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For decades, fructose intake has been recognized as an environmental risk for metabolic syndromes and diseases. Here, we comprehensively examined effects of fructose intake on mice liver transcriptomes. Fructose supplemented water (34%; wt/vol) was fed to both male and female C57BL/6N mice at their free will for six weeks, followed by hepatic transcriptomics analysis. Based on our criteria, differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were selected and subjected to further computational analyses to predict key pathways and upstream regulator(s). Subsequently, predicted genes and pathways from the transcriptomics dataset were validated via quantitative RT-PCR analyses. As results, we identified 89 down-regulated and 88 up-regulated mRNAs in fructose-fed mice livers. These DEGs were subjected to bioinformatic analysis tools in which DEGs were mainly enriched in xenobiotic metabolic processes; further, in the Ingenuity Pathway Analysis software, it was suggested that the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is an upstream regulator governing overall changes, while fructose suppresses the AhR signaling pathway. In our quantitative RT-PCR validation, we confirmed that fructose suppressed AhR signaling through modulating expressions of transcription factor (Arnt) and upstream regulators (Ncor2, and Rb1). Altogether, we demonstrated that ad libitum fructose intake suppresses the canonical AhR signaling pathway in C57BL/6N mice liver. Based on our current observations, further studies are warranted, especially with regard to the effects of co-exposure to fructose on 1) other types of carcinogens and 2) inflammation inducing agents (or even diets such as a high-fat diet), to find implications of fructose induced-AhR suppression.
Antioxidants have been always used to improve post-slaughter meat quality in broilers subjected to stress. Forsythia suspensa extract (FSE), a traditional Chinese herbal medicine, is generally regarded as a natural source of antioxidants. Therefore, the objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that FSE could protect post-slaughter breast muscles against oxidative injury induced by dexamethasone (DEX) mimicking chronic physiological stress in poultry production. Average daily gain and feed efficiency of poultry were suppressed by DEX and improved by FSE (P < 0.05). Dexamethasone caused the decrease in the redness value and the increase in the lightness and yellowness values and drip loss of the breast muscles (P < 0.05), and FSE had the converse effects (P < 0.05). Dietary FSE supplementation decreased monounsaturated fatty acid (FA) and increased polyunsaturated FA in breast muscles of broilers (P < 0.05). In addition, FSE decreased malondialdehyde and carbonyl content in the breast muscles of DEX-treated broilers (P < 0.05). The inhibition of 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl in the breast muscles was decreased by DEX and increased by FSE (P < 0.05). Total-antioxidant capacity and glutathione peroxidase activity in the breast muscles were decreased in birds subjected to DEX and increased in birds supplemented with FSE (P < 0.05). Totally, DEX suppressed growth performance and induced breast muscle oxidative injury in broilers, and FSE supplementation improved antioxidant capacity to attenuate these adverse effects. Therefore, FSE could be a potential natural antioxidant to alleviate oxidative injury of the breast muscles in broilers and to improve the meat quality for human consumption.
The seasonality of individual influenza subtypes/lineages and the association of influenza epidemics with meteorological factors in the tropics/subtropics have not been well understood. The impact of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic on the prevalence of seasonal influenza virus remains to be explored. Using wavelet analysis, the periodicities of A/H3N2, seasonal A/H1N1, A/H1N1pdm09, Victoria and Yamagata were identified, respectively, in Panzhihua during 2006–2015. As a subtropical city in southwestern China, Panzhihua is the first industrial city in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. The relationship between influenza epidemics and local climatic variables was examined based on regression models. The temporal distribution of influenza subtypes/lineages during the pre-pandemic (2006–2009), pandemic (2009) and post-pandemic (2010–2015) years was described and compared. A total of 6892 respiratory specimens were collected and 737 influenza viruses were isolated. A/H3N2 showed an annual cycle with a peak in summer–autumn, while A/H1N1pdm09, Victoria and Yamagata exhibited an annual cycle with a peak in winter–spring. Regression analyses demonstrated that relative humidity was positively associated with A/H3N2 activity while negatively associated with Victoria activity. Higher prevalence of A/H1N1pdm09 and Yamagata was driven by lower absolute humidity. The role of weather conditions in regulating influenza epidemics could be complicated since the diverse viral transmission modes and mechanism. Differences in seasonality and different associations with meteorological factors by influenza subtypes/lineages should be considered in epidemiological studies in the tropics/subtropics. The development of subtype- and lineage-specific prevention and control measures is of significant importance.
