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Meristems in land plants share conserved functions but develop highly variable structures. Meristems in seed-free plants, including ferns, usually contain one or a few pyramid-/wedge-shaped apical cells (ACs) as initials, which are lacking in seed plants. It remained unclear how ACs promote cell proliferation in fern gametophytes and whether any persistent AC exists to sustain fern gametophyte development continuously. Here, we uncovered previously undefined ACs maintained even at late developmental stages in fern gametophytes. Through quantitative live-imaging, we determined division patterns and growth dynamics that maintain the persistent AC in Sphenomeris chinensis, a representative fern. The AC and its immediate progenies form a conserved cell packet, driving cell proliferation and prothallus expansion. At the apical centre of gametophytes, the AC and its adjacent progenies display small dimensions resulting from active cell division instead of reduced cell expansion. These findings provide insight into diversified meristem development in land plants.
Listeriosis is a rare but serious foodborne disease caused by Listeria monocytogenes. This matched case–control study (1:1 ratio) aimed to identify the risk factors associated with food consumption and food-handling habits for the occurrence of sporadic listeriosis in Beijing, China. Cases were defined as patients from whom Listeria was isolated, in addition to the presence of symptoms, including fever, bacteraemia, sepsis and other clinical manifestations corresponding to listeriosis, which were reported via the Beijing Foodborne Disease Surveillance System. Basic patient information and possible risk factors associated with food consumption and food-handling habits were collected through face-to-face interviews. One hundred and six cases were enrolled from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2020, including 52 perinatal cases and 54 non-perinatal cases. In the non-perinatal group, the consumption of Chinese cold dishes increased the risk of infection by 3.43-fold (95% confidence interval 1.27–9.25, χ2 = 5.92, P = 0.02). In the perinatal group, the risk of infection reduced by 95.2% when raw and cooked foods were well-separated (χ2 = 5.11, P = 0.02). These findings provide important scientific evidence for preventing infection by L. monocytogenes and improving the dissemination of advice regarding food safety for vulnerable populations.
The present study evaluated effects of dietary supplementation with tryptophan (Trp) on muscle growth, protein synthesis and antioxidant capacity in hybrid catfish Pelteobagrus vachelli♀ × Leiocassis longirostris♂. Fish were fed six different diets containing 2·6 (control), 3·1, 3·7, 4·2, 4·7 and 5·6 g Trp/kg diet for 56 d, respectively. Results showed that dietary Trp significantly (1) improved muscle protein content, fibre density and frequency of fibre diameter; (2) up-regulated the mRNA levels of PCNA, myf5, MyoD1, MyoG, MRF4, IGF-I, IGF-II, IGF-IR, PIK3Ca, TOR, 4EBP1 and S6K1; (3) increased phosphorylation levels of AKT, TOR and S6K1; (4) decreased contents of MDA and PC, and increased activities of CAT, GST, GR, ASA and AHR; (5) up-regulated mRNA levels of CuZnSOD, CAT, GST, GPx, GCLC and Nrf2, and decreased Keap1 mRNA level; (6) increased nuclear Nrf2 protein level and the intranuclear antioxidant response element-binding ability, and reduced Keap1 protein level. These results indicated that dietary Trp improved muscle growth, protein synthesis as well as antioxidant capacity, which might be partly related to myogenic regulatory factors, IGF/PIK3Ca/AKT/TOR and Keap1/Nrf2 signalling pathways. Finally, based on the quadratic regression analysis of muscle protein and MDA contents, the optimal Trp requirements of hybrid catfish (21·82–39·64 g) were estimated to be 3·94 and 3·93 g Trp/kg diet (9·57 and 9·54 g/kg of dietary protein), respectively.
Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is a common adverse drug reaction leading to the interruption of tuberculosis (TB) therapy. We aimed to identify whether the hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection would increase the risk of DILI during first-line TB treatment. A meta-analysis of cohort studies searched in PubMed, Web of Science and China National Knowledge Infrastructure was conducted. Effect sizes were reported as risk ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and calculated by R software. Sixteen studies with 3960 TB patients were eligible for analysis. The risk of DILI appeared to be higher in TB patients co-infected with HBV (RR 2.66; 95% CI 2.13–3.32) than those without HBV infection. Moreover, patients with positive hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) were more likely to develop DILI (RR 3.42; 95% CI 1.95–5.98) compared to those with negative HBeAg (RR 2.30; 95% CI 1.66–3.18). Co-infection with HBV was not associated with a higher rate of anti-TB DILI in latent TB patients (RR 4.48; 95% CI 0.80–24.99). The effect of HBV infection on aggravating anti-TB DILI was independent of study participants, whether they were newly diagnosed with TB or not. Besides, TB and HBV co-infection patients had a longer duration of recovery from DILI compared to non-co-infected patients (SMD 2.26; 95% CI 1.87–2.66). To conclude, the results demonstrate that HBV infection would increase the risk of DILI during TB therapy, especially in patients with positive HBeAg, and close liver function monitoring is needed for TB and HBV co-infection patients.
