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Pregnancy is a complex biological process. The establishment and maintenance of foetal–maternal interface are pivotal events. Decidual immune cells and inflammatory cytokines play indispensable roles in the foetal–maternal interface. The disfunction of decidual immune cells leads to adverse pregnancy outcome. Tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, a common inflammatory cytokine, has critical roles in different stages of normal pregnancy process. However, the relationship between the disorder of TNF-α and adverse pregnancy outcomes, including preeclampsia (PE), intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), spontaneous abortion (SA), preterm birth and so on, is still indefinite. In this review, we thoroughly reviewed the effect of TNF-α disorder on pathological conditions. Moreover, we summarized the reports about the adverse pregnancy outcomes (PE, IUGR, SA and preterm birth) of using anti-TNF-α drugs (infliximab, etanercept and adalimumab, certolizumab and golimumab) currently in the clinical studies. Overall, IUGR, SA and preterm birth are the most common adverse pregnancy outcomes of anti-TNF-α drugs. Our review may provide insight for the immunological treatment of pregnancy-related complication, and help practitioners make informed decisions based on the current evidences.
The pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review (pCODR) evaluates new cancer drugs for public funding recommendations. While pCODR's deliberative framework evaluates overall clinical benefit and includes considerations for exceptional circumstances, rarity of indication is not explicitly addressed. Given the high unmet need that typically accompanies these indications, we explored the impact of rarity on oncology HTA recommendations and funding decisions.
We examined pCODR submissions with final recommendations from 2012 to 2017. Incidence rates were calculated using pCODR recommendation reports and statistics from the Canadian Cancer Society. Indications were classified as rare if the incidence rate was lower than 1/100,000 diagnoses, a definition referenced by the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health. Each pCODR final report was examined for the funding recommendation/justification, level of supporting evidence (presence of a randomized control trial [RCT]), and time to funding (if applicable).
Of the ninety-six pCODR reviews examined, 16.6 percent were classified as rare indications per above criteria. While the frequency of positive funding recommendations were similar between rare and nonrare indication (78.6 vs. 75 percent), rare indications were less likely to be presented with evidence from RCT (50 vs. 90 percent). The average time to funding did not differ significantly across provinces.
Rare indications appear to be associated with weaker clinical evidence. There appears to be no association between rarity, positive funding recommendations, and time to funding. Further work will evaluate factors associated with positive recommendations and the real-world utilization of funded treatments for rare indications.
The antibacterial hydrogels can be widely used in the biomedical area owing to their excellent properties. The main limitation of antibacterial hydrogels is their poor mechanical strength. In this study, the novel hydrogels were fabricated with a mixture of silk fibroin (SF), chitosan (CH), agarose (AG), and silver nanoparticles (SNPs) via facile reaction condition without inorganic substances. The mechanical property of these fabricated hydrogels can be modulated by the concentration of SF or AG. The rheological studies demonstrated enhanced elasticity of CH-doped hydrogels. Because of the presence of CH and Ag in hydrogels, the antimicrobial property against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria was exhibited. Cytocompatibility test proved the very low toxic nature of the hydrogels. In addition, these composite hydrogels have a smaller porosity, higher swelling ratio, and good compatibility, indicating their great potential for biomedical application.
In inertial confinement fusion experiments that involve short-laser pulses such as fast ignition (FI), diagnosis of neutrons is usually very challenging because high-intensity γ rays generated by short-laser pulses would mask the much weaker neutron signal. In this paper, fast-response scintillators with low afterglow and gated microchannel plate photomultiplier tubes are combined to build neutron time-of-flight (nTOF) spectrometers for such experiments. Direct-drive implosion experiments of deuterium-gas-filled capsules were performed at the Shenguang-II Upgrade (SG-II-UP) laser facility to study the compressed fuel areal density (〈ρR〉) and evaluate the performance of such nTOF diagnostics. Two newly developed quenched liquid scintillator detectors and a gated ultrafast plastic scintillator detector were used to measure the secondary DT neutrons and primary DD neutrons, respectively. The secondary neutron signals were clearly discriminated from the γ rays from (n, γ) reactions, and the compressed fuel areal density obtained with the yield-ratio method agrees well with the simulations. Additionally, a small scintillator decay tail and a clear DD neutron signal were observed in an integrated FI experiment as a result of the low afterglow of the oxygen-quenched liquid scintillator.
