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In this study, basing on the level-set and point-particle methods, we have developed a numerical methodology for simulating the dynamics of colloidal droplets under flow conditions in which the particle–particle, particle–interface and particle–fluid interactions are all taken into account efficiently. By using this methodology, we have determined the essential role of particle-laden interfaces in the deformation of colloidal droplets in simple shear flow with relatively low particle concentrations. Generally, adsorbed particles strongly enhance the deformability of the whole droplet, which is principally attributed to the particle-induced reduction of the effective surface tension. Systematic simulations are performed to reveal the detailed roles of interparticle interactions and particle surface coverage in the deformation of particle-covered droplets. Most importantly, we find the promotion effect of adsorbed particles on the droplet deformation cannot be completely included via the effective capillary number characterizing the particle-induced overall reduction of the effective surface tension, which is particularly obvious at high particle coverage. We propose two potential reasons for this surprising phenomenon, i.e. the convection-induced non-uniform distribution of adsorbed particles over the droplet surface and the particle-induced reduction of the droplet surface mobility, which have not been discussed yet in previous numerical and experimental studies of particle-covered droplets in shear flow.
Diarrhoea caused by pathogens such as enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) is a serious threat to the health of young animals and human infants. Here, we investigated the protective effect of fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) on the intestinal epithelium with ETEC challenge in a weaned piglet model. Twenty-four weaned piglets were randomly divided into three groups: (1) non-ETEC-challenged control (CON); (2) ETEC-challenged control (ECON); and (3) ETEC challenge + 2·5 g/kg FOS (EFOS). On day 19, the CON pigs were orally infused with sterile culture, while the ECON and EFOS pigs were orally infused with active ETEC (2·5 × 109 colony-forming units). On day 21, pigs were slaughtered to collect venous blood and small intestine. Result showed that the pre-treatment of FOS improved the antioxidant capacity and the integrity of intestinal barrier in the ETEC-challenged pigs without affecting their growth performance. Specifically, compared with ECON pigs, the level of GSH peroxidase and catalase in the plasma and intestinal mucosa of EFOS pigs was increased (P < 0·05), and the intestinal barrier marked by zonula occluden-1 and plasmatic diamine oxidase was also improved in EFOS pigs. A lower level (P < 0·05) of inflammatory cytokines in the intestinal mucosa of EFOS pigs might be involved in the inhibition of TLR4/MYD88/NF-κB pathway. The apoptosis of jejunal cells in EFOS pigs was also lower than that in ECON pigs (P < 0·05). Our findings provide convincing evidence of possible prebiotic and protective effect of FOS on the maintenance of intestinal epithelial function under the attack of pathogens.
To investigate the association between the Metabolic Score for Visceral Fat (METS-VF) and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and compare the predictive value of the METS-VF for T2DM incidence with other obesity indices in Chinese people. A total of 12 237 non-T2DM participants aged over 18 years from the Rural Chinese Cohort Study of 2007–2008 were included at baseline and followed up during 2013–2014. The cox proportional hazards regression was used to calculate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI for the association between baseline METS-VF and T2DM risk. Restricted cubic splines were used to model the association between METS-VF and T2DM risk. Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) analysis was used to evaluate the ability of METS-VF to predict T2DM incidence. During a median follow-up of 6·01 (95 % CI 5·09, 6·06) years, 837 cases developed T2DM. After adjusting for potential confounding factors, the adjusted HR for the highest v. lowest METS-VF quartile was 5·97 (95 % CI 4·28, 8·32), with a per 1-sd increase in METS-VF positively associated with T2DM risk. Positive associations were also found in the sensitivity and subgroup analyses, respectively. A significant nonlinear dose–response association was observed between METS-VF and T2DM risk for all participants (Pnonlinearity = 0·0347). Finally, the AUC value of METS-VF for predicting T2DM was largest among six indices. The METS-VF may be a reliable and applicable predictor of T2DM incidence in Chinese people regardless of sex, age or BMI.
This study aims to investigate women’s psychological health, family function, and social support during the third trimester within the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic.
From January 30, 2020, to February 26, 2020, a total of 177 pregnant women during their third trimester (mean gestation time was 37.05 ± 4.06 wk) in a maternal and children’s hospital were investigated using the Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS), the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, the Family APGAR Index, and the Perceived Social Support Scale. Nonparametric tests were conducted in the study. The statistical significance was set as P < 0.05.
The incidence rate of the participants’ anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 epidemic was 19.21% and 24.29%, respectively. The participants’ greatest concerns in the previous week were the risk of virus transmission (79.66%), and the prenatal examination and fetal growth (70.62%). The SAS ranks were higher in the participants who were concerned about the prenatal examination and fetal growth and work-related affairs.
