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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs (sRNAs) that regulate gene expression by inhibiting translation or degrading mRNA. Although the functions of miRNAs in many biological processes have been reported, there is currently no research on the possible roles of miRNAs in Micromelalopha troglodyta (Graeser) involved in the response of plant allelochemicals. In this article, six sRNA libraries (three treated with tanic acid and three control) from M. troglodyta were constructed using Illumina sequencing. From the results, 312 known and 43 novel miRNAs were differentially expressed. Notably, some of the most abundant miRNAs, such as miR-432, miR-541-3p, and miR-4448, involved in important physiological processes were also identified. To better understand the function of the targeted genes, we performed Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment analysis. The results indicated that differentially expressed miRNA targets were involved in metabolism, development, hormone biosynthesis, and immunity. Finally, we visualized a miRNA-mRNA regulatory module that supports the role of miRNAs in host–allelochemical interactions. To our knowledge, this is the first report on miRNAs responding to tannic acid in M. troglodyta. This study provides indispensable information for understanding the potential roles of miRNAs in M. troglodyta and the applications of these miRNAs in M. troglodyta management.
The occurrence of chalkiness has decreased in new hybrid rice cultivars in China. As both chalkiness occurrence and starch granule size are associated with the biosynthesis of starch, we hypothesized that there may be a correlation between chalkiness occurrence and starch granule size, and this may partially explain the decreased chalkiness occurrence in the new hybrid rice cultivars. To test this hypothesis, a field experiment was conducted over eight environments (two years × four sowing dates) with two hybrid rice cultivars: one recently developed with low chalkiness occurrence, Jingliangyou 1468 (JLY1468) and a relatively older cultivar with high chalkiness occurrence, Liangyoupeijiu (LYPJ). Results showed that JLY1468 had a higher cumulative distribution of large-diameter (7.51–19.50 μm) starch granules and a lower grain weight of milled rice compared to LYPJ. As a consequence, mean and relative starch granule diameters were 6% and 21% higher in JLY1468 than in LYPJ, respectively. Although both the chalky grain rate and chalkiness degree were negatively correlated with mean and relative starch granule diameter, they were more closely correlated with the relative granule diameter. These results support our hypothesis regarding the relationship between chalkiness occurrence and starch granule size and suggest that the relative starch granule diameter is a relevant parameter in understanding the occurrence of chalkiness in hybrid rice.
It is generally accepted that high-oleic crops have at least 70% oleate. As compared to their normal-oleic counterparts, oil and food products made from high-oleic peanut have better keeping quality and are much healthier. Therefore, high-oleic peanut is well recognized by processors and consumers. However, owing to the limited availability of high-oleic donors, most present-day high-oleic peanut varietal releases merely have F435 type FAD2 mutations. Through screening of a mutagenized peanut population of 15L46, a high-yielding peanut line with desirable elliptical oblong large seeds, using near infrared model for predicting oleate content in individual single seeds, high-oleic peanut mutants were identified. Sequencing FAD2A and FAD2B of the mutants along with the wild type revealed that these mutants possessed G448A FAD2A (F435 type FAD2A mutation) and G558A FAD2B (non-F435 type FAD2B mutation). Expression of the wild and mutated type FAD2B in yeast verified that the functional mutation contributed to the high-oleic phenotype in these mutants. The mutants provided additional high-oleic donors to peanut quality improvement.
Viruses completely rely on the energy and metabolic systems of host cells for life activities. Viral infections usually lead to cytopathic effects and host diseases. To date, there are still no specific clinical vaccines or drugs against most viral infections. Therefore, understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms of viral infections is of great significance to prevent and treat viral diseases. A variety of viral infections are related to the p38 MAPK signalling pathway, and p38 is an important host factor in virus-infected cells. Here, we introduce the different signalling pathways of p38 activation and then summarise how different viruses induce p38 phosphorylation. Finally, we provide a general summary of the effect of p38 activation on virus replication. Our review provides integrated data on p38 activation and viral infections and describes the potential application of targeting p38 as an antiviral strategy.
To explore the factors associated with the operative duration for paediatric tracheobronchial foreign body removal by rigid bronchoscopy, and to analyse the learning curve for mastery of the rigid bronchoscopy skill.
A retrospective study was performed of paediatric cases of tracheobronchial foreign body removal by rigid bronchoscopy in our department from January 2007 to July 2019. Multivariate Cox regression analysis was used to analyse the factors associated with the operative duration. In addition, the learning curves for two doctors were evaluated by curve-fitting regression analysis.
