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Optimizing the dietary calcium (Ca) level is essential to maximize the eggshell quality, egg production and bone formation in poultry. This study aimed to establish the Ca requirements of egg-type duck breeders from 23 to 57 weeks of age on egg production, eggshell, incubation, tibial, plasma and ovary-related indices, as well as the expression of matrix protein-related genes. Totally, 450 Longyan duck breeders aged 21 weeks of age were allotted randomly into five treatments, each with six replicates of 15 individually caged birds. The data collection started from 23 weeks of age and continued over the following 35 weeks. The five groups corresponded to five dietary treatments containing either 2.8%, 3.2%, 3.6%, 4.0% or 4.4% Ca. The tested dietary Ca levels increased (linear, P <0.01) egg production and egg mass, and linearly improved (P <0.01) the feed conversion ratio (FCR). Increasing the dietary Ca levels from 2.8% to 4.4% increased (P <0.01) the eggshell thickness and eggshell content. The tested Ca levels showed a quadratic effect on eggshell thickness and ovarian weight (P <0.01); the highest values were obtained with the Ca levels 4.0% and 3.6%, respectively. Dietary Ca levels affected the small yellow follicles (SYF) number and SYF weight/ovarian weight, and the linear response (P <0.01) was significant vis-à-vis SYF number. In addition, dietary Ca levels increased (P <0.05) the tibial dry weight, breaking strength, mineral density and ash content. Plasma and tibial phosphorus concentration exhibited a quadratic (P <0.01) response to dietary Ca levels. Plasma calcitonin concentration linearly (P <0.01) increased as dietary Ca levels increased. The relative expression of carbonic anhydrase 2 in the uterus rose (P <0.01) with the increment of dietary Ca levels, and the highest value was obtained with 3.2% Ca. In conclusion, Longyan duck breeders fed a diet with 4.0% Ca had superior eggshell and tibial quality, while those fed a diet with 3.6% Ca had the heaviest ovarian weights. The regression model indicated that the dietary Ca levels 3.86%, 3.48% and 4.00% are optimal levels to obtain maximum eggshell thickness, ovarian weight and tibial mineral density, respectively.
Previous studies in schizophrenia revealed abnormalities in the cortico-cerebellar-thalamo-cortical circuit (CCTCC) pathway, suggesting the necessity for defining thalamic subdivisions in understanding alterations of brain connectivity.
To parcellate the thalamus into several subdivisions using a data-driven method, and to evaluate the role of each subdivision in the alterations of CCTCC functional connectivity in patients with schizophrenia.
There were 54 patients with schizophrenia and 42 healthy controls included in this study. First, the thalamic structural and functional connections computed, based on diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI, white matter tractography) and resting-state functional MRI, were clustered to parcellate thalamus. Next, functional connectivity of each thalamus subdivision was investigated, and the alterations in thalamic functional connectivity for patients with schizophrenia were inspected.
Based on the data-driven parcellation method, six thalamic subdivisions were defined. Loss of connectivity was observed between several thalamic subdivisions (superior-anterior, ventromedial and dorsolateral part of the thalamus) and the sensorimotor system, anterior cingulate cortex and cerebellum in patients with schizophrenia. A gradual pattern of dysconnectivity was observed across the thalamic subdivisions. Additionally, the altered connectivity negatively correlated with symptom scores and duration of illness in individuals with schizophrenia.
The findings of the study revealed a wide range of thalamic functional dysconnectivity in the CCTCC pathway, increasing our understanding of the relationship between the CCTCC pathway and symptoms associated with schizophrenia, and further indicating a potential alteration pattern in the thalamic nuclei in people with schizophrenia.
