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Leg weakness (LW) issues are a great concern for pig breeding industry. And it also has a serious impact on animal welfare. To dissect the genetic architecture of limb-and-hoof firmness in commercial pigs, a genome-wide association study was conducted on bone mineral density (BMD) in three sow populations, including Duroc, Landrace and Yorkshire. The BMD data were obtained by ultrasound technology from 812 pigs (including Duroc 115, Landrace 243 and Yorkshire 454). In addition, all pigs were genotyped using genome-by-sequencing and a total of 224 162 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were obtained. After quality control, 218 141 SNPs were used for subsequent genome-wide association analysis. Nine significant associations were identified on chromosomes 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12 and 18 that passed Bonferroni correction threshold of 0.05/(total SNP numbers). The most significant locus that associated with BMD (P value = 1.92e−14) was detected at approximately 41.7 Mb on SSC6 (SSC stands for Sus scrofa chromosome). CUL7, PTK7, SRF, VEGFA, RHEB, PRKAR1A and TPO that are located near the lead SNP of significant loci were highlighted as functionally plausible candidate genes for sow limb-and-hoof firmness. Moreover, we also applied a new method to measure the BMD data of pigs by ultrasound technology. The results provide an insight into the genetic architecture of LW and can also help to improve animal welfare in pigs.
The fatty acid composition of chicken’s meat is largely influenced by dietary lipids, which are often used as supplements to increase dietary caloric density. The underlying key metabolites and pathways influenced by dietary oils remain poorly known in chickens. The objective of this study was to explore the underlying metabolic mechanisms of how diets supplemented with mixed or a single oil with distinct fatty acid composition influence the fatty acid profile in breast muscle of Qingyuan chickens. Birds were fed a corn-soybean meal diet supplemented with either soybean oil (control, CON) or equal amounts of mixed edible oils (MEO; soybean oil : lard : fish oil : coconut oil = 1 : 1 : 0.5 : 0.5) from 1 to 120 days of age. Growth performance and fatty acid composition of muscle lipids were analysed. LC-MS was applied to investigate the effects of CON v. MEO diets on lipid-related metabolites in the muscle of chickens at day 120. Compared with the CON diet, chickens fed the MEO diet had a lower feed conversion ratio (P < 0.05), higher proportions of lauric acid (C12:0), myristic acid (C14:0), palmitoleic acid (C16:1n-7), oleic acid (C18:1n-9), EPA (C20:5n-3) and DHA (C22:6n-3), and a lower linoleic acid (C18:2n-6) content in breast muscle (P < 0.05). Muscle metabolome profiling showed that the most differentially abundant metabolites are phospholipids, including phosphatidylcholines (PC) and phosphatidylethanolamines (PE), which enriched the glycerophospholipid metabolism (P < 0.05). These key differentially abundant metabolites – PC (14:0/20:4), PC (18:1/14:1), PC (18:0/14:1), PC (18:0/18:4), PC (20:0/18:4), PE (22:0/P-16:0), PE (24:0/20:5), PE (22:2/P-18:1), PE (24:0/18:4) – were closely associated with the contents of C12:0, C14:0, DHA and C18:2n-6 in muscle lipids (P < 0.05). The content of glutathione metabolite was higher with MEO than CON diet (P < 0.05). Based on these results, it can be concluded that the diet supplemented with MEO reduced the feed conversion ratio, enriched the content of n-3 fatty acids and modified the related metabolites (including PC, PE and glutathione) in breast muscle of chickens.
A viscous damping model is proposed based on a simplified equation of fluid motion in a moonpool or the narrow gap formed by two fixed boxes. The model takes into account the damping induced by both flow separation and wall friction through two damping coefficients, namely, the local and friction loss coefficients. The local loss coefficient is determined through specifically designed physical model tests in this work, and the friction loss coefficient is estimated through an empirical formula found in the literature. The viscous damping model is implemented in the dynamic free-surface boundary condition in the gap of a modified potential flow model. The modified potential flow model is then applied to simulate the wave-induced fluid responses in a narrow gap formed by two fixed boxes and in a moonpool for which experimental data are available. The modified potential flow model with the proposed viscous damping model works well in capturing both the resonant amplitude and frequency under a wide range of damping conditions.