The participants’ psychological health was indirectly affected by the epidemic through the supply of medical resources and work-related factors. The medical staff should employ family support and social resources to guarantee the accessibility of medical services and living materials to decrease the pregnant women’s stress and further improve their psychological health.
The aim of this study was to present the clinical characteristics and dynamic changes in laboratory parameters of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Guangzhou, and explore the probable early warning indicators of disease progression.
We enrolled all the patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in the Guangzhou No. 8 People’s Hospital. The patients’ demographic and epidemiologic data were collected, including chief complaints, lab results, and imaging examination findings.
The characteristics of the patients in Guangzhou are different from those in Wuhan. The patients were younger in age, predominately female, and their condition was not commonly combined with other diseases. A total of 75% of patients suffered fever on admission, followed by cough occurring in 62% patients. Comparing the mild/normal and severe/critical patients, being male, of older age, combined with hypertension, abnormal blood routine test results, raised creatine kinase, glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, lactate dehydrogenase, C-reactive protein, procalcitonin, D-dimer, fibrinogen, activated partial thromboplastin time, and positive proteinuria were early warning indicators of severe disease.
The patients outside epidemic areas showed different characteristics from those in Wuhan. The abnormal laboratory parameters were markedly changed 4 weeks after admission, and also were different between the mild and severe patients. More evidence is needed to confirm highly specific and sensitive potential early warning indicators of severe disease.
Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) holds vast potential in agriculture. However, its applications are still limited by its low efficiency. Histone 3 lysine 9 trimethylation (H3K9me3) was identified as an epigenetic barrier for this. Histone demethylase KDM4D could regulate the level of H3K9me3. However, its effects on buffalo SCNT embryos are still unclear. Thus, we performed this study to explore the effects and underlying mechanism of KDM4D on buffalo SCNT embryos. The results revealed that compared with the IVF embryos, the expression level of KDM4D in SCNT embryos was significantly lower at 8- and 16-cell stage, while the level of H3K9me3 in SCNT embryos was significantly higher at 2-cell, 8-cell, and blastocyst stage. Microinjection of KDM4D mRNA could promote the developmental ability of buffalo SCNT embryos. Furthermore, the expression level of ZGA-related genes such as ZSCAN5B, SNAI1, eIF-3a, and TRC at the 8-cell stage was significantly increased. Meanwhile, the pluripotency-related genes like POU5F1, SOX2, and NANOG were also significantly promoted at the blastocyst stage. The results were reversed after KDM4D was inhibited. Altogether, these results revealed that KDM4D could correct the H3K9me3 level, increase the expression level of ZGA and pluripotency-related genes, and finally, promote the developmental competence of buffalo SCNT embryos.
To explore the effect of manno-oligosaccharide (MOS) on intestinal health in weaned pigs upon enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli K88 (ETEC) challenge, thirty-two male weaned pigs were randomly assigned into four groups. Pigs fed with a basal diet or basal diet containing MOS (0·6 g/kg) were orally infused with ETEC or culture medium. Results showed that MOS significantly elevated the digestibility of crude protein and gross energy in both ETEC-challenged and non-challenged pigs (P < 0·05). MOS also elevated serum concentrations of IgA and IgM (P < 0·05), but decreased serum concentrations of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 (P < 0·05) in ETEC-challenged pigs. Interestingly, MOS increased villus height and the ratio of villus height:crypt depth in duodenum and ileum (P < 0·05). MOS also increased duodenal sucrase and ileal lactase activity in ETEC-challenged pigs (P < 0·05). MOS decreased the abundance of E. coli, but increased the abundance of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Bacillus in caecum (P < 0·05). Importantly, MOS not only elevated the expression levels of zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1), claudin-1 and GLUT-2 in duodenum (P < 0·05) but also elevated the expression levels of ZO-1, GLUT-2 and L-type amino acid transporter-1 in ileum (P < 0·05) upon ETEC challenge. These results suggested that MOS can alleviate inflammation and intestinal injury in weaned pigs upon ETEC challenge, which was associated with suppressed secretion of inflammatory cytokines and elevated serum Ig, as well as improved intestinal epithelium functions and microbiota.
Sugarcane brown rust, caused by Puccinia melanocephala, is one of the main diseases of sugarcane in China. The identification and discovery of new resistance genes have important theoretical and practical significance for preventing outbreaks of brown rust and ensuring the sustainable production of sugarcane. To screen for polymorphic simple-sequence repeat (SSR) molecular markers for localization of brown rust resistance genes, we used two populations that are suitable for genetic linkage map construction and mapping of new resistance genes to construct resistant and susceptible genetic pools. We then screened 449 pairs of primers to identify polymorphic SSR markers in the parental lines and the resistant/susceptible genetic pools. The results showed that 25 pairs of primers directed amplification of polymorphic DNA fragments between the parents of the cross combination ‘Yuetang 03-393’ × ‘ROC 24’, and 16 pairs of primers amplified polymorphic fragments between the parents of the cross combination ‘Liucheng 03-1137’ × ‘Dezhe 93-88’. Four pairs of primers (SMC236CG, SCESSR0928, SCESSR0636 and SCESSR2551) amplified polymorphic DNA fragments between the parental lines and the resistant/susceptible genetic pools in ‘Yuetang 03-393’ × ‘ROC 24’. The results of this study will establish a solid foundation for the mapping of new brown rust resistance genes, genetic linkage map construction and the development of closely-associated molecular markers in sugarcane.