A new generation of high power laser facilities will provide laser pulses with extremely high powers of 10 petawatt (PW) and even 100 PW, capable of reaching intensities of
in the laser focus. These ultra-high intensities are nevertheless lower than the Schwinger intensity
at which the theory of quantum electrodynamics (QED) predicts that a large part of the energy of the laser photons will be transformed to hard Gamma-ray photons and even to matter, via electron–positron pair production. To enable the investigation of this physics at the intensities achievable with the next generation of high power laser facilities, an approach involving the interaction of two colliding PW laser pulses is being adopted. Theoretical simulations predict strong QED effects with colliding laser pulses of
focused to intensities
A stable reference gene is a key prerequisite for accurate assessment of gene expression. At present, the real-time reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction has been widely used in the analysis of gene expression in a variety of organisms. Neoseiulus barkeri Hughes (Acari: Phytoseiidae) is a major predator of mites on many important economically crops. Until now, however, there are no reports evaluating the stability of reference genes in this species. In view of this, we used GeNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper, and RefFinder software tools to evaluate the expression stability of 11 candidate reference genes in developmental stages and under various abiotic stresses. According to our results, β-ACT and Hsp40 were the top two stable reference genes in developmental stages. The Hsp60 and Hsp90 were the most stable reference genes in various acaricides stress. For alterations in temperature, Hsp40 and α-TUB were the most suitable reference genes. About UV stress, EF1α and α-TUB were the best choice, and for the different prey stress, β-ACT and α-TUB were best suited. In normal conditions, the β-ACT and α-TUB were the two of the highest stable reference genes to respond to all kinds of stresses. The current study provided a valuable foundation for the further analysis of gene expression in N. barkeri.
Dietary supplementation with the organic chromium (Cr) has been shown to positively affect the immune function of poultry. However, to our knowledge, no experiment has been done to directly compare the impacts of Cr chloride and chromium picolinate (CrPic) on the immune responses of broilers vaccinated with Avian Influenza (AI) virus vaccine. Therefore, the present experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of supplemental Cr sources (Cr chloride and CrPic) and levels on the growth performance and immune responses of broilers vaccinated with AI virus vaccine so as to provide an effective nutritional strategy for improving immune function of broilers. A total of 432 1-day (d)-old male broiler chicks were used in a 1 plus 2×4 design. Chickens were given either a diet without Cr supplementation (control) or diets supplemented with 0.4, 0.8, 1.6, or 3.2 mg Cr/kg as either Cr chloride or CrPic for 42 d. Compared to the control, dietary Cr supplementation had no effect (P>0.05) on average daily gain, average daily feed intake and gain : feed of broilers during the starter and grower phases, but increased (P<0.05) the relative weights of bursa of fabricius on d 21 and thymus, spleen, or bursa of fabricius on d 42, serum antibody titers against AI virus on d 21, 28, 35 and 42, blood T-lymphocyte transformation rate on d 28 and 42, blood T-lymphocyte percentage on d 42, and serum interleukin-2 contents on d 28. Broilers fed the diets supplemented with the inorganic Cr chloride had higher (P<0.05) weights of thymus, spleen and bursa of fabricius than those fed the diets supplemented with the CrPic on d 42. In addition, broilers fed the diets supplemented with the CrPic had higher (P<0.05) antibody titers against AI virus than those fed the diets supplemented with the inorganic Cr chloride on d 21 and 35. These results indicate that dietary Cr supplementation improved immune responses of broilers vaccinated with AI virus, and the inorganic Cr chloride was more effective than the CrPic in increasing the relative weights of lymphoid organs, however, the CrPic was more effective than the inorganic Cr chloride in enhancing the serum antibody titer against AI virus.
Keratin-associated proteins (KAPs) are constituents of wool and hair fibres and are believed to play an important role in determining the characteristics of the fibres. In the current study, a polymerase chain reaction-single stranded conformational polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) approach was used to screen for variation in the ovine KAP15-1 gene (KRTAP15-1). Four PCR-SSCP banding patterns, representing four different variants (named A to D), were detected. Four single nucleotide polymorphisms were found within the coding region and three of these were non-synonymous. The effect of this genetic variation on wool traits was investigated in 396 Merino × Southdown-cross sheep. Of the three variants found in these sheep (A, B and C), the presence of B was found to be associated with decreased wool yield, while C was associated with increased wool yield and decreased fibre diameter standard deviation. Sheep of genotype AC had a higher wool yield than those of genotype AA or AB.
