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The jungles of Linyun and Longlin Autonomous Prefecture, located in the heart of the southwestern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China, are home to the oldest tea trees (Camellia sinensis) in the world. In the absence of regular annual rings, radiocarbon (14C) dating is one of the most powerful tools that can assist in the determination of the ages and growth rates of these plants. In this work, cores were extracted from large ancient tea trees in a central Longlin rain forest; extraction of carbon was performed with an automated sample preparation system. The 14C levels in the tree cores were measured using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) at the University of Tsukuba. These measurements indicated that contrary to conventional views, the ages of trees in these forests range up to ~700 years, and the growth rate of this species is notably slow, exhibiting a long-term radial growth rate of 0.039±0.006 cm/yr. It was demonstrated that 14C analyses provide accurate determination of ages and growth rates for subtropical wild tea trees.
The experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of dietary threonine (Thr) on growth performance and muscle growth, protein synthesis and antioxidant-related signalling pathways of hybrid catfish Pelteobagrus vachelli♀ × Leiocassis longirostris♂. A total of 1200 fish (14·19 (se 0·13) g) were randomly distributed into six groups with four replicates each, fed six diets with graded level of Thr (9·5, 11·5, 13·5, 15·4, 17·4 and 19·3 g/kg diets) for 56 d. Results showed (P < 0·05) that dietary Thr (1) increased percentage weight gain, specific growth rate, feed efficiency and protein efficiency ratio; (2) up-regulated growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), proliferating cell nuclear antigen, myogenic regulation factors (MyoD, Myf5, MyoG and Mrf4) and myosin heavy chain (MyHC) mRNA levels; (3) increased muscle protein content via regulating the protein kinase B/target of rapamycin signalling pathway and (4) decreased malondialdehyde and protein carbonyl contents, increased catalase, glutathione-S-transferase, glutathione reductase and GSH activities, up-regulated mRNA levels of antioxidant enzymes related to NFE2-related factor 2 and γ-glutamylcysteine ligase catalytic subunit. These results suggest that Thr has a potential role to improve muscle growth and protein synthesis, which might be due to the regulation of GH-IGF system, muscle growth-related gene, antioxidative capacity and protein synthesis-related signalling pathways. Based on the quadratic regression analysis of specific growth rate, the Thr requirement of hybrid catfish (14·19–25·77 g) was estimated to be 13·77 g/kg of the diet (33·40 g/kg of dietary protein).
Endometrial injury is an important cause of intrauterine adhesion (IUA), amenorrhea and infertility in women, with limited effective therapies. Recently, stem cells have been used in animal experiments to repair and improve injured endometrium. To date, our understanding of adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) in endometrial injury repair and their further therapeutic mechanisms is incomplete. Here, we examined the benefit of ADSCs in restoration of injured endometrium by applying a rat endometrial injury model. The results revealed by immunofluorescence showed that green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labelled ADSCs can differentiate into endometrial epithelial cells in vivo. At 30 days after ADSCs transplantation, injured endometrium was significantly improved, with increased microvessel density, endometrial thickness and glands when compared with the model group. Furthermore, the fertility of rats with injured endometrium in ADSCs group was improved and had a higher conception rate (60% vs 20%, P = 0.014) compared with the control phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) group. However, there was no difference in the control group compared with the sham group. In addition, expression levels of the oestrogen receptor Eα/β (ERα, ERβ) and progesterone receptor (PR) detected by western blot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were higher in the ADSCs group than in the PBS group. Taken together, these results suggested that ADSC transplantation could improve endometrial injury as a novel therapy for IUA.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have consistently revealed that a variant of microRNA 137 (MIR137) shows a quite significant association with schizophrenia. Identifying the network of genes regulated by MIR137 could provide insights into the biological processes underlying schizophrenia. In addition, DLPFC functional connectivity, a robust correlate of MIR137, may provide plausible endophenotypes. However, the regulatory role of the MIR137 gene network in the disrupted functional connectivity remains unclear. Here, we tested the effects of the MIR137 regulated genes on the risk for schizophrenia and DLPFC functional connectivity.
To evaluate the additive effects of the MIR137 regulated genes (N = 1274), we calculated a MIR137 polygenic risk score (PRS) for schizophrenia and tested its association with the risk for schizophrenia in the genomic data of a Han Chinese population that included schizophrenia patients (N = 589) and normal controls (N = 575). We then investigated the association between MIR137 PRS and DLPFC functional connectivity in two independent young healthy cohorts (N = 356 and N = 314).
