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Flaxseed oil is rich in ɑ-linolenic acid (ALA), which is the metabolic precursor of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). This study investigated the effect of flaxseed oil supplementation on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced muscle atrophy and carbohydrate oxidation impairment in a piglet model. Twenty-four weaned pigs were used in a 2 × 2 factorial experiment including dietary treatment (5% corn oil vs. 5% flaxseed oil) and LPS challenge (saline vs. LPS). On day 21 of treatment, the pigs were injected intraperitoneally with 100 μg/kg BW LPS, or sterile saline. At 4 h after injection, blood, gastrocnemius muscle and longissimus dorsi (LD) muscle were collected. Flaxseed oil supplementation increased ALA, EPA, total n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids contents, protein/DNA ratio, and pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC) quantity in muscles (p<0.05). In addition, flaxseed oil reduced mRNA expression of toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 and nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain protein (NOD) 2 and their downstream signaling molecules in muscles, and decreased plasma concentrations of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-6, and IL-8, and mRNA expression of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 (p<0.05). Moreover, flaxseed oil inclusion increased the ratios of phosphorylated Akt 1/ total Akt 1 and phosphorylated forkhead Box O (FOXO) 1/ total FOXO1, and reduced mRNA expression of FOXO1, muscle RING finger (MuRF) 1, and pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (PDK) 4 in muscles (p<0.05). These results suggest that flaxseed oil might have a positive effect on alleviating muscle protein loss and carbohydrates oxidation impairment induced by LPS challenge through regulation of TLR4/NOD and Akt/FOXO signaling pathway.
The rate of hyperglycemia in people around the world is increasing at an alarming rate at present, and new innovative methods of alleviating hyperglycemia are needed. The effects of Jerusalem artichoke inulin on hyperglycemia, the liver-related genes and the intestinal microbiota in mice fed high-fat diet (HFD) and treated with streptozocin (STZ) to induce hyperglycemia were investigated. Inulin-treated hyperglycemic mice had decreased average daily food consumption, body weight, average daily water consumption and relative liver weight and blood concentrations of triglycerides, total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein-cholesterol and fasting blood glucose. Liver-related gene expressions in hyperglycemic (HFD-fed and STZ-treated) compared with control mice showed 84 differentially expressed genes (49 up-regulated and 35 down-regulated). In contrast, hyperglycemic mice treated with inulin had 22 differentially expressed genes compared with control ones. Using Illumina high-throughput sequencing technology, the rarefaction and the rank abundance curves as well as the alpha diversity indices showed the treatment-induced differences in bacterial diversity in intestine. The linear discriminant analysis effect size analysis showed that the inulin treatment improved intestinal microbiota; in particular, it significantly increased the number of Bacteroides in the intestine of mice. In conclusion, inulin is potentially effective functional food for the prevention and/or treatment of hyperglycemia.
A three-wavelength coherent-modulation-imaging (CMI) technique is proposed to simultaneously measure the fundamental, second and third harmonics of a laser driver in one snapshot. Laser beams at three wavelengths (1053 nm, 526.5 nm and 351 nm) were simultaneously incident on a random phase plate to generate hybrid diffraction patterns, and a modified CMI algorithm was adopted to reconstruct the complex amplitude of each wavelength from one diffraction intensity frame. The validity of this proposed technique was verified using both numerical simulation and experimental analyses. Compared to commonly used measurement methods, this proposed method has several advantages, including a compact structure, convenient operation and high accuracy.
The effect of maternal folate intake on small-for-gestational-age (SGA) births remains inconclusive. The present study aimed to investigate the associations of maternal folate intake from diet and supplements with the risk of SGA births using data from a cross-sectional study in Shaanxi Province of Northwest China. A total of 7307 women who were within 12 months (median 3; 10th–90th percentile 0–7) after delivery were included. Two-level models were adopted to examine the associations of folate (dietary folate, supplemental folic acid and total folate) intake with the risk of SGA births and birth weight Z score, controlling for a minimum set of confounders that were identified in a directed acyclic graph. Results showed that a higher supplemental folic acid intake during the first trimester was negatively associated with the risk of SGA births (≤60 d v. non-use: OR 0·80; 95 % CI 0·66, 0·96; >60 d v. non-use: OR 0·78; 95 % CI 0·65, 0·94; Ptrend = 0·010; per 10-d increase: OR 0·97; 95 % CI 0·95, 0·99). A higher total folate intake during pregnancy was associated with a reduced risk of SGA births (highest tertile v. lowest tertile: OR 0·77; 95 % CI 0·64, 0·94; Ptrend = 0·010; per one-unit increase in the log-transformed value: OR 0·81; 95 % CI 0·69, 0·95). A similar pattern was observed for the birth weight Z score. Our study suggested that folic acid supplementation during the first trimester and a higher total folate intake during pregnancy were associated with a reduced risk of SGA births.