A total of 410 paediatric cases of tracheobronchial foreign body removal by rigid bronchoscopy were evaluated. The operative duration was significantly influenced by the skill of the doctor. The learning curves for both doctor A and doctor B demonstrated two typical phases: an initially rapidly changing learning phase followed by a steady consolidation phase.
The operative duration for paediatric tracheobronchial foreign body removal by rigid bronchoscopy was associated with the skill of the doctor. In order to fully master the rigid bronchoscopy technique, doctors should perform a minimum number of procedures to pass the learning phase and reach the consolidation phase.
Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) elicits a range of different responses in patients and can manifest into mild to very severe cases in different individuals, depending on many factors. We aimed to establish a prediction model of severe risk in COVID-19 patients, to help clinicians achieve early prevention, intervention and aid them in choosing effective therapeutic strategy. We selected confirmed COVID-19 patients who were admitted to First Hospital of Changsha city between 29 January and 15 February 2020 and collected their clinical data. Multivariate logical regression was used to identify the factors associated with severe risk. These factors were incorporated into the nomogram to establish the model. The ROC curve, calibration plot and decision curve were used to assess the performance of the model. A total of 228 patients were enrolled and 33 (14.47%) patients developed severe pneumonia. Univariate and multivariate analysis showed that shortness of breath, fatigue, creatine kinase, lymphocytes and h CRP were independent factors for severe risk in COVID-19 patients. Incorporating age, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and these factors, the nomogram achieved good concordance indexes of 0.89 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.832–0.949] and well-fitted calibration plot curves (Hosmer–Lemeshow test: P = 0.97). The model provided superior net benefit when clinical decision thresholds were between 15% and 85% predicted risk. Using the model, clinicians can intervene early, improve therapeutic effects and reduce the severity of COVID-19, thus ensuring more targeted and efficient use of medical resources.
A classical result for the simple symmetric random walk with 2n steps is that the number of steps above the origin, the time of the last visit to the origin, and the time of the maximum height all have exactly the same distribution and converge when scaled to the arcsine law. Motivated by applications in genomics, we study the distributions of these statistics for the non-Markovian random walk generated from the ascents and descents of a uniform random permutation and a Mallows(q) permutation and show that they have the same asymptotic distributions as for the simple random walk. We also give an unexpected conjecture, along with numerical evidence and a partial proof in special cases, for the result that the number of steps above the origin by step 2n for the uniform permutation generated walk has exactly the same discrete arcsine distribution as for the simple random walk, even though the other statistics for these walks have very different laws. We also give explicit error bounds to the limit theorems using Stein’s method for the arcsine distribution, as well as functional central limit theorems and a strong embedding of the Mallows(q) permutation which is of independent interest.
To explore and develop effective treatments is crucial for patients with Alzheimer’s dementia (AD). In pathology, the amyloid deposits of AD result in disruption of the balance between long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) of neuronal cells and synaptic plasticity. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been proposed to affect long-term synaptic plasticity through LTP and LTD, thereby improving cognitive ability. Although an increasing number of studies have been concluded a positive therapeutic effect on cognition in AD, tDCS studies to date are limited on exploring the duration of its efficacy. In this pilot study, we investigate the effects of tDCS in AD and verify its extending beneficial effects for 3 months follow-up period after the end of stimulation.
34 AD participants aged 55-90 years (mean age 75.9 (66-86)) were included in a double-blind, randomized, sham-controlled crossover study. All participants were randomly assigned to receive 10 consecutive daily sessions of active tDCS (or sham) and switched groups 3 months later. The anodal electrode was on the left dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex and the cathodal electrode was on the right supraorbital area. In each active session, we applied a current intensity of 2 mA and an electrode size of 25 cm2 for 30 min in the active group. All subjects received a series of neuropsychological assessments including CDR, MMSE, CASI and WCST at baseline and in 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and 12 weeks post-tDCS (or sham) 10 sessions. Chi-square tests, Wilcoxon signed rank tests and Mann-Whitney U tests were used to assess the differences in participant demographic characteristics and to compare the differences of test scores between groups.
The active tDCS group showed significant improvements on CASI total scores from baseline to 2-weeks, 1-month and 3-months after active stimulations, though the improvement declined over time. There are also different presentations in total correct items, conceptual level responses, failure to maintain sets of WCST between active tDCS and sham groups. There is no difference in MMSE, CASI and WCST scores in the sham groups.
These results suggest a long term-beneficial effects of tDCS in AD.
Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB), this second most common form of degenerative dementia, presents more functional disability, more potentially fatal complication, more impaired quality of life than Alzheimer’s dementia. There is no FDA-proved medication can slow, stop or improve the progression of cognitive declines in DLB. Identifying effective treatments is a critical issue for DLB. In neuropathology, extracelluar α-syn oligomers interfere with the expression of long-term potentiation, and influence memory and learning. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been proposed to affect long-term synaptic plasticity through LTP and LTD, thereby improving cognitive ability. So far, only two researches assess the effect of tDCS in DLB. In this pilot study, we investigate the effects of tDCS in DLB.
Using a double-blind, randomized, sham- controlled and crossover trial design, 11 DLB aged 55-90 years (mean age 77.8) were included in the study. DLB diagnostics is according to DSM-5 criteria. The CDR ratings of DLB participants ranged from 0.5 to 2. The active tDCS (or sham) process includes consecutive daily sessions of active tDCS (or sham) for 10 days. The anodal electrode was over the left dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and the cathodal electrode on the right supraorbital area. In each session, we applied a current intensity of 2 mA and an electrode size of 25 cm2 for 30 min in the active group. All subjects received a series of neuropsychological tests, which included CDR, MMSE, CASI, NPI and WCST, before and after these treatment sessions. Chi-square tests, Wilcoxon signed rank tests and Mann-Whitney U tests were used to assess the differences in participant demographic characteristics and to compare the differences among groups.
On CASI, MMSE, NPI and WCST, there were no statistically significant differences between pre- and post the 10-session course for the active and the sham groups. No side effects reported during or immediately after active tDCS stimulation.
These results suggest that left DLPFC anodal, and right deltoid cathodal tDCS, do not improve cognition, behavioral and psychological symptoms in DLB. Larger-scale trials are needed to confirm the effect of tDCS in DLB.
Understanding factors associated with post-discharge sleep quality among COVID-19 survivors is important for intervention development.
This study investigated sleep quality and its correlates among COVID-19 patients 6 months after their most recent hospital discharge.
Healthcare providers at hospitals located in five different Chinese cities contacted adult COVID-19 patients discharged between 1 February and 30 March 2020. A total of 199 eligible patients provided verbal informed consent and completed the interview. Using score on the single-item Sleep Quality Scale as the dependent variable, multiple linear regression models were fitted.
Among all participants, 10.1% reported terrible or poor sleep quality, and 26.6% reported fair sleep quality, 26.1% reported worse sleep quality when comparing their current status with the time before COVID-19, and 33.7% were bothered by a sleeping disorder in the past 2 weeks. After adjusting for significant background characteristics, factors associated with sleep quality included witnessing the suffering (adjusted B = −1.15, 95% CI = −1.70, −0.33) or death (adjusted B = −1.55, 95% CI = −2.62, −0.49) of other COVID-19 patients during hospital stay, depressive symptoms (adjusted B = −0.26, 95% CI = −0.31, −0.20), anxiety symptoms (adjusted B = −0.25, 95% CI = −0.33, −0.17), post-traumatic stress disorders (adjusted B = −0.16, 95% CI = −0.22, −0.10) and social support (adjusted B = 0.07, 95% CI = 0.04, 0.10).
COVID-19 survivors reported poor sleep quality. Interventions and support services to improve sleep quality should be provided to COVID-19 survivors during their hospital stay and after hospital discharge.
A southern population (S) from Xiushui County (29°1′N, 114°4′E) and a northern population (N) from Shenyang city (41°48′N, 123°23′E) of the cabbage beetle, Colaphellus bowringi vary greatly in their life-history traits, and may serve as an excellent model with which to study the inheritance of life-history traits. In the present study, we performed intraspecific hybridization using the two populations, comparing the key life-history traits (fecundity, development time, body weight, growth rate, and sexual size dimorphism (SDD)) between the two populations (S♀ × S♂ and N♀ × N♂) and their two hybrid populations (S♀ × N♂ and N♀ × S♂ populations) at 19, 22, 25, and 28°C. Our results showed that there were significant differences in life-history traits between the two parental populations, with the S population having a significantly higher fecundity, shorter larval development time, larger body weight, higher growth rate, and greater weight loss during metamorphosis than the N population at almost all temperatures. However, these life-history traits in the two hybrid populations were intermediate between those of their parents. The life-history traits in the S × N and N × S populations more closely resembled those of the maternal S population and N population, respectively, showing maternal effects. Weight loss for both sexes was highest in the S population, followed by the S × N, N × S, and N populations at all temperatures, suggesting that larger pupae lost more weight during metamorphosis. The changes in SSD with temperature were similar between the S and the S × N populations and between the N and the N × S populations, also suggesting a maternal effect. Overall, our results showed no drastic effect of hybridization on C. bowringi, being neither negative (hybrid inferiority) nor positive (heterosis). Rather, the phenotypes of hybrids were intermediate between the phenotypes of their parents.