The aim of this study was to explore the effects and mechanisms of different starvation treatments on the compensatory growth of Acipenser dabryanus. A total of 120 fish (60·532 (sem 0·284) g) were randomly assigned to four groups (fasting 0, 3, 7 or 14 d and then refed for 14 d). During fasting, middle body weight decreased significantly with prolonged starvation. The whole-body and muscle composition, serum biochemical indexes, visceral indexes and digestive enzyme activities had been effected with varying degrees of changes. The growth hormone (GH) level in serum was significantly increased in 14D; however, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) showed the opposite trend. The neuropeptide Y (npy) mRNA level in brain was significantly improved in 7D; peptide YY (pyy) mRNA level in intestine was significantly decreased during fasting. After refeeding, the final body weight, percentage weight gain, specific growth rate, feed intake, feed efficiency and protein efficiency ratio showed no difference between 0D and 3D. The changes of whole-body and muscle composition, serum biochemical indexes, visceral indexes and digestive enzyme activities had taken place in varying degrees. GH levels in 3D and 7D were significantly higher than those in the 0D; the IGF-1 content decreased significantly during refeeding. There was no significant difference in npy and pyy mRNA levels. These results indicated that short-term fasting followed by refeeding resulted in full compensation and the physiological and biochemical effects on A. dabryanus were the lowest after 3 d of starvation and 14 d of refeeding. Additionally, compensation in A. dabryanus may be mediated by appetite genes and GH, and the degree of compensation is also affected by the duration of starvation.
Rare earth elements (REE) in marine minerals have been widely used as proxies for the redox status of depositional and/or diagenetic environments. Phosphate nodules, which are thought to grow within decimetres below the sediment–water interface and to be able to scavenge REE from the ambient pore water, are potential archives of subtle changes in REE compositions. Whether their REE signals represent specific redox conditions or they can be used to track the overlying water chemistry is worth exploring. Through in situ laser ablation – inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), we investigate the REE compositions of a drill-core-preserved phosphate nodule from the lower Cambrian Niutitang Formation in the Daotuo area, northeastern Guizhou Province, South China. REE distributions of the nodule show concentric layers with systematic decreases in Ce anomalies (Ce/Ce*) from the core to the rim. The lowest Ce/Ce* appears in the outer rim where REE concentrations are relatively high. These results are interpreted to reflect REE exchange with pore water at a very early stage or bathymetric variation during apatite precipitation. The origin of the shale-normalized middle REE (MREE) enrichment in our sample is less constrained. Possible driving factors include preferential MREE substitution for Ca in the apatite lattice, degradation of organic matter and deposition beneath a ferruginous zone. Although speculative, the last possibility is consistent with the chemically stratified model for early Cambrian oceans, in which dynamic fluctuations of the chemocline provided an ideal depositional context for phosphogenesis.
