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1.  Leaf Volatile Compounds and Associated Gene Expression during Short-Term Nitrogen Deficient Treatments in Cucumis Seedlings 
Nitrogen (N) is an important macronutrient for plant growth and development, but the regulatory mechanism of volatile compounds in response to N deficiency is not well understood, especially in cucumber, which consumes excessive N during growth. In this study, the major volatile compounds from cucumber leaves subjected to N deficiency were analyzed by GC-MS. A total of 24 volatile components were identified including 15 aldehydes, two ketones, two alkenes, and five other volatile compounds in 9930 leaves. Principal component analysis using volatile compounds from cucumber leaves provided good separation between N-sufficient and N-deficient treatments. The main volatiles in cucumber leaves were found to be C6 and C9 aldehydes, especially (E)-2-hexanal and (E,Z)-2,6-nonadienal. (E)-2-hexanal belonged to the C6 aldehyde and was the most abundant compound, whereas (E,Z)-2,6-nonadienal was the chief component of C9 aldehydes. During N-deficient treatment, short-chain volatile content was significantly improved at 5 day, other volatiles displayed significant reduction or no significantly changes in all sampling points. Improvement of short-chain volatiles was confirmed in the six other inbred lines at 5 day after N-deficient treatments. The expression analysis of 12 cucumber LOX genes and two HPL genes revealed that CsLOX19, CsLOX20, and CsLOX22 had common up-regulated expression patterns in response to N-deficient stress in most inbred lines; meanwhile, most sample points of CsHPL1 also had significant up-regulated expression patterns. This research focused on the relationship between volatiles in cucumber and different nitrogen environments to provide valuable insight into the effect of cultivation and management of the quality of cucumber and contributes to further research on volatile metabolism in cucumber.
PMCID: PMC5133771  PMID: 27827841
nitrogen deficiency; cucumber; leaf volatile; aldehyde; LOX-HPL pathways
2.  Shewanella baltica Ecotypes Have Wide Transcriptional Variation under the Same Growth Conditions 
mSphere  2016;1(5):e00158-16.
Eukaryotic studies have shown considerable transcriptional variation among individuals from the same population. It has been suggested that natural variation in eukaryotic gene expression may have significant evolutionary consequences and may explain large-scale phenotypic divergence of closely related species, such as humans and chimpanzees (M.-C. King and A. C. Wilson, Science 188:107–116, 1975,; M. F. Oleksiak, G. A. Churchill, and D. L. Crawford, Nat Genet 32:261–266, 2002, However, natural variation in gene expression is much less well understood in prokaryotic organisms. In this study, we used four sequenced strains of the marine bacterium Shewanella baltica to better understand the natural transcriptional divergence of a stratified prokaryotic population. We found substantial low-magnitude expressional variation among the four S. baltica strains cultivated under identical laboratory conditions. Collectively, our results indicate that transcriptional variation is an important factor for ecological speciation.
In bacterial populations, subtle expressional differences may promote ecological specialization through the formation of distinct ecotypes. In a barrier-free habitat, this process most likely precedes population divergence and may predict speciation events. To examine this, we used four sequenced strains of the bacterium Shewanella baltica, OS155, OS185, OS195, and OS223, as models to assess transcriptional variation and ecotype formation within a prokaryotic population. All strains were isolated from different depths throughout a water column of the Baltic Sea, occupying different ecological niches characterized by various abiotic parameters. Although the genome sequences are nearly 100% conserved, when grown in the laboratory under standardized conditions, all strains exhibited different growth rates, suggesting significant expressional variation. Using the Ecotype Simulation algorithm, all strains were considered to be discrete ecotypes when compared to 32 other S. baltica strains isolated from the same water column, suggesting ecological divergence. Next, we employed custom microarray slides containing oligonucleotide probes representing the core genome of OS155, OS185, OS195, and OS223 to detect natural transcriptional variation among strains grown under identical conditions. Significant transcriptional variation was noticed among all four strains. Differentially expressed gene profiles seemed to coincide with the metabolic signatures of the environment at the original isolation depth. Transcriptional pattern variations such as the ones highlighted here may be used as indicators of short-term evolution emerging from the formation of bacterial ecotypes.
