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Force-feeding was considered as a traditional high-efficiency approach to improve growth performance and accelerate fat deposition of Pekin ducks. However, force-feeding is a serious violation of international advocacy on animal welfare, because it can induce serious injuries to animals, such as damages to the digestive tract, effects on immunity and even severe oxidative stress. Therefore, it is urgent to stop force-feeding. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of force feeding on immune function, digestive function and oxidative stress in the mucosa of duodenum and jejunum of Pekin ducks. A total of 500 ducks were randomly divided into two groups. The control group was allowed to feed freely on a basal diet. The experimental group was force-fed by inserting a plastic feeding tube 8 to 10 inches long down the esophagus for 6 days. Compared with the control group, there was a significant (P<0.05) increase in serum diamine oxidase, d-lactic acid, endotoxin and corticosterone levels in the force-feeding group. The crypt depth in duodenum and jejunum showed significant differences (P<0.05) between the two groups and the intestinal villus epithelium cell was severely damaged in force-feeding group. Similarly, the activities of digestive enzymes as well as the levels of immune function in the duodenal and jejunal mucosa in the force-feeding group were significantly higher than the control group (P<0.05). However, there was a significant decrease in the superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and catalase levels with a marked increase in malondialdehyde level in duodenal and jejunal mucosa (P<0.05). In summary, at the end of the fattening period with force-feeding for 6 days, Pekin ducks experienced an adverse effect on the integrity of their duodenal and jejunal mucosa epithelium cell as well as their immune function and antioxidant capacity of Pekin ducks but also had improvement in digestive enzyme activities.
A method for using grazing incidence x-ray diffraction (GIXD) for profiling composition changes with depth of photovoltaic quality thin films is presented. The average thickness of the first layer in a multi-layer film of CuIn2Se3.5/CuInSe2/Mo and the variation in solid solution composition of a Cu(In1-xGax)Se2 (CIGS) film with depth are solved using this method. The phase volume fraction and the phase composition profiles are developed from peak intensity and d-spacing measurements respectively at a series of fixed incident angles corresponding to a set of increasing 1/e penetration depths, τ. Inverse Laplace and numerical methods are applied to the τ profiles converting them to true depth profiles. Vegard's law is applied to the d-spacing vs z-profile to obtain x in the formula Cu(In1-xGax)Se2. The results show that an ∼1 μm thick layer of CuIn2Se3.5 is present on the surface of the multi-layer film and that the CIGS film consists of a Ga rich surface layer ∼2000 Å thick followed by a gradual decrease in Ga content with increasing depth. This gradient appears to be desirable for producing photovoltaic quality CIGS films.
The hippocampus plays an important role in psychopathology and treatment outcome. While posterior hippocampus (PH) may be crucial for the learning process that exposure-based treatments require, affect-focused treatments might preferentially engage anterior hippocampus (AH). Previous studies have distinguished the different functions of these hippocampal sub-regions in memory, learning, and emotional processes, but not in treatment outcome. Examining two independent clinical trials, we hypothesized that anterior hippocampal volume would predict outcome of affect-focused treatment outcome [Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT); Panic-Focused Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (PFPP)], whereas posterior hippocampal volume would predict exposure-based treatment outcome [Prolonged Exposure (PE); Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT); Applied Relaxation Training (ART)].
Thirty-five patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and 24 with panic disorder (PD) underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) before randomization to affect-focused (IPT for PTSD; PFPP for PD) or exposure-based treatments (PE for PTSD; CBT or ART for PD). AH and PH volume were regressed with clinical outcome changes.
Baseline whole hippocampal volume did not predict post-treatment clinical severity scores in any treatment. For affect-focused treatments, but not exposure-based treatments, anterior hippocampal volume predicted clinical improvement. Smaller AH correlated with greater affect-focused treatment improvement. Posterior hippocampal volume did not predict treatment outcome.
This is the first study to explore associations between hippocampal volume sub-regions and treatment outcome in PTSD and PD. Convergent results suggest that affect-focused treatment may influence the clinical outcome through the ‘limbic’ AH, whereas exposure-based treatments do not. These preliminary, theory-congruent, therapeutic findings require replication in a larger clinical trial.
