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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.
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
Direct numerical simulation of intense laser–solid interactions is still of great challenges, because of the many coupled atomic and plasma processes, such as ionization dynamics, collision among charged particles and collective electromagnetic fields, to name just a few. Here, we develop a new particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation code, which enables us to calculate laser–solid interactions in a more realistic way. This code is able to cover almost ‘all’ the coupled physical processes. As an application of the new code, the generation and transport of energetic electrons in front of and within the solid target when irradiated by intense laser beams are studied. For the considered case, in which laser intensity is
and pre-plasma scale length in front of the solid is
, several quantitative conclusions are drawn: (i) the collisional damping (although it is very weak) can significantly affect the energetic electrons generation in front of the target, (ii) the Bremsstrahlung radiation will be enhanced by 2–3 times when the solid is dramatically heated and ionized, (iii) the ‘cut-off’ electron energy is lowered by an amount of 25% when both collision damping and Bremsstrahlung radiations are included, and (iv) the resistive electromagnetic fields due to Ohmic heating play nonignorable roles and must be taken into account in such interactions.
Recent studies indicate that early postnatal period is a critical window for gut microbiota manipulation to optimise the immunity and body growth. This study investigated the effects of maternal faecal microbiota orally administered to neonatal piglets after birth on growth performance, selected microbial populations, intestinal permeability and the development of intestinal mucosal immune system. In total, 12 litters of crossbred newborn piglets were selected in this study. Litter size was standardised to 10 piglets. On day 1, 10 piglets in each litter were randomly allotted to the faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) and control groups. Piglets in the FMT group were orally administrated with 2ml faecal suspension of their nursing sow per day from the age of 1 to 3 days; piglets in the control group were treated with the same dose of a placebo (0.1M potassium phosphate buffer containing 10% glycerol (vol/vol)) inoculant. The experiment lasted 21 days. On days 7, 14 and 21, plasma and faecal samples were collected for the analysis of growth-related hormones and cytokines in plasma and lipocalin-2, secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA), selected microbiota and short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in faeces. Faecal microbiota transplantation increased the average daily gain of piglets during week 3 and the whole experiment period. Compared with the control group, the FMT group had increased concentrations of plasma growth hormone and IGF-1 on days 14 and 21. Faecal microbiota transplantation also reduced the incidence of diarrhoea during weeks 1 and 3 and plasma concentrations of zonulin, endotoxin and diamine oxidase activities in piglets on days 7 and 14. The populations of Lactobacillus spp. and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and the concentrations of faecal and plasma acetate, butyrate and total SCFAs in FMT group were higher than those in the control group on day 21. Moreover, the FMT piglets have higher concentrations of plasma transforming growth factor-β and immunoglobulin G, and faecal sIgA than the control piglets on day 21. These findings indicate that early intervention with maternal faecal microbiota improves growth performance, decreases intestinal permeability, stimulates sIgA secretion, and modulates gut microbiota composition and metabolism in suckling piglets.
Previous studies showed that butyrate played benefit roles in the health and metabolism of animals. However, little information on the effects of butyrate on the metabolism of piglets at the extraintestinal level is available. The present study investigated transcriptomic and metabolomic responses in the livers of pigs to evaluate the effects of intravenous sodium butyrate (SB) on the body’s metabolism at the extraintestinal level. A total of 12 Duroc×Landrace×Large White growing barrows (60 days of age) fitted with jugular vein cannula were randomly allocated to either the SB group or the control (CO) group. Pigs in the SB group were intravenously infused with 10 ml SB (200 mmol/l) for 7 days, whereas pigs in the CO group were treated with the same amount of saline. The livers of pigs were collected for gene expression and metabolome analyses. The RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) analysis showed that the mRNA expression of Acyl-CoA synthetase long-chain family member 1 (ACSL1), carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A (CPT1A), acetyl-CoA acyltransferase 2 (ACAA2) and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase 1 (PCK1) were downregulated (Q<0.05), whereas fatty acid binding protein 1 (FABP1) and cytochrome P450 family 7 subfamily A member 1 (CYP7A1) were upregulated (P<0.05) by SB treatment, indicating a decrease in fatty acid oxidation and gluconeogenesis and an increase in fatty acid transportation and cholesterol metabolism. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis showed that raffinose was enriched in the SB group compared with the CO group, indicating a decrease in metabolism of galactose. Moreover, SB treatment significantly decreased the concentration of blood cholesterol. The results suggest that a short-term intravenous infusion of SB could modulate hepatic lipid metabolism by decreasing fatty acid oxidation and increasing fatty acid transportation and cholesterol metabolism.