IMPORTANCE Eukaryotic studies have shown considerable transcriptional variation among individuals from the same population. It has been suggested that natural variation in eukaryotic gene expression may have significant evolutionary consequences and may explain large-scale phenotypic divergence of closely related species, such as humans and chimpanzees (M.-C. King and A. C. Wilson, Science 188:107–116, 1975,; M. F. Oleksiak, G. A. Churchill, and D. L. Crawford, Nat Genet 32:261–266, 2002, However, natural variation in gene expression is much less well understood in prokaryotic organisms. In this study, we used four sequenced strains of the marine bacterium Shewanella baltica to better understand the natural transcriptional divergence of a stratified prokaryotic population. We found substantial low-magnitude expressional variation among the four S. baltica strains cultivated under identical laboratory conditions. Collectively, our results indicate that transcriptional variation is an important factor for ecological speciation.
PMCID: PMC5071532  PMID: 27777983
ecotype; speciation; transcriptional divergence
3.  Long-Term Retention of an Intraorbital Metallic Foreign Body Adjacent to the Optic Nerve 
We report the case of an asymptomatic 47 year-old male patient who suffered a penetrating wound from a metallic foreign body that became embedded adjacent to the optic nerve for over thirty years, as well as the associated examination, imaging, and fundus photography. Intraorbital metallic foreign bodies can be well tolerated and may not require surgical intervention despite proximity to important structures.
PMCID: PMC5080503  PMID: 27818817
4.  The shift of microbial communities and their roles in sulfur and iron cycling in a copper ore bioleaching system 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:34744.
Bioleaching has been employed commercially to recover metals from low grade ores, but the production efficiency remains to be improved due to limited understanding of the system. This study examined the shift of microbial communities and S&Fe cycling in three subsystems within a copper ore bioleaching system: leaching heap (LH), leaching solution (LS) and sediment under LS. Results showed that both LH and LS had higher relative abundance of S and Fe oxidizing bacteria, while S and Fe reducing bacteria were more abundant in the Sediment. GeoChip analysis showed a stronger functional potential for S0 oxidation in LH microbial communities. These findings were consistent with measured oxidation activities to S0 and Fe2+, which were highest by microbial communities from LH, lower by those from LS and lowest form Sediment. Moreover, phylogenetic molecular ecological network analysis indicated that these differences might be related to interactions among microbial taxa. Last but not the least, a conceptual model was proposed, linking the S&Fe cycling with responsible microbial populations in the bioleaching systems. Collectively, this study revealed the microbial community and functional structures in all three subsystems of the copper ore, and advanced a holistic understanding of the whole bioleaching system.
PMCID: PMC5048113  PMID: 27698381
5.  Prediction and evaluation of the lipase inhibitory activities of tea polyphenols with 3D-QSAR models 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:34387.
The extraordinary hypolipidemic effects of polyphenolic compounds from tea have been confirmed in our previous study. To gain compounds with more potent activities, using the conformations of the most active compound revealed by molecular docking, a 3D-QSAR pancreatic lipase inhibitor model with good predictive ability was established and validated by CoMFA and CoMISA methods. With good statistical significance in CoMFA (r2cv = 0.622, r2 = 0.956, F = 261.463, SEE = 0.096) and CoMISA (r2cv = 0.631, r2 = 0.932, F = 75.408, SEE = 0.212) model, we summarized the structure-activity relationship between polyphenolic compounds and pancreatic lipase inhibitory activities and find the bulky substituents in R2, R4 and R5, hydrophilic substituents in R1 and electron withdrawing groups in R2 are the key factors to enhance the lipase inhibitory activities. Under the guidance of the 3D-QSAR results, (2R,3R,2′R,3′R)-desgalloyloolongtheanin-3,3′-O-digallate (DOTD), a potent lipase inhibitor with an IC50 of 0.08 μg/ml, was obtained from EGCG oxidative polymerization catalyzed by crude polyphenol oxidase. Furthermore, DOTD was found to inhibit lipid absorption in olive oil-loaded rats, which was related with inhibiting the activities of lipase in the intestinal mucosa and contents.
PMCID: PMC5046073  PMID: 27694956
6.  Hypersplenism: History and current status 
Hypersplenism is a common disorder characterized by an enlarged spleen which causes rapid and premature destruction of blood cells. This review summarizes the history of hypersplenism, discuss its classification and pathogenesis, and examines its diagnosis and treatment options. We performed a comprehensive literature search using PubMed, Web of Knowledge and the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) database, reviewed hypersplenism-related articles and summarized the major findings. According to its etiological causes, hypersplenism is characterized by splenomegaly and peripheral cytopenias. It can be classified into three categories: i) primary hypersplenism; ii) secondary hypersplenism; and iii) occult hypersplenism. A number of mechanisms causing hypersplenism have been identified, and mainly involve retention in the spleen, phagocytosis, and autoimmunity. Treatment options for hypersplenism include etiological treatment, non-surgical treatment, total splenectomy and liver transplantation. In any case, treatment should be individualized for each patient.
