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Compared with the general population, individuals with schizophrenia have a higher risk of periodontal disease, which can potentially reduce their life expectancy. However, evidence for the early development of periodontal disease in schizophrenia is scant. The current study investigated risk factors for periodontal disease in patients newly diagnosed with schizophrenia.
We identified a population-based cohort of patients in Taiwan with newly diagnosed schizophrenia who developed periodontal disease within 1 year of their schizophrenia diagnosis. Treatment with antipsychotics and other medications was categorised according to medication type and duration, and the association between medication use and the treated periodontal disease was assessed through logistic regression.
Among 3610 patients with newly diagnosed schizophrenia, 2373 (65.7%) had an incidence of treated periodontal disease during the 1-year follow-up. Female sex (adjusted odds ratios [OR] 1.40; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.20–1.63); young age (adjusted OR 0.99; 95% CI 0.98–0.99); a 2-year history of periodontal disease (adjusted OR 2.45; 95% CI 1.84–3.26); high income level (adjusted OR 2.24; 95% CI 1.64–3.06) and exposure to first-generation (adjusted OR 1.89; 95% CI 1.54–2.32) and secondary-generation (adjusted OR 1.33; 95% CI 1.11–1.58) antipsychotics, anticholinergics (adjusted OR 1.24; 95% CI 1.03–1.50) and antihypertensives (adjusted OR 1.91; 95% CI 1.64–2.23) were independent risk factors for periodontal disease. Hyposalivation – an adverse effect of first-generation antipsychotics (FGAs) (adjusted OR 2.00; 95% CI 1.63–2.45), anticholinergics (adjusted OR 1.27; 95% CI 1.05–1.53) and antihypertensives (adjusted OR 1.90; 95% CI 1.63–2.22) – was associated with increased risk of periodontal disease. Therefore, hypersalivation due to FGA use (adjusted OR 0.72; 95% CI 0.59–0.88) was considered a protective factor.
The current study highlights that early prevention of periodontal disease in individuals with schizophrenia is crucial. Along with paying more attention to the development of periodontal disease, assessing oral health regularly, helping with oral hygiene, and lowering consumption of sugary drinks and tobacco, emphasis should also be given by physicians to reduce the prescription of antipsychotics to the extent possible under efficacious pharmacotherapy for schizophrenia.
Item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) queries about thoughts of death and self-harm, but not suicidality. Although it is sometimes used to assess suicide risk, most positive responses are not associated with suicidality. The PHQ-8, which omits Item 9, is thus increasingly used in research. We assessed equivalency of total score correlations and the diagnostic accuracy to detect major depression of the PHQ-8 and PHQ-9.
We conducted an individual patient data meta-analysis. We fit bivariate random-effects models to assess diagnostic accuracy.
16 742 participants (2097 major depression cases) from 54 studies were included. The correlation between PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 scores was 0.996 (95% confidence interval 0.996 to 0.996). The standard cutoff score of 10 for the PHQ-9 maximized sensitivity + specificity for the PHQ-8 among studies that used a semi-structured diagnostic interview reference standard (N = 27). At cutoff 10, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive by 0.02 (−0.06 to 0.00) and more specific by 0.01 (0.00 to 0.01) among those studies (N = 27), with similar results for studies that used other types of interviews (N = 27). For all 54 primary studies combined, across all cutoffs, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive than the PHQ-9 by 0.00 to 0.05 (0.03 at cutoff 10), and specificity was within 0.01 for all cutoffs (0.00 to 0.01).
PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 total scores were similar. Sensitivity may be minimally reduced with the PHQ-8, but specificity is similar.
On February 6, 2018, a 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck Hualien, a county of East Taiwan. Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital, the only tertiary hospital in East Taiwan, activated the mass casualty incident (MCI) call and received 144 patients that night. Our operation did not perform satisfactorily despite regular MCI drills. Thus, a new strategy to cope with the increasing frequency of disaster-related MCIs was developed.
To facilitate the management of disaster-related MCIs, we developed a novel Disaster Response System which includes a triage system combining Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment (START) and Five-Level Taiwan Triage and Acuity Scale (TTAS), a novel registration system for MCIs, and anonymous patient identification and reporting system.
