Publications by authors named "Lei Zhang"

11,940 Publications

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Anti-inflammatory effects of aucubin in cellular and animal models of rheumatoid arthritis.

Chin J Nat Med 2022 Jun;20(6):458-472

School of Traditional Chinese Materia Medica, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China. Electronic address:

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease. It is known that aucubin (AU) exerts anti-inflammatory activity, but its effects and mechanisms in RA are unclear. This study investigated the anti-inflammatory effects and mechanisms of AU in vivo and in vitro. Human fibroblast-like synoviocyte cells from patients with RA (HFLS-RA), RAW264.7 cells, and MC3T3-E1 cells were used to evaluate the effects of AU on migration, invasion, apoptosis, osteoclast differentiation and production. Immunofluorescence was used to observe nuclear translocation of nuclear factor (NF)-κB, the double luciferase reporter gene method was used to observe NF-κB-p65 activity in AU-treated MC3T3-E1 cells. RT-qPCR was used to measure expression of bone metabolism and inflammation-related genes, and western blot was used to measure bone metabolism and NF-κB protein expression levels. Collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) rat model was used for pharmacodynamics study. Arthritis indexes were measured in the ankle and knee, histological staining and Micro-computed tomography were performed on the ankle joints. Also, inflammatory factor gene expression and the levels of NF-κB-related proteins were detected as in vitro. AU effectively inhibited HFLS-RA cell migration and invasion, promoted apoptosis, and inhibited RAW264.7 cell differentiation into osteoclasts, as well as inhibited NF-κB-p65 activity in MC3T3-E1 cells. Notably, AU significantly reduced the gene expression levels of three cell-related inflammatory factors and bone metabolism factors, effectively inhibited the expression of p-Iκκα β, p-IκBα, and p-p65 proteins. In vivo, AU relieved joint inflammation, reduced related inflammatory factors, and inhibited NF-κB signaling. It could be used to treat RA-related synovial inflammation and bone destruction through the NF-κB pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1875-5364(22)60182-1DOI Listing
June 2022

Effective connectivity reveals distinctive patterns in response to others' genuine affective experience of disgust.

Neuroimage 2022 Jun 21:119404. Epub 2022 Jun 21.

Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Unit, Department of Cognition, Emotion, and Methods in Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Vienna, Liebiggasse 5, 1010 Vienna, Austria; Vienna Cognitive Science Hub, University of Vienna, Liebiggasse 5, 1010 Vienna, Austria. Electronic address:

Empathy is significantly influenced by the identification of others' emotions. In a recent study, we have found increased activation in the anterior insular cortex (aIns) that could be attributed to affect sharing rather than perceptual saliency, when seeing another person genuinely experiencing pain as opposed to merely acting to be in pain. In that prior study, effective connectivity between aIns and the right supramarginal gyrus (rSMG) was revealed to represent what another person really feels. In the present study, we used a similar paradigm to investigate the corresponding neural signatures in the domain of empathy for disgust - with participants seeing others genuinely sniffing unpleasant odors as compared to pretending to smell something disgusting (in fact the disgust expressions in both conditions were acted for reasons of experimental control). Consistent with the previous findings on pain, we found stronger activations in aIns associated with affect sharing for genuine disgust (inferred) compared with pretended disgust. However, instead of rSMG we found engagement of the olfactory cortex. Using dynamic causal modeling (DCM), we estimated the neural dynamics of aIns and the olfactory cortex between the genuine and pretended conditions. This revealed an increased excitatory modulatory effect for genuine disgust compared to pretended disgust. For genuine disgust only, brain-to-behavior regression analyses highlighted a link between the observed modulatory effect and a few empathic traits. Altogether, the current findings complement and expand our previous work, by showing that perceptual saliency alone does not explain responses in the insular cortex. Moreover, it reveals that different brain networks are implicated in a modality-specific way when sharing the affective experiences associated with pain vs. disgust.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2022.119404DOI Listing
June 2022

Nickel-induced charge redistribution in Ni-Fe/[email protected] carbon nanocage as a robust Mott-Schottky bi-functional oxygen catalyst for rechargeable Zn-air battery.

J Colloid Interface Sci 2022 Jun 17;625:521-531. Epub 2022 Jun 17.

Institute for Ecological Research and Pollution Control of Plateau Lakes, School of Ecology and Environmental Science, Yunnan University, Kunming, Yunnan 650504, PR China; Department of Physics, Umeå University, Umeå S-901 87, Sweden. Electronic address:

Designing earth-abundant and advanced bi-functional oxygen electrodes for efficient oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER) are extremely urgent but still ambiguous. Thus, metal-semiconductor nanohybrids were developed with functionally integrating ORR-active Ni species, OER-active Fe/FeC components, and multifunctional N-doped carbon (NDC) support. Expectantly, the resulted NDC nanocage embedded with Ni-Fe alloy and FeC particles, as assembled Mott-Schottky-typed catalyst, delivered a promoted half-wave potential of 0.904 V for ORR and a low overpotential of 315 mV at 10 mA/cm for OER both in alkaline media, outperforming those of commercial Pt/C and RuO counterparts. Most importantly, the optimized Ni-Fe/[email protected] sample also afforded a peak power density of 267.5 mW/cm with a specific capacity of 773.8 mAh/g and excellent durability over 80 h when used as the air electrode in rechargeable Zn-air batteries, superior to the state-of-the-art bi-functional catalysts. Ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy revealed that the introduction of Ni into the Fe/[email protected] component could well manipulate the electronic structure of the designed electrocatalyst, leading to an effective built-in electric field established by the Mott-Schottky heterojunction to expedite the continuous interfacial charge-transfer and thus significantly promote the utilization of electrocatalytic active sites. Therefore, this work provides an avenue for the designing and developing robust and durable Mott-Schottky-typed bi-functional catalysts for promising energy conversion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcis.2022.06.067DOI Listing
June 2022

Necklace-like Nanostructures: from Fabrication, Properties to Applications.

