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The present study investigated the effect of Bacillus subtilis DSM 29784 (Ba) and enzymes (xylanase and β-glucanases; Enz), alone or in combination (BE) as antibiotic replacements, on the growth performance, digestive enzyme activity, immune response and the intestinal barrier of broiler chickens. In total, 1200 1-d-old broilers were randomly assigned to five dietary treatments, each with six replicate pens of forty birds for 63 d as follows: (a) basal diet (control), supplemented with (b) 1 × 109 colony-forming units (cfu)/kg Ba, (c) 300 mg/kg Enz, (d) 1 × 109 cfu/kg Ba and 300 mg/kg Enz and (e) 250 mg/kg enramycin (ER). Ba, Enz and BE, similar to ER, decreased the feed conversion rate, maintained intestinal integrity with a higher villus height:crypt depth ratio and increased the numbers of goblet cells. The BE group exhibited higher expression of claudin-1 and mucin 2 than the other four groups. BE supplementation significantly increased the α-diversity and β-diversity of the intestinal microbiota and markedly enhanced lipase activity in the duodenal mucosa. Serum endotoxin was significantly decreased in the BE group. Compared with those in the control group, increased superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activities were observed in the jejunal mucosa of the Ba and BE groups, respectively. In conclusion, the results suggested that dietary treatment with Ba, Enz or BE has beneficial effects on growth performance and anti-oxidative capacity, and BE had better effects than Ba or Enz alone on digestive enzyme activity and the intestinal microbiota. Ba or Enz could be used as an alternative to antibiotics for broiler chickens.
Previous work led to the proposal that the precision feeding of a high-concentrate diet may represent a potential method with which to enhance feed efficiency (FE) when rearing dairy heifers. However, the physiological and metabolic mechanisms underlying this approach remain unclear. This study used metabolomics analysis to investigate the changes in plasma metabolites of heifers precision-fed diets containing a wide range of forage to concentrate ratios. Twenty-four half-sib Holstein heifers, with a similar body condition, were randomly assigned into four groups and precision fed with diets containing different proportions of concentrate (20%, 40%, 60% and 80% based on DM). After 28 days of feeding, blood samples were collected 6 h after morning feeding and gas chromatography time-of-ﬂight/MS was used to analyze the plasma samples. Parameters of oxidative status were also determined in the plasma. The FE (after being corrected for gut fill) increased linearly (P < 0.01) with increasing level of dietary concentrate. Significant changes were identified for 38 different metabolites in the plasma of heifers fed different dietary forage to concentrate ratios. The main pathways showing alterations were clustered into those relating to carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism; all of which have been previously associated with FE changes in ruminants. Heifers fed with a high-concentrate diet had higher (P < 0.01) plasma total antioxidant capacity and superoxide dismutase but lower (P ≤ 0.02) hydroxyl radical and hydrogen peroxide than heifers fed with a low-concentrate diet, which might indicate a lower plasma oxidative status in the heifers fed a high-concentrate diet. Thus, heifers fed with a high-concentrate diet had higher FE and antioxidant capacity but a lower plasma oxidative status as well as changed carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism. Our findings provide a better understanding of how forage to concentrate ratios affect FE and metabolism in the precision-fed growing heifers.
To investigate the effects of dietary fibre on follicular atresia in pigs fed a high-fat diet, we fed thirty-two prepubescent gilts a basal diet (CON) or a CON diet supplemented with 300 g/d dietary fibre (fibre), 240 g/d soya oil (SO) or both (fibre + SO). At the 19th day of the 4th oestrus cycle, gilts fed the SO diet showed 112 % more atretic follicles and greater expression of the apoptotic markers, Bax and caspase-3, and these effects were reversed by the fibre diet. The abundance of SCFA-producing microbes was decreased by the SO diet, but this effect was reversed by fibre treatment. Concentrations of serotonin and melatonin in the serum and follicular fluid were increased by the fibre diet. Overall, dietary fibre protected against high fat feeding-induced follicular atresia at least partly via gut microbiota-related serotonin–melatonin synthesis. These results provide insight into preventing negative effects on fertility in humans consuming a high-energy diet.
