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KRTAP8-1 was the initial high-glycine-tyrosine keratin-associated protein gene recognized in sheep, but little is known about the functional influence of this gene. The current study used polymerase chain reaction-single stranded conformational polymorphism analysis to genotype KRTAP8-1 in 391 Southdown × Merino-cross sheep from six sire-lines. Five previously described variants (named A to E) of KRTAP8-1 were identified with frequencies of 67.0, 14.2, 7.0, 10.7 and 1.0%, respectively. Of the four variants (A, B, C and D) that occurred at a frequency greater than 5%, the presence of C was found to be associated with a reduction in mean fibre curvature (MFC) and the presence of D was associated with an increase in mean staple strength (MSS), whereas the presence of A had a trend of association with reduced MSS. Associations were not identified with other wool traits. These results suggest that variation in KRTAP8-1 affects MSS and MFC, and that KRTAP8-1 has the potential to be used as a genetic marker for improving these traits.
Estimating the feed intake of grazing herbivores is critical for determining their nutrition, overall productivity and utilization of grassland resources. A 17-day indoor feeding experiment was conducted to evaluate the potential use of Medicago sativa as a natural supplement for estimating the total feed intake of sheep. A total of 16 sheep were randomly assigned to four diets (four sheep per diet) containing a known amount of M. sativa together with up to seven forages common to typical steppes. The diets were: diet 1, M. sativa + Leymus chinensis + Puccinellia distans; diet 2, species in diet 1 + Phragmites australis; diet 3, species in diet 2 + Chenopodium album + Elymus sibiricus; and diet 4, species in diet 3 + Artemisia scoparia + Artemisia tanacetifolia. After faecal marker concentrations were corrected by individual sheep recovery, treatment mean recovery or overall recovery, the proportions of M. sativa and other dietary forages were estimated from a combination of alkanes and long-chain alcohols using a least-square procedure. Total intake was the ratio of the known intake of M. sativa to its estimated dietary proportion. Each dietary component intake was obtained using total intake and the corresponding dietary proportions. The estimated values were compared with actual values to assess the estimation accuracy. The results showed that M. sativa exhibited a distinguishable marker pattern in comparison to the other dietary forage species. The accuracy of the dietary composition estimates was significantly (P < 0.001) affected by both diet diversity and the faecal recovery method. The proportion of M. sativa and total intake across all diets could be accurately estimated using the individual sheep or the treatment mean recovery methods. The largest differences between the estimated and observed total intake were 2.6 g and 19.2 g, respectively, representing only 0.4% and 2.6% of the total intake. However, they were significantly (P < 0.05) biased for most diets when using the overall recovery method. Due to the difficulty in obtaining individual sheep recovery under field conditions, treatment mean recovery is recommended. This study suggests that M. sativa, a natural roughage instead of a labelled concentrate, can be utilized as a dietary supplement to accurately estimate the total feed intake of sheep indoors and further indicates that it has potential to be used in steppe grassland of northern China, where the marker patterns of M. sativa differ markedly from commonly occurring plant species.
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.
This study aims to investigate the prevalence and genotype distribution of anal human papillomavirus (HPV) infection among men with different sexual orientations with or without human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in China. A cross-sectional study was conducted during 2016–2017 in Taizhou City, Zhejiang Province. Convenient sampling was used to recruit male participants from HIV voluntary counselling and testing clinics and Center for Disease Control and Prevention. A face-to-face questionnaire interview was administered and an anal-canal swab was collected for HPV genotyping. A total of 160 HIV-positive and 113 HIV-negative men participated in the study. The prevalence of any type HPV was 30.6% for heterosexual men, 74.1% for homosexual and 63.6% for bisexual men among HIV-positive participants, while the prevalence was 8.3%, 29.2% and 23.8% respectively among HIV-negatives. The most prevalent genotypes were HPV-58 (16.9%), HPV-6 (15.6%) and HPV-11 (15.0%) among HIV-positive men, and were HPV-16 (4.4%), HPV-52 (4.4%) and HPV-6 (3.5%) among HIV-negative men. Having ever had haemorrhoids and having ever seen blood on tissue after defaecation was associated with HPV infection. One-fourth of the HPV infections in this study population can be covered by the quadrivalent vaccine in market. The highly prevalent anal HPV infection among men especially HIV-infected men calls for close observation and further investigation for anal cancer prevention.
