To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
During the last few decades, bed-elevation profiles from radar sounders have been used to quantify bed roughness. Various methods have been employed, such as the ‘two-parameter’ technique that considers vertical and slope irregularities in topography, but they struggle to incorporate roughness at multiple spatial scales leading to a breakdown in their depiction of bed roughness where the relief is most complex. In this article, we describe a new algorithm, analogous to wavelet transformations, to quantify the bed roughness at multiple scales. The ‘Self-Adaptive Two-Parameter’ system calculates the roughness of a bed profile using a frequency-domain method, allowing the extraction of three characteristic factors: (1) slope, (2) skewness and (3) coefficient of variation. The multi-scale roughness is derived by weighted-summing of these frequency-related factors. We use idealized bed elevations to initially validate the algorithm, and then actual bed-elevation data are used to compare the new roughness index with other methods. We show the new technique is an effective tool for quantifying bed roughness from radar data, paving the way for improved continental-wide depictions of bed roughness and incorporation of this information into ice flow models.
Carotenoids are increasingly being implicated to have an important role in brain and eye development. This study aimed to quantify the content and profile of carotenoids in human breast milk, maternal plasma and neonatal umbilical cord plasma in Chengdu, an urban area in Southwest China. In this study, fifty-four healthy mothers were enrolled. Maternal blood, umbilical cord blood, colostrum, transitional milk and mature milk were collected. Concentrations of carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin, β-carotene and lycopene) were analysed by HPLC. We found that carotenoid concentrations decreased from colostrum to mature milk. Hydrocarbon carotenoids with weaker polarity decreased more than the polar carotenoids. Lycopene concentrations dropped by 99 %, β-carotene by 92 %, β-cryptoxanthin by 83 %, lutein by 32 % and zeaxanthin by 22 %. Lycopene and β-carotene accounted for 70 % of the total carotenoids in colostrum, and lutein predominated amongst carotenoids in transitional milk and mature milk (51–55 %). Carotenoid concentrations in maternal plasma were much higher than that in cord plasma. Lutein predominated in cord plasma. The concentrations of all carotenoids in maternal plasma were correlated with those of cord plasma and human milk. These results are consistent with selective transport mechanisms in the mammary gland related to the polarity of carotenoids, and each carotenoid has its own implications, which may have different priorities in the early life development of infants. These findings may help guide dietary recommendations for carotenoid inclusion in infant formulas.
There is compelling evidence for gradient effects of household income on school readiness. Potential mechanisms are described, yet the growth curve trajectory of maternal mental health in a child's early life has not been thoroughly investigated. We aimed to examine the relationships between household incomes, maternal mental health trajectories from antenatal to the postnatal period, and school readiness.
Prospective data from 505 mother–child dyads in a birth cohort in Singapore were used, including household income, repeated measures of maternal mental health from pregnancy to 2-years postpartum, and a range of child behavioural, socio-emotional and cognitive outcomes from 2 to 6 years of age. Antenatal mental health and its trajectory were tested as mediators in the latent growth curve models.
Household income was a robust predictor of antenatal maternal mental health and all child outcomes. Between children from the bottom and top household income quartiles, four dimensions of school readiness skills differed by a range of 0.52 (95% Cl: 0.23, 0.67) to 1.21 s.d. (95% CI: 1.02, 1.40). Thirty-eight percent of pregnant mothers in this cohort were found to have perinatal depressive and anxiety symptoms in the subclinical and clinical ranges. Poorer school readiness skills were found in children of these mothers when compared to those of mothers with little or no symptoms. After adjustment of unmeasured confounding on the indirect effect, antenatal maternal mental health provided a robust mediating path between household income and multiple school readiness outcomes (χ2 126.05, df 63, p < 0.001; RMSEA = 0.031, CFI = 0.980, SRMR = 0.034).
Pregnant mothers with mental health symptoms, particularly those from economically-challenged households, are potential targets for intervention to level the playing field of their children.
