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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.
An underwater shock loading experimental device is used to simulate underwater explosion shock waves. The aim of this study is to investigate the influence of flyer momentum on the response of an aluminium plate to this underwater shock loading experimental device. The simulation accuracy can be verified by comparing theoretical data with the simulation and experimental results. Through simulations, an aluminium plate’s deformation and pressure specific impulse can be determined when flyers impact the piston at different velocities but at the same momentum. The aluminium plate's deformation and pressure specific impulse are constant when the flyers had constant momentum because both are directly proportional to the flyer momentum. The results have an important practical value for understanding and using this type of experimental device.
Fracture analysis is performed on a cylindrical composite consisting of an outer elastic layer, an inner rigid cylinder and an intermediate sliding interface. Interaction between the sliding interface and a parallel crack under in-plane shear is explored. An interesting phenomenon of oscillatory normal stress occurs on the local interfacial region near to the crack. It leads to local sliding-prevention and promotion effects, which constitute the mechanisms for the variations of stress intensity factors versus interfacial parameters. In addition, another interesting conclusion is that a crack near and parallel to a sliding interface never has the conventional anti-symmetry, even under pure in-plane shear loading.
A new approach is proposed to analyze Bremsstrahlung X-rays that are emitted from laser-produced plasmas (LPP) and are measured by a stack type spectrometer. This new method is based on a spectral tomographic reconstruction concept with the variational principle for optimization, without referring to the electron energy distribution of a plasma. This approach is applied to the analysis of some experimental data obtained at a few major laser facilities to demonstrate the applicability of the method. Slope temperatures of X-rays from LPP are determined with a two-temperature model, showing different spectral characteristics of X-rays depending on laser properties used in the experiments.
The ultimate goal of poultry hatching is to increase the hatching rate and to produce healthy hatched birds. In the incubation process, temperature is the most important factor for the egg hatching rate, the growth performance and offspring phenotype. This not only affects the early development of the offspring, but also has a continued influence on the physical characteristics of the birds, such as final body weight and meat quality. This article reviews the importance of incubation temperature on offspring phenotype, sex differentiation, organism immunity and the development of muscle fibre in poultry.
Recent studies indicate that intestinal oxidative stress and microbiota imbalance is involved in weaning-induced intestinal dysfunction in piglets. We have investigated the effect of feeding a carvacrol–thymol blend supplemented diet on intestinal redox status, selected microbial populations and the intestinal barrier in weaning piglets. The piglets (weaned at 21 days of age) were randomly allocated to two groups with six pens per treatment and 10 piglets per pen. At weaning day (21 days of age), six piglets were sacrificed before weaning to serve as the preweaning group. The weaned group was fed with a basal diet, while the weaned-CB group was fed with the basal diet supplemented with 100 mg/kg carvacrol–thymol (1 : 1) blend for 14 days. On day 7 post-weaning, six piglets from each group were sacrificed to determine intestinal redox status, selected microbial populations, messenger RNA (mRNA) transcript levels of proinflammatory cytokines and biomarkers of intestinal barrier function. Weaning resulted in intestinal oxidative stress, indicated by the increased concentration of reactive oxygen species and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances present in the intestine. Weaning also reduced the population of Lactobacillus genus and increased the populations of Enterococcus genus and Escherichia coli in the jejunum, and increased mRNA levels of tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), interleukin 1β and interleukin 6 (IL-6). In addition, decreased mRNA levels of zonula occludens and occludin in the jejunal mucosa and increased plasma diamine oxidase concentrations indicated that weaning induced dysfunction of the intestinal barrier. On day 7 post-weaning, supplementation with the carvacrol–thymol blend restored weaning-induced intestinal oxidative stress. Compared with the weaned group, the weaned-CB group had an increased population of Lactobacillus genus but reduced populations of Enterococcus genus and E. coli in the jejunum and decreased mRNA levels of TNF-α. The results indicated that weaning induced intestinal oxidative stress and dysfunction of the intestinal barrier. Dietary supplementation with 100 mg/kg carvacrol–thymol (1 : 1) decreased the intestinal oxidative stress and influenced selected microbial populations without changing the biomarkers of intestinal barrier in weaning piglets.
