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In the past decade, the emergence of high-entropy alloys (HEAs) and other high-entropy materials (HEMs) has brought about new opportunities in the development of novel materials for high-performance applications. In combining solid-solution (SS) strengthening with grain-boundary strengthening, new material systems—nanostructured or nanocrystalline (NC) HEAs or HEMs—have been developed, showing superior combined mechanical and functional properties compared with conventional alloys, HEAs, and NC metals. This article reviews the processing methods, materials, mechanical properties, thermal stability, and functional properties of various nanostructured HEMs, particularly NC HEAs. With such new nanostructures and alloy compositions, many interesting phenomena and properties of such NC HEAs have been unveiled, for example, extraordinary microstructural and mechanical thermal stability. As more HEAs or HEMs are being developed, a new avenue of research is to be exploited. The article concludes with perspectives about future directions in this field.
The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of glucose, soya oil or glutamine on jejunal morphology, protein metabolism and protein expression of the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signalling pathway in jejunal villus or crypt compartment of piglets. Forty-two 21 d-weaned piglets were randomly allotted to one of the three isoenergetic diets formulated with glucose, soya oil or glutamine for 28 d. On day 14 or 28, the proteins in crypt enterocytes were analysed with isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification and proteins involved in mTORC1 signalling pathway in villus or crypt compartment cells were determined by Western blotting. Our results showed no significant differences (P > 0·05) in jejunal morphology among the three treatments on day 14 or 28. The differentially expressed proteins mainly took part in a few network pathways, including antimicrobial or inflammatory response, cell death and survival, digestive system development and function and carbohydrate metabolism. On day 14 or 28, there were higher protein expression of eukaryotic initiation factor-4E binding protein-1 in jejunal crypt compartment of piglets supplemented with glucose or glutamine compared with soya oil. On day 28, higher protein expression of phosphor-mTOR in crypt compartment was observed in piglets supplemented with glucose compared with the soya oil. In conclusion, the isoenergetic glucose, soya oil or glutamine did not affect the jejunal morphology of piglets; however, they had different effects on the protein metabolism in crypt compartment. Compared with soya oil, glucose or glutamine may be better energy supplies for enterocytes in jejunal crypt compartment.
High inductive helical support provides a solution to controlling the alignment error of inner electrodes in magnetically insulated transmission lines (MITLs). Three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations were performed to examine the current loss mechanism and the effects of structural parameters on electron flow in an MITL with a helical inductor. An empirical expression related to the ratio of electron current loss to anode current and the ratio of anode current to self-limited current was obtained. Electron current loss caused by helical inductor with different structures was displayed. The results indicate that the current loss in an MITL, near an inductive helical support, comprises both the inductor current and the electron current loss. The non-uniform structure and current of a helical inductor cause an abrupt change in the magnetic field near the helical support, which leads to anomalous behavior and current loss of electron flow. In addition, current loss in the inductive helical-supported MITL is negligible when the inductance of the support is sufficiently high. This work facilitates the estimation of electron current loss caused by the inductive helical support in MITLs.
Associations have been shown between father’s absence and menarcheal age, but most studies have focused on absence resulting from divorce, abandonment or death. Little research has been conducted to evaluate the effect on menarcheal age of paternal absence through migrant work. In a sample of 400 middle school students, this study examined the association between paternal migrant work and menarcheal age against a backdrop of extensive rural-to-urban migration in China. Data were collected through a self-reported questionnaire, including social-demographic characteristics, aspects of family relationships, information about father’s migrant work and age at menarche. After adjusting for BMI, parent marital status and perceived relationship with mother, lower self-perceived quality of father–daughter relationship (both ‘father present, relationship poor’ and ‘father absent, relationship poor’) and lower frequency of contact with the father were associated with higher odds for early menarche. These findings suggest that the assumption that father’s absence for work influences the timing of menarche needs to be examined in the context of the quality of the father–daughter relationship and paternal care, which appear to play a critical role in the timing of menarche. These findings also emphasize the importance of enhancing paternal involvement and improving father–daughter relationships in the development of appropriate reproductive strategy in daughters.
