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Clonorchis sinensis (C. sinensis) is one of the most serious food-borne parasites, which can lead to liver fibrosis or cholangiocarcinoma. Effective measures for clonorchiasis prevention are still urgently needed. Bacillus subtilis (B. subtilis) is an effective antigen delivery platform for oral vaccines. Chonorchis sinensis serpin (CsSerpin) was proved to be potential vaccine candidates. In this study, CsSerpin3 was displayed on the surface of B. subtilis spore and recombinant spores were orally administrated to BALB/C mice. CsSerpin3-specific IgA levels in faecal, bile and intestinal mucous increased at 4–8 weeks after the first administration compared with those in control groups. The mucus production and the number of goblet cells in intestinal mucosa elevated in B.s-CotC-CsSerpin3 (CotC, coat protein of B. subtilis spore) spores treated group compared to those in blank control. No significant difference in the activities of glutamic-pyruvic transaminase/ alanine aminotransferase and glutamic oxalacetic transaminase/aspartate aminotransferase were observed between groups. There was no side effect inflammation and observable pathological damage in the liver tissue of mice after administration. Moreover, collagen deposition and Ishak score were statistically reduced in B.s-CotC-CsSerpin3 spores treated mice. In conclusion, B. subtilis spores displaying CsSerpin3 could be investigated further as an oral vaccine against clonorchiasis.
This paper presents a soft robot which can imitate the crawling locomotion of an earthworm. Locomotion of the robot can be achieved by expanding and contracting the body that is made of flexible material. A link of the earthworm-like robot is combined with three modules, and a multi-cavity earthworm-like soft robot is combined with multiple links. The multiple links of the earthworm-like soft robot are fabricated by silicone in the three-dimensional printed customized molds. Experiments on a single module, two-links, and three-links show that the soft robot can move and bend on condition of modules extension and contraction in a specified gait. The development of the earthworm-like soft robot shows a great prospect in many complicated environments such as pipeline detection.
Mineral particles in bone are interlaced with collagen fibrils, hindering the investigation of bioapatite crystallites (BAp). This study utilized a special whale rostrum (the most highly mineralized bone ever recorded) to measure the crystallites of bone BAp via long-term dissolution in water. The BAp in the rostrum has a low solubility (6.7 ppm Ca and 3.8 ppm P after 150 days dissolution) as well as in normal bones, which leads to its Ksp value of ~10−53. Atomic force microscopy results show tightly compacted mineral crystallites and confirm the low amount of collagen in the rostrum. Additionally, the mineral crystallites demonstrate irregular plate-like shapes with variable sizes. The small crystallites (~11 × 24 nm) are easily detached from BAp prisms, compared with the large crystallites (~50 nm). Moreover, various orientations of crystallites are observed on the edge of the prisms, which suggest a random direction of mineral growth. Furthermore, these plate-like crystallites prefer to be stacked layer by layer under weak regulation from collagen. The morphology of rostrum after dissolution provides new insights into the actual morphology of BAp crystallites.
In this work, two types of zinc adipate β-nucleating agents, Adi-Zn(OH)2 (1:1) and Adi-ZnO (1:1), for polypropylene (PP) were prepared and their performances were evaluated and compared with commercial β-nucleating agent (named CNA). Results showed that Adi-Zn(OH)2 (1:1) was more effective in promoting PP to form β-crystals and improving the impact strength of PP in the range of nucleating agent addition (0–0.4 wt%). Based on these findings, the ratio of adipic acid to zinc hydroxide and the nonisothermal crystallization kinetics of the optimum ratio of adipic acid to zinc hydroxide were systematically studied; results showed that at 0.2 wt%, Adi-Zn(OH)2 (1:2), the nucleated PP displayed the highest impact strength, which was 2.6 times that of pure PP and 42% higher than that of CNA. Besides, Adi-Zn(OH)2 (1:2) could also afford to induce the formation of a high content of β-crystals and shorten the crystallization half time (t1/2) and accelerate the crystallization of PP.
