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Chinese sturgeon (Acipenser sinensis) is an endangered species, listed as a Grade I protected animal in China. The females rarely successfully develop their gonads from stage II to III in captivity, which handicaps the propagation of cultured Chinese sturgeon. The current study aimed to understand the effects of dietary lipid level on the ovarian development and the related regulation mechanism in female Chinese sturgeon. A 24-month feeding trial was conducted with 10-year-old Chinese sturgeons with ovaries at the developmental stage II, with three experimental diets containing 10, 14 and 18% lipids. Ovary, muscle and serum samples were collected at four time-points (6, 12, 18 and 24 months) for further analyses. Serum metabolomics and ovary transcriptomics analyses were conducted at the 18 months. Results showed that only the 18% lipid diet promoted ovary development to the stage IV. Oocytes at stage II in this group also exhibited higher diameter and more lipid droplets. Serum triglyceride content in the 18% group was significantly higher than in groups 10 and 14% (both at 12 and 18 months). Estradiol content in the group 14% was significantly higher than in 10 and 18% groups, except at 24 months. Metabolomic and transcriptomic results indirectly indicated that 14% of dietary lipids benefited steroid hormone synthesis, while 18% lipid facilitated arachidonic acid metabolism, cholesterol biosynthesis and vitellogenesis, although serum cholesterol content did not vary with the dietary lipid level. In conclusion, 18% dietary lipid is the optimal level for improving gonad development of female Chinese sturgeon.
Radiocarbon (14C) has become a unique and powerful tracer in source apportionment of atmospheric carbonaceous particles. In this study, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit (APEC) held in Beijing in 2014 was used as a demonstration to research the source apportionment of atmosphere PM2.5. We used a 200 kV single stage accelerator mass spectrometer recently completed at China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE). The PM2.5 samples related to above case were collected, and the characteristics of radiocarbon in organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) in samples were analyzed using the AMS. The results show that the Before-APEC pollution emission mode is different from the During-APEC and After-APEC pollution emission modes. For Before-APEC, During-APEC and After-APEC, the average values of fossil carbon fraction of OC are 0.463, 0.431 and 0.615, respectively, and those of EC are 0.644, 0.561 and 0.687. The fossil source contributions of traffic activities using fossil fuels to OC and EC are 15.8 % and 21.9 %, respectively. The fossil source contributions of industrial activities to OC and EC are 38.0 % and 8.2 %, respectively. It is about 7–10 days that is needed to take to regenerate the PM2.5 pollution caused by human activities.
The second home-made single stage accelerator mass spectrometer (SSAMS) system dedicated to radiocarbon (14C) measurements was built after the first SSAMS system was moved to Guangxi Normal University. With some improvements to the second SSAMS system, the performance has been improved. With the conditions of total ion energy of 200KeV, ions charge states of 1+ and helium as stripper gas, 14C measurements with precision of 0.5% and a background level of 0.5 pMC were achieved. Details of the system and the experimental performance are given here.
Compared with commercial polyolefin membranes, polyacrylonitrile (PAN) membrane prepared by electrostatic spinning has higher porosity, electrolyte uptake, thermal stability, and lithium-ion conductivity, etc. However, poor mechanical performance has largely limited the application of electrospun PAN separators. In this study, PAN/polyimide (PI) composite membrane is prepared by electrostatic spinning to improve the mechanical and electrochemical performances. Scanning electron microscopy, thermal analysis method, and electrochemical methods were used for evaluation of the electrospun composite membrane. The results show that the composite membrane possesses good thermal stability and exhibits better mechanical performance than pristine PAN membrane (increasing by 1.1 times in tension strength). The addition of PI can increase porosity and fluid absorption rate obviously. In addition, the composite membrane has high ionic conductivity (18.77 × 10−4 S/cm), wide electrochemical window (about 4.0 V), and excellent cycling performance. It can retain a discharge specific capacity of 153 mA h/g even after 50 cycles at 0.5 C. The electrospun PAN/PI membrane may be a promising candidate for lithium-ion battery separators.
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of dietary pyrroloquinoline quinone disodium (PQQ·Na2) supplementation on the reproductive performance and intestinal barrier functions of gestating and lactating female Sprague–Dawley (SD) rats and their offspring. Dietary supplementation with PQQ·Na2 increased the number of implanted embryos per litter during gestation and lactation at GD 20 and increased the number of viable fetuses per litter, and the weight of uterine horns with fetuses increased at 1 d of newborn. The mRNA expression levels of catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx2), superoxide dismutase (SOD1), solute carrier family 2 member 1 (Slc2a1) and solute carrier family 2 member 3 (Slc2a3) in the placenta were increased with dietary PQQ·Na2 supplementation. Dietary supplementation with PQQ·Na2 in gestating and lactating rats increased the CAT, SOD and GPx activities of the jejunal mucosa of weaned rats on PD 21. Dietary supplementation with PQQ·Na2 in female rats affected the expression of tight junction proteins (claudin, zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) and occludin) in the jejunal mucosa of their offspring by increasing the expression of ZO-1 mRNA in the expression of ZO-1 and claudin mRNA in the jejunal mucosa of weaned rats on PD 21. In conclusion, dietary supplementation with PQQ·Na2 in gestating and lactating female rats had positive effects on their reproductive performance and on the intestinal barrier of weaned rats.