We begin the triage with the START method and then shift to the TTAS. The new registration system only needs the patient’s gender, age, and triage category. Patients are then assigned to different treatment areas accordingly. Further dispositions are applied after initial stabilization management. To identify the anonymous disaster victims, we take photographs of victims after clean-up and display them on an electronic bulletin with the patient list to the families in our emergency department. Real-time casualty statistics are collected automatically and synchronized to the governmental administrative system.
This novel Disaster Response System reduces the time from patient arrival to definite treatment and disposition in a simulated mass casualty incident exercise. The victim identification bulletin provides clear information to those who are seeking their family, and thus, avoids the chaos of the scene.
From the experience of the earthquake-related MCI, we found that inadequate training causes time mis-triage and treatment delays. Our Disaster Response System facilitates the workflow with an easily practiced algorithm, reveals on-time and easily accessible information to the public, and altogether improves our MCI management.
The objectives of this study were to investigate the primary diagnoses and outcomes of emergency department visits in older people with dementia and to compare these parameters with those in older adults without dementia.
Design and Setting:
This hospital-based retrospective study retrieved patient records from a hospital research database, which included the outpatient and inpatient claims of two hospitals.
The patient records were retrieved from the two hospitals in an urban setting. The inclusion criteria were all patients aged 65 and older who had attended the two hospitals as an outpatient or inpatient between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2016. Patients with dementia were identified to have at least three reports of diagnostic codes, either during outpatient visits, during emergency department visits, or in hospitalized database records. The other patients were categorized as patients without dementia.
The primary diagnosis during the emergency department visit, cost of emergency department treatment, cost of hospital admission, length of hospital stay, and diagnosis of death were collected.
A total of 149,203 outpatients and inpatients aged 65 and older who were admitted to the two hospitals were retrieved. The rate of emergency department visits in patients with dementia (23.2%) was lower than that in those without dementia (48.6%). The most frequent primary reason for emergency department visits and the main cause of patient death was pneumonia. Patients with dementia in the emergency department had higher hospital admission rates and longer hospital stays; however, the cost of treatment did not show a significant difference between the two groups.
Future large and prospective studies should explore the severity of disease in older people with dementia and compare results with older adults without dementia in the emergency department.
Graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) microspheres (CNMS) were fabricated via a solvothermal method by using dicyandiamide and cyanuric chloride as precursors. The morphology, band structure, and defects can be simultaneously regulated by merely adjusting the concentration of precursors. Structural characterization results indicate that all the prepared samples possess spherical morphology, while the band gap decreased as the precursor concentration increased from 8 mmol (CNMS-1) to 24 mmol (CNMS-3). Besides, ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy results suggested that the valence band of CNMS-2 (16 mmol) was much higher than that of CNMS-1 and CNMS-3. Additionally, organic elemental analysis, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and electron paramagnetic resonance results unveil the formation of nitrogen defects on the surface of prepared samples. Besides, CNMS-2 exhibits an enhanced apparent reaction rate constant of RhB degradation than that of CNMS-1 and CNMS-3. The improved apparent reaction rate constant may be due to the lowered valence band as well as the formation of nitrogen defects. This work might guide the regulation of the morphology and band structure of g-C3N4-based materials prepared via the one-pot hydrothermal method.
An optically addressed liquid crystal modulator for wavefront control of 1053 nm laser beam is reported in this paper. Its working principle, control method and spatial phase modulation capability are mainly introduced. A new method of measuring the relationship between gray level and phase retardation is proposed. The rationality of the curve is further confirmed by designing special experiments. According to the curve, several spatial phase distributions have been realized by this home-made device. The results show that, not only the maximum phase retardation is larger than
for 1053 nm wavelength, but also the control accuracy is high. Compared with the liquid crystal on silicon type spatial light modulator, this kind of modulator has the advantages of generating smooth phase distribution and avoiding the black-matrix effect.
Different diagnostic interviews are used as reference standards for major depression classification in research. Semi-structured interviews involve clinical judgement, whereas fully structured interviews are completely scripted. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), a brief fully structured interview, is also sometimes used. It is not known whether interview method is associated with probability of major depression classification.
