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This study examined the effect of a cryoprotectant with and without pentoxifylline supplementation on the motility and viability of human testicular sperm, both before and after freezing. Testicular samples were obtained from 68 patients with azoospermia who came to the Andrology Service of West China Second University Hospital, Sichuan University, for testicular biopsies from December 2019 to April 2020. All patients were assigned randomly to two groups: experimental, whose testicular sperm were added to the cryoprotectant with pentoxifylline, and the control, whose testicular sperm were added to the cryoprotectant without pentoxifylline. Both groups used the same freezing and thawing methods. Testicular sperm motility in the experimental group was significantly higher than that of the control group, both before and after cryopreservation. The recovery rate of sperm motility in the experimental group was significantly higher than that of the control group. The percentage of samples with motile testicular sperm in the experimental group was significantly higher than that of the control group after thawing. Sperm viability was unchanged between the experimental and control groups, both before and after freezing. Overall, a pentoxifylline-supplemented cryoprotectant can significantly improve the motility of testicular sperm before and after cryopreservation.
To investigate the effects of dietary fibre on follicular atresia in pigs fed a high-fat diet, we fed thirty-two prepubescent gilts a basal diet (CON) or a CON diet supplemented with 300 g/d dietary fibre (fibre), 240 g/d soya oil (SO) or both (fibre + SO). At the 19th day of the 4th oestrus cycle, gilts fed the SO diet showed 112 % more atretic follicles and greater expression of the apoptotic markers, Bax and caspase-3, and these effects were reversed by the fibre diet. The abundance of SCFA-producing microbes was decreased by the SO diet, but this effect was reversed by fibre treatment. Concentrations of serotonin and melatonin in the serum and follicular fluid were increased by the fibre diet. Overall, dietary fibre protected against high fat feeding-induced follicular atresia at least partly via gut microbiota-related serotonin–melatonin synthesis. These results provide insight into preventing negative effects on fertility in humans consuming a high-energy diet.
The microstructure evolution, dynamic recrystallization (DRX) and precipitation of the ZM61 alloy sheets prepared with different rolling conditions were studied. The DRX grain sizes (dDRX) at four high strain rate rolling (HSRR) temperatures (275–350 °C) are 1.9, 2.3, 2.6 and 3.1 μm, respectively, while the DRX volume fractions (fVDRX) are 69, 73, 76 and 82%, respectively. 300 °C is selected as the optimal HSRR temperature. The dDRX and fVDRX of the alloys prepared by pre-rolling (PR) at 300 °C + HSRR are 1.0 μm and 91%, respectively. The PR treatment does not change the types of the precipitates but promotes the precipitation. The tensile strength (UTS) of 369 MPa and yield strength (YS) of 261 MPa can be achieved by HSRR at 300 °C, while a further increase in both UTS and YS can be obtained by PR treatment.
To improve the prenatal diagnosis for anomalous origin of pulmonary artery branches by comparing and analyzing different types of fetal echocardiography features.
Between June 2012 and December 2018, fetal echocardiographic features were analyzed retrospectively from fetuses with a prenatal diagnosis of anomalous origin of pulmonary artery branch. The main points of identification were summarized.
A total of 12 fetuses were diagnosed, including anomalous origin of a pulmonary artery branch from the innominate artery and six cases with unilateral absence of pulmonary artery. The shared characteristic sonographic finding was the lack of confluence at the bifurcation of the main pulmonary artery. The differences between the two conditions are highlighted by the origin of the anomalous vessel. In fetuses with anomalous origin of one pulmonary artery branch, the affected pulmonary artery arose from the posterior wall of the ascending aorta as noted on three vessels and trachea view as well as the long axis of the left ventricular outflow tract. This is in contrast to fetuses with unilateral absence of pulmonary artery, where the origin of affected pulmonary artery arises from the base of the innominate artery via the ipsilateral patent arterial duct as evident on the three vessels and trachea view and the coronal view of innominate (brachiocephalic) artery.
(1) The main similarity is an absence of a confluence at the bifurcation of the main pulmonary artery. (2) The main distinguishing feature is the origin of the anomalous vessel from either the subclavian or directly from the aorta.
