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There is increasing public concern about poultry welfare; the quality of animal welfare is closely related to the quality of livestock products and the health of consumers. Good animal welfare promotes the healthy growth of poultry, which can reduce the disease rate and improve the production quality and capacity. As behaviour responses are an important expression of welfare, the study of behaviour is a simple and non-invasive method to assess animal welfare. The use of modern technology offers the possibility to monitor the behaviour of broilers and laying hens in a continuous and automated way. This paper reviews the latest technologies used for monitoring the behaviour of broilers and laying hens under both experimental conditions and commercial applications and discusses the potential of developing a precision livestock farming (PLF) system. The techniques that are presented and discussed include sound analysis, which can be an online tool to automatically monitor poultry behaviour non-invasively at the group level; wireless, wearable sensors with radio-frequency identification devices, which can automatically identify individual chickens, track the location and movement of individuals in real time and quantify some behavioural traits accordingly and image processing technology, which can be considered a direct tool for measuring behaviours, especially activity behaviours and disease early warning. All of these technologies can monitor and analyse poultry behaviour, at the group level or individual level, on commercial farms. However, the popularity and adoption of these technologies has been hampered by the logistics of applying them to thousands and tens of thousands of birds on commercial farms. This review discusses the advantages and disadvantages of these techniques in commercial applications and presents evidence that they provide potential tools to automatically monitor the behaviours of broilers and laying hens on commercial farms. However, there still has a long way to go to develop a PLF system to detect and predict abnormal situations.
Recent experiments on thin films flowing down a vertical fibre with varying nozzle diameters present a wealth of new dynamics that illustrate the need for more advanced theory. We present a detailed analysis using a full lubrication model that includes slip boundary conditions, nonlinear curvature terms and a film stabilization term. This study brings to focus the presence of a stable liquid layer playing an important role in the full dynamics. We propose a combination of these physical effects to explain the observed velocity and stability of travelling droplets in the experiments and their transition to isolated droplets. This is also supported by stability analysis of the travelling wave solution of the model.
The oriental fruit fly Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) is a destructive insect pest of a wide range of fruit crops. Commensal bacteria play a very important part in the development, reproduction, and fitness of their host fruit fly. Uncovering the function of gut bacteria has become a worldwide quest. Using antibiotics to remove gut bacteria is a common method to investigate gut bacteria function. In the present study, three types of antibiotics (tetracycline, ampicillin, and streptomycin), each with four different concentrations, were used to test their effect on the gut bacteria diversity of laboratory-reared B. dorsalis. Combined antibiotics can change bacteria diversity, including cultivable and uncultivable bacteria, for both male and female adult flies. Secondary bacteria became the dominant population in female and male adult flies with the decrease in normally predominant bacteria. However, in larvae, only the predominant bacteria decreased, the bacteria diversity did not change a lot, likely because of the short acting time of the antibiotics. The bacteria diversity did not differ among fruit fly treatments with antibiotics of different concentrations. This study showed the dynamic changes of gut bacterial diversity in antibiotics-treated flies, and provides a foundation for research on the function of gut bacteria of the oriental fruit fly.
Pheromone-binding proteins (PBPs) are believed to be involved in the recognition of semiochemicals. In the present study, western blot analysis, fluorescence-binding characteristics and immunolocalization of CmedPBP4 from the rice leaffolder, Cnaphalocrocis medinalis, were investigated. Western blot analysis revealed that CmedPBP4 showed obvious antenna-specific expression patterns in female and male antenna, and made a clearly different sex-biased expression. Immunocytochemical labeling revealed that CmedPBP4 showed specific expression in the trichoid sensilla. Competitive fluorescence binding assays indicated that CmedPBP4 could selectively recognize three sex pheromone components (Z13-18:Ac, Z11-16:Al and Z13-18:OH) and eleven rice plant volatiles, including cyclohexanol, nerolidol, cedrol, dodecanal, ionone, (−)-α-cedrene, (Z)-farnesene, β-myrcene, R-(+)-limonene, (−)-limonene, and (+)-3-carene. Meanwhile the CmedPBP4 detection of sex pheromones and host odorants was pH-dependent. Our results, for the first time, provide further evidence that trichoid sensilla might be play an important role in detecting sex pheromones and host plant volatiles in the C. medinalis moth. Our systematic studies provided further detailed evidence for the function of trichoid sensilla in insect semiochemical perception.
