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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.
The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) has been shown to be involved in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced immune responses in many mammal cells. Here, we suggest that the mTOR pathway is involved in the intestinal inflammatory responses evoked by LPS treatment in chicken embryos. The intestinal tissue from Specific pathogen free chick embryos was cultured in the presence of LPS for 2 h. Secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) concentrations, messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of cytokines, and protein levels of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), mTOR and p70 ribosomal S6 kinase (p70S6K) were determined. The results showed that LPS treatment increased sIgA concentrations in a dose-dependent manner. The mRNA levels of interleukine (IL)-6, IL-8, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor-α and Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 were upregulated by LPS treatment (P<0.05). Lipopolysaccharide increased the phosphorylation of Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), p38 MAPK and NF-κB (P<0.05) while decreasing the phosphorylation level of mTOR (P<0.05). Supplementation of leucine at doses of 10, 20 and 40 mM dose-dependently decreased sIgA production. Leucine supplementation at 40 mM restored the phosphorylation level of mTOR and p70S6K while suppressing the phosphorylation levels of NF-κB (P<0.05) and partially down-regulating the phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and JNK. The transcription of IL-6 was significantly decreased by leucine supplementation. These results suggested that leucine could alleviate LPS-induced inflammatory responses by down-regulating NF-κB signaling pathway and evoking mTOR/p70S6K signaling pathway, which may involve in the regulation of the intestinal immune system in chicken embryos.
Pig farmers and veterinarians have high prevalence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) due to the occupational livestock exposure, while few reported this association on slaughterhouse workers. We conducted this cross-sectional study to explore the phenotypic and molecular characteristics of S. aureus and MRSA in slaughterhouse pig-related workers and control workers in Guangdong Province, China. Participants were interviewed and provided two nasal swabs. Swabs were tested for S. aureus, and isolates were further tested for antimicrobial susceptibility, virulence genes and multi-locus sequence typing. Compared with control workers, pig-related workers have significantly higher prevalence of MRSA carriage (adjusted odd ratio (aOR) 3·70, 95% CI 1·63–8·40). The proportions of MRSA resistant to clindamycin, erythromycin, tetracycline or chloromycetin were significantly higher in pig-related workers than in control workers. The predominant phenotypes of S. aureus were resistant to penicillin, clindamycin, erythromycin and tetracycline. Three MRSA CC9 isolates with livestock-associated characteristics (resistance to tetracycline and absence of immune evasion cluster (IEC) genes) were detected in pig-related workers but not in control workers. For human-associated CCs (CC7, CC59, CC6, and CC188), there was no significant difference in IEC profile or antimicrobial resistance between the groups. These findings reveal that there may be a potential risk for livestock-to-human transmission of LA-MRSA and human-to-human transmission of human-associated MRSA.
Soluble starch synthase II (SSII) plays an important role in the biosynthesis of starch and in rice it consists of three isoforms encoded by SSII-1, SSII-2 and SSII-3. However, the genetic effects of various SSII alleles on grain quality have not been systematically characterized. In the present study, the japonica alleles on SSII-1, SSII-2 and SSII-3 (SSIIa) loci from a japonica cultivar, Suyunuo, were respectively introgressed by molecular marker-assisted selection into a typical indica cultivar, Guichao2, through successive backcrossing, generating three sets of near-isogenic lines (NILs). Grain quality and starch property analysis showed that NIL-SSII-3j exhibited significant decreases in the following parameters: amylose content, average granule size, and setback viscosity and consistency; but increases in peak viscosity, hot paste viscosity, gelatinization temperature and relative crystallinity. Moreover, the proportion of short amylopectin chains and branching degree also increased when compared with those of NIL-SSII-3i (Guochao2). Similar effects were observed in NIL-SSII-1j, and certain alterations in the fine structure of starch (granule size) were revealed. However, NIL-SSII-2j did not exert significant effect on grain quality and starch properties. In brief, among the SSII gene family, the functional diversity occurred on SSII-1 and SSII-3, and not on SSII-2. Therefore, it appears that more attention should be directed to SSII-1 and SSII-3 loci for improving the eating and cooking quality of rice.
Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is an emerging infectious disease that was caused by a novel bunyavirus, SFTSV. The study aimed to disclose the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of SFTSV infection in China so far. An integrated clinical database comprising 1920 SFTS patients was constructed by combining first-hand clinical information collected from SFTS sentinel hospitals (n = 1159) and extracted data (n = 761) from published literature. The considered variables comprised clinical manifestations, routine laboratory tests of acute infection, hospitalization duration and disease outcome. SFTSV-IgG data from 19 119 healthy subjects were extracted from the published papers. The key clinical variables, case-fatality rate (CFR) and seroprevalence were estimated by meta-analysis. The most commonly seen clinical manifestations of SFTSV infection were fever, anorexia, myalgia, chill and lymphadenopathy. The major laboratory findings were elevated lactate dehydrogenase, aminotransferase, followed by thrombocytopenia, lymphocytopenia, elevated alanine transaminase and creatine kinase. A CFR of 12·2% was estimated, significantly higher than that obtained from national reporting data, but showing no geographical difference. In our paper, the mortality rate was about 1·9 parts per million. Older age and longer delay to hospitalization were significantly associated with fatal outcome. A pooled seroprevalence of 3·0% was obtained, which increased with age, while comparable for gender. This study represents a clinical characterization on the largest group of SFTS patients up to now. A higher than expected CFR was obtained. A wider spectrum of clinical index was suggested to be used to identify SFTSV infection, while the useful predictor for fatal outcome was found to be restricted.
Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is an acute contagious condition caused by a spectrum of human enteroviruses. HFMD reinfection is common in the absence of cross-protection from other virus subtypes. This study focused on reinfection in children in Anhui province, China between 2008 and 2013 using surveillance system data. We classified 8960 cases as reinfected, corresponding to a rate of 2·02%. The reinfection rate was higher in boys than in girls [odds ratio (OR) 1·27, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·21–1·32, P < 0·001], children aged < 3 years (OR 3·82, 95% CI 3·58–4·07, P < 0·001), and children living in rural areas (OR 1·09, 95% CI 1·04–1·14, P = 0·001). The reinfection rate in children who were originally infected with non-enterovirus A71 (non-EVA71) enteroviruses was higher than those infected with EVA71 (OR 1·36, 95% CI 1·02–1·80, P = 0·034). Influential factors of reinfection rate included annual incidence (β coefficient = 0·715, P = 0·002) and the proportion of EVA71 in patients with mild HFMD (β coefficient = −0·509, P = 0·018). These results demonstrate that boys aged <3 years, especially those in rural areas or regions with a lower EVA71 proportion are more prone to reinfection, and specific health education programmes should be developed to protect these susceptible populations.
Ag–reduced graphene oxide (Ag/rGO) nanoparticle composites were synthesized through a facile one-step hydrothermal reaction using GO and silver carbonate (Ag2CO3) as raw materials. The homogeneous silver nanospheres with an average size of 50 nm well dispersed on the surface of rGO were obtained without other additives. During the formation process, GO both promotes the dispersion of Ag2CO3 in aqueous solution and acts as the substrate of silver cations, and the hydrolysis of Ag2CO3 provides silver cations and alkaline condition. Moreover, GO further serves as reducing agent to generate elemental silver in the alkaline condition. The as-prepared materials exhibit excellent surface-enhanced Raman scattering activities when used to detect the Raman signals of R6G absorbed on the Ag/rGO substrate.
Q fever, first described in 1937, is a worldwide zoonosis caused by Coxiella burnetii that has long been considered an under-reported and under-diagnosed illness. In China, the disease was initially reported in 1950 and in the last 25 years (1989–2013) there have been 29 reports on Q fever in China, nearly half of which were in the last 5 years. These publications have largely been in Chinese and in this review we summarize their findings to enable a better understanding of Q fever in China. The overall prevalence of C. burnetii infections in the reports is 10% (1139/11 209) in people, 15% (288/1918) in cattle and 12% (176/1440) in goats. These infections occurred widely in China with positive people and/or animals reported in 64 cities/municipalities from 19 provinces, particularly those in the eastern, western and northern areas. Cattle and goats had the highest seroprevalences of all the domestic animals studied and a wide variety of ticks were found to be infected. Mice were also commonly infected and had high copy numbers of C. burnetii DNA, suggesting they might be important in the epidemiology of Q fever in China.
Variability is one of the extreme observational properties of BL Lacertae objects. AO 0235+164 is a well studied BL Lac through the whole electro-magnetic wavebands, it is violently variable in the optical bands. In the present work, we show its optical R band photometric observations carried out during the period of Nov. 2006 to Dec. 2012 using the Ap6E CCD camera attached to the primary focus of the 70 cm meniscus telescope at Abastumani Observatory, Georgia. It shows a large variation of ΔR = 4.88 mag (14.20 - 19.08 mag) during our monitoring period. When periodicity analysis methods are adopted to its R observations from our Abastumani monitoring programme and those in the literature, the signs of some periods, P1 = 8.26 yr, P2 = 0.55 yr, P3 = 0.85 yr, P4 = 1.99 yr are found.
In this talk, we will show the beaming effect for Fermi/LAT blazars, then we discuss the correlations between γ-ray luminosity and other parameters, such as radio Doppler factors, superluminal motions, and core-dominance parameters. We also compare the Doppler factors determined from the γ-ray luminosity, X-ray emissions, and the short-term time scales with those from other methods. Our discussions suggest that γ-ray emissions may be strongly beamed.
Narrow-line Seyfert 1 (NLS1) galaxies are a sub-class of active galactic nuclei (AGN) with relatively low-mass black holes, accreting near the Eddington rate. A small fraction of them is radio-loud and harbors relativistic jets. As a class, these provide us with new insights into the cause(s) of radio-loudness, the blazar phenomenon at low black hole masses, and the operation of radio-mode feedback. The NLS1 galaxy RXJ2314.9+2243 is remarkable for its multi-wavelength properties. We present new radio observations taken at Effelsberg, and a summary of the recent results from our multi-wavelength study. RXJ2314.9+2243 is radio-loud, luminous in the infrared, has a flat X-ray spectrum and peculiar UV spectrum, and hosts an exceptionally broad and blueshifted [OIII]λ5007 emission line, indicating the presence of a strong outflow. RXJ2314.9+2243 likely represents an extreme case of AGN induced feedback in the local universe.
In this paper we present an innovative on-chip platform suitable for the simultaneous manipulation and detection of the transit of a single magnetic bead. This system is based on the controlled displacement of constrained magnetic domain walls (DWs) that are used to move and sense particles in suspension over the chip. To this scope, the high stray field from the transverse DWs created at the corners of ferromagnetic zig-zag structures is used for particles manipulation, while electrical contacts flanking a single corner are employed to simultaneously monitor the DW passage through that corner, via anisotropic magneto resistance (AMR) measurements. A single DW carrying a magnetic particle is nucleated and manipulated within the zig-zag shaped magnetic conduit, trough the action of external magnetic fields. At the same time, the variation of the voltage drop across a corner flanked by a pair of electrical leads is measured, allowing to detect the transit of the DW thanks to the change of the relative orientation of current and spins at the corner related to the peculiar micromagnetic configuration of the DW (AMR). Work is in progress in order to selectively distinguish the transit of a naked DW from that of a DW bound to a magnetic particle. This work paves the way to the development of a closed-loop microlfuidic platform for on-chip bead manipulation, where single bead can be finely moved and their motion continuously checked, via AMR electrical detection and without need of optical monitoring, in a fully integrated closed-loop system.
Plasma electrolysis (PE) is a combination of electrolysis and plasma discharge. Previous studies indicated that PE usually created porous surface with irregular morphology as a result of the plasma–cathode interaction that was dominated by physical reactions. This paper demonstrated that highly ordered textured silicon surfaces could be created using PE. This abnormal anisotropic etching phenomenon implied that the chemical reactions were decoupled from the physical processes and the physical reactions were suppressed. Raman spectra confirmed that the textured silicon surface created by PE conserved the crystalline structure. Therefore, PE may lead to new process regimes for surface engineering.
In this work, we investigated the correlation between the γ-ray luminosity, logLγ and the core-dominance parameter, log (1+R), for a sample of 124 Fermi blazars with available core and extended radio emissions. Our analysis shows that there is no correlation between the γ-ray luminosity, log Lγ and the core-dominance parameter, log (1+R). However, there is a closely linear correlation between log Lγ − log LExt and log (1+R), log Lγ−log LExt = (0.95 ± 0.08) log (1+R) + (2.72 ± 0.11), for the whole sample. The result suggests that the γ-ray emissions are composed of two components, one is beamed, the other is unbeamed.
The self-referential memory (SRM) effect refers to the phenomenon that stimuli processed with reference to the self are better remembered than those referenced to others. Studies have shown that schizophrenia patients do not have this memorial advantage for self-referenced information. The current study investigated the electrophysiological mechanism of the abolished SRM effect in schizophrenia.
Twenty schizophrenia patients and 22 controls were recruited to complete an SRM task. We used a high-time resolution event-related potential (ERP) technique to analyze the electrophysiological differences between patients and controls during self- and other-reflection processing.
Behavior data indicated that healthy controls had a typical SRM bias that was absent in the schizophrenia patients. ERP comparison between groups showed that the schizophrenia patients presented smaller voltages in both self- and other-reflection conditions in the 160–260 ms (P2 component) and 800–1200 ms (positive slow wave) time windows over the pre/frontal cortex. Furthermore, the N2 amplitudes (270–380 ms) differed between self- and other-reflection conditions in patients but not in normal controls. More importantly, we found that the P3 amplitudes in the parietal cortex correlated significantly with the SRM bias score in the patients (r = –0.688).
These results provide comprehensive and direct electrophysiological evidence for self- and other-reflective dysfunction in schizophrenia patients and contribute to our understanding of the underlying neural substrates of the abolished SRM effect in schizophrenia.
Nanoparticles (NPs) with either plasmonic or upconverting properties have been selectively coated onto the surfaces of polystyrene (PS) spheres, imparting their optical properties to the PS colloids. These NP coated PS spheres have many potential applications, such as in medicine as drug-delivery systems or diagnostic tools. To prepare the NP coated PS spheres, gold or core-shell NaYF4Tm0.5Yb30/NaYF4 NPs were synthesized and separately combined with amino-functionalized PS spheres. The mechanism by which the NPs adhered to the PS spheres is attributed to interactions of the NP and a polyvinylpyrrolidone additive with the surfaces of the PS spheres. Two-photon fluorescence microscopy and SERS analysis demonstrate the potential applications of these NP coated PS spheres.
The Burst Observer and Optical Transient Exploring System (BOOTES), is a global robotic
observatory network, which started in 1998 with Spanish leadership devoted to study
optical emissions from gamma ray bursts (GRBs) that occur in the Universe. We present shot
history and current status of BOOTES network. The Network philosophy, science and some
details of 117 GRBs followed-up are discussed.
The Wenchuan earthquake was a catastrophic earthquake in China. The aim of this study is to explore longitudinally the rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression in adolescents after the Wenchuan earthquake, and to identify independent predictors of PTSD.
PTSD and depression symptoms among adolescents at 6, 12 and 18 months after the Wenchuan earthquake were investigated using the PTSD Checklist Civilian Version and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Subjects in this study included 548 high school student survivors in a local boarding high school.
The rates of PTSD symptoms were 9.7%, 1.3% and 1.6% at the 6-, 12- and 18-month follow-ups, respectively. BDI scores were found to be the best predictor of severity of PTSD at 6, 12 and 18 months. Gender was another variable contributing significantly to PTSD at 6 and 12 months after the earthquake. In the 12-month follow-up, home damage was found to be a predictor of severity of PTSD symptoms. Being a child with siblings was found to be a predictor of severity of PTSD symptoms at 12 and 18 months after the earthquake.
PTSD symptoms changed gradually at various stages after the earthquake. Depression symptoms were predictive of PTSD symptoms in the 18-month follow-up study. Other predictors of PTSD symptoms included female gender and being a child with siblings. The results of this study may be helpful for further mental health interventions for adolescents after earthquakes.
The titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticle (NP) structure has higher surface area and dye loading value to increase photon absorption while the nanotube (NT) can suppress the random walk phenomena to enhance carrier collection. In this work, hydrothermal method was utilized to infiltrate the TiO2 nanotube array by TiO2 nanoparticles with the aim of combining the advantages of both nanostructures to improve dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) efficiency. Structure morphology, device performance, and electrochemical properties were investigated. SEM observation confirmed that around 10 nm TiO2 nanoparticles uniformly covered the NT wall. TiO2 NT samples at three different lengths: 8 μm, 13 μm and 20 μm, decorated with different amount of nanoparticles were studied to optimize the structure for light absorption and electron transport to achieve high solar conversion efficiency. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) was also employed to investigate the cells’ parameters: electron lifetime (τ), diffusion length (Ln) et al, to gain insight on the device performance. The incident photon conversion efficiency (IPCE) was also reported.