Graphene nanoribbons based electronic devices present many interesting physical properties. We designed and investigated the spin-dependent electron transport of a device configuration, which is easy to be fabricated, with an oxygen-terminated ZGNR central scatter region between two hydrogen-terminated ZGNR electrodes. According to the analysis based on non-equilibrium Green's function and density functional theory, the proposed device could maintain its good spin-filter performance (80% to 99%) and have a stable magneto resistance value up to 105%. The spin dependent electron transmission spectrum and space-resolve density of states are employed to investigate the physical origin of the spin-polarized current and magneto resistance.
Accumulation of microtubule-associated protein tau has been observed in the brain of aging and tauopathies. Tau was observed in microglia, but its role is not illustrated. By immunofluorescence staining and the fractal dimension value assay in the present study, we observed that microglia were activated in the brains of rats and mice during aging, simultaneously, the immunoreactivities of total tau and the phosphorylated tau were significantly enhanced in the activated microglia. Furtherly by transient transfection of tau40 (human 2N/4R tau) into the cultured rat microglia, we demonstrated that expression of tau40 increased the level of Iba1, indicating activation of microglia. Moreover, expression of tau40 significantly enhanced the membranous localization of the phosphorylated tau at Ser396 in microglia possibly by a mechanism involving protein phosphatase 2A, extracellular signal-regulated kinase and glycogen synthase kinase-3β. It was also found that expression of tau40 promoted microglial migration and phagocytosis, but not proliferation. And we observed increased secretion of several cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor-α and nitric oxide after the expression of tau40. These data suggest a novel role of human 2N/4R tau in microglial activation.
miR-612 suppresses local invasion and distant colonization by directly inhibiting AKT2 in HCC.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play a critical role in tumor metastasis. In this study, we identified a set of 32 miRNAs involved in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) metastasis. Among them, miR-612 was shown for the first time to have inhibitory effects on HCC proliferation, migration, invasion, and metastasis. AKT2 was verified to be one of the direct targets of miR-612, through which the epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) and metastasis were inhibited. The level of miR-612 in HCC patients was inversely associated with tumor size, stage, EMT, and metastasis. Of particular importance, miR-612 is involved in both the initial and final steps of the metastatic cascade, by suppressing local invasion and distant colonization. The pleiotropic roles of miR-612 in the HCC metastatic cascade suggest that it could be an effective target for both early and advanced HCC.
The Src homology 2 domain-containing tyrosine phosphatase 2 (SHP-2) has been reported to have both tumor-promoting and tumor-suppressing roles in tumorigenesis. However, the role of SHP-2 in tumor immunity remains unclear. Here we observed progressively lower levels of phosphorylated SHP-2 in tumor-associated CD4+ T cells during melanoma development in a murine model. Similarly, the levels of phosphorylated SHP-2 in the CD4+ T cells of human melanoma specimens revealed a decrease paralleling cancer development. The CD4+ T cell-specific deletion of SHP-2 promoted melanoma metastasis in mice. Furthermore, SHP-2 deficiency in CD4+ T cells resulted in the increased release of inflammatory cytokines, especially IL-6, and the enhanced accumulation of tumor-promoting myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in tumor-bearing mice. An IL-6-neutralizing antibody reduced MDSC accumulation and inhibited tumor growth in CD4+ T-cell-specific SHP-2-knockout mice. Our results suggest that SHP-2 in CD4+ T cells plays an important role in preventing melanoma progression and metastasis.
Some cross-sectional studies have suggested an association between migraine and increased body weight. However, prospective data on the association are lacking.
We conducted a prospective cohort study among 19,162 participants in the Women’s Health Study who had a body mass index (BMI) of 18.5–<25kg/m2 at baseline. Migraine was self-reported by standardized questionnaires. Main outcome measures were: incident overweight (BMI ≥25kg/m2), incident obesity (BMI ≥30kg/m2), and mean weight change. Age- and multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios were calculated for the association between migraine and incident overweight and obesity. Differences in weight change were evaluated by ANCOVA.
