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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.
The present study was undertaken to investigate the antiparasitic activity of extracellular products of Streptomyces albus. Bioactivity-guided isolation of chloroform extracts affording a compound showing potent activity. The structure of the compound was elucidated as salinomycin (SAL) by EI-MS, 1H NMR and 13C NMR. In vitro test showed that SAL has potent anti-parasitic efficacy against theronts of Ichthyophthirius multifiliis with 10 min, 1, 2, 3 and 4 h (effective concentration) EC50 (95% confidence intervals) of 2.12 (2.22–2.02), 1.93 (1.98–1.88), 1.42 (1.47–1.37), 1.35 (1.41–1.31) and 1.11 (1.21–1.01) mg L−1. In vitro antiparasitic assays revealed that SAL could be 100% effective against I. multifiliis encysted tomonts at a concentration of 8.0 mg L−1. In vivo test demonstrated that the number of I. multifiliis trophonts on Erythroculter ilishaeformis treated with SAL was markedly lower than that of control group at 10 days after exposed to theronts (P < 0.05). In the control group, 80% mortality was observed owing to heavy I. multifiliis infection at 10 days. On the other hand, only 30.0% mortality was recorded in the group treated with 8.0 mg L−1 SAL. The median lethal dose (LD50) of SAL for E. ilishaeformis was 32.9 mg L−1.
This study aimed to investigate associations among spirituality, coping strategies, quality of life (QOL), and the effects of depression and anxiety thereon in cancer patients.
In total, 237 cancer patients referred to a psycho-oncology clinic at a university hospital in Korea were enrolled. After identifying predictors of patient QOL in a stepwise regression model, we developed a hypothetical path model wherein interpersonal coping was considered as a mediating variable between spirituality (meaning/peace) and QOL and wherein depression and anxiety affected each of these three variables.
The direct effect of spirituality (meaning/peace) on QOL was 36.7%. In an indirect model, interpersonal coping significantly mediated the relationship between spirituality (meaning/peace) and QOL. Depression exerted the largest negative effect on spirituality (meaning/peace), interpersonal coping, and QOL. Anxiety had negative effects on spirituality (meaning/peace) and QOL, but a positive effect on interpersonal coping.
Significance of results
Interpersonal coping strategies work as a partial mediator of the relationship between meaning/peace subscales of spirituality and QOL. Effective management of depression may help in achieving better outcomes associated therewith. Greater attention and efforts to improve social connectedness and meaning of life in spiritual well-being may improve the QOL of cancer patients.
Due to the lack of an effective prophylactic intervention and diagnosis, human liver fluke Clonorchis sinensis continues to afflict a large human population, causing a chronic inflammatory bile duct disease. With an aim to identify target antigens for sensitive serodiagnosis, adenylate kinase 3 of C. sinensis (CsAK3) was successfully expressed in soluble form in Escherichia coli by fusion to an RNA-interacting domain derived from human Lys-tRNA synthetase and purified by Ni2+-affinity chromatography. Anti-CsAK3 serum was raised by immunization of mice, and Western blotting confirmed that CsAK3 was expressed in adult-stage C. sinensis. Histochemical analysis showed that CsAK3 was localized to the subtegumental tissue of C. sinensis and was excreted into the bile duct of the host. When tested against sera from various parasite-infected patients by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, the recombinant CsAK3 elicited a specific response to C. sinensis-infected sera. The results suggest that CsAK3, either alone or in combination with other antigens, could be used for improving the clinical diagnosis of clonorchiasis.
Allicin (AL) regulates the cellular redox, proliferation, viability, and cell cycle of different cells against extracellular-derived stress. This study investigated the effects of allicin treatment on porcine oocyte maturation and developmental competence. Porcine oocytes were cultured in medium supplemented with 0 (control), 0.01, 0.1, 1, 10 or 100 μM AL, respectively, during in vitro maturation (IVM). The rate of polar body emission was higher in the 0.1 AL-treated group (74.5% ± 2.3%) than in the control (68.0% ± 2.6%) (P < 0.1). After parthenogenetic activation, the rates of cleavage and blastocyst formation were significantly higher in the 0.1 AL-treated group than in the control (P < 0.05). The reactive oxygen species level at metaphase II did not significantly differ among all groups. In matured oocytes, the expression of both BAK and CASP3, and BIRC5 was significantly lower and higher, respectively, in the 0.1 AL-treated group than in the control. Similarly, the expression of BMP15 and CCNB1, and the activity of phospho-p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), significantly increased. These results indicate that supplementation of oocyte maturation medium with allicin during IVM improves the maturation of oocytes and the subsequent developmental competence of porcine oocytes.
