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Improving the production traits and resistance against mastitis in dairy cattle is a challenge for animal scientists across the globe. The present study was designed to investigate the genetic effects of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) and diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT1) genes with production and mastitis-related traits. Four SNPs in JAK2 and one in DGAT1 were analyzed through Chinese Cow's SNPs Chip-I (CCSC-I) and genotyped in a population of 312 Chinese Holsteins. Our findings demonstrated that milk fat percentage, somatic cell count (SCC), somatic cell score (SCS), serum cytokines interleukin 6 (IL-6) and interferon gamma (IFN-γ) showed significant associations (P < 0.05) with at least one or more identified SNPs. Consequently, the analysis based on haplotypes amongst the SNPs in JAK2 revealed noteworthy (P < 0.05) association with SCC and IL-6. Collectively, our results verified the pleiotropic ability of detected SNPs in bovine JAK2 and DGAT1 for milk fat percentage as well as mastitis-related traits. The significant SNPs in both the genes could serve as powerful genetic markers to minimize mastitis risk. In addition, besides SCC and SCS, the IFN-γ and IL-6 could also be used as indicators of improved genetic resistance against mastitis.
A series of xLiMn0.5Fe0.5PO4–yLi3V2(PO4)3/C (x:y= 4:1, 3:1, 2:1, 1:1, 1:2, and 1:3) composite cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries are successfully prepared by the rheological phase reaction method. The structures, morphologies, and electrochemical properties of these composite materials are studied. The results indicate that xLiMn0.5Fe0.5PO4–yLi3V2(PO4)3/C composites are composed of LiMn0.5Fe0.5PO4 and Li3V2(PO4)3 phases and mutual doping exists. The initial discharge capacities, initial Coulombic efficiencies, and capacity retentions of composites increase but then decline with the increase of Li3V2(PO4)3 content. All the composites show higher capacity retentions than LiMn0.5Fe0.5PO4/C and Li3V2(PO4)3/C single phases except LMFP–3LVP/C. The composite material of x:y= 1:1 exhibits remarkably superior electrochemical performance than the single phases and other composites both in discharge capacity and cycle performance, delivering the initial discharge capacity of 148.2 mA h/g (2.0–4.5 V) and 170.1 mA h/g (2.0–4.8 V) at 0.1 C. And the corresponding capacity retentions are 98.0 and 90.4% after 100 cycles, respectively.
High inductive helical support provides a solution to controlling the alignment error of inner electrodes in magnetically insulated transmission lines (MITLs). Three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations were performed to examine the current loss mechanism and the effects of structural parameters on electron flow in an MITL with a helical inductor. An empirical expression related to the ratio of electron current loss to anode current and the ratio of anode current to self-limited current was obtained. Electron current loss caused by helical inductor with different structures was displayed. The results indicate that the current loss in an MITL, near an inductive helical support, comprises both the inductor current and the electron current loss. The non-uniform structure and current of a helical inductor cause an abrupt change in the magnetic field near the helical support, which leads to anomalous behavior and current loss of electron flow. In addition, current loss in the inductive helical-supported MITL is negligible when the inductance of the support is sufficiently high. This work facilitates the estimation of electron current loss caused by the inductive helical support in MITLs.
Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto (s.s.), Echinococcus multilocularis and Echinococcus canadensis are the common causes of human echinococcosis in China. An accurate species identification tool for human echinococcosis is needed as the treatments and prognosis are different among species. The present work demonstrates a method for the simultaneous detection of these three Echinococcus species based on multiplex polymerase chain reaction (mPCR). Specific primers of this mPCR were designed based on the mitochondrial genes and determined by extensive tests. The method can successfully detect either separated or mixed target species, and generate expected amplicons of distinct size for each species. Sensitivity of the method was tested by serially diluted DNA, showing a detection threshold as less as 0.32 pg for both E. granulosus s.s. and E. canadensis, and 1.6 pg for E. multilocularis. Specificity assessed against 18 other parasites was found to be 100% except weakly cross-react with E. shiquicus. The assay was additionally applied to 69 echinococcosis patients and 38 healthy persons, confirming the high reliability of the method. Thus, the mPCR described here has high application potential for clinical identification purposes, and can further provide a useful tool for evaluation of serology and imaging method.
