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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.
A material’s properties are derived from its constituent material composition and its structural hierarchy across length scales down to the nanometer level. At submicron length scales, materials exhibit unique size-affected mechanical properties such as enhanced strength, ductility, and flaw tolerance, but these are generally lost in bulk materials. Emerging fabrication methods have enabled the creation of materials with controllable architectures down to the nanoscale. These micro- and nanoarchitected materials utilize both resilient architectures and size-affected constituent materials to achieve unprecedented mechanical properties such as ultrahigh strength at low density, recoverability after large applied strains in intrinsically brittle materials, and metamaterial properties such as chirality and negative static compressibility. In this article, we describe the governing principles behind these materials and outline recent progress in the field. We unravel the details of the deformation and failure processes to facilitate a fundamental understanding of effective materials properties and provide a guideline for the design of the next generation of nanoarchitected materials.
Food insecurity, or self-reports of inadequate food access due to limited financial resources, remains prevalent among people living with HIV (PLHIV). We examined the impact of food insecurity on combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) adherence within an integrated care programme that provides services to PLHIV, including two meals per day.
Adjusted OR (aOR) were estimated by generalized estimating equations, quantifying the relationship between food insecurity (exposure) and cART adherence (outcome) with multivariable logistic regression.
We drew on survey data collected between February 2014 and March 2016 from the Dr. Peter Centre Study based in Vancouver, Canada.
The study included 116 PLHIV at baseline, with ninety-nine participants completing a 12-month follow-up interview. The median (quartile 1–quartile 3) age was 46 (39–52) years at baseline and 87 % (n 101) were biologically male at birth.
At baseline, 74 % (n 86) of participants were food insecure (≥2 affirmative responses on Health Canada’s Household Food Security Survey Module) and 67 % (n 78) were adherent to cART ≥95 % of the time. In the adjusted regression analysis, food insecurity was associated with suboptimal cART adherence (aOR = 0·47, 95 % CI 0·24, 0·93).
While food provision may reduce some health-related harms, there remains a relationship between this prevalent experience and suboptimal cART adherence in this integrated care programme. Future studies that elucidate strategies to mitigate food insecurity and its effects on cART adherence among PLHIV in this setting and in other similar environments are necessary.
Introduction: Recently, volumetric absorptive microsampling (VAMS) has been used for accurate sampling of a fixed peripheral blood volume (10 µL) on a volumetric swab, and long-term sample storage. The mPlex-Flu assay is a novel, high-throughput assay that simultaneously measures the concentration of antibodies against the hemagglutinin (HA) proteins from multiple influenza virus strains with ≤5 µL of serum. Here we describe combining these two methods to measure multidimensional anti-influenza IgG activity in whole blood samples collected by a finger stick and VAMS, with correction for serum volume based on simultaneous hemoglobin measurement. Methods: We compared capillary blood samples obtained from a finger stick using a VAMS device with serum samples collected by traditional phlebotomy from 20 subjects, with the influenza antibody profiles measured by the mPlex-Flu assay. Results: We found that results with the two sampling methods were highly correlated within subjects and across all influenza strains (mean R2 = 0.9470). Adjustment for serum volume, based on hemaglobin measurement, was used to estimate serum volume of samples and improved the accuracy. IgG measurements were stable over 3 weeks when VAMS samples were stored at room temperature or transported using a variety of shipping methods. Additionally, when volunteers performed finger-stick VAMS at-home by themselves, the comparison results of anti-HA antibody concentrations were highly consistent with sampling performed by study personnel on-site (R2 = 0.9496). Conclusions: This novel approach can provide a simple, accurate, and low-cost means for monitoring the IgG anti-influenza HA antibody responses in large population studies and clinical trials.
