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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.
In this paper, the generation of relativistic electron mirrors (REM) and the reflection of an ultra-short laser off the mirrors are discussed, applying two-dimension particle-in-cell simulations. REMs with ultra-high acceleration and expanding velocity can be produced from a solid nanofoil illuminated normally by an ultra-intense femtosecond laser pulse with a sharp rising edge. Chirped attosecond pulse can be produced through the reflection of a counter-propagating probe laser off the accelerating REM. In the electron moving frame, the plasma frequency of the REM keeps decreasing due to its rapid expansion. The laser frequency, on the contrary, keeps increasing due to the acceleration of REM and the relativistic Doppler shift from the lab frame to the electron moving frame. Within an ultra-short time interval, the two frequencies will be equal in the electron moving frame, which leads to the resonance between laser and REM. The reflected radiation near this interval and corresponding spectra will be amplified due to the resonance. Through adjusting the arriving time of the probe laser, a certain part of the reflected field could be selectively amplified or depressed, leading to the selective adjustment of the corresponding spectra.
Attention, working memory (WM), information processing and memory deficits are important features of schizophrenia. WM functions appear to be mediated by the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Functional imaging studies have shown a failure to activate the DLPFC during working memory tasks in patients with chronic schizophrenia. The primary aim of this study is to determine whether there are brain activation changes in the dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) as a result of engaging in a randomized, controlled 12 week course of cognitive remediation therapy (CRT) in inpatients with chronic schizophrenia.
Patients with DSM IV schizophrenia are randomized to a 12 week trial of Cognitive Remediation (CR) using a Computerized CR program (COGPACK) or to a 12-week control condition. Patients receive at baseline and endpoint an fMRI scan with a cognitive task (N-back task), a neuropsychological test battery (MATRICS), functional and symptom assessments.
Preliminary results of this ongoing study show that patients after 12 weeks of CR showed (1) significantly more improvement in WM functions than patients who participated in the control group and (2) improvement in accuracy on the verbal letter 2-back task during the fMRI scan. Signal difference between 2-back and 0-back was not present or only present minimally at baseline (Pre-CR); however, at endpoint (Post-CR) there was signal difference present, which corresponds to an increase in activation in the areas of the DLPFC. This increase in activation pattern may be reflective of the effects of the exposure to the CR intervention.
rs10761482 in ANK3 gene showed a significant association with schizophrenia in a genome-wide association study (GWAS). Another marker rs10994336 in ANK3 with the risk of bipolar disorder (BD) which might have more genetic overlap with schizophrenia, had been reported in two meta-analyses of GWAS. In this study, we investigated the association between ANK3 polymorphisms and the susceptibility of schizophrenia in Chinese Han population.
Population-based (schizophrenia patients = 516 and controls = 400) and family based (trios of early onset schizophrenia= 81) study was performed through genotyping the most promising makers rs10761482, rs10994336, and two missenses rs3808942 and rs3808943 near promoter of ANK3. Particularly, we conducted an association analysis for the combined case-control and family samples.
Our population-based study replicated the association between rs10761482 (P = 0.0268 with C allele) and schizophrenia, and detected a novel association with rs10994336 (P = 4.0 × 10−4 with T allele). Haplotype analysis revealed the higher frequencies of C-T, and T-C (rs10761482–10994336) in the cases than controls (P = 0.0032 and P = 0.0012, respectively). In the family study, the C allele of rs10761482 (P = 0.0940) and T allele of rs10994336 (P = 0.0832) were slightly over-transmitted, and T-C was significantly associated with schizophrenia (P = 0.0304). The results from the combined samples analysis were consistent with independent analysis. rs10761482, rs10994336, C-T, and T-C were significantly associated with schizophrenia (P = 3.3 × 10−6∼3.9 × 10−5), whilst rs3808942 and rs3808943 did not reach normal significance.
