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1.  Repeatability and Reproducibility of a Double-Pass Optical Quality Analysis Device 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0117587.
Purpose
To evaluate the repeatability and reproducibility of a double-pass instrument (OQASII, Visiomereics SL, Spain), which objectively measures overall optical quality of the human eyes.
Methods
The right eye of 119 healthy subjects with best corrected visual acuity of 20/25 or better was included in this prospective, comparative, observational study. Two separate tests with OQASII were conducted sequentially on the same day by two different examiners. A week later, the first examiner conducted the third measurement. All subjects underwent three consecutive tests during each session. The repeatability and reproducibility of the modulation transfer function cut off frequency (MTF cutoff), the Strehl ratio, the OQAS values (OVs) at contrasts of 100%, 20% and 9%, and the objective scatter index (OSI) were analyzed.
Results
For MTF cutoff, Strehl ratio, OV100%, OV20%, OV9%, and OSI, the mean values were 39.32±9.75cpd, 0.22±0.06, 1.31±0.33, 1.33±0.39, 1.33±0.41, 0.60±0.42, respectively. Repeatability and reproducibility were good with a very low coefficient of variation and high interclass correlation coefficients (>0.88) for all parameters. Bland-Altman plots showed good correlation with 95% limits of agreement ranged from -6.04 to 6.78cpd, -0.05 to 0.05, -0.20 to 0.23, -0.29 to 0.32, -0.40 to 0.42, -0.23 to 0.21 in inter-observer, and -6.56 to 7.42cpd, -0.06 to 0.06, -0.22 to 0.24, -0.30 to 0.32, -0.35 to 0.34, -0.24 to 0.23 in inter-visit, respectively.
Conclusion
The OQASII system yields excellent repeatability and good reproducibility for objective measurements of overall optical quality in clinic.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0117587
PMCID: PMC4315520  PMID: 25646846
2.  FXR antagonism of NSAIDs contributes to drug-induced liver injury identified by systems pharmacology approach 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8114.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are worldwide used drugs for analgesic, antipyretic, and anti-inflammatory therapeutics. However, NSAIDs often cause several serious liver injuries, such as drug-induced liver injury (DILI), and the molecular mechanisms of DILI have not been clearly elucidated. In this study, we developed a systems pharmacology approach to explore the mechanism-of-action of NSAIDs. We found that the Farnesoid X Receptor (FXR) antagonism of NSAIDs is a potential molecular mechanism of DILI through systematic network analysis and in vitro assays. Specially, the quantitative real-time PCR assay reveals that indomethacin and ibuprofen regulate FXR downstream target gene expression in HepG2 cells. Furthermore, the western blot shows that FXR antagonism by indomethacin induces the phosphorylation of STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 3), promotes the activation of caspase9, and finally causes DILI. In summary, our systems pharmacology approach provided novel insights into molecular mechanisms of DILI for NSAIDs, which may propel the ways toward the design of novel anti-inflammatory pharmacotherapeutics.
doi:10.1038/srep08114
PMCID: PMC4310094  PMID: 25631039
3.  Luciferase Reporter Gene Assay on Human 5-HT Receptor: Which Response Element Should Be Chosen? 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:8060.
Serotonin (5-HT) receptors are valuable molecular targets for antipsychotic drug discovery. Current reported methods for detecting 5-HT receptors, such as cAMP accumulation and calcium influx assay, are often demanding specialized instruments and inconvenient. The luciferase reporter gene assay, based on the responsible-element-regulated expression of luciferase, has been widely applied in the high-throughput functional assay for many targets because of its high sensitivity and reliability. However, 5-HT receptors couple to multiple G-proteins regulate respective downstream signalling pathways and are usually detected using different response elements. Hence, finding a suitable response element to fulfil the detection of different 5-HT receptors and make the results of luciferase reporter gene assays generalizable is very useful for active compounds screening. Here, we conducted three luciferase reporter assays using CRE, NFAT, and SRE response elements attached to 5-HT to detect the activation of different 5-HT receptors in CHO-K1 cells. The potencies and efficacies of the reported ligands (agonists and antagonists) were determined and compared. Our results indicate that CRE-luciferase reporter gene is sensitive and reliable to detect the activities of G protein-coupled 5-HT receptors.
doi:10.1038/srep08060
PMCID: PMC4306921  PMID: 25622827
4.  A gigantic nothosaur (Reptilia: Sauropterygia) from the Middle Triassic of SW China and its implication for the Triassic biotic recovery 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:7142.