The B-biotype of Bemisia tabaci (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) has become extremely resistant to commonly used insecticides in China. To further explore the mechanisms of resistance to diafenthiuron, the diafenthiuron induction profiles of carboxylesterase (COE1), glutathione S-transferase (GST) and seven cytochrome P450 genes in both resistant (R-DfWf) and susceptible (S-Lab) strains were characterized. The detoxification genes GST, CYP6CX4, CYP6DW3, CYP6DZ6 and CYP9F, which are known to be constitutively over-expressed in the R-DfWf strain, were significantly upregulated in R-DfWf and S-Lab strains exposed to diafenthiuron at LC50 compared with their levels in strains treated with distilled water (controls); however, CYP6CX1, another detoxification gene, was not upregulated. The upregulation was more pronounced in the R-DfWf strain than in the S-Lab strain exposed to different concentrations of diafenthiuron (LC10 or LC50). Interestingly, COE1, CYP6CM1 and CYP6A, which are not constitutively over-expressed in the R-DfWf strain, were all significantly upregulated after exposure to diafenthiuron. Similarly, significant differences in the expression of these detoxification genes, with the exception of CYP6CM1 in the S-Lab strain, were also observed after exposure to diafenthiuron. However, the induction of CYP6A and COE1 was more pronounced in the S-Lab strain than in the R-DfWf strain after treatment with diafenthiuron at both concentrations, indicating that diafenthiuron induction of CYP6CM1 is specific to the R-DfWf strain, while diafenthiuron induction of the other genes is common to both the R-DfWf and S-Lab strains. These results demonstrate that multiple detoxification genes are co-upregulated in the R-DfWf strain through both constitutive over-expression and induction mechanisms. This knowledge will be useful for rational selection of insecticides for use in resistance management and control of this species.
To examine factors potentially contributing to acutely exacerbated chronic tinnitus initiation using the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory.
Sixty acutely exacerbated chronic tinnitus out-patients were divided into two groups depending on whether hearing loss was aggravated or stable during tinnitus exacerbation. Total Tinnitus Handicap Inventory scores and scores for the three subscales (assessing functional limitations, emotional attitudes and catastrophic thoughts) were analysed.
Total Tinnitus Handicap Inventory scores did not differ between groups. In patients with acutely exacerbated chronic tinnitus and aggravated hearing loss, functional subscale scores were significantly higher after acutely exacerbated chronic tinnitus than at baseline, but catastrophic and emotional subscale scores did not change. In patients with acutely exacerbated chronic tinnitus and stable hearing loss, emotional subscale scores were significantly higher after acutely exacerbated chronic tinnitus than at baseline, but catastrophic and functional subscale scores did not change.
Elevated Tinnitus Handicap Inventory functional subscale scores might indicate further hearing loss, whereas elevated emotional subscale scores might be associated with negative life or work events.
In the near future, the inactivated enterovirus 71 (EV71) vaccine is expected to become available on the market in China. Since EV71 is a major cause of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), the vaccine is expected to significantly reduce the number of cases, as well as the detrimental economic effect of the disease. However, for a national vaccination strategy to be developed, policy-makers need more information on the socioeconomic burden of EV71 HFMD infection. Based on the 2011 population data, we estimated the clinical and economic effect of EV71 HFMD infection in children aged 0–9 years in Shanghai, China. The annual cost related to HFMD is >US$7.66 million for a population of 1·42 million children aged 0–9 years with an average cost of US$208.2/case. The extrapolated cost for EV71 HFMD infection was US$3.53 million, comprising 46·1% of the overall cost associated with HFMD. Around 97% of all of the HFMD-related expenses were paid for by the families creating a considerable economic burden. Our findings could provide the necessary recommendations on the most effective national EV71 vaccine implementation, as well as a baseline data for assessing the cost-effectiveness of the vaccine in China.
