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l-carnitine is essential for mitochondrial β-oxidation and has been used as a lipid-lowering feed additive in humans and farmed animals. d-carnitine is an optical isomer of l-carnitine and dl-carnitine has been widely used in animal feeds. However, the functional differences between l- and d-carnitine are difficult to study because of the endogenous l-carnitine background. In the present study, we developed a low-carnitine Nile tilapia model by treating fish with a carnitine synthesis inhibitor, and used this model to investigate the functional differences between l- and d-carnitine in nutrient metabolism in fish. l- or d-carnitine (0·4 g/kg diet) was fed to the low-carnitine tilapia for 6 weeks. l-carnitine feeding increased the acyl-carnitine concentration from 3522 to 10 822 ng/g and alleviated the lipid deposition from 15·89 to 11·97 % in the liver of low-carnitine tilapia. However, as compared with l-carnitine group, d-carnitine feeding reduced the acyl-carnitine concentration from 10 822 to 5482 ng/g, and increased lipid deposition from 11·97 to 20·21 % and the mRNA expression of the genes involved in β-oxidation and detoxification in the liver. d-carnitine feeding also induced hepatic inflammation, oxidative stress and apoptosis. A metabolomic investigation further showed that d-carnitine feeding increased glycolysis, protein metabolism and activity of the tricarboxylic acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation. Thus, l-carnitine can be physiologically utilised in fish, whereas d-carnitine is metabolised as a xenobiotic and induces lipotoxicity. d-carnitine-fed fish demonstrates increases in peroxisomal β-oxidation, glycolysis and amino acid degradation to maintain energy homeostasis. Therefore, d-carnitine is not recommended for use in farmed animals.
Hierarchically porous poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA)/poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) monolithic composites were fabricated by nonsolvent-induced phase separation (NIPS) method without any template for the first time. A homogeneous hierarchical porous structure with relatively large specific surface area containing both mesopores and macropores was confirmed by pore size distribution plots and scanning electron microscopy images, respectively. Fourier transform infrared analysis (FTIR) revealed that PLLA and PCL were physically blended. Differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) analysis further showed that the two components were physically blended but had a slight thermal compatibility. Meanwhile, X-ray diffraction (XRD) tests indicated that the addition of PCL hindered the crystallization of PLLA. Herein, the formation of the mesopores and macropores during the phase separation process was explained from the microscopic point of view according to the results of XRD and DSC. The present monolithic composites with hierarchically porous structures had promising prospect for applications of tissue engineering.
Although parasites and microbial pathogens are both detrimental to insects, little information is currently available on the mechanism involved in how parasitized hosts balance their immune responses to defend against microbial infections. We addressed this in the present study by comparing the immune response between unparasitized and parasitized pupae of the chrysomelid beetle, Octodonta nipae (Maulik), to Escherichia coli invasion. In an in vivo survival assay, a markedly reduced number of E. coli colony-forming units per microliter was detected in parasitized pupae at 12 and 24 h post-parasitism, together with decreased phagocytosis and enhanced bactericidal activity at 12 h post-parasitism. The effects that parasitism had on the mRNA expression level of selected antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) of O. nipae pupae showed that nearly all transcripts of AMPs examined were highly upregulated during the early and late parasitism stages except defensin 2B, whose mRNA expression level was downregulated at 24 h post-parasitism. Further elucidation on the main maternal fluids responsible for alteration of the primary immune response against E. coli showed that ovarian fluid increased phagocytosis at 48 h post-injection. These results indicated that the enhanced degradation of E. coli in parasitized pupae resulted mainly from the elevated bactericidal activity without observing the increased transcripts of target AMPs. This study contributes to a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in the immune responses of a parasitized host to bacterial infections.
Environment can impact the wear behavior of metals and alloys substantially. The tribological properties of Al0.6CoCrFeNi high-entropy alloys (HEAs) were investigated in ambient air, deionized water, simulated acid rain, and simulated seawater conditions at frequencies of 2–5 Hz. The as-cast alloy was composed of simple face-centered cubic and body-centered cubic phases. The wear rate of the as-cast HEA in the ambient air condition was significantly higher than that in the liquid environment. The wear resistance in seawater was superior to that in ambient air, deionized water, and acid rain. Both the friction coefficient and wear rate in seawater were the lowest due to the formation of oxidation film, lubrication, and corrosion action in solution. The dominant wear mechanism in the ambient air condition and deionized water was abrasive wear, delamination wear, and oxidative wear. By contrast, the wear mechanism in acid rain and seawater was mainly corrosion wear, adhesive wear, abrasive wear, and oxidative wear.
