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Our present genetic data of Acanthocephala, especially the mitochondrial (mt) genomes, remains very limited. In the present study, the nearly complete mt genome sequences of Sphaerirostris lanceoides (Petrochenko, 1949) was sequenced and determined for the first time based on specimens collected from the Indian pond heron Ardeola grayii (Sykes) (Ciconiiformes: Ardeidae) in Pakistan. The mt genome of S. lanceoides is 13 478 bp in size and contains 36 genes, including 12 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 transfer RNA genes (tRNAs) and two ribosomal RNA genes (rRNAs). Moreover, in order to clarify the phylogenetic relationship of the genera Centrorhynchus and Sphaerirostris, and to test the systematic position of S. lanceoides in the Centrorhynchidae, the phylogenetic analyses were performed using Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood methods, based on concatenated nucleotide sequences of 12 PCGs, rRNAs and tRNAs. The phylogenetic results further confirmed the monophyly of the order Polymorphida and the paraphyly of the order Echinorhynchida in the class Palaeacanthocephala. Our results also challenged the validity of the genus Sphaerirostris (Polymorphida: Centrorhynchidae) and showed a sister relationship between S. lanceoides and S. picae (Rudolphi, 1819).
Clonorchis sinensis (C. sinensis) is one of the most serious food-borne parasites, which can lead to liver fibrosis or cholangiocarcinoma. Effective measures for clonorchiasis prevention are still urgently needed. Bacillus subtilis (B. subtilis) is an effective antigen delivery platform for oral vaccines. Chonorchis sinensis serpin (CsSerpin) was proved to be potential vaccine candidates. In this study, CsSerpin3 was displayed on the surface of B. subtilis spore and recombinant spores were orally administrated to BALB/C mice. CsSerpin3-specific IgA levels in faecal, bile and intestinal mucous increased at 4–8 weeks after the first administration compared with those in control groups. The mucus production and the number of goblet cells in intestinal mucosa elevated in B.s-CotC-CsSerpin3 (CotC, coat protein of B. subtilis spore) spores treated group compared to those in blank control. No significant difference in the activities of glutamic-pyruvic transaminase/ alanine aminotransferase and glutamic oxalacetic transaminase/aspartate aminotransferase were observed between groups. There was no side effect inflammation and observable pathological damage in the liver tissue of mice after administration. Moreover, collagen deposition and Ishak score were statistically reduced in B.s-CotC-CsSerpin3 spores treated mice. In conclusion, B. subtilis spores displaying CsSerpin3 could be investigated further as an oral vaccine against clonorchiasis.
Recent studies have demonstrated that the nutritional properties of peanut meal (PM) can be improved after being fermented. The assessment of fermented PM has been reported to be limited to various physical and chemical evaluations in vitro. In the present study, PM was fermented by Bacillus natto to explore the effects of fermented PM extract (FE) on growth performance, learning and memory ability and intestinal microflora in mice. Ninety newly weaned male Kunming (KM) mice were randomly divided into seven groups: normal group (n 20), low-dose FE group (n 10), middle-dose FE group (MFE) (n 10), high-dose FE group (HFE) (n 20), unfermented extraction group (n 10), model group (10) and natural recovery group (10). Learning and memory skills were performed by the Morris water maze (MWM) test, and the variation in gut microbiota (GM) composition was assessed by 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing. The results show that HFE remarkably improved the growth performance in mice. In the MWM test, escape latency was shortened in both MFE and HFE groups, while the percentage of time, distance in target quadrant and the number crossing over the platform were significantly increased in the HFE group. Moreover, the FE played a preventive role in the dysbacteriosis of mice induced by antibiotic and increased the richness and species evenness of GM in mice.
Employing atomic-scale simulations, the response of a high-angle grain boundary (GB), the soft/hard GB, against external loading was systematically investigated. Under tensile loading close to the hard orientation, strain-induced dynamic recrystallization was observed to initiate through direct soft-to-hard grain reorientation, which was triggered by stress mismatch, inhibited by surface tension from the soft-hard GB, and proceeded by interface ledges. Such grain reorientation corresponds with expansion and contraction of the hard grain along and perpendicular to the loading direction, respectively, accompanied by local atomic shuffling, providing relatively large normal strain of 8.3% with activation energy of 0.04 eV per atom. Tensile strain and residual dislocations on the hard/soft GB facilitate the initiation of dynamic recrystallization by lowering the energy barrier and the critical stress for grain reorientation, respectively.