Boron was incorporated into GaN in order to determine its limits of solubility, its ability of reducing the lattice constant mismatch with 6H-SiC, as well as its effects on the structural and optical properties of GaN epilayers. BxGa1−xN films were deposited on 6H-SiC (0001) substrates at 950 °C by low pressure MOVPE using diborane, trimethylgallium, and ammonia as precursors. A single phase alloy with x=0.015 was successfully produced at a gas reactant B/Ga ratio of 0.005. Phase separation into pure GaN and BxGa1−xN alloy with x=0.30 was deposited for a B/Ga reactant ratio of 0.01. This is the highest B fraction of the wurtzite structure alloy ever reported. For B/Ga ratio ≥ 0.02, no BxGa1−xN was formed, and the solid solution contained two phases: wurtzite GaN and BN based on the results of Auger and x-ray diffraction. The band edge emission of BxGa1−xN varied from 3.451 eV for x=0 with FWHM of 39.2 meV to 3.465 eV for x=0.015 with FWHM of 35.1 meV. The narrower FWHM indicated that the quality of GaN epilayer was improved with small amount of boron incorporation.
This study aimed to investigate the validity and feasibility of cervical oesophagostomy as a treatment for patients with severe dysphagia after radiotherapy for nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
The study retrospectively analysed the clinical data, symptoms, physical signs, treatment and outcomes of 12 patients treated with cervical oesophagostomy for severe dysphagia after radiotherapy for nasopharyngeal carcinoma, from 2006 to 2010.
In all 12 cases, the oesophageal stoma remained stable, without any complications such as pharyngeal fistula or inflammation. No oesophageal stricture or granuloma growth was observed. All patients reported significant improvement in their nutritional status and quality of life after the oesophagostomy surgery.
Cervical oesophagostomy is a valid and feasible method of treating severe dysphagia following radiotherapy for nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Oesophagostomy shows specific advantages over nasogastric tubing, gastrostomy and jejunostomy. Patients' nutrition and quality of life can be improved significantly if cervical oesophagostomy is executed in a timely fashion, especially in cases with severe trismus and multiple radiation-induced cranial nerve palsies unresponsive to rehabilitation.
Most knowledge regarding the effects of antidepressant drugs is at the receptor level, distal from the nervous system effects that mediate their clinical efficacy. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), this study investigated the effects of escitalopram, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), on resting-state brain function in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).
Fourteen first-episode drug-naive MDD patients completed two fMRI scans before and after 8 weeks of escitalopram therapy. Scans were also acquired in 14 matched healthy subjects. Data were analyzed using the regional homogeneity (ReHo) approach.
Compared to controls, MDD patients before treatment demonstrated decreased ReHo in the frontal (right superior frontal gyrus), temporal (left middle and right inferior temporal gyri), parietal (right precuneus) and occipital (left superior occipital gyrus and right cuneus) cortices, and increased ReHo in the left dorsal medial prefrontal gyrus and left anterior lobe of the cerebellum. Compared to the unmedicated state, ReHo in the patients after treatment was decreased in the left dorsal medial prefrontal gyrus, the right insula and the bilateral thalamus, and increased in the right superior frontal gyrus. Compared to controls, patients after treatment displayed a ReHo decrease in the right precuneus and a ReHo increase in the left anterior lobe of the cerebellum.
Successful treatment with escitalopram may be associated with modulation of resting-state brain activity in regions within the fronto-limbic circuit. This study provides new insight into the effects of antidepressants on functional brain systems in MDD.
Using the recently developed Cahn-Hilliard reaction (CHR) theory, we present a simple mathematical model of the transition from solid-solution radial diffusion to two-phase shrinking-core dynamics during ion intercalation in a spherical solid particle. This general approach extends previous Li-ion battery models, which either neglect phase separation or postulate a spherical shrinking-core phase boundary under all conditions, by predicting phase separation only under appropriate circumstances. The effect of the applied current is captured by generalized Butler-Volmer kinetics, formulated in terms of the diffusional chemical potential in the CHR theory. We also consider the effect of surface wetting or de-wetting by intercalated ions, which can lead to shrinking core phenomena with three distinct phase regions. The basic physics are illustrated by different cases, including a simple model of lithium iron phosphate (neglecting crystal anisotropy and coherency strain).
