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Estimating the feed intake of grazing herbivores is critical for determining their nutrition, overall productivity and utilization of grassland resources. A 17-day indoor feeding experiment was conducted to evaluate the potential use of Medicago sativa as a natural supplement for estimating the total feed intake of sheep. A total of 16 sheep were randomly assigned to four diets (four sheep per diet) containing a known amount of M. sativa together with up to seven forages common to typical steppes. The diets were: diet 1, M. sativa + Leymus chinensis + Puccinellia distans; diet 2, species in diet 1 + Phragmites australis; diet 3, species in diet 2 + Chenopodium album + Elymus sibiricus; and diet 4, species in diet 3 + Artemisia scoparia + Artemisia tanacetifolia. After faecal marker concentrations were corrected by individual sheep recovery, treatment mean recovery or overall recovery, the proportions of M. sativa and other dietary forages were estimated from a combination of alkanes and long-chain alcohols using a least-square procedure. Total intake was the ratio of the known intake of M. sativa to its estimated dietary proportion. Each dietary component intake was obtained using total intake and the corresponding dietary proportions. The estimated values were compared with actual values to assess the estimation accuracy. The results showed that M. sativa exhibited a distinguishable marker pattern in comparison to the other dietary forage species. The accuracy of the dietary composition estimates was significantly (P < 0.001) affected by both diet diversity and the faecal recovery method. The proportion of M. sativa and total intake across all diets could be accurately estimated using the individual sheep or the treatment mean recovery methods. The largest differences between the estimated and observed total intake were 2.6 g and 19.2 g, respectively, representing only 0.4% and 2.6% of the total intake. However, they were significantly (P < 0.05) biased for most diets when using the overall recovery method. Due to the difficulty in obtaining individual sheep recovery under field conditions, treatment mean recovery is recommended. This study suggests that M. sativa, a natural roughage instead of a labelled concentrate, can be utilized as a dietary supplement to accurately estimate the total feed intake of sheep indoors and further indicates that it has potential to be used in steppe grassland of northern China, where the marker patterns of M. sativa differ markedly from commonly occurring plant species.
Dietary delivery of bacterially expressed double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) has a great potential for management of Leptinotarsa decemlineata. An important first step is to discover possible RNA-interference (RNAi)-target genes effective against larvae, especially the old larvae. In the present paper, five putative Broad-Complex (BrC) cDNAs (Z1-Z4, and Z6) were identified in L. decemlineata. The expression of the five LdBrC isoforms was suppressed by juvenile hormone signaling, whereas the transcription was upregulated by 20-hydroxyecdysone signaling at the fourth (final) instar larval stage. Feeding of bacterially expressed dsBrC (derived from a common fragment of the five LdBrC variants) in the third- and fourth-instar larvae successfully knocked down the target mRNAs. For the fourth-instar LdBrC RNAi hypomorphs, they had a higher larval mortality compared with the controls. Moreover, most dsBrC-fed beetles did not pupate normally. After removal of the apolysed larval cuticle, a miniature adult was found. The adult head, compound eyes, prothorax, mesothorax, metathorax were found on the dorsal view. Distinct adult cuticle pigmentation was seen on the prothorax. The mouthparts, forelegs, midlegs, and hindlegs could be observed on the ventral view of the miniature adults. For the third-instar LdBrC RNAi specimens, around 20% moribund beetles remained as prepupae and finally died. Therefore, LdBrC is among the most attractive candidate genes for RNAi to control the fourth-instar larvae in L. decemlineata.
The present study aim to explore temporal–spatial patterns of water use (WU) efficiency and its influencing factors of maize production in China during 1998–2010. WU and productivity (WP) were quantified by taking irrigation loss into account and the links between WP and nine selected indicators were revealed by the partial least squares regression (PLSR) model. Results showed that national WU and WP in maize production were 138.56 cubic gigametres (Gm3; 0.755 green and 0.245 blue) and 1.079 kg/m3, respectively. WP was enhanced in the present study due to an increase in irrigated crop yield. Provinces located in the middle–lower part of the Yellow River had high proportions of green water and WP, while high proportions of irrigation water and low WP were found in Northwest China. The dosage of pesticides per unit area, relative humidity, average temperature and precipitation were the dominant factors that affected WP. However, the relationships between WP and solar radiation, fertilizer, agricultural machinery power, irrigation proportion and irrigated efficiency were not significant. Findings of the present research may also provide a reference for regional agricultural water management.
