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Synaptotagmin 1 (Syt1) is an abundant and important presynaptic vesicle protein that binds Ca2+ for the regulation of synaptic vesicle exocytosis. Our previous study reported its localization and function on spindle assembly in mouse oocyte meiotic maturation. The present study was designed to investigate the function of Syt1 during mouse oocyte activation and subsequent cortical granule exocytosis (CGE) using confocal microscopy, morpholinol-based knockdown and time-lapse live cell imaging. By employing live cell imaging, we first studied the dynamic process of CGE and calculated the time interval between [Ca2+]i rise and CGE after oocyte activation. We further showed that Syt1 was co-localized to cortical granules (CGs) at the oocyte cortex. After oocyte activation with SrCl2, the Syt1 distribution pattern was altered significantly, similar to the changes seen for the CGs. Knockdown of Syt1 inhibited [Ca2+]i oscillations, disrupted the F-actin distribution pattern and delayed the time of cortical reaction. In summary, as a synaptic vesicle protein and calcium sensor for exocytosis, Syt1 acts as an essential regulator in mouse oocyte activation events including the generation of Ca2+ signals and CGE.
The microbiota–gut–brain axis, especially the microbial tryptophan (Trp) biosynthesis and metabolism pathway (MiTBamp), may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder (MDD). However, studies on the MiTBamp in MDD are lacking. The aim of the present study was to analyze the gut microbiota composition and the MiTBamp in MDD patients.
We performed shotgun metagenomic sequencing of stool samples from 26 MDD patients and 29 healthy controls (HCs). In addition to the microbiota community and the MiTBamp analyses, we also built a classification based on the Random Forests (RF) and Boruta algorithm to identify the gut microbiota as biomarkers for MDD.
The Bacteroidetes abundance was strongly reduced whereas that of Actinobacteria was significantly increased in the MDD patients compared with the abundance in the HCs. Most noteworthy, the MDD patients had increased levels of Bifidobacterium, which is commonly used as a probiotic. Four Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) orthologies (KOs) (K01817, K11358, K01626, K01667) abundances in the MiTBamp were significantly lower in the MDD group. Furthermore, we found a negative correlation between the K01626 abundance and the HAMD scores in the MDD group. Finally, RF classification at the genus level can achieve an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.890.
The present findings enabled a better understanding of the changes in gut microbiota and the related Trp pathway in MDD. Alterations of the gut microbiota may have the potential as biomarkers for distinguishing MDD patients form HCs.
Paediatric Mycoplasma pneumoniae pneumonia (MPP) is a major cause of community-acquired pneumonia in China. Data on epidemiology of paediatric MPP from China are little known. This study retrospectively collected data from June 2006 to June 2016 in Beijing Children's Hospital, Capital Medical University of North China and aims to explore the epidemiological features of paediatric MPP and severe MPP (SMPP) in North China during the past 10 years. A total of 27 498 paediatric patients with pneumonia were enrolled. Among them, 37.5% of paediatric patients had MPP. In this area, an epidemic took place every 2–3 years at the peak, and the positive rate of MPP increased during these peak years over time. The peak age of MPP was between the ages of 6 and 10 years, accounting for 75.2%, significantly more compared with other age groups (χ2 = 1384.1, P < 0.0001). The epidemics peaked in September, October and November (χ2 = 904.9, P < 0.0001). Additionally, 13.0% of MPP paediatric patients were SMPP, but over time, the rate of SMPP increased, reaching 42.6% in 2016. The mean age of paediatric patients with SMPP (6.7 ± 3.0 years old) was younger than that of patients with non-SMPP (7.4 ± 3.2 years old) (t = 3.60, P = 0.0001). The prevalence of MPP and SMPP is common in China, especially in children from 6 to 10 years old. Paediatric patients with SMPP tend to be younger than those with non-SMPP. MPP outbreaks occur every 2–3 years in North China. September, October and November are the peak months, unlike in South China. Understanding the epidemiological characteristics of paediatric MPP can contribute to timely treatment and diagnosis, and may improve the prognosis of children with SMPP.
