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Renal fibrosis is common especially in the elderly population. Recently, we found that vitamin D deficiency caused prostatic hyperplasia. This study aimed to investigate whether vitamin D deficiency promotes renal fibrosis and functional impairment. All mice except controls were fed with vitamin D deficient (VDD) diets, beginning from their early life. The absolute and relative kidney weights on postnatal week (PNW)20 were decreased in VDD diet-fed male pups but not in female pups. A mild pathological damage was observed in VDD diet-fed male pups but not in females. Further analysis showed that VDD-induced pathological damage was aggravated, accompanied by renal disfunction in 40-week-old male pups. An obvious collagen deposition was observed in VDD diet-fed 40-week-old male pups. Moreover, renal α-SMA, a marker of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and Tgf-β mRNA were upregulated. The in vitro experiment showed that 1,25(OH)2D3 alleviated TGF-β1-mediated downregulation of E-cadherin and inhibited TGF-β1-evoked upregulation of N-cadherin, vimentin and α-SMA in renal epithelial HK-2 cells. Moreover, 1,25(OH)2D3 suppressed TGF-β1-evoked Smad2/3 phosphorylation in HK-2 cells. These results provide experimental evidence that long-term vitamin D deficiency promotes renal fibrosis and functional impairment, at least partially, through aggravating TGF-β/Smad2/3-mediated EMT in middle-aged male mice.
Starch content is an important trait in barley. To evaluate the genetic diversity and identify molecular markers of starch content in barley, 40 cultivated barley genotypes collected from different regions, including genotypes whose starch content is at either the high or low end of the spectrum (15), were used in this study. All the genotypes were re-sequenced by the double-digest-restriction associated DNA sequencing method, and a total of 299,103 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers were obtained. The genotypes were divided into four sub-populations based on FASTSTRUCTURE, principal component analysis and neighbour-joining tree analysis. All four sub-populations had a high linkage disequilibrium, especially group 3, whose members were recently bred for malting in the Jiangsu coastal area. The starch content of the barley lines was evaluated during three growing seasons (2014–2017), and the average values of starch content across the three growing seasons at the low and high ends were 51.5 and 55.0%, respectively. The starch content was affected by population structure, the barley in group 2 had a low starch content, while the barley in group 4 had a high starch content. Twenty-six SNP markers were identified as being significantly associated with starch content (P ⩽ 0.001) based on the average values across the three growing seasons using the mixed linear model method. These SNP markers were located on chromosomes 1H and 4H, and were considered loci of qSC1-1 and qSC4-1, respectively. The major identified QTLs for starch content are helpful for further research on carbohydrates and for barley breeding.
Situated between the North China Craton to the east and the Tarim Craton to the west, the northern Alxa area in westernmost Inner Mongolia in China occupies a key location for interpreting the late-stage tectonic evolution of the southern Central Asian Orogenic Belt. New LA-ICP-MS zircon U–Pb dating results reveal 282.2 ± 3.9 Ma gabbros and 216.3 ± 3.2 Ma granites from the Yagan metamorphic core complex in northern Alxa, NW China. The gabbros are characterized by low contents of Si, Na, K, Ti and P and high contents of Mg, Ca, Al and Fe. These gabbros have arc geochemical signatures with relative enrichments in large ion lithophile elements and depletions in high field strength elements, as well as negative εNd(t) (−0.91 to −0.54) and positive εHf(t) (2.59 to 6.37) values. These features indicate that a depleted mantle magma source metasomatized by subduction fluids/melts and contaminated by crustal materials was involved in the processes of magma migration and emplacement. The granites show high-K calc-alkaline and metaluminous to weakly peraluminous affinities, similar to A-type granites. They have positive εNd(t) (1.55 to 1.99) and εHf(t) (5.03 to 7.64) values. These features suggest that the granites were derived from the mixing of mantle and crustal sources and formed in a postcollisional tectonic setting. Considering previous studies, we infer that the final closure of the Palaeo-Asian Ocean in the central part of the southern Central Asian Orogenic Belt occurred in late Permian to Early–Middle Triassic times.
Growth-associated protein 43 (GAP-43) was critical for initial establishment or reorganization of synaptic connections, a process thought to be disrupted in schizophrenia. Abnormal GAP-43 expression has been linked to this disorder in numerous postmortem brain studies. The purpose of this study was to investigate the involvement of the gene encoding GAP-43 in the susceptibility to schizophrenia.