The bird cherry-oat aphid Rhopalosiphum padi (L.) is one of the most important wheat pests with polyphagia and autumn migrants. And, chemosensory genes were thought to play a key role in insect searching their hosts, food and mate. However, a systematic identification of the chemosensory genes in this pest has not been reported. Thus, in this study, we identified 14 odorant-binding proteins, nine chemosensory proteins, one sensory neuron membrane protein, 15 odorant receptors, 19 gustatory receptors and 16 ionotropic receptors from R. padi transcriptomes with a significantly similarity (E-value < 10−5) to known chemosensory genes in Acyrthosiphon pisum and Aphis gossypii. In addition, real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) was employed to determine the expression profiles of obtained genes. Among these obtained genes, we selected 23 chemosensory genes to analyze their expression patterns in different tissues, wing morphs and host plants. We found that except RpOBP1, RpOBP3, RpOBP4 and RpOBP5, the rest of the selected genes were highly expressed in the head with antennae compared with body without head and antennae. Besides that, the stimulation and depression of chemosensory genes by plant switch indicated that chemosensory genes might be involved in the plant suitability assessment. These results not only provide insights for the potential roles of chemosensory genes in plant search and perception of R. padi but also provide initial background information for the further research on the molecular mechanism of the polyphagia and autumn migrants of it. Furthermore, these chemosensory genes are also the candidate targets for pest management control in future.
The tea green leafhopper, Empoasca vitis Göthe, is one of the most serious pests in tea growing areas. This study investigated the roles played by olfaction and vision in host orientation behavior. The compound eye of E. vitis was found to be a photopic eye; few olfactory sensilla were found on the antennae, while abundant gustatory sensilla were recorded on the mouthparts. Three opsin genes (EV_LWop, EV_UVop, EV_Bop) were isolated and found to be mainly expressed in the compound eye compared with other parts of the body. Immunolocalization indicated that the opsins mainly located in the different regions of rhabdom. The transcription levels of EV_LWop, EV_Bop and EV_UVop were reduced by 77.3, 70.0 and 40.0%, respectively, by RNA interference induced by being fed a special RNA-rich diet for 6 days. The rate of tropism to host color was effectively impaired by 67.6 and 29.5% in the dsEV_LWop and dsEV_Bop treatment groups, but there was no significant change in the dsEV_UVop group. The determination of the cause of the tropism indicated that odors from the host over long distances were unable to attract E. vitis and were only detected when the insects were close to the host. The developed compound eye of E. vitis plays a leading role in host location, and the long-wavelength opsin significantly affects the tropism to host color; the lack of olfactory sensilla results in long-distance odors not being able to be detected until the insect is near to the host-plant. The understanding of these behavioral mechanisms, especially the importance of opsin genes is expected to be useful for pest management.
Diarrhea is a common cause of morbidity and mortality and the incidence of diarrhea in the world has changed little over the past four decades. To assess the prevalence of and healthcare practices for diarrhea, a cross-sectional study was conducted in Pudong, Shanghai, China. In October 2014, a total of 5324 community residents were interviewed. Respondents were asked if they had experienced diarrhea (defined as ⩾3 passages of watery, loose, bloody, or mucoid stools within a 24-h period) in the previous month prior to the interview. The monthly prevalence of diarrhea was 4·1% (95% CI: 3·3–4·8), corresponding to an incidence rate of 0·54 episodes per person-year. The proportion of individuals with diarrhea who sought healthcare was 21·2% (95% CI: 13·4–29·0). Diarrhea continues to impose a considerable burden on the community and healthcare system in Pudong. Young age and travel were identified as predictors of increased diarrhea occurrence.
To study the clinical effect of lens cleaning paper patching on traumatic eardrum perforations.
A total of 122 patients were divided into 2 groups, of which 56 patients were treated with lens cleaning paper patching and 66 acted as controls. The closure rate and healing time were compared between the two groups.
