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Fat metabolism is an important and complex biochemical reaction in vivo and is regulated by many factors. Recently, the findings on high expression of fibroblast growth factor-16 (FGF16) in brown adipose tissue have led to an interest in exploring its role in lipogenesis and lipid metabolism. The study cloned the goat’s FGF16 gene 624 bp long, including the complete open reading frame that encodes 207 amino acids. We found that FGF16 expression is highest in goat kidneys and hearts, followed by subcutaneous fat and triceps. Moreover, the expression of FGF16 reached its peak on the 2nd day of adipocyte differentiation (P < 0.01) and then decreased significantly. We used overexpression and interference to study the function of FGF16 gene in goat intramuscular preadipocytes. Silencing of FGF16 decreased adipocytes lipid droplet aggregation and triglyceride synthesis. This is in contrast to the situation where FGF16 is overexpressed. Furthermore, knockdown of FGF16 also caused down-regulated expression of genes associated with adipocyte differentiation including CCAAT enhancer-binding protein beta (P < 0.01), fatty acid-binding protein-2 (P < 0.01) and sterol regulatory element binding protein-1 (P < 0.05), but the preadipocyte factor-1 was up-regulated. At the same time, the genes adipose triglyceride lipase (P < 0.01) and hormone-sensitive lipase (P < 0.05) associated with triglyceride breakdown were highly expressed. Next, we locked the fibroblast growth factor receptor-4 (FGFR4) through the protein interaction network and interfering with FGF16 to significantly reduce FGFR4 expression. It was found that the expression profile of FGFR4 in adipocyte differentiation was highly similar to that of FGF16. Overexpression and interference methods confirmed that FGFR4 and FGF16 have the same promoting function in adipocyte differentiation. Finally, using co-transfection technology, pc-FGF16 and siRNA-FGFR4, siRNA2-FGF16 and siRNA-FGFR4 were combined to treat adipocytes separately. It was found that in the case of overexpression of FGF16, cell lipid secretion and triglyceride synthesis showed a trend of first increase and then decrease with increasing interference concentration. In the case of interference with FGF16, lipid secretion and triglyceride synthesis showed a downward trend with the increase of interference concentration. These findings illustrated that FGF16 mediates adipocyte differentiation via receptor FGFR4 expression and contributed to further study of the functional role of FGF16 in goat fat formation.
A 53-year-old male presents with cough, fever, and myalgias for 7 days. Vitals include temperature, 38.0°C; heart rate, 110; blood pressure, 118/70 mm Hg; respiration rate, 28; and oxygen saturation 83% on room air. His only past medical history is hypertension. Your community is in the midst of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The patient is hypoxic but responds to oxygen supplementation with nasal cannula and a face mask. His chest x-ray demonstrates multifocal infiltrates. Are there any therapeutic agents currently available for COVID-19?
A 37-year-old female presents with cough, fever, dyspnea, and myalgias for five days after recent contact with a family member with confirmed 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Her vital signs include T 38.3° C, HR 108, BP 118/70 mm Hg, RR 26 breaths per minute, and oxygen saturation 67% on room air. She is not in respiratory distress currently and is protecting her airway. Her chest X-ray reveals bilateral airspace opacities. You plan to immediately intervene and address her hypoxia.
A 2-year fertilization experiment was conducted to study the effect of different ratios of organic (pig) manure on wheat yield and nitrogen use efficiency (NUE). The four treatments were no nitrogen (N) (CK); 100% chemical fertilizer N (urea; T1); 70% chemical fertilizer N + 30% organic manure N (T2) and 50% chemical fertilizer N + 50% organic manure N (T3), with the same amount of applied nitrogen (120 kg/ha). The results showed the maximum grain yield (3049 kg/ha), crop nitrogen uptake (216 kg/ha), NUE (65.4%) and accumulated nitrate nitrogen (NO3−-N in 0–200 cm, 142 kg/ha) were observed in the T1 among all treatments in the first year. However, the largest grain yield (5074 kg/ha), crop nitrogen uptake (244 kg/ha) and NUE (82.5%) were under T2 treatment in the second year. Furthermore, T2 had the maximum NO3−-N content in 0–100 cm layer (116 kg/ha), especially 0–40 cm layer, and the lowest NO3−-N content in 100–200 cm (58.8 kg/ha). However, 50% organic manure N in T3 increased apparent nitrogen loss by 39.0% compared to that in T2. Therefore, 30% organic manure N application was more conducive for enhancing wheat yield and NUE and promoting environmental safety after 1-year fertilization time.