An anti-resonance pulse forming network (PFN) has been designed, analyzed, and tested for its application in generating quasi-square pulses. According to the circuit simulations, a compact generator based on two/three-section network was constructed. Two-section network is applied in the generator due to its compact structure, while three-section network is employed for generating pulses with higher quality. When two-section network is applied in the generator, the full-width at half-maximum of the load pulse is 400 ns, at the same time, its rise time, flat top and fall time are 90, 180 and 217 ns, respectively. When the three-section network is applied with the same pulse width of the load pulse, the rise time of the output decreases to 60 ns, while the flat top increases to 240 ns and the fall time reduces to 109 ns. Meanwhile, this kind of network could be used to shape the output pulses of generators whose equivalent circuit is LC series discharge network, such as MARX generator, into quasi-square pulses. And the preliminary experiment demonstrates that anti-resonance network could work well on four-stage Marx generators. A sine pulse generated by the four-stage Marx generator is shaped into a quasi-square pulse with voltage of 11.8 kV and pulse width about 110 ns based on two-section anti-resonance network.
The present study investigated alteration of brain resting-state activity induced by antidepressant treatment and attempted to investigate whether treatment efficacy can be predicted at an early stage of pharmacological treatment.
Forty-eight first-episode medication-free patients diagnosed with major depression received treatment with escitalopram. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging was administered prior to treatment, 5 h after the first dose, during the course of pharmacological treatment (week 4) and at endpoint (week 8). Resting-state activity was evaluated in the course of the 8-week treatment and in relation to clinical improvement.
Escitalopram dynamically modified resting-state activity in depression during the treatment. After 5 h the antidepressant induced a significant decrease in the signal in the occipital cortex and an increase in the dorsolateral and dorsomedial prefrontal cortices and middle cingulate cortex. Furthermore, while remitters demonstrated more obvious changes following treatment, these were more modest in non-responders suggesting possible tonic and dynamic differences in the serotonergic system. Changes after 5 h in the caudate, occipital and temporal cortices were the best predictor of clinical remission at endpoint.
This study revealed the possibility of using the measurement of resting-state neural changes a few hours after acute administration of antidepressant to identify individuals likely to remit after a few weeks of treatment.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has emerged as a serious hospital and community-acquired infection and some strains are associated with greater severity. We investigated the clinical variability and molecular characteristics of MRSA infections in Shenzhen, China through a study at nine sentinel hospitals from January to December 2014. MRSA infections were classified as community-associated (CA-MRSA), healthcare-associated (HA-MRSA), and healthcare-associated community-onset (HACO-MRSA). In total, 812 MRSA isolates were collected and 183 of these were selected for further study. Patients with HA-MRSA infections were generally of greater age compared to other groups. Distinct body site and clinical presentations were evident in infected patients, e.g. CA-MRSA (skin and soft tissue, 53%), HA-MRSA (respiratory tract, 22%; surgical site, 20%; trauma wounds, 20%) and HACO-MRSA (mastitis, 47%). In contrast to HA-MRSA, other categories of strains were significantly more susceptible to gentamicin, sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim, and tetracycline. No resistance to vancomycin or linezolid was recorded. The predominant clonal lineage within each strain category was CC59-t437-SCCmec IV/V-agr I (CA, 51·4%; HA, 28·9%; HACO, 52·9%) which exhibited characteristics of a traditional CA clone together with agr I which is more often associated with HA clones. In conclusion, for the three categories of MRSA infections, there were significant differences in clinical characteristics of patients, but the predominant clone in each category shared a similar genetic background which suggests that transmission of MRSA strains has occurred between the community and hospitals in Shenzhen.
The genetic influences in human brain structure and function and impaired functional connectivities are the hallmarks of the schizophrenic brain. To explore how common genetic variants affect the connectivities in schizophrenia, we applied genome-wide association studies assaying the abnormal neural connectivities in schizophrenia as quantitative traits.