Lutein benefits human health significantly, including that of the eyes, skin and heart. Therefore, increasing lutein content in soybean seeds is an important objective for breeding programmes. However, no information about soybean lutein-related quantitative trait loci (QTL) has been reported, as of 2016. The aim of the present study was to identify QTLs underlying the lutein content in soybean seeds. A population including 129 recombinant inbred lines was developed from the cross between ‘Dongnong46’ (lutein 13·10 µg/g) and ‘L-100’ (lutein 23·96 µg/g), which significantly differed in seed lutein contents. This population was grown in ten environments including Harbin in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015; Hulan in 2013, 2014 and 2015; and Acheng in 2013, 2014 and 2015. A total of 213 simple sequence repeat markers were used to construct the genetic linkage map, which covered approximately 3623·39 cM, with an average distance of 17·01 cM between markers. In the present study, eight QTLs associated with lutein content were found initially, which could explain 1·01–19·66% of the observed phenotypic variation in ten different tested environments. The phenotypic contribution of qLU-1 (located near BARC-Satt588 on chromosome 9 (Chr 9; linkage group (LG) K)) was >10% across seven tested environments, while qLU-2 (located near Satt192 of Chr 12 (LG H)) and qLU-3 (located near Satt353 of Chr12 (LGH)) could explain 5–10% of the observed phenotypic variation in more than seven environments, respectively. qLU-5, qLU-6, qLU-7 and qLU-8 could be detected in more than four environments. These eight QTLs were novel, and have considerable potential value for marker-assistant selection of higher lutein content in soybean lines.
We discuss the self-consistent time-dependent numerical boundary conditions on the basis of theory of characteristics for magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) simulations of solar plasma flows. The importance of using self-consistent boundary conditions is demonstrated by using an example of modeling coronal dynamic structures. This example demonstrates that the self-consistent boundary conditions assure the correctness of the numerical solutions. Otherwise, erroneous numerical solutions will appear.
Globally, the prevalence of oesophageal cancer cases is particularly high in China. Since 1982, oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) has been hypothesized as a risk factor for oesophageal cancer, but no firm evidence of HPV infection in oesophageal cancer has been established to date. We aimed to conduct a meta-analysis to estimate the high-risk HPV-18 prevalence of oesophageal cancer in the Chinese population. Eligible studies published from 1 January 2005 to 12 July 2014 were retrieved via computer searches of English and Chinese literature databases (including Medline, EMBASE, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure and Wanfang Data Knowledge Service Platform). A random-effects model was used to calculate pooled prevalence and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs). A total of 2556 oesophageal cancer cases from 19 studies were included in this meta-analysis. Overall, the pooled HPV-18 prevalence in oesophageal cancer cases was 4·1% (95% CI 2·7–5·5) in China, 6·1% (95% CI 2·9–9·3) in fresh or frozen biopsies and 4·0% (95% CI 2·3–5·8) in paraffin-embedded fixed biopsies, 8·2% (95% CI 4·6–11·7) by the E6/E7 region and 2·2% (95% CI 0·9–3·6) by the L1 region of the HPV gene. This meta-analysis indicated that China has a moderate HPV-18 prevalence of oesophageal cancer compared to cervical cancer, although there is variation between different variables. Further studies are needed to elucidate the role of HPV in oesophagus carcinogenesis with careful consideration of study design and laboratory detection method, providing more accurate assessment of HPV status in oesophageal cancer.
The interferon-inducible transmembrane protein 3 (IFITM3), as one of the key genes involved in the interferon pathway, is critical for defending the host against influenza virus, and the rs12252 T>C variant in IFITM3 might be associated with susceptibility to severe influenza. Owing to contradictory and inconclusive results, we performed a meta-analysis to assess the association between rs12252 T>C polymorphism and severe influenza risk. A comprehensive literature search up to 1 August 2014 was conducted in EMBASE, Pubmed, Web of Science, VIP, Wanfang and CNKI databases. Four eligible studies with a total of 445 influenza patients and 3396 controls were included in this meta-analysis. Overall, our results demonstrated a significant association between the IFITM3 rs12252 T>C polymorphism and influenza risk [C vs. T: odds ratio (OR) 1·68, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·32–2·13; CC vs. CT+TT: OR 2·38, 95% CI 1·52–3·73; CC+CT vs. TT: OR 1·62, 95% CI 1·18–2·22]. Stratification by ethnicity indicated that the variant C allele was associated with an 88% increased risk of influenza in Asians (C vs. T: OR 1·88, 95% CI 1·34–2·62). Moreover, subjects carrying the variant C allele had an increased risk of developing severe illness upon influenza infection (C vs. T: OR 2·70, 95% CI 1·86–3·94). However, no significant association was observed in patients with mild infection (C vs. T: OR 1·26, 95% CI 0·93–1·71). Our meta-analysis suggests that IFITM3 rs12252 T>C polymorphism is significantly associated with increased risk of severe influenza but not with the chance of initial virus infection.