The classical taxonomy of fossil invertebrates is based on subjective judgments of morphology, which can cause confusion, because there are no codified standards for the classification of genera. Here, we explore the validity of the genus taxonomy of 75 species and morphospecies of the Follicucullidae, a late Paleozoic family of radiolarians, using a new method, Hayashi's quantification theory II (HQT-II), a general multivariate statistical method for categorical datasets relevant to discriminant analysis. We identify a scheme of 10 genera rather than the currently accepted 3 genera (Follicucullus, Ishigaconus, and Parafollicucullus). As HQT-II cannot incorporate stratigraphic data, a phylogenetic tree of Follicucullidae was reconstructed for 38 species using maximum parsimony. Six lineages emerged, roughly in concordance with the results of HQT-II. Combined with parsimony ancestral state reconstruction, the ancestral group of this family is Haplodiacanthus. Five other groups were discriminated, the Parafollicucullus, Curvalbaillella, Pseudoalbaillella, Longtanella, and Follicucullus–Cariver lineages. The morphological evolution of these lineages comprises a minimum essential list of eight states of four traits. HQT-II is a novel discriminant analytical multivariate method that may be of value in other taxonomic problems of paleobiology.
Soybean meal is rich in soybean isoflavones, which exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anticancer functions in humans and animals. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of soybean isoflavones on the growth performance, intestinal morphology and antioxidative properties in pigs. A total of 72 weaned piglets (7.45 ± 0.13 kg; 36 males and 36 females) were allocated into three treatments and fed corn-soybean meal (C-SBM), corn-soy protein concentrate (C-SPC) or C-SPC supplemented with equal levels of the isoflavones found in the C-SBM diet (C-SPC + ISF) for a 72-day trial. Each treatment had six replicates and four piglets per replicate, half male and half female. On day 42, one male pig from each replicate was selected and euthanized to collect intestinal samples. The results showed that compared to pigs fed the C-SPC diet, pigs fed the C-SBM and C-SPC + ISF diets had higher BW on day 72 (P < 0.05); pigs fed the C-SBM diet had significantly higher average daily gain (ADG) during days 14 to 28 (P < 0.05), with C-SPC + ISF being intermediate; pigs fed the C-SBM diet tended to have higher ADG during days 42 to 72 (P = 0.063), while pigs fed the C-SPC + ISF diet had significantly higher ADG during days 42 to 72 (P < 0.05). Moreover, compared to pigs fed the C-SPC diet, pigs fed the C-SBM diet tended to have greater villus height (P = 0.092), while pigs fed the C-SPC + ISF diet had significantly greater villus height (P < 0.05); pigs fed the C-SBM and C-SPC + ISF diets had significantly increased villus height-to-crypt depth ratio (P < 0.05). Compared with the C-SPC diet, dietary C-SPC + ISF tended to increase plasma superoxide dismutase activity on days 28 (P = 0.085) and 42 (P = 0.075) and reduce plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) content on day 42 (P = 0.089), as well as significantly decreased jejunal mucosa MDA content on day 42 (P < 0.05). However, no significant difference in the expression of tight junction genes among the three groups was found (P > 0.05). In conclusion, our results suggest that a long-term exposure to soybean isoflavones enhances the growth performance, protects the intestinal morphology and improves the antioxidative properties in pigs.
OBJECTIVES/GOALS: Precision care may engage smokers and providers in treatment but is understudied in the community. We piloted guideline-based care (GBC) alone or with Respiragene, a lung cancer polygenic risk score (PRS, 1-10), or metabolism-informed choice of medication using the nicotine metabolite ratio (NMR). METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Daily smokers (n = 58) with stored biospecimens in the Southern Community Cohort Study were randomized 1:1:1 to GBC, PRS, or NMR, counseled to quit smoking, and co-selected FDA-approved cessation medication (nicotine replacement, varenicline) with a tobacco counselor. In PRS, precision motivational counseling was guided by PRS (i.e., lung cancer risk 10-40-fold that of never-smokers). In NMR, precision medication recommendations consisted of varenicline for faster metabolizers (NMR≥0.31) and nicotine replacement for slow metabolizers (NMR<0.31). Feasibility was defined as achieving at least 50% provider engagement (med prescription) and at least 50% patient engagement (self-reported med use). RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Participants were median age 59, 72% female, 81% Black, 60% with incomes <$15,000; median cigarettes/day was 15 (IQR 8-20) and 52% reported time-to-first cigarette <5 minutes, illustrating moderate nicotine dependence. Providers confirmed medication prescriptions for 40% of patients (32% GBC, 50% PRS, 37% NMR) and 83% of patients reported using medication (prescribed or unprescribed) during the study (90% GBC, 80% PRS, 79% NMR). At 6-month follow-up, 27% (n = 15) reported cessation (39% GBC, 16% PRS, 26% NMR). Among persistent smokers, 46% reported smoking at least 50% fewer cigarettes/day compared to baseline (45% GBC, 38% PRS, 57% NMR). Small sample size precluded statistical comparisons. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: Precision interventions to quit smoking are feasible for community smokers, who engaged at high rates. However, only 40% of providers supported patients’ quit attempts with medication prescriptions. Future research should test strategies to raise provider engagement in precision smoking treatment. CONFLICT OF INTEREST DESCRIPTION: R.F.T. has consulted for Quinn Emmanual and Apotex on unrelated topics. H.A.T. reported providing input on design for a phase 3 trial of cytisine proposed by Achieve Life Sciences and being a principal investigator of National Institutes of Health–sponsored studies for smoking cessation that include medications donated by the manufacturers. Other authors declare no potential conflicts of interest.