Surface molecularly imprinted polymer of solanesol (SA-SMIP) was prepared by reversed phase suspension polymerization using modified titanium dioxide (TiO2) as carrier, and operation conditions were investigated and optimized. Structures of modified TiO2 and SA-SMIP obtained at optimal conditions were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectrometer adopting original TiO2 and non-surface molecularly imprinted polymer as reference. The SA-SMIP synthesized under optimal conditions displayed an excellent recognition of SA from the mixture of SA and triacontanol. The maximum separation degree of SA was 2.90. Finally, the adsorption kinetics and isotherm were investigated and analyzed. Adsorption kinetics results indicated that the adsorption of SA-SMIP to SA was a pseudo-second order process, and the adsorption of beginning and later stages was controlled by homogeneous particle diffusion and adsorption reaction process, respectively. Adsorption isotherm results documented hereby were two sorts of bonding sites, complete imprinted cavities and defective imprinted cavities. The adsorption for two bonding sites could be well lined up with the Langmuir model.
In this work, flavonoids in Polygonum cuspidatum Sieb. et Zucc. were extracted by ultrasound-assisted methodology and determined by ultraviolet–visible spectrophotometry. After that, extraction conditions were optimized by the single fact investigation, the central composite design, and response surface methodology (RSM) in turn. The results showed the optimal values of ethanol concentration, solid–liquid ratio, extraction temperature, extraction time, ultrasonic power, and number of extraction times were 60%, 1:20 (g/mL), 45 °C, 34 min; 80 W, and 5, respectively. The extraction ratio of flavonoids could be as high as 94.50%. The influence order of each factor was ultrasonic power > extraction time > extraction temperature > ethanol concentration. The results also showed that the experimental value was close to the predicted value (94.49%) of the established model by RSM, which proved that the established model was reasonable. The thermodynamic results showed that the extraction process was endothermic and could proceed spontaneously.
There is a dearth of data on the iodine balance studies of Chinese population. In the present study, we aimed to explore the appropriate recommended nutrient intake (RNI) of iodine based on healthy Chinese women. A 4-week study was conducted in twenty-five Chinese euthyroid women. Uniform diets with different iodine contents were provided in two different periods, in which non-iodised salt was given in the first 3 weeks, followed by 1 week of iodised salt administration. The total iodine intake from diet, water and air as well as the total iodine excretion through urine, faeces and respiration were monitored and determined. The sweat iodine loss was also considered. Moreover, the regression curve model was established between the 24 h iodine intake and 24 h iodine excretion. The 24 h iodine intake in the two periods was 194·8 (sd 62·9) and 487·1 (sd 177·3) μg/d, respectively. The 24 h iodine excretion was 130·9 (sd 39·5) and 265·4 (sd 71·8) μg/d, respectively. Both 24 h iodine intake and 24 h iodine excretion of the two periods were significantly different (all P<0·05). The iodised salt contributed approximately 62·7 % of the total daily iodine intake. Moreover, 92·3 % (277/300) of samples were in positive balance, while twenty-three cases were in negative balance. Our data show that the estimated average requirement for iodine was 110·5 μg/d. Therefore, the RNI for iodine to non-pregnant, non-lactating Chinese women was 154·7 μg/d.
Plant nitrogen (N) links with many physiological progresses of crop growth and yield formation. Accurate simulation is key to predict crop growth and yield correctly. The aim of the current study was to improve the estimation of N uptake and translocation processes in the whole rice plant as well as within plant organs in the RiceGrow model by using plant and organ maximum, critical and minimum N dilution curves. The maximum and critical N (Nc) demand (obtained from the maximum and critical curves) of shoot and root and Nc demand of organs (leaf, stem and panicle) are calculated by N concentration and biomass. Nitrogen distribution among organs is computed differently pre- and post-anthesis. Pre-anthesis distribution is determined by maximum N demand with no priority among organs. In post-anthesis distribution, panicle demands are met first and then the remaining N is allocated to other organs without priority. The amount of plant N uptake depends on plant N demand and N supplied by the soil. Calibration and validation of the established model were performed on field experiments conducted in China and the Philippines with varied N rates and N split applications; results showed that this improved model can simulate the processes of N uptake and translocation well.
The pathophysiology of cognitive impairment in patients with the major depressive disorder (MDD) may involve neuroinflammation mediated by cytokines.
The aim of this study was to examine the serum interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels, sustained attention, and their association in patients with MDD.
Thirty patients with MDD and 30 healthy controls were enrolled in this case-control study. Sustained attention was measured using the Rapid Visual Information Processing (RVP) task in the Cambridge Neuropsychological Tests Automated Battery. The serum IL-6 levels of all subjects were assessed by sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.
