To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Palmitoyl-protein thioesterase (PPT), involved in the fatty acid synthesis and the de-palmitoylation of protein, was induced under ecological cooling treatment in hydrated lettuce seeds. However, there was no significant difference in fatty acid levels between the control and the cooled samples. To further study the function of PPT, 2-bromopalmitic acid (2-Bp), an inhibitor of protein palmitoylation, was applied during the imbibition of hydrated lettuce seeds, which was followed by slow-cooling treatment (−3°C h−1). The application of 2-Bp (1 mM) significantly increased the survival rate of seeds from 6.70% (control imbibition) to 22.67% (2-Bp imbibition) after slow cooling to −20°C. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis indicated that 2-Bp led to earlier onset of ice crystals in the endosperm than the control group. Two-dimensional electrophoresis (2D) confirmed that 2-Bp could promote the hydrolysis of seed globulins and the accumulation of globulin peptides with small molecular weights. High-efficiency hydrolysis of globulin induced by mercaptoethanol improved the freezing tolerance of hydrated lettuce seeds and led to the accumulation of small globulin peptides, which further proved the positive function of small globulin polypeptides in enhancing the freezing tolerance of hydrated lettuce seeds. DSC of small globulin peptides showed that the smaller the molecular weight, the earlier the appearance of ice crystals and the higher the enthalpy of heat release. For the smallest peptides, the 2-Bp-4 in 2-Bp group exhibited higher enthalpy in exothermic peak than the control group (c-4). In conclusion, the hydrolysis of seed globulins and accumulation of small-molecule globulin peptides could be the major reason for improving the freezing tolerance of hydrated seeds after de-palmitoylation treatment.
The selection of high-quality sperms is critical to intracytoplasmic sperm injection, which accounts for 70–80% of in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments. So far, sperm screening is usually performed manually by clinicians. However, the performance of manual screening is limited in its objectivity, consistency, and efficiency. To overcome these limitations, we have developed a fast and noninvasive three-stage method to characterize morphology of freely swimming human sperms in bright-field microscopy images using deep learning models. Specifically, we use an object detection model to identify sperm heads, a classification model to select in-focus images, and a segmentation model to extract geometry of sperm heads and vacuoles. The models achieve an F1-score of 0.951 in sperm head detection, a z-position estimation error within ±1.5 μm in in-focus image selection, and a Dice score of 0.948 in sperm head segmentation, respectively. Customized lightweight architectures are used for the models to achieve real-time analysis of 200 frames per second. Comprehensive morphological parameters are calculated from sperm head geometry extracted by image segmentation. Overall, our method provides a reliable and efficient tool to assist clinicians in selecting high-quality sperms for successful IVF. It also demonstrates the effectiveness of deep learning in real-time analysis of live bright-field microscopy images.
Previous studies have suggested that maternal active smoking can increase the risk of birth defects, but evidence on second-hand tobacco smoke (SHS) is limited. We aimed to assess the association between maternal exposure to SHS and birth defects in a Chinese population. The data were based on a large-scale cross-sectional survey conducted in Shaanxi Province, China. Considering the characteristics of survey design and the potential impact of confounding factors, we adopted propensity score matching (PSM) to match the SHS exposure group and the non-exposure group to attain a balance of the confounders between the two groups. Subsequently, conditional logistic regression was employed to estimate the effect of SHS exposure on birth defects. Furthermore, sensitivity analyses were conducted to verify the key findings. After nearest neighbor matching of PSM with a ratio of 2 and a caliper width of 0.03, there were 6,205 and 12,410 participants in the exposure and control group, respectively. Pregnant women exposed to SHS were estimated to be 58% more likely to have infants with overall birth defects (OR = 1.58, 95% CI: 1.30–1.91) and 75% more likely to have infants with circulatory system defects (OR = 1.75, 95% CI: 1.26–2.44). We also observed that the risk effect of overall birth defects had an increasing trend as the frequency of exposure increased. Additionally, sensitivity analyses suggested that our results had good robustness. These results indicate that maternal exposure to SHS likely increases the risk of overall birth defects, especially circulatory system defects, in Chinese offspring.
