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Antibiotics are designed to affect gut microbiota and subsequently gut homeostasis. However, limited information exists about short- and long-term effects of early antibiotic intervention (EAI) on gut homeostasis (especially for the small intestine) of pigs following antibiotic withdrawal. We investigated the impact of EAI on specific bacterial communities, microbial metabolites and mucosal immune parameters in the small intestine of later-growth-stage pigs fed with diets differing in CP levels. Eighteen litters of piglets were fed creep feed with or without antibiotics from day 7 to day 42. At day 42, pigs within each group were offered a normal- or low-CP diet. Five pigs per group were slaughtered at days 77 and 120. At day 77, EAI increased Enterobacteriaceae counts in the jejunum and ileum and decreased Bifidobacterium counts in the jejunum and ileum (P < 0.05). Moreover, tryptamine, putrescine, secretory immunoglobulin (Ig) A and IgG concentrations in the ileum and interleukin-10 (IL-10) mRNA and protein levels in the jejunum and ileum were decreased in pigs with EAI (P < 0.05). At day 120, EAI only suppressed Clostridium cluster XIVa counts in the jejunum and ileum (P < 0.05). These results suggest that EAI has a short-term effect on specific bacterial communities, amino acid decarboxylation and mucosal immune parameters in the small intestine (particularly in the ileum). At days 77 and 120, feeding a low-CP diet affected Bifidobacterium, Clostridium cluster IV, Clostridium cluster XIVa and Enterobacteriaceae counts in the jejunum or ileum (P < 0.05). Moreover, feeding a low-CP diet increased the concentrations of Igs in the jejunum and decreased pro-inflammatory cytokines levels in the jejunum and ileum (P < 0.05). At day 120, feeding a low-CP diet increased short-chain fatty acid concentrations, reduced ammonia and spermidine concentrations and up-regulated genes related to barrier function in the jejunum and ileum (P < 0.05). These results suggest that feeding a low-CP diet changes specific bacterial communities and intestinal metabolite concentrations and modifies mucosal immune parameters. These findings contribute to our understanding on the duration of the impact of EAI on gut homeostasis and may provide basis data for nutritional modification in young pigs after antibiotic treatment.
Post-stroke depression (PSD) is the most common psychiatric complication facing stroke survivors and has been associated with increased distress, physical disability, poor rehabilitation, and suicidal ideation. However, the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying PSD remain unknown, and no objective laboratory-based test is available to aid PSD diagnosis or monitor progression.
Here, an isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ)-based quantitative proteomic approach was performed to identify differentially expressed proteins in plasma samples obtained from PSD, stroke, and healthy control subjects.
The significantly differentiated proteins were primarily involved in lipid metabolism and immunoregulation. Six proteins associated with these processes – apolipoprotein A-IV (ApoA-IV), apolipoprotein C-II (ApoC-II), C-reactive protein (CRP), gelsolin, haptoglobin, and leucine-rich alpha-2-glycoprotein (LRG) – were selected for Western blotting validation. ApoA-IV expression was significantly upregulated in PSD as compared to stroke subjects. ApoC-II, LRG, and CRP expression were significantly downregulated in both PSD and HC subjects relative to stroke subjects. Gelsolin and haptoglobin expression were significantly dysregulated across all three groups with the following expression profiles: gelsolin, healthy control > PSD > stroke subjects; haptoglobin, stroke > PSD > healthy control.
Early perturbation of lipid metabolism and immunoregulation may be involved in the pathophysiology of PSD. The combination of increased gelsolin levels accompanied by decreased haptoglobin levels shows promise as a plasma-based diagnostic biomarker panel for detecting increased PSD risk in post-stroke patients.
Strong evidence establishes a close relationship between personality traits and mental illness; where personality can be said to influences the likelihood, severity and longevity of a mental disorder. Personality is usually seen as fixed, yet there is a growing body of evidence for the changeability of personality, though this has rarely been studied in relation to mental disorders.
To study the longitudinal interplay between personality and eating disorders (EDs), particularly the associations between personality, recovery and treatment modality.
To investigate changes in the five domains and thirty lower-level facets of personality in non-underweight EDs, and its associations to intervention and outcome.
Two hundred and nine adults with EDs enrolled either in a four-month multimodal psychodynamic group-therapy (DAY) or four-six month internet-based supported cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT). ED diagnosis and personality (by the five-factor model) were assessed at baseline, termination and 6-month follow up. Structural equation modeling was used to analyze domain-level development, and reliable change (RCI) for facet-level development.
