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Although ethanol treatment is widely used to activate oocytes, the underlying mechanisms are largely unclear. Roles of intracellular calcium stores and extracellular calcium in ethanol-induced activation (EIA) of oocytes remain to be verified, and whether calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) is involved in EIA is unknown. This study showed that calcium-free ageing (CFA) in vitro significantly decreased intracellular stored calcium (sCa) and CaSR expression, and impaired EIA, spindle/chromosome morphology and developmental potential of mouse oocytes. Although EIA in oocytes with full sCa after ageing with calcium does not require calcium influx, calcium influx is essential for EIA of oocytes with reduced sCa after CFA. Furthermore, the extremely low EIA rate in oocytes with CFA-downregulated CaSR expression and the fact that inhibiting CaSR significantly decreased the EIA of oocytes with a full complement of CaSR suggest that CaSR played a significant role in the EIA of ageing oocytes. In conclusion, CFA impaired EIA and the developmental potential of mouse oocytes by decreasing sCa and downregulating CaSR expression. Because mouse oocytes routinely treated for activation (18 h post hCG) are equipped with a full sCa complement and CaSR, the present results suggest that, while calcium influx is not essential, CaSR is required for the EIA of oocytes.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to significant strain on front-line healthcare workers.
In this multicentre study, we compared the psychological outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic in various countries in the Asia-Pacific region and identified factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes.
From 29 April to 4 June 2020, the study recruited healthcare workers from major healthcare institutions in five countries in the Asia-Pacific region. A self-administrated survey that collected information on prior medical conditions, presence of symptoms, and scores on the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales and the Impact of Events Scale-Revised were used. The prevalence of depression, anxiety, stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) relating to COVID-19 was compared, and multivariable logistic regression identified independent factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes within each country.
A total of 1146 participants from India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam were studied. Despite having the lowest volume of cases, Vietnam displayed the highest prevalence of PTSD. In contrast, Singapore reported the highest case volume, but had a lower prevalence of depression and anxiety. In the multivariable analysis, we found that non-medically trained personnel, the presence of physical symptoms and presence of prior medical conditions were independent predictors across the participating countries.
This study highlights that the varied prevalence of psychological adversity among healthcare workers is independent of the burden of COVID-19 cases within each country. Early psychological interventions may be beneficial for the vulnerable groups of healthcare workers with presence of physical symptoms, prior medical conditions and those who are not medically trained.
Tests were conducted to highlight the effects of donor cell treatment (bovine G0- and non-G0 phase somatic cells refrigerated for 1–5 or 12–14 days at 4°C), fusion solution (with or without cytochalasin B) and age of the rabbit (young, 3–5-months old; or multiparous, 10–12 months old) as oocyte donor on the fusion and mortality rates of bovine–rabbit interspecies reconstructed eggs. Results showed that there were no significant differences (P>0.05) in fusion and mortality rates of eggs reconstructed with G0 cells or non-G0 cells as nuclear donor somatic cells. The same was also true when nuclear donor somatic cells (G0 cells or non-G0 cells) were treated at low temperature (4°C) for 1–5 or 12–14 days. The fusion rate of reconstructed eggs did not change significantly (P>0.05) when adding cytochalasin B into the fusion solution, but the mortality rate increased significantly (P<0.05). No significant effect (P>0.05) was found in fusion rate of the eggs reconstructed with young rabbits' and multiparous rabbits' oocytes as recipient, but the mortality rate decreased significantly (P<0.01) for young rabbit oocytes compared with multiparous rabbit ones.
InN nanowires were synthesized and characterized using a variety of techniques. A two-zone chemical vapor deposition technique was used to operate the vapor generation and the nanowire growth at differential temperatures, leading to high-quality single-crystalline nanowires and growth rates as high as 4–10 μm/h. Precise diameter control was achieved by using monodispersed gold clusters as the catalyst. Photoluminescence and Raman studies have been carried out for the InN nanowires at room temperature. Devices consisting of single nanowires have been fabricated to explore their electronic transport properties. The temperature dependence of the conductance revealed thermal emission as the dominating transport mechanism.
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