Curcumin has been attributed with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial activities, and has shown highly protective effects against enteropathogenic bacteria and mycotoxins. Ochratoxin A (OTA) is one of the major intestinal pathogenic mycotoxins. The possible effect of curcumin on the alleviation of enterotoxicity induced by OTA is unknown. The effects of dietary curcumin supplementation on OTA-induced oxidative stress, intestinal barrier and mitochondrial dysfunctions were examined in young ducks. A total of 540 mixed-sex 1-day-old White Pekin ducklings with initial BW (43.4±0.1 g) were randomly assigned into controls (fed only the basal diet), a group fed an OTA-contaminated diet (2 mg/kg feed), and a group fed the same OTA-contaminated feed plus 400 mg/kg of curcumin. Each treatment consisted of six replicates, each containing 30 ducklings and treatment lasted for 21 days. There was a significant decrease in average daily gain (ADG) and increased feed : gain caused by OTA (P<0.05); curcumin co-treatment prevented the decrease in BW and ADG compared with the OTA group (P<0.05). Histopathological and ultrastructural examination showed clear signs of enterotoxicity caused by OTA, but these changes were largely prevented by curcumin supplementation. Curcumin decreased the concentrations of interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α and malondialdehyde, and increased the activity of glutathione peroxidase induced by OTA in the jejunal mucosa of ducks (P<0.05). Additionally, curcumin increased jejunal mucosa occludin and tight junction protein 1 mRNA and protein levels, and decreased those of ρ-associated protein kinase 1 (P<0.05). Notably, curcumin inhibited the increased expression of apoptosis-related genes, and downregulated mitochondrial transcription factors A, B1 and B2 caused by OTA without any effects on RNA polymerase mitochondrial (P<0.05). These results indicated that curcumin could protect ducks from OTA-induced impairment of intestinal barrier function and mitochondrial integrity.
In this paper, we explored the role of knowledge sharing on team creativity through absorptive capacity and knowledge integration, and tested the condition under which knowledge sharing is positively related to absorptive capacity and knowledge integration. We tested our hypotheses with a sample of 86 knowledge worker teams involving 381 employees and employers in China. Results demonstrate that knowledge sharing was positively related to team creativity, fully mediated by both absorptive capacity and knowledge integration. In addition, cognitive team diversity played a moderating role in the relationship between knowledge sharing and absorptive capacity, as well as in the relationship between knowledge sharing and knowledge integration. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings on knowledge management and team creativity are discussed.
An anisotropic-ice flowline model is applied to a flowline through Swiss Camp (69.57° N, 49.28° W), West Greenland, to estimate the dates of internal layers detected by radio-echo sounding measurements. The effect of an anisotropic-ice fabric on ice flow is incorporated into the steady-state flowline model. The stress–strain-rate relationship for anisotropic ice is characterized by an enhancement factor based on the laboratory observations of ice deformation under combined compression and shear stresses. By using present-day data of accumulation rate, surface temperature, surface elevation and ice thickness along the flowline as model inputs, a very close agreement is found between the isochrones generated from the model and the observed internal layers with confirmed dates. The results indicate that this part of the Greenland ice sheet is primarily in steady state.
