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The FNDC5 gene encodes the fibronectin type III domain-containing protein 5 that is a membrane protein mainly expressed in skeletal muscle, and the FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism may be associated with liver disease severity in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We investigated the influence of the FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism on the relationship between sarcopenia and the histological severity of NAFLD. A total of 370 adult individuals with biopsy-proven NAFLD were studied. The association between the key exposure sarcopenia and the outcome liver histological severity was investigated by binary logistic regression. Stratified analyses were undertaken to examine the impact of FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism on the association between sarcopenia and the severity of NAFLD histology. Patients with sarcopenia had more severe histological grades of steatosis and a higher prevalence of significant fibrosis and definite non-alcoholic steatohepatitis than those without sarcopenia. There was a significant association between sarcopenia and significant fibrosis (adjusted OR 2·79, 95 % CI 1·31, 5·95, P = 0·008), independent of established risk factors and potential confounders. Among patients with sarcopenia, significant fibrosis occurred more frequently in the rs3480 AA genotype carriers than in those carrying the FNDC5 rs3480 G genotype (43·8 v. 17·2 %, P = 0·031). In the association between sarcopenia and liver fibrosis, there was a significant interaction between the FNDC5 genotype and sarcopenia status (P value for interaction = 0·006). Sarcopenia is independently associated with significant liver fibrosis, and the FNDC5 rs3480 G variant influences the association between sarcopenia and liver fibrosis in patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD.
In order to elucidate the physical connection between the propulsive performance and the unsteadiness of jet flow, the transient development of the impulse and thrust of laminar starting jets with finite fluid discharged is investigated numerically for cases with different velocity programmes and jet stroke ratios. The simulation quantitatively demonstrates that the impulse and thrust generated are highly sensitive to the jet kinematics and its near-wake dynamics. The momentum flux contribution to the jet impulse is found to be significant and is associated closely with the jet kinematics. On the other hand, although the over pressure effect at the jet initiation stage has been identified previously as the main reason for the enhanced propulsive performance of the starting jet, the current results indicate that its contribution is in fact weakened by the negative local pressure, induced by the formation of the leading vortex ring as well as jet development during the deceleration stage. Contrary to the effects of the leading vortex ring, the stopping vortex formed near the nozzle exit plane during the jet deceleration stage is found to contribute positively to the pressure impulse production, albeit it is relatively small. By augmenting the over pressure effect and mitigating the negative-pressure effect, the cases with the fast acceleration and slow deceleration velocity programme is capable of producing the maximum pressure impulse, leading to additional impulse production over what would be expected from the jet momentum flux alone.
The South Altyn Orogenic Belt (SAOB) is one of the most important orogenic belts in NW China, consisting of the South Altyn Continental Block and the Apa–Mangya Ophiolitic Mélange Belt. However, its Palaeozoic tectonic evolution is still controversial. Here, we present petrological, geochemical, zircon U–Pb and Lu–Hf isotopic data for the Mangya plutons with the aim of establishing the Palaeozoic tectonic evolution. We divide the Early Palaeozoic magmatism in the Apa–Mangya Ophiolitic Mélange Belt into four episodes and propose a plate tectonic model for the formation of these rocks. During 511–494 Ma, the South Altyn Ocean (SAO) was in a spreading stage, and some shoshonite series, I-type granitic rocks were generated. From 484 to 458 Ma, the oceanic crust of the SAO subducted northward, accompanied by large-scale magmatic events resulting in the generation of vast high-K calc-alkaline series, I-type granitic rocks. During 450–433 Ma, the SAO closed, and break-off of the subducted oceanic slab occurred, with the generation of some high-K calc-alkaline series, I–S transitional type granites. The SAOB was in post-orogenic extensional environment from 419 to 404 Ma, and many A-type granites were generated.