The study investigates three-dimensional kinematics of lower limb for female Chinese population during normal squatting activity. 25 young female and 25 elder female Chinese subjects were recruited. With each subject's data collected, the means of three-dimensional rotation angles of knee, hip, and ankle joints of those two groups were calculated and analyzed. Measured results showed that the maximal eccentric range of hip flexion/extension of 128.6° for the young female group (P < 0.05) was compared with that of 158.8° for the elder female group. Thus, the elder female undergoes more hip flexion/extension angles than the young female in the posture of squatting. The mean range of motion (ROM) of knee flexion/extension was 140.2° for the young female group and 138.7° (significant level P > 0.05) for the elder female group. The mean ROM of ankle flexion/extension was 47.90° for the young female group and 31.9° (P > 0.05) for the elder female group. The ROMs obtained in the experiment during squatting were greater than the reported ones achieved after joint arthroplasty. These data may be invaluable in providing designers of lower limb prosthesis with basic mechanical parameters, and assessing the effect of kinematics of low limb on rehabilitation for the Chinese population.
On 1996 May 10, the All-Sky Monitor aboard RXTE revealed that Cyg X-1 started a transition from its hard state to soft state (Cui 1996). Throughout this interesting episode, snapshots were taken with more sensitive detectors on ASCA, RXTE, and CGRO to monitor the temporal and spectral variability of the source over a broad energy range.
Phosphatidylinositol-3 kinases (PI3K)-Protein kinase B (Akt)-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway plays an important role in the synthesis and secretion of triacylglycerol. However, the mechanism of PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway in regulating lipid metabolism of goose liver was poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to determine how PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway regulating lipid metabolic homeostasis in goose hepatocytes. Goose primary hepatocytes were treated with different PI3K-Akt-mTOR signal inhibitors (LY294002, rapamycin and NVP-BEZ235) for 24 h. The results showed that these inhibitors evidently inhibited PI3K-Akt-mTOR downstream signaling. Meanwhile, these PI3K-Akt-mTOR inhibitors reduced intracellular lipid accumulation, decreased the mRNA expression and protein content of genes involved in the de novo fatty acid synthesis, while increased the transcriptional and protein level of key factors involved in fatty acid oxidation and very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) assembly and secretion. Conclusion: These findings suggested that the reduction of lipids accumulation induced-by inhibiting PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway was closely linked to the decrease of lipogenesis, the increase of fatty acids oxidation, and the increase of VLDL assembly and secretion in goose hepatocytes.
Attention bias modification (ABM) training has been suggested to effectively reduce depressive symptoms, and may be useful in the prevention of the illness in individuals with subthreshold symptoms, yet little is known about the spontaneous brain activity changes associated with ABM training.
Resting-state functional MRI was used to explore the effects of ABM training on subthreshold depression (SubD) and corresponding spontaneous brain activity changes. Participants were 41 young women with SubD and 26 matched non-depressed controls. Participants with SubD were randomized to receive either ABM or placebo training during 28 sessions across 4 weeks. Non-depressed controls were assessed before training only. Attentional bias, depressive severity, and spontaneous brain activity before and after training were assessed in both training groups.
Findings revealed that compared to active control training, ABM training significantly decreased depression symptoms, and increased attention for positive stimuli. Resting-state data found that ABM training significantly reduced amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF) of the right anterior insula (AI) and right middle frontal gyrus which showed greater ALFF than non-depressed controls before training; Functional connectivity strength between right AI and the right frontoinsular and right supramarginal gyrus were significantly decreased after training within the ABM group; moreover, the improvement of depression symptoms following ABM significantly correlated with the connectivity strength reductions between right AI and right frontoinsular and right supramarginal gyrus.
These results suggest that ABM has the potential to reshape the abnormal patterns of spontaneous brain activity in relevant neural circuits associated with depression.
Dysregulation of the striatum and altered corticostriatal connectivity have been associated with psychotic disorders. Social anhedonia has been identified as a predictor for the development of schizophrenia spectrum disorders. The aim of the present study was to examine corticostriatal functional connectivity in individuals with high social anhedonia.