An experiment was conducted to determine the effects of supplementing different amounts of daidzein in a diet on the growth performance, blood biochemical parameters and meat quality of finishing beef cattle. Thirty finishing Xianan steers were distributed in three groups equilibrated by weight and fed three different dietary treatments (concentrate ratio = 80%): (1) control; (2) 500 mg/kg daidzein and (3) 1000 mg/kg daidzein, respectively. Steers were slaughtered after an 80-day feeding trial. Results showed that daidzein supplementation had no effect on the final body weight, average daily gain and feed conversion rate of steers. Steers fed with 1000 mg/kg daidzein had greater dry matter intake than those fed with control diets. Compared with the control group, the 1000 mg/kg daidzein group had a higher fat thickness, lower shear force and lightness. The pH, drip loss, cooking loss, redness (a*), yellowness (b*), moisture, ash, crude protein and intramuscular fat of the Longissimus dorsi muscle were unaffected by daidzein supplementation. Compared with the control group, the 1000 mg/kg daidzein group significantly increased the serum concentrations of insulin, free fatty acid and Glutamic-pyruvic transaminase. The 500 mg/kg daidzein group significantly increased the serum concentration of tetraiodothyronine compared with the control group. Supplemental daidzein did not affect the blood antioxidant ability and blood immune parameters in serum. In conclusion, daidzein supplementation above 500 mg/day modifies feed intake and metabolic and hormonal profile, with positive and negative effects on meat quality.
The forces on an object impacting the water are extreme in the early moments of water entry and can cause structural damage to biological and man-made bodies alike. These early-time forces arise largely from added mass, peaking when the submergence is much less than one body length. We experimentally investigate a means of reducing impact forces on a rigid sphere by placing the sphere inside a jet of water so that the jet strikes the quiescent water surface prior to entry of the sphere into the pool. The water jet accelerates the pool liquid and forms a cavity into which a sphere falls. Through on-board accelerometer measurements and high-speed imaging, we quantify the force reduction compared to the case of a sphere entering a quiescent pool. Finally, we find the emergence of a critical jet volume required to maximize force reduction; the critical volume is rationalized using scaling arguments informed by near-surface particle image velocimetry (PIV) data.
Identifying the relative importance of urban and non-urban land-use types for potential denitrification derived N2O at a regional scale is critical for quantifying the impacts of human activities on nitrous oxide (N2O) emission under changing environments. In this study we used a regional dataset from China including 197 soil samples and six land-use types to evaluate the main predictors (land use, heavy metals, soil pH, soil moisture, substrate availability, functional and broad microbial abundances) of potential denitrification using multivariate and pathway analysis. Our results provide empirical evidence that soils on farms have the greatest potential denitrifying ability (PDA) (10.92±6.08ng N2O-N·g–1 dry soil·min–1) followed by urban soil (6.80±5.35ng N2O-N·g–1 dry soil·min–1). Our models indicate that land use (low vs. high human activity), followed by total nitrogen (TN) and heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd) was the most important driver of PDA. In addition, our path analysis suggests that at least part of the impacts of land use on potential denitrification were mediated via microbial abundance, soil pH and substrates including TN, dissolved organic carbon and nitrate. This study identifies the main predictors of denitrification at a regional scale which is needed to quantify the impact of human activities on ecosystem functionality under changing conditions.
The hydrogen embrittlement of 12Cr2Mo1R(H) steel at different strain rates were investigated after hydrogen precharging for 4 h in a 0.5 M H2SO4 solution with 2 g/L ammonium thiocyanate. Results showed that the embrittlement index increased and gradually reached a relative stable value of about 20% at the strain rate of 5 × 10−5 s−1 with the decrease of strain rates. SEM images depicted small and deep flakes at high strain rates, while flakes grew larger at slow strain rates. Most hydrogen-induced cracks (HICs) were transgranular fracture through lath grain of bainitic ferrite. High strain field surrounds the crack tips, which makes the crack tips of two close and parallel cracks deflect toward each another and even form crack coalescence. The electron backscatter diffraction technique was used to investigate the effects of grain boundaries, recrystallization fraction, kernel average misorientation map, texture component, and coincidence site lattice boundaries on the HIC propagation. High densities of dislocations and strain concentrations were found around the cracks, where grains are highly sensitive to HIC.