Adv Mater 2022 Jun 24:e2200776. Epub 2022 Jun 24.

School of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, 30332, USA.

The shape-controlled synthesis of nanocrystals remains a hot research topic in nanotechnology. Particularly, the fabrication of one-dimensional (1D) structures such as wires, rods, belts, and tubes has been an interesting and important subject within nanoscience in the last few decades. 1D necklace-like micro/nano-structures are a sophisticated geometry that has attracted increasing attention due to their anisotropic and periodic structure, intrinsic high surface area, abundant transport channels, exposure of each component to the surface, and multiscale roughness of the surface. These characteristics enable their unique electrical, optical, and catalytic properties. This review provides a comprehensive summary of the advanced research progress on the fabrication strategies, novel properties, and various applications of necklace-like structures. It begins with the main fabrication methods of necklace-like structures and subsequently details a variety of their properties and applications. It concludes with the authors' perspectives on future research and development of the necklace-like structures. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/adma.202200776DOI Listing
June 2022

Promoter cloning of PuLOX2S gene from "Nanguo" pears and screening of transcription factors by Y1H technique.

J Food Biochem 2022 Jun 24:e14278. Epub 2022 Jun 24.

Institute of Agro-food Technology, Jilin Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Changchun, People's Republic of China.

Our previous study on differential proteome and transcriptome of refrigerated "Nanguo" pears found that the PuLOX2S gene was very active in the LOX pathway of aroma synthesis, but the regulation of expression behavior of the gene and how to mediate the aroma synthesis were still unknown. Partial genome sequences of PuLOX2S were cloned, and its promoter was analyzed by Tail-PCR. The PuLOX2S promoter sequences of 610 bp were isolated and identified using Plant CARE, which were composed of cis-acting elements, such as ABRE, AE-box, ARE, CAAT-box, Box 4, TCCC-motif, CAT-box, CGTCA-motif, G-Box, TATA-box, TCA-element, TGA-element, and TGACG-motif. The Y1H technology was used to determine whether proteins interacted with PuLOX2S based on the pGADT7-Chinese white pear cDNA library. The Y1H results were shown that 52 proteins could interact with the PuLOX2S promoter, which was compared with sequences in the GenBank database. The three genes PuERF12, PuMYB44, and PuRF2a were the candidate transcription factors of PuLOX2S and PuCDPK10 played an important role in the gene expression in Nanguo pears. Therefore, the results of this study supply important information for revealing new function of PuLOX2S and the regulation mechanism of expression behavior of the gene. It provides new ideas for the regulation of aroma synthesis in Nanguo pears. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: The gene PuLOX2S was very active in the LOX pathway of aroma synthesis, but the regulation of expression behavior of the gene and how to mediate the aroma synthesis were still unknown. We have successfully cloned the partial sequence of the gene and the 610 bp promoter sequence upstream of PuLOX2S and analyzed the structure of cis-acting elements. There are 52 proteins that interact with the PuLOX2S promoter revealed by the Y1H technique. Three transcription factors among the proteins can regulate the level of PuLOX2S expression, which provides new ideas for the regulation of aroma synthesis in "Nanguo" pears. Moreover, the study results could supply scientific information for the quality improvement and genetic modification of Nanguo pears.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfbc.14278DOI Listing
June 2022

The state of therapy modalities in clinic for biliary tract cancer.

Front Biosci (Landmark Ed) 2022 Jun;27(6):185

Hepatic Surgery Centre, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 430030 Wuhan, Hubei, China.

Biliary tract cancers (BTCs) include intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (iCCA), perihilar and distal cholangiocarcinoma (pCCA and dCCA), and gallbladder carcinoma based on the epithelial site of origin. BTCs are highly aggressive tumors associated with poor prognosis due to widespread metastasis and high recurrence. Surgery is the typical curative-intent treatment, yet the cornerstone of cure depends on the anatomical site of the primary tumor, and only a minority of patients (approximately 30%) has an indication necessitating surgery. Similarly, only a small subset of carefully selected patients with early iCCA who are not candidates for liver resection can opt for liver transplantation. Chemotherapy, target therapy, and immunotherapy are the main treatment options for patients who have advanced stage or unresectable disease. The genetic background of each cholangiocarcinoma subtype has been accurately described based on whole gene exome and transcriptome sequencing. Accordingly, precision medicine in targeted therapies has been identified to be aimed at distinct patient subgroups harboring unique molecular alterations. Immunotherapy such as immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) was identified as antitumor responses in a minority of select patients. Current studies indicate that immunotherapy of adoptive cell therapy represents a promising approach in hematological and solid tumor malignancies, yet clinical trials are needed to validate its effectiveness in BTC. Herein, we review the progress of BTC treatment, stratified patients according to the anatomic subtypes of cholangiocarcinoma and the gene drivers of cholangiocarcinoma progression, and compare the efficacy and safety of chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy, which will be conducive to the design of individualized therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.31083/j.fbl2706185DOI Listing
June 2022

Elevated Admission Cardiac Troponin I Predicts Adverse Outcomes of Acute Type B Aortic Dissection after Endovascular Treatment.

Front Surg 2022 7;9:789954. Epub 2022 Jun 7.

Department of Vascular Surgery, the First Affiliated Hospital of the Navy Medical University, Shanghai, China.

Background: There is a lack of evidence about the predictive role of serum cardiac troponin I (cTnI) on the long-term adverse outcomes of acute type B aortic dissection (aTBAD) patients after thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR). In this study, we identified whether cTnI was an independent risk factor of 5-year adverse outcomes for aTBAD patients after TEVAR.