The presence of gigantic apex predators in the eastern Panthalassic and western Tethyan oceans suggests that complex ecosystems in the sea had become re-established in these regions at least by the early Middle Triassic, after the Permian-Triassic mass extinction (PTME). However, it is not clear whether oceanic ecosystem recovery from the PTME was globally synchronous because of the apparent lack of such predators in the eastern Tethyan/western Panthalassic region prior to the Late Triassic. Here we report a gigantic nothosaur from the lower Middle Triassic of Luoping in southwest China (eastern Tethyan ocean), which possesses the largest known lower jaw among Triassic sauropterygians. Phylogenetic analysis suggests parallel evolution of gigantism in Triassic sauropterygians. Discovery of this gigantic apex predator, together with associated diverse marine reptiles and the complex food web, indicates global recovery of shallow marine ecosystems from PTME by the early Middle Triassic.
doi:10.1038/srep07142
PMCID: PMC4245812  PMID: 25429609
5.  Palliative radiotherapy utilization for cancer patients at end of life in British Columbia: retrospective cohort study 
BMC Palliative Care  2014;13(1):49.
Background
The use of palliative radiotherapy (PRT) is variable in advanced cancer. Little is known about PRT utilization by end-of-life (EOL) cancer patients in Canada. This study examined the PRT utilization rates and factors associated with its use in a cohort of cancer patients who died in British Columbia (BC).
Methods
BC residents with invasive cancer who died between April 1, 2010 and March 31, 2011 were included in the study. Their cancer registry and radiotherapy treatment records were extracted from the BC Cancer Agency information systems and linked for the analysis. The PRT utilization rates by age, sex, primary cancer diagnosis, geographic region, survival time and travel time to the cancer centre were examined. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine the factors that influenced the PRT utilization rates.
Results
Of the 12,300 decedents in the study 2,669 (21.7%) had received at least one course of PRT in their last year of life. The utilization rates dropped to 5.0% and 2.2% in the last 30 and 14 days of life, respectively. PRT utilization varied across diagnosis and was highest for lung cancer (45.7%) and lowest for colorectal cancer (8.9%). The rates also varied by age, survival time and travel time to the nearest radiotherapy centre. There was a greater odds of receiving PRT for those with primary lung cancer, survival time between 1.5-26 months from diagnosis or living within 2 hours from a cancer centre. The 85+ age group was least likely to receive PRT in their last year of life.
Conclusions
This study found PRT utilization rates of EOL cancer decedents to be variable across the province of BC. Age, diagnosis, survival time and travel time to the nearest radiotherapy centre were found to influence the odds of PRT treatment. Further work is still needed to establish the appropriate PRT utilization rates for the EOL cancer population.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1472-684X-13-49) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/1472-684X-13-49
PMCID: PMC4240806  PMID: 25419181
Palliative radiotherapy; Radiation therapy; End of life care; End-stage cancer
6.  Association between polymorphisms in the integrin gene predicted microRNA binding sites and bladder cancer risk 
Bladder cancer (BC) is the ninth most frequent malignancies in the world and the occurrence of this disease has dramatically increased in recent years. Integrins have been demonstrated to play an important role in the development and progression of BC. However, the association between polymorphisms in integrin genes and BC susceptibility was still unclear. A number of studies mainly focused on polymorphisms in the coding regions of integrin genes previously, while in this study, polymorphisms in the 3’ untranslated regions (3’UTR) were investigated in Chinese Han population. According to previous study, seven single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in predicted microRNA (miRNA) target sites were chosen as potential targets. And four SNPs including rs11902171, rs2675, rs17664, and rs1062484, were finally examined for their effect on BC risk and clinical prognosis. These four polymorphisms were genotyped by using the high-resolution melting method (HRM) in 317 BC patients with long-time follow-up together with 317 age-matched healthy controls. AC carriers of rs2675 in ITGB5 were associated with an increased risk of BC (OR 1.44, 95% CI 1.02-2.03). No significant relationship was detected between these SNPs and the recurrence-free survival time of overall study population or non-muscle invasive BC subgroups in univariable analysis. In conclusion, rs2675 in miRNA binding sites of ITGB5 might be a potential target for BC susceptibility prediction.
PMCID: PMC4276218  PMID: 25550960
Integrin gene; polymorphisms; microRNA-binding sites; bladder cancer
7.  Prognostic Significance of MicroRNA-375 Downregulation in Solid Tumors: A Meta-Analysis 
Disease Markers  2014;2014:626185.