Coherent cuboidal B2 nanoprecipitation in body-centered cubic (BCC)-based high-entropy alloys (HEAs) is important for the improvement of mechanical strength. The present work primarily investigated the effect of Ti substitution for Al on the cuboidal B2 nanoprecipitates in BCC Al0.7NiCoFeCr2 HEAs. A series of (Al,Ti)0.7NiCoFeCr2 HEAs with different Al/Ti ratios were prepared by suction-cast processing, and their microstructures and mechanical properties were then characterized comprehensively. It was found that the substitution of Ti for Al can change the phase structures of ordered precipitation, from the B2-AlNi to a highly ordered L21-Ni2AlTi phase. Especially, a small amount addition of Ti (≤4.2 at.%, Al/Ti ratio ≥2/1) renders the HEAs with cuboidal L21 nanoparticles coherently precipitated into the BCC matrix, which is attributed to the moderate lattice misfit (ε = 0.5–0.6%) between BCC and L21 phases. HEAs with such coherent microstructures exhibit high compressive yield strength of about 1700–1800 MPa. When the Ti content reaches up to 6.25 at.%, the matrix of the alloy will be turned into the σ phase, rather than BCC, leading to a heavy brittleness.
Many shorebird populations are in decline along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. The rapid loss of coastal wetlands in the Yellow Sea, which provide critical stop-over sites during migration, is believed to be the cause of the alarming trends. The Yalu Jiang coastal wetland, a protected area in the north Yellow Sea, supports the largest known migratory staging populations of Bar-tailed Godwits Limosa lapponica (menzbieri and baueri subspecies) and Great Knots Calidris tenuirostris. Monitoring of the macrozoobenthos food for these shorebirds from 2011 to 2016 showed declines of over 99% in the densities of the bivalve Potamocorbula laevis, the major food here for both Bar-tailed Godwits and Great Knots. The loss of the bivalve might be caused by any combination of, but not limited to: (1) change in hydrological conditions and sediment composition due to nearby port construction, (2) run-off of agrochemicals from the extensive shoreline sea cucumber farms, and (3) parasitic infection. Surprisingly, the numbers of birds using the Yalu Jiang coastal wetland remained stable during the study period, except for the subspecies of Bar-tailed Godwit L. l. menzbieri, which exhibited a 91% decline in peak numbers. The lack of an overall decline in the number of bird days in Great Knots and in the peak numbers of L. l. baueri, also given the published simultaneous decreases in their annual survival, implies a lack of alternative habitats that birds could relocate to. This study highlights that food declines at staging sites could be an overlooked but important factor causing population declines of shorebirds along the Flyway. Maintaining the quality of protected staging sites is as important in shorebird conservation as is the safeguarding of staging sites from land claim. Meanwhile, it calls for immediate action to restore the food base for these beleaguered migrant shorebirds at Yalu Jiang coastal wetland.
The Yellow Sea region is of high global importance for waterbird populations, but recent systematic bird count data enabling identification of the most important sites are relatively sparse for some areas. Surveys of waterbirds at three sites on the coast of southern Jiangsu Province, China, in 2014 and 2015 produced peak counts of international importance for 24 species, including seven globally threatened and six Near Threatened species. The area is of particular global importance for the ‘Critically Endangered’ Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea (peak count across all three study sites: 62 in spring  and 225 in autumn  and ‘Endangered’ Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer (peak count across all three study sites: 210 in spring  and 1,110 in autumn ). The southern Jiangsu coast is therefore currently the most important migratory stopover area in the world, in both spring and autumn, for both species. Several serious and acute threats to waterbirds were recorded at these study sites. Paramount is the threat of large-scale land claim which would completely destroy intertidal mudflats of critical importance to waterbirds. Degradation of intertidal mudflat habitats through the spread of invasive Spartina, and mortality of waterbirds by entrapment in nets or deliberate poisoning are also real and present serious threats here. Collisions with, and displacement by, wind turbines and other structures, and industrial chemical pollution may represent additional potential threats. We recommend the rapid establishment of effective protected areas for waterbirds in the study area, maintaining large areas of open intertidal mudflat, and the urgent removal of all serious threats currently faced by waterbirds here.