A system combining photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal approaches is designed to convert solar energy to electricity with high efficiency across the full solar spectrum. Concentrated solar spectrum is split into two parts: PV and thermal. The PV part of the spectrum is further split into several subbands directed to bandgap appropriate solar cells on an inexpensive Si substrate. Epitaxial Ge on Si is used as a virtual substrate for III-V semiconductor growth. At long and very short wavelengths where PV efficiency is low, solar radiation is directed to a high temperature thermal storage tank for electricity generation using heat engines. The potential of using PV waste heat due to thermalization of high energy photoelectrons for electricity generation is also investigated. Detailed optical and thermal analysis show that with optimized design and neglecting optical component loss, system power conversion efficiency can reach 56%, including more than 16% absolute contribution from thermal storage.
A cluster dynamics model based on rate theory has been developed to describe the accumulation and diffusion processes of helium in tungsten under helium implantation alone or synergistic irradiation with neutron, by involving different types of objects, adopting up-to-date parameters and complex reaction processes as well as considering the diffusion process along with depth. The calculated results under different conditions are in good agreement with experiments much well. The model describes the behavior of helium in tungsten within 2D space of defect type/size and depth on different ions incident conditions (energies and fluences) and material conditions (system temperature and existent sinks), by including the synergistic effect of helium-neutron irradiations and the influence of inherent sinks (dislocation lines and grain boundaries). The model, coded as IRadMat, would be universally applicable to the evolution of defects for ions/neutron irradiated on plasma-facing materials.
The experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of dietary threonine (Thr) supplement on reproductive performance and immune function of the male mice challenged with pseudorabies virus (PRV). Kun-Ming male mice were assigned randomly to four groups with different Thr levels (0.70%, 0.88%, 1.10% and 1.30%). Half of the mice in each group were injected with PRV or phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) after 5 weeks’ adaptation to diets. The second experiment examined the effects of dietary Thr level on copulation rate, pregnancy rate and average number per litter of PRV- or PBS-challenged male mice that copulated with adult female mice on the 9th day post PRV challenge. Sperm quality and testosterone of mice were decreased after PRV infection, but this effect was attenuated by increasing Thr levels. Copulation and conception rates were increased with increasing Thr levels (P = 0.14), but litter size was not affected (P > 0.05). In the PBS and PRV groups, mice fed higher levels of Thr had increased immunoglobulin (Ig)G, IgA and IgM concentrations. The PRV-specific antibody level, interleukin (IL)-1β and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α concentration in PRV groups enhanced with increasing Thr levels; however, there was no difference in PBS groups. Furthermore, higher toll-like receptor (TLR)2 and TLR9 expressions in testis were observed by PRV challenge compared with PBS groups, and higher Thr supplement attenuated PRV-challenged induced the upregulation effect of TLR2 and TLR9 mRNA expression in testis (P < 0.05). These data suggest that higher Thr consumption was recommended in order to counteract the deleterious effects of virus invasion, possibly through the downregulated expression of TLRs, and thus to improve immunity and reproduction performance of male mice challenged with PRV.
Five tropical multi-purpose tree species (MPTS), Enterolobium cyclocarpum, Moringa oleifera, Millettia griffoniana, Pterocarpus santalinoides and Treculia Africana, and one exotic species (Leucaena leucocephala), which acted as the control, planted in a randomized complete block design, were selected to evaluate the potentials as feed supplements for herds in dry seasons of south-western Nigeria. Samples of the MPTS leaves were collected in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, weighed, dried and milled for estimation of biomass production, chemical analysis and measurement of in vitro gas production. Results showed significant differences (P < 0·001) in the biomass production of the MPTS. E. cyclocarpum consistently recorded the highest biomass production, height and collar diameter throughout the experimental period. There were also differences (P ⩽ 0·001) in dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), ether extract (EE) and ash contents of the MPTS across species and years after planting. M. oleifera recorded the highest CP content of 240 g/kg DM. Interactions were observed between species and year for neutral detergent fibre (NDFom), acid detergent fibre (ADFom) and lignin contents of the MPTS. M. griffoniana and M. oleifera had lower tannin contents, whereas E. cyclocarpum, P. santalinoides, T. africana and L. leucocephala had higher tannin contents. The values reported for mineral contents showed that their levels in the MPTS were adequate for ruminants and there were no differences in the contents of most minerals. In vitro gas production results showed that the potential gas production ‘b’ was highest in M. griffoniana and lowest in P. santalinoides and there were species and year interactions (P ⩽ 0·001) for volatile fatty acid profiles of the supernatant after 96 h incubation. The estimated organic matter digestibility (OMD) and metabolizable energy (ME) of the MPTS were generally high. The high biomass production, CP and low fibre contents, as well as in vitro fermentation characteristics found for the MPTS evaluated in the current study suggest that these are better alternatives in comparison with L. leucocephala. It can be concluded that the MPTS evaluated have potential as sources of feed supplements for ruminants in dry seasons, especially in south western Nigeria.