Breast milk (BM) hormones have been hypothesised as a nutritional link between maternal and infant metabolic health. This study aimed to evaluate hormone concentrations in BM of women with and without gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), and the relationship between maternal factors, BM hormones and infant growth. We studied ninety-six nulliparous women with (n 48) and without GDM and their exclusively breastfed term singletons. Women with GDM received dietary therapy or insulin injection for euglycaemia during pregnancy. Hormone concentrations in BM, maternal BMI and infant growth were longitudinally evaluated on postnatal days 3, 42 and 90. Mothers with GDM had decreased concentrations of adiponectin (Pcolostrum<0·001; Pmature-milk=0·009) and ghrelin (Pcolostrum=0·011; Pmature-milk<0·001) and increased concentration of insulin in BM (Pcolostrum=0·047; Pmature-milk=0·021). Maternal BMI was positively associated with adiponectin (β=0·06; 95 % CI 0·02, 0·1; P=0·001), leptin (β=0·16; 95 % CI 0·12, 0·2; P<0·001) and insulin concentrations (β=0·06; 95 % CI 0·02, 0·1; P<0·001), and inversely associated with ghrelin concentration in BM (β=–0·08; 95 % CI –0·1, –0·06; P<0·001). Among the four hormones, adiponectin was inversely associated with infant growth in both the GDM (βweight-for-height=–2·49; 95 % CI –3·83, –1·15; P<0·001; βhead-circumference=–0·39; 95 % CI –0·65, –0·13; P=0·003) and healthy groups (βweight-for-height=–1·42; 95 % CI –2·38, –0·46; P=0·003; βhead-circumference=–0·15; 95 % CI –0·27, –0·03; P=0·007). Maternal BMI and GDM are important determinants of BM hormone concentrations. Milk-borne adiponectin is determined by maternal metabolic status and plays an independent down-regulating role in early infant growth.
In the past decade, nanomechanical techniques have become ubiquitous for mechanical measurement concurrently with the discovery of high-entropy alloys (HEAs). Different from large-scale testing, small-scale measurements offer quantitative details about mechanical behavior of materials at the micro/nanoscale, presenting new opportunities to probe fundamental nature of HEAs. This article will review the literature on using versatile nanomechanical tools for HEA studies, including nanoindentation, microcompression, high-temperature deformation, fracture measurement, and in situ electron microscopy. With these approaches, many interesting phenomena and properties of HEAs have been unveiled, for example, properties about incipient plasticity, strain-rate sensitivity, creep, diffusion, size-dependent strength, and fracture, which are difficult, or impossible, to be measured in macroscopic experiments. Despite current literature only focusing on a few HEA compositions and several methods, as nanomechanics and HEAs are developing rapidly, a new avenue of research is to be exploited. The article concludes with perspectives about future directions in this field.
Ethanolamine (Etn) contained in milk is the base constituent of phosphatidylethanolamine and is required for the proliferation of intestinal epithelial cells and bacteria, which is important for maintenance of the gut microbiome and intestinal development. The present study investigated the effect of Etn on intestinal function and microbiome using 21-d-old Sprague–Dawley rats treated with 0, 250, 500 and 1000 μm Etn in drinking water for 2 weeks immediately after weaning. Growth performance, intestinal morphology, antioxidant capacity and mucosal immunity, as well as gut microbiota community composition, were evaluated. Metagenomic prediction and metabolic phenotype analysis based on 16S RNA sequencing were also carried out to assess changes in metabolic functions. We found that weaned rats administered 500 μm Etn enhanced mucosal antioxidant capacity, as evidenced by higher superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase levels in the jejunum (P<0·05) compared with those in the control group. Predominant microbes including Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, Elusimicrobia and Tenericutes were altered by different levels of Etn compared with the control group. An Etn concentration of 500 µm shifted colonic microbial metabolic functions that are in favour of lipid- and sugar-related metabolism and biosynthesis. Etn also altered the metabolic phenotypes such as anaerobic microbial counts, and oxidative stress tolerance at over 250 µm. This is the first report for a role of Etn in modifying gut microbiota and intestinal functions. Our findings highlighted the important role of Etn in shaping gut microbial community and promotes intestinal functions, which may provide a better insight of breast-feeding to infant’s gut health.
Graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) is considered as a promising heterogeneous catalyst for photocatalytic H2 evolution from water under visible light illustration, and its photocatalytic performance could be controlled through its texture and optical/electronic properties. Herein, we present a facile one-step heating method for the synthesis of B/P/F doped g-C3N4 photocatalysts (BCN, PCN, and FCN). The prepared photocatalysts were characterized by XRD, SEM, UV-vis absorption, FTIR, BET, XPS, PL, and photocurrent measurement. The results show that the B/P/F doping increased the interplanar stacking distance of g-C3N4, enlarged the optical absorption range, and improved the photocatalytic activity of H2 evolution. FCN exhibits the highest photocatalytic activity, followed by BCN, and PCN that has the lowest performance. This work studies the doping effects of the nonmetal elements on the photocatalytic activities, the electronic structures as well as the band gaps of g-C3N4, to provide a feasible modification pathway to design and synthesize highly efficient photocatalysts.