We recruited 161 first-onset and treatment-naive patients with schizophrenia and 150 healthy controls. All the participants underwent scanning with a 3 T-magnetic resonance imaging scanner to acquire structural and functional imaging data and genotyping using the HumanOmniZhongHua-8 BeadChip. The brain-wide association study approach was employed to account for the inherent modular nature of brain connectivities.
We found differences in four abnormal functional connectivities [left rectus to left thalamus (REC.L–THA.L), left rectus to right thalamus (REC.L–THA.R), left superior orbital cortex to left thalamus (ORBsup.L–THA.L) and left superior orbital cortex to right thalamus (ORBsup.L–THA.R)] between the two groups. Univariate single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-based association revealed that the SNP rs6800381, located nearest to the CHRM3 (cholinergic receptor, muscarinic 3) gene, reached genomic significance (p = 1.768 × 10−8) using REC.L–THA.R as the phenotype. Multivariate gene-based association revealed that the FAM12A (family with sequence similarity 12, member A) gene nearly reached genomic significance (nominal p = 2.22 × 10–6, corrected p = 0.05).
Overall, we identified the first evidence that the CHRM3 gene plays a role in abnormal thalamo-orbital frontal cortex functional connectivity in first-episode treatment-naive patients with schizophrenia. Identification of these genetic variants using neuroimaging genetics provides insights into the causes of variability in human brain development, and may help us determine the mechanisms of dysfunction in schizophrenia.
Sexual transmission has become the primary route of HIV transmission in China. Therefore, a comprehensive overview of HIV-1 subtype distribution is necessary for the prevention and control of the HIV epidemic. The present study aimed to provide a comprehensive prevalence estimate of different HIV-1 subtypes in sexual transmission in China. We conducted a systematic literature review for studies of HIV-1 subtypes in English and Chinese through several databases. Eligible articles were screened and selected by two authors independently. Random-effects model were applied to calculate the pooled prevalence of different HIV-1 subtypes, and subgroup analyses examined prevalence estimates across time, locations, and populations. A total of 130 eligible studies were identified, including 18 752 successfully genotyped samples. The pooled prevalence of CRF01_AE, subtype B, CRF07_BC, CRF08_BC, and subtype C were 44·54% (95% CI 40·81–48·30), 18·31% (95% CI 14·71–22·17), 16·45% (95% CI 13·82–19·25), 2·55% (95% CI 1·56–3·73), 0·37% (95% CI 0·11–0·72), respectively. The prevalence of subtype B in sexual transmission decreased, while the prevalence of CRF01_AE and CRF07_BC in sexual transmission, and CRF08_BC in heterosexual transmission increased. There is significant variation in HIV-1 subtype distribution between regions. The distribution of HIV-1 subtypes and circulating recombinant forms have changed significantly. The high genetic variability of HIV-1 poses a significant challenge for disease control and surveillance in China.
Floral organ development influences plant reproduction and crop yield. The mechanism of floral organ specification is generally conserved in angiosperms as demonstrated by the ‘ABC’ model. However, mechanisms underlying the development of floral organs in specific groups of species such as grasses remain unclear. In the genus Oryza (rice), a spikelet consists of a fertile floret sub-tended by a lemma, a palea, two sterile lemmas and rudimentary glumes. To understand how the lemma is formed, a curve-shaped lemma-distortion1 (ld1) mutant was identified. Genetic analysis confirmed that the ld1 mutant phenotype was due to a single recessive gene mutation. Using a large F2 population, the LD1 gene was mapped between markers Indel-7-15 and Indel-7-18, which encompassed a region of 15·6 kilo base pairs (kbp). According to rice genome annotations, two putative genes, LOC_Os07g32510 and LOC_Os07g32520, were located in this candidate region. However, DNA sequencing results indicated only 1 base pair (bp) substitution (T⇨C) was found in LOC_Os07g32510 between the wild-type and the ld1 mutant. Thus LOC_Os07g32510, encoding a DNA binding with one zinc finger (DoF) containing protein, was the candidate gene for LD1. Further analysis showed that mutation of the amino acid cysteine (C) to arginine (R) was likely to lead to zinc finger protein deactivation. Phylogenetic and conservation analysis of the gene from different species revealed that cysteine was critical to LD1 function. As a new gene controlling lemma development, the study of LD1 could provide insights into rice floral organ formation mechanisms.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.