The Antarctic subglacial drilling rig (ASDR) is designed to recover 105 mm-diameter ice cores up to 1400 m depth and 41.5 mm-diameter bedrock cores up to 2 m in length. In order to ensure safe and convenient drilling, drilling auxiliaries are designed to support fieldwork and servicing. These auxiliaries are subdivided into several systems for power supply, drill tripping in the borehole, ice core and chip processing, and drill servicing and maintenance. The required equipment also includes two generators, a drilling winch with a cable, logging winch with a cable, control desk, pipe handler with a fixed clamp, chip chamber vibrator, centrifuge, emergency devices and fitting and electrical tools. Additionally, several environmental protective measures such as a new liquid-tight casing with a thermal casing shoe and a bailing device for recovering drilling fluid from the borehole were designed. Most of the auxiliaries were tested during the summer of 2018–2019 near Zhongshan Station, East Antarctica while drilling to the bedrock to a depth of 198 m.
Drilling to the bedrock of ice sheets and glaciers offers unique opportunities for examining the processes occurring in the bed. Basal and subglacial materials contain important paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental records and provide a unique habitat for life; they offer significant information regarding the sediment deformation beneath glaciers and its effects on the subglacial hydraulic system and geology. The newly developed and tested Antarctic subglacial drilling rig (ASDR) is designed to recover ice and bedrock core samples from depths of up to 1400 m. All of the drilling equipment is installed inside a movable, sledge-mounted, temperature-controlled and wind-protected drilling shelter and workshop. To facilitate helicopter unloading of the research vessel, the shelter and workshop can be disassembled, with individual parts weighing <2–3 tons. The entire ASDR system weighs ~55 tons, including transport packaging. The ASDR is designed to be transported to the chosen site via snow vehicles and would be ready for drilling operations within 2–3 d after arrival. The ASDR was tested during the 2018–2019 summer season near Zhongshan Station, East Antarctica. At the test site, 2-week drilling operations resulted in a borehole that reached bedrock at a depth of 198 m.
Laboratory-based characterization and traceback of Clostridium butyricum isolates linked to outbreak cases of neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in a hospital in China.
In total, 37 samples were collected during the NEC outbreak. Classical bacteriological methods were applied to isolate and identify Clostridium spp. Meanwhile, 24 samples collected after an outbreak were similarly tested. All Clostridium isolates were identified to species level as either C. butyricum or C. sporogenes. These isolates were subsequently subtyped using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Genomic DNA was purified from 2 representative C. butyricum isolates and sequenced to completion.
Of 37 samples collected during the NEC outbreak, 17 (45.95%) were positive for Clostridium spp. One species, C. butyricum, was cultured from 10 samples. Another species cultured from 2 other samples was identified as C. sporogenes. Both of these species were cocultured from 5 samples. Pulsotyping showed that the 15 C. butyricum and the 7 C. sporogenes isolates produced indistinguishable DNA profiles. No NEC cases were reported after disinfection following the outbreak, and all samples collected after the outbreak were negative for Clostridium spp. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) indicated that sialidase, hemolysin, and enterotoxin virulence factors were located on the chromosomes of 2 C. butyricum isolates.
The outbreak of NEC was epidemiologically linked to C. butyricum contamination within the hospital. This is the first report of an NEC outbreak associated with C. butyricum infection in China.
A new, modified version of the cable-suspended Ice and Bedrock Electromechanical Drill (IBED) was designed for drilling in firn, ice, debris-rich ice and rock. The upper part of the drill is almost the same for all drill variants and comprises four sections: cable termination, a slip-ring section, an antitorque system and an electronic pressure chamber. The lower part of the IBED comprises an auger core barrel, reamers, a core barrel for ice/debris-ice drilling and a conventional geological single-tube core barrel or custom-made double-tube core barrel. First, the short and full-scale field versions of the IBED were tested at an outdoor testing stand and a testing facility with a 12.5 m-deep ice well. Then, in the 2018–2019 summer season, the IBED was tested in the field at a site ~12 km south of Zhongshan Station, East Antarctica, and a ~6 cm bedrock core was recovered from a 198 m-deep borehole. A total of 18 d was required to penetrate the ice sheet. The retrieved core samples of blue ice, basal ice and bedrock provided valuable information regarding the Earth's paleo-environment.
To improve speech emotion recognition, a U-acoustic words emotion dictionary (AWED) features model is proposed based on an AWED. The method models emotional information from acoustic words level in different emotion classes. The top-list words in each emotion are selected to generate the AWED vector. Then, the U-AWED model is constructed by combining utterance-level acoustic features with the AWED features. Support vector machine and convolutional neural network are employed as the classifiers in our experiment. The results show that our proposed method in four tasks of emotion classification all provides significant improvement in unweighted average recall.