This research paper addresses the hypothesis that Septin6 is a key regulatory factor influencing amino acid (AA)-mediated cell growth and casein synthesis in dairy cow mammary epithelial cells (DCMECs). DCMECs were treated with absence of AA (AA−), restricted concentrations of AA (AAr) or normal concentrations of AA (AA+) for 24 h. Cell growth, expression of CSN2 and Septin6 were increased in response to AA supply. Overexpressing or inhibiting Septin6 demonstrated that cell growth, expression of CSN2, mTOR, p-mTOR, S6K1 and p-S6K1 were up-regulated by Septin6. Furthermore, overexpressing or inhibiting mTOR demonstrated that the increase in cell growth and expression of CSN2 in response to Septin6 overexpression were inhibited by mTOR inhibition, and vice versa. Our hypothesis was supported; we were able to show that Septin6 is an important positive factor for cell growth and casein synthesis, it up-regulates AA-mediated cell growth and casein synthesis through activating mTORC1 pathway in DCMECs.
The aim of this article was to investigate the mechanism of appetite suppression induced by high-fat diets (HFD) in blunt snout bream (Megalobrama amblycephala). Fish (average initial weight 40·0 (sem 0·35) g) were fed diets with two fat levels (6 and 11 %) with four replicates. HFD feeding for 30 d could significantly increase the weight gain rate, but feeding for 60 d cannot. Food intake of M. amblycephala began to decline significantly in fish fed the HFD for 48 d. HFD feeding for 60 d significantly reduced the expression of neuropeptide Y and elevated the expression of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART), actions both in favour of suppression of appetite. The activation of fatty acid sensing was partly responsible for the weakened appetite. In addition, inflammatory factors induced by the HFD may be involved in the regulation of appetite by increasing the secretion of leptin and then activating the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 2·0 mg/kg of fish weight) was administered to induce inflammation, and sampling was performed after 3, 6, 9, 12, 18, 24 and 48 h of LPS injection. Within 6–24 h of LPS injection, the food intake and appetite of M. amblycephala decreased significantly, whereas the mRNA expression of leptin and mTOR increased significantly. Our results indicate that inflammatory cytokines may be the cause of appetite suppression in M. amblycephala fed a HFD.
This paper reviews previous studies on metamaterials and its application to wireless power transfer (WPT) technologies, as well as discussing about development opportunities and technical challenges for the contactless charging of electric vehicles (EVs). The EV establishes a bridge between sustainable energies and our daily transportation, especially the park-and-charge and move-and-charge for EVs have attracted increasing attentions from the academia and the industry. However, the metamaterials-based WPT has been nearly unexplored specifically for EVs by now. Accordingly, this paper gives an overview for the metamaterial-based WPT technologies, with emphasizes on enhancing efficiency, increasing distance, improving misalignment tolerance, and compacting size. From the perspective of EV wireless charging, this paper discusses about the breakthrough to current WPT technique bottlenecks and prospective EV charging scenarios by utilizing the left-handed material. Meanwhile, the technical issues to be addressed are also summarized in this paper, which aims to arouse emerging research topics for the future development of EV wireless charging systems.
A facile synthesis procedure of nitrogen-self-doped porous carbon (NPC) derived from abundant natural biological materials has been presented. The pyrolysis temperature and the weight ratio of Co3O4 to carbon play a key role in determining microscopic structure and electrochemical performances of the final materials. The ordered mesostructures with nanopores in the channel walls provided support for immobilization of well-dispersed Co3O4 nanoparticles. They also served as a highly conductive substrate for effectively alleviating severe particle aggregation during the charge/discharge processes, which prevented capacity fading from deteriorated electric contact between the components. Taking advantage of the interconnected porous structures and high specific surface area (1799 m2/g) of carbon substrate, the Co3O4/NPC composite as anode in lithium-ion battery delivers a stable reversible capacity of 903 mA h/g after 400 cycles. It is expected that by loading other electrode active materials on such carbon material, the manufacture of the promising anode materials with excellent cycle stability is highly possible.