To get a more robust DNA methylation profile from the data given by a published article of a MZ study of psychiatry.
Considering the relevance of birth weight with DNA methylation profiles, we reanalyzed the data from the paper of Mill etc. (DOI: 10.1002/ajmg.b.30316) with rearrangement of the group order within twin pair, prior if lighter in birth weight. Statistical methods used are including mean, correlation and paired-samples t-test (considering twins’ particularity).
We calculated twin difference by lighter twin's methylation percentage minus that of heavier twin. The mean of CpG1 methylation differences is -7.08% while -7.17% for CpG2. The two means have no statistical significant difference in a paired-samples t-test (t=0.027, p=0.979, 2-tailed). These results are different from the original paper: 10.3% for CpG1 and 16.1% for CpG2, which are statistical significantly different (t=-2.792, p=0.018, 2-tailed). Besides, we found that in the lighter twin group, the methylation percentage are statistical significantly different between CpG1 and CpG2 (t=2.627, p=0.024, 2-tailed). As to correlation analysis, we got a slightly different result: correlation between MZ differences in two sites is weaker after rearrangement (r=0.875, while r=0.913 before arrangement, both p< 0.001).
According to our study, the results imply that twin differences may not be the only thing worthy of investigation. Different patterns among CpGs in certain kinds of subgroups should also need attention. We need conduct a robust data analysis strategy in our researches on the epigenetic aspects of psychiatry, where monozygotic twins have a favorable utility.
Clinical studies and practical use of amisulpride in Chinese population were rarely reported.
To evaluate the efficacy and safety profile of amisulpride in Chinese patients with schizophrenia.
To assess the change of the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale (PANSS) and adverse events emerged during the study.
In this national, prospective, open-label, multicenter, single arm study, 316 patients with ICD-10 diagnosis schizophrenia were treated with amisulpride for 8 weeks. The PANSS was primarily used for efficacy evaluation.
Of the 295 patients included for efficacy analysis, 66.8% reached a decrease of ≥50% PANSS total score at week 8. The mean (SD) baseline PANSS total score was 89.1 (13.7), as the study proceeded, the score decreased to 73.0 (17.7), 60.7 (17.6) and 51.0 (14.6) at week 2, 4 and 8 visits, respectively. The mean (SD) PANSS positive subscale score decreased from 23.8 (5.7) at baseline to 18.1 (6.2) at week 2, 14.1 (5.5) at week 4, and 11.1 (4.1) at week 8. The mean (SD) PANSS negative subscale score decreased from 23.7 (7.9) at baseline to 20.7 (8.0) at week 2, 17.8 (7.8) at week 4, and 15.2 (7.0) at week 8. All above measures were significantly improved at each post-baseline visit compared with baseline (P>0.05). Extrapyramidal disorder (25.9%) and blood prolactin increase (25.9%) were the most frequently reported adverse events, but the incidence of endocrine disorders (8.2%) was relatively low.
Amisulpride had both good clinical efficacy and safety profile for Chinese schizophrenic patients.
Rare research was reported about assessing the effectiveness and safety of amisulpride in Chinese patients with schizophrenia before we performed the ESCAPE, a multicenter, single-arm, phase IV study (NCT01795183). This study is a cluster analysis of ESCAPE study.
To identify the effectiveness patterns of amisulpride in Chinese patients with schizophrenia.
To examine baseline characteristics of patients as potential predictors of effectiveness.
Time-series cluster analysis was performed to identify effectiveness trajectories bases on Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) scores in Chinese patients with schizophrenia received amisulpride for 8 weeks. Baseline characteristics of patients were examined.