The seasonality of individual influenza subtypes/lineages and the association of influenza epidemics with meteorological factors in the tropics/subtropics have not been well understood. The impact of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic on the prevalence of seasonal influenza virus remains to be explored. Using wavelet analysis, the periodicities of A/H3N2, seasonal A/H1N1, A/H1N1pdm09, Victoria and Yamagata were identified, respectively, in Panzhihua during 2006–2015. As a subtropical city in southwestern China, Panzhihua is the first industrial city in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. The relationship between influenza epidemics and local climatic variables was examined based on regression models. The temporal distribution of influenza subtypes/lineages during the pre-pandemic (2006–2009), pandemic (2009) and post-pandemic (2010–2015) years was described and compared. A total of 6892 respiratory specimens were collected and 737 influenza viruses were isolated. A/H3N2 showed an annual cycle with a peak in summer–autumn, while A/H1N1pdm09, Victoria and Yamagata exhibited an annual cycle with a peak in winter–spring. Regression analyses demonstrated that relative humidity was positively associated with A/H3N2 activity while negatively associated with Victoria activity. Higher prevalence of A/H1N1pdm09 and Yamagata was driven by lower absolute humidity. The role of weather conditions in regulating influenza epidemics could be complicated since the diverse viral transmission modes and mechanism. Differences in seasonality and different associations with meteorological factors by influenza subtypes/lineages should be considered in epidemiological studies in the tropics/subtropics. The development of subtype- and lineage-specific prevention and control measures is of significant importance.
Keratins are the main structural proteins of wool fibres, and it is thought that variation in the keratins may affect wool fibre characteristics. Polymerase chain reaction-single stranded conformational polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) analyses were used to investigate four regions of the ovine keratin gene KRT31 including a portion of the promoter, the exon 1, exon 3 and exon 7 regions. Initially, in a screening panel of 300 New Zealand Romney, Merino and White Dorper sheep obtained from 26 farms, three, two, two and two PCR-SSCP banding patterns were observed for these four regions, respectively. The promoter region, the exon 1 and exon 3 regions contained two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and the exon 7 region contained one SNP. The effect of the variation found in the promoter region on wool traits was subsequently investigated in 485 Southdown × Merino-cross lambs from seven sire-lines. The three variants identified in the original 300 sheep (named A, B and C) were observed with frequencies of 56, 29 and 15%, respectively. The presence of A and B had no significant effect on wool traits, but the presence of C was found to be associated with an increase in greasy fleece weight (GFW), clean fleece weight (CFW) and mean staple length (MSL). There was an effect of genotype on CFW and MSL, with BC sheep producing wool of higher CFW and MSL than AA, AB, AC and BB sheep. These results suggest that ovine KRT31 might be a useful candidate gene for improving wool traits.
Keratin-associated proteins (KAPs) are constituents of wool and hair fibres and are believed to play an important role in determining the characteristics of the fibres. In the current study, a polymerase chain reaction-single stranded conformational polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) approach was used to screen for variation in the ovine KAP15-1 gene (KRTAP15-1). Four PCR-SSCP banding patterns, representing four different variants (named A to D), were detected. Four single nucleotide polymorphisms were found within the coding region and three of these were non-synonymous. The effect of this genetic variation on wool traits was investigated in 396 Merino × Southdown-cross sheep. Of the three variants found in these sheep (A, B and C), the presence of B was found to be associated with decreased wool yield, while C was associated with increased wool yield and decreased fibre diameter standard deviation. Sheep of genotype AC had a higher wool yield than those of genotype AA or AB.
High-energy electron radiography (HEER) has been proposed for time-resolved imaging of materials, high-energy density matter, and for inertial confinement fusion. The areal-density resolution, determined by the image intensity information is critical for these types of diagnostics. Preliminary experimental studies for different materials with the same thickness and the same areal-density target have been imaged and analyzed. Although there are some discrepancies between experimental and theory analysis, the results show that the density distribution can indeed be attained from HEER. The reason for the discrepancies has been investigated and indicates the importance of the uniformity in the transverse distribution beam illuminating the target. Furthermore, the method for generating a uniform transverse distribution beam using octupole magnets was studied and verified by simulations. The simulations also confirm that the octupole field does not affect the angle-position correlation in the center part beam, a critical requirement for the imaging lens. A more practical method for HEER using collimators and octupoles for generating more uniform beams is also described. Detailed experimental results and simulation studies are presented in this paper.