3,483 (18.2%) women reported any migraine history. After 12.9 years of follow-up, 7,916 incident overweight and 730 incident obesity cases occurred. Migraineurs had multivariable-adjusted HRs (95%CI) of 1.11 (1.05–1.17) for becoming overweight and 1.00 (0.83–1.19) for becoming obese. These associations remained stable after censoring for chronic diseases and were similar according to migraine aura status. Multivariable-adjusted mean weight change from baseline to the end of study was +4.7kg for migraineurs and +4.4kg for women without migraine (P=0.02).
Results of this large prospective study of middle-aged women do not indicate a consistent association between migraine and incident overweight, obesity, or relevant weight gain.
Migraine; body mass index; overweight; obesity; prospective study
Adiponectin may have a protective role in the development of obesity-related metabolic and vascular disorders including hypertension. We conducted a prospective, nested case-control study to investigate the relationship between baseline plasma adiponectin, measures of adiposity, and subsequent risk of hypertension.
We selected 400 White and 400 Black postmenopausal women, aged <70 years, who have developed incident hypertension during 5.9-year follow-up and an equal number of age and race matched controls in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study. We measured plasma concentrations of total adiponectin in their baseline bloods.
In crude matched models, plasma adiponectin was inversely associated with risk of hypertension among both White and Black women. The association appeared to be non-linear in White women but dose-related in Black women. Adjustment for lifestyle factors, measures of obesity, and obesity-related clinical factors attenuated these associations. The multivariable relative risks (95% confidence interval) of hypertension across increasing quartiles of plasma adiponectin were 1.00, 0.98 (0.66-1.46), 0.63 (0.41-0.97), and 0.92 (0.60-1.42) in White women (p, trend: 0.38) and 1.00, 0.96 (0.64-1.46), 0.83 (0.53-1.29), and 0.58 (0.36-0.94) in Black women (p, trend: 0.02). Further adjustment for inflammatory markers and endothelial markers eliminated the association in White, but not Black, women.
In this prospective, nested case-control study, we found an inverse association between plasma adiponectin and risk of hypertension in White and Black postmenopausal women. The reduced risk of hypertension was limited to intermediate levels of adiponectin in White women while was graded across quartiles of adiponectin in Black women.
adiponectin; hypertension; epidemiology; prospective study; postmenopausal women
Pulmonary large cell carcinoma - a diagnostically and clinically controversial entity - is defined as a non-small cell carcinoma lacking morphologic differentiation as either adenocarcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma, but suspected to represent an end-stage of poor differentiation of these tumor types. Given the recent advances in immunohistochemistry to distinguish adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, and the recent insights that several therapeutically-relevant genetic alterations are distributed differentially in these tumors, we hypothesized that immunophenotyping may stratify large cell carcinomas into subsets with distinct profiles of targetable driver mutations. We therefore analyzed 102 large cell carcinomas by immunohistochemistry for TTF-1 and ΔNp63/p40 as classifiers for adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, respectively, and correlated the resulting subtypes with 9 therapeutically-relevant genetic alterations characteristic of adenocarcinoma (EGFR, KRAS, BRAF, MAP2K1/MEK1, NRAS, ERBB2/HER2 mutations and ALK rearrangements) or more common in squamous cell carcinoma (PIK3CA and AKT1 mutations). The immunomarkers classified large cell carcinomas as variants of adenocarcinoma (n=62; 60%), squamous cell carcinoma (n=20; 20%), or marker-null (n=20; 20%). Genetic alterations were found in 38 cases (37%), including EGFR (n=1), KRAS (n=30), BRAF (n=2), MAP2K1 (n=1), ALK (n=3) and PIK3CA (n=1). All molecular alterations characteristic of adenocarcinoma occurred in tumors with immunoprofiles of adenocarcinoma or marker-null, but not in tumors with squamous immunoprofiles (combined mutation rate 50% vs 30% vs 0%, respectively; P<0.001), whereas the sole PIK3CA mutation occurred in a tumor with squamous profile (5%). Furthermore, marker-null large cell carcinomas were associated with significantly inferior disease-free (P<0.001) and overall (P=0.001) survival. In conclusion, the majority (80%) of large cell carcinomas can be classified by immunomarkers as variants of adenocarcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma, which stratifies these tumors into subsets with a distinct distribution of driver mutations and distinct prognoses. These findings have practical implications for diagnosis, predictive molecular testing and therapy selection.