There were significant differences in the log10RVP total hits, log10RVP total misses, and log10RVP mean latency between patients with MDD and healthy controls (F = 6.04, p = 0.017; F = 19.77, p < 0.0001; F = 14.42, p < 0.0001, respectively). The serum levels of Log10IL-6 were significantly higher in patients with MDD than in healthy controls (F = 192.27, p < 0.0001). The log10IL-6 levels were also positively correlated with the log10RVP mean latency in patients with MDD (r = 0.45, p = 0.013). A further stepwise multivariate regression analysis indicated that the log10IL-6 levels were significantly associated with the log10RVP mean latency in patients with MDD (β = 0.31, t = 2.41, p = 0.025).
Our data suggested that increased IL-6 levels were associated with the psychopathology of MDD, and that abnormal IL-6 levels were implicated in the impairment of sustained attention in patients with MDD.
There is an ongoing relationship between host plants and herbivores. The nutrient substances and secondary compounds found in the host plant can not only impact the growth and development process of herbivores, but, more importantly, may also affect their survival and reproductive fitness. Vitellogenesis is the core process of reproductive regulation and is generally considered as a reliable indicator for evaluating the degree of ovarian development in females. Vitellogenin (Vg) plays a critical role in the synthesis and secretion of yolk protein. In this study, the full-length cDNA of the Vg gene in an alien invasive species, the nipa palm hispid beetle Octodonta nipae Maulik (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) (OnVg) was cloned and, the effect of host plant on the OnVg expression level and ovarian development was investigated. The results revealed that the OnVg was highly and exclusively expressed in adult females, but barely detectable in larvae, pupae and adult males. The relative expression level of OnVg and egg hatchability were much higher in females fed on Phoenix canariensis (their preferred host) than those fed on Phoenix roebelenii. A positive correlation relationship between OnVg expression and egg hatchability was also detected. Additionally, the anatomy of the female reproductive system showed that the ovaries of individuals fed on P. canariensis were considerably more developed than in females fed on P. roebelenii. The results may be applicable to many pest management situations through reproductive disturbance by alternating host plant species or varieties or by reproductive regulation through vitellogenesis mediated by specific endocrine hormones.
The etiology and pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders has yet to be elucidated, so their differential diagnosis is a challenge. This is especially true in differentiating Alzheimer's disease (AD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), Parkinson disease (PD), and multiple system atrophy (MSA).
A total of 11 eligible articles were identified by search of electronic databases including PubMed, Springer Link, Elsevier, and the Cochrane Library, up to June 2014. In meta-analyses, standardized mean differences (SMD), with 95% confidence intervals (CI), comparing cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) measures of α-synuclein between the above conditions were calculated using random-effects models.
CSF α-synuclein concentrations were significantly higher in AD compared to DLB [SMD: 0.32, 95% CI: (0.02, 0.62), z = 2.07, P = 0.038]; PD [SMD: 0.87, 95% CI: (0.15, 1.58), z = 2.38, P = 0.017]; or MSA [SMD: 1.14, 95% CI: (0.15, 2.14), z = 2.25, P = 0.025]. However, no significant difference was found between patients with AD and neurological cognitively normal controls [SMD: 0.02, 95% CI: (−0.21, 0.24), z = 0.13, P = 0.894].
Results of these meta-analysis suggest that quantification of CSF α-synuclein could help distinguish AD from other neurodegenerative disorders such as DLB, PD, or MSA.
To determine the burden and distribution of acute gastrointestinal illness (AGI) in the population, a cross-sectional, monthly face-to-face survey of 10 959 residents was conducted in Jiangsu province between July 2010 and June 2011. The adjusted monthly prevalence was 4·7% with 0·63 AGI episodes/person per year. The prevalence was the highest in children aged <5 years and lowest in persons aged ⩾65 years. A bimodal seasonal distribution was observed with peaks in summer and winter. Regional difference of AGI prevalence was substantial [lowest 0·5% in Taicang, highest 15·1% in Xinqu (Wuxi prefecture)]. Healthcare was sought by 38·4% of the ill respondents. The use of antibiotics was reported by 65·2% of the ill respondents and 38·9% took antidiarrhoeals. In the multivariable model, gender, education, season, sentinel site and travel were significant risk factors of being a case of AGI. These results highlight the substantial burden of AGI and the risk factors associated with AGI in Jiangsu province, China.