Objective. Recently, many studies have shown that microRNAs (miRNA) exhibit altered expression in various cancers and may play an important role as prognostic biomarker of cancers. We performed a meta-analysis to evaluate the impact of miR-375 expression in solid tumors on patients' overall survival (OS). Methods. Studies were identified by searching PubMed, Embace, and Cochrane Library (last search update was in May 2014) and were assessed by further quality evaluation. The pooled hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for total and stratified analyses were calculated to investigate the association between miR-375 expression and cancer patients OS. Results. Our analysis results indicated that downregulation of miR-375 predicted poor OS (HR = 1.91, 95% CI 1.48–2.45, P < 0.001). Subgroup analyses showed that lower expression of miR-375 was significantly related with poor OS in patients with esophageal carcinoma (HR = 2.24, 95% CI 1.69–2.96, P < 0.001) and non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) (HR = 1.71, 95% CI 1.31–2.24, P < 0.001). Conclusions. The findings from this meta-analysis suggest that miR-375 expression is associated with OS of patients with malignant tumors and could be a useful clinical prognostic biomarker.
doi:10.1155/2014/626185
PMCID: PMC4227452  PMID: 25404787
8.  Upregulation of Autophagy-Related Gene-5 (ATG-5) Is Associated with Chemoresistance in Human Gastric Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e110293.
Autophagy-related gene-5 (ATG-5) is one of the key regulators of autophagic cell death. It has been widely regarded as a protective molecular mechanism for tumor cells during the course of chemotherapy. In the present study, we investigated the expression pattern of ATG-5 and multidrug resistance-associated protein-1 (MRP-1) in 135 gastric cancers (GC) patients who were treated with epirubicin, cisplatin and 5-FU adjuvant chemotherapy (ECF) following surgical resection and explored their potential clinical significance. We found that both ATG-5 (77.78%) and MRP-1 (79.26%) were highly expressed in GC patients. ATG-5 expression was significantly associated with depth of wall invasion, TNM stages and distant metastasis of GC (P<0.05), whereas MRP-1 expression was significantly linked with tumor size, depth of wall invasion, lymph node metastasis, TNM stages and differentiation status (P<0.05). ATG-5 expression was positively correlated with MRP-1 (rp = 0.616, P<0.01). Increased expression of ATG-5 and MPR-1 was significantly correlated with poor overall survival (OS; P<0.01) and disease free survival (DFS; P<0.01) of our GC cohort. Furthermore, we demonstrated that ATG-5 was involved in drug resistant of GC cells, which was mainly through regulating autophagy. Our data suggest that upregulated expression of ATG-5, an important molecular feature of protective autophagy, is associated with chemoresistance in GC. Expression of ATG-5 and MRP-1 may be independent prognostic markers for GC treatment.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0110293
PMCID: PMC4201506  PMID: 25329677
9.  Chromosome aberrations and spermatogenic disorders in mice with Robertsonian translocation (11; 13) 
Objective: To determine the diagnostic features of Robertsonian (Rob) translocation (11; 13) in mice and the mechanisms underlying the effect on spermatogenesis and reproductive decline. Methods: A Rob translocation (11; 13) mouse model was established by cross-breeding, and confirmed by chromosome analysis. Chromosome aberrations and translocation patterns were identified in mice with Rob translocation (11; 13) by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Spermatogenic disorders were investigated at different stages of spermatogenesis. Immunofluorescent analysis was performed on sections of testis and epididymis specimens during spermatogenic meiosis. The weight of the testes and reproductive decline were recorded. Results: The crossed Rob translocation (11; 13) mouse has 39 chromosomes, including a fusion chromosome (included chromosomes 11 and 13) using dual color FISH. There was no difference in the distribution pattern of SYCP3 and γH2AX in spermatocytes between Rob translocation and wild-type mice; however, round haploid spermatids presented characteristic morphologic changes of apoptosis and the number of haploid spermatids was decreased. Furthermore, the immature germ cells were released into the epididymis and the number of mature sperm was reduced. Conclusions: Chromosome aberrations and spermatogenic disorders may result from apoptosis of round haploid spermatids and a reduced number of mature sperm in Rob translocation (11; 13) mice. Abnormal sperm and reduced number of sperm may be one of the main reasons for reproductive decline and male infertility in Rob translocation (11; 13) mice.
