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To explore the effect of mannan-oligosaccharide (MOS) on intestinal health in weaned pigs upon Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli K88 (ETEC) challenge, thirty-two male weaned pigs were randomly assigned into four groups. Pigs fed with a basal diet or basal diet containing MOS (0.6 g/kg) were orally infused with ETEC or culture medium. Results showed that MOS significantly elevated the digestibility of crude protein (CP) and gross energy (GE) in both ETEC-challenged and non-challenged pigs (P < 0.05). MOS also elevated serum concentrations of immunoglobulin (Ig) A and IgM (P < 0.05), but decreased serum concentrations of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 (P < 0.05) in ETEC-challenged pigs. Interestingly, MOS increased villus height and the ratio of villus height to crypt depth (V/C) in duodenum and ileum (P < 0.05). MOS also increased duodenal sucrase and ileal lactase activity in ETEC-challenged pigs (P < 0.05). MOS decreased the abundance of Escherichia coli, but increased the abundance of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Bacillus in cecum (P < 0.05). Importantly, MOS not only elevated the expression levels of zonula occludins-1 (ZO-1), claudin-1, and glucose transporter-2 (GLUT-2) in duodenum (P < 0.05), but also elevated the expression levels of ZO-1, GLUT-2, and L-type amino acid transporter-1 (LAT-1) in ileum (P < 0.05) upon ETEC challenge. These results suggested that MOS can alleviate inflammation and intestinal injury in weaned pigs upon ETEC challenge, which was associated with suppressed secretion of inflammatory cytokines and elevated serum immunoglobulins, as well as improved intestinal epithelium functions and microbiota.
Solid solution 0.94Na0.5Bi0.5TiO3–6BaTiO3 (NBT–6BT) is considered to be one kind of lead-free piezoelectric materials with excellent electrical properties due to the existence of morphotropic phase boundary (MPB). However, its relatively lower depolarization temperature is a long-standing bottleneck for the application of NBT-based piezoelectric ceramics. In this work, the influence of thermal quenching on depolarization temperature and electrical properties of rare-earth Ho-doped NBT–6BT lead-free ceramics was investigated. It was shown that the relative high piezoelectric performance, as well as an improvement of depolarization temperature (Td), can be realized by thermal quenching. The results showed that the quenching process induced high concentration of oxygen vacancy, giving rise to the change of octahedra mode and enhanced lattice distortion, which is benefit to the temperature stability of piezoelectric and ferroelectric properties. Furthermore, up-conversion photoluminescence (PL) of Ho-doped NBT–6BT could be effectively tuned by the introduction of oxygen vacancy, suggesting a promising potential in optical–electrical multifunctional devices.
To identify the association of the glucokinase gene (GCK) rs4607517 polymorphism with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and determine whether sweets consumption could interact with the polymorphism on GDM in Chinese women.
We conducted a case–control study at a hospital including 1015 participants (562 GDM cases and 453 controls). We collected the data of pre-pregnancy BMI, sweets consumption and performed genotyping of the GCK rs4607517 polymorphism. Logistic regression was performed to test the association between the rs4607517 polymorphism and GDM, and the stratified analyses by sweets consumption were conducted, using an additive genetic model.
A case–control study of women at a hospital in Beijing, China.
One thousand and fifteen Chinese women.
The GCK rs4607517 A allele was significantly associated with GDM (OR 1·35, 95 % CI 1·03, 1·77; P = 0·028). Furthermore, stratified analyses showed that the A allele increased the risk of GDM only in women who had a habitual consumption of sweet foods (sweets consumption ≥ once per week) (OR 1·61, 95 % CI 1·17, 2·21; P = 0·003). Significant interaction on GDM was found between the rs4607517 A allele and sweets consumption (P = 0·004).
This study for the first time reported the interaction between the GCK rs4607517 polymorphism and sweets consumption on GDM. The results provided novel evidence for risk assessment and personalised prevention of GDM.