Dendroctonus armandi Tsai and Li is an important native pest of Chinese white pine (Pinus armandii Franch. (Pinaceae)) in the Qinling Mountains of Shaanxi Province, People's Republic of China. Populations can reach epidemic levels and cause widespread mortality of trees in forest ecosystems. We studied the flight behaviour of D. armandi collected under controlled conditions using a flight-mill system to gather information to aid in its management. Our results indicate that D. armandi has three distinct flight patterns (intermittent flight, short-burst flight, and sustained uninterrupted flight). There were no significant differences in flight performance between males and females. Median daily values for total distance traveled, total flight time, and maximum uninterrupted flight time were 275.1 m day−1, 815 s day−1, and 40 s day−1, respectively (n = 148). Individuals displayed positive phototactic behaviour: total flight distance and total flight time were greater under artificial illumination than in natural light or darkness. The level of flight activity increased throughout the morning, remained high during the afternoon (1400–1600), dropped considerably at 1800, and was lowest at midnight. There was no significant difference in flight distance or flight time between the first and second generations. From the data collected, it is clear that the phototactic response is an important factor in the flight behaviour of D. armandi and may influence its spatial dispersal.
Background: Increasing evidence suggests that neprilysin (NEP) may be the major degrading enzyme of amyloid beta (Aβ) in the brain and the NEP gene has been proposed as a candidate gene for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Association results between the NEP gene and AD are still preliminary. This study investigates the effect of the polymorphisms of −204G/C and 159C/T in the NEP gene on the development of sporadic Alzheimer's disease (SAD) in a southern Chinese community.
Method: 236 sporadic late-onset AD patients were recruited from Guangzhou Psychiatric Hospital in southern China, and 332 healthy elderly controls were enrolled from three old age homes in suburban Guangzhou. NEP and ApoE genotype were determined by PCR–RFLP.
Results: No differences in genotypic and allelic frequencies of −204G/C and 159C/T polymorphisms in NEP were found between AD and control group (for −204G/C genotype: χ2 = 2.34, P > 0.05; for allele: χ2 = 2.31, P > 0.05; for 159C/T genotype: χ2 = 1.34, P > 0.05; for allele: χ2 = 0.88, P > 0.05). Neither was any difference found in genotypic and allelic frequency when stratified by sex or by ApoE ε4 allele (P > 0.05).
Conclusions: Our results suggest that −204G/C and 159C/T polymorphisms of the NEP gene may not be associated with SAD. Moreover, both sex and ApoE ε4 allele do not affect the distribution of NEP gene polymorphisms.
Few psychosocial interventions have been developed in China that are
suitable for use in the community.
To evaluate the effectiveness of the Chinese version of the Community
Re-Entry Module (CRM; a module of a standardised, structured social
skills training programme devised at the University of California, Los
Angeles) for patients with schizophrenia compared with standard group
Patients with schizophrenia (n=103) were randomly
allocated to CRM or psychoeducation groups and followed up for 24 months.
Outcome measures included social functioning, psychiatric symptoms,
insight, re-employment, relapse and re-hospitalisation rates.
The CRM group significantly improved in terms of social functioning,
insight and psychiatric symptoms compared with the psychoeducation group;
the re-employment rate was significantly higher and relapse and
rehospitalisation rates were significantly lower in the CRM group.
The findings support the feasibility and effectiveness of CRM as a
psychosocial intervention for Chinese patients with schizophrenia in the
Two rare cases of benign submucosal pharyngo-oesophageal mesenchymoma are presented in this paper. One patient was treated by tumour removal via a combined thoracic and laterocervical approach and the other by resection through a laterocervical approach. The paper discusses the pathology and diagnosis of benign mesenchymomas. The authors suggest that for large tumours located in the pharynx and extending down the oesophagus without adhesion to the oesophageal wall, the laterocervical approach can avoid complications associated with the thoracic approach. The new technique caused less tissue damage and provided a quicker recovery and shorter hospitalization.
Multiwalled B-C-N nanotubes of various morphologies and chemical compositions were synthesized by reacting C-based nanotube templates with boron oxide and nitrogen at 1573 K- 2173 K. The nanotubes were thoroughly analysed using a high-resolution field-emission 300 kV transmission electron microscope (TEM), an energy-filtered field-emission 300 kV electron microscope (Omega filter), an electron energy loss spectrometer and an energy dispersion X-ray detector. Transport and field emission properties of the nanotubes were studied using a low energy electron point source microscope and via in-situ measurements in TEM equipped with a scanning tunnelling microscope (STM) unit.
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