Methods: We reviewed consecutive aTBAD patients without previous heart disease who were admitted for TEVAR. The total study population was divided into the cTnI(+) group (≥0.03 ng/mL) and the cTnI(-) group (<0.03 ng/mL) according to the time-dependent receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. The differences in clinical characteristics, operative details and clinical outcomes were compared between the two groups.

Results: There was no difference in age and male prevalence between the two groups. Compared with the cTnI(-) group, the incidence of chronic kidney disease was higher in patients with cTnI ≥0.03 ng/mL. In addition, the cTnI(+) group presented with more frequent premature beats and non-myocardial-infarction ST-T segment changes. In terms of laboratory examinations, white blood cell counts, neutrophil counts, serum D-dimer and serum fibrin degradation products showed an increase in the cTnI(+) group, while lymphocyte and platelet counts showed a decrease in these patients. Patients with elevated cTnI suffered from increased risks of 5-year aortic-related adverse events (hazard ratio, HR = 1.822, 95% confidence interval, CI: 1.094-3.035;  = 0.021) and all-cause mortality (HR = 4.009, 95% CI: 2.175-7.388; < 0.001).

Conclusion: Among aTBAD patients without previous heart disease, preoperative elevated cTnI identified patients at an increased risk of long-term adverse outcomes after TEVAR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fsurg.2022.789954DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9209658PMC
June 2022

Perceptual-Cognitive Tasks Affect Landing Performance of Soccer Players at Different Levels of Fatigue.

Appl Bionics Biomech 2022 14;2022:4282648. Epub 2022 Jun 14.

Physical Education and Sport Science, Soochow University, China.

Background: There is a possible interaction between the underlying mechanisms of perceptual-cognitive tasks and motor control. For example, landing biomechanics changed during perceptual-cognitive tasks undertaken at different levels of fatigue of the athlete. Thus, this study explored the effect of perception-cognitive tasks interventions on male soccer players' landing mechanisms at different levels of fatigue.

Methods: Perceptual-cognitive tasks during games were simulated using classic multiple object tracking (MOT) paradigms, and 15 male soccer players completed MOT tasks under nonfatigue (NF), moderate fatigue (MF), and severe fatigue (SF). Landing-associated indicators were collected and calculated using a Vicon and force measuring platform.

Results: Level of fatigue and MOT task significantly affected hip and knee flexion angles, hip and knee extension moments, and vertical ground reaction force. Specifically, hip and knee flexion angles were significantly higher in MOT than non-MOT tasks at all levels of fatigue. In NF state, hip and knee extension moments were significantly smaller during MOT than non-MOT tasks. In SF state, the hip extension moment was larger during MOT than non-MOT tasks. In both MF and SF states, vertical ground reaction force was significantly higher in MOT than non-MOT tasks.

Conclusion: Although soccer players landed cautiously when not fatigued, they were significantly less able to do this and handle challenging perceptual-cognitive task movements when fatigued. Thus, landing performance is affected by perceptual-cognitive task interference in fatigue conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2022/4282648DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9213147PMC
June 2022

Discovery of Novel Quinazoline Derivatives as Potent Antitumor Agents.

Molecules 2022 Jun 17;27(12). Epub 2022 Jun 17.

Department of Pharmacy, Children's Hospital Affiliated to Zhengzhou University, Henan Children's Hospital, Zhengzhou Children's Hospital, Zhengzhou 450018, China.

In this work, we designed and synthesized a novel series of quinazoline derivatives - and then evaluated their broad-spectrum antitumor activity against MGC-803, MCF-7, PC-9, A549, and H1975, respectively. Most of them demonstrated low micromolar cytotoxicity towards five tested cell lines. In particular, compound exhibited nanomolar level inhibitory activity against MGC-803 cells with an IC value of 0.85 μM, indicating approximately a 32-fold selectivity against GES-1 (IC = 26.75 μM). Further preclinical evaluation showed that compound remarkably inhibited the migration of MGC-803 cells, induced cell cycle arrest at G2/M, and induced MGC-803 apoptosis, resulting in decreasing the expression of both Bcl-2 and Mcl-1, and up-regulating the expression of both Bax and cleaved PARP. No death or obvious pathological damage was observed in mice by acute toxicity assay. The in vivo antitumor evaluation suggested that compound significantly decreased the average tumor volume and tumor weight without any effect on body weight, which is better than 5-Fu. Therefore, compound can be used as a lead compound for the further development of antitumor drugs in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules27123906DOI Listing
June 2022

Predicting the Risk of Incident Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Chinese Elderly Using Machine Learning Techniques.

J Pers Med 2022 May 31;12(6). Epub 2022 May 31.

Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Wuhan 430015, China.

Early identification of individuals at high risk of diabetes is crucial for implementing early intervention strategies. However, algorithms specific to elderly Chinese adults are lacking. The aim of this study is to build effective prediction models based on machine learning (ML) for the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in Chinese elderly. A retrospective cohort study was conducted using the health screening data of adults older than 65 years in Wuhan, China from 2018 to 2020. With a strict data filtration, 127,031 records from the eligible participants were utilized. Overall, 8298 participants were diagnosed with incident T2DM during the 2-year follow-up (2019-2020). The dataset was randomly split into training set ( = 101,625) and test set ( = 25,406). We developed prediction models based on four ML algorithms: logistic regression (LR), decision tree (DT), random forest (RF), and extreme gradient boosting (XGBoost). Using LASSO regression, 21 prediction features were selected. The Random under-sampling (RUS) was applied to address the class imbalance, and the Shapley Additive Explanations (SHAP) was used to calculate and visualize feature importance. Model performance was evaluated by the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC), sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy. The XGBoost model achieved the best performance (AUC = 0.7805, sensitivity = 0.6452, specificity = 0.7577, accuracy = 0.7503). Fasting plasma glucose (FPG), education, exercise, gender, and waist circumference (WC) were the top five important predictors. This study showed that XGBoost model can be applied to screen individuals at high risk of T2DM in the early phrase, which has the strong potential for intelligent prevention and control of diabetes. The key features could also be useful for developing targeted diabetes prevention interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jpm12060905DOI Listing
May 2022

The Impact of Instant Reimbursement of Cross-Regional Medical Services on Hospitalization Costs Incurred by the Floating Population-Evidence from China.

