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We assessed inheritance of resistance to sugarcane brown rust (Puccinia melanocephala) in selfing F1 populations of wild sugarcane germplasm Erianthus rockii ‘Yundian 95-19’ and E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-20’. We tested parent and selfing F1 individuals for the brown rust resistance gene, Bru1, that has been shown to confer resistance to brown rust in sugarcane. The Bru1 gene was not detected in E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-19’, E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-20’ or their selfing F1 individuals, and we found there was segregation of resistance in the two selfing F1 populations (segregation ratio: 3:1). The results confirmed resistance in E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-19’ and E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-20’ to sugarcane brown rust is controlled by a novel, single dominant gene.
The aim of the study was to investigate how maternal dietary patterns and maternal/fetal cytokines are associated with birth weight and whether cytokines mediate the association. A total of 469 pregnant women and their children were recruited for this prospective study. Dietary patterns in pregnancy were identified using factor analysis of data from three consecutive 24 h dietary recalls. Maternal and umbilical blood serum cytokines (adiponectin (APN), IL-6 and interferon-γ) were measured via ELISA. Path analysis was used to explore the relationships between maternal diet, cytokines and birth weight. Four dietary patterns were identified: a mainly fruit, dairy products and poultry diet (FDP); a mainly vegetables, beans and pork diet (VBP); a mainly fish, shrimp and soup diet (FS) and a mainly tuber and egg diet (TE). Path analysis showed the order of effects of dietary patterns on birth weight was FS>FDP>TE>VBP (β=0·130, 0·109, –0·094 and 0·046, respectively). Only the TE pattern’s effect was negative. Maternal and fetal APN were positively associated with birth weight (β=0·045 and 0·226, respectively), and they mediated the association between the TE pattern and birth weight (indirect effect was 5·3 %). Maternal IL-6 was negatively associated with birth weight (β=–0·067) and mediated the association between maternal FDP and VBP patterns and birth weight (indirect effects were 10·1 and 100·0 %, respectively). All variables in the path explained 33·6 % of variation. These results suggested that maternal dietary patterns in pregnancy are associated with birth weight and mediated directly and indirectly through some maternal/fetal serum cytokines.
Ceramics are strong but brittle. According to the classical theories, ceramics are brittle mainly because dislocations are suppressed by cracks. Here, the authors report the combined elastic and plastic deformation measurements of nanoceramics, in which dislocation-mediated stiff and ductile behaviors were detected at room temperature. In the synchrotron-based deformation experiments, a marked slope change is observed in the stress–strain relationship of MgAl2O4 nanoceramics at high pressures, indicating that a deformation mechanism shift occurs in the compression and that the nanoceramics sample is elastically stiffer than its bulk counterpart. The bulk-sized MgAl2O4 shows no texturing at pressures up to 37 GPa, which is compatible with the brittle behaviors of ceramics. Surprisingly, substantial texturing is seen in nanoceramic MgAl2O4 at pressures above 4 GPa. The observed stiffening and texturing indicate that dislocation-mediated mechanisms, usually suppressed in bulk-sized ceramics at low temperature, become operative in nanoceramics. This makes nanoceramics stiff and ductile.
Coatings with low friction coefficient and excellent anti-wear and anticorrosion performances are of great interest for fundamental research and practical applications. In the present study, Cobalt–nickel–phosphorus/graphene oxide (Co–Ni–P/GO) composite coating is prepared by a pulse electrodeposition method. Effect of the embedded GO sheets on the microstructures, microhardness, and electrochemical and tribological behaviors of the Co–Ni–P/GO composite coating are researched in detail. The results reveal that the co-deposition of GO sheets significantly improves the microhardness of the as-prepared Co–Ni–P/GO composite coating and changes the morphology of the Co–Ni–P coating from hemispheric structure to nodule structure with smaller globular particles for the Co–Ni–P/GO composite coating. In addition, friction and wear tests show that the incorporation of GO sheets endows the Co–Ni–P/GO composite coating with remarkable friction reduction and improved wear resistance. Electrochemical corrosion tests demonstrate that the Co–Ni–P/GO composite coating possesses better corrosion resistance than the Co–Ni–P coating.