large cell carcinoma; TTF-1; ΔNp63/p40; EGFR; KRAS; ALK
Catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) are at the heart of key green-energy fuel cell technology. N-doped graphene is a potential metal-free electrode with much better electrocatalytic activity, long-term stability, and tolerance to crossover effect than expensive platinum-based electrocatalysts. Here, we report a feasible direct-synthesis method in preparing N-graphene with manageable N contents in a large scale. The resultant N-graphene used as electrocatalysts exhibits similar catalytic activity but superior stability compared to commercial Pt/C for ORR in an alkaline solution. It was found that their electrocatalytic activities were demonstrated to depend largely on N-doping content. When nitrogen content reaches a high value at about 24–25%, ORR reaction exhibits a favorable formation of water via a four-electron pathway. Furthermore, the effect of pyrolysis temperature and precursor on the activity of N-graphene is systematically analyzed, and may shed some light on the principle of choosing appropriate way for preparing N-graphene.
Impairment of visual function has been detected in the early stage of diabetes but the underlying neural mechanisms involved are largely unknown. Morphological and functional alterations of retinal ganglion cells, the final output neurons of the vertebrate retina, are thought to be the major cause of visual defects in diabetes but direct evidence to support this notion is limited. In this study we investigated functional changes of retinal ganglion cells in a type 1-like diabetic mouse model. Our results demonstrated that the spontaneous spiking activity of ON-type retinal ganglion cells was increased in streptozotocin-diabetic mice after 3 to 4 months of diabetes. At this stage of diabetes, no apoptotic signals or cell loss were detected in the ganglion cell layer of the retina, suggesting that the functional alterations in ganglion cells occur prior to massive ganglion cell apoptosis. Furthermore, we found that the increased activity of ON-type ganglion cells was mainly a result of reduced inhibitory signaling to the cells in diabetes. This novel mechanism provides insight into how visual function is impaired in diabetic retinopathy.
Photoreceptor cell-specific receptor (PNR/NR2E3) is an orphan nuclear receptor that plays a critical role in retinal development and photoreceptor maintenance. The disease-causing mutations in PNR have a pleiotropic effect resulting in varying retinal diseases. Recently, PNR has been implicated in control of cellular functions in cancer cells. PNR was reported to be a novel regulator of ERα expression in breast cancer cells, and high PNR expression correlates with favorable response to tamoxifen treatment. Moreover, PNR was shown to increase p53 stability in HeLa cells, implying that PNR may be a therapeutic target in this and other cancers that retain a wild type p53 gene. To facilitate further understanding of PNR functions in cancer, we characterized compound 11a, a synthetic, putative PNR agonist in several cell-based assays. Interestingly, we showed that 11a failed to activate PNR and its cytotoxicity was independent of PNR expression, excluding PNR as a mediator for 11a cytotoxicity. Systematic analyses of the cytotoxic effects of 11a in NCI-60 cell lines revealed a strong positive correlation of cytotoxicity with p53 status, i.e., p53 wild type cell lines were significantly more sensitive to 11a than p53 mutated or null cell lines. Furthermore, using HCT116 p53+/+ and p53-/- isogenic cell lines we revealed that the mechanism of 11a-induced cytotoxicity occurred through G1/S phase cell cycle arrest rather than apoptosis. In conclusion, we observed a correlation of 11a sensitivity with p53 status but not with PNR expression, suggesting that tumors expressing wild type p53 might be responsive to this compound.
Sex steroid hormones have been postulated to involve in blood pressure (BP) regulation. We examine the association of endogenous sex hormone levels with longitudinal change of BP and risk of developing hypertension in initially normotensive postmenopausal women.
We conducted prospective analysis among 619 postmenopausal women free of hypertension at baseline in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Change of BP and development of incident hypertension were assessed during a mean of 4.8 years follow-up.
After adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, and lifestyle factors, baseline serum estradiol (E2), total and bioavailable testosterone (T), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) were each positively and sex- hormone binding globulin (SHBG) was inversely associated with risk of hypertension. Additional adjustment for body mass index eliminated the associations for E2 and T but only attenuated the associations for DHEA and SHBG. The corresponding multivariable hazard ratios (95% CIs) in the highest quartile were 1.28 (0.83–1.97) for E2, 1.38 (0.89–2.14) for total T, 1.42 (0.90–2.23) for bioavailable T, 1.54 (1.02–2.31) for DHEA, and 0.48 (0.30–0.76) for SHBG. Adjustment for fasting glucose, insulin, and C-reactive protein further attenuated the association for DHEA but not SHBG. Associations of sex hormones with longitudinal BP change were similar.
In postmenopausal women, higher endogenous E2, T, and DHEA and lower SHBG were associated with higher incidence of hypertension and greater longitudinal rise in BP. The associations for E2, T, and DHEA were mostly explained by adiposity, while the association for SHBG was independent of measures of adiposity, insulin resistance, and systemic inflammation.
sex steroid hormones; hypertension; blood pressure; postmenopausal women; prospective study; epidemiology
The aim of present research is to analyze the detailed changes of dendritic cells (DCs) induced by pidotimod(PTD). These impacts on DCs of both bone marrow derived DCs and established DC2.4 cell line were assessed with use of conventional scanning electron microscopy (SEM), flow cytometry (FCM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), cytochemistry assay FITC-dextran, bio-assay and enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). We demonstrated the ability of PTD to induce DC phynotypic and functional maturation as evidenced by higher expression of key surface molecules such as MHC II, CD80 and CD86. The functional tests proved the downregulation of ACP inside the DCs, occurred when phagocytosis of DCs decreased, with simultaneously antigen presentation increased toward maturation. Finally, PTD also stimulated production of more cytokine IL-12 and less TNF-α. Therefore it is concluded that PTD can markedly exert positive induction to murine DCs.
pidotimod; dendritic cells; phagocytosis; maturation; immunomodulation
Chronic headache such as migraine and nervous headache has become one of the most common locations of pain and one of the most difficult diseases to recover due to its numerous causes and inconvenience to keep acesodyne administration for a long time. However, there are a series of treatment theories and herbal formulas for this disease in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), in which Da Chuanxiong formula (DCXF), a herb pair composed of Chuanxiong Rhizoma (CR), Chuanxiong in Chinese, and Gastrodiae Rhizoma (GR) called as Tianma in China, is a greatly classic representative. This formula has been used for headaches via dispelling wind pathogen and dissipating blood stasis for many years in TCM. In recent years, the efficiency and representativeness of DCXF have garnered many researchers' attention. To reveal the compatibility mechanism and develop innovative Chinese herb, herein ethnopharmacological relevance, chemical characters, and pharmacological actions of DCXF are detailed. It is expected to give a comprehensive interpretation of DCXF, namely, Chuanxiong Tianma herb pair (CTHP), to inherit the essence of herb pair and innovate drug delivery system of this prescription.
Infrared (IR) spectroscopy has been widely utilized for the study of protein folding, unfolding and misfolding processes. We have previously developed a theoretical method for calculating IR spectra of proteins in the amide I region. In this work, we apply this method, in combination with replica-exchange molecular dynamics simulations, to study the equilibrium thermal unfolding transition of the villin headpiece subdomain (HP36). Temperature-dependent IR spectra and spectral densities are calculated. The spectral densities correctly reflect the unfolding conformational changes in the simulation. With the help of isotope labeling, we are able to capture the feature that helix 2 of HP36 loses its secondary structure before global unfolding occurs, in agreement with experiment.