To evaluate the association between interview method and odds of major depression classification, controlling for depressive symptom scores and participant characteristics.
Data collected for an individual participant data meta-analysis of Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) diagnostic accuracy were analysed and binomial generalised linear mixed models were fit.
A total of 17 158 participants (2287 with major depression) from 57 primary studies were analysed. Among fully structured interviews, odds of major depression were higher for the MINI compared with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) (odds ratio (OR) = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.15–3.87). Compared with semi-structured interviews, fully structured interviews (MINI excluded) were non-significantly more likely to classify participants with low-level depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≤6) as having major depression (OR = 3.13; 95% CI = 0.98–10.00), similarly likely for moderate-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores 7–15) (OR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.56–1.66) and significantly less likely for high-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≥16) (OR = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.26–0.97).
The MINI may identify more people as depressed than the CIDI, and semi-structured and fully structured interviews may not be interchangeable methods, but these results should be replicated.
Declaration of interest
Drs Jetté and Patten declare that they received a grant, outside the submitted work, from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, which was jointly funded by the Institute and Pfizer. Pfizer was the original sponsor of the development of the PHQ-9, which is now in the public domain. Dr Chan is a steering committee member or consultant of Astra Zeneca, Bayer, Lilly, MSD and Pfizer. She has received sponsorships and honorarium for giving lectures and providing consultancy and her affiliated institution has received research grants from these companies. Dr Hegerl declares that within the past 3 years, he was an advisory board member for Lundbeck, Servier and Otsuka Pharma; a consultant for Bayer Pharma; and a speaker for Medice Arzneimittel, Novartis, and Roche Pharma, all outside the submitted work. Dr Inagaki declares that he has received grants from Novartis Pharma, lecture fees from Pfizer, Mochida, Shionogi, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, Daiichi-Sankyo, Meiji Seika and Takeda, and royalties from Nippon Hyoron Sha, Nanzando, Seiwa Shoten, Igaku-shoin and Technomics, all outside of the submitted work. Dr Yamada reports personal fees from Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd., MSD K.K., Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation, Seishin Shobo, Seiwa Shoten Co., Ltd., Igaku-shoin Ltd., Chugai Igakusha and Sentan Igakusha, all outside the submitted work. All other authors declare no competing interests. No funder had any role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis and interpretation of the data; preparation, review or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
This study aimed to investigate the impacts of dietary threonine on intestinal immunity and inflammation in juvenile grass carp. Six iso-nitrogenous semi-purified diets containing graded levels of threonine (3·99–21·66 g threonine/kg) were formulated and fed to fishes for 8 weeks, and then challenged with Aeromonas hydrophila for 14 d. Results showed that, compared with optimum threonine supplementation, threonine deficiency (1) decreased the ability of fish against enteritis, intestinal lysozyme activities (except in the distal intestine), acid phosphatase activities, complement 3 (C3) and C4 contents and IgM contents (except in the proximal intestine (PI)), and it down-regulated the transcript abundances of liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide (LEAP)-2A, LEAP-2B, hepcidin, IgZ, IgM and β-defensin1 (except in the PI) (P<0·05); (2) could up-regulate intestinal pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8 and IL-17D mRNA levels partly related to NF-κB signalling; (3) could down-regulate intestinal anti-inflammatory cytokine transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, TGF-β2, IL-4/13A (not IL-4/13B) and IL-10 mRNA levels partly by target of rapamycin signalling. Finally, on the basis of the specific growth rate, against the enteritis morbidity and IgM contents, the optimum threonine requirements were estimated to be 14·53 g threonine/kg diet (4·48 g threonine/100 g protein), 15.05 g threonine/kg diet (4·64 g threonine/100 g protein) and 15·17 g threonine/kg diet (4·68 g threonine/100 g protein), respectively.
