnetic field showed a single broad peak appreciably different from that prepared without magnetic field with three distinct peaks. Volume size distributions resulting from USAXS data of the Fe2O3-ferrogel prepared with and without the presence of a uniform magnetic field both similarly show two peaks. Nanoparticle agglomeration was also determined by analyzing TEM images of ferrogel samples. DC-SQUID measurements of Fe3O4-ferrogel prepared in the presence of a uniform magnetic field showed 9% higher magnetization compared to the Fe3O4-ferrogel prepared without magnetic field. Similarly, DC-SQUID measurements of Fe2O3-ferrogel prepared in the presence of a uniform magnetic field showed 3% higher magnetization compared to the Fe2O3-ferrogel prepared without magnetic field. Thus, the presence of a uniform magnetic field during ferrogel polymerization can enabled the enhancement of the magnetoelastic property of the ferrogel.
The relationship between recurrent major depression (MD) in women and suicidality is complex. We investigated the extent to which patients who suffered with various forms of suicidal symptomatology can be distinguished from those subjects without such symptoms.
We examined the clinical features of the worst episode in 1970 Han Chinese women with recurrent DSM-IV MD between the ages of 30 and 60 years from across China. Student's t tests, and logistic and multiple logistic regression models were used to determine the association between suicidality and other clinical features of MD.
Suicidal symptomatology is significantly associated with a more severe form of MD, as indexed by both the number of episodes and number of MD symptoms. Patients reporting suicidal thoughts, plans or attempts experienced a significantly greater number of stressful life events. The depressive symptom most strongly associated with lifetime suicide attempt was feelings of worthlessness (odds ratio 4.25, 95% confidence interval 2.9–6.3). Excessive guilt, diminished concentration and impaired decision-making were also significantly associated with a suicide attempt.
This study contributes to the existing literature on risk factors for suicidal symptomatology in depressed women. Identifying specific depressive symptoms and co-morbid psychiatric disorders may help improve the clinical assessment of suicide risk in depressed patients. These findings could be helpful in identifying those who need more intense treatment strategies in order to prevent suicide.