Here, we explored the influences of dietary inulin (INU) supplementation on growth performance and intestinal health in a porcine model. Thirty-two male weaned pigs (with an average body weight of 7·10 (sd 0·20) kg) were randomly assigned to four treatments and fed with a basal diet (BD) or BD containing 2·5, 5·0 and 10·0 g/kg INU. After a 21-d trial, pigs were killed for collection of serum and intestinal tissues. We show that INU supplementation had no significant influence on the growth performance in weaned pigs. INU significantly elevated serum insulin-like growth factor-1 concentration but decreased diamine oxidase concentration (P < 0·05). Interestingly, 2·5 and 5·0 g/kg INU supplementation significantly elevated the villus height in jejunum and ileum (P < 0·05). Moreover, 2·5 and 5·0 g/kg INU supplementation also elevated the villus height to crypt depth (V:C) in the duodenum and ileum and improved the distribution and abundance of tight-junction protein zonula occludens-1 in duodenum and ileum epithelium. INU supplementation at 10·0 g/kg significantly elevated the sucrase activity in the ileum mucosa (P < 0·05). INU supplementation decreased the expression level of TNF-α but elevated the expression level of GLUT 2 and divalent metal transporter 1 in the intestinal mucosa (P < 0·05). Moreover, INU increased acetic and butyric acid concentrations in caecum (P < 0·05). Importantly, INU elevated the Lactobacillus population but decreased the Escherichia coli population in the caecum (P < 0·05). These results not only indicate a beneficial effect of INU on growth performance and intestinal barrier functions but also offer potential mechanisms behind the dietary fibre-regulated intestinal health.
Terrorist attacks can occur anywhere. As the threat of terrorism develops, the China-Eurasia Expo held in Ürümqi, China is attracting fewer potential visitors. A nationwide survey of 2034 residents from 31 provinces and municipalities in China was conducted to examine the relation between the distance to respondents’ city of residence from Ürümqi and their levels of concern for safety and security concerning the Expo. The two were found to be positively related: the closer the respondents lived to Ürümqi, the less concerned they were with the safety and security of the Expo. This is consistent with the “psychological typhoon eye” effect, which states that people living closer to the center of an unfortunate event (whether natural or man-made hazards) are less concerned with the event’s negative consequences. This effect appears to hold for terrorism. There are implications of this finding for international counter-terrorism practice, tourism, and research.
Graphite nitride carbon nanosheets have received more and more attention toward the photocatalytic research and applications. Ultrathin g-CN nanosheets with porous structure were synthesized successfully by thermal calcination of melamine supramolecular complexes, which was obtained by pre-treating melamine in nitric acid solution at different concentrations (0.5–2 mol/L). Effects of HNO3 pre-treatment on the microstructure of supramolecular complexes were studied. The characteristics of g-CN nanosheets were investigated by X-ray diffractometry, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The degradation performance for RhB and water splitting hydrogen production performance were used to evaluate the photocatalytic performances of g-CN nanosheets. The morphology and microstructure of HNO3/melamine supramolecular complexes are different from those of melamine precursor due to the better arrangement of the melamine units. Ultrathin porous g-CN nanosheets which possess a thickness of less than 2 nm were successfully prepared by calcination of melamine pre-treated with 1.0 mol/L nitric acid. The g-CN(1.0) nanosheets possess the highest photocatalytic degradation performance and water splitting hydrogen production performance due to the effective separation of photogenerated carriers and high specific surface area providing a large number of active sites.
Evaluation of Cr, Mn, Fe, Zn and Se in humans is challenged by the potentially high within-individual variability of these elements in biological specimens, which are poorly characterised. This study aimed to evaluate their within-day, between-day and between-month variability in spot samples, first-morning voids and 24-h collections. A total of 529 spot urine samples (including eighty-eight first-morning voids and 24-h collections) were collected from eleven Chinese adult men on days 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 30, 60 and 90 and analysed for these five elements using inductively coupled plasma-MS. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were utilised to characterise the reproducibility, and their sensitivity and specificity were analysed to assess how well a single measurement classified individuals’ 3-month average exposures. Serial measurements of Zn in spot samples exhibited fair to good reproducibility (creatinine-adjusted ICC = 0·47) over five consecutive days, which became poor when the samples were gathered months apart (creatinine-adjusted ICC = 0·33). The reproducibility of Cr, Mn, Fe and Se in spot samples was poor over periods ranging from days to months (creatinine-adjusted ICC = 0·01–0·12). Two spot samples were sufficient for classifying 60 % of the men who truly had the highest (top 33 %) 3-month average Zn concentrations; for Cr, Mn, Fe and Se, however, at least three specimens were required to achieve similar sensitivities. In conclusion, urinary Cr, Mn, Fe, Zn and Se concentrations showed a strong within-individual variability, and a single measurement is not enough to efficiently characterise individuals’ long-term exposures.