PMCID: PMC4270519  PMID: 25550810
Infertility; spermatogenesis; Robertsonian translocation; mouse
10.  Association detection between genetic variants in the microRNA binding sites of toll-like receptors signaling pathway genes and bladder cancer susceptibility 
Bladder cancer (BCa) is the second most common urological malignancy, and the incidence of BCa has dramatically increased recently. Various toll-like receptors (TLRs) signaling pathway proteins were proven to be associated with BCa susceptibility. However, the effect of genetic variants in TLRs signaling pathway genes on risk of BCa has not been elucidated clearly. Previous studies mainly focused on the coding region of target genes, while in this study, polymorphisms in the non-coding region, microRNA (miRNA) binding sites were investigated as potential targets. We used bioinformatics approach to screen 100 BCa related TLRs signaling pathway genes. Candidate polymorphisms were select in this region and 8 polymorphisms were confirmed. Rs72552316, located at the 3’UTR of the TLR7 gene, exhibited significant association with risk of BCa, indicating a strong relationship with decreased risk of BCa (P ≤ 0.0001). Furthermore, no association was detected between all the polymorphisms and recurrence-free survival time of overall study population or non-muscle invasive BCa subgroups. In conclusion, rs72552316 in the miRNA binding sites of TLR7 might contribute to BCa susceptibility, and this finding provided new targets for high BCa risk population screening.
PMCID: PMC4270586  PMID: 25550860
Polymorphism; bladder cancer; TLRs signaling pathway genes; microRNA binding sites
11.  Computing Spatial Distance Histograms for Large Scientific Datasets On-the-Fly 
This paper focuses on an important query in scientific simulation data analysis: the Spatial Distance Histogram (SDH). The computation time of an SDH query using brute force method is quadratic. Often, such queries are executed continuously over certain time periods, increasing the computation time. We propose highly efficient approximate algorithm to compute SDH over consecutive time periods with provable error bounds. The key idea of our algorithm is to derive statistical distribution of distances from the spatial and temporal characteristics of particles. Upon organizing the data into a Quad-tree based structure, the spatiotemporal characteristics of particles in each node of the tree are acquired to determine the particles’ spatial distribution as well as their temporal locality in consecutive time periods. We report our efforts in implementing and optimizing the above algorithm in Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) as means to further improve the efficiency. The accuracy and efficiency of the proposed algorithm is backed by mathematical analysis and results of extensive experiments using data generated from real simulation studies.
doi:10.1109/TKDE.2014.2298015
PMCID: PMC4172330  PMID: 25264418
Scientific databases; spatial distance histogram; quad-tree; density map; spatiotemporal locality; GPU
12.  Selective ligands of estrogen receptor β discovered using pharmacophore mapping and structure-based virtual screening 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2014;35(10):1333-1341.
Aim:
To discover novel ligands of estrogen receptor (ER) β using pharmacophore mapping and structure-based screening.
Methods:
A computer-aided strategy combining pharmacophore mapping and structure-based screening was used to screen the Maybridge and Enamine databases. Yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) assay was used to detect the activity and selectivity of the chosen compounds. The transcriptional activities of the chosen compounds were demonstrated with luciferase reporter assays. The anti-proliferative effects of ER antagonists against MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells were examined using MTT assay, and the mechanisms of action were analyzed with flow cytometry analysis and Western blotting.
Results:
Through in silico screen, 95 compounds were chosen for testing in Y2H assay, which led to 20 potent ligands, including 10 agonists, 8 antagonists and 2 partial agonists with EC50 or IC50 values at μmol/L. Furthermore, 6 agonists exhibited absolute selectivity for ERβ, and 3 agonists showed higher selectivity for ERβ. The agonists 1g and 1h (10, 25, and 50 μmol/L) dose-dependently increased ER transcriptional activities, whereas the antagonists 2a and 2d (10, 25, and 50 μmol/L) caused dose-dependent inhibition on the activities. The antagonists and partial agonists at 100 μmol/L suppressed the proliferation of ERα positive MCF-7 cells and ERβ positive MDA-MB-231 cells, but were more effective against MDA-MB-231 cells. Treatment of MDA-MB-231 cells with antagonists 2a and 2d (25 and 50 μmol/L) dose-dependently increased the population of cells in the S phase. Both 2a and 2d treatment dose-dependently decreased the expression levels of cyclin A and CDK2. Meanwhile, the downregulation of cyclin E was only caused by 2d, while 2a treatment did not cause significant changes in the protein levels of cyclin E.
Conclusion:
The selective ligands discovered in this study are promising drug candidates to be used as molecular probes to explore the differences between ERα and ERβ.