Over the past decade, the PV industry has witnessed tremendous growth in manufacturing scale and technology advancement, with PV generated electricity cost ever approaching grid parity. Among them, Si based thin film technology has made substantial progress in demonstrating its inherent advantages in lower material cost, ease of manufacturing and higher energy yield, etc. More recently, reduced product prices and competing technologies from crystalline silicon and other thin film technologies have made amorphous and microcrystalline silicon based thin film technology very challenging, and requires further increase in module efficiency and decrease in manufacturing cost. As one of the few companies in the world with significant manufacturing capacity for tandem thin film Si PV products, Chint Solar (Astronergy) has been at the forefront of technology development for the mass production of large-scale (Gen. 5, 1.43m2) Si thin film solar modules in the last 5 years. We will review major technology advancements which have been mass production proven and led to the mass produced tandem silicon thin film module with 10.0% plus stabilized efficiency, along with the field performance of those modules.
The meta-foil is an all-metal self-supported electromagnetic metamaterial that features a space-grid that is locally stiff, yet globally flexible. Owing to its mechanical, thermal, chemical and radiative robustness, it lends itself to widespread applications.
Samples of single-phase Sr2FeMoO6 were successfully prepared by solid-state reaction with long sintering times. The crystal structures of the Sr2FeMoO6 samples were determined from X-ray powder diffraction data using the Rietveld refinement method. The structure results obtained by the Rietveld refinements show that an increase in the total sintering time of the solid-state reaction is an effective method to obtain single Sr2FeMoO6 phase and to improve the ordering of Fe and Mo cations (or reducing antisite defects) in the double-perovskite structure. The volume of the tetragonal unit cell of Sr2FeMoO6 contracts slightly after successive sintering treatments. The averaged Fe-O and Mo-O bond lengths as well as the tilt between the FeO6 and the MoO6 octahedra decrease with increasing total sintering time. Our results suggest that the detected subtle changes in crystal structure, such as bond lengths and bond angles between the Fe and Mo cations and oxygen, in the ordered double-perovskite structure may be responsible for the large effects on previously reported transport and magnetic properties of an oxide metal.
We report on microstructures of HfAl2O5 gate dielectric film grown
on Si substrate with a Ti capping layer treated with rapid thermal annealing
process. X-ray reflectivity, atomic force microscopy and X-ray photoelectron
spectroscopy are used to investigate the sample. Results show that a
layer naturally forms at the interface between
the HfAlO layer and the Si substrate in the as-grown sample. With the help
of the Ti capping layer on the HfAlO/Si, the annealing treatment can
effectively remove the Six(SiO
interface layer, which
enhances the capacitance of the dielectric film. On the other side, the
annealing process roughens the interfaces of the sample, which brings into
the increase of the leakage current. Higher temperature of the annealing
treatment results in rougher interfaces. Thus, the annealing temperature
should be chosen properly to improve the capacitance of the film, before the
interface roughening works to increase the leakage current. In this way, the
dielectric and structural properties of the samples can be optimized.
The rise-time of the pulse on the diode of the intense electron-beam accelerators (IEBA) is one of the important factors that affect the quality and characteristic of the output beam current of the IEBA. In this paper, effect of the transition section between the main switch and middle cylinder of strip spiral Blumlein line (SSBL) on the diode voltage of IEBA is analyzed in theory, based on the theoretical analysis of the wave propagation along the Blumlein pulse forming line (BPFL), the traveling time of the transition section has a great effect on the rise-time, the plateau-time, and the fall-time of the output voltage at the matching load. Furthermore, the operation of the whole accelerator consisting of the primary energy-storage capacitor, the Tesla transformer, a main switch, the transition section, BPFL, and a resistive load was simulated using a circuit-simulation code called PSpice, and the dependence of the output voltage on the inductance of the main switch and the transition section was obtained. It was found from the wave propagation theory and the circuit simulation using computer results that the wave traveling time of the transition section between the main switch and the middle cylinder of the SSBL influences considerably the rise-time, plateau-time, and fall-time of the voltage waveform at the matching load. In order to get an ideal square pulse voltage waveform at the matching load and to improve the electron beam quality of such an accelerator, the wave traveling time of the transition section should be designed as soon as possible. At last, a couple of contrastive experiments are performed on two kinds of IEBA. The experimental results agree with the theoretical analysis and simulated results.