In inertial confinement fusion experiments that involve short-laser pulses such as fast ignition (FI), diagnosis of neutrons is usually very challenging because high-intensity γ rays generated by short-laser pulses would mask the much weaker neutron signal. In this paper, fast-response scintillators with low afterglow and gated microchannel plate photomultiplier tubes are combined to build neutron time-of-flight (nTOF) spectrometers for such experiments. Direct-drive implosion experiments of deuterium-gas-filled capsules were performed at the Shenguang-II Upgrade (SG-II-UP) laser facility to study the compressed fuel areal density (〈ρR〉) and evaluate the performance of such nTOF diagnostics. Two newly developed quenched liquid scintillator detectors and a gated ultrafast plastic scintillator detector were used to measure the secondary DT neutrons and primary DD neutrons, respectively. The secondary neutron signals were clearly discriminated from the γ rays from (n, γ) reactions, and the compressed fuel areal density obtained with the yield-ratio method agrees well with the simulations. Additionally, a small scintillator decay tail and a clear DD neutron signal were observed in an integrated FI experiment as a result of the low afterglow of the oxygen-quenched liquid scintillator.
Distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) are highly susceptible to lipid oxidation because DDGS contain about 10% crude fat, which is largely composed of polyunsaturated fatty acids. l-carnitine serves an important function in fatty acids β-oxidation, and also has antioxidant properties. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of l-carnitine in the DDGS diet of gestating and lactating sows on reproductive performance, milk composition and antioxidant status of sows and their offspring. One hundred and twenty sows (Landrace×Large white, mean parity 4.2, initial BW 230 kg) were randomly allotted to 1 of 4 dietary treatments (n=30 sows/treatment). Treatments were arranged as a 2×2 factorial with two levels of dietary DDGS (0 v. 250 g/kg in gestating diets and 400 g/kg in lactating diets) and two levels of dietary l-carnitine (0 v. 100 mg/kg in gestating diets and 0 v. 200 mg/kg in lactating diets). Distillers dried grains with solubles had no significant effect on litter size but significantly reduced the birth weights and weaning weights of piglets (P<0.05). Distillers dried grains with solubles reduced the antioxidant enzyme activities (P<0.05) and increased the malondialdehyde level in the plasma of sows on day 60 of gestation (P=0.004) and day 14 of lactation (P=0.008). The compositions of colostrum and milk were not affected by inclusion of DDGS and dietary l-carnitine (P>0.05). Supplementing the diets with l-carnitine had no significant effect of total litter size (P>0.05) but increased the number of piglets born alive and piglets weaned, birth weight and weaning weight of piglets and litter weight at birth and weaning (P<0.05). l-carnitine supplementation also increased the concentration of l-carnitine in milk and l-carnitine status of piglets (P<0.05). The antioxidant enzyme activities of new born and weaning piglets were increased (P<0.05) by maternal dietary l-carnitine but this did not extend to finishing pigs. In conclusion, including DDGS in the sows diet could induce oxidative stress, which may be associated with the reduced individual birth and weaning weight of piglets. Dietary l-carnitine supplementation improved the antioxidant and l-carnitine status of sows, which may be associated with the improved reproduction and piglet performance and the antioxidant status of piglets at birth and weaning. There were no interactions between DDGS and l-carnitine.
Sterol regulatory element binding protein 1 (SREBP1) has a central regulatory effect on milk fat synthesis. Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) can induce mastitis and cause milk fat depression in cows. SREBP1 is also known to be associated with inflammatory regulation. Thus, in the current study, we hypothesized that LPS-induced milk fat depression in dairy cow mammary epithelial cells (DCMECs) operates via decreased SREBP1 expression and activity. To examine the hypothesis, DCMECs were isolated and purified from dairy cow mammary tissue and treated with LPS (10 µg/ml). LPS treatment of DCMECs suppressed lipid-metabolism-related transcription factor SREBP1 mRNA expression, nuclear translocation and protein expression, leading to reduced triglyceride content. The transcription levels of acetyl-CoA carboxylase-1 and fatty acid synthetase were significantly down-regulated in DCMECs after LPS treatment, suggesting that acetyl-CoA carboxylase-1 and fatty acid synthetase involved in de novo milk fat synthesis was regulated by SREBP1. In summary, these results suggest that LPS induces milk fat depression in dairy cow mammary epithelial cells via decreased expression of SREBP1 in a time-dependent manner.