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.
Muscle fibre types can transform from slow-twitch (slow myosin heavy chain (MyHC)) to fast-twitch (fast MyHC) or vice versa. Leucine plays a vital effect in the development of skeletal muscle. However, the role of leucine in porcine myofibre type transformation and its mechanism are still unclear. In this study, effects of leucine and microRNA-27a (miR-27a) on the transformation of porcine myofibre type were investigated in vitro. We found that leucine increased slow MyHC protein level and decreased fast MyHC protein level, increased the levels of phospho-protein kinase B (Akt)/Akt and phospho-forkhead box 1 (FoxO1)/FoxO1 and decreased the FoxO1 protein level. However, blocking the Akt/FoxO1 signalling pathway by wortmannin attenuated the role of leucine in porcine myofibre type transformation. Over-expression of miR-27a decreased slow MyHC protein level and increased fast MyHC protein level, whereas inhibition of miR-27a had an opposite effect. We also found that expression of miR-27a was down-regulated following leucine treatment. Moreover, over-expression of miR-27a repressed transformation from fast MyHC to slow MyHC caused by leucine, suggesting that miR-27a is interdicted by leucine and then contributes to porcine muscle fibre type transformation. Our finding provided the first evidence that leucine promotes porcine myofibre type transformation from fast MyHC to slow MyHC via the Akt/FoxO1 signalling pathway and miR-27a.
Dilated Cardiomyopathy is a serious heart disorder that may induce sudden cardiac death and heart failure. Significant progress has been made in understanding the molecular basis of dilated cardiomyopathy. In previous studies, mutations in more than fifty genes have been identified in dilated cardiomyopathy patients. The purpose of this study was to detect the genetic lesion in a family from the central south of China affected by severe dilated cardiomyopathy.
Whole-exome sequencing combined with cardiomyopathy-related genes list were used to analyse the mutations of the proband. Co-segregation analysis was performed by Sanger sequencing.
Results and conclusions
Two novel heterozygous mutations – Myosin Binding Protein C: p.L1014RfsX6 and Titin: p.R9793X – were identified in the proband. The deletion mutation c.3041delT/p.L1014RfsX6 caused a premature stop codon at position 1020 in exon 28 of the Myosin Binding Protein C. The nonsense mutation, c.29377 C>T/ p. R9793X, of Titin was located in the highly evolutionarily conserved domain, resulting in truncation of the Titin protein as well. Co-segregation analysis further revealed that the Myosin Binding Protein C mutation came from his mother and the Titin mutation came from his father. Both mutations are reported in dilated cardiomyopathy patients for the first time. Our study not only provides a unique example of the genes and molecular mechanisms involved in dilated cardiomyopathy but also expands the spectrum of Myosin Binding Protein C and Titin mutations and contributes to the genetic diagnosis and counselling of dilated cardiomyopathy patients.
The present paper studies the likelihood ratio order of posterior distributions of parameter when the same order exists between the corresponding prior of the parameter, or when the observed values of the sufficient statistic for the parameter differ. The established likelihood order allows one to compare the Bayesian estimators associated with many common and general error loss functions analytically. It can also enable one to compare the Bayes factor in hypothesis testing without using numerical computation. Moreover, using the likelihood ratio (LR) order of the posterior distributions can yield the LR order between marginal predictive distributions, and posterior predictive distributions.