PMCID: PMC5038876  PMID: 27703501
hypersplenism; splenomegaly; classification; historical review; pathogenesis; splenectomy
7.  Rapid generation of functional hepatocyte-like cells from human adipose-derived stem cells 
Liver disease is a major cause of death worldwide. Orthotropic liver transplantation (OLT) represents the only effective treatment for patients with liver failure, but the increasing demand for organs is unfortunately so great that its application is limited. Hepatocyte transplantation is a promising alternative to OLT for the treatment of some liver-based metabolic disorders or acute liver failure. Unfortunately, the lack of donor livers also makes it difficult to obtain enough viable hepatocytes for hepatocyte-based therapies. Currently, a fundamental solution to this key problem is still lacking. Here we show a novel non-transgenic protocol that facilitates the rapid generation of functional induced hepatocytes (iHeps) from human adipose-derived stem cells (hADSCs), providing a source of available cells for autologous hepatocytes to treat liver disease.
We used collagenase digestion to isolate hADSCs. The surface marker was detected by flow cytometry. The multipotential differentiation potency was detected by induction into adipocytes, osteocytes, and chondrocytes. Passage 3–7 hADSCs were induced into iHeps using an induction culture system composed of small molecule compounds and cell factors.
Primary cultured hADSCs presented a fusiform or polygon appearance that became fibroblast-like after passage 3. More than 95 % of the cells expressed the mesenchymal cell markers CD29, CD44, CD166, CD105, and CD90. hADSCs possessed multipotential differentiation towards adipocytes, osteocytes, and chondrocytes. We rapidly induced hADSCs into iHeps within 10 days in vitro; the cellular morphology changed from fusiform to close-connected cubiform, which was similar to hepatocytes. After induction, most of the iHeps co-expressed albumin and alpha-1 antitrypsin; they also expressed mature hepatocyte special genes and achieved the basic functions of hepatocyte. Moreover, iHep transplantation could improve the liver function of acute liver-injured NPG mice and prolong life.
We isolated highly purified hADSCs and rapidly induced them into functional hepatocyte-like cells within 10 days. These results provide a source of available cells for autologous hepatocytes to treat liver disease.
PMCID: PMC4974756  PMID: 27495937
Human adipose derived stem cells; Hepatogenic differentiation; Acute fulminant liver failure; Liver regeneration
8.  Bacterial corneal ulcer associated with common variable immune deficiency 
Common variable immune deficiency (CVID) is one of the most commonly diagnosed primary immunodeficiencies. Generally, patients have a history of recurrent sinopulmonary infections, hypogammaglobulinemia of two or more immunoglobulin isotypes, and impaired functional antibody responses. Reports of corneal involvement associated with CVID are limited. We describe a case of corneal ulceration associated with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in a patient with CVID that developed while on monthly intravenous immunoglobulin infusions and in which there were no common risk factors for bacterial keratitis, such as prior history of ocular surface disease, trichiasis, trauma, or contact lens wear.
PMCID: PMC4975727  PMID: 27491761
Common variable immunodeficiency; Bacterial keratitis; Autoimmune disease; Immunosuppression
9.  Prevalence and Phylogenetic Analysis of Human Bocaviruses 1-4 in Pediatric Patients with Various Infectious Diseases 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(8):e0160603.
Viral infections caused by human bocaviruses 1–4 (HBoV1-4) are more complicated than previously believed. A retrospective, large-scale study was undertaken to explore the prevalence of HBoV1-4 in pediatric patients with various infectious diseases and delineate their phylogenetic characteristics.
Clinical samples from four specimen types, including 4,941 respiratory, 2,239 cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), 2,619 serum, and 1,121 fecal specimens, collected from pediatric patients with various infectious diseases were screened for HBoV1-4. A 690-nt fragment in each specimen was then amplified and sequenced for phylogenetic analysis. Clinical characteristics of HBoV-positive patients with different specimen types available were evaluated.