Technologies for detecting and analyzing a single molecule help us understand and engineer numerous phenomena observed in nature. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are highly efficient molecular conduits due to their atomically smooth surface. Because of their small diameters, comparable to the size of a single molecule, even a single blocking molecule can obstruct CNT fluidic channels. Analyzing these pore-blocking events in CNTs therefore enables single-molecule studies. The high-aspect ratios of CNT channels, which extend the time scale of transport, allow for studying molecular transport that is too fast to record in other systems. Both theoretical studies and ensemble experimental measurements have verified the enhanced flow of various ions and molecular species in CNTs. Experimental measurements of a single-CNT fluidic channel, however, have only recently begun, demonstrating the detection of individual DNA, polymer, and alkali-metal ions. This article reviews recent advances in single-nanotube fluidic channels with a focus on experimental measurements.
VLA images of the neutral hydrogen (HI) in the direction of HCG 2, 16, 33, 88, and 92 (Stephan's Quintet) are examined. In HCG 2 and 16, the HI gas is bound to the individual galaxies but shows definite signs of tidal interaction; while in HCG 92, the more compact configuration, the HI gas is contained within a few prominent cloud features well displaced from the optical positions of any of the spiral members. In every case, the motions of the gas are consistent with the motions of the galaxies within the Hickson groups. A range of kinematical properties is observed for the HI gas, from well-ordered rotation, to small-scale systematic gradients within the cloud features.
We have observed Hɪ emission and radio continuum emission from the compact group of galaxies HCG 95 with the Very Large Array (VLA)1. Two continuum sources coincide in with galaxies in this group: HCG 95 B (3.9 mJy) and HCG95C (6 mJy). Hɪ emission and absorption was detected in galaxy HCG 95 C. In addition we detected two so far unknown dwarf galaxies by their Hɪ emission within 3.5 arcmin of the group center. We did not detect galaxy b (with ç = 8000 kms−1 it is obviously a foreground object) and galaxy d — an edge-on Sc galaxy. This group definitely is Hɪ deficient compared with the average Hɪ content expected for spiral galaxies of the same luminosity and type. The first-ranked elliptical galaxy HCG 95 A might be responsible for the observed Hɪ deficiency in this group.
As an extreme kind of environment, Hickson Compact groups (HCGs) have shown to be very complex systems. HI-VLA observations revealed an intrincated network of HI tails and bridges, tracing pre-processing through extreme tidal interactions. We found HCGs to show a large HI deficiency supporting an evolutionary sequence where gas-rich groups transform via tidal interactions and ISM (interstellar medium) stripping into gas-poor systems. We detected as well a diffuse HI component in the groups, increasing with evolutionary phase, although with uncertain distribution. The complex net of detected HI as observed with the VLA seems hence so puzzling as the missing one. In this talk we revisit the existing VLA information on the HI distribution and kinematics of HCGs by means of X3D visualization. X3D constitutes a powerful tool to extract the most from HI data cubes and a mean of simplifying and easing the access to data visualization and publication via three-dimensional (3-D) diagrams.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to predict the potential impact of the introduction of implantation of polyurethane scaffold for the treatment of partial meniscal lesions in the South Korean healthcare system.
Methods: The horizon scanning process was used to select a target technology and assess its potential impacts on patients and the Korean healthcare system. We identified and filtered research-phase health technologies that are not listed yet in Korean, but appear promising. After a process of prioritization, we chose the implantation of polyurethane scaffolds as a target technology. Then, through the procedures of assessment and peer review, we analyzed current evidence and its predicted potential impacts.
Results: There were eight studies included in the review: one prospective cohort and seven case-series studies. Six revealed significant improvements in function and pain relief. Of the six studies, which reported safety endpoints, four stated no major postoperative complications related to scaffold, and two reported adverse events and serious adverse events such as pain, joint swelling, et cetera. We also included the potential impact of this technology based on the experts’ consultation. They all agreed that it would satisfy the diverse needs of patients and fulfill clinical needs. However, the majority of related clinical studies were based on short-term follow-up observations without any validation process involving comparison with control groups.
Conclusions: Through a horizon scanning activity, we found that the implantation of polyurethane scaffolds is a promising technology to resolve articular cartilage defects; however, long-term evidence with comparison groups for safety and effectiveness is required.
