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l-Carnitine is essential for mitochondrial β-oxidation and has been used as a lipid-lowering feed additive in humans and farmed animals. d-Carnitine is an optical isomer of l-carnitine and dl-carnitine has been widely used in animal feeds. However, the functional differences between l- and d-carnitine are difficult to study because of the endogenous l-carnitine background. In the present study, we developed a low-carnitine Nile tilapia model by treating fish with a carnitine synthesis inhibitor, and used this model to investigate the functional differences between l- and d-carnitine in nutrient metabolism in fish. l- or d-carnitine (0·4 g/kg diet) was fed to the low-carnitine tilapia for 6 weeks. l-Carnitine feeding increased the acyl-carnitine concentration from 3522 to 10 822 ng/g and alleviated the lipid deposition from 15·89 to 11·97 % in the liver of low-carnitine tilapia. However, as compared with l-carnitine group, d-carnitine feeding reduced the acyl-carnitine concentration from 10 822 to 5482 ng/g, and increased lipid deposition from 11·97 to 20·21 % and the mRNA expression of the genes involved in β-oxidation and detoxification in the liver. d-Carnitine feeding also induced hepatic inflammation, oxidative stress and apoptosis. A metabolomic investigation further showed that d-carnitine feeding increased glycolysis, protein metabolism and activity of the tricarboxylic acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation. Thus, l-carnitine can be physiologically utilised in fish, whereas d-carnitine is metabolised as a xenobiotic and induces lipotoxicity. d-Carnitine-fed fish demonstrates increases in peroxisomal β-oxidation, glycolysis and amino acid degradation to maintain energy homeostasis. Therefore, d-carnitine is not recommended for use in farmed animals.
We develop a model of the skin-friction coefficient based on scalar images in the compressible, spatially evolving boundary-layer transition. The images are extracted from a passive scalar field by a sliding window filter on the streamwise and wall-normal plane. The multi-scale and multi-directional geometric analysis is applied to characterize the averaged inclination angle of spatially evolving filtered component fields at different scales ranging from a boundary-layer thickness to several viscous length scales. In general, the averaged inclination angles increase along the streamwise direction, and the variation of the angles for large-scale structures is smaller than that for small-scale structures. Inspired by the coincidence of the increasing averaged inclination angle and the rise of the skin-friction coefficient, we propose a simple image-based model of the skin-friction coefficient. The model blends empirical formulae of the skin-friction coefficient in laminar and fully developed turbulent regions using the normalized averaged inclination angle of scalar structures at intermediate and small scales. The model prediction calculated from scalar images is validated by the results from the direct numerical simulation at two Mach numbers, 2.25 and 6, and the relative error can be less than 15 %.
We demonstrate an all-fiber high-power linearly polarized supercontinuum source with polarization-maintaining photonic crystal fibers (PM-PCFs) as the nonlinear medium. The source exhibits an average output power of 3.8 W with a flat spectrum from 480 nm to 2100 nm at the
10 dB level, except for the residual pump peak. The polarization extinction ratio (PER) is measured to be greater than 20 dB at selected sample wavelength points (532 nm, 1064 nm and 1550 nm) at the highest pump power level and greater than 20 dB at all wavelengths from 800 nm to 1500 nm at the low pump power level. We also experimentally study the spectral properties when the pump light propagates along different axes of the PM-PCF. The results show that propagating parallel to the slow axis enables a broader spectrum in the PM-PCF in this case, probably due to matching of the dispersion properties with the pump light, which is qualitatively in accordance with the numerical simulation. To our best knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a watt-level linearly polarized supercontinuum source generated from PM-PCFs in an all-fiber structure.
Conventional underwater navigation and positioning methods for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) either require the installation of acoustic arrays, which make AUVs less independent, or result in cumulative errors. This paper proposes an Underwater Terrain Positioning Method (UTPM) using Maximum a Posteriori (MAP) estimation and a Pulse Coupled Neural Network (PCNN) model for highly accurate navigation by AUVs. The PCNN model is used as a secondary discriminant to effectively identify pseudo-anchor points in flat terrain feature areas and to find the true positioning point, which significantly improves the matching positioning accuracy in these areas. Simulation results show that the proposed method effectively corrects Inertial Navigation System (INS) cumulative errors and has high matching positioning accuracy, which satisfy the requirements of AUV underwater navigation and positioning.