The healing rate of small perforations was 96.4 per cent (27 out of 28) in the patching group and 90 per cent (27 out of 30) in the control group. The difference was not statistically significant (p > 0.05). The healing rate of large perforations was 89.3 per cent (25 out of 28) and 80.6 per cent (29 out of 36) in the two groups, respectively. The difference was statistically significant (p < 0.05). The healing time of large perforations was shorter in the patching group than in the control group (p < 0.01).
Patching with lens cleaning paper under an endoscope can accelerate the closure of large traumatic eardrum perforations.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small non-coding RNAs that negatively regulate gene expression of target messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and miRNAs have been proven to play vital roles in skeletal muscle development. The miRNA-499-5p has been reported to be negatively related with the expression of Sox6, a critical transcription factor for the maintenance of fast-twitch skeletal muscle. In this study, we amplified a length of 2012-bp mRNA that contains a 1512-bp porcine Sox6 (pSox6) 3'UTR from skeletal muscle of a Duroc×Landrace×Yorkshire pig. By luciferase reporter assay we verified that pSox6 is a target of miR-499-5p. In extensor digitorum longus and Soleus muscles of pigs, the expression levels of miR-499-5p and pSox6 mRNA were also inversely correlated. Besides, overexpression of miR-499-5p in porcine satellite cells promoted the expression of MyHC I and MyHC IIa mRNA, along with a reduction of pSox6 mRNA. Taken together, these results indicate that miR-499-5p may facilitate the oxidative myofibers formation by downregulating pSox6 expression.
As a disconnection syndrome, schizophrenia has shown impaired resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC); however, the OFC is a rather heterogeneous region and the rsFC changes in the OFC subregions remain unknown.
A total of 98 schizophrenia patients and 102 healthy controls underwent resting-state functional MRI using a sensitivity-encoded spiral-in imaging sequence (SENSE-SPIRAL) to reduce susceptibility-induced signal loss and distortion. The OFC subregions were defined according to a previous parcellation study that divided the OFC into the anterior (OFCa), medial (OFCm), posterior (OFCp), intermediate (OFCi), and lateral (OFCl) subregions. The rsFC was compared using two-way repeated-measures ANOVA.
Whether or not global signal regression, compared with healthy controls, schizophrenia patients consistently exhibited decreased rsFC between the left OFCi and the left middle temporal gyrus and the right middle frontal gyrus (MFG), between the right OFCi and the right MFG and the left inferior frontal gyrus, between the right OFCm and the middle cingulate cortex and the left Rolandic operculum. These rsFC changes still remained significant even after cortical atrophy correction.
These findings suggest a selective functional disconnection of the OFC subregions in schizophrenia, and provide more precise information about the functional disconnections of the OFC in this disorder.
In tritrophic ‘plants–herbivores–natural enemies’ systems, there are relatively few reports concerning the role(s) of kairomones in pupal parasitism. Chouioia cunea Yang (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), an endoparasitic chalcid wasp, parasitizes pupae of the fall webworm (Hyphantria cunea Drury). The role of host-related kairomones was investigated using electroantennogram (EAG) and behavioral techniques. Chemicals from some host stages (pupae) and host by-products (frass), induced arrestment behavior of female parasitoids, while chemicals from prepupae, were inactive. Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis of volatiles collected from pupae, frass and prepupae using solid-phase microextration revealed seven compounds with carbon chain lengths ranging from C4 to C20. All of the chemicals elicited significant EAG responses in C. cunea. Y-tube olfactometer bioassays demonstrated a significant positive response of mated female C. cunea to 1-dodecene. These data provide a better understanding of the host location mechanisms of pupal parasitoid.