Cigarette smoking is strongly associated with major depressive disorder (MDD). However, any genetic etiology of such comorbidity and causal relations is poorly understood, especially at the genome-wide level.
In the present in silico research, we analyzed summary data from the genome-wide association study of the Psychiatric Genetic Consortium for MDD (n = 191 005) and UK Biobank for smoking (n = 337 030) by using various biostatistical methods including Bayesian colocalization analysis, LD score regression, variant effect size correlation analysis, and Mendelian randomization (MR).
By adopting a gene prioritization approach, we identified 43 genes shared by MDD and smoking, which were significantly enriched in membrane potential, gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor activity, and retrograde endocannabinoid signaling pathways, indicating that the comorbid mechanisms are involved in the neurotransmitter system. According to linkage disequilibrium score regression, we found a strong positive correlation between MDD and current smoking (rg = 0.365; p = 7.23 × 10−25) and a negative correlation between MDD and former smoking (rg = −0.298; p = 1.59 × 10−24). MR analysis suggested that genetic liability for depression increased smoking.
These findings inform the concomitant conditions of MDD and smoking and support the use of self-medication with smoking to counteract depression.
The gas temperature of the supersonic heat airflow simulated test system is mainly determined by the fuel and air flow rates which enter the system combustor. In order to realise a high-quality control of gas temperature, in addition to maintaining the optimum ratio of fuel and air flow rates, the dynamic characteristics of them in the combustion process are also required to be synchronised. Aiming at the coordinated control problem of fuel and air flow rates, the mathematical models of fuel and air supply subsystems are established, and the characteristics of the systems are analysed. According to the characteristics of the systems and the requirements of coordinated control, a fuzzy-PI cross-coupling coordinated control strategy based on neural sliding mode predictive control is proposed. On this basis, the proposed control algorithm is simulated and experimentally studied. The results show that the proposed control algorithm has good control performance. It cannot only realise the accurate control of fuel flow rate and air flow rate, but also realise the coordinated control of the two.
Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) infection has been a major public health threat globally. Monitoring and prediction of CT epidemic status and trends are important for programme planning, allocating resources and assessing impact; however, such activities are limited in China. In this study, we aimed to apply a seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average (SARIMA) model to predict the incidence of CT infection in Shenzhen city, China. The monthly incidence of CT between January 2008 and June 2019 in Shenzhen was used to fit and validate the SARIMA model. A seasonal fluctuation and a slightly increasing pattern of a long-term trend were revealed in the time series of CT incidence. The monthly CT incidence ranged from 4.80/100 000 to 21.56/100 000. The mean absolute percentage error value of the optimal model was 8.08%. The SARIMA model could be applied to effectively predict the short-term CT incidence in Shenzhen and provide support for the development of interventions for disease control and prevention.
Pro-vitamin A carotenoids namely α-, β-carotene and β-cryptoxanthin have potential roles in neurocognitive development, but current literature on these carotenoids mainly focused on preventing cognitive decline in the elderly. This study examined the associations of maternal plasma pro-vitamin A carotenoids concentrations with offspring cognitive development up to 54 months in the GUSTO mother-offspring cohort study.
Materials and Methods
Maternal plasma pro-vitamin A carotenoids concentrations at delivery were determined by ultra-performance liquid chromatography. At age 24 months, the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development (BSID-III) was used to assess children's development for the following domains: cognitive, receptive and expressive language, and fine and gross motor. At age 54 months, the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (KBIT-2) was used to assess children's verbal and non-verbal intelligence. Associations of maternal pro-vitamin A carotenoids with offspring cognitive development at each time point were examined in 419 mother-offspring pairs using linear regressions adjusted for confounders (e.g. maternal demographics, antenatal mental health and breastfeeding duration).