The aim of this study was to investigate the in vivo degradation mechanism and the mechanical properties of poly(lactide-co-glycolide)/beta-tricalcium phosphate (PLGA/β-TCP) composite anchors. Anchors composed of PLGA and β-TCP were implanted in the dorsal subcutaneous tissue of beagle dogs for 6, 12, 16, and 26 weeks. The degradation of the materials was evaluated by measuring the changes in thermal behavior, crystallinity, and mechanical properties. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) was used to observe the surface and longitudinal section of the material. The evaluation of mechanical strength retention and degradation properties suggest that the addition of β-TCP particles efficiently enhances their mechanical properties and thermal characteristics and delays their degradation rate. By analyzing the results of SEM, X-ray diffraction, and differential scanning calorimetry, we can infer that after 12 weeks, the connection between β-TCP and PLGA becomes less compact, which accelerates the decline of mechanical strength.
A recently developed symmetry-based theory is extended to derive an algebraic model for compressible turbulent boundary layers (CTBL) – predicting mean profiles of velocity, temperature and density – valid from incompressible to hypersonic flow regimes, thus achieving a Mach number (
) invariant description. The theory leads to a multi-layer analytic form of a stress length function which yields a closure of the mean momentum equation. A generalized Reynolds analogy is then employed to predict the turbulent heat transfer. The mean profiles and the friction coefficient are compared with direct numerical simulations of CTBL for a range of
from 0 (e.g. incompressible) to 6.0 (e.g. hypersonic), with an accuracy notably superior to popular current models such as Baldwin–Lomax and Spalart–Allmaras models. Further analysis shows that the modification is due to an improved eddy viscosity function compared to competing models. The results confirm the validity of our
-invariant stress length function and suggest the path for developing turbulent boundary layer models which incorporate the multi-layer structure.
The acanthocephalans are characterized by a retractible proboscis, armed with rows of recurved hooks, which serves as the primary organ for attachment of the adult worm to the intestinal wall of the vertebrate definitive host. Whilst there is a considerable variation in the size, shape and armature of the proboscis across the phylum, intraspecific variation is generally regarded to be minimal. Consequently, subtle differences in proboscis morphology are often used to delimit congeneric species. In this study, striking variability in proboscis morphology was observed among individuals of Neorhadinorhynchus nudus (Harada, 1938) collected from the frigate tuna Auxis thazard Lacépède (Perciformes: Scombridae) in the South China Sea. Based on the length of the proboscis, and number of hooks per longitudinal row, these specimens of N. nudus were readily grouped into three distinct morphotypes, which might be considered separate taxa under the morphospecies concept. However, analysis of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences revealed a level of nucleotide divergence typical of an intraspecific comparison. Moreover, the three morphotypes do not represent three separate genetic lineages. The surprising, and previously undocumented level of intraspecific variation in proboscis morphology found in the present study, underscores the need to use molecular markers for delimiting acanthocephalan species.
Given the global water challenges, solar-driven steam generation has become a renewed topic recently as an energy-efficient way for clean water production. Here, a hybrid plasmonic structure consisting of a top layer of TiN nanoparticles (NPs) and a bottom layer of mesoporous anodized alumina membrane (AAM) was rationally designed and fabricated. The top TiN NPs with broadband light absorption acted as a plasmonic heating layer, which converted the absorbed light to heat efficiently for interfacial water heating. The AAM acted as the mechanical support layer, guaranteeing the heat isolation and continuous water replenishment. With optimized thickness of the TiN top layer, a solar steam generation efficiency of 87.7% was achieved in this study. This efficiency is comparable or even higher than prior studies. The current work proves the capability of the TiN NPs as an alternative photothermal material.
