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Resistant starch (RS) was recently approved to exert a powerful influence on gut health, but the effect of RS on the cecal barrier function in meat ducks has not been well defined. Thus, the effect of raw potato starch (RPS), a widely adopted RS material, on microbial composition and barrier function of cecum for meat ducks was determined. Cherry Valley male ducks, 360,1-day-old, were randomly divided and fed diets with 0% (control), 12%, or 24% RPS for 35 d. Diets Supplemented with RPS significantly elevated villus height and villus height: crypt depth ratio in the cecum. The 16S rRNA sequence analysis indicated that the diet with 12% RPS had a higher relative abundance of Firmicutes and the butyrate-producing bacteria Faecalibacterium, Subdoligranulum, and Erysipelatoclostridium were enriched among all diets. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium were significantly increased in the 24% RPS diet vs. the control diet. When compared with the control diet, the diet with 12% RPS also was found to notably increase acetate, propionate and butyrate contents, and up-regulated barrier-related genes including Claudin-1, Zonula occludens (ZO)-1, mucin-2, and proglucagon of cecum. Furthermore, addition of 12% RPS significantly reduced plasma tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, and endotoxin concentrations. These data revealed that diets supplemented with 12% RPS partially improved cecal barrier function in meat ducks by enhancing intestinal morphology and barrier markers expression, modulating the microbiota composition, and attenuating inflammatory markers.
We present a variational data assimilation method in order to improve the accuracy of velocity fields
, that are measured using particle image velocimetry (PIV). The method minimises the space–time integral of the difference between the reconstruction
, under the constraint, that
satisfies conservation of mass and momentum. We apply the method to synthetic velocimetry data, in a two-dimensional turbulent flow, where realistic PIV noise is generated by computationally mimicking the PIV measurement process. The method performs optimally when the assimilation integration time is of the order of the flow correlation time. We interpret these results by comparing them to one-dimensional diffusion and advection problems, for which we derive analytical expressions for the reconstruction error.
Scalar image velocimetry (SIV) is the technique to extract velocity vectors from scalar field measurements. The usual technique involves minimising a cost functional, that penalises the deviation from the scalar conservation equation. This approach requires the measured scalar field to be sufficiently resolved and relatively noise free, such that space and time derivatives of the measured scalar field can be accurately evaluated. We quantify these requirements for a synthetic two-dimensional (2-D) turbulent flow field by evaluating the velocity reconstruction accuracy as a function of the temporal and spatial resolution and the noise level. We propose an improved SIV scheme, that reconstructs not only the velocity field but also the scalar field, which does not require approximating the space and time derivatives of the measured scalar field. Improved velocity reconstruction is demonstrated for the 2-D synthetic field. We furthermore apply the scheme to interferograms of the thickness field of a falling soap film, where 2-D turbulence is generated by an array of cylindrical obstacles. The statistics of the reconstructed velocity field are within 10 % of laser Doppler velocimetry measurements.
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.
During the Epoch of Reionization (EoR), feedback effects reduce the efficiency of star formation process in small halos or even fully quench it. The galaxy luminosity function (LF) may then turn over at the faint-end. We analyze the number counts of z > 5 galaxies observed in the fields of four Frontier Fields (FFs) clusters and obtain constraints on the LF faint-end: for the turn-over magnitude at z ∼ 6, MUVT ≳-13.3; for the circular velocity threshold of quenching star formation process, vc* ≲ 47 km s−1. We have not yet found significant evidence of the presence of feedback effects suppressing the star formation in small galaxies.