Identifying effective treatments is a critical issue for Alzheimer’s dementia (AD). The pathological amyloid deposits of AD result in disruption of the balance between long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) of neuronal cells and synaptic plasticity. Brain stimulation in dementia research, especially with relatively safe tDCS, has been taken seriously recently. In theory, tDCS affects long-term synaptic plasticity through LTP and LTD, thereby improving cognitive ability. Recently, an increasing number of studies have been conducted to evaluate the efficacy of tDCS in AD and concluded a positive therapeutic effect. Currently, there are no studies of tDCS for AD in Taiwan. In this study, we investigate the effects of tDCS in AD.
Using a double-blind, randomized and sham- controlled trial design, Sixteen AD aged 55-90 years (8 active, mean age 73.88 and 8 sham, mean age 74.75) were included in the study. AD diagnostics is according to DSM-5 criteria. The CDR ratings of AD participants ranged from 0.5 to 2. All subjects completed ten consecutive daily sessions in which they received either an active or a sham tDCS over the left dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (anodal) and a cathodal electrode on the right supraorbital area. In each session, we applied a current intensity of 2 mA and an electrode size of 35 cm2 for 30 min in the active group. All subjects received a series of neuropsychological tests, which included CDR, MMSE, CASI and WCST, before and after these treatment sessions on the first day and 4 weeks later. Chi- square test, Wilcoxon signed ranks test and Mann-Whitney U test were used to assess the differences in participant demographic characteristics and to compare the differences among groups.
The active group showed significant improvement in total correct item, Conceptual level Responses (reflecting insight into the correct sorting principles), Categories Completed (reflecting overall success), and Trials to complete first categories (reflecting initial conceptual ability) of WCST 4 weeks later after the final stimulation. There were no statistically significant differences between before and after the 10-session course for the sham group.
tDCS stimulation improves cognitive operation and Conceptual Ability of AD.
In the current research, a 60-d experiment was conducted with the purpose of exploring the impacts of methionine (Met) on growth performance, muscle nutritive deposition, muscle fibre growth and type I collagen synthesis as well as the related signalling pathway. Six diets (iso-nitrogenous) differing in Met concentrations (2·54, 4·85, 7·43, 10·12, 12·40 and 15·11 g/kg diets) were fed to 540 grass carp (178·47 (SD 0·36) g). Results showed (P < 0·05) that compared with Met deficiency, optimal level of dietary Met (1) increased feed intake, feed efficiency, specific growth rate and percentage weight gain (PWG); (2) increased fish muscle protein, lipid and free amino acid contents and improved fish muscle fatty acid profile as well as increased protein content in part associated with the target of rapamycin complex 1 (TORC1)/S6K1 signalling pathway; (3) increased the frequency distribution of muscle fibre with >50 µm of diameter; (4) increased type I collagen synthesis partly related to the transforming growth factor-β1/Smads and CK2/TORC1 signalling pathways. In conclusion, dietary Met improved muscle growth, which might be due to the regulation of muscle nutritive deposition, muscle fibre growth and type I collagen synthesis-related signal molecules. Finally, according to PWG and muscle collagen content, the Met requirements for on-growing grass carp (178–626 g) were estimated to be 9·56 g/kg diet (33·26 g/kg protein of diet) and 9·28 g/kg diet (32·29 g/kg of dietary protein), respectively.
To investigate the effects of dietary fibre on follicular atresia in pigs fed a high-fat diet, we fed thirty-two prepubescent gilts a basal diet (CON) or a CON diet supplemented with 300 g/d dietary fibre (fibre), 240 g/d soya oil (SO) or both (fibre + SO). At the 19th day of the 4th oestrus cycle, gilts fed the SO diet showed 112 % more atretic follicles and greater expression of the apoptotic markers, Bax and caspase-3, and these effects were reversed by the fibre diet. The abundance of SCFA-producing microbes was decreased by the SO diet, but this effect was reversed by fibre treatment. Concentrations of serotonin and melatonin in the serum and follicular fluid were increased by the fibre diet. Overall, dietary fibre protected against high fat feeding-induced follicular atresia at least partly via gut microbiota-related serotonin–melatonin synthesis. These results provide insight into preventing negative effects on fertility in humans consuming a high-energy diet.
To revise an abbreviated version of the Silhouettes subtest of the Visual Object and Space Perception (VOSP) battery in order to recognize mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and determine the optimal cutoffs to differentiate among cognitively normal controls (NC), MCI, and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) in the Chinese elderly.
