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Resistant starch (RS) was recently approved to exert a powerful influence on gut health, but the effect of RS on the cecal barrier function in meat ducks has not been well defined. Thus, the effect of raw potato starch (RPS), a widely adopted RS material, on microbial composition and barrier function of cecum for meat ducks was determined. Cherry Valley male ducks, 360,1-day-old, were randomly divided and fed diets with 0% (control), 12%, or 24% RPS for 35 d. Diets Supplemented with RPS significantly elevated villus height and villus height: crypt depth ratio in the cecum. The 16S rRNA sequence analysis indicated that the diet with 12% RPS had a higher relative abundance of Firmicutes and the butyrate-producing bacteria Faecalibacterium, Subdoligranulum, and Erysipelatoclostridium were enriched among all diets. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium were significantly increased in the 24% RPS diet vs. the control diet. When compared with the control diet, the diet with 12% RPS also was found to notably increase acetate, propionate and butyrate contents, and up-regulated barrier-related genes including Claudin-1, Zonula occludens (ZO)-1, mucin-2, and proglucagon of cecum. Furthermore, addition of 12% RPS significantly reduced plasma tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, and endotoxin concentrations. These data revealed that diets supplemented with 12% RPS partially improved cecal barrier function in meat ducks by enhancing intestinal morphology and barrier markers expression, modulating the microbiota composition, and attenuating inflammatory markers.
We present a high-peak-power, near-infrared laser system based on optical parametric chirped pulse amplification pumped by a home-built picosecond pumping laser, which can generate over 40 mJ energy at 1450 nm center wavelength and operate at 100 Hz repetition rate. Subsequently, the chirped laser pulses are compressed down to 60 fs with 26.5 mJ energy, corresponding to a peak power of 0.44 TW. This high-energy, long-wavelength laser source is highly suitable for driving various nonlinear optical phenomena, such as high-order harmonic generation and high-flux coherent extreme ultraviolet/soft X-ray radiation.
Seed reserves play vital roles in seed germination and seedling growth and their variation may be related to various environment factors, plant traits and phylogenetic history. Here, the evolutionary correlation associated with seed mass and altitude and carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) allocation of seeds among 253 alpine herbaceous plants was tested. In this study, phylogeny had strong limitations on nutrient allocation of seeds across species, and species from younger phylogenetic groups tended to have higher N and P contents, which might be considered as the evolutionary selection of seed plants. Higher seed N and P content would help seedlings to gain more survival chance and stronger competitive capacity, and their progeny would be more likely to be preserved. When phylogeny was considered, altitude only had a significant positive effect on P content, but the negative effects on seed mass were all expressed. The independent effects of altitude and seed mass suggest that the nutrient allocation of seeds might be affected by both environment and plant traits. In addition, altitude and seed mass displayed partial overlapping effects on nutrient allocation of seeds. The negative effects of seed mass were affected slightly by altitude, whereas altitude only had a significant positive effect on P content when seed mass was controlled. Above all, seed P content showed obvious and general correlations with seed mass, altitude and age of clade, which indicated that higher seed P content might be an adaptive selection of species associated with growth and survival of progeny.
Al–12.6Si was annealed at both 500 and 560 °C for different lengths of time in this study. Additionally, the effects of annealing treatment on the spheroidization of eutectic Si and the mechanical properties of the Al–Si alloy have been investigated. The morphology of these particles was described using surface shape factor (φ), and it was found that the optimal annealing time of Al–12.6Si at 500 and 560 °C is seven hours and five hours, respectively. The average size of the Si particles in the Al–Si alloy annealed at 500 °C is less than that of the particles at 560 °C. The roundness of the Si particles within the Al–Si alloy annealed at 500 °C is slightly better than that at 560 °C. The elongation of the alloy apparently increases, while the tensile strength of the Al–Si alloy decreases. The tensile strength and elongation of the eutectic Al–Si alloy annealed at 500 °C is higher than that at 560 °C.
We report the utility of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) conducted in a clinically relevant time frame (ie, sufficient for guiding management decision), in managing a Streptococcus pyogenes outbreak, and present a comparison of its performance with emm typing.