Leucine, one of the branched-chain amino acids, is the only amino acid to regulate protein turnover in skeletal muscle. Leucine not only increases muscle protein synthesis, but also decreases muscle protein degradation. It is well documented that leucine plays a positive role in differentiation of murine muscle cells. However, the role of leucine on porcine myoblast differentiation and its mechanism remains unclear. In this study, porcine myoblasts were induced to differentiate with differentiation medium containing different concentrations of leucine, and wortmannin was used to interdict the activity of protein kinase B (Akt). We found that leucine increased the number of myosin heavy chain-positive cells and creatine kinase activity. Moreover, leucine increased the mRNA and protein levels of myogenin and myogenic determining factor (MyoD). In addition, leucine increased the levels of phosphorylated Akt/Akt and phosphorylated Forkhead box O1 (P-FoxO1)/FoxO1, as well as decreased the protein level of FoxO1. However, wortmannin, a specific repressor of PI3K/Akt signalling pathway, attenuated the positive role of leucine on porcine myoblast differentiation. Our results suggest that leucine promotes porcine myoblast differentiation through the Akt/FoxO1 signalling pathway.
SCN5A encodes sodium-channel α-subunit Nav1.5. The mutations of SCN5A can lead to hereditary cardiac arrhythmias such as the long-QT syndrome type 3 and Brugada syndrome. Here we sought to identify novel mutations in a family with arrhythmia.
Genomic DNA was isolated from blood of the proband, who was diagnosed with atrial flutter. Illumina Hiseq 2000 whole-exome sequencing was performed and an arrhythmia-related gene-filtering strategy was used to analyse the pathogenic genes. Sanger sequencing was applied to verify the mutation co-segregated in the family.
Results and conclusions
A novel missense mutation in SCN5A (C335R) was identified, and this mutation co-segregated within the affected family members. This missense mutation was predicted to result in amplitude reduction in peak Na+ current, further leading to channel protein dysfunction. Our study expands the spectrum of SCN5A mutations and contributes to genetic counselling of families with arrhythmia.
The number of elderly individuals living in China is increasing rapidly. The aim of this study was to examine the potential risk factors of geriatric depression in rural areas.
A repeated cross-sectional study was conducted between January 2015 and October 2016 in rural China. Nine hundred forty-five elderly individuals were included in both investigations. A generalized estimating equation (GEE) was used to examine the relationships between geriatric depression and socio-demographics, the number of chronic diseases, ADL (Activity of Daily Living) disability, cognitive impairment, and anxiety.
Among the participants, the majority was female (61.4%) and illiterate (81.5%) and had a general economic status (63.0%) and more than two kinds of chronic diseases (62.9%). The bivariate analysis indicated that geriatric depression was associated with social support, education level, economic status, ADL disability, anxiety disorders, and cognitive impairment at both survey time points. The GEE results showed that poor economic status (OR = 8.294, p < 0.001), the presence of more than two chronic diseases (OR = 1.681, p = 0.048), ADL disability (OR = 2.184, p < 0.001), cognitive impairment (OR = 1.921, p < 0.001), and anxiety (OR = 5.434, p < 0.001) were risk factors for geriatric depression in rural China; better social support (OR = 0.924, 95% CI = 0.899–0.949, p < 0.001) was found to be a protective factor.
Geriatric depression in rural China was associated with several socio-demographic, physical, and mental factors. Targeted interventions are essential to improve the psychological health of aged individuals in rural China.
A coaxial-output rolled strip pulse-forming line (RSPFL) with a dry structure is researched for the purpose of miniaturization and all-solid state of pulse-forming lines (PFL). The coaxial-output RSPFL consists of a coaxial-output electrode (COE) and a rolled strip line (RSL). The COE is characterized by quasi-coaxial structure, making the output pulse propagate along the axial direction with a small output inductance. The RSL is rolled on the COE, whose transmission characteristics are analyzed theoretically. It shows that the RSL can be regarded as a planar strip line when the rolling radius of the strip line is larger than 60 times of the thickness of the insulation dielectric layer of RSL. CST modeling was carried out to simulate the discharging characteristic of the coaxial-output RSPFL. It shows that the coaxial-output RSPFL can deliver a discharging pulse with a rise time <6 ns when the impedance of the RSL matches that of the COE, which confirms the theoretical analysis. A prototype of the coaxial-output RSPFL was developed. A 49-kV discharging pulse on a matched load was achieved when it was charged to 100 kV. The discharging waveform has a pulse width of 32 ns, with a rise time of 6 ns, which is consistent with the simulation waveform. An energy-storage density of 1.9 J/L was realized in the coaxial-output RSPFL. By the method of multi-stage connection in series, a much higher output voltage is convenient to be obtained.