In 2007, Taiwan began conducting health technology assessments (HTA) to support the National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) in its reimbursement decisions for drugs, medical devices, and medical services.
In this study, the development, missions, and procedures of the implementation of HTA in Taiwan are briefly introduced. Moreover, the value of HTA is examined by reviewing the outcomes and impacts of recent HTA-related research projects, which are classified into five categories: (i) pharmaceutical products, (ii) medical procedures, (iii) medical devices, (iv) health policy, and (v) social care.
Overall, the 10-year implementation of HTA has not only supported the government's decision making but also enhanced patient care. Furthermore, patient evidence has been highlighted, and patient care pathways have been transformed through patient involvement in HTA.
In conclusion, HTA's value has been determined by both government and social aspects in Taiwan.
BiCuTeO is a potential thermoelectric material owing to its low thermal conductivity and high carrier concentration. However, the thermoelectric performance of BiCuTeO is still below average and has much scope for improvement. In this study, we manipulated the nominal oxygen content in BiCuTeO and synthesized BiCuTeOx (x = 0.94–1.06) bulks by a solid-state reaction and pelletized them by a cold-press method. The power factor was enhanced by varying the nominal oxygen deficiency due to the increased Seebeck coefficient. The thermal conductivity was also reduced due to the decrease in lattice thermal conductivity owing to the small grain size generated by the optimal nominal oxygen content. Consequently, the ZT value was enhanced by ∼11% at 523 K for stoichiometric BiCuTeO0.94 compared to BiCuTeO. Thus, optimal oxygen manipulation in BiCuTeO can enhance the thermoelectric performance. This study can be applied to developing oxides with high thermoelectric performances.
Identifying the relative importance of urban and non-urban land-use types for potential denitrification derived N2O at a regional scale is critical for quantifying the impacts of human activities on nitrous oxide (N2O) emission under changing environments. In this study we used a regional dataset from China including 197 soil samples and six land-use types to evaluate the main predictors (land use, heavy metals, soil pH, soil moisture, substrate availability, functional and broad microbial abundances) of potential denitrification using multivariate and pathway analysis. Our results provide empirical evidence that soils on farms have the greatest potential denitrifying ability (PDA) (10.92±6.08ng N2O-N·g–1 dry soil·min–1) followed by urban soil (6.80±5.35ng N2O-N·g–1 dry soil·min–1). Our models indicate that land use (low vs. high human activity), followed by total nitrogen (TN) and heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd) was the most important driver of PDA. In addition, our path analysis suggests that at least part of the impacts of land use on potential denitrification were mediated via microbial abundance, soil pH and substrates including TN, dissolved organic carbon and nitrate. This study identifies the main predictors of denitrification at a regional scale which is needed to quantify the impact of human activities on ecosystem functionality under changing conditions.
We previously reported four heterozygous missense mutations of MYH7, KCNQ1, MYLK2, and TMEM70 in a single three-generation Chinese family with dual Long QT and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy phenotypes for the first time. However, the clinical course among the family members was various, and the potential myocardial dysfunction has not been investigated.
The objective of this study was to investigate the echocardiographic and electrocardiographic characteristics in a genetic positive Chinese family with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and further to explore the association between myocardial dysfunction and electric activity, and the identified mutations.
A comprehensive echocardiogram – standard two-dimensional Doppler echocardiography and three-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography – and electrocardiogram were obtained for members in this family.
As previously reported, four missense mutations – MYH7-H1717Q, KCNQ1-R190W, MYLK2-K324E, and TMEM70-I147T – were identified in this family. The MYH7-H1717Q mutation carriers had significantly increased left ventricular mass indices, elevated E/e’ ratio, deteriorated global longitudinal stain, but enhanced global circumferential and radial strain compared with those in non-mutation patients (all p<0.05). The KCNQ1-R190W carriers showed significantly prolonged QTc intervals, and the MYLK2-K324E mutation carriers showed inverted T-waves (both p<0.05). However, the TMEM70-I147T mutation carriers had similar echocardiography and electrocardiographic data as non-mutation patients.