A 2,000-bed tertiary-care psychiatric hospital.
Active surveillance was conducted to identify new cases of S. pyogenes. WGS guided targeted epidemiological investigations, and infection control measures were implemented. Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)–based genome phylogeny, emm typing, and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) were performed. We compared the ability of WGS and emm typing to correctly identify person-to-person transmission and to guide the management of the outbreak.
The study included 204 patients and 152 staff. We identified 35 patients and 2 staff members with S. pyogenes. WGS revealed polyclonal S. pyogenes infections with 3 genetically distinct phylogenetic clusters (C1–C3). Cluster C1 isolates were all emm type 4, sequence type 915 and had pairwise SNP differences of 0–5, which suggested recent person-to-person transmissions. Epidemiological investigation revealed that cluster C1 was mediated by dermal colonization and transmission of S. pyogenes in a male residential ward. Clusters C2 and C3 were genomically diverse, with pairwise SNP differences of 21–45 and 26–58, and emm 11 and mostly emm120, respectively. Clusters C2 and C3, which may have been considered person-to-person transmissions by emm typing, were shown by WGS to be unlikely by integrating pairwise SNP differences with epidemiology.
WGS had higher resolution than emm typing in identifying clusters with recent and ongoing person-to-person transmissions, which allowed implementation of targeted intervention to control the outbreak.
Universal salt iodisation (USI) has been successfully implemented in China for more than 15 years. Recent evidence suggests that the definition of ‘adequate iodine’ (100–199 µg/l) be revised to ‘sufficient iodine’ (100–299 µg/l) based on the median urinary iodine concentration (MUI) in school-age children. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of thyroid dysfunction in populations after long-term salt iodisation and examine whether the definition of adequate iodine can be broadened to sufficient iodine based on the thyroid function in four population groups. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in six provinces in the northern, central and southern regions of China. Four population groups consisting of 657 children, 755 adults, 347 pregnant women and 348 lactating women were recruited. Three spot urinary samples were collected over a 10-d period and blood samples were collected on the 1st day. In the study, among the adults, pregnant women and lactating women, the prevalence rates of elevated thyroglobulin antibody and thyroid microsomal antibody levels were 12·4, 8·5 and 7·8 %, and 12·1, 9·1 and 9·1 %, respectively. Abnormally high thyroid dysfunction prevalence was not observed after more than 15 years of USI in China because the thyroid dysfunction rates were all <5 %. The recommended range should be cautiously broadened from adequate iodine to sufficient iodine according to the MUI of school-age children considering the high levels of hormones and antibodies in the other populations. Adults, particularly pregnant women positive for thyroid antibodies, should be closely monitored.
More than 200 molecular clouds were newly found distributed beyond the Outer arm in the extreme outer Galaxy (EOG) region by MWISP. Those MCs roughly following the HI′s distribution well delineate the outermost spiral structure (the Outer Scutum-Centaurus arm) and warp of our Galaxy. Besides, those MCs show different σv-Radius relation and exhibit higher value of αvir than MCs in the inner Galaxy.
Previous studies have thoroughly investigated the prevalence and risk factors for completed suicide. In marked contrast is the lack of a better understanding of attempted suicide in the elderly. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of attempted suicide in the elderly and examine the associated factors.
Using a multi-stage cluster sampling approach, a cross-sectional survey of 8,399 elderly house-dwelling residents was conducted in Shanghai, China.
The two-week prevalence of attempted suicide in the elderly was 0.75%. In the bivariate analysis, having no caregivers, depressive, anxiety, sad, fear, obsessive-compulsive and anger symptom, and lower scores on the Barthel Index of Activities of Daily Living and the Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale were significantly associated with an increased risk of attempted suicide in the elderly. In the multivariate analysis, sad and fear symptoms were significantly and independently associated with a higher risk of attempted suicide in the elderly.
The two-week prevalence of attempted suicide in the elderly is relatively high when compared with the annualized or lifetime prevalence reported in China and foreign settings. Elderly individuals with certain mental symptoms should be targeted for suicide prevention and provided with timely mental health support.
