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Universities and public research institutes are encouraged to collaborate with industries and promote knowledge transfer from academia to the private sector in order to promote commercialization of inventions and to foster innovations that would facilitate economic growth. Patenting research outputs is one way of facilitating this knowledge transfer. This chapter focuses on tracking patenting as a way of measuring performance of public research organizations. The chapter proposes how patent filings across different countries using patent data filed through the Patent Cooperation Treaty can be captured and compared and how national-level patent data can be compiled using the PATSTAT database. The chapter shows that global patenting by public research institutions and universities has increased in the last thirty-five years, with patenting dominance shifting from Europe and the United States to Asia. It shows that while private sector businesses continue to play a major role in global patenting, public research organizations are emerging as important innovation drivers. The chapter concludes that while there are limitations in using patent data and the extent to which it measures innovativeness, these data are still useful in helping to identify potential weaknesses and highlight strengths of public research organizations.
The neuropeptide oxytocin is proposed as a promising therapy for social dysfunction by modulating amygdala-mediated social-emotional behavior. Although clinical trials report some benefits of chronic treatment, it is unclear whether efficacy may be influenced by dose frequency or genotype.
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pharmaco-functional magnetic resonance imaging trial (150 male subjects), we investigated acute and different chronic (every day or on alternate days for 5 days) intranasal oxytocin (24 international units) effects and oxytocin receptor genotype-mediated treatment sensitivity on amygdala responses to face emotions. We also investigated similar effects on resting-state functional connectivity between the amygdala and prefrontal cortex.
A single dose of oxytocin-reduced amygdala responses to all face emotions but for threatening (fear and anger) and happy faces, this effect was abolished after daily doses for 5 days but maintained by doses given every other day. The latter dose regime also enhanced associated anxious-arousal attenuation for fear faces. Oxytocin effects on reducing amygdala responses to face emotions only occurred in AA homozygotes of rs53576 and A carriers of rs2254298. The effects of oxytocin on resting-state functional connectivity were not influenced by either dose-frequency or receptor genotype.
Infrequent chronic oxytocin administration may be therapeutically most efficient and its anxiolytic neural and behavioral actions are highly genotype-dependent in males.
Toxoplasma gondii rhoptry protein TgROP18 is a polymorphic virulence effector that targets immunity-related GTPases (IRGs) in rodents. Given that IRGs are uniquely diversified in rodents and not in other T. gondii intermediate hosts, the role of TgROP18 in manipulating non-rodent cells is unclear. Here we show that in human cells TgROP18I interacts with the interferon-gamma-inducible protein N-myc and STAT interactor (NMI) and that this is a property that is unique to the type I TgROP18 allele. Specifically, when expressed ectopically in mammalian cells only TgROP18I co-immunoprecipitates with NMI in IFN-γ-treated cells, while TgROP18II does not. In parasites expressing TgROP18I or TgROP18II, NMI only co-immunoprecipitates with TgROP18I and this is associated with allele-specific immunolocalization of NMI on the parasitophorous vacuolar membrane (PVM). We also found that TgROP18I reduces NMI association with IFN-γ-activated sequences (GAS) in the IRF1 gene promoter. Finally, we determined that polymorphisms in the C-terminal kinase domain of TgROP18I are required for allele-specific effects on NMI. Together, these data further define new host pathway targeted by TgROP18I and provide the first function driven by allelic differences in the highly polymorphic ROP18 locus.
Earlier studies examining structural brain abnormalities associated with cognitively derived subgroups were mainly cross-sectional in design and had mixed findings. Thus, we obtained cross-sectional and longitudinal data to characterize the extent and trajectory of brain structure abnormalities underlying distinct cognitive subtypes (“preserved,” “deteriorated,” and “compromised”) seen in psychotic spectrum disorders.
Data from 364 subjects (225 patients with psychotic conditions and 139 healthy controls) were first used to determine the relationship of cognitive subtypes with cross-sectional measures of subcortical volume and cortical thickness. To probe neurodevelopmental abnormalities, brain structure laterality was examined. To examine whether neuroprogressive abnormalities persist, longitudinal brain structural changes over 5 years were examined within a subset of 101 subjects. Subsequent discriminant analysis using the identified brain measures was performed on an independent subject group.
Cross-sectional comparisons showed that cortical thinning and limbic volume reductions were most widespread in “deteriorated” cognitive subtype. Laterality comparisons showed more rightward amygdala lateralization in “compromised” than “preserved” subtype. Longitudinal comparisons revealed progressive hippocampal shrinkage in “deteriorated” compared with healthy controls and “preserved” subtype, which correlated with worse negative symptoms, cognitive and psychosocial functioning. Post-hoc discrimination analysis on an independent group of 52 subjects using the identified brain structures found an overall accuracy of 71% for classification of cognitive subtypes.