A cross-sectional validation study.
Huashan Hospital, Shanghai, China.
A total of 591 participants: Individuals with MCI (n = 211), AD (n = 139) and NC (n = 241) were recruited from the Memory Clinic, Huashan Hospital, Shanghai, China.
Baseline neuropsychological battery (including VOSP) scores were collected from firsthand data. An abbreviated version of silhouettes test (Silhouettes-A) was revised from the original English version more suitable for the elderly, including eight silhouettes of animals and seven silhouettes of inanimate objects, with a score ranging from 0 to 15.
Silhouettes-A was an effective test to screen MCI in the Chinese elderly with good sensitivity and specificity, similar to the Montreal cognitive assessment and superior to other single tests reflecting language, spatial, or executive function. However, it had no advantage in distinguishing MCI from AD. The corresponding optimal cutoff scores of Silhouettes-A were 10 for screening MCI and 8 for AD.
Silhouettes-A is a quick, simple, sensitive, and dependable cognitive test to distinguish among NC, MCI, and AD patients.
Campylobacter is a major foodborne pathogen and is commonly present in food producing animals. This pathogenic organism is highly adaptable and has become increasingly resistant to various antibiotics. Recently, both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization have designated antibiotic-resistant Campylobacter as a serious threat to public health. For the past decade, multiple mechanisms conferring resistance to clinically important antibiotics have been described in Campylobacter, and new resistance mechanisms constantly emerge in the pathogen. Some of the recent examples include the erm(B) gene conferring macrolide resistance, the cfr(C) genes mediating resistance to florfenicol and other antimicrobials, and a functionally enhanced variant of the multidrug resistance efflux pump, CmeABC. The continued emergence of new resistance mechanisms illustrates the extraordinary adaptability of Campylobacter to antibiotic selection pressure and demonstrate the need for innovative strategies to control antibiotic-resistant Campylobacter. In this review, we will briefly summarize the trends of antibiotic resistance in Campylobacter and discuss the mechanisms of resistance to antibiotics used for animal production and important for clinical therapy in humans. A special emphasis will be given to the newly discovered antibiotic resistance.
Babesiosis is an emerging tick-transmitted zoonosis prevalent in large parts of the world. This study was designed to determine the rates of Babesia microti infection among small rodents in Yunnan province, where human cases of babesiosis have been reported. Currently, distribution of Babesia in its endemic regions is largely unknown. In this study, we cataloged 1672 small wild rodents, comprising 4 orders, from nine areas in western Yunnan province between 2009 and 2011. Babesia microti DNA was detected by polymerase chain reaction in 4·3% (72/1672) of the rodents analyzed. The most frequently infected rodent species included Apodemus chevrieri and Niviventer fulvescens. Rodents from forests and shrublands had significantly higher Babesia infection rates. Genetic comparisons revealed that Babesia was most similar to the Kobe- and Otsu-type strains identified in Japan. A variety of rodent species might be involved in the enzootic maintenance and transmission of B. microti, supporting the need for further serological investigations in humans.
Polymannuronic acid (PM), one of numerous alginates isolated from brown seaweeds, is known to possess antioxidant activities. In this study, we examined its potential role in reducing body weight gain and attenuating inflammation induced by a high-fat and high-sucrose diet (HFD) as well as its effect on modulating the gut microbiome in mice. A 30-d PM treatment significantly reduced the diet-induced body weight gain and blood TAG levels (P<0·05) and improved glucose tolerance in male C57BL/6J mice. PM decreased lipopolysaccharides in blood and ameliorated local inflammation in the colon and the epididymal adipose tissue. Compared with low-fat and low-sucrose diet (LFD), HFD significantly reduced the mean number of species-level operational taxonomic units (OTU) per sample as well as species richness (P<0·05) but did not appear to affect other microbial diversity indices. Moreover, compared with LFD, HFD altered the abundance of approximately 23 % of the OTU detected (log10 linear discriminant analysis (LDA) score>2·0). PM also had a profound impact on the microbial composition in the gut microbiome and resulted in a distinct microbiome structure. For example, PM significantly increased the abundance of a probiotic bacterium, Lactobacillus reuteri (log10 LDA score>2·0). Together, our results suggest that PM may exert its immunoregulatory effects by enhancing proliferation of several species with probiotic activities while repressing the abundance of the microbial taxa that harbor potential pathogens. Our findings should facilitate mechanistic studies on PM as a potential bioactive compound to alleviate obesity and the metabolic syndrome.