I deficiency is a worldwide public health problem. Median urinary I concentration in school-aged children has been used globally as a proxy for all populations. This study aims to determine whether median urinary I concentration of school-aged children is an appropriate indicator of I nutritional status in different adult populations. This is a secondary data analysis of two national I Deficiency Disorder surveys (2011, 2014) and two regional surveys (in coastal areas, 2009, and in high-risk areas, 2009–2014). Population groups included in these surveys were school-aged children (8–10 years), pregnant women, lactating women, women of childbearing age and adults (men and women, 18–45 years). All participants were self-reported healthy without history of thyroid diseases or were not using thyroid medicines. The median urinary I concentration of school-aged children was matched with that of the other population at the county level. The matched populations had similar iodised salt supply, food and water I, food composition and I content in salt. Weak or moderate correlation of median urinary I concentrations was observed between school-aged children and pregnant women and between children and lactating women. However, the agreement was stronger between children and women of childbearing age and between children and adult men and women. The results could be affected by cut-off values, data aggregation level and sample size. Using median urinary I concentration of school-aged children tends to overestimate that of pregnant women and lactating women. Median urinary I concentration of school-aged children can be used for assessing I nutrition in the adult population.
SG-III laser facility is now the largest laser driver for inertial confinement fusion research in China. The whole laser facility can deliver 180 kJ energy and 60 TW power ultraviolet laser onto target, with power balance better than 10%. We review the laser system and introduce the SG-III laser performance here.
Acting as a pilot of the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), the Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) has been proposed for construction in the unique karst area of southwest China. FAST is of Arecibo-type with rather a number of innovations, among which the active main spherical reflector shows fascinating. Furthermore, the feed cabin is supported and moved by cables controlled by computer, which avoids a heavy and expensive focal pointing system. With the effective aperture of 300 m, a large sky coverage, and a broad bandwidth (200 to 2000 MHz), possible capability up to 5 ∼8 GHz, FAST will be the world's largest single dish and perform markedly role in radio astronomy.
We first very briefly introduce the major radio facilities for astronomical research in China, and then report on the present interference situation at major radio observatories. Some of the radio interference problems are caused by paging services, mobile phone satellites, telemetry services for power supply, waterpower and earthquake activity, or radar systems, but some causes are unknown. In the worst case, harmful to radio astronomy, the Sesan VLBI station has not been able to do any observations at 92 cm due to serious radio interference problems since 1992. Still more serious interference coming from satellites can be expected in the next decade. International efforts on frequency protection should be urgently pursued if ground-based radio astronomy is to survive.
Hypoxia is the primary stimulus for the production of erythropoietin (EPO) in both fetal and adult life. Here, we investigated fetal plasma EPO concentrations in monochorionic (MC) twin pregnancies with selective intrauterine growth restriction (sIUGR) and abnormal umbilical artery (UA) Doppler. We diagnosed sIUGR in presence of (1) birth-weight discordance >20% and (2) either twin with a birth weight <10th percentile. An abnormal UA Doppler was defined as a persistent absent-reverse end diastolic flow (AREDF). The intertwin EPO ratio was calculated as the plasma EPO level of the smaller (or small-for-gestational-age) twin divided by the EPO concentration of the larger (or appropriate-for-gestational-age (AGA)) twin. Thirty-two MC twin pairs were included. Of these, 17 pairs were normal twins (Group 1), seven pairs were twins with sIUGR without UA Doppler abnormalities (Group 2), and eight pairs were twins with sIUGR and UA Doppler abnormalities (Group 3). The highest EPO ratio was identified in Group 3 (p < .001) but no significant differences were observed between Groups 1 and 2. Fetal hemoglobin levels did not differ significantly in the three groups, and fetal EPO concentration did not correlate with gestational age at birth. We conclude that fetal plasma EPO concentrations are selectively increased in MC twin pregnancies with sIUGR and abnormal UA Doppler, possibly as a result of uncompensated hypoxia.