Mitochondria plays an important role in the regulation of energy homeostasis. Moreover, mitochondrial biogenesis accompanies skeletal myogenesis, and we previously reported that maternal high-energy diet repressed skeletal myogenesis in pig fetuses. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of moderately increased maternal energy intake on skeletal muscle mitochondrial biogenesis and function of the pig fetuses. Primiparous purebred Large White sows were allocated to a normal energy intake group (NE) as recommended by the National Research Council (NRC) and a high energy intake group (HE, 110% of NRC recommendations). On day 90 of gestation, fetal umbilical vein blood and longissimus (LM) muscle were collected. Results showed that the weight gain of sows fed HE diet was higher than NE sows on day 90 of gestation (P<0.05). Maternal HE diet increased fetal umbilical vein serum triglyceride and insulin concentrations (P<0.05), and tended to increase the homeostasis model assessment index (P=0.08). Furthermore, HE fetuses exhibited increased malondialdehyde concentration (P<0.05), and decreased activities of antioxidative enzymes (P<0.05) and intracellular NAD+ level (P<0.05) in LM muscle. These alterations in metabolic traits of HE fetuses were accompanied by reduced mitochondrial DNA amount (P<0.05) and down-regulated messenger RNA expression levels of genes responsible for mitochondrial biogenesis and function (P<0.05). Our results suggest that moderately increased energy supply during gestation decreases mitochondrial biogenesis, function and antioxidative capacity in skeletal muscle of pig fetuses.
The present study was performed to identify the genotype of a hypertrophic cardiomyopathy family and investigate the clinicopathogenic characteristics and prognostic features of relevant genetic abnormalities. Target sequence capture sequencing was performed to screen for pathogenic alleles in a 32-year-old female patient (proband). Sanger sequencing was carried out to verify the results. Sanger sequencing was also performed on other family members to identify allele carriers. A survival analysis was carried out using published literature and our findings. We found that the proband and her son harboured a Gly716Arg sequence variant of the β-myosin heavy chain. Neither the proband’s father nor the mother were carriers of this sequence variant; thus, the mutation was classified as “de novo”. Further survival analysis revealed that female patients appear to have a longer life expectancy compared with males. Our study may provide an effective approach for the genetic diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Sn doped TiO2 (SDT) hierarchical nanorods have been synthesized by using nanocystalline cellulose nanorod as biotemplate. Experimental results show that the phase transition from anatase to rutile can be realized by increasing the calcination temperature. In contrast to enhancing the calcination temperature, the Sn doping can more effectively improve the phase transition with remaining morphology due to the similar ionic radius and charge between Sn and Ti. The crystallinity, electronic structure, interface charge transfer process, and the specific surface area have a strong effect on the photocatalytic activity of the hierarchical TiO2 and SDT nanorods. Furthermore, the photocatalytic activity of SDT hierarchical nanorods can be obviously improved by loaded Au nanoparticles on the surface due to the local surface plasmon resonance effect of Au and formation of a Schottky barrier at the Au/TiO2 interface, which is in favor of the effective separation of photoinduced carriers and the formation of superoxide anion radicals.
In this paper, the recent studies of laboratory astrophysics with strong magnetic fields in China have been reviewed. On the Shenguang-II laser facility of the National Laboratory on High-Power Lasers and Physics, a laser-driven strong magnetic field up to 200 T has been achieved. The experiment was performed to model the interaction of solar wind with dayside magnetosphere. Also the low beta plasma magnetic reconnection (MR) has been studied. Theoretically, the model has been developed to deal with the atomic structures and processes in strong magnetic field. Also the study of shock wave generation in the magnetized counter-streaming plasmas is introduced.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are thought to decrease the incidence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD); however, findings have been inconsistent. We conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis to evaluate the relationship between dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin and AMD risk. Relevant studies were identified by searching five databases up to April 2010. Reference lists of articles were retrieved, and experts were contacted. Literature search, data extraction and study quality assessment were performed independently by two reviewers and results were pooled quantitatively using meta-analysis methods. The potential sources of heterogeneity and publication bias were also estimated. The search yielded six longitudinal cohort studies. The pooled relative risk (RR) for early AMD, comparing the highest with the lowest category of lutein and zeaxanthin intake, was 0·96 (95 % CI 0·78, 1·17). Dietary intake of these carotenoids was significantly related with a reduction in risk of late AMD (RR 0·74; 95 % CI 0·57, 0·97); and a statistically significant inverse association was observed between lutein and zeaxanthin intake and neovascular AMD risk (RR 0·68; 95 % CI 0·51, 0·92). The results were essentially consistent among subgroups stratified by participant characteristics. The findings of the present meta-analysis indicate that dietary lutein and zeaxanthin is not significantly associated with a reduced risk of early AMD, whereas an increase in the intake of these carotenoids may be protective against late AMD. However, additional studies are needed to confirm these relationships.
