Topological superconductivity is one of most fascinating properties of topological quantum matters that was theoretically proposed and can support Majorana Fermions at the edge state. Superconductivity was previously realized in a Cu-intercalated Bi2Se3 topological compound or a Bi2Te3 topological compound at high pressure. Here we report the discovery of superconductivity in the topological compound Sb2Te3 when pressure was applied. The crystal structure analysis results reveal that superconductivity at a low-pressure range occurs at the ambient phase. The Hall coefficient measurements indicate the change of p-type carriers at a low-pressure range within the ambient phase, into n-type at higher pressures, showing intimate relation to superconducting transition temperature. The first principle calculations based on experimental measurements of the crystal lattice show that Sb2Te3 retains its Dirac surface states within the low-pressure ambient phase where superconductivity was observed, which indicates a strong relationship between superconductivity and topology nature.
Direct carotid-cavernous fistula (CCF) by selective navigation using a microcatheter or microwire is a rare complication, and its timing of treatment has not been elucidated. We report two cases of direct CCFs resulting from injury to the cavernous posterior segment of the internal carotid artery during selective navigation. We did not plan to perform emergent endovascular treatment for these direct CCFs because no symptoms related to direct CCFs developed. Follow-up angiography revealed spontaneous healing of both direct CCFs. Close observation rather than emergent treatment may represent another option for direct CCF by selective navigation during the endovascular procedure.
carotid cavernous fistula, endovacscular, internal carotid artery, spontaneous healing
There is a need in critical care units for continuous cardiopulmonary monitoring techniques. ECG gated electrical impedance tomography is able to localize the impedance variations occurring during the cardiac cycle. This method is a safe, inexpensive and potentially fast technique for cardiac output imaging but the spatial resolution is presently low, particularly for central locations such as the heart. Many parameters including noise deteriorate the reconstruction result. One of the main obstacles in cardiac imaging at the heart location is the high impedance of lungs and muscles on the dorsal and posterior side of body. In this study we are investigating improvements of the measurement and initial conductivity estimation of the internal electrode by modelling an internal electrode inside the esophagus. We consider 16 electrodes connected around a cylindrical mesh. With the random noise level set near 0.05% of the signal we evaluated the Graz consensus reconstruction algorithm for electrical impedance tomography. The modelling and simulation results showed that the quality of the target in reconstructed images was improved by up to 5 times for amplitude response, position error, resolution, shape deformation and ringing effects with perturbations located in cardiac related positions when using an internal electrode.
To study how apatite crystal alignment of an enamel-like substrate affects DPSC cellular adhesion and growth as a precursor to produce an in vitro enamel/dentin superstructure for future studies.
The cells were subcultured in 10% FBS DMEM up to 7 weeks on the two surfaces. Specimens were observed under SEM, counted, and analyzed using the human pathway-focused matrix and adhesion PCR array.
After 3 days, the cell number on ordered FA surface was significantly higher than on the disordered surface. Of the 84 focused pathway genes, a total of 20 genes were either up or down regulated in the cells on ordered FA surface compared to the disordered surface. More interestingly, of the cell-matrix adhesion molecules, integrin alpha 7 and 8 (ITGA 7 and 8), integrin beta 3 and 4 (ITGB3 and 4), and the vitronectin receptor-integrin alpha V (ITGAV) and the key adhesion protein-fibronectin1 (FN1) were up-regulated. In SEM, both surfaces showed good biocompatibility and supported long term growth of DPSC cells but with functional cell-matrix interaction on the ordered FA surfaces.
The enhanced cellular response of DPSC cell to the ordered FA crystal surface involves a set of delicately regulated matrix and adhesion molecules which could be manipulated by treating the cells with a dentin extract, to produce a dentin/enamel superstructure.