With the rise of a new generation of investment policies, upgrading existing bilateral investment treaties (BITs) is of significant interest to states. China has upgraded 28 per cent of its investment treaties in various ways. Two investment arbitration tribunals and one highest court at the seat of arbitration have recently rendered decisions favouring the application of old Chinese BITs over the upgraded ones. China's experience with upgrading BITs may provide general policy discourse and direction for other countries planning to upgrade their BITs. Using China's experience, this article categorizes different methods of upgrading BITs into the Coexistence Model (parties to an old BIT join existing or new free trade agreements or a regional investment agreement), the Replacement Model (replace an old BIT with a new one), the Amendment Model (amend an old BIT by a protocol) and the Joint Interpretation Model (make a diplomatic announcement to interpret a BIT). This article also discusses the benefits and challenges of each model and concludes with directions for future BIT upgrading.
To investigate the effects of depositional and post-depositional processes on chemical records in the snowpack, seven monthly snow pits were sampled at the same site on the pass of Zhadang (ZD) glacier (30˚28.079' N, 90˚39.032' E; 5800ma.s.l.), Nyainqentanglha mountain, southern Tibetan Plateau, between April and October 2006. Meteorological data from an automatic weather station at the sampling site showed that the annual mean air temperature was –5.6˚C on the pass and that monthly air temperature was above 0˚C from June to August, indicating that snowmelt could occur in this high-elevation region during the summer. An analysis of δ18O and major-ion variability in snow pits suggests that glaciochemical recordswere influenced by both meltwater percolation in mid-summer (July and August) and seasonal deposition. Less negative δ18O values and high concentrations of major ions occurred during the spring. The trends of δ18O variations in the ZD snow pits were consistent with those in precipitation sampled at the nearby Nam Co station for all months except for July and August, suggesting that climate signals are well preserved in the snow-pit δ18O records during the non-summer months. However, these climate signals were destroyed by strong percolation of meltwater during mid-summer.
Global warming is causing widespread glacier retreat, with small glaciers disappearing. We investigate changes in glaciers over the western Lenglongling mountains, located in the northeastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau. Glacier extent over the western Lenglongling mountains is estimated by comparing digitized glacier outlines obtained from aerial photographs and satellite imagery. These results suggest that all 179 glaciers in the western Lenglongling mountains shrunk between 1972 and 2007. The total area loss was ~24.4 km2, accounting for ~28.3% (0.81% a-1) of the glacierized area in 1972. The average area retreat rates differ over different time intervals: they are approximately 0.68, 0.90, 0.77 and 0.56 km2 a-1 over the periods 1972-95,1995-99,1999-2002 and 2002-07, respectively. Based on analysis of meteorological data, glacier shrinkage in the study area can probably be attributed to the increase in air temperature. Furthermore, the smaller glaciers display a higher shrinkage rate than larger glaciers, and glaciers on southwest-facing slopes appear to retreat faster than those on northeast- facing slopes.
Kawasaki disease, which is characterised by systemic vasculitides accompanied by acute fever, is regularly treated by intravenous immunoglobulin to avoid lesion formation in the coronary artery; however, the mechanism of intravenous immunoglobulin therapy is unclear. Hence, we aimed to analyse the global expression profile of serum exosomal proteins before and after administering intravenous immunoglobulin.
Two-dimensional electrophoresis coupled with mass spectrometry analysis was used to identify the differentially expressed proteome of serum exosomes in patients with Kawasaki disease before and after intravenous immunoglobulin therapy.