Since December 2019, several new infectious diseases, mainly lung diseases caused by novel coronavirus infections, have been discovered in Wuhan, Hubei Province. With the spread of the epidemic, cases in other regions of China and abroad have been confirmed. This sudden outbreak of a new type of infectious disease has seriously threatened people’s health and safety, and China has adopted strong prevention and control measures in response. To provide a reference for international health emergency management workers, this article summarizes, from an academic perspective, the main prevention and control measures taken in China.
The first case of 2019-nCoV pneumonia infection occurred in Wuhan, Hubei Province, South China Seafood Market in December 2019. As a group with a high probability of infection, health workers are faced with a certain degree of psychological challenges in the process of facing the epidemic. This study attempts to evaluate the impact of 2019-nCoV outbreak on the psychological state of Chinese health workers and to explore the influencing factors. During the period from 31 January 2020 to 4 February 2020, the ‘Questionnaire Star’ electronic questionnaire system was used to collect data. The 2019-nCoV impact questionnaire and The Impact of Event Scale (IES) were used to check the psychological status of health workers in China. A total of 442 valid data were collected in this study. Seventy-four (16.7%) male and 368 (83.3%) female individuals participated in this study. The average score of high arousal dimension was 5.15 (s.d. = 4.71), and the median score was 4.0 (IQR 2.0, 7.0). The average score of IES was 15.26 (s.d. = 11.23), and the median score was 13.5 (IQR 7.0, 21.0). Multiple regression analysis showed that there were critical statistical differences in high arousal scores among different gender groups (male 3.0 vs. female 5.0, P = 0.075). Whether being quarantined had significant statistical differences of IES scores (being quarantined 16.0 vs. not being quarantined 13.0, P = 0.021). The overall impact of the 2019-nCoV outbreak on health workers is at a mild level. Chinese health workers have good psychological coping ability in the face of public health emergencies.
In probing quantum materials, thermal transport is less appreciated than electrical transport. This article aims to show the pivotal role that thermal transport may play in understanding quantum materials—longitudinal thermal transport reflects itinerant quasiparticles, even in an electrical insulating phase, while transverse thermal transport such as the thermal Hall and Nernst effects is tightly linked to nontrivial topology. We discuss three examples—quantum spin liquids wherein thermal transport identifies its existence, superconductors wherein thermal transport reveals the superconducting gap structure, and topological Weyl semimetals where the anomalous Nernst effect is a consequence of nontrivial Berry curvature. We conclude with an outlook on the unique insights thermal transport may offer to probe a much broader category of quantum phenomena.
Low-dimensional superconductors have been at the forefront of physics research due to their rich physical properties such as high-temperature (Tc) superconductivity. In this article, we review the field of emergent high-Tc superconductivity at interfaces of heterostructures, focusing on the experimental advances and its physical mechanism. Charge transfer between constituent materials leads to two-dimensional carrier confinement that facilitates occurrence of superconductivity at the interface. We discuss the similarities between bulk high-Tc superconductors and interface systems, as well as implications from a survey of interface superconductors. We expect that the hybrid heterostructures and the ability to manipulate them on an atomic scale could be an enormously fertile ground to explore superconductivity with higher critical temperature Tc.
We prove that any skew-symmetrizable cluster algebra is unistructural, which is a conjecture by Assem, Schiffler and Shramchenko. As a corollary, we obtain that a cluster automorphism of a cluster algebra
is just an automorphism of the ambient field
which restricts to a permutation of the cluster variables of
Fluorescent quantum dots (QDs) modified with polyethylene glycol (PEG) and albumin bovine serum (BSA) have profound application in the detection and treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells. In the present study, the effects and mechanism of PEG and BSA modification on the cytotoxicity of QDs have been explored. It was found that the diameter of the as-prepared QDs, PEG@QDs, BSA@QDs is 3–5 nm, 4–5 nm, and 4–6 nm, respectively. With increase of the treatment time from 0 to 24 h, the HCC cell viability treated with QDs, PEG@QDs, and BSA@QDs obviously decreases, showing a certain time-dependent manner. When the concentration of several nanomaterials is increased from 10 to 90 nM, the cell viability decreases accordingly, exhibiting a certain concentration-dependent manner. Under the same concentration change conditions, the reactive oxygen species contents of cells treated by QDs, PEG@QDs, and BSA@QDs also rise from 7.9 × 103, 6.7 × 103, and 4.7 × 103 to 13.2 × 103, 14.3 × 103, and 12.3 × 103, respectively. In these processes, superoxide dismutase does not play a major role. This study provides strong foundation and useful guidance for QD applications in the diagnosis and treatment of HCC.
