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Copy number variations (CNVs), as an important source of genetic variation, can affect a wide range of phenotypes by diverse mechanisms. The somatostatin receptor 2 (SSTR2) gene plays important roles in cell proliferation and apoptosis. Recently, this gene was mapped to a CNV region, which encompasses quantitative trait loci of cattle economic traits including body weight, marbling score, etc. Therefore, SSTR2 CNV may exhibit phenotypic effects on cattle growth traits. In the current study, distribution of SSTR2 gene CNVs was investigated in six Chinese cattle breeds (XN, QC, NY, JA, LX and PN), and the results showed higher CNV polymorphisms in XN, QC and NY cattle. Next, association analysis between growth traits and SSTR2 CNV was performed for XN, QC and NY cattle. In NY, individuals with fewer copies showed better performance than those with more copies. Further, the effects of SSTR2 CNV on the SSTR2 mRNA level were also investigated, but revealed no significant correlation in either muscle or adipose tissue of adult NY cattle. The results suggested the potential for use of SSTR2 CNV as a marker for the molecular breeding of NY cattle.
Sodium and chloride are the key factors maintaining normal osmotic pressure (OSM) and volume of the extracellular fluid, and influencing the acid–base balance of body fluids. The experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of dietary Na+ and Cl− level on growth performance, excreta moisture, blood biochemical parameters, intestinal Na+–glucose transporter 1 (SGLT1) messenger RNA (mRNA), and Na+–H+ exchanger 2 (NHE2) mRNA, and to estimate the optimal dietary sodium and chlorine level for yellow-feathered chickens from 22 to 42days. A total of 900 22-day-old Lingnan yellow-feathered male chickens were randomly allotted to five treatments, each of which included six replicates of 30 chickens per floor pen. The basal control diet was based on corn and soybean meal (without added NaCl and NaHCO3). Treatments 2 to 5 consisted of the basal diet supplemented with equal weights of Na+ and Cl−, constituting 0.1%, 0.2%, 0.3% and 0.4% of the diets. Supplemental dietary Na+ and Cl− improved the growth performance (P<0.05). Average daily gain (ADG) showed a quadratic broken-line regression to increasing dietary Na+ and Cl− (R2=0.979, P<0.001), and reached a plateau at 0.1%. Supplemental Na+ and Cl− increased (P<0.05) serum Na+ and OSM in serum and showed a quadratic broken-line regression (R2=0.997, P=0.004) at 0.11%. However, supplemental Na+ and Cl− decreased (P<0.05) serum levels of K+, glucose (GLU) and triglyceride. Higher levels of Na+and Cl− decreased duodenal NHE2 transcripts (P<0.05), but had no effect on ileal SGLT1 transcripts. The activity of Na+ /K+-ATPase in the duodenum decreased (P<0.05) with higher levels of dietary Na+ and Cl−. In conclusion, the optimal dietary Na+ and Cl− requirements for yellow-feathered chickens in the grower phase, from 22 to 42 days of age, to optimize ADG, serum Na+, OSM, K+ and GLU were 0.10%, 0.11%, 0.11%,0.17% and 0.16%, respectively, by regression analysis.
To investigate the effects of soybean isoflavone (SI) on immunity in infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV)-infected broilers, chicks were fed the same basal diet supplemented with 0 (non-infected control), 0 (infected control), 10, 20 or 40 mg/kg SI for 44 days. At 21 days old, chickens were inoculated with bursal infectious dose causing 50% morbidity of the IBDV BC 6/85 strain by the eye-drop and nasal route (except for non-infected controls). Results showed that, over 1–23 days post-infection (dpi), there was a significant interaction between SI supplementation level and time: high-level SI supplementation increased peripheral T lymphocyte proliferation, percentages of CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes, CD4+ to CD8+ ratio, serum concentrations of IgA, IgM and IgG, and IBDV antibody titres. Except for serum IgA and IgM, these variables increased over time with far higher values at 23 dpi than earlier. Compared with non-infected controls, IBDV inoculation decreased peripheral T lymphocyte proliferation at 3 dpi, percentages of CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes, and serum IgG, IgM concentration at 23 dpi, and increased IBDV antibody titres at 7, 15 and 23 dpi. Supplemental SI quadratically increased peripheral T lymphocyte proliferation, CD4+ to CD8+ ratio and serum IgA concentration at 3 dpi, percentages of CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes at 3 and 23 dpi, and serum IgM concentration and IBDV antibody titres at 23 dpi. These results indicate that dietary SI improved cellular and humoral immunity of IBDV-infected birds and may enhance resistance of Yellow-feathered broilers to infectious diseases.