Healthcare (Basel) 2022 Jun 13;10(6). Epub 2022 Jun 13.

Institute of Population Research, Peking University, Beijing 100781, China.

Background: The medical cost reimbursement function of medical insurance can reduce the medical burden of individuals and thus improve their medical service utilization level. This study aimed to explore the impact of different cross-regional reimbursement types of medical insurance (instant reimbursement and manual reimbursement) on the hospitalization costs incurred by the floating population.

Methods: The data used in this study was from the 2018 China Migrants Dynamic Survey (CMDS) conducted by the National Health Commission of China. The multiple linear regression model and Propensity Score Matching method (PSM) were used to analyze the impact of instant and manual reimbursement on hospitalization costs.

Results: (1) Instant reimbursement and manual reimbursement could significantly reduce the floating population's out-of-pocket proportion of hospitalization costs by 33.2% and 26.9%, respectively; (2) the average proportion and amounts of out-of-pocket hospital costs of instant reimbursement for the floating population were lower than those of manual reimbursement by 6.35% and 19.6%, respectively, and this impact would gradually increase as the flow distance expanded; (3) there was no significant impact of instant reimbursement on the total hospitalization costs relative to manual reimbursement.

Conclusions: Our study suggests that instant reimbursement can effectively reduce the out-of-pocket medical burden of the floating population at the individual level, but it will not have an obvious impact on the total hospitalization costs at the social level.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10061099DOI Listing
June 2022

Study on Hydrate Production Behaviors by Depressurization Combined with Brine Injection in the Excess-Water Hydrate Reservoir.

Entropy (Basel) 2022 May 29;24(6). Epub 2022 May 29.

Key Laboratory of Gas Hydrate, Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, China.

Depressurization combined with brine injection is a potential method for field production of natural gas hydrate, which can significantly improve production efficiency and avoid secondary formation of hydrate. In this work, the experiments of hydrate production using depressurization combined with brine injection from a simulated excess-water hydrate reservoir were performed, and the effects of NaCl concentration on hydrate decomposition, temperature change, and heat transfer in the reservoir were investigated. The experimental results indicate that there is little gas production during depressurization in a excess-water hydrate reservoir, and the gas dissociated from hydrate is trapped in pores of sediments. The high-water production reduces the final gas recovery, which is lower than 70% in the experiments. The increasing NaCl concentration only effectively promotes gas production rate in the early stage. The final cumulative gas production and average gas production rate have little difference in different experiments. The NaCl concentration of the produced water is significantly higher than that which is in contact with hydrate in the sediments because the water produced by hydrate decomposition exists on the surface of undissociated hydrate. The high concentration of NaCl in the produced water from the reactor significantly reduces the promoting effect and efficiency of NaCl solution on hydrate decomposition. The injection of NaCl solution decreases the lowest temperature in sediments during hydrate production, and increases the sensible heat and heat transfer from environment for hydrate decomposition. The changes of temperature and resistance effectively reflect the distribution of the injected NaCl solution in the hydrate reservoir.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/e24060765DOI Listing
May 2022

Hydrogen-bonding and "π-π" interaction promoted solution-processable mixed matrix membranes for aromatic amines detection.

J Hazard Mater 2022 May 15;430:128490. Epub 2022 Feb 15.

School of Advanced Materials, Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School, Shenzhen 518055, China. Electronic address:

Detection of hazardous compounds can alleviate risk to human health. However, it remains a challenge to develop easy-to-use testing tools for carcinogenic aromatic amines. Herein, we presented a conjugated molecule-based aniline detector, mixed matrix membranes (MMMs), through the solution-processable strategy. The pentacene-based dispersed phase is achieved using the state-of-the-art ionic liquids (ILs) as the continuous phase, based on which MMMs are easily manufactured by a solution process. Moreover, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and quantum mechanical calculations suggested that hydrogen bonding and π-π interaction between ILs cations and pentacene could promote the dissolution. These prepared MMMs can offer easy-operation and on-site detection of carcinogenic primary aromatic amines with eye-readable fluorescence signal. This work provides a paradigm for the design of a portable testing device for various hazardous compounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2022.128490DOI Listing
May 2022

Enhancing the resistance to HS toxicity during anaerobic digestion of low-strength wastewater through granular activated carbon (GAC) addition.

J Hazard Mater 2022 May 11;430:128473. Epub 2022 Feb 11.

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 1H9, Canada. Electronic address:

Low-strength wastewater was treated using two laboratory-scale up-flow anaerobic sludge blankets (UASB) for 130 days under sulfate-reducing conditions. Granular activated carbon (GAC) was added to one of the reactors. The GAC addition increased the total chemical oxygen demand removal by 21-28% and total methane production by 32-78%. The sludge from the GAC-amended UASB showed higher specific methanogenic activities (SMA) and higher activities in the presence of HS, indicating that the GAC addition enhanced the resistance of methanogens to HS toxicity. Further, the microbial communities showed that the GAC addition shifted microbial communities. A robust syntrophic partnership between bacteria (i.e., Bacteroidetes_vadinHA17 and Trichococcus) and methanogens was established in the GAC-amended UASB. Sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) were enriched in the GAC biofilm, indicating the coexistence of competition and cooperation between SRB and methanogens. These findings provide significant insights regarding microbial community dynamics, especially SRB and methanogens, in a GAC-amended anaerobic digestion process under sulfate-reducing conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2022.128473DOI Listing
May 2022

A zinc finger protein SlSZP1 protects SlSTOP1 from SlRAE1-mediated degradation to modulate aluminum resistance.