Fluorapatite; stem cell; PCR array; Matrix; Adhesion
Up to 70% of human genes are associated with regions of nonmethylated DNA called CpG islands (S. Saxonov, P. Berg, and D. L. Brutlag, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 103:1412–1417, 2006). Usually associated with the 5′ end of genes, CpG islands are thought to impact gene expression. We previously demonstrated that the histone demethylase KDM2A is specifically recruited to CpG islands to define a unique chromatin architecture and highlight gene regulatory regions in large and complex mammalian genomes. This targeting relies on a zinc finger CXXC DNA binding domain (ZF-CXXC), but how this demethylase interfaces with CpG island chromatin in vivo remains unknown. Here we demonstrate, using defined chromatin templates in vitro and chromatin profiling in vivo, that nucleosomes are a major barrier to KDM2A binding and that CpG islands are directly interpreted by the ZF-CXXC domain through specific interaction with linker DNA. Furthermore, KDM2A appears to be constrained to CpG islands not only by their nonmethylated state but also by a combination of methylated DNA and nucleosome occlusion elsewhere in the genome. Our observations suggest that both DNA sequence and chromatin structure are defining factors in interpreting CpG island chromatin and translation of the CpG signal. More generally, these features of CpG island recognition suggest that chromatin structure and accessibility play a major role in defining how transcription factors recognize DNA and regulatory elements genome-wide.
Across vertebrate genomes methylation of cytosine residues within the context of CpG dinucleotides is a pervasive epigenetic mark that can impact gene expression and has been implicated in various developmental and disease-associated processes. Several biochemical approaches exist to profile DNA methylation, but recently an alternative approach based on profiling non-methylated CpGs was developed. This technique, called CxxC affinity purification (CAP), uses a ZF-CxxC (CxxC) domain to specifically capture DNA containing clusters of non-methylated CpGs. Here we describe a new CAP approach, called biotinylated CAP (Bio-CAP), which eliminates the requirement for specialized equipment while dramatically improving and simplifying the CxxC-based DNA affinity purification. Importantly, this approach isolates non-methylated DNA in a manner that is directly proportional to the density of non-methylated CpGs, and discriminates non-methylated CpGs from both methylated and hydroxymethylated CpGs. Unlike conventional CAP, Bio-CAP can be applied to nanogram quantities of genomic DNA and in a magnetic format is amenable to efficient parallel processing of samples. Furthermore, Bio-CAP can be applied to genome-wide profiling of non-methylated DNA with relatively small amounts of input material. Therefore, Bio-CAP is a simple and streamlined approach for characterizing regions of the non-methylated DNA, whether at specific target regions or genome wide.
To study the changes in T cell subsets and IL-7 in HIV-1-infected patients after seven years of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).
Seventy-five individuals were included in this study (25 with effective HAART, 18 with ineffective HAART, 17 untreated HIV+ patients, and 15 volunteers in the HIV negative control group). The counts of CD4+, CD8+, CD8/CD38+, and CD8/HLADR+ T cells as well as the IL-7 protein expression was measured at 5 time points during a period of seven years in patients starting HAART (baseline) and in the HIV negative control group. The expression of CD127 on CD3+ T cells was measured by flow cytometry at a single time point (after 7 years) in patients with HAART and was compared with untreated HIV+ patients and the HIV negative control group.
At baseline CD4+ T cell counts of HIV-1-infected patients were lower than that in the control group (p < 0.01), whereas the CD8+, CD8/HLADR+ and CD8/CD38+ T cell counts were higher than those in the control group (p <0.01). After seven years of effective HAART, the CD4+ T cell counts had increased and the CD8+ T cell count had decreased, although not to the normal levels (p < 0.05). Both the CD8/HLADR+ and CD8/CD38+ T cell counts had gradually approached those of the control group (p > 0.05). In the ineffective HAART group, the CD8/CD38+ T cell count had not decreased significantly, and CD8/HLADR+ T cell count gradually decreased. Before treatment, IL-7 serum levels of patients were significantly higher than that in the control group (p < 0.01). After seven years of effective HAART, IL-7 levels had gradually decreased, but were still higher than in the control group (p < 0.01). The CD127 expression on CD3+ CD8+ T cells in effective HAART patients was higher than in untreated HIV+ patients (p < 0.05), but was lower than that in the control group (p < 0.05). CD127 expression on CD3+ CD4+ T cells was not significantly different among the control group, untreated HIV+ patients and effective HAART group.