Approximately 1.2% of patients were confirmed as HBoV-positive, with the highest positive rate in patients with gastrointestinal infection (2.2%), followed by respiratory (1.65%), central nervous system (0.8%), and hematological infections (0.2%). A single genetic lineage of HBoV1 circulated among children over the 8-year period, while a new cluster of HBoV2, via intra-genotype recombination between HBoV2A and HBoV2B, was prevalent. Some patients had HBoV1-positive respiratory and serum specimens or fecal specimens. Several cases became HBoV1-positive following the appearance of respiratory infection, while several cases were positive for HBoV2 only in CSF and serum specimens, rather than respiratory specimens.
A single genetic lineage of HBoV1 is speculated as a viral pathogen of respiratory infection and causes both comorbid infection and acute gastroenteritis. Additionally, a new cluster of HBoV2 is prevalent in China, which may infect the host through sites other than the respiratory tract.
PMCID: PMC4973976  PMID: 27490242
10.  Association of Different Human Rhinovirus Species with Asthma in Children: A Preliminary Study 
Chinese Medical Journal  2016;129(13):1513-1518.
Human rhinoviruses (HRVs) are divided into three genetic species: HRV-A, HRV-B, and HRV-C. The association of different HRV species with asthma in children in China has not yet been evaluated. This preliminary study aimed to assess the associations between different HRV species, particularly HRV-C, and asthma in young children in China.
A total of 702 nasopharyngeal aspirates were obtained from 155 children with asthma (asthma group), 461 children with acute respiratory infection (ARI) without asthma (nonasthma ARI group), and 86 children from the control group. Semi-nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to detect HRVs, and PCR products were sequenced for species identification. Epidemiological characteristics of HRV-positive cases were analyzed.
HRVs were the most common pathogen (15.4%; 108/702) in the patients in this study. The prevalence of HRV was significantly different (F = 20.633, P = 0.000) between the asthma (25.8%) and nonasthma ARI groups (11.1%). Phylogenetic analysis indicated that in the 108 cases positive for HRVs, 41 were identified as HRV-A, 8 as HRV-B, and 56 as HRV-C. Comparing the asthma with the nonasthma ARI group, Spearman's rank correlation analysis revealed an association between HRV-A (P < 0.05) and C (P < 0.01) and asthma, confirmed by regression analysis, with odds ratios of 2.2 (HRV-A) and 4.2 (HRV-C).
Our data revealed a high prevalence of HRVs in children in China, regardless of clinical status. HRV-C was the dominant species and may be one of the key factors in the association of HRVs with asthma.
PMCID: PMC4931255  PMID: 27364785
Asthma; Children; China; Human Rhinovirus
11.  Short-term rosuvastatin therapy prevents contrast-induced acute kidney injury in female patients with diabetes and chronic kidney disease: a subgroup analysis of the TRACK-D study 
Journal of Thoracic Disease  2016;8(5):1000-1006.
Female patients are at higher risk of contrast-induced acute kidney injury (CIAKI) compared to males. In the multicenter, prospective, TRACK-D study, short-term rosuvastatin has proven effectively reduce CIAKI in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and stage 2-3 chronic kidney disease (CKD). This study aimed to explore the efficacy of rosuvastatin in the female TRACK-D population.
This study was a gender-based analysis of 2,998 patients (1,044 females) enrolled in the TRACK-D study and were randomized to short-term (2 days before and 3 days after procedure) rosuvastatin therapy or standard of care. The primary outcome was the incidence of CIAKI and the secondary outcome was a composite of death, dialysis/hemofiltration or worsening heart failure at 30 days.
CIAKI incidence was comparable between male and female patients in the overall study population (2.5% vs. 3.4%, P=0.165) and in the rosuvastatin group (2.4% vs. 2.1%, P=0.72), while it was higher in females than in males in the control group (3.1% vs. 5.3%, P=0.04). Female gender was an independent risk factor of CIAKI [odds ratio (OR) =1.65; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.03–2.63; P=0.036]. Rosuvastatin treatment vs. control lowered CIAKI rate in females [2.1% vs. 5.3%; relative risk (RR) =0.39; 95% CI, 0.19–0.77; number needed to treat (NNT) =31], particularly among those with CKD stage 2 (1.2% vs. 4.1%, P=0.011). Secondary outcome incidence was similar for females in the rosuvastatin and control groups (3.7% vs. 4.9%, P=0.37).