A one-dimensional steady-state model for stimulated Raman backscatter (SRS) and stimulated Brillouin backscatter (SBS) processes in laser-irradiated plasmas is presented. Based on a novel “predictor-corrector” method, the model is capable to deal with broadband scattered light and inhomogeneous plasmas, exhibiting robustness and high efficiency. Influences of the electron density and temperature on the linear gains of both SRS and SBS are investigated, which indicates that the SRS gain is more sensitive to the electron density and temperature than that of the SBS. For the low-density case, the SBS dominates the scattering process, while the SRS exhibits much higher reflectivity in the high-density case. The nonlinear saturation mechanisms and competition between SRS and SBS are included in our model by a phenomenological method. The typical anti-correlation between SRS and SBS versus electron density is reproduced in the model. Calculations of the reflectivities are qualitatively in agreement with the typical results of experiments and simulations.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2 virus) has been sustained in China since December 2019, and has become a pandemic. The mental health of frontline medical staff is a concern. In this study, we aimed to identify the factors influencing medical worker anxiety in China during the COVID-19 outbreak. We conducted a cross-sectional study to estimate the prevalence of anxiety among medical staff in China from 10 February 2020 to 20 February 2020 using the Zung Self-rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) to assess anxiety, with the criteria of normal (⩽49), mild (50–59), moderate (60–70) and severe anxiety (⩾70). We used multivariable linear regression to determine the factors (e.g. having direct contact when treating infected patients, being a medical staff worker from Hubei province, being a suspect case) for anxiety. We also used adjusted models to confirm independent factors for anxiety after adjusting for gender, age, education and marital status. Of 512 medical staff in China, 164 (32.03%) had had direct contact treating infected patients. The prevalence of anxiety was 12.5%, with 53 workers suffering from mild (10.35%), seven workers suffering from moderate (1.36%) and four workers suffering from severe anxiety (0.78%). After adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics (gender, age, education and marital status), medical staff who had had direct contact treating infected patients experienced higher anxiety scores than those who had not had direct contact (β value = 2.33, confidence interval (CI) 0.65–4.00; P = 0.0068). A similar trend was observed in medical staff from Hubei province, compared with those from other parts of China (β value = 3.67, CI 1.44–5.89; P = 0.0013). The most important variable was suspect cases with high anxiety scores, compared to non-suspect cases (β value = 4.44, CI 1.55–7.33; P = 0.0028). In this survey of hospital medical workers during the COVID-19 outbreak in China, we found that study participants experienced anxiety symptoms, especially those who had direct clinical contact with infected patients; as did those in the worst affected areas, including Hubei province; and those who were suspect cases. Governments and healthcare authorities should proactively implement appropriate psychological intervention programmes, to prevent, alleviate or treat increased anxiety.
The aim of this study was to investigate the in vivo degradation mechanism and the mechanical properties of poly(lactide-co-glycolide)/beta-tricalcium phosphate (PLGA/β-TCP) composite anchors. Anchors composed of PLGA and β-TCP were implanted in the dorsal subcutaneous tissue of beagle dogs for 6, 12, 16, and 26 weeks. The degradation of the materials was evaluated by measuring the changes in thermal behavior, crystallinity, and mechanical properties. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) was used to observe the surface and longitudinal section of the material. The evaluation of mechanical strength retention and degradation properties suggest that the addition of β-TCP particles efficiently enhances their mechanical properties and thermal characteristics and delays their degradation rate. By analyzing the results of SEM, X-ray diffraction, and differential scanning calorimetry, we can infer that after 12 weeks, the connection between β-TCP and PLGA becomes less compact, which accelerates the decline of mechanical strength.
Palaeoproterozic metasedimentary rocks, also referred to as khondalites, characterized by Al-rich minerals, are extensively exposed in the nucleus of the Yangtze craton, South China block. Samples of garnet–sillimanite gneiss in the khondalite suite were collected from the Kongling complex for Nd isotopic and elemental geochemical study. These rocks are characterized by variable SiO2 contents ranging from 35.71 to 58.07 wt%, and have low CaO (0.45–0.84 wt%) but high Al2O3 (18.56–29.04 wt%), Cr (174–334 ppm) and Ni (42.5–153 ppm) contents. They have high CIW (Chemical Index of Weathering) values (90.4–94.7), indicating intense chemical weathering of the source material. The samples display light rare earth elements (LREE) enrichment with negative Eu anomalies (Eu/Eu*=0.40–0.68), and have flat heavy rare earth elements (HREE) patterns. The high contents of transition elements (e.g. Cr, Ni, Sc, V) and moderately radiogenic Nd isotopic compositions suggest that the paragneisses might be those of first-cycle erosion products of predominantly mafic rocks mixing with small amounts of felsic moderately evolved Archaean crustal source. Geochemical and Nd isotopic compositions reveal that at least some of the protoliths of Kongling khondalite were sourced from local pre-existing mafic igneous rocks in a continental arc tectonic setting. Combined with documented zircon U–Pb geochronological data, we propose that the Palaeoproterozoic high-pressure granulite-facies metamorphism, rapid weathering, erosion and deposition of the khondalites in the interior of the Yangtze craton might be related to a Palaeoproterozoic collisional orogenic event during 2.1–1.9 Ga, consistent with the worldwide contemporary orogeny, implying that the Yangtze craton may have been an important component of the Palaeoprotorozoic Columbia supercontinent.