The pathogenesis of angiostrongyliasis, resulting from Angiostrongylus cantonensis invasion of the human central nervous system, remains elusive. Anthelmintics are usually used to kill worms, although dead worms in the brain may cause severe inflammation which will lead to central nervous system damage. Therefore, combination therapy with anthelmintics and anti-inflammatory drugs in the treatment of human angiostrongyliasis needs further study. To evaluate the efficacy of albendazole combined with a marine fungal extract (m2-9) in A. cantonensis infection, BALB/c mice infected by the third-stage larvae of A. cantonensis were divided into three groups: mice treated with albendazole or m2-9 alone or in combination from day 5 post-inoculation (PI). Several efficacy parameters were recorded, including weight change, worm recovery, neurological function, behavioural analysis, eosinophil and leucocyte counts. The results showed that combination therapy increased body weight, reduced worm burden, improved learning ability, memory and action, decreased neurological dysfunction and leucocyte response in these mice. The combination of albendazole and m2-9 treatment significantly decreased leucocyte response and increased the frequency of rearing, compared to infected mice treated with either drug alone. Therefore, m2-9 is a natural product with potentially significant therapeutic value for angiostrongyliasis and is worthy of further study.
In this paper, we describe a simple and rapid solution-phase chemical reduction method with no inert gas protection, for preparing stable copper nanoparticle colloid with average particle size of 3.4 nm and narrow size distribution. In our synthesis route, ascorbic acid, natural vitamin C (VC), serves as both a reducing agent and an antioxidant to reduce copper salt precursor and effectively prevent the general oxidation process occurring to the newborn nanoparticles. XRD and UV/vis confirm the formation of pure face-centered cubic (fcc) copper nanoparticles and the excellent antioxidant ability of ascorbic acid.
Real-time studies of the deformation behavior of a-brass bicrystals were conducted via in-situ synchrotron white beam X-ray topography (SWBXRT). The object of this work was to understand the role of internal interfaces such as grain boundaries, in controlling the mechanical behavior of materials. A brass bicrystal, in which the two grains made 5° of tilt and 11° of twist with respect to each other was grown by the Bridgman method. Observations were performed by straining the bicrystal in a microtensile stage while stop-action X-ray diffraction topographs were taken. Slip initiated in the grain with the most favorable Schmid factor at a stress level of 1.4MPa which was 5% of the macroyield stress. Since the grain boundary acted as a barrier to slip, the next grain did not slip until the dislocation pile-up at the grain boundary reached a critical value.
Boron was incorporated into GaN in order to determine its limits of solubility, its ability of reducing the lattice constant mismatch with 6H-SiC, as well as its effects on the structural and optical properties of GaN epilayers. BxGal-xN films were deposited on 6H-SiC (0001) substrates at 950 °C by low pressure MOVPE using diborane, trimethylgallium, and ammonia as precursors. A single phase alloy with x=0.015 was successfully produced at a gas reactant B/Ga ratio of 0.005. Phase separation into pure GaN and BxGal-xN alloy with x=0.30 was deposited for a B/Ga reactant ratio of 0.01. This is the highest B fraction of the wurtzite structure alloy ever reported. For B/Ga ratio ≥ 0.02, no BxGal-xN was formed, and the solid solution contained two phases: wurtzite GaN and BN based on the results of Auger and x-ray diffraction. The band edge emission of BxGal-xN varied from 3.451 eV for x=0 with FWHM of 39.2 meV to 3.465 eV for x=0.015 with FWHM of 35.1 meV. The narrower FWHM indicated that the quality of GaN epilayer was improved with small amount of boron incorporation.