To investigate the protein-sparing effect of α-lipoic acid (LA), experimental fish (initial body weight: 18·99 (sd 1·82) g) were fed on a 0, 600 or 1200 mg/kg α-LA diet for 56 d, and hepatocytes were treated with 20 μm compound C, the inhibitor of AMP kinase α (AMPKα), treated for 30 min before α-LA treatment for 24 h. LA significantly decreased lipid content of the whole body and other tissues (P<0·05), and it also promoted protein deposition in vivo (P<0·05). Further, dietary LA significantly decreased the TAG content of serum and increased the NEFA content of serum (P<0·05); however, there were no significant differences among all groups in the hepatopancreas and muscle (P>0·05). Consistent with results from the experiment in vitro, LA activated phosphorylation of AMPKα and notably increased the protein content of adipose TAG lipase in intraperitoneal fat, hepatopancreas and muscle in vivo (P<0·05). Meanwhile, LA significantly up-regulated the mRNA expression of genes involved in fatty acid β-oxidation in the same three areas, and LA also obviously down-regulated the mRNA expression of genes involved in amino acid catabolism in muscle (P<0·05). Besides, it was observed that LA significantly activated the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway in muscle of experimental fish (P<0·05). LA could promote lipolysis and fatty acid β-oxidation via increasing energy supply from lipid catabolism, and then, it could economise on the protein from energy production to increase protein deposition in grass carp. Besides, LA might directly promote protein synthesis through activating the mTOR pathway.
Astrophysical collisionless shocks are amazing phenomena in space and astrophysical plasmas, where supersonic flows generate electromagnetic fields through instabilities and particles can be accelerated to high energy cosmic rays. Until now, understanding these micro-processes is still a challenge despite rich astrophysical observation data have been obtained. Laboratory astrophysics, a new route to study the astrophysics, allows us to investigate them at similar extreme physical conditions in laboratory. Here we will review the recent progress of the collisionless shock experiments performed at SG-II laser facility in China. The evolution of the electrostatic shocks and Weibel-type/filamentation instabilities are observed. Inspired by the configurations of the counter-streaming plasma flows, we also carry out a novel plasma collider to generate energetic neutrons relevant to the astrophysical nuclear reactions.
Chitooligosaccharides (COS) are multi-functional foods and nutrients and environmentally friendly biological abiotic-resistance inducing agents for plants. In the current study, the effects and possible mechanisms of COS on improving the cold resistance of rice (II YOU 1259) seedlings were investigated. Compared with the control, a COS pre-soaking treatment enhanced photosynthesis, reduced oxidation damage and led to accumulation of more osmotic regulation substances under chilling treatment. In addition, a novel Deg/HtrA family serine endopeptidase (DegQ) gene, related to COS enhanced rice cold resistance, was identified. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis revealed that transcription of DegQ and psbA (D1 protein encoding gene) were up-regulated in a time-dependent manner by COS treatment under cold stress. With increasing expression of the D1 protein, chlorophyll b content was enhanced correspondingly. The current results suggest that COS could enhance cold stress tolerance of rice by repairing the photodamaged photosystem II, altering osmotic regulation and reducing oxidation damage.
(1 − x)Ba(Mg1/3Ta2/3)O3–xBa(Co1/3Nb2/3)O3 (BMT–BCN, x = 0.0, 0.20, 0.25, 0.30, 0.40) ceramics were prepared using the traditional solid-state reaction method. X-ray diffraction patterns have shown that the intensities of (001) and (100) super-lattices decrease with the increase in the BCN content. Seven main Raman vibrational modes are observed, assigned, and illustrated, in particular. Raman shifts of Eg(O) modes and the FWHM values of F2g(O)/A1g(O) modes have close relationship with the dielectric properties. The calculated values by the four-parameter semiquantum model based on IR reflectivity match well with the measured data (@3.8 GHz), which means that most of dielectric contribution to the system may be ascribed to the absorption of structural phononic oscillations at the infrared region, and the contribution from the scattering of the defective phonons is small. The contributions of each vibrational mode on the dielectric responses were investigated in detail, indicating that the low-frequency modes (A2u(1) and Eu(1)) have a decisive role to the dielectric properties.
Hexapod robots are well suited for disaster rescuing tasks due to their stability and load capability. However, most current hexapod robots still rely on static gaits that largely limit their locomotion speed. This paper introduces a hierarchical control strategy to realize a dynamic alternating tripod trotting gait for a hexapod robot based on multi-modal impedance control. At the low level, a position-based impedance controller is developed to realize an adjustable compliant behavior for each leg. At the high level, a new gait controller is developed to generate a stable alternating tripod trotting gait, in which a gait state machine, a leg compliance modulation strategy, and a close-looped body attitude stabilizer are imposed. As a result, the alternating tripod trotting of the hexapod robot can be synchronized as the running of a bipedal robot with stable body attitude. Moreover, this control strategy was verified by experiments on a newly designed pony-sized disaster rescuing robot, HexbotIV, which successfully achieved a dynamic trotting gait with ability to resist the disturbances of mildly uneven terrains. Our control strategy as well as the experimental study can be a valuable reference for other hexapod robots and thus paves a way to the practical deployment of disaster rescuing robots.