This paper proposes a new radar cross section (RCS) reduced microstrip antenna incorporating 475 square slots on the patch. The proposed antenna achieves wideband RCS reduction with radiation performance sustained. The modified and reference antenna are simulated and analyzed in radiating and scattering mode, respectively. Prototypes of two antennas are fabricated and measured. Compared with the reference antenna, the simulated result shows the modified antenna RCS reduced in the frequency range 1.1–2.6 GHz, which contains the in-band and out-of-band frequency band simultaneously. And the maximum RCS reduction is 7.6dB at the frequency of 1.19GHz. Besides, the modified antenna can achieve the antenna RCS reduction in the case of oblique incidence. The prototypes of two antennas are fabricated and measured, and the accuracy of the simulation is proved by the measured result. Due to its advantages of simplicity, wideband RCS reduced, broad-angle RCS reduced, the method in this paper is suitable for wideband antenna RCS reduction in space-limited environment.
Muscle fibre types can transform from slow-twitch (slow myosin heavy chain (MyHC)) to fast-twitch (fast MyHC) or vice versa. Leucine plays a vital effect in the development of skeletal muscle. However, the role of leucine in porcine myofibre type transformation and its mechanism are still unclear. In this study, effects of leucine and microRNA-27a (miR-27a) on the transformation of porcine myofibre type were investigated in vitro. We found that leucine increased slow MyHC protein level and decreased fast MyHC protein level, increased the levels of phospho-protein kinase B (Akt)/Akt and phospho-forkhead box 1 (FoxO1)/FoxO1 and decreased the FoxO1 protein level. However, blocking the Akt/FoxO1 signalling pathway by wortmannin attenuated the role of leucine in porcine myofibre type transformation. Over-expression of miR-27a decreased slow MyHC protein level and increased fast MyHC protein level, whereas inhibition of miR-27a had an opposite effect. We also found that expression of miR-27a was down-regulated following leucine treatment. Moreover, over-expression of miR-27a repressed transformation from fast MyHC to slow MyHC caused by leucine, suggesting that miR-27a is interdicted by leucine and then contributes to porcine muscle fibre type transformation. Our finding provided the first evidence that leucine promotes porcine myofibre type transformation from fast MyHC to slow MyHC via the Akt/FoxO1 signalling pathway and miR-27a.
In this study, a new microstrip patch antenna with wideband radar cross-section (RCS) reduction is presented. The RCS of the proposed antenna was reduced by subtracting the current-direction slots of the patch, with the radiation performance sustained not only for the current-direction subtraction, but also for the no modification in the ground plane. Modified and reference antenna were fabricated and measured. The simulation and measurement results showed that the modified antenna reduced the in-band and out-band RCS simultaneously with no detriment to the radiation performance. In the frequency band from 3.9 to 8.1 GHz, the RCS of the modified antenna was reduced in the whole band compared with the RCS of the reference antenna. The maximum RCS reduction was 7 dB at a frequency of 6.7 GHz.
