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Ovarian follicle selection is a natural biological process in the pre-ovulatory hierarchy in birds that drives growing follicles to be selected within the ovulatory cycle. Follicle selection in birds is strictly regulated, involving signaling pathways mediated by dietary nutrients, gonadotrophic hormones and paracrine factors. This study aimed to test the hypothesis that dietary Ca may participate in regulating follicle selection in laying ducks through activating the signaling pathway of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)/protein kinase A (PKA)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), possibly mediated by gonadotrophic hormones. Female ducks at 22 weeks of age were initially fed one of two Ca-deficient diets (containing 1.8% or 0.38% Ca) or a Ca-adequate control diet (containing 3.6% Ca) for 67 days (depletion period), then all birds were fed the Ca-adequate diet for an additional 67 days (repletion period). Compared with the Ca-adequate control, ducks fed 0.38% Ca during the depletion period had significantly decreased (P < 0.05) numbers of hierarchical follicles and total ovarian weight, which were accompanied by reduced egg production. Plasma concentration of FSH was decreased by the diet containing 1.8% Ca but not by that containing 0.38%. The ovarian content of cAMP was increased with the two Ca-deficient diets, and phosphorylation of PKA and ERK1/2 was increased with 0.38% dietary Ca. Transcripts of ovarian estradiol receptor 2 and luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR) were reduced in the ducks fed the two Ca-deficient diets (P < 0.05), while those of the ovarian follicle stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR) were decreased in the ducks fed 0.38% Ca. The transcript abundance of ovary gap junction proteins, A1 and A4, was reduced with the Ca-deficient diets (P < 0.05). The down-regulation of gene expression of gap junction proteins and hormone receptors, the increased cAMP content and the suppressed hierarchical follicle numbers were reversed by repletion of dietary Ca. These results indicate that dietary Ca deficiency negatively affects follicle selection of laying ducks, independent of FSH, but probably by activating cAMP/PKA/ERK1/2 signaling pathway.
There seems to be geographical differences in decisions about breast conserving surgery (BCS) in breast cancer patients. This study was to evaluate patients’ attitude to BCS and to assess the factors affecting cancer practice in West China.
A structured questionnaire was distributed to 184 patients, eliciting information about the patients’ characteristics, occupation, education, family life, recognition of illness, knowledge about BCS, the main means of gaining surgery information, selecting surgery approaches, preferences to breast reservation.
In all, 163 patients completed the questionnaire. The results indicated that only 7.4% of patients received BCS and 23% of the remaining patients desired to have BCS and the affecting factors were significantly associated with their family life, recognition of illness and the main means of gaining surgery information (P < 0.05). No associations were between BCS selecting and the other variables studied. The most frequent reasons for selecting BCS were keeping the female shape and improving quality of life (71%), the second most were postoperative recovery, minimal influence of physical function (47%) and patients’ knowledge about BCS (42%). The most frequent reasons for not selecting BCS were uncertainty about BCS results and worry about recurrence (81%), the second most was the elderly age unnecessary for BCS (40%).
The findings indicate that breast cancer patients in West China do not take BCS as the first choice as the best treatment method. It is warranted that further study of more patients, attitude of patients’ partners and physicians to BCS.
To introduce some questionnaires related to family environment such as FAD-GFS (The General Functioning Scale of the MacMaster Family Activity Device), SLE (stressful life events), FSQ (Family Stresses Questionnaire), FLQ (Family Life Questionnaire), EFQ (Everyday Feelings Questionnaire) and evaluate their validity and reliability.
Using cross-sectional design. The general questionnaire, FAD-GFS, SLE, FSQ, FLQ, EFQ were used to collect information about family environment from 504 parents of only children FACESII-CV and Index of General Affect were used as scale of criteria related.
The reliability and validity of FAD-GFS, SLE, FSQ, FLQ, EFQ is: Cronbach coefficient were 0.695 to 0.749; re-test reliability were 0.712 to 0.901; The scores of the scale in those questionnaires were correlated with each factor significantly and the coefficient of correlation is more than those between each factor of those scales. The correlation between the scores of FSQ, EFQ and the scores of Index of General Affect was-0.192, 0.539; The correlation between the scores of FAD-GFS, FLQ the score of total and three factor differently and the scores of family cohesion scores (FACESII-CV) was -0.423, 0.237, 0.514, 0.302, 0.210.