Compared to males, untreated females with diabetes mellitus and CKD had a higher risk of CIAKI, which can be reduced by short-term rosuvastatin treatment.
PMCID: PMC4842819  PMID: 27162677
Contrast medium; kidney injury; statin; female; diabetes; chronic kidney disease (CKD)
12.  Precise control of coupling strength in photonic molecules over a wide range using nanoelectromechanical systems 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:24766.
Photonic molecules have a range of promising applications including quantum information processing, where precise control of coupling strength is critical. Here, by laterally shifting the center-to-center offset of coupled photonic crystal nanobeam cavities, we demonstrate a method to precisely and dynamically control the coupling strength of photonic molecules through integrated nanoelectromechanical systems with a precision of a few GHz over a range of several THz without modifying the nature of their constituent resonators. Furthermore, the coupling strength can be tuned continuously from negative (strong coupling regime) to zero (weak coupling regime) and further to positive (strong coupling regime) and vice versa. Our work opens a door to the optimization of the coupling strength of photonic molecules in situ for the study of cavity quantum electrodynamics and the development of efficient quantum information devices.
PMCID: PMC4838863  PMID: 27097883
13.  Nickel chloride (NiCl2) induces endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress by activating UPR pathways in the kidney of broiler chickens 
Oncotarget  2016;7(14):17508-17519.
It has been known that overexposure to Ni can induce nephrotoxicity. However, the mechanisms of underlying Ni nephrotoxicity are still elusive, and also Ni- and Ni compound-induced ER stress has been not reported in vivo at present. Our aim was to use broiler chickens as animal model to test whether the ER stress was induced and UPR was activated by NiCl2 in the kidney using histopathology, immunohistochemistry and qRT-PCR. Two hundred and eighty one-day-old broiler chickens were divided into 4 groups and fed on a control diet and the same basal diet supplemented with 300 mg/kg, 600mg/kg and 900mg/kg of NiCl2 for 42 days. We found that dietary NiCl2 in excess of 300 mg/kg induced ER stress, which was characterized by increasing protein and mRNA expression of ER stress markers, e.g., GRP78 and GRP94. Concurrently, all the three UPR pathways were activated by dietary NiCl2. Firstly, the PERK pathway was activated by increasing eIF2a and ATF4 mRNA expression. Secondly, the IRE1 pathway was activated duo to increase in IRE1 and XBP1 mRNA expression. And thirdly, the increase of ATF6 mRNA expression suggested that ATF6 pathway was activated. The findings clearly demonstrate that NiCl2 induces the ER stress through activating PERK, IRE1 and ATF6 UPR pathways, which is proved to be a kind of molecular mechanism of Ni- or/and Ni compound-induced nephrotoxicity.
PMCID: PMC4951229  PMID: 26956054
NiCl2; ER stress; UPR; PERK; IRE1; Immunology and Microbiology Section; Immune response; Immunity
14.  Comparison of the Fertility Outcome of Salpingotomy and Salpingectomy in Women with Tubal Pregnancy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(3):e0152343.
To compare the natural fertility outcomes of salpingotomy and salpingectomy among women treated for tubal pregnancy.
An online database search including PubMed, Embase, CENTRAL and Web of Science was performed to identify studies comparing salpingotomy and salpingectomy to treat women with tubal pregnancy. The search included papers published after the databases were established until May 2015. Two reviewers independently screened literature according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria and then extracted data and assessed the methodological quality of all of the included studies. The meta-analysis was conducted using RevMan 5.3 software. The registration number is CRD42015017545 in PROSPERO.
Two randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and eight cohort studies, including a total of 1,229 patients, were znalyzed. The meta-analysis of the RCT subgroup indicated that there was no statistically significant difference in IUP rates (RR = 1.04, 95% CI = 0.89–1.21, P = 0.61) nor the repeat ectopic pregnancy (REP) rate (RR = 1.30, 95% CI = 0.72–2.38, P = 0.39) between the salpingotomy and salpingectomy group. In contrast, the cohort study subgroup analysis revealed that the IUP rate was higher in the salpingotomy group compared with the salpingectomy group (RR = 1.24, 95% CI = 1.08–1.42, P = 0.002); Salpingotomy also increased the risk of REP rate (RR = 2.27, 95% CI = 1.12–4.58, P = 0.02). The persistent ectopic pregnancy (PEP) occurred more frequently in the salpingotomy group than the salpingectomy group (RR = 11.61, 95% CI = 3.17–42.46, P = 0.0002). An IUP would be more likely to occur after salpingotomy than salpingectomy when the follow-up time was more than 36 months (RR = 1.16, 95% CI = 1.02–1.32, P = 0.03). The IUP rate (RR = 1.13, 95% CI = 1.01–1.26, P = 0.03), and the REP rate (RR = 1.62, 95% CI = 1.02–2.56, P = 0.04) was higher after salpingotomy than salpingectomy among patients from Europe compared with those from America.