We have detected maser emission from the 36.2 GHz (4−1 → 30E) methanol transition towards NGC 4945. This emission has been observed in two separate epochs and is approximately five orders of magnitude more luminous than typical emission from this transition within our Galaxy. NGC 4945 is only the fourth extragalactic source observed hosting class I methanol maser emission. Extragalactic class I methanol masers do not appear to be simply highly-luminous variants of their galactic counterparts and instead appear to trace large-scale regions where low-velocity shocks are present in molecular gas.
Djurovic et. al. detected 50-Day oscillation of the daily Wolf numbers and the daily apparent sunspot areas. We analysed the 50-Day oscillation and discovered the closer relations between the El Nino events and the 50-Day oscillation of solar activity and earth rotation. To verify the relation, in the present work, we collect longer and more data series. The result confirms that the El Nino events and the 50-Day oscillation of earth rotation are caused by the 50-Day fluctuation of solar activity.
Many observations have been reported in the field of X-ray pulsars, but the mechanism for X-ray emission is not well understood. The X-ray spectra can not be simply described in terms of blackbody or thermal bremsstralung. The high-energy cutoff could be due to cyclotron absorption in high (≧1012 Gauss) magnetic fields. For the lower energy it can be fitted by a power law with energy index α.
In strong magnetic field near pulsar's surface, the quantum effect for electrons is quite complicated. The classical approximation may lose resonance feature, which gives much smaller cross-section.
In this paper, we performed numerical integrations to get the total cross-section and the power spectrum of single electron. Thus considering the resonance, the inverse Compton scattering could be an efficient mechanism in strong magnetic fields. We have carefully calculated the power spectrum of single electron travelling through the isotropic thermal fields.
Our calculations show that the cross section of the inverse Compton scattering in strong magnetic fields may be larger than that of Thompson scattering by sevaral orders of magnitude in the case of polar cap surface of pulsars. We can also see that when the energy of e± exceeds a certain value, their energy loss caused by the inverse Compton scattering may be larger than the energy gain from electric field in the inner gap, which implies that the e± could not be accelerated to γ = 106. Meanwhile, the electrostatic forces acting on the electrons will be balanced by the radiative pressure if temperature T > 108 K.
It is beleived that the surface temperarure for most of pulsars is less than 106 K, in that case the ions of iron can not be emitted from the surface of pulsars. However, the temperarure at the polar cap can be increased to 3×106 through the bombardment of electrons to the polar cap according to R-S model. This quasi-equilibrium state by self-regulating must make the coherent radio emission unstable on the contrary.
Evaluating quality traits is important to the selection of elite lines in Brassica napus L. In this study, the quality traits of 488 global collections of B. napus L were evaluated for two consecutive years under central Chinese growing conditions, and a series of phenotypic data was obtained. The measured total glucosinolate content (GLC) and erucic acid content (ERU) values for 95.5% of the accessions were consistent with the original values, and large variations in quality traits were found among these accessions, thus enabling selection for these characters. In general, Chinese accessions tended to have a higher oil content (OC) than foreign accessions, while compared with winter and spring accessions, semi-winter accessions tended to have the highest OC. The mean GLC and ERU of Chinese rapeseed accessions showed gradual downward trends over time, and the genotypic variation in ERU accounted for 98.44% of the total variation, which was the highest among all 10 of the quality traits. Additionally, the heritability for ERU was largest among all 10 of the quality traits. Significant correlations were observed between different traits; OC had significantly (P < 0.01) negative correlation coefficients with oleic acid content, whereas OC had significantly (P < 0.01) positive correlation coefficients with ERU. Principal component analysis revealed that there was no clear boundary among materials of different geographic origins and different ecotypes according to the first two principal coordinates, respectively. This information about variations in quality traits revealed in this study could identify parents for improved rapeseed breeding.
Purpose: To further understand genetic factors that contribute to congenital cataracts, we sought to identify early post-twinning mutational and epigenetic events that may account for the discordant phenotypes of a twin pair. Methods: A patient with a congenital cataract and her twin sister were assessed for genetic factors that might contribute to their discordant phenotypes by mutation screening of 11 candidate genes (CRYGC, CRYGD, CRYAA, CRYAB, CRYBA1, CRYBB1, CRYBB2, MIP, HSF4, GJA3, and GJA8), exome analysis followed by Sanger sequencing of 10 additional candidate genes (PLEKHO2, FRYL, RBP3, P2RX2, GSR, TRAM1, VEGFA, NARS2, CADPS, and TEKT4), and promoter methylation analysis of five representative genes (TRAM1, CRYAA, HSF4, VEGFA, GJA3, DCT) plus one additional candidate gene (FTL). Results: Mutation screening revealed no gene mutation differences between the patient and her twin sister for the 11 candidate genes. Exome sequencing analysis revealed variations between the twins in 442 genes, 10 of which are expressed in the eye. However, these differential variants could not be confirmed by Sanger sequencing. Furthermore, epigenetic discordance was not detected in the twin pair. Conclusions: The genomic DNA mutational and epigenetic events assessed in this study could not explain the discordance in the development of phenotypic differences between the twin pair, suggesting the possible involvement of somatic mutations or environmental factors. Identification of possible causes requires further research.
