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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.
To prevent spinning of the upper non-rotated part of the electromechanical drill, an ‘anti-torque system’ has to be included in the downhole unit. At the same time, the anti-torque must allow the drill to move up and down the borehole during drilling and tripping operations. Usually the anti-torque system has a blade form of various designs that engages with the borehole wall and counteracts the torque from the stator of the driving motor. This paper presents a review of the different anti-torque systems and test results with selected designs (leaf spring, skate and U-shaped anti-torque systems). Experiments showed that the skate anti-torque system can provide the maximal holding torque between 67 and 267 Nm−1 depending on the skates’ outer diameter and ice temperature, while the leaf spring anti-torque system can provide only 2.5–40 N m−1 (in case of straight contact between the ice and the leaf springs). The total resistance force to axial movement of the skate anti-torque system lies in the range 209–454N if the system is vibrating. For the leaf spring anti-torque system, the total axial resistance force is far less (19–243 N).
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.
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.
The predictability of modified constitutive model, based on Arrhenius type equation, for illustrating the flow behavior of Fe–36%Ni Invar alloy was investigated via isothermal hot compression tests. The hot deformation tests were carried out in a temperature range of 850–1100 °C and strain rates from 0.01 to 10 s−1. True stress-true strain curves exhibited the dependence of the flow stress on deformation temperatures and strain rates, which then described in Arrhenius-type equation by Zener–Holloman parameter. Moreover, the related material constants and hot deformation activation energy (Q) in the constitutive model were calculated by considering the effect of strain as independent function on them and employing sixth polynomial fitting. Subsequently, the performance of the modified constitutive equation was verified by correlation coefficient and average absolute relative error which were estimated in accordance with experimental and predicted data. The results showed that the modified constitutive equation possess reliable and stable ability to predict the hot flow behavior of studied material under different deformation conditions. Meanwhile, Zener–Holloman parameter map was established according to the modified constitutive equation and used to estimate the extent of dynamic recrystallization.
For gas flows with moderate and low Knudsen numbers, pair-wise collisions in the Boltzmann equation can be approximated by the Langevin model corresponding to the Fokker-Planck equation. Using this simplified collision model, particle numerical schemes, e.g. the Fokker-Planck model (FPM) method, can simulate low Knudsen number gas flows more efficient than those based on the Boltzmann equation, such as the Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) method. However, as analyzed in this paper, the transport properties of the FPM method deviate from the physical values as the time step increases, and this problem affects its computational accuracy and efficiency for the simulation of multi-scale flows. Herewe propose a particle Fokker-Planck algorithm with multiscale temporal discretization (MTD-FPM) to overcome the drawbacks of the original FPM method. In the MTD-FPM method, the molecular motion is tracked following the integration scheme of the Langevin model in analogy to the original FPM method. However, to ensure consistent transport coefficients for arbitrary temporal discretization, a time step dependent friction coefficient has been implemented. Several benchmark problems, including Couette, thermal Couette, Poiseuille, and Sod tube flows, are simulated to validate the proposed MTD-FPM method.
The intestine plays key roles in maintaining body arginine (Arg) homoeostasis. Meanwhile, the intestine is very susceptible to reactive oxygen species. In light of this, the study aimed to explore the effects of Arg supplementation on intestinal morphology, Arg transporters and metabolism, and the potential protective mechanism of Arg supplementation in piglets under oxidative stress. A total of thirty-six weaned piglets were randomly allocated to six groups with six replicates and fed a base diet (0·95 % Arg,) or base diet supplemented with 0·8 % and 1·6 % l-Arg for 1 week, respectively. Subsequently, a challenge test was conducted by intraperitoneal injection of diquat, an initiator of radical production, or sterile saline. The whole trial lasted 11 d. The diquat challenge significantly decreased plasma Arg concentration at 6 h after injection (P<0·05), lowered villus height in the jejunum and ileum (P<0·05) as well as villus width and crypt depth in the duodenum, jejunum and ileum (P<0·05). Oxidative stress significantly increased cationic amino acid transporter (CAT)-1, CAT-2 and CAT-3, mRNA levels (P<0·05), decreased arginase II (ARGII) and inducible nitric oxide synthase mRNA levels, and increased TNF-α mRNA level in the jejunum (P<0·05). Supplementation with Arg significantly decreased crypt depth (P<0·05), suppressed CAT-1 mRNA expression induced by diquat (P<0·05), increased ARGII and endothelial nitric oxide synthase mRNA levels (P<0·05), and effectively relieved the TNF-α mRNA expression induced by diquat in the jejunum (P<0·05). It is concluded that oxidative stress decreased Arg bioavailability and increased expression of inflammatory cytokines in the jejunum, and that Arg supplementation has beneficial effects in the jejunum through regulation of the metabolism of Arg and suppression of inflammatory cytokine expression in piglets.
Leucine plays an important role in promoting muscle protein synthesis and muscle remodelling. However, what percentage of leucine is appropriate in creep feed and what proteome profile alterations are caused by dietary leucine in the skeletal muscle of piglets remain elusive. In this case, we applied isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation to analyse the proteome profile of the longissimus dorsi muscles of weanling piglets fed a normal leucine diet (NL; 1·66 % leucine) and a high-leucine diet (HL; 2·1 % leucine). We identified 157 differentially expressed proteins between these two groups. Bioinformatics analysis of these proteins exhibited the suppression of oxidative phosphorylation and fatty acid β-oxidation, as well as the activation of glycolysis, in the HL group. For further confirmation, we identified that SDHB, ATP5F1, ACADM and HADHB were significantly down-regulated (P<0·01, except ATP5F1, P<0·05), whereas the glycolytic enzyme pyruvate kinase was significantly up-regulated (P<0·05) in the HL group. We also show that enhanced muscle protein synthesis and the transition from slow-to-fast fibres are altered by leucine. Together, these results indicate that leucine may alter energy metabolism and promote slow-to-fast transitions in the skeletal muscle of weanling piglets.
We model how a rent-protection motive drives the choice of flotation method in new equity issuance between two polar cases: rights issues and cash offers. Unexpected new blockholders would emerge in control-diluting cash offers and share in jealously guarded control benefits. But rights issues help the incumbent controlling shareholders avoid control dilution and safeguard their private benefits. Under asymmetric information about private benefits, the choice of flotation method can convey information about hidden private benefits and hence firm value. Our model can explain even a negative announcement effect of rights issues, and it supports not just one but three important equilibriums.