The antennal sensilla of female Quadrastichus mendeli Kim & La Salle (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae: Tetrastichinae) were observed with scanning and transmission electron microscopy in this study. The antenna of Q. mendeli was geniculate, and the flagellum was composed of seven subsegments. Six distinct types of sensory receptors were observed, including sensilla basiconic capitate peg, sensilla böhm, sensilla chaetica, sensilla campaniformia, sensilla placodea and sensilla trichodea. Sensilla basiconic capitate pegs were found on the flagellomeres, and Böhm sensilla were found on the basal part of scape and the pedicel. Two morphological subtypes of sensilla chaetica were found on the antennae, and sensilla campaniformia were only found on the pedicel. Sensilla placodea were divided into two morphological subtypes that were found on the flagellomeres. Sensilla trichodea were found on the 2nd–6th flagellomere. By comparison to existing antennal sensilla, it was found that sensilla basiconic capitate peg, sensilla chaetica, sensilla placodea and sensilla trichodea were the most common sensilla of the parasitoids of Eulophidae. The external and internal morphology, types, number, distribution, length, and width of these sensilla were described, and their possible functions are discussed in conjunction with the host-detection behavior. Future studies on the host location mechanisms in Q. mendeli will be facilitated by these observations.
Environmental characteristics (for example, temperature, photoperiod) as seasonal cues can affect the offspring sex ratio and reproductive tactics of many hymenopteran insects. Leptocybe invasa Fisher & La Salle is the most critical invasive insect pest of Eucalyptus spp. in the world and displays thelytokous reproduction. In the current study, we studied the effects of temperature and photoperiod on offspring sex ratio and reproductive tactics in L. invasa. Results show that sex ratio (female: male) of L. invasa was under 15, 25 and 35 °C with both L 12: D 12 and L 16: D 8, and cold and thermal acclimation were 74.5:1, 71.0:1, 59.0:0, 17.3:1, 53.0:0, 64.0:0, 47.0:1 and 56.0:0, respectively, which was highly significantly female biased and with no significant difference due to temperature or photoperiod. Offspring virgin females oviposited and induced the bump-shaped galls on plants under the same conditions as described above. Constant temperature, photoperiod and their interaction, and cold and thermal acclimation had no significant effect on the infestation rates of Eucalyptus branches induced by offspring virgin females. Thus, temperature, photoperiod and cold and thermal acclimation did not influence female-biased sex ratio and tactics with thelytokous reproduction of offspring females in L. invasa.
Heading angle is a vital parameter in maintaining a vessel's track along a planned course and should be guaranteed in a stable and reliable way. An innovative method of heading determination based on a fisheye camera, which is almost totally unaffected by electromagnetism and geomagnetism, is proposed in this paper. In addition, unlike traditional astronomical methods, it also has a certain degree of adaptability to cloudy weather. Utilising the super wide Field Of View (FOV) of the camera, it is able to simultaneously image the Moon and the horizon. The Moon is treated as the observed celestial body and the horizon works as the horizontal datum. Two experiments were conducted at sea, successfully proving the feasibility of this method. The proposed heading determination system has the merits of automation, resistance to interference and could be miniaturised, making application viable.
Leucine, one of the branched-chain amino acids, is the only amino acid to regulate protein turnover in skeletal muscle. Leucine not only increases muscle protein synthesis, but also decreases muscle protein degradation. It is well documented that leucine plays a positive role in differentiation of murine muscle cells. However, the role of leucine on porcine myoblast differentiation and its mechanism remains unclear. In this study, porcine myoblasts were induced to differentiate with differentiation medium containing different concentrations of leucine, and wortmannin was used to interdict the activity of protein kinase B (Akt). We found that leucine increased the number of myosin heavy chain-positive cells and creatine kinase activity. Moreover, leucine increased the mRNA and protein levels of myogenin and myogenic determining factor (MyoD). In addition, leucine increased the levels of phosphorylated Akt/Akt and phosphorylated Forkhead box O1 (P-FoxO1)/FoxO1, as well as decreased the protein level of FoxO1. However, wortmannin, a specific repressor of PI3K/Akt signalling pathway, attenuated the positive role of leucine on porcine myoblast differentiation. Our results suggest that leucine promotes porcine myoblast differentiation through the Akt/FoxO1 signalling pathway.