The ferroelectric material of BaTiO3 was introduced in the electron transport layer (ETL) of perovskite solar cells to improve the photogenerated electron transport. The sintered BaTiO3 thin films were polarized at different applied electric fields, and then TiO2 thin films were further deposited to be used as the ETL. The electric field was positively applied across the BaTiO3 thin film, and the photocurrent density of solar cell can be increased obviously. The results of electrochemical impedance and photoluminescence spectra indicate that the ordered polarization dipole moment inside the BaTiO3 thin film can accelerate the transport of photogenerated electrons from the ETL to the conducting glass substrate. The short-circuit photocurrent of perovskite solar cell is increased and thus the light-to-electric conversion efficiency is effectively improved to 13%. It is increased by 14% compared with that without the application of the positive electric field across the BaTiO3 thin film.
Here, we explored the influences of dietary inulin (INU) supplementation on growth performance and intestinal health in a porcine model. Thirty-two male weaned pigs (with an average body weight of 7·10 (sd 0·20) kg) were randomly assigned to four treatments and fed with a basal diet (BD) or BD containing 2·5, 5·0 and 10·0 g/kg INU. After a 21-d trial, pigs were killed for collection of serum and intestinal tissues. We show that INU supplementation had no significant influence on the growth performance in weaned pigs. INU significantly elevated serum insulin-like growth factor-1 concentration but decreased diamine oxidase concentration (P < 0·05). Interestingly, 2·5 and 5·0 g/kg INU supplementation significantly elevated the villus height in jejunum and ileum (P < 0·05). Moreover, 2·5 and 5·0 g/kg INU supplementation also elevated the villus height to crypt depth (V:C) in the duodenum and ileum and improved the distribution and abundance of tight-junction protein zonula occludens-1 in duodenum and ileum epithelium. INU supplementation at 10·0 g/kg significantly elevated the sucrase activity in the ileum mucosa (P < 0·05). INU supplementation decreased the expression level of TNF-α but elevated the expression level of GLUT 2 and divalent metal transporter 1 in the intestinal mucosa (P < 0·05). Moreover, INU increased acetic and butyric acid concentrations in caecum (P < 0·05). Importantly, INU elevated the Lactobacillus population but decreased the Escherichia coli population in the caecum (P < 0·05). These results not only indicate a beneficial effect of INU on growth performance and intestinal barrier functions but also offer potential mechanisms behind the dietary fibre-regulated intestinal health.
Studies have indicated that psychological stress impairs human fertility and that various stressors can induce apoptosis of testicular cells. However, the mechanisms by which psychological stress on males reduces semen quality and stressors induce apoptosis in testicular cells are largely unclear. Using a psychological (restraint) stress mouse model, we tested whether male psychological stress triggers apoptosis of spermatozoa and spermatogenic cells through activating tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α signalling. Wild-type or TNF-α−/− male mice were restrained for 48 h before examination for apoptosis and expression of TNF-α and TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1) in spermatozoa, epididymis, seminiferous tubules and spermatogenic cells. The results showed that male restraint significantly decreased fertilization rate and mitochondrial membrane potential, while increasing levels of malondialdehyde, active caspase-3, TNF-α and TNFR1 in spermatozoa. Male restraint also increased apoptosis and expression of TNF-α and TNFR1 in caudae epididymides, seminiferous tubules and spermatogenic cells. Sperm quality was also significantly impaired when spermatozoa were recovered 35 days after male restraint. The restraint-induced damage to spermatozoa, epididymis and seminiferous tubules was significantly ameliorated in TNF-α−/− mice. Furthermore, incubation with soluble TNF-α significantly reduced sperm motility and fertilizing potential. Taken together, the results demonstrated that male psychological stress induces apoptosis in spermatozoa and spermatogenic cells through activating the TNF-α system and that the stress-induced apoptosis in spermatogenic cells can be translated into impaired quality in future spermatozoa.
