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Exploring the composition and structure of the faecal microbial community improves the understanding of the role of the gut microbiota in the gastrointestinal function and the egg-laying performance of hens. Therefore, detection of hen–microbial interactions can explore a new breeding marker for the selection of egg production due to the important role of the gut microbiome in the host’s metabolism and health. Recently, the gut microbiota has been recognised as a regulator of host performance, which has led to investigations of the productive effects of changes in the faecal microbiome in various animals. In the present study, a metagenomics analysis was applied to characterise the composition and structural diversity of faecal microbial communities under two selections of egg-laying performance, high (H, n = 30) and low (L, n = 30), using 16S rRNA-based metagenomic association analysis. The most abundant bacterial compositions were estimated based on the operational classification units among samples and between the groups from metagenomic data sets. The results indicated that Firmicutes phylum has higher significant (P < 0.01) in the H group than in the L group. In addition, higher relative abundance phyla of Bacteroides and Fusobacteria were estimated in the H group than the L group, contrasting the phyla of Actinobacteria, Cyanobacteria and Proteobacteria were more relative abundance in the L group. The families (Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Acinetobacter, Flavobacteriaceae, Lachnoclostridum and Rhodococcus) were more abundant in the H group based on the comparison between the H and L groups. Meanwhile, three types of phyla (Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Cyanobacteria) and six families (Acinetobacter, Avibacterium, Clostridium, Corynebacterium, Helicobacter and Peptoclostridium) were more abundant in the L group (P < 0.01). Overall, the selection of genotypes has enriched a relationship between the gut microbiota and the egg-laying performance. These findings suggest that the faecal microbiomes of chickens with high egg-laying performance have more diverse activities than those of chickens with low egg-laying performance, which may be related to the metabolism and health of the host and egg production variation.
Nonhuman primate (NHP) studies are crucial to biomedical research. NHPs are the species most similar to humans in lifespan, body size, and hormonal profiles. Planning research requires statistical power evaluation, which is difficult to perform when lacking directly relevant preliminary data. This is especially true for NHP developmental programming studies, which are scarce. We review the sample sizes reported, challenges, areas needing further work, and goals of NHP maternal nutritional programming studies. The literature search included 27 keywords, for example, maternal obesity, intrauterine growth restriction, maternal high-fat diet, and maternal nutrient reduction. Only fetal and postnatal offspring studies involving tissue collection or imaging were included. Twenty-eight studies investigated maternal over-nutrition and 33 under-nutrition; 23 involved macaques and 38 baboons. Analysis by sex was performed in 19; minimum group size ranged from 1 to 8 (mean 4.7 ± 0.52, median 4, mode 3) and maximum group size from 3 to 16 (8.3 ± 0.93, 8, 8). Sexes were pooled in 42 studies; minimum group size ranged from 2 to 16 (mean 5.3 ± 0.35, median 6, mode 6) and maximum group size from 4 to 26 (10.2 ± 0.92, 8, 8). A typical study with sex-based analyses had group size minimum 4 and maximum 8 per sex. Among studies with sexes pooled, minimum group size averaged 6 and maximum 8. All studies reported some significant differences between groups. Therefore, studies with group sizes 3–8 can detect significance between groups. To address deficiencies in the literature, goals include increasing age range, more frequently considering sex as a biological variable, expanding topics, replicating studies, exploring intergenerational effects, and examining interventions.
