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The experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of dietary threonine (Thr) on growth performance and muscle growth, protein synthesis and antioxidant-related signalling pathways of hybrid catfish Pelteobagrus vachelli♀ × Leiocassis longirostris♂. A total of 1200 fish (14·19 (se 0·13) g) were randomly distributed into six groups with four replicates each, fed six diets with graded level of Thr (9·5, 11·5, 13·5, 15·4, 17·4 and 19·3 g/kg diets) for 56 d. Results showed (P < 0·05) that dietary Thr (1) increased percentage weight gain, specific growth rate, feed efficiency and protein efficiency ratio; (2) up-regulated growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), proliferating cell nuclear antigen, myogenic regulation factors (MyoD, Myf5, MyoG and Mrf4) and myosin heavy chain (MyHC) mRNA levels; (3) increased muscle protein content via regulating the protein kinase B/target of rapamycin signalling pathway and (4) decreased malondialdehyde and protein carbonyl contents, increased catalase, glutathione-S-transferase, glutathione reductase and GSH activities, up-regulated mRNA levels of antioxidant enzymes related to NFE2-related factor 2 and γ-glutamylcysteine ligase catalytic subunit. These results suggest that Thr has a potential role to improve muscle growth and protein synthesis, which might be due to the regulation of GH-IGF system, muscle growth-related gene, antioxidative capacity and protein synthesis-related signalling pathways. Based on the quadratic regression analysis of specific growth rate, the Thr requirement of hybrid catfish (14·19–25·77 g) was estimated to be 13·77 g/kg of the diet (33·40 g/kg of dietary protein).
This study was for the first time to investigate the effects of condensed tannins (CT) on intestinal immune function in on-growing grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella). A total of 540 healthy grass carp were fed six diets containing diﬀerent levels of CT (0, 10.00, 20.00, 30.00, 40.00 and 50.00 g/kg diet) for 70 days and then challenged with Aeromonas hydrophila for 14 days. The results showed that, compared with the control group, dietary CT (1) induced intestinal histopathological lesions and aggravated enteritis; (2) decreased the lysozyme and acid phosphatase activities, complement 3 (C3), C4 and immunoglobulin M contents, and down-regulated the Hepcidin, liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide(LEAP)-2A, LEAP-2B, Mucin2 and β-defensin-1 mRNA levels in the proximal intestine (PI), mid intestine (MI) and distal intestine (DI) (P < 0·05); (3) down-regulated the mRNA levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, TGF-β2 (not in MI and DI), IL-4/13A (not IL-4/13B), IL-10 and IL-11 partly correlated with target of rapamycin (TOR) signalling; (4) up-regulated the mRNA levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines interferon-γ2 (IFN-γ2), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-6, IL-8 (not in PI), IL-12p35, IL-12p40, IL-15 and IL-17D partly related to nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) signalling in the intestine of on-growing grass carp. Overall, the results indicated that CT could impair the intestinal immune function, and its potential regulation mechanisms were partly associated with TOR and NF-κB signalling pathways. Finally, based on the PWG and enteritis morbidity, the maximum allowable levels of CT for on-growing grass carp (232.22-890.11g) were estimated to be 18.6 and 17.4 g/kg diet, respectively.
The earliest colonisation of oceanic islands by Homo sapiens occurred ~50 000–30 000 years ago in the Western Pacific, yet how this was achieved remains a matter of debate. With a focus on East Asia, the research presented here tests the hypothesis that bamboo rafts were used for these early maritime migrations. The authors review the evidence for Palaeolithic seafaring in East Asia as the context for an experimental archaeology project to build two bamboo watercraft. Sea trials demonstrate the unsuitability of bamboo, at least in East Asia, indicating that more sophisticated and durable vessels would have been required to traverse the Kuroshio Current.