FAD-GFS, SLE, FSQ, FLQ, EFQ has good reliability and validity, in line with requirements of psychometric and is useful as a tool to evaluate the family environment.
When constrained by limited resources, how do we choose axioms of rationality? The target article relies on Bayesian reasoning that encounter serious tractability problems. We propose another axiomatic foundation: quantum probability theory, which provides for less complex and more comprehensive descriptions. More generally, defining rationality in terms of axiomatic systems misses a key issue: rationality must be defined by humans facing vague information.
We examine whether underwriters price up weakly demanded initial public offerings (IPOs) to prevent withdrawal. Our empirical strategy exploits a discontinuity in the distribution of IPO prices around the low boundary of the filing range. Offerings with a high ex ante withdrawal probability that are priced at this boundary are likely priced up to meet issuers’ reservation prices. We compare the aftermarket returns of these IPOs to the returns of other weakly demanded offerings where issuers’ reservation prices were likely not binding, and we identify a negative 8.4-percentage-point differential attributable to the aggressive pricing inherent in setting the price at the low boundary when withdrawal risk is high.
Two-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations have been used to investigate the interaction between a laser pulse and a foil exposed to an external strong longitudinal magnetic field. Compared with that in the absence of the external magnetic field, the divergence of proton with the magnetic field in radiation pressure acceleration (RPA) regimes has improved remarkably due to the restriction of the electron transverse expansion. During the RPA process, the foil develops into a typical bubble-like shape resulting from the combined action of transversal ponderomotive force and instabilities. However, the foil prefers to be in a cone-like shape by using the magnetic field. The dependence of proton divergence on the strength of magnetic field has been studied, and an optimal magnetic field of nearly 60 kT is achieved in these simulations.
The Chinese white pine beetle Dendroctonus armandi (Coleoptera: Scolytinae) typically displays bivoltinism at altitudes below 1700 m in the Qinling Mountains, China. The periods of host colonization and larval overwintering are two important phases in the life cycle of bark beetles, as it is during these periods that they have to contend with host plant defences and periods of intense cold, respectively. Although during different seasons, the females and males of Chinese white pine beetles show varying tolerances to host plant terpenoids, the sex ratio and survival physiology condition of the two beetle generations are unknown. We investigated the sex ratio of individuals, and also examined the body mass, energy stores, and detoxication enzymes of males and females in each of the two generations in order to determine the overall population stability of each generation. We identified a female-biased sex ratio among adults in both generations. Furthermore, patterns of body mass, energy stores, and detoxication enzymes were found to differ between the two sexes and two seasons. Compared with the males, the females have a larger body mass and higher amounts of stored lipids, which are assumed to be adaptations designed to overcome host resistance and facilitate subsequent oviposition.
Optimizing the dietary calcium (Ca) level is essential to maximize the eggshell quality, egg production and bone formation in poultry. This study aimed to establish the Ca requirements of egg-type duck breeders from 23 to 57 weeks of age on egg production, eggshell, incubation, tibial, plasma and ovary-related indices, as well as the expression of matrix protein-related genes. Totally, 450 Longyan duck breeders aged 21 weeks of age were allotted randomly into five treatments, each with six replicates of 15 individually caged birds. The data collection started from 23 weeks of age and continued over the following 35 weeks. The five groups corresponded to five dietary treatments containing either 2.8%, 3.2%, 3.6%, 4.0% or 4.4% Ca. The tested dietary Ca levels increased (linear, P <0.01) egg production and egg mass, and linearly improved (P <0.01) the feed conversion ratio (FCR). Increasing the dietary Ca levels from 2.8% to 4.4% increased (P <0.01) the eggshell thickness and eggshell content. The tested Ca levels showed a quadratic effect on eggshell thickness and ovarian weight (P <0.01); the highest values were obtained with the Ca levels 4.0% and 3.6%, respectively. Dietary Ca levels affected the small yellow follicles (SYF) number and SYF weight/ovarian weight, and the linear response (P <0.01) was significant vis-à-vis SYF number. In addition, dietary Ca levels increased (P <0.05) the tibial dry weight, breaking strength, mineral density and ash content. Plasma and tibial phosphorus concentration exhibited a quadratic (P <0.01) response to dietary Ca levels. Plasma calcitonin concentration linearly (P <0.01) increased as dietary Ca levels increased. The relative expression of carbonic anhydrase 2 in the uterus rose (P <0.01) with the increment of dietary Ca levels, and the highest value was obtained with 3.2% Ca. In conclusion, Longyan duck breeders fed a diet with 4.0% Ca had superior eggshell and tibial quality, while those fed a diet with 3.6% Ca had the heaviest ovarian weights. The regression model indicated that the dietary Ca levels 3.86%, 3.48% and 4.00% are optimal levels to obtain maximum eggshell thickness, ovarian weight and tibial mineral density, respectively.