Our data strongly support ANK3 gene is a schizophrenia susceptibility gene, and also provide further evidence for the shared susceptibility loci between schizophrenia and BD.
To evaluate the upper airway morphology changes associated with ageing in adult Chinese patients with obstructive sleep apnoea.
A total of 124 male patients diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea by overnight polysomnography, who underwent upper airway computed tomography, were enrolled. The linear dimensions, cross-sectional area and volume of the upper airway region and the surrounding bony frame were measured. The association between ageing and upper airway morphology was analysed.
Soft palate length, minimum cross-sectional area of the retroglossal region, lateral dimensions at the minimum cross-sectional area of the retropalatal and retroglossal regions, nasopharyngeal volume, and average cross-sectional area of the nasopharyngeal region were found to significantly increase with ageing in all patients, while the upper airway shape flattened with ageing. The volume of the retropalatal region increased with ageing among the patients with a body mass index of less than 24 kg/m2. The volume of parapharyngeal fat pad increased with ageing among patients with a body mass index greater than 28 kg/m2.
A number of dimensional, cross-sectional and volumetric parameters of the pharynx increased with age, indicating that non-anatomical factors may play a more important role in the pathogenesis of obstructive sleep apnoea in aged patients.
Combining different swine populations in genomic prediction can be an important tool, leading to an increased accuracy of genomic prediction using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chip data compared with within-population genomic. However, the expected higher accuracy of multi-population genomic prediction has not been realized. This may be due to an inconsistent linkage disequilibrium (LD) between SNPs and quantitative trait loci (QTL) across populations, and the weak genetic relationships across populations. In this study, we determined the impact of different genomic relationship matrices, SNP density and pre-selected variants on prediction accuracy using a combined Yorkshire pig population. Our objective was to provide useful strategies for improving the accuracy of genomic prediction within a combined population. Results showed that the accuracy of genomic best linear unbiased prediction (GBLUP) using imputed whole-genome sequencing (WGS) data in the combined population was always higher than that within populations. Furthermore, the use of imputed WGS data always resulted in a higher accuracy of GBLUP than the use of 80K chip data for the combined population. Additionally, the accuracy of GBLUP with a non-linear genomic relationship matrix was markedly increased (0.87% to 15.17% for 80K chip data, and 0.43% to 4.01% for imputed WGS data) compared with that obtained with a linear genomic relationship matrix, except for the prediction of XD population in the combined population using imputed WGS data. More importantly, the application of pre-selected variants based on fixation index (Fst) scores improved the accuracy of multi-population genomic prediction, especially for 80K chip data. For BLUP|GA (BLUP approach given the genetic architecture), the use of a linear method with an appropriate weight to build a weight-relatedness matrix led to a higher prediction accuracy compared with the use of only pre-selected SNPs for genomic evaluations, especially for the total number of piglets born. However, for the non-linear method, BLUP|GA showed only a small increase or even a decrease in prediction accuracy compared with the use of only pre-selected SNPs. Overall, the best genomic evaluation strategy for reproduction-related traits for a combined population was found to be GBLUP performed with a non-linear genomic relationship matrix using variants pre-selected from the 80K chip data based on Fst scores.
Pedophilia is a disorder where sexual preferences of adults are directed towards children. This disorder impacts society with 1–2 out of every 10 children being sexually approached by an adult, often resulting in prolonged negative psychological effects. Prior research reported structural and functional amygdala alterations in pedophilia. As the neurophenomenological model of sexual arousal suggests the importance of the amygdala in the emotional component, we focused on amygdala functional connectivity in pedophilia.
To investigate amygdala functional connectivity (FC) modulated by expectancy and salient stimuli in pedophilic patients.
Thirteen pedophilic patients and 13 matched healthy controls underwent a salience expectancy task in a 7T ultra high fMRI study. Subjects perceived pictures of naked adults and children. Half of the pictures were preceded by an expectancy cue. Participants were instructed to actively expect the picture depending on the cue. We conducted psychophysiological analysis (PPI) to examine amygdala FC changes in two amygdala sub-regions for child/adult stimuli during the expectancy period and the visual stimuli consummation period using as seed regions the basolateral (BLA) and central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA).
