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Meat quality is not only influenced by breed but also rearing environment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of different housing environments on growth performance, carcase traits, meat quality, physiological response pre-slaughter and fatty acid composition in two pig breeds. A total of 120 growing pigs at 60-70 days of age were arranged in a 2 × 2 factorial design with the breeds (Duroc × Landrace × Large White [D × L × LW] and Duroc × Landrace × Min pig [D × L × M]) and environmental enrichment (barren concrete floor or enriched with straw bedding) as factors. Each treatment was performed in triplicate with ten pigs per replicate. The pigs housed in the enriched environment exhibited a higher average daily gain, average daily feed intake, saturated fatty acid percentage and backfat depth than the pigs reared in the barren environment. Plasma cortisol levels were lower and growth hormone higher in enriched compared to barren pens. The D × L × M pigs showed lower cooking loss compared with the D × L × LW pigs. Moreover, the D × L × M pigs exhibited poor growth performance but had a better water-holding capacity. Only carcase traits and meat quality interaction effects were observed. We concluded that an enriched environment can reduce preslaughter stress and improve the growth performance of pigs and modulate the fatty acid composition of pork products.
Homeostasis of gut microbiota is a critical contributor to growth and health in weaned piglets. Fish oil is widely reported to benefit health of mammals including preventing intestinal dysfunction, yet its protective effect during suckling-to-weaning transition in piglets remains undetermined. Low (30 g/d) and high (60 g/d) doses of n-3-rich fish oil were supplemented in sows from late gestation to lactation. Serum indicators and gut microbiota were determined to evaluate the effects of maternal fish oil on growth performance, immunity and diarrhea of piglets. DHA and EPA in the colostrum as well as serum of suckling and 1-week post-wean piglets were significantly and linearly increased by maternal supplementation of fish oil (P < 0.05). IGF1 and T3 in nursing and weaned piglets were significantly elevated by maternal fish oil (P < 0.05), and the increase of IGF1 was concerning the dosage of fish oil. Colostrum IgG, plasma IgG, IgM in suckling piglets, IgG, IgM and IgA in weaned piglets were significantly increase as maternal replenishment of fish oil increased (P < 0.05). Additionally, cortisol was significantly reduced in weaned pigs (P < 0.05), regardless of dosage. 16S rRNA sequencing revealed that α-diversity of fecal microbiota in nursery piglets, and fecal Lactobacillus genus, positively correlated with post-weaning IgA, was significantly increased by high dosage. Collectively, maternal fish oil during late pregnancy and lactation significantly promoted growth, enhanced immunity, and reduced post-weaning diarrhea in piglets, therefore facilitated suckling-to-weaning transition in piglets, which may be partially due to the altered gut microbial community.
In this paper, we show that every pair of sufficiently large even integers can be represented as a pair of eight prime cubes and k powers of
. In particular, we prove that
is admissible, which improves the previous result.
Previous studies have confirmed that miR-146a-5p overexpression suppresses neurogenesis, thereby enhancing depression-like behaviors. However, it remains unclear how miR-146a-5p dysregulation produces in vivo brain structural abnormalities in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).
In this case–control study, we combined cortical morphology analysis of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and miR-146a-5p quantification to investigate the neuropathological effect of miR-146a-5p on cortical thickness in MDD patients. Serum-derived exosomes that were considered to readily cross the blood-brain barrier and contain miR-146a-5p were isolated for miRNA quantification. Moreover, follow-up MRI scans were performed in the MDD patients after 6 weeks of antidepressant treatment to further validate the clinical relevance of the relationship between miR-146a-5p and brain structural abnormalities.
In total, 113 medication-free MDD patients and 107 matched healthy controls were included. Vertex-vise general linear model revealed miR-146a-5p-dependent cortical thinning in MDD patients compared with healthy individuals, i.e., overexpression of miR-146a-5p was associated with reduced cortical thickness in the left orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), anterior cingulate cortex, bilateral lateral occipital cortices (LOCs), etc. Moreover, this relationship between baseline miR-146a-5p and cortical thinning was nonsignificant for all regions in the patients who had received antidepressant treatment, and higher baseline miR-146a-5p expression was found to be related to greater longitudinal cortical thickening in the left OFC and right LOC.