New Phytol 2022 Jun 23. Epub 2022 Jun 23.

College of Horticulture, China Agricultural University, Beijing, 100193, China.

In acidic soils, Aluminum (Al) toxicity is the main factor inhibiting plant root development and reducing crops yield. STOP1 (SENSITIVE TO PROTON RHIZOTOXICITY 1) was a critical factor in detoxifying Al stress. Under Al stress, STOP1 expression was not induced, although STOP1 protein accumulated, even in the presence of RAE1 (STOP1 DEGRADATION E3-LIGASE). How the Al stress triggers and stabilizes the accumulation of STOP1 is still unknown. Here, we characterized SlSTOP1-interacting Zinc-finger protein (SlSZP1) by Yeast two-hybrid screening, and generated slstop1, slszp1 and slstop1/slszp1 knockout mutants by CRISPR in tomato. SlSZP1 is induced by Al stress but it is not regulated by SlSTOP1. The slstop1, slszp1 and slstop1/slszp1 knockout mutants exhibited hypersensitiveness to Al stress. The expressions of SlSTOP1-targeted genes, such as SlRAE1 and SlASR2 (ALUMINUM SENSITIVE), were inhibited in both slstop1 and slszp1 mutants, but not directly regulated by SlSZP1. Furthermore, the degradation of SlSTOP1 by SlRAE1 was prevented by SlSZP1. Al stress increased the accumulation of SlSTOP1 in wild-type (WT) but not in slszp1 mutants. The overexpression of either SlSTOP1 or SlSZP1 did not enhance plant Al resistance. Altogether, our results show that SlSZP1 is an important factor to protect SlSTOP1 from SlRAE1-mediated degradation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nph.18336DOI Listing
June 2022

Serial-Omics and Molecular Function Study Provide Novel Insight into Cucumber Variety Improvement.

Plants (Basel) 2022 Jun 20;11(12). Epub 2022 Jun 20.

Institute of Vegetables, Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hangzhou 310021, China.

Cucumbers are rich in vitamins and minerals. The cucumber has recently become one of China's main vegetable crops. More specifically, the adjustment of the Chinese agricultural industry's structure and rapid economic development have resulted in increases in the planting area allocated to Chinese cucumber varieties and in the number of Chinese cucumber varieties. After complete sequencing of the "Chinese long" genome, the transcriptome, proteome, and metabolome were obtained. Cucumber has a small genome and short growing cycle, and these traits are conducive to the application of molecular breeding techniques for improving fruit quality. Here, we review the developments and applications of molecular markers and genetic maps for cucumber breeding and introduce the functions of gene families from the perspective of genomics, including fruit development and quality, hormone response, resistance to abiotic stress, epitomizing the development of other omics, and relationships among functions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/plants11121609DOI Listing
June 2022

Impact of socio-economic environment and its interaction on the initial spread of COVID-19 in mainland China.

Geospat Health 2022 Mar 18;17(s1). Epub 2022 Mar 18.

School of Geography and Ocean Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing; Collaborative Innovation Centre of South China Sea Studies, Nanjing University; State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System, Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has strongly impacted society since it was first reported in mainland China in December 2020. Understanding its spread and consequence is crucial to pandemic control, yet difficult to achieve because we deal with a complex context of social environment and variable human behaviour. However, few efforts have been made to comprehensively analyse the socio-economic influences on viral spread and how it promotes the infection numbers in a region. Here we investigated the effect of socio-economic factors and found a strong linear relationship between the gross domestic product (GDP) and the cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 cases with a high value of R2 (between 0.57 and 0.88). Structural equation models were constructed to further analyse the social-economic interaction mechanism of the spread of COVID-19. The results show that the total effect of GDP (0.87) on viral spread exceeds that of population influx (0.58) in the central cities of mainland China and that the spread mainly occurred through its interplay with other factors, such as socio-economic development. This evidence can be generalized as socio-economic factors can accelerate the spread of any infectious disease in a megacity environment. Thus, the world is in urgent need of a new plan to prepare for current and future pandemics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4081/gh.2022.1060DOI Listing
March 2022

Sf-FGFR and Sf-SR-C Are Not the Receptors for Vip3Aa to Exert Insecticidal Toxicity in .

Insects 2022 Jun 14;13(6). Epub 2022 Jun 14.

Shenzhen Branch, Guangdong Laboratory of Lingnan Modern Agriculture, Genome Analysis Laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Agricultural Genomics Institute at Shenzhen, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Shenzhen 518120, China.

Vip3Aa is a novel insecticidal protein secreted by () during its vegetative growth stages. It has high insecticidal activity against lepidopteran pests such as , and has no cross-resistance with Cry insecticidal proteins. As a new type of insecticide, it plays an important role in controlling agricultural pests. However, the insecticidal mechanism of the Vip3Aa toxin, especially its definite receptors, have not been fully revealed. In this study, the previously reported Vip3Aa receptor genes and were knocked out separately using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. Bioassay results showed that the sensitivity of these two knockout strains to Vip3Aa were not significantly changed compared to that of the normal strain. The current results are not consistent with the previously reports that Sf-SR-C and Sf-FGFR were the receptors of Vip3Aa in vitro. This suggests that the and genes we tested may not be critical in the mode of action of Vip3Aa in vivo in .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/insects13060547DOI Listing
June 2022

Phosphoprotein Detection in Sweat Realized by Intercalation Structure [email protected] [email protected] Wearable Sensitive Motif.