Thermal imaging diagnostics was used as a surface temperature mapping tool to characterize the energy density distribution of a high-intensity pulsed ion beam. This approach was tested on the TEMP-6 accelerator (200–250 kV, 150 ns). The beam composition included carbon ions (85%) and protons, and the energy density in the focus was 5–12 J/cm2. Targets of stainless steel, titanium, brass, copper, and tungsten were examined. Our observations show that the maximum energy density measured with the thermal imaging diagnostics considerably exceeds the ablation threshold of the targets. An analysis of the overheating mechanisms of each target was carried out, including metastable overheating of the target to above its boiling temperature during rapid heating; formation, migration, and the subsequent annealing of fast radiation-induced defects in the target under ion beam irradiation. This expands the range of energy density measurement for this thermal imaging diagnostics from 2–3 J/cm2 up to 10–12 J/cm2 but introduces error into the results of measurement. For a stainless steel target, this error exceeds 15% at an energy density of more than 4 J/cm2. A method of correcting the results of the thermal imaging diagnostics is developed for a pulsed ion beam under conditions of intense ablation of the target material.
The present study investigated the effects of glutamine (GLN) pretreatment on CD4+ T cell polarisation and remote kidney injury in mice with gut-derived polymicrobial sepsis. Mice were randomly assigned to three groups: normal control fed with American Institute of Nutrition (AIN)-93G diet and two sepsis groups provided with either AIN-93G-based diet or identical components, except part of casein was replaced by GLN. Mice were given their respective diets for 2 weeks. Then, mice in the sepsis groups were performed with caecal ligation and puncture and were killed 72 h after the surgery. Blood, spleens and kidneys were collected for further examination. The results showed that sepsis resulted in decreased circulating and splenic total T lymphocyte and CD4+ T cell percentages, whereas IL-4-, and forkhead box p3 (Foxp3)-expressing CD4+ T cells percentages were up-regulated. Compared with the sepsis control group, pretreatment with GLN maintained blood T and CD4+ T cells and reduced percentages of IL-4- and Foxp3-expressing CD4+ T cells. Also, a more pronounced activation and increased anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 gene expression of splenic CD4+ T cells were observed. Concomitant with the decreased plasma IL-6, keratinocyte-derived chemokine (KC) levels, the gene expression of KC, macrophage inflammatory protein-2 and renal injury biomarker kidney injury molecule-1 (Kim-1) were down-regulated when GLN was administered. These findings suggest that antecedent of GLN administration elicit a more balanced blood T helper cell polarisation, sustained T cell populations, prevented splenic CD4+ T cell apoptosis and attenuated kidney injury at late phase of polymicrobial sepsis. GLN may have benefits in subjects at risk of abdominal infection.
AlMgB14–TiB2 ceramic was successfully brazed to TC4 alloy with inactive AgCu filler alloy. X-ray diffractometer, SEM, and energy-dispersive spectrometer were used to study interfacial microstructure and shear strength of the joints under different brazing temperatures. The results indicated that the typical microstructure of the TC4/AlMgB14–TiB2 joint was TC4/Ti(s.s) + Ti2Cu/Ti2Cu/TiCu/TiCu2Al/Ag(s.s) + Cu(s.s)/TiB whiskers/TiB2 reaction layer/AMBT. By increasing the brazing temperature, the thickness of the TC4 diffusion layer was improved, whereas that of the brazing seam decreased remarkably. When the brazing temperature was increased to 880 °C, the brazing seam was composed of Ti–Cu intermetallic Ag(s.s) with a few Cu(s.s), TiCu2Al distributed. Meanwhile, the formation of a continuous TiB2 reaction layer at the interface of the AMBT and brazing filler facilitated the improvement of joint shear strength. The joint with the maximum shear strength of 46.7 MPa was obtained while brazing at 880 °C for 10 min.
The purpose of this work is to investigate the properties of spreading speeds for the monotone semiflows. According to the fundamental work of Liang and Zhao [(2007) Comm. Pure Appl. Math.60, 1–40], the spreading speeds of the monotone semiflows can be derived via the principal eigenvalue of linear operators relating to the semiflows. In this paper, we establish a general method to analyse the sign and the continuity of the spreading speeds. Then we consider a limiting case that admits no spreading phenomenon. The results can be applied to the model of cellular neural networks (CNNs). In this model, we find the rule which determines the propagating phenomenon by parameters.