After seven years of effective HAART, the quantity and capacity of T cell subsets and IL-7 in HIV-1-infected patients had been partially restored, and the abnormal immune activation has significantly diminished.
HIV-1; highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART); T cell subsets; IL-7
We report the case of an HIV-infected patient with vulv-ulcer as first manifestation associated with Penicillium marneffei, which is of special interest for healthcare workers in all fields.
One promising option for transdermal delivery of protein- and nucleic acid-based pharmacologic agents involves the use of microneedles. However, microneedle-generated pores may allow microorganisms to penetrate the stratum corneum layer of the epidermis and cause local or systemic infection. In this study, microneedles with antimicrobial functionality were fabricated using two photon polymerization-micromolding and pulsed laser deposition. The antibacterial activity of the silver-coated organically modified ceramic (Ormocer®) microneedles was demonstrated using an agar diffusion assay. Human epidermal keratinocyte (HEK) viability on the Ormocer® surfaces coated with silver was similar to that on uncoated Ormocer® surfaces. This study indicates that coating microneedles with silver thin films using pulsed laser deposition is a useful and novel approach for creating microneedles with antimicrobial functionality.
silver; antimicrobial; microneedle; transdermal drug delivery
In higher eukaryotes, up to 70% of genes have high levels of nonmethylated cytosine/guanine base pairs (CpGs) surrounding promoters and gene regulatory units. These features, called CpG islands, were identified over 20 years ago, but there remains little mechanistic evidence to suggest how these enigmatic elements contribute to promoter function, except that they are refractory to epigenetic silencing by DNA methylation. Here we show that CpG islands directly recruit the H3K36-specific lysine demethylase enzyme KDM2A. Nucleation of KDM2A at these elements results in removal of H3K36 methylation, creating CpG island chromatin that is uniquely depleted of this modification. KDM2A utilizes a zinc finger CxxC (ZF-CxxC) domain that preferentially recognizes nonmethylated CpG DNA, and binding is blocked when the CpG DNA is methylated, thus constraining KDM2A to nonmethylated CpG islands. These data expose a straightforward mechanism through which KDM2A delineates a unique architecture that differentiates CpG island chromatin from bulk chromatin.
► A ZF-CxxC domain in KDM2A specifically binds nonmethylated CpG dinucleotides ► KDM2A is targeted to nonmethylated CpG islands genome-wide ► KDM2A actively removes histone H3 lysine 36 dimethylation from CpG islands ► This unique chromatin architecture distinguishes CpG islands from bulk chromatin
Background: Because of their suggested link with microsatellite instability high colorectal cancers, right sided hyperplastic polyps (HPs) may differ from their distally located counterparts. This is highlighted by the recognition of a variant HP, termed sessile serrated adenoma (SSA), which predominates in the proximal colon. HPs displaying the morphological features now associated with SSAs have been shown to have altered expression of “cancer associated” markers, but no studies have investigated whether this is dependent on anatomical location of the polyps.
Aims: To evaluate morphological and functional features in right versus left sided HPs from patients without colorectal cancer with the aim of identifying distinguishing characteristics.
Methods: HPs originating in the proximal and distal colorectum were histochemically and immunohistochemically stained to evaluate a panel of markers related to proliferation and differentiation. In addition, a series of morphological features was evaluated for each polyp.