The objective of this study was to determine the protective effect of glutamate (Glu) in Cu-induced oxidative injury in fish intestine in vivo and enterocytes in vitro. The results indicated that exposure to 6 mg/l Cu for 72 h induced the production of reactive oxygen species, thereby increasing protein oxidation and lipid peroxidation in enterocytes of grass carp in vitro. Cells exposed to Cu alone resulted in a significant increase in lactate dehydrogenase release, which is accompanied by depletions of antioxidants, including total superoxide dismutase (T-SOD), glutathione S-transferase (GST), glutathione reductase (GR), anti-superoxide anion (ASA), anti-hydroxy radical (AHR) activities and GSH content. Pre-treatment with Glu remarkably prevented the toxic effects of Cu on the T-SOD, GST, GR, AHR, and ASA activities and GSH content in enterocytes. However, Cu induced an adaptive increase in the activities of catalase and glutathione peroxidase (GPx). Glu supplementation further increased GPx activity in enterocytes. Interestingly, the experiment in vivo showed that Glu pre-supplementation significantly elevated SOD, GPx, GST, GR, ASA and AHR activities, as well as GSH content. Further results showed that pre-treatment with Glu could alleviate Cu-induced oxidative injury by elevating antioxidant enzyme activities through regulating the expression of NF-E2-related nuclear factor 2 (Nrf2) mRNA. Together, these results indicated that Glu could attenuate Cu-induced cellular oxidative damage in fish intestine, likely mediated through Nrf2 signalling pathways regulating mRNA expressions of antioxidant enzyme genes and synthesis of GSH.
Schistosoma japonicum, a human blood fluke, causes a parasitic disease affecting millions of people in Asia. Thioredoxin–glutathione system of S. japonicum plays a critical role in maintaining the redox balance in parasite, which is a potential target for development of novel antischistosomal agents. Here we cloned the gene of S. japonicum thioredoxin (SjTrx), expressed and purified the recombinant SjTrx in Escherichia coli. Functional assay shows that SjTrx catalyses the dithiothreitol (DTT) reduction of insulin disulphide bonds. The coupling assay of SjTrx with its endogenous reductase, thioredoxin glutathione reductase from S. japonicum (SjTGR), supports its biological function to maintain the redox homeostasis in the cell. Furthermore, the crystal structure of SjTrx in the oxidized state was determined at 2·0 Å resolution, revealing a typical architecture of thioredoxin fold. The structural information of SjTrx provides us important clues for understanding the maintenance function of redox homeostasis in S. japonicum and pathogenesis of this chronic disease.
Protein–energy wasting (PEW) is strongly associated with high mortality in continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) patients. However, its clinical assessment has not been well defined. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between combined nutritional indicators and mortality in CAPD patients. In the present retrospective cohort study, a total of 885 incident CAPD patients were enrolled. Nutritional status at the initiation of CAPD was assessed by BMI and biochemical indices (serum albumin, prealbumin, transferrin, creatinine and total cholesterol). The primary outcome was all-cause mortality. Principal components factor analysis was used to identify the combined nutritional parameters. Their association with mortality was examined by multivariable-adjusted Cox models. The mean age was 47·4 (sd 14·8) years, 59·2 % (n 524) were male and 24·6 % (n 218) were diabetic. Of the total patients, 130 (14·7 %) had BMI < 18·5 kg/m2, 439 (49·6 %) had albumin < 38 g/l ( < 3·8 g/dl), 303 (34·2 %) had prealbumin < 300 mg/l ( < 30 mg/dl), 404 (45·6 %) had transferrin < 2 g/l ( < 200 mg/dl), 501 (56·6 %) had total cholesterol < 5·2 mmol/l ( < 200 mg/dl) and 466 (52·7 %) had creatinine < 707 μmol/l ( < 8 mg/dl). Overall, three components such as visceral proteins, muscle-mass surrogate and BMI were extracted, which explained 69·95 % of the total variance of the nutritional parameters. After adjusting for demographic variables, co-morbid conditions, Hb, TAG and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, the factor score of visceral proteins including albumin, prealbumin and transferrin was independently associated with mortality (hazard ratio 0·73, 95 % CI 0·60, 0·89; P= 0·002). Lower visceral protein concentrations may be independently associated with higher mortality in incident CAPD patients. Simultaneous measurements of serum albumin, prealbumin and transferrin could be helpful to monitor PEW.