The excessive use of plastic, especially polystyrene (PS), has caused serious environmental pollution. The efficient utilization of plastics and the conversion of plastics into value-added carbon materials are the concerns of researchers. Herein, we propose novel “pyrolysis–deposition” method to convert one popular plastic substance, PS, into ordered mesoporous carbons (OMCs). During the synthesis process, PS is pyrolyzed into small organic gases under high temperature, which is then adsorbed through capillary adsorption into the mesoporous of SBA-15 in the presence of catalyst. The obtained OMCs have high specific surface area, uniform pore size, and ordered pore structure. The OMCs exhibit specific capacitance of 118 F/g at a current density of 0.2 A/g and electrochemical stability of 87.2% at a current density of 2 A/g after 5000 cycles. The pyrolysis–deposition strategy provides a new idea to convert waste plastics into high-performance carbon materials for electrochemical applications.
Previous studies have inferred a strong genetic component in schizophrenia. However, the genetic variants involved in the susceptibility to schizophrenia remain unclear.
To detect potential gene pathways and networks associated with schizophrenia, and to explore the relationship between common and rare variants in these pathways and abnormal white matter integrity in schizophrenia.
The analysis included 100 first-episode treatment-naïve patients with schizophrenia and 140 healthy controls. A network-based analysis was carried out on the data collected from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Phase I (PGC-I). Based on our genome-wide association study and whole-exome sequencing data-sets, we performed a gene-set analysis to detect associations between the combining effects of common and rare genetic variants and abnormal white matter integrity in schizophrenia.
Patients had significantly reduced functional anisotropy in the left and right anterior cingulate cortex, left and right precuneus and extra-nuclear (t = 4.61–5.10, PFDR < 0.01), compared with controls. Generated from co-expression network analysis of the PGC-1 summary statistics of schizophrenia, a subnetwork of 207 genes associated with schizophrenia was identified (P < 0.01), and 176 genes were co-expressed in four gene modules. Functional enrichment analysis for genes in each module revealed that the yellow module was enriched with highly co-expressed, innate immune response genes. Furthermore, rare variants of enriched genes in the yellow module were associated with reduced functional anisotropy in the left anterior cingulate cortex (P = 0.006; Padjusted = 0.024) in patients only.
The pathogenesis of schizophrenia may be substantially influenced by genes involved in the immune system, via both pathway and network.
Health system reform is considered a tough issue worldwide. Great efforts have been made toward health system building and strengthening. However, it is still unclear which health system is appropriate for different countries. This study aimed to systematically compare the characteristics of the establishment periods between eighty-eight counties of National Health Service (NHS) and Social Health Insurance (SHI).
Forty-eight NHS countries and forty SHI countries with data availability were selected. The establishment years of current health systems and other eighteen indicators in economics, society, population and health during establishment periods were collected. Comparison between NHS and SHI was conducted by descriptive analysis of every indicator.
Most NHS countries were established during the cold war, while SHI had been set up since the cold war ended. The median of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, urbanization rate and aging rate of SHI were USD 1535 in current dollars, 58.2 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively; compared with USD 1387, 41.2 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively of NHS. NHS countries had a smaller total population, lower mortality rate and elderly dependency ratio, while the birth rate and children's dependency ratio were higher. SHI countries showed a higher life expectancy and lower mortality rate in infants and children. NHS countries spent less in total health expenditure and a lower proportion of GDP. The median health expenditure per capita of SHI and NHS were USD 188 and USD 131 in current dollars, respectively. There was little difference among maternal mortality rates, and public and private health expenditure proportions.
NHS and SHI countries had different characteristics during the health system establishment periods. NHS was established earlier than SHI overall, so that SHI revealed higher levels in economic and social development. Health outcomes of NHS countries were slightly lower than SHI ones, while health expenditure was more in SHI countries. Specific social, economic, demographic and health conditions should be considered when countries are building their own health systems.
The high prevalence, disability, and work absenteeism associated with back pain make it the single most costly musculoskeletal health condition in developed countries. However, the majority of back pain has no identifiable pathological cause and resolves without surgery or imaging. This paradox suggests that we need to change how back pain is managed to reduce unnecessary burden to individuals and the healthcare system. This study evaluated the cost of a new model of early triage-based, interprofessional care for patients with back pain.