Results: Crypt serration, crypt dilatation, and horizontal crypt growth were more common among HPs from the right side, whereas histochemical factors including mucin changes, global methylation status, and expression of carcinoembryonic antigen were not significantly different. An age disparity was also seen between patients with right versus left sided lesions, with patients with right sided lesions being an average of more than 10 years younger than those with left sided lesions.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that right and left sided HPs differ mainly in terms of growth regulation rather than cellular differentiation, implying that these lesions belong to a continuous spectrum of serrated polyps that differ quantitatively rather than qualitatively.
colon; differentiation; hyperplastic; polyp; serration
Aim: To establish the association between impaired vision and drivers’ decisions to stop driving, voluntarily restrict driving, and motor vehicle accidents.
Methods: Driving related questions were included in a population based study that determined the prevalence and incidence of eye disease. Stratified random cluster samples based on census collector districts were selected from the Melbourne Statistical Division. Eligible participants aged 44 years and over were interviewed and underwent a comprehensive ophthalmic examination. The outcomes of interest were the decision to stop driving, limiting driving in specified conditions, and driving accidents. The associations between these outcomes and the legally prescribed visual acuity (<6/12) for a driver’s licence were investigated.
Results: The mean age of the 2594/3040 (85%) eligible participants was 62.5 (range 44–101). People with visual acuity less than 6/12 were no more likely to have an accident than those with better vision (χ2 = 0.175, p>0.9). Older drivers with impaired vision, more so than younger adults, restrict their driving in visually demanding situations (p<0.05). Of the current drivers, 2.6% have vision less than that required to obtain a driver’s licence. The risk of having an accident increased with distance driven (OR 2.57, CL 1.63, 4.04 for distance >31 000 km) but not with age.
Conclusion: There was no greater likelihood of self reported driving accidents for drivers with impaired vision than those with good vision. While many older drivers with impaired vision limit their driving in adverse conditions and some drivers with impaired vision stop driving, there are a significant number of current drivers with impaired vision.
vision impairment; visual acuity; driving; accidents
Carcinomas of the head and neck typically exhibit complex chromosome aberrations but the underlying mutational mechanisms remain obscure. Evaluation of cell division dynamics in low-passage cell lines from three benign and five malignant head and neck tumours revealed a strong positive correlation between multipolarity of the mitotic spindle and the formation of bridges at anaphase in both benign and malignant tumours. Cells exhibiting a high rate of mitotic abnormalities also showed several chromosome termini lacking TTAGGG repeats and a high frequency of dicentric chromosomes. Multicolour karyotyping demonstrated a preferential involvement in structural rearrangements of chromosomes with deficient telomeres. The majority of malignant, mitotically unstable tumours expressed the reverse transcriptase subunit of telomerase. These data indicate that some of the genomic instability in head and neck tumours is initiated by telomere dysfunction, leading to the formation of dicentric chromosomes. These form chromosome bridges at mitosis that could prevent the normal anaphase-telophase transition. In turn, this may cause an accumulation of centrosomes and mitotic multipolarity. Telomerase expression does not confer total stability to the tumour genome but could be crucial for moderating the rate of chromosomal evolution.
British Journal of Cancer (2002) 37, 202–207. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6600438 www.bjcancer.com
© 2002 Cancer Research UK
squamous cell carcinoma; pleomorphic adenoma; telomere; breakage-fusion-bridge cycle; centrosome
The paradigm that human malignancies are monoclonal has been questioned during recent years by the finding of unrelated, cytogenetically aberrant clones in short-term cultures from certain tumour types, notably carcinomas of the breast, skin and upper aerodigestive tract. In order to analyse whether cytogenetically unrelated clones are also unrelated at the molecular level, we analysed the X-chromosome inactivation status in cell cultures from a cytogenetically highly polyclonal acinic cell carcinoma of the parotid gland. By using cell cultures dominated by a single abnormal clone, obtained through in vitro culturing for 3-5 passages, we showed that the different clones must indeed have originated from different cells.