We found that the MIR137 PRS successfully captured the differences in genetic structure between the patients and controls, but the single gene MIR137 did not. We then consistently found that a higher MIR137 PRS was correlated with lower functional connectivities between the DLPFC and both the superior parietal cortex and the inferior temporal cortex in two independent cohorts.
The findings suggested that these two functional connectivities of the DLPFC could be important endophenotypes linking the MIR137-regulated genetic structure to schizophrenia.
The timing of the Holocene summer monsoon maximum (HSMM) in northeastern China has been much debated and more quantitative precipitation records are needed to resolve the issue. In the present study, Holocene precipitation and temperature changes were quantitatively reconstructed from a pollen record from the sediments of Tianchi Crater Lake in northeastern China using a plant functional type-modern analogue technique (PFT-MAT). The reconstructed precipitation record indicates a gradual increase during the early to mid-Holocene and a HSMM at ~5500–3100 cal yr BP, while the temperature record exhibits a divergent pattern with a marked rise in the early Holocene and a decline thereafter. The trend of reconstructed precipitation is consistent with that from other pollen records in northeastern China, confirming the relatively late occurrence of the HSMM in the region. However, differences in the onset of the HSMM within northeastern China are also evident. No single factor appears to be responsible for the late occurrence of the HSMM in northeastern China, pointing to a potentially complex forcing mechanism of regional rainfall in the East Asian monsoon region. We suggest that further studies are needed to understand the spatiotemporal pattern of the HSMM in the region.
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.
Since 2010, Jankowski’s Bunting Emberiza jankowskii has been listed as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. However, because no comprehensive surveys had been conducted, it was not known whether undiscovered populations existed elsewhere, so the population status of the species could not be assessed accurately. The aim of this study was to assess the breeding distribution and population size of Jankowski’s Bunting in China. Fifty sites in Inner Mongolia, and Jilin, Heilongjiang, Liaoning and Hebei Provinces were surveyed to locate suitable habitat and breeding populations of Jankowski’s Bunting. The surveyed sites included historical breeding distribution areas, wintering sites, and regions adjacent to historical breeding distribution areas. We confirmed that Jankowski’s Bunting has disappeared from most of its former breeding distributions, with the exceptions of Dagang, Xiergen and Tumiji. Additionally, 13 new breeding sites were discovered in Inner Mongolia. All currently known populations breed in Mongolian steppe-vegetation zones, with shrubs dominated by the natural Siberian apricot Prunus sibirica, indicating that this type of habitat is crucial for the survival of the species. Based on remote sensing, the suitable breeding habitat for Jankowski’s Bunting is estimated to be approximately 280 km2. The population size of Jankowski’s Bunting could range between 9,800 and 12,500 individuals, which is much higher than the numbers estimated in previous reports that were based on partial surveys. The suitable habitat remaining in Inner Mongolia would highly benefit from the implementation of the National Key Public Forest Protection Project. The population size of Jankowski’s Bunting is larger than previously estimated, but it is still threatened by habitat degradation and fragmentation, and our survey results reinforce the need for more research. The status of Jankowski’s Bunting in China still meets the IUCN criteria B2ab for an ‘Endangered’ species.
In this work, the hybrid carbon nanofibers (Cu2O/CNFs) containing cuprous oxide (Cu2O) nanoparticles were prepared by a convenient electrospinning method and following a carbonization treatment. The morphology, composition, and microstructure of the Cu2O/CNFs were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and X-ray diffractometer. The as-prepared Cu2O/CNFs exhibited a stronger absorption in the range of 250–700 nm. The band gap energy of the Cu2O/CNFs was estimated to be 2.0 eV. Due to the synergistic effect between photocatalytic activity of Cu2O and excellent adsorption capacity of CNFs, the obtained Cu2O/CNFs exhibited excellent photocatalytic activity for degradation of rhodamine B (RhB) and phenol. The possible mechanism for degradation of RhB and phenol degradation were also discussed. The resultant hybrid carbon composites offer the significant advantages, such as low dosage, high catalytic activity, easy recycling, and excellent stability. We hope that the resultant hybrid composite Cu2O/CNFs could be applied as catalytic materials for further application in the future.