Cydia pomonella is a serious invasive insect pest in China, and has caused severe damage to the production of apple and pear in its invaded areas. This species is distributing in the northwest and northeast of China, but no occurrence of it has been recorded in the large areas (about 3000–5000 km away) between the invaded northwestern and northeastern regions despite continuous monitoring. As yet the genetic diversity and invasion origin of the C. pomonella populations in Northwestern and Northeastern China is obscure. In this study, we investigate the genetic diversity of 14 populations of C. pomonella sampled throughout the main distribution regions in Northwestern (Xinjiang and Gansu Provinces) and Northeastern (Heilongjiang Province) China and compared them with nine populations from Europe and other continents using the mitochondrial COI, COII and Cytb genes. Both the populations from Northeastern and Northwestern China shared some haplotypes with populations from other countries. Haplotypes of the three mitochondrial genes had a different distribution in Northeastern and Northwestern China. The northeastern populations had more private haplotypes than the northwestern populations. A large number of the individuals from northwestern populations shared a few haplotypes of each of the three genes. The haplotype numbers and haplotype diversities of the northeastern populations were similar to those of field populations in other countries, but were higher than those of the northwestern populations. Populations from the Northwestern China showed similar haplotype number and haplotype diversity. We conclude that the population genetic background of C. pomonella populations in Northeastern and Northwestern China varies due to different invasion sources and that this should be considered before the application of new pest control tactics.
We present a detailed depth-sensitive study of the evolution in correlated electron behavior from the surface of the prototypical correlated oxide, SrxCa1-xVO3, to its bulk. Photoemission measurements of varying surface sensitivity are employed to directly compare both the spectral weight and energetics of the correlated electron features, and resonant soft x-ray emission spectroscopy is used as a bulk-sensitive reference. The surface component, which still contributes significantly to photoemission at 2.2 keV, is characterized by a transfer of spectral weight into the incoherent lower Hubbard band and the corresponding shift of these states towards lower binding energy.
Long-term fertilization experiment has been conducted since 1981 to study the effect of soil management practices on soil fertility, soil carbon and nitrogen sequestration, soil culturable microbe counts and crop yields at the Nanhu Experimental Station in the Hubei Academy of Agricultural Sciences (situated in the middle reach of the Yangtze River and the rice–wheat cropping system). The experiment was designed with the following eight treatments: (1) unfertilized treatment: Control; (2) inorganic nitrogen fertilizer treatment: N; (3) inorganic nitrogen plus inorganic phosphorus fertilizer treatment: NP; (4) inorganic nitrogen, inorganic phosphorus plus inorganic potassium fertilizer treatment: NPK; (5) pig dung compost (manure) treatment: M; (6) inorganic nitrogen fertilizer plus manure: NM; (7) inorganic nitrogen, inorganic phosphorus fertilizer plus manure treatment: NPM and (8) inorganic nitrogen, inorganic phosphorus, inorganic potassium fertilizer plus manure treatment: NPKM. The results showed that long-term application of organic manure in combination with inorganic fertilizer significantly (p < 0.05) increased soil organic C concentrations compared with the corresponding inorganic fertilizers alone. Soil organic C contents were significantly (p < 0.05) increased in balanced application of NPK fertilizers in comparison to unbalanced application of fertilizers. After 30 years of experiment, soil organic C and total N sequestration rate averagely were 0.48 t ha−1 year−1 and 28.3 kg ha−1 year−1 in the fertilized treatments respectively; nevertheless, it were 0.27 t ha−1 year−1 and 9.7 kg ha−1 year−1 in the unfertilized treatment. Application of organic fertilizer in combination with inorganic fertilizer significantly (p < 0.05) increased culturable microbial counts compared with the corresponding inorganic fertilizers alone. The balanced application of NPK fertilizers significantly (p < 0.05) increased culturable microbial counts compared with unbalanced application of fertilizers. The average grain yield of wheat and rice was significantly (p < 0.05) higher in organic manure combined with inorganic fertilizer treatment than in inorganic fertilizer alone and unfertilized control. Therefore, long-term application of organic manure combined with inorganic fertilizer and balanced application of NPK fertilizers could increase soil organic C and total N sequestration, culturable microbial counts and crop grain yields.