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Breast cancer is a high-risk disease with a high mortality rate among women. Chemotherapy plays an important role in the treatment of breast cancer. However, chemotherapy eventually results in tumours that are resistant to drugs. In recent years, many studies have revealed that the activation of Wnt/β-catenin signalling is crucial for the emergence and growth of breast tumours as well as the development of drug resistance. Additionally, drugs that target this pathway can reverse drug resistance in breast cancer therapy. Traditional Chinese medicine has the properties of multi-target and tenderness. Therefore, integrating traditional Chinese medicine and modern medicine into chemotherapy provides a new strategy for reversing the drug resistance of breast tumours. This paper mainly reviews the possible mechanism of Wnt/β-catenin in promoting the process of breast tumour drug resistance, and the progress of alkaloids extracted from traditional Chinese medicine in the targeting of this pathway in order to reverse the drug resistance of breast cancer.
Sugarcane brown rust, caused by Puccinia melanocephala, is one of the main diseases of sugarcane in China. The identification and discovery of new resistance genes have important theoretical and practical significance for preventing outbreaks of brown rust and ensuring the sustainable production of sugarcane. To screen for polymorphic simple-sequence repeat (SSR) molecular markers for localization of brown rust resistance genes, we used two populations that are suitable for genetic linkage map construction and mapping of new resistance genes to construct resistant and susceptible genetic pools. We then screened 449 pairs of primers to identify polymorphic SSR markers in the parental lines and the resistant/susceptible genetic pools. The results showed that 25 pairs of primers directed amplification of polymorphic DNA fragments between the parents of the cross combination ‘Yuetang 03-393’ × ‘ROC 24’, and 16 pairs of primers amplified polymorphic fragments between the parents of the cross combination ‘Liucheng 03-1137’ × ‘Dezhe 93-88’. Four pairs of primers (SMC236CG, SCESSR0928, SCESSR0636 and SCESSR2551) amplified polymorphic DNA fragments between the parental lines and the resistant/susceptible genetic pools in ‘Yuetang 03-393’ × ‘ROC 24’. The results of this study will establish a solid foundation for the mapping of new brown rust resistance genes, genetic linkage map construction and the development of closely-associated molecular markers in sugarcane.
Fluorescent quantum dots (QDs) modified with polyethylene glycol (PEG) and albumin bovine serum (BSA) have profound application in the detection and treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells. In the present study, the effects and mechanism of PEG and BSA modification on the cytotoxicity of QDs have been explored. It was found that the diameter of the as-prepared QDs, PEG@QDs, BSA@QDs is 3–5 nm, 4–5 nm, and 4–6 nm, respectively. With increase of the treatment time from 0 to 24 h, the HCC cell viability treated with QDs, PEG@QDs, and BSA@QDs obviously decreases, showing a certain time-dependent manner. When the concentration of several nanomaterials is increased from 10 to 90 nM, the cell viability decreases accordingly, exhibiting a certain concentration-dependent manner. Under the same concentration change conditions, the reactive oxygen species contents of cells treated by QDs, PEG@QDs, and BSA@QDs also rise from 7.9 × 103, 6.7 × 103, and 4.7 × 103 to 13.2 × 103, 14.3 × 103, and 12.3 × 103, respectively. In these processes, superoxide dismutase does not play a major role. This study provides strong foundation and useful guidance for QD applications in the diagnosis and treatment of HCC.
We assessed inheritance of resistance to sugarcane brown rust (Puccinia melanocephala) in selfing F1 populations of wild sugarcane germplasm Erianthus rockii ‘Yundian 95-19’ and E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-20’. We tested parent and selfing F1 individuals for the brown rust resistance gene, Bru1, that has been shown to confer resistance to brown rust in sugarcane. The Bru1 gene was not detected in E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-19’, E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-20’ or their selfing F1 individuals, and we found there was segregation of resistance in the two selfing F1 populations (segregation ratio: 3:1). The results confirmed resistance in E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-19’ and E. rockii ‘Yundian 95-20’ to sugarcane brown rust is controlled by a novel, single dominant gene.
In inertial confinement fusion experiments that involve short-laser pulses such as fast ignition (FI), diagnosis of neutrons is usually very challenging because high-intensity γ rays generated by short-laser pulses would mask the much weaker neutron signal. In this paper, fast-response scintillators with low afterglow and gated microchannel plate photomultiplier tubes are combined to build neutron time-of-flight (nTOF) spectrometers for such experiments. Direct-drive implosion experiments of deuterium-gas-filled capsules were performed at the Shenguang-II Upgrade (SG-II-UP) laser facility to study the compressed fuel areal density (〈ρR〉) and evaluate the performance of such nTOF diagnostics. Two newly developed quenched liquid scintillator detectors and a gated ultrafast plastic scintillator detector were used to measure the secondary DT neutrons and primary DD neutrons, respectively. The secondary neutron signals were clearly discriminated from the γ rays from (n, γ) reactions, and the compressed fuel areal density obtained with the yield-ratio method agrees well with the simulations. Additionally, a small scintillator decay tail and a clear DD neutron signal were observed in an integrated FI experiment as a result of the low afterglow of the oxygen-quenched liquid scintillator.