Insect defensins, are cationic peptides that play an important role in immunity against microbial infection. In the present study, an anionic defensin from Plutella xylostella, (designated as PxDef) was first cloned and characterized. Amino acid sequence analysis showed that the mature peptide owned characteristic six-cysteine motifs with predicted isoelectric point of 5.57, indicating an anionic defensin. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis showed that PxDef was significantly induced in epidermis, fat body, midgut and hemocytes after injection of heat-inactivated Bacillus thuringiensis, while such an induction was delayed by the injection of live B. thuringiensis in the 4th instar larvae of P. xylostella. Knocking down the expression of nuclear transcription factor Dorsal in P. xylostella by RNA interference significantly decreased the mRNA level of PxDef, and increased the sensitivity of P. xylostella larvae to the infection by live B. thuringiensis. The purified recombinant mature peptide (PxDef) showed higher activity against Gram-positive bacteria, with the minimum inhibition concentrations of 1.6 and 2.6 µM against B. thuringiensis and Bacillus subtilis, respectively. To our knowledge, this is the first report about an anionic PxDef, which may play an important role in the immune system of P. xylostella against B. thuringiensis.
Twenty-two annually banded samples of coral from 1977 to 1998 were collected from Daya Bay, South China Sea, and bomb 14C concentrations were determined. The interannual variation of coral Δ14C is controlled mainly by oceanic factors. In ENSO years, the coastwise upwelling current of the South China Sea has been intensified; hence, the coral Δ14C displays its minimum value. The interannual variation curve of Δ14C in coral bears a relationship with the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) curves: the correlation coefficient between Δ14C and (SOI)w is 0.43 and the correlation coefficient between Δ14C and (SOI)y is 0.27. The coral Δ14C has no remarkable response to the variation of solar radiation energy. In the past 20 yr or so, the general situation and oceanic thermal structure of the South China Sea are still stable even though interannual variations in atmosphere-sea interaction and upwelling current driven by the tropical energy have occurred.
The effects of target density and laser intensity on ionization speed are studied in this paper by 1D3V particle-in-cell simulations, where the field ionization of single atom is involved basing Ammosov-Delone-Krainov model in the form of Penetrante and Bardsley. To consider the ionization speed, the evolution of plasma density for the helium target, particularly, the ion density change rate near the target front surface, are discussed. The results show that not only the laser intensity, but also the target density will affect field ionization and further affect the plasma formation. This work will be helpful for further understanding of plasma formation in intense laser pulse. Also, it may be benefit for the setup of initial parameters before the simulation of laser–plasma interaction.
Mitochondria plays an important role in the regulation of energy homeostasis. Moreover, mitochondrial biogenesis accompanies skeletal myogenesis, and we previously reported that maternal high-energy diet repressed skeletal myogenesis in pig fetuses. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of moderately increased maternal energy intake on skeletal muscle mitochondrial biogenesis and function of the pig fetuses. Primiparous purebred Large White sows were allocated to a normal energy intake group (NE) as recommended by the National Research Council (NRC) and a high energy intake group (HE, 110% of NRC recommendations). On day 90 of gestation, fetal umbilical vein blood and longissimus (LM) muscle were collected. Results showed that the weight gain of sows fed HE diet was higher than NE sows on day 90 of gestation (P<0.05). Maternal HE diet increased fetal umbilical vein serum triglyceride and insulin concentrations (P<0.05), and tended to increase the homeostasis model assessment index (P=0.08). Furthermore, HE fetuses exhibited increased malondialdehyde concentration (P<0.05), and decreased activities of antioxidative enzymes (P<0.05) and intracellular NAD+ level (P<0.05) in LM muscle. These alterations in metabolic traits of HE fetuses were accompanied by reduced mitochondrial DNA amount (P<0.05) and down-regulated messenger RNA expression levels of genes responsible for mitochondrial biogenesis and function (P<0.05). Our results suggest that moderately increased energy supply during gestation decreases mitochondrial biogenesis, function and antioxidative capacity in skeletal muscle of pig fetuses.