We present the second data release (DR2) of the SkyMapper Southern Survey, a hemispheric survey carried out with the SkyMapper Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia, using six optical filters: u, v, g, r, i, z. DR2 is the first release to go beyond the
) limit of the Shallow Survey released in the first data release (DR1), and includes portions of the sky at full survey depth that reach
mag in g and r filters. The DR2 photometry has a precision as measured by internal reproducibility of 1% in u and v, and 0.7% in griz. More than 21 000
have data in some filters (at either Shallow or Main Survey depth) and over 7 000
have deep Main Survey coverage in all six filters. Finally, about 18 000
have Main Survey data in i and z filters, albeit not yet at full depth. The release contains over 120 000 images, as well as catalogues with over 500 million unique astrophysical objects and nearly 5 billion individual detections. It also contains cross-matches with a range of external catalogues such as Gaia DR2, Pan-STARRS1 DR1, GALEX GUVcat, 2MASS, and AllWISE, as well as spectroscopic surveys such as 2MRS, GALAH, 6dFGS, and 2dFLenS.
In recent years, the discovery of massive quasars at
has provided a striking challenge to our understanding of the origin and growth of supermassive black holes in the early Universe. Mounting observational and theoretical evidence indicates the viability of massive seeds, formed by the collapse of supermassive stars, as a progenitor model for such early, massive accreting black holes. Although considerable progress has been made in our theoretical understanding, many questions remain regarding how (and how often) such objects may form, how they live and die, and how next generation observatories may yield new insight into the origin of these primordial titans. This review focusses on our present understanding of this remarkable formation scenario, based on the discussions held at the Monash Prato Centre from November 20 to 24, 2017, during the workshop ‘Titans of the Early Universe: The Origin of the First Supermassive Black Holes’.
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.
Project management expertise is employed across many professional sectors, including clinical research organizations, to ensure that efforts undertaken by the organization are completed on time and according to specifications and are capable of achieving the needed impact. Increasingly, project leaders (PLs) who possess this expertise are being employed in academic settings to support clinical and preclinical translational research team science. Duke University’s clinical and translational science enterprise has been an early adopter of project management to support clinical and preclinical programs. We review the history and evolution of project management and the PL role at Duke, examine case studies that illustrate their growing value to our academic research environment, and address challenges and solutions to employing project management in academia. Furthermore, we describe the critical role project leadership plays in accelerating and increasing the success of translational team science and team approaches frequently required for systems biology and “big data” scientific studies. Finally, we discuss perspectives from Duke project leadership professionals regarding the training needs and requirements for PLs working in academic clinical and translational science research settings.
The search for life in the Universe is a fundamental problem of astrobiology and modern science. The current progress in the detection of terrestrial-type exoplanets has opened a new avenue in the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and in the search for biosignatures of life with the upcoming ground-based and space missions. To specify the conditions favourable for the origin, development and sustainment of life as we know it in other worlds, we need to understand the nature of global (astrospheric), and local (atmospheric and surface) environments of exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) around G-K-M dwarf stars including our young Sun. Global environment is formed by propagated disturbances from the planet-hosting stars in the form of stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles and winds collectively known as astrospheric space weather. Its characterization will help in understanding how an exoplanetary ecosystem interacts with its host star, as well as in the specification of the physical, chemical and biochemical conditions that can create favourable and/or detrimental conditions for planetary climate and habitability along with evolution of planetary internal dynamics over geological timescales. A key linkage of (astro)physical, chemical and geological processes can only be understood in the framework of interdisciplinary studies with the incorporation of progress in heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and Earth sciences. The assessment of the impacts of host stars on the climate and habitability of terrestrial (exo)planets will significantly expand the current definition of the HZ to the biogenic zone and provide new observational strategies for searching for signatures of life. The major goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status and recent progress in this interdisciplinary field in light of presentations and discussions during the NASA Nexus for Exoplanetary System Science funded workshop ‘Exoplanetary Space Weather, Climate and Habitability’ and to provide a new roadmap for the future development of the emerging field of exoplanetary science and astrobiology.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
We generalise a result of Chern [‘A curious identity and its applications to partitions with bounded part differences’, New Zealand J. Math.47 (2017), 23–26] on distinct partitions with bounded difference between largest and smallest parts. The generalisation is proved both analytically and bijectively.