Remission rate at end of treatment was 71% in DAY and 55% in iCBT. Over time, Neuroticism decreased significantly while Extraversion, Openness and Conscientiousness increased (P < 0.01). Treatment and outcome had little influence on domain-level change. At the facet-level, 28% of patients reliably changed in any given facet, and there were several differences in pattern based on treatment and outcome.
This study lends support for the possibility of personality change and its relevance for recovery from EDs.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Flax seed meal (FSM) is rich in various nutrients, especially CP and energy, and can be used as animal protein feed. In animal husbandry production, it is a long-term goal to replace soybean meal (SBM) in animal feed with other plant protein feed. However, studies on the effects of replacing SBM with FSM in fattening sheep are limited. The aim of this experiment was to study the effects of replacing a portion of SBM with FSM on nutrient digestibility, rumen microbial protein synthesis and growth performance in sheep. Thirty-six Dorper × Small Thin-Tailed crossbred rams (BW = 40.4 ± 1.73 kg, mean ± SD) were randomly assigned into four groups. The dietary treatments (forage/concentrate, 45 : 55) were isocaloric according to the nutrient requirements of rams. Soybean meal was replaced with FSM at different levels (DM basis): (1) 18% SBM (18SBM), (2) 12% SBM and 6% FSM (6FSM), (3) 6% SBM and 12% FSM (12FSM) and (4) 18% FSM (18FSM). The rams were fed in individual pens for 60 days, with the first 10 days for adaptation to diets, and then the digestibility of nutrients was determined. There was no significant difference in DM intake, but quadratic (P < 0.001) effects on the average daily gain and feed efficiency were detected, with the highest values in the 6FSM and 12FSM groups. For DM and NDF digestibility, quadratic effects were observed with the higher values in the 6FSM and 12FSM groups, but the digestibility of CP linearly decreased with the increase in FSM in the diet (P = 0.043). There was a quadratic (P < 0.001) effect of FSM inclusion rate on the estimated microbial CP yield. However, the values of intestinally absorbable dietary protein decreased linearly (P < 0.001). For the supply of metabolisable protein, both the linear (P = 0.001) and quadratic (P = 0.044) effects were observed with the lowest value in the 18FSM group. Overall, the results indicated that SBM can be effectively replaced by FSM in the diets of fattening sheep and the optimal proportion was 12.0% under the conditions of this experiment.
Previous studies have demonstrated that type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) could be triggered by an early childhood infection. Whether maternal infection during pregnancy is associated with T1DM in offspring is unknown. Therefore, we aimed to study the association using a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eighteen studies including 4304 cases and 25 846 participants were enrolled in this meta-analysis. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were synthesised using random-effects models. Subgroup analyses and sensitivity analyses were conducted to assess the robustness of associations. Overall, the pooled analysis yielded a statistically significant association between maternal infection during pregnancy and childhood T1DM (OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.07–1.62). Furthermore, six studies that tested maternal enterovirus infection showed a pooled OR of 1.54 (95% CI 1.05–2.27). Heterogeneity from different studies was evident (I2 = 70.1%, P < 0.001) and was mainly attributable to the different study designs, ascertaining methods and sample size among different studies. This study provides evidence for an association between maternal infection during pregnancy and childhood T1DM.
Universal salt iodisation (USI) has been successfully implemented in China for more than 15 years. Recent evidence suggests that the definition of ‘adequate iodine’ (100–199 µg/l) be revised to ‘sufficient iodine’ (100–299 µg/l) based on the median urinary iodine concentration (MUI) in school-age children. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of thyroid dysfunction in populations after long-term salt iodisation and examine whether the definition of adequate iodine can be broadened to sufficient iodine based on the thyroid function in four population groups. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in six provinces in the northern, central and southern regions of China. Four population groups consisting of 657 children, 755 adults, 347 pregnant women and 348 lactating women were recruited. Three spot urinary samples were collected over a 10-d period and blood samples were collected on the 1st day. In the study, among the adults, pregnant women and lactating women, the prevalence rates of elevated thyroglobulin antibody and thyroid microsomal antibody levels were 12·4, 8·5 and 7·8 %, and 12·1, 9·1 and 9·1 %, respectively. Abnormally high thyroid dysfunction prevalence was not observed after more than 15 years of USI in China because the thyroid dysfunction rates were all <5 %. The recommended range should be cautiously broadened from adequate iodine to sufficient iodine according to the MUI of school-age children considering the high levels of hormones and antibodies in the other populations. Adults, particularly pregnant women positive for thyroid antibodies, should be closely monitored.
