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This is a copy of the slides presented at the meeting but not formally written up for the volume.
In the past four decades lipid vesicles (liposomes) have evolved from widely used biomembrane models into important drug and gene carriers. The phosphatidylcholine phospholipids PC used in the drug carriers are biocompatible and biodegradable but they function as a relatively inert shell and require the incorporation of cholesterol to maintain the drug encapsulated in the liposome; The PC are also incapable of associating with ligands and have very weak interactions with nucleic acids. Moreover, they are not particularly good for cytoplasmic delivery of the encapsulated cargo. Recently, we have devised three classes of new lipids and have improved the synthesis of a fourth class that enable the preparation of a bioresponsive targeted carrier with improved nucleic acid delivery. Class 1 are low pH sensitive and include a diortho ester PEG lipid or a di-orthoester PC. Class two are redox sensitive lipids and include thiocholesterol based and thio diacyl chain based lipids that can be used in a sequential assembly process to encapsulate nucleic acid drugs in a charge neutral or negatively charged nanolipid particle. Class 3 is a new family of lipids that provide increased in vivo bilayer stability without the need for crosslinking of the bilayer. Class 4 is an improved synthesis of a triNTA diacyl lipid. This lipid can be used to attach His-6 containing molecules to the bilayer vesicle after the liposomes have been prepared and loaded with drugs. These lipids form a tool kit that can be used to prepare a variety of targeted drug, protein and nucleic acid delivery vesicles with attached targeting ligands. The synthesis, characterization and use of these lipids in a variety of drug delivery applications will be described. Suported by NIH EB003008 & NIH GM061851.
Background: Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a children’s neuromuscular disorder. Although motor neuron loss is a major feature of the disease, we have identified fatty acid abnormalities in SMA patients and in preclinical animal models, suggesting metabolic perturbation is also an important component of SMA. Methods: Biochemical, histological, proteomic, and high resolution respirometry were used. Results: SMA patients are more susceptible to dyslipidemia than the average population as determined by a standard lipid profile in a cohort of 72 pediatric patients. As well, we observed a non-alcoholic liver disease phenotype in apreclinical mouse model. Denervation alone was not sufficient to induce liver steatosis, as a mouse model of ALS, did not develop fatty liver. Hyperglucagonemia in Smn2B/-mice could explain the hepatic steatosis by increasing plasma substrate availability via glycogen depletion and peripheral lipolysis. Proteomic analysis identified mitochondrion and lipid metabolism as major clusters. Alterations in mitochondrial function were revealed by high-resolution respirometry. Finally, low-fat diets led to increased survival in Smn2B/-mice. Conclusions: These results provide strong evidence for lipid metabolism defects in SMA. Further investigation will be required to establish the primary mechanism of these alterations and understand how they lead to additional co-morbidities in SMA patients.
Guangxi, a province in southwestern China, has the second highest reported number of HIV/AIDS cases in China. This study aimed to develop an accurate and effective model to describe the tendency of HIV and to predict its incidence in Guangxi. HIV incidence data of Guangxi from 2005 to 2016 were obtained from the database of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Long short-term memory (LSTM) neural network models, autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) models, generalised regression neural network (GRNN) models and exponential smoothing (ES) were used to fit the incidence data. Data from 2015 and 2016 were used to validate the most suitable models. The model performances were evaluated by evaluating metrics, including mean square error (MSE), root mean square error, mean absolute error and mean absolute percentage error. The LSTM model had the lowest MSE when the N value (time step) was 12. The most appropriate ARIMA models for incidence in 2015 and 2016 were ARIMA (1, 1, 2) (0, 1, 2)12 and ARIMA (2, 1, 0) (1, 1, 2)12, respectively. The accuracy of GRNN and ES models in forecasting HIV incidence in Guangxi was relatively poor. Four performance metrics of the LSTM model were all lower than the ARIMA, GRNN and ES models. The LSTM model was more effective than other time-series models and is important for the monitoring and control of local HIV epidemics.