Over the recent years, potential associations between Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) infection and cancer risk have attracted a lot of attention. Nevertheless, the association between T. gondii infection and oral cancer remains relatively unexplored. We performed a case–control study of 861 oral cancer patients and 861 control subjects from eastern China with the aim to detect antibodies to T. gondii by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in these patients. The results showed that oral cancer patients (21.72%, 187/861) had a significantly higher seroprevalence than control subjects (8.25%, 71/861) (P < 0.001). Among them, 144 (16.72%) oral cancer patients and 71 (8.25%) control subjects were positive for IgG antibodies to T. gondii, while 54 (6.27%) oral cancer patients and 9 (1.05%) controls were positive for IgM antibodies to T. gondii. In addition, multiple logistic analysis showed that T. gondii infection in oral cancer patients was associated with blood transfusion history, keeping cats at home, and oyster consumption. To our knowledge, this is the first study that provided a serological evidence of an association between T. gondii infection and oral cancer patients. However, further studies are necessary to elucidate the role of T. gondii in oral cancer patients.
The gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of animals is capable of sensing various kinds of nutrients via G-protein coupled receptor-mediated signaling transduction pathways, and the process is known as ‘gut nutrient chemosensing’. GPR40, GPR41, GPR43 and GPR119 are chemoreceptors for free fatty acids (FFAs) and lipid derivatives, but they are not well studied in small ruminants. The objective of this study is to determine the expression of GPR40, GPR41, GPR43 and GPR119 along the GIT of kid goats under supplemental feeding (S) v. grazing (G) during early development. In total, 44 kid goats (initial weight 1.35±0.12 kg) were slaughtered for sampling (rumen, abomasum, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, cecum, colon and rectum) between days 0 and 70. The expression of GPR41 and GPR43 were measured at both mRNA and protein levels, whereas GPR40 and GPR119 were assayed at protein level only. The effects of age and feeding system on their expression were variable depending upon GIT segments, chemoreceptors and expression level (mRNA or protein), and sometimes feeding system × age interactions (P<0.05) were observed. Supplemental feeding enhanced expression of GPR40, GPR41 and GPR43 in most segments of the GIT of goats, whereas G enhanced expression of GPR119. GPR41 and GPR43 were mainly expressed in rumen, abomasum and cecum, with different responses to age and feeding system. GPR41 and GPR43 expression in abomasum at mRNA level was greatly (P<0.01) affected by both age and feeding system; whereas their expression in rumen and abomasum at protein level were different, feeding system greatly (P<0.05) affected GPR41 expression, but had no effect (P>0.05) on GPR43 expression; and there were no feeding system×age interactions (P>0.05) on GPR41 and GPR43 protein expression. The expression of GPR41 and GPR43 in rumen and abomasum linearly (P<0.01) increased with increasing age (from days 0 to 70). Meanwhile, age was the main factor affecting GPR40 expression throughout the GIT. These outcomes indicate that age and feeding system are the two factors affecting chemoreceptors for FFAs and lipid derivatives expression in the GIT of kids goats, and S enhanced the expression of chemoreceptors for FFAs, whereas G gave rise to greater expression of chemoreceptors for lipid derivatives. Our results suggest that enhanced expression of chemoreceptors for FFAs might be one of the benefits of early supplemental feeding offered to young ruminants during early development.
Extensive insecticide use has led to the resistance of mosquitoes to these insecticides, posing a major barrier to mosquito control. Previous Solexa high-throughput sequencing of Culex pipiens pallens in the laboratory has revealed that the abundance of a novel microRNA (miRNA), miR-13664, was higher in a deltamethrin-sensitive (DS) strain than a deltamethrin-resistant (DR) strain. Real-time quantitative PCR revealed that the miR-13664 transcript level was lower in the DR strain than in the DS strain. MiR-13664 oversupply in the DR strain increased the susceptibility of these mosquitoes to deltamethrin, whereas inhibition of miR-13664 made the DS strain more resistant to deltamethrin. Results of bioinformatic analysis, quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, luciferase assay and miR mimic/inhibitor microinjection revealed CpCYP314A1 to be a target of miR-13664. In addition, downregulation of CpCYP314A1 expression in the DR strain reduced the resistance of mosquitoes to deltamethrin. Taken together, our results indicate that miR-13664 could regulate deltamethrin resistance by interacting with CpCYP314A1, providing new insights into mosquito resistance mechanisms.
