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Antioxidants have been always used to improve post-slaughter meat quality in broilers subjected to stress. Forsythia suspensa extract (FSE), a traditional Chinese herbal medicine, is generally regarded as a natural source of antioxidants. Therefore, the objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that FSE could protect post-slaughter breast muscles against oxidative injury induced by dexamethasone (DEX) mimicking chronic physiological stress in poultry production. Average daily gain and feed efficiency of poultry were suppressed by DEX and improved by FSE (P < 0.05). Dexamethasone caused the decrease in the redness value and the increase in the lightness and yellowness values and drip loss of the breast muscles (P < 0.05), and FSE had the converse effects (P < 0.05). Dietary FSE supplementation decreased monounsaturated fatty acid (FA) and increased polyunsaturated FA in breast muscles of broilers (P < 0.05). In addition, FSE decreased malondialdehyde and carbonyl content in the breast muscles of DEX-treated broilers (P < 0.05). The inhibition of 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl in the breast muscles was decreased by DEX and increased by FSE (P < 0.05). Total-antioxidant capacity and glutathione peroxidase activity in the breast muscles were decreased in birds subjected to DEX and increased in birds supplemented with FSE (P < 0.05). Totally, DEX suppressed growth performance and induced breast muscle oxidative injury in broilers, and FSE supplementation improved antioxidant capacity to attenuate these adverse effects. Therefore, FSE could be a potential natural antioxidant to alleviate oxidative injury of the breast muscles in broilers and to improve the meat quality for human consumption.
Heading date (HD) and flowering date (FD) are critical for yield potential and stability, so understanding their genetic foundation is of great significance in wheat breeding. Three related recombinant inbred line populations with a common female parent were developed to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) for HD and FD in four environments. In total, 25 putative additive QTL and 20 pairwise epistatic effect QTL were detected in four environments. The additive QTL were distributed across 17 wheat chromosomes. Of these, QHd-1A, QHd-1D, QHd-2B, QHd-3B, QHd-4A, QHd-4B and QHd-6D were major and stable QTL for HD. QFd-1A, QFd-2B, QFd-4A and QFd-4B were major and stable QTL for FD. In addition, an epistatic interaction test showed that epistasis played important roles in controlling wheat HD and FD. Genetic relationships between HD/FD and five yield-related traits (YRTs) were characterized and ten QTL clusters (C1–C10) simultaneously controlling YRTs and HD/FD were identified. The present work laid a genetic foundation for improving yield potential in wheat molecular breeding programmes.
Although application of organic fertilizers has become a recommended way for developing sustainable agriculture, it is still unclear whether above-ground and below-ground crops have similar responses to chemical fertilizers (CF) and organic manure (OM) under the same farming conditions. The current study investigated soil quality and crop yield response to fertilization of a double-cropping system with rapeseed (above-ground) and sweet potato (below-ground) in an infertile red soil for 2 years (2014–16). Three fertilizer treatments were compared, including CF, OM and organic manure plus chemical fertilizer (MCF). Organic fertilizers (OM and MCF) increased the yield of both above- and below-ground crops and improved soil biochemical properties significantly. The current study also found that soil-chemical properties were the most important and direct factors in increasing crop yields. Also, crop yield was affected indirectly by soil-biological properties, because no significant effects of soil-biological activities on yield were detected after controlling the positive effects of soil-chemical properties. Since organic fertilizers could not only increase crop yield, but also improve soil nutrients and microbial activities efficiently and continuously, OM application is a reliable agricultural practice for both above- and below-ground crops in the red soils of China.
Background: Heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in the synaptic scaffolding gene SHANK2 are strongly associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, their impact on the function of human neurons is unknown. Derivation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) from affected individuals permits generation of live neurons to answer this question. Methods: We generated iPSCs by reprogramming dermal fibroblasts of neurotypic and ASD-affected donors. To isolate the effect of SHANK2, we used CRISPR/Cas9 to knock out SHANK2 in control iPSCs and correct a heterozygous nonsense mutation in ASD-affected donor iPSCs. We then derived cortical neurons from SOX1+ neural precursor cells differentiated from these iPSCs. Using a novel assay that overcomes line-to-line variability, we compared neuronal morphology, total synapse number, and electrophysiological properties between SHANK2 mutants and controls. Results: Relative to controls, SHANK2 mutant neurons have increased dendrite complexity, dendrite length, total synapse number (1.5-2-fold), and spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic current (sEPSC) frequency (3-7.6-fold). Conclusions: ASD-associated heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in SHANK2 increase synaptic connectivity among human neurons by increasing synapse number and sEPSC frequency. This is partially supported by increased dendrite length and complexity, providing evidence that SHANK2 functions as a suppressor of dendrite branching during neurodevelopment.
