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Palaeoscolecid worms are widespread in the Palaeozoic period, and are of key importance to understanding the emergence of moulting animals (superphylum Ecdysozoa). However, palaeoscolecids lack a diagnostic set of morphological characters, and as such are unlikely to form a natural (monophyletic) group. Consequently, detailed anatomical study of individual taxa is necessary in order to evaluate the phylogenetic significance of palaeoscolecids. New specimens of Mafangscolex from the Cambrian Stage 3 Xiaoshiba Lagerstätte in Kunming, China, provide the first detailed account of a proboscis in Palaeoscoelcida sensu stricto, a core group of palaeoscolecids characterized by having a tessellating scleritome of phosphatic plates and platelets. The eversible mouthparts of Mafangscolex comprise an armoured, hexaradially symmetrical introvert, a ring of coronal spines and quincuncially arranged pharyngeal armature, with a range of tooth morphologies. Taken together, this configuration strikingly resembles the proboscis arrangement inferred for the ancestral ecdysozoan. The six-fold symmetry represents an important difference from the pentaradial priapulan proboscis. The retention of key aspects of the ancestral ecdysozoan body plan suggests that palaeoscolecids represent a useful window on the earliest stages of ecdysozoan evolution.
Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signalling acts as one of modulators that control neural crest cell (NCC) migration, but how this is achieved is still unclear. In this study, we investigated the effects of FGF signalling on NCC migration by blocking this process. Constructs that were capable of inducing Sprouty2 (Spry2) or dominant-negative FGFR1 (Dn-FGFR1) expression were transfected into the cells making up the neural tubes. Our results revealed that blocking FGF signalling at stage HH10 (neurulation stage) could enhance NCC migration at both the cranial and trunk levels in the developing embryos. It was established that FGF-mediated NCC migration was not due to altering the expression of N-cadherin in the neural tube. Instead, we determined that cyclin D1 was overexpressed in the cranial and trunk levels when Sprouty2 was upregulated in the dorsal neural tube. These results imply that the cell cycle was a target of FGF signalling through which it regulates NCC migration at the neurulation stage.
The Myanmar snub-nosed monkey Rhinopithecus strykeri was discovered in 2010 on the western slopes of the Gaoligong Mountains in the Irrawaddy River basin in Myanmar and subsequently in the same river basin in China, in 2011. Based on 2 years of surveying the remote and little disturbed forest of the Gaoligong Mountains National Nature Reserve in China, with outline transect sampling and infrared camera monitoring, a breeding group comprising > 70 individuals was found on the eastern slopes of the Gaoligong Mountains in the Salween River Basin. Given the Critically Endangered status of this primate (a total of < 950 individuals are estimated to remain in the wild), efforts to protect the relatively undisturbed habitat of this newly discovered population and to prevent hunting are essential for the long-term survival of this species.
Increasing dietary Ca intake may prevent the excessive mobilisation of bone mineral in nursing mothers. We aimed to investigate whether higher Ca intake could positively modulate the bone mineral changes in Chinese postpartum lactating women. The study was a 12-month randomised, double-blinded, parallel group trial conducted over 12 months. A total of 150 postpartum women were randomly selected to receive either 40 g of milk powder containing 300 mg of Ca and 5 μg of vitamin D (Low-Ca group) or same milk powder additionally fortified with 300 mg of Ca (Mid-Ca group) or 600 mg of Ca (High-Ca group). Bone mineral density (BMD) for the whole body, the lumbar spine, the total left hip and its sub-regions was measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. A total of 102 subjects completed the whole trial. The duration of total lactating time was 7·9 (sd 2·8) months on average. The intention-to-treat analysis yielded the following mean percentage changes in BMD for the whole body, the lumbar spine and the total left hip, respectively: −0·93 (sd 1·97), 2·11 (sd 4·90) and −1·60 (sd 2·65) % for the Low-Ca group; −0·56 (sd 1·89), 2·21 (sd 3·77) and −1·43 (sd 2·30) % for the Mid-Ca group; and −0·44 (sd 1·67), 2·32 (sd 4·66) and −0·95 (sd 4·08) % for the High-Ca group. The differences between the groups were not statistically significant (P: 0·5–0·9). The results of the complete case analysis were similar. In sum, we found no significant differences in the bone mineral changes from baseline to 12 months in postpartum lactating women consuming milk powder fortified with different levels of Ca.