The findings of this study reveal a relationship between miR-146a-5p overexpression and cortical atrophy and thus may help specify the in vivo mediating effect of miR-146a-5p dysregulation on brain structural abnormalities in patients with MDD.
Hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) is one of the rate-determining enzymes in the hydrolysis of TAG, playing a crucial role in lipid metabolism. However, the role of HSL-mediated lipolysis in systemic nutrient homoeostasis has not been intensively understood. Therefore, we used CRISPR/Cas9 technique and Hsl inhibitor (HSL-IN-1) to establish hsla-deficient (hsla-/-) and Hsl-inhibited zebrafish models, respectively. As a result, the hsla-/- zebrafish showed retarded growth and reduced oxygen consumption rate, accompanied with higher mRNA expression of the genes related to inflammation and apoptosis in liver and muscle. Furthermore, hsla-/- and HSL-IN-1-treated zebrafish both exhibited severe fat deposition, whereas their expressions of the genes related to lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation were markedly reduced. The TLC results also showed that the dysfunction of Hsl changed the whole-body lipid profile, including increasing the content of TG and decreasing the proportion of phospholipids. In addition, the systemic metabolic pattern was remodelled in hsla-/- and HSL-IN-1-treated zebrafish. The dysfunction of Hsl lowered the glycogen content in liver and muscle and enhanced the utilisation of glucose plus the expressions of glucose transporter and glycolysis genes. Besides, the whole-body protein content had significantly decreased in the hsla-/- and HSL-IN-1-treated zebrafish, accompanied with the lower activation of the mTOR pathway and enhanced protein and amino acid catabolism. Taken together, Hsl plays an essential role in energy homoeostasis, and its dysfunction would cause the disturbance of lipid catabolism but enhanced breakdown of glycogen and protein for energy compensation.
This study investigates the impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown on municipal solid waste (MSW). Based on a unique data set of daily discarding records of 252 communities in Beijing, China, we conduct a difference-in-differences estimation and find that the total daily MSW decreased by 134.16 kg in a community, which is equivalent to at least 0.22 kg per household per day, and the average weight of MSW per package decreased by 56.8 per cent after the COVID-19 lockdown. We consider a series of potential mechanisms, such as MSW hoarding, shifts in discarding time, and fear of going out, and find the most support for consumption pattern shifts with reduced consumption. We then discuss the effect of the lockdown on the reduction of MSW generation because of the strict restriction of consumption. We also conduct various heterogeneity analyses. Our results present clear implications for municipal waste management by highlighting the effect of the lockdown on the generation of MSW and the underlying consumption mechanism.
Direct numerical simulations of turbulent pipe flow subjected to streamwise-varying wall rotation are performed. This control method is able to achieve drag reduction and even relaminarize the flow under certain control parameters at friction Reynolds number $Re_\tau =180$. Two control parameters, which are velocity amplitude and wavelength, are considered. It is found that increasing the wavelength rather than increasing the amplitude seems to be a better choice to improve the control efficiency. An annular boundary layer, called the spatial Stokes layer (SSL), is formed by the wall rotation. Based on the thickness of the SSL, two types of drag-reduction scenarios can be identified roughly. When the thickness is low, the SSL acts as a spacer layer, inhibiting the formation of streamwise vortices and thereby reducing the shear stress. The flow structures outside the SSL are stretched in the streamwise direction due to the increased velocity gradient. Within the SSL, the turbulence intensity diminishes dramatically. When the thickness is large, a streamwise wavy pattern of near-wall streaks is formed. The streak orientation is dominated by the mean shear-strain vector outside the viscous sublayer, and there is a phase difference between the streak orientation and local mean velocity vector. The streamwise scales of near-wall flow structures are reduced significantly, resulting in the disruption of downstream development of flow structures and hence leading to the drag reduction. Furthermore, it is found that it requires both large enough thickness of the SSL and velocity amplitude to relaminarize the turbulence. The relaminarization mechanism is that the annular SSL can absorb energy continuously from wall-normal stress due to the rotational effect, thereby the turbulence self-sustaining process cannot be maintained. For the relaminarization cases, the laminar state is stable to even extremely large perturbations, which possibly makes the laminar state the only fixed point for the whole system.