Biosensors (Basel) 2022 May 24;12(6). Epub 2022 May 24.

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alaska Fairbanks, P.O. Box 755905, Fairbanks, AK 99775-5905, USA.

Abnormal protein phosphorylation in sweat metabolites is closely related to cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other diseases. The real-time monitoring of phosphoproteins in sweat is significant for early monitoring of disease biomarkers. Here, a high-efficiency electrochemical sensor for phosphoprotein in sweat was realized by [email protected] [email protected] with intercalation structure. Common phosphoprotein β-Casein was selected to demonstrate the platform's functionalities. The detection limit of [email protected] could be as low as 9.7 μM, and the detection range was from 0.01 mg/mL to 1 mg/mL. In addition, the sensing platform showed good selectivity, reproducibility, and stability. We also investigated the effects of interface structure on adsorption properties and electronic properties of the g-CN and FeO heterostructure using DFT. More electrons from FeO were transferred to g-CN, which increased the electrons in the energy band of N atoms and promoted the formation of stable N-H bonds with H atoms in phosphoproteins. We demonstrated phosphoprotein sensor functionality by measuring the phosphoprotein in human sweat during exercising. This work realizes a sensing platform for noninvasive and continuous detection of sweat phosphoproteins in wearable devices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/bios12060361DOI Listing
May 2022

A method of radar echo extrapolation based on dilated convolution and attention convolution.

Sci Rep 2022 Jun 22;12(1):10572. Epub 2022 Jun 22.

School of Computer and Information Engineering, Henan University, Kaifeng, Henan, China.

The neural network method can obtain a higher precision of radar echo extrapolation than the traditional method. However, its application in radar echo extrapolation is still in the initial stage of exploration, and there is still much room for improvement in the extrapolation accuracy. To improve the utilization of radar echo information and extrapolation accuracy, this paper proposes a radar echo extrapolation model (ADC_Net) based on dilated convolution and attention convolution. In this model, dilated convolution, instead of the pooling operation, is used to downsample the feature matrix obtained after the standard convolution operation. In doing so, the internal data structure of the feature matrix is retained, and the spatial features of radar echo data from different scales are extracted as well. Besides, the attention convolution module is integrated in the ADC_Net model to improve its sensitivity to the target features in the feature matrix and suppress the interference information. The proposed model is tested in the extrapolation of radar echo images in the next 90 min from five aspects-extrapolated image, POD index, CSI index, FAR index, and HSS index. The experimental results show that the model can effectively improve the accuracy of radar echo extrapolation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-13969-6DOI Listing
June 2022

Kinetic diffusion-controlled synthesis of twinned intermetallic nanocrystals for CO-resistant catalysis.

Sci Adv 2022 Jun 22;8(25):eabo4599. Epub 2022 Jun 22.

Department of Chemistry, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Catalysis, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen 518055, China.

Intermetallic catalysts are of immense interest, but how heterometals diffuse and related interface structure remain unclear when there exists a strong metal-support interaction. Here, we developed a kinetic diffusion-controlled method and synthesized intermetallic PtMo nanocrystals with twin boundaries on mesoporous carbon (PtMo/C). The formation of small-sized twinned intermetallic nanocrystals is associated with the strong Mo-C interaction-induced slow Mo diffusion and the heterogeneity of alloying, which is revealed by an in situ aberration-corrected transmission electron microscope (TEM) at high temperature. The twinned PtMo/C constitutes a promising CO-resistant catalyst for highly selective hydrogenation of nitroarenes. Theoretical calculations and environmental TEM suggest that the weakened CO adsorption over Pt sites of PtMo twin boundaries and their local region endows them with high CO resistance, selectivity, and reusability. The present strategy paves the way for tailoring the interface structure of high-melting point Mo/W-based intermetallic nanocrystals that proved to be important for the industrially viable reactions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abo4599DOI Listing
June 2022

Synthesis, Characterization, and Properties of BN-Fluoranthenes.

Org Lett 2022 Jun 22. Epub 2022 Jun 22.

School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Tianjin University of Technology, Tianjin 300384, People's Republic of China.

Boron/nitrogen-doped fluoranthenes, a new class of BN-doped cyclopenta-fused polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, were synthesized via pyrrolic-type nitrogen directed C-H borylation. Regioselective bromination of BN-fluoranthene () gave mono- and dibrominated BN-fluoranthenes. The halogenated BN-fluoranthene () can undergo various of further cross-coupling reactions to deliver a series of BN-fluoranthenes. Moreover, incorporating BN unit in to fluoranthene resulted in a wider HOMO-LUMO energy gaps. The aromaticities of the BN-fluoranthene () were quantified by experimental and computational studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.orglett.2c01342DOI Listing
June 2022

[Effects of harvest residue management on soil organic nitrogen fractions in young plantation].

Ying Yong Sheng Tai Xue Bao 2022 May;33(5):1199-1206

Cultivation Base of State Key Laboratory for Humid Subtropical Mountain Ecology, Fuzhou 350007, China.