Based on the available evidence, we believe that for patients with a healthy contralateral tube operated for tubal pregnancy, the subsequent fertility after salpingectomy and salpingotomy are similar in the long term. The fertility prospects will not be improved via salpingotomy compared with salpingectomy.
PMCID: PMC4807767  PMID: 27015601
15.  Enhanced expression of long non-coding RNA NEAT1 is associated with the progression of gastric adenocarcinomas 
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are emerging as new players in the cancer. The aim of this study was to examine the abnormalities of NEAT1 (nuclear paraspeckle assembly transcript 1, also known as MENε/β) in gastric adenocarcinomas (GACs).
One hundred thirty-one GAC tissues and matched adjacent normal tissues (ANTs) were collected from patients who undergone surgery. Differences in of NEAT1 expression were examined via quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR). WST-1 assay and transwell assay were carried out in vitro to investigate the proliferation and migration of GAC cells with alteration in NEAT1 long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) expression.
The expression levels of lncRNA NEAT1 were significantly elevated in GAC tissues (P < 0.001) compared with ANTs. There was also a statistical difference in NEAT1 expression between early and advanced GACs (P = 0.0111). GACs with lymph node metastasis (LNM) expressed higher levels of NEAT1 lncRNA compared with those without LNM (P = 0.004). In the in vitro experiments, the proliferation but not migration of GAC cells was attenuated after NEAT1 knockdown by RNA interference.
Expression of NEAT1 lncRNA was enhanced in GACs; and NEAT1 may influence GAC progression by promoting tumor growth.
PMCID: PMC4765228  PMID: 26911892
Gastric adenocarcinoma; Long non-coding RNA; NEAT1; Cell proliferation
16.  Neural differentiation and synaptogenesis in retinal development 
Neural Regeneration Research  2016;11(2):312-318.
To investigate the pattern of neural differentiation and synaptogenesis in the mouse retina, immunolabeling, BrdU assay and transmission electron microscopy were used. We show that the neuroblastic cell layer is the germinal zone for neural differentiation and retinal lamination. Ganglion cells differentiated initially at embryonic day 13 (E13), and at E18 horizontal cells appeared in the neuroblastic cell layer. Neural stem cells in the outer neuroblastic cell layer differentiated into photoreceptor cells as early as postnatal day 0 (P0), and neural stem cells in the inner neuroblastic cell layer differentiated into bipolar cells at P7. Synapses in the retina were mainly located in the outer and inner plexiform layers. At P7, synaptophysin immunostaining appeared in presynaptic terminals in the outer and inner plexiform layers with button-like structures. After P14, presynaptic buttons were concentrated in outer and inner plexiform layers with strong staining. These data indicate that neural differentiation and synaptogenesis in the retina play important roles in the formation of retinal neural circuitry. Our study showed that the period before P14, especially between P0 and P14, represents a critical period during retinal development. Mouse eye opening occurs during that period, suggesting that cell differentiation and synaptic formation lead to the attainment of visual function.
PMCID: PMC4810997  PMID: 27073386
nerve regeneration; neural stem cells; neural differentiation; retinal development; synaptogenesis; neural regeneration
19.  Hybrid bilayer plasmonic metasurface efficiently manipulates visible light 
Science Advances  2016;2(1):e1501168.
Two highly coupled plasmonic metasurfaces exhibit much higher conversion efficiency and extinction ratio than individual ones.
