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DNA methylation is an important form of epigenetic regulation in mammalian development. Methyl-CpG-binding domain protein 1 (MBD1) and methyl-CpG-binding domain protein 2 (MeCP2) are two members of the MBD subfamily of proteins that bind methylated CpG to maintain the silencing effect of DNA methylation. Given their important roles in linking DNA methylation with gene silencing, this study characterized the coordinated mRNA expression and protein localization of MBD1 and MeCP2 in embryos and placentas and aimed to analysis the effects of MBD1 and MeCP2 on transgenic cloned goats. Our result showed that MBD1 expression of transgenic cloned embryo increased significantly at the 2–4-cell and 8–16-cell stages (P < 0.05), then decreased at the morula and blastocyst stages (P < 0.05); MeCP2 expression in transgenic cloned embryo was significant decreased at the 2–4-cell stage and increased at the 8–16-cell stage (P < 0.05). Placenta morphology analysis showed that the cotyledon number of deceased transgenic cloned group (DTCG) was significantly lower than that the normal goats (NG) and in the live transgenic cloned goats (LTCG) (P < 0.05). MBD1 and MeCP2 were clearly detectable in the placental trophoblastic binucleate cells by immunohistochemical staining. Moreover, MBD1 and MeCP2 expression in DTCG was significant higher than in the NG and the LTCG (P < 0.05). In summary, aberrant expression of methylation CpG binding proteins MBD1 and MeCP2 was detected in embryonic and placental development, which reflected abnormal transcription regulation and DNA methylation involved in MBD1 and MeCP2. These findings have implications in understanding the low efficiency of transgenic cloning.
SONG (Stellar Observations Network Goup) is a low-cost ground based international collaboration aimed at two cutting edge problems in contemporary astrophysics in the time-domain: 1) Direct diagnostics of the internal structure of stars and 2) looking for and studying extra solar planets, possibly in the habitable zone. The general plan is to set up a network of 1m telescopes uniformly distributed in geographic latitude (in both hemispheres). China jointed the collaboration (initiated by Danish astronomers) at the very beginning. In addition to SONG's original plan (http://song.phys.au.dk), the Chinese team proposed a parallel photometry subnet work in the northern hemisphere, namely 50BiN (50cm Binocular Network, previously known as mini-SONG), to enable a large field photometric capability for the network, therefore maximising the potential of the network platform. The network will be able to produce nearly continuous time series observations of a number of selected objects with high resolution spectroscopy (SONG) and accurate photometry (50BiN), and to produce ultra-high accuracy photometry in dense field to look for micro-lensing events caused by planetary systems. This project has great synergy with Chinese Astronomical activities in Antarctica (Dome A), and other similar networks (e.g. LCOGT). The plan and current status of the project are overviewed in this poster.
The annual earthquake predictions of the China Seismological Bureau (CSB) are evaluated by means of an R score (an R score is approximately 0 for completely random guesses, and approximately 1 for completely successful predictions). The average R score of the annual predictions in China in the period 1990–1998 is about 0.184, significantly larger than 0.0. However, background seismicity is higher in seismically active regions. If a ‘random guess' prediction is chosen to be proportional to the background seismicity, the expected R score is 0.123, and the nine-year mean R score of 0.184 as observed is only marginally higher than this background value. Monte Carlo tests indicate that the probability of attaining an R score of actual prediction by background seismicity based on random guess is about . It is concluded that earthquake prediction in China is still in a very preliminary stage, barely above a pure chance level.
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