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Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto (s.s.), Echinococcus multilocularis and Echinococcus canadensis are the common causes of human echinococcosis in China. An accurate species identification tool for human echinococcosis is needed as the treatments and prognosis are different among species. The present work demonstrates a method for the simultaneous detection of these three Echinococcus species based on multiplex polymerase chain reaction (mPCR). Specific primers of this mPCR were designed based on the mitochondrial genes and determined by extensive tests. The method can successfully detect either separated or mixed target species, and generate expected amplicons of distinct size for each species. Sensitivity of the method was tested by serially diluted DNA, showing a detection threshold as less as 0.32 pg for both E. granulosus s.s. and E. canadensis, and 1.6 pg for E. multilocularis. Specificity assessed against 18 other parasites was found to be 100% except weakly cross-react with E. shiquicus. The assay was additionally applied to 69 echinococcosis patients and 38 healthy persons, confirming the high reliability of the method. Thus, the mPCR described here has high application potential for clinical identification purposes, and can further provide a useful tool for evaluation of serology and imaging method.
Annexin A2 (ANXA2) is reported to be associated with cancer development. To investigate the roles ANXA2 plays during the development of cancer, the RNAi method was used to inhibit the ANXA2 expression in caco2 (human colorectal cancer cell line) and SMMC7721 (human hepatocarcinoma cell line) cells. The results showed that when the expression of ANXA2 was efficiently inhibited, the growth and motility of both cell lines were significantly decreased, and the development of the motility relevant microstructures, such as pseudopodia, filopodia, and the polymerization of microfilaments and microtubules were obviously inhibited. The cancer cell apoptosis was enhanced without obvious significance. The possible regulating pathway in the process was also predicted and discussed. Our results suggested that ANXA2 plays important roles in maintaining the malignancy of colorectal and hepatic cancer by enhancing the cell proliferation, motility, and development of the motility associated microstructures of cancer cells based on a possible complicated signal pathway.
A bottom-feed omni-directional CP (circularly polarized) antenna array is proposed in this letter. The antenna array is composed of four elements (two printed ZPS (zero-phase-shift) line loops and two half-wavelength dipoles). The four elements are fed with the same phase and amplitude. The ZPS line loops provide the horizontal polarization while the dipoles provide the vertical polarization. Therefore, omni-directional circular polarization is formed in the far field. The feeding network consists of a 1–4 T-shaped power divider formed by parallel strip lines. In order to balance the amplitude of the feeding coaxial cable, the structure is used in the bottom to transfer parallel strip line to micro-strip line. Besides, the loops and the dipoles are placed on the different side of the network to guarantee the omni-directional radiation property. The measured impedance bandwidth of the fabricated antenna is 0.13 GHz (2.40–2.53 GHz) and the measured maximum CP gain at 2.45 GHz is 4.8 dBic.
Maternal one-carbon metabolism during pregnancy is crucial for fetal development and programming by DNA methylation. However, evidence on one-carbon biomarkers other than folate is lacking. We, therefore, investigated whether maternal plasma methyl donors, that is, choline, betaine and methionine, are associated with birth outcomes. Blood samples were obtained from 115 women during gestation (median 26·3 weeks, 90 % range 22·7–33·0 weeks). Plasma choline, betaine, methionine and dimethylglycine were measured using HPLC-tandem MS. Multivariate linear and logistic regression models were used to estimate the association between plasma biomarkers and birth weight, birth length, the risk of small-for-gestational-age and large-for-gestational-age (LGA). Higher level of maternal betaine was associated with lower birth weight (–130·3 (95 % CI –244·8, –15·9) per 1 sd increment for log-transformed betaine). Higher maternal methionine was associated with lower risk of LGA, and adjusted OR, with 95 % CI for 1 sd increase in methionine concentration was 0·44 (95 % CI 0·21, 0·89). Stratified analyses according to infant sex or maternal plasma homocysteine status showed that reduction in birth weight in relation to maternal betaine was only limited to male infants or to who had higher maternal homocysteine status (≥5·1 µmol/l). Higher maternal betaine status was associated with reduced birth weight. Maternal methionine was inversely associated with LGA risk. These findings are needed to be replicated in future larger studies.