This paper presents a novel assessment method that minimizes test-fixture-induced errors in non-coaxial power combiner measurement by extending the port reduction method. This method involves terminating certain ports to acquire the scattering matrix of an N-port network from the scattering matrix measured at a reduced port order. The entire DUT scattering matrix is obtained from multiple scanning measurements, which are taken from partial coaxial accessible ports, based on a set of configurable terminating states. This advantage is leveraged to exclude a major portion of coaxial launch structures that would otherwise be incorporated in the conventional multiport test fixture. An analogous concept here is applied to measure a waveguide traveling-wave power combiner. A sandwiched twin structure, containing a divider/combiner pair with certain auxiliary through-type components cushioned between them, is utilized to assess the combiner characteristics. A theoretical framework of the proposed method was established to test its potential precision. Thereafter, an in-situ implementation was conducted to test its practical application on a traveling-wave combined amplifier prototype operating at the Q-band (33–39 GHz).
Existing data on folate status and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) prognosis are scarce. We prospectively examined whether serum folate concentrations at diagnosis were associated with liver cancer-specific survival (LCSS) and overall survival (OS) among 982 patients with newly diagnosed, previously untreated HCC, who were enrolled in the Guangdong Liver Cancer Cohort (GLCC) study between September 2013 and February 2017. Serum folate concentrations were measured using chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay. Cox proportional hazards models were performed to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI by sex-specific quartile of serum folate. Compared with patients in the third quartile of serum folate, patients in the lowest quartile had significantly inferior LCSS (HR = 1·48; 95 % CI 1·05, 2·09) and OS (HR = 1·43; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·99) after adjustment for non-clinical and clinical prognostic factors. The associations were not significantly modified by sex, age at diagnosis, alcohol drinking status and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage. However, there were statistically significant interactions on both multiplicative and additive scale between serum folate and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels or smoking status and the associations of lower serum folate with worse LCSS and OS were only evident among patients with CRP > 3·0 mg/l or current smokers. An inverse association with LCSS were also observed among patients with liver damage score ≥3. These results suggest that lower serum folate concentrations at diagnosis are independently associated with worse HCC survival, most prominently among patients with systemic inflammation and current smokers. A future trial of folate supplementation seems to be promising in HCC patients with lower folate status.
The relationship between serum Mg and blood cell counts in Chinese adult diabetes or central obesity was assessed by investigating 8163 subjects with China Health and Nutrition Survey (mean age 59⋅6 years, 54⋅9 % men). Participants were classified according to blood Mg (below 0⋅65 mmol/l, or 0⋅66–0⋅94 mmol/l or above 0⋅95 mmol/l), type 2 diabetes (yes/no) and central obesity (yes/no). Leucocytes, erythrocytes, platelets (PLT), Hb and glycated Hb (HbA1c) were determined using standardised methods and conditions. HbAc1, leucocytes and PLT were significantly higher among subjects with central obesity than without central obesity (P < 0⋅05). A significant increase for Hb, erythrocytes, PLT, but not leucocytes, across progressive Mg groups was observed in subjects without diabetes (P < 0⋅05). Hb, erythrocytes and HbAc1 were significantly higher among subjects with higher Mg than in subjects with lower Mg with diabetes (P < 0⋅05). Central obesity disturbed the positive association between PLT count and serum Mg. Type 2 diabetes caused metabolism disorder in serum Mg, blood sugar and blood cell count. Hb, erythrocytes and PLT, but not leucocytes, are positively correlated with serum Mg, but this association is somehow disturbed by type 2 diabetes or central obesity.