Cattleyak (hybrid of cattle and yak) exhibit higher capability in adaptability and production than cattle and yak, while the infertility of F1 males greatly restricts the effective utilization of this hybrid and little progress has been made on investigating the mechanisms of the cattleyak infertility. Cattleyak individuals at three development stages (10, 12 and 14-month old) were sampled in this work and the isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantification method was employed to identify differences between their testicular proteomes. The proteomic analysis identified 318 proteins differentially expressed with significance at 12-month stage and 327 at 14-month compared with 10-month stage, respectively. Compared with the testicular proteome from 10-month cattleyak, the gene ontology (GO) annotations of the differentially expressed proteins at 12 months did not indicate significant differences from those at 14 months, which confirmed the histological observation that germ cell reduction was more obvious and spermatogenic arrest may become more serious in 12-month-old cattleyak. On the other hand, 56 differentially expressed proteins were coexpressed at 12 and 14-month stage compared with 10-month stage, in which 32 proteins were upregulated and 24 downregulated. GO analysis revealed that most of the differently expressed proteins were involved in the molecular function of catalytic activity, transporter activity, oxidoreductase activity and protein binding. Further analysis indicated that the differently expressed proteins including testis-expressed protein 101 precursor, RNA-binding motif protein, X chromosome, putative RNA-binding protein 3, heparin-binding proteins, tudor domain-containing protein 1, glutathione S-transferases (GSTA2, GSTP1), heat shock-related 70 kDa protein 2, estradiol 17-β-dehydrogenase11, 2,4-dienoyl-CoA reductase and peroxiredoxin-2 were possibly associated with testis development and spermatogenesis, which could be selected as candidate proteins in future study to examine the mechanisms of cattleyak infertility.
The present study investigated the effects of different levels of urea nitrogen (N) fertilizer on nutrient accumulation, in vitro rumen gas production and fermentation characteristics of forage oat straw (FOS) from oats (Avena sativa L. ‘Qinghai 444’) grown in the Tibet region of China. Fertilizer, applied at seeding (day 1), stem elongation (days 52–54) and heading (days 63–67), increased plant height and prolonged the maturity stage of the plant by 4–11 days compared with the non-fertilized control. Oat plants were harvested at maturity at the node 3–4 cm above ground, and then separated into grains and FOS. Both FOS and grain yields increased quadratically with increasing N fertilization, and their theoretical maximums occurred at the N fertilizing rates of 439 and 385 kg/ha, respectively. Increases in N fertilization did not affect the hemicellulose content of FOS, but substantially promoted the accumulation of crude protein, cellulose and lignin, resulting in a decrease in the energy content available for metabolism. A 72-h incubation of FOS with rumen fluids from lactating cows showed that increasing N resulted in FOS that showed a slower fermentation rate, decreased in vitro dry matter disappearance and lower cumulative gas production, but unchanged fermentation gas composition. Nitrogen fertilization increased the final pH in culture fluids and decreased the microbial volatile fatty acid (VFA) production. The molar proportions of acetate and propionate were not affected, but molar propionate proportion decreased linearly with increasing urea fertilization, and consequently, the ratio of lipogenic (e.g., acetate and butyrate)-to-glucogenic acids (propionate) tended to increase. In brief, increasing urea N fertilization promoted the growth of forage oats and increased the biomass yield as well as the crude protein and cellulose content of FOS. Considering the negative effect of increased lignin content on nutrient digestibility and total VFA production, the suggested range of urea N fertilization is 156–363 kg N/ha for forage oats planted in Tibet to retain the nutritive value of FOS in the rumen.
CMOS-compatible fabrication and etching processes are often used in subwavelength grating structures manufacturing, it normally generates tapered sidewall profile of the gratings. In this work, we have studied the impacts on resonance mode characteristics of subwavelength grating structures due to the tapered sidewall profile, as well as grating with high aspect ratio. Our simulation results have revealed that both of these two factors play important roles on the resonance mode behavior of subwavelength grating devices. We also discussed the mechanism between the guided mode resonance and the grating cavity mode resonance. Our study will provide guidance for a series of integrated photonics devices applications, such as compact optical filter, photonics amplifier, and lasers, while the realistic subwavelength grating structure is considered.
One main difference between practical device and ideal design for subwavelength grating structure is the tapered sidewall profile of grating, which is normally obtained by the practical CMOS-compatible fabrication and etching process. Our work has investigated the impacts of tapered sidewall profile on the subwavelength grating wideband reflector characteristics. Both zero-contrast gratings (ZCG) and high- contrast gratings (HCG) are numerically investigated in detail and the results show a distinct differences of the impacts of tapered sidewall profile of grating. The simulation results reveal that this factor play a critical role in determining the reflection bandwidth, average reflectance, and the band edge. Our study has potential in guiding the utilization of subwavelength grating wideband reflector on application of a variety of nanophotonic devices and their integration, as well as to facilitate the design of the fabrication process on the control of tapered sidewall profile.