The effect of transverse magnetic fields on surface high-harmonic generation in intense laser–solid interactions is investigated. It is shown that the longitudinal motion of electrons can be coupled with the transverse motion via the magnetic fields, which lead to even-order harmonics under normal laser incidence. The dependence of the coupling efficiency and hence even harmonic generation with preplasma scale length and magnetic field strength are presented based upon particle-in-cell simulations. When the magnetic field is parallel to the laser electric field, the spectral intensity of the second harmonic is proportional to the magnetic field strength in a wide range up to 160 MG, while the situation with the magnetic field perpendicular to the laser electric field is more complicated. The second harmonic generation due to the magnetic field also tends to increase with the plasma density scale lengths, which is different from the high-harmonic generation by the oscillating mirror mechanism. With the increase of the laser spot size from a laser wavelength λL, both the magnetic field-induced harmonics and oscillating mirror high harmonics tend to increase first and then become saturated after 3λL. The magnetic field-induced second harmonic may be used to evaluate large self-generated magnetic fields developed near the critical density region and the preplasma conditions.
I deficiency is a worldwide public health problem. Median urinary I concentration in school-aged children has been used globally as a proxy for all populations. This study aims to determine whether median urinary I concentration of school-aged children is an appropriate indicator of I nutritional status in different adult populations. This is a secondary data analysis of two national I Deficiency Disorder surveys (2011, 2014) and two regional surveys (in coastal areas, 2009, and in high-risk areas, 2009–2014). Population groups included in these surveys were school-aged children (8–10 years), pregnant women, lactating women, women of childbearing age and adults (men and women, 18–45 years). All participants were self-reported healthy without history of thyroid diseases or were not using thyroid medicines. The median urinary I concentration of school-aged children was matched with that of the other population at the county level. The matched populations had similar iodised salt supply, food and water I, food composition and I content in salt. Weak or moderate correlation of median urinary I concentrations was observed between school-aged children and pregnant women and between children and lactating women. However, the agreement was stronger between children and women of childbearing age and between children and adult men and women. The results could be affected by cut-off values, data aggregation level and sample size. Using median urinary I concentration of school-aged children tends to overestimate that of pregnant women and lactating women. Median urinary I concentration of school-aged children can be used for assessing I nutrition in the adult population.
As scholars have rushed to either prove or refute cultural group selection (CGS), the debate lacks sufficient consideration of CGS's potential moderators. We argue that pressures for CGS are particularly strong when groups face ecological and human-made threat. Field, experimental, computational, and genetic evidence are presented to substantiate this claim.
The method for measuring synchronization error of ultra-short pulses was introduced based on the principle of non-collinear cross-correlation. The analytical expression for the measurement was deduced according to the cross-correlation signal. The influences of angular error on the measurement were analyzed by simulated experiments. The incident angle and the angular error tolerance were both required to be considered and determined for the synchronization error measurement of ultra-short pulses. The results provide a theoretical basis for the measurement and control of the synchronization error in the coherent beam combination, plasma parameter diagnosis, etc.
Some studies have found a significant relationship between birth weight (BW) and the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in adulthood, but results were inconsistent. The purpose of this study was to characterize the association between BW and the risk of CHD in adults. Among 144 papers detected by our search, 27 papers provided data on the relationship between BW and CHD, of which 23 papers considered BW as a continuous variable, and 14 articles considered BW as a categorical variable for this meta-analysis. Based on 23 papers, the mean weighted estimate for the association between BW and the combined outcome of non-fatal and fatal CHD was 0.83 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.80–0.86] per kilogram of BW (P<0.0001). Low birth weight (LBW<2500 g) was associated with increased risk of CHD [odds ratio (OR), 1.19; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.11–1.27] compared with subjects with BW⩾2500 g. LBW, as compared with normal BW (2500–4000 g), was associated with increased risk of CHD (OR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.08–1.25). High birth weight (HBW⩾4000 g) was associated with decreased risk of CHD (OR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.81–0.98) compared with subjects with BW<4000 g. In addition, there was an indication (not quite significant) that HBW was associated with a lower risk of CHD (OR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.79–1.01), as compared with normal BW. No significant evidence of publication bias was present. These results suggest that LBW is significantly associated with increased risk of CHD and a 1 kg higher BW is associated with a 10–20% lower risk of CHD.