Median (IQR) maternal plasma concentrations (mg/L) were: α-carotene 0.052 (0.032–0.081), β-carotene 0.189 (0.134–0.286), and β-cryptoxanthin 0.199 (0.123–0.304). In 24 months old infants, higher maternal β-cryptoxanthin (per SD increment) were associated with higher scores in most of BSID-III domains: cognitive [β 0.18, (0.08, 0.28) SD], receptive language [β 0.17 (0.07, 0.27) SD], fine motor [β 0.16 (0.06, 0.27) SD], and gross motor [β 0.16 (0.06, 0.27) SD]. Additionally, a 1-SD increment in maternal β-carotene concentrations were associated with 0.16 SD higher scores in BSID-III cognitive domain (95%: 0.04, 0.28), which was attenuated after adjusting for breastfeeding duration. No significant associations were observed between maternal α-carotene concentrations and BSID-III in children at 24 months of age, or between maternal pro-vitamin A carotenoids and KBIT-2 in children at 54 months of age.
Our study provides novel data suggesting a role of maternal pro-vitamin A carotenoids, especially β-cryptoxanthin, in offspring early cognitive development. This adds support to the importance of consuming sufficient amounts of red- and orange-coloured fruit and vegetables (rich sources of β-cryptoxanthin and β-carotene) during pregnancy. Further studies are required in other mother-offspring cohort with larger sample sizes, and intervention trials to confirm an effect of pro-vitamin A carotenoids on neurocognitive development.
Experimental and simulation data [Moreau et al., Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion 62, 014013 (2019); Kaymak et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 035004 (2016)] indicate that self-generated magnetic fields play an important role in enhancing the flux and energy of relativistic electrons accelerated by ultra-intense laser pulse irradiation with nanostructured arrays. A fully relativistic analytical model for the generation of the magnetic field based on electron magneto-hydrodynamic description is presented here. The analytical model shows that this self-generated magnetic field originates in the nonparallel density gradient and fast electron current at the interfaces of a nanolayered target. A general formula for the self-generated magnetic field is found, which closely agrees with the simulation scaling over the relevant intensity range. The result is beneficial to the experimental designs for the interaction of the laser pulse with the nanostructured arrays to improve laser-to-electron energy coupling and the quality of forward hot electrons.
We return to the long-standing question ‘Who owns the assets in a defined benefit pension plan?’ Unlike earlier studies, we condition the market's assessment of implicit property rights on the sponsoring firm's financial health. Valuations of financially strong firms, and those that are strengthening, are more responsive to pension plan funding. For these firms, each extra dollar of net plan assets is valued at between $0.50 and $1.00. In contrast, for weak and weakening firms, valuation effects are statistically indistinguishable from zero. This result is consistent with the higher likelihood that they will renege on their pension obligations.
Seasonal influenza virus epidemics have a major impact on healthcare systems. Data on population susceptibility to emerging influenza virus strains during the interepidemic period can guide planning for resource allocation of an upcoming influenza season. This study sought to assess the population susceptibility to representative emerging influenza virus strains collected during the interepidemic period. The microneutralisation antibody titers (MN titers) of a human serum panel against representative emerging influenza strains collected during the interepidemic period before the 2018/2019 winter influenza season (H1N1-inter and H3N2-inter) were compared with those against influenza strains representative of previous epidemics (H1N1-pre and H3N2-pre). A multifaceted approach, incorporating both genetic and antigenic data, was used in selecting these representative influenza virus strains for the MN assay. A significantly higher proportion of individuals had a ⩾four-fold reduction in MN titers between H1N1-inter and H1N1-pre than that between H3N2-inter and H3N2-pre (28.5% (127/445) vs. 4.9% (22/445), P < 0.001). The geometric mean titer (GMT) of H1N1-inter was significantly lower than that of H1N1-pre (381 (95% CI 339–428) vs. 713 (95% CI 641–792), P < 0.001), while there was no significant difference in the GMT between H3N2-inter and H3N2-pre. Since A(H1N1) predominated the 2018–2019 winter influenza epidemic, our results corroborated the epidemic subtype.
Hispanics/Latinos in the United States are less aware of their cholesterol levels and have a higher burden of associated adverse cardiovascular and cerebrovascular outcomes than non-Latino whites. Investigations of the associations between cholesterol levels and cognition in this population have often occurred within the context of metabolic syndrome and are limited to select lipids despite the fact that triglycerides (TGs) may be more relevant to the health of Hispanics/Latinos.