Different treatments of harvest residues will change the quantity and quality of soil organic matter, with direct or indirect effects on the composition and content of soil nutrient. Nitrogen is one of the most important soil nutrients. However, the response of soil organic nitrogen fractions to different harvest residue treatments is still unclear. In this study, harvest residue treatments, including harvest residue removed, residue retained and residue burnt, were set up after clear-cutting a 50-year-old mature forest in Sanming City, Fujian, China. The HSO hydrolysis method was used to determine soil organic nitrogen fractions and their driving factors in the 0-10 cm and 10-20 cm soil layers after 5 years of harvest residue treatments. The results showed that residue retained treatment significantly enhanced the contents of soil organic nitrogen and its liable fractions. In the 0-10 cm soil layer, soil organic nitrogen content under residue retained treatment (3.36 g·kg) was 1.5 and 1.3 times as those of residue removed and residue burnt treatments, respectively. Residue retained treatment had the highest contents of labile nitrogen Ⅰ and Ⅱ fractions. In 10-20 cm soil layer, the contents of soil organic nitrogen and labile nitrogen Ⅱ fraction were also significantly higher in residue retained treatment (2.20, 0.73 g·kg) than that in residue removed and residue burnt treatments. The labile nitrogen index Ⅱ in residue retained treatment (33.9%) was significantly higher than in residue burnt treatment (26.1%). The contents of total carbon, dissolved organic carbon, dissolved organic nitrogen, microbial biomass under residue retained treatment were the highest in both soil layers. Compared with residue removed treatment, residue retained treatment significantly enhanced the abundance of soil bacteria (Gram-positive bacteria and Gram-negative bacteria) in 0-10 cm soil layer. In 10-20 cm soil layer, residue retained treatment had the highest content of fungi and the lowest content of actinomycetes. Pearson analysis showed that there were significant positive correlations of labile fractions of soil organic nitrogen with total carbon, dissolved organic carbon, dissolved organic nitrogen, microbial biomass carbon, microbial biomass nitrogen, bacteria (Gram-positive bacteria, Gram-negative bacteria), and fungi, and negative correlations with actinomycetes. It was concluded that the retention of harvest residue was beneficial to increase the content of soil organic nitrogen and labile fractions, improve soil biochemical properties and had a positive effect on soil microbial community composition. Retention of harvest residue was an effective management measure to maintain soil fertility and improve forest productivity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.13287/j.1001-9332.202205.007DOI Listing
May 2022

Dietary folate drives methionine metabolism to promote cancer development by stabilizing MAT IIA.

Signal Transduct Target Ther 2022 Jun 22;7(1):192. Epub 2022 Jun 22.

Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center & Institutes of Biomedical Sciences; Cancer Institutes; Key Laboratory of Breast Cancer in Shanghai; Shanghai Key Laboratory of Radiation Oncology, the Shanghai Key Laboratory of Medical Epigenetics, Department of Oncology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200032, People's Republic of China.

Folic acid, served as dietary supplement, is closely linked to one-carbon metabolism and methionine metabolism. Previous clinical evidence indicated that folic acid supplementation displays dual effect on cancer development, promoting or suppressing tumor formation and progression. However, the underlying mechanism remains to be uncovered. Here, we report that high-folate diet significantly promotes cancer development in mice with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) induced by DEN/high-fat diet (HFD), simultaneously with increased expression of methionine adenosyltransferase 2A (gene name, MAT2A; protein name, MATIIα), the key enzyme in methionine metabolism, and acceleration of methionine cycle in cancer tissues. In contrast, folate-free diet reduces MATIIα expression and impedes HFD-induced HCC development. Notably, methionine metabolism is dynamically reprogrammed with valosin-containing protein p97/p47 complex-interacting protein (VCIP135) which functions as a deubiquitylating enzyme to bind and stabilize MATIIα in response to folic acid signal. Consistently, upregulation of MATIIα expression is positively correlated with increased VCIP135 protein level in human HCC tissues compared to adjacent tissues. Furthermore, liver-specific knockout of Mat2a remarkably abolishes the advocating effect of folic acid on HFD-induced HCC, demonstrating that the effect of high or free folate-diet on HFD-induced HCC relies on Mat2a. Moreover, folate and multiple intermediate metabolites in one-carbon metabolism are significantly decreased in vivo and in vitro upon Mat2a deletion. Together, folate promotes the integration of methionine and one-carbon metabolism, contributing to HCC development via hijacking MATIIα metabolic pathway. This study provides insight into folate-promoted cancer development, strongly recommending the tailor-made folate supplement guideline for both sub-healthy populations and patients with cancer expressing high level of MATIIα expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41392-022-01017-8DOI Listing
June 2022

Strong, tough, ionic conductive, and freezing-tolerant all-natural hydrogel enabled by cellulose-bentonite coordination interactions.

Nat Commun 2022 Jun 21;13(1):3408. Epub 2022 Jun 21.

Hubei Biomass-Resource Chemistry and Environmental Biotechnology Key Laboratory, School of Resource and Environmental Sciences, Wuhan University, 430079, Wuhan, China.

Ionic conductive hydrogels prepared from naturally abundant cellulose are ideal candidates for constructing flexible electronics from the perspective of commercialization and environmental sustainability. However, cellulosic hydrogels featuring both high mechanical strength and ionic conductivity remain extremely challenging to achieve because the ionic charge carriers tend to destroy the hydrogen-bonding network among cellulose. Here we propose a supramolecular engineering strategy to boost the mechanical performance and ionic conductivity of cellulosic hydrogels by incorporating bentonite (BT) via the strong cellulose-BT coordination interaction and the ion regulation capability of the nanoconfined cellulose-BT intercalated nanostructure. A strong (compressive strength up to 3.2 MPa), tough (fracture energy up to 0.45 MJ m), yet highly ionic conductive and freezing tolerant (high ionic conductivities of 89.9 and 25.8 mS cm at 25 and -20 °C, respectively) all-natural cellulose-BT hydrogel is successfully realized. These findings open up new perspectives for the design of cellulosic hydrogels and beyond.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-30224-8DOI Listing
June 2022

A new-designed system for continuous measurement of radon in water.