A bottom-feed omni-directional CP (circularly polarized) antenna array is proposed in this letter. The antenna array is composed of four elements (two printed ZPS (zero-phase-shift) line loops and two half-wavelength dipoles). The four elements are fed with the same phase and amplitude. The ZPS line loops provide the horizontal polarization while the dipoles provide the vertical polarization. Therefore, omni-directional circular polarization is formed in the far field. The feeding network consists of a 1–4 T-shaped power divider formed by parallel strip lines. In order to balance the amplitude of the feeding coaxial cable, the structure is used in the bottom to transfer parallel strip line to micro-strip line. Besides, the loops and the dipoles are placed on the different side of the network to guarantee the omni-directional radiation property. The measured impedance bandwidth of the fabricated antenna is 0.13 GHz (2.40–2.53 GHz) and the measured maximum CP gain at 2.45 GHz is 4.8 dBic.
Information systems (IS) have facilitated workflow in the health care system for years. However, the utilization of IS in disaster medical assistance teams (DMATs) has been less studied.
In Taiwan, we started a program in 2008 to build up an information system, MEDical Assistance and Information Dashboard (MED-AID), to improve the capability and increase the efficiency of our national DMAT.
Method: The mission of our national DMAT was to provide acute trauma care and subacute outpatient care in the field after an emergency event (e.g., earthquakes). We built the IS through a user-oriented process to fit the need of the DMAT. We first analyzed the response work in the DMAT missions and reviewed the current paperwork. We evaluated the eligibility and effectiveness of the core functions of DMATs by experts in Taiwan and then developed the IS. The IS was then tested and revised each year in two table-top exercises and one regional full-scale exercise by the DMAT staffs who came from different hospitals in Taiwan.
During the past 10 years, we identified several core concepts of IS of DMAT: patient tracking, medical record, continuity of care, integration of referral resources, disease surveillance, patient information reporting, and medical resources management. The application of the IS facilitate the DMAT in providing safe patient care with continuous recording and integrate patient referral resources based on geographic information. The IS also help the planning in real-time disease surveillance and logistic function in the medical resources monitoring.
Information systems could facilitate patient care and relieve the workload on information analysis and resources management for DMATs.
Cellulitis is a common infection of the skin and soft tissue. Susceptibility to cellulitis is related to microorganism virulence, the host immunity status and environmental factors. This retrospective study from 2001 to 2013 investigated relationships between the monthly incidence rate of cellulitis and meteorological factors using data from the Taiwanese Health Insurance Dataset and the Taiwanese Central Weather Bureau. Meteorological data included temperature, hours of sunshine, relative humidity, total rainfall and total number of rainy days. In otal, 195 841 patients were diagnosed with cellulitis and the incidence rate was strongly correlated with temperature (γS = 0.84, P < 0.001), total sunshine hours (γS = 0.65, P < 0.001) and total rainfall (γS = 0.53, P < 0.001). The incidence rate of cellulitis increased by 3.47/100 000 cases for every 1° elevation in environmental temperature. Our results may assist clinicians in educating the public of the increased risk of cellulitis during warm seasons and possible predisposing environmental factors for infection.
One of the critical prerequisites for accurately measuring the mechanical properties of profiled fibers is the precise determination of their cross-sectional areas (CSAs). In this study, a new method is established for determining a single profiled fibers’ CSA based on the frozen section method and digital photo, pixel-ratio method (FS-DP). FS-DP is used to obtain a transverse section of a fiber, by acquiring an image of the cross section using optical microscopy or scanning electron microscopy, and then calculating the CSA using Photoshop. Using FS-DP, it was found that the shape of a fiber of silk changes little in a range of 50 μm, but varies considerably over a range of 1 m, while the CSA of cocoon silk (900 m) first increases and then decreases. Mechanical property tests showed that the elongation, strength, elastic modulus, and toughness values of the cocoon silk are consistent with those reported previously. Additionally, FS-DP was also used to observe other profiled fibers. The application tests indicated that FS-DP can be used to quickly and accurately obtain the CSA of a single profiled fiber, and that it is suitable for the large-scale determination and analysis of the mechanical properties of profiled fibers.