In this study, scanning electron microscope, electron backscatter diffraction, and transmission electron microscope have been used to investigate the microstructure evolution of Cu–0.2Mg alloy during continuous extrusion in mass production. The continuous extrusion could change the size and orientation of as-cast crystallite grains of the alloy. Hardness increased gently in upsetting zone and dropped sharply in adhesion zone. Hardness reached the maximum value in right-angle bending zone; and it decreased rapidly in extending extrusion zone. Upsetting zone was mainly composed of cell blocks and microbands, and adhesion zone mainly consisted of discontinuous recrystallize grain. Shear band and subgrains were formed in right-angle bending zone due to polygonization during shear deformation. In extending extrusion zone and extrusion rod zone, recrystallize microstructures were predominant.
A 12-month, dose–response, randomised, intervention trial was conducted to determine adequate Ca intake levels for Chinese adolescents by investigating the effect of Ca supplementation on bone mineral accretion. A total of 220 Han adolescents (111 girls and 109 boys) aged 12–14 years were recruited. All subjects were randomly divided into three groups. The bone mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density (BMD) of the whole body, lumbar spine (L1–L4), left hip and femoral neck were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Girls in the high-Ca group (actual Ca intake: 1243 (sd 193) mg/d) exhibited greater increases in the femoral neck BMC compared with those in the low-Ca group (9·7 v. 6·4 %, P =0·04) over the 1-year intervention period. The increases in femoral neck BMC were greater in boys in the high-Ca and medium-Ca groups (actual Ca intake: 985 (sd 168) mg/d) than in those in the low-Ca group (15·7 v. 11·7 %, P =0·03; 15·8 v. 11·7 %, P =0·03). Ca supplementation had significant effects on the whole-body BMC and BMD in subjects with physical activity levels>34·86 metabolic equivalents and on the spine BMD and BMC and BMD of most sites in subjects with Tanner stage < 3. Increasing Ca intake levels with Ca supplementation enhanced femoral neck mineral acquisition in Chinese adolescents. Furthermore, high physical activity levels and low Tanner stage appeared to significantly contribute to the effect of Ca supplementation on bone mass. Whether this is a lasting beneficial effect leading to the optimisation of peak bone mass needs to be determined in other long-term prospective studies.
Two phases of nickel sulfide (α-NiS and β-NiS) nanoarchitectures were successfully and controllably synthesized by a facile solvothermal method with two different solvents of alcohol and water, respectively. The products were characterized by x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectrophotometer. The sphere-like shape for α-NiS and cross-like shape composed of nanorods for β-NiS are uniform and well distributed as well as their size. Both α-NiS and β-NiS powders were used as counter electrodes (CEs) in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). It is found that the DSSC with an α-NiS CE performs much better than the one with a β-NiS CE. The energy conversion efficiency of the former was 5.2%, whereas the latter was 4.2%, about 20% increment.
Consumption of resistant starch (RS)-enriched foods is associated with decrease in the postprandial glycaemic and insulinaemic responses, accompanied by the production of fermentation-related gases in the large bowel. The present study aimed to determine the postprandial glycaemic and insulinaemic responses to the GM RS-enriched rice and the fermentation-related production of H2 in young and healthy Chinese adults. A total of sixteen young adults (nine men and seven women) were recruited and divided into three groups. Their postprandial glycaemic and insulinaemic responses to 40 g glucose, carbohydrates of RS or wild-type (WT) rice were tested by a crossover model with a washout period of 7 d. The concentrations of blood glucose and insulin as well as breath H2 were measured before and after food intake. Although the mean concentrations of fasting blood glucose, insulin and breath H2 were similar, consumption of the RS rice significantly decreased the values of glycaemic index (GI) and insulin index (II), as compared with the intake of WT rice (48·4 (sem 21·8) v. 77·4 (sem 34·9) for GI, 34·2 (sem 18·9) v. 54·4 (sem 22·4) for II, P < 0·05), respectively. Conversely, intake of the RS rice meal significantly elevated the concentrations of breath H2, as compared with WT rice (38·9 (sem 17·6) v. 10·5 (sem 3·7) parts per million for peak levels of breath H2, P < 0·05) through a period of 16-h tests. Consumption of the GM RS-enriched rice meal decreased the postprandial glycaemic and insulinaemic responses and promoted RS fermentation-related production of H2 in the large bowel of young and healthy Chinese adults.
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