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The rhoptry kinase 18 of Toxoplasma gondii (TgROP18) has been identified as a key virulence factor that allows the parasite to escape from host immune defences and promotes its proliferation in host cells. Although much research is focused on the interaction between host cells and TgROP18, the development of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against TgROP18 has not been reported till date. To produce mAbs targeting TgROP18, two hybridomas secreting mAbs against TgROP18, designated as A1 and T2, were generated using cell fusion technology. The subtypes of the A1 and T2 mAbs were identified as IgG3 λ and IgM κ, and peptide scanning revealed that the core sequences of the antigenic epitopes were 180LRAQRRRSELVFE192 and 351NYFLLMMRAEADM363, respectively. The T2 mAb specifically reacted with both T. gondii type I and Chinese I, but not with T. gondii type II, Plasmodium falciparum or Schistosoma japonicum. Finally, the sequences of heavy chain and light chain complementarity-determining regions of T2 were amplified, cloned and characterized, making the modification of the mAb feasible in the future. The development of mAbs against TgROP18 would aid the investigation of the molecular mechanisms underlying the modulation of host cellular functions by TgROP18, and in the development of strategies to diagnose and treat Toxoplasmosis.
The factors associated with suicidal ideation among adolescents have been extensively characterised, but the mechanisms underlying the complexities of the relationship between experiences of childhood trauma and suicidal ideation have been less studied. This study examined the direct effect of childhood trauma on suicidal ideation on the one hand and whether school bullying victimisation and Internet addiction mediate the association between childhood trauma and suicidal ideation on the other hand.
This school-based mental health survey was carried out in Qinghai Province in Northwest China in December 2019. We employed standardised questionnaires to collect sociodemographic and target mental health outcomes. Hierarchical multiple logistic regression and structural equation modelling were performed for the data analyses.
This study included 5864 university students. The prevalence of lifetime suicidal ideation and Internet addiction were 34.7% and 21.4%, respectively. Overall, 16.4% and 11.4% of participants reported experiences of childhood trauma and school bullying victimisation, respectively. There were direct effects of childhood trauma, school bullying victimisation and Internet addiction on suicidal ideation. The total effect of childhood trauma on suicidal ideation was 0.201 (p < 0.001). School bullying victimisation and Internet addiction mediated the relationship between childhood trauma and suicidal ideation. Internet addiction played a mediating role between school bullying and suicidal ideation.
Childhood trauma had both direct and indirect effects on suicidal ideation; these effects were mediated by school bullying victimisation and Internet addiction in Chinese university students. Elucidating these relationships will therefore be useful in developing and implementing more targeted interventions and strategies to improve the mental well-being of Chinese university students.
Paediatric Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia (MPP) is a major cause of community-acquired pneumonia in China. Data on epidemiology of paediatric MPP from China are little known. This study retrospectively collected data from June 2006 to June 2016 in Beijing Children's Hospital, Capital Medical University of North China and aims to explore the epidemiological features of paediatric MPP and severe MPP (SMPP) in North China during the past 10 years. A total of 27 498 paediatric patients with pneumonia were enrolled. Among them, 37.5% of paediatric patients had MPP. In this area, an epidemic took place every 2–3 years at the peak, and the positive rate of MPP increased during these peak years over time. The peak age of MPP was between the ages of 6 and 10 years, accounting for 75.2%, significantly more compared with other age groups (χ2 = 1384.1, P < 0.0001). The epidemics peaked in September, October and November (χ2 = 904.9, P < 0.0001). Additionally, 13.0% of MPP paediatric patients were SMPP, but over time, the rate of SMPP increased, reaching 42.6% in 2016. The mean age of paediatric patients with SMPP (6.7 ± 3.0 years old) was younger than that of patients with non-SMPP (7.4 ± 3.2 years old) (t = 3.60, P = 0.0001). The prevalence of MPP and SMPP is common in China, especially in children from 6 to 10 years old. Paediatric patients with SMPP tend to be younger than those with non-SMPP. MPP outbreaks occur every 2–3 years in North China. September, October and November are the peak months, unlike in South China. Understanding the epidemiological characteristics of paediatric MPP can contribute to timely treatment and diagnosis, and may improve the prognosis of children with SMPP.