An innovative design for a feed support structure for the next generation large radio telescope, based on the idea of integrating mechanical, electronic and optical technologies (Optomechatronics), is considered. Theoretical analyses and simulations are carried out. A 5 m experimental model is built to demonstrate the idea.
A Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) is proposed to be built in the unique karst area of southwest China, and will act, in a sense, as a prototype for the Square Kilometer Array (SKA). It will be over twice as large as the Arecibo telescope coupled with much wider sky coverage. Some results from site surveys for such a SKA concept are briefly reported. Technically, FAST is not simply a copy of the existing Arecibo telescope but has rather a number of innovations. Firstly, the proposed main spherical reflector, by conforming to a paraboloid of revolution in real time through actuated active control, enables the realization of both wide bandwidth and full polarization capability while using standard feed design. Secondly, a feed support system which integrates optical, mechanical and electronic technologies will effectively reduce the cost of the support structure and control system. Pre-research on FAST has become a key project in the CAS.
Limited information is available on the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the general population in China. A community-based epidemiological study was conducted in three counties in eastern China. A total of 149 175 individuals were investigated in 60 communities in three counties in Jiangsu province, eastern China, of whom 1175 subjects [0·79%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·74–0·83] were HCV antibody positive. The prevalence was low in children (0·09%, 95% CI 0·04–0·17), but increased progressively from adolescents (0·20%, 95% CI 0·15–0·28) to adults aged ⩾21 years (95% CI 0·15–1·64). Women had a higher prevalence of HCV infection than men in most age groups. In a multilevel regression analysis, age, sex, education, occupation, blood transfusion [odds ratio (OR) 2·91, 95% CI 1·09–5·37], invasive testing (OR 1·28, 95% CI 1·14–1·61), and dental therapy (OR 2·27, 95% CI 1·41–3·42) were associated with HCV infection. In conclusion, although the prevalence of HCV in this population was lower than reported from national levels, the total reservoir of infection is significant and warrants public health measures, such as health education to limit the magnitude of the problem.
Writing in language tests is regarded as an important indicator for assessing language skills of test takers. As Chinese language tests become popular, scoring a large number of essays becomes a heavy and expensive task for the organizers of these tests. In the past several years, some efforts have been made to develop automated simplified Chinese essay scoring systems, reducing both costs and evaluation time. In this paper, we introduce a system called SCESS (automated Simplified Chinese Essay Scoring System) based on Weighted Finite State Automata (WFSA) and using Incremental Latent Semantic Analysis (ILSA) to deal with a large number of essays. First, SCESS uses an n-gram language model to construct a WFSA to perform text pre-processing. At this stage, the system integrates a Confusing-Character Table, a Part-Of-Speech Table, beam search and heuristic search to perform automated word segmentation and correction of essays. Experimental results show that this pre-processing procedure is effective, with a Recall Rate of 88.50%, a Detection Precision of 92.31% and a Correction Precision of 88.46%. After text pre-processing, SCESS uses ILSA to perform automated essay scoring. We have carried out experiments to compare the ILSA method with the traditional LSA method on the corpora of essays from the MHK test (the Chinese proficiency test for minorities). Experimental results indicate that ILSA has a significant advantage over LSA, in terms of both running time and memory usage. Furthermore, experimental results also show that SCESS is quite effective with a scoring performance of 89.50%.
Sn–40 at.% Mn peritectic alloys were directionally solidified at different growth rates (1–100 μm/s) under a steep temperature gradient (40 K/mm). The migration of secondary dendrite arm was observed in this peritectic alloy in which both the primary phase and the peritectic phase are intermetallic compounds with nil solubility. This migration is caused by coupling remelting/solidification at the hot/cold sides of the liquid pool between two adjacent secondary dendrite arms by temperature gradient zone melting. Its novel feature is that the remelting temperature of primary phase is a little higher than the solidification temperature of peritectic phase. Analytical solutions based on the assumption that the solubility of both primary and peritectic phases are nil have been proposed to describe this migration. It has also been found that the migration of secondary dendrite arm is most obvious at intermediate growth rates under steep temperature gradient in the directionally solidified Sn–40 at.% Mn peritectic alloy.