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Praziquantel (PZQ) is the drug of choice for schistosomiasis. The potential drug resistance necessitates the search for adjunct or alternative therapies to PZQ. Previous functional genomics has shown that RNAi inhibition of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) gene in Schistosoma adult worms significantly improved the effectiveness of PZQ. Here we tested the in vitro efficacy of 15 selective and non-selective CaMK inhibitors against Schistosoma mansoni and showed that PZQ efficacy was improved against refractory juvenile parasites when combined with these CaMK inhibitors. By measuring CaMK activity and the mobility of adult S. mansoni, we identified two non-selective CaMK inhibitors, Staurosporine (STSP) and 1Naphthyl PP1 (1NAPP1), as promising candidates for further study. The impact of STSP and 1NAPP1 was investigated in mice infected with S. mansoni in the presence or absence of a sub-lethal dose of PZQ against 2- and 7-day-old schistosomula and adults. Treatment with STSP/PZQ induced a significant (47–68%) liver egg burden reduction compared with mice treated with PZQ alone. The findings indicate that the combination of STSP and PZQ dosages significantly improved anti-schistosomal activity compared to PZQ alone, demonstrating the potential of selective and non-selective CaMK/kinase inhibitors as a combination therapy with PZQ in treating schistosomiasis.
A humanoid robot developed to play multievent athletes like human has paved a way for interesting and popular robotics research. One of the great dreams is to develop a humanoid robot being able to challenge human athletes. Therefore, the challenge of humanoid robots to play archery against human is organized at Taichung, Taiwan, in HuroCup, FIRA 2018, on August 7th. The difficulties of developing humanoid robot are not just on playing archery. The humanoid robots for HuroCup must make use of the same hardware for the 10 events. In this paper, the design and implementation of the humanoid robot for archery are proposed under the trade off with other nine events. Therefore, the humanoid robot must have some special design and development on software. More specially, the humanoid robot must use professional bow to challenge human for archery competition. Therefore, in this paper, special shooting posture under constrained arm structure and motion planning of both arms for more torque to play professional bow are proposed. In addition, the further development of humanoid robot to improve archery shooting is summarized.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a necessary item in the period of unknown and high-risk emerging infectious disease. It is not only the necessary requirement of strict isolation, but also the last line of defense to protect medical staff.
Compare the differences between contaminated frequency and sites under two types of PPE doffing.
Recruited 56 health care workers (HCWs) who worked in clinical to follow the different PPE removal guidelines issued by the Chinese Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) final resolution for preventing Ebola virus. Eight batches of HCWs were divided to conduct simulations of contaminated PPE removal using fluorescent lotion (Glitter Bug Potion, On Solution Pty Lt). Then we recorded the frequency and sites of contamination of personnel after removal of contaminated PPE by the method of visual observation.
According to China’s CDC process, the parts that are easily contaminated during PPE removal are: left hand and wrist (7 times), left calf (7 times), front chest center and left and right chest (6 times each) and left abdomen (5 times). Contaminated parts of the PPE process in accordance with the WHO process from high to low were: right hand and wrist (13 times), left hand and wrist (12 times), middle of the abdomen (10 times), left chest (9 times), and left abdomen (6 Times). There was no statistical difference between the two kinds of PPE piercing and removal (Z=1.177, P > 0. 05).
Under the guidance of the two processes recommended by China CDC and WHO, there was no significant difference in the frequency of pollution after removing PPE. It is speculated that the PPE recommendation processes issued by WHO and China CDC are effective for personal protection against fulminating infectious diseases.
Proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential when facing emerging infectious diseases. Proper training methods can promote the use of the PPE correctly.
To explore the effect of the training method of sequential operation training on medical staff to master PPE penetration and removal skills, and to study the memory attenuation after training.
Fifteen medical staff with no experience of PPE operation in a hospital were trained to wear PPE in accordance with WHO standards by illustration and sequential operation method. The training included 30 minutes of theoretical teaching and 60 minutes of practical exercises. At the end of the training and 1 week after the training, the training objects were evaluated for PPE operation. A 2.5 x 2.5 cm fluorescent agent was applied on 6 parts, such as hands, chest, abdomen, and knees, to simulate contamination. After taking the PPE off, the parts of the whole body and the inner layer of clothing that were fluorescently contaminated were recorded. The whole operation process was recorded by video to evaluate whether the operation was correct. The error rates of two operations and the contamination position and frequency were compared.