These findings point toward distinct extent and trajectory of corticolimbic abnormalities associated with cognitive subtypes in psychosis, which can allow further understanding of the biological course of cognitive functioning over illness course and with treatment.
The experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of dietary threonine (Thr) on growth performance and muscle growth, protein synthesis and antioxidant-related signalling pathways of hybrid catfish Pelteobagrus vachelli♀ × Leiocassis longirostris♂. A total of 1200 fish (14·19 (se 0·13) g) were randomly distributed into six groups with four replicates each, fed six diets with graded level of Thr (9·5, 11·5, 13·5, 15·4, 17·4 and 19·3 g/kg diets) for 56 d. Results showed (P < 0·05) that dietary Thr (1) increased percentage weight gain, specific growth rate, feed efficiency and protein efficiency ratio; (2) up-regulated growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), proliferating cell nuclear antigen, myogenic regulation factors (MyoD, Myf5, MyoG and Mrf4) and myosin heavy chain (MyHC) mRNA levels; (3) increased muscle protein content via regulating the protein kinase B/target of rapamycin signalling pathway and (4) decreased malondialdehyde and protein carbonyl contents, increased catalase, glutathione-S-transferase, glutathione reductase and GSH activities, up-regulated mRNA levels of antioxidant enzymes related to NFE2-related factor 2 and γ-glutamylcysteine ligase catalytic subunit. These results suggest that Thr has a potential role to improve muscle growth and protein synthesis, which might be due to the regulation of GH-IGF system, muscle growth-related gene, antioxidative capacity and protein synthesis-related signalling pathways. Based on the quadratic regression analysis of specific growth rate, the Thr requirement of hybrid catfish (14·19–25·77 g) was estimated to be 13·77 g/kg of the diet (33·40 g/kg of dietary protein).
We established a mastitis model using exogenous infection of the mammary gland of Chinese Holstein cows with Staphylococcus aureus and extracted total RNA from S. aureus-infected and healthy mammary quarters. Differential expression of genes due to mastitis was evaluated using Affymetrix technology and results revealed a total of 1230 differentially expressed mRNAs. A subset of affected genes was verified via Q-PCR and pathway analysis. In addition, Solexa high-throughput sequencing technology was used to analyze profiles of miRNA in infected and healthy quarters. These analyses revealed a total of 52 differentially expressed miRNAs. A subset of those results was verified via Q-PCR. Bioinformatics techniques were used to predict and analyze the correlations among differentially expressed miRNA and mRNA. Results revealed a total of 329 pairs of negatively associated miRNA/mRNA, with 31 upregulated pairs of mRNA and 298 downregulated pairs of mRNA. Differential expression of miR-15a and interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase-like 2 (IRAK2), were evaluated by western blot and luciferase reporter assays. We conclude that miR-15a and miR-15a target genes (IRAK2) constitute potential miRNA–mRNA regulatory pairs for use as biomarkers to predict a mastitis response.
The work described in this research communication aimed to investigate whether rumen-protected methionine (Met) supplementation during the periparturient period would affect the expression of galectins in blood-derived neutrophils, and secretion of galectins, IL (interleukin)-1β, IL-6, myeloperoxidase (MPO), and glucose in plasma. Because supplementation of rumen-protected Met would alleviate inflammation and oxidative stress during the peripartal period, we hypothesized that enhancing Met supply would benefit the innate immune response at least in part by altering the expression of galectin genes associated with neutrophil activity and inflammation. Galectins (Gal) have an immuno-modulating effect acting like cell-surface receptors whose activation often results in signaling cascades stimulating cells such as neutrophils. This study revealed an association between Met supplementation and galectin expression and secretion. This implies that galectin expression and secretion can be modulated by Met supplementation. Further studies are needed to evaluate the regulation of galectin gene expression for therapeutic and dietary intervention in the peripartal cow.