Healthy controls, relative to patients showed significant stronger left CeA to right post-central gyrus FC during expectancy of adult > child picture. For picture condition (adult > child picture) we found significant stronger left CeA to left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex FC in patients compared to healthy controls.
These findings add to the recent literature by indicating that amygdala dysfunctional connectivity is involved in development of deviant sexual behavior.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Deep-brain magnetic stimulation (DMS) is an effective therapy for various neuropsychiatric disorders including major depression disorder. The molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the impacts of DMS on the brain remain unclear. Studies have reported abnormalities in the white matter of depressive brains, suggesting the involvement of myelin and oligodendrocyte pathologies in the development of major depressive disorder. In this study, we use a cuprizone induced demyelination animal model to generate depressive like behaviours and white matter and oligodendrocyte damages. Meanwhile, we treated the animal with DMS 20 minutes daily during the cuprizone challenge or recovery period. Behavioural tests, including nesting, new objective recognition, working memory and depression-like behaviours were tested periodically. Histological staining and western blotting were used to examine the underlying mechanism of DMS. We found that DMS reverse cuprizone induced behavioural deficits in acute demyelination but not during the recovery period. DMS alleviated demyelination and inflammation induced by cuprizone. During the recovery period, DMS had no impacts on overall neural progenitor cell proliferation, but enhanced the maturation of oligodendrocyte. This data suggest that DMS may be a promising treatment option for improving white matter function in psychiatric disorders and neurological diseases in future.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Childhoods in urban or rural environments may differentially affect risk for neuropsychiatric disorders. Here, we leveraged on dramatic urbanization and rural-urban migration since the 1980s in China to explore the hypothesis that rural or urban childhoods may differentially influence memory processing and neural responses to neutral and aversive stimuli.
Explore the underlying mechanisms of childhood environment effect on brain function and neuropsychiatric risk.
We examined 420 adult subjects with similar current socioeconomic status and living in Beijing, China, but with differing rural (n = 227) or urban (n = 193) childhoods. In an episodic memory paradigm scanned in a 3 T GE MRI, subjects viewed blocks of neutral or aversive pictures in the encoding and retrieval sessions.
Episodic memory accuracy for neutral stimuli was less than for aversive stimuli (P < 0.001). However, subjects with rural childhoods apparently performed less accurately for memory of aversive but not neutral stimuli (P < 0.01). In subjects with rural childhoods, there was relatively increased engagement of bilateral striatum at encoding, increased engagement of bilateral hippocampus at retrieval of neutral and aversive stimuli, and increased engagement of amygdala at aversive retrieval (P < 0.05 FDR corrected, cluster size > 50).
Rural or urban childhoods appear associated with physiological and behavioural differences, particularly in the neural processing of aversive episodic memory at medial temporal and striatal brain regions. It remains to be explored the extent to which these effects relate to individual risk for neuropsychiatric or stress-related disorders.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is an open access telescope dedicated to studying the low-frequency (80–300 MHz) southern sky. Since beginning operations in mid-2013, the MWA has opened a new observational window in the southern hemisphere enabling many science areas. The driving science objectives of the original design were to observe 21 cm radiation from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR), explore the radio time domain, perform Galactic and extragalactic surveys, and monitor solar, heliospheric, and ionospheric phenomena. All together
programs recorded 20 000 h producing 146 papers to date. In 2016, the telescope underwent a major upgrade resulting in alternating compact and extended configurations. Other upgrades, including digital back-ends and a rapid-response triggering system, have been developed since the original array was commissioned. In this paper, we review the major results from the prior operation of the MWA and then discuss the new science paths enabled by the improved capabilities. We group these science opportunities by the four original science themes but also include ideas for directions outside these categories.
