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Soybean meal is rich in soybean isoflavones, which exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anticancer functions in humans and animals. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of soybean isoflavones on the growth performance, intestinal morphology and antioxidative properties in pigs. A total of 72 weaned piglets (7.45 ± 0.13 kg; 36 males and 36 females) were allocated into three treatments and fed corn-soybean meal (C-SBM), corn-soy protein concentrate (C-SPC) or C-SPC supplemented with equal levels of the isoflavones found in the C-SBM diet (C-SPC + ISF) for a 72-day trial. Each treatment had six replicates and four piglets per replicate, half male and half female. On day 42, one male pig from each replicate was selected and euthanized to collect intestinal samples. The results showed that compared to pigs fed the C-SPC diet, pigs fed the C-SBM and C-SPC + ISF diets had higher BW on day 72 (P < 0.05); pigs fed the C-SBM diet had significantly higher average daily gain (ADG) during days 14 to 28 (P < 0.05), with C-SPC + ISF being intermediate; pigs fed the C-SBM diet tended to have higher ADG during days 42 to 72 (P = 0.063), while pigs fed the C-SPC + ISF diet had significantly higher ADG during days 42 to 72 (P < 0.05). Moreover, compared to pigs fed the C-SPC diet, pigs fed the C-SBM diet tended to have greater villus height (P = 0.092), while pigs fed the C-SPC + ISF diet had significantly greater villus height (P < 0.05); pigs fed the C-SBM and C-SPC + ISF diets had significantly increased villus height-to-crypt depth ratio (P < 0.05). Compared with the C-SPC diet, dietary C-SPC + ISF tended to increase plasma superoxide dismutase activity on days 28 (P = 0.085) and 42 (P = 0.075) and reduce plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) content on day 42 (P = 0.089), as well as significantly decreased jejunal mucosa MDA content on day 42 (P < 0.05). However, no significant difference in the expression of tight junction genes among the three groups was found (P > 0.05). In conclusion, our results suggest that a long-term exposure to soybean isoflavones enhances the growth performance, protects the intestinal morphology and improves the antioxidative properties in pigs.
The present study was designed to detect three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located on 22q11 that was thought as being of particularly importance for genetic research into schizophrenia. We recruited a total of 176 Chinese family trios of Han descent, consisting of mothers, fathers and affected offspring with schizophrenia for the genetic analysis. The transmission disequilibrium test (TDT) showed that of three SNPs, rs10314 in the 3′-untranslated region of the CLDN5 locus was associated with schizophrenia (χ2 = 4.75, P = 0.029). The other two SNPs, rs1548359 present in the CDC45L locus centromeric of rs10314 and rs739371 in the 5′-flanking region of the CLDN5 locus, did not show such an association. The global chi-square (χ2) test showed that the 3-SNP haplotype system was not associated with schizophrenia although the 1-df test for individual haplotypes showed that the rs1548359(C)-rs10314(G)-rs739371(C) haplotype was excessively non-transmitted (χ2 = 5.32, P = 0.02). Because the claudin proteins are a major component for barrier-forming tight junctions that could play a crucial role in response to changing natural, physiological and pathological conditions, the CLDN5 association with schizophrenia may be an important clue leading to look into a meeting point of genetic and environmental factors.