This study aimed to evaluate the acaricidal activity of lettuce (Lactuca sativa) extracts against carmine spider mites (Tetranychus cinnabarinus Boisd.) and isolate the acaricidal components. Acaricidal activities of lettuce extracts isolated from different parts (the leaf, root and seed) using various solvents (petroleum ether, acetone and methanol) were evaluated with slide-dip bioassay and relatively high median lethal concentration (LC50) values were detected. Acetone extracts of lettuce leaves harvested in July and September were fractionated and isolated with silica gel and thin-layer chromatography. Consequently, acetone extracts of lettuce leaves harvested in July exhibited higher acaricidal activity than those harvested in September, with an LC50 value of 0.268 mg ml−1 at 72 h post-treatment. A total of 27 fractions were obtained from the acetone extract of lettuce leaves harvested in July, and mite mortalities with the 11th and 12th fractions were higher than those with the other 25 fractions (LC50: 0.751 and 1.258 mg ml−1 at 48 h post-treatment, respectively). Subsequently, active acaricidal components of the 11th fraction were identified by infrared, nuclear magnetic resonance and liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. Five components were isolated from the 11th fraction, with components 11-a and 11-b showing relatively high acaricidal activities (LC50: 0.288 and 0.114 mg ml−1 at 48 h post-treatment, respectively). Component 11-a was identified as β-sitosterol. In conclusion, acetone extracts of lettuce leaves harvested in July might be used as a novel phytogenic acaricide to control mites.
Neoseiulus barkeri (HUGHES) is the natural enemy of spider mites, whiteflies and thrips. Screening for chemically-resistant predatory mites is a practical way to balance the contradiction between the pesticide using and biological control. In this study, the number of eggs laid by fenpropathrin-susceptible and resistant strains of N. barkeri was compared. Additionally, we cloned three N. barkeri vitellogenin (Vg) genes and used quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction to quantify Vg expression in susceptible and resistant strains. The total number of eggs significantly increased in the fenpropathrin-resistant strain. The full-length cDNA cloning of three N. barkeri Vg genes (NbVg1, NbVg2 and NbVg3) revealed that the open reading frames of NbVg1, NbVg2 and NbVg3 were 5571, 5532 and 4728 bp, encoding 1856, 1843 and 1575 amino acids, respectively. The three N. barkeri Vg possessed the Vitellogenin-N domain (or lipoprotein N-terminal domain (LPD_N)), von Willebrand factor type D domain (VWD) and the domain with unknown function 1943 (DUF1943). The NbVg1 and NbVg2 expression levels were significantly higher in the resistant strain than in the susceptible strain, while the NbVg3 expression level was lower in the resistant strain. Thus, we speculate that the increased number of eggs laid by the fenpropathrin-resistant strain of N. barkeri may be a consequence of changes in Vg gene expression.
The role of the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii in the pathogenesis of liver disease has recently gained much interest. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors associated with T. gondii infection in patients with liver disease from three cities in Shandong and Henan provinces, China. A case–control study was conducted from December 2014 to November 2015 and included 1142 patients with liver disease and 1142 healthy controls. Serum samples were collected from all individuals and were examined with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the presence of anti-T. gondii IgG and IgM antibodies. Information on the demographics, clinical, and lifestyle characteristics of the participants was collected from the medical records and by the use of a questionnaire. The prevalence of anti-T. gondii IgG was 19·7% in patients with liver disease compared with 12·17% in the controls. Only 13 patients had anti-T. gondii IgM antibodies compared with 12 control individuals (1·14% vs. 1·05%, respectively). The highest seroprevalence was detected in patients with liver cancer (22·13%), followed by hepatitis patients (20·86%), liver cirrhosis patients (20·42%), and steatosis patients (20%). Multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that consumption of raw meat (odds ratio (OR) = 1·32; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·01–1·71; P = 0·03) and source of drinking water from wells (OR = 1·56; 95% CI 1·08–2·27; P = 0·01) were independent risk factors for T. gondii infection in liver disease patients. These findings indicate that T. gondii infection is more likely to be present in patients with liver disease. Therefore, efforts should be directed toward health education of populations at high risk of T. gondii infection and measures should be taken to protect vulnerable patients with liver disease.