Overall, 295 patients were included for efficacy analysis. Four response trajectories based on positive PANSS were identified (Figure 1): (1) rapid response (cluster 1); (2) gradual response (cluster 2); (3) sustained low level (cluster 3); (4) poor response (cluster 4). Age in cluster 4 was significantly higher than that in cluster 1 and cluster 3 (Table 1, P = 0.0025 and 0.0032, respectively). Similarly, four response trajectories based on negative PANSS were generated (Figure 2): (1) rapid response (cluster 1); (2) gradual response (cluster 2); (3) poor response with moderate PANSS (cluster 3); (4) poor response with high PANSS (cluster 4). Male to female ratio in cluster 1 was significantly lower than that in cluster 2 and cluster 3 (Table 2, P = 0.0042 and 0.0208, respectively).
For the first time, we obtained effectiveness patterns of amisulpride-treated Chinese patients. Age and gender may be predictors of effectiveness.
Disclosure of interest
This study is being funded by Sanofi (China) Investment Co., Ltd.
To assess potential transmission of antibiotic-resistant organisms (AROs) using surrogate markers and bacterial cultures.
A 1,260-bed tertiary-care academic medical center.
The study included 25 patients (17 of whom were on contact precautions for AROs) and 77 healthcare personnel (HCP).
Fluorescent powder (FP) and MS2 bacteriophage were applied in patient rooms. HCP visits to each room were observed for 2–4 hours; hand hygiene (HH) compliance was recorded. Surfaces inside and outside the room and HCP skin and clothing were assessed for fluorescence, and swabs were collected for MS2 detection by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and selective bacterial cultures.
Transfer of FP was observed for 20 rooms (80%) and 26 HCP (34%). Transfer of MS2 was detected for 10 rooms (40%) and 15 HCP (19%). Bacterial cultures were positive for 1 room and 8 HCP (10%). Interactions with patients on contact precautions resulted in fewer FP detections than interactions with patients not on precautions (P < .001); MS2 detections did not differ by patient isolation status. Fluorescent powder detections did not differ by HCP type, but MS2 was recovered more frequently from physicians than from nurses (P = .03). Overall, HH compliance was better among HCP caring for patients on contact precautions than among HCP caring for patients not on precautions (P = .003), among nurses than among other nonphysician HCP at room entry (P = .002), and among nurses than among physicians at room exit (P = .03). Moreover, HCP who performed HH prior to assessment had fewer fluorescence detections (P = .008).
Contact precautions were associated with greater HCP HH compliance and reduced detection of FP and MS2.
Thermosonic wire bonding is a common fabrication process for connecting devices in electronic packaging. However, when the free air ball (FAB) is compressed onto the I/O pad of the chip during bonding procedure, chip cracking may occur if the contact pressure is too large. This study proposes an effective simulation technique that can predict the wire ball geometry after bonding in an accurate range. The contact force obtained in the simulation can be used for possible die cracking behavior evaluation. The simulation in this study used the explicit time integration scheme to deal with the time marching problem, and the second-order precision arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian (ALE) algorithm was used to deal with the large deformation of the wire ball during the bonding process. In addition, the equilibrium smoothing algorithm in LS-DYNA can make the contact behavior and geometry of the bonding wire almost the same as the experiment, which can also significantly reduce the distortion of the mesh geometry after remeshing.
For electronic packaging structure, there are many design parameters that will affect its reliability performance, using experimental way to obtain the reliability result will take a considerable amount of time. Therefore, how to shorten the design time becomes a critical issue for new electronic packaging structure development. This research will combine artificial intelligence (AI) and simulation technology to assess the long-term reliability of wafer level packaging (WLP). A simulation technology using finite element method (FEM) with appropriate mechanics theories has been validated by multiple experiments will replace the experiment to create reliability results for different WLP structures. After a big WLP structure-reliability database created, this study will apply artificial neural network (ANN) theory to analyze this database and obtains a regression model for structure-reliability relationship of WLP. Once the regression model is established and validated, the WLP geometry, such as pad size, die and buffer layer thickness, and solder volume, etc. can be simply entered, and then the WLP reliability results can be immediately obtained through the ANN regression model.