In this study, a novel 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) enema with good bio adhesion and temperature sensitivity was developed using in situ gelling technology. The preparation was formulated as a free-flowing liquid before use, while a layer of gel film was quickly formed when administered in the rectum, with a large contact surface area. It also demonstrated good biocompatibility, appropriate gel strength and bio adhesive force with excellent adhesion to rectal mucosa and prolonged action time, allowing more effective drug absorption and diffusion to surrounding tissues. Poloxamer 407 and poloxamer 188 were applied to adjust the gelling temperature. With the addition of carbopol and polycarbophil (bio adhesive substances), the solubility of 5-FU and gel strength increased, the temperature of gelation and the surface area of drug contact on mucous epithelium decreased. Decreased adhesive force between the preparation and the mucous membrane of the rectum was demonstrated with improving carbopol and polycarbophil’s concentration. In vitro release demonstrated that 5-FU in situ gelling enema with different bases had a rapid and almost complete drug release. We used an optimized formulation of P407/P188/polycarbophil/5-FU (17/2.5/0.2/1.0) for animal experiments. The result showed that the drug evenly covered the surface of the rectum and there was no leakage in 6 hours. The in situ gelling enema showed significantly higher rectal tissue levels of 5-FU compared with suppository and intravenous administration, indicating that 5-FU could be well absorbed due to the enlarged releasing area, longer retention time and larger amount of dissolved active ingredients. Systemically, 5-FU levels in the enema group were similar to those in the suppository group and significantly lower than the intravenous group. The enema was not associated with morphological damage to rectal tissue. These results suggest that the bio adhesive and in situ gelling enema could be a more effective rectal delivery system of 5-FU.
To estimate the average social network size in the general population and the size of HIV key affected populations (KAPs) in Chongqing municipality using the network scale-up method (NSUM).
A general population survey was conducted in 2011 through a multistage random sampling method. Participants aged between 18 and 60 years were recruited. The average social network size (c) was estimated and adjusted by known population method. The size of HIV KAP in Chongqing municipality was estimated using the adjusted c value with adjustment for the transmission effect using the scaled respect factor.
3,026 inhabitants of Chongqing agreed to the survey, and 2,957 (97.7%) completed the questionnaire. The adjusted c value was 310. The estimated size of KAP was 28,418(95% Confidence Interval (CI):26,636∼30,201) for female sex workers (FSW), 163,199(95%CI:156,490∼169,908) for clients of FSW, 37,959(95%CI: 34,888∼41,030) for drug users (DU), 14,975(95%CI:13,047∼16,904) for injecting drug users (IDU) and 16,767(95%CI:14,602∼18,932) for men who have sex with men (MSM). The ratio of clients to FSW was 5.74∶1, and IDU accounted for 39.5% of the DU population. The estimates suggest that FSW account for 0.37% of the female population aged 15–49 years in Chongqing, and clients of FSW and MSM represent 2.09% and 0.21% of the male population aged 15–49 years in the city, respectively.
NSUM provides reasonable population size estimates for FSW, their clients, DU and IDU in Chongqing. However, it is likely to underestimate the population size of MSM even after adjusting for the transmission effect.
We have shown that lithium treatment improves motor coordination in a spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1) disease mouse model (Sca1154Q/+). To learn more about disease pathogenesis and molecular contributions to the neuroprotective effects of lithium, we investigated metabolomic profiles of cerebellar tissue and plasma from SCA1-model treated and untreated mice. Metabolomic analyses of wild-type and Sca1154Q/+ mice, with and without lithium treatment, were performed using gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry and BinBase mass spectral annotations. We detected 416 metabolites, of which 130 were identified. We observed specific metabolic perturbations in Sca1154Q/+ mice and major effects of lithium on metabolism, centrally and peripherally. Compared to wild-type, Sca1154Q/+ cerebella metabolic profile revealed changes in glucose, lipids, and metabolites of the tricarboxylic acid cycle and purines. Fewer metabolic differences were noted in Sca1154Q/+ mouse plasma versus wild-type. In both genotypes, the major lithium responses in cerebellum involved energy metabolism, purines, unsaturated free fatty acids, and aromatic and sulphur-containing amino acids. The largest metabolic difference with lithium was a 10-fold increase in ascorbate levels in wild-type cerebella (p<0.002), with lower threonate levels, a major ascorbate catabolite. In contrast, Sca1154Q/+ mice that received lithium showed no elevated cerebellar ascorbate levels. Our data emphasize that lithium regulates a variety of metabolic pathways, including purine, oxidative stress and energy production pathways. The purine metabolite level, reduced in the Sca1154Q/+ mice and restored upon lithium treatment, might relate to lithium neuroprotective properties.