Suppression of stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) by means of chirped and tilted fiber Bragg gratings (CTFBGs) has become a key topic. However, research on high-power systems is still lacking due to two problems. Firstly, after the inscription, there are a large number of hydroxyl compounds and hydrogen molecules in CTFBGs that cause significant heating due to their strong infrared absorption. Secondly, CTFBGs can couple Stokes light from the core to the cladding and the coating, which causes serious heating in the coating of the CTFBG. Aimed at overcoming these bottlenecks, a process that combines constant-low-temperature and variable-high-temperature annealing is used to reduce the thermal slope of the CTFBG. Also, a segmented-corrosion cladding power stripping technology is used on the CTFBG to remove the Stokes light which is coupled to the cladding, which solves the problem of overheating in the coating of the CTFBG. Thereby, a CTFBG with both a kilowatt-level power-carrying load and the ability to suppress SRS in a fiber laser has been developed. Further, we establish a kW-level CW oscillator to test the CTFBG. Experimental results demonstrate that the power-carrying load of the CTFBG is close to 1 kW, the thermal slope is lower than
, and the SRS suppression ratio is nearly 23 dB.
Indentation method has been widely used in the measurement of material mechanical properties and residual stress for its simple, fast and nondestructive characteristics. In the indentation test, because of the plastic deformation of the material, the material accumulation and subsidence occurs around the indentation. It is found that the deformation amount of the indentation, especially the maximum pile-up around the indentation after unloading, is related to the magnitude and direction of the residual stress. In this paper, an experimental study on the pile-up morphology around an indentation for determining the direction and magnitude of residual stress is reported. Nonsymmetrical morphology of spherical indenting deformation on artificially strained steel specimen was measured with a laser scanning confocal system. A unique relationship between pile-up after unloading and biaxial residual stress was set up based on the experimental results. The direction and components of nonequibiaxial residual stress can be determined by the proposed method.
In this study, the effects of HA combined with NPK fertilizer (HANPK) on root growth and leaf quality of tobacco plants were investigated in tobacco fields. Results indicated that the application of HA alone did not enhance the growth of tobacco obviously, while HANPK increased tobacco biomass by 36.9% and stimulated the growth of lateral roots significantly. The number of the second-order lateral roots was increased by 89.3% compared with the control. Furthermore, HANPK raised the ratio of root biomass in 0–20 cm soil layer over the whole soil layer and increased the proportion of fine roots over the total roots. Tobacco leaf yield, output value, and benefit of HANPK were 12.2%, 29.4% and 35.5% higher than those of the control, respectively. The above results suggest that the combined application of HA and NPK chemical fertilizer is an economical pattern for improving tobacco growth.
Objective: To study the relationship of Nε-(carboxymethyl)-lysine level (CML)
with microstructure changes of white matter (WM), and cognitive impairment
in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and to discuss the
potential mechanism underlying T2DM-associated cognitive impairment. Methods: The study was performed in T2DM patients (n=22) with disease course
≥5 years and age ranging from 65 to 75 years old. A control group consisted
of 25 sex- and age-matched healthy volunteers. Fractional anisotropy (FA) of
several WM regions was analyzed by diffusion tensor imaging scan. Plasma CML
levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and cognitive
function was assessed by Mini-Mental State Examination and Montreal
cognitive assessment (MoCA). Results: The total Mini-Mental State Examination score in the patient group
(25.72±3.13) was significantly lower than the control group (28.16±2.45)
(p<0.05). In addition, the total MoCA score in the patient group
(22.15±3.56) was significantly lower than the control group 25.63±4.12)
(p<0.01). In the patient group, FA values were significantly decreased in
the corpus callosum, cingulate fasciculus, inferior fronto-occipital
fasciculus, parietal WM, hippocampus, and temporal lobes relative to
corresponding regions of healthy controls (p<0.05). Plasma CML level was
negatively correlated with average FA values in the global brain (r=−0.58,
p<0.01) and MoCA scores (r=−0.47, p<0.05). Conclusions: In T2DM, WM microstructure changes occur in older patients, and
elevations in CML may play a role in the development of cognitive
In this paper, a novel method is proposed to determine surface residual stress components and their directions based on the spherical indentation. To obtain the direction and the components of a uniaxial or biaxial residual stress, the relationship between the pile-up deformation around an indentation after unloading and the residual stress was firstly systematically studied and established by using numerical simulation. Through theoretical analysis and numerical simulation, we found that the position of the maximum residual stress is dependent on the maximum pile-up around an indentation after unloading. The direction and components of residual stress can be correctly determined by the unique relationship between pile-up after unloading and biaxial residual stress. This conclusion has been verified by the experiment results in the residual stress measurements of a welded specimen with spherical indentation and x-ray diffraction methods. Meanwhile, the influences of friction between the object surface and the indenter, the material hardening exponent of the specimen, and the elastic deformation upon the residual stress are discussed.