The crystal plastic theory was used to examine the effect of film-cooling hole arrangements on mechanical properties of cooled turbine blade. The finite element method was used to analyze the maximum von Mises stress and resolved shear stress of an octahedral slip system considering the number of rows, diameter, spacing, and tangential-to-longitudinal hole spacing (h/l) ratio. The different arrangements were found to have a significant influence on the maximum von Mises stress and resolved shear stress. For the triangular arrangement, the von Mises stress and resolved shear stress were highest with double rows, followed by a single row and then triple rows. For the quadrilateral arrangement, the stresses were highest with double rows, followed by triple rows and then a single row. Increasing the spacing or decreasing the diameter reduced the maximum von Mises stress and weakened the multi-hole interference effect. Both the maximum von Mises stress and resolved shear stress decreased with the h/l ratio.
Glyphodes pyloalis Walker (Lepidoptera: Pyralididae) is a common pest in sericulture and has developed resistance to different insecticides. However, the mechanisms involved in insecticide resistance of G. pyloalis are poorly understood. Here, we present the first whole-transcriptome analysis of differential expression genes in insecticide-resistant and susceptible G. pyloalis. Clustering and enrichment analysis of DEGs revealed several biological pathways and enriched Gene Ontology terms were related to detoxification or insecticide resistance. Genes involved in insecticide metabolic processes, including cytochrome P450, glutathione S-transferases and carboxylesterase, were identified in the larval midgut of G. pyloalis. Among them, CYP324A19, CYP304F17, CYP6AW1, CYP6AB10, GSTs5, and AChE-like were significantly increased after propoxur treatment, while CYP324A19, CCE001c, and AChE-like were significantly induced by phoxim, suggesting that these genes were involved in insecticide metabolism. Furthermore, the sequence variation analysis identified 21 single nucleotide polymorphisms within CYP9A20, CYP6AB47, and CYP6AW1. Our findings reveal many candidate genes related to insecticide resistance of G. pyloalis. These results provide novel insights into insecticide resistance and facilitate the development of insecticides with greater specificity to G. pyloalis.
Guangxi, a province in southwestern China, has the second highest reported number of HIV/AIDS cases in China. This study aimed to develop an accurate and effective model to describe the tendency of HIV and to predict its incidence in Guangxi. HIV incidence data of Guangxi from 2005 to 2016 were obtained from the database of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Long short-term memory (LSTM) neural network models, autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) models, generalised regression neural network (GRNN) models and exponential smoothing (ES) were used to fit the incidence data. Data from 2015 and 2016 were used to validate the most suitable models. The model performances were evaluated by evaluating metrics, including mean square error (MSE), root mean square error, mean absolute error and mean absolute percentage error. The LSTM model had the lowest MSE when the N value (time step) was 12. The most appropriate ARIMA models for incidence in 2015 and 2016 were ARIMA (1, 1, 2) (0, 1, 2)12 and ARIMA (2, 1, 0) (1, 1, 2)12, respectively. The accuracy of GRNN and ES models in forecasting HIV incidence in Guangxi was relatively poor. Four performance metrics of the LSTM model were all lower than the ARIMA, GRNN and ES models. The LSTM model was more effective than other time-series models and is important for the monitoring and control of local HIV epidemics.
Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology offers a real-time solution to monitor behavioral responses of individual animals to various stimuli, which provides crucial implications on farm management and animal well-being. The objectives of this study were to (1) develop and describe an ultra-high frequency radio frequency identification (UHF-RFID) system for continuously monitoring feeding and drinking behaviors of individual broilers in group settings; and (2) validate the performance of the UHF-RFID system against video analysis in determining the instantaneous bird number (IBN) and time spent (TS) at feeder and drinker. The UHF-RFID system consisted of cable-tie tags, antennas, a reader and a data acquisition (DAQ) system. The antennas generated electromagnetic fields where tags were detected and registered by the DAQ system. Electromagnetic fields of the antennas were modified to cover areas of concern (i.e. tube feeders and nipple drinkers) through a series of system evaluations and customizations including tag sensitivity test, power adjustment, radio wave shielding, and assessment of interference by add-ons (e.g. plastic wraps for protecting antennas and an empty carton box for zoning out broilers) and feed/feeder. System validation was performed in two experimental rooms, each with 60 tagged broilers. The results showed that the max reading distances of tags with an identical manufacturer’s specification were markedly different, indicating large variations in sensitivity among the tags. Desired electromagnetic fields could be achieved by adjusting the power supplied to antennas and by partially shielding antennas with customized stainless steel sheets. The protection materials and fully loaded feeder had little effect on electromagnetic fields of the antennas. The accuracies of the UHF-RFID system for determining IBN and TS were, respectively, 92.5±4.2% and 99.0±1.2% by the feeder antennas and 94.7±4.2% and 93.7±6.9% by the drinker antennas. It is concluded that the UHF-RIFD system can accurately detect and record feeding and drinking behaviors of individual broilers in group settings and thus is a useful tool for investigating impacts of resource allocations and management practices on these behaviors.