Co-infections of cystic echinococcosis (CE) and HIV/AIDS is rare. We report four CE cases that were HIV positive. Three out of the four patients underwent a surgical operation to remove the hydatid cysts in their livers. The operation confirmed that in two of the cases their cysts had ruptured. These patients were given 3 months of albendazole after the operation. Follow-up showed they were remarkably improved in term of their health, although they were still HIV antibody positive 6 months after surgical treatment. Interestingly, the treatment remarkably increased their CD4+ cell population. We showed that surgery is suitable for treating hepatic cystic echinococcosis with HIV/AIDS co-infection.
In this work, we present a systematic study on the solid solution, lattice parameters and superconductivity on the FeyTe1−xXx (X = Se, S) system. It has been found that the limit of the Te-site doping with Se and S is around 0.5 and 0.15, respectively. The solid solution with the Fe content changing is also measured in this work, and the single-phase region for preparing pure sample is presented. Based on the magnetic susceptibility measurements, we presented a three-dimensional graph for showing the variation of superconducting critical temperature as a function of both the chalcogen and Fe content in FeyTe1−xXx.
Findings from family and twin studies support a genetic contribution to the development of sexual orientation in men. However, previous studies have yielded conflicting evidence for linkage to chromosome Xq28.
We conducted a genome-wide linkage scan on 409 independent pairs of homosexual brothers (908 analyzed individuals in 384 families), by far the largest study of its kind to date.
We identified two regions of linkage: the pericentromeric region on chromosome 8 (maximum two-point LOD = 4.08, maximum multipoint LOD = 2.59), which overlaps with the second strongest region from a previous separate linkage scan of 155 brother pairs; and Xq28 (maximum two-point LOD = 2.99, maximum multipoint LOD = 2.76), which was also implicated in prior research.
Results, especially in the context of past studies, support the existence of genes on pericentromeric chromosome 8 and chromosome Xq28 influencing development of male sexual orientation.
As one of the most typical ancient cultural relics in southern China's minority regions near Changsha in Hunan province, the magnificent Laosicheng ruins excavated recently have been included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Tentative List. Urgent conservation of excavated Laosicheng ruins brings about the need for a study of the formulation and properties of construction materials used, including earth, stone, mortar, and brick. In the present study, comprehensive analyses were carried out to determine their raw material compositions, mineralogical, and microstructural properties using sheet polarized optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectrometer, thermogravimetric/differential scanning calorimetry, X-ray powder diffraction, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Special attention was paid to mortars, which were the most widely used in building the Laosicheng. Results show that mortar used as external render of the city wall is mainly built up from inorganic CaCO3 and MgCO3 based hybrid materials produced by the carbonation of Ca(OH)2 and Mg(OH)2 with a small amount of sticky rice. In contrast, mortar used to bond stones of the city walls is a traditional mortar that does not contain sticky rice. This study is a part of a huge interdisciplinary project aimed to clarify the role of organics in ancient China’s organic-inorganic hybrid mortar, which can be considered as one of the greatest invention in construction material history. The results provide valuable basic data and restoration strategies that can be used in the conservation of the ruins as well.
Antireflection with broadband and wide angle properties is important for a wide range of applications on photovoltaic cells and display. The SiOx shell layer provides a natural antireflection from air to the Si core absorption layer. In this work, we have demonstrated the random core-shell silicon nanowires with both broadband (from 400nm to 900nm) and wide angle (from normal incidence to 60°) antireflection characteristics within AM1.5 solar spectrum. The graded index structure from the randomly oriented core-shell (Air/SiOx/Si) nanowires may provide a potential avenue to realize a broadband and wide angle antireflection layer.
We have improved bio-inspired Moth eye nanostructures to enhance the scintillator materials external quantum efficiency significantly. As a proof of concept, we have demonstrated very high light output efficiency enhancement for Lu2SiO5:Ce3+ (LSO:Ce) film in large area. The X-ray mammographic instrument was employed to demonstrate the light output enhancement of the Lu2SiO5:Ce thin film with bio-inspired Moth eye-like nano photonic structures. Our work could be extended to other thin film scintillator materials and is promising to achieve lower patient dose, higher resolution image of human organs and even smaller scale medical imaging.