Three of the identified four mutations had potential pathogenic effects in this family: MYH7-H1717Q was associated with increased left ventricular thickness, elevated left ventricular filling pressure, and altered myocardial deformation; KCNQ1-R190W and MYLK2-K324E mutations were correlated with electrocardiographic abnormalities reflected in long QT phenotype and inverted T-waves, respectively.
Although many studies worldwide have focused on the relationship between vitamin D and insulin resistance, results remain controversial. Furthermore, concentrations of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) in the Chinese population are unclear. We aimed to investigate vitamin D status and its correlation with insulin resistance among a Chinese adult population.
Serum 25(OH)D, fasting blood glucose, fasting insulin, glycated Hb (HbA1c) and other metabolic parameters were assessed. Neck circumference, waist circumference, hip circumference, weight and height were also measured. Lifestyle factors including smoking and drinking status were obtained. Diabetes mellitus was diagnosed by HbA1c according to the 2010 American Diabetes Association criteria.
Of 7200 residents included, 6597 individuals were ultimately analysed.
We enrolled 2813 males (mean age 52·7 (sd 13·5) years) and 3784 females (52·3 (sd 13·5) years); mean serum 25(OH)D concentration was 43·1 (sd 11·6) and 39·6 (sd 9·8) nmol/l, respectively. Additionally, 83·3 % of participants were 25(OH)D deficient. A significant difference in 25(OH)D was observed between males and females in winter and spring (P<0·001). Furthermore, 25(OH)D concentrations were inversely associated with the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) in the overweight and pre-diabetic populations. After adjusting for several variables, 25(OH)D was significantly associated with HOMA-IR in winter. When 25(OH)D values were categorized into quartiles, HOMA-IR was significantly associated with decreasing 25(OH)D.
The majority of the Chinese population was vitamin D deficient and this deficiency was negatively associated with insulin resistance, particularly in the overweight and pre-diabetic populations. Moreover, these associations might be more evident in the winter.
X-ray powder diffraction data, unit-cell parameters, and space group for menthyl lactate, C13H24O3, are reported [a = 5.522(6) Å, b = 11.795(8) Å, c = 17.780(6) Å, α = 50.632(3)°, β = 90.000(0)°, γ = 117.632(4)°, unit-cell volume V = 716.392(0) Å3, Z = 2, and space group P−1]. All measured lines were indexed and no detectable impurities were observed.
X-ray powder diffraction data, unit-cell parameters, and space group for monomenthyl succinate, C14H24O4, are reported [a = 19.352(2), b = 30.015(1), c = 5.277(0) Å, α = β = γ = 90°, unit-cell volume V = 3065.1(6) Å3, Z = 8, and space group Pba2]. All measured lines were indexed and are consistent with the Pba2 space group. No detectable impurities were observed.
Previous studies have demonstrated that betaine supplements increase lean body mass in livestock and improve muscle performance in human beings, but evidence for its effect on human lean mass is limited. Our study assessed the association of circulating betaine with lean mass and its composition in Chinese adults. A community-based study was conducted on 1996 Guangzhou residents (weight/mass: 1381/615) aged 50–75 years between 2008 and 2010. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect general baseline information. Fasting serum betaine was assessed using HPLC-MS. A total of 1590 participants completed the body composition analysis performed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry during a mean of 3·2 years of follow-up. After adjustment for age, regression analyses demonstrated a positive association of serum betaine with percentage of lean mass (LM%) of the entire body, trunk and limbs in men (all P<0·05) and LM% of the trunk in women (P=0·016). Each sd increase in serum betaine was associated with increases in LM% of 0·609 (whole body), 0·811 (trunk), 0·422 (limbs), 0·632 (arms) and 0·346 (legs) in men and 0·350 (trunk) in women. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that the prevalence of lower LM% decreased by 17 % (whole body) and 14 % (trunk) in women and 23 % (whole body), 28 % (trunk), 22 % (arms) and 26 % (percentage skeletal muscle index) in men with each sd increment in serum betaine. Elevated circulating betaine was associated with a higher LM% and lower prevalence of lower LM% in middle-aged and elderly Chinese adults, particularly men.