The small intestine is an important digestive organ and plays a vital role in the life of a pig. We tested the hypothesis that the length of the small intestine is related to growth performance and intestinal functions of piglets. A total of 60 piglets (Duroc × Landrace × Yorkshire), weaned at day 21, were fed an identical diet during a 28-day trial. At the end of the study, all piglets were sacrificed, dissected and grouped according to small intestine lengths (SILs), either short small intestine (SSI), middle small intestine (MSI) or long small intestine (LSI), respectively. Positive relationships between SIL and BW, average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI) and gain-to-feed ratios (G : F) were observed. Final BW, ADG, ADFI and G : F significantly increased (P < 0.05) in MSI and LSI piglets compared with SSI piglets. Short small intestine and MSI had greater jejunal mucosa sucrase and alkaline phosphatase activities (P < 0.05) than LSI piglets. The mRNA level of solute carrier family 2 member 2 (Slc2a2) in the jejunal mucosa of SSI piglets was the greatest. The MSI piglets had a greater (P < 0.05) ileal villus height than other piglets and greater (P < 0.05) villus height-to-crypt depth ratios than LSI piglets. However, the LSI piglets had a greater (P < 0.05) ileal crypt depth than SSI piglets. No significant differences in duodenal, jejunal, caecal and colonic morphologies were detected among the groups. Moreover, luminal acetate, propionate, butyrate and total short-chain fatty acid contents were greater (P < 0.05) in SSI and MSI piglets than those in LSI piglets. In addition, there was greater serum glucose concentration in MSI piglets than other piglets. Serum albumin concentration in SSI piglets was the lowest. In conclusion, these results indicate that SIL was significantly positively associated with growth performance, and in terms of intestinal morphology and mucosal digestive enzyme activity, the piglets with a medium length of small intestine have better digestion and absorption properties.
In this study, the thermal deformation of a machine tool structure due to the heat generated during operation was analyzed, and embedded cooling channels were applied to exchange the heat generated during the operation to achieve thermal error suppression. Then, the finite volume method was used to simulate the effect of cooling oil temperature on thermal deformation, and the effect of thermal suppression was experimentally studied using a feed system combined with a cooler to improve the positioning accuracy of the machine tool. In this study, the supply oil temperature in the structural cooling channels was found to significantly affect the position accuracy of the moving table and moving carrier. If the supply oil temperature in the cooling channels is consistent with the operational ambient temperature, the position accuracy of the moving table in the Y direction and the moving carrier in the X and Z directions has the best performance under different feed rates. From the thermal suppression experiments of the embedded cooling channels, the positioning accuracy of the feed system can be improved by approximately 25.5 % during the dynamic feeding process. Furthermore, when the hydrostatic guideway is cooled and dynamic feeding is conducted, positioning accuracy can be improved by up to 47.8 %. The machining accuracy can be improved by approximately 60 % on average by using the embedded cooling channels in this study. Therefore, thermal suppression by the cooling channels in this study can not only effectively improve the positioning accuracy but also enhance machining accuracy, proving that the method is effective for enhancing machine tool accuracy.