Associations between ferritin and insulin sensitivity have been described in recent studies. The possible association showed conflicting results by sex and menopausal status. We aimed to investigate the cross-sectional association of ferritin levels with insulin resistance and β-cell function. A total of 2518 participants (1033 men, 235 pre-menopausal women and 1250 post-menopausal women) were enrolled from the Changfeng Study. A standard interview was conducted, as well as anthropometric measurements and laboratory analyses, for each participant. The serum ferritin level was measured using electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Insulin resistance and β-cell function indices were derived from a homeostasis model assessment. The results showed that the serum ferritin levels were 250·4 (sd 165·2), 94·6 (sd 82·0) and 179·8 (sd 126·6) ng/ml in the men, pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women, respectively. In fully adjusted models (adjusting for age, current smoking, BMI, waist:hip ratio, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, TAG, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, log urine albumin:creatinine ratio, leucocytes, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase and γ-glutamyl transpeptidase), serum ferritin concentrations are significantly associated with insulin resistance in men and post-menopausal females, and the null association was observed in pre-menopausal females. Interestingly, an increased β-cell function associated with higher ferritin was observed in post-menopausal participants, but not in male participants. In conclusion, these results suggested that elevated serum ferritin levels were associated with surrogate measures of insulin resistance among the middle-aged and elderly male and post-menopausal women, but not in pre-menopausal women.
The prevalence of impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and diabetes mellitus (DM) has reportedly increased significantly among Chinese children and adolescents. We aimed to examine the prevalence of IFG and DM, the disparities in sex and region and related risk factors among Chinese children and adolescents. A total of 16 434 Chinese children aged 6–17 years were selected from a national cross-sectional survey, and fasting glucose was measured for all participants. Overall, mean fasting plasma glucose (FPG) concentration was (4·64 (sd 0·51)) mmol/l, and the prevalence of DM and IFG was 0·10 and 1·89 %, respectively. Compared with girls, boys had higher FPG concentration (4·69 v. 4·58 mmol/l, r 0·107, P<0·001) and IFG prevalence (2·67 v. 1·07 %, rφ 0·059, P<0·001). Compared with rural children and adolescents, urban children and adolescent had higher FPG concentration (4·65 v. 4·62 mmol/l, r 0·029, P<0·001) and DM prevalence (0·15 v. 0·05 %, rφ 0·016, P<0·01). In addition, self-reported fried foods intake and overweight/obesity were positively associated with IFG, and the proportion of consuming fried foods more than or equal to once per week and overweight/obesity prevalence in boys and urban children and adolescents were significantly higher than girls and rural children and adolescents, respectively (P<0·05). Although the prevalence of IFG and DM was relatively low in Chinese children and adolescents, sex and region disparities were observed, which may be associated with differences in overweight/obesity prevalence and dietary factors.
In this study, a micromechanics model has been proposed for predicting the effects of particle size and aggregation on elastic properties of nanocomposites, and the interphase between the particle and matrix is also taken into account. Inherent characteristics of nanoparticle, such as small size and high surface area ratio, make nanoparticle in a state of unstable energy and easy to agglomerate in matrix. The analytical expressions for the effective elastic modulus of nanocomposites are derived, which can consider the effect of particle agglomeration. The dispersion state or degree of agglomeration of nanoparticle and the thickness and stiffness of interphase are known to have a significant influence on nanocomposites. The results show that the increase of particle radius and agglomeration volume fractions reduces the elastic stiffness of nanocomposites. Moreover, the composite reinforcement can be improved by increases of interphase thickness and stiffness.
In high power laser facility for inertial confinement fusion research, final optics assembly (FOA) plays a critical role in the frequency conversion, beam focusing, color separation, beam sampling and debris shielding. The design and performance of FOA in SG-II Upgrade laser facility are mainly introduced here. Due to the limited space and short focal length, a coaxial aspheric wedged focus lens is designed and applied in the FOA configuration. Then the ghost image analysis, the focus characteristic analysis, the B integral control design and the optomechanical design are carried out in the FOA design phase. In order to ensure the FOA performance, two key technologies are developed including measurement and adjustment technique of the wedged focus lens and the stray light management technique based on ground glass. Experimental results show that the design specifications including laser fluence, frequency conversion efficiency and perforation efficiency of the focus spot have been achieved, which meet the requirements of physical experiments well.
Water entry has been studied for over a century, but few studies have focused on multiple droplets impacting on a liquid bath sequentially. We connect multi-droplet streams, jets and solid objects with physical-based scaling arguments that emphasize the intrinsically similar cavities. In particular, the cavities created by the initial impact of both droplet streams and jets on an initially quiescent liquid pool exhibit the same types of cavity seal as hydrophobic spheres at low Bond number, some of which were previously unseen for jets and droplet streams. Low-frequency droplet streams exhibit an additional three new cavity seal types unseen for jets or solid spheres that can be predicted with a new non-dimensional frequency. The cavity depth and cavity velocity for both droplet and jet impact are rationalized by an energy scaling analysis and the Bernoulli equation.