Lignin-based phenol formaldehyde resin was synthesized using phenolated calcium lignosulfonate, and porous carbon with good wettability was prepared after carbonization and potassium hydroxide (KOH) activation. The results indicated that when the KOH to the carbonized sample mass ratio was 6:1, the prepared carbon had a rich porous structure and higher surface area, with a specific surface area of 1320.13 m2/g. Furthermore, the porous carbon exhibited a maximum specific capacitance of 204.88 F/g at a current density of 0.5 A/g in the potential range −1.0 to 0 V in a 6 M KOH solution and a low equivalent series resistance of 0.64 Ω. The phenolated calcium lignosulfonate-based phenol formaldehyde resin porous carbon demonstrated a favorable electric double-layer performance.
The study reported in this Regional Research Communication aimed to analyse the genetic polymorphisms of β-casein in Chinese Holstein cows. β-casein has received considerable research interest in the dairy industry and animal breeding in recent years as a source not only of high quality protein, but also of bioactive peptides that may be linked to health effects. Morever, the polymorphic nature of β-casein and its association with milk production traits, composition, and quality also attracted several efforts in evaluating the allelic distribution of β-casein locus as a potential dairy trait marker. However, few data on beta-casein variants are available for the Chinese Holstein cow. In the present paper, one hundred and thirty three Holstein cows were included in the analysis. Results revealed the presence of 5 variants (A1, A2, A3, B and I), preponderance of the genotype A1A2 (0·353) and superiorities of A1/A2 alleles (0·432 and 0·459, respectively) in the population. Sequence analysis of β-casein gene in the cows showed four nucleotide changes in exon 7. Our study can provide reference and guidance for selection for superior milk for industrial applications and crossbreeding and genetic improvement programmes.
Accumulating evidence suggests that altered immunity contributes to the
development of major depressive disorder (MDD).
To examine whether complement factor H (CFH), a regulator of activation
of the alternative pathway of the complement cascade, confers
susceptibility to MDD.
Expression analyses were tested in 53 unmedicated people with MDD and 55
healthy controls. A two-stage genetic association analysis was performed
in 3323 Han Chinese with or without MDD. Potential associations between
CFH single nucleotide polymorphisms and age at MDD
onset were evaluated.
CFH levels were significantly lower in the MDD group at
both protein and mRNA levels (P = 0.009 and
P = 0.014 respectively). A regulatory variant in the
CFH gene, rs1061170, showed statistically significant
genotypic and allelic differences between the MDD and control groups
(genotypic P = 0.0005, allelic P =
0.0001). Kaplan–Meier survival analysis showed that age at onset of MDD
was significantly associated with the C allele of
rs1061170 (log rank statistic χ2 = 6.82, P =
0.009). The C-allele carriers had a younger age at onset
of MDD (22.2 years, s.d. = 4.0) than those without the C
allele (23.6 years, s.d. = 4.3).
CFH is likely to play an important role in the
development of MDD. rs1061170 has an important effect on age at onset of
MDD in Han Chinese and may therefore be related to early pathogenesis of
MDD, although further study is needed.
SG-III laser facility is now the largest laser driver for inertial confinement fusion research in China. The whole laser facility can deliver 180 kJ energy and 60 TW power ultraviolet laser onto target, with power balance better than 10%. We review the laser system and introduce the SG-III laser performance here.
The class of topological insulator materials is one of the frontier topics of condensed matter physics. The great success of this field is due to the conceptual breakthroughs in theories for topological electronic states and is strongly motivated by the rich variety of material realizations, thus making the theories testable, the experiments operable, and the applications possible. First-principles calculations have demonstrated unprecedented predictive power for material selection and design. In this article, we review recent progress in this field with a focus on the role of first-principles calculations. In particular, we introduce the Wilson loop method for the determination of topological invariants and discuss the band inversion mechanism for the selection of topological materials. Recent progress in quantum anomalous Hall insulators, large-gap quantum spin Hall insulators, and correlated topological insulators is also covered.
A new multi-wavelength solar telescope, Optical and Near-infrared Solar Eruption Tracer (ONSET), is constructed by Nanjing University, being run in cooperation with Yunnan Astronomical Observatory. ONSET is able to observe the Sun in three wavelength windows: He I 10830 Å, Hα and white-light at 3600 Å or 4250 Å. Full-disk or partial solar images with a field of 10 arcmin at three wavelengths can be obtained nearly simultaneously. It is designed to trace solar eruptions with high spatial and temporal resolutions. This telescope has been installed at a new solar observing site near the Fuxian Lake, Yunnan Province. The site is located at E102N24, with an altitude of 1722 m. The seeing is stable and very nice. We give a brief description of the scientific objectives and the basic structure of ONSET. Some preliminary results are also shown.
The effect of Li3N additive on the Li-Mg-N-H system was examined with respect to the reversible dehydrogenation performance. Screening study with varying Li3N additions (5, 10, 20, and 30 mol%) demonstrates that all are effective for improving the hydrogen desorption capacity. Optimally, incorporation of 10 mol% Li3N improves the practical capacity from 3.9 wt% to approximately 4.7 wt% hydrogen at 200 °C, which drives the dehydrogenation reaction toward completion. Moreover, the capacity enhancement persists well over 10 de-/rehydrogenation cycles. Systematic x-ray diffraction examinations indicate that Li3N additive transforms into LiNH2 and LiH phases and remains during hydrogen cycling. Combined structure/property investigations suggest that the LiNH2 “seeding” should be responsible for the capacity enhancement, which reduces the kinetic barrier associated with the nucleation of intermediate LiNH2. In addition, the concurrent incorporation of LiH is effective for mitigating the ammonia release.
This study aimed to explore high-throughput cDNA array monitoring technology and to apply it to the gene expression spectrum analysis of salinity-challenged tobacco plants. A Nicotiana tabacum cDNA library was sequenced and found to consist of 5927 high-quality sequences (GenBank accession nos CV015900-CV021826). By analysing the expressed sequence tags (ESTs), the proportion of N. tabacum genes was identified at the EST level. A cDNA array was constructed based on the tentative unique transcripts (TUTs) derived from EST assembling results. A total of 42 differentially expressed genes were identified, including plasma membrane intrinsic protein 2a, ethylene-responsive proteinase and pre-mRNA splicing factor prp31 gene, suggesting that there was a complicated biological response in N. tabacum under saline stress.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of donor sex, treatments of cell cycle synchronization and donor nuclei obtained from fresh or frozen–thawed conditions on developmental competence of yak–bovine interspecies nuclear transfer embryos. Bovine (Bos taurus) oocytes were used as recipients and yak (Bos grunniens) ear fibroblast cells were used as donors. Results indicated that the development rate of male blastocysts was higher than that of female (56.6% versus 39.5%, P<0.05), whereas cleavage and total cell number showed no difference between the two groups. No significant difference was observed in the development and quality of blastocysts with donor cells treated by serum starvation or contact inhibition, and there was no significant difference in embryo development with fresh or frozen–thawed donor cells, whereas the cleavage rate in the group of frozen–thawed cells was significantly lower than that of the fresh cell group (54.5% versus 78.2%, P<0.05). The results demonstrated that donor sex could impact the developmental competence of yak–bovine interspecies nuclear transfer embryos, whereas different treatments of cell cycle synchronization and freezing had little influence.
The bone morphogenetic protein receptor IB (BMPR-IB) gene, which controls the fecundity of Booroola Merino ewes, was studied as a candidate gene for the prolificacy of Small Tail Han and Hu ewes. A single nucleotide polymorphism of the BMPR-IB gene was detected in both high (Small Tail Han and Hu) and low (Suffolk and Dorset) fecundity sheep breeds by polymerase chain reaction–single-strand conformation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) analysis. The results indicated the presence of the same mutation (A746G) of the BMPR-IB gene in both Small Tail Han and Hu ewes and in Booroola Merino ewes, but not in both Suffolk and Dorset ewes. In Small Tail Han ewes, frequencies of BB, B+ and ++ genotypes were 0.524, 0.383 and 0.093, respectively. In Hu ewes, these frequencies were 0.882, 0.118 and 0.000. The BMPR-IB genotype distributions were significantly different (P<0.001) among high- and low-fecundity sheep breeds. Small Tail Han ewes with genotype BB had 0.92 (P<0.01) and 1.02 (P<0.01) lambs more than those with genotype ++ in the first and second parity, respectively. These results demonstrated that the BMPR-IB gene is a major gene affecting the prolificacy in both Small Tail Han and Hu ewes, and could be used as a molecular genetic marker to select the litter size in sheep.
Crystallization and reaction kinetics of a crystallizable K2O–CaO–SrO–BaO–B2O3–SiO2 glass powder with 17–40 vol% titania powder were investigated. The initially amorphous K2O–CaO–SrO–BaO–B2O3–SiO2 glass powder formed cristobalite (SiO2) and pseudowollastonite [(Ca, Ba, Sr)SiO3] during firing. The above crystalline phases were completely replaced by a crystalline phase of titanite [(Ca, Sr, Ba)TiSiO5] when the amount of added titania was greater than a critical value, e.g., 10 vol%, at 99–1100 °C. A chemical reaction taking place at the interface between titania and the glass was attributed to the above observation. The dissolved titania changed the composition of the glass, and the dissolution kinetics was much faster than the formation of cristobalite and pseudowollastonite. Activation energy analysis showed that the crystallization of titanite [(Ca,Sr,Ba)TiSiO5] was controlled by a reaction-limiting kinetics of formation for the Ti–O bond.
Mid-infrared vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) using PbSe as the active material and broadband high reflectivity Pb1−xSrxSe/BaF 2 distributed Bragg reflectors (DBR) as bottom and top mirrors were grown by molecular beam epitaxy. By pulsed optical pumping, this first IV-VI semiconductor VCSEL operated up to 290K at a wavelength of 4.5 µm. Further optimization of such VCSELs could lead to room temperature continuos wave operation.
The interruption of long-range polar order in rhombohedral ferroelectricPb(Zr1−xTix)O3 (PZT) ceramics has been systematically studied by incorporating La onto the A-site of the perovskite (ABO3) structure for Zr/Ti ratios of 65/35 and 80/20 and various La contents. Studies have been performed by hot-stage transmission electron microscopy, dielectric spectroscopy, and Sawyer–Tower polarization (P-E) techniques. The evolution of a polar nanodomain state from a normal micron-sized domain state with increasing La content was observed. The emergence of this polar cluster state was characterized by the onset of strong frequency dispersion in the dielectric response, indicative of relaxor behavior. The La content that drives the structure into the relaxor state was found to be related to the lattice distortion of the undoped base composition.
Lanthanum-modified lead zirconate titanate ceramics Pb1−3/2xLax(Zr1−yTiy)O3 [PLZT 100x/100(1 − y)/100y] with Zr/Ti ratios close to the antiferroelectric-ferroelectric (AFE-FE) phase boundary were investigated by dielectric spectroscopy, Sawyer–Tower polarization techniques, and electron microscopy. An incommensurate antiferroelectric (AFEIn) phase was found to be stabilized from the rhombohedral FE state in the compositional series 100x/90/10 for x ≥ 0.02. The La content required to induce the AFEIn state increased as the Ti content was increased. For 100x/85/15, a state with relaxor-like dielectric behavior and nanodomains was observed to develop with increasing La content; however, the double-loop-like P-E curves were suggestive of antiferroelectric behavior. Investigations for the composition 6/85/15 revealed the formation of nanodomains from the AFEIn modulation, where the size of the nanodomains equaled the value of the AFEIn modulation wavelength. For this composition, P-E studies revealed double hysteresis characteristics, whereas dielectric investigations revealed relaxor-like behavior. It is suggested that the order within the nanodomain state may be antipolar over a range of compositions in high La content rhombohedral PLZT ceramics.
The electromechanical properties of (Pb1−xLax)(ZryTi1−y)O3 [PLZT x/y/(1 - y)] have been investigated in the compositional range 0 < x < 0.10 for y = 0.65 (rhombohedral PLZT) and 0 < x < 0.18 for y = 0.40 (tetragonal PLZT). Both field-induced strains (∊-E) associated with polarization switching and piezoelectric responses (d33) were studied. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and dielectric investigations were also performed. Room temperature TEM investigations revealed common trends in the domain structure with increasing La content for both PLZT x/65/35 and x/40/60, including a micron-sized domain structure, a subdomain tweed-like structure, and a nanopolar domain state. Changes in the field-induced strains and piezoelectric properties were then related to these microstructural trends. The dominant electromechanical coupling mechanism in the micron-sized domain state was found to be piezoelectricity. However, an electrostrictive coupling became apparent with the appearance of the subdomain tweed-like structures, and became stronger in the nanopolar domain state. It is believed that polarization switching can-occur through 70°or 110°domains, the subdomain tweed-like structure, or nanopolar domains depending on La content.