Our analysis revealed 69 differential protein spots in the Kawasaki disease group with changes larger than 1.5-fold and 59 differential ones in patients after intravenous immunoglobulin therapy compared with the control group. Gene ontology analysis revealed that the acute-phase response disappeared, the functions of the complement system and innate immune response were enhanced, and the antibacterial humoral response pathway of corticosteroids and cardioprotection emerged after administration of intravenous immunoglobulin. Further, we showed that complement C3 and apolipoprotein A-IV levels increased before and decreased after intravenous immunoglobulin therapy and that the insulin-like growth factor-binding protein complex acid labile subunit displayed reverse alteration before and after intravenous immunoglobulin therapy. These observations might be potential indicators of intravenous immunoglobulin function.
Our results show the differential proteomic profile of serum exosomes of patients with Kawasaki disease before and after intravenous immunoglobulin therapy, such as complement C3, apolipoprotein A-IV, and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein complex acid labile subunit. These results may be useful in the identification of markers for monitoring intravenous immunoglobulin therapy in patients with Kawasaki disease.
The intestine plays key roles in maintaining body arginine (Arg) homoeostasis. Meanwhile, the intestine is very susceptible to reactive oxygen species. In light of this, the study aimed to explore the effects of Arg supplementation on intestinal morphology, Arg transporters and metabolism, and the potential protective mechanism of Arg supplementation in piglets under oxidative stress. A total of thirty-six weaned piglets were randomly allocated to six groups with six replicates and fed a base diet (0·95 % Arg,) or base diet supplemented with 0·8 % and 1·6 % l-Arg for 1 week, respectively. Subsequently, a challenge test was conducted by intraperitoneal injection of diquat, an initiator of radical production, or sterile saline. The whole trial lasted 11 d. The diquat challenge significantly decreased plasma Arg concentration at 6 h after injection (P<0·05), lowered villus height in the jejunum and ileum (P<0·05) as well as villus width and crypt depth in the duodenum, jejunum and ileum (P<0·05). Oxidative stress significantly increased cationic amino acid transporter (CAT)-1, CAT-2 and CAT-3, mRNA levels (P<0·05), decreased arginase II (ARGII) and inducible nitric oxide synthase mRNA levels, and increased TNF-α mRNA level in the jejunum (P<0·05). Supplementation with Arg significantly decreased crypt depth (P<0·05), suppressed CAT-1 mRNA expression induced by diquat (P<0·05), increased ARGII and endothelial nitric oxide synthase mRNA levels (P<0·05), and effectively relieved the TNF-α mRNA expression induced by diquat in the jejunum (P<0·05). It is concluded that oxidative stress decreased Arg bioavailability and increased expression of inflammatory cytokines in the jejunum, and that Arg supplementation has beneficial effects in the jejunum through regulation of the metabolism of Arg and suppression of inflammatory cytokine expression in piglets.
A need exists for public health strategies regarding extreme weather disasters, which in recent years have become more frequent. This study aimed to understand the public’s perception of extreme cold and its related health risks, which may provide detailed information for public health preparedness during an extreme cold weather event.
To evaluate public perceptions of cold-related health risk and to identify vulnerable groups, we collected responses from 891 participants in a face-to-face survey in Harbin, China. Public perception was measured by calculating the score for each perception question.
Locals perceived that extreme cold weather and related health risks were serious, but thought they could not avoid these risks. The significant difference in perceived acceptance level between age groups suggested that the elderly are a “high health risk, low risk perception” group, meaning that they are relatively more vulnerable owing to their high susceptibility and low awareness of the health risks associated with extreme cold weather.
The elderly should be a priority in risk communication and health protective interventions. This study demonstrated that introducing risk perception into the public health field can identify vulnerable groups with greater needs, which may improve the decision-making of public health intervention strategies. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:417–421)