Bacterial pathogens have specific virulence factors (e.g., toxins) that contribute significantly to the virulence and infectivity of microorganisms within the human hosts. Virulence factors are molecules expressed by pathogens that enable colonization, immunoevasion, and immunosuppression, obtaining nutrients from the host or gaining entry into host cells. They can cause pathogenesis by inhibiting or stimulating certain host functions. For example, in systemic Staphylococcus aureus infections, virulence factors such as toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1), staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA), and staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) cause sepsis or toxic shock by uncontrolled stimulation of T lymphocytes and by triggering a cytokine storm. In vitro, these superantigens stimulate the proliferation of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and the release of many cytokines. NVC-422 (N,N-dichloro-2,2-dimethyltaurine) is a broad-spectrum, fast-acting topical anti-infective agent against microbial pathogens, including antibiotic-resistant microbes. Using mass spectrometry, we demonstrate here that NVC-422 oxidizes methionine residues of TSST-1, SEA, SEB, and exfoliative toxin A (ETA). Exposure of virulence factors to 0.1% NVC-422 for 1 h prevented TSST-1-, SEA-, SEB-, and ETA-induced cell proliferation and cytokine release. Moreover, NVC-422 also delayed and reduced the protein A- and clumping factor-associated agglutination of S. aureus cultures. These results show that, in addition to its well-described direct microbicidal activity, NVC-422 can inactivate S. aureus virulence factors through rapid oxidation of methionines.
Increased delay in visiting a hospital for patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) is often associated with poor outcomes. The factors associated with the decision time were analyzed by comparing the characteristics of patients with delays longer or shorter than the median of 60 min. Pre-hospital delay tended to be longer for patients living in suburban areas compared to those in urban areas (P=0.015). Shorter decision time was more likely among older patients. Being married, medical insurance coverage, and the level of educational qualification did not affect decision time. More efforts should be paid to educate the patients with high risk in suburban areas in order to effectively reduce pre-hospital delays.
Objectives. To investigate how Xiao-Ai-Ping injection, a traditional Chinese medicine and an ancillary drug in tumor treatment, enhances the antitumor effects of cisplatin on Lewis lung cancer (LLC) cells. Methods. LLC-bearing mice were daily intraperitoneally injected with various doses of cisplatin, Xiao-Ai-Ping, or cisplatin plus Xiao-Ai-Ping, respectively. Body weight and tumor volumes were measured every three days. Results. Combination of Xiao-Ai-Ping and cisplatin yielded significantly better antigrowth and proapoptotic effects on LLC xenografts than sole drug treatment did. In addition, we found that Xiao-Ai-Ping triggered the infiltration of CD8+ T cells, a group of cytotoxic T cells, to LLC xenografts. Furthermore, the mRNA levels of interferon-γ (ifn-γ), perforin-1 (prf-1), and granzyme B (gzmb) in CD8+ T cells were significantly increased after combination treatment of Xiao-Ai-Ping and cisplatin. In vitro studies showed that Xiao-Ai-Ping markedly upregulated the mRNA levels of ifn-γ, prf-1, and gzmb in CD8+ T cells in a concentration-dependent manner, suggesting that Xiao-Ai-Ping augments the function of CD8+ T cells. Conclusions. Xiao-Ai-Ping promotes the infiltration and function of CD8+ T cells and thus enhances the antigrowth effects of cisplatin on LLC xenografts, which provides new evidence for the combination of Xiao-Ai-Ping and cisplatin in clinic in China.
To assess accuracy of telemedical retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) diagnosis by trained non-expert graders compared to expert graders.
248 eye examinations from 67 consecutive infants were captured using wide-angle retinal photography (RetCam-II, Clarity Medical Systems, Pleasanton, CA). Non-expert graders attended two hour-long training sessions on image-based ROP diagnosis. Using a web-based telemedicine system, 14 non-expert and 3 expert graders provided a diagnosis for each eye: no ROP, mild ROP, type-2 prethreshold ROP, or treatment-requiring ROP. All diagnoses were compared to a reference standard of dilated indirect ophthalmoscopy by an experienced pediatric ophthalmologist.
