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Starch digestion in the small intestines of the dairy cow is low, to a large extent, due to a shortage of syntheses of α-amylase. One strategy to improve the situation is to enhance the synthesis of α-amylase. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signalling pathway, which acts as a central regulator of protein synthesis, can be activated by leucine. Our objectives were to investigate the effects of leucine on the mTOR signalling pathway and to define the associations between these signalling activities and the synthesis of pancreatic enzymes using an in vitro model of cultured Holstein dairy calf pancreatic tissue. The pancreatic tissue was incubated in culture medium containing l-leucine for 3 h, and samples were collected hourly, with the control being included but not containing l-leucine. The leucine supplementation increased α-amylase and trypsin activities and the messenger RNA expression of their coding genes (P <0.05), and it enhanced the mTOR synthesis and the phosphorylation of mTOR, ribosomal protein S6 kinase 1 and eukaryotic initiation factor 4E-binding protein 1 (P <0.05). In addition, rapamycin inhibited the mTOR signal pathway factors during leucine treatment. In sum, the leucine regulates α-amylase and trypsin synthesis in dairy calves through the regulation of the mTOR signal pathways.
Muons produced by the Bethe–Heitler process from laser wakefield accelerated electrons interacting with high
materials have velocities close to the laser wakefield. It is possible to accelerate those muons with laser wakefield directly. Therefore for the first time we propose an all-optical ‘Generator and Booster’ scheme to accelerate the produced muons by another laser wakefield to supply a prompt, compact, low cost and controllable muon source in laser laboratories. The trapping and acceleration of muons are analyzed by one-dimensional analytic model and verified by two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation. It is shown that muons can be trapped in a broad energy range and accelerated to higher energy than that of electrons for longer dephasing length. We further extrapolate the dependence of the maximum acceleration energy of muons with the laser wakefield relativistic factor
and the relevant initial energy
. It is shown that a maximum energy up to 15.2 GeV is promising with
on the existing short pulse laser facilities.
The origin and characteristics of near-microcoulomb multi-MeV electrons accelerated by short pulse lasers interacting with near-critical density plasma in self-formed channels are studied using three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. According to the analysis on interaction phenomena and electron dynamics, the dominant mechanism turns out to be direct laser acceleration, which ensures the outstanding energy coupling. Additionally, self-channeling is found to be a decisive factor for the acceleration performance, as electrons obtain ultra-high energy through betatron resonance inside the channels. In our findings, by using a relativistic short laser pulse and near-critical plasma, a large amount of energetic electrons can be generated, presenting a promising and accessible route to ultraintense, high-spatial-resolution radiation pulses.
The role of the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii in the pathogenesis of liver disease has recently gained much interest. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors associated with T. gondii infection in patients with liver disease from three cities in Shandong and Henan provinces, China. A case–control study was conducted from December 2014 to November 2015 and included 1142 patients with liver disease and 1142 healthy controls. Serum samples were collected from all individuals and were examined with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the presence of anti-T. gondii IgG and IgM antibodies. Information on the demographics, clinical, and lifestyle characteristics of the participants was collected from the medical records and by the use of a questionnaire. The prevalence of anti-T. gondii IgG was 19·7% in patients with liver disease compared with 12·17% in the controls. Only 13 patients had anti-T. gondii IgM antibodies compared with 12 control individuals (1·14% vs. 1·05%, respectively). The highest seroprevalence was detected in patients with liver cancer (22·13%), followed by hepatitis patients (20·86%), liver cirrhosis patients (20·42%), and steatosis patients (20%). Multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that consumption of raw meat (odds ratio (OR) = 1·32; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·01–1·71; P = 0·03) and source of drinking water from wells (OR = 1·56; 95% CI 1·08–2·27; P = 0·01) were independent risk factors for T. gondii infection in liver disease patients. These findings indicate that T. gondii infection is more likely to be present in patients with liver disease. Therefore, efforts should be directed toward health education of populations at high risk of T. gondii infection and measures should be taken to protect vulnerable patients with liver disease.