In the present study, calcium propionate (CaP) was used as feed additive in the diet of calves to investigate their effects on rumen fermentation and the development of rumen epithelium in calves. To elucidate the mechanism in which CaP improves development of calf rumen epithelium via stimulating the messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of G protein-coupled receptors, a total of 54 male Jersey calves (age=7±1 days, BW=23.1±1.2 kg) were randomly divided into three treatment groups: control without CaP supplementation (Con), 5% CaP supplementation (5% CaP) and 10% CaP supplementation (10% CaP). The experiment lasted 160 days and was divided into three feeding stages: Stage 1 (days 0 to 30), Stage 2 (days 31 to 90) and Stage 3 (days 91 to 160). Calcium propionate supplementation percentages were calculated on a dry matter basis. In total, six calves from each group were randomly selected and slaughtered on days 30, 90 and 160 at the conclusion of each experimental feeding stage. Rumen fermentation was improved with increasing concentration of CaP supplementation in calves through the first 30 days (Stage 1). No effects of CaP supplementation were observed on rumen fermentation in calves during Stage 2 (days 31 to 90). Supplementation with 5% CaP increased propionate concentration, but not acetate and butyrate in calves during Stage 3 (days 91 to 160). The rumen papillae length of calves in the 5% CaP supplementation group was greater than that of Con groups in calves after 160 days feeding. The mRNA expression of G protein-coupled receptor 41 (GPR41) and GPR43 supplemented with 5% CaP were greater than the control group and 10% CaP group in feeding 160 days calves. 5% CaP supplementation increased the mRNA expression of cyclin D1, whereas did not increase the mRNA expression of cyclin-dependent kinase 4 compared with the control group in feeding 160-day calves. These results indicate that propionate may act as a signaling molecule to improve rumen epithelium development through stimulating mRNA expression of GPR41 and GPR43.
Four complete platysiagid fish specimens are described from the Luoping Biota, Anisian (Middle Triassic), Yunnan Province, southwest China. They are small fishes with bones and scales covered with ganoine. All characters observed, such as nasals meeting in the midline, a keystone-like dermosphenotic, absence of post-rostral bone, two infraorbitals between dermosphenotic and jugal, large antorbital, and two postcleithra, suggest that the new materials belong to a single, new Platysiagum species, P. sinensis sp. nov. Three genera are ascribed to Platysiagidae: Platysiagum, Helmolepis and Caelatichthys. However, most specimens of the first two genera are imprints or fragmentary. The new, well-preserved specimens from the Luoping Biota provide more detailed anatomical information than before, and thus help amend the concept of the Platysiagidae. The Family Platysiagidae was previously classed in the Perleidiformes. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that the Platysiagidae is a member of basal Neopterygii, and its origin seems to predate that of Perleidiformes. Moreover, platysiagid fishes are known from the Middle Triassic of the western Tethys region. The newly found specimens of platysiagids from Luoping provide additional evidence that both eastern and western sides of the Tethys Ocean were biogeographically more connected than previously thought.
Monolithic large-aperture diffraction grating tiling is desired to increase the output capability of multi-kilojoule petawatt laser facilities. However, the wavefront errors of input pulse and gratings will degrade the focal spot quality and the compressibility of the output pulse. In this work, the effects of wavefront error of input pulse, deformation and wave aberration of the grating for the large-aperture tiled-grating compressor are investigated theoretically. A series of numerical simulations are presented to discuss the changing trends of focal spot energy caused by wavefront error of input pulse and obtain the error tolerance for specific goals. The influences of coating stress and the wave aberration of holographic exposure gratings on the diffraction wavefront are also discussed. Some advice is proposed for improving the performance of large-aperture tiled-grating. This work paves the way for the design of practical large-aperture tiled-grating compressor for ultrahigh intensity laser facilities in the future.
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.