A self-made die with large cross section (180.2 × 22.2 mm) for equal channel angular pressing (ECAP) was used to study the influence of two different pressing routes (CX and CY) on refining homogeneity of high-purity aluminum plates. Microstructures were investigated by optical microscopy (OM) and electron back scatter diffraction (EBSD) methods, and micro-hardness and tensile tests were taken to evaluate deformation degree across the cross section and mechanical properties, respectively. The results indicate that pressing routes of ECAP have a great influence on structure homogeneity of plate samples. The route CY leads to fine grains with better homogeneity because the same deformation direction is taken through each pass. Coarse columnar crystals with 3–4 mm change to 68.6 μm nearly equiaxed grains and a strong cube texture forms after four CY passes, and corresponding mechanical properties increase by a factor compared to as-cast plate.
X-ray powder diffraction data for 5,6-dihydro-3-(4-morpholinyl)-1-[4-(2-oxo-1-piperidinyl)phenyl]-2(1H)-pyridinone, C20H25N3O3, are reported [a = 5.989(2), b = 6.669(3), c = 24.605(5)Å, α = 84.466(7)°, β = 89.859(6)°, γ = 69.074(4)°, unit-cell volume V = 913.11 Å3, Z = 2, and space group P−1]. No detectable impurities were observed.
X-ray powder diffraction data for 5-Chloro-N-(4-nitrophenyl)pentanamide, C11H13ClN2O3, are reported [a = 8.036(4) Å, b = 15.972(5) Å, c = 9.829(5) Å, α = 90°, β = 104.227(2)°, γ = 90°, V = 1222.98 Å3, Z = 4, ρx = 1.3941 g cm−3 and space group P21/c]. All measured lines were indexed and are consistent with the P21/c space group. No detectable impurities were observed.
X-ray powder diffraction data for piperaquine, C29H32Cl2N6, are reported [a = 15.8865(1) Å, b = 12.5975(3) Å, c = 13.2647(3) Å, β = 91.2890(1)°, unit-cell volume V = 2654.02 Å3, Z = 4, and space group P21/n]. All measured lines were indexed and are consistent with the P21/n space group. No detectable impurities were observed.
X-ray powder diffraction data, unit-cell parameters, and space group for DCT (C12H12Cl2N6O4S2 • C6H15N) are reported [a = 18.991(9) Å, b = 19.057(2) Å, c = 7.346(8) Å, α = β = γ = 90°, unit-cell volume V = 2659.05 Å3, Z = 4, and space-group P212121]. No detectable impurity was observed.
Sn–Ag–Cu solder interconnects were made by solidifying the solder balls in a magnetic field and subsequently tested for their electromigration behavior. The orientation of the tin grains was analyzed by electron backscattered diffraction. It was found that the c-axis of Sn grain tended to rotate away from the direction of the magnetic field during solidification, resulting in an enhanced electromigration resistance for the solder joint when the current was applied along the direction of the magnetic field, as evidenced by a smaller electromigration-induced polarity effect in the growth of the interfacial intermetallic compound. Such a reduced polarity-effect of electromigration is shown to agree well with the anisotropy in the diffusivity of the active diffusion species, Cu, in the tetragonal Sn. The difference of free energy change caused by the anisotropy in the magnetic susceptibility of the tetragonal Sn during solidification is suggested to be the main factor for this phenomenon.