Low-temperature stress is an important limiting factor to tobacco growth in early spring of south China. In this study, a low-temperature-resistant agent (LTRA) was employed to examine its ameliorating effect on the inhibition of tobacco growth triggered by low-temperature stress. Results indicated that low-temperature stress of 12 °C for 6 days reduced root number and biomass of tobacco seedling by 27.4% and 24.1%, while treatment with LTRA could recover the inhibitory effect of low-temperature stress on tobacco growth significantly. The content of ascorbic acid and the activities of superoxide dismutase and catalase at low-temperature stress were 65.2%, 53.5% and 32.1% of those at normal temperature condition (26 °C), while the corresponding values with LTRA treatment were 89.2%, 88.9% and 74.2%, suggesting that LTRA treatment could enhance the activity of antioxidant enzyme and the synthesis of antioxidant compounds. Low-temperature stress increased the membrane permeability by 84.8%, while LTRA treatment recovered it by 77.4%. Furthermore, LTRA treatment contributed to increase chlorophyll synthesis and maintain the integrity of tobacco leaf structure. Effective component analysis indicated that the complex of ammonium calcium nitrate and glycine betaine was the main effective component of LTRA in maintaining membrane integrity. Its effective concentration was 1.0 g L−1. The above results suggested that LTRA could enhance the synthesis of chlorophyll, activate the activity of antioxidant enzyme, maintain the integrity of cell membrane, and thus elevate the tolerance of tobacco seedlings to low-temperature stress.
A 50-yr resolution reconstruction of climate and environment variability during the period 43–14 ka was developed using 26 high-precision U/Th dates and 390 oxygen isotope (δ18O) data of a stalagmite (SJ1) collected from Songjia Cave in central China, which is close to the northwestern boundary of the Asian summer monsoon (ASM). The δ18O record in SJ1 displays significant millennial-scale changes that correlate well in timing and duration with Dansgaard/Oeschger (D/O) events 5–10 and Heinrich event 4 (H4) identified in high-latitude regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Four 230Th dates constrain the H4 event precisely to the period of 39.7 to 38.3 ka. Notable centennial variations of the ASM activity could be observed within the H4 event. The magnitude and duration of D/O event 4.1 recorded in SJ1 are similar to those archived in east China but different from those documented in southwest China, suggesting that the manifestation of this event may be regionally different. The timing, duration and structure of D/O events 5–10 and Heinrich event 4 suggest that temperature changes in both hemispheres have exerted significant influences on the ASM variations in central China.