The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of orally administered spermine at various doses on intestinal maturation in sucking piglets. Thirty-six 11-day-old sucking piglets were assigned randomly to one of six treatments to receive via a stomach tube 0, 0·1, 0·2, 0·3, 0·4, or 0·5 mmol spermine per kg live weight (LW) per day for 3 days. At day 14 of age, duodenum, jejunum and ileum were obtained for biochemical and morphological analysis. Increasing the dose of orally administered spermine increased intestinal weight (linear effect, P<0·01), mucosal weight (linear effect, P<0·05), and mucosal protein, DNA and RNA contents of the duodenum (linear effect, P≤0·01) and jejunum (linear effect, P<0·01). Elevating spermine doses also enhanced (linear effect, P≤0·02) the specific activities of maltase and sucrase but decreased (linear effect, P<0·01) lactase specific activity in the jejunum and duodenum. Furthermore, augmenting oral doses of spermine increased crypt depth and villus width but reduced villus height in the jejunum (linear effect, P<0·05) and duodenum (linear effect, P<0·01). For most measurements, the effects were observed at the oral spermine doses of 0·3 to 0·5 mmol/kg LW per day. Collectively, the results show that oral administration of optimal doses of spermine to 11-day-old sucking piglets induces precocious intestinal maturation and promotes intestinal growth.
Superhard and elastic carbon nitride films with hardness and elastic recovery of 47 GPa and 87.5%, respectively, were synthesized by using a double-bend filtered cathodic vacuum arc combined with radio-frequency nitrogen ion beam source. The bombardment of energetic nitrogen atom onto the growing film surface results in the high atomic ratio of N/C (0.4), which contributes to the high sp2 content and the formation of a five-membered ring structure in the carbon nitride film at room temperature. The buckling of the five-membered ring basal planes may facilitate cross-linking between the planes through sp3 coordinated carbon atoms. A rigid three-dimensional network is formed, which contributes to the high hardness and elastic recovery of the deposited films.
The long-term oxidation behavior on a Ti-2Al-2.5Zr alloy with and without pre-oxidation oxidized at 300 in an alkaline steam for about 13000h were studied. Some of the samples were subjected to 400°C deionized water steam at a pressure of 10MPa for 72 hours for pre-oxidation. A comparison study has been carried out between the pre-oxidized and without pre-oxidized Ti-2Al-2.5Zr to determine the influence of pre-oxidation upon the properties of oxidation resistance. The result analysis showed that the oxide scales on the Ti-2Al-2.5Zr alloy consisted of Al2TiO5, TiO2, Ti3O5, Ti2O3, Al2O3 and TiO. The oxidation kinetics showed that the weight gains of the pre-oxidized samples were much less than that of the without pre-oxidized samples. The AES results showed that the whole thickness of the pre-oxidized sample thinner than that of the without pre-oxidized one, in contrast the pattern for the stable oxide scale was reversed, i.e. the pre-oxidized sample was much thicker. It is thought that pre-oxidation is an effective method to enhance the oxidation resistance of Ti-2Al-2.5Zr.
Aluminum Nitride (AIN) is a promising material for a variety of technological applications because it has many exceptional properties, such as wide band gap (WBG) and negative electron affinity (NEA). AIN thin films were prepared by Reactive Ion Beam Coating. The properties of the AIN thin films may be a function of one of the preparation conditions: the beam energy. We used the non-Rutherford backscattering (non-RBS) and Auger Electron Spectroscopy (AES) results to analyze the composition of the AIN thin films. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) was applied to study the morphology of films. On the other hand, electron field emission properties were also studied to find the relationship between the compositional, morphological and electron field emission properties of the AIN thin films.