Liu et al. (1995) and Luo, Liu & Barlow (2001) determined the CNONe abundances in NGC 7009 using optical recombination lines (ORLs) and found that they are all approximately a factor of five higher than the corresponding values derived from collisionally excited lines (CELs). We have obtained new deep high resolution long-slit spectra of NGC 7009. The data have been used to map the electron temperature, density and element abundances across the nebula, using both CELs and ORLs. While the electron temperature derived from the [O III] forbidden line ratio, Te([O III]), is found to be largely constant, that derived from Balmer jump of H I recombination spectrum, Te(BJ), shows large amplitude complicated variations. The ratios of the heavy element abundances derived from ORLs to those deduced from CELs are found to be correlated with the difference between the difference between Te([O III]) and Te(BJ) – a relation previously known to exist from analyses of the integration spectra of individual nebulae (Liu et al. 2001).
Extinction toward NGC 7027 has been extensively studied. Seaton (1979) found the extinction across the nebula is variable and presented a two-component model to explain the radio and infrared observations. Middlemass (1990) presented a wedge-shaped extinction model, assuming the extinction increases linearly across the surface of the nebula. Walton et al. (1988) obtained an extinction map and found a mean extinction of EB-V = 1.02, and a lower extinction of EB-V = 0.8 towards the central star (CS). Based on high-resolution imaging, Robberto et al. (1993) and Wolff et al. (2000) obtained higher extinction of EB-V = 1.07 and 1.10 towards the CS, respectively.
The president thanks those members contributing material to this report. The volume of the material necessitated some editing, but no substantive omissions occurred. Whenever available, AAA numbers are used in lieu of complete titles of publications to help conserve space.
IAU Symposium No. 109 Astrometric Techniques, was held in Gainesville, Florida in January 1984. Although the Proceedings of that meeting are not now available (January 1935), ccmnission members and other interested parties are urged to secure access to that voline when it appears since so many facets of the commission’s work are addressed therein.
It is imperative to evaluate precise nutrient requirements of animals in order to optimize productivity and minimize feed cost and nutrient excretions. The current non-phytate phosphorus (NPP) recommendation for broilers is based on the papers published 30 years ago. However, today’s commercial birds are quite different from those before 30 years. Therefore, the present experiment was conducted with growing male broiler chickens to evaluate an optimal dietary NPP level of broiler chickens fed a conventional corn–soybean meal diet from 4 to 6 weeks of age. The 1-day-old chicks were fed corn–soybean meal diet containing 0.39% NPP from 1 to 3 weeks of age. At 22 days of age, 360 birds were selected and randomly allotted by BW to one of 10 dietary treatments with six replicate cages of six birds per cage for each treatment. Birds were fed the P-unsupplemented corn–soybean meal basal diet and the basal diet supplemented with inorganic P as CaHPO4·H2O ranging from 0.00% to 0.45% with 0.05% increment from 4 to 6 weeks of age. The dietary NPP levels were 0.09%, 0.14%, 0.20%, 0.24%, 0.30%, 0.34%, 0.38%, 0.45%, 0.49% and 0.54%, respectively, and the dietary Ca level was fixed at 0.90% for all treatments. The results showed that average daily gain, serum inorganic P concentration, tibia bone strength, tibia ash percentage and P percentage, tibia bone mineral content (BMC) and density (BMD), middle toe ash percentage and P percentage, middle toe BMC, total body BMC and BMD were affected (P<0.0001) by dietary NPP level, and increased linearly (P<0.0001) and quadratically (P<0.003) as dietary NPP levels increased. Optimal dietary NPP levels estimated based on fitted broken-line models (P<0.0001) of the above indices are 0.21%, 0.29%, 0.29%, 0.29%, 0.29%, 0.31%, 0.29%, 0.30%, 0.27%, 0.29% and 0.28%, respectively. It is suggested that the total body BMC and BMD, and middle toe ash P and BMC might be new, sensitive and non-invasive criteria to evaluate the dietary NPP requirements of broilers. The optimal dietary NPP level would be 0.31% for broiler chickens fed a conventional corn–soybean meal diet from 4 to 6 weeks of age.