Copy number variations (CNVs), as an important source of genetic variation, can affect a wide range of phenotypes by diverse mechanisms. The somatostatin receptor 2 (SSTR2) gene plays important roles in cell proliferation and apoptosis. Recently, this gene was mapped to a CNV region, which encompasses quantitative trait loci of cattle economic traits including body weight, marbling score, etc. Therefore, SSTR2 CNV may exhibit phenotypic effects on cattle growth traits. In the current study, distribution of SSTR2 gene CNVs was investigated in six Chinese cattle breeds (XN, QC, NY, JA, LX and PN), and the results showed higher CNV polymorphisms in XN, QC and NY cattle. Next, association analysis between growth traits and SSTR2 CNV was performed for XN, QC and NY cattle. In NY, individuals with fewer copies showed better performance than those with more copies. Further, the effects of SSTR2 CNV on the SSTR2 mRNA level were also investigated, but revealed no significant correlation in either muscle or adipose tissue of adult NY cattle. The results suggested the potential for use of SSTR2 CNV as a marker for the molecular breeding of NY cattle.
Solid state batteries are an emerging alternative to traditional liquid electrolyte cells that provide potential for safe and high-energy density power sources. This report describes a self-forming, solid state battery based on the Li/I2 couple using an LiI-rich LiI(3-hydroxypropionitrile)2 electrolyte (LiI–LiI(HPN)2). As the negative and positive active materials are generated in situ, the solid electrolyte–current collector interfaces play a critical role in determining the electrochemical response of the battery. Herein, we report the investigation of solid electrolyte–current collector interfaces with a self-forming LiI–LiI(HPN)2 solid electrolyte and the role of varying interface design in reducing resistance during cycling.
Thin films containing periodic chemical or strain modulation (e.g. artificial superlattices or SL) are often characterized nondestructively by X-ray double-axis diffractometry. The satellite peaks from the modulated structure allow analysis of layer structure, elemental concentration and strain profile. This paper focuses on the effect of layer uniformity on the rocking curves of (001) GaAs/AlxGa1-xAsSL. Double-axis diffractometry for results from MBE samples with 800 Å SL periods and x=0.35 are compared for GaAs/AlGaAs layer thicknesses of 350/450, 400/400 and 450/350 Å. Symmetric (004) and asymmetric (315) diffraction planes are used to measure parallel and perpendicular misfit strains, layer periodicity and aluminum concentration. A modified kinematical scattering model, correcting for absorption and extinction, is used to calculate the satellite peak intensities and spacings. The relative thicknesses of GaAs and AlGaAs and the aluminum elemental concentration are optimized by matching with experimental results. The effect of nonuniform layer thickness on SL peak intensities is also investigated. The experimental results, the modified kinematical scattering calculations and dynamical theory agree closely for the 3-4 /zm thickness layers studied.
Unfavourable dietary habits, such as skipping breakfast, are common among ethnic minority children and may contribute to inequalities in cardiometabolic disease. We conducted a longitudinal follow-up of a subsample of the UK multi-ethnic Determinants of Adolescent Social well-being and Health cohort, which represents the main UK ethnic groups and is now aged 21–23 years. We aimed to describe longitudinal patterns of dietary intake and investigate their impact on cardiometabolic risk in young adulthood. Participants completed a dietary behaviour questionnaire and a 24 h dietary intake recall; anthropometry, blood pressure, total cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol and HbA1c were measured. The cohort consisted of 107 White British, 102 Black Caribbean, 132 Black African, 98 Indian, 111 Bangladeshi/Pakistani and 115 other/mixed ethnicity. Unhealthful dietary behaviours such as skipping breakfast and low intake of fruits and vegetables were common (56, 57 and 63 %, respectively). Rates of skipping breakfast and low fruit and vegetable consumption were highest among Black African and Black Caribbean participants. BMI and cholesterol levels at 21–23 years were higher among those who regularly skipped breakfast at 11–13 years (BMI 1·41 (95 % CI 0·57, 2·26), P=0·001; cholesterol 0·15 (95 % CI –0·01, 0·31), P=0·063) and at 21–23 years (BMI 1·05 (95 % CI 0·22, 1·89), P=0·014; cholesterol 0·22 (95 % CI 0·06, 0·37), P=0·007). Childhood breakfast skipping is more common in certain ethnic groups and is associated with cardiometabolic risk factors in young adulthood. Our findings highlight the importance of targeting interventions to improve dietary behaviours such as breakfast consumption at specific population groups.