Using unique U.S. Census data sets, we analyze how entrepreneurial firms’ product market characteristics affect their choice between going public, being acquired, or remaining private. Size, total factor productivity (TFP), sales growth, capital expenditure, market share, access to private funding, and human capital intensiveness significantly increase a private firm’s likelihood of an initial public offering (IPO) relative to an acquisition. Firms in industries with less information asymmetry and higher stock liquidity are more likely to choose an IPO over an acquisition. While TFP peaks around either form of exit, the rate of increase in TFP prior to acquisitions and the subsequent decrease is smaller than that around IPOs.
135Cs with a half-life of T1/2=2.3×106 yr is an important nuclide in studies of the dispersal of nuclear material in the environment. Preliminary measurements using 133Cs as a proxy for the long-lived 135Cs, with accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) have been developed at the China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE). In order to improve the sensitivity of 135Cs AMS measurement, a new conducting material, Fe powder, was used in the experiment. According to the present results, the background level that can be obtained with blanks was 135Ba/Cs~1.83×10–10 with the CIAE-AMS system. These measurements showed that the Fe was an inferior conducting medium because the interference of 135Ba in Fe powder is 10 times higher than that in Ag powder.
An effective multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for the simultaneous detection of three major pathogens, Nosema bombycis Nägeli (Microsporidia: Nosematidae), Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (Baculoviridae: genus Alphabaculovirus) (NPV), and Bombyx mori densovirus (Parvoviridae: genus Iteravirus) (DNV), in silkworms (Bombyx mori (Linnaeus); Lepidoptera: Bombycidae) was developed in this study. Polymerase chain reaction and real-time PCR tests and basic local alignment search tool searches revealed that the primers and probes used in this study had high specificities for their target species. The ability of each primer/probe set to detect pure pathogen DNA was determined using a plasmid dilution panel, in which under optimal conditions the multiplex real-time PCR assay showed high efficiency in the detection of three mixed target plasmids with a detection limit of 8.5×103 copies for N. bombycis and Bombyx mori NPV (BmNPV) and 8.5×104 copies for Bombyx mori DNV (BmDNV). When the ability to detect these three pathogens was examined in artificially inoculated silkworms, our method presented a number of advantages over traditional microscopy, including specificity, sensitivity, and high-throughput capabilities. Under the optimal volume ratio for the three primer/probe sets (3:2:2=N. bombycis:BmNPV:BmDNV), the multiplex real-time PCR assay showed early detection of BmNPV and BmDNV by day 1 post inoculation using DNA templates of the three pathogens in various combinations from individually infected silkworms; the early detection of N. bombycis was possible by day 3 post inoculation using the DNA isolated from the midgut of N. bombycis-infected silkworms.
We model the employee incentive problem jointly with a firm’s exit decision. Our model predicts that firms in industries where human capital is important are more likely to go public and use high-powered, stock-based compensation. We also show that the higher the management quality, the more likely a firm is to go public than to be acquired. Regarding life cycle, a firm with high capital intensity and/or high management quality will choose to go public at a younger age.
To study the formation mechanism and stability of the phase in the interface of tungsten carbide particles reinforced iron matrix composites, the composites were fabricated by spark plasma sintering (SPS) technique and combined with first-principles calculation. It was found that Fe3W3C compound was stable from the perspective of both thermodynamics and mechanical properties based on our calculations. Interfacial reaction product of tungsten carbide particles reinforced iron matrix composites was M6C. Experimental results indicated that the samples prepared by SPS did not appear interfacial reaction zone, while, interfacial reaction zone appeared for the remelted samples. With the increasing remelting temperature, the width of the interface reaction zone increased because the mutual diffusion occurred at the interface between tungsten carbide particles and matrix. Its formation mechanism was 3Fe + 3/2W2C → Fe3W3C + 1/2C. Our research might provide a theoretical guidance in controlling the interface of tungsten carbide particles reinforced iron matrix composites.
An ancient pottery workshop belonging to the Han Dynasty was excavated in Caoxie village, Hepu County. Caoxie village is an important archaeological site in Hepu County, Beihai City, in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. It is believed that Hepu County was the oldest departure point on the ancient maritime trading route during the Han Dynasty (206 BC to AD 220) due to the ideal natural geographical conditions and the existence of a large number of Han tombs. Radiocarbon measurements on wood and charcoal samples from the Caoxie village site were performed at the Peking University AMS facility (PKU-AMS), Beijing, and the Centre for Isotopic Research for Cultural and Environmental Heritage (CIRCE) at Naples Second University, Italy. Calibrated ages were obtained with code CALIB 5 (Stuiver and Reimer 1993). The results of these measurements are presented and the related chronology is discussed.