Nanogenerators (NGs) have great potential to solve the problems of energy depletion and environmental pollution. Here, two types of flexible nanogenerators (FNGs) based on graphene oxide (GO) and multiwall carbon nanotubes (MW-CNTs) are presented. The peak output voltage and current of GO based FNG reached up to 2 V and 30 nA, respectively, under 15 N force at 1 Hz. Moreover, the output voltage could be improved to 34.4 V when the frequency was increased to 10 Hz. It was also found the output voltage increased from 0.1 V to 2.0 V using a released GO structure. The other FNG was made by MW-CNTs mixed with ZnO nanoparticles (NPs). Its output voltage and power reached up to 7.5 V and 18.75 mW, respectively, which is much larger than that of bare ZnO based FNG. Furthermore, a peak voltage of 30 V could be gained by stamping one’s foot on the FNG. Finally, a modified NG was fabricated using four springs and two flexible layers. As a result, the voltage and power reached up to 9 V and 27mW, respectively. These works may bring out broad applications in energy harvesting.
An ion beam has the unique feature of being able to deposit its main energy inside a human body to kill cancer cells or inside material. However, conventional ion accelerators tend to be huge in size and cost. In this paper, a future intense-laser ion accelerator is discussed to make the laser-based ion accelerator compact and controllable. The issues in the laser ion accelerator include the energy efficiency from the laser to the ions, the ion beam collimation, the ion energy spectrum control, the ion beam bunching, and the ion particle energy control. In the study, each component is designed to control the ion beam quality by particle simulations. The energy efficiency from the laser to ions is improved by using a solid target with a fine sub-wavelength structure or a near-critical-density gas plasma. The ion beam collimation is performed by holes behind the solid target or a multi-layered solid target. The control of the ion energy spectrum and the ion particle energy, and the ion beam bunching are successfully realized by a multi-stage laser–target interaction.
The role of diffusion tensor tractography (DTT) has become increasingly important in the preoperative mapping of brain white matter. Recently, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) driven DTT has provided the ability to evaluate the spatial relationship between the corticospinal tract (CST) and motor resection tumor boundaries. The main objective of this study was improvement of the preoperative assessment of the CST in patients with gliomas involving the motor cortical areas.
Seventeen patients with gliomas involving motor cortical areas underwent 3 dimensions (3D) T1-weighted imaging for anatomical referencing, using both fMRI and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). We used the fast-marching tractography (FMT) algorithm to define the 3D connectivity maps within the whole brain using seed points selected in the white matter adjacent to the location of fMRI activation. The target region of interest (ROI) was placed in the cerebral peduncle. Karnofsky performance status (KPS) scores were evaluated for each patient before and after surgery.
The CST of a total seventeen patients were successfully tracked by choosing seed and target ROI on the path of the fibers. What is more, DTT can indicate preoperatively the possibility for total glioma removal or the maximum extent of surgical resection. The postoperative average KPS score for the seventeen patients enrolled increased by more than 10 points.
Incorporation of fMRI driven DTT showed a maximum benefit in surgical treatment of gliomas. Our study of the assessment precision should enhance the accuracy of glioma operations with a resulting improvement in postoperative patient outcome.
To date, there has been little improvement in cryopreservation of bull sperm due to lack of understanding of the freezing mechanisms. Therefore, this study set out to investigate expression levels of fertility-associated proteins in bull sperm, and in particular the relationship between the 90 kDa heat-shock protein (HSP90) and the sperm characteristics after freezing–thawing. Semen was collected from eight Holstein bulls by artificial vagina. Characteristics of these fresh semen, including sperm motility, morphology, viability and concentration, were evaluated. Sperm quality was also assessed after freezing–thawing. Eight ejaculates were divided into two groups based on freezing resistance and sperm motility. Sperm proteins were extracted and sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) analysis and western blotting were performed. SDS-PAGE results showed that there was substantial diversity in 90 kDa proteins in the frozen–thawed sperm and HSP90 was confirmed as one of the 90 kDa proteins by western blot. This study indicated that HSP90 expression correlated positively with sperm quality. The amount of expressed 90 kDa proteins in the high freezing resistance (HFR) group was significantly higher than that in the low freezing resistance (LFR) group (P < 0.05). Thus, higher expression of HSP90 could probably lead to the higher motility and freezing resistance of sperm found after freezing–thawing. Therefore, we concluded that level of HSP90 expression could be used to predict reliably and simply the freezing resistance of bull sperm.