Twenty-one participants with high social anhedonia score and 30 with low social anhedonia score measured by the Chinese version of the Revised Social Anhedonia Scale were recruited from university undergraduates (age 17–21 years) to undergo resting-state functional MRI scans. Six subdivisions of the striatum in each hemisphere were defined as seeds. Voxel-wise functional connectivity analyses were conducted between each seed and the whole brain voxels, followed by repeated-measures ANOVA for the group effect.
Participants with high social anhedonia showed hyper-connectivity between the ventral striatum and the anterior cingulate cortex and the insula, and between the dorsal striatum and the motor cortex. Hypo-connectivity in participants with high social anhedonia was also observed between the ventral striatum and the posterior cingulate cortex. Partial correlation analyses further showed that the functional connectivity between the ventral striatum and the prefrontal cortex was associated with pleasure experience and emotional suppression.
Our findings suggest that altered corticostriatal connectivity can be found in participants with high levels of social anhedonia. Since social anhedonia has been considered a predictor for schizophrenia spectrum disorders, our results may provide novel evidence on the early changes in brain functional connectivity in at-risk individuals.
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.
HBV genotypes have specific geographical distributions and can serve as epidemiological markers. Accumulated data have shown that the major HBV genotypes in China are B and C. Here, the HBV genotypes were examined from 6817 blood samples, which were collected from patients with chronic HBV infection in Fujian Province during 2006–2013; genotype B was identified in 3384 patients (49·6%), while genotype C was identified in 3430 patients (50·3%). The percentage of patients infected with genotype C gradually increased with age from 39·5% (patients aged <20 years) to 63·9% (patients aged >50 years), reaching a peak of 67·3% in the 45–50 years age group. These results clearly demonstrate that the genotype distribution of HBV in Fujian Province has significantly changed in recent years with almost equal numbers of genotype B and genotype C infections existing in the entire patient population, while higher incidence of genotype C infection exists in older patients, but genotype B is no longer dominant in the Fujian area as previously reported.
A photoactivated ZnO nanomesh with precisely controlled dimensions and geometries is fabricated by using nanosphere lithography process. The nanomesh structures effectively increase the surface-to-volume ratio to improve the sensing response under the same testing gas. And the periodical nanostructures also increase the effective light path and lead to more efficient light activation for gas sensing. With the increase of the photoinduced oxygen ions by UV illumination, a distinguished sensing response is observed at room temperature. In the optimized case, the sensing response (△R/R0) of the ZnO nanomesh at the butanol concentration of 500 ppm is 97.5%, which is 4.54 times higher than the unpatterned one.
A radio-frequency magnetron sputtering technique and subsequent rapid thermal annealing (RTA) at 600, 700, 800, and 900 °C were implemented to grow high-quality Ga-doped MgxZn1-xO (GMZO) epi-layers. The GMZO films were deposited using a radio-frequency magnetron sputtering system and a 4 inch ZnO/MgO/Ga2O3 (75/20/5 wt %) target. The Hall results, X-ray diffraction (XRD), and transmittance were determined and are reported in this paper. The Hall results indicated that the increase in mobility was likely caused by the improved crystallization in the GMZO films after thermal annealing. The XRD results revealed that MgxZn1-xO (111) and MgO2 (200) peaks were obtained in the GMZO films. The absorption edges of the as-grown and annealed GMZO films shifted toward the short wavelength of 373 nm at a transmittance of 90%. According to these results, GMZO films are feasible for forming transparent contact layers for near-ultraviolet light-emitting diodes.
Boron was incorporated into GaN in order to determine its limits of solubility, its ability of reducing the lattice constant mismatch with 6H-SiC, as well as its effects on the structural and optical properties of GaN epilayers. BxGa1−xN films were deposited on 6H-SiC (0001) substrates at 950 °C by low pressure MOVPE using diborane, trimethylgallium, and ammonia as precursors. A single phase alloy with x=0.015 was successfully produced at a gas reactant B/Ga ratio of 0.005. Phase separation into pure GaN and BxGa1−xN alloy with x=0.30 was deposited for a B/Ga reactant ratio of 0.01. This is the highest B fraction of the wurtzite structure alloy ever reported. For B/Ga ratio ≥ 0.02, no BxGa1−xN was formed, and the solid solution contained two phases: wurtzite GaN and BN based on the results of Auger and x-ray diffraction. The band edge emission of BxGa1−xN varied from 3.451 eV for x=0 with FWHM of 39.2 meV to 3.465 eV for x=0.015 with FWHM of 35.1 meV. The narrower FWHM indicated that the quality of GaN epilayer was improved with small amount of boron incorporation.