The experiments reported in this research communication aimed to compare the serum nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA) composition in ketotic cows and healthy cows during the perinatal period. NEFAs play significant roles in etiology and pathology of ketosis. We hypothesized that ketotic cows will display a different serum NEFA composition compared to healthy controls, and fatty acid related indicators for ketosis prediction can be screened. Pre-partum healthy cows were recruited, and blood samples were collected on −7, 3, 7, 14 and 21 d postpartum. Cows were further divided into a healthy control group (C group, n = 6) and a ketosis group (K group, n = 6) if blood β-hydroxybutyric acid levels exceeded 1.2 mm during the experiment. NEFA composition was then analyzed by means of Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS). Only C12 : 0% was significantly higher in C group than K group on 7 d pre-partum (P < 0.05), when the cows were not diagnosed with ketosis. Five fatty acids displayed statistical differences in composition between C and K group (P < 0.05), namely C12 : 0, C16 : 0, C17 : 0, C18 : 1n9 and C22 : 1n9. Saturates%, unsaturates%, mono-unsaturates% and saturates/unsaturates were also different between C and K group (P < 0.05). Of note, C18 : 1n9/C12 : 0 and C18 : 1n9/C22 : 1n9 in K group were significantly higher than those in controls on 7 d pre-partum (P < 0.05). It is suggested that the ratios show potential as indicators for prediction of ketosis.
As an important dimensionless parameter for the vortex formation process, the general form of the formation time defined by Dabiri (Annu. Rev. Fluid Mech., vol. 41, 2009, pp. 17–33) is refined so as to provide better normalization for various vortex generator configurations. Our proposed definition utilizes the total circulation over the entire flow domain rather than that of the forming vortex ring alone. It adopts an integral form by considering the instantaneous infinitesimal increment in the formation time so that the effect of temporally varying properties of the flow configuration can be accounted for properly. By including the effect of buoyancy, the specific form of the general formation time for the starting forced plumes with negative and positive buoyancy is derived. A theoretical prediction based on the Kelvin–Benjamin variational principle shows that the general formation time manifests the invariance of the critical time scale, i.e. the formation number, under the influence of a source–ambient density difference. It demonstrates that the general formation time, based on the circulation production over the entire flow field, could take into account the effect of various vorticity production mechanisms, such as from a flux term or in a baroclinic fluid, on the critical formation number. The proposed definition may, therefore, serve as a guideline for deriving the specific form of the formation time in other types of starting/pulsatile flows.
Cast tungsten carbide is widely used to reinforce iron or steel substrate surface composites to meet the demands of harsh wear environments due to its extremely high hardness and excellent wettability with molten steel. Cast tungsten carbide particle/steel matrix surface composites have demonstrated great potential development in applications under the abrasive working condition. The thermal shock test was used to investigate the fatigue behavior of the composites fabricated by vacuum evaporative pattern casting technique at different temperatures. At elevated temperatures, the fatigue behavior of the composites was influenced by the oxidation of tungsten carbide, producing WO3. Thermodynamic calculations showed that the W2C in the tungsten carbide particle was oxidized at an initial temperature of approximately 570 °C. The relationship between oxidation and thermal fatigue crack growth was investigated, and the results suggested that oxidation would become more significant with increasing thermal shock temperature. These findings provide a valuable guide for understanding and designing particle/steel substrate surface composites.
The microstructure evolution of the directionally solidified NiAl–Cr(Mo) planar eutectic lamellar structure was studied at 1150 °C and times of up to 400 h. The planar eutectic lamellar structure is obtained at the withdrawal rate range of 2.5–7.5 μm/s. The interlamellar spacing decreases gradually with increasing the withdrawal rate. The lamellar termination (like angular or smooth) commonly exists in the as-DS alloy. After high temperature treatment, the lamellar structure at 2.5 μm/s (interlamellar spacing, 3.7 μm) is almost stable, only a little migration of termination occurs at 400 h. When the withdrawal rate increases to 4.5 μm/s, the coarsening and migration of termination occur at 200 h. The adjacently coarsened terminations assemble when the coarsening processes to a certain degree, thus resulting in the formation of the blocky Cr(Mo) phase. Similarly, the above instable phenomenon occurs at 7.5 μm/s. The relevant instability mechanisms are discussed.