The novel Three-dimensional rambutan-like NiCo2O4 microspheres have been successfully coated onto surface of carbon nanofibers (CNFs) to form NiCo2O4–CNFs hybrids. The composition and microstructure of NiCo2O4–CNFs were characterized by the field-emission scanning electronmicroscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and x-ray diffractometer. The obtained NiCo2O4–CNFs exhibited a specific capacity of 160 mAh/g at 1 mA/cm2 in 2 M potassium hydroxide aqueous solution. The specific capacity gradually increases with the increasing of cycles; and after 3000 cycles, the specific capacity still can be remained over 90%.
Owing to the difficulty in obtaining mammary gland tissue from lactating animals, it is difficult to test the expression levels of genes in mammary gland. The aim of the current study was to identify if milk fat globule (MFG) in buffalo milk was an alternative to mammary gland (MG) and milk somatic cell (MSC) for gene expression analysis. Six buffalos in late lactation were selected to collect MFG and MSC, and then MG was obtained by surgery. MFG was stained with acridine orange to successfully visualise RNA and several cytoplasmic crescents in MFG. The total RNA in MFG was successfully isolated and the integrity was assessed by agarose gel electrophoresis. We analysed the cellular components in MFG, MG and MSC through testing the expression of cell-specific genes by qRT-PCR. The results showed that adipocyte-specific gene (AdipoQ) and leucocyte-specific genes (CD43, CSF1 and IL1α) in MFG were not detected, whereas epithelial cell marker genes (Keratin 8 and Keratin 18) in MFG were higher than in MSC and lower than in MG, fibroblast marker gene (vimentin) in MFG was significantly lower than in MG and MSC, milk protein genes (LALBA, BLG and CSN2) and milk fat synthesis-related genes (ACC, BTN1A1, FABP3 and FAS) in MFG were higher than in MG and MSC. In conclusion, the total RNA in MFG mainly derives from mammary epithelial cells and can be used to study the functional gene expression of mammary epithelial cells.
In this paper, hierarchical nanostructures of BiOBr/AgBr on electrospun carbon nanofibers (CNFs) were prepared by combination of electrospinning and carbonization. Compared with the smooth surface of CNFs, the rough surface with hierarchical nanostructures of BiOBr/AgBr can be obtained by adding the certain amount of BiOBr/AgBr precursors into the spinning solution. The as-prepared composite CNFs exhibited highly photocatalytic activities for degradation of rhodamine-B and reduction of p-nitrophenol under the visible-light irradiation and at room temperature. Furthermore, the as-prepared composite CNFs showed the favor separation, recovery, and cyclic utilization properties.
Legionnaires’ disease (LD) is a globally distributed systemic infectious disease. The burden of LD in many regions is still unclear, especially in Asian countries including China. A survey of Legionella infection using real-time PCR and nested sequence-based typing (SBT) was performed in two hospitals in Shanghai, China. A total of 265 bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) specimens were collected from hospital A between January 2012 and December 2013, and 359 sputum specimens were collected from hospital B throughout 2012. A total of 71 specimens were positive for Legionella according to real-time PCR focusing on the 5S rRNA gene. Seventy of these specimens were identified as Legionella pneumophila as a result of real-time PCR amplification of the dotA gene. Results of nested SBT revealed high genetic polymorphism in these L. pneumophila and ST1 was the predominant sequence type. These data revealed that the burden of LD in China is much greater than that recognized previously, and real-time PCR may be a suitable monitoring technology for LD in large sample surveys in regions lacking the economic and technical resources to perform other methods, such as urinary antigen tests and culture methods.