The prevalence of sexually transmitted infection (STI) pathogens in Beijing, China, is rarely reported. In this study, 34 911 symptomatic outpatients with suspected genital infections who attended outpatient clinics in a tertiary care hospital were included to investigate the updated prevalence of Ureaplasma urealyticum (UU), Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) and herpes simplex virus (HSV) from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2016 in Beijing, China. Results indicated that a decrease trend (UU, CT, NG and HSV) in male and an increase trend (UU, CT and NG) in female were observed during the period. Patients aged 20–39 years old were mostly affected by these pathogens, while the prevalence in patients aged 20–29 years old was the highest, The prevalence of UU in male was significantly lower than in female (31.5% vs. 49.3%, P < 0.05), while the prevalence of NG in male was significantly higher than in female (2.5% vs. 0.8%, P < 0.05). In patients with co-infections, 60.6% of male and 71.4% of female were co-infected by UU + CT. In total, 11.9% and 88.1% of patients with HSV infections were confirmed to be infected by HSV-1 and HSV-2. This study could contribute to a better understanding of the current epidemiological features of UU, NG, CT and HSV among symptomatic patients attending an outpatient clinic in Beijing, China, and thus facilitate to develop more effective intervention, prevention and treatment of STI.
To investigate the morphology and dimensions of the vestibular aqueduct on axial, single-oblique and double-oblique computed tomography images.
The computed tomography temporal bone scans of 112 patients were retrospectively evaluated. Midpoint and opercular measurements were performed using axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images. Morphometric analyses were also conducted. The vestibular aqueduct sizes on axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images were compared.
At the midpoint, the mean (± standard deviation) vestibular aqueduct measured 0.61 ± 0.23 mm, 0.74 ± 0.27 mm and 0.82 ± 0.38 mm on axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images, respectively; at the operculum, the vestibular aqueduct measured 0.91 ± 0.30 mm, 1.11 ± 0.45 mm and 1.66 ± 1.07 mm on the respective images. The co-efficients of variation of the vestibular aqueduct measured at the midpoint were 37.4 per cent, 36.5 per cent and 47.5 per cent on axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images, respectively; at the operculum, the measurements were 33.0 per cent, 40.5 per cent and 64.5 per cent. Regarding morphology, the vestibular aqueduct was fissured (33.5 per cent), tubular (64.3 per cent) or invisible (2.2 per cent).
The morphology and dimensions of the vestibular aqueduct were highly variable among axial, single-oblique and double-oblique images.