Small intestinal epithelium homeostasis involves four principal cell types: enterocytes, goblet, enteroendocrine and Paneth cells. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) has been shown to affect enterocyte differentiation. This study determined the effect of dietary EGF on goblet, enteroendocrine and Paneth cell differentiation in piglet small intestine and potential mechanisms. Forty-two weaned piglets were used in a 2 × 3 factorial design; the major factors were time post-weaning (days 7 and 14) and dietary treatment (0, 200 or 400 µg/kg EGF supplementation). The numbers of goblet and enteroendocrine cells were generally greater with the increase in time post-weaning. Moreover, the supplementation of 200 µg/kg EGF increased (P < 0.01) the number of goblet and enteroendocrine cells in villus and crypt of the piglet small intestine as compared with the control. Dietary supplementation with 200 µg/kg EGF enhanced (P < 0.05) abundances of differentiation-related genes atonal homologue 1, mucin 2 and intestinal trefoil factor 3 messenger RNA (mRNA) as compared with the control. Piglets fed 200 or 400 µg/kg EGF diet had increased (P < 0.05) abundances of growth factor-independent 1, SAM pointed domain containing ETS transcription factor and pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 mRNA, but decreased the abundance (P < 0.01) of E74 like ETS transcription factor 3 mRNA as compared with the control. Animals receiving 400 µg/kg EGF diets had enhanced (P < 0.05) abundances of neurogenin3 and SRY-box containing gene 9 mRNA as compared with the control. The mRNA abundance and protein expression of lysozyme, a marker of Paneth cell, were also increased (P < 0.05) in those animals. As compared with the control, dietary supplementation with 200 µg/kg EGF increased the abundance of EGF receptor mRNA and the ratio of non-phospho(p)-β-catenin/β-catenin (P < 0.05) in villus epithelial cells at days 7 and 14. This ratio in crypt epithelial cells was higher (P < 0.05) on the both 200 and 400 µg/kg EGF groups during the same period. Our results demonstrated that dietary EGF stimulated goblet, enteroendocrine and Paneth cell differentiation in piglets during the post-weaning period, partly through EGFR and Wnt/β-catenin signalling.
Bipolar disorder (BD) is a severe psychiatric disorder associated with a high risk of suicide. This meta-analysis examined the prevalence of suicide attempts (SA) in patients with BD and its associated factors.
A systematic literature search was conducted in the PubMed, PsycINFO, EMBASE and Web of Science databases from their inception to 11 June 2018. The prevalence of SA in BD was synthesised using the random-effects model.
The search identified 3451 articles of which 79 studies with 33 719 subjects met the study entry criteria. The lifetime prevalence of SA was 33.9% (95% CI 31.3–36.6%; I2 = 96.4%). Subgroup and meta-regression analyses revealed that the lifetime prevalence of SA was positively associated with female gender, BD-I, BD Not Otherwise Specified and rapid cycling BD subtypes, income level and geographic region.
This meta-analysis confirmed that SA is common in BD and identified a number of factors related to SA. Further efforts are necessary to facilitate the identification and prevention of SA in BD. Long-term use of mood stabilisers coupled with psycho-social interventions should be available to BD patients to reduce the risk of suicidal behaviour.
Exploring the composition and structure of the faecal microbial community improves the understanding of the role of the gut microbiota in the gastrointestinal function and the egg-laying performance of hens. Therefore, detection of hen–microbial interactions can explore a new breeding marker for the selection of egg production due to the important role of the gut microbiome in the host’s metabolism and health. Recently, the gut microbiota has been recognised as a regulator of host performance, which has led to investigations of the productive effects of changes in the faecal microbiome in various animals. In the present study, a metagenomics analysis was applied to characterise the composition and structural diversity of faecal microbial communities under two selections of egg-laying performance, high (H, n = 30) and low (L, n = 30), using 16S rRNA-based metagenomic association analysis. The most abundant bacterial compositions were estimated based on the operational classification units among samples and between the groups from metagenomic data sets. The results indicated that Firmicutes phylum has higher significant (P < 0.01) in the H group than in the L group. In addition, higher relative abundance phyla of Bacteroides and Fusobacteria were estimated in the H group than the L group, contrasting the phyla of Actinobacteria, Cyanobacteria and Proteobacteria were more relative abundance in the L group. The families (Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Acinetobacter, Flavobacteriaceae, Lachnoclostridum and Rhodococcus) were more abundant in the H group based on the comparison between the H and L groups. Meanwhile, three types of phyla (Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Cyanobacteria) and six families (Acinetobacter, Avibacterium, Clostridium, Corynebacterium, Helicobacter and Peptoclostridium) were more abundant in the L group (P < 0.01). Overall, the selection of genotypes has enriched a relationship between the gut microbiota and the egg-laying performance. These findings suggest that the faecal microbiomes of chickens with high egg-laying performance have more diverse activities than those of chickens with low egg-laying performance, which may be related to the metabolism and health of the host and egg production variation.