Laser-based compact MeV X-ray sources are useful for a variety of applications such as radiography and active interrogation of nuclear materials. MeV X rays are typically generated by impinging the intense laser onto ~mm-thick high-Z foil. Here, we have characterized such a MeV X-ray source from 120 TW (80 J, 650 fs) laser interaction with a 1 mm-thick tantalum foil. Our measurements show X-ray temperature of 2.5 MeV, flux of 3 × 1012 photons/sr/shot, beam divergence of ~0.1 sr, conversion efficiency of ~1%, that is, ~1 J of MeV X rays out of 80 J incident laser, and source size of 80 m. Our measurement also shows that MeV X-ray yield and temperature is largely insensitive to nanosecond laser contrasts up to 10−5. Also, preliminary measurements of similar MeV X-ray source using a double-foil scheme, where the laser-driven hot electrons from a thin foil undergoing relativistic transparency impinging onto a second high-Z converter foil separated by 50–400 m, show MeV X-ray yield more than an order of magnitude lower compared with the single-foil results.
Rhizoctonia solani Kühn and Pythium aphanidermatum Edson cause cabbage seedling damping-off, resulting in severe yield losses. The current study demonstrates the production of toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by two strains of Bacillus mycoides and the evaluation of a potential use of B. mycoides as a biocontrol agent to control cabbage damping-off. Two VOCs, dimethyl disulphide and ammonia, were found to reduce radial growth, cause hyphal deformation and result in organelle degeneration in both R. solani and P. aphanidermatum. Pathogen hyphae, after being exposed to VOCs, showed poor rigidity, shrinkage, curling and swelling. The amount of VOCs produced by B. mycoides and the antagonistic activity against plant pathogens varied, depending on the type of medium used to culture bacteria. Application of B. mycoides cell suspensions to cultivation medium promotes growth of five different plant species tested. Experiments conducted in greenhouses revealed that B. mycoides did not reduce damping-off incidence caused by R. solani. However, B. mycoides reduced damping-off incidence induced by P. aphanidermatum by as much as 45% on cabbage seedlings. The results provide valuable information on the feasibility of utilizing B. mycoides as a biocontrol agent in controlling cabbage damping-off.
We report on a novel processing route to prepare La0.8Ce0.2(Fe0.95Co0.05)11.8Si1.2/Cu bulk composites by low-temperature hot pressing. With increasing copper content, the compressive strength of the composites first decrease and then increase owing to the buffering effect of copper, but the magnetocaloric effect reduces to some extent. Copper addition improves the thermal conductivity of the composites, which compensates for the decrease in thermal conductivity due to porosity. A relatively large entropy change of 5.75–7.19 J/(kg K) at 2 T near the Curie temperature (249 K), good thermal conductivity of 7.51–15.55 W/(m·K), and improved compressive strength of 151.1–248.0 MPa make these composites attractive magnetic refrigeration materials.
Characterisation of genetic diversity in a large number of European pig populations has been undertaken with EC support. The populations sampled included local (rare) breeds, national varieties of the major international breeds, commercial lines and the Chinese Meishan breed. A second phase of the project will sample a further 50 Chinese breeds. Neutral genetic markers (AFLP and microsatellites), with individual or bulk typing, were used and compared.
DNA from 59 European pig populations was extracted on samples of about 50 individuals per population. Individuals were typed for 50 microsatellites and for 148 AFLP bands. A subset of 25 populations was typed for 20 microsatellites on pools of DNA. Allele frequencies were estimated by direct allele counting for the co-dominant markers. Frequencies of AFLP negative alleles (absent bands) were obtained by taking the square root of absent band frequencies. Within-breed variability was summarised using standard statistics: expected and observed heterozygosity, mean observed and effective numbers of alleles, and F statistics. Between-breed diversity analysis was based on a bootstrapped Neighbor-Joining (NJ) tree derived from Reynolds distances (DR). The standard distance of Nei (DS) was also calculated.
A substantial proportion of persons with mental disorders seek treatment from complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) professionals. However, data on how CAM contacts vary across countries, mental disorders and their severity, and health care settings is largely lacking. The aim was therefore to investigate the prevalence of contacts with CAM providers in a large cross-national sample of persons with 12-month mental disorders.