There is increasing public concern about poultry welfare; the quality of animal welfare is closely related to the quality of livestock products and the health of consumers. Good animal welfare promotes the healthy growth of poultry, which can reduce the disease rate and improve the production quality and capacity. As behaviour responses are an important expression of welfare, the study of behaviour is a simple and non-invasive method to assess animal welfare. The use of modern technology offers the possibility to monitor the behaviour of broilers and laying hens in a continuous and automated way. This paper reviews the latest technologies used for monitoring the behaviour of broilers and laying hens under both experimental conditions and commercial applications and discusses the potential of developing a precision livestock farming (PLF) system. The techniques that are presented and discussed include sound analysis, which can be an online tool to automatically monitor poultry behaviour non-invasively at the group level; wireless, wearable sensors with radio-frequency identification devices, which can automatically identify individual chickens, track the location and movement of individuals in real time and quantify some behavioural traits accordingly and image processing technology, which can be considered a direct tool for measuring behaviours, especially activity behaviours and disease early warning. All of these technologies can monitor and analyse poultry behaviour, at the group level or individual level, on commercial farms. However, the popularity and adoption of these technologies has been hampered by the logistics of applying them to thousands and tens of thousands of birds on commercial farms. This review discusses the advantages and disadvantages of these techniques in commercial applications and presents evidence that they provide potential tools to automatically monitor the behaviours of broilers and laying hens on commercial farms. However, there still has a long way to go to develop a PLF system to detect and predict abnormal situations.
As work teams have increasingly become the cornerstone of the post bureaucratic organization, there have been calls for a greater understanding of collective thought and action. Such understanding is deemed important for the design and management of teamwork. Theory suggests that feelings of ownership manifest themselves at the collective level, and positively affect team performance effectiveness. This study illuminates the role played by teamwork complexity and team self-management in the emergence of the psychological processes that are associated with the manifestation of job-focused collective psychological ownership (CPO). In addition, employment of serial mediation suggests that both teamwork dimensions put employees on two routes (intimate knowing of and the collective investment of the team members' selves into the job) that lead to the emergence of a collective sense of ownership, and together these two route variables and CPO sequentially mediated a positive relationship between teamwork design and team performance effectiveness.
In recent years, the discovery of massive quasars at
has provided a striking challenge to our understanding of the origin and growth of supermassive black holes in the early Universe. Mounting observational and theoretical evidence indicates the viability of massive seeds, formed by the collapse of supermassive stars, as a progenitor model for such early, massive accreting black holes. Although considerable progress has been made in our theoretical understanding, many questions remain regarding how (and how often) such objects may form, how they live and die, and how next generation observatories may yield new insight into the origin of these primordial titans. This review focusses on our present understanding of this remarkable formation scenario, based on the discussions held at the Monash Prato Centre from November 20 to 24, 2017, during the workshop ‘Titans of the Early Universe: The Origin of the First Supermassive Black Holes’.
Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
Project management expertise is employed across many professional sectors, including clinical research organizations, to ensure that efforts undertaken by the organization are completed on time and according to specifications and are capable of achieving the needed impact. Increasingly, project leaders (PLs) who possess this expertise are being employed in academic settings to support clinical and preclinical translational research team science. Duke University’s clinical and translational science enterprise has been an early adopter of project management to support clinical and preclinical programs. We review the history and evolution of project management and the PL role at Duke, examine case studies that illustrate their growing value to our academic research environment, and address challenges and solutions to employing project management in academia. Furthermore, we describe the critical role project leadership plays in accelerating and increasing the success of translational team science and team approaches frequently required for systems biology and “big data” scientific studies. Finally, we discuss perspectives from Duke project leadership professionals regarding the training needs and requirements for PLs working in academic clinical and translational science research settings.
The search for life in the Universe is a fundamental problem of astrobiology and modern science. The current progress in the detection of terrestrial-type exoplanets has opened a new avenue in the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and in the search for biosignatures of life with the upcoming ground-based and space missions. To specify the conditions favourable for the origin, development and sustainment of life as we know it in other worlds, we need to understand the nature of global (astrospheric), and local (atmospheric and surface) environments of exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) around G-K-M dwarf stars including our young Sun. Global environment is formed by propagated disturbances from the planet-hosting stars in the form of stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles and winds collectively known as astrospheric space weather. Its characterization will help in understanding how an exoplanetary ecosystem interacts with its host star, as well as in the specification of the physical, chemical and biochemical conditions that can create favourable and/or detrimental conditions for planetary climate and habitability along with evolution of planetary internal dynamics over geological timescales. A key linkage of (astro)physical, chemical and geological processes can only be understood in the framework of interdisciplinary studies with the incorporation of progress in heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and Earth sciences. The assessment of the impacts of host stars on the climate and habitability of terrestrial (exo)planets will significantly expand the current definition of the HZ to the biogenic zone and provide new observational strategies for searching for signatures of life. The major goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status and recent progress in this interdisciplinary field in light of presentations and discussions during the NASA Nexus for Exoplanetary System Science funded workshop ‘Exoplanetary Space Weather, Climate and Habitability’ and to provide a new roadmap for the future development of the emerging field of exoplanetary science and astrobiology.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
To prevent environmental transmission of pathogens, hospital rooms housing patients on transmission-based precautions are cleaned extensively and disinfected with ultraviolet (UV) light. To do so consistently requires time and coordination, and these procedures must avoid patient flow delays and associated safety risks. We sought to improve room turnover efficiency to allow for UV disinfection.