doi:10.1038/aps.2014.69
PMCID: PMC4186986  PMID: 25176400
estrogen receptor; subtype-selective ligand; estradiol; tamoxifen; pharmacophore mapping; structure-based virtual screening; breast cancer; anti-proliferation; cell cycle arrest
13.  Preparation of (+)-Trans-Isoalliin and Its Isomers by Chemical Synthesis and RP-HPLC Resolution 
Naturally occurring (+)-trans-isoalliin, (RCRS)-(+)-trans-S-1-propenyl-L-cysteine sulfoxide, is a major cysteine sulfoxide in onion. The importance of producing it synthetically to support further research is very well recognized. The (+)-trans-isoalliin is prepared by chemical synthesis and reversed-phase (RP)-HPLC. First, S-2-propenyl-L-cysteine (deoxyalliin) is formed from L-cysteine and allyl bromide, which is then isomerized to S-1-propenyl-L-cysteine (deoxyisoalliin) by a base-catalyzed reaction. A mixture of cis and trans forms of deoxyisoalliin is formed and separated by RP-HPLC. Oxidation of the trans form of deoxyisoalliin by H2O2 produces a mixture of (−)- and (+)-trans-isoalliin. Finally, RP-HPLC is used successfully in separating (−)- and (+)-trans-isoalliin, and hence, (+)-trans-isoalliin is synthesized for the first time in this study. In addition, the (±) diastereomers of cis-isoalliin are also separated and purified by RP-HPLC.
doi:10.7171/jbt.14-2502-002
PMCID: PMC3970760  PMID: 25187757
Allium cepa; 1-propenyl-L-cysteine sulfoxide; organosulfur compounds
14.  Clinical effectiveness analysis of dextran 40 plus dexamethasone on the prevention of fat embolism syndrome 
This study aims to investigate the clinical efficacy of Dextran 40 plus dexamethasone on the prevention of fat embolism syndrome (FES) in high-risk patients with long bone shaft fractures. According to the different preventive medication, a total of 1837 cases of long bone shaft fracture patients with injury severity score (ISS) > 16 were divided into four groups: dextran plus dexamethasone group, dextran group, dexamethasone group and control group. The morbidity and mortality of FES in each group were analyzed with pairwise comparison analysis. There were totally 17 cases of FES and 1 case died. The morbidity of FES was 0.33% in dextran plus dexamethasone group and significantly lowers than that of other groups (P < 0.05). There was no significant difference among other groups (P > 0.05). Conclusion from our data is dextran 40 plus dexamethasone can effectively prevent long bone shaft fractures occurring in high-risk patients with FES.
PMCID: PMC4161593  PMID: 25232433
Fat embolism syndrome; dextran 40; dexamethasone; prevention; fractures
15.  Cannulation of the intradiverticular papilla using a duodenoscope: Is it a safe method? 
World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG  2014;20(29):10217-10218.
Endoscopic cannulation of the biliary tract is a challenging technique in cases of periampullary diverticula. Many new devices and new manipulations for successful biliary cannulation have been reported. Endoscopy used to locate and cannulate a papilla hidden within a duodenal diverticulum is an effective method. However, the question of which endoscope should be chosen for this procedure, duodenoscope or gastroscope, waits to be answered.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v20.i29.10217
PMCID: PMC4123354  PMID: 25110452
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography; Intradiverticular papilla; Cannulation
16.  Resistant Hypertension, Patient Characteristics, and Risk of Stroke 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e104362.
Background
Little is known about the prognosis of resistant hypertension (RH) in Asian population. This study aimed to evaluate the impacts of RH in Taiwanese patients with hypertension, and to ascertain whether patient characteristics influence the association of RH with adverse outcomes.
Methods and Results
Patients aged ≥45 years with hypertension were identified from the National Health Insurance Research Database. Medical records of 111,986 patients were reviewed in this study, and 16,402 (14.6%) patients were recognized as having RH (continuously concomitant use of ≥3 anti-hypertensive medications, including a diuretic, for ≥2 years). Risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE, a composite of all-cause mortality, acute coronary syndrome, and stroke [included both fatal and nonfatal events]) in patients with RH and non-RH was analyzed. A total of 11,856 patients experienced MACE in the follow-up period (average 7.1±3.0 years). There was a higher proportion of females in the RH group, they were older than the non-RH (63.1 vs. 60.5 years) patients, and had a higher prevalence of cardiovascular co-morbidities. Overall, patients with RH had higher risks of MACE (adjusted HR 1.17; 95%CI 1.09–1.26; p<0.001). Significantly elevated risks of stroke (10,211 events; adjusted HR 1.17; 95%CI 1.08–1.27; p<0.001), especially ischemic stroke (6,235 events; adjusted HR 1.34; 95%CI 1.20–1.48; p<0.001), but not all-cause mortality (4,594 events; adjusted HR 1.06; 95%CI 0.95–1.19; p = 0.312) or acute coronary syndrome (2,145 events; adjusted HR 1.17; 95%CI 0.99–1.39; p = 0.070) were noted in patients with RH compared to those with non-RH. Subgroup analysis showed that RH increased the risks of stroke in female and elderly patients. However, no significant influence was noted in young or male patients.