The objective of this study was to examine whether high serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration was associated with high skeletal muscle mass, taking into account the effects of sex and age among the participants of the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) aged 40 years or older. This was a cross-sectional study using data from the 2009 to 2010 KNHANES; a total of 8406 subjects (3671 men and 4735 women) were included. The appendicular skeletal muscle mass index (ASMMI, kg/m2) was estimated to measure the skeletal muscle mass. Hypovitaminosis was classified when the level of serum 25(OH)D was <20 ng/ml. The general linear model adjusted for confounding factors was used to determine differences in means of ASMMI by 25(OH)D status. The mean values of ASMMI were higher for men when compared with women. Women had a greater proportion of hypovitaminosis (71·1 %) compared with men (53·2 %). After adjusting for multiple factors, men were seen to have significant differences in ASMMI based on 25(OH)D status regardless of age, showing a lower mean value of ASSMI in those with hypovitaminosis. However, there was no difference in ASMMI by 25(OH)D status among women in both younger and older age groups. In conclusion, we found that there might be a positive relationship between 25(OH)D and skeletal muscle mass in men, indicating that interventions to improve 25(OH)D levels that are aimed at increasing muscle mass could be beneficial for men with more rapid decreased rate of skeletal muscle mass.
We present high resolution molecular line observations of dusty AGN and starburst in nearby luminous infrared galaxies (LIRGs), VV 114 (band 3/4/7) and NGC 1614 (band 3/6/7/9), with ALMA. Multi-frequency imaging from 4.8 GHz to 691 GHz of NGC 1614 allows us to study spatial properties of the radio-to-FIR continuum and multiple CO transitions, and we find the CO excitation up to Jupp = 6 can be explained by a single ISM model powered by nuclear starbursts. Our processing line imaging survey for VV 114 detected at least 30 molecular lines which show different chemical composition from region to region. Multi-molecule imaging helps us to diagnose the chemical differences of dusty ISM, while multi-transition imaging allows us to investigate gas physical conditions affected by nuclear activities directly.
Cerebral white matter hyperintensities (WMH) are prevalent incident findings on brain MRI scans among elderly people and have been consistently implicated in cognitive dysfunction. However, differential roles of WMH by region in cognitive function are still unclear. The aim of this study was to ascertain the differential role of regional WMH in predicting progression from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to different subtypes of dementia.
Participants were recruited from the Clinical Research Center for Dementia of South Korea (CREDOS) study. A total of 622 participants with MCI diagnoses at baseline and follow-up evaluations were included for the analysis. Initial MRI scans were rated for WMH on a visual rating scale developed for the CREDOS. Differential effects of regional WMH in predicting incident dementia were evaluated using the Cox proportional hazards model.
Of the 622 participants with MCI at baseline, 139 patients (22.3%) converted to all-cause dementia over a median of 14.3 (range 6.0–36.5) months. Severe periventricular WMH (PWMH) predicted incident all-cause dementia (Hazard ratio (HR) 2.22; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.43–3.43) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) (HR 1.86; 95% CI 1.12–3.07). Subcortical vascular dementia (SVD) was predicted by both PWMH (HR 16.14; 95% CI 1.97–132.06) and DWMH (HR 8.77; 95% CI 1.77–43.49) in more severe form (≥ 10 mm).
WMH differentially predict dementia by region and severity. Our findings suggest that PWMH may play an independent role in the pathogenesis of dementia, especially in AD.
It is well established that estrogen and progesterone are critical endogenous hormones that are essential for implantation and pregnancy in females. However, the distribution of estrogen receptor α (ERα) and progesterone receptor (PR) in female reproductive tracts is elusive. Herein, we report that after serial treatments with pregnant mare's serum gonadotrophin (PMSG) with or without anti-PMSG (AP), mice could regulate the distribution of ERα and PR in the murine ovary, oviduct and uterus and the level of estradiol in serum. ERα and PR regulation by PMSG and anti-PMSG was estrous cycle-dependent and critical for promoting the embryo-implantation period. Furthermore, our results suggested that AP-42 h treatment is more effective than the other treatments. In contrast, other treatment groups also affected the distribution of ERα and PR in mouse reproductive tracts. Thus, we found that anti-PMSG has the potential to restore the distribution of ERα and PR, which could effectively reduce the negative impact of residual estrogen caused by the normal superovulation effect of PMSG in mice.