In vivo and in vitro trials were conducted to assess the effects of tributyrin (TB) supplementation on short-chain fatty acid (SFCA) concentrations, fibrolytic enzyme activity, nutrient digestibility and methanogenesis in adult sheep. Nine 12-month-old ruminally cannulated Small Tail ewes (initial body weight 55 ± 5.0 kg) without pregnancy were used for the in vitro trial. In vitro substrate made to offer TB at 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8 g/kg on a dry matter (DM) basis was incubated by ruminal microbes for 72 h at 39°C. Forty-five adult Small Tail ewes used for the in vivo trial were randomly assigned to five treatments with nine animals each for an 18-d period according to body weight (55 ± 5.0 kg). Total mixed ration fed to ewes was also used to offer TB at 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8 g/kg on a DM basis. The in vitro trial showed that TB supplementation linearly increased apparent digestibility of DM, crude protein, neutral detergent fibre and acid detergent fibre, and enhanced gas production and methane emissions. The in vivo trial showed that TB supplementation decreased DM intake, but enhanced ruminal fermentation efficiency. Both in vitro and in vivo trials showed that TB supplementation enhanced total SFCA concentrations and carboxymethyl cellulase activity. The results indicate that TB supplementation might exert advantage effects on rumen microbial metabolism, despite having an enhancing effect on methanogenesis.
By introducing the concept of forming springback anti-coupled systems and considering the influence of the self damping effect, meanwhile establishing higher-order geometrical nonlinear equation of a high strength and low alloy (HSLA) steel plate, then a set of nonlinear dynamic springback governing equations of the plate are obtained. The finite difference method, Newmark method and iterative method are applied to solve the whole problem. Numerical results denote that the boundary conditions, thickness-length ratio of the plate and initial impact velocity of the impactor have great influence on the springback amount of the rectangular HSLA steel plate, besides the natural frequency is affected a lot by the boundary conditions and thickness-length ratio. The effect of higher-order geometrical nonlinearity on the springback amount of the plate can be ignored, considering the first-order geometrical nonlinearity is enough accurate for such similar nonlinear dynamic problems.
This study aimed to estimate the disease burden of hepatitis E in a rural region in China. A total of 489 hepatitis E cases were reported according to a community-based survey in an active hepatitis surveillance system between 2008 and 2015, the questionnaire and record-review methods were constructed to evaluate the economic and health burden of hepatitis E virus infections from societal perspectives. All costs were converted to US$ in 2015. The age-standardized cumulative incidence rate was 107·9/100 000, and the median age-standardized annual incidence rate was 16·5/100 000. The median direct, indirect, and intangible cost were $1046·0, $49·1, and $77·3/patient, respectively, and the median economic burden per patient was $1836·5, which accounted for 51·2% of per capita disposable income. Moreover, the median quality-adjusted life year and visual analogue scale score were 0·7 and 70·0/case, respectively. Both economic burden and health burden of inpatients was more serious than that of outpatients (P < 0·001). Disease burden of hepatitis E is heavy on patients, their families, and society. More studies on the disease burden of hepatitis E are necessary to increase social awareness of the disease and confirm reasonable disease-control measures.
We use Monte Carlo techniques to simulate the statistical properties of rotation-powered pulsars in the Gould Belt. The gamma-ray properties of these pulsars are calculated by using a self-consistent outer gap model and other pulsar properties, i.e., initial magnetic field and period, and velocity distribution of the neutrons stars at birth, are obtained from the statistics of radio pulsars. We obtain distributions of the magnetic inclination angle, period, distance and age for these gamma-ray pulsars in the Gould Belt.
Determination of the more common light elements such as nitrogen and chlorine at trace levels is difficult because of their high abundance on sample surfaces, in materials used to build analysis instruments, and in the residual gas of the instrument vacuum. We present here a new approach to analysis of these elements: accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) combined with neutron activation. The problem of contamination is overcome by using neutron activation to produce long-lived radioisotopes which generally have low concentrations in the environment. For measurement of 14N and 35Cl, AMS can provide sensitive background-free measurements of their neutron activation products 14C and 36Cl and, in addition, can provide depth profiles. These are the first results of this new method: depth profiles of nitrogen and chlorine implanted in semiconductor grade silicon.
Chinese psychiatrists have gradually started to focus on those who are deemed to be at ‘clinical high-risk (CHR)’ for psychosis; however, it is still unknown how often those individuals identified as CHR from a different country background than previously studied would transition to psychosis. The objectives of this study are to examine baseline characteristics and the timing of symptom onset, help-seeking, or transition to psychosis over a 2-year period in China.