Although numerous studies have used functional neuroimaging to identify executive dysfunction in patients with bipolar disorder (BD), the findings are not consistent. The aim of this meta-analysis is to identify the most reliable functional anomalies in BD patients during performance of Executive Function (EF) tasks.
A web-based search was performed on publication databases to identify functional magnetic resonance imaging studies of BD patients performing EF tasks and a voxel-based meta-analytic method known as anisotropic Effect Size Signed Differential Mapping (ES-SDM) was used to identify brain regions which showed anomalous activity in BD patients compared with healthy controls (HC).
Twenty datasets consisting of 463 BD patients and 484 HC were included. Compared with HC, BD patients showed significant hypo-activation or failure of activation in the left striatum (p = 0.00007), supplementary motor area (BA 6, p = 0.00037), precentral gyrus (BA 6, p = 0.0014) and cerebellum (BA 37, p = 0.0019), and hyper-activation in the left gyrus rectus (BA 11, p ≈ 0) and right middle temporal gyrus (BA 22, p = 0.00031) during performance of EF tasks. Sensitivity and subgroup analyses showed that the anomaly of left striatum is consistent across studies and present in both euthymic and BD I patients.
Patients with BD consistently showed abnormal activation in the cortico-striatal system during performance of EF tasks compared with HC. Failure of activation of the striatum may be a reliable marker for impairment in performance of especially inhibition tasks by patients with BD.
A 15-year-old teenager presented with a 2-month history of headache. Neurological examination was normal except for papilledema. Further lumbar puncture indicated intracranial hypertension (330 mm H2O). Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was normal but phase contrast-magnetic resonance venography (PC-MRV) (Figure 1(A)) suggested possible left transverse-sigmoid sinus thrombosis; subsequent contrast-enhanced 3D fat-saturated T1 volumetric isotropic turbo spin echo acquisition (VISTA) MRI (Figure 1(B)) confirmed the pathology. Hyper-coagulable panel results (including six steroid sex hormones, antithrombin III, protein C, protein S, lupus anticoagulant, and anticardiolipin antibodies) were all within normal range. In further examination, computed tomography (CT) venography images (Figure 1(C) and (D)) showed that the left jugular vein was compressed by the styloid process, consistent with Eagle syndrome.1 The patient who refused the recommended surgical treatment, however, chose anticoagulant therapy consisting of low-molecular weight heparin subcutaneous injection in addition to new oral anticoagulant. At 18-month follow-up, the patient reported no symptoms remained.
Although it is crucial to improve the treatment status of people with severe mental illness (SMI), it is still unknown whether and how socioeconomic development influences their treatment status.
To explore the change in treatment status in people with SMI from 1994 to 2015 in rural China and to examine the factors influencing treatment status in those with SMI.
Two mental health surveys using identical methods and ICD-10 were conducted in 1994 and 2015 (population ≥15 years old, n = 152 776) in the same six townships of Xinjin County, Chengdu, China.
Compared with 1994, individuals with SMI in 2015 had significantly higher rates of poor family economic status, fewer family caregivers, longer duration of illness, later age at first onset and poor mental status. Participants in 2015 had significantly higher rates of never being treated, taking antipsychotic drugs and ever being admitted to hospital, and lower rates of using traditional Chinese medicine or being treated by traditional/spiritual healers. The factors strongly associated with never being treated included worse mental status (symptoms/social functioning), older age, having no family caregivers and poor family economic status.
Socioeconomic development influences the treatment status of people with SMI in contemporary rural China. Relative poverty, having no family caregivers and older age are important factors associated with a worse treatment status. Culture-specific, community-based interventions and targeted poverty-alleviation programmes should be developed to improve the early identification, treatment and recovery of individuals with SMI in rural China.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a leading cause of disability worldwide and influenced by both environmental and genetic factors. Genetic studies of MDD have focused on common variants and have been constrained by the heterogeneity of clinical symptoms.