Grape proanthocyanidins (GPCs) are a family of naturally derived polyphenols that have aroused interest in the poultry industry due to their versatile role in animal health. This study was conducted to investigate the potential benefits and appropriate dosages of GPCs on growth performance, jejunum morphology, plasma antioxidant capacity and the biochemical indices of broiler chicks. A total of 280 newly hatched male Cobb 500 broiler chicks were randomly allocated into four treatments of seven replicates each, and were fed a wheat–soybean meal-type diet with or without (control group), 7.5, 15 or 30 mg/kg of GPCs. Results show that dietary GPCs decrease the feed conversion ratio and average daily gain from day 21 to day 42, increase breast muscle yield by day 42 and improve jejunum morphology between day 21 and day 42. Chicks fed 7.5 and 15 mg/kg of GPCs show increased breast muscle yield and exhibit improved jejunum morphologies than birds in the control group. Dietary GPCs fed at a level of 15 mg/kg markedly increased total superoxide dismutase (T-SOD) activity between day 21 and day 42, whereas a supplement of GPCs at 7.5 mg/kg significantly increased T-SOD activity and decreased lipid peroxidation malondialdehyde content by day 42. A supplement of 30 mg/kg of GPCs has no effect on antioxidant status but adversely affects the blood biochemical indices, as evidenced by increased creatinine content, increased alkaline phosphatase by day 21 and increased alanine aminotransferase by day 42 in plasma. GPC levels caused quadratic effect on growth, jejunum morphology and plasma antioxidant capacity. The predicted optimal GPC levels for best plasma antioxidant capacity at 42 days was 13 to 15 mg/kg, for best feed efficiency during grower phase was 16 mg/kg, for best jejunum morphology at 42 days was 17 mg/kg. In conclusion, GPCs (fed at a level of 13 to 17 mg/kg) have the potential to be a promising feed additive for broiler chicks.
The boron-content dependence of magnetic domain structures and magnetic properties of nanocrystalline Zr16Co82.5−xMo1.5Bx (x = 0, 1, 2, 3, 4) melt-spun ribbons have been investigated. Compared to x = 0, the smaller average domain size with a relatively short magnetic correlation length of 120 nm and largest root-mean-square phase shift value of 0.94° are observed for x = 1. The best magnetic properties of coercivity Hc = 5.4 kOe, maximum energy product (BH)max = 4.1 MGOe, and saturation polarization Js = 7.8 kG, were obtained for the ribbon with x = 1. The optimal B addition enhances the content of hard magnetic phase, promotes magnetic domain structure refinement, and increases the surface roughness, results in the enhancement of magnetic anisotropy, and thus leads to a significant increase in coercivity and energy product in this sample.
The european X-ray observatory (EXOSAT), which was launched in 1983 and which finished operations in April 1986, has brought a rich harvest of results in the period 1984-1987, surveyed here. The EXOSAT payload consisted of three sets of instruments: two low energy imaging telescopes (LE:E<2 KeV), a medium-energy experiment (ME:E=l-50KeV) and a gas scintillation proportional counter (GSPC:E=2-20KeV). Over most of the energy range covered, EXOSAT was not more sensitive than its predecessor, the american EINSTEIN satellite. But the EINSTEIN satellite is far from having exhausted the treasures of the X-ray sky. And EXOSAT, thanks to its elliptical 90-hour orbit, had the extra advantage of being able to make long, continuous observations of interesting objects, lasting up to 72 hours. Thus, EXOSAT was very well suited for variability studies, and many of its most important findings are in this area. EXOSAT observations sample a vide range of astrophysical sources: X-ray binaries, cataclysmic variables and active stars; supernova remnants and the interstellar medium; active galactic nuclei, and clusters of galaxies. Among the highlights, let us mention:
Antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) are variably implemented.
To characterize variations of antimicrobial stewardship structure and practices across all inpatient Veterans Affairs facilities in 2012 and correlate key characteristics with antimicrobial usage.
A web-based survey regarding stewardship activities was administered to each facility’s designated contact. Bivariate associations between facility characteristics and inpatient antimicrobial use during 2012 were determined.
Total of 130 Veterans Affairs facilities with inpatient services.
Of 130 responding facilities, 29 (22%) had a formal policy establishing an ASP, and 12 (9%) had an approved ASP business plan. Antimicrobial stewardship teams were present in 49 facilities (38%); 34 teams included a clinical pharmacist with formal infectious diseases (ID) training. Stewardship activities varied across facilities, including development of yearly antibiograms (122 [94%]), formulary restrictions (120 [92%]), stop orders for antimicrobial duration (98 [75%]), and written clinical pathways for specific conditions (96 [74%]). Decreased antimicrobial usage was associated with having at least 1 full-time ID physician (P=.03), an ID fellowship program (P=.003), and a clinical pharmacist with formal ID training (P=.006) as well as frequency of systematic patient-level reviews of antimicrobial use (P=.01) and having a policy to address antimicrobial use in the context of Clostridium difficile infection (P=.01). Stop orders for antimicrobial duration were associated with increased use (P=.03).
ASP-related activities varied considerably. Decreased antibiotic use appeared related to ID presence and certain select practices. Further statistical assessments may help optimize antimicrobial practices.