Cytochrome P450s (CYPs or P450s) have been long recognized as very important enzymes in the metabolism of xenobiotic and endogenous compounds, but only a few CYPs have been functionally characterized in insects. The effort in functional characterization of insect P450s is heavily hindered by technical difficulties in preparing active, individual P450 enzymes directly from the target insect. In this paper, we describe the functional expression of two additional pyrethroid resistance-associated CYP9A genes (CYP9A12 and CYP9A17) from the polyphagous pest Helicoverpa armigera in the facile Escherichia coli. The functionality of E. coli produced CYP9A12, CYP9A14, and CYP9A17 was investigated and activities of these CYP9As were compared against three probe substrates after reconstitution with NADPH-dependent cytochrome P450 reductase. The results showed that active forms of CYP9A12 and CYP9A17 were expressed in E. coli with a content of about 1.0–1.5 nmol mg−1 protein in membrane preparations. In vitro assays showed that CYP9A14 was capable of catalyzing O-dealkylation of methoxyresorufin (MROD), ethoxyresorufin (EROD), and benzyloxyresorufin (BROD), while CYP9A12 and CYP9A17 exhibited only MROD and EROD activities. Kinetic studies demonstrated that CYP9A14 had the greatest kcat/Km value for MROD, and CYP9A17 for EROD, while the lowest kcat/Km values for both MROD and EROD were observed for CYP9A12. The distinct biochemical traits suggest that the three paralogous CYP9As may play different roles in xenobiotic metabolism in this important pest.
Using the spectroscopic distances of over 0.12 million A-type stars selected from the LAMOST Spectroscopic Survey of the Galactic Anti-center (LSS-GAC), we map their three-dimensional number density distributions in the Galaxy. These stellar number density maps allow an investigation of the Galactic young age thin disk structure with no a priori assumptions about the functional form of its components. The data show strong evidence for a significant flaring young disk. A more detail analysis show that the stellar flaring have different behaviours between the Northern and the Southern Galactic disks. The maps also reveal spatially coherent, kpc-scale stellar substructure in the thin disk. Finally, we detect the Perseus arm stellar overdensity at R ~ 10 kpc.
The study aimed to evaluate the effect of a patient-to-patient communication model on dysphagia in laryngeal cancer patients after total laryngectomy.
Sixty-five patients who had undergone total laryngectomy were randomly divided into three groups: a routine communication group, a patient communication group (that received the patient-to-patient communication model) and a physician communication group. Questionnaires were used to compare quality of life and swallowing problems among all patient groups.
The main factors causing dysphagia in total laryngectomy patients were related to fear and mental health. The patient communication group had improved visual analogue scale scores at one week after starting to eat. Quality of life in swallowing disorders questionnaire scores were significantly higher in the patient communication and physician communication groups than in the routine communication group. In addition, swallowing problems were much more severe in patients educated to high school level and above than in others.
The patient-to-patient communication model can be used to resolve swallowing problems caused by psychological factors in total laryngectomy patients.
Flour whiteness (FW) is an important factor in assessing flour quality and determining the end product quality. It is an integrated sensory indicator reflecting flour colour and is negatively correlated with protein content. In order to dissect the genetic relationship between FW and its five related traits at the quantitative trait locus (QTL)/gene level, a recombinant inbred line population was evaluated under three environments. Quantitative trait loci for FW were analysed by unconditional and conditional QTL mapping. Four unconditional additive QTLs and 16 conditional additive QTLs were detected across the three environments. Of these QTLs, only one major additive QTL (Qfw1D1-1) was consistently identified using both unconditional and conditional QTL analysis. This QTL was independent of flour colour a* (a function of red-green with a positive a* for redness and negative for greenness) and b* (a green-blue value with positive value for yellowness and negative for blueness) and was only slightly affected by flour protein content. A minor additive QTL (Qfw4A-4) was also detected using these two QTL mapping methods, being independent of flour colour a* and b*. Five unconditional and ten conditional epistatic minor QTLs were detected, from which only one pair (Qfw3A-10/Qfw6B-6) was identified by both unconditional and conditional QTL mapping, also independent of flour colour a* and b*. The major QTL (Qfw1D1-1) identified in the current study for the first time can be used for improving wheat FW in marker-assisted breeding.