The regulation of lipogenesis and lipolysis mechanisms related to consumption of lipid has not been studied in swimming crab. The aims of the present study were to evaluate the effects of dietary lipid levels on growth, enzymes activities and expression of genes of lipid metabolism in hepatopancreas of juvenile swimming crab. Three isonitrogenous diets were formulated to contain crude lipid levels at 5·8, 9·9 and 15·1 %. Crabs fed the diet containing 15·1 % lipid had significantly lower growth performance and feed utilisation than those fed the 5·8 and 9·9 % lipid diets. Crabs fed 5·8 % lipid had lower malondialdehyde concentrations in the haemolymph and hepatopancreas than those fed the other diets. Highest glutathione peroxidase in haemolymph and superoxide dismutase in hepatopancreas were observed in crabs fed 5·8 % lipid. The lowest fatty acid synthase and glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase activities in hepatopancreas were observed in crabs fed 15·1 % lipid, whereas crabs fed 5·8 % lipid had lower carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 activity than those fed the other diets. Crabs fed 15·1 % lipid showed lower hepatopancreas expression of genes involved in long-chain-PUFA biosynthesis, lipoprotein clearance, fatty acid uptake, fatty acid oxidation, lipid anabolism and lipid catabolism than those fed the other diets, whereas expression of some genes of lipoprotein assembly and fatty acid oxidation was up-regulated compared with crabs fed 5·8 % lipid. Overall, high dietary lipid level can inhibit growth, reduce antioxidant enzyme activities and influence lipid metabolic pathways to regulate lipid deposition in crab.
Owing to the development of new technologies, the epigenome, a second dimensional method for genome analysis has emerged. Epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation, histone modifications and noncoding RNAs, regulate gene expression without changing the genetic sequence. These epigenetic mechanisms normally modulate gene expression, trans-generational effects and inherited expression states in various biological processes. Abnormal epigenetic patterns typically cause pathological conditions, including cancers, age-related diseases, and specific cartilage and bone diseases. Facing the rapidly developing epigenetic field, we reviewed epigenetic mechanisms and their involvement with the skeletal system and their role in skeletal development, homeostasis and degeneration. Finally, we discuss the prospects for the future of epigenetics.
Salt, promoting oxidative stress, contributes to insulin resistance, whereas K, inhibiting oxidative stress, improves insulin sensitivity. Oxidative stress activation of NLRP3 inflammasome is a central player in the induction of insulin resistance. Therefore, we hypothesised that NLRP3 inflammasome may mediate the effects of salt and K on insulin resistance. In all, fifty normotensive subjects were recruited from a rural community of Northern China. The protocol included a low-salt diet for 7 d, then a high-salt diet for 7 d and a high-salt diet with K supplementation for another 7 d. In addition, THP-1 cells were cultured in different levels of Na with and without K. The results showed that salt loading elevated fasting blood glucose, insulin and C-peptide levels, as well as insulin resistance, whereas K supplementation reversed them. Meanwhile, additional K reversed the active effects of high salt on NLRP3 inflammasome in both the subjects and THP-1 cells, and the change of insulin resistance index notably related with the alteration of plasma IL-1β, the index of NLRP3 inflammasome activation, during intervention in the subjects. Additional K ameliorated oxidative stress induced by high salt in both the subjects and cultured THP-1 cells, and the change of oxidative stress related with the alteration of plasma IL-1β during intervention in the subjects. In vitro, antioxidant N-acetyl-l-cysteine significantly prevented the active effects of high Na or oxidant Rosup on NLRP3 inflammasome, so did K. Our study indicates that oxidative stress modulation of NLRP3 inflammasome may be involved in the impacts of Na and K on insulin resistance.
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.
Objectives: The objective was to review the literature on diffusion tensor imaging as well as resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography (EEG) to unveil neuroanatomical and neurophysiological substrates of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) as a brain neural network pathology affecting structural and functional cortical connectivity underlying human cognition. Methods: We reviewed papers registered in PubMed and other scientific repositories on the use of these techniques in amnesic mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and clinically mild AD dementia patients compared to cognitively intact elderly individuals (Controls). Results: Hundreds of peer-reviewed (cross-sectional and longitudinal) papers have shown in patients with MCI and mild AD compared to Controls (1) impairment of callosal (splenium), thalamic, and anterior–posterior white matter bundles; (2) reduced correlation of resting state blood oxygen level-dependent activity across several intrinsic brain circuits including default mode and attention-related networks; and (3) abnormal power and functional coupling of resting state cortical EEG rhythms. Clinical applications of these measures are still limited. Conclusions: Structural and functional (in vivo) cortical connectivity measures represent a reliable marker of cerebral reserve capacity and should be used to predict and monitor the evolution of AD and its relative impact on cognitive domains in pre-clinical, prodromal, and dementia stages of AD. (JINS, 2016, 22, 138–163)
This study investigated the effects of glycinin on the growth, intestinal oxidative status, tight junction components, cytokines and apoptosis signalling factors of fish. The results showed that an 80 g/kg diet of glycinin exposure for 42 d caused poor growth performance and depressed intestinal growth and function of juvenile Jian carp (Cyprinus carpio var. Jian). Meanwhile, dietary glycinin exposure induced increases in lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation; it caused reductions in superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities; and it increased MnSOD, CuZnSOD, GPx1b and GPx4a mRNA levels, suggesting an adaptive mechanism against stress in the intestines of fish. However, dietary glycinin exposure decreased both the activity and mRNA levels of nine isoforms of glutathione-S-transferase (GST) (α, μ, π, ρ, θ, κ, mGST1, mGST2 and mGST3), indicating toxicity to this enzyme activity and corresponding isoform gene expressions. In addition, glycinin exposure caused partial disruption of intestinal cell–cell tight junction components, disturbances of cytokines and induced apoptosis signalling in the distal intestines>mid intestines>proximal intestines of fish. Glycinin exposure also disturbed the mRNA levels of intestinal-related signalling factors Nrf2, Keap1a, Keap1b, eleven isoforms of protein kinase C and target of rapamycin/4E-BP. Interestingly, glutamine was observed to partially block those negative influences. In conclusion, this study indicates that dietary glycinin exposure causes intestinal oxidative damage and disruption of intestinal physical barriers and functions and reduces fish growth, but glutamine can reverse those negative effects in fish. This study provides some information on the mechanism of glycinin-induced negative effects.