A new generation of high power laser facilities will provide laser pulses with extremely high powers of 10 petawatt (PW) and even 100 PW, capable of reaching intensities of
in the laser focus. These ultra-high intensities are nevertheless lower than the Schwinger intensity
at which the theory of quantum electrodynamics (QED) predicts that a large part of the energy of the laser photons will be transformed to hard Gamma-ray photons and even to matter, via electron–positron pair production. To enable the investigation of this physics at the intensities achievable with the next generation of high power laser facilities, an approach involving the interaction of two colliding PW laser pulses is being adopted. Theoretical simulations predict strong QED effects with colliding laser pulses of
focused to intensities
The paper presents the results of a study on propagation and focusing of high-intensity pulsed ion beams, produced by a self-magnetically insulated diode of semi-cylindrical geometry at the TEMP-6 accelerator (120 ns, 200–250 kV). We examined the space-charge neutralization of the beam, the energy density in the focus, the divergence of the beam, and its shot-to-shot displacement in the focal plane. It is found that the concentration of low-energy electrons in the beam is 1.3–1.5 times higher than the concentration of ions. We observed additional ion focusing by its own space charge. With an increase in the density of the net negative (electrons and ions) charge of the beam from 3.6 to 9 µC/cm2, the total divergence (the sum of the beam divergence in the vertical and horizontal planes) decreases from 11.4 to 4.5°. It leads to an increase in the energy density in the focus from 4 up to 10–12 J/cm2. To increase the electrons concentration in the beam, a metal grid installed in the ion beam transport region was used.
In this paper we continue the examination of inventory control in which the inventory is modeled by a diffusion process and a long-term average cost criterion is used to make decisions. The class of such models under consideration has general drift and diffusion coefficients, and boundary points that are consistent with the notion that demand should tend to reduce the inventory level. The conditions on the cost functions are greatly relaxed from those in Helmes et al. (2017). Characterization of the cost of a general (s, S) policy as a function of two variables naturally leads to a nonlinear optimization problem over the ordering levels s and S. Existence of an optimizing pair (s*, S*) is established for these models under very weak conditions; nonexistence of an optimizing pair is also discussed. Using average expected occupation and ordering measures and weak convergence arguments, weak conditions are given for the optimality of the (s*, S*) ordering policy in the general class of admissible policies. The analysis involves an auxiliary function that is globally C2 and which, together with the infimal cost, solves a particular system of linear equations and inequalities related to but different from the long-term average Hamilton‒Jacobi‒Bellman equation. This approach provides an analytical solution to the problem rather than a solution involving intricate analysis of the stochastic processes. The range of applicability of these results is illustrated on a drifted Brownian motion inventory model, both unconstrained and reflected, and on a geometric Brownian motion inventory model under two different cost structures.
Hepatitis E is an important zoonosis that is prevalent in China. Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a pathogen that affects humans and animals and endangers public health in China. In this study, the detection of HEV epidemics in swine in Sichuan Province, China, was carried out by nested real-time PCR. A total of 174 stool samples and 160 bile samples from swine in Sichuan Province were examined. In addition, software was used to analyse the biological evolution of HEV. The results showed that within 2 years of swine HEV (SHEV) infection in China, SHEV was first detected in Sichuan Province. HEV was endemic in Sichuan; the positive rate for pig farms was 11.1%, and the total positive sample rate was 10.5%. The age of swine with the highest positive rate (17.9%) was 5–9 weeks. The examined swine species in order of highest to lowest HEV infection rates were Chenghua pig, Large White, Duroc, Pietrain, Landrace and Hampshire. Nucleotide and amino acid sequence analysis showed that the HEV epidemic in swine in Sichuan Province was related to genotype IV, which had the highest homology to HEV in Beijing. Sichuan strains have greater variation than Chinese representative strains, which may indicate the presence of new HEV strains.
The distribution of human papillomaviruses (HPVs) must be understood for the control and prevention of cervical cancer. Community-based Papanicolaou and HPV DNA tests were performed on 41 578 women. The prevalences of HPV genotypes 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 66 and 68 were assessed. In total, 10% women were infected/co-infected by these HPVs. The infection rate increased from 7.1% in women aged ⩽30 years to 10.4% in those aged 50–60 years, and then decreased slightly to 9.9% in those aged >60 years. The HPV 16 and 58 positivity rates were significantly higher among women with high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSILs) than among those with cervicitis/negativity for intraepithelial lesion or malignancy (NILM) or low-grade SILs (LSILs). The HPV 18, 52 and 68 infection rates were significantly lower in women with HSILs than in those with NILM or LSILs. The proportion of women infected by multiple HPV strains was higher among those with HSILs. The proportions of the five most common genotypes, HPV 16, 18, 33, 52 and 58, increased with the number of co-infecting strains. HPV 16 and 58 were the high-risk HPVs in the Shanghai community and should be the focus in HPV screening and vaccination.