In ovo feeding (IOF) of l-arginine (Arg) can affect growth performance of broilers, but the response of IOF of Arg on breast muscle growth is unclear, and the mechanism involved in protein deposition remains unknown. Hense, this experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of IOF of Arg on breast muscle growth and protein-deposited signalling in post-hatch broilers. A total of 720 fertile eggs were collected from 34-week-old Arbor Acres breeder hens and distributed to three treatments: (1) non-injected control group; (2) 7.5 g/l (w/v) NaCl diluent-injected control group; (3) 0.6 mg Arg/egg solution-injected group. At 17.5 days of incubation, fertile eggs were injected 0.6 ml solutions into the amnion of the injected groups. Upon hatching, 80 male chicks were randomly assigned to eight replicates of 10 birds each and fed ad libitum for 21 days. The results indicated that IOF of Arg increased relative breast muscle weight compared with those of control groups at hatch, 3-, 7- and 21-day post-hatch (P<0.05). In the Arg-injected group, the plasma total protein and albumen concentrations were higher at 7- and 21-day post-hatch than those of control groups (P<0.05). The alanine aminotransferase activity in Arg group was higher at hatch than that of control groups (P<0.05). The levels of triiodothyronine at four time points and thyroxine hormones at hatch, 7- and 21-day post-hatch in Arg group were higher than those of control groups (P<0.05). In addition, IOF of Arg increased the amino acid concentrations of breast muscle at hatch, 7- and 21-day post-hatch (P<0.05). In ovo feeding of Arg also enhanced mammalian target of rapamycin, ribosomal protein S6 kinase-1 and eIF4E-bindingprotein-1 messenger RNA expression levels at hatch compared with those of control groups (P<0.05). It was concluded that IOF of Arg treatment improved breast muscle growth, which might be associated with the enhancement of protein deposition.
Honeybee foraging can transfer exogenous genes from genetically modified (GM) oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) to closely related plants, which not only induces potential ecological risks but also contaminates non-GM seeds or honey products with GM ingredients. These events may lead to international trade disputes. Chinese honeybees (Apis cerana cerana Fabricius) and a herbicide (glufosinate)-resistant GM strain of B. napus (Z7B10) were studied to examine the effects of honeybee short-range foraging on oilseed rape gene flow and honey ingredients. Results showed variable frequencies of gene flow between GM and non-GM oilseed rape cultivars, with the highest frequency under nylon net isolation with artificially stocked honeybees, the lowest frequency under nylon net isolation alone, and an intermediate frequency under natural pollination, suggesting the important role of honeybee foraging in gene flow frequency. Additionally, GM pollen grains were found in honey collected from honeybees foraging on both GM and non-GM oilseed rape cultivars. The phosphinothricin acetyltransferase protein was also detected in both unbroken pollen-containing and pollen-free honey by protein testing strips, suggesting that honeybee foraging on GM oilseed rape could lead to contamination with GM ingredients. Overall, the results provide a direct scientific basis for the ecological risk assessment and safety management of GM oilseed rape.
In this study, the biomass of winter wheat was estimated by using hyperspectral data obtained from a hyperspectral camera on an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Every two bands from the hyperspectral data were selected to calculate two kinds of vegetation indexes: the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Ratio Vegetation Index (RVI). Linear models were established between winter wheat biomass and those indexes, and coefficient of determination R2 was used to draw the two-dimensional distribution of R2 values. The comparison between NDVI and RVI for pixel covered by soil and wheat showed that RVI is more efficient to mask the influence from soil than NDVI. For calculating the NDVI, optimal bands are located mainly around 820 nm and 725 nm to 750 nm. For assessing RVI, the wavelength range from 820 to 832 nm, 794 to 808 nm, 770 to 788 nm, 725 nm to 750 nm and 890 nm for RVI are most suitable. Those optimal bands can achieve a coefficient of determination R2 higher than 0.88 by using the linear regression model in the study.