In the World Mental Health Surveys, the Composite International Diagnostic Interview was administered to determine the presence of past 12 month mental disorders in 138 801 participants aged 18–100 derived from representative general population samples. Participants were recruited between 2001 and 2012. Rates of self-reported CAM contacts for each of the 28 surveys across 25 countries and 12 mental disorder groups were calculated for all persons with past 12-month mental disorders. Mental disorders were grouped into mood disorders, anxiety disorders or behavioural disorders, and further divided by severity levels. Satisfaction with conventional care was also compared with CAM contact satisfaction.
An estimated 3.6% (standard error 0.2%) of persons with a past 12-month mental disorder reported a CAM contact, which was two times higher in high-income countries (4.6%; standard error 0.3%) than in low- and middle-income countries (2.3%; standard error 0.2%). CAM contacts were largely comparable for different disorder types, but particularly high in persons receiving conventional care (8.6–17.8%). CAM contacts increased with increasing mental disorder severity. Among persons receiving specialist mental health care, CAM contacts were reported by 14.0% for severe mood disorders, 16.2% for severe anxiety disorders and 22.5% for severe behavioural disorders. Satisfaction with care was comparable with respect to CAM contacts (78.3%) and conventional care (75.6%) in persons that received both.
CAM contacts are common in persons with severe mental disorders, in high-income countries, and in persons receiving conventional care. Our findings support the notion of CAM as largely complementary but are in contrast to suggestions that this concerns person with only mild, transient complaints. There was no indication that persons were less satisfied by CAM visits than by receiving conventional care. We encourage health care professionals in conventional settings to openly discuss the care patients are receiving, whether conventional or not, and their reasons for doing so.
Athetis lepigone (Möschler) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a new outbreak pest in China. Consequently, it is unclear whether the emergence and spread of the outbreak of this pest are triggered by rapid in situ population size increases in each outbreak area, or by immigrants from a potential source area in China. In order to explore the outbreak process of this pest through a population genetics approach, we developed ten novel polymorphic expressed sequence tags (EST)-derived microsatellites. These new microsatellites had moderately high levels of polymorphism in the tested population. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 3 to 19, with an average of 8.6, and the expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.269 to 0.783. A preliminary population genetic analysis using these new microsatellites revealed a lack of population genetic structure in natural populations of A. lepigone. The estimates of recent migration rate revealed strong gene flow among populations. In conclusion, our study developed the first set of EST-microsatellite markers and shed a new light on the population genetic structure of this pest in China.
Understanding the organic chemistry of molecular clouds, particularly the formation of biologically important molecules, is fundamental to the study of the processes which lead to the origin, evolution and distribution of life in the Galaxy. Determining the level of molecular complexity attainable in the clouds, and the nature of the complex organic material available to protostellar disks and the planetary systems that form from them, requires an understanding of the possible chemical pathways and is therefore a central question in astrochemistry. We have thus searched for prebiologically important molecules in the hot molecular cloud cores: Sgr B2(N-LMH), W51 e1/e2 and Orion-KL. Among the molecules searched: Pyrimidine is the unsubstituted ring analogue for three of the DNA and RNA bases. 2H-Azirine and Aziridine are azaheterocyclic compounds. And Glycine is the simplest amino acid. Detections of these interstellar organic molecular species will thus have important implications for Astrobiology. Our preliminary results indicate a tentative detection of interstellar glycine. If confirmed, this will be the first detection of an amino acid in interstellar space and will greatly strengthen the thesis that interstellar organic molecules could have played a pivotal role in the prebiotic chemistry of the early Earth.
Salmonella causes an estimated 1·2 million illnesses annually in the USA. Salmonella enterica serotype Javiana (serotype Javiana) is the fourth most common serotype isolated from humans, with the majority of illnesses occurring in southeastern states. The percentage of wetland cover by wetland type and the average incidence rates of serotype Javiana infection in selected counties of the Foodborne Disease Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) were examined. This analysis explored the relationship between wetland environments and incidence in order to assess whether regional differences in environmental habitats may be associated with observed variations in incidence. Findings suggest that environmental habitats may support reservoirs or contribute to the persistence of serotype Javiana, and may frequently contribute to the transmission of infection compared with other Salmonella serotypes.
Research has long noted higher prevalence rates of suicidal thoughts and behaviors among individuals with psychotic symptoms. Major theories have proposed several explanations to account for this association. Given the differences in the literature regarding the operationalization of psychosis and sample characteristics, a quantitative review is needed to determine to what extent and how psychosis confers risk for suicidality.