The Megamaser Cosmology Project (MCP) measures the Hubble Constant by determining geometric distances to circumnuclear 22 GHz H2O megamasers in galaxies at low redshift (z < 0.05) but well into the Hubble flow. In combination with the recent, exquisite observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background by WMAP and Planck, these measurements provide a direct test of the standard cosmological model and constrain the equation of state of dark energy. The MCP is a multi-year project that has recently completed observations and is currently working on final analysis. Based on distance measurements to the first four published megamasers in the sample, the MCP currently determines H0 = 69.3 ± 4.2 km s−1 Mpc−1. The project is finalizing analysis for five additional galaxies. When complete, we expect to achieve a ~4% measurement. Given the tension between the Planck prediction of H0 in the context of the standard cosmological model and astrophysical measurements based on standard candles, the MCP provides a critical and independent geometric measurement that does not rely on external calibrations or a distance ladder.
For the first time, we estimated the population sizes of two swan species and four goose species from observations during the non-breeding period in East Asia. Based on combined counts from South Korea, Japan and China, we estimated the total abundance of these species as follows: 42,000–47,000 Whooper Swans Cygnus cygnus; 99,000–141,000 Tundra Swans C. columbianus bewickii; 56,000–98,000 Swan Geese Anser cygnoides; 157,000–194,000 Bean Geese A. fabalis; 231,000–283,000 Greater White-fronted Geese A. albifrons; and 14,000–19,000 Lesser White-fronted Geese A. erythropus. While the count data from Korea and Japan provide a good reflection of numbers present, there remain gaps in the coverage in China, which particularly affect the precision of the estimates for Bean, Greater and Lesser White-fronted Geese as well as Tundra Swans. Lack of subspecies distinction of Bean Geese in China until recently also limits our ability to determine the true status of A. f. middendorffii there, but all indications suggest this population numbers around 18,000 individuals and is in need of urgent attention. The small, highly concentrated and declining numbers of Lesser White-fronted Geese give concern for this species, as do the major declines in Greater White-fronted Geese in China (in contrast to numbers in Japan and Korea, considered to be a separate flyway). In the absence of any demographic data, it is impossible to interpret the causes of these changes in abundance. Improved monitoring, including demographic and tracking studies are required to provide the necessary information to retain populations in favourable conservation status.
We investigate the entrainment of liquid films on a partially wetting plate vertically withdrawn from a reservoir of viscous liquid using a combination of diffuse-interface numerical simulation and lubrication analysis. So far available theoretical investigations were commonly conducted by focusing on separate parameter regions, and a complete description of the flow regimes with increasing plate speed is still missing. By solving the full Stokes equations, we present a complete scenario of film transition in the presence of moving contact line. With increasing plate speed, we identify numerically four successive flow regimes in terms of the interfacial morphologies: (1) a stationary meniscus, (2) a speed-independent thick film connected to the liquid bath through a stationary dimple, (3) coexistence of a thick film and the classical Landau–Levich–Derjaguin (LLD) film connected by a propagating capillary shock and (4) a film with a monotonically varying thickness. The characteristics of the film profiles in different regions of the interfaces are analysed with lubrication theory as applicable, and satisfactory agreements with the numerical results are obtained. In particular, we confirm that the onset of film deposition occurs at a vanishing apparent contact angle, consistent with the predictions of lubrication theory. Numerical results suggest that the critical capillary number for the onset of film deposition is smaller than that for the onset of LLD film despite the fact that it is higher than the experimentally observed one, showing that the thick film can be realized in the two-dimensional model. We also demonstrated that the LLD film is triggered by the bifurcation of the stationary dimple, which is found to admit multiple branches of stable and unstable solutions.
To examine changes in periconceptional folic acid supplementation behaviour among Chinese women of reproductive age after the implementation of a folic acid supplementation programme.
Two cross-sectional surveys were conducted.
One survey was before (2002–2004) and the other was after (2011–2012) implementation of the programme, both were conducted in two areas of China with different prevalence of neural tube defects. Information on supplementation behaviours was collected in face-to-face interviews with women early in their pregnancy.
A total of 1257 and 1736 pregnant women participated before and after the programme, respectively.
The rate of periconceptional folic acid supplementation increased from 15 % to 85 % in the high-prevalence population and from 66 % to 92 % in the low-prevalence population. However, more than half of the women began taking the supplement after learning they were pregnant. The proportion of women who began taking folic acid before their last menstrual period decreased after the programme in rural areas with both a high and low prevalence of neural tube defects.