The protective effects of dietary pyrroloquinoline quinone disodium (PQQ.Na2) supplementation against oxidized sunflower oil-induced oxidative stress and liver injury in laying hens were examined. Three hundred and sixty 53-week-old Hy-Line Gray laying hens were randomly allocated into one of the five dietary treatments. The treatments included: (1) a diet containing 2% fresh sunflower oil; (2) a diet containing 2% thermally oxidized sunflower oil; (3) an oxidized sunflower oil diet with 100 mg/kg of added vitamin E; (4) an oxidized sunflower oil diet with 0.08 mg/kg of PQQ.Na2; and (5) an oxidized sunflower oil diet with 0.12 mg/kg of PQQ.Na2. Birds fed the oxidized sunflower oil diet showed a lower feed intake compared to birds fed the fresh oil diet or oxidized oil diet supplemented with vitamin E (P=0.009). Exposure to oxidized sunflower oil increased plasma malondialdehyde (P<0.001), hepatic reactive oxygen species (P<0.05) and carbonyl group levels (P<0.001), but decreased plasma glutathione levels (P=0.006) in laying hens. These unfavorable changes induced by the oxidized sunflower oil diet were modulated by dietary vitamin E or PQQ.Na2 supplementation to levels comparable to the fresh oil group. Dietary supplementation with PQQ.Na2 or vitamin E increased the activities of total superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase in plasma and the liver, when compared with the oxidized sunflower oil group (P<0.05). PQQ.Na2 or vitamin E diminished the oxidized sunflower oil diet induced elevation of liver weight (P=0.026), liver to BW ratio (P=0.001) and plasma activities of alanine aminotransferase (P=0.001) and aspartate aminotransferase (P<0.001) and maintained these indices at the similar levels to the fresh oil diet. Furthermore, oxidized sunflower oil increased hepatic DNA tail length (P<0.05) and tail moment (P<0.05) compared with the fresh oil group. Dietary supplementation of PQQ.Na2 or vitamin E decreased the oxidized oil diet induced DNA tail length and tail moment to the basal levels in fresh oil diet. These results indicate that PQQ.Na2 is a potential antioxidant and is as effective against oxidized oil-related liver injury in laying hens as vitamin E. The protective effects of PQQ.Na2 against liver damage induced by oxidized oil may be partially due to its role in the scavenging of free radicals, inhibiting of lipid peroxidation and enhancing of antioxidant defense systems.
Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is associated with a reduction in the numbers of nephrons in neonates, which increases the risk of hypertension. Our previous study showed that ouabain protects the development of the embryonic kidney during IUGR. To explore this molecular mechanism, IUGR rats were induced by protein and calorie restriction throughout pregnancy, and ouabain was delivered using a mini osmotic pump. RNA sequencing technology was used to identify the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) of the embryonic kidneys. DEGs were submitted to the Database for Annotation and Visualization and Integrated Discovery, and gene ontology enrichment analysis and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis were conducted. Maternal malnutrition significantly reduced fetal weight, but ouabain treatment had no significant effect on body weight. A total of 322 (177 upregulated and 145 downregulated) DEGs were detected between control and the IUGR group. Meanwhile, 318 DEGs were found to be differentially expressed (180 increased and 138 decreased) between the IUGR group and the ouabain-treated group. KEGG pathway analysis indicated that maternal undernutrition mainly disrupts the complement and coagulation cascades and the calcium signaling pathway, which could be protected by ouabain treatment. Taken together, these two biological pathways may play an important role in nephrogenesis, indicating potential novel therapeutic targets against the unfavorable effects of IUGR.
Since the electromagnetic energy gained by the laser wave in a free-electron laser (FEL) is transferred from the kinetic energy loss of a relativistic electron beam, the stability of electron motion is one of the key factors that affect FEL performance. In this paper the stability of electron motion is compared for different focusing regimes. It is demonstrated that the natural focusing regime of a three-dimensional wiggler is easily broken by the self-field of the electron beam. The magnetic focusing regime of an axial guide magnetic field is based on the superposition of a strong Larmor rotation on the transverse quiver motion of the electrons, while the electric focusing regime of an ion-channel guiding field generates an electric force to counteract the divergent effect of the beam self-field. In comparison with the magnetic focusing regime of an external magnetic system, the electric focusing regime of an ion-channel guiding field may yield smaller instantaneous Larmor radius and slighter Larmor-centre deviation from the axis and provide better motion stability.