The visual system is recognized as an important site of pathology and dysfunction in schizophrenia. In this study, we evaluated different visual perceptual functions in patients with psychotic disorders using a potentially clinically applicable task battery and assessed their relationship with symptom severity in patients, and with schizotypal features in healthy participants.
Five different areas of visual functioning were evaluated in patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder (n = 28) and healthy control subjects (n = 31) using a battery that included visuospatial working memory (VSWM), velocity discrimination (VD), contour integration, visual context processing, and backward masking tasks.
The patient group demonstrated significantly lower performance in VD, contour integration, and VSWM tasks. Performance did not differ between the two groups on the visual context processing task and did not differ across levels of interstimulus intervals in the backward masking task. Performances on VSWM, VD, and contour integration tasks were correlated with negative symptom severity but not with other symptom dimensions in the patient group. VSWM and VD performances were also correlated with negative sychizotypal features in healthy controls.
Taken together, these results demonstrate significant abnormalities in multiple visual processing tasks in patients with psychotic disorders, adding to the literature implicating visual abnormalities in these conditions. Furthermore, our results show that visual processing impairments are associated with the negative symptom dimension in patients as well as healthy individuals.
N-doped ordered mesoporous carbon (N-OMC) has been one of the most promising choices as the electrode for supercapacitors due to its large surface area and uniform mesoporous structure. However, there is still a big challenge to prepare N-OMC using a relatively simple method. Here, a straightforward preparation of N-OMC was reported in which the precursor zeoliticimidazolate framework was in situ grown in the SBA-15 template by a fast, solvent-free, and atom economic solid–solid grinding strategy. After pyrolysis and removing of the template, the N-OMC was obtained with ordered mesoporous structure, rich oxygen and nitrogen, and a large specific surface area of 1004 m2/g. As the electrode material for supercapacitors, N-OMC displayed an excellent specific capacitance of 228 F/g at 0.2 A/g and superb charge/discharge cycling stability, which is promising for high-performance energy storage. This solid–solid grinding strategy may offer a low-cost and scalable method to produce high-performance N-OMC for the electrode from the zeoliticimidazolate framework.
This study was conducted to investigate the protective effects of l-threonine (l-Thr) supplementation on growth performance, inflammatory responses and intestinal barrier function of young broilers challenged with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). A total of 144 1-d-old male chicks were allocated to one of three treatments: non-challenged broilers fed a basal diet (control group), LPS-challenged broilers fed a basal diet without l-Thr supplementation and LPS-challenged broilers fed a basal diet supplemented with 3·0 g/kg l-Thr. LPS challenge was performed intraperitoneally at 17, 19 and 21 d of age, whereas the control group received physiological saline injection. Compared with the control group, LPS challenge impaired growth performance of broilers, and l-Thr administration reversed LPS-induced increase in feed/gain ratio. LPS challenge elevated blood cell counts related to inflammation, and pro-inflammatory cytokine concentrations in serum (IL-1β and TNF-α), spleen (IL-1β and TNF-α) and intestinal mucosa (jejunal interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and ileal IL-1β). The concentrations of intestinal cytokines in LPS-challenged broilers were reduced by l-Thr supplementation. LPS administration increased circulating d-lactic acid concentration, whereas it reduced villus height, the ratio between villus height and crypt depth and goblet density in both jejunum and ileum. LPS-induced decreases in jejunal villus height, intestinal villus height:crypt depth ratio and ileal goblet cell density were reversed with l-Thr supplementation. Similarly, LPS-induced alterations in the intestinal mRNA abundances of genes related to intestinal inflammation and barrier function (jejunal toll-like receptor 4, IFN-γ and claudin-3, and ileal IL-1β and zonula occludens-1) were normalised with l-Thr administration. It can be concluded that l-Thr supplementation could attenuate LPS-induced inflammatory responses and intestinal barrier damage of young broilers.