Metasurfaces operating in the cross-polarization scheme have shown an interesting degree of control over the wavefront of transmitted light. Nevertheless, their inherently low efficiency in visible light raises certain concerns for practical applications. Without sacrificing the ultrathin flat design, we propose a bilayer plasmonic metasurface operating at visible frequencies, obtained by coupling a nanoantenna-based metasurface with its complementary Babinet-inverted copy. By breaking the radiation symmetry because of the finite, yet small, thickness of the proposed structure and benefitting from properly tailored intra- and interlayer couplings, such coupled bilayer metasurface experimentally yields a conversion efficiency of 17%, significantly larger than that of earlier single-layer designs, as well as an extinction ratio larger than 0 dB, meaning that anomalous refraction dominates the transmission response. Our finding shows that metallic metasurface can counterintuitively manipulate the visible light as efficiently as dielectric metasurface (~20% in conversion efficiency in Lin et al.’s study), although the metal’s ohmic loss is much higher than dielectrics. Our hybrid bilayer design, still being ultrathin (~λ/6), is found to obey generalized Snell’s law even in the presence of strong couplings. It is capable of efficiently manipulating visible light over a broad bandwidth and can be realized with a facile one-step nanofabrication process.
PMCID: PMC4705036  PMID: 26767195
Metasurface; plasmonics; high efficiency; visible light, coupling
20.  Dietary NiCl2 causes G2/M cell cycle arrest in the broiler's kidney 
Oncotarget  2015;6(34):35964-35977.
Here we showed that dietary NiCl2 in excess of 300 mg/kg caused the G2/M cell cycle arrest and the reduction of cell proportion at S phase. The G2/M cell cycle arrest was accompanied by up-regulation of phosphorylated ataxia telangiectasia mutated (p-ATM), p53, p-Chk1, p-Chk2, p21 protein expression and ATM, p53, p21, Chk1, Chk2 mRNA expression, and down-regulation of p-cdc25C, cdc2, cyclinB and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) protein expression and the cdc25, cdc2, cyclinB, PCNA mRNA expression.
PMCID: PMC4742154  PMID: 26440151
NiCl2; G2/M cell cycle arrest; mRNA expression; protein expression; kidney
21.  Body image and depressive symptoms in patients with head and neck cancer: an important relationship 
The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between body image and depressive symptoms in patients who have been treated for head and neck cancer.
This is a prospective, longitudinal analysis. Body image and depressive symptoms were measured in patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer at baseline, end of treatment, 6 weeks post-treatment, and 12 weeks post-treatment. Body image was measured using the Body Image Quality of Life Inventory, and depressive symptoms were measured using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale.
Forty-three individuals diagnosed with head and neck cancer participated in this study. The majority of participants were male, Caucasian, and married or living with a partner. Participants ranged from age 32 to 78 years (M=57.8 years, SD=10.5 years). At 12 weeks post-treatment, body image scores were statistically significantly higher than they were at the end of treatment (p=0.016) and 6 weeks post-treatment (p=0.032). Statistically significant increases in levels of depressive symptoms were observed at the end of treatment (p<0.001) and 6 weeks post-treatment (p=0.036) with a return to baseline by the 12-week post-treatment assessment (p=0.115). Body image and depressive symptoms were statistically significantly associated at the end of treatment, 6 weeks post-treatment, and 12 weeks post-treatment (rs −0.32 to −0.56, p <0.05).
This study supports early assessment of body image in patients with head and neck cancer. Additionally, the association between poorer body image and increased depressive symptoms is key in understanding the symptom clusters that patients with head and neck cancer experience.
PMCID: PMC4184937  PMID: 24925049
Body image; Head and neck cancer; Depressive symptoms; Quality of life; Disfigurement
22.  Parainfluenza Virus Types 1, 2, and 3 in Pediatric Patients with Acute Respiratory Infections in Beijing During 2004 to 2012 
Chinese Medical Journal  2015;128(20):2726-2730.
Although human parainfluenza virus (HPIV) has been determined as an important viral cause of acute respiratory infections (ARIs) in infants and young children, data on long-term investigation are still lacking to disclose the infection pattern of HPIV in China.
Nasopharyngeal aspirates were collected from 25,773 hospitalized pediatric patients with ARIs from January 2004 through December 2012 for respiratory virus screen by direct immuno-fluorescence assay.