The present study investigated the effects of dietary vitamin A on immune function in the proximal intestine (PI), mid intestine (MI) and distal intestine (DI) of young grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella). Fish were fed graded levels of dietary vitamin A for 10 weeks, and then a challenge test using an injection of Aeromonas hydrophila was conducted for 14 d. The results showed that, compared with the optimum vitamin A level, vitamin A deficiency significantly decreased fish growth performance, increased enteritis morbidity, decreased intestinal innate humoral immune response and aggravated intestinal inflammation. However, liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide 2A/B mRNA in the DI and IL-6, IL-17D, IL-10, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and TGF-β2 mRNA in the PI were not affected by vitamin A levels. Meanwhile, vitamin A deficiency disturbed inflammatory cytokines in the PI, MI and DI, which might be partly linked to p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK) signalling and NF-κB canonical signalling pathway (IκB kinase β (IKKβ), IKKγ, inhibitor of κBα, NF-κB p65 and c-Rel) rather than NF-κB non-canonical signalling pathway (NF-κB p52 and IKKα). However, the signalling molecules NF-κB p65 and p38MAPK did not participate in regulating cytokines in the PI. These results suggested that vitamin A deficiency decreased fish growth and impaired intestinal immune function, and that different immune responses in the PI, MI and DI were mediated partly by NF-κB canonical signalling and p38MAPK signalling pathways. On the basis of percentage of weight gain, to protect fish against enteritis morbidity and acid phosphatase activity, the optimum dietary vitamin A levels were estimated to be 0·664, 0·707 and 0·722 mg /kg, respectively.
The objective of this study was to determine the protective effect of glutamate (Glu) in Cu-induced oxidative injury in fish intestine in vivo and enterocytes in vitro. The results indicated that exposure to 6 mg/l Cu for 72 h induced the production of reactive oxygen species, thereby increasing protein oxidation and lipid peroxidation in enterocytes of grass carp in vitro. Cells exposed to Cu alone resulted in a significant increase in lactate dehydrogenase release, which is accompanied by depletions of antioxidants, including total superoxide dismutase (T-SOD), glutathione S-transferase (GST), glutathione reductase (GR), anti-superoxide anion (ASA), anti-hydroxy radical (AHR) activities and GSH content. Pre-treatment with Glu remarkably prevented the toxic effects of Cu on the T-SOD, GST, GR, AHR, and ASA activities and GSH content in enterocytes. However, Cu induced an adaptive increase in the activities of catalase and glutathione peroxidase (GPx). Glu supplementation further increased GPx activity in enterocytes. Interestingly, the experiment in vivo showed that Glu pre-supplementation significantly elevated SOD, GPx, GST, GR, ASA and AHR activities, as well as GSH content. Further results showed that pre-treatment with Glu could alleviate Cu-induced oxidative injury by elevating antioxidant enzyme activities through regulating the expression of NF-E2-related nuclear factor 2 (Nrf2) mRNA. Together, these results indicated that Glu could attenuate Cu-induced cellular oxidative damage in fish intestine, likely mediated through Nrf2 signalling pathways regulating mRNA expressions of antioxidant enzyme genes and synthesis of GSH.
This work proposes a query-by-singing (QBS) content-based music retrieval (CBMR) system that uses Approximate Karbunen–Loeve transform for noise reduction. The proposed QBS-CBMR system uses a music clip as a search key. First, a 51-dimensional matrix containing 39-Mel-frequency cepstral coefficients (MFCCs) features and 12-Chroma features are extracted from an input music clip. Next, adapted symbolic aggregate approximation (adapted SAX) is used to transform each dimension of features into a symbolic sequence. Each symbolic sequence corresponding to each dimension of MFCCs is then converted into a structure called advanced fast pattern index (AFPI) tree. The similarity between the query music clip and the songs in the database is evaluated by calculating a partial score for each AFPI tree. The final score is obtained by calculating the weighted sum of all partial scores, where the weighting of each partial score is determined by its entropy. Experimental results show that the proposed music retrieval system performs robustly and accurately with the entropy weighting mechanism.