The Weihe Basin is an intracontinental rift basin in central China that provides an ideal location for studying the interactions between regional tectonics and monsoonal climate change. In this paper, we present detrital zircon U–Pb ages from sediments from Core LYH drilled in the northern margin of the basin. We use these to illuminate changing sediment transport processes, provenance and palaeo-environments during the Quaternary. The sediments are dominated by zircon age groups of 100–400 Ma and 400–550 Ma, and three secondary age peaks at 700–1100 Ma, 1700–2100 Ma and 2400–2600 Ma. Multidimensional scaling plots support the conclusion that the Central Loess Plateau and the Luo River are the dominant sources of sediments to the core site. Before c. 1.06 Ma, the Qinling Mountains and the Wei River, as well as the Yellow River, had minor influence on the sedimentation at the core site. These results are consistent with the existence of a palaeolake prior to 1.06 Ma, which allowed sediments supplied to the south and east edge of the basin to be reworked to the northern side of the Weihe Basin. Subsequently, the Luo River has provided a steady source of sediments to the northern Weihe Basin.
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.
The strong-coupling mode, called the “quasimode”, is excited by stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) in high-intensity laser–plasma interactions. Also SBS of the quasimode competes with SBS of the fast mode (or slow mode) in multi-ion species plasmas, thus leading to a low-frequency burst behavior of SBS reflectivity. Competition between the quasimode and the ion-acoustic wave (IAW) is an important saturation mechanism of SBS in high-intensity laser–plasma interactions. These results give a clear explanation of the low-frequency periodic burst behavior of SBS and should be considered as a saturation mechanism of SBS in high-intensity laser–plasma interactions.
Laser interaction with an ultra-thin pre-structured target is investigated with the help of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. With the existence of a periodic structure on the target surface, the laser seems to penetrate through the target at its fundamental frequency even if the plasma density of the target is much higher than the laser’s relativistically critical density. The particle-in-cell simulations show that the transmitted laser energy behind the pre-structured target is increased by about two orders of magnitude compared to that behind the flat target. Theoretical analyses show that the transmitted energy behind the pre-structured target is actually re-emitted by electron ‘islands’ formed by the surface plasma waves on the target surfaces. In other words, the radiation with the fundamental frequency is actually ‘surface emission’ on the target rear surface. Besides the intensity of the component with the fundamental frequency, the intensity of the high-order harmonics behind the pre-structured target is also much enhanced compared to that behind the flat target. The enhancement of the high-order harmonics is also related to the surface plasma waves generated on the target surfaces.