Iron-deficiency anemia is a public health concern that frequently occurs in pregnant mammals and neonatal offspring. Ferrous N-carbamylglycinate chelate (Fe-CGly) is a newly designed iron fortifier with proven effects in iron-deficient rats and weanling piglets. However, the effects of this new compound on pregnant mammals are unknown. Therefore, this experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of Fe-CGly on sow reproductive performance and iron status of both sows and neonatal piglets. A total of 40 large-white sows after second parity were randomly assigned to two groups (n=20). They were receiving a diet including 80 mg Fe/kg as FeSO4 or Fe-CGly, respectively, from day 85 of gestation to parturition. The serum (day 110 of pregnancy) and placentas of sows were sampled. Litter size, mean weight of live born piglets, birth (live) litter weight, number of live born piglets, and the number of still-born piglets, mummies, and weak-born piglets were recorded. Once delivered, eight litters were randomly selected from the 20 litters per treatment, and one new-born male piglet (1.503±0.142 kg) from each selected litter was slaughtered within 3 h after birth from the selected litters, without colostrum ingestion. The serum, longissimus muscle, liver and kidneys of the piglets were collected. The iron status of the serum samples and the messenger RNA level of iron-related genes in the placenta, liver and kidney were analyzed. The results showed that litter weight of live born piglets was higher (P=0.030) in the Fe-CGly group (19.86 kg) than in the FeSO4 group (17.34 kg). Fe-CGly significantly increased placental iron concentration (P<0.05) of sows. It also significantly increased iron saturation and reduced the total iron-binding capacity of piglets (P<0.05) at birth. However, the results revealed that supplementation of Fe-CGly in sows reduced liver and kidney iron concentration of neonatal piglets (P<0.05), indicating decreased iron storage. In addition, the concentration of iron in the colostrum was not significantly changed. Therefore, the present results suggested that replacement of maternal FeSO4 supplement with Fe-CGly in the late-gestating period for sows could improve litter birth weight, probably via enhanced iron transportation in the placenta.
Here a compact three orthogonal planes high-energy electron radiography system was proposed. One of the critical technologies, the ultra-fast beam bunches split from the bunch train are studied. The separated bunches could be transported to the three orthogonal planes of the target for dynamic radiography diagnostics. The key elements of the ultra-fast bunches split system are transverse deflecting cavity (TDC) and the twin septum magnet (TSM). The principle of TDC and TSM are briefly introduced. An example of the beam bunches split system for test experiment (40 MeV electron beam) with TDC and TSM is designed and studied by particle-tracking simulation and it confirms this method is valid and feasible. Especially with TSM, a compact three orthogonal planes radiography system can be realized. The evolution of the beam parameters along the beam line from simulation are investigated. The detailed design of the beam split system and beam dynamics simulation study are presented in this paper.
The production of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is affected by crop population structures and field microclimates. This 3-year study assessed the effect of different precision planting patterns and irrigation conditions on relative humidity (RH), air and soil temperature within the canopy, intercepted photosynthetically active radiation (iPAR), evapotranspiration (ET), water productivity (WP) and grain yields. Field experiments were conducted from 2011 to 2014 on a two-factor split-plot design with three replicates. The experiments involved three precision planting patterns (single row, alternating single and twin rows [hereafter ‘single–twin’] and twin row) and three irrigation treatments (0 mm (I0), 90 mm (I90) and 180 mm (I180)). Planting patterns and irrigation treatments exerted a significant effect on RH, air and soil temperature, iPAR, ET, WP and grain yield. The lowest RH and iPAR levels were detected in the single row pattern. When the irrigation treatment was identical, the highest soil and air temperatures were detected in the single row pattern, followed by the single–twin row and twin row patterns. Compared with the single row, the single–twin and twin row patterns increased ET by 0·3 and 1·4, WP by 4·7 and 5·7% and yields by 6·0 and 7·9%, respectively. Compared with I0, the I90 and I180 irrigation treatments increased ET by 0·3 and 1·4%, and WP by 4·7 and 5·7%, respectively. The grain yields of the twin row pattern were 5·8 and 1·7% higher than those of the single row and single–twin row patterns, respectively. Compared with I0, I90 increased yield by 19·3%. The twin row pattern improved crop structure and farmland microclimate by increasing RH and iPAR, and reducing soil and air temperatures, thus increasing grain yield. These results indicated that a twin row pattern effectively improved grain yield at I0. On the basis of iPAR, WP and grain yield, it was concluded that a twin row pattern combined with an I90 irrigation treatment provided optimal cropping conditions for the North China plain.
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.