Grape seed procyanidins (GSPs), widely known for their beneficial health properties, fail to bring about the expected improvement in piglets’ growth performance. The effects of dietary supplementation with GSPs on nutrient utilisation may be a critical influencing factor. Hence, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of dietary supplementation with GSPs on nutrient utilisation and gut function in weaned piglets. One hundred and twenty crossbred piglets were allocated randomly to four treatment groups, with three replicate pens per treatment and 10 piglets per pen. Each group was given one of the four dietary treatments: the basal diet (control group) or the basal diet with the addition of 50-, 100- or 150-mg/kg GSPs. The trial lasted 28 days. Faeces were collected from d 12 to 14 and from d 26 to 28 for measuring the coefficient of total tract apparent digestibility (CTTAD) of the nutrients. Blood samples were collected on d 14 and 28 for detecting the blood biochemical parameters. Two piglets per pen were slaughtered to collect the pancreas and intestinal digesta for evaluating the digestive enzyme activity and the coefficient of ileal apparent digestibility (CIAD) of the nutrients. On d 14 and 28, supplementation with 150-mg/kg GSPs significantly decreased the CTTAD of DM and CP in piglets. On d 14, GSPs supplementation at a concentration of 150 mg/kg led to a remarkable decrease in the CIAD of CP and gross energy (GE). On d 28, GSPs supplementation at a dose of 150 mg/kg generated a marked decline in the CIAD of DM, GE, CP and ether extract. Grape seed procyanidins supplementation at concentrations of 100 or 150 mg/kg inhibited the activities of lipase and amylase. In contrast, the jejunum mucosa maltase and sucrase activities increased due to the inclusion of GSPs at a concentration of 100 mg/kg in the piglet diet. Compared with the levels of the control group, the serum glucose and total protein levels were enhanced significantly by supplementation with GSPs at 100 mg/kg and reduced dramatically at 150 mg/kg. The serum diamine oxidase activity and endotoxin levels were decreased by GSPs supplementation in piglet diets. In conclusion, higher concentrations of GSPs in weaned piglet diets attenuated nutrient digestion and inhibited digestive enzyme activity; however, suitable concentrations of GSPs could promote brush-border enzyme activity, enhance serum glucose and total protein concentrations and decrease epithelial permeability.
Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
Quantifying reasonable crop yield gaps and determining potential regions for yield improvement can facilitate regional plant structure adjustment and promote crop production. The current study attempted to evaluate the yield gap in a region at multi-scales through model simulation and farmer investigation. Taking the winter wheat yield gap in the Huang-Huai-Hai farming region (HFR) for the case study, 241 farmers’ fields in four typical high-yield demonstration areas were surveyed to determine the yield limitation index and attainable yield. In addition, the theoretical and realizable yield gap of winter wheat in 386 counties of the HFR was assessed. Results showed that the average field yield of the demonstration plots was 8282 kg/ha, accounting for 0.72 of the potential yield, which represented the highest production in the region. The HFR consists of seven sub-regions designated 2.1–2.7: the largest attainable yield gap existed in the 2.6 sub-region, in the southwest of the HFR, while the smallest was in the 2.2 sub-region, in the northwest of the HFR. With a high irrigated area rate, the yield gap in the 2.2 sub-region could hardly be reduced by increasing irrigation, while a lack of irrigation remained an important limiting factor for narrowing the yield gap in 2.3 sub-region, in the middle of the HFR. Therefore, a multi-scale yield gap evaluation framework integrated with typical field survey and crop model analysis could provide valuable information for narrowing the yield gap.