Prosthetic heart valves have been widely used to replace diseased or defective native heart valves. Flow through bileaflet mechanical heart valves (BMHVs) have previously demonstrated complex phenomena in the vicinity of the valve owing to the presence of two rigid leaflets. This study aims to accurately capture the complex flow dynamics for pulsatile flow through a 23 mm St Jude Medical (SJM) Regent™ BMHV. The lattice-Boltzmann method (LBM) is used to simulate pulsatile flow through the valve with the inclusion of reverse leakage flow at very high spatiotemporal resolution that can capture fine details in the pulsatile BMHV flow field. For higher-Reynolds-number flows, this high spatiotemporal resolution captures features that have not been observed in previous coarse resolution studies. In addition, the simulations are able to capture with detail the features of leaflet closing and the asymmetric b-datum leakage jet during mid-diastole. Novel flow physics are visualized and discussed along with quantification of turbulent features of this flow, which is made possible by this parallelized numerical method.
We present ALMA cycle 0 observations of the luminous merger VV 114. One of the main goals is to investigate mechanisms of molecular line ratio enhancement. Regions with the high 12CO (1–0)/13CO (1–0) and 12CO (3–2)/12CO (1–0) is located at a central filamentary structure (∼6 kpc) in VV 114. The filament consists of the eastern nucleus and the overlap region, where the galaxy disks are colliding. We also investigate these molecular line ratios on the Kennicutt-Schmidt law. VV 114 fills a gap between the “starburst” sequence and the “normal disk” sequence, and regions with the high ratios show the high ΣSFR and ΣH2. We suggest that the high ratios in VV 114 are due to star-forming activities in the both progenitor's nuclei and the merger-induced overlap region.
Our new compilation of interferometric CO data suggests that nuclear and extended molecular gas disks are common in the final stages of mergers. Comparing the sizes of the molecular gas disk and gas mass fractions to early-type and late-type galaxies, about half of the sample show similar properties to early-type galaxies, which have compact gas disks and low gas mass fractions. We also find that sources with extended gas disks and large gas mass fractions may become disk-dominated galaxies.
In this study, a near-isogenic line (BC4F10) CR572 developed by introgressing a chromosomal segment from Oryza rufipogon (accession no. 105491) into the Oryza sativa subsp. japonica cv. Hwaseong was found to exhibit a significant increase in the number of spikelets per panicle (SPP) and grain weight compared with the recurrent parent Hwaseong. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis in F2 generation derived from the cross between CR572 and Hwaseong revealed that two QTLs, qSPP1 and qTGW1, were linked to a simple sequence repeat marker, RM283, on chromosome 1. The additive effect of the O. rufipogon allele at qSPP1 was 13 SPP, and 21.6% of the phenotypic variance was explained by the segregation of RM283. The qTGW1 QTL explained 19.1% of the phenotypic variance for grain weight. Substitution mapping was carried out with five F3 lines derived from F2 plants having informative recombination breakpoints within the target region. Substitution mapping indicated the linkage of qSPP1 and qTGW1. The grain yield of CR572 was 18.2 and 15.8% higher than that of Hwaseong at two locations, respectively, mainly due to the increase in 1000-grain weight and SPP. These results are very useful for QTL cluster transfer by molecular marker-assisted selection in rice breeding programmes and for QTL gene cloning by map-based cloning.
Oocyte-specific linker histone, H1foo, is localized on the oocyte chromosomes during the process of meiotic maturation, and is essential for mouse oocyte maturation. Bovine H1foo has been identified, and its expression profile throughout oocyte maturation and early embryo development has been established. However, it has not been confirmed if H1foo is indispensable during bovine oocyte maturation. Effective siRNAs against H1foo were screened in HeLa cells, and then siRNA was microinjected into bovine oocytes to down-regulate H1foo expression. H1foo overexpression was achieved via mRNA injection. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) results indicated that H1foo was up-regulated by 200% and down-regulated by 70%. Based on the first polar body extrusion (PB1E) rate, H1foo overexpression apparently promoted meiotic progression. The knockdown of H1foo significantly impaired bovine oocyte maturation compared with H1foo overexpression and control groups (H1foo overexpression = 88.7%, H1foo siRNA = 41.2%, control = 71.2%; P < 0.05). This decrease can be rescued by co-injection of a modified H1foo mRNA that has escaped from the siRNA target. However, the H1e (somatic linker histone) overexpression had no effect on PB1E rate when compared with the control group. Therefore we concluded that H1foo is essential for bovine oocyte maturation and its overexpression stimulates the process.