Toxoplasma gondii is a major cause of congenital brain disease; however, the underlying mechanism of neuropathogenesis in brain toxoplasmosis remains elusive. To explore the role of T. gondii in the development of neural stem cells (NSCs), NSCs were isolated from GD14 embryos of ICR mice and were co-cultured with tachyzoites of T. gondii RH strain. We found that apoptosis levels of the NSCs co-cultured with 1×106 RH tachyzoites for 24 and 48 h significantly increased in a dose-dependent manner, as compared with the control. Western blotting analysis displayed that the protein level of C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) was up-regulated, and caspase-12 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) were activated in the NSCs co-cultured with the parasites. Pretreatment with endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) inhibitor (TUDCA) and caspase-12 inhibitor (Z-ATAD-FMK) inhibited the expression or activation of the key molecules involved in the ERS-mediated apoptotic pathway, and subsequently decreased the apoptosis levels of the NSCs induced by the T. gondii. The findings here highlight that T. gondii induced apoptosis of the NSCs through the ERS signal pathway via activation of CHOP, caspase-12 and JNK, which may constitute a potential molecular mechanism responsible for the cognitive disturbance in neurological disorders of T. gondii.
Recent progress on rare-earth doped polycrystalline YAG transparent ceramics has made them an alternative novel solid-state laser gain material. In this paper we present results of our research on polycrystalline RE:YAG transparent ceramics. High optical quality YAG ceramics doped with various rare-earth (RE) ions such as
have been successfully fabricated using the solid-state reactive sintering method. Highly efficient laser oscillations of the fabricated ceramics are demonstrated.
Preclinical studies have suggested an anti-colorectal cancer effect of n-3 fatty acids, yet epidemiological studies have reported mixed results. The goal of the present meta-analysis was to examine the association between the dietary intake of n-3 fatty acids and colorectal cancer risk by conducting a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. We searched the PubMed database up to February 2012 to identify eligible studies. Either a fixed- or random-effects model was used to obtain a pooled relative risk (RR) comparing the highest intake of n-3 fatty acids with the lowest. We conducted subgroup analyses according to sex, geographic region, length of follow-up, cancer site and type of n-3 fatty acids. We included seven prospective studies in the meta-analysis, comprising 489 465 participants and 4656 incident cases. The pooled RR of colorectal cancer in relation to n-3 fatty acids was 0·98 (95 % CI 0·88, 1·09). The results from subgroup analysis indicated a significant reduced risk of colorectal cancer in relation to n-3 fatty acids among men (RR 0·87, 95 % CI 0·75, 1·00; n 4). No significant association was observed in other subgroups. There was no evidence of publication bias as suggested by Begg's test (P = 0·76) and Egger's test (P = 0·66). The present meta-analysis showed insufficient evidence of a protective effect of n-3 fatty acids on colorectal cancer risk. However, a reduced risk observed in men warrants further investigation.
We present astrometric results on two millisecond pulsars, PSR B1257+12 and PSR J1022+1001, as carried out through VLBI. For PSR B1257+12, a model-independent distance of 710−38+43 pc and proper motion of (μα = 46.44 ± 0.08 mas/yr, μδ=−84.87 ± 0.32 mas/yr) were obtained from 5 epochs of VLBA and 4 epochs of EVN observations, spanning about 2 years. The two dimensional proper motion of PSR J1022+1001 (μα~−10.13 mas/yr, μδ~16.89 mas/yr) was also estimated, using 3 epochs of EVN observations. Based on our results, the X-ray efficiency of PSR B1257+12 should be in the same range as other millisecond pulsars, and not as low as previously thought.
In our recent study, we first reported that mutation in vascular endothelial growth factor-A is associated with bicuspid aortic valve stenosis. However, to date no groups have explored the role of vascular endothelial growth factor-A variations in the aetiology of congenital tricuspid aortic valve stenosis.
We sequenced all eight coding exons and exon–intron boundaries of the vascular endothelial growth factor-A gene in deoxyribonucleic acid samples of a cohort of 32 sporadic patients with tricuspid aortic valve stenosis, 300 normal controls, and 103 disease controls – conotruncal defects – in order to identify sequence variants.
We identified a c.973C > T heterozygous nonsense variation in exon 6 of the vascular endothelial growth factor-A gene in a patient with an isolated tricuspid aortic valve stenosis. The c.973C > T variation, which was absent in all controls, changes a highly conserved arginine at amino acid position 325 to a stop codon (p.Arg325X) and is predicted to produce a truncated protein of 324 amino acid residues. The proband's parents had a normal cardiac phenotype; however, his father was a carrier of the p.Arg325X variation, which indicates that the p.Arg325X variation is inherited and incompletely penetrant.