A 60-day quality improvement and implementation project.
A quaternary academic pediatric referral facility.
A multidisciplinary healthcare team participated in a 60-day before-and-after trial that followed the Toyota Production System Lean methodology. We used value-stream mapping and manual time studies to identify areas for improvement. Areas addressed included room breakdown, room cleaning, and wait time between cleaning and disinfection. Room turnover was measured as the time in minutes from a discharged patient exiting an isolation room to UV disinfection completion. Impact was measured using postintervention manual time studies.
Median room turnover decreased from 130 minutes (range, 93–294 minutes) to 65 minutes (range, 48–95 minutes; P < .0001). Other outcomes included decreased median time between room breakdown to cleaning start time (from 10 to 3 minutes; P = .004), room cleaning complete to UV disinfection start (from 36 to 8 minutes; P < .0001), and the duration of room cleaning and curtain changing (from 57 to 37 minutes; P < .0001).
We decreased room turnover time by half in 60 days by decreasing times between and during routine tasks. Utilizing Lean methodology and manual time study can help teams understand and improve hospital processes and systems.
We generalise a result of Chern [‘A curious identity and its applications to partitions with bounded part differences’, New Zealand J. Math.47 (2017), 23–26] on distinct partitions with bounded difference between largest and smallest parts. The generalisation is proved both analytically and bijectively.
Previous research showed that automatic emotion regulation is associated with activation of subcortical areas and subsequent feedforward processes to cortical areas. In contrast, cognitive awareness of emotions is mediated by negative feedback from cortical to subcortical areas. Pregenual anterior cingulate cortex (pgACC) is essential in the modulation of both affect and alexithymia. We considered the interplay between these two mechanisms in the pgACC and their relationship with alexithymia.
In 68 healthy participants (30 women, age = 26.15 ± 4.22) we tested associations of emotion processing and alexithymia with excitation/inhibition (E/I) balance represented as glutamate (Glu)/GABA in the pgACC measured via magnetic resonance spectroscopy in 7 T.
Alexithymia was positively correlated with the Glu/GABA ratio (N = 41, p = 0.0393). Further, cognitive self-awareness showed an association with Glu/GABA (N = 52, p = 0.003), which was driven by a correlation with GABA. In contrast, emotion regulation was only correlated with glutamate levels in the pgACC (N = 49, p = 0.008).
Our results corroborate the importance of the pgACC as a mediating region of alexithymia, reflected in an altered E/I balance. Furthermore, we could specify that this altered balance is linked to a GABA-related modulation of cognitive self-awareness of emotions.
We apply two methods to estimate the 21-cm bispectrum from data taken within the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) project of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). Using data acquired with the Phase II compact array allows a direct bispectrum estimate to be undertaken on the multiple redundantly spaced triangles of antenna tiles, as well as an estimate based on data gridded to the uv-plane. The direct and gridded bispectrum estimators are applied to 21 h of high-band (167–197 MHz; z = 6.2–7.5) data from the 2016 and 2017 observing seasons. Analytic predictions for the bispectrum bias and variance for point-source foregrounds are derived. We compare the output of these approaches, the foreground contribution to the signal, and future prospects for measuring the bispectra with redundant and non-redundant arrays. We find that some triangle configurations yield bispectrum estimates that are consistent with the expected noise level after 10 h, while equilateral configurations are strongly foreground-dominated. Careful choice of triangle configurations may be made to reduce foreground bias that hinders power spectrum estimators, and the 21-cm bispectrum may be accessible in less time than the 21-cm power spectrum for some wave modes, with detections in hundreds of hours.