X-ray powder diffraction data for 3,3-dichloro-1-(4-nitrophenyl)-2-piperidinone, C11H10Cl2N2O3, are reported [a = 11.088(4) Å, b = 11.594(5) Å, c = 12.689(3) Å, α = 118.456(1)°, β = 100.320(3)°, γ = 107.763(3)°, V = 1259.27 Å3, Z = 4 and space group P-1 ]. All measured lines were indexed and are consistent with the P-1 space group. No detectable impurities were observed.
We conducted community interviews and field surveys to determine the distribution and population of the Endangered Shortridge's capped langur Trachypithecus shortridgei, and the threats to the species, in the Dulong and Nu River valleys of north-western Yunnan Province, China. We found that c. 19 groups of T. shortridgei reside in the Dulong valley, mostly located in the southern portion of the valley. According to interview and observational records in the Gaoligong Mountains to the west of the Nu River, 12 individuals and no groups were observed. Family groups consist of one adult male, 2–3 adult females and up to five young. We estimate the population of T. shortridgei in China to be c. 250–370 individuals. Threats to the species include habitat loss and poaching. We suggest several measures to conserve T. shortridgei, such as a review of the Gaoligong National Nature Reserve management strategy, and increasing engagement, education, inclusion of local people in forest management, and the consistency of enforcement.
Ultrashort electron bunch trains can be used for plasma wake field acceleration (PWFA) to overcome the limit of transformer ratio of a single electron bunch, or high-power terahertz (Thz) radiation production by various radiation mechanisms. Basic facility for high-power THz radiation development based on ultrashort electron beam has been set up at accelerator lab of TUB. Using birefringent crystal serials, ultraviolet (UV) pulse shaping for photocathode radio frequency gun to produce THz-repetition-rate pulse train was realized. Driven by such pulses, ultrashort electron bunch train with picosecond (ps) spacing was obtained for THz production. Measurement of the stacked UV pulse trains was done by difference frequency generation (DFG), and the measured group velocity mismatch of α-BBO crystal at 266.7-nm wavelength was 0.8 ps/mm. This method may also be applied to form ramped electron bunch trains for PWFA.
Polycrystalline MnNiCuFeO was implanted by B+, P+ and Si+ ion beams and thermally annealed. The structure and electrical properties of the sample were measured using SEM, Microprobe (MP), Low Frequency Impedance Analyzer (LFIA) and Spreading Resistance Probe (SRP). The results show that the resistance of grain boundaries is much higher than that of grains. The spreading resistance of the implanted samples is lower by factor of 2 than that of the unimplanted ones. The ratio of the real part Rs (grain effect) to imaginary part Xs (grain boundary effect) decreases with ion beam implantation. From these results, we came to the conclusion that the behavior of the grain boundaries is important to the bulk properties of polycrystalline MnNiCuFeO.
This article focuses on advances in both basic and applied research on soybean germplasm resources collected from China and dispersed to the world. Many landraces developed over the course of the 4500 years since its domestication in the Huangdi period. Systematic germplasm collection was begun in the early 20th century by Professor Shou Wang, and since then over 170,000 accessions have been conserved worldwide. Evaluation with respect to key morphological characteristics, pest resistance, abiotic stress tolerance and nutritional quality attributes has been widely carried out. In addition, genetic diversity has been assessed at the DNA level, and used to establish core collections for both cultivated (Glycine max) and wild (Glycine soja) soybean. Some core sets have targeted the most used parental lines, and others have focused on specific traits, such as resistance to the soybean cyst nematode or to soybean mosaic virus, or enhanced phosphorus use efficiency. The recent acquisition of the soybean genome sequence should accelerate the utilization of not only the Chinese soybean germplasm collection, but also those maintained elsewhere in the world.