Plant nitrogen (N) links with many physiological progresses of crop growth and yield formation. Accurate simulation is key to predict crop growth and yield correctly. The aim of the current study was to improve the estimation of N uptake and translocation processes in the whole rice plant as well as within plant organs in the RiceGrow model by using plant and organ maximum, critical and minimum N dilution curves. The maximum and critical N (Nc) demand (obtained from the maximum and critical curves) of shoot and root and Nc demand of organs (leaf, stem and panicle) are calculated by N concentration and biomass. Nitrogen distribution among organs is computed differently pre- and post-anthesis. Pre-anthesis distribution is determined by maximum N demand with no priority among organs. In post-anthesis distribution, panicle demands are met first and then the remaining N is allocated to other organs without priority. The amount of plant N uptake depends on plant N demand and N supplied by the soil. Calibration and validation of the established model were performed on field experiments conducted in China and the Philippines with varied N rates and N split applications; results showed that this improved model can simulate the processes of N uptake and translocation well.
The role of vegetable and fruit intake in reducing falls risk in elderly populations is uncertain. This study examined the associations of vegetable and fruit intake with falls-related hospitalisations in a prospective cohort study of elderly women (n 1429, ≥70 years), including effects on muscular function, which represented a potential causal pathway. Muscular function, measured using grip strength and timed-up-and-go (TUG), and vegetable and fruit intake, quantified using a validated FFQ, were assessed at baseline (1998). Incident falls-related hospitalisation over 14·5-year follow-up was captured by the Hospital Morbidity Data Collection, linked via the Western Australian Data Linkage System. Falls-related hospitalisation occurred in 568 (39·7 %) of women. In multivariable-adjusted models, falls-related hospitalisations were lower in participants consuming more vegetables (hazard ratio (HR) per 75 g serve: 0·90 (95 % CI 0·82, 0·99)), but not fruit intake (per 150 g serve: 1·03 (95 % CI 0·93, 1·14)). Only total cruciferous vegetable intake was inversely associated with falls-related hospitalisation (HR: per 20 g serve: 0·90 (95 % CI 0·83, 0·97)). Higher total vegetable intake was associated with lower odds for poor grip strength (OR: 0·87 (95 % CI 0·77, 0·97)) and slow TUG (OR: 0·88 (95 % CI 0·78, 0·99)). Including grip strength and TUG in the multivariable-adjusted model attenuated the association between total vegetable intake and falls-related hospitalisations. In conclusion, elderly women with higher total and cruciferous vegetable intake had lower injurious falls risk, which may be explained in a large part by better physical function. Falls reduction may be considered an additional benefit of higher vegetable intake in older women.
Vessel flexure can be triggered naturally by surgical operation, heart pulsation and body movement. It may affect the mechanical behavior of the stent and the existence of a stent may in turn cause vessel injury. In the present study, the finite element method is employed to study the interaction between stent and vessel during vessel flexure. Two- and four-link stents made of stainless steel 316L and magnesium alloy WE43 are considered. Results indicate that longitudinal deformation of the stent can be caused by vessel flexure, and the higher levels of stress exist in the link struts. The existence of the stent could induce significant stress concentration and straightened deformation on vessel wall in the course of vessel flexure. Stents with more links or made of harder materials show greater anti-deformation capability, thus inducing a more severe stress concentration and straightened deformation on the vessel wall. The bending direction also affects the mechanical performance of the vessel-stent system. The results obtained could provide useful information for better stent designs and clinical decisions.