Previous research showed that automatic emotion regulation is associated with activation of subcortical areas and subsequent feedforward processes to cortical areas. In contrast, cognitive awareness of emotions is mediated by negative feedback from cortical to subcortical areas. Pregenual anterior cingulate cortex (pgACC) is essential in the modulation of both affect and alexithymia. We considered the interplay between these two mechanisms in the pgACC and their relationship with alexithymia.
In 68 healthy participants (30 women, age = 26.15 ± 4.22) we tested associations of emotion processing and alexithymia with excitation/inhibition (E/I) balance represented as glutamate (Glu)/GABA in the pgACC measured via magnetic resonance spectroscopy in 7 T.
Alexithymia was positively correlated with the Glu/GABA ratio (N = 41, p = 0.0393). Further, cognitive self-awareness showed an association with Glu/GABA (N = 52, p = 0.003), which was driven by a correlation with GABA. In contrast, emotion regulation was only correlated with glutamate levels in the pgACC (N = 49, p = 0.008).
Our results corroborate the importance of the pgACC as a mediating region of alexithymia, reflected in an altered E/I balance. Furthermore, we could specify that this altered balance is linked to a GABA-related modulation of cognitive self-awareness of emotions.
We apply two methods to estimate the 21-cm bispectrum from data taken within the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) project of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). Using data acquired with the Phase II compact array allows a direct bispectrum estimate to be undertaken on the multiple redundantly spaced triangles of antenna tiles, as well as an estimate based on data gridded to the uv-plane. The direct and gridded bispectrum estimators are applied to 21 h of high-band (167–197 MHz; z = 6.2–7.5) data from the 2016 and 2017 observing seasons. Analytic predictions for the bispectrum bias and variance for point-source foregrounds are derived. We compare the output of these approaches, the foreground contribution to the signal, and future prospects for measuring the bispectra with redundant and non-redundant arrays. We find that some triangle configurations yield bispectrum estimates that are consistent with the expected noise level after 10 h, while equilateral configurations are strongly foreground-dominated. Careful choice of triangle configurations may be made to reduce foreground bias that hinders power spectrum estimators, and the 21-cm bispectrum may be accessible in less time than the 21-cm power spectrum for some wave modes, with detections in hundreds of hours.
At GE Research, we are combining “physics” with artificial intelligence and machine learning to advance manufacturing design, processing, and inspection, turning innovative technologies into real products and solutions across our industrial portfolio. This article provides a snapshot of how this physical plus digital transformation is evolving at GE.
To describe the frequency of antibiotic prescriptions in patients with known viral respiratory infections (VRIs) diagnosed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 3 emergency departments (EDs) and to identify patient characteristics that influence the prescribing of antibiotics by ED physicians despite PCR confirmation of viral cause.
Retrospective, observational analysis of patients with PCR-diagnosed VRI discharged from 3 acute-care hospital EDs within 1 health system.
In total, 323 patients were discharged from the ED with a VRI diagnosis, of whom 68 were prescribed antibiotics (21.1%). These patients were older (median, 59.5 vs 43 years; P = .04), experienced symptoms longer (median, 4 vs 2 days; P = .002), were more likely to have received antibiotics in the preceding 7 days (27.9% vs 9.8%; P < .001), and had higher proportions of abnormal chest X-rays (64.5% vs 28.4%; P < .001). Patients were more likely to receive antibiotics for a diagnosis of pneumonia (39.7% vs 1.6%; P < .001) or otitis media (7.4% vs 0.4%; P = .002), and were less likely with diagnosis of upper respiratory infection (2.9% vs 13.7%; P = .02) or influenza (20.6% vs 44.3%; P < .001).
Despite a diagnosis of VRI, one-fifth of ED patients were prescribed antibiotics. Patient characteristics including age, duration of symptoms, abnormal chest X-rays, and specific diagnosis may increase provider concern for concurrent bacterial infections. Opportunities exist for antimicrobial stewardship strategies to incorporate rapid diagnostics in promoting judicious antibiotic usage in the ED.