We sequenced the exome of 77 cases and 245 controls of Han Chinese ancestry and scanned their brain. Burden tests of rare variants were performed first to explore the association between genes/pathways and MDD. Secondly, parallel Independent Component Analysis was conducted to investigate genetic underpinnings of gray matter volume (GMV) changes of MDD.
Two genes (CSMD1, p = 5.32×10−6; CNTNAP5, p = 1.32×10−6) and one pathway (Neuroactive Ligand Receptor Interactive, p = 1.29×10−5) achieved significance in burden test. In addition, we identified one pair of imaging-genetic components of significant correlation (r = 0.38, p = 9.92×10−6). The imaging component reflected decreased GMV in cases and correlated with intelligence quotient (IQ). IQ mediated the effects of GMV on MDD. The genetic component enriched in two gene sets, namely Singling by G-protein coupled receptors [false discovery rate (FDR) q = 3.23×10−4) and Alzheimer Disease Up (FDR q = 6.12×10−4).
Both rare variants analysis and imaging–genetic analysis found evidence corresponding with the neuroinflammation and synaptic plasticity hypotheses of MDD. The mediation of IQ indicates that genetic component may act on MDD through GMV alteration and cognitive impairment.
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of dietary pyrroloquinoline quinone disodium (PQQ·Na2) supplementation on the reproductive performance and intestinal barrier functions of gestating and lactating female Sprague–Dawley (SD) rats and their offspring. Dietary supplementation with PQQ·Na2 increased the number of implanted embryos per litter during gestation and lactation at GD 20 and increased the number of viable fetuses per litter, and the weight of uterine horns with fetuses increased at 1 d of newborn. The mRNA expression levels of catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx2), superoxide dismutase (SOD1), solute carrier family 2 member 1 (Slc2a1) and solute carrier family 2 member 3 (Slc2a3) in the placenta were increased with dietary PQQ·Na2 supplementation. Dietary supplementation with PQQ·Na2 in gestating and lactating rats increased the CAT, SOD and GPx activities of the jejunal mucosa of weaned rats on PD 21. Dietary supplementation with PQQ·Na2 in female rats affected the expression of tight junction proteins (claudin, zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) and occludin) in the jejunal mucosa of their offspring by increasing the expression of ZO-1 mRNA in the expression of ZO-1 and claudin mRNA in the jejunal mucosa of weaned rats on PD 21. In conclusion, dietary supplementation with PQQ·Na2 in gestating and lactating female rats had positive effects on their reproductive performance and on the intestinal barrier of weaned rats.
Research suggests an association between metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and schizophrenia. However, the risk of metabolic disorders in the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia remains unclear.
Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, 3135 unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands and 12,540 age-/sex-matched control subjects were included and followed up to the end of 2011. Individuals who developed metabolic disorders during the follow-up period were identified.
The unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM (3.4% vs. 2.6%, p = 0.010) than the controls. Logistic regression analyses with the adjustment of demographic data revealed that the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia were more likely to develop T2DM (odds ratio [OR]: 1.39, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.10–1.75) later in life compared with the control group. Moreover, only female siblings of schizophrenia probands had an increased risk of hypertension (OR: 1.47, 95% CI: 1.07–2.01) during the follow-up compared with the controls.
The unaffected siblings, especially sisters, of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM and hypertension compared with the controls. Our study revealed a familial link between schizophrenia and T2DM in a large sample. Additional studies are required to investigate the shared pathophysiology of schizophrenia and T2DM.
Ti/Al/Mg/Al/Ti laminates were fabricated by hot rolling at 450 °C with various rolling reductions, and the relationship between the mechanical properties and microstructures was investigated in detail. Both Al–Mg and Ti–Al interfaces are well bonded without pore, crack, and intermetallics. Mg layer of 50% rolling reduction has the most dynamic recrystallized (DRXed) grains around the deformation bands, and tensile twins appear in Mg layer when the rolling reduction increases to 60%. Large numbers of twins are formed to absorb the further strain as reduction increases. Ti layer shows equiaxed grains, which are not sensitive to thickness strain. Mg layers of laminates with various rolling reductions all exhibit typical (0002) basal texture. Fifty-percent rolling reduction has the largest ultimate tensile strength of 337.8 MPa, which is mainly owing to grain refinement caused by the extensive DRX. The differences of elongation among the three samples with different rolling reductions are small.