Organ shortage is a severe challenge worldwide. Three-dimensional (3D) printing, a rapidly developing engineering and materials science tool, holds considerable promise in generating implantable organ scaffolds that may reduce or eliminate organ shortage. However, translation of 3D printing into clinical therapies has been astonishingly slow and certainly has not matched the pace of technology development. This review outlines challenges and opportunities for the application of 3D printing in tissue and organ regeneration, with emphasis on in vivo applications of 3D-printed scaffolds. Three-dimensional-printed scaffolds for the regeneration of complex tissues and organs, including bone, cartilage, tooth, and skin, serve as prototypes for 3D printing of other tissues and organs such as the liver, kidney, or heart. The aspiration to reduce or eliminate organ shortage appears to hinge on the translation of 3D bioprinting technologies into preclinical studies and clinical trials. The remaining challenges of cell survival, directed differentiation, angiogenesis, and metabolic exchange are far from trial and need to be addressed. Three-dimensional-printed materials will remain a biomaterials and engineering showcase unless applications in preclinical and clinical models are realized. In balance, 3D printing holds considerable promise in regenerative medicine as a unique approach to address organ shortage.
Early life environments interact with genotype to determine stable phenotypic outcomes. Here we examined the influence of a variant in the brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) gene (Val66Met), which underlies synaptic plasticity throughout the central nervous system, on the degree to which antenatal maternal anxiety associated with neonatal DNA methylation. We also examined the association between neonatal DNA methylation and brain substructure volume, as a function of BDNF genotype. Infant, but not maternal, BDNF genotype dramatically influences the association of antenatal anxiety on the epigenome at birth as well as that between the epigenome and neonatal brain structure. There was a greater impact of antenatal maternal anxiety on the DNA methylation of infants with the methionine (Met)/Met compared to both Met/valine (Val) and Val/Val genotypes. There were significantly more cytosine–phosphate–guanine sites where methylation levels covaried with right amygdala volume among Met/Met compared with both Met/Val and Val/Val carriers. In contrast, more cytosine–phosphate–guanine sites covaried with left hippocampus volume in Val/Val infants compared with infants of the Met/Val or Met/Met genotype. Thus, antenatal Maternal Anxiety × BDNF Val66Met Polymorphism interactions at the level of the epigenome are reflected differently in the structure of the amygdala and the hippocampus. These findings suggest that BDNF genotype regulates the sensitivity of the methylome to early environment and that differential susceptibility to specific environmental conditions may be both tissue and function specific.
Limited information is available on the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the general population in China. A community-based epidemiological study was conducted in three counties in eastern China. A total of 149 175 individuals were investigated in 60 communities in three counties in Jiangsu province, eastern China, of whom 1175 subjects [0·79%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·74–0·83] were HCV antibody positive. The prevalence was low in children (0·09%, 95% CI 0·04–0·17), but increased progressively from adolescents (0·20%, 95% CI 0·15–0·28) to adults aged ⩾21 years (95% CI 0·15–1·64). Women had a higher prevalence of HCV infection than men in most age groups. In a multilevel regression analysis, age, sex, education, occupation, blood transfusion [odds ratio (OR) 2·91, 95% CI 1·09–5·37], invasive testing (OR 1·28, 95% CI 1·14–1·61), and dental therapy (OR 2·27, 95% CI 1·41–3·42) were associated with HCV infection. In conclusion, although the prevalence of HCV in this population was lower than reported from national levels, the total reservoir of infection is significant and warrants public health measures, such as health education to limit the magnitude of the problem.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is significantly associated with hyperlipidaemia and oxidative stress. We have previously reported that astaxanthin (ASTX), a xanthophyll carotenoid, lowers plasma total cholesterol and TAG concentrations in apoE knockout mice. To investigate whether ASTX supplementation can prevent the development of NAFLD in obesity, male C57BL/6J mice (n 8 per group) were fed a high-fat diet (35 %, w/w) supplemented with 0, 0·003, 0·01 or 0·03 % of ASTX (w/w) for 12 weeks. The 0·03 % ASTX-supplemented group, but not the other groups, exhibited a significant decrease in plasma TAG concentrations, suggesting that ASTX at a 0·03 % supplementation dosage exerts a hypotriacylglycerolaemic effect. Although there was an increase in the mRNA expression of fatty acid synthase and diglyceride acyltransferase 2, the mRNA levels of acyl-CoA oxidase 1, a critical enzyme in peroxisomal fatty acid β-oxidation, exhibited an increase in the 0·03 % ASTX-supplemented group. There was a decrease in plasma alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST) concentrations in the 0·03 % ASTX-supplemented group. There was a significant increase in the hepatic mRNA expression of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 and its downstream genes, which are critical for endogenous antioxidant mechanism, in the 0·03 % ASTX-supplemented group. Furthermore, there was a significant decrease in the mRNA abundance of IL-6 in the primary splenocytes isolated from the 0·03 % ASTX-supplemented group upon lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation when compared with that in the splenocytes isolated from the control group. In conclusion, ASTX supplementation lowered the plasma concentrations of TAG, ALT and AST, increased the hepatic expression of endogenous antioxidant genes, and rendered splenocytes less sensitive to LPS stimulation. Therefore, ASTX may prevent obesity-associated metabolic disturbances and inflammation.