Conclusions
Patients with RH were associated with higher risks of MACE and stroke, especially ischemic stroke. The risks were greater in female and elderly patients than in male or young patients.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0104362
PMCID: PMC4121289  PMID: 25089520
17.  Preventing Phrenic Nerve Stimulation by a Patch Insulation in an Intact Swine Heart Model 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e102608.
Introduction
Phrenic nerve stimulation (PNS) could be prevented by a silastic patch over the epicardial lead. We studied the effects in preventing PNS by placing a silastic patch directly over an epicardial lead or placing a graft around the phrenic nerve (PN).
Methods and Results
Fourteen Lanyu swine were enrolled. A bipolar lead was placed epicardially on the left ventricle (LV) inferior to the PN. An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) lead was placed into the right ventricle (RV). The maximal influential distance (MID) was measured under 3 pacing configurations to express the influential electrical field on the PN. The threshold of the LV and PN were evaluated epicardially. Then, PTFE patches of different sizes (10×10 mm, 20×20 mm and 30×30 mm) were placed between the LV lead and PN to study the rise in PN threshold in 7 swine. On the other hand, the PN were surrounded by a PTFE graft of different lengths (10 mm, 20 mm, and 30 mm) in the remaining 7 swine. LV-bipolar pacing showed the shortest MID when compared to the other 2 unipolar pacing configurations at pacing voltage of 10 V. The patch was most effective in preventing PNS during LV-bipolar pacing. PNS was prevented under all circumstances with a larger PTFE patch (30×30 mm) or long graft (30 mm).
Conclusions
PNS was avoided by placing a PTFE patch over the LV lead or a graft around the PN despite pacing configurations. Hence if PNS persisted during CRT implantation, a PTFE patch on the LV lead or a graft around the PN could be considered.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102608
PMCID: PMC4102517  PMID: 25033271
18.  Effects of Dietary Alpha-lipoic Acid and Acetyl-L-carnitine on Growth Performance and Meat Quality in Arbor Acres Broilers 
An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of dietary alpha-lipoic acid (LA) and acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) on growth performance, carcass characteristics and meat quality in Arbor Acres broilers. A total of 486 1-d-old male Arbor Acres broilers were randomly allocated to 9 dietary treatments, 9 treatments were group A (0 mg/kg LA and 0 mg/kg ALC), group B (50 mg/kg LA and 0 mg/kg ALC), group C (100 mg/kg LA and 0 mg/kg ALC), group D (0 mg/kg LA and 50 mg/kg ALC), group E (50 mg/kg LA and 50 mg/kg ALC), group F (100 mg/kg LA and 50 mg/kg ALC), group G (0 mg/kg LA and 100 mg/kg ALC), group H (50 mg/kg LA and 100 mg/kg ALC), group I (100 mg/kg LA and 100 mg/kg ALC). Birds were slaughtered at 42 days old. Average daily gain (ADG), average feed intake (AFI), feed conversion rate (FCR), eviscerated rate, breast muscle percentage, thigh muscle percentage, abdominal fat percentage, liver weight, muscle color (L* value, a* value, b* value), pH values at 45 min and 24 h postmortem were measured. Results showed that there existed an interaction between LA and ALC in growth performance of broilers, carcass traits and meat quality. The overall result is that high level of LA and ALC led to lower AFI, ADG (p<0.01), lower abdominal fat percentage, liver weight (p<0.01), lower L* value, a* value, and b* value of breast muscle, L* value of thigh muscle (p<0.05), and higher FCR (p<0.01), eviscerated rate (p<0.01), breast muscle percentage, thigh muscle percentage (p<0.05), a* value, pH 45 min and pH 24 h of thigh muscle (p<0.01). These results suggested that dietary LA and ALC contributed to the improvement of meat quality in broilers.
doi:10.5713/ajas.2013.13436
PMCID: PMC4093565  PMID: 25050042
Alpha-lipoic Acid; Acetyl-L-carnitine; Carcass Traits; Meat Quality; Broiler
19.  Statin Therapy for Primary Prevention of Atrial Fibrillation: Guided by CHADS2/CHA2DS2VASc Score 
Korean Circulation Journal  2014;44(4):205-209.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia and is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The anti-arrhythmic effect of statins on AF prevention appears to be highly significant in most clinical studies. However, some discrepancies do exist among different clinical studies. Different clinical settings and types of stains used may explain these differences between trials. The CHADS2 and CHA2DS2VASc scoring systems have been used for stroke risk stratification in AF patients. The recent study suggested that these scores can also be used to guide statin therapy for AF prevention. Patients with higher scores had a higher risk of developing AF and gained more benefits from statins therapy than those with lower scores. This review article focused on the ability of these scores to predict AF prevention by statins.
doi:10.4070/kcj.2014.44.4.205
PMCID: PMC4117839  PMID: 25089130
Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase inhibitors; Atrial fibrillation; Primary prevention
20.  Does Food Insecurity Affect Parental Characteristics and Child Behavior? Testing Mediation Effects 
The Social service review  2010;84(3):381-401.