Baseline data from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos, collected from 2008 to 2011, was used to investigate the associations of lipid levels (i.e., TG, total cholesterol, TC; low-density and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, LDL-C and HDL-C) with cognition (i.e., learning, memory, verbal fluency, and digit symbol substitution, DSS), adjusting for relevant confounders.
In 7413 participants ages 45 to 74 years from Central American, Cuban, Dominican, Mexican, Puerto Rican, and South American backgrounds, separate, fully adjusted linear regression models revealed that TG levels were inversely associated with DSS performance; however, this relationship was no longer significant once additional cardiovascular disease risk factors were added to the model (p = .06). TC and LDL-C levels (separately) were positively associated with learning and verbal fluency regardless of adjustments (p-values < .05). Separate analyses investigating the effect modification by background and sex revealed a particularly robust association between TC levels and DSS performance for Puerto Ricans and Central Americans (albeit in opposite directions) and an inverse relationship between TG levels and DSS performance for women (p-values < .02).
It is important to consider individual lipid levels and demographic characteristics when investigating associations between cholesterol levels and cognition in Hispanics/Latinos.
Crystal structure and electronic structure of YMnO3 were investigated by X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy related techniques. According to the density of states (DOS), the individual interband transitions to energy loss peaks in the low energy loss spectrum were assigned. The hybridization of O 2p with Mn 3d and Y 4d analyzed by the partial DOS was critical to the ferroelectric nature of YMnO3. From the simulation of the energy loss near-edge structure, the fine structure of O K-edge was in good agreement with the experimental spectrum. The valence state of Mn (+3) in YMnO3 was determined by a comparison between experiment and calculations.
The terminal Ediacaran Dengying Formation (c. 551.1–538.8 Ma) in South China is one of two successions where Ediacara-type macrofossils are preserved in carbonate facies along with skeletal fossils and bilaterian animal traces. Given the remarkable thickness of carbonate-bearing strata deposited in less than 12.3 million years, the Dengying Formation holds the potential for construction of a relatively continuous chemostratigraphic profile for the terminal Ediacaran Period. In this study, a detailed sedimentological and chemostratigraphic (δ13Ccarb, δ18Ocarb, δ13Corg, δ34Spyrite, and 87Sr/86Sr) investigation was conducted on the Dengying Formation at the Gaojiashan section, Ningqiang County of southern Shaanxi Province, South China. Sedimentological results reveal an overall shallow-marine depositional environment. Carbonate breccia, void-filling botryoidal precipitates and aragonite crystal fans are common in the Algal Dolomite Member of the Dengying Formation, suggesting that peritidal facies were repeatedly karstified. The timing of karstification was likely early, probably soon after the deposition of the dolomite sediments. The presence of authigenic aragonite cements suggests high alkalinity in the terminal Ediacaran ocean. Geochemical analysis of micro-drilled samples shows that distinct compositions are registered in different carbonate phases, which should be considered when constructing chemostratigraphic profiles representative of true temporal variations in seawater chemistry. Integrated chemostratigraphic data suggest enhanced burial of organic carbon and pyrite, and the occurrence of extensive marine anoxia (at least in the Gaojiashan Member). Rapid basinal subsidence and carbonate accumulation during a time of elevated seawater alkalinity and increased rates of pyrite burial may have facilitated the evolutionary innovation of early biomineralizing metazoans.
Evidence on long-term influences of maternal vitamin B12 deficiency or concentrations on infant cognition is limited. We examined associations between maternal plasma vitamin B12 and cognitive development in 24-month-old infants. Maternal plasma vitamin B12 concentrations were measured at 26–28 weeks’ gestation; infant cognitive development was assessed with the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development-III at 24 months, for 443 mother–infant pairs from the Growing Up in Singapore Towards Healthy Outcomes cohort. Linear regressions adjusted for key confounders examined associations of maternal vitamin B12 with cognitive, receptive and expressive language, fine and gross motor subscales. Co-occurrence of maternal vitamin B12 with folate or vitamin B6 insufficiencies on child’s cognition was explored. Average maternal plasma vitamin B12 concentrations was 220·5 ± 80·5 pmol/l; 15 % and 41 % of mothers were vitamin B12 deficient (<148 pmol/l) and insufficient (148–220·9 pmol/l), respectively. Infants of mothers with vitamin B12 deficiency had 0·42 (95 % CI −0·70, −0·14) sd lower cognitive scores, compared with infants of mothers with sufficient vitamin B12. Co-occurrence of maternal vitamins B12 and B6 insufficiencies was associated with 0·37 (95 % CI −0·69, −0·06) sd lower cognitive scores in infants compared with infants of mothers sufficient in both vitamins. No significant associations were observed with other subscales. Study findings suggest the possible need to ensure adequate vitamin B12 during pregnancy. The impact of co-occurrence of maternal B-vitamins insufficiencies on early cognitive development warrants further investigation.