Out of these specimens, 1675 (6.50%, 1675/25,773) showed HPIV positive, including 261 (1.01%, 261/25,773) for HPIV1, 28 (0.11%, 28/25,773) for HPIV2, and 1388 (5.39%, 1388/25,773) for HPIV3, 2 of the samples were positive for both HPIV1 and HPIV3, and 36 were co-detected with other viruses. The positive rates of HPIVs were higher in those younger than 3 years old. HPIV3 was detected from all age groups, predominantly from patients under 3 years of age, and the highest frequency was found in those 6 months to 1-year old (352/4077, 8.63%). HPIV3 was the dominant type in each of the years detected between May and July. HPIV1 showed a peak in every odd year, mainly in August or September. HPIV was detected most frequently from patients with upper respiratory infection (12.49%, 157/1257), followed by bronchitis (11.13%, 176/2479), asthma (9.31%, 43/462), bronchiolitis (5.91%, 150/2536), pneumonia (6.06%, 1034/17,068), and those with underlying diseases (1.0%, 15/1506). HPIV3 is the dominant type in these six disease groups referred above, especially in the asthma group.
HPIV is one of the important viral causes of ARIs in infants and young children in Beijing based on the data from the hospitalized children covering a 9-year term. HPIV3 is the predominant type in all these years and in most of the disease groups. HPIVs with different types show different seasonality.
PMCID: PMC4736895  PMID: 26481737
Acute Respiratory Infection; China; Human Parainfluenza Virus; Infants and Young Children
23.  Implementation of a vision-screening program in rural northeastern United States 
Rural populations comprise almost 20% of the US population and face unique barriers in receiving health care. We describe the implementation of a medical student-run free vision-screening clinic as a strategy to overcome barriers in accessing eye care in New Hampshire and Vermont.
Medical students were trained by an ophthalmologist to administer screening eye examinations. Patients from New Hampshire and Vermont were enrolled through a free community clinic. Screening included a questionnaire, distance and near visual acuity, extraocular movements, confrontational visual fields, and Amsler grid. Patients who met predetermined screening criteria were referred to an ophthalmologist or optometrist for further evaluation. Data including patient demographics, appointment attendance, level of education, and diagnoses were recorded and analyzed.
Of 103 patients (mean age of 45.5±12.3 years, 63% female), 74/103 (72%) were referred for further evaluation, and 66/74 (89%) attended their referral appointments. Abnormal ophthalmologic examination findings were observed in 58/66 (88%) patients who attended their referral appointment. Uncorrected refractive error was the most common primary diagnosis in 38% of referred patients. Other diagnoses included glaucoma suspect (21%), retinal diseases (8%), amblyopia (8%), cataract (6%), others (6%), and normal examination (12%). Of the 8/74 (11%) referred patients who did not attend their appointments, reasons included patient cancellation of appointment, work conflicts, or forgetfulness. Patients traveled a mean distance of 16.6 miles (range: 0–50 miles) to attend screening examinations. Mean time for patients’ last effort to seek eye care was 7.1 years (range: 1–54 years).
This study underscores the high prevalence of unmet eye care needs in a rural population. Furthermore, it demonstrates that using community health centers as a patient base for screening can yield a high referral attendance rate for this at-risk population and facilitate entrance into the eye care system in a rural setting.
PMCID: PMC4605244  PMID: 26504372
vision screening; rural health; uninsured
24.  Rapid and high-efficiency generation of mature functional hepatocyte-like cells from adipose-derived stem cells by a three-step protocol 
The generation of functional hepatocytes is a major challenge for regenerative medicine and drug discovery. Here we show a method that facilitates generation of induced functional hepatocytes (iHeps) from adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) within 9 days. iHeps express hepatocytic gene programs and display functions characteristic of mature hepatocytes, including cytochrome P450 enzyme activity. Upon transplantation into mice with carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced acute fulminant liver failure, iHeps restore the liver function and prolong survival. The work could contribute to the development of alternative strategies to obtain nonhepatic cell-derived mature hepatocytes with potential for biomedical and pharmaceutical applications.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13287-015-0181-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4595267  PMID: 26438426
25.  Tuning all-Optical Analog to Electromagnetically Induced Transparency in nanobeam cavities using nanoelectromechanical system 
Scientific Reports  2015;5:14379.
We report the observations of all-optical electromagnetically induced transparency in nanostructures using waveguide side-coupled with photonic crystal nanobeam cavities, which has measured linewidths much narrower than individual resonances. The quality factor of transparency resonance can be 30 times larger than those of measured individual resonances. When the gap between cavity and waveguide is reduced to 10 nm, the bandwidth of destructive interference region can reach 10 nm while the width of transparency resonance is 0.3 nm. Subsequently, a comb-drive actuator is introduced to tune the line shape of the transparency resonance. The width of the peak is reduced to 15 pm and the resulting quality factor exceeds 105.
PMCID: PMC4586443  PMID: 26415907

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