We evaluated the outcomes and cost of implementing a provincial care pathway for early assessment of patients with back pain at three sites: (i) adjacent to an emergency department in a community hospital; (ii) co-located with an orthopedic surgeon's clinic in a hospital; and (iii) in a primary care network (PCN) with private practice physiotherapists and chiropractors. Time-driven activity-based costing (TDABC), in combination with discrete event simulation, was used to estimate costs.
Costs were significantly lower in the models that used hospital-based physiotherapists and in the PCN model that used private practice physiotherapists and chiropractors to triage patients. These costs ranged from CAD 20 (USD 16) to manage patients identified with low severity back pain to CAD 175 to 200 (USD 137 to 156) for those with moderate to severe back pain. Models that implemented the care pathway using family physicians and surgeons to review non-surgical patients were more expensive at CAD 339 (USD 265) and CAD 514 (USD 402), respectively.
New models of care that use the skills of physiotherapists and chiropractors to assess and triage patients with back pain adjacent to emergency departments and in the primary care sector are cost effective, compared with traditional physician-led models. The overarching intent is to use these data to enable evidence-informed policy and practice changes, so that more appropriate and cost-effective care is provided to patients with back pain.
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.
Using panel data on top management characteristics and a management quality factor constructed using common factor analysis on individual management quality measures, we analyze the relation between top firm management quality and corporate innovation input and output. We show that top management quality is an important determinant of corporate innovation, with individual aspects of management quality affecting innovation in younger and older firms differently. Further, firms with higher top management quality engage in more risky (“explorative”) innovation strategies. Finally, hiring more and higher-quality inventors is an important channel through which firms with higher management quality achieve greater innovation output.
The accounting information of a firm is analogous to the characteristics of an organism that contain biological information that influences decisions; such characteristics result from organizational routines (genes). Organizational routines result from organizational learning, and learning from an associated company is an efficient approach for a new venture to establish routines. The study results revealed that the subsidiaries inherited routines from the parent companies related to financial ratios, so we suggest that people should judge the adequacy of a firm’s financial situation by not only referring to the standard of its industry but also to its parent company.
Influenza is a long-standing public health concern, but its transmission remains poorly understood. To have a better knowledge of influenza transmission, we carried out a detailed modelling investigation in a nosocomial influenza outbreak in Hong Kong. We identified three hypothesised transmission modes between index patient and other inpatients based on the long-range airborne and fomite routes. We considered three kinds of healthcare workers’ routine round pathways in 1140 scenarios with various values of important parameters. In each scenario, we used a multi-agent modelling framework to estimate the infection risk for each hypothesis and conducted least-squares fitting to evaluate the hypotheses by comparing the distribution of the infection risk with that of the attack rates. Amongst the hypotheses tested in the 1140 scenarios, the prediction of modes involving the long-range airborne route fit better with the attack rates, and that of the two-route transmission mode had the best fit, with the long-range airborne route contributing about 94% and the fomite route contributing 6% to the infections. Under the assumed conditions, the influenza virus was likely to have spread via a combined long-range airborne and fomite routes, with the former predominant and the latter negligible.
Dairy cows with type II ketosis display hepatic fat accumulation and hyperinsulinemia, but the underlying mechanism is not completely clear. This study aimed to clarify the regulation of lipid metabolism by insulin in cow hepatocytes. In vitro, cow hepatocytes were treated with 0, 1, 10, or 100 nm insulin in the presence or absence of AICAR (an AMP-activated protein kinase alpha (AMPKα) activator). The results showed that insulin decreased AMPKα phosphorylation. This inactivation of AMPKα increased the gene and protein expression levels of carbohydrate responsive element-binding protein (ChREBP) and sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c), which downregulated the expression of lipogenic genes, thereby decreasing lipid biosynthesis. Furthermore, AMPKα inactivation decreased the gene and protein expression levels of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α (PPARα), which upregulated the expression of lipid oxidation genes, thereby increasing lipid oxidation. In addition, insulin decreased the very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) assembly. Consequently, triglyceride content was significantly increased in insulin treated hepatocytes. Activation of AMPKα induced by AICAR could reverse the effect of insulin on PPARα, SREBP-1c, and ChREBP, thereby decreasing triglyceride content. These results indicate that insulin inhibits the AMPKα signaling pathway to increase lipid synthesis and decrease lipid oxidation and VLDL assembly in cow hepatocytes, thereby inducing TG accumulation. This mechanism could partly explain the causal relationship between hepatic fat accumulation and hyperinsulinemia in dairy cows with type II ketosis.