We present the design and experiment of a broadband optical parametric chirped-pulse amplifier (OPCPA) which provides high conversion efficiency and good beam quality at 808 nm wavelength. Using a three-dimensional spatial and temporal numerical model, several design considerations necessary to achieve high conversion efficiency, good beam quality and good output stability are discussed. To improve the conversion efficiency and broaden the amplified signal bandwidth simultaneously, the nonlinear crystal length and OPCPA parameters are analyzed and optimized with the concept of dissipating amplified idler between optical parametric amplification (OPA) of two crystals configuration. In the experiment, an amplifier consisting of two OPCPA stages of ‘L’ type configuration was demonstrated by using the optimized parameters. An amplified signal energy of 160 mJ was achieved with a total pump-to-signal efficiency of 35% (43% efficiency for the OPCPA stage 2). The output bandwidth of signal pulse reached 80 nm and the signal pulse was compressed to 24 fs. The energy stability reached 1.67% RMS at 3% pump energy variation. The optimized OPCPA amplifier operates at a repetition rate of 1 Hz and is used as a front-end injection for the main amplifier of SG-II 5PW laser facility.
In this paper, we review the status of the multifunctional experimental platform at the National Laboratory of High Power Laser and Physics (NLHPLP). The platform, including the SG-II laser facility, SG-II 9th beam, SG-II upgrade (SG-II UP) facility, and SG-II 5 PW facility, is operational and available for interested scientists studying inertial confinement fusion (ICF) and a broad range of high-energy-density physics. These facilities can provide important experimental capabilities by combining different pulse widths of nanosecond, picosecond, and femtosecond scales. In addition, the SG-II UP facility, consisting of a single petawatt system and an eight-beam nanosecond system, is introduced including several laser technologies that have been developed to ensure the performance of the facility. Recent developments of the SG-II 5 PW facility are also presented.
The evolution of carbides and the coarsening behavior of L12 ordered γ′ phase in Ni–25Cr–20Co alloys aged for varying time from 1000 to 5000 h at 700 and 750 °C were discussed in this paper. The mechanical properties of the alloys after aging were also discussed. Due to the changing of predominated resistance factor, a few of the γ′ precipitates’ shape changed from spherical to cuboidal after aging at 750 °C for 3000 h. The sizes and volume fraction of the γ′ precipitates were measured after aging at both temperatures. The experimentally determined temporal exponent of the γ′ coarsening indicated that the coarsening kinetics is in accordance with both models: the classical matrix diffusion LSW model and the trans-interface diffusion-controlled model. Additionally, the coarsening rate of the γ′ precipitates is dominated by the diffusion coefficients of Nb based on the classical LSW model. Furthermore, the yield strength curves of the alloys aged at 700 °C showed different trends at both test temperatures which is related to the influence of γ′ coarsening on the critical resolved shear stress.
Northeastern China is a region of high tick abundance, multiple tick-borne pathogens and likely human infections. The spectrum of diseases caused by tick-borne pathogens has not been objectively evaluated in this region for clinical management and for comparison with other regions globally where tick-transmitted diseases are common. Based on clinical symptoms, PCR, indirect immunofluorescent assay and (or) blood smear, we identified and described tick-borne diseases from patients with recent tick bite seen at Mudanjiang Forestry Central Hospital. From May 2010 to September 2011, 42% (75/180) of patients were diagnosed with a specific tick-borne disease, including Lyme borreliosis, tick-borne encephalitis, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, human babesiosis and spotted fever group rickettsiosis. When we compared clinical and laboratory features to identify factors that might discriminate tick-transmitted infections from those lacking that evidence, we revealed that erythema migrans and neurological manifestations were statistically significantly differently presented between those with and without documented aetiologies (P < 0.001, P = 0.003). Twelve patients (6.7%, 12/180) were co-infected with two tick-borne pathogens. We demonstrated the poor ability of clinicians to identify the specific tick-borne disease. In addition, it is necessary to develop specific laboratory assays for optimal diagnosis of tick-borne diseases.