We assessed inheritance of resistance to sugarcane brown rust (Puccinia melanocephala) in selfing F1 populations of wild sugarcane germplasm Erianthus rockii ‘Yundian 95-19’ and E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-20’. We tested parent and selfing F1 individuals for the brown rust resistance gene, Bru1, that has been shown to confer resistance to brown rust in sugarcane. The Bru1 gene was not detected in E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-19’, E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-20’ or their selfing F1 individuals, and we found there was segregation of resistance in the two selfing F1 populations (segregation ratio: 3:1). The results confirmed resistance in E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-19’ and E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-20’ to sugarcane brown rust is controlled by a novel, single dominant gene.
Introduction: White matter hyperintensities (WMHs) were commonly seen in brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the elderly. Many studies found that WMHs were associated with cognitive decline and dementia. However, the association between WMHs in different brain regions and cognitive decline remains debated. Methods: We explored the association of the severity of WMHs and cognitive decline in 115 non-demented elderly (≥50 years old) sampled from the Wuliqiao Community located in urban area of Shanghai. MRI scans were done during 2009–2011 at the beginning of the study. Severity of WMHs in different brain regions was scored by Improved Scheltens Scale and Cholinergic Pathways Hyperintensities Scale (CHIPS). Cognitive function was evaluated by Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) every 2 to 4 years during 2009–2018. Results: After adjusting for confounding factors including age, gender, education level, smoking status, alcohol consumption, depression, hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, brain infarcts, brain atrophy, apoE4 status, and baseline MMSE score, periventricular and subcortical WMH lesions as well as WMHs in cholinergic pathways were significantly associated with annual MMSE decline ( p < 0.05), in which the severity of periventricular WMHs predicted a faster MMSE decline (–0.187 points/year, 95% confidence interval: –0.349, –0.026, p = 0.024). Conclusions: The severity of WMHs at baseline was associated with cognitive decline in the non-demented elderly over time. Interventions on WMH lesions may offer some benefits for cognitive deterioration.
Underground Nuclear Astrophysics in China (JUNA) will take the advantage of the ultra-low background in Jinping underground lab. High current accelerator with an ECR source and detectors were commissioned. JUNA plans to study directly a number of nuclear reactions important to hydrostatic stellar evolution at their relevant stellar energies. At the first period, JUNA aims at the direct measurements of 25Mg(p,γ)26 Al, 19F(p,α) 16 O, 13C(α, n) 16O and 12C(α,γ) 16O near the Gamow window. The current progress of JUNA will be given.
Muscle fibre types can transform from slow-twitch (slow myosin heavy chain (MyHC)) to fast-twitch (fast MyHC) or vice versa. Leucine plays a vital effect in the development of skeletal muscle. However, the role of leucine in porcine myofibre type transformation and its mechanism are still unclear. In this study, effects of leucine and microRNA-27a (miR-27a) on the transformation of porcine myofibre type were investigated in vitro. We found that leucine increased slow MyHC protein level and decreased fast MyHC protein level, increased the levels of phospho-protein kinase B (Akt)/Akt and phospho-forkhead box 1 (FoxO1)/FoxO1 and decreased the FoxO1 protein level. However, blocking the Akt/FoxO1 signalling pathway by wortmannin attenuated the role of leucine in porcine myofibre type transformation. Over-expression of miR-27a decreased slow MyHC protein level and increased fast MyHC protein level, whereas inhibition of miR-27a had an opposite effect. We also found that expression of miR-27a was down-regulated following leucine treatment. Moreover, over-expression of miR-27a repressed transformation from fast MyHC to slow MyHC caused by leucine, suggesting that miR-27a is interdicted by leucine and then contributes to porcine muscle fibre type transformation. Our finding provided the first evidence that leucine promotes porcine myofibre type transformation from fast MyHC to slow MyHC via the Akt/FoxO1 signalling pathway and miR-27a.
Leucine, one of the branched-chain amino acids, is the only amino acid to regulate protein turnover in skeletal muscle. Leucine not only increases muscle protein synthesis, but also decreases muscle protein degradation. It is well documented that leucine plays a positive role in differentiation of murine muscle cells. However, the role of leucine on porcine myoblast differentiation and its mechanism remains unclear. In this study, porcine myoblasts were induced to differentiate with differentiation medium containing different concentrations of leucine, and wortmannin was used to interdict the activity of protein kinase B (Akt). We found that leucine increased the number of myosin heavy chain-positive cells and creatine kinase activity. Moreover, leucine increased the mRNA and protein levels of myogenin and myogenic determining factor (MyoD). In addition, leucine increased the levels of phosphorylated Akt/Akt and phosphorylated Forkhead box O1 (P-FoxO1)/FoxO1, as well as decreased the protein level of FoxO1. However, wortmannin, a specific repressor of PI3K/Akt signalling pathway, attenuated the positive role of leucine on porcine myoblast differentiation. Our results suggest that leucine promotes porcine myoblast differentiation through the Akt/FoxO1 signalling pathway.