20-Hydroxyecdysone (20E) is a key hormone which regulates growth, development and reproduction in insects. Although cytochrome P450 enzymes (P450s) participating in the ecdysteroid biosynthesis of 20E have been characterized in a few model insects, no work has been published on the molecular entity of their orthologs in the cotton bollworm Helicoverpa armigera, a major pest insect in agriculture worldwide. In this study, four cytochrome P450 homologs, namely HarmCYP302A1, HarmCYP306A1, HarmCYP314A1 and HarmCYP315A1 from H. armigera, were identified and evolutional conservation of these Halloween genes were revealed among lepidopteran. Expression analyses showed that HarmCYP302A1 and HarmCYP315A1 were predominantly expressed in larval prothoracic glands, whereas this predominance was not always observed for HarmCYP306A1 and CYP314A1. The expression patterns of Halloween genes indicate that the fat bodies may play an important role in the conversion of ecdysone into 20E in larval–larval molt and in larval–pupal metamorphosis, and raise the possibility that HarmCYP315A1 plays a role in tissue-specific regulation in the steroid biosynthesis in H. armigera. These findings represent the first identification and expression characterization of four steriodogenic P450 genes and provide the groundwork for future functional and evolutionary study of steroid biosynthesis in this agriculturally important pest.
Feeding a high concentrate (HC) diet is a widely used strategy for supporting high milk yields, yet it may cause certain metabolic disorders. This study aimed to investigate the changes in milk production and hepatic metabolism in goats fed different proportions of concentrate in the diet for 10 weeks. In total, 12 mid-lactating goats were randomly assigned to an HC diet (65% concentrate of dry matter, n=6) or a low concentrate (LC) diet (35% concentrate of dry matter, n=6). Compared with LC, HC goats produced greater amounts of volatile fatty acids and produced more milk and milk lactose, fat and protein (P<0.01). HC goats showed a greater concentration of ATP, NAD, plasma non-esterified fatty acids and hepatic triglycerides than LC goats (P<0.05). Real-time PCR results showed that messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of gluconeogenic genes, namely, glucose-6-phosphatase, pyruvate carboxylase and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase were significantly up-regulated and accompanied greater gluconeogenic enzyme activities in the liver of HC goats. Moreover, the expression of hepatic lipogenic genes including sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1c, fatty acid synthase and diacylglycerol acyltransferase mRNA was also up-regulated by the HC diet (P<0.05). HC goats had greater hepatic phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase than LC (P<0.05). Furthermore, histone-3-lysine-27-acetylation contributed to this elevation of gluconeogenic gene expression. These results indicate that lactating goats fed an HC diet for 10 weeks produced more milk, which was associated with up-regulated gene expression and enzyme activities involved in hepatic gluconeogenesis and lipogenesis.
The natural boundary integral equation (NBIE) is developed to calculate potential derivatives for potential problems with anisotropic media. Firstly, the governing equation of the two-dimensional anisotropic potential problem is transformed into standard Laplace equation by a coordinate transformation method. Then a potential derivative boundary integral equation named as NBIE is extended to solve the anisotropic potential problem. The most important virtue of the NBIE is that the singularity of the integral kernel function is reduced by one order in comparison with the conventional potential derivative boundary integral equation(CDBIE). Therefore the new potential derivative boundary integral equation only contains strongly singular integrals rather than hyper-singular integrals. Thus the NBIE can calculate more accurate potential derivative results for both boundary nodes and interior points. Moreover, in combination with the analytical integral regularization algorithm of nearly singular integrals, the NBIE can obtain more accurate potential derivatives of interior points very close to the boundary than the CDBIE. Numerical examples on heat conduction in anisotropic media demonstrate the accuracy and efficiency of the NBIE.
The effects of target density and laser intensity on ionization speed are studied in this paper by 1D3V particle-in-cell simulations, where the field ionization of single atom is involved basing Ammosov-Delone-Krainov model in the form of Penetrante and Bardsley. To consider the ionization speed, the evolution of plasma density for the helium target, particularly, the ion density change rate near the target front surface, are discussed. The results show that not only the laser intensity, but also the target density will affect field ionization and further affect the plasma formation. This work will be helpful for further understanding of plasma formation in intense laser pulse. Also, it may be benefit for the setup of initial parameters before the simulation of laser–plasma interaction.