Superparamagnetic nanoparticles can find many applications in different fields with greener techniques. The Fe3O4 nanoparticles less than 10nm coated with humic acid were synthesized by a chemical co-precipitation technique with cheap and environmental friendly iron salts and humic acid. The as-synthesized products were highly soluble in water. The efficacy for liver Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent was investigated by using it to the live rat and tumor-bearing rabbit models, on a conventional clinical 1.5 T MRI facility. Moreover the Fe3O4 –HA composite used in the Methylene Blue adsorption in neutral aqueous solution was studied too with high efficiency. The experimental results showed that the humic acid coated Fe3O4 superparamagnetic nanoparticles were suitalbe not only for liver MRI contrast agent, but also as adsorbents for removal of cationic organic dyes from neutral water.
Li2M(WO4)2 (M = Co and Ni) were synthesized by a conventional solid-state reaction method and characterized by powder x-ray diffraction, Brunauer-Emmet-Teller (BET) measurement, ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) diffuse reflectance spectra, Raman spectroscopy, and photocatalytic evaluation measurements. Photocatalytic water splitting results showed that Li2M(WO4)2 (M = Co and Ni) exhibited abilities for H2 evolution with Pt cocatalyst from an aqueous methanol solution and for O2 evolution from an aqueous AgNO3 solution under UV light irradiation. Theoretical calculation, absorbance analysis, and photocatalytic H2 evolution experiment revealed that the position of W 5d level shifted to the negative side with respect to the reduced potential of H+/H2. The photocatalytic H2 evolution over Li2M(WO4)2 is discussed from the view of crystal and electronic structure point.
A bioassay method was developed to use the parasporal crystal protein of Bacillus thuringiensis against plant-parasitic nematodes. Using this method, the parasporal crystal proteins of ten Bt strains showed activity against plant-parasitic nematodes. The toxicity of YBT-021 against Meloidogyne hapla, Pratylenchus scribneri, Tylenchorhynchus sp., Ditylenchus destructor and Aphelenchoides sp. was also assayed. The resulting LC50 values were 35.62 μg/ml, 75.65 μg/ml, 94.31 μg/ml, 215.21 μg/ml and 128.76 μg/ml, respectively.
Cold spray is a relatively new coating technology in which coatings can be produced by powdered particles under large plastic deformation without significant heating. In this paper, nickel coatings were fabricated by cold spray process followed by heat treatment in inert gas. Structural transformation of both as-sprayed and annealed coatings was investigated by Electron Backscattering Diffraction (EBSD) in a FEG-SEM. The results show that after cold spraying sub-micron grains and subgrains with high crystal strain appear in the particle bond interface, but not shown in the center of particles. Microstructure was transformed to be uniform and stresses were released after annealing in 400°C for one hour. And ductility and formability were significantly improved due to recovery and recrystallization. Continuous recrystallization after large strain deformation could occur after cold spraying followed by annealing.
Drought tolerance (DT) is a very complex trait. For the purpose of developing DT rice cultivars, a research programme was initiated in 1997 in China, consisting of four coherent parts: the development of a DT field screen facility and evaluation standard; the collection, evaluation and enhancement of DT rice resources; DT gene/quantitative trait locus (QTL) discovery; and DT rice breeding. More than 2000 rice accessions, mostly from China, were collected and evaluated in a new DT screening facility with a powerful water management system. Eighty-six entries were selected to serve as a core DT collection. A set of 187 recombinant inbred lines was developed for the genetic mapping of DT and high yield-related QTL under drought conditions. Several DT rice cultivars adapted to southern and central China were released. DT rice CMS lines were developed and distributed to most parts of China to encourage the development of DT or water-saving hybrid rice.