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The euarthropod Luohuilinella deletres sp. nov. is described from rare material from the Chengjiang biota, Cambrian Series 2, Stage 3, of Yunnan Province, China. Phylogenetic analysis recovers a xandarellid affinity for L. deletres, representing only the fifth described species of this clade. L. deletres possesses a head shield that is about one-fifth of the total body length and a trunk with 30 tergites, the reduced anterior-most tergite and terminal three tergites lacking pleural elongations. Anteriorly situated notches in the head shield are associated with stalked eyes, in contrast to the more posterior, enclosed eye slits present in Xandarella. Posterior to the antennae there are at least 11 pairs of biramous appendages preserved, including three pairs in the head. The morphology of the midline gut of L. deletres, in which lateral, unbranched diverticula are wider towards the front of the body, is a characteristic also found in various trilobites. The dorsoventrally flattened exoskeleton suggests a benthic or nektobenthic mode of life for L. deletres, as for other trilobitomorphs, and it likely used its well-developed anteriorly positioned eyes for searching out food, either to scavenge or to find prey.
A stable reference gene is a key prerequisite for accurate assessment of gene expression. At present, the real-time reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction has been widely used in the analysis of gene expression in a variety of organisms. Neoseiulus barkeri Hughes (Acari: Phytoseiidae) is a major predator of mites on many important economically crops. Until now, however, there are no reports evaluating the stability of reference genes in this species. In view of this, we used GeNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper, and RefFinder software tools to evaluate the expression stability of 11 candidate reference genes in developmental stages and under various abiotic stresses. According to our results, β-ACT and Hsp40 were the top two stable reference genes in developmental stages. The Hsp60 and Hsp90 were the most stable reference genes in various acaricides stress. For alterations in temperature, Hsp40 and α-TUB were the most suitable reference genes. About UV stress, EF1α and α-TUB were the best choice, and for the different prey stress, β-ACT and α-TUB were best suited. In normal conditions, the β-ACT and α-TUB were the two of the highest stable reference genes to respond to all kinds of stresses. The current study provided a valuable foundation for the further analysis of gene expression in N. barkeri.
Previous studies have demonstrated that language switching in bilinguals can be affected by a number of variables, including the processing context. Here, we used a modified language-switching task combined with a Stroop paradigm, which manipulated the context of the task, to examine the impact of processing context on switch costs. The results of both Experiment 1 and Experiment 2 showed that the switch costs and the level of asymmetry in the switch costs are larger in the conflicting context than in the non-conflicting context, suggesting that the processing context affects the switch costs. In addition, the results of Experiment 2 revealed that individual variances in cognitive control capacity also play a role in the overall magnitude of the switch costs. Critically, processing context effects can be modulated by individual variance in cognitive control capacities. The results of this study are discussed within the framework of classic models of bilingual language control (e.g., the inhibitory control model).
Neoseiulus barkeri (HUGHES) is the natural enemy of spider mites, whiteflies and thrips. Screening for chemically-resistant predatory mites is a practical way to balance the contradiction between the pesticide using and biological control. In this study, the number of eggs laid by fenpropathrin-susceptible and resistant strains of N. barkeri was compared. Additionally, we cloned three N. barkeri vitellogenin (Vg) genes and used quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction to quantify Vg expression in susceptible and resistant strains. The total number of eggs significantly increased in the fenpropathrin-resistant strain. The full-length cDNA cloning of three N. barkeri Vg genes (NbVg1, NbVg2 and NbVg3) revealed that the open reading frames of NbVg1, NbVg2 and NbVg3 were 5571, 5532 and 4728 bp, encoding 1856, 1843 and 1575 amino acids, respectively. The three N. barkeri Vg possessed the Vitellogenin-N domain (or lipoprotein N-terminal domain (LPD_N)), von Willebrand factor type D domain (VWD) and the domain with unknown function 1943 (DUF1943). The NbVg1 and NbVg2 expression levels were significantly higher in the resistant strain than in the susceptible strain, while the NbVg3 expression level was lower in the resistant strain. Thus, we speculate that the increased number of eggs laid by the fenpropathrin-resistant strain of N. barkeri may be a consequence of changes in Vg gene expression.