Light colors may affect poultry behaviors, well-being and performance. However, preferences of layer pullets for light colors are not fully understood. This study was conducted to investigate the pullet preferences for four light-emitting diode colors, including white, red, green and blue, in a lighting preference test system. The system contained four identical compartments each provided with a respective light color. The pullets were able to move freely between the adjacent compartments. A total of three groups of 20 Chinese domestic Jingfen layer pullets (54 to 82 days of age) were used for the test. Pullet behaviors were continuously recorded and summarized for each light color/compartment into daily time spent (DTS), daily percentage of time spent (DPTS), daily times of visit (DTV), duration per visit, daily feed intake (DFI), daily feeding time (DFT), feeding rate (FR), distribution of pullet occupancy and hourly time spent. The results showed that the DTS (h/pullet·per day) were 3.9±0.4 under white, 1.4±0.3 under red, 2.2±0.3 under green and 4.5±0.4 under blue light, respectively. The DTS corresponded to 11.7% to 37.6% DPTS in 12-h lighting periods. The DTV (times/pullet·per day) were 84±5 under white, 48±10 under red, 88±10 under green and 94±8 under blue light. Each visit lasted 1.5 to 3.2 min. The DFI (g/pullet·per day) were 27.6±1.7 under white, 7.1±1.6 under red, 15.1±1.1 under green and 23.1±2.0 under blue light. The DFT was 0.18 to 0.65 h/pullet·per day and the FR was 0.57 to 0.75 g/min. For most of the time during the lighting periods, six to 10 birds stayed under white, and one to five birds stayed under red, green and blue light. Pullets preferred to stay under blue light when the light was on and under white light 4 h before the light off. Overall, pullets preferred blue light the most and red light the least. These findings substantiate the preferences of layer pullets for light colors, providing insights for use in the management of light-emitting diode colors to meet pullet needs.
Traditional antibiograms can guide empiric antibiotic therapy, but they may miss differences in resistance across patient subpopulations. In this retrospective descriptive study, we constructed and validated antibiograms using International Classification of Disease, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes and other discrete data elements to define a cohort of previously healthy children with urinary tract infections. Our results demonstrate increased antibiotic susceptibility. This methodology may be modified to create other syndrome-specific antibiograms.
β-Casomorphin is an opioid-like bioactive peptide derived from β-casein of milk that plays a crucial role in modulating animal’s feed intake, growth, nutrient utilization and immunity. However, the effect of β-casomorphin on lipid metabolism in chickens and its mechanism remain unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of β-casomorphin on fat deposition in broiler chickens and explore its mechanism of action. A total of 120 21-day-old Arbor Acres male broilers (747.94±8.85 g) was chosen and randomly divided into four groups with six replicates of five birds per replicate. Three groups of broilers were injected with 0.1, 0.5 or 1.0 mg/kg BW of β-casomorphin in 1 ml saline for 7 days, whereas the control group received 1 ml saline only. The results showed that subcutaneous administration of β-casomorphin to broiler chickens increased average daily gain, average daily feed intake and fat deposition, and decreased feed : gain ratio (P<0.05). The activity of malate dehydrogenase in the pectoral muscle, liver and abdominal adipose tissue was also increased along with the concentrations of insulin, very-low-density lipoprotein and triglyceride in the plasma (P<0.05). The activity of hormone-sensitive lipase in the liver and abdominal adipose tissue and the concentration of glucagon in the plasma were decreased by injection with β-casomorphin (P<0.05). Affymetrix gene chip analysis revealed that administering 1.0 mg/kg BW β-casomorphin caused differential expression of 168 genes in the liver with a minimum of fourfold difference. Of those, 37 genes are directly involved in lipid metabolism with 18 up-regulated genes such as very low density lipoprotein receptor gene and fatty acid synthase gene, and 19 down-regulated genes such as lipoprotein lipase gene and low density lipoprotein receptor gene. In conclusion, β-casomorphin increased growth performance and fat deposition of broilers. Regulation of fat deposition by β-casomorphin appears to take place through changes in hormone secretion and enzyme activities by controlling the gene expression of lipid metabolism and feed intake, increasing fat synthesis and deposition.