Brucellosis is one of the most serious and widespread zoonotic diseases, which seriously threatens human health and the national economy. This study was based on the T/B dominant epitopes of Brucella outer membrane protein 22 (Omp22), outer membrane protein 19 (Omp19) and outer membrane protein 28 (Omp28), with bioinformatics methods to design a safe and effective multi-epitope vaccine. The amino acid sequences of the proteins were found in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) database, and the signal peptides were predicted by the SignaIP-5.0 server. The surface accessibility and hydrophilic regions of proteins were analysed with the ProtScale software and the tertiary structure model of the proteins predicted by I-TASSER software and labelled with the UCSF Chimera software. The software COBEpro, SVMTriP and BepiPred were used to predict B cell epitopes of the proteins. SYFPEITHI, RANKpep and IEDB were employed to predict T cell epitopes of the proteins. The T/B dominant epitopes of three proteins were combined with HEYGAALEREAG and GGGS linkers, and carriers sequences linked to the N- and C-terminus of the vaccine construct with the help of EAAAK linkers. Finally, the tertiary structure and physical and chemical properties of the multi-epitope vaccine construct were analysed. The allergenicity, antigenicity and solubility of the multi-epitope vaccine construct were 7.37–11.30, 0.788 and 0.866, respectively. The Ramachandran diagram of the mock vaccine construct showed 96.0% residues within the favoured and allowed range. Collectively, our results showed that this multi-epitope vaccine construct has a high-quality structure and suitable characteristics, which may provide a theoretical basis for future laboratory experiments.
Pre-harvest sprouting (PHS) induced by the absence of seed dormancy causes a severe reduction in crop yield and flour quality. In this study, we isolated and characterized TaABI4, an ABA-responsive transcription factor that participates in regulating seed germination in wheat. Sequence analysis revealed that TaABI4 has three homologues, located on chromosomes 1A/1B/1D. TaABI4 contains a conserved AP2 domain, and AP2-associated, LRP and potential PEST motifs. Putative cis-acting regulatory elements (CE1-like box, W-box, ABRE elements and RY elements) were identified in the TaABI4 promoter region that showed high conservation in 17 wheat cultivars and wheat-related species. Expression profiling of TaABI4 indicated that it is a seed-specific gene accumulating during the middle stages of seed development. Transcript accumulation of TaABI4 in wheat cultivar Chuanmai 32 (CM32, PHS susceptible) was 5.07-fold and 1.39-fold higher than that in synthetic hexaploidy wheat SHW-L1 (PHS resistant) at 15 and 20 DPA, respectively. Six expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) of TaABI4 on chromosomes 2A, 2D, 3B and 4A were characterized based on the accumulated transcripts of TaABI4 in SHW-L1 and CM32-derived recombinant inbred lines. These QTLs explained 10.7 to 46.1% of the trait variation with 4.53–10.59 of LOD scores, which contain genes that may affect the expression of TaABI4.
Drug use disorders are an important issue worldwide. Systematic attempts to estimate the global incidence of drug use disorders are rare. We aimed to determine the incidence of drug use disorders and their trends.
We obtained the annual incident cases and age-standardised incidence rate (ASR) of drug use disorders from 1990 to 2017 using the Global Health Data Exchange query tool. The estimated annual percentage changes of the ASR were used to quantify and evaluate the trends in the incidence rate. Gaussian process regression and the Pearson's correlation coefficient were used to assess the relationship between the ASR and socio-demographic index (SDI).
The number of drug use disorders’ cases increased by 33.5% from 1990 to 2017 globally, whereas the ASR exhibited a stable trend. The ASR was higher in men than in women. Most cases (53.1%) of drug use disorders involved opioid. A positive association (ρ=0.35, p < 0.001) was found between ASR and SDI. Teenagers aged 15–19 years had the highest incidence rate.
The incident cases of drug use disorders were increasing, but the incidence rate did not change significantly from 1990 to 2017. Current preventive measures and policies for drug use disorders might have little effect. The present results suggest that future strategies should focus on men, teenagers and high-risk regions in order to improve the current status of drug use disorders.
This paper is a retrospective analysis of the sole transfer of monopronucleated zygotes (1PN) embryos both in in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) to determine the value of transferring embryos formed from 1PN. In fresh cycles, 1PN cleavage-stage embryos (1PN cleavage fresh) were transferred. In frozen–thawed cycles, 1PN blastocyst-stage embryos (1PN blast frozen) were transferred. We used comparison groups: for fresh cycles, 2PN cleavage-stage embryos (2PN cleavage fresh) were transferred; and for frozen–thawed cycles, 2PN blastocyst-stage embryos (2PN blast frozen) were transferred. Comparison groups were matched for cycle and patient characteristics to the 1PN group. Finally, for fresh cycles, live birth rates (LBR) in the 1PN cleavage group were significantly lower than those in 2PN cleavage group, both for IVF [LBR = 7.64% vs. pregnancy rate (PR) = 22.12%, P = 0.003, respectively] and ICSI (LBR = 0% vs. LBR = 20.00%, P < 0.001, respectively). For frozen–thawed IVF cycles, the PR in the 1PN blastocyst group were comparable with those of the 2PN blastocyst group (1PN: LBR = 33.14% vs. 2PN: LBR = 37.24%, P = 0.289, respectively), while in ICSI, the PR in the 1PN blastocyst group were lower than those in the 2PN blastocyst group (LBR = 15.25% vs. LBR = 40.68%, P = 0.002, respectively). So, for IVF, blastocyst culture was capable of selecting normal 1PN embryos for transfer and achieves satisfying outcomes. However, for ICSI, blastocyst culture was not effective enough to eliminate abnormal embryos and 1PN embryo transfer needed to be treated with caution.