An ion beam has the unique feature of being able to deposit its main energy inside a human body to kill cancer cells or inside material. However, conventional ion accelerators tend to be huge in size and cost. In this paper, a future intense-laser ion accelerator is discussed to make the laser-based ion accelerator compact and controllable. The issues in the laser ion accelerator include the energy efficiency from the laser to the ions, the ion beam collimation, the ion energy spectrum control, the ion beam bunching, and the ion particle energy control. In the study, each component is designed to control the ion beam quality by particle simulations. The energy efficiency from the laser to ions is improved by using a solid target with a fine sub-wavelength structure or a near-critical-density gas plasma. The ion beam collimation is performed by holes behind the solid target or a multi-layered solid target. The control of the ion energy spectrum and the ion particle energy, and the ion beam bunching are successfully realized by a multi-stage laser–target interaction.
Melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) is a member of the superfamily of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), which affects body weight, energy homeostasis and food intake in humans and mice. In this study, the Asp298Asn polymorphism of the MC4R gene was investigated in Laiwu, Yorkshire×Laiwu and commercial cross-bred pig populations using polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP), and the relationship of this mutation with backfat thickness was analysed. The results indicated that only genotype 11 exists in 33 individuals of Laiwu pigs, and three genotypes (11, 12 and 22) were detected in Yorkshire×Laiwu and commercial cross-bred populations. The distributions of allele and genotype frequencies in Yorkshire×Laiwu and commercial cross-bred populations were similar, with the frequency of allele 1 being higher than that of allele 2. In commercial cross-bred pigs, the mean backfat thickness of individuals with genotype 22 was significantly higher than that of individuals with genotypes 12 (P<0.01) and 11 (P<0.05). This study provides evidence that the Asp298Asn polymorphism of the MC4R gene is associated with backfat thickness in commercial cross-bred pigs with Western pigs as parental lines and, therefore, can be used as a DNA marker for breeding in such populations of pigs.
We tested cross-species amplification of 68 existing microsatellite loci in 6 species of the Sparidae family: Acanthopagrus butcheri, Sparus aurata, Pagrus auratus, Chrysophrys major, Pagellus bogaraveo, Pagellus erythrinus and one species of Bothidae, Paralichthys olivaceus. Of the 68 loci screened, sixteen were found to be polymorphic when tested in 20 individual black sea bream, Acanthopagrus schlegeli. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 2 to 9, and the observed and expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.55 to 0.95,
and from 0.58 to 0.87, respectively. Our results show that cross-species amplification of known microsatellite loci in closely related species is a highly promising source of microsatellite markers for A. schlegeli.
The Arabidopsis homeotic gene AP2 is essential for floral meristem development and organ specification. In this study, we report the isolation and sequence comparison of the AP2 homologue of Brassica rapa (BAP2). The results showed that the BAP2 DNA sequence was 2138 bp in length and contained nine introns. It shared 90% identity with AP2 in the coding region. The putative BAP2 polypeptide contained a nuclear localization signal (NLS) sequence and two copies of highly conserved AP2 domain, suggesting that BAP2 may function similarly to AP2. Two nucleotide variations were detected in DNA sequences from wild-type and apetalous B. rapa plants at the BAP2 locus, while the putative polypeptides were identical. We propose that BAP2 is not likely to be responsible for the apetalous mutation in B. rapa.
This paper attempts to evaluate the clinical usefulness of CYFRA 21-1 as a serum tumour marker in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).
The serum concentration of CYFRA 21-1 was measured utilizing a new electrochemiluminescent immunoassay (ECLIA) in 142 patients with HNSCC before and after treatment, 68 patients with benign tumours of the head and neck, and 50 healthy controls.
Serum levels of CYFRA 21-1 in patients with HNSCC were significantly higher than those of benign tumours and healthy controls (p < 0.001). The diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of CYFRA 21-1 for HNSCC were 62 per cent and 100 per cent, respectively. The positive rates of CYFRA 21-1 increased with progression of HNSCC, serum CYFRA 21-1 levels were related to the tumour stage expressed by primary tumour (T) and nodal status (N) (p < 0.001), but not related to patient age, gender, smoking and drinking habit, or histopathological grade (p > 0.05). Post-treatment levels of CYFRA 21-1 in HNSCC decreased significantly (p < 0.001). Among 38 patients with clinical or radiological evidence of a recurrence during follow-up, 78.9 per cent (30 of 38) showed an increase in CYFRA 21-1.
The analytical ECLIA performance for serum CYFRA 21-1 provides a new means of clinical assessment for HNSCC. The results of ECLIA suggest that the serum marker CYFRA 21-1 is valuable not only for diagnosis but also for close monitoring of patients with HNSCC.
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