Few studies have evaluated the relationships between intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) and intermediate biomarkers of cardiometabolic risk. Associations between artificially sweetened beverages (ASB) and fruit juice with cardiometabolic biomarkers are also unclear. We investigated habitual SSB, ASB and fruit juice intake in relation to biomarkers of hepatic function, lipid metabolism, inflammation and glucose metabolism. We analysed cross-sectional data from 8492 participants in the Nurses’ Health Study who were free of diabetes and CVD. Multivariate linear regression was used to assess the associations of SSB, ASB and fruit juice intake with concentrations of fetuin-A, alanine transaminase, γ-glutamyl transferase, TAG, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol, C-reactive protein (CRP), intracellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion protein 1, adiponectin, insulin and HbA1c as well as total cholesterol:HDL-cholesterol ratio. More frequent intake of SSB was significantly associated with higher concentrations of fetuin-A, TAG, CRP, ICAM-1, adiponectin and insulin, a higher total cholesterol:HDL-cholesterol ratio, and a lower concentration of HDL-cholesterol (Ptrend ranges from <0·0001 to 0·04) after adjusting for demographic, medical, dietary and lifestyle variables. ASB intake was marginally associated with increased concentrations of CRP (Ptrend=0·04) and adiponectin (Ptrend=0·01). Fruit juice intake was associated with increased concentrations of TAG and HbA1c and a lower concentration of adiponectin (Ptrend ranges from <0·0001 to 0·01). In conclusion, habitual intake of SSB was associated with adverse levels of multiple cardiometabolic biomarkers. Associations between ASB and fruit juice with cardiometabolic risk markers warrant further exploration.
Low-field magnetic stimulation (LFMS) has mood-elevating effect, and the increase of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is associated with antidepressant treatment. We evaluated the effects and association with BDNF of rhythmic LFMS in the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD).
A total of 22 MDD patients were randomized to rhythmic alpha stimulation (RAS) or rhythmic delta stimulation (RDS), with 5 sessions per week, lasting for 6 weeks. Outcomes assessments included the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD–17), the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAMA), and the Clinical Global Impressions–Severity scale (CGI–S) at baseline and at weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6. Serum BDNF level was measured at baseline and at weeks 2, 4, and 6.
HAMD–17, HAMA, and CGI–S scores were significantly reduced with both RAS and RDS. RAS patients had numerically greater reductions in HAMD–17 scores than RDS patients (8.9 ± 7.4 vs. 6.2 ± 6.2, effect size [ES]=0.40), while RDS patients had greater improvement in HAMA scores (8.2 ± 8.0 vs. 5.3 ± 5.8, ES=0.42). RAS was associated with clinically relevant advantages in response (54.5% vs. 18.2%, number-needed-to-treat [NNT]=3) and remission (36.4% vs. 9.1%, NNT=4). BDNF increased significantly during the 6-week study period (p<0.05), with greater increases in RAS at weeks 4 and 6 (ES=0.66—0.76) and statistical superiority at week 2 (p=0.034, ES=1.23). Baseline BDNF in the 8 responders (24.8±9.0 ng/ml) was lower than in the 14 nonresponders (31.1±7.3 ng/ml, p=0.083, ES=–0.79), and BDNF increased more in responders (8.9±7.8 ng/ml) than in nonresponders (1.8±3.5 ng/ml, p=0.044). The change in BDNF at week 2 was the most strongly predicted response (p=0.016).
Rhythmic LFMS was effective for MDD. BDNF may moderate/mediate the efficacy of LFMS.
Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is an important technique for life science research. However, most SCNT embryos fail to develop to term due to undefined reprogramming defects. Here, we show that abnormal Xi occurs in somatic cell NT blastocysts, whereas in female blastocysts derived from cumulus cell nuclear transfer, both X chromosomes were inactive. H3K27me3 removal by Kdm6a mRNA overexpression could significantly improve preimplantation development of NT embryos, and even reached a 70.2% blastocyst rate of cleaved embryos compared with the 38.5% rate of the control. H3K27me3 levels were significantly reduced in blastomeres from cloned blastocysts after overexpression of Kdm6a. qPCR indicated that rDNA transcription increased in both NT embryos and 293T cells after overexpression of Kdm6a. Our findings demonstrate that overexpression of Kdm6a improved the development of cloned mouse embryos by reducing H3K27me3 and increasing rDNA transcription.