Although periconceptional folic acid supplementation among Chinese women increased substantially after the programme, supplementation was often initiated too late to be effective in preventing neural tube defects. Educational and promotional campaigns should focus on how to increase the rate of folic acid supplementation before pregnancy.
Numerical and theoretical investigations are carried out for the stability of the dust acoustic waves (DAWs) under the transverse perturbation in a two-ion temperature magnetized and collisionless dusty plasma. The Zakharov-Kuznetsov (ZK) equation, modified ZK equation, and Extended ZK (EZK) equation of the DAWs are given by using the reductive perturbation technique. The cut-off frequency is obtained by applying higher-order transverse perturbations to the soliton solution of the EZK equation. The propagation velocity of solitary waves, the real cut-off frequency, as well as the growth rate of the higher-order perturbation to the solitary wave are obtained.
The formation, growth and instability of a pair of counter-rotating vortices over a circular plate in the downstream of a thin fishing line were studied using particle image velocimetry and flow visualization. Initially, the vortex pair in an axisymmetric stagnation flow was small, but it grew steadily by accumulating the shear-layer vorticity of the wake before going through vortical instability. Two types of vortical development were observed in the present experiment. Type I was a common type of vortical development in an axisymmetric stagnation flow over a circular plate. Here, the circulation of the vortex pair increased linearly with time reflecting a constant flux of vorticity impinging on the plate wall. After the growth, the counter-rotating pair of vortices went through an antisymmetric deformation in the wall-normal direction while the vortex deformation was symmetric in the wall-parallel direction. This was remarkably similar to the short-wavelength elliptic instability of counter-rotating vortices in an open system. On the other hand, type II development of a vortex pair was a rare case, where the vortices grew for much longer duration than in type I cases. This initiated a breakdown of vortices before the residual vorticity moved away from the centre of the plate. It is considered that the disturbance due to vortical instability could be partially responsible for the unexpectedly high heat transfer rate in the stagnation region of bluff bodies that has been reported in the last half-century.
It is well known that extracellular signal-regulated kinase 8 (ERK8) plays pivotal roles in various mitotic events. But its physiological roles in oocyte meiotic maturation remain unclear. In this study, we found that although no specific ERK8 signal was detected in oocyte at the germinal vesicle stage, ERK8 began to migrate to the periphery of chromosomes shortly after germinal vesicle breakdown. At prometaphase I, metaphase I (MI), anaphase I, telophase I, and metaphase II (MII) stages, ERK8 was stably detected at the spindles. By taxol treatment, we clarified that the ERK8 signal was stained on the spindle fibers as well as microtubule asters in MI and MII oocytes. In fertilized eggs, the ERK8 signal was not observed in the two pronuclei stages. At prometaphase, metaphase, and anaphase of the first mitosis, ERK8 was detected on the mitotic spindle. ERK8 knock down by antibody microinjection and specific siRNA caused abnormal spindles, failed chromosome congression, and decreased first polar body extrusion. Taken together, our results suggest that ERK8 plays an important role in spindle organization during mouse oocyte meiotic maturation and early embryo cleavage.
The environmental concern about diffuse pollution from nitrogen (N) fertilizers has led to increased research on the diagnosis of crop N status. The SPAD chlorophyll (Chl) meter is the most commonly used tool for rice (Oryza sativa L.) N status diagnosis, but measurements are conducted at a specific point and readings are affected by different leaf positions. Many measurements per plant must be taken in order to increase the accuracy of N status diagnosis, which limits its application. The present paper attempts to determine rice N status at the canopy level using Multiplex®, a new hand-held optical fluorescence sensor. The fluorescence emission of rice leaves under light excitation was utilized by Multiplex® to non-destructively assess rice leaf Chl and phenolic compound content. A field experiment was conducted in 2011 using a completely randomized split-plot design, with main-plot treatments being six N fertilizer application rates and subplot treatments being different plant densities. Leaf Chl and phenolic compounds were evaluated using the ratio of far-red fluorescence (FRF) to red fluorescence (RF) emission under red light excitation (simple fluorescence ratio, SFR_R) (R2 = 0·35, P < 0·01) and the ratio of decadic logarithm of red to ultra-violet (UV) fluorescence emission (R2 = 0·30, P < 0·01), respectively. Both SPAD reading and fluorescence-based indices including flavonoids (FLAV), nitrogen balance index (NBI_R) and SFR_R could be used to predict rice leaf N contents. The canopy FLAV, SFR_R and NBI_R were all highly correlated to average SPAD readings (R2 > 0·70 in most cases, P < 0·01). Therefore, Multiplex® can be used as an alternative to SPAD to determine rice N status in paddy fields.