The effects of in ovo feeding (IOF) of creatine pyruvate (CrPyr) on the hatchability, growth performance and energy status of embryos and broilers (Arbor Acres) were investigated. Five treatments were arranged as non-injected treatment (Control), 0.6 ml physiological saline (0.75%) injected treatment (Saline), and IOF treatments injected with 0.6 ml physiological saline (0.75%) containing 3, 6 or 12 mg CrPyr (CrPyr3, CrPyr6 or CrPyr12) into the amnion per fertile egg on day 17.5 of incubation. After hatching, 80 male chicks from each treatment with similar weight close to the average BW of their pooled group were selected and randomly assigned into eight replicates of 10 chicks each. The results showed that the hatchability was not affected among groups, whereas the hatching weight of broilers in CrPyr12 was significantly higher than the control and saline groups (P<0.05). At 21 day post-hatch, the BWs of broilers in CrPyr6 and CrPyr12 were increased relative to the control and saline groups (P<0.05). Chickens in CrPyr6 and CrPyr12 exhibited higher BW gain and feed intake than the control and saline groups during 8 to 21 days post-hatch and the entire experiment period (P<0.05). Compared with the control and saline groups, the total and relative weight of pectoral muscle of embryos or chickens were greater in CrPyr6 and CrPyr12 at 19th day of incubation (19 E), hatch, 3 and 21 days post-hatch (P<0.05). The concentrations of glucose and glycogen in liver were increased in CrPyr6 and CrPyr12 at 19 E and hatch (P<0.05). Neither glycogen nor glucose concentration in pectoral muscle was altered among treatments (P>0.05). Irrespective of dosage, the concentrations of creatine and phosphocreatine, and activities of creatine kinase in embryos were enhanced in CrPyr treatments at 19 E when compared with the control and saline groups (P<0.05). The activities of glucose-6-phosphatase in liver in CrPyr6 and CrPyr12 treatments were higher than the control and saline groups at 19 E (P<0.05). In conclusion, these results indicated that IOF of CrPyr, especially at the level of 12 mg/egg, could improve energy status of embryos and hatchlings, which was useful for enhancing hatching weight, BW and pectoral muscle weight until the end of the experiments at 21 days post-hatch in broilers.
It is well known that energy plays an important role in sow growth and development. Increasing the utilization of lipids will be beneficial to sows. Emulsifiers are substances which stabilize mixtures and prevent oil and water from separating, thereby enhancing the digestion of lipids. This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of dietary emulsifier (lysophospholipids (LPL)) supplementation in diets differing in fat contents on growth performance, nutrient digestibility and milk composition in lactating sows, as well as performance and fecal score in piglets. A total of 32 multiparous sows (Landrace×Yorkshire) were used in a 21-day experiment. On day 110 of gestation, sows were weighed and moved into the farrowing facility, randomly assigned in a 2×2 factorial arrangement according to their BW with two levels of LPL (0 and 30 mg/kg) and two levels of fat (4.75% and 2.38% fat; 13.66 and 13.24 MJ/kg). BW loss and backfat thickness loss were decreased (P<0.05) by LPL supplementation. Backfat thickness at weaning was higher (P<0.05) in sows fed LPL supplementation diets. The apparent total tract digestibility of dry matter, nitrogen, gross energy and crude fat in sows fed LPL diets was increased (P<0.05) compared with those fed non-LPL diets. Sows fed the high-fat diets had higher (P<0.05) milk fat on day 10 and milk lactose on day 20 than those fed the low-fat diets. Milk fat and lactose concentrations in LPL supplementation treatments was increased (P<0.05) compared with non-LPL treatments on day 10 and day 20, respectively. Positive interaction effects (P<0.05) between fat and LPL were observed for milk fat concentration on day 10. In conclusion, LPL addition decreased BW loss and backfat thickness loss, improved nutrient digestibility and milk fat as well as milk lactose concentrations. In addition, there was a complementary positive effect of dietary fat and LPL supplementation on milk fat concentration in lactating sows.
Schizophrenia patients have a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) than normals. We examined the relationship between IGT and clinical phenotypes or cognitive deficits in first-episode, drug-naïve (FEDN) Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia.