Appl Radiat Isot 2022 Jun 16;187:110320. Epub 2022 Jun 16.

State Key Laboratory of Nuclear Physics and Technology, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, China.

On-line continuous monitoring of radon concentration in water is of great significance for its environmental application as a radioactive tracer, for example, as a potential precursor for earthquake forecast and volcanic eruption. To realize on-line continuous measurement on radon in complex water body, a compact measurement system mainly consisted of a simple degassing device and an electrostatic radon monitor is newly developed. The sensitivity of the measurement system is 73 ± 5 cph/(Bq/L), and the detection limit is 0.04 Bq/L with a 60-min cycle at 25 °C water temperature. Intercomparison measurements with RAD H2O were performed both in laboratory condition and in field, and consistent results within the error range were achieved. To test the developed measurement system, a continuous monitoring of radon concentration in water in the drainage tunnel of Mount Jinping was performed for 3 months. The arithmetic mean of radon concentration in water is 0.34 ± 0.09 Bq/L, varying in the range of 0.04-0.60 Bq/L during the period. Several rapid decreases of radon concentration in water were observed, which might be attributed to the increase of rainwater mixing in the drainage tunnel caused by heavy rainfall. The stability of long-term operation of the system enables it to be widely used in the field of radon in water as a tracer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apradiso.2022.110320DOI Listing
June 2022

A natural antisense RNA improves chrysanthemum cold tolerance by regulating the transcription factor DgTCP1.

Plant Physiol 2022 Jun 7. Epub 2022 Jun 7.

Department of Ornamental Horticulture, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu, Sichuan 611130, People's Republic of China.

Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are widely involved in the regulation of plant growth and development, but their mechanism of action in response to cold stress in plants remains unclear. Here, we found an lncRNA transcribed from the antisense strand of DgTCP1 (class I Teosinte branched1/Cycloidea/Proliferating [TCP] transcription factor) of chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat.), named DglncTCP1. During the response of chrysanthemum to cold stress, overexpression of DgTCP1 improved the cold tolerance of chrysanthemum, while the DgTCP1 editing line (dgtcp1) showed decreased tolerance to cold stress. Overexpression of DglncTCP1 also increased the cold tolerance of chrysanthemum, while the DglncTCP1 amiRNA lines (DglncTCP1 amiR-18/38) also showed decreased tolerance to cold stress. Additionally, the overexpression of DglncTCP1 upregulated the expression of DgTCP1. This indicated that DglncTCP1 may play a cis-regulatory role in the regulatory process of DgTCP1 in cold tolerance. DglncTCP1 acts as a scaffold to recruit the histone modification protein DgATX (ARABIDOPSIS TRITHORAX from chrysanthemum) to DgTCP1 to enhance H3K4me3 levels, thereby activating DgTCP1 expression. Moreover, DgTCP1 can directly target DgPOD (peroxidase gene from chrysanthemum) to promote its expression and reduce reactive oxygen species accumulation, thereby improving the cold tolerance of chrysanthemum. In conclusion, these results suggest that natural antisense lncRNA plays a key role in improving the cold tolerance of chrysanthemum.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/plphys/kiac267DOI Listing
June 2022

Transfer Adaptation Learning: A Decade Survey.

Authors:
Lei Zhang Xinbo Gao

IEEE Trans Neural Netw Learn Syst 2022 Jun 21;PP. Epub 2022 Jun 21.

The world we see is ever-changing and it always changes with people, things, and the environment. Domain is referred to as the state of the world at a certain moment. A research problem is characterized as transfer adaptation learning (TAL) when it needs knowledge correspondence between different moments/domains. TAL aims to build models that can perform tasks of target domain by learning knowledge from a semantic-related but distribution different source domain. It is an energetic research field of increasing influence and importance, which is presenting a blowout publication trend. This article surveys the advances of TAL methodologies in the past decade, and the technical challenges and essential problems of TAL have been observed and discussed with deep insights and new perspectives. Broader solutions of TAL being created by researchers are identified, i.e., instance reweighting adaptation, feature adaptation, classifier adaptation, deep network adaptation, and adversarial adaptation, which are beyond the early semisupervised and unsupervised split. The survey helps researchers rapidly but comprehensively understand and identify the research foundation, research status, theoretical limitations, future challenges, and understudied issues (universality, interpretability, and credibility) to be broken in the field toward generalizable representation in open-world scenarios.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TNNLS.2022.3183326DOI Listing
June 2022

IMU-Assisted Online Video Background Identification.

IEEE Trans Image Process 2022 Jun 21;PP. Epub 2022 Jun 21.

Distinguishing between dynamic foreground objects and a mostly static background is a fundamental problem in many computer vision and computer graphics tasks. This paper presents a novel online video background identification method with the assistance of inertial measurement unit (IMU). Based on the fact that the background motion of a video essentially reflects the 3D camera motion, we leverage IMU data to realize a robust camera motion estimation for identifying background feature points by only investigating a few historical frames. We observe that the displacement of the 2D projection of a scene point caused by camera rotation is depth-invariant, and the rotation estimation by using IMU data can be quite accurate. We thus propose to analyze 2D feature points by decomposing the 2D motion into two components: rotation projection and translation projection. In our method, after establishing the 3D camera rotations, we generate the depth-relevant 2D feature point movement induced by the camera 3D translation. Then, by examining the disparity between inter-frame offset and the projection of estimated 3D camera motion, we can identify the background feature points. In the experiments, our online method is able to run at 30FPS with only 1 frame latency and outperforms state-of-the-art background identification and other relevant methods. Our method directly leads to a better camera motion estimation, which is beneficial to many applications like online video stabilization, SLAM, image stitching, etc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TIP.2022.3183442DOI Listing
June 2022
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