We illustrate the extraordinary potential of the (far-IR) Origins Survey Spectrometer (OSS) on board the Origins Space Telescope (OST) to address a variety of open issues on the co-evolution of galaxies and AGNs. We present predictions for blind surveys, each of 1000 h, with different mapped areas (a shallow survey covering an area of 10 deg2 and a deep survey of 1 deg2) and two different concepts of the OST/OSS: with a 5.9 m telescope (Concept 2, our reference configuration) and with a 9.1 m telescope (Concept 1, previous configuration). In 1 000 h, surveys with the reference concept will detect from ∼1.9×106 to ∼8.7×106 lines from ∼4.8×105 to 2.7×106 star-forming galaxies and from ∼1.4×104 to ∼3.8×104 lines from ∼1.3×104 to 3.5×104 AGNs. The shallow survey will detect substantially more sources than the deep one; the advantage of the latter in pushing detections to lower luminosities/higher redshifts turns out to be quite limited. The OST/OSS will reach, in the same observing time, line fluxes more than one order of magnitude fainter than the SPICA/SMI and will cover a much broader redshift range. In particular it will detect tens of thousands of galaxies at z ≥ 5, beyond the reach of that instrument. The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons lines are potentially bright enough to allow the detection of hundreds of thousands of star-forming galaxies up to z ∼ 8.5, i.e. all the way through the reionisation epoch. The proposed surveys will allow us to explore the galaxy–AGN co-evolution up to z ∼ 5.5−6 with very good statistics. OST Concept 1 does not offer significant advantages for the scientific goals presented here.
Starch digestion in the small intestines of the dairy cow is low, to a large extent, due to a shortage of syntheses of α-amylase. One strategy to improve the situation is to enhance the synthesis of α-amylase. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signalling pathway, which acts as a central regulator of protein synthesis, can be activated by leucine. Our objectives were to investigate the effects of leucine on the mTOR signalling pathway and to define the associations between these signalling activities and the synthesis of pancreatic enzymes using an in vitro model of cultured Holstein dairy calf pancreatic tissue. The pancreatic tissue was incubated in culture medium containing l-leucine for 3 h, and samples were collected hourly, with the control being included but not containing l-leucine. The leucine supplementation increased α-amylase and trypsin activities and the messenger RNA expression of their coding genes (P <0.05), and it enhanced the mTOR synthesis and the phosphorylation of mTOR, ribosomal protein S6 kinase 1 and eukaryotic initiation factor 4E-binding protein 1 (P <0.05). In addition, rapamycin inhibited the mTOR signal pathway factors during leucine treatment. In sum, the leucine regulates α-amylase and trypsin synthesis in dairy calves through the regulation of the mTOR signal pathways.
Hepatitis E is an important zoonosis that is prevalent in China. Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a pathogen that affects humans and animals and endangers public health in China. In this study, the detection of HEV epidemics in swine in Sichuan Province, China, was carried out by nested real-time PCR. A total of 174 stool samples and 160 bile samples from swine in Sichuan Province were examined. In addition, software was used to analyse the biological evolution of HEV. The results showed that within 2 years of swine HEV (SHEV) infection in China, SHEV was first detected in Sichuan Province. HEV was endemic in Sichuan; the positive rate for pig farms was 11.1%, and the total positive sample rate was 10.5%. The age of swine with the highest positive rate (17.9%) was 5–9 weeks. The examined swine species in order of highest to lowest HEV infection rates were Chenghua pig, Large White, Duroc, Pietrain, Landrace and Hampshire. Nucleotide and amino acid sequence analysis showed that the HEV epidemic in swine in Sichuan Province was related to genotype IV, which had the highest homology to HEV in Beijing. Sichuan strains have greater variation than Chinese representative strains, which may indicate the presence of new HEV strains.