The urinary excretion of hippuric acid and methylhippuric acid was studied in workers (233 subjects; 122 men and 111 women) exposed to toluene and xylenes in combination and in non-exposed controls (281 subjects; 141 men and 140 women) recruited from the same factories or factories of the same regions. Smoking and drinking habits of the subjects were obtained by medical interviews. From each worker, one urine sample was collected at the end of a shift and analysed for hippuric and methylhippuric acids by high performance liquid chromatography. Air samples for the estimation of toluene and xylenes were collected with diffusive personal samplers. There was a linear correlation between the time weighted average exposure either to toluene or xylene isomers and the concentrations of hippuric acid or methylhippuric acid isomers in urine. Essentially no difference was found in the correlation between quantitative exposure and excretion in the three xylene isomers. Comparison of the slopes of regression lines indicated the absence of metabolic interaction between toluene and xylenes at the measured concentrations. The metabolism of toluene and xylenes was significantly reduced among smokers or drinkers compared with non-smokers and non-drinkers.
Urine samples were collected from 152 workers (64 men, 88 women) who had been exposed to benzene, 53 workers (men only) exposed to a mixture of benzene and toluene, and 213 non-exposed controls (113 men, 100 women). The samples were analysed for 1,2,4-benzentriol (a minor metabolite of benzene) by high performance liquid chromatography. The time weighted average solvent exposure of each worker was monitored by diffusive sampling technique. The urinary concentration of 1,2,4-benzentriol related linearly to the intensity of exposure to benzene both in men and women among workers exposed to benzene, and was suppressed by toluene co-exposure among male workers exposed to a mixture of benzene and toluene. A cross sectional balance study in men at the end of the shift of a workday showed that only 0.47% of benzene absorbed will be excreted into urine as 1,2,4-benzenetriol, in close agreement with previous results in rabbits fed benzene. The concentration of 1,2,4-benzenetriol in urine was more closely related to the concentration of quinol than that of catechol. The fact that phenol and quinol, but not catechol, are precursors of 1,2,4-benzentriol in urine was further confirmed by the intraperitoneal injection of the three phenolic compounds to rats followed by urine analysis for 1,2,4-benzenetriol.
A retrospective cohort study was carried out in 1982–1983 among 28,460 benzene-exposed workers (15,643 males, 12,817 females) from 233 factories and 28,257 control workers (16,621 males, 12,366 females) from 83 factories in 12 large cities in China. All-cause mortality was significantly higher among the exposed (265.46/100,000 person-years) than among the unexposed (139.06/100,000 person-years), as was mortality from all malignant neoplasms (123.21/100,000 versus 54.7/100,000, respectively). For certain cancers, increased mortality was noted among benzene-exposed males in comparison with that among unexposed males; the standardized mortality ratios (SMR) were elevated for leukemia (SMR = 5.74), lung cancer (SMR = 2.31), primary hepatocarcinoma (SMR = 1.12), and stomach cancer (SMR = 1.22). For females only leukemia occurred in excess among the exposed. Risk of leukemia rose as duration to exposure to benzene increased up to 15 years, and then declined with additional years of exposure. Leukemia occurred among some workers with as little as 6 to 10 ppm average exposure and 50 ppm-years (or possibly less) cumulative lifetime exposure (based on all available measurements for the exposed work units). Among the 30 leukemia cases identified in the exposed cohort, the proportion of subjects with acute lymphocytic leukemia was substantially lower and the proportion with acute nonlymphocytic leukemias was higher than in the general population. During 1972 to 1981, the annual incidence of leukemia ranged from 5.83 to 28.33 per 100,000 with higher rates occurring in the interval 1977 to 1981 than in the earlier years of the study period. Future studies should evaluate more precisely the relationship between exposure levels, job title, and development of leukemia among cases and noncases within the exposed cohort.
A method for rapidly determining t,t-muconic acid (MA) by high performance liquid chromatography was developed and successfully applied to urine samples from 152 workers exposed to benzene (64 men, 88 women) and 213 non-exposed controls (113 men, 100 women). The MA concentrations in urine correlated linearly with time weighted average benzene concentrations in the breath zone air of workers. A cross sectional balance study showed that about 2% of benzene inhaled is excreted into the urine as MA. The MA concentrations in the urine of the non-exposed was below the detection limit (less than 0.1 mg/l) in most cases, and the 95% lower confidence limit of MA for those exposed to benzene at 5 ppm (5.0 mg/l as a non-corrected value) was higher than the 97.5%-tile values for the non-exposed (1.4 mg/l). In practice, it was possible to separate those exposed to 6-7 ppm benzene from the non-exposed by means of urine analysis for MA. The urinary MA concentration was suppressed by coexposure to toluene.