In this paper, a metasurface-based aperture-coupled circularly polarized (CP) antenna with wideband and high radiation gain is proposed and analyzed. The proposed antenna is comprised of coplanar waveguide coupling with 4 × 4 corner truncated square patches, which show compact size and low profile. The mechanism of the CP antenna is analyzed theoretically based on the mode analysis and equivalent circuit analysis. The parameters of feeding structure and truncated corner are studied and optimized to achieve wide impedance bandwidth (BW) and axial ratio (AR) BW. Finally, an overall size of 38.8 mm × 38.8 mm × 3.5 mm (0.71λ0 × 0.71λ0 × 0.064λ0 at 5.5 GHz) CP antenna is proposed and fabricated. The simulated results demonstrate that over 41.7% impedance BW (S11 < −10 dB) of 4.55–6.95 GHz and 3 dB AR BW of 5.05–6.15 GHz (fractional BW is about 19.6%) are achieved. In addition, the antenna yielded a broadside CP radiation with a high gain average about 7.5 dBic. Experimental results are in good agreement with the simulated ones.
A wideband and high-efficiency polarization conversion metasurface (PCM) is proposed and applied to reduce radar cross section (RCS). The proposed PCM unit is composed of two oblique asymmetry triangle split rings, which generate multiple plasmon resonances. Simulated and measured results demonstrate that it achieves polarization conversion over 90% from 9.24 to 17.64 GHz. Besides square checkerboard, the proposed PCM units and mirror units are arranged in triangle checkerboard. The mechanisms of both checkerboard PCMs are analyzed based on standard array theory, including the relationship between RCS reduction value and polarization conversion ratio value. The derived formulas provide a guideline to design checkerboard structure based on PCM. Simulated results demonstrate that both checkerboard PCMs achieve over 62% relative bandwidth of 10 dB RCS reduction under normal incidence with respect to the equal-sized metallic plate, which also means that the triangle one could be an alternative solution to reduce RCS. To verify the analyzed and simulated results, the fabricated sample and measured results of both checkerboard PCMs are presented. Good agreements are achieved between measurements, simulations and numerical analysis.
The Sinoalidae, as one of the three Mesozoic froghopper families, was recently recognized from the latest Middle–earliest Late Jurassic Daohugou Biota of northeastern China. We herein report some new materials from the same horizon and locality, providing some new insights on morphological diversity and evolution of this family. Shufania hani new genus new species indicates that the relative branching position of veins M and CuA of the forewing is highly variable within the Sinoalidae and not appropriate for family-level diagnosis. The venations of three reported sinoalid hind wings are conservative, likely due to its simplified topology and reduced terminal branches. Color patterns of hind wings are likely variable for different sinoalid froghoppers. However, considering that color pattern is easily weakened or even erased by diagenetic processes for imprint fossils, the morphological character is not reliable for distinguishing different sinoalid taxa. Additionally, our new material suggests that the number of lateral spines of the hind tibia can vary intra-individually for sinoalids, just as in some recent froghoppers.
We examined the in vitro developmental competence of parthenogenetic activation (PA) oocytes activated by an electric pulse (EP) and treated with various concentrations of AZD5438 for 4 h. Treatment with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h significantly improved the blastocyst formation rate of PA oocytes in comparison with 0, 20, or 50 µM AZD5438 treatment (46.4% vs. 34.5%, 32.3%, and 24.0%, respectively; P < 0.05). The blastocyst formation rate was higher in the group treated with AZD5438 for 4 h than in the groups treated with AZD5438 for 2 or 6 h (42.8% vs. 38.6% and 37.2%, respectively; P > 0.05). Furthermore, 66.67% of blastocysts derived from these AZD5438-treated PA oocytes had a diploid karyotype. The blastocyst formation rate of PA and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos was similar between oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 2 mM 6-dimethylaminopurine for 4 h and those activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h (11.11% vs. 13.40%, P > 0.05). In addition, the level of maturation-promoting factor (MPF) was significantly decreased in oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h. Finally, the mRNA expression levels of apoptosis-related genes (Bax and Bcl-2) and pluripotency-related genes (Oct4, Nanog, and Sox2) were checked by RT-PCR; however, there were no differences between the AZD5438-treated and non-treated control groups. Our results demonstrate that porcine oocyte activation via an EP in combination with AZD5438 treatment can lead to a high blastocyst formation rate in PA and SCNT experiments.