Pathogens utilize type III secretion systems to deliver effector proteins, which facilitate bacterial infections. The Escherichia coli type III secretion system 2 (ETT2) which plays a crucial role in bacterial virulence, is present in the majority of E. coli strains, although ETT2 has undergone widespread mutational attrition. We investigated the distribution and characteristics of ETT2 in avian pathogenic E. coli (APEC) isolates and identified five different ETT2 isoforms, including intact ETT2, in 57·6% (141/245) of the isolates. The ETT2 locus was present in the predominant APEC serotypes O78, O2 and O1. All of the ETT2 loci in the serotype O78 isolates were degenerate, whereas an intact ETT2 locus was mostly present in O1 and O2 serotype strains, which belong to phylogenetic groups B2 and D, respectively. Interestingly, a putative second type III secretion-associated locus (eip locus) was present only in the isolates with an intact ETT2. Moreover, ETT2 was more widely distributed in APEC isolates and exhibited more isoforms compared to ETT2 in human extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli, suggesting that APEC might be a potential risk to human health. However, there was no distinct correlation between ETT2 and other virulence factors in APEC.
While Liriomyza sativae (Diptera: Agromyzidae), an important invasive pest of ornamentals and vegetables has been found in China for the past two decades, few studies have focused on its genetics or route of invasive. In this study, we collected 288 L. sativae individuals across 12 provinces to explore its population genetic structure and migration patterns in China using seven microsatellites. We found relatively low levels of genetic diversity but moderate population genetic structure (0.05 < FST < 0.15) in L. sativae from China. All populations deviated significantly from the Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium due to heterozygote deficiency. Molecular variance analysis revealed that more than 89% of variation was among samples within populations. A UPGMA dendrogram revealed that SH and GXNN populations formed one cluster separate from the other populations, which is in accordance with STRUCTURE and GENELAND analyses. A Mantel test indicated that genetic distance was not correlated to geographic distance (r = −0.0814, P = 0.7610), coupled with high levels of gene flow (M = 40.1–817.7), suggesting a possible anthropogenic influence on the spread of L. sativae in China and on the effect of hosts. The trend of asymmetrical gene flow was from southern to northern populations in general and did not exhibit a Bridgehead effect during the course of invasion, as can be seen by the low genetic diversity of southern populations.
While oral antidepressants reach efficacy after weeks, single-dose intravenous (i.v.) ketamine has rapid, yet time-limited antidepressant effects. We aimed to determine the efficacy and safety of single-dose i.v. ketamine augmentation of escitalopram in major depressive disorder (MDD).
Thirty outpatients with severe MDD (17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression total score ⩾24) were randomized to 4 weeks double-blind treatment with escitalopram 10 mg/day+single-dose i.v. ketamine (0.5 mg/kg over 40 min) or escitalopram 10 mg/day + placebo (0.9% i.v. saline). Depressive symptoms were measured using the Montgomery–Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) and the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology – Self-Report (QIDS-SR). Suicidal ideation was evaluated with the QIDS-SR item 12. Adverse psychopathological effects were measured with the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS)-positive symptoms, Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) and Clinician Administered Dissociative States Scale (CADSS). Patients were assessed at baseline, 1, 2, 4, 24 and 72 h and 7, 14, 21 and 28 days. Time to response (⩾50% MADRS score reduction) was the primary outcome.
By 4 weeks, more escitalopram + ketamine-treated than escitalopram + placebo-treated patients responded (92.3% v. 57.1%, p = 0.04) and remitted (76.9% v. 14.3%, p = 0.001), with significantly shorter time to response [hazard ratio (HR) 0.04, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.01–0.22, p < 0.001] and remission (HR 0.11, 95% CI 0.02–0.63, p = 0.01). Compared to escitalopram + placebo, escitalopram + ketamine was associated with significantly lower MADRS scores from 2 h to 2 weeks [(peak = 3 days–2 weeks; effect size (ES) = 1.08–1.18)], QIDS-SR scores from 2 h to 2 weeks (maximum ES = 1.27), and QIDS-SR suicidality from 2 to 72 h (maximum ES = 2.24). Only YMRS scores increased significantly with ketamine augmentation (1 and 2 h), without significant BPRS or CADSS elevation.
Single-dose i.v. ketamine augmentation of escitalopram was safe and effective in severe MDD, holding promise for speeding up early oral antidepressant efficacy.