This study describes the epidemiologic features of an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Tianjin caused by a novel coronavirus and provides the scientific basis for prevention and control measures.
Data from COVID-19 cases were collected from daily notifications given to the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China and Tianjin Health Committee. All of the data were analyzed with SPSS, version 24.0 software (IBM Corp, Armonk, NY).
As of February 24, 2020, there have been 135 confirmed cases, 3 deaths, and 87 recoveries in Tianjin, China. The incidence of COVID-19 was 8.65/1 000 000 with a 2.22% case fatality rate. Regarding geographic distribution, the incidence was 8.82 per 1 000 000 in urban areas and 8.00 per 1 000 000 in suburbs. During the early stage of the epidemic, most cases came from urban areas and in patients with a history of sojourning in Hubei Province. The majority of patients were 31–70 years old (75.97%). A familial clustering was the most important characteristic of COVID-19 (accounting for 74.81%).
Current information suggests that people are generally susceptible to COVID-19, which has shown a familial clustering in Tianjin.
We aimed to evaluate the relationship of plasma Mg with the risk of new-onset hyperuricaemia and examine any possible effect modifiers in hypertensive patients. This is a post hoc analysis of the Uric acid (UA) Sub-study of the China Stroke Primary Prevention Trial (CSPPT). A total of 1685 participants were included in the present study. The main outcome was new-onset hyperuricaemia defined as a UA concentration ≥417 μmol/l in men or ≥357 μmol/l in women. The secondary outcome was a change in UA concentration defined as UA at the exit visit minus that at baseline. During a median follow-up duration of 4·3 years, new-onset hyperuricaemia occurred in 290 (17·2 %) participants. There was a significantly inverse relation of plasma Mg with the risk of new-onset hyperuricaemia (per sd increment; OR 0·85; 95 % CI 0·74, 0·99) and change in UA levels (per sd increment; β −3·96 μmol/l; 95 % CI −7·14, −0·79). Consistently, when plasma Mg was analysed as tertiles, a significantly lower risk of new-onset hyperuricaemia (OR 0·67; 95 % CI 0·48, 0·95) and less increase in UA levels (β −8·35 μmol/l; 95 % CI −16·12, −0·58) were found among participants in tertile 3 (≥885·5 μmol/l) compared with those in tertile 1 (<818·9 μmol/l). Similar trends were found in males and females. Higher plasma Mg levels were associated with a decreased risk of new-onset hyperuricaemia in hypertensive adults.
Findings for the roles of dairy products, Ca and vitamin D on ovarian cancer risk remain controversial. We aimed to assess these associations by using an updated meta-analysis. Five electronic databases (e.g. PubMed and Embase) were searched from inception to 24 December 2019. Pooled relative risks (RR) with 95 % CI were calculated. A total of twenty-nine case–control or cohort studies were included. For comparisons of the highest v. lowest intakes, higher whole milk intake was associated with increased ovarian cancer risk (RR 1·35; 95 % CI 1·15, 1·59), whereas decreased risks were observed for higher intakes of low-fat milk (RR 0·84; 95 % CI 0·73, 0·96), dietary Ca (RR 0·71; 95 % CI 0·60, 0·84) and dietary vitamin D (RR 0·80; 95 % CI 0·67, 0·95). Additionally, for every 100 g/d increment, increased ovarian cancer risks were found for total dairy products (RR 1·03; 95 % CI 1·01, 1·04) and for whole milk (RR 1·07; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·11); however, decreased risks were found for 100 g/d increased intakes of low-fat milk (RR 0·95; 95 % CI 0·91, 0·99), cheese (RR 0·87; 95 % CI 0·76, 0·98), dietary Ca (RR 0·96; 95 % CI 0·95, 0·98), total Ca (RR 0·98; 95 % CI 0·97, 0·99), dietary vitamin D (RR 0·92; 95 % CI 0·87, 0·97) and increased levels of circulating vitamin D (RR 0·84; 95 % CI 0·72, 0·97). These results show that whole milk intake might contribute to a higher ovarian cancer risk, whereas low-fat milk, dietary Ca and dietary vitamin D might reduce the risk.