The presence of CHR was determined with the Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes (SIPS) at the participants' first visit to the mental health services. A total of 86 (of 117) CHR participants completed the clinical follow-up of at least 2 years (73.5%). Conversion was determined using the criteria of presence of psychotic symptoms (in SIPS). Analyses examined baseline demographic and clinical predictors of psychosis and trajectory of symptoms over time. Survival analysis (Kaplan–Meier) methods along with Log-rank tests were performed to illustrate the relationship of baseline data to either conversion or non-conversion over time. Cox regression was performed to identify baseline predictors of conversion by the 2-year follow-up.
In total 25 (29.1%) of 86 completers transitioned to a psychotic disorder over the course of follow-up. Among the CHR sample, the mean time between attenuated symptom onset and professional help-seeking was about 4 months on average, and converters developed fully psychotic symptoms about 12 months after symptom onset. Compared with those CHR participants whose risk syndromes remitted over the course of the study, converters had significantly longer delays (p = 0.029) for their first visit to a professional in search of help. At baseline assessment, the conversion subgroup was younger, had poorer functioning, higher total SIPS positive symptom scores, longer duration of untreated prodromal symptoms, and were more often given psychosis-related diagnoses and subsequently prescribed antipsychotics in the clinic.
Chinese CHR identified primarily by a novel clinical screening approach had a 2-year transition rate comparable with those of specialised help-seeking samples world-wide. Early clinical intervention with this functionally deteriorating clinical population who are suffering from attenuated psychotic symptoms, is a next step in applying the CHR construct in China.
In order to avoid excess feed consumption during the force-feeding period in foie gras production, a dose-response experiment with seven feed consumption levels (450, 540, 630, 720, 810, 900, 990 g/day per bird) was conducted to evaluate the effects of feed consumption levels on growth performance and carcass composition of male Mule ducks from 91 to 102 days of age. One-day-old Mule ducklings (sterile and artificial hybrid of male Albatre Muscovy duck and female Pekin duck were fed a two-phase commercial diets for ad libitum intake from hatching to 91 days of age, followed by graded feeding levels of a corn diet by force-feeding from 91 to 102 days of age. Fifty-six 91-day-old male Mule ducks with similar BW were randomly assigned to seven treatments, with eight birds per treatment. Birds were housed in individual pens. At 102 days of age, final BW was measured and BW gain and feed conversion ratio of ducks from each treatment were calculated from day 91 to 102, and then all ducks were slaughtered to evaluate the yields of skin with subcutaneous fat, abdominal fat, breast meat (including pectoralis major and pectoralis minor), leg meat (including thigh and drum stick), and liver. Significant differences in BW gain, total liver weight and liver relative weight were observed among the treatments (P<0.001). According to the broken-line regression analysis, the optimal feed consumption levels of male Mule ducks from 91 to 102 days of age for maximum BW gain, total liver weight and liver relative weight were 217, 227 and 216 g feed/kg BW0.75·per day, respectively.
Legionnaires’ disease (LD) is a globally distributed systemic infectious disease. The burden of LD in many regions is still unclear, especially in Asian countries including China. A survey of Legionella infection using real-time PCR and nested sequence-based typing (SBT) was performed in two hospitals in Shanghai, China. A total of 265 bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) specimens were collected from hospital A between January 2012 and December 2013, and 359 sputum specimens were collected from hospital B throughout 2012. A total of 71 specimens were positive for Legionella according to real-time PCR focusing on the 5S rRNA gene. Seventy of these specimens were identified as Legionella pneumophila as a result of real-time PCR amplification of the dotA gene. Results of nested SBT revealed high genetic polymorphism in these L. pneumophila and ST1 was the predominant sequence type. These data revealed that the burden of LD in China is much greater than that recognized previously, and real-time PCR may be a suitable monitoring technology for LD in large sample surveys in regions lacking the economic and technical resources to perform other methods, such as urinary antigen tests and culture methods.