A kind of n–p (SnO2)1.3/(α ∼ Bi2O3)x/(β ∼ Bi2O3)1−x nanocomposite (SB-15) was synthesized with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) as a template by solid state synthesis. XRD and HR-TEM confirmed the formation of n–p (SnO2)1.3/(α ∼ Bi2O3)x/(β ∼ Bi2O3)1−x. Particle size is found to be about 18 nm from HR-TEM images. FE-SEM clearly detected the boundary between SnO2 nanoparticles and Bi2O3 polyhedron particles. The special morphology and coexisting of α-Bi2O3 and β-Bi2O3 in SB-15 make it have a stronger visible light absorption range as far as 725 nm. PL and photocurrent test shows that the SB-15 has the best photocarriers separation capability. About 99% decolorization ratio of Rh.B was achieved in only 5 min. About 70% Cr6+ was degraded within 20 min and it is about 60% for tetracycline in the coexisting system (Te with Cr6+ solution), introducing it as a promising photocatalytic material. This work has addressed the method of phase-selective synthesis of n–p SnO2/α ∼ Bi2O3/β ∼ Bi2O3 by convenient solid state synthesis, which should be useful for the studies of other composites.
Connected-Element Interferometry (CEI) is a technique for measuring the phase delay of difference of Time Of Arrival (TOA) of a downlink radio signal to two antennae on a short baseline. This technique can use an atomic clock for time-frequency transmission and achieve intermediate accuracy angular tracking. Owing to the relatively short length of the baseline, the passive reception mode, and near real-time operation, CEI can be used to continuously monitor the orbit variations of both cooperative and non-cooperative satellites. In this paper, a small-scale CEI system of two orthogonal baselines (75 m × 35 m) is investigated to track a Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) Television (TV) satellite at 110·5°E. The phases are extracted from correlation results. The results show that the Root Mean Square (RMS) of the phase fitting residuals, if not calibrated, is within 2° at night and up to 10° in the daytime. After applying the calibration signal, the RMS of the phase fitting residuals in the daytime decreases to the same level at night. Comparing the phase delay with the a priori phase delay using Two-Line-Element (TLE) data, the integer ambiguity is successfully resolved. Finally, a batch algorithm is used to estimate the orbit of the GEO satellite, and the orbit determination accuracy is evaluated using the precise orbits provided by the China National Time Service Centre (NTSC). The results show that the accuracies in the radial direction and the cross-track direction are less than 1 km, and the Three-Dimensional (3D) position accuracy reaches the 2 km order of magnitude.
Estimating the robot state within a known map is an essential problem for mobile robot; it is also referred to “localization”. Even LiDAR-based localization is practical in many applications, it is difficult to achieve global localization with LiDAR only for its low-dimension feedback, especially in environments with repetitive geometric features. A sensor-fusion-based localization system is introduced in this paper, which has the capability of addressing the global localization problem. Both LiDAR and vision sensors are integrated, making use of the rich information introduced by vision sensor and the robustness from LiDAR. A hybrid grid-map is built for global localization, and a visual global descriptor is applied to speed up the localization convergence, combined with a pose refining pipeline for improving the localization accuracy. Also, a trigger mechanism is introduced to solve kidnapped problem and verify the relocalization result. The experiments under different conditions are designed to evaluate the performance of the proposed approach, as well as a comparison with the existing localization systems. According to the experimental results, our system is able to solve the global localization problem, and the sensor-fusion mechanism in our system has an improved performance.