Muons produced by a short pulse laser can serve as a new type of muon source having potential advantages of high intensity, small source emittance, short pulse duration and low cost. To validate it in experiments, a suitable muon diagnostics system is needed since high muon flux generated by a short pulse laser shot is always accompanied by high radiation background, which is quite different from cases in general muon researches. A detection system is proposed to distinguish muon signals from radiation background by measuring the muon lifetime. It is based on the scintillator detector with water and lead shields, in which water is used to adjust energies of muons stopped in the scintillator and lead to against radiation background. A Geant4 simulation on the performance of the detection system shows that efficiency up to 52% could be arrived for low-energy muons around 200 MeV and this efficiency decreases to 14% for high-energy muons above 1000 MeV. The simulation also shows that the muon lifetime can be derived properly by measuring attenuation of the scintilla light of electrons from muon decays inside the scintillator detector.
Field surveys indicate that host population size, rather than density, is the most important determinant of monogenean infection dynamics. To verify this prediction, epidemic parameters were monitored for 70 days at five host population sizes held at constant density using a goldfish – Gyrodactylus kobayashii laboratory model. During the first 20 days, the rate of increase of prevalence and mean abundance was faster in small host populations. Total mean prevalence and total mean abundance throughout the experiment were not significantly affected by host population sizes. Higher transmission rates were detected in larger host populations. However, there were no significant differences in effective contact rates among the five host populations on each sampling day during the first 20 days, implying that contact rates may be saturated at a sufficiently high host density. These results demonstrate that the epidemic occurs more quickly in smaller host populations at the beginning of the experiment. However, the epidemic is independent of the host population size due to the similar effective contact rates in the five population sizes. Significant negative influence of the initial body condition (Kn) of uninfected goldfish on total mean abundance of parasites suggests that susceptibility of hosts is also a determinant of parasite transmission.
An epigenetic mechanism has been suggested to explain the effects of the maternal diet on the development of disease in offspring. The present study aimed to observe the effects of a maternal high-lipid, high-energy (HLE) diet on the DNA methylation pattern of male offspring in mice. Female C57BL/6J mice were fed an HLE diet during gestation and lactation. The genomic DNA methylations at promoter sites of genes in the liver, mRNA and protein levels of selected genes related to lipid and glucose metabolism were measured by microarray, real-time PCR and Western blot. The results indicated that the percentage of methylated DNA in offspring from dams that were fed an HLE diet was significantly higher than that from dams that were fed a chow diet, and most of these genes were hypermethylated in promoter regions. The nuclear protein content and mRNA levels of hypermethylated genes, such as PPARγ and liver X receptor α (LXRα), were decreased significantly in offspring in the HLE group. The results suggested that the DNA methylation profile in adult offspring livers was changed by the maternal HLE diet during gestation and lactation.
A novel relative spacecraft attitude and position estimation approach based on an Unscented Kalman Filter (UKF) is derived. The integrated sensor suite comprises the gyro sensors on each spacecraft and a vision-based navigation system on the slave spacecraft. In the traditional algorithm, an assumption that the master's body frame coincides with its Local Vertical Local Horizontal (LVLH) frame is made to construct the line-of-sight observations for convenience. To solve this problem, two relative quaternions that map the master's LVLH frame to the slave and master body frames are involved. The general relative equations of motion for eccentric orbits are used to describe the positional dynamics. The implementation equations for the UKF are derived. A modified version of the UKF is presented based on the averaging-quaternion algorithm. Simulation results indicate that the proposed filters provide more accurate estimates of relative attitude and position than the Extended Kalman Filter (EKF).
A seawater salinity sensor based on microring resonator with weak temperature dependence is proposed, which is coated by MgF2 film with positive thermo-optic coefficient. Temperature dependences of the sensor on fiber diameter, probing wavelength and coating thickness are theoretically investigated and ranges of microfiber diameters for weak temperature dependence are obtained. Under the temperature insensitive condition, sensitivity and detection limit of salinity sensing are studied. By optimizing the parameters of the sensing system, salinity sensitivity and detection limit can reach 0.03 nm/‰ and 0.13‰, respectively. The model presented here may be helpful for developing weak temperature dependence sensors for salinity sensing with high sensitivity, low detection limit and miniaturized sizes.
Background: Although knowledge of established risk factors for Alzheimer's disease (AD) can logically contribute to the search for predictors of the progression of cognitive impairment, it has not yet been firmly established where in the cognitive impairment process these risk factors exert their effects and how to predict quantitatively for the progression of mild cognitive impairments (MCI) to AD. This study aimed to determine whether known risk factors increased the risk of progression from MCI to AD and to make prediction based on transition probabilities.