Using two waves of data from the Child Development Supplement in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, this study investigates whether parental characteristics (parenting stress, parental warmth, psychological distress, and parent’s self-esteem) mediate household food insecurity’s relations with child behavior problems. Fixed-effects analyses examine data from a low-income sample of 416 children from 249 households. This study finds that parenting stress mediates the effects of food insecurity on child behavior problems. However, two robustness tests produce different results from those of the fixed-effects models. This inconsistency suggests that household food insecurity’s relations to the two types of child behavior problems need to be investigated further with a different methodology and other measures.
PMCID: PMC4071141  PMID: 20873019
21.  Rapid molecular genetic diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy by semiconductor sequencing 
Background
Rapidly determining the complex genetic basis of Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is vital to better understanding and optimally managing this common polygenetic cardiovascular disease.
Methods
A rapid custom Ion-amplicon-resequencing assay, covering 30 commonly affected genes of HCM, was developed and validated in 120 unrelated patients with HCM to facilitate genetic diagnosis of this disease. With this HCM-specific panel and only 20 ng of input genomic DNA, physicians can, for the first time, go from blood samples to variants within a single day.
Results
On average, this approach gained 595628 mapped reads per sample, 95.51% reads on target (64.06 kb), 490-fold base coverage depth and 93.24% uniformity of base coverage in CDS regions of the 30 HCM genes. After validation, we detected underlying pathogenic variants in 87% (104 of 120) samples. Tested seven randomly selected HCM genes in eight samples by Sanger sequencing, the sensitivity and false-positive-rate of this HCM panel was 100% and 5%, respectively.
Conclusions
This Ion amplicon HCM resequencing assay provides a currently most rapid, comprehensive, cost-effective and reliable measure for genetic diagnosis of HCM in routinely obtained samples.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-12-173
PMCID: PMC4072843  PMID: 24938736
Genetic diagnosis; Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; Next-generation sequencing; Semiconductor sequencing
22.  Comparative study of video-assisted thoracic surgery versus open thymectomy for thymoma in one single center 
Journal of Thoracic Disease  2014;6(6):726-733.
Background
Due to the popularity of video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) techniques in clinical, thymoma patients via VATS thymectomy are increasing rapidly. However, compared with open thymectomy, the potential superiorities and defects of VATS thymectomy remain controversial.
Methods
A number of 129 patients who underwent thymectomy of early stage thymoma (Masaoka stage I and stage II) in one single center from January 2007 to September 2013 were selected in this retrospective study. Of those patients, 38 thymoma patients underwent VATS thymectomy (VATS group) and 91 underwent open thymectomy (open group) via either transsternal [44] or transthoracic approach [47] in the same period. The postoperative variables, which included postoperative hospital length of stay (LOS), the intensive care unit (ICU) LOS, the entire resection ratio, the number of thoracic drainage tubes, the quantity of output and duration of drainage, were analyzed. Meanwhile, the operation time and blood loss were considered as intraoperative variables.
Results
All thymoma patients in the analysis included 19 thymoma patients with myasthenia gravis, among which five patients via VATS thymectomy and 14 patients via open thymectomy respectively. There was no death or morbidity due to the surgical procedures perioperatively. The ICU LOS, operation time, entire resection ratio, and the number of chest tubes were not significantly different in two groups. The postoperative hospital LOS of VATS thymectomy was shorter than that of open thymectomy (5.26 versus 8.32 days, P<0.001). The blood loss of VATS thymectomy was less than open thymectomy (114.74 versus 194.51 mL, P=0.002). Postoperatively, the quantity of chest tubes output in VATS group was less than that in open thymectomy group (617.86 versus 850.08 mL, P=0.007) and duration of drainage in VATS group was shorter than that in open thymectomy group (3.87 versus 5.22 days, P<0.001).
Conclusions
VATS thymectomy is a safe and practicable treatment for early-stage thymoma patients. Thymoma according with Masaoka staging I-II without evident invading seems to be performed through VATS approach appropriately, which has shorter postoperative hospital LOS, less blood loss and less restrictions to activities, hence patients will recover sooner.
doi:10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2014.04.08
PMCID: PMC4073414  PMID: 24976996
Thymoma; thymectomy; video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS); open surgery
23.  Diabetes Attitude Scale: Validation in Type-2 Diabetes Patients in Multiple Centers in China 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e96473.