Time weighted average concentrations of benzene in breathing zone air (measured by diffusive sampling coupled with FID gas chromatography) and concentrations of catechol and quinol in the urine (collected at about 1500 in the second half of a working week and analysed by high performance liquid chromatography) were compared in 152 workers who were exposed to benzene (64 men, 88 women). The concentration of urinary metabolites was also determined in 131 non-exposed subjects (43 men, 88 women). There was a linear relation between the benzene concentrations in the breathing zone and the urinary concentrations of catechol and quinol (with or without correction for urine density) in both sexes. Neither catechol nor quinol concentration was able to separate those exposed to benzene at 10 ppm from those without exposure. The data indicated that when workers were exposed to benzene at 100 ppm about 25% of benzene absorbed was excreted into the urine as phenolic metabolites, of which 13.2%, 1.6%, and 10.2% are phenol, catechol, and quinol, respectively.
Of a total of 528,729 workers exposed to benzene or benzene mixtures in China, 508,818 (96.23%) were examined. Altogether 2,676 cases of benzene poisoning were found, a prevalence of 0.15%. A higher prevalence of benzene poisoning was found in the cities of Hangjou, Hefei, Nanjing, Shenyang, and Xian. The geometric mean concentration of benzene in 50,255 workplaces was 18.1 mg/m3 but 64.6% of the workplaces had less than 40 mg/m3. There was a positive correlation between the prevalence of benzene poisoning and the concentration in shoemaking factories. The prevalence of benzene induced aplastic anaemia in shoemakers was about 5.8 times that occurring in the general population. The results of this investigation show the need for a practicable hygiene standard to prevent benzene poisoning.
A retrospective cohort study was conducted in 233 benzene factories and 83 control factories in 12 cities in China. The benzene cohort and the control cohort consisted of 28,460 benzene exposed workers (178,556 person-years in 1972-81) and 28,257 control workers (199,201 person-years). Thirty cases of leukaemia (25 dead and 5 alive) were detected in the former and four cases (all dead) in the latter. The leukaemia mortality rate was 14/100,000 person-years in the benzene cohort and 2/100,000 person-years in the control cohort; the standardized mortality ratio was 5.74 (p less than 0.01 by U test). The average latency of benzene leukaemia was 11.4 years. Most (76.6%) cases of benzene leukaemia were of the acute type. The mortality due to benzene leukaemia was high in organic synthesis plants followed by painting and rubber synthesis industries. The concentration of benzene to which patients with a leukaemia were exposed ranged from 10 to 1000 mg/m3 (mostly from 50 to 500 mg/m3). Of the 25 cases of leukaemia, seven had a history of chronic benzene poisoning before the leukaemia developed.
Urine samples were collected from 64 men and 88 women in shoe factories and printing plants at the end of a seven hour day shift in the latter half of a week in spring. Urine samples were also taken from 43 men and 88 women in the same factories but who were not exposed to solvents. Exposure to benzene during the shift was monitored by passive dosimeters. Both phenol in urine and benzene in activated carbon were analysed with FID gas chromatographs. The urinary concentrations of phenol were linearly related to the time weighted average concentrations of benzene in the breathzone air; the variation was so small that those exposed to 10 ppm benzene could be separated from the non-exposed at least on a group basis when the phenol concentration was corrected either for creatinine concentration or for specific gravity. The urinary phenol concentrations corresponding to 10 ppm benzene were 47.5 mg/l (as observed), 57.9 mg/g creatinine, or 46.6 mg/l (specific gravity 1.016).