In this work, we developed a convenient way to immobilize silver nanoparticles on the aminated polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofibrous mats by combing the electrospinning technology from complex-containing polymer solution, amination of PAN nanofibrous and electroless plating technique. The resultant composite nanaofibrous mats had been characterized by scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive spectrometer, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and Fourier transform infrared spectra analysis. The catalytic activity and stability of these resultant composite nanofibrous mats for the catalytic reactions, including reduction of 4-nitrophenol to form 4-aminophenol, and selective oxidation of benzyl alcohol, were investigated. The resultant nanofibrous mats exhibited high-efficiency, convenient separation, recovery, and cyclic utilization properties.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are now recognized as key post-transcriptional regulators in regulation of phenotypic diversity. Qinlingacris elaeodes is a species of the alpine grasshopper, which is endemic to China. Adult individuals have three wing forms: wingless, unilateral-winged and short-winged. This is an ideal species to investigate the phenotypic plasticity, development and evolution of insect wings because of its case of unilateral wing form in both the sexes. We sequenced a small RNA library prepared from mesothoraxes of the adult grasshoppers using the Illumina deep sequencing technology. Approximately 12,792,458 raw reads were generated, of which the 854,580 high-quality reads were used only for miRNA identification. In this study, we identified 49 conserved miRNAs belonging to 41 families and 69 species-specific miRNAs. Moreover, seven miRNA*s were detected both for conserved miRNAs and species-specific miRNAs, which were supported by hairpin forming precursors based on polymerase chain reaction. This is the first description of miRNAs in alpine grasshoppers. The results provide a useful resource for further studies on molecular regulation and evolution of miRNAs in grasshoppers. These findings not only enrich the miRNAs for insects but also lay the groundwork for the study of post-transcriptional regulation of wing forms.
The Mn-doped ZrO2/TiO2 nanostructured photocatalysts had been prepared by the simple hydrothermal method. The morphologies and structures of the as-prepared photo-catalyst were characterized by transmission electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and electron paramagnetic resonance. The resultant nanostructured photocatalysts exhibited high photocatalytic activity under ultraviolet (UV) light irradiation, attributing to the improvement of the photo-absorption property and the separation efficiency of photo-generated electrons and holes. The hydroxyl radicals (•OH), superoxide radical (•O2−), and holes (h+) are the main active species in aqueous solution under UV light irradiation.
We conducted two studies to investigate the contingent role of regional human capital quality (i.e., the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the collective workforce in a region) in the relationship between firm-level human resource (HR) practices (i.e., practices focusing on employees’ human capital development) and firm performance in China. Drawing upon human capital theory, we hypothesized that the human capital–enhancing HR practices and regional human capital quality have a substitutive effect on firm performance. Study 1 uses a World Bank survey of 9,125 firms in 30 provinces. We found that the human capital–enhancing HR practices relate more strongly to firm performance when regional human capital quality was lower than when it was higher. Study 2 used a sample of 203 firms across seven provinces. We found similar results. We further hypothesized and found that the substitutive effect of regional human capital quality was stronger when a firm adopted an innovation strategy. Our findings provide new evidence for the contingency perspective of strategic HR management and highlight the importance of matching HR practices with local labor quality conditions and the business strategy of the firm.
Thermal stress can induce birefringence in a laser medium, which can cause depolarization of the laser. The depolarization effect will be very severe in a high-average-power laser. Because the depolarization will make the frequency doubling efficiency decline, it should be compensated. In this paper, the thermal characteristics of two kinds of materials are analyzed in respect of temperature, thermal deformation and thermal stress. The depolarization result from thermal stress was simulated. Depolarization on non-uniform pumping was also simulated, and the compensation method is discussed.
Dietary fibre intake has been suggested to reduce blood glucose levels in diabetic patients, particularly when glycosylated Hb (HbA1c) levels are high. In the present study, we used a quantile regression (QR) approach to characterise the possible heterogeneous associations of dietary fibre intake with HbA1c levels in Chinese diabetic patients. A total of 497 diabetic patients participated in the baseline survey in 2006 and in the follow-up survey in 2011, both of which were conducted in Pudong New Area of Shanghai, China. Structured in-person interviews were conducted to collect information on demographic characteristics and lifestyle factors. Dietary intake was assessed using a validated FFQ. Blood samples were collected during the interviews for biochemical assays. QR models were used to examine the heterogeneous associations of dietary factors with HbA1c levels. A significant marginal association of insoluble dietary fibre intake with subsequent HbA1c levels was observed only when the HbA1c level was over 6·8 %. The associations appeared to be greater when the quantile levels of HbA1c were higher. The coefficient estimates were − 0·174 (95 % CI − 0·433, − 0·025) at the quantile of 0·60, − 0·200 (95 % CI − 0·306, − 0·008) at 0·70, − 0·221 (95 % CI − 0·426, − 0·117) at 0·80, and − 0·389 (95 % CI − 0·516, − 0·018) at 0·90. A similar pattern was observed for the associations of dietary glycaemic index (GI) value with HbA1c levels. In conclusion, the present results indicate that the associations of insoluble dietary fibre intake and GI value with subsequent HbA1c levels depend on glycaemic control status in Chinese diabetic patients. More studies are required to confirm our findings.