Fermented soybean meal (FSM), which has lower anti-nutritional factors and higher active enzyme, probiotic and oligosaccharide contents than its unfermented form, has been reported to improve the feeding value of soybean meal, and hence, the growth performance of piglets. However, whether FSM can affect the bacterial and metabolites in the large intestine of piglets remains unknown. This study supplemented wet-FSM (WFSM) or dry-FSM (DFSM) (5% dry matter basis) in the diet of piglets and investigated its effects on carbon and nitrogen metabolism in the piglets’ large intestines. A total of 75 41-day-old Duroc×Landrace×Yorkshire piglets with an initial BW of 13.14±0.22 kg were used in a 4-week feeding trial. Our results showed that the average daily gain of piglets in the WFSM and DFSM groups increased by 27.08% and 14.58% and that the feed conversion ratio improved by 18.18% and 7.27%, respectively, compared with the control group. Data from the prediction gene function of Phylogenetic Investigation of Communities by Reconstruction of Unobserved States (PICRUSt) based on 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) sequencing showed that carbohydrate metabolism function families in the WFSM and DFSM groups increased by 3.46% and 2.68% and that the amino acid metabolism function families decreased by 1.74% and 0.82%, respectively, compared with the control group. These results were consistent with those of other metabolism studies, which showed that dietary supplementation with WFSM and DFSM increased the level of carbohydrate-related metabolites (e.g. 4-aminobutanoate, 5-aminopentanoate, lactic acid, mannitol, threitol and β-alanine) and decreased the levels of those related to protein catabolism (e.g. 1,3-diaminopropane, creatine, glycine and inosine). In conclusion, supplementation with the two forms of FSM improved growth performance, increased metabolites of carbohydrate and reduced metabolites of protein in the large intestine of piglets, and WFSM exhibited a stronger effect than DFSM.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
Population decline among Asian horseshoe crabs in Asia is increasingly reported, but knowledge of their population and ecological status in China is limited. We conducted community interviews in 30 fishing villages around Beibu Gulf in Guangxi, China, to collect distribution information about the potential spawning/nursery grounds of Tachypleus tridentatus and Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda, and any imminent threats to their populations. Based on the results from 400 respondents we identified 45 potential spawning/nursery grounds distributed widely along the shores of Beibu Gulf. We visited 10 of these sites and verified the presence of juvenile horseshoe crabs by field surveys. Nearly all respondents reported an overall depletion in horseshoe crab populations from these 45 sites, which they attributed mainly to unsustainable fishing practices. Respondents who reported having seen horseshoe crab mating pairs on shores were mostly older people, which may suggest a considerable reduction in horseshoe crabs coming to the shores to spawn in recent years. The mean daily harvest of adult T. tridentatus offshore, as indicated by fishers, has declined from c. 50–1,000 in the 1990s to 0–30 individuals during 2011–2016. Our Wisdom of Crowds approach, supported by confirmatory field surveys, is a cost-effective method for assessing the population status of horseshoe crabs, and the level of threat they face. Similar approaches with other species are likely to be particularly valuable in the Asia–Pacific region, where well-structured population monitoring is largely unaffordable.
The current experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of different dietary protein levels and rumen-protected folic acid (RPFA) supplementation on ruminal fermentation, microbial enzyme activity, bacterial populations and urinary excretion of purine derivatives (PD) in growing beef steers. Low-protein (LP) or high-protein (HP) diets were fed to eight ruminally cannulated first-generation cross-bred (Blonde d'Aquitaine × Simmental) beef steers with or without RPFA supplementation. Steers were fed a total mixed ration, and dietary concentrate to maize silage ratio was 50 : 50 (dry matter (DM) basis). No interaction between dietary crude protein (CP) levels and RPFA supplementation was observed during the experiment. Ruminal pH was unaffected by RPFA supplementation, but decreased with increasing dietary CP levels. Ruminal total volatile fatty acid concentration increased with increasing dietary CP levels or RPFA supplementation. Molar proportion of acetate increased with RPFA supplementation, but tended to decrease with increasing dietary CP levels. The proportion of propionate decreased with RPFA supplementation, but was unaffected by dietary CP levels. As a result, the acetate to propionate ratio increased with RPFA supplementation, but tended to be lower for the HP diets than the LP diets. Ammonia-nitrogen content decreased with RPFA supplementation, but increased with increasing dietary CP levels. In situ ruminal degradability of maize straw and concentrate increased with increasing dietary CP levels or RPFA supplementation. Microbial enzyme (carboxymethyl-cellulase, cellobiase, xylanase, pectinase, α-amylase and protease) activity, bacterial populations (Ruminococcus albus, Ruminococcus flavefaciens, Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens, Prevotella ruminicola, Fibrobacter succinogenes and Ruminobacter amylophilus) and urinary PD excretion increased with increasing dietary CP levels or RPFA supplementation. The current study showed that increasing dietary CP levels from 109·1 to 130·7 g/kg DM or supplementing 75 mg RPFA improved ruminal fermentation and microbial protein synthesis by increasing bacterial population and microbial enzyme activity.