Although the brittle material in analogue models is characterized by a linear Navier-Coulomb behaviour and rate-independent deformation, the geometry and style of deformation in accretionary wedges is sensitive to shortening velocity. In this study we have constructed a series of analogue models with various shortening velocities in order to study the influence of shortening velocity on the geometry and kinematics of accretionary wedges. Model results illustrate how shortening velocity has an important influence on the geometry and kinematics of the resulting wedge. In general, for models having similar bulk shortening, the accretionary wedges with higher velocities of shortening are roughly steeper, higher and longer, as well as having larger critical wedge angles and height. It accommodates a number of foreland-vergent thrusts, larger fault spacing and displacement rates than those of low- to medium-velocity shortening, which indicates a weak velocity-dependence in geometry of the wedge. Moreover, models with a high velocity of shortening undergo larger amounts of volumetric strain and total layer-parallel shortening than models with low- to medium-velocity shortening. The former accommodate a greater development of back thrusts and asymmetric structures; a backwards-to-forwards style of wedge growth therefore occurs in the frontal zone under high-velocity shortening.
Twins reared apart provide a fascinating experiment to distinguish genetic from environmental influences. However, there is as yet no broad report on distribution of twins reared apart, especially in the Chinese population. In this study, information on 18,295 volunteer twin pairs of all age groups was compiled in nine provinces or cities of China, and questionnaires were used for zygosity determination. It was discovered that twins reared apart from 0 to 10 years of age accounted for 2.2% of all twin interviewees, with the proportion of this 0–10 group separated before 1, 2, and 5 years old, accounting for 65.3%, 76.1%, and 91.3%, respectively. The proportion of twins reared apart is not significantly related to zygosity or gender, but it is related to region and twin age. As the age of twins lowers, the proportion of those reared apart gradually decreases. Twins reared apart will become rarer in the future and therefore should be cherished as a resource.
In this paper, the properties of photonic band gap (PBG) and surface plasmon modes in the three-dimensional (3D) magnetized plasma photonic crystals (MPPCs) with face-centered-cubic (fcc) lattices are theoretically investigated based on the plane wave expansion (PWE) method, in which the homogeneous magnetized plasma spheres are immersed in the homogeneous dielectric background, as the Voigt effects of magnetized plasma are considered (the incidence electromagnetic wave vector is perpendicular to the external magnetic field at any time). The dispersive properties of all of the EM modes are studied because the PBG is not only for the extraordinary and ordinary modes but also for the mixed polarized modes. The equations for PBGs also are theoretically deduced. The numerical results show that the PBG and a flatbands region can be observed. The effects of the dielectric constant of dielectric background, filling factor, plasma frequency and plasma cyclotron frequency (the external magnetic field) on the dispersive properties of all of the EM modes in such 3D MPPCs are investigated in detail, respectively. Theoretical simulations show that the PBG can be manipulated by the parameters as mentioned above. Compared to the conventional dielectric-air PCs with similar structure, the larger PBG can be obtained in such 3D MPPCs. It is also shown that the upper edge of flatbands region cannot be tuned by the filling factor and dielectric constant of dielectric background, but it can be manipulated by the plasma frequency and plasma cyclotron frequency.
This study was designed to determine the effect of melatonin on the in vitro maturation (IVM) and developmental potential of bovine oocytes denuded of the cumulus oophorus (DOs). DOs were cultured alone (DOs) or with 10−9 M melatonin (DOs + MT), cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs) were cultured without melatonin as the control. After IVM, meiosis II (MII) rates of DOs, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, apoptotic rates and parthenogenetic blastocyst rates of MII oocytes were determined. The relative expression of ATP synthase F0 Subunit 6 and 8 (ATP6 and ATP8), bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP-15) and growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF-9) mRNA in MII oocytes and IFN-tau (IFN-τ), Na+/K+-ATPase, catenin-beta like 1 (CTNNBL1) and AQP3 mRNA in parthenogenetic blastocysts were quantified using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The results showed that: (1) melatonin significantly increased the MII rate of DOs (65.67 ± 3.59 % vs. 82.29 ± 3.92%; P < 0.05), decreased the ROS level (4.83 ± 0.42 counts per second (c.p.s) vs. 3.78 ± 0.29 c.p.s; P < 0.05) and apoptotic rate (36.99 ± 3.62 % vs. 21.88 ± 2.08 %; P < 0.05) and moderated the reduction of relative mRNA levels of ATP6, ATP8, BMP-15 and GDF-9 caused by oocyte denudation; (2) melatonin significantly increased the developmental rate (24.17 ± 3.54 % vs. 35.26 ± 4.87%; P < 0.05), and expression levels of IFN-τ, Na+/K+-ATPase, CTNNBL1 and AQP3 mRNA of blastocyst. These results indicated that melatonin significantly improved the IVM quality of DOs, leading to an increased parthenogenetic blastocyst formation rate and quality.