Force-feeding was considered as a traditional high-efficiency approach to improve growth performance and accelerate fat deposition of Pekin ducks. However, force-feeding is a serious violation of international advocacy on animal welfare, because it can induce serious injuries to animals, such as damages to the digestive tract, effects on immunity and even severe oxidative stress. Therefore, it is urgent to stop force-feeding. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of force feeding on immune function, digestive function and oxidative stress in the mucosa of duodenum and jejunum of Pekin ducks. A total of 500 ducks were randomly divided into two groups. The control group was allowed to feed freely on a basal diet. The experimental group was force-fed by inserting a plastic feeding tube 8 to 10 inches long down the esophagus for 6 days. Compared with the control group, there was a significant (P<0.05) increase in serum diamine oxidase, d-lactic acid, endotoxin and corticosterone levels in the force-feeding group. The crypt depth in duodenum and jejunum showed significant differences (P<0.05) between the two groups and the intestinal villus epithelium cell was severely damaged in force-feeding group. Similarly, the activities of digestive enzymes as well as the levels of immune function in the duodenal and jejunal mucosa in the force-feeding group were significantly higher than the control group (P<0.05). However, there was a significant decrease in the superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and catalase levels with a marked increase in malondialdehyde level in duodenal and jejunal mucosa (P<0.05). In summary, at the end of the fattening period with force-feeding for 6 days, Pekin ducks experienced an adverse effect on the integrity of their duodenal and jejunal mucosa epithelium cell as well as their immune function and antioxidant capacity of Pekin ducks but also had improvement in digestive enzyme activities.
The stability of dynamic fracture is a fundamental and challenging problem in the field of materials science. The grain size effect on dynamic fracture instability in polycrystalline graphene under tear loading is explored via theoretical analysis and molecular dynamics simulations. The fracture stability phase diagram in terms of grain size and crack propagation velocity is obtained, and three regions of crack propagation are identified: stable, metastable, and unstable. For grain size above 2 nm, there exists a critical velocity beyond which fracture instability occurs, and this critical velocity depends linearly on grain size. Decreasing grain size leads to reduced characteristic time for correction of crack path deflection, which plays a dominant role in dynamic fracture instabilities. However, when grain size is below 2 nm, there does not exist a critical velocity for steady propagation of cracks due to discontinuous effects. Our results also provide a valuable insight into dynamic fracture of polycrystalline graphene as well as other 2D and quasi-2D materials.
The aim of this meta-analysis was to provide a comprehensive overview of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 subtypes and to investigate temporal and geographical trends of the HIV-1 epidemic among men who have sex with men (MSM) in China. Chinese and English articles published between January 2007 and December 2017 were systematically searched. Pooled HIV-1 prevalence was calculated, and its stability was analysed using sensitivity analysis. Subgroups were based on study time period, sampling area and prevalence. Publication bias was measured using Funnel plot and Egger's test. A total of 68 independent studies that included HIV-1 molecular investigations were eligible for meta-analysis. Circulating recombinant form (CRF) 01_AE (57.36%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 53.76–60.92) was confirmed as the most prevalent HIV-1 subtype among MSM in China. Subgroup analysis for time period found that CRF01_AE steadily increased prior to 2012 but decreased during 2012–2016. Further whereas CRF07_BC increased over time, B/B′ decreased over time. CRF55_01B has increased in recent years, with higher pooled estimated rate in Guangdong (12.22%, 95% CI 10.34–13.17) and Fujian (8.65%, 95% CI 4.98–13.17) provinces. The distribution of HIV-1 subtypes among MSM in China has changed across different regions and periods. HIV-1 strains in MSM are becoming more complex. Long-term molecular monitoring in this population remains necessary for HIV-1 epidemic control and prevention.
This paper uses population synthesis to investigate the possible origin of isolated millisecond pulsars as born from the coalescence of a neutron star and a white dwarf. Results show that the galactic birth rate of isolated millisecond pulsars is likely to lie between 5.8×10−5 yr−1 and 2.0×10−4 yr−1, depending on critical variables, such as the stability of mass transfer via the Roche lobe and the value of kick velocity. In addition to this, this paper estimates that the solar mass of isolated millisecond pulsars can range from 1.5 and 2.0 Mʘ, making them more massive than other ‘normal’ pulsars. Finally, the majority of isolated millisecond pulsars in our simulations have spin periods ranging from several to 20 ms, which is consistent with previous observations.
Direct determination of barrier height (ΦBH) value between Ir and single crystal (001) hydrogen-terminated diamond with lightly boron doped has been performed using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy technique. 70 nm Ir islands were formed on hydrogen-terminated diamond surface using anodic aluminum oxide. The ΦBH value for Ir/hydrogen-terminated diamond was −0.43 ± 0.14 eV, indicating that Ir was a suitable metal for ohmic contact with hydrogen-terminated diamond. The band diagram of Ir/hydrogen-terminated diamond was obtained. The experimental ΦBH was compared with the theoretical ΦBH in this work.