Methods: Based on ten examinations of 600 community-dwelling MCI residents and cognitive assessments to classify individuals into MCI, global impairment, and AD, a multi-state Markov Cox's regression model was used and the hazard ratios with their confidence intervals and transition probabilities were estimated.
Results: Multivariate analysis showed that gender, age, and hypertension were statistically significant predictors of transition from MCI to global impairment; age, education, and reading statistically influenced transition from global impairment to MCI; gender, age, hypertension, diabetes, and apolipoprotein E geneε4 status were statistically associated with transition from global impairment to AD. Subjects at MCI were more likely (67%) to remain in that cognitive state at the next cognitive assessment than to transition to cognitive deterioration. For global impairment, probability of remaining in the same state was only 18% and that of forward transition was three times more likely than that of backward transition.
Conclusions: Known risk factors influenced differently for different transitions. Transition from global impairment was more likely to worsen to severe cognitive deterioration than transition from MCI.
The coast of Bohai Bay, north-western Yellow Sea, is critical for waterbirds migrating along the East Asia-Australasian Flyway. Between 1994 and 2010, a total of 450 km2 of offshore area, including 218 km2 of intertidal flats (one third of the original tidal area in the bay), has been reclaimed along the bay for two industrial projects. This has caused the northward migrants to become concentrated in an ever smaller remaining area, our core study site. The spring peak numbers of two Red Knot subspecies in the East Asia-Australasian Flyway, Calidris canutus piersmai and C. c. rogersi, in this so far little affected area increased from 13% in 2007 to 62% in 2010 of the global populations; the spring peak numbers of Curlew Sandpiper C. ferruginea increased from 3% in 2007 to 23% in 2010 of the flyway population. The decline in the extent of intertidal mudflats also affected Relict Gulls Larus relictus, listed by IUCN as ‘Vulnerable’; during normal winters 56% of the global population moved from the wintering habitats that were removed in Tianjin to the relatively intact areas around Tangshan. Densities of wintering Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata, and spring-staging Broad-billed Sandpiper Limicola falcinellus and Sanderling Calidris alba have also increased in the remaining areas. With the proposed continuation of land reclamation in Bohai Bay, we predict waterbird densities in the remaining areas to increase to a point of collapse. To evaluate the future of these fragile, shared international resources, it is vital to promote an immediate conservation action plan for the remaining coastal wetlands in this region, and continued population monitoring to determine the effects of this action.
BalB/C neonate mice and adult BalB/C mice were vaccinated using BCG (Bacille Calmette–Guerin). The pathogenic growth characteristics of BCG in in vitro culture on spleen cells (SPC) were observed and changes in induced expression of IFN (interferon)-γ and IL (interleukin)-4 in SPC were detected using the ELISPOT assay. The results showed that a low dose of BCG (2×103 cfu) exerted 100% immunoprotection on 7-day-old neonate mice and a high dose of BCG (4×104 cfu) exerted 75% immunoprotection. A low dose of BCG (2×103 cfu) exerted 67% immunoprotection on 35-day-old mice. It is also shown that Th1-type cell immunity dominated by IFN-γ was enhanced significantly in the neonate mice injected with a low dose of BCG (2×103 cfu), and Th2-type cell immunity dominated by IL-4 was depressed at the same time. IFN-γ and IL-4 induced by a high dosage of BCG (4×104 cfu) in neonate mice were both increased. IFN-γ and IL-4 induced by a low dose of BCG (2×103 cfu) in 35-day-old mice were also increased. The results indicate that there exists a marked correlation between immunoprotection by BCG in mice and both the immunizing dose and age of the immune animals, which might be relevant to the changes induced by BCG on Th1- and Th2-type cell immunity.
Progenies derived from rice (Oryza sativa ssp. japonica) plants pollinated by Oenothera biennis exhibited numerous morphological and developmental traits. Some variant individuals appeared in generation D2. From generations D3 to D6, a large number of variants were observed, showing distinct variable traits including giant embryos. Statistical analysis on D6 lines showed significant differences between progenies and their rice parental line in several main traits, including plant height (49.2–164.5 cm), panicle number (12.1–38.2), panicle length (20.3–30.3 cm), length of sword leaf (13.8–57.5 cm), leaf width (11.1–25.2 mm), grain number of main panicle (142.0–367.0), percentage of seed setting (0.8–99.0%), 1000-grain weight (19.7–33.8 g) and time from germination to panicle emergence (90.0–108.0 days). Most of the variable coefficients were above 20% (the highest was 40.8%). Through pedigree selection of these plants, genetically stable lines were obtained, which are useful for rice breeding. Results from amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis showed that several rice lines contained extensive genetic variations, which included disappearance of rice parental bands and/or appearance of novel bands.
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