The Shen-Guang II Upgrade (SG-II-U) laser facility consists of eight high-power nanosecond laser beams and one short-pulse picosecond petawatt laser. It is designed for the study of inertial confinement fusion (ICF), especially for conducting fast ignition (FI) research in China and other basic science experiments. To perform FI successfully with hohlraum targets containing a golden cone, the long-pulse beam and cylindrical hohlraum as well as the short-pulse beam and cone target alignment must satisfy tight specifications (30 and
rms for each case). To explore new ICF ignition targets with six laser entrance holes (LEHs), a rotation sensor was adapted to meet the requirements of a three-dimensional target and correct beam alignment. In this paper, the strategy for aligning the nanosecond beam based on target alignment sensor (TAS) is introduced and improved to meet requirements of the picosecond lasers and the new six LEHs hohlraum targets in the SG-II-U facility. The expected performance of the alignment system is presented, and the alignment error is also discussed.
In high power laser facility for inertial confinement fusion research, final optics assembly (FOA) plays a critical role in the frequency conversion, beam focusing, color separation, beam sampling and debris shielding. The design and performance of FOA in SG-II Upgrade laser facility are mainly introduced here. Due to the limited space and short focal length, a coaxial aspheric wedged focus lens is designed and applied in the FOA configuration. Then the ghost image analysis, the focus characteristic analysis, the B integral control design and the optomechanical design are carried out in the FOA design phase. In order to ensure the FOA performance, two key technologies are developed including measurement and adjustment technique of the wedged focus lens and the stray light management technique based on ground glass. Experimental results show that the design specifications including laser fluence, frequency conversion efficiency and perforation efficiency of the focus spot have been achieved, which meet the requirements of physical experiments well.
In this paper, we review the status of the multifunctional experimental platform at the National Laboratory of High Power Laser and Physics (NLHPLP). The platform, including the SG-II laser facility, SG-II 9th beam, SG-II upgrade (SG-II UP) facility, and SG-II 5 PW facility, is operational and available for interested scientists studying inertial confinement fusion (ICF) and a broad range of high-energy-density physics. These facilities can provide important experimental capabilities by combining different pulse widths of nanosecond, picosecond, and femtosecond scales. In addition, the SG-II UP facility, consisting of a single petawatt system and an eight-beam nanosecond system, is introduced including several laser technologies that have been developed to ensure the performance of the facility. Recent developments of the SG-II 5 PW facility are also presented.
Babesiosis is an emerging tick-transmitted zoonosis prevalent in large parts of the world. This study was designed to determine the rates of Babesia microti infection among small rodents in Yunnan province, where human cases of babesiosis have been reported. Currently, distribution of Babesia in its endemic regions is largely unknown. In this study, we cataloged 1672 small wild rodents, comprising 4 orders, from nine areas in western Yunnan province between 2009 and 2011. Babesia microti DNA was detected by polymerase chain reaction in 4·3% (72/1672) of the rodents analyzed. The most frequently infected rodent species included Apodemus chevrieri and Niviventer fulvescens. Rodents from forests and shrublands had significantly higher Babesia infection rates. Genetic comparisons revealed that Babesia was most similar to the Kobe- and Otsu-type strains identified in Japan. A variety of rodent species might be involved in the enzootic maintenance and transmission of B. microti, supporting the need for further serological investigations in humans.
This study aimed to investigate the impacts of dietary threonine on intestinal immunity and inflammation in juvenile grass carp. Six iso-nitrogenous semi-purified diets containing graded levels of threonine (3·99–21·66 g threonine/kg) were formulated and fed to fishes for 8 weeks, and then challenged with Aeromonas hydrophila for 14 d. Results showed that, compared with optimum threonine supplementation, threonine deficiency (1) decreased the ability of fish against enteritis, intestinal lysozyme activities (except in the distal intestine), acid phosphatase activities, complement 3 (C3) and C4 contents and IgM contents (except in the proximal intestine (PI)), and it down-regulated the transcript abundances of liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide (LEAP)-2A, LEAP-2B, hepcidin, IgZ, IgM and β-defensin1 (except in the PI) (P<0·05); (2) could up-regulate intestinal pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8 and IL-17D mRNA levels partly related to NF-κB signalling; (3) could down-regulate intestinal anti-inflammatory cytokine transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, TGF-β2, IL-4/13A (not IL-4/13B) and IL-10 mRNA levels partly by target of rapamycin signalling. Finally, on the basis of the specific growth rate, against the enteritis morbidity and IgM contents, the optimum threonine requirements were estimated to be 14·53 g threonine/kg diet (4·48 g threonine/100 g protein), 15.05 g threonine/kg diet (4·64 g threonine/100 g protein) and 15·17 g threonine/kg diet (4·68 g threonine/100 g protein), respectively.