Among several potential animal models that can be used for adipogenic studies, Wagyu cattle is the one that presents unique molecular mechanisms underlying the deposit of substantial amounts of intramuscular fat. As such, this review is focused on current knowledge of such mechanisms related to adipose tissue deposition using Wagyu cattle as model. So abundant is the lipid accumulation in the skeletal muscles of these animals that in many cases, the muscle cross-sectional area appears more white (adipose tissue) than red (muscle fibers). This enhanced marbling accumulation is morphologically similar to that seen in numerous skeletal muscle dysfunctions, disease states and myopathies; this might indicate cross-similar mechanisms between such dysfunctions and fat deposition in Wagyu breed. Animal models can be used not only for a better understanding of fat deposition in livestock, but also as models to an increased comprehension on molecular mechanisms behind human conditions. This revision underlies some of the complex molecular processes of fat deposition in animals.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of geese’s maternal diet supplemented with flaxseed on the fatty acid profiles of egg yolks and the antioxidant status of their offspring. A total of 288 female Huoyan geese (42 weeks old) were randomly allotted to four experimental groups in this 56-day experiment and fed on diets containing flaxseed at 0% (control), 5%, 10% and 15%, respectively. There were nine replicate pens per treatment, with eight geese per replicate pen. The concentration of α-linolenic acid (linear, P<0.01), EPA (20:5n-3; linear, P<0.01), DHA (22:6n-3; quadratic, P=0.03) and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) (linear, P<0.01) levels in the yolk lipids increased with increasing dietary flaxseed levels. Yolk palmitic acid (16:0, linear, P=0.05), saturated fatty acid (linear, P=0.04) level and total n-6/n-3 ratio (P<0.01) decreased in a linear fashion as dietary flaxseed levels increased. Increasing dietary flaxseed levels linearly decreased (P=0.01) the total cholesterol in egg yolks. After hatching, three 1-day-old gosling were selected randomly from each replicate to determine blood characteristics and liver antioxidant status. Aspartate aminotransferase activity (linear, P=0.03), total triglycerides (linear, P=0.02) and total cholesterol (linear, P=0.05) contents in blood linearly decreased as the levels of flaxseed increased. A linear dose response to maternal dietary flaxseed was detected for the activities of the goslings’ liver enzymes catalase (linear, P=0.01), superoxide dismutase (linear, P<0.01) and glutathione peroxidase (linear, P<0.01). The malondialdehyde (quadratic, P=0.03) and alkaline phosphatase content in the livers of goslings decreased as flaxseed supplementation levels increased. In conclusion, the dietary addition of flaxseed up to 15%, in the maternal diet resulted in increased n-3 PUFA levels in egg yolks and improved the antioxidant status of offspring in a dose-dependent manner.
Important to the development of dye-sensitized solar cells is the longevity and photo-conversion efficiency of the dye. To improve cost effectiveness, dyes of superior thermal and chemical stability are desirable to extend device performance. In this study, we examine a series of peripherally fluorinated Zinc-Phthalocyanines (FxZnPc). Introduction of chemically inert fluorine and isopropyl fluoroalkyl groups on the periphery of the Pc improve the dye stability and allow for tunable photo-physical properties. Additionally, introduction of the bulky isopropyl fluoroalkyl groups help mitigate molecular aggregation in thin films which is known to be detrimental to maintaining the desired photo-physical properties of the surface coating. Using molecular dynamics and first principles modeling, various substituent effects on surface adhesion and aggregation over TiO2 surfaces are characterized for both symmetric and asymmetric substitution.
Nanomedicine is fostering significant advances in the development of platforms for early detection and treatment of diseases. Nanoparticles (NPs) like quantum dots (QDs) exhibit size-dependent optical properties for light-driven technologies, which might become important in bio-imaging, sensing and photo-dynamic therapy (PDT) applications. The present research addresses the synthesis of water-stable Cd-based QDs via a Microwave-Assisted synthesis approach using cadmium sulfate salt, and thioglycolic acid as Cd- and S-precursors, respectively. Selenide ions were available by reductive leaching of metallic Selenium in Sodium bisulfite solution. The size control and the tunability of the optical properties were achieved by a suitable control of the reaction temperature (in the 140°C- 190°C range) and reaction time (10 minutes-40 minutes). X-ray diffraction analyses suggested the development of a CdSe,S face cubic centered structure; the broadening of the diffraction peaks indicated the presence of very small nanocrystals in the samples. The average crystallite size was estimated at 5.50 nm ± 1.17nm and 3.72 nm ± 0.04 nm, for nanoparticles synthesized at 180°C after 40 minutes or 10 minutes of reaction, respectively. HRTEM images confirmed the crystalline nature and the small size of the synthesized nanocrystals. In turn, the exciton was red-shifted from 461nm to 549 nm when the reaction temperature was prolonged from 140°C to 190 °C, suggesting the crystal growth. The corresponding band gap values were approximately 2.2 eV, confirming the quantum confinement effect (bulk value 1.74eV). This red shift was also evidenced in PL measurements where the main emission peak was shifted from 507 nm to 564 nm when the samples were excited at 420 nm. A narrow size-tunable emission also was supported by the full width at half maximum (∼ 45 nm) for the synthesized nanocrystals. The reactive oxygen species generation capability of as-synthesized QDs was also investigated. The correlation between the particle size and the generation of (ROS) by the degradation of methylene blue was evident with a reduction of MB concentration from 10μM to 7.5μM and 6.7μM after 15 minutes of UV irradiation for reaction time of 10 min. and 40 min. respectively. No additional degradation was noticed after 60 minutes of irradiation.