Owing to the limited regenerative capacity of cartilage tissue, cartilage repair remains a challenge in clinical treatment. Tissue engineering has emerged as a promising and important approach to repair cartilage defects. It is well known that material scaffolds are regarded as a fundamental element of tissue engineering. Novel biomaterial scaffolds formed by self-assembling peptides consist of nanofibre networks highly resembling natural extracellular matrices, and their fabrication is based on the principle of molecular self-assembly. Indeed, peptide nanofibre scaffolds have obtained much progress in repairing various damaged tissues (e.g. cartilage, bone, nerve, heart and blood vessel). This review outlines the rational design of peptide nanofibre scaffolds and their potential in cartilage tissue engineering.
The microstructures of the cast Mg–3Al–1Zn–xCe (x = 0, 0.2, 0.4, 0.8, and 1.2 wt%) alloys produced by twin-roll casting were observed to reveal the effect of cerium (Ce) on the Mg–3Al–1Zn (AZ31) alloy. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) image of Al4Ce particles at the centers of grains was observed, and the crystallographic calculations between Al4Ce and α-Mg were examined on the basis of the edge-to-edge matching model. The results indicated that the addition of Ce effectively reduces the grain size of the cast AZ31 alloy produced by twin-roll casting. The finest grains with an average grain size of 55 μm are achieved at 0.4 wt% addition of Ce. TEM observation and good crystallographic matching between Al4Ce and α-Mg suggest that promotion of heterogeneous nucleation of α-Mg on Al4Ce particles formed in the melt is responsible for the grain refinement when adding Ce to the cast AZ31 alloy.
In this note we consider the two-dimensional risk model introduced in Avram, Palmowski and Pistorius (2008) with constant interest rate. We derive the integral-differential equations of the Laplace transforms, and asymptotic expressions for the finite-time ruin probabilities with respect to the joint ruin times Tmax(u1,u2) and Tmin(u1,u2) respectively.
The microstructure evolution and mechanical responses are investigated in uniaxial tensile test performed on AZ31 magnesium alloy sheets processed by the flat extrusion container. A novel emphasis based on the texture was used to estimate the relative magnitude of hardening effects related to the deformation twinning. The anisotropic behavior of the sheets is sensitive to the orientation of the crystals with respect to the loading direction. This is ascribed to the effect of the initial texture and the activation of their relative critical resolved shear stresses on slip and twinning. The increased accumulated hardening increases the twin nucleation stress. The deformation twinning significantly induces an asymmetry in the yield behavior. Moreover, it remarkably prolongs the slope of the stage II in the working hardening curve. An accepted notion is proposed that the preferential activity of deformation twinning exerts a significant effect on mechanical anisotropy during tension.
In this paper, a new sparse principal component analysis (SPCA) method, called DCPCA (sparse PCA using a difference convex program), is introduced as a spectral feature extraction technique in astronomical data processing. Using this method, we successfully derive the feature lines from the spectra of cataclysmic variables. We then apply this algorithm to get the first 11 sparse principal components and use the support vector machine (SVM) to classify. The results show that the proposed method is comparable with traditional methods such as PCA+SVM.
Multivariate Markov chain models have previously been proposed in for studying dependent multiple categorical data sequences. For a given multivariate Markov chain model, an important problem is to study its joint stationary distribution. In this paper, we use two techniques to present some perturbation bounds for the joint stationary distribution vector of a multivariate Markov chain with s categorical sequences. Numerical examples demonstrate the stability of the model and the effectiveness of our perturbation bounds.