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 present study was conducted to investigate the anti-inflammatory effect of vitamin D both in juvenile Jian carp (Cyprinus carpio var. Jian) in vivo and in enterocytes in vitro. In primary enterocytes, exposure to 10 mg lipopolysaccharide (LPS)/l increased lactate dehydrogenase activity in the culture medium (P<0·05) and resulted in a significant loss of cell viability (P<0·05). LPS exposure increased (P<0·05) the mRNA expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-8), which was decreased by pre-treatment with 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25D3) in a dose-dependent manner (P<0·05). Further results showed that pre-treatment with 1,25D3 down-regulated Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (Myd88) and NF-κB p65 mRNA expression (P<0·05), suggesting potential mechanisms against LPS-induced inflammatory response. In vivo, intraperitoneal injection of LPS significantly increased TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-8 mRNA expression in the intestine of carp (P<0·05). Pre-treatment of fish with vitamin D3 protected the fish intestine from the LPS-induced increase of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-8 mainly by downregulating TLR4, Myd88 and NF-κB p65 mRNA expression (P<0·05). These observations suggest that vitamin D could inhibit LPS-induced inflammatory response in juvenile Jian carp in vivo and in enterocytes in vitro. The anti-inflammatory effect of vitamin D is mediated at least in part by TLR4-Myd88 signalling pathways in the intestine and enterocytes of juvenile Jian carp.
Biomolecular detection is crucial from various perspectives, such as quality
control of our food and water, identification of biological terrorist
agents, and diagnosis of diseases. Early detection of disease is important
for effective treatment and for prognostic assessment of disease
progression; in addition, the trend of ageing societies leads to an
increasing requirement for biomarker diagnoses for personalized healthcare
monitoring. This results in more stress on the social healthcare system [1,
2]. As a consequence, researchers have focused on developing biomolecular
detection devices and systems. Over the past decade, emerging methods to
address the above needs have bloomed because of developments in
micro/nanotechnologies. To enhance throughputs and reduce costs,
moreover, these detection devices and systems are evolving from label-based
to label-free technologies.
Traditionally, label-based molecular diagnosis techniques have been used as a
useful fundamental concept for the detection of potential disease biomarkers
or pathogen nucleic acids. In general, the detection signal comes from the
usage of a specific tag for a target molecule. The tags can be conventional
fluorescent dyes or radioisotopes. To fulfill the requirements of different
applications, a number of conventional label-based techniques, such as
polymerase chain reaction (PCR), DNA or protein microarrays, and
enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), have been developed and
implemented. Some of them have been used to form a versatile platform for
many diverse applications with promising results and represent the gold
standards of biomedical diagnosis [3–5]. However, these techniques
require trained staff and expensive equipment, and are time-consuming.
Moreover, the detection of such low-abundance biomarkers in biological
fluids (e.g. blood, urine, saliva) requires large quantities of the sample
and complicated sample preparation. Consequently, these label-based
techniques encounter problems of cost-effectiveness and throughput under
Studies have shown the clock-drawing test (CDT) to be a useful screening test that differentiates between normal, elderly populations, and those diagnosed with dementia. However, the results of studies which have looked at the utility of the CDT to help differentiate Alzheimer's disease (AD) from other dementias have been conflicting. The purpose of this study was to explore the utility of the CDT in discriminating between patients with AD and other types of dementia.
A review was conducted using MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and Embase. Search terms included clock drawing or CLOX and dementia or Parkinson's Disease or AD or dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) or vascular dementia (VaD).
Twenty studies were included. In most of the studies, no significant differences were found in quantitative CDT scores between AD and VaD, DLB, and Parkinson's disease dementia (PDD) patients. However, frontotemporal dementia (FTD) patients consistently scored higher on the CDT than AD patients. Qualitative analyses of errors differentiated AD from other types of dementia.
Overall, the CDT score may be useful in distinguishing between AD and FTD patients, but shows limited value in differentiating between AD and VaD, DLB, and PDD. Qualitative analysis of the type of CDT errors may be a useful adjunct in the differential diagnosis of the types of dementias.