We searched PsycInfo, PubMed, and GoogleScholar for studies published before 1 January 2016. To be included in the analysis, studies must have used at least one psychosis-related factor to longitudinally predict suicide ideation, attempt, or death. The initial search yielded 2541 studies. Fifty studies were retained for analysis, yielding 128 statistical tests.
Suicide death was the most commonly studied outcome (43.0%), followed by attempt (39.1%) and ideation (18.0%). The median follow-up length was 7.5 years. Overall, psychosis significantly conferred risk across three outcomes, with weighted mean ORs of 1.70 (1.39–2.08) for ideation, 1.36 (1.25–1.48) for attempt, and 1.40 (1.14–1.72) for death. Detailed analyses indicated that positive symptoms consistently conferred risk across outcomes; negative symptoms were not significantly associated with ideation, and were protective against death. Some small moderator effects were detected for sample characteristics.
Psychosis is a significant risk factor for suicide ideation, attempt, and death. The finding that positive symptoms increased suicide risk and negative symptoms seemed to decrease risk sheds light on the potential mechanisms for the association between psychosis and suicidality. We note several limitations of the literature and offer suggestions for future directions.
A number of laser facilities coming online all over the world promise the capability of high-power laser experiments with shot repetition rates between 1 and 10 Hz. Target availability and technical issues related to the interaction environment could become a bottleneck for the exploitation of such facilities. In this paper, we report on target needs for three different classes of experiments: dynamic compression physics, electron transport and isochoric heating, and laser-driven particle and radiation sources. We also review some of the most challenging issues in target fabrication and high repetition rate operation. Finally, we discuss current target supply strategies and future perspectives to establish a sustainable target provision infrastructure for advanced laser facilities.
Contact precautions are a traditional strategy to prevent transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Chlorhexidine bathing is increasingly used to decrease MRSA burden and transmission in intensive care units (ICUs). We sought to evaluate a hospital policy change from routine contact precautions for MRSA compared with universal chlorhexidine bathing, without contact precautions. We measured new MRSA acquisition in ICU patients and surveyed for MRSA environmental contamination in common areas and non-MRSA patient rooms before and after the policy change. During the baseline and chlorhexidine bathing periods, the number of patients (453 vs. 417), ICU days (1999 vs. 1703) and MRSA days/1000 ICU days (109 vs. 102) were similar. MRSA acquisition (2/453 vs. 2/457, P = 0·93) and environmental MRSA contamination (9/474 vs. 7/500, P = 0·53) were not significantly different between time periods. There were 58% fewer contact precaution days in the ICU during the chlorhexidine period (241/1993 vs. 102/1730, P < 0·01). We found no evidence that discontinuation of contact precautions for patients with MRSA in conjunction with adoption of daily chlorhexidine bathing in ICUs is associated with increased MRSA acquisition among ICU patients or increased MRSA contamination of ICU fomites. Although underpowered, our findings suggest this strategy, which has the potential to reduce costs and improve patient safety, should be assessed in similar but larger studies.
Traumatic events are common globally; however, comprehensive population-based cross-national data on the epidemiology of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the paradigmatic trauma-related mental disorder, are lacking.
Data were analyzed from 26 population surveys in the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys. A total of 71 083 respondents ages 18+ participated. The Composite International Diagnostic Interview assessed exposure to traumatic events as well as 30-day, 12-month, and lifetime PTSD. Respondents were also assessed for treatment in the 12 months preceding the survey. Age of onset distributions were examined by country income level. Associations of PTSD were examined with country income, world region, and respondent demographics.
The cross-national lifetime prevalence of PTSD was 3.9% in the total sample and 5.6% among the trauma exposed. Half of respondents with PTSD reported persistent symptoms. Treatment seeking in high-income countries (53.5%) was roughly double that in low-lower middle income (22.8%) and upper-middle income (28.7%) countries. Social disadvantage, including younger age, female sex, being unmarried, being less educated, having lower household income, and being unemployed, was associated with increased risk of lifetime PTSD among the trauma exposed.
PTSD is prevalent cross-nationally, with half of all global cases being persistent. Only half of those with severe PTSD report receiving any treatment and only a minority receive specialty mental health care. Striking disparities in PTSD treatment exist by country income level. Increasing access to effective treatment, especially in low- and middle-income countries, remains critical for reducing the population burden of PTSD.