The Shen-Guang II Upgrade (SG-II-U) laser facility consists of eight high-power nanosecond laser beams and one short-pulse picosecond petawatt laser. It is designed for the study of inertial confinement fusion (ICF), especially for conducting fast ignition (FI) research in China and other basic science experiments. To perform FI successfully with hohlraum targets containing a golden cone, the long-pulse beam and cylindrical hohlraum as well as the short-pulse beam and cone target alignment must satisfy tight specifications (30 and
rms for each case). To explore new ICF ignition targets with six laser entrance holes (LEHs), a rotation sensor was adapted to meet the requirements of a three-dimensional target and correct beam alignment. In this paper, the strategy for aligning the nanosecond beam based on target alignment sensor (TAS) is introduced and improved to meet requirements of the picosecond lasers and the new six LEHs hohlraum targets in the SG-II-U facility. The expected performance of the alignment system is presented, and the alignment error is also discussed.
To investigate the effects of maternal dietary protein restriction on offspring Fe metabolism, twenty-four second-parity Landrace×Yorkshire sows were randomly allocated to standard-protein (SP) and low-protein (LP) groups. The SP sows were fed diets containing 15 and 18 % crude protein throughout pregnancy and lactation, respectively, whereas the LP sows were subjected to 50 % dietary protein restriction. Offspring birth weight was not affected, but the body weight at weaning (P=0·06) and average daily gain (P=0·01) of the female piglets were significantly decreased. Serum Fe level in the LP piglets was markedly decreased at weaning, especially in males (P=0·03). Serum ferritin level (P=0·08) tended to be lower, yet serum transferrin was greatly higher (P=0·01) in male weaning piglets of the LP group. Duodenal expression of the divalent metal transporter 1 (DMT1) and ferroportin (FPN) was surprisingly reduced (P<0·05) at the level of protein, but not at the mRNA level, in male weaning piglets of the LP group. Male weaning piglets born to the LP sows exhibited higher hepatic hepcidin levels (P=0·09), lower hepatic expression of transferrin (P<0·01) and transferrin receptor 1 (P<0·05) at the level of mRNA. However, no significant differences were observed for hepatic Fe storage, ferritin, transferrin and transferrin receptor 1 protein expression in male weaning piglets of the two groups. These results indicate that maternal protein restriction during pregnancy and lactation influences growth of female offspring at weaning, reduces duodenal expression of Fe transporters (DMT1 and FPN) and decreases serum Fe level in male weaning piglets.
Al–(12, 20, 35 wt%)Si alloys were fabricated using powder metallurgy process involving hot pressing followed by hot extrusion. The effect of Si content on the microstructure [by scanning electron microscopy], the mechanical properties (hardness and tensile tests), and the thermal expansion behavior were studied in detail, respectively. Due to the friction between the Si phase and the matrix, as well as the diffusion of the Si atoms, the Si phase becomes a particulate shape after hot extrusion, and the size increases with increasing Si content. The mechanical strength increases, whereas, the elongation decreases with increasing the Si content from 12 to 35 wt%, which lead to a variation of the fracture mechanism from ductile to brittle failure. The coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) decreases with increasing Si content as a result of restriction of Si on the Al matrix, and the measured CTE value is in good agreement with the Turner model below 573 K.
In tritrophic ‘plants–herbivores–natural enemies’ systems, there are relatively few reports concerning the role(s) of kairomones in pupal parasitism. Chouioia cunea Yang (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), an endoparasitic chalcid wasp, parasitizes pupae of the fall webworm (Hyphantria cunea Drury). The role of host-related kairomones was investigated using electroantennogram (EAG) and behavioral techniques. Chemicals from some host stages (pupae) and host by-products (frass), induced arrestment behavior of female parasitoids, while chemicals from prepupae, were inactive. Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis of volatiles collected from pupae, frass and prepupae using solid-phase microextration revealed seven compounds with carbon chain lengths ranging from C4 to C20. All of the chemicals elicited significant EAG responses in C. cunea. Y-tube olfactometer bioassays demonstrated a significant positive response of mated female C. cunea to 1-dodecene. These data provide a better understanding of the host location mechanisms of pupal parasitoid.
To fully understand the sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption status among Chinese young children and to explore its association with weight gain.
In this cross-sectional study, data on sociodemographic characteristics, SSB intake and weight/height were collected by means of face-to-face interviews. The intake of SSB among young Chinese children in relation to their age, different characteristics and types of SSB consumed is described, and the association between SSB intake and BMI-for-age Z-score and overweight is explored.