Bragg coherent X-ray diffraction imaging has been used to determine the structure of the initial clusters of α-Fe nano crystals which form upon annealing of an iron-based amorphous alloy or metallic glass. The method is able to identify the shapes and strain of these crystallites without any need for cutting the sample, so can visualize them in three dimensions in their intact state. In this way, the delicate dendritic structures on the exterior of the crystallites can be seen and its density versus radius relationship identifies a fractal dimension of the porous region that is consistent with diffusion-limited aggregation models. The crystal sizes were found to be around 60 nm after annealing at 700 °C growing to about 330 nm after annealing at 750 °C. This article introduces the BCDI method and describes its application to characterize previously recrystallized samples of iron-based amorphous alloys. It paves the way for a possible future in situ nucleation/growth investigation of the relationship between kinetics and nanostructure of metallic glass.
The present study investigated the effects of dietary vitamin A on immune function in the proximal intestine (PI), mid intestine (MI) and distal intestine (DI) of young grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella). Fish were fed graded levels of dietary vitamin A for 10 weeks, and then a challenge test using an injection of Aeromonas hydrophila was conducted for 14 d. The results showed that, compared with the optimum vitamin A level, vitamin A deficiency significantly decreased fish growth performance, increased enteritis morbidity, decreased intestinal innate humoral immune response and aggravated intestinal inflammation. However, liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide 2A/B mRNA in the DI and IL-6, IL-17D, IL-10, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and TGF-β2 mRNA in the PI were not affected by vitamin A levels. Meanwhile, vitamin A deficiency disturbed inflammatory cytokines in the PI, MI and DI, which might be partly linked to p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK) signalling and NF-κB canonical signalling pathway (IκB kinase β (IKKβ), IKKγ, inhibitor of κBα, NF-κB p65 and c-Rel) rather than NF-κB non-canonical signalling pathway (NF-κB p52 and IKKα). However, the signalling molecules NF-κB p65 and p38MAPK did not participate in regulating cytokines in the PI. These results suggested that vitamin A deficiency decreased fish growth and impaired intestinal immune function, and that different immune responses in the PI, MI and DI were mediated partly by NF-κB canonical signalling and p38MAPK signalling pathways. On the basis of percentage of weight gain, to protect fish against enteritis morbidity and acid phosphatase activity, the optimum dietary vitamin A levels were estimated to be 0·664, 0·707 and 0·722 mg /kg, respectively.
The Lorentz factor (Γ) is an important parameter related to the relativistic jet physics. We study the evolution patterns of Γ within gamma-ray burst (GRB) and active galactic nuclear jets for individual GRB 090168, GRB 140508A, and 3C 454.3. By estimating the Γ values for well-separated pulses in GRBs 090618 and 140508A with an empirical relation derived from typical GRBs, we find that the Γ evolution pattern in the two GRBs are different. The increasing-to-coasting evolution pattern of Γ in GRB 090618 likely indicates that the GRB fireball is still being accelerated in the prompt phase. The clear decrease evolution pattern of Γ in GRB 140508A suggests the deceleration of the fireball components. By deriving the Γ value through fitting their spectral energy distribution in different flares of 3C 454.3, a pattern of Γ-tracking-γ-ray flux is clearly found, likely indicating that the observed gamma-ray flares are being due to the Doppler boosting effect to the jet emission.