The increasing use of ACCase-inhibiting herbicides has resulted in evolved resistance in key grass weeds infesting cereal cropping systems worldwide. Japanese foxtail is one of the most important grass weed species in wheat in China. Most populations have evolved resistance to fenoxaprop-p-ethyl, which is one of the most common ACCase-inhibiting herbicides in wheat. The seeds of two Japanese foxtail populations were collected from wheat fields where farmers complained that control could not be effectively obtained with fenoxaprop-p-ethyl. Seeds from one susceptible population were collected from an area along a roadside where ACCase inhibitors had not been used to be used for validating cross-resistance and elucidating the mechanism of resistance. The experimental results showed that the two populations, Aloja-JS10-R1 and Aloja-JS10-R2, expressed high resistance to fenoxaprop-p-ethyl, with resistance indexes (RIs) of 29.2 and 27.9. These populations also expressed high cross-resistance to clodinafop-propargyl with RIs of 12.8 and 14.7, and moderate cross-resistance to clethodim and pinoxaden with RIs ranging from 2.6 to 11.4. Comparison of the ACCase carboxyl-transferase (CT) domain sequences of the susceptible and resistant populations with blackgrass revealed that tryptophan at position 2027 of the ACCase gene was substituted by cysteine in population Aloja-JS10-R1, and isoleucine at position 1781 of the ACCase gene was substituted by leucine in populations Aloja-JS10-R2. The study confirmed Japanese foxtail resistance to the ACCase inhibitor fenoxafop-p-ethyl, cross-resistance to other ACCase inhibitors, and the resistance mechanism being conferred by specific ACCase point mutations at amino acid position 1781 and 2027.
miR-124, a brain-specific microRNA, was originally considered as a key regulator in neuronal differentiation and the development of the nervous system. Here we showed that miR-124 expression was suppressed in patients with epilepsy and rats after drug induced-seizures. Intrahippocampal administration of a miR-124 duplex led to alleviated seizure severity and prolonged onset latency in two rat models (pentylenetetrazole- and pilocarpine-induced seizures), while miR-124 inhibitor led to shortened onset latency in pilocarpine-induced seizure rat models. Moreover, the result of local field potentials (LFPs) records further demonstrated miR-124 may have anti-epilepsy function. Inhibition of neuronal firing by miR-124 was associated with the suppression of mEPSC, AMPAR- and NMDAR-mediated currents, which were accompanied by decreased surface expression of NMDAR. In addition, miR-124 injection resulted in decreased activity and expression of cAMP-response element-binding protein1 (CREB1). a key regulator in epileptogenesis. A dual-luciferase reporter assay was used to confirm that miR-124 targeted directly the 3′UTR of CREB1 gene and repressed the CREB1 expression in HEK293T cells. Immunoprecipitation studies confirmed that the CREB1 antibody effectively precipitated CREB1 and NMDAR1 but not GLUR1 from rat brain hippocampus. These results revealed a previously unknown function of miR-124 in neuronal excitability and provided a new insight into molecular mechanisms underlying epilepsy.
We review microstructures and properties of metal matrix composites produced by severe plastic deformation of multiphase alloys. Typical processings are wire drawing, ball milling, roll bonding, equal-channel angular extrusion, and high-pressure torsion of multiphase materials. Similar phenomena occur between solids in frictional contact such as in tribology, friction stir welding, and explosive joining. The resulting compounds are characterized by very high interface and dislocation density, chemical mixing, and atomic-scale structural transitions at heterointerfaces. Upon straining, the phases form into nanoscaled filaments. This leads to enormous strengthening combined with good ductility, as in damascene steels or pearlitic wires, which are among the strongest nanostructured bulk materials available today (tensile strength above 6 GPa). Similar materials are Cu-Nb and Cu-Ag composites, which also have good electrical conductivity that qualifies them for use in high-field magnets. Beyond the engineering opportunities, there are also exciting fundamental questions. They relate to the nature of the complex dislocation, amorphization, and mechanical alloying mechanisms upon straining and their relationship to the enormous strength. Studying these mechanisms is enabled by mature atomic-scale characterization and simulation methods. A better understanding of the extreme strength in these materials also provides insight into modern alloy design based on complex solid solution phenomena.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.