Seven large cities and two villages in China.
Nine hundred and forty-six healthy children, aged 3–7 years.
The proportion of SSB intake among Chinese young children was 80·5 %; 3·4 % were daily consumers, 34·0 % (31·4 %) consumed at least once per week (month). The per capita and per consumer SSB intake was 63·1 9 (sd 100·8) and 78·4 (sd 106·9) ml/d. Children from rural areas consumed twice, or even triple, the amount of SSB as those from urban areas (P<0·001) and great disparities existed between the types of SSB consumed by urban and rural children. An association was found between increased SSB intake and higher BMI-for-age Z-score (P<0·05) after adjusting for potential confounders; there was also an association between SSB intake and increased risk of being overweight or obese.
The consumption status of SSB in Chinese young children is of concern. There was a positive association between SSB intake and weight gain. Measures should be taken to improve the present situation of SSB consumption among Chinese young children.
A multi-region scene matching-based localisation system for automated navigation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) is proposed. This system may serve as a backup navigation error correction system to support autonomous navigation in the absence of a global positioning system such as a Global Navigation Satellite System. Conceptually, the system computes the location of the UAV by comparing the sensed images taken by an on board optical camera with a library of pre-recorded geo-referenced images. Several challenging issues in building such a system are addressed, including the colour variability problem and elimination of time-varying details from the pairs of images. The overall algorithm is an iterative process involving four sub-processes: firstly, exact histogram matching is applied to sensed images to overcome the colour variability issues; secondly, regions are automatically extracted from the sensed image where landmarks are detected via their colour histograms; thirdly, these regions are matched against the library, while eliminating inconsistent regions between underlying image pairs in the registration process; and finally the location of the UAV is computed using an optimisation procedure which minimises the localisation error using affine transformations. Experimental results demonstrate the proposed system in terms of accuracy, robustness and computational efficiency.
Both growth and immune capacity are important traits in animal breeding. The animal quantitative trait loci (QTL) database is a valuable resource and can be used for interpreting the genetic mechanisms that underlie growth and immune traits. However, QTL intervals often involve too many candidate genes to find the true causal genes. Therefore, the aim of this study was to provide an effective annotation pipeline that can make full use of the information of Gene Ontology terms annotation, linkage gene blocks and pathways to further identify pleiotropic genes and gene sets in the overlapping intervals of growth-related and immunity-related QTLs. In total, 55 non-redundant QTL overlapping intervals were identified, 1893 growth-related genes and 713 immunity-related genes were further classified into overlapping intervals and 405 pleiotropic genes shared by the two gene sets were determined. In addition, 19 pleiotropic gene linkage blocks and 67 pathways related to immunity and growth traits were discovered. A total of 343 growth-related genes and 144 immunity-related genes involved in pleiotropic pathways were also identified, respectively. We also sequenced and genotyped 284 individuals from Chinese Meishan pigs and European pigs and mapped the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to the pleiotropic genes and gene sets that we identified. A total of 971 high-confidence SNPs were mapped to the pleiotropic genes and gene sets that we identified, and among them 743 SNPs were statistically significant in allele frequency between Meishan and European pigs. This study explores the relationship between growth and immunity traits from the view of QTL overlapping intervals and can be generalized to explore the relationships between other traits.
The development of synthetic scaffolds with a desirable combination of properties, such as bioactivity, the ability to locally deliver antibacterial agents and high osteogenic capacity, is a challenging but promising approach in bone tissue engineering. In this study, scaffolds of a borosilicate bioactive glass (composition: 6Na2O, 8K2O, 8MgO, 22CaO, 36B2O3, 18SiO2, 2P2O5; mol%) with controllable antibacterial activity were developed by doping the parent glass with varying amounts of Ag2O (0.05, 0.5, and 1.0 wt%). The addition of the Ag2O lowered the compressive strength and degradation of the bioactive glass scaffolds but it did not affect the formation of hydroxyapatite on the surface of the glass as determined by energy dispersive x-ray analysis, x-ray diffraction, and Fourier transform infrared analysis. The Ag2O-doped scaffolds showed a sustained release of Ag ions over more than 8 weeks in simulated body fluid and resistance against colonization by the bacterial strains Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. In vitro cell culture showed better adhesion, proliferation, and alkaline phosphatase activity of murine osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells on the Ag2O-doped bioactive glass scaffolds than on the undoped scaffolds. The results indicate that these Ag-doped borosilicate bioactive glass scaffolds may have potential in repairing bone coupled with providing a lower risk of bacterial infection.