The error rate of the operating PPE after training was 18.6%, rising to 31.9% after 1 week (Z=16.0, P<0.05). After the training, the average number of contaminated PPE removal was 1.96±1.56, which rose to 2.96±2.03 one month later. The difference was statistically significant (Z=8.92, P<0.05). The main vulnerable sites are the wrist, chest, abdomen, and left calf.
Illustrative sequential operation training is an important means to improve the way for medical staff to wear PPE, but it must be completed more than once to ensure that medical staff can firmly master the skills of wearing and removing PPE.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a necessary item in the period of unknown and high risk emerging infectious disease. It is not only the necessary requirement of strict isolation but also the last line of defense to protect medical staff.
To determine the frequency and sites of contamination of personnel during the process of using Chinese PPE.
Recruit 56 health care workers (HCWs) who worked in front-line clinical to test PPE issued by the Chinese Center for Disease Control for preventing Ebola virus. Eight batches of HCWs were divided to conduct simulations of contaminated PPE removal using fluorescent lotion. Then the frequency and sites of contamination of personnel were recorded after removal of contaminated PPE. The method of visual observation was used to determine contamination.
The frequency of easily contaminated parts included: left hand and wrist (7 times), left calf (7 times), front chest center, left and right chest (6 times each), and left abdomen (5 times). Mistakes in the process of wearing PPE included: clothing touching the ground (20.00%), N95 air mask tightness not checked (13.33%), glove air-tightness not checked (4.44%), protective clothing zipper not checked (4.44%). Mistakes in doffing PPE included: clothes touching the ground or the inner surface is polluted (20.00%), the wrong method of removing N95 mask (14.44%), touching the pollution goggles mirror with hands (12.22%), incomplete washing steps, insufficient time and frequency of hand hygiene (11.11%).
It is necessary to carry out training on PPE donning and doffing for Chinese medical workers.
Previous neuroimaging studies demonstrated that retinal detachment (RD) subjects were associated with abnormal spontaneous brain activities; however, whether the altered interhemispheric functional connectivity (FC) occurred in RD patients remains unknown. The current study tried to explore the alternations of interhemispheric FC of the whole brain in unilateral RD patients using the voxel-mirrored homotopic connectivity (VMHC) method and their connections to clinical features. Methods: We recruited 30 patients with RD (16 males and 14 females) and 30 healthy controls (HCs) (16 males and 14 females) whose age and sex were closely matched. All subjects underwent the rs-fMRI scans. The VMHC method was applied to directly assess the hemispheres’ functional interaction. The VMHC in these brain areas, which could be used as biomarkers to differentiate RD from HC, was identified by the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyses. The relations between these patients’ clinical features and their mean VMHC signal values in multiple brain regions were calculated by Pearson correlation analysis. Results: RD patients had significantly lower VMHC values than HCs in the bilateral occipital lobe (Brodmann areas, BA 18), bilateral superior temporal gyrus (BA 39), and bilateral cuneus (BA 19). Moreover, the mean VMHC signal values of the bilateral cuneus were in positive correlation with the duration of the RD (r = 0.446, P = 0.013). Conclusion: Our results provided an evidence of disturbed interhemispheric FC in the visual area occurred in RD patients, which might provide some useful information to understand the neural mechanism of RD patients with acute vision loss. Furthermore, the VMHC values might indicate the progress of the RD.
Schistosomiasis in China has been substantially reduced due to an effective control programme employing various measures including bovine and human chemotherapy, and the removal of bovines from endemic areas. To fulfil elimination targets, it will be necessary to identify other possible reservoir hosts for Schistosoma japonicum and include them in future control efforts. This study determined the infection prevalence of S. japonicum in rodents (0–9·21%), dogs (0–18·37%) and goats (6·9–46·4%) from the Dongting Lake area of Hunan province, using a combination of traditional coproparasitological techniques (miracidial hatching technique and Kato-Katz thick smear technique) and molecular methods [quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) and droplet digital PCR (ddPCR)]. We found a much higher prevalence in goats than previously recorded in this setting. Cattle and water buffalo were also examined using the same procedures and all were found to be infected, emphasising the occurrence of active transmission. qPCR and ddPCR were much more sensitive than the coproparasitological procedures with both KK and MHT considerably underestimating the true prevalence in all animals surveyed. The high level of S. japonicum prevalence in goats indicates that they are likely important reservoirs in schistosomiasis transmission, necessitating their inclusion as targets of control, if the goal of elimination is to be achieved in China.
Following ovulation, oocytes undergo a time-dependent deterioration in quality referred to as post-ovulatory ageing. Although various factors influence the post-ovulatory ageing of oocytes, oxidative stress is a key factor involved in deterioration of oocyte quality. Artemisia asiatica Nakai ex Pamp. has been widely used in East Asia as a food ingredient and traditional medicine for the treatment of inflammation, cancer, and microbial infections. Recent studies have shown that A. asiatica exhibits antioxidative effects. In this study, we investigated whether A. asiatica has the potential to attenuate deterioration in oocyte quality during post-ovulatory ageing. Freshly ovulated mouse oocytes were cultured with 0, 50, 100 or 200 μg/ml ethanol extracts of A. asiatica Nakai ex Pamp. After culture for up to 24 h, various ageing-induced oocyte abnormalities, including morphological changes, reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation, apoptosis, chromosome and spindle defects, and mitochondrial aggregation were determined. Treatment of oocytes with A. asiatica extracts reduced ageing-induced morphological changes. Moreover, A. asiatica extracts decreased ROS generation and the onset of apoptosis by preventing elevation of the Bax/Bcl-2 expression ratio during post-ovulatory ageing. Furthermore, A. asiatica extracts attenuated the ageing-induced abnormalities including spindle defects, chromosome misalignment and mitochondrial aggregation. Our results demonstrate that A. asiatica can relieve deterioration in oocyte quality and delay the onset of apoptosis during post-ovulatory ageing.
We aimed to investigate the prevalence of grade 1, 2 and 3 thinness among Chinese children and to explore their associations with socio-economic status (SES).
A population, school-based cross-sectional study using multistage, stratified cluster random sampling. Grade 1, 2 and 3 thinness, overweight, obesity and severe obesity were defined by the International Obesity Task Force BMI cut-offs.
Seven districts of Shanghai, China.
Chinese children aged 3–12 years (n 84 075).
In boys and girls, respectively, the prevalence of grade 1 thinness was 8·89 % and 11·78 %, of grade 2 thinness was 2·80 % and 3·74 %, and of grade 3 thinness was 2·23 % and 2·93 %. Compared with urban children, suburban children had higher prevalence of thinness. Children whose parent had low education had higher prevalence of grade 1, 2 and 3 thinness than those whose parent had high education. The prevalence of grade 2 and 3 thinness, obesity and severe obesity in low-SES children was higher than that in high-SES children, and the prevalence of grade 1 thinness was lower than that in high-SES children. Particular patterns of prevalence of grade 1, 2 and 3 thinness appeared in low-, middle- and high-SES children.
The study describes associations of SES with grade 1, 2 and 3 thinness, overweight, obesity and severe obesity in Shanghai children. The patterns of thinness and obesity in Shanghai provide further insights into BMI patterns in mega-cities in developing countries.
Schistosomiasis is one of the most prevalent, insidious and serious of the tropical parasitic diseases. Although the effective anthelmintic drug, praziquantel, is widely available and cheap, it does not protect against re-infection, drug-resistant schistosome may evolve and mass drug administration programmes based around praziquantel are probably unsustainable long term. Whereas protective anti-schistosome vaccines are not yet available, the zoonotic nature of Schistosoma japonicum provides a novel approach for developing a transmission-blocking veterinary vaccine in domestic animals, especially bovines, which are major reservoir hosts, being responsible for up to 90% of environmental egg contamination in China and the Philippines. However, a greater knowledge of schistosome immunology is required to understand the processes associated with anti-schistosome protective immunity and to reinforce the rationale for vaccine development against schistosomiasis japonica. Importantly as well, improved diagnostic tests, with high specificity and sensitivity, which are simple, rapid and able to diagnose light S. japonicum infections, are required to determine the extent of transmission interruption and the complete elimination of schistosomiasis following control efforts. This article discusses aspects of the host immune response in schistosomiasis, the current status of vaccine development against S. japonicum and reviews approaches for diagnosing and detecting schistosome infections in mammalian hosts.
This paper presents numerical simulations to study the heating of a solid target under a proton beam pulse interaction. The target is heated by the proton beam pulse with particle energy Eb, intensity N and focal radius rb of transverse Gaussian distribution, with a fixed pulse time 10 ps. The dynamics of target and beam ions are described by a classical hydrodynamic model and the target electrons are described by the quantum hydrodynamic model. Numerical simulations are carried out by employing the two dimensional flux-corrected transport methods. The target is heated to 0.5−5 eV, therefore, warm dense matter is created in the heated target region on a picosecond time scale.
Two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations are performed to investigate the propagation of low energy continuous ion beams through background plasmas. It is shown that the continuous ion beam can be modulated into periodic short beam pulses by the induced wakefield, which can be adopted as a method to produce ultrashort ion beam pulses. Furthermore, the transport of the continuous ion beam in plasma with density gradient in the beam propagation direction is proposed and an enhanced longitudinal compression by density gradient is found due to the phase lock of ion pulses in the focusing regions of wakefield and reduced heating of plasma electrons.
This paper presents numerical simulations to study the heating of a two-dimensional (2D) solid target under an ion cluster interaction. 2D quantum hydrodynamic (QHD) model is employed for the heating of solid target to warm dense matter on a picosecond time scale. A Gaussian cluster is used to uniformly heat the solid target to a temperature of several eV. The density and temperature of the target are calculated by a full self-consistent treatment of the QHD formalisms and the Poisson's equation. The technique described in this paper provides a method for creating uniformly heated strongly coupled plasma states.
We use a two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulation to investigate the dynamic polarization and stopping power for an ion beam propagating through a two-component plasma, which is simultaneously irradiated by a strong laser pulse. Compared to the laser-free case, we observe a reduction in the instantaneous stopping power that initially follows the shape of the laser pulse and becomes particularly large as the laser frequency approaches the plasma electron frequency. We attribute this large reduction in the ion stopping power to an increase in plasma temperature due to the energy absorbed in the plasma from the laser pulse through the process of wave heating. In addition, dynamic polarization of the plasma by the ion is found to be strongly modulated by the laser field.
Praziquantel is widely used for the treatment of human schistosomiasis. However, in recent years, there has been increasing concern about the resistance of Schistosoma species to praziquantel. The study described here was designed to evaluate the current susceptibility to praziquantel in S. japonicum in China. During the non-transmission period of schistosomiasis, a random sample of 4760 subjects from the main endemic foci of China were examined using parasitological stool examination. In total, 584 subjects were identified as being infected with S. japonicum, with a prevalence rate of 12 27%. Among them, 565 stool-egg-positive subjects were treated with praziquantel in a single oral dose of 40 mg/kg. Six weeks post-treatment, among the 505 villagers re-examined, 480 (95 05%) had no detectable S. japonicum eggs. Twenty-one subjects still excreting eggs after the first treatment were treated with praziquantel for the second time. All stool samples, including those from those participants with second treatment were re-examined 6 weeks after the second treatment, and no stool-egg-positives were found. The results indicate that the current efficacy of praziquantel against S. japonicum is still high and has not changed after more than 2 decades of repeated, expanded chemotherapy in the main endemic areas of China. It is suggested that no evidence of tolerance or resistance to praziquantel in S. japonicum was detected in China.
Progenies derived from rice (Oryza sativa ssp. japonica) plants pollinated by Oenothera biennis exhibited numerous morphological and developmental traits. Some variant individuals appeared in generation D2. From generations D3 to D6, a large number of variants were observed, showing distinct variable traits including giant embryos. Statistical analysis on D6 lines showed significant differences between progenies and their rice parental line in several main traits, including plant height (49.2–164.5 cm), panicle number (12.1–38.2), panicle length (20.3–30.3 cm), length of sword leaf (13.8–57.5 cm), leaf width (11.1–25.2 mm), grain number of main panicle (142.0–367.0), percentage of seed setting (0.8–99.0%), 1000-grain weight (19.7–33.8 g) and time from germination to panicle emergence (90.0–108.0 days). Most of the variable coefficients were above 20% (the highest was 40.8%). Through pedigree selection of these plants, genetically stable lines were obtained, which are useful for rice breeding. Results from amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis showed that several rice lines contained extensive genetic variations, which included disappearance of rice parental bands and/or appearance of novel bands.
The highly efficient plant binary expression vector pGBIF4ABCVHB was constructed using the artificially modified, synthesized VHb gene and fused insectidal gene (GFMcryIA and CPTI). Transgenic tobacco plants were obtained by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. For 32 plants, the bivalent genes were inserted successfully into the tobacco genome and detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification. Southern blot and Western blot analyses showed that VHb gene was expressed in the transgenic plants. Toxicity assay indicated that the fused insectidal gene expressed pesticidal toxin protein. The net weight of transgenic tobacco plants exceeded that of non-transgenic ones by 8%. Compared to non-transgenic tobacco plants, transgenic plants appeared to be high-yielding, insect-resistant varieties.
Geochemical and Sr–Nd–Pb isotopic data are presented for volcanic rocks from Zougouyouchaco (30.5 Ma) and Dogai Coring (39.7 Ma) of the southern and middle Qiangtang block in northern Tibet. The volcanic rocks are high-K calc-alkaline trachyandesites and dacites, with SiO2 contents ranging from 58.5 to 67.1 wt % The rocks are enriched in light REE (LREE) and contain high Sr (649 to 986 ppm) and relatively low Yb (0.8 to 1.2 ppm) and Y (9.5 to 16.6 ppm) contents, resulting in high La/Yb (29–58) and Sr/Y (43–92) ratios, as well as relatively high MgO contents and Mg no., similar to the compositions of adakites formed by slab melting in subduction zones. However, the adakitic rocks in the Qiangtang block are characterized by relatively low εNd(t) values (−3.8 to −5.0) and highly radiogenic Sr ((87Sr/86Sr)i=0.706–0.708), which are inconsistent with an origin by slab melting. The geochemistry and tectonics indicate that the adakitic volcanic rocks were most likely derived from partial melting of delaminated lower continental crust. As the pristine adakitic melts rose, they interacted with the surrounding mantle peridotite, elevating their MgO values and Mg numbers.
Bitter melon (Momordica charantia; BM) has been shown to ameliorate diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance. To examine the effect of BM supplementation on cell size and lipid metabolism in adipose tissues, three groups of rats were respectively fed a high-fat diet supplemented without (HF group) or with 5 % lyophilised BM powder (HFB group), or with 0·01 % thiazolidinedione (TZD) (HFT group). A group of rats fed a low-fat diet was also included as a normal control. Hyperinsulinaemia and glucose intolerance were observed in the HF group but not in HFT and HFB groups. Although the number of large adipocytes (>180 μm) of both the HFB and HFT groups was significantly lower than that of the HF group, the adipose tissue mass, TAG content and glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase activity of the HFB group were significantly lower than those of the HFT group, implying that BM might reduce lipogenesis in adipose tissue. Experiment 2 was then conducted to examine the expression of lipogenic genes in adipose tissues of rats fed low-fat, HF or HFB diets. The HFB group showed significantly lower mRNA levels of fatty acid synthase, acetyl-CoA carboxylase-1, lipoprotein lipase and adipocyte fatty acid-binding protein than the HF group (P < 0·05). These results indicate BM can reduce insulin resistance as effective as the anti-diabetic drug TZD. Furthermore, BM can suppress the visceral fat accumulation and inhibit adipocyte hypertrophy, which may be associated with markedly down regulated expressions of lipogenic genes in the adipose.