The fenofibrate functions in mammals could be affected by many factors such as dietary nutrient levels and physiological status. However, this phenomenon has not been well studied in fish. The goal of our study was to investigate the effect of dietary protein contents on metabolic regulation of fenofibrate in Nile tilapia. An 8-week experiment was conducted to feed fish with four diets at two protein levels (28 and 38 %) with or without the supplementation of fenofibrate (200 mg/kg body weight per d). After the trial, the body morphometric parameters, plasma biochemical parameters and quantitative PCR data were examined. These results showed that fenofibrate significantly reduced the feeding intake and weight gain rate, increased the oxidative stress (increased plasma methane dicarboxylic aldehyde) and liver : body ratio (increased hepatosomatic index) in the low protein (LP)-fed fish. In contrast, fenofibrate exhibited a lipid-lowering (reduced hepatic lipid) effect and up-regulated the expressions of the genes related to lipid catabolism, transport and anabolic metabolism in the high protein (HP)-fed fish. The present study suggested that lipid-lowering effect of fenofibrate would be strengthened in the fish fed with the HP diet containing high energy, but in the fish fed with the LP diet containing low energy, the fenofibrate treatment would cause adverse effects for metabolism. Taking together, our study showed that the metabolic regulation of fenofibrate in Nile tilapia was dependent not only on feed energy content but also on dietary nutrient composition, such as dietary protein and/or lipid levels.
Laser interaction with an ultra-thin pre-structured target is investigated with the help of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. With the existence of a periodic structure on the target surface, the laser seems to penetrate through the target at its fundamental frequency even if the plasma density of the target is much higher than the laser’s relativistically critical density. The particle-in-cell simulations show that the transmitted laser energy behind the pre-structured target is increased by about two orders of magnitude compared to that behind the flat target. Theoretical analyses show that the transmitted energy behind the pre-structured target is actually re-emitted by electron ‘islands’ formed by the surface plasma waves on the target surfaces. In other words, the radiation with the fundamental frequency is actually ‘surface emission’ on the target rear surface. Besides the intensity of the component with the fundamental frequency, the intensity of the high-order harmonics behind the pre-structured target is also much enhanced compared to that behind the flat target. The enhancement of the high-order harmonics is also related to the surface plasma waves generated on the target surfaces.
While assessing the environmental impact of nuclear power plants, researchers have focused their attention on radiocarbon (14C) owing to its high mobility in the environment and important radiological impact on human beings. The 10 MW high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTR-10) is the first pebble-bed gas-cooled test reactor in China that adopted helium as primary coolant and graphite spheres containing tristructural-isotropic (TRISO) coated particles as fuel elements. A series of experiments on the 14C source terms in HTR-10 was conducted: (1) measurement of the specific activity and distribution of typical nuclides in the irradiated graphite spheres from the core, (2) measurement of the activity concentration of 14C in the primary coolant, and (3) measurement of the amount of 14C discharged in the effluent from the stack. All experimental data on 14C available for HTR-10 were summarized and analyzed using theoretical calculations. A sensitivity study on the total porosity, open porosity, and percentage of closed pores that became open after irradiating the matrix graphite was performed to illustrate their effects on the activity concentration of 14C in the primary coolant and activity amount of 14C in various deduction routes.