There is limited data available on characteristics of profiles of lipids in children. The purpose of our investigation, therefore, was to determine the lipid profile, and analyze the prevalence of dyslipidaemia, in subgroups of children according to different gender, districts of residence, and ages in Beijing, China.
Methods and Results
We included 18,944 school children, aged from 7 to 18 years, in our community-based cross-sectional study, measuring the levels of total cholesterol and triglyceride in capillary blood, and at the same time determining their weight and height. Weights, heights, circumference at the waist, and body mass index proved to be significantly greater for the boys than the girls. The levels of total cholesterol of boys and girls were 3.98 ± 0.35, and 4.02 ± 0.35 mmol/L, respectively, while the comparable levels of triglycerides were 1.08 ± 0.52, and 1.18 ± 0.66 mmol/L, respectively. The percentages of hypercholesterolaemia, hypertriglyceridaemia, combined dyslipidaemia, and hyperlipidaemia were 1.2, 8.8, 0.4, and 9.7%, respectively. The incidences of hypertriglyceridaemia, combined dyslipidaemia, and hyperlipidaemia of girls were higher than boys. The levels of triglycerides for boys aged from 11 to 18 years living in an urban setting were higher than those for boys living in rural settings, as were the levels of total cholesterol for boys aged from 12 to 16 years.
Our study provides the newest current profiles of lipids for children living in Beijing. We found significant influences of age, districts of residence, and genders on the levels of lipids, features which need further attention in the prevention and treatment of dyslipidaemia.
Six transgenic maize lines with the fully modified gene GFM Cry1A were obtained and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of their T5 generation plants indicated that foreign genes could be stably inherited. Three hybrids (Simi25Bt, Tongdan24Bt and Jidan209Bt) were created using the transgenic lines and combined with regular maize inbred lines. The results of resistance identification of the transgenic inbred lines and hybrids showed that the difference of resistance among transgenic lines was very significant; there also existed a difference among individuals of the same line and among the three hybrids. Compared with the control inbred line (CK), the average of four transgenic inbred lines in the number of tunnels per stalk, larval tunnel length per plant and length of surviving larvae were decreased by 70%, 80% and 70%, respectively. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) testing showed that the average of Bt Cry1A protein expression level for six transgenic inbred lines was 0.16% total protein and the highest expression level was 0.19%. At maturity, compared with the control variety (CK), the larval tunnel length per plant of the three hybrids (Simi25Bt, Tongdan24Bt and Jidan209Bt) was decreased by 39.97%, 36.20% and 53.83%, respectively, which was a decrease of 43.36% on average. The investigation of agronomic characters showed that there was no significant difference between the improved hybrids and the control in plant height, ear length, row number per ear, kernel number per row and 100-kernels weight. It is thought that the GFM Cry1A gene can be applied to improve resistance to corn-borer, and maize inbred lines with the Bt gene can be directly applied to conventional maize breeding.
The expression of the YUCAA1 gene and the amount of endogenous indole acetic acid (IAA) in rice (Oryza sativa subsp. japonica) plants and rice suspension cells infected by Rice stripe virus (RSV) were investigated by real-time reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and high-performance liquid chromatography, respectively. The results showed that the expression of the YUCAA1 gene and the amount of endogenous IAA increased at various times (16, 32, 48 and 64 h) after infection of rice suspension cells by RSV. In rice plants infected with RSV, the expression of the YUCAA1 gene and the amount of endogenous IAA increased, in comparison with healthy rice plants, at 4–8 days after infection, and decreased at 12 and 16 days. These results indicated that RSV infection could regulate auxin biosynthesis in rice. Additionally, the expression of the RSV gene CP increased 2.9 times in rice plants after they were treated with a KPSC buffer to deplete the endogenous auxins, and decreased 45% after treatment with 30 μmol/l IAA. All of these results suggest that auxin may play a role in RSV replication in rice plants.