Supercapacitor has received intense interest due to its high-charge/discharge rate and high-power density. C/Fe2O3 layer with different C/Fe ratios were synthesized by a solution-based approach for supercapacitor application. The influence of synthesis conditions on their electrochemical performances was investigated. Cobalt was added into C/Fe2O3 and significant improved its performance. The optimal C/Fe2O3 sample gives a high specific capacitance of 85.3 F/g and the addition of Co3O4 further increase the capacitance of obtained C/Fe2O3/Co3O4 to 144.4 F/g at 5 A/g. This work demonstrates an efficient supercapacitor application of low-cost metal oxides and facile solution-based synthesis approach.
In this paper, a 2.45-GHz wideband harmonic rejection rectenna for wireless power transfer is proposed. The rectenna comprises a microstrip-fed circular ring slot antenna (CRSA) and a series-parallel rectifier (SPR). A compact micro strip resonant cell is inserted into the CRSA so that the harmonic suppression over a wide bandwidth (3–8 GHz) can be obtained. The radio-frequency (RF)–DC conversion efficiency of the SPR is improved effectively by loading a proper compensating inductance, especially under the low input power levels. Furthermore, the proposed rectenna can easily achieve large-scale rectenna arrays using its simple structure. The adopted rectenna fabricated on a low cost Taconic RF-35 substrate has been measured. By up to 3rd-order harmonic rejection, the efficiency of the rectenna can achieve 70.2% with the optimum load resistance 1 kΩ. Good agreement among the calculated, simulated, and measured rectenna is observed.
There is a growing interest in the role of kynurenine pathway and tryptophan metabolites in the pathophysiology of depression. In the present study, the metabolism of tryptophan along the kynurenine pathway was analysed in a rat model of depression.
Kynurenic acid (KYNA) and 3-hydroxykynurenine (3-HK) were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) in prefrontal cortex (PFC) and frontal cortex (FC) in a rat model of depression, the Flinders Sensitive Line (FSL) and their controls, the Flinders Resistant Line (FRL) rats. In addition, KYNA was also measured in hippocampus, striatum and cerebellum.
KYNA levels were reduced in the PFC of FSL rats compared with FRL rats, but did not differ with regard to the FC, hippocampus, striatum or cerebellum. 3-HK levels in PFC and FC, representing the activity of the microglial branch of the kynurenine pathway, did not differ between the FSL and FRL strains.
Our results suggest an imbalanced metabolism of the kynurenine pathway in the PFC of FSL rats.
Vertical Integrative Analysis (Methods Specialized to Particular Data Types)
Cong Li, Yale University, New Haven, CT,
Can Yang, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, China,
Greg Hather, Takeda Pharmaceuticals International Co., Cambridge, MA,
Ray Liu, Takeda Pharmaceuticals International Co., Cambridge, MA,
Hongyu Zhao, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Traditional drug discovery practices usually adopt the “one drug – one target” approach, which ignore the fact the disease occurrence is usually the result of an extremely complex combination of molecular events. Pathway-based approaches address this limitation by considering biological pathways as potential drug targets. A first step of pathwaybased drug discovery is to identify associations between drug candidates and biological pathways. This has been made possible by the availability of high-dimensional transcriptional and drug sensitivity profile data. In this chapter, we describe two statistical methods, “iFad” and “iPad”, which perform drug-pathway association analysis by integrating these two types high-dimensional data. We also demonstrate their utilities by applying them to the NCI-60 data set.
Drug discovery is the process of identifying new candidate medications for diseases of interest. The common practice adopted by the pharmaceutical industry is to design maximally selective drug molecules to act on individual drug targets , which is usually referred to as the “one drug – one target” approach. This paradigm has indeed enjoyed some successes . Yet, the last 15 years have witnessed a significant increase in the attrition rate of new candidate drugs due to their low efficacy and serious side effects [17, 29]. One fundamental reason for the decline in the productivity of the pharmaceutical industry may lie in the core philosophy of the “one drug – one target” approach . Specifically, this philosophy ignores the fact that disease occurrence is usually the result of an extremely complex combination of molecular events  among certain sets of functionally related genes, usually referred to as “pathways”. Targeting an individual drug target may not provide sufficient interference to the whole disease-related pathway and therefore usually results in unsatisfactory efficacy. Moreover, it fails to consider the mechanism of a candidate drug at a systems level, making it extremely difficult to evaluate drug safety and toxicity in the early developmental stages . Due to these limitations of the “one drug – one target” approach, a new concept of drug discovery – polypharmacology  – is emerging as a promising alternative for drug developments. Instead of targeting individual drug targets, polypharmacology seeks to design or find candidate drugs that interfere multiple molecular targets. For example, pathway-based drug discovery, which pursues candidate drugs that interfere the activity of a whole biological pathway, has become increasingly appealing.
This study examined the genetic and environmental effects on variances in weight, height, and body mass index (BMI) under 18 years in a population-based sample from China. We selected 6,644 monozygotic and 5,969 dizygotic twin pairs from the Chinese National Twin Registry (CNTR) aged under 18 years (n = 12,613). Classic twin analyses with sex limitation were used to estimate the genetic and environmental components of weight, height, and BMI in six age groups. Sex-limitation of genetic and shared environmental effects was observed, especially when puberty begins. Heritability for weight, height, and BMI was low at 0–2 years old (less than 20% for both sexes) but increased over time, accounting for half or more of the variance in the 15–17 year age group for boys. For girls, heritabilities for weight, height and BMI was maintained at approximately 30% after puberty. Common environmental effects on all body measures were high for girls (59–87%) and presented a small peak during puberty. Genetics appear to play an increasingly important role in explaining the variation in weight, height, and BMI from early childhood to late adolescence, particularly in boys. Common environmental factors exert their strongest and most independent influence specifically in the pre-adolescent period and more significantly in girls. These findings emphasize the need to target family and social environmental interventions in early childhood years, especially for females. Further studies about puberty-related genes and social environment are needed to clarify the mechanism of sex differences.
The current meta-analysis evaluated the association between vitamin B12 intake and blood vitamin B12 level and colorectal cancer (CRC) risk.
The PubMed and EMBASE databases were searched. A dose–response analysis was performed with generalized least squares regression, with the relative risk (RR) and 95 % CI as effect values.
The meta-analysis included seventeen studies.
A total of 10 601 patients.
The non-linear dose–response relationship between total vitamin B12 intake and CRC risk was insignificant (P=0·690), but the relationship between dietary vitamin B12 intake and CRC risk was significant (P<0·001). Every 4·5 μg/d increment in total and dietary vitamin B12 intake was inversely associated with CRC risk (total intake: RR=0·963; 95 % CI 0·928, 0·999; dietary intake: RR=0·914; 95 % CI 0·856, 0·977). The inverse association between vitamin B12 intake and CRC risk was also significant when vitamin B12 intake was over a dosage threshold, enhancing the non-linear relationship. The non-linear dose–response relationship between blood vitamin B12 level and CRC risk was insignificant (P=0·219). There was an insignificant association between every 150 pmol/l increment in blood vitamin B12 level and CRC risk (RR=1·023; 95 % CI 0·881, 1·187).
Our meta-analysis indicates that evidence supports the use of vitamin B12 for cancer prevention, especially among populations with high-dose vitamin B12 intake, and that the association between CRC risk and total vitamin B12 intake is stronger than between CRC risk and dietary vitamin B12 intake only.
Morphogenesis and identification of embryonic differentiation in porcine embryos are crucial issues for developmental biology and laboratory animal science. The current paper presents a study on the asynchronous development of hatched porcine embryos from days 7 to 13 post-insemination. Examination of semi-thin sections of the hypoblast showed that it had characteristics similar to those of the mouse anterior visceral endoderm during embryonic disc formation. Also, a cavity appeared in the epiblast, which was similar to a mouse proamniotic cavity. With the gradual disappearance of Rauber's layer, the cavity opened and contacted the external environment directly, all of which formed the embryonic disc. To confirm the differentiation characteristics, we performed immunohistochemical analyses and showed that GATA6 was detected clearly in parietal endoderm cells during embryonic disc establishment. OCT4 was expressed in the inner cell mass (ICM) and trophoblast of hatched blastocysts and in the epiblast during formation of the embryonic disc. However, OCT4 showed comparatively decreased expression in the posterior embryonic disc, primitive streak and migrating cells. SOX2 was present in the ICM and epiblast. Therefore, both SOX2 and OCT4 can be used as markers of pluripotent cells in the porcine embryonic disc. At the start of gastrulation, staining revealed VIMENTIN in the posterior of the embryonic disc, primitive streak and in migrating cells that underlay the embryonic disc and was also expressed in epiblast cells located in the anterior primitive streak. Together with serial sections of embryos stained by whole mount immunohistochemistry, the mesoderm differentiation pattern was shown as an ingression movement that took place at the posterior of the embryonic disc and with bilateral migration along the embryonic disc borders.
Studies in Western countries have repeatedly shown that women with a history of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) are at increased risk for developing major depression (MD). Would this relationship be found in China?
Three levels of CSA (non-genital, genital, and intercourse) were assessed by self-report in two groups of Han Chinese women: 1970 clinically ascertained with recurrent MD and 2597 matched controls. Diagnostic and other risk factor information was assessed at personal interview. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated by logistic regression and regression coefficients by linear or Poisson regression.
Any form of CSA was significantly associated with recurrent MD [OR 3.26, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.95–5.45]. This association strengthened with increasing CSA severity: non-genital (OR 2.47, 95% CI 1.17–5.23), genital (OR 2.77, 95% CI 1.32–5.83) and intercourse (OR 13.35, 95% CI 1.83–97.42). The association between any form of CSA and MD remained significant after accounting for parental history of depression, childhood emotional neglect (CEN), childhood physical abuse (CPA) and parent–child relationship. Among the depressed women, those with CSA had an earlier age of onset, longer depressive episodes and an increased risk for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD; OR 1.92, 95% CI 1.39–2.66) and dysthymia (OR 2.16, 95% CI 1.52–3.09).
In Chinese women CSA is strongly associated with MD and this association increases with greater severity of CSA. Depressed women with CSA have an earlier age of onset, longer depressive episodes and increased co-morbidity with GAD and dysthymia. Although reporting biases cannot be ruled out, our results are consistent with the hypothesis that, as in Western countries, CSA substantially increases the risk for MD in China.
The potential relationship between the establishment of Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) persistent infection and gene variation was identified by investigating the variation of VP1 and 3ABC genes from yellow cattle persistent infection isolates. Five yellow cattle were inoculated on their tongue with 1.0×104 ID50/ml of FMDV O/Akesu/58 strain. After displaying clinical or subclinical signs, they probably became asymptomatic carriers. Oesophageal–pharyngeal fluids were collected monthly from the carriers with a probang and inoculated into a baby hamster kidney cell line (BHK-21); 12 FMDV isolates were obtained. The VP1 and 3ABC genes of the 12 isolates were then amplified by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Cloning and sequencing revealed that the homology of the VP1 nucleotide and amino-acid sequence of all the isolates was above 98%, with no base deletion or insertion. When compared with the O/Akesu/58 FMDV strain, the homology of the VP1 nucleotide sequence of the isolates was only 85%, and that of the deduced amino-acid sequence only 90%.There were several nucleotide mutations in the VP1 gene of the isolates, including 16 consistent nucleotide mutations, with only two of them leading to a change in amino acid (I56→T, A210→E). Moreover, it was found that four nucleotide points and three amino-acid points had transversions among all isolates. The 3ABC gene had only 13 nucleotide transversions and five amino-acid mutations. It was presumed that persistent FMDV infection might have little connection with variation in the VP1 and 3ABC genes, and was probably related to other structural protein gene and key factors.
Six transgenic maize lines with the fully modified gene GFM Cry1A were obtained and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of their T5 generation plants indicated that foreign genes could be stably inherited. Three hybrids (Simi25Bt, Tongdan24Bt and Jidan209Bt) were created using the transgenic lines and combined with regular maize inbred lines. The results of resistance identification of the transgenic inbred lines and hybrids showed that the difference of resistance among transgenic lines was very significant; there also existed a difference among individuals of the same line and among the three hybrids. Compared with the control inbred line (CK), the average of four transgenic inbred lines in the number of tunnels per stalk, larval tunnel length per plant and length of surviving larvae were decreased by 70%, 80% and 70%, respectively. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) testing showed that the average of Bt Cry1A protein expression level for six transgenic inbred lines was 0.16% total protein and the highest expression level was 0.19%. At maturity, compared with the control variety (CK), the larval tunnel length per plant of the three hybrids (Simi25Bt, Tongdan24Bt and Jidan209Bt) was decreased by 39.97%, 36.20% and 53.83%, respectively, which was a decrease of 43.36% on average. The investigation of agronomic characters showed that there was no significant difference between the improved hybrids and the control in plant height, ear length, row number per ear, kernel number per row and 100-kernels weight. It is thought that the GFM Cry1A gene can be applied to improve resistance to corn-borer, and maize inbred lines with the Bt gene can be directly applied to conventional maize breeding.
To explore potential applications of nanocomposites for microelectronic packaging, the thermal properties were investigated on newly developed nanocrystalline Al composites reinforced by AlN nanoparticles. It was found that the thermal conductivity (TC) is reduced with increasing AlN volume fraction (Vp), since connectivity of Al matrix is decreased by introduction of the nanoparticles. Although AlN nanoparticles introduce thermal resistance, they still have significant contribution to the TC of the composite as high-TC inclusion. Particularly, a percolation behavior of AlN nanoparticles is thought to occur with the threshold at 23–30%. Measurements at elevated temperatures (∼500 °C) show almost no distinct degradation of TC relative to room temperature. Moreover, the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) is remarkably lowered as Vp increases, e.g., from 26 × 10−6 to 13.9 × 10−6 K−1, by raising Vp to 39%. Therefore, the nanocomposites may be applicable as electronic packaging material, due to the combination of acceptable TC and low CTE.
In plants, acid invertases are known to be the key enzymes cleaving sucrose into reducing sugars (RS) (glucose and fructose). To improve the quality of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) chips, which is largely influenced by RS accumulation in tubers stored at low temperature, a part of acid invertase cDNA with hairpin RNA (hpRNA) structure was transformed into potato cv. N2. Detection of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and Northern blotting suggested that the RNA interference (RNAi) vector was successfully transformed into cv. N2. The analysis of acid invertase activity in the plantlets and microtubers of RNAi transgenic lines indicated that the expression of the acid invertase was significantly repressed by the activity of RNAi of plantlets by an average 69.8% (with the exception of line Ni-1) with a maximal decrease of 78% (line Ni-4), and the highest decrease of activity in microtubers of 68%. Compared with that of well-inhibited antisense inv transgenic plants, the comparative downregulation of RNAi suggests a distinct alteration of endogenous acid invertase activity and a potential strategy for post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) in modulation of cold-sweetening in potato.
Based on the synthesis of a sufficient amount of AlN nanowires (AlN-NWs), AlN-NWs/Al composites with homogenously distributed AlN-NWs were fabricated. Microstructural observations reveal that the interface between AlN-NWs and Al matrix is clean and bonded well, and no interfacial reaction product was formed at the nanowire-matrix boundary. Mechanical properties including yield and tensile strength of the composites were improved with AlN-NWs volume fraction changing from 5 to 15 vol%, and the maximum yield and tensile strengths of the composite were about 6 and 5 times, respectively, as high as those of Al matrix. Meanwhile, AlN-NWs effectively decreased the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) of the composites, and the CTE of 15 vol% composite was about one half that of Al matrix. The results obtained suggest that AlN nanowire is a promising reinforcement for optimizing the mechanical and thermal properties of metal matrix composites.