Tephritidae is a large family that includes several fruit and vegetable pests. These organisms usually harbor a variegated bacterial community in their digestive systems. Symbiotic associations of bacteria and fruit flies have been well-studied in the genera Anastrepha, Bactrocera, Ceratitis, and Rhagoletis. Molecular and culture-based techniques indicate that many genera of the Enterobacteriaceae family, especially the genera of Klebsiella, Enterobacter, Pectobacterium, Citrobacter, Erwinia, and Providencia constitute the most prevalent populations in the gut of fruit flies. The function of symbiotic bacteria provides a promising strategy for the biological control of insect pests. Gut bacteria can be used for controlling fruit fly through many ways, including attracting as odors, enhancing the success of sterile insect technique, declining the pesticide resistance, mass rearing of parasitoids and so on. New technology and recent research improved our knowledge of the gut bacteria diversity and function, which increased their potential for pest management. In this review, we discussed the diversity of bacteria in the economically important fruit fly and the use of these bacteria for controlling fruit fly populations. All the information is important for strengthening the future research of new strategies developed for insect pest control by the understanding of symbiotic relationships and multitrophic interactions between host plant and insects.
Global inequity in access to and availability of essential mental health services is well recognized. The mental health treatment gap is approximately 50% in all countries, with up to 90% of people in the lowest-income countries lacking access to required mental health services. Increased investment in global mental health (GMH) has increased innovation in mental health service delivery in LMICs. Situational analyses in areas where mental health services and systems are poorly developed and resourced are essential when planning for research and implementation, however, little guidance is available to inform methodological approaches to conducting these types of studies. This scoping review provides an analysis of methodological approaches to situational analysis in GMH, including an assessment of the extent to which situational analyses include equity in study designs. It is intended as a resource that identifies current gaps and areas for future development in GMH. Formative research, including situational analysis, is an essential first step in conducting robust implementation research, an essential area of study in GMH that will help to promote improved availability of, access to and reach of mental health services for people living with mental illness in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). While strong leadership in this field exists, there remain significant opportunities for enhanced research representing different LMICs and regions.
A class of common and successful continuum models for steady, dense granular flows is based on the
model for viscoplastic grain-inertial rheology. Recent work has shown that under certain conditions,
-based models display a linear instability in which short-wavelength perturbations grow at an unbounded rate – i.e. a Hadamard instability. This observation indicates that
models will predict strain localization arising due to material instability in dense granular materials; however, it also raises concerns regarding the robustness of numerical solutions obtained using these models. Several approaches to regularizing this instability have been suggested in the literature. Among these, it has been shown that the inclusion of higher-order velocity gradients into the constitutive equations can suppress the Hadamard instability, while not precluding the modelling of strain localization into diffuse shear bands. In our recent work (Henann & Kamrin, Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA, vol. 110, 2013, pp. 6730–6735), we have proposed a non-local model – called the non-local granular fluidity (NGF) model – which also involves higher-order flow gradients and has been shown to quantitatively describe a wide variety of steady, dense flows. In this work, we show that the NGF model also successfully regularizes the Hadamard instability of the
model. We further apply the NGF model to the problem of strain localization in quasi-static plane-strain compression using nonlinear finite-element simulations in order to demonstrate that the model is capable of describing diffuse strain localization in a mesh-independent manner. Finally, we consider the linear stability of an alternative gradient–viscoplastic model (Bouzid et al., Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 111, 2013, 238301) and show that the inclusion of higher-order gradients does not guarantee the suppression of the Hadamard instability.
Antenna-pattern measurements obtained from a double-metal supra-terahertz-frequency (supra-THz) quantum cascade laser (QCL) are presented. The QCL is mounted within a mechanically micro-machined waveguide cavity containing dual diagonal feedhorns. Operating in continuous-wave mode at 3.5 THz, and at an ambient temperature of ~60 K, QCL emission has been directed via the feedhorns to a supra-THz detector mounted on a multi-axis linear scanner. Comparison of simulated and measured far-field antenna patterns shows an excellent degree of correlation between beamwidth (full-width-half-maximum) and sidelobe content and a very substantial improvement when compared with unmounted devices. Additionally, a single output has been used to successfully illuminate and demonstrate an optical breadboard arrangement associated with a future supra-THz Earth observation space-borne payload. Our novel device has therefore provided a valuable demonstration of the effectiveness of supra-THz diagonal feedhorns and QCL devices for future space-borne ultra-high-frequency Earth-observing heterodyne radiometers.