The transmission of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) is deeply influenced by the reservoir and hantavirus prevalence rate. In this study, a surveillance on human HFRS cases, relative rodent abundance, and hantavirus infection prevalence was conducted in Shaanxi province, China, during 1984–2012. A generalized linear model with Poisson-distributed residuals and a log link was used to quantify the relationship between reservoir, virus and HFRS cases. The result indicated that there was a significant association of HFRS incidence with relative rodent density and the prevalence rate. This research provides evidence that the changes of infection prevalence in the reservoir could lead directly to the emergence of a new epidemic. It was concluded that the measurement of a number of these variables could be used in disease surveillance to give useful advance warning of potential disease epidemics.
The present work built on a previous study of tillage trials, which found the effectiveness of least limiting water range (LLWR) as an indicator of soil organic carbon (SOC) mineralization under different tillage practices in a black soil of Northeast China in 2009. To improve the understanding of soil structure controls over SOC dynamics, a study was conducted to explore the relationship between LLWR, which was calculated based on soil bulk density and soil pore-size distribution, and the effects of LLWR, which was calculated based on soil bulk density and soil pore-size distribution on SOC mineralization following no tillage (NT) and mouldboard ploughing (MP). In contrast to MP, NT had a significantly greater volume of large macropores (>100 μm) at depths of 0–0·05 and 0·2–0·3 m, but a significantly lower volume of small macropores (30–100 μm) at depths of 0–0·05, 0·05–0·1, 0·1–0·2 and 0·2–0·3 m. The volume of meso- (0·2–30 μm) and micro-pores (<0·2 μm) at different depths under the two tillage practices were similar. Tillage-induced changes in soil bulk density and pore-size volumes affected the ability of soil to fulfil essential soil functions in relation to organic matter turnover. Soil pore-size distribution, especially small macropores greatly affected LLWR and there was a significant correlation between LLWR, which was calculated based on soil bulk density, and the proportion of small macropores. The proportion of small macropores were used to calculate LLWR instead of soil bulk density and the values for NT and MP soils ranged from 0·073 to 0·148 m3 water/m3 soil. Using the proportion of small macropores rather than bulk density in the calculation of LLWR resulted in more sensitive indications of SOC mineralization. Variation in the proportion of small macropores can help characterize the impacts of tillage practices on dynamics of LLWR and SOC sequestration.
Aberrant functional connectivity within the default network is generally assumed to be involved in the pathophysiology of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD); however, the genetic risk of default network connectivity in OCD remains largely unknown.
Here, we systematically investigated default network connectivity in 15 OCD patients, 15 paired unaffected siblings and 28 healthy controls. We sought to examine the profiles of default network connectivity in OCD patients and their siblings, exploring the correlation between abnormal default network connectivity and genetic risk for this population.
Compared with healthy controls, OCD patients exhibited reduced strength of default network functional connectivity with the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), and increased functional connectivity in the right inferior frontal lobe, insula, superior parietal cortex and superior temporal cortex, while their unaffected first-degree siblings only showed reduced local connectivity in the PCC.
These findings suggest that the disruptions of default network functional connectivity might be associated with family history of OCD. The decreased default network connectivity in both OCD patients and their unaffected siblings may serve as a potential marker of OCD.
Fast-electron beam stopping mechanisms in media ranging from solid to warm dense matter have been investigated experimentally and numerically. Laser-driven fast electrons have been transported through solid Al targets and shock-compressed Al and plastic foam targets. Their propagation has been diagnosed via rear-side optical self-emission and Kα X-rays from tracer layers. Comparison between measurements and simulations shows that the transition from collision-dominated to resistive field-dominated energy loss occurs for a fast-electron current density ~5 × 1011 A cm−2. The respective increases in the stopping power with target density and resistivity have been detected in each regime. Self-guided propagation over 200μm has been observed in radially compressed targets due to ~1kT magnetic fields generated by resistivity gradients at the converging shock front.