237Np (≃2.14 × 106 yr half-life) is potentially applicable in studies on nuclear safeguards and radioactive waste migration. The atomic ratio of 237Np/U in nature is 10−12 or even lower, depending strongly on the integral neutron flux received by the material. As an ultra-sensitive technique, accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) is the best for measuring ultratrace 237Np. By extracting negative molecular ions NpO– from the oxide sample using 238UO– and 208Pb16O2– pilot beams for the simulation of 237Np ion transport, identifying the interference isotopes by high-resolution dedicated injector, electrostatic analyzer, and time of flight (TOF) detector, a method for AMS measurement of 237Np was set up on the HI-13 accelerator at the China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE). A sensitivity of <10–11 has been achieved for the isotopic ratio 237Np/238U.
The long-lived radioisotope 59Ni is of interest in various research fields including neutron dosimetry, radioactive waste management, and astrophysics. In order to achieve the sensitivity required for such applications, the technique of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) 59Ni measurement has been developed at the AMS facility at China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE). Based on the AE-Q3D detection system in the CIAE AMS facility, the interference in 59Ni counting from the isobar 59Co has been reduced by a factor of 8 × 106. A series of laboratory reference samples and a blank sample were measured to check the performance of 59Ni measurement. A detection sensitivity of about 5 × 10−13 (59Ni/Ni) has been obtained.
The microstructural evolution of spray-formed high speed steel during hot deformation was investigated as well as the effects of spray forming parameters on the porosity formation. Four distinct zones are identified in the as-deposited material, and interstitial porosity is present in the bottom and peripheral zones, while gas-related porosity is mainly found in the central zone. It can keep the porosity at a minimum value by using the optimum parameters, e.g., the average porosity of central zone is 3.7% for a superheat of 170 °C and a gas-to-metal flow rate of 0.7. During hot deformation at 1150 °C, the amount of porosity can be obviously decreased by increasing the height reduction which also plays a key role in breaking up eutectic carbides. The critical height reduction for the breakdown of the eutectic carbides is 50%, the dominant mechanism being mechanical fragmentation.
Obstructing commercialization of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC) is the soaring cost of platinum and other catalysts used to increase membrane efficiency. The goal of this investigation is to find a relatively inexpensive catalyst for coating the membrane and enhancing the efficiency of the PEMFC. Graphene oxide was reduced using NaBH4 in the presence of metal salts, primarily KAuCl4 and K2PtCl4, to synthesize metal-nanoparticle/reduced graphene oxide (RGO). FTIR indicated the successful synthesis of RGO, while Transmission Electron Microscopy displayed the presence of nanoparticles on RGO sheets. Nafion® membranes were coated with metal-nanoparticle/RGO and tested in an experimental PEMFC alongside bare Nafion®, Gold (Au) nanoparticles, and RGO. The metal-nanoparticle/RGO composites enhanced the PEMFC compared to bare Nafion®. Au-RGO, the best catalyst composite, increased the efficiency up to 150% better than nanoparticles or RGO alone while using only 1% of the concentration of Au nanoparticles. Theoretical power output of the Au-RGO synergy could increase fuel cell efficiency up to 18 times more than the Au-nanoparticles themselves by altering concentrations of Au nanoparticles in Au-RGO. The Au nanoparticles changed the structure and catalytic ability of graphene in the Au-RGO, offering a promising future for PEM fuel cell technology.
We report the synthesis of a direct gap semiconductor, ZnSnN2, by a plasma-assisted vapor–liquid–solid technique. Powder X-ray diffraction measurements of polycrystalline material yielded lattice parameters in good agreement with predicted values. Photoluminescence efficiency at room temperature was observed to be independent of excitation intensity between 103 and 108 W/cm2. The band gap was measured by photoluminescence excitation spectroscopy to be 1.7 ± 0.1 eV. The range of direct band gaps for the Zn(Si,Ge,Sn)N2 alloys is now predicted to extend from 4.5 to 1.7 eV, opening up this little-studied family of materials to a host of important applications.
The semiconductor ZnGeN2 was grown by a vapor-liquid-solid mechanism. Ordering of the Zn-Ge sublattice with growth temperature and Zn partial pressure was investigated by powder x-ray diffraction and was found to be sensitive to the growth temperature and insensitive, over the range explored, to the Zn and NH3 partial pressures. The degree of disorder on the cation sublattice was observed to correlate with the suppression of predicted Raman peaks and the emergence of phonon density-of-states features.