A total of 175 in-patients were compared with 31 healthy controls on anthropometric measures and fasting plasma levels of glucose, insulin and lipids. They were also compared using a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Neurocognitive functioning was assessed using the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). Patient psychopathology was assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS).
Of the patients, 24.5% had IGT compared with none of the controls, and they also had significantly higher levels of fasting blood glucose and 2-h glucose after an oral glucose load, and were more insulin resistant. Compared with those patients with normal glucose tolerance, the IGT patients were older, had a later age of onset, higher waist or hip circumference and body mass index, higher levels of low-density lipoprotein and triglycerides and higher insulin resistance. Furthermore, IGT patients had higher PANSS total and negative symptom subscale scores, but no greater cognitive impairment except on the emotional intelligence index of the MCCB.
IGT occurs with greater frequency in FEDN schizophrenia, and shows association with demographic and anthropometric parameters, as well as with clinical symptoms but minimally with cognitive impairment during the early course of the disorder.
The present study is devoted to electromagnetohydrodynamic (EMHD) flow and heat transfer characteristics of nanofluid inside a parallel plate microchannel. The nanofluid is actuated by Lorentz force which is originated from the interaction of applied electrical field and perpendicular magnetic field. A fully developed assumption with uniform flux at the surface is considered in the analysis, and the influences of viscous dissipation as well as Joule heating are also taken into account. The analytical solutions for velocity and temperature are derived. Moreover, the Nusselt number variations are examined. The results show that the Hartmann number, the dimensionless parameter S and the nanoparticls volume fraction have significant influences on flow and temperature of nanofluid. As Hartmann number increasing, the Nusselt number improves and similar trend can be observed with the augment of nanoparticls volume fraction. A diminishment of heat transfer performance can be seen with increase of the Joule parameter and Brinkman number, while an enhancement in heat transfer can be witnessed with increase of nanoparticls volume fraction.
At the end of 2013, China reported a countrywide outbreak of measles. From January to May 2014, we investigated the clinical and immunological features of the cases of the outbreak admitted to our hospital. In this study, all 112 inpatients with clinically diagnosed measles were recruited from the 302 Military Hospital of China. The virus was isolated from throat swabs from these patients, and cytokine profiles were examined. By detecting the measles virus of 30 of the 112 patients, we found that this measles outbreak was of the H1 genotype, which is the major strain in China. The rates of complications, specifically pneumonia and liver injury, differed significantly in patients aged <8 months, 8 months to 18 years, and >18 years: pneumonia was more common in children, while liver injury was more common in adults. Pneumonia was a significant independent risk factor affecting measles duration. Compared to healthy subjects, measles patients had fewer CD4+IL-17+, CD4+IFN-γ+, and CD8+IFN-γ+ cells in both the acute and recovery phases. In contrast, measles patients in the acute phase had more CD8+IL-22+ cells than those in recovery or healthy subjects. We recommend that future studies focus on the age-related distribution of pneumonia and liver injury as measles-related complications as well as the association between immunological markers and measles prognosis.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is moderately heritable, however genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for MDD, as well as for related continuous outcomes, have not shown consistent results. Attempts to elucidate the genetic basis of MDD may be hindered by heterogeneity in diagnosis. The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale provides a widely used tool for measuring depressive symptoms clustered in four different domains which can be combined together into a total score but also can be analysed as separate symptom domains.
We performed a meta-analysis of GWAS of the CES-D symptom clusters. We recruited 12 cohorts with the 20- or 10-item CES-D scale (32 528 persons).
One single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs713224, located near the brain-expressed melatonin receptor (MTNR1A) gene, was associated with the somatic complaints domain of depression symptoms, with borderline genome-wide significance (pdiscovery = 3.82 × 10−8). The SNP was analysed in an additional five cohorts comprising the replication sample (6813 persons). However, the association was not consistent among the replication sample (pdiscovery+replication = 1.10 × 10−6) with evidence of heterogeneity.
Despite the effort to harmonize the phenotypes across cohorts and participants, our study is still underpowered to detect consistent association for depression, even by means of symptom classification. On the contrary, the SNP-based heritability and co-heritability estimation results suggest that a very minor part of the variation could be captured by GWAS, explaining the reason of sparse findings.