The mouse sperm genome is resistant to in vitro heat treatment, and embryos derived from heated sperm can support full-term embryonic development, but the blastocyst rate and implantation rate are lower compared to embryos derived from fresh sperm. In the present study, the patterns of DNA methylation, histone H4K12 (ACH4K12) acetylation, H3K9 trimethylation (H3K9-TriM), and H3K27 trimethylation (H3K27-TriM) in preimplantation embryos derived from 65°C-heated sperm were investigated. Although no evident changes in global DNA methyaltion, histone H4K12 (ACH4K12) acetylation, and H3K9 trimethylation (H3K9-TriM) were found, significantly lower levels of H3K27-TriM, which was thought to be one of the reasons for low efficiency of mouse cloning, were found in the inner cell mass of heated-sperm derived blastocysts. Thus, defective modification of H3K27-TriM might contribute to compromised development of embryos derived from heated sperm.
The evaluation of Beidou system time is one of the important tasks in constructing and developing the Beidou satellite navigation system. The evaluation methods based on two-way satellite time and frequency transfer method (TWSTFT) and GPS common-view method are proposed in this paper. Tests and performance evaluation of the Beidou time system (BDT) were conducted. Results show that BDT is stable and reliable. The BDT frequency deviation, Allan deviations and clock offsets, relative to UTC (NTSC), are 10e-14, 10e-15 and less than 30 ns respectively.
5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 2A (5-HT2A) participates in diverse psychiatric disorders by regulating the activity of serotonin. Some previous studies have also suggested that the receptor is involved in cognitive abilities of disease groups. We hypothesize that some functional genetic variants in 5-HT2A have certain specific influences on cognitive abilities in a normal population.
To confirm this hypothesis, two polymorphisms (rs6313 and rs4941573) in 5-HT2A were selected, and a population-based study was performed in a young healthy Chinese Han cohort.
The results indicated that the rs6313 and rs4941573 were associated with touching blocks and mental rotation-3D error ratio in males, and the rs4941573 was associated with visuo-spatial working memory in the whole cohort.
All the findings suggest that 5-HT2A participates in human spatial cognitive abilities and spatial working memory.
The objective of this study was to determine if insulin–transferrin–selenium (ITS) promoted a nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation of porcine oocytes that better supports subsequent embryonic development. The rate of oocyte in vitro maturation (IVM) in an experimental group treated with hormones for 42 h was significantly increased compared with that in a control group without hormone treatment (47.8% vs. 11.7%, respectively, p < 0.05). Following reduction of the hormone treatment period from 42 h to 21 h, which included both the first 21 h period of hormones treatment (45.4%) and the second 21 h period of hormone treatment (44.8%), the rate of oocyte IVM was still higher than that of the control group (p < 0.05). To improve porcine oocyte nuclear maturation, 1% ITS was added to medium supplemented with hormones. The rate of nuclear maturation in the ITS-treated group was significantly higher than in the ITS-untreated group (78.6% vs. 54.4%, respectively, p < 0.05). ITS treatment also significantly reduced the per cent of oocytes with type I and type III cortical granule (CG) distribution, respectively, and significantly increased the per cent of oocytes with type II CG distribution (85.3%). These observations indicated that the synchronization rates of nuclear and ooplasmic maturation reached 67.04% (78.56 × 85.33%). In conclusion, the combination of modified Tissue Culture Medium-199 (mM199) + 10 ng/ml epidermal growth factor (EGF) + 10 IU/ml pregnant mare serum gonadotrophin (PMSG) + 10 IU/ml human chorion gonadotrophin (hCG) + 2.5 IU/ml follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) + 1% ITS is suitable for culturing porcine oocytes in vitro, and effectively enhances porcine oocyte nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation.