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Guanidinoacetic acid (GAA) can improve the growth performance of bulls. This study investigated the influences of GAA addition on growth, nutrient digestion, ruminal fermentation and serum metabolites in bulls. Forty-eight Angus bulls were randomly allocated to experimental treatments, that is, control, low-GAA (LGAA), medium-GAA (MGAA) and high-GAA (HGAA), with GAA supplementation at 0, 0.3, 0.6 and 0.9 g/kg DM, respectively. Bulls were fed a basal diet containing 500 g/kg DM concentrate and 500 g/kg DM roughage. The experimental period was 104 days, with 14 days for adaptation and 90 days for data collection. Bulls in the MGAA and HGAA groups had higher DM intake and average daily gain than bulls in the LGAA and control groups. The feed conversion ratio was lowest in MGAA and highest in the control. Bulls receiving 0.9 g/kg DM GAA addition had higher digestibility of DM, organic matter, NDF and ADF than bulls in other groups. The digestibility of CP was higher for HGAA than for LGAA and control. The ruminal pH was lower for MGAA, and the total volatile fatty acid concentration was greater for MGAA and HGAA than for the control. The acetate proportion and acetate-to-propionate ratio were lower for MGAA than for LGAA and control. The propionate proportion was higher for MGAA than for control. Bulls receiving GAA addition showed decreased ruminal ammonia N. Bulls in MGAA and HGAA had higher cellobiase, pectinase and protease activities and Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens, Prevotella ruminicola and Ruminobacter amylophilus populations than bulls in LGAA and control. However, the total protozoan population was lower for MGAA and HGAA than for LGAA and control. The total bacterial and Ruminococcus flavefaciens populations increased with GAA addition. The blood level of creatine was higher for HGAA, and the activity of l-arginine glycine amidine transferase was lower for MGAA and HGAA, than for control. The blood activity of guanidine acetate N-methyltransferase and the level of folate decreased in the GAA addition groups. The results indicated that dietary addition of 0.6 or 0.9 g/kg DM GAA improved growth performance, nutrient digestion and ruminal fermentation in bulls.
Reducing dietary CP content is an effective approach to reduce animal nitrogen excretion and save protein feed resources. However, it is not clear how reducing dietary CP content affects the nutrient digestion and absorption in the gut of ruminants, therefore it is difficult to accurately determine how much reduction in dietary CP content is appropriate. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of reduced dietary CP content on N balance, intestinal nutrient digestion and absorption, and rumen microbiota in growing goats. To determine N balance, 18 growing wether goats (25.0 ± 0.5 kg) were randomly assigned to one of three diets: 13.0% (control), 11.5% and 10.0% CP. Another 18 growing wether goats (25.0 ± 0.5 kg) were surgically fitted with ruminal, proximate duodenal, and terminal ileal fistulae and were randomly assigned to one of the three diets to investigate intestinal amino acid (AA) absorption and rumen microbiota. The results showed that fecal and urinary N excretion of goats fed diets containing 11.5% and 10.0% CP were lower than those of goats fed the control diet (P < 0.05). When compared with goats fed the control diet, N retention was decreased and apparent N digestibility in the entire gastrointestinal tract was increased in goats fed the 10% CP diet (P < 0.05). When compared with goats fed the control diet, the duodenal flow of lysine, tryptophan and phenylalanine was decreased in goats fed the 11.5% CP diet (P < 0.05) and that of lysine, methionine, tryptophan, phenylalanine, leucine, glutamic acid, tyrosine, essential AAs (EAAs) and total AAs (TAAs) was decreased in goats fed the 10.0% CP diet (P < 0.05). When compared with goats fed the control diet, the apparent absorption of TAAs in the small intestine was increased in goats fed the 11.5% CP diet (P < 0.05) and that of isoleucine, serine, cysteine, EAAs, non-essential AAs, and TAAs in the small intestine was increased in goats fed the 10.0% CP diet (P < 0.05). When compared with goats fed the control diet, the relative richness of Bacteroidetes and Fibrobacteres was increased and that of Proteobacteria and Synergistetes was decreased in the rumen of goats fed a diet with 10.0% CP. In conclusion, reducing dietary CP content reduced N excretion and increased nutrient utilization by improving rumen fermentation, enhancing nutrient digestion and absorption, and altering rumen microbiota in growing goats.
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.
Previously the GABA(A) receptor beta-2 subunit gene GABRB2 was found to be associated with schizophrenia (SCZ). for SNPs and haplotypes in GRBRB2, the associations with bipolar disorder (BPD), the functional consequences on GABRB2 expression and their relationship to demographic and clinical characteristics in BPD and SCZ remain to be elucidated.
Case-control analysis was performed for association study of GABRB2 with BPD, and its mRNA expression in postmortem BPD brains was examined using quantitative real-time PCR. Quantitative trait analysis was subsequently employed to assess the covariate effects of demographic and clinical characteristics on genotypic correlation of GABRB2 expression in SCZ and BPD.
Significant association of GABRB2 with BPD and reduction in GABRB2 mRNA expression in BPD brains were observed in the present study. Duration of illness (DOI) was found to be a significant covariate for the correlation of the disease-associated SNPs rs1816071, rs1816072 and rs187269 with GABRB2 expression in both SCZ and BPD. for individuals with homozygous major genotypes of these SNPs, while GABRB2 expression increased with age in the controls, it decreased with DOI and age in SCZ, and with DOI in BPD. with age of onset as covariate, these three SNPs were significantly correlated with antipsychotic dosage in SCZ.
These results have thus revealed correlations of GABRB2 SNPs and expression not only with the occurrence of SCZ and BPD, but also with the clinical characteristics of patients, therefore providing support for a shared etiological role played by the gene in both diseases.
Many family characteristics were reported to increase the risk of bipolar disorder (BPD). The development of BPD may be mediated through different pathways, involving diverse risk factor profiles. We evaluated the associations of family characteristics to build influential causal-pie models to estimate their contributions on the risk of developing BPD at the population level. We recruited 329 clinically diagnosed BPD patients and 202 healthy controls to collect information in parental psychopathology, parent-child relationship, and conflict within family. Other than logistic regression models, we applied causal-pie models to identify pathways involved with different family factors for BPD. The risk of BPD was significantly increased with parental depression, neurosis, anxiety, paternal substance use problems, and poor relationship with parents. Having a depressed mother further predicted early onset of BPD. Additionally, a greater risk for BPD was observed with higher numbers of paternal/maternal psychopathologies. Three significant risk profiles were identified for BPD, including paternal substance use problems (73.0%), maternal depression (17.6%), and through poor relationship with parents and conflict within the family (6.3%). Our findings demonstrate that different aspects of family characteristics elicit negative impacts on bipolar illness, which can be utilized to target specific factors to design and employ efficient intervention programs.
Depression is a common mental disorder that substantially impairs a client's functioning. the aim of this study is to examine the predictive factors of quality of life (QOL) for depression from longitudinal perspectives. 237 outpatients with depression were recruited in the study. They were from a psychiatric outpatient clinic in northern Taiwan. All subjects were tested on the baseline and followed up twice during 3-year period. the average age of subjects was 47.1 years. Most subjects were female, married and lived with their spouses.Seventy subjects participated in both follow ups (T2 and T3). there were no significant differences on the demographic characteristics at T1 between the respondents (N = 70) and non-respondents (N = 167) except for gender. the subjects were tested on the WHOQOL-BREF-Taiwan version, occupational self assessment, mastery, social support and Center of Epidemiology Study-Depression Scale (CESD). the data were analyzed by mixed effect model using SAS computer program.The severity of depression could predict overall QOL, overall health and 13 items of QOL. the type of antidepressants had significant impact on the subjects’ QOL in 10 items. the occupational competence and sense of mastery predicted 13 items (50%) and 14 items (53.8%), respectively.In order to advance the treatment outcomes, the professionals should pay more attention on the enhancement of the sense of competence and mastery. We suggested that treatments should target at improving adaptive skills, lifestyle, and occupational competence.
Metabolic abnormality is common among schizophrenia patients. Some metabolic traits were found associated with subgroups of schizophrenia patients.
We examined a possible relationship between metabolic abnormality and psychosis profile in schizophrenia patients.
Three hundred and seventy-two chronic schizophrenia patients treated with antipsychotics for more than 2 years were assessed with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. A set of metabolic traits was measured at scheduled checkpoints between October 2004 and September 2006.
Multiple regressions adjusted for sex showed negative correlations between body mass index (BMI) and total score and all subscales; triglycerides (TG) was negatively correlated with total score and negative syndrome, while HDLC was positively correlated with negative syndrome. When sex interaction was concerned, total score was negatively correlated with BMI but not with others; negative syndrome was negatively correlated with BMI and positively with HDLC. No metabolic traits were correlated with positive syndrome or general psychopathology.
Loss of body weight is a serious health problem in schizophrenia patients with severe psychosis syndrome, especially the negative syndrome. Schizophrenia patients with severe negative syndrome may have a distinct lipid pathophysiology in comparison with those who were less severe in the domain.
Previous studies showed that persons with mental illness had poorer quality of life than persons with the other medical conditions. We developed a manualized treatment - Quality of Life Enhancement Program (QOLEP) based on literature review and clinical experiences. the contents of the program include 4 sessions of ‘occupational life scheduling’ and 4 sessions of ‘coping skills’ provided by an occupational therapist during a 4-week period (2 times/week) which each session lasts for one to two hours.
Twenty-one subjects were recruited from community mental health rehabilitation centers in northern Taiwan. They were randomly assigned to either treatment group (N=11) or control group (N=10). the subjects in the control group received general supportive therapy over the phone twice a week for 4 weeks. Both groups were evaluated at baseline and posttreatment. the mixed-effects linear model was applied to analyze the efficacy of the treatment.
The results showed that the subjects who participated in the QOLEP had significantly better physical QOL than that of control group (-9.66+4.24, p< .05). the suicidal ideation of the subjects for both groups decreased over time (2.64+3.16, p< .05). Most of the participants indicated that the activities were easily understood, helpful to them, and are willing to participate in the program again.
With the program developed based on concept of occupational engagement, we were able to demonstrate the efficacy of specific treatment on quality of life and used it as evidence to support future development in mental health area.
The presence of comorbid anxiety disorders (AD) and bipolar II disorders (BP-II) compounds disability complicates treatment, worsens prognosis, and has been understudied. The genes involved in metabolizing dopamine and encoding dopamine receptors, such as aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) and dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) genes, may be important to the pathogenesis of BP-II comorbid with AD. We aimed to clarify ALDH2 and DRD2 genes for predisposition to BP-II comorbid with and without AD. The sample consisted of 335 subjects BP-II without AD, 127 subjects BP-II with AD and 348 healthy subjects as normal control. The genotypes of the ALDH2 and DRD2 Taq-IA polymorphisms were determined using polymerase chain reactions plus restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. Logistic regression analysis showed a statistically significant association between DRD2 Taq-I A1/A2 genotype and BP-II with AD (OR = 2.231, P = 0.021). Moreover, a significant interaction of the DRD2 Taq-I A1/A1 and the ALDH2*1*1 genotypes in BP-II without AD was revealed (OR = 5.623, P = 0.001) compared with normal control. Our findings support the hypothesis that a unique genetic distinction between BP-II with and without AD, and suggest a novel association between DRD2 Taq-I A1/A2 genotype and BP-II with AD. Our study also provides further evidence that the ALDH2 and DRD2 genes interact in BP-II, particularly BP-II without AD.
Suicide rates are high for older persons worldwide. However, no literature could be found on young-old people’s opinions about elderly suicide and the beliefs/expectations that protect them from attempting suicide.
To explore opinions about elderly suicide among community-dwelling young-old people in Taiwan and their reasons for not killing themselves.
A qualitative descriptive design was used. Young-old (65–74 years old) outpatients were recruited by convenience from two randomly selected medical centers in northern Taiwan if they had never expressed suicidal ideas and had no severe cognitive deficit. Data were collected in individual interviews and analysed by content analysis.
Among 31 participating young-old people, most participants (87.1%) had heard of elderly suicide. Their opinions about elderly suicide reflected negative emotional reactions (32.3%), judgmental attitudes (32.3%), could happen after losing the meaning of life (9.7%), and expectations of social welfare (9.7%). Reasons for not killing themselves fell into six major themes: living well (32.3%), suicide cannot resolve problems (22.6%), fear of humiliating their children (16.1%), religious beliefs (12.9%), never thought about suicide (12.9%), and living in harmony with nature (12.9%).
Among the factors that prevented participants from killing themselves, perceptions of living well and of children’s filial behavior, as well as rational thinking could be adjusted. These factors can be addressed and improved by healthcare providers and policy makers to prevent suicide among the young-old. Our findings may also serve as a reference for geriatric researchers in western countries with increasing numbers of elderly ethnic minority immigrants.
Persistent gaming, despite acknowledgment of its negative consequences, is a major criterion for individuals with Internet gaming disorder (IGD). This study evaluated the adaptive decision-making, risky decision, and decision-making style of individuals with IGD.
We recruited 87 individuals with IGD and 87 without IGD (matched controls). All participants underwent an interview based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th Edition) diagnostic criteria for IGD and completed an adaptive decision-making task; the Preference for Intuition and Deliberation Scale, Chen Internet Addiction Scale, and Barratt Impulsivity Scale were also assessed on the basis of the information from the diagnostic interviews.
The results demonstrated that the participants in both groups tend to make more risky choices in advantage trials where their expected value (EV) was more favorable than those of the riskless choice. The tendency to make a risky choice in advantage trials was stronger among IGD group than that among controls. Participants of both groups made more risky choices in the loss domain, a risky option to loss more versus sure loss option, than they did in the gain domain, a risky option to gain more versus sure gain. Furthermore, the participants with IGD made more risky choices in the gain domain than did the controls. Participants with IGD showed higher and lower preferences for intuitive and deliberative decision-making styles, respectively, than controls and their preferences for intuition and deliberation were positively and negatively associated with IGD severity, respectively.
These results suggested that individuals with IGD have elevated EV sensitivity for decision-making. However, they demonstrated risky preferences in the gain domain and preferred an intuitive rather than deliberative decision-making style. This might explain why they continue Internet gaming despite negative consequences. Thus, therapists should focus more on decision-making styles and promote deliberative thinking processes to mitigate the long-term negative consequences of IGD.
While a body of research has evidenced the role of pain coping in chronic pain adjustment, the role of coping flexibility in chronic pain adjustment has received little research attention. Coping flexibility can be conceptualized with two dimensions, cognitive and behavioral. The cognitive dimension of coping flexibility (or coping appraisal flexibility) refers to one's appraisal of pain experience when changing coping strategies whereas the behavioral dimension of coping flexibility denotes the variety of coping responses individuals use in dealing with stressful demands.
The aim of this paper is to present preliminary findings on the role of coping flexibility in chronic pain adjustment by assessing 3 competing models of pain coping flexibility (see Figs. 1–3).
Patients with chronic pain (n = 300) completed a battery of questionnaire assessing pain disability, discriminative facility, need for closure, pain coping behavior, coping flexibility, and pain catastrophizing. The 3 hypothesized models were tested using structural equation modeling (SEM). In all models tested, need for closure and discriminative facility were fitted as the dispositional cognitive and motivational factors respectively underlying the coping mechanism, whereas pain catastrophizing and pain intensity were included as covariates.
Results of SEM showed that the hierarchical model obtained the best data-model fit (CFI = 0.96) whereas the other two models did not attain an accept fit (CFI ranging from 0.70–0.72).
Our results lend tentative support for the hierarchical model of pain coping flexibility that coping variability mediated the effects of coping appraisal flexibility on disability.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Research evidenced the association of pain coping strategies with short-term and long-term adjustments to chronic pain. Yet, previous studies mainly assessed the frequency of coping strategies when pain occurs whilst no data is available on one's flexibility/rigidity in using different pain coping strategies, i.e., pain coping variability, in dealing with different situations.
This study aimed to examine the multivariate association between pain coping variability and committed action in predicting concurrent pain-related disability. Specifically, we examined the independent effects of pain coping variability and committed action in predicting concurrent pain-related disability in a sample of Chinese patients with chronic pain.
Chronic pain patients (n = 287) completed a test battery assessing pain intensity/disability, pain coping strategies and variability, committed action, and pain catastrophizing. Multiple regression modeling compared the association of individual pain coping strategies and pain coping variability with disability (Models 1–2), and examined the independent effects of committed action and pain coping variability on disability (Model 3).
Of the 8 coping strategies assessed, only guarding (std β = 0.17) was emerged as significant independent predictor of disability (Model 1). Pain coping variability (std β = −0.10) was associated with disability after controlling for guarding and other covariates (Model 2) and was emerged as independent predictor of disability (Model 3: std β = −0.11) (all P < 0.05) (Tables 1 and 2).
Our data offers preliminary support for the multivariate association between pain coping variability and committed action in predicting concurrent pain-related disability, which supplements the existing pain coping data that are largely based on assessing frequency of coping.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) infection has been a major public health threat globally. Monitoring and prediction of CT epidemic status and trends are important for programme planning, allocating resources and assessing impact; however, such activities are limited in China. In this study, we aimed to apply a seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average (SARIMA) model to predict the incidence of CT infection in Shenzhen city, China. The monthly incidence of CT between January 2008 and June 2019 in Shenzhen was used to fit and validate the SARIMA model. A seasonal fluctuation and a slightly increasing pattern of a long-term trend were revealed in the time series of CT incidence. The monthly CT incidence ranged from 4.80/100 000 to 21.56/100 000. The mean absolute percentage error value of the optimal model was 8.08%. The SARIMA model could be applied to effectively predict the short-term CT incidence in Shenzhen and provide support for the development of interventions for disease control and prevention.
The foetal programming hypothesis posits that optimising early life factors e.g. maternal diets can help avert the burden of adverse childhood outcomes e.g. childhood obesity. To improve applicability to public health messaging, we investigated whether maternal whole diet quality and inflammatory potential influence childhood adiposity in a large consortium.
We harmonized and pooled individual participant data from up to 8,769 mother-child pairs in 7 European mother-offspring cohorts. Maternal early-, late-, and whole-pregnancy dietary quality and inflammatory potential were assessed with Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and energy-adjusted Dietary Inflammatory Index (E-DII), respectively. Primary outcome was childhood overweight and obesity (OWOB), defined as age- and sex-specific body-mass-index-z score (BMIz) > 85th percentile based on WHO growth standard. Secondary outcomes were sum-of-skinfold-thickness (SST), fat-mass-index (FMI) and fat-free-mass-index (FFMI) in available cohorts. Outcomes were assessed in early- [mean (SD) age: 2.8 (0.3) y], mid- [6.2 (0.6) y], and late-childhood [10.6 (1.2) y]. We used multivariable regression analyses to assess the associations of maternal E-DII and DASH with offspring adiposity outcomes in cohort-specific analyses, with subsequent random-effects meta-analyses. Analyses were adjusted for maternal age, pre-pregnancy BMI, parity, lifestyle factors, energy intake, educational attainment, offspring age and sex.
A more pro-inflammatory maternal diet, indicated by higher E-DII, was associated with a higher risk of offspring late-childhood OWOB [pooled-OR (95% CI) comparing highest vs. lowest E-DII quartiles: 1.22 (1.01,1.47) for whole-pregnancy and 1.38 (1.05,1.83) for early-pregnancy; both P < 0.05]. Moreover, higher late-pregnancy E-DII was associated with higher mid-childhood FMI [pooled-β (95% CI): 0.11 (0.003,0.22) kg/m2; P < 0.05]; trending association was observed for whole-pregnancy E-DII [0.12 (-0.01,0.25) kg/m2; P = 0.07]. A higher maternal dietary quality, indicated by higher DASH score, showed a trending inverse association with late-childhood OWOB (pooled-OR (95% CI) comparing highest vs. lowest DASH quartiles: 0.58 (0.32,1.02; P = 0.06). Higher early-pregnancy DASH was associated with lower late-childhood SST [pooled-β (95% CI): -1.9 (-3.6,-0.1) cm; P < 0.05] and tended to be associated with lower late-childhood FMI [-0.34 (-0.71,0.04) kg/m2; P = 0.08]. Higher whole-pregnancy DASH tended to associate with lower early-childhood SST [-0.33 (-0.72,0.06) cm; P = 0.10]. Results were similar when modelling DASH and E-DII continuously.
Analysis of pooled data suggests that pro-inflammatory, low-quality maternal antenatal diets may influence offspring body composition and obesity risk, especially during mid- or late-childhood. Due to variation of data availability at each timepoint, our results should be interpreted with caution. Because most associations were observed at mid-childhood or later, future studies will benefit from a longer follow-up.
The influence of combined corrosion and vibration to the anti-loosening performance of a precision locknut used in a machine tool is investigated. Firstly, the locknut was submerged in 5% NaCl solution according to ASTM B895 standard for corrosion testing. The locknuts, after submerged in 1-hr, 2-hr and 4-hr periods, respectively, were then installed on the rotating spindle in a vertical dynamic impact tester for performing anti-loosening test. The initial installed pretension was 9800 N and the spindle was rotating in a constant speed of 1000 rpm. Turmogrease Li 802 EP lubricant was used on the contact surface between spindle thread and locknut. The set screws on the locknut were tightened sequentially and evenly in three-stage of torque: 1.96 N-m, 3.92 N-m and 5.88 N-m. Its real-time pretension variation with the periodic transverse impact and its final loosening torque were measured. Accordingly, the axial force ratio and anti-loosening torque ratio were calculated and discussed. It was found that corrosion treatment had similar influence on both the axial force ratio and the anti-loosening torque ratio. More corrosion on the locknut with longer submersion in NaCl solution deteriorated its anti-loosening characteristics. The result could serve as the reference for evaluating the fastening performance of precision locknut and guide the design and manufacturing for the application improvement.
Although numerous studies have investigated the individual effects of salinity, irrigation and fertilization on soil microbial communities, relatively less attention has been paid to their combined influences, especially using molecular techniques. Based on the field of orthogonal designed test and deoxyribonucleic acid sequencing technology, the effects of saline water irrigation amount, salinity level of irrigation water and nitrogen (N) fertilizer rate on soil bacterial community structure were investigated. The results showed that the irrigation amount was the most dominant factor in determining the bacterial richness and diversity, followed by the irrigation water salinity and N fertilizer rate. The values of Chao1 estimator, abundance-based coverage estimator and Shannon indices decreased with an increase in irrigation amount while increased and then decreased with an increase in irrigation water salinity and N fertilizer rate. The highest soil bacterial richness and diversity were obtained under the least irrigation amount (25 mm), medium irrigation water salinity (4.75 dS/m) and medium N fertilizer rate (350 kg/ha). However, different bacterial phyla were found to respond distinctively to these three factors: irrigation amount significantly affected the relative abundances of Proteobacteria and Chloroflexi; irrigation water salinity mostly affected the members of Actinobacteria, Gemmatimonadetes and Acidobacteria; and N fertilizer rate mainly influenced the Bacteroidetes' abundance. The results presented here revealed that the assessment of soil microbial processes under combined irrigation and fertilization treatments needed to be more careful as more variable consequences would be established by comparing with the influences based on an individual factor, such as irrigation amount or N fertilizer rate.
A greater understanding of the rumen microbiota and its function may help find new strategies to improve feed efficiency in cattle. This study aimed to investigate whether the cattle breed affects specific ruminal taxonomic microbial groups and functions associated with feed conversion ratio (FCR), using two genetically related Angus breeds as a model. Total RNA was extracted from 24 rumen content samples collected from purebred Black and Red Angus bulls fed the same forage diet and then subjected to metatranscriptomic analysis. Multivariate discriminant analysis (sparse partial least square discriminant analysis (sPLS-DA)) and analysis of composition of microbiomes were conducted to identify microbial signatures characterizing Black and Red Angus cattle. Our analyses revealed relationships among bacterial signatures, host breeds and FCR. Although Black and Red Angus are genetically similar, sPLS-DA detected 25 bacterial species and 10 functions that differentiated the rumen microbial signatures between those two breeds. In Black Angus, we identified bacterial taxa Chitinophaga pinensis, Clostridium stercorarium and microbial functions with large and small subunits ribosomal proteins L16 and S7 exhibiting a higher abundance in the rumen microbiome. In Red Angus, nonetheless, we identified the poorly characterized bacterial taxon Oscillibacter valericigenes with a higher abundance and pathways related to carbohydrate metabolism. Analysis of composition of microbiomes revealed that C. pinensis and C. stercorarium exhibited a higher abundance in Black Angus compared to Red Angus associated with FCR, suggesting that these bacterial species may play a key role in the feed conversion efficiency of forage-fed bulls. This study highlights how the discovery of signatures of bacterial taxa and their functions can be used to harness the full potential of the rumen microbiome in Angus cattle.
Abnormal effort-based decision-making represents a potential mechanism underlying motivational deficits (amotivation) in psychotic disorders. Previous research identified effort allocation impairment in chronic schizophrenia and focused mostly on physical effort modality. No study has investigated cognitive effort allocation in first-episode psychosis (FEP).
Cognitive effort allocation was examined in 40 FEP patients and 44 demographically-matched healthy controls, using Cognitive Effort-Discounting (COGED) paradigm which quantified participants’ willingness to expend cognitive effort in terms of explicit, continuous discounting of monetary rewards based on parametrically-varied cognitive demands (levels N of N-back task). Relationship between reward-discounting and amotivation was investigated. Group differences in reward-magnitude and effort-cost sensitivity, and differential associations of these sensitivity indices with amotivation were explored.
Patients displayed significantly greater reward-discounting than controls. In particular, such discounting was most pronounced in patients with high levels of amotivation even when N-back performance and reward base amount were taken into consideration. Moreover, patients exhibited reduced reward-benefit sensitivity and effort-cost sensitivity relative to controls, and that decreased sensitivity to reward-benefit but not effort-cost was correlated with diminished motivation. Reward-discounting and sensitivity indices were generally unrelated to other symptom dimensions, antipsychotic dose and cognitive deficits.
This study provides the first evidence of cognitive effort-based decision-making impairment in FEP, and indicates that decreased effort expenditure is associated with amotivation. Our findings further suggest that abnormal effort allocation and amotivation might primarily be related to blunted reward valuation. Prospective research is required to clarify the utility of effort-based measures in predicting amotivation and functional outcome in FEP.