Although numerous studies have investigated the individual effects of salinity, irrigation and fertilization on soil microbial communities, relatively less attention has been paid to their combined influences, especially using molecular techniques. Based on the field of orthogonal designed test and deoxyribonucleic acid sequencing technology, the effects of saline water irrigation amount, salinity level of irrigation water and nitrogen (N) fertilizer rate on soil bacterial community structure were investigated. The results showed that the irrigation amount was the most dominant factor in determining the bacterial richness and diversity, followed by the irrigation water salinity and N fertilizer rate. The values of Chao1 estimator, abundance-based coverage estimator and Shannon indices decreased with an increase in irrigation amount while increased and then decreased with an increase in irrigation water salinity and N fertilizer rate. The highest soil bacterial richness and diversity were obtained under the least irrigation amount (25 mm), medium irrigation water salinity (4.75 dS/m) and medium N fertilizer rate (350 kg/ha). However, different bacterial phyla were found to respond distinctively to these three factors: irrigation amount significantly affected the relative abundances of Proteobacteria and Chloroflexi; irrigation water salinity mostly affected the members of Actinobacteria, Gemmatimonadetes and Acidobacteria; and N fertilizer rate mainly influenced the Bacteroidetes' abundance. The results presented here revealed that the assessment of soil microbial processes under combined irrigation and fertilization treatments needed to be more careful as more variable consequences would be established by comparing with the influences based on an individual factor, such as irrigation amount or N fertilizer rate.
The shapes of a pore resulting from an entrapped bubble by a solidification front for different locations of the bubble below the free surface are predicted in this work. Bubble location is an important factor affecting temperature gradient in liquid, solute gas dissipated into the ambient, heterogeneous nucleation of the bubble and shape of the bubble cap, and subsequent entrapment and the pore shape in solid. The shapes of pores in solid influence not only material properties, but also contemporary issues of engineering, biology, medical technology and science, etc. This study takes into account solute transport across a coupling shape of the pore cap determined by the Young-Laplace equation governing balance of liquid, gas and capillary pressures. The results find that increases in depthwise location of a bubble increase pore radius and time for bubble entrapment as solute transport is from the pore across cap emerged through a concentration boundary layer along the solidification front into surrounding liquid in the early stage. On the other hand, the bubble cannot be entrapped, provided that solute transport in opposite directions across the cap submerged in a concentration boundary layer along the solidification front. The predicted growth and entrapment of a tiny bubble as a pore in solid agree with experimental data. Understanding and controlling of the pore shape via controlling bubble location is of interest and challenging.
With the consideration of the flexoelectric effect, the dispersion feature of plane waves propagating in infinite piezoelectric medium and the reflection amplitude ratio at a mechanically traction-free and dielectrically charge-free surface of semi-infinite piezoelectric half-space are studied in this paper. The flexoelectric effect is essentially the microstructure effect of heterogeneous piezoelectric medium. Besides, the strain gradient effect and the micro-inertial effect are also introduced to reflect the influences of the microstructure. Different from the classical piezoelectric medium, there are five kinds of coupled elastic waves in the microstructured piezoelectric medium. The influences of the flexoelectric effect, the strain gradient effect and the micro-inertial effect upon the dispersion feature of the coupled elastic waves and the reflection amplitude ratio are studied numerically. The numerical results are shown graphically and are validated by the energy conservation law. It is found that these microstructure effects have obvious influences upon the dispersion feature of the coupled elastic waves and therefore also affect the reflection energy partition at the mechanically free surface. Especially, the micro-inertial effect has fundamental influences on the dispersion properties of the coupled elastic waves.
Background: Mowat-Wilson Syndrome (MWS) is a genetic syndrome (ZEB2, OMIM: 235730) that occurs in 1 in 50000 births. It is characterized by microcephaly, intellectual disability, dysmorphisms (prominent chin, cupped ears, broad nasal bridge) and Hirschsprung’s disease. Although motor delay and hypotonia are common components, a myopathy has not been described in MWS literature. A childhood case with myopathic features prompted further study of this rare disease. Methods: Patients were recruited from the Mowat-Wilson Foundation via email or social media to complete a survey. Results: Thirteen surveys were returned to date. Although 54% of the patients reported motor delay, none of the patients had myopathy investigations. The index patient, presented at 1 year old, with hypotonia and developmental delay. Pregnancy and family history were unremarkable. Investigations revealed high CK levels (range 300 to 500 U/L), EMG confirmed myopathic motor units, and muscle biopsy showed type 1 fibre predominance. Single gene sequencing revealed pathogenic mutations of ZEB2, confirming a diagnosis of MWS. Conclusions: The description of myopathic features expands the spectrum of this rare syndrome and adds to the differential diagnosis of hyperCKemia in early childhood.