A completely solid state dye sensitized solar cell (DSSSC) is proposed in which chemically robust phthalocyanine (Pc) sensitizers, F16ZnPc and F40ZnPc, are sandwiched between n-TiO2 and p-NiO. While the energy conversion efficiencies of conventional Grätzel cells are continually increasing, the DSSSC design effectively solves the long term stability issues of the volatile liquid electrolyte. Through analysis of the electronic structure of the Pc|semiconductor systems, the free energy associated with hole injection into the valence band of NiO upon photoexcitation of the sensitizer and electron injection into the conduction band of TiO2 from the reduced form of the sensitizer as well as the competing charge recombination processes are calculated. Thermodynamically, the charge injection processes are found to be favored over the undesired charge recombination processes. These findings suggest promising energy conversion for the NiO|Pc|TiO2 DSSSC.
Ten leading varieties of winter wheat released during 1950–2009 in North China were tested in a free-air temperature increase (FATI) facility. The FATI facility mimicked the local air temperature pattern well, with an increase of 1·1 °C in the daily mean temperature. For all the tested varieties, warming caused a significant reduction in the total length of wheat growth period by 5 days and especially in the pre-anthesis period, where it was reduced by 9 days. However, warming increased wheat biomass production and grain yield by 8·4 and 11·4%, respectively, on an average of all the tested varieties. There was no significant difference in the warming-led reduction in the entire growth period among the tested varieties. Interestingly, the warming-led increments in biomass production and grain yield increased along with the variety release year. Significantly higher warming-led increases in post-anthesis biomass production and 1000-grain weight were found in the new varieties compared to the old ones. Meanwhile, a significant improvement in plant productivity was noted due to wheat breeding during the past six decades, while no significant difference in the length of entire growth period was found among the varieties released in different eras. The results demonstrate that historical wheat breeding might have enhanced winter wheat productivity and adaptability through exploiting the positive effects rather than mitigating the negative impacts of warming on wheat growth in North China.
This study characterized Neisseria meningitidis serogroup C strains in China in order to establish their genetic relatedness and describe the use of multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat (VNTR) analysis (MLVA) to provide useful epidemiological information. A total of 215 N. meningitidis serogroup C strains, obtained from 2003 to 2012 in China, were characterized by MLVA with different published schemes as well as multilocus sequence typing. (i) Based on the MLVA scheme with a combination of five highly variable loci, 203 genotypes were identified; this level of discrimination supports its use for resolving closely related isolates. (ii) Based on a combination of ten low variable loci, clear phylogenetic relationships were established within sequence type complexes. In addition, there was evidence of microevolution of VNTR loci over the decade as strain lineages spread from Anhui to other provinces, the more distant the provinces from Anhui, the higher the genetic variation.
A cross-linked copolymer was designed and synthesized bythe imidation of poly(oxyethylene)-diamine and 4,4’-oxydiphthalic anhydride, and followed by a late-stage curing to generate the cross-linked gels. The copolymers consisting of crosslinking sites and multiple functionalities such aspoly(oxyethylene)-segments, amido-acids, imides, and amine termini, characterized by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy. After the self-curing at 80 °C, the gel-like material enabled to absorb liquid form of electrolytesin the medium of propylene carbonate(PC), dimethylformamide(DMF),and N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone(NMP).By using a field emission scanning electronic microscope, we observed a 3D interconnected nanochannel microstructure, within which, the liquid electrolytes were absorbed. When the novel polymer gel electrolyte (PGE) was fabricated into a dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC), an extremely high photovoltaic performance was demonstrated. The PGE, absorbed 76.7 wt% of the liquid electrolyte (soaking in the PC solution) based on the polymer’s weight gave rise to a power conversion efficiency of 8.31%, superior to that (7.89%) of the DSSC with liquid electrolytes. It was further demonstrated that the cell had a long-term stabilityduring the test of 1000hat-rest at room temperature or only slightly decreasing in efficiency of 5%.This is the first time demonstration for a PGE exhibiting a higher performance than its liquid counterpart cell. The observation is ascribed to the suppression of the back electron transfer through the unique morphology of the polymer microstructures.