With the velocity de-projection technique, we derived the averaged 3 dimensional local velocity distribution using only the line-of-sight velocity for the 200,000 FGK type main-sequence stars from the LAMOST DR1 data. Taking the effective temperature as a proxy for age, we investigate the variation of the velocity distribution as a function of Teff and disk height within 100 < |z| < 500 pc. Using the mean velocities of the cool stars, we derive the solar motion of (U⊙, V⊙, W⊙)=(9.58±2.39, 10.52±1.96, 7.01±1.67) kms−1 with respect to the local standard of rest (LSR). Moreover, we find that the stars with Teff > 6000 K show a net asymmetric motion of 〈U〉~2 kms−1 and 〈W〉~3 kms−1 compared to the stars with Teff < 6000 K. And their azimuthal velocity increases when |z| increases. The asymmetric motion in the warmer stars is likely because they are too young and not completely relaxed.
Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is one of the most important cereal crops in the world and a potentially important source of zinc (Zn) in the diet. The improvement of Zn content of rice is a global challenge with implications for both rice production and human health. The objective of the present study was to identify the effects of nitrogen (N) fertilizer rates and Zn application methods on Zn content of rice by evaluating rice production on native soils with different Zn availabilities in 2010/11. The results indicated that Zn application increased rice grain yield and Zn content in grains compared with the control; however, this effect was also affected by the native soil Zn availability, N fertilizer rate and Zn fertilizer application method. The native soil Zn status was the dominant factor influencing grain yield and grain Zn content in response to Zn fertilizer application. Grain Zn content ranged from 19·74 to 26·93 mg/kg under the different Zn statuses. The results also indicated that Zn application method has a significant influence on grain yield. Application of Zn fertilizer to the soil was more effective than the foliar spray on rice grain yield; however, the foliar spray resulted in a greater increase in grain Zn content when compared with soil application. Grain Zn content was affected by application method and displayed the following general trend: soil application + foliar spray > foliar spray > soil application. The experiments investigating the effect of N fertilizer rate combined with Zn application method showed a clear increase in both grain yield and Zn content as the N fertilizer level increased from 200 to 300 kg/ha. In addition, the results also indicated that N content and accumulation increased in all plant tissues, which suggests that Zn application might influence the uptake and translocation of N in rice plants. These results suggest that soil application in addition to a foliar spray of Zn should be considered as an important strategy to increase grain yield and grain Zn content of rice grown in soils with low background levels of Zn-associated diethylene triamine pentaacetate acid. Moreover, this process could be further strengthened by a high N application rate. In conclusion, these results demonstrate the potential of optimizing nutrient management using Zn fertilizer to obtain higher grain yields and higher grain Zn content in fields with low native Zn status.
In this work, we report on development of one-dimensional reaction-diffusion simulator needed to understand the kinetics of Cu-related metastabilities observed in CdTe PV devices. Evolution of intrinsic and Cu-related defects in CdTe solar cells has been studied in time-space domain self-consistently with free carrier transport. Resulting device performance was simulated as a function of stress time, thus showing pronounced effect that the evolution of associated acceptor and donor states can cause on device characteristics. Although 1D simulation has intrinsic limitations when applied to poly-crystalline films, the results presented confirm the validity and the potential of the approach presented in better understanding of the performance and metastabilities of CdTe photovoltaic devices.
Lodging can be an important factor in limiting yield and quality of summer foxtail millet [Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv.]. Although lodging resistance varies among different genotypes, direct selection for lodging resistance is difficult because of its sporadic occurrence in the field and inconsistency between years. A 2-year-field study was conducted with 35 summer foxtail millet cultivars or advanced breeding lines to determine the association between lodging resistance and culm morphology, anatomy and chemical composition. Path analyses indicated that stem-breaking strength had the most important effect on the lodging coefficient. The breaking strength of stem was associated with specific morphological properties of the culm, such as greater culm diameter and most importantly culm wall thickness. Width of sclerenchyma tissue, and the number and sheath width of the large vascular bundles were the major anatomical properties that influenced stem-breaking strength. The cellulose and lignin compositions of the culm had different effects on stem-breaking strength. Cultivars with smaller lodging coefficients contained higher levels of cellulose, but lower levels of lignin than the cultivars that were more prone to lodging. The findings from the present study provide useful information on lodging-associated traits in the culm that can be used as indicators for the improvement of lodging resistance in foxtail millet.