This study assessed the correlations between the incidence of melioidosis and rainfall, wind strength and wind direction in both the flat and hilly regions of Taiwan. Data from the melioidosis and climate databases from 2005 to 2011 were combined and analysed. With the inclusion of a lag time accounting for a possible incubation period for melioidosis, the daily rainfall and wind-speed data were correlated with the number of confirmed melioidosis cases. The incidence of melioidosis in the flat region was related to the wind speed (>19 m/s) and the specific angle (150°, 220°, 280°) of the wind direction. Rainfall is a common environmental factor that contributes to an increase in the incidence of melioidosis in both areas; however, the contribution of wind strength or wind direction to the spread of melioidosis was restricted to areas with specific topographical characteristics, such as hills.
The IntCal09 and Marine09 radiocarbon calibration curves have been revised utilizing newly available and updated data sets from 14C measurements on tree rings, plant macrofossils, speleothems, corals, and foraminifera. The calibration curves were derived from the data using the random walk model (RWM) used to generate IntCal09 and Marine09, which has been revised to account for additional uncertainties and error structures. The new curves were ratified at the 21st International Radiocarbon conference in July 2012 and are available as Supplemental Material at www.radiocarbon.org. The database can be accessed at http://intcal.qub.ac.uk/intcal13/.
Electrical energy storage plays a key role in mobile electronic devices, stationary power systems, and hybrid electrical vehicles. High energy density capacitors based on dielectric polymers are a focus of increasing research effort motivated by the possibility to realize compact and flexible energy storage devices, taking advantage of light weight and facile processability of organic materials. In addition, dielectric polymers enjoy inherent advantages of self-healing mechanism and high breakdown strength, leading to capacitors with great reliability and high energy density. It is the focus of this group to develop a multilayered ferroelectric PVDF system for improved energy storage efficiency. These systems are fabricated using enabling technology in co-extrusion which allows more cost effective and large area device production as opposed to more conventional layer-by-layer techniques. Many efforts have been made by the team to fabricate these micro- and nano-layered systems resulting in much improved device performance. A three-time improvement of capacitive electrical energy density has been demonstrated. The focus of this research is to understand the physics of why these multilayered systems perform better than a single layer by developing a characterization technique using both confocal second harmonic generation (SHG) and electric field induced second harmonic (EFISH) laser spectroscopy. Our results have shown that SHG is a very sensitive, non-destructive and versatile technique that can be used to study the ferroelectric and structural properties of layered systems. When combined with EFISH this technique allows the interrogation of structural and dielectric properties within the individual layers and at the interfaces between the layers. Further, the proposed techniques can be readily employed in-situ which can provide information in real time during sample processing with static and time-resolved spectroscopic measurements.
The Southern Hemisphere SHCal04 radiocarbon calibration curve has been updated with the addition of new data sets extending measurements to 2145 cal BP and including the ANSTO Younger Dryas Huon pine data set. Outside the range of measured data, the curve is based upon the ern Hemisphere data sets as presented in IntCal13, with an interhemispheric offset averaging 43 ± 23 yr modeled by an autoregressive process to represent the short-term correlations in the offset.
Tb and Yb co-doped oxyfluoride glasses were fabricated in a lithium-lanthanum-aluminosilicate matrix by a melt-quench technique. Glass-ceramics were obtained by appropriate heat treatment of the as-prepared glasses. Visible to near-infrared down-conversion quantum cutting was studied for samples with different thermal annealing temperatures and time. Laser light at 488 nm was used to excite Tb3+ ions while Yb3+ ions were excited by energy transfer from the excited Tb3+ ions. Near-infrared emission at 940 – 1020 nm was observed. It has been found that the emission at 940 – 1020 nm increased significantly from the glass-ceramic compared to that of the as-prepared glass. This result suggests that the energy-transfer efficiency increases in glass-ceramics compared to that in glass. A significant portion of rare-earth ions may be incorporated inside LaF3 nanoparticles (NPs) in the glass-ceramic. Because the Yb3+ emission at 940 – 1020 nm is matched well with the band gap of crystalline Si, the quantum cutting effect may have its potential application in silicon-based solar cells.
To have better light-emitting performance, semiconductor-metal periodic photonic waveguides can generate stable wavelengths. This work constructs a multi-parameter model to compute the backward-wave mode-coupling coefficients, which are important to the analysis and performance of photonic devices. For such a semiconductor-metal hybrid structure, a proper photonic technique needs to be utilized to solve this computational complexity.
Numerical results demonstrate how the materials of metal gratings, the corrugation amplitudes of metal gratings, and the metallic aluminum mole fraction can affect the coupling coefficients. Further physical interpretation and discussion can support and explain the above results. The results can help engineers decide the values of parameters used in fabrication. Future work and applications will be proposed.