Pioneered by the US, recent mega-regional trade agreements such as the CPTPP have incorporated ‘regulatory coherence’ provisions—mirroring the US Administrative Procedural Act's core designs—to balance between domestic regulatory autonomy and international cooperation. Building upon existing literature that traces the trajectories of the diffusion of regulatory coherence across jurisdictions, this article analyses how Australia's constitutional tradition could effectively condition the development of regulatory coherence in a Westminster-based model of governance. It is argued that the global entrenchment of regulatory coherence is contingent upon the inherent boundary defined by the political dynamics and constitutional structures within a jurisdiction.
Large-eddy simulation (LES) is performed to investigate the dynamics of flow and canopy motions and the energy transfer in turbulent canopy flows. Different from the traditional approach that models the canopy as a continuous medium with a drag coefficient prescribed a priori, an immersed boundary method together with a beam model is employed to explicitly capture the dynamics of individual stems and resolve monami. The simulation cases cover a broad range of stem flexibilities from rigid stems to oscillatory stems to stems yielding to the flow. For highly flexible canopies, the stem fluctuation is small such that the canopy behaves like a rigid canopy, which is used to explain the similarities of the flow features between rigid and highly flexible canopies. Analyses of the turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) budget show that, in the flexible canopy cases, the waving term associated with the canopy drag–flow velocity correlation can be as large as one-half of the shear production term near the canopy top. Spectral TKE budget analyses further reveal dominant effects at two characteristic scales: the monami scale associated with the coherent structures in the mixing layer and the wake scale associated with the interval between adjacent stems. For the TKE in flexible canopies, the waving term is found to play an important role in the interscale and wall-normal transport terms. Our LES data show that the spectral shortcut mechanism proposed by previous studies is caused by the waving term.
We report on the design and characterization of the plasma mirror system installed on the J-KAREN-P laser at the Kansai Photon Science Institute, National Institutes for Quantum Science and Technology. The reflectivity of the single plasma mirror system exceeded 80%. In addition, the temporal contrast was improved by two orders of magnitude at 1 ps before the main pulse. Furthermore, the laser near-field spatial distribution after the plasma mirror was kept constant at plasma mirror fluence of less than 100 kJ/cm2. We also present the results of investigating the difference and the fluctuation in energy, pulse width and pointing stability with and without the plasma mirror system.
The horse played a crucial role in China through the first millennium BC, used both for military advantage and, through incorporation into elite burials, to express social status. Details of how horses were integrated into mortuary contexts during the Qin Empire, however, are poorly understood. Here, the authors present new zooarchaeological data for 24 horses from an accessory pit in Qin Shihuang's mausoleum, indicating that the horses chosen were tall, adult males. These findings provide insights into the selection criteria for animals to be included in the emperor's tomb and invite consideration of questions concerning horse breeds, husbandry practices, and the military and symbolic importance of horses in early imperial China.
This research examined the sociodemographic factors associated with preventive care utilisation among Chinese older adults. Using the latest 2018 wave of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS), preventive care utilisation was defined as an annual physical examination. In the final study sample, approximately 69 per cent of the older adults had a physical examination annually. Older adults who had received a high level of formal education (eleven years or above) were more likely to use preventive care (all p < 0.01). Participants with a rural social health scheme and residing in rural areas were also more likely to use preventive care (all p < 0.05). For the interaction effect, rural older adults who could not afford healthcare expenses were less likely to use preventive care (AOR = 0.37, 95 per cent CI: 0.16, 0.84). More reforms should be directed toward reducing social disparities regarding preventive care utilisation.