Stigma of mental illness is a significant barrier to receiving mental health care. However, measurement tools evaluating stigma of mental illness have not been systematically assessed for their quality. We conducted a systematic review to critically appraise the methodological quality of studies assessing psychometrics of stigma measurement tools and determined the level of evidence of overall quality of psychometric properties of included tools.
We searched PubMed, PsycINFO, EMBASE, CINAHL, the Cochrane Library and ERIC databases for eligible studies. We conducted risk-of-bias analysis with the Consensus-based Standards for the Selection of Health Measurement Instruments checklist, rating studies as excellent, good, fair or poor. We further rated the level of evidence of the overall quality of psychometric properties, combining the study quality and quality of each psychometric property, as: strong, moderate, limited, conflicting or unknown.
We identified 117 studies evaluating psychometric properties of 101 tools. The quality of specific studies varied, with ratings of: excellent (n = 5); good (mostly on internal consistency (n = 67)); fair (mostly on structural validity, n = 89 and construct validity, n = 85); and poor (mostly on internal consistency, n = 36). The overall quality of psychometric properties also varied from: strong (mostly content validity, n = 3), moderate (mostly internal consistency, n = 55), limited (mostly structural validity, n = 55 and construct validity, n = 46), conflicting (mostly test–retest reliability, n = 9) and unknown (mostly internal consistency, n = 36).
We identified 12 tools demonstrating limited evidence or above for (+, ++, +++) all their properties, 69 tools reaching these levels of evidence for some of their properties, and 20 tools that did not meet the minimum level of evidence for all of their properties. We note that further research on stigma tool development is needed to ensure appropriate application.
The reflection of longitudinal micro-rotational wave at the viscoelastically supported boundary of micropolar half-space is studied in this paper. The viscoelastic boundary is described by spring-dashpot model with parallel or serial connection. Both the spring and the dashpot contribute to the displacements and micro-rotation and the boundary conditions include the force stress and couple stress components. From the boundary conditions, the amplitude ratios and phase shifts of reflection waves with respect to the incident wave are obtained. Further, the energy flux ratios of the reflection waves to the incident wave are estimated. In order to validate the numerical results, the energy flux conservation with consideration of the energy dissipation of dashpot is used. Based on the numerical results, the influences of elastic parameters and viscous parameters are studied, respectively. It is found that the elastic parameters and the viscous parameters have evident influences on the amplitude ratio, the phase shift and the energy partition. The causes resulting in these deviations are related with the instantaneous elasticity of spring and the time-delay effects of dashpot.
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.
Biased assessment of tillage impacts on soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration are often associated with a lack of information on the initial level of SOC stocks. The present study reported the changes in SOC concentrations and stocks following 10-year different tillage practices relative to the initial SOC levels. The tillage trial included no tillage (NT), ridge tillage (RT) and mouldboard plough (MP) on a Black soil (Hapludolls) in Northeast China. Results showed that tillage, soil depth and time significantly affected SOC concentration and SOC stock. Tillage and crop residue retention had great impacts on the SOC concentrations in the top 0·1 m layer. Compared with MP and NT, RT resulted in higher SOC concentration and SOC stock in the plough layer (0–0·2 m), which became more obvious with time. The soil under NT and RT had higher stratification ratios (SR) of SOC (SR, the ratio of SOC concentration in 0–0·05 m to that in 0·1–0·2 m) than under MP. Significant positive and nearly identical linear relationships between the SR of SOC and the duration of tillage practices occurred for both NT and RT soils; the increased SR in NT resulted from both SOC increase in surface and SOC decrease in subsurface soils, but in RT, the increased SR was only from a substantial SOC increase in surface soil. Accordingly, the present study highlights that RT was more helpful than NT in carbon sequestration for the studied Black soil in Northeast China.