In this study, we present clay mineral records from a late Pleistocene loess-paleosol sequence in the Ili Basin, Central Asia, and assess their significance for paleoclimatic reconstruction. The results show that the clay minerals are mainly illite (average 60%) and chlorite (28%), with minor kaolinite (9%) and smectite (3%). Illite was of detrital origin with no obvious modification to its crystal structure. Increases in illite content in the loess are ascribed to wind intensity rather than pedogenesis. High proportions of illite in the clay fraction, and of muscovite in the bulk samples of the paleosol units, may lead to an overestimation of the weathering intensity. Kaolinite was likely inherited from the sedimentary rocks, while chlorite might have been inherited from both sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. The paleoclimatic signals of kaolinite and chlorite were unclear, due to reworking by both fluvial and eolian systems. Smectite was more likely formed by the transformation of biotite and illite, and its variation in the loess sequence was also controlled by wind intensity; this was largely due to aggregation and is unlikely to reflect moisture changes. Although the interpretation of paleoclimate evolution may contain some uncertainties, clay mineralogy does provide the possibility of tracing dust provenance.
The large-scale structure of the ionization field during the epoch of reionization (EoR) can be modeled by the excursion set theory. While the growth of ionized regions during the early stage are described by the “bubble model”, the shrinking process of neutral regions after the percolation of the ionized region calls for an “island model”. An excursion set based analytical model and a semi-numerical code (islandFAST) have been developed. The ionizing background and the bubbles inside the islands are also included in the treatment. With two kinds of absorbers of ionizing photons, i.e. the large-scale under-dense neutral islands and the small-scale over-dense clumps, the ionizing background are self-consistently evolved in the model.
System architecture is important for the design of complex mechatronic systems because it acts as an intermediator between conceptual design and detail design. An explicit and exact system modeling language is imperative for successful architecture design. However, some deficiencies remain, such as the lack of geometry elements, hybrid behavior description, and specific association semantics for existing architecture modeling languages. In this study, a Systems Modeling Language extension for mechatronic system architecture modeling called ArchME is proposed. The requirements for the mechatronic System Modeling Language are analyzed, and the metamodels are defined. Then, the modeling elements are determined. Finally, the profiles based on the systems modeling language are defined to support the modeling of function, behavior, structure, and their association. This enables system designers to model the system architecture and facilitates communication between different stakeholders. A case study is provided to demonstrate the modeling capability of ArchME.
Disclosing the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) to a patient is controversial. There is significant stigma associated with a diagnosis of AD or dementia in China, but the attitude of the society toward disclosure of such a diagnosis had not been formally evaluated prior to our study. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the attitude toward disclosing an AD diagnosis to patients in China with cognitive impairment from their caregivers, and the factors that may affect their attitude.
We designed a 17-item questionnaire and administered this questionnaire to caregivers, who accompanied patients with cognitive impairment or dementia in three major hospitals in Shanghai, China. The caregiver's attitude toward disclosing the diagnosis of AD as evaluated by the questionnaire was compared to that of disclosing the diagnosis of terminal cancer.
A majority (95.7%) of the 175 interviewed participants (mean 14.2 years of education received) wished to know their own diagnosis if they were diagnosed with AD, and 97.6% preferred the doctor to tell their family members if they were diagnosed with AD. If a family member of the participants suffered from AD, 82.9% preferred to have the diagnosis disclosed to the patient. “Cognitive impairment” was the most accepted term by caregivers to disclose AD diagnosis in Chinese.
This study suggests most of the well-educated individuals in a Chinese urban area favored disclosing the diagnosis when they or their family members were diagnosed with AD.
The ordering of polarization field of inhomogeneous ferroelectric systems were investigated. We found that these systems exhibit rather complex polarization ordering behaviors with the coexistence of polar and toroidal ordering, and particularly, a novel and tunable polar-toroidal phase transformation under external mechanical, electrical or thermal fields. Accompanying with this polar-toroidal phase transformation, there is a large change of polarization and strain. As a result, large eletromechanical and thermomechanical performance can be achieved in these systems. The polar/toroidal phase boundaries can be regarded a new kind of morphotropic phase boundary (MPB). The polar-toroidal phase transformation in nanoscale ferroelectric systems should provide us a novel strategy to develop energy conversion nanodevices.