Streptococcus agalactiae (S. agalactiae) infection is a significant cause of mastitis, resulting in loss of cellular homeostasis and tissue damage. Autophagy plays an essential function in cell survival, defense, and the preservation of cellular homeostasis, and is often part of the response to pathogenic challenge. However, the effect of autophagy induced by S. agalactiae in bovine mammary epithelial cells (bMECs) is mainly unknown. So in this study, an intracellular S. agalactiae infection model was established. Through evaluating the autophagy-related indicators, we observed that after S. agalactiae infection, a significant quantity of LC3-I was converted to LC3-II, p62 was degraded, and levels of Beclin1 and Bcl2 increased significantly in bMECs, indicating that S. agalactiae induced autophagy. The increase in levels of LAMP2 and LysoTracker Deep Red fluorescent spots indicated that lysosomes had participated in the degradation of autophagic contents. After autophagy was activated by rapamycin (Rapa), the amount of p-Akt and p-mTOR decreased significantly, whilst the amount of intracellular S. agalactiae increased significantly. Whereas the autophagy was inhibited by 3-methyladenine (3MA), the number of intracellular pathogens decreased. In conclusion, the results demonstrated that S. agalactiae could induce autophagy through PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway and utilize autophagy to survive in bMECs.
The present study investigated the foreign language effect within an altruistic decision making process. Chinese–English bilinguals made altruistic decisions in their native (L1: Chinese) and second language (L2: English). The decisions were framed in two ways: either as “not to harm” (harm frame) or as “to help” the other person (help frame) at one's economic cost. Behavioral results suggest that bilinguals might behave more altruistically in the harm frame than the help frame (i.e., framing effect) in their native language but not in their foreign language. Electrophysiological results show that the modulation of the framing effect in the native versus foreign language originated in the early ERP components (N1 and N2) and did not present in the late positive potential (LPP). These findings suggest the foreign language effect most likely results from the reduced emotional reaction in a foreign compared to the native language.
Maternal nutrition during pregnancy plays a vital role in foetal growth and development. The present study aimed to describe the diet quality of pregnant women and explore the association between maternal diet and the prevalence of low birth weight (LBW) and small for gestational age (SGA). A total of 3 856 participants from a birth cohort in Beijing, China were recruited between June 2018 and February 2019. Maternal diet in the 1st and 2nd trimesters was assessed by inconsecutive 2-day 24-hour dietary recalls. The Chinese diet balance index for pregnancy (DBI-P) was used to assess the diet quality of the participants. Multivariate logistic regressions were performed to explore the independent effects of DBI-P components on LBW and SGA. The prevalence of LBW and SGA was 3.8% and 6.0%, respectively. Dietary intakes of the participants were imbalanced. The proportions of participants having insufficient intake of vegetables (87.3% and 86.6%), dairy (95.9% and 96.7%), and aquatic foods (80.5% and 85.3%) were high in both trimesters. The insufficiency of fruit intake was more severe in the 2nd trimester (85.2%) than in the 1st trimester (22.5%) (P<0.05). After adjusting for potential confounders, the intake of fruits and dairy in the 2nd trimester was negatively associated with the risk of LBW (OR=0.850, 95% CI: 0.723-0.999) and SGA (OR=0.885, 95% CI: 0.787-0.996), respectively. The diet of Beijing pregnant women was imbalanced. Higher consumption of fruits and dairy products in the 2nd trimester was associated with lower risks of LBW and SGA. Sufficient consumption of fruits and dairy products in pregnancy may be suggested, in an attempt to prevent the occurrence of LBW and SGA.
This research communication aims to characterize the prevalence, molecular characterization and antimicrobial resistance profiling of Streptococcus agalactiae isolated from clinical mastitis in China. A total of 140 Strep. agalactiae isolates were identified from 12 out of 201 farms in 6 provinces, overall herd prevalence was 18.6% and the MLST analysis showed clonal complexes (CC) 103 and CC 67 were present in these herds with CC 103 predominant, accounting for 97.9%. Isolates were mostly sensitive to the tested antimicrobials: penicillin, ceftiofur, amoxi/clav, cefquinome, and vancomycin (100%), followed by cefalexin (97.9%), oxacillin (96.4%), enrofloxacin (95.7%), erythromycin (89.3%), and clindamycin (88.6%). Only 19.3 and 0.7% of isolates were sensitive to tetracycline and daptomycin, respectively, and sequence type (ST) 103 was most resistant to antimicrobials. In conclusion, CC 103 was the predominant subgroup of bovine mastitis Strep. agalactiae in China, and most antimicrobials apart from tetracycline and daptomycin were effective.