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.
Atom probe is a powerful technique for studying the composition of nano-precipitates, but their morphology within the reconstructed data is distorted due to the so-called local magnification effect. A new technique has been developed to mitigate this limitation by characterizing the distribution of the surrounding matrix atoms, rather than those contained within the nano-precipitates themselves. A comprehensive chemical analysis enables further information on size and chemistry to be obtained. The method enables new insight into the morphology and chemistry of niobium carbonitride nano-precipitates within ferrite for a series of Nb-microalloyed ultra-thin cast strip steels. The results are supported by complementary high-resolution transmission electron microscopy.
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.
We analyze photoluminescence (PL) and electroluminescence (EL) using a hyperspectral imager that records spectrally resolved luminescence images of solar cell absorbers. The system is calibrated to yield the luminescence flux in absolute values. This system enables to quantitatively image physical parameters such as the photovoltage with an uncertainty of less than 30mV. The wide field illumination, low power excitation and fast acquisition brings new insights compared to classical setups such as confocal microscope. Several types of absorbers have been analyzed. For instance, we can investigate spatial fluctuations of the Quasi Fermi Levels splitting in CIGS polycristalline absorbers and link those fluctuations to transport properties. The method is general to the point that third generation PV cells absorbers can also be evaluated. We illustrate the great potential of our setup by imaging carrier temperature in Hot Carriers Solar cells absorbers and quasi Fermi levels splitting in Intermediate Band Solar cells.
Chemically deposited thin film stack of SnSe-ZnSe-Cu2-xSe was heated in nitrogen with Se vapor at 350-400 oC to produce Cu2ZnSnSe4 (CZTSe) thin films. For this, a thin film of SnSe with 180 nm thickness was deposited at 26 °C from a chemical bath containing tin(II) chloride, triethanolamine, sodium hydroxide, sodium selenosulfate, and a small quantity of polyvinylpyrrolidone. Thin films of ZnSe and Cu2-xSe were subsequently deposited on this SnSe film, also from chemical bath. The CZTSe thin film produced this way shows X-ray diffraction pattern matching that of Cu2ZnSnSe4 (kesterite/stannite) and have a Zn-rich composition. The film has an optical band gap of 0.9-1.0 eV and p-type electrical conductivity, 0.2-0.06 Ω-1 cm-1.
In recent years, human leptospirosis has been reported in Jinping and Liping counties, Guizhou province, but the leptospires have never been isolated. To track the source of infection and understand the aetiological characteristics, we performed surveillance for field mice carriage of leptospirosis in 2011. Four strains of leptospire were isolated from Apodemus agrarius. PCR confirmed the four isolates as pathogenic. Multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) showed that the four strains were closely related to serovar Lai strain 56601 belonging to serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae, which is consistent with the antibody detection results from local patients. Furthermore, the diversity of leptospiral isolates from different hosts and regions was demonstrated with MLVA. Our results suggest that A. agrarius may be the main carrier of Leptospira in Jinping and Liping counties, and the serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae serovar may be the epidemic serogroup of Leptospira. This will contribute to the control and prevention of leptospirosis in these localities.
The shapes of a growing or decaying bubble entrapped by a solidification front are predicted in this work. The bubble results from supersaturation of a dissolved gas in the liquid ahead of the solidification front. Pore formation and its shape in solid are one of the most critical factors affecting properties, microstructure, and stresses in materials. In this study, the bubble and pore shapes entrapped in solid can be described by a three-dimensional phase diagram, obtained from perturbation solutions of Young-Laplace equation governing the tiny bubble shape in the literature. The predicted growth and entrapment of a microbubble as a pore in solid are found to agree with experimental data. This work thus provides a realistic prediction of the general growth of the pore shape as a function of different working parameters.