To investigate the effects of soybean isoflavone (SI) on immunity in infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV)-infected broilers, chicks were fed the same basal diet supplemented with 0 (non-infected control), 0 (infected control), 10, 20 or 40 mg/kg SI for 44 days. At 21 days old, chickens were inoculated with bursal infectious dose causing 50% morbidity of the IBDV BC 6/85 strain by the eye-drop and nasal route (except for non-infected controls). Results showed that, over 1–23 days post-infection (dpi), there was a significant interaction between SI supplementation level and time: high-level SI supplementation increased peripheral T lymphocyte proliferation, percentages of CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes, CD4+ to CD8+ ratio, serum concentrations of IgA, IgM and IgG, and IBDV antibody titres. Except for serum IgA and IgM, these variables increased over time with far higher values at 23 dpi than earlier. Compared with non-infected controls, IBDV inoculation decreased peripheral T lymphocyte proliferation at 3 dpi, percentages of CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes, and serum IgG, IgM concentration at 23 dpi, and increased IBDV antibody titres at 7, 15 and 23 dpi. Supplemental SI quadratically increased peripheral T lymphocyte proliferation, CD4+ to CD8+ ratio and serum IgA concentration at 3 dpi, percentages of CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes at 3 and 23 dpi, and serum IgM concentration and IBDV antibody titres at 23 dpi. These results indicate that dietary SI improved cellular and humoral immunity of IBDV-infected birds and may enhance resistance of Yellow-feathered broilers to infectious diseases.
The golden snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana) is an endangered species endemic to China. Relatively little is known about the taxonomic status of soil-transmitted helminths (STH) in these monkeys. Trichuris spp. (syn. Trichocephalus) are among the most important STHs, causing significant socio-economic losses and public health concerns. To date, five Trichuris species have been reported in golden monkeys, including a novel species, T. rhinopiptheroxella, based on morphology. In the present study, molecular and morphological analysis was conducted on adult Trichuris worms obtained from a dead golden snub-nosed monkey, to better understand their taxonomic status. Morphology indicated that the adult Trichuris worms were similar to T. rhinopiptheroxella. To further ascertain their phylogenetic position, the complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of these worms was sequenced and characterized. The mt genome of T. rhinopiptheroxella is 14,186 bp, encoding 37 genes. Phylogenetic analysis based on the concatenated amino acids of 12 protein-coding genes (with the exception of atp8) indicated that T. rhinopiptheroxella was genetically distinct and exhibited 27.5–27.8% genetic distance between T. rhinopiptheroxella and other Trichuris spp. Our results support T. rhinopiptheroxella as a valid Trichuris species and suggest that mt DNA could serve as a marker for future studies on the classification, evolution and molecular epidemiology of Trichuris spp. from golden snub-nosed monkeys.
Extensive insecticide use has led to the resistance of mosquitoes to these insecticides, posing a major barrier to mosquito control. Previous Solexa high-throughput sequencing of Culex pipiens pallens in the laboratory has revealed that the abundance of a novel microRNA (miRNA), miR-13664, was higher in a deltamethrin-sensitive (DS) strain than a deltamethrin-resistant (DR) strain. Real-time quantitative PCR revealed that the miR-13664 transcript level was lower in the DR strain than in the DS strain. MiR-13664 oversupply in the DR strain increased the susceptibility of these mosquitoes to deltamethrin, whereas inhibition of miR-13664 made the DS strain more resistant to deltamethrin. Results of bioinformatic analysis, quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, luciferase assay and miR mimic/inhibitor microinjection revealed CpCYP314A1 to be a target of miR-13664. In addition, downregulation of CpCYP314A1 expression in the DR strain reduced the resistance of mosquitoes to deltamethrin. Taken together, our results indicate that miR-13664 could regulate deltamethrin resistance by interacting with CpCYP314A1, providing new insights into mosquito resistance mechanisms.