The warm white light emission from the MOS capacitor containing the Zr-doped HfO2 high-k thin film on a p-type Si wafer under various post deposition annealing temperatures has been investigated. The light intensity is affected by the annealing temperature and the magnitude of the stress voltage. The annealing temperature changes the defect density and the physical thickness of the high-k stack. The high stress voltage induces the strong light emission because of the passage of a large current through the conductive path. The broad band emission spectrum covers the visible and near IR wavelength range with a large color rendering index. This new light emission device has a very long lifetime of > 1,000 hours at the atmosphere without a protection layer. The device is made of the IC compatible material and fabrication process, which favors the application over a wide range of products.
Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), a putative essential nutrient and redox modulator in microorganisms, cell and animal models, has been recognized as a growth promoter in rodents. Growth performance, carcass yield and antioxidant status were evaluated on broiler chickens fed different levels of PQQ disodium (PQQ.Na2). A total of 784 day-old male Arbor Acres (AA) broilers were randomly allotted into seven dietary groups: negative control group (NC) fed a basal diet without virginiamycin (VIR) or PQQ.Na2; a positive control group (PC) fed a diet with 15 mg of VIR/kg diet; and PQQ.Na2 groups fed with 0.05, 0.10, 0.20, 0.40 or 0.80 mg PQQ.Na2/kg diet. Each treatment contained eight replicates with 14 birds each. The feeding trial lasted for 6 weeks. The results showed that chicks fed 0.2 mg PQQ.Na2/kg diet significantly improved growth performance comparable to those in PC group, and the feed efficiency enhancement effects of dietary PQQ.Na2 was more apparent in grower phase. Dietary addition of PQQ.Na2 had the potential to stimulate immune organs development, and low level dietary addition (<0.1 mg/kg) increased plasma lysozyme level. Broilers fed 0.2 mg PQQ.Na2/kg diet gained more carcasses at day 42, and had lower lipid peroxide malondialdehyde content and higher total antioxidant power in plasma. The results indicated that dietary PQQ.Na2 (0.2 mg/kg diet) had the potential to act as a growth promoter comparable to antibiotic in broiler chicks.
Monodominance in the tropics is often seen as an unusual phenomenon due to the normally high diversity in tropical rain forests. Here we studied Parashorea chinensis H. Wang (Dipterocarpaceae) in a seasonal tropical forest in south-west China, to elucidate the mechanisms behind its monodominance. Twenty-eight 20 × 20-m plots were established in monodominant and mixed forest in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan province. All individuals ≥1 cm stem diameter and 16 soil variables were measured. Parashorea chinensis forest had a significantly higher mean tree dbh compared with mixed forest. Diversity did not differ significantly between the two forest types. However, within monodominant patches, all diversity indices decreased with an increase in P. chinensis dominance. Floristic composition of P. chinensis forest did differ significantly from the mixed forest. These differences were associated with more fertile soils (significantly higher pH, Mn, K and lower carbon pools and C:N ratio) in the P. chinensis forest than the mixed forest. In contrast to current paradigms, this monodominant species is not associated with infertile, but with fertile soils. Parashorea chinensis seems to be especially associated with high manganese concentrations which it can tolerate, and with edaphic conditions (water, K) that allow this tall and exposed emergent species to maintain its water balance. This is in contrast with most previous studies on monodominance in the tropics that found either no effect of soil properties, or predict associations with nutrient-poor soils.