We searched for genetic variants in the promoter region and 3 exons (including both UTR ends) of the GAP-43 gene using direct sequencing in a sample of Han Chinese schizophrenic patients (n = 354) and non-psychotic controls (n = 338) from Taiwan, and conducted a case-control association study.
We identified 11 common SNPs in the GAP-43 gene. SNP and haplotype-based analyses showed no association with schizophrenia. Besides, we identified 4 rare variants in 4 out of 354 patients, including 1 variant located at the promoter region, 1 synonymous and 2 missense variants located at exon 2. No rare variants were found in the control subjects. Collectively, these rare variants were significantly overrepresented in the patient group (1.1% v.s 0; p value of Fisher’s exact test = 0.02), suggesting they may increase the genetic burden in schizophrenia.
Although the functional significance of these rare variants remained to be characterized, our study lent support to the hypothesis of multiple rare mutations in schizophrenia, and provided genetic clues to indicate the involvement of neurodevelopment defect in this disorder.
To investigate the plasma levels of IL-18, MIP-1α, MCP-1, SDF-1 and RANTES in major depression before and after treatment.
Twenty healthy volunteers and 40 patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) were involved in the current study. Depressed subjects had moderate or major depression according to the DSM-IV criteria. The HAMD scale was used to measure the efficacy after the 8-week treatment with fluoxetine hydrochloride. All subjects gave their written informed consents and were recruited from outpatients and inpatients of Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital between October 2004 and November 2005.The plasma levels of IL-18, MIP-1α, MCP-1, SDF-1 and RANTES in major depression were measured by ELISA before and after fluoxetine treatment.
HAMD score were significantly decreased after the treatment (P<0.001), there were seven cases score of after treatment <7,. At the time of admission, the plasma levels of IL-18, MCP-1, MIP-1α, SDF-1 and RANTES were significantly higher in the MDD than those in the healthy controls (P<0.001). In MDD, the cytokine values were significantly decreased after the treatment, including IL-18 (P=0.005), MCP-1 (P=0.001), MIP-1α (P<0.001, SDF-1 (P=0.004) and RANTES (P<0.001), but still significantly higher than those in the healthy controls (P<0.001).
These findings suggest that major depression is accompanied by the immune activation, and the antidepressant treatments have anti-inflammatory effects. The remaining depression symptom after treatment may be related to the higher level of cytokines.
The pharmacological properties of betel nut which is consumed in immense quantities in the East as a cognitive enhancer. There was no evidence to prove the cognitive enhancement effect of chewing bet nut.
We tried to demonstrated that chewing betel nut enhanced cognitive performance, mainly attention, especially when they felt fatigue.
First, we demonstrated the fatigue effect induced by repeated continuous performance attention tests. Second, we tested the cognitive enhancement effect induced by betel nut.
Experiment 1, thirty-four volunteers, naive to betel nut, performed a continuous performance test three times without chewing anything before-and-during the test. Experiment 2, seventeen subjects who are used to chew betel nut performed the same tests. During the second and third session, they were given two pieces of gums or five piece of betel nut to chew. The sequence of chewing were counterbalanced.
In experiment 1, omission error rate was significantly different between section 1 and 3. Commission error was significantly different between section 1 and 2, 3 (Figure 1). In experiment 2, omission error rate was significantly different between baseline and section of chewing betel nut (Figure 2). Commission error rate had no difference between three sections. In both experiments, reaction time of different sections had no difference.
[Figue 1. The error rate of different types errors.]
Chewing betel nut could reverse the increase of omission error rate but chewing gum could not improve it. Either chewing betel nut or gum improved commission error rate. This study demonstrate the cognitive enhancement effect of chewing betel nut.
The rhoptry kinase 18 of Toxoplasma gondii (TgROP18) has been identified as a key virulence factor that allows the parasite to escape from host immune defences and promotes its proliferation in host cells. Although much research is focused on the interaction between host cells and TgROP18, the development of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against TgROP18 has not been reported till date. To produce mAbs targeting TgROP18, two hybridomas secreting mAbs against TgROP18, designated as A1 and T2, were generated using cell fusion technology. The subtypes of the A1 and T2 mAbs were identified as IgG3 λ and IgM κ, and peptide scanning revealed that the core sequences of the antigenic epitopes were 180LRAQRRRSELVFE192 and 351NYFLLMMRAEADM363, respectively. The T2 mAb specifically reacted with both T. gondii type I and Chinese I, but not with T. gondii type II, Plasmodium falciparum or Schistosoma japonicum. Finally, the sequences of heavy chain and light chain complementarity-determining regions of T2 were amplified, cloned and characterized, making the modification of the mAb feasible in the future. The development of mAbs against TgROP18 would aid the investigation of the molecular mechanisms underlying the modulation of host cellular functions by TgROP18, and in the development of strategies to diagnose and treat Toxoplasmosis.