Objective
The aim of the paper is to report the development and psychometric testing of Diabetes Attitude Scale.
Method
A prospective study was performed. The cultural equivalency and content validity of the Diabetes Attitude Scale were determined by panels of endocrinologists, physiologists, nurses and dieticians. An accurate and usable translation was obtained for each of five subscales examining attitudes on need for special training, the seriousness of type-2 diabetes, the need for controlling the condition, its psychosocial impact and the degree of autonomy given to patients in decision making. The validation was derived from 5961 patients with type-2 diabetes, recruited from 50 centers in 29 provinces throughout China between March 1st and September 30th, 2010.
Results
The modified Diabetes Attitude Scale showed an acceptable level of internal consistency. The strength of the inter-correlations among the domains of five subscales suggests that the instrument measures related but separate domains of patients' attitudes toward diabetes. Moreover, the test-retest intraclass correlation coefficients were high enough to support the stability of the Chinese version of the third version of the scale.
Conclusions
The psychometric properties of the Chinese version of Diabetes Attitude Scale demonstrated satisfactory validity and reliability and appeared to effectively evaluate attitudes toward diabetes in patients with type-2 diabetes.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096473
PMCID: PMC4011833  PMID: 24802805
24.  Utility of an Interactive Voice Response System to Assess Antiretroviral Pharmacotherapy Adherence Among Substance Users Living with HIV/AIDS in the Rural South 
AIDS Patient Care and STDs  2013;27(5):280-286.
Abstract
Promoting HIV medication adherence is basic to HIV/AIDS clinical care and reducing transmission risk and requires sound assessment of adherence and risk behaviors such as substance use that may interfere with adherence. The present study evaluated the utility of a telephone-based Interactive Voice Response self-monitoring (IVR SM) system to assess prospectively daily HIV medication adherence and its correlates among rural substance users living with HIV/AIDS. Community-dwelling patients (27 men, 17 women) recruited from a non-profit HIV medical clinic in rural Alabama reported daily medication adherence, substance use, and sexual practices for up to 10 weeks. Daily IVR reports of adherence were compared with short-term IVR-based recall reports over 4- and 7-day intervals. Daily IVR reports were positively correlated with both recall measures over matched intervals. However, 7-day recall yielded higher adherence claims compared to the more contemporaneous daily IVR and 4-day recall measures suggestive of a social desirability bias over the longer reporting period. Nearly one-third of participants (32%) reported adherence rates below the optimal rate of 95% (range=0–100%). Higher IVR-reported daily medication adherence was associated with lower baseline substance use, shorter duration of HIV/AIDS medical care, and higher IVR utilization. IVR SM appears to be a useful telehealth tool for monitoring medication adherence and identifying patients with suboptimal adherence between clinic visits and can help address geographic barriers to care among disadvantaged, rural adults living with HIV/AIDS.
doi:10.1089/apc.2012.0322
PMCID: PMC3651686  PMID: 23651105
25.  Social Trust Prediction Using Heterogeneous Networks 
Along with increasing popularity of social websites, online users rely more on the trustworthiness information to make decisions, extract and filter information, and tag and build connections with other users. However, such social network data often suffer from severe data sparsity and are not able to provide users with enough information. Therefore, trust prediction has emerged as an important topic in social network research. Traditional approaches are primarily based on exploring trust graph topology itself. However, research in sociology and our life experience suggest that people who are in the same social circle often exhibit similar behaviors and tastes. To take advantage of the ancillary information for trust prediction, the challenge then becomes what to transfer and how to transfer. In this article, we address this problem by aggregating heterogeneous social networks and propose a novel joint social networks mining (JSNM) method. Our new joint learning model explores the user-group-level similarity between correlated graphs and simultaneously learns the individual graph structure; therefore, the shared structures and patterns from multiple social networks can be utilized to enhance the prediction tasks. As a result, we not only improve the trust prediction in the target graph but also facilitate other information retrieval tasks in the auxiliary graphs. To optimize the proposed objective function, we use the alternative technique to break down the objective function into several manageable subproblems. We further introduce the auxiliary function to solve the optimization problems with rigorously proved convergence. The extensive experiments have been conducted on both synthetic and real- world data. All empirical results demonstrate the effectiveness of our method.
doi:10.1145/2541268.2541270
PMCID: PMC3983696  PMID: 24729776
Algorithms; Experimentation; Trust prediction; social network; transfer learning; nonnegative matrix factorization

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