The study investigated whether different dietary energy and protein sources affect laying performance, antioxidant status, fresh yolk fatty acid profile and quality of salted yolks in laying ducks. In all, 360 19-week-old Longyan ducks were randomly assigned to four diets in a factorial arrangement (2×2). The four diets consisted of two energy sources, corn (CO) or sorghum (SO) and two protein sources, soybean meal (SM) and rapeseed meal with corn distillers dried grains with solubles (RMD), and each treatment contained six replicates of 15 birds each. The experimental diets were isocaloric (metabolizable energy, 10.84 MJ/kg) and isonitrogenous (CP, 17%). The results showed that egg production, average egg weight, egg mass and feed conversion ratio were not affected by diets (P>0.05). Plasma contents of reduced glutathione (GSH), GSH/oxidized glutathione and total antioxidant capacity were lower (P<0.05) in ducks fed the RMD diets compared with those fed SM diets with a substantial increase (P=0.006) in plasma content of malondialdehyde (MDA). Egg yolks from ducks fed SO diets had higher proportions of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and lower saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids compared with CO diets (P<0.001). Similarly, ducks fed RMD diets had a higher content of PUFA and n-6/n-3 ratio in fresh yolks (P<0.001), and increased salted yolk MDA, carbonylated proteins content and incidence of hard salted yolks (P<0.05) compared with SM diets. Scanning electron microscopy showed that salted yolks contained rougher polyhedral granules and fewer fat droplets, and were surrounded with a layer of bunchy fibers in ducks fed SO+RMD than those fed CO+SM diet. In conclusion, the current study showed that feeding laying ducks with diets containing SO or RMD reduced antioxidant capacity and increased egg yolk concentrations of PUFA. It appeared that egg yolks from ducks fed these diets were more sensitive to lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation during salting, and reduced the quality of salted yolks.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is one of the leading causes of death and morbidity associated with liver disease. Risk factors identified for the transmission of HCV include contaminated blood products, intravenous drug use, body piercing, an infected mother at birth, sexual activity, and dental therapy, among others. However, the exact diversity of the HCV genotype and genetic variation among patients with low-risk factors is still unknown. In this study, we briefly described and analysed the genotype distribution and genetic variation of HCV infections with low-risk factors using molecular biology techniques. The results suggested that genotype 1b was predominant, followed by genotypes 2a and 1a. Genetic variations in the 5′ UTR sequences of HCV were identified, including point mutations, deletions, and insertions. The frequency of genetic variations in 1b was higher than in 2a. This study provides considerable value for the prevention and treatment of liver disease caused by HCV among patients with low-risk factors and for the development of HCV diagnostic reagents and vaccines.
A liquid chromatography mass spectrometry method for determination of clothianidin in brown rice, straw, rice hull, paddy water and paddy sediment was developed and residue levels were determined in the different components. The limit of quantification was set at 0·01 mg/kg for the matrices studied. Clothianidin degradation in straw, paddy water and soil was studied, and clothianidin residues in brown rice, straw, hull and paddy soil were determined. Concurrent recoveries were between 85·6 and 92·5%, with relative standard deviations ranging from 1·3 to 6·8% at three fortification levels between 0·01 and 5·0 mg/kg. The half-lives in straw, paddy water and paddy sediment were found to be 1·9–4·9, 4·1–5·0 and 4·9–6·3 days, respectively. The maximum residues in brown rice, straw, hull and paddy soil samples were 0·38, 1·88, 1·38 and 0·14 mg/kg, respectively.
This study aimed to investigate the expression of DKK1 protein in an experimental model of tympanosclerosis and its possible role in the pathogenesis of this disorder.
Forty Sprague Dawley rats were included in the study: 20 in the control group (which received no treatment) and 20 in the experimental group (which received an incision to induce tympanosclerosis). Otomicroscopy was performed to observe the development of myringosclerosis. Haematoxylin and eosin staining was performed to observe the morphological changes. Western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry were performed to assess the expression of DKK1 protein.
At day 15, sclerotic lesions were observed in 70 per cent of the tympanic membranes. Inflammatory infiltration and hyaline degeneration markedly appeared in the tympanic membranes and middle-ear mucosa. DKK1 protein was mainly distributed in the cytoplasm of epithelial cells, which were widely distributed in the tympanic membranes and middle-ear mucosa. The expression of DKK1 protein was significantly decreased in the calcified experimental ears.
DKK1 protein is involved in the pathogenesis of tympanosclerosis by regulating the Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway.