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Cinnamomum chago is a woody species of the family Lauraceae endemic to Yunnan province, China, previously known from only one location, and categorized as a Plant Species with Extremely Small Population. We surveyed to determine the distribution and population size of C. chago, characterize its habitat, identify any threats, assess its conservation status, and provide guidelines for its management and conservation. During 2014–2017 we found only 64 mature C. chago, in five locations. These small, fragmented populations occur along Lancang River in Dali Prefecture at altitudes of 2,200–2,400 m. The species' extent of occurrence is c. 923 km2, with an area of occupancy of c. 60 km2. The habitat of the species has been degraded by expansion of pastoral activities and deforestation. We recommend categorization of C. chago as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, prevention of the collection of seeds and wood of the species, protection and monitoring, and ex situ propagation for future reintroductions.
Disturbances in lipid metabolism are at the core of several health issues facing modern society, including fatty liver and obesity. The SREBP-1 is one important transcription factor regulating lipid metabolism, but the relevant mechanism still remains unknown. The present study determined the transcriptional regulation of SREBP-1 and its target genes (including accα, fas and scd1) in a freshwater teleost, grass carp Ctenopharyngodon idella. We cloned and characterized the 1988 bp, 2043 bp, 1632 bp and 1889 bp sequences of srebp-1, accα, scd1, and fas promoters, respectively. A cluster of putative binding sites of transcription factors, such as SP, YY1, NF-Y, SREs and E-box element, were predicted on their promoter regions. nSREBP-1 overexpression reduced srebp-1 promoter activity, increased scd1 and fas promoter activity, but did not influence accα promoter activity. The site mutation and EMSA analysis indicated that srebp-1, fas and scd1 promoters, but not accα promoter, possessed SREs. In CIK cells of grass carp, nSREBP-1 overexpression significantly reduced srebp-1 mRNA expression, and up-regulated miR-29 mRNA expression. The 3’UTR of srebp-1 possessed the potential miR-29 binding site and miR-29 up-regulated the luciferase activity of srebp-1 3’UTR and srebp-1 mRNA expression, implying a self-activating loop of SREBP-1 and miR-29 in grass carp. Based on these results above, we found two novel transcriptional mechanisms for SREBP-1 in grass carp: (1) the auto-regulation sited on the SREBP-1 promoter regions was suppressive; (2) there was a self-activating loop of SREBP-1 and miR-29.
Existing data on folate status and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) prognosis are scarce. We prospectively examined whether serum folate concentrations at diagnosis were associated with liver cancer-specific survival (LCSS) and overall survival (OS) among 982 patients with newly diagnosed, previously untreated HCC, who were enrolled in the Guangdong Liver Cancer Cohort (GLCC) study between September 2013 and February 2017. Serum folate concentrations were measured using chemiluminescent microparticle immunoassay. Cox proportional hazards models were performed to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI by sex-specific quartile of serum folate. Compared with patients in the third quartile of serum folate, patients in the lowest quartile had significantly inferior LCSS (HR = 1·48; 95 % CI 1·05, 2·09) and OS (HR = 1·43; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·99) after adjustment for non-clinical and clinical prognostic factors. The associations were not significantly modified by sex, age at diagnosis, alcohol drinking status and Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage. However, there were statistically significant interactions on both multiplicative and additive scale between serum folate and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels or smoking status and the associations of lower serum folate with worse LCSS and OS were only evident among patients with CRP > 3·0 mg/l or current smokers. An inverse association with LCSS were also observed among patients with liver damage score ≥3. These results suggest that lower serum folate concentrations at diagnosis are independently associated with worse HCC survival, most prominently among patients with systemic inflammation and current smokers. A future trial of folate supplementation seems to be promising in HCC patients with lower folate status.
Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder with high heritability and polygenic inheritance. Multimodal neuroimaging studies have also indicated that abnormalities of brain structure and function are a plausible neurobiological characterisation of schizophrenia. However, the polygenic effects of schizophrenia on these imaging endophenotypes have not yet been fully elucidated.
To investigate the effects of polygenic risk for schizophrenia on the brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity, which are disrupted in schizophrenia.
Genomic and neuroimaging data from a large sample of Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia (N = 509) and healthy controls (N = 502) were included in this study. We examined grey matter volume and functional connectivity via structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging, respectively. Using the data from a recent meta-analysis of a genome-wide association study that comprised a large number of Chinese people, we calculated a polygenic risk score (PGRS) for each participant.
The imaging genetic analysis revealed that the individual PGRS showed a significantly negative correlation with the hippocampal grey matter volume and hippocampus–medial prefrontal cortex functional connectivity, both of which were lower in the people with schizophrenia than in the controls. We also found that the observed neuroimaging measures showed weak but similar changes in unaffected first-degree relatives of patients with schizophrenia.
These findings suggested that genetically influenced brain grey matter volume and functional connectivity may provide important clues for understanding the pathological mechanisms of schizophrenia and for the early diagnosis of schizophrenia.
Recent archaeological survey and excavation in China have demonstrated that large sites of the late fourth and third millennia BC were situated not on the Central Plains—where the later dynastic centres were located—but along the Yangtze and lower Yellow River Basins. Their decline in the late third and second millennia BC coincided with the growth of sites to the north of the Central Plains. Evidence for settlement size and a new chronology constructed from radiocarbon dates emphasise discontinuities in the geographic distribution of settlements, combined with continuity in cultural practices of ritual feasts and the use of symbolic jades.
The three-dimensional flow characteristics of the compressible vortex ring generated by under-expanded circular jets with two typical pressure ratios, i.e.
(moderate) and 4.0 (high), are investigated numerically with the use of large-eddy simulations. Our results illustrate that these two pressure ratios correspond to different shock structures (shock cell and Mach disc, respectively) within the jet. These two typical types of flow structures and characteristics are discussed and validated with experiments, and the different generation mechanisms of the secondary vortex rings are compared. Moreover, detailed information about the evolution of the secondary vortex ring, primary vortex ring and turbulence transition features, including the radial and azimuthal modes, is investigated. The geometric features and mixing effects of the jets are also explored.
Graphene oxide (GO) is a promising material in improving the corrosion resistance properties of metals. This improvement significantly relies on the microstructure and electrical properties of GO, which nevertheless is rarely studied. Here, multiscale GOs with different flake sizes and oxidation degrees were fabricated and incorporated into waterborne alkyd resin (AR). The physical and chemical structures of GO and AR/GO composites were characterized in detail. Multiscale GOs are successfully prepared, and the corrosion resistance of AR/GO coatings is measured by electrochemical workstation. Electrochemical experiments indicate that GOs with larger flake sizes have excellent barrier properties due to the shielding effect; GOs with appropriate oxidation degrees could effectively improve the dispersion of GO and avoid the conductive path of GO in the matrix, because oxidation degree of GO could influence the dispersion and electrical properties. The corrosion protection efficiency of AR/GO(GO: 120 μm, 1.5 wt%, sp2/sp3 = 2.61) is 98.14%, which is 2.26 times higher than AR. The multiscale effects of GO on the corrosion resistance property of AR coatings are quite general, thus providing guidelines for developing highly efficient corrosion resistant coatings for practical usage.
Health system reform is considered a tough issue worldwide. Great efforts have been made toward health system building and strengthening. However, it is still unclear which health system is appropriate for different countries. This study aimed to systematically compare the characteristics of the establishment periods between eighty-eight counties of National Health Service (NHS) and Social Health Insurance (SHI).
Forty-eight NHS countries and forty SHI countries with data availability were selected. The establishment years of current health systems and other eighteen indicators in economics, society, population and health during establishment periods were collected. Comparison between NHS and SHI was conducted by descriptive analysis of every indicator.
Most NHS countries were established during the cold war, while SHI had been set up since the cold war ended. The median of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, urbanization rate and aging rate of SHI were USD 1535 in current dollars, 58.2 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively; compared with USD 1387, 41.2 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively of NHS. NHS countries had a smaller total population, lower mortality rate and elderly dependency ratio, while the birth rate and children's dependency ratio were higher. SHI countries showed a higher life expectancy and lower mortality rate in infants and children. NHS countries spent less in total health expenditure and a lower proportion of GDP. The median health expenditure per capita of SHI and NHS were USD 188 and USD 131 in current dollars, respectively. There was little difference among maternal mortality rates, and public and private health expenditure proportions.
NHS and SHI countries had different characteristics during the health system establishment periods. NHS was established earlier than SHI overall, so that SHI revealed higher levels in economic and social development. Health outcomes of NHS countries were slightly lower than SHI ones, while health expenditure was more in SHI countries. Specific social, economic, demographic and health conditions should be considered when countries are building their own health systems.
Northeastern China is a region of high tick abundance, multiple tick-borne pathogens and likely human infections. The spectrum of diseases caused by tick-borne pathogens has not been objectively evaluated in this region for clinical management and for comparison with other regions globally where tick-transmitted diseases are common. Based on clinical symptoms, PCR, indirect immunofluorescent assay and (or) blood smear, we identified and described tick-borne diseases from patients with recent tick bite seen at Mudanjiang Forestry Central Hospital. From May 2010 to September 2011, 42% (75/180) of patients were diagnosed with a specific tick-borne disease, including Lyme borreliosis, tick-borne encephalitis, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, human babesiosis and spotted fever group rickettsiosis. When we compared clinical and laboratory features to identify factors that might discriminate tick-transmitted infections from those lacking that evidence, we revealed that erythema migrans and neurological manifestations were statistically significantly differently presented between those with and without documented aetiologies (P < 0.001, P = 0.003). Twelve patients (6.7%, 12/180) were co-infected with two tick-borne pathogens. We demonstrated the poor ability of clinicians to identify the specific tick-borne disease. In addition, it is necessary to develop specific laboratory assays for optimal diagnosis of tick-borne diseases.
For instrumented spherical indentation, the presence of equibiaxial residual stress in a material will lead the indentation load–depth curve to shift upward or downward. The load differences between the stressed and stress-free curves were used to estimate the equibiaxial residual stress. Using dimensional analysis and finite element simulations, the equibiaxial residual stress was related to the elastic–plastic parameters and the relative load difference at a fixed normalized indentation depth (h/R = 0.1). Based on these expressions, and together with the method for determining elastic–plastic parameters established in our previous work, an integrated method was proposed to estimate the equibiaxial residual stress and elastic–plastic parameters of metals simultaneously via instrumented spherical indentation. This method avoids preknowledge of the yield strength and measuring the contact area. Applications were illustrated on Al 2024, Al 7075, and Ti Grade 5 with introduced stresses. By comparing the results determined by this integrated method with the reference values, the maximum relative error is generally within ±10% for the yield strength, within ±15% for the elastic modulus, and within ±20% for the equibiaxial residual stress.
In the light curves of some solar-type stars, both rotational modulation (caused by corotating bright or dark magnetic features) and flare phenomena can be seen simultaneously. Based on these light curve observations, the relation between stellar magnetic feature activity (reflected by the rotational modulation component of the light curves) and flare activity can be investigated. Here, we analyze the light curve data of a flare-abundant solar-type star, KIC 6034120, observed with Kepler space telescope, and describe magnetic feature activity property by fluctuation range of light curves and flare activity property by time occupation ratio of flares. Distinct phase difference between long-term magnetic feature activity and flare activity is found for this star, which indicates that the source regions of stellar flares (e.g., starspots) on this star do not dominate the rotational modulation of light curves, yet they might be related to a same stellar dynamo process.
Water deficit is an environmental factor that constrains crops to express their ecophysiological potential and causes crop yield reduction. Eruca vesicaria has been reported to be one of the most drought-tolerant species in Cruciferae. In this study, polyethylene glycol-simulated drought tolerance was evaluated in one line of Brassica carinata, one line of Brassica napus and 249 Eruca lines based on the principal component analysis (PCA) and unweighted pair-group arithmetic average (UPGMA) cluster analysis. The PCA based on eight drought tolerance indices indicated that the first three components accounted for 85.46% of the total variation, with principal component (PC) 1 accounting for 43.89%, PC2 for 27.85% and PC3 for 13.73% of the total variation. The UPGMA cluster analysis indicated that B. napus cultivar Zhongshuang 9 and Eruca lines could be clustered into five major groups, with group 1 being, in general, drought sensitive, group 2 being slightly–medium drought tolerant, group 3 being drought tolerant, group 4 being highly drought sensitive and group 5 being highly drought tolerant. B. carinata cultivar XB1, as an outstander, showed high drought sensitivity. The UPGMA cluster dendrogram provides a good representation of the similarity matrix (r= 0.68). The drought-tolerant Eruca materials obtained in this study will be valuable for genetic improvement not only in Eruca itself, but also in Brassica crops since they are drought-tolerant lines from a drought-tolerant species.
This study was conducted to determine the effects of l-carnitine (LC), as an antioxidant, in preventing spermatozoa damage during the freezing–thawing process in both astheno- and normozoospermic human semen samples. Seventy semen samples (37 asthenozoospermic and 33 normozoospermic) were involved in this study. Cryopreservation medium supplemented with 1.0 g/l LC was mixed with semen at a ratio of 1:1 (v/v). Controls were cryopreserved with freezing medium only. Assessment of motility, viability (VIA), mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and DNA fragmentation index (DFI) were performed on aliquots of fresh semen, frozen–thawed control and frozen–thawed LC treated samples. Supplementation of the cryopreservation medium with LC induced a significant improvement in post-thaw sperm parameters in both the asthenozoospermic and normozoospermic semen samples, compared with those of the control, regarding sperm fast forward motility, forward motility, total motility and VIA. LC showed better protective effects towards asthenozoospermia for DFI (F = 115.85, P < 0.01) and VIA (F = 67.14, P < 0.01) than did normozoospermic semen samples. We conclude that supplementation with LC prior to the cryopreservation process reduced spermatozoa cryodamage in both asthenozoospermic and normozoospermic semen samples. LC had better protective effects for asthenozoospermic human semen samples. Future research should focus on the molecular mechanism for and the different protective effects of LC between asthenozoospermic and normozoospermic semen samples during cryopreservation.
In the present study, we investigated whether high dietary Ca and exogenous parathyroid hormone 1–34 fragments (PTH 1–34) have synergistic effects on bone formation in adult mice, and explored the related mechanisms. Adult male mice were fed a normal diet, a high-Ca diet, a PTH-treated diet, or a high-Ca diet combined with subcutaneously injected PTH 1–34 (80 μg/kg per d) for 4 weeks. Bone mineral density, trabecular bone volume, osteoblast number, alkaline phosphatase (ALP)- and type I collagen-positive areas, and the expression levels of osteoblastic bone formation-related genes and proteins were increased significantly in mice fed the high-Ca diet, the PTH-treated diet, and, even more dramatically, the high-Ca diet combined with PTH. Osteoclast number and surface and the ratio of receptor activator for nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL):osteoprotegerin (OPG) were decreased in the high-Ca diet treatment group, increased in the PTH treatment group, but not in the combined treatment group. Furthermore, third-passage osteoblasts were treated with high Ca (5 mm), PTH 1–34 (10− 8m) or high Ca combined with PTH 1–34. Osteoblast viability and ALP activity were increased in either the high Ca-treated or PTH-treated cultures and, even more dramatically, in the cultures treated with high Ca plus PTH, with consistent up-regulation of the expression levels of osteoblast proliferation and differentiation-related genes and proteins. These results indicate that dietary Ca and PTH play synergistic roles in promoting osteoblastic bone formation by stimulating osteoblast proliferation and differentiation.
This paper aims to obtain an analytical expression for the ratio of unloading work of indentation (Wu) to total loading work of indentation (Wt) (work recovery ratio of indentation) in instrumented spherical indentation. The expanding cavity model and Lamé solution are used. Three typical stress–strain relations (elastic-perfectly plastic, linear hardening, and power-law hardening) are analyzed. The results of finite-element method coincide with the expressions. The expressions show that the work recovery ratio of indentation is just related to plastic parameters. Furthermore, elastic work (We) are obtained, and it is proved that We should be distinguished from Wu in spherical indentation.
A magnetoelectric theoretical model combing piezoelectric and piezomagnetic parts about the longitudinal vibration was proposed for the laminate composite based on equivalent circuit. The model shows that the magnetoelectric voltage is relative to the thickness ratio, total thickness, frequency and loss. A simple laminate magnetoelectric composite was prepared by bonding a nickel plate and a multilayer piezoelectric vibrator together for the experimental research. The multilayer vibrator enjoys high capacitance, large effective area and low thickness, leading to a high magnetic field sensitivity of 1 mOe at the magnetoelectric field coefficient of 2.58 V/cmOe in the simple composite with nickel thickness of 0.2 mm. The model fits the resonance frequency well with the experimental results. Numerical calculation well predicates the magnetoelectric experimental behaviors, presenting a magnetoelectric maximum at about the thickness ratio 0.3 between the nickel plate and multilayer vibrators. This approach provides a method for the magnetoelectric application.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the therapeutic effects of osteopontin neutralization treatment on schistosome-induced liver injury in BALB/C mice. We randomly divided 100 BALB/C mice into groups A, B, C, D and group E. Mice in all groups except group A were abdominally infected with schistosomal cercariae to induce a schistosomal hepatopathological model. Mice in group C, D and group E were respectively administered with praziquantel, praziquantel plus colchicine and praziquantel plus neutralizing osteopontin antibody. We extracted mouse liver tissues at 3 and 9 weeks after the ‘stool-eggs-positive’ day, observed liver histopathological changes by haematoxylin-eosin and Masson trichrome staining and detected the expression of osteopontin, alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β1) by immunohistochemistry, RT-PCR and Western blot. We found that praziquantel plus neutralizing osteopontin antibody treatment significantly decreased the granuloma dimension, the percentage of collagen and the expression of osteopontin, α-SMA and TGF-β1 compared to praziquantel plus colchicine treatment in both the acute and chronic stage of schistosomal liver damage (P<0·05). So we believe that the combined regimen of osteopontin immunoneutralization and anti-helminthic treatment can reduce the granulomatous response and liver fibrosis during the schistosomal hepatopathologic course.
Fluorescent nanodiamonds (FNDs) with a size in the range of 10 – 100 nm have been produced by ion irradiation and annealing, and isolated by differential centrifugation. Single particle spectroscopic characterization with confocal fluorescence microscopy and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy indicates that they are photostable and useful as an alternative to far-red fluorescent proteins for bioimaging applications. We demonstrate the application by performing in vivo imaging of bare and bioconjugated FND particles (100 nm in diameter) in C. elegans and zebrafishes and exploring the interactions between this novel nanomaterial and the model organisms. Our results indicate that FNDs can be delivered to the embryos of both organisms by microinjection and eventually into the hatched larvae in the next generation. No deleterious effects have been observed for the carbon-based nanoparticles in vivo. The high fluorescence brightness, excellent photostability, and nontoxic nature of the nanomaterial have allowed long-term imaging and tracking of embryogenesis in the organisms.
Involvement of Magnesium in Psychiatric Diseases
Dehua Chui, Neuroscience Research Institute & Department of Neurobiology, Key Laboratory for Neuroscience, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Public Health, Health Science Center, Peking University, Beijing 100191, China,
Zheng Chen, Department of Psychiatry & Institute for Geriatric Clinic and Rehabilitation, Beijing Geriatric Hospital, Beijing 100095, China,
Jia Yu, Department of Psychiatry & Institute for Geriatric Clinic and Rehabilitation, Beijing Geriatric Hospital, Beijing 100095, China,
Honglin Zhang, Department of Psychiatry & Institute for Geriatric Clinic and Rehabilitation, Beijing Geriatric Hospital, Beijing 100095, China,
Weishan Wang, Department of Psychiatry & Institute for Geriatric Clinic and Rehabilitation, Beijing Geriatric Hospital, Beijing 100095, China,
Yuetao Song, Department of Psychiatry & Institute for Geriatric Clinic and Rehabilitation, Beijing Geriatric Hospital, Beijing 100095, China,
Huan Yang, Neuroscience Research Institute & Department of Neurobiology, Key Laboratory for Neuroscience, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Public Health, Health Science Center, Peking University, Beijing 100191, China,
Yi Liu, Neuroscience Research Institute & Department of Neurobiology, Key Laboratory for Neuroscience, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Public Health, Health Science Center, Peking University, Beijing 100191, China
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. It is characterized by a progressive cognitive impairment clinically, and excessive deposits of aggregated amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides pathologically. Environmental factors, including nutrition and metal elements, are implicated in the pathophysiology of AD. Magnesium (Mg) affects many biochemical mechanisms vital for neuronal properties and synaptic plasticity, including the response of N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors to excitatory amino acids, stability and viscosity of the cell membrane and antagonism of calcium. Mg levels were found decreased in various tissues of AD patients and negatively correlated with clinical deterioration. Moreover, Mg was demonstrated to modulate the trafficking and processing of amyloid-β precursor protein (APP), which plays a central role in the pathogenesis of AD. Here, we review in vitro and in vivo data that indicated a role for magnesium in many biological and clinical aspects of AD.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most prevalent neurodegenerative disease in elderly people, affecting approximate 6∼8% of all individuals over the age of 65 years. AD is characterized by progressive cognitive impairment and distinct neuropathological lesions in the brain, including intracellular neurofibrillary tangles, extracellular parenchymal and cerebrovascular senile plaques (Braak and Braak, 1991).