The dispersal unit of many species of Brassicaceae is an indehiscent fruit, but relatively few studies have tested the effect of the pericarp on seed germination in this family. Our aim was to determine the effect of the pericarp on seed dormancy in six species of Brassicaceae native to the cold desert of north-west China. Intact dispersal units and isolated seeds of Chorispora sibirica, Euclidium syriacum, Goldbachia laevigata, Spirorrhynchus sabulosus, Sterigmostemum fuhaiense and Tauscheria lasiocarpa were stored dry at ambient laboratory conditions for 0–12 months and tested for germination in light and in dark at 5/2, 15/2 and 30/15°C. The amount of water absorbed by fruits and by seeds within the fruits was determined. For four species, intact fruits, isolated seeds and isolated seeds plus the removed pericarps were used to test for the mechanical versus possible chemical role of the pericarp in seed dormancy. Fresh isolated seeds, which have a fully developed embryo, germinated to lower percentages and rates than afterripened seeds. Thus, seeds have non-deep physiological dormancy. The pericarp significantly reduced germination, but inhibition was not due to lack of water uptake by seeds or to chemical inhibitors. Afterripened seeds of the six species germinated to 0–50% inside the fruits. We conclude that the pericarp plays a dominant role in seed dormancy of the six study species, and it does so by mechanically restricting embryo growth. Thus, the pericarp has the potential to spread germination over an extended period of time.
Organ shortage is a severe challenge worldwide. Three-dimensional (3D) printing, a rapidly developing engineering and materials science tool, holds considerable promise in generating implantable organ scaffolds that may reduce or eliminate organ shortage. However, translation of 3D printing into clinical therapies has been astonishingly slow and certainly has not matched the pace of technology development. This review outlines challenges and opportunities for the application of 3D printing in tissue and organ regeneration, with emphasis on in vivo applications of 3D-printed scaffolds. Three-dimensional-printed scaffolds for the regeneration of complex tissues and organs, including bone, cartilage, tooth, and skin, serve as prototypes for 3D printing of other tissues and organs such as the liver, kidney, or heart. The aspiration to reduce or eliminate organ shortage appears to hinge on the translation of 3D bioprinting technologies into preclinical studies and clinical trials. The remaining challenges of cell survival, directed differentiation, angiogenesis, and metabolic exchange are far from trial and need to be addressed. Three-dimensional-printed materials will remain a biomaterials and engineering showcase unless applications in preclinical and clinical models are realized. In balance, 3D printing holds considerable promise in regenerative medicine as a unique approach to address organ shortage.
In this paper, the hole carrier mobility of organic semiconductor N,N′-diphenyl-N,N′bis(1,1′-biphenyl)-4,4′-diamine (NPD) was researched by negative differential susceptance spectra (−ΔB = −w(C − Cgeo) ~ f). Under the condition of space charge limited current (SCLC), through solving the drift current equation and Poisson equation and simulating the spectra −ΔB = −w(C − Cgeo) ~ f, the relationship between the peak of −ΔB = −w(C − Cgeo) ~ f spectra (1/ƒp = τp) and the transfer time of carrier (τdc) could be achieved to be τdc = k × τp. So the hole-only device of ITO/NPD/Ag was fabricated to determine the capacitance spectra, and through which its −ΔB = −w(C − Cgeo) ~ f could be plotted. According to the relationship of τdc = k × τp, where k was determined to be 0.56, the transfer time and further the carrier mobility could be obtained. The carrier mobility depended on the electric field according to Poole-Frenkel model was further investigated in this report.