Studies have suggested that maternal PUFA status during pregnancy may influence early childhood allergic diseases, although findings are inconsistent. We examined the relationship between maternal PUFA status and risk of allergic diseases in early childhood in an Asian cohort. Maternal plasma samples from the Growing Up in Singapore Towards Healthy Outcomes mother–offspring cohort were assayed at 26–28 weeks of gestation for relative abundance of PUFA. Offspring (n 960) were followed up from 3 weeks to 18 months of age, and clinical outcomes of potential allergic diseases (rhinitis, eczema and wheezing) were assessed by repeated questionnaires. Skin prick testing (SPT) was also performed at the age of 18 months. Any allergic disease with positive SPT was defined as having any one of the clinical outcomes plus a positive SPT. The prevalence of a positive SPT, rhinitis, eczema, wheezing and any allergic disease with positive SPT was 14·1 % (103/728), 26·5 % (214/808), 17·6 % (147/833), 10·9 % (94/859) and 9·4 % (62/657), respectively. After adjustment for confounders, maternal total n-3, n-6 PUFA status and the n-6:n-3 PUFA ratio were not significantly associated with offspring rhinitis, eczema, wheezing, a positive SPT and having any allergic disease with positive SPT in the offspring (P>0·01 for all). A weak trend of higher maternal n-3 PUFA being associated with higher risk of allergic diseases with positive SPT in offspring was observed. These findings do not support the hypothesis that the risk of early childhood allergic diseases is modified by variation in maternal n-3 and n-6 PUFA status during pregnancy in an Asian population.
ING2 (inhibitor of growth protein-2) is a member of the ING-gene family and participates in diverse cellular processes involving tumor suppression, DNA repair, cell cycle regulation, and cellular senescence. As a subunit of the Sin3 histone deacetylase complex co-repressor complex, ING2 binds to H3K4me3 to regulate chromatin modification and gene expression. Additionally, ING2 recruits histone methyltransferase (HMT) activity for gene repression, which is independent of the HDAC class I or II pathway. However, the physiological function of ING2 in mouse preimplantation embryo development has not yet been characterized previously. The expression, localization and function of ING2 during preimplantation development were investigated in this study. We showed increasing expression of ING2 within the nucleus from the 4-cell embryo stage onwards; and that down-regulation of ING2 expression by endoribonuclease-prepared small interfering RNA (esiRNA) microinjection results in developmental arrest during the morula to blastocyst transition. Embryonic cells microinjected with ING2-specific esiRNA exhibited decreased blastulation rate compared to the negative control. Further investigation of the underlying mechanism indicated that down-regulation of ING2 significantly increased expression of p21, whilst decreasing expression of HDAC1. These results suggest that ING2 may play a crucial role in the process of preimplantation embryo development through chromatin regulation.
During 1997–2012 we conducted a nationwide camera-trapping survey and assessed the availability of prey and habitat for the clouded leopard Neofelis nebulosa in Taiwan. We surveyed 1,249 camera-trap sites over 113,636 camera-trap days, from the seashore to an altitude of 3,796 m and covering various types of vegetation. No clouded leopards were photographed during 128,394 camera-trap days, including at 209 sites in other studies, confirming the presumed extinction of clouded leopards in Taiwan. Assessment of the prey base revealed altitudinal distribution patterns of prey species and prey biomass. Areas at lower altitudes and with less human encroachment and hunting supported a higher prey biomass and more of the typical prey species of clouded leopards. Habitat analysis revealed 8,523 km2 of suitable habitat but this was reduced to 6,734 km2 when adjacent areas of human encroachment were subtracted. In the absence of hunting and large mammalian carnivores the major prey of clouded leopards in Taiwan, such as Formosan macaques Macaca cyclopis, Reeves's muntjacs Muntiacus reevesi, Formosan serow Capricornis swinhoei and sambar Rusa unicolor, could become over-abundant. Thus, it is important to address the cascading effect of the disappearance of top-down predator control. Our assessment indicated that, with proper regulation of hunting, habitat restoration and corridor improvement, it may be possible to reintroduce the clouded leopard.
A photoactivated ZnO nanomesh with precisely controlled dimensions and geometries is fabricated by using nanosphere lithography process. The nanomesh structures effectively increase the surface-to-volume ratio to improve the sensing response under the same testing gas. And the periodical nanostructures also increase the effective light path and lead to more efficient light activation for gas sensing. With the increase of the photoinduced oxygen ions by UV illumination, a distinguished sensing response is observed at room temperature. In the optimized case, the sensing response (△R/R0) of the ZnO nanomesh at the butanol concentration of 500 ppm is 97.5%, which is 4.54 times higher than the unpatterned one.