Ion beam synthesis of SiC/Si heterostructures was performed by MEVVA (metal vapor vacuum arc) implantation under various implantation and annealing conditions. The implanted SiC/Si heterostructures were characterized by various techniques. Carbon redistribution in overstoichiometrically implanted samples during annealing to form a stoichiometric SiC layer has been observed for the first time. The FTIR spectra were found to be composed of two components, one attributed to amorphous SiC and the other to β-SiC. It was also found that there are critical dose and critical energy at which the crystalline fraction increases abruptly. Other results on electrical and optical characterization are also presented and discussed
Ion beam synthesis of CoSi2 layers in Si by MEVVA (Metal Vapor Vacuum Arc) implantation has been performed under various conditions. The formation and characteristics of these CoSi2 layers have been studied by XTEM, RBS, AFM, X-ray diffraction, ellipsometry, electrical and Hall effect measurements. It was found that a higher substrate temperature during implantation results in an as-implanted Co distribution closer to the surface and hence the formation of a shallower CoSi2 layer after annealing. Buried CoSi2 layers of good crystal quality and low resistivity CoSi2 can be formed by MEVVA implantation and annealing under appropriate conditions. A strong temperature dependence of the Hall coefficient showing a large peak at around 100K was observed for the CoSi2 layers formed in p-type Si substrates but not in n-type substrates. The properties and their dependence on the processing conditions, in particular, the substrate temperature during implantation, are presented and discussed.
Fatty acid translocase (FAT/CD36) is a membrane receptor that facilitates long-chain fatty acid uptake. To investigate its role in the regulation of long-chain fatty acid composition in muscle tissue, we studied and compared FAT/CD36 gene expression in muscle tissues of commercial broiler chickens and Chinese local Silky fowls. The results from gas chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis of muscle samples demonstrated that Chinese local Silky fowls had significantly higher (P < 0.05) proportions of linoleic acid (LA) and palmitic acid, lower proportions (P < 0.05) of arachidonic acid (AA) and oleic acid than the commercial broiler chickens. The mRNA expression levels of fatty acid (FA) transporters (FA transport protein-1, membrane FA-binding protein, FAT/CD36 and caveolin-1) in the m. ipsilateral pectoralis and biceps femoris were analyzed by Q-PCR, and FAT/CD36 expression levels showed significant differences between these types of chickens (P < 0.01). Interestingly, the levels of FAT/CD36 expression are positively correlated with LA content (r = 0.567, P < 0.01) but negatively correlated with palmitic acid content (r = −0.568, P < 0.01). Further experiments in the stably transfected Chinese hamster oocytes cells with chicken FAT/CD36 cDNA demonstrated that overexpression of FAT/CD36 improves total FA uptake with a significant increase in the proportion of LA and AA, and a decreased proportion of palmitic acid. These results suggest that chicken FAT/CD36 may selectively transport LA and AA, which may lead to the higher LA deposition in muscle tissue.
The high molecular weight glutenin subunits (HMW-GS) and glutenin macropolymer (GMP) in wheat grain are important characteristics that affect the quality of wheat products. Light intensity, as one of the environmental factors affecting grain yield and quality, has been studied extensively; however, little is known about its impact on HMW-GS and distribution of GMP granules in wheat grain. In the present study, two strong-gluten winter wheat cultivars with different subunit compositions were used to evaluate the effect of shading at different grain-filling stages on changes in HMW-GS and distribution of GMP granules in wheat grains. No effects of shading on initial formation time of each individual subunit were found; they responded similarly to shading with an increase in relative content, though the accumulation amount per grain of each individual subunit was decreased due to a decrease in grain weight induced by shading. Shading at different grain-filling stages, especially at the middle grain-filling stage, led to a significant increase in GMP content during grain filling; however, the proportions (by volume, number and surface area) of the larger GMP granules were increased by shading at middle and late grain-filling stages and decreased by shading at early grain-filling stage. It was also found that the content of total HMW-GS was positively correlated with volume proportions of larger GMP granules and negatively correlated with volume proportions of small GMP granules, which indicated that the pattern of response of distribution of GMP granules to shading was closely related to the regulatory effect of shading on the HMW-GS.
The current trends in stimulated Brillouin scattering and optical phase conjugation are overviewed. This report is formed by the selected papers presented in the “Fifth International Workshop on stimulated Brillouin scattering and phase conjugation 2010” in Japan. The nonlinear properties of phase conjugation based on stimulated Brillouin scattering and photo-refraction can compensate phase distortions in the high power laser systems, and they will also open up potentially novel laser technologies, e.g., phase stabilization, beam combination, pulse compression, ultrafast pulse shaping, and arbitrary waveform generation.