The factors associated with suicidal ideation among adolescents have been extensively characterised, but the mechanisms underlying the complexities of the relationship between experiences of childhood trauma and suicidal ideation have been less studied. This study examined the direct effect of childhood trauma on suicidal ideation on the one hand and whether school bullying victimisation and Internet addiction mediate the association between childhood trauma and suicidal ideation on the other hand.
This school-based mental health survey was carried out in Qinghai Province in Northwest China in December 2019. We employed standardised questionnaires to collect sociodemographic and target mental health outcomes. Hierarchical multiple logistic regression and structural equation modelling were performed for the data analyses.
This study included 5864 university students. The prevalence of lifetime suicidal ideation and Internet addiction were 34.7% and 21.4%, respectively. Overall, 16.4% and 11.4% of participants reported experiences of childhood trauma and school bullying victimisation, respectively. There were direct effects of childhood trauma, school bullying victimisation and Internet addiction on suicidal ideation. The total effect of childhood trauma on suicidal ideation was 0.201 (p < 0.001). School bullying victimisation and Internet addiction mediated the relationship between childhood trauma and suicidal ideation. Internet addiction played a mediating role between school bullying and suicidal ideation.
Childhood trauma had both direct and indirect effects on suicidal ideation; these effects were mediated by school bullying victimisation and Internet addiction in Chinese university students. Elucidating these relationships will therefore be useful in developing and implementing more targeted interventions and strategies to improve the mental well-being of Chinese university students.
Silicon telluride (Si2Te3) is a silicon-based 2D chalcogenide with potential applications in optoelectronics. It has a unique crystal structure where Si atoms form Si-Si dimers to occupy the “metal” sites. In this paper, we report an ab initio computational study of its optical dielectric properties using the GW approximation and the Bethe-Salpeter equation (BSE). Strong in-plane optical anisotropy is discovered. The imaginary part of the dielectric constant in the direction parallel to the Si-Si dimers is found to be much lower than that perpendicular to the dimers. The optical measurement of the absorption spectra of 2D Si2Te3 nanoplates shows modulation of the absorption coefficient under 90-degree rotation, confirming the computational results. We show the optical anisotropy originates from the particular compositions of the wavefunctions in the valence and conduction bands. Because it is associated with the Si dimer orientation, the in-plane optical anisotropy can potentially be dynamically controlled by electrical field and strain, which may be useful for new device design. In addition, BSE calculations reduce GW quasiparticle band gap by 0.3 eV in bulk and 0.6 eV in monolayer, indicating a large excitonic effect in Si2Te3. Furthermore, including electron-hole interaction in bulk calculations significantly reduces the imaginary part of the dielectric constant in the out-of-plane direction, suggesting strong interlayer exciton effect in Si2Te3 multilayers.
We report on a high-power Ho:YAG single-crystal fiber (SCF) laser inband pumped by a high-brightness Tm-fiber laser at 1908 nm. The Ho:YAG SCF grown by the micro-pulling-down technique exhibits a propagation loss of
. A continuous-wave output power of 35.2 W is achieved with a slope efficiency of 42.7%, which is to the best of our knowledge the highest power ever reported from an SCF-based laser in the 2
Meditation is a type of mental training commonly applied in clinical settings and also practiced for general well-being. Brain functional connectivity (FC) patterns associated with meditation have revealed its brain mechanisms. However, the variety of FC methods applied has made it difficult to identify brain communication patterns associated with meditation. Here we carried out a coordinate-based meta-analysis to get preliminary evidence of meditation effects on changing brain network interactions. Fourteen seed-based, voxel-wise FC studies reported in 13 publications were reviewed; 10 studies with seeds in the default mode network (DMN) were meta-analyzed. Seed coordinates and the effect sizes in statistically significant regions were extracted, based on 170 subjects in meditation groups and 163 subjects in control groups. Seed-based d-mapping was used to analyze meditation versus control FC differences with DMN seeds. Meditation was associated with increased connectivity within DMN and between DMN and somatomotor network and with decreased connectivity between DMN and frontoparietal network (FPN) as well as ventral attention network (VAN). The pattern of decreased within-DMN FC and increased between-network FC (FPN and DAN with DMN) was more robust in highly experienced meditators compared to less experienced individuals. The identified neural network interactions may also promote meditation’s effectiveness in clinical interventions for treating physical and mental disorders.
Iodine intake and excretion vary widely; however, these variations remain a large source of geometric uncertainty. The present study aims to analyse variations in iodine intake and excretion and provide implications for sampling in studies of individuals or populations. Twenty-four healthy women volunteers were recruited for a 12-d sampling period during the 4-week experiment. The duplicate-portion technique was used to measure iodine intake, while 24-h urine was collected to estimate iodine excretion. The mean intra-individual variations in iodine intake, 24-h UIE (24-h urinary iodine excretion) and 24-h UIC (24-h urinary iodine concentration) were 63, 48 and 55 %, respectively, while the inter-individual variations for these parameters were 14, 24 and 32 %, respectively. For 95 % confidence, approximately 500 diet samples or 24-h urine samples should be taken from an individual to estimate their iodine intake or iodine status at a precision range of ±5%. Obtaining a precision range of ±5% in a population would require twenty-five diet samples or 150 24-h urine samples. The intra-individual variations in iodine intake and excretion were higher than the inter-individual variations, which indicates the need for more samples in a study on individual participants.
The jungles of Linyun and Longlin Autonomous Prefecture, located in the heart of the southwestern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China, are home to the oldest tea trees (Camellia sinensis) in the world. In the absence of regular annual rings, radiocarbon (14C) dating is one of the most powerful tools that can assist in the determination of the ages and growth rates of these plants. In this work, cores were extracted from large ancient tea trees in a central Longlin rain forest; extraction of carbon was performed with an automated sample preparation system. The 14C levels in the tree cores were measured using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) at the University of Tsukuba. These measurements indicated that contrary to conventional views, the ages of trees in these forests range up to ~700 years, and the growth rate of this species is notably slow, exhibiting a long-term radial growth rate of 0.039±0.006 cm/yr. It was demonstrated that 14C analyses provide accurate determination of ages and growth rates for subtropical wild tea trees.
Androgenetic embryonic stem (AgES) cells offer a possible tool for patient-specific pluripotent stem cells that will benefit genomic imprinting studies and clinic applications. However, the difficulty in producing androgenetic embryos and the unbalanced expression of imprinted genes make the therapeutic applicability of AgES cells uncertain. In this study, we produced androgenetic embryos by injecting two sperm into an enucleated metaphase II (MII) oocyte. By this method, 88.48% of oocytes survived after injection, and 20.24% of these developed to the blastocyst stage. We successfully generated AgES cell lines from the androgenetic embryos and assayed the expression of imprinted genes in the cell lines. We found that the morphological characteristics of AgES cells were similar to that of fertilized embryonic stem cells (fES), such as expression of key pluripotent markers, and generation of cell derivatives representing all three germ layers following in vivo and in vitro differentiation. Furthermore, activation of paternal imprinted genes was detected, H19, ASC12 and Tss3 in AgES cell activation levels were lower while other examined genes showed no significant difference to that of fES cells. Interestingly, among examined maternal imprinted genes, only Mest and Igf2 were significantly increased, while levels of other detected genes were no different to that of fES cells. These results demonstrated that activation of some paternal imprinted genes, as well as recovery of maternal imprinted genes, was present in AgES cells. We differentiated AgES cells into a beating embryoid body in vitro, and discovered that the AgES cells did not show significant higher efficiency in myocardial differentiation potential.
A Pickering emulsion was prepared via synergistic stabilization of a lipase and palygorskite particles. The optimum conditions for the stabilization of the Pickering emulsion, such as the concentrations of the palygorskite particles and lipase, were explored. The morphology of emulsion droplets was examined using digital optical microscopy and polarizing optical microscopy. The palygorskite–lipase co-stabilized Pickering emulsions were investigated by determination of the adsorption rate, pH and zeta potential of the aqueous dispersion, as well as by determining the contact angle values of the lipase solution on a palygorskite disc that was immersed in toluene. The catalytic performance of the immobilized lipase in the Pickering emulsion was studied via the investigation of its thermal stability, storage stability and reusability. The immobilized lipase showed greater stability than the free lipase. The lipase immobilized by Pickering emulsion retained a high level of activity even after seven periods of recycling.
At GE Research, we are combining “physics” with artificial intelligence and machine learning to advance manufacturing design, processing, and inspection, turning innovative technologies into real products and solutions across our industrial portfolio. This article provides a snapshot of how this physical plus digital transformation is evolving at GE.