We report for the first time that the p.Arg325X nonsense variation in the vascular endothelial growth factor-A gene may be associated with congenital tricuspid aortic valve stenosis.
In this work, two- and three-parameter Weibull statistics were used for analyzing the variability of fracture strength for Zr55Ti2Co28Al15 bulk metallic glass (BMG), both in compression and in tension testing. In contrast to the compression in which the specimens fail via the massive shear-off, however, failure mode in tension for the as-cast BMG is flaw-controlled crack opening (mode I or mixed mode) due to the presence of cast defects such as porosity. As a result, dispersion of compressive fracture strength is rather uniform. For the BMG rods of 6 mm in diameter, the three-parameter Weibull modulus m3p and threshold stress σμ (below which no failure occurs) are 3.4 and 1780 MPa, respectively. However, tensile fracture strength of the BMGs manifests a large variability, in a range of 310–1690 MPa. In terms of fracture surface morphology, the specimen failure at different stress is associated with two types of defects: large pores on/near the surface of specimens and small internal pores. Using bimodal and three-parameter Weibull analysis, the Weibull modulus m1 and threshold σμ1 at lower strength level are 1.8 and 250 MPa, respectively, suggesting a modest reliability. One should exercise caution, therefore, in interpreting the reliability of as-cast BMG materials only simply in terms of the compression tests, small-sized samples, and tow-parameter Weibull analysis. Like the conventional metal castings, controlling the processing conditions to minimize the cast defects is critical issue to ensure the reliability of BMG materials.
To investigate genetic and lifestyle factors and their interactions on plasma homocysteine (Hcy) concentrations in the Boston Puerto Rican population.
Cross-sectional study. Plasma concentrations of Hcy, folate, vitamin B12 and pyridoxal phosphate were measured, and genetic polymorphisms were determined. Data on lifestyle factors were collected in interviews.
A population survey of health and nutritional measures.
A total of 994 Puerto Rican men and women residing in the Boston metropolitan area.
Smoking status was positively associated with plasma Hcy. Genetic polymorphisms MTHFR 677C→T, FOLH1 1561C→T, FOLH1 rs647370 and PCFT 928A→G interacted significantly with smoking for Hcy. MTHFR 1298A→C (P = 0·040) and PCFT 928A→G (P = 0·002) displayed significant interactions with alcohol intake in determining plasma Hcy. Subjects with PCFT928GG genotype had significantly higher plasma Hcy concentrations compared with carriers of the A allele (AA+AG; P = 0·030) among non-drinking subjects. When consuming alcohol, GG subjects had lower plasma Hcy levels compared with AA+AG subjects. Physical activity interacted significantly with MTR 2756A→G in determining plasma Hcy (P for interaction = 0·002). Smoking interacted with physical activity for plasma Hcy (P for interaction = 0·023).
Smoking and drinking were associated plasma Hcy concentrations. Genetic variants involved in folate metabolism further modify the effects of lifestyle on plasma Hcy.
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.
In this work, we propose a simple approach for designing plastic bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) by exploiting the ductility of intermetallic compounds involved in the BMG-forming system. Its validity was examined by investigating a series of quaternary Cu-Zr-Y-Al alloys along the composition tie-line between Cu42Zr44.4Y3.6Al10 (Y1) and the B2 CuZr phase, expressed as (Cu0.5Zr0.5)x(M)100-x (M = Zr0.15Y0.225Al0.625, 84≤x≤93). When tuning the composition towards the CuZr, the glass-forming ability of alloys is dramatically degraded, showing a reduction of critical diameter Dc for BMG formation from 16 mm at x = 84 (Y1) to 2 mm at x = 93. As the composition of BMGs shifts to the CuZr terminal, the shear modulus μ of the BMGs decreases, whereas the Poisson's ratio ν increases. With respect to the Y1 BMG, compressive plasticity and toughness of the Y2 BMG (x = 92, Dc = 4 mm) with a higher concentration of the CuZr are improved, which is consistent with its lower μ and higher ν values.