Gut microbes, especially those in the large intestine, are actively involved in nutrient metabolism; however, their impact on host nitrogen (N) metabolism remains largely unknown. This study was designed to investigate the effects of feeding a cocktail of antibiotics (AGM) (ampicillin, gentamycin and metronidazole) on intestinal microbiota, N utilization efficiency, and amino acid (AA) digestibility in cannulated pigs, with the aim of exploring the impact of gut microbiota on host N metabolism. In total, 16 piglets were surgically fitted with a simple distal ileal T-cannula and a jugular venous catheter. The pigs were fed a basal diet without antibiotics (control; CON) or with antibiotics (antibiotic; ANTI), for 2 weeks. The results showed that feeding AGM did not affect weight gain or digestive enzyme activity. The antibiotics increased the concentration of urea N (P<0.05). However, they reduced N utilization, and the total tract apparent digestibility of isoleucine, methionine, valine, tyrosine and total AA (P<0.05). Furthermore, the antibiotics increased the terminal ileum apparent digestibility of CP, phenylalanine, valine, alanine, tyrosine and total AA (P<0.05). AGM markedly altered the composition of the microbiota in the ileum and feces, with a reduction in populations of Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus and Ruminococcus, and an increase in the abundance of Escherichia coli (P<0.05). The antibiotics also significantly increased the concentration of cadaverine and ammonia, both in ileal digesta and feces (P<0.05), suggesting a marked impact on N metabolism in the intestine. The analyses indicated that the alteration of gut microbiota was correlated with the apparent digestibility of CP and AA in the intestine. These findings suggest that the AGM-induced alteration of gut microbiota may contribute to the change in intestinal N metabolism, and consequently, N excretion from the body. These results also suggest that antibiotics could have a significant effect on host N metabolism. The present study contributes to our understanding of the effects of antibiotics and provides a rational scientific basis for diet formulation during AGM use.
This study was designed to explore the association between undernutrition in the growth period and cardiovascular risk factors in a middle-aged Chinese population. A total of 1756 subjects, aged 45–60 years, were invited to participate in the Hefei Nutrition and Health Study and divided into three groups according to their self-reported animal food intake in the growth period. Group 1, Group 2 and Group 3 were defined as undernutrition, nutritional improvement and the good nutrition group, respectively. In the three groups, the subjects in Groups 1 and 2 had more oil and salt intake (P<0.001), and less eggs and milk intake (P<0.001), when compared with the subjects in Group 3. After adjusting for age, education, smoking status and other confounding factors, it was found that male participants who experienced nutritional improvement before age 18 had higher risk of hypertension [odds ratio (OR)=1.68; 95% confidence intervals (CI): 1.05, 2.69] than those with good nutrition, and female participants with undernutrition (OR=1.52; 95% CI: 1.01, 2.29) and nutritional improvement (OR=1.68; 95% CI: 1.04, 2.69) before age 18 had a higher risk of hypertension than those with good nutrition. For diabetes, obesity, hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia, our results did not found difference among the three groups both in male and female. Our findings indicated that nutritional deficiency in childhood was associated with bad dietary behaviors and a significantly increased risk of hypertension in middle age. Therefore, early adequate nutrition is very important for the prevention of non-communicable diseases later.
Few studies investigated the associations between intervention modalities, timing, and survival in glioblastoma (GBM) patients. A total of 20511 eligible GBM patients underwent biopsy and craniotomy surgeries followed by adjuvant treatments (2005-2014) were derived from the National Cancer Database (NCDB). The time intervals (days) from the date of diagnosis to the initiation date of adjuvant treatment [radiation therapy only (RT), chemotherapy only, concurrent chemoradiation (CRT), or non-concurrent RT and chemotherapy] were categorized into quartiles (Q1-Q4). Kaplan-Meier method and Cox proportional hazards regression were applied for survival analysis. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to compare differences in treatment timing, intervention modalities, and secondary outcomes. The patients underwent biopsy obtained significant survival benefit by having delayed adjuvant treatment [comparing to Q1, Q2: HR (hazard ratio), 0.88, Q3: HR, 0.86]. For patients underwent resection, the prolonged waiting time of adjuvant treatment had 5-6% reduced risk of death [comparing to Q1, Q2: HR, 0.95; Q3: HR, 0.94]. Patients received more RT fractions [comparing to 10-29 fractions, 30-33 fractions: HR: 0.62 (biopsy), 0.62 (resection); ≥34 fractions: HR: 0.53 (biopsy), 0.62 (resection)] and high-dose RT [comparing to 34-46 Gy, 50-60 Gy: HR: 0.91 (biopsy), 0.95 (resection); ≥ 60 Gy: HR: 0.77 (biopsy), 0.88 (resection)] experienced significantly superior survival in both biopsy and resection groups. The impact of timing to adjuvant treatment on GBM survival varied by surgery procedures. Having adjuvant treatment initiated within 21 days for both biopsy and craniotomy groups may not guarantee a significant survival benefit. More RT fractions and high-dose RT are associated with better GBM survival.