The objective of this study was to determine the protective effect of glutamate (Glu) in Cu-induced oxidative injury in fish intestine in vivo and enterocytes in vitro. The results indicated that exposure to 6 mg/l Cu for 72 h induced the production of reactive oxygen species, thereby increasing protein oxidation and lipid peroxidation in enterocytes of grass carp in vitro. Cells exposed to Cu alone resulted in a significant increase in lactate dehydrogenase release, which is accompanied by depletions of antioxidants, including total superoxide dismutase (T-SOD), glutathione S-transferase (GST), glutathione reductase (GR), anti-superoxide anion (ASA), anti-hydroxy radical (AHR) activities and GSH content. Pre-treatment with Glu remarkably prevented the toxic effects of Cu on the T-SOD, GST, GR, AHR, and ASA activities and GSH content in enterocytes. However, Cu induced an adaptive increase in the activities of catalase and glutathione peroxidase (GPx). Glu supplementation further increased GPx activity in enterocytes. Interestingly, the experiment in vivo showed that Glu pre-supplementation significantly elevated SOD, GPx, GST, GR, ASA and AHR activities, as well as GSH content. Further results showed that pre-treatment with Glu could alleviate Cu-induced oxidative injury by elevating antioxidant enzyme activities through regulating the expression of NF-E2-related nuclear factor 2 (Nrf2) mRNA. Together, these results indicated that Glu could attenuate Cu-induced cellular oxidative damage in fish intestine, likely mediated through Nrf2 signalling pathways regulating mRNA expressions of antioxidant enzyme genes and synthesis of GSH.
SG-III laser facility is now the largest laser driver for inertial confinement fusion research in China. The whole laser facility can deliver 180 kJ energy and 60 TW power ultraviolet laser onto target, with power balance better than 10%. We review the laser system and introduce the SG-III laser performance here.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) has been widely applied in humans, mice, and some domestic animals to cure human infertility, or produce genetically superior or genetically engineered animals. However, the production efficiency of ICSI in pigs remains quite low. In this study, we developed a new sperm pretreatment method to improve production efficiency of ICSI in pigs. Experiment 1 revealed that pretreating porcine sperm with 2.5 mg/ml lipase before ICSI operation, not only can reduce the adhesion between sperm and the injection pipette without adding polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) in the operating medium, but also significantly improve male pronuclei (MPN) formation rate (55.56% vs. 40.00% (0 mg/ml), 42.59% (5.0 mg/ml), 40.00% (10.0 mg/ml), P < 0.05) and enhance developmental competence of ICSI embryos (26.03% vs. 10.87% (0 mg/ml), 10.00% (5.0 mg/ml), 10.13% (10.0 mg/ml), P < 0.05). Experiment 2 showed that this method has a higher MPN formation rate (50.47% vs. 30.78%, P < 0.05) and blastocyst rate (18.81% vs. 7.41%, P < 0.05) than the PVP method, and was better than the Triton X-100 treatment method (50.47% vs. 46.23%, 18.81% vs. 12.75%). Therefore, pretreating porcine sperm with 2.5 mg/ml lipase before ICSI operation is highly recommended, instead of adding PVP in the operating medium.
This is a case-control study to investigate the prevalence, characteristics, and risk factors of pain in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD).
A total of 200 PD patients from eastern China were enrolled in our study. Accordingly, 200 healthy elderly adults were recruited as controls. The characteristics of pain were collected by using the Visual Analog Scale, Brief Pain Inventory (BPI), SF-36 Bodily Pain Scale, Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale, Hoehn–Yahr Scale (H-Y), Hamilton Depression Scale, and Leeds Assessment of Neuropathic Symptoms and Signs.
Of the 200 PD patients, pain was complained by 106 patients (53%). According to the SF-36 Bodily Pain Scale, pain morbidity in PD patients was significantly higher than in the control group. The average pain during last 24 h measured by the BPI was 2.67. About 76% of PD patients were found to have one pain type, 21.7% were having two pain types, and 1.9% had three pain types. Further, 69.8% of these patients were presented with musculoskeletal pain, 4.7% with dystonic pain, 22.6% with radicular-neuropathic pain, 20.8% with central neuropathic pain, and 9.4% with akathisia pain. The onset age and depression were the most significant predictors of pain in PD patients (p < 0.05). However, there was no significant association between pain and gender, age, disease duration, or severity of the disease. Only 5.7% of PD patients with pain received treatment in this study.
Pain is frequent and disabling, independent of demographic and clinical variables, and is significantly more common in PD patients.