For detection of type-2 or worse ROP, the mean (range) sensitivities and specificities were 0.95 (0.94–0.97) and 0.93 (0.91–0.96) for experts, 0.87 (0.71–0.97) and 0.73 (0.39–0.95) for resident non-experts, and 0.73 (0.41–0.88) and 0.91 (0.84–0.96) for student non-experts. For detection of treatment-requiring ROP, the mean (range) sensitivities and specificities were 1.00 (1.00-1.00) and 0.93 (0.88–0.96) for experts, 0.88 (0.50–1.00) and 0.84 (0.71–0.98) for resident non-experts, and 0.82 (0.42–1.00) and 0.92 (0.83–0.97) for student non-experts.
Mean sensitivity and specificity of trained non-experts are lower than that of experts, although several non-experts had high accuracy. Development of methods for training non-expert graders may help support telemedical ROP evaluation.
retinopathy of prematurity; pediatric ophthalmology; telemedicine; medical informatics; retina
InGaAs/AlGaAs multiple quantum wells used for 4.3 μm mid-wavelength infrared quantum well infrared detectors were grown by molecular beam epitaxy. In composition loss was observed and quantitatively studied by high-resolution X-ray diffraction technology. By this In composition loss effect, the energy band engineering on the photo-response wavelength is not easily achieved. A thin AlGaAs barrier grown at low temperature is used to suppress the In atom desorption, and this growth process was verified to be able to adjust the photo-response wavelength as designed by energy band engineering in the photocurrent spectrum.
Molecular beam epitaxy; Quantum well infrared detector; InGaAs/AlGaAs quantum well
Parrondo’s games were first constructed using a simple tossing scenario, which demonstrates the following paradoxical situation: in sequences of games, a winning expectation may be obtained by playing the games in a random order, although each game (game A or game B) in the sequence may result in losing when played individually. The available Parrondo’s games based on the spatial niche (the neighboring environment) are applied in the regular networks. The neighbors of each node are the same in the regular graphs, whereas they are different in the complex networks. Here, Parrondo’s model based on complex networks is proposed, and a structure of game B applied in arbitrary topologies is constructed. The results confirm that Parrondo’s paradox occurs. Moreover, the size of the region of the parameter space that elicits Parrondo’s paradox depends on the heterogeneity of the degree distributions of the networks. The higher heterogeneity yields a larger region of the parameter space where the strong paradox occurs. In addition, we use scale-free networks to show that the network size has no significant influence on the region of the parameter space where the strong or weak Parrondo’s paradox occurs. The region of the parameter space where the strong Parrondo’s paradox occurs reduces slightly when the average degree of the network increases.
Complex environmental conditions can significantly affect bacterial genome size by unknown mechanisms. The So0157-2 strain of Sorangium cellulosum is an alkaline-adaptive epothilone producer that grows across a wide pH range. Here, we show that the genome of this strain is 14,782,125 base pairs, 1.75-megabases larger than the largest bacterial genome from S. cellulosum reported previously. The total 11,599 coding sequences (CDSs) include massive duplications and horizontally transferred genes, regulated by lots of protein kinases, sigma factors and related transcriptional regulation co-factors, providing the So0157-2 strain abundant resources and flexibility for ecological adaptation. The comparative transcriptomics approach, which detected 90.7% of the total CDSs, not only demonstrates complex expression patterns under varying environmental conditions but also suggests an alkaline-improved pathway of the insertion and duplication, which has been genetically testified, in this strain. These results provide insights into and a paradigm for how environmental conditions can affect bacterial genome expansion.
Seed development depends on coordination among embryo, endosperm and seed coat. Endosperm undergoes nuclear division soon after fertilization, whereas embryo remains quiescent for a while. Such a developmental sequence is of great importance for proper seed development. However, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Recent results on the cellular domain- and stage-specific expression of invertase genes in cotton and Arabidopsis revealed that cell wall invertase may positively and specifically regulate nuclear division of endosperm after fertilization, thereby playing a role in determining the sequential development of endosperm and embryo, probably through glucose signaling.
cell division; embryo; endosperm; invertase; seed development; sugar metabolism; sugar signaling