In the near future, the inactivated enterovirus 71 (EV71) vaccine is expected to become available on the market in China. Since EV71 is a major cause of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), the vaccine is expected to significantly reduce the number of cases, as well as the detrimental economic effect of the disease. However, for a national vaccination strategy to be developed, policy-makers need more information on the socioeconomic burden of EV71 HFMD infection. Based on the 2011 population data, we estimated the clinical and economic effect of EV71 HFMD infection in children aged 0–9 years in Shanghai, China. The annual cost related to HFMD is >US$7.66 million for a population of 1·42 million children aged 0–9 years with an average cost of US$208.2/case. The extrapolated cost for EV71 HFMD infection was US$3.53 million, comprising 46·1% of the overall cost associated with HFMD. Around 97% of all of the HFMD-related expenses were paid for by the families creating a considerable economic burden. Our findings could provide the necessary recommendations on the most effective national EV71 vaccine implementation, as well as a baseline data for assessing the cost-effectiveness of the vaccine in China.
Stars are tidally disrupted and accreted when they approach massive black holes (MBHs) closely, producing a flare of electromagnetic radiation. The majority of the (approximately two dozen) tidal disruption events (TDEs) identified so far have been discovered by their luminous, transient X-ray emission. Once TDEs are detected in much larger numbers, in future dedicated transient surveys, a wealth of new applications will become possible. Here, we present the proposed Einstein Probe mission, which is a dedicated time-domain soft X-ray all-sky monitor aiming at detecting X-ray transients including TDEs in large numbers. The mission consists of a wide-field micro-pore Lobster-eye imager (60° × 60°), and is designed to carry out an all-sky transient survey at energies of 0.5-4 keV. It will also carry a more sensitive telescope for X-ray follow-ups, and will be capable of issuing public transient alerts rapidly. Einstein Probe is expected to revolutionise the field of TDE research by detecting several tens to hundreds of events per year from the early phase of flares, many with long-term, well sampled lightcurves.
In this paper, high temperature (>1400°C) thermal oxidation has been applied, for the first time, to 4H-SiC PiN diodes with thick (110 μm) drift regions, for the purpose of increasing the carrier lifetime in the semiconductor. PiN diodes were fabricated using 4H-SiC material that had undergone thermal oxidation performed at 1400°C, 1500°C and 1600°C, then were electrically characterized. Forward current-voltage (I-V) measurements showed that thermally oxidized PiN diodes exhibited considerably improved electrical characteristics, with devices oxidized at 1500°C having a forward voltage drop (VF) of 4.15 V and a differential on-resistance (Ron,diff) of 8.9 mΩ-cm2 at 100 A/cm2 and 25°C. Compared to typical control sample PiN diode characteristics, this equated to an improvement of 8% and 23% for VF and Ron,diff, respectively. From analysis of the reverse recovery characteristics, the carrier lifetime of the PiN diodes oxidized at 1500°C was found to be 1.05 μs, which was an improvement of around 30% compared to the control sample PiN diodes.
An actual trend to enhance solar cells efficiency is to build multijunction cells, creating a bandshape wavelength collection. However, the best multijuction cells are actually made of III-V compounds when silicon and its alloys don’t lead to high efficiency devices. In this article, we study a 3C-SiC/Si heterojunction as a first step for 3C-SiC/Si tandem cells. Four samples were fabricated by depositing 3C-SiC on Si wafers with different SiC doping levels. Simulations of the structures are performed, as well as optical and electrical characterizations of the heterojunction cells.
We present the characteristics of a high temperature CMOS integrated circuit process based on 4H silicon carbide designed to operate at temperatures beyond 300°C. N-channel and P-channel transistor characteristics at room and elevated temperatures are presented. Both channel types show the expected low values of field effect mobility well known in SiC MOSFETS. However the performance achieved is easily capable of exploitation in CMOS digital logic circuits and certain analogue circuits, over a wide temperature range.
Data is also presented for the performance of digital logic demonstrator circuits, in particular a 4 to 1 analogue multiplexer and a configurable timer operating over a wide temperature range. Devices are packaged in high temperature ceramic dual in line (DIL) packages, which are capable of greater than 300°C operation. A high temperature “micro-oven” system has been designed and built to enable testing and stressing of units assembled in these package types. This system heats a group of devices together to temperatures of up to 300°C while keeping the electrical connections at much lower temperatures. In addition, long term reliability data for some structures such as contact chains to n-type and p-type SiC and simple logic circuits is summarized.