Publications by authors named "Yafei Zhang"

222 Publications

A neutral red mediated electro-fermentation system of Clostridium beijerinckii for effective co-production of butanol and hydrogen.

Bioresour Technol 2021 Apr 6;332:125097. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

State Key Laboratory of Urban Water Resource and Environment, Harbin Institute of Technology, 73 Huanghe Road, Harbin 150090, China.

To enhance the co-production of butanol and hydrogen by the acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation of Clostridium beijerinckii, a novel cathodic electro-fermentation (CEF) system was constructed with neutral red (NR) as electron mediator. With the mediation of NR, production of butanol and hydrogen from glucose in the CEF system achieved 5.49 ± 0.28 g/L and 3.74 ± 0.16 L/L, 569.5% and 325.0% higher than that in the open circuit (OC) system, respectively. The butanol and hydrogen yield of 0.30 ± 0.02 g/g and 206.53 ± 8.20 mL/g was 172.7% and 71.4% higher than that in the OC system, respectively. The effective co-production of butanol and hydrogen in the NR-mediated CEF system was attributed to the cooperation of the introduced polarized electrode and the additional NR. With the control of the polarized electrode, a feasible ORP was available for the effective hydrogen production. And the additional NR had induced more carbon source and electrons to the synthesis of butanol.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2021.125097DOI Listing
April 2021

Ultrasonographic features of eccrine spiradenoma: A case report.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2021 Apr;100(14):e25469

Department of Ultrasound, Hebei General Hospital, Shijiazhuang, Hebei, China.

Rationale: Eccrine spiradenoma (ES) is a rare benign skin adnexal tumor originating from eccrine sweat glands. The features of ES on ultrasonography (US) have received little attention. Therefore, we report the sonographic findings in a case of an ES that originated from the abdominal wall and discuss the previously reported cases.

Patient Concerns: A 53-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital with a complaint of a painful nodule on the right side of her abdominal wall of 1-year duration.

Diagnoses: The mass on the right side of abdominal wall was diagnosed as ES by histopathological examination.

Interventions: The patient subsequently underwent total excision of the mass.

Outcomes: The patient recovered well and had no complications during the 1-year follow-up.

Lessons: As eccrine spiradenoma (ES) is rare and most of the tumors are excised without prior imaging studies. Little is known regarding the features of ES on ultrasonography (US). Familiarizing with the clinical and US features of this rare tumor may increase awareness of the disease among sonographers and clinicians.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000025469DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8036088PMC
April 2021

Paeoniflorin Derivative in Paeoniae Radix Aqueous Extract Suppresses Alpha-Toxin of .

Front Microbiol 2021 20;12:649390. Epub 2021 Mar 20.

Laboratory of Molecular Toxicology, State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Pest Insects and Rodents, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.

The emergence and dissemination of bacterial infections is paralyzing our public health systems worldwide. Worse still, there are no effective antibiotics against bacterial toxins, which facilitate the infection. Natural herbs that target bacterial toxins may be a better choice for therapy of infectious diseases. However, most natural drugs present unknown compositions and unclear mechanisms. Here we demonstrated that the Chinese herb Paeoniae Radix aqueous extract (PRAE) could suppress alpha-toxin (α-toxin) of . We observed that the paeoniflorin derivative (PRAE-a) derivative in PRAE significantly abolished the hemolytic activity of α-toxin. The analyses of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), mass spectrometer (MS), Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR), and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) showed that PRAE-a was a glycoside compound with a paeoniflorin nucleus. We further found that PRAE-a disrupted the pore-forming ability of α-toxin by prevention of the dimer to heptamer. Therefore, PRAE-a proved to be an effective therapy for lung infections in mice by inhibiting α-toxin. Collectively, these results highlighted that PRAE-a can be used as an antibacterial agent to attenuate virulence by targeting α-toxin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2021.649390DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8019018PMC
March 2021

Dioscin inhibits SCC15 cell proliferation via the RASSF1A/MST2/YAP axis.

Mol Med Rep 2021 Jun 31;23(6). Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Department of Implantology, School and Hospital of Stomatology, Cheeloo College of Medicine, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong 250012, P.R. China.

Dioscin, an extract from traditional Chinese herbal plants, displays various biological and pharmacological effects on tumors, including inhibition of cell proliferation and induction of DNA damage. However, the effects of dioscin on oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cells are not completely understood. The present study aimed to evaluate the impact of dioscin on OSCC cell proliferation. Cell Counting Kit‑8 and 5‑ethynyl‑2'‑deoxyuridine incorporation assays were performed to assess cell proliferation. Flow cytometry was conducted to detect alterations in the cell cycle and cell apoptosis. Western blotting and coimmunoprecipitation were performed to determine protein expression levels. In SCC15 cells, dioscin treatment significantly induced cell cycle arrest, increased apoptosis and inhibited proliferation compared with the control group. Mechanistically, the tumor suppressor protein Ras association domain‑containing protein 1A (RASSF1A) was activated and oncoprotein yes‑associated protein (YAP) was phosphorylated by dioscin. Furthermore, YAP overexpression and knockdown reduced and enhanced the inhibitory effects of dioscin on SCC15 cells, respectively. In summary, the results demonstrated that, compared with the control group, dioscin upregulated RASSF1A expression in OSCC cells, which resulted in YAP phosphorylation, thus weakening its transcriptional coactivation function, enhancing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, and inhibiting cell proliferation. The present study indicated that dioscin may serve as a therapeutic agent for OSCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2021.12053DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8025490PMC
June 2021

Analyzing knowledge entities about COVID-19 using entitymetrics.

Scientometrics 2021 Mar 12:1-19. Epub 2021 Mar 12.

Department of Information Management, Peking University, Beijing, China.

COVID-19 cases have surpassed the 109 + million markers, with deaths tallying up to 2.4 million. Tens of thousands of papers regarding COVID-19 have been published along with countless bibliometric analyses done on COVID-19 literature. Despite this, none of the analyses have focused on domain entities occurring in scientific publications. However, analysis of these bio-entities and the relations among them, a strategy called entity metrics, could offer more insights into knowledge usage and diffusion in specific cases. Thus, this paper presents an entitymetric analysis on COVID-19 literature. We construct an entity-entity co-occurrence network and employ network indicators to analyze the extracted entities. We find that ACE-2 and C-reactive protein are two very important genes and that lopinavir and ritonavir are two very important chemicals, regardless of the results from either ranking.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11192-021-03933-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7953944PMC
March 2021

Performance of anaerobic sludge and the microbial social behaviors induced by quorum sensing in a UASB after a shock loading.

Bioresour Technol 2021 Jun 11;330:124972. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

State Key Laboratory of Urban Water Resource and Environment, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150090, PR China; School of Environment, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150090, PR China.

To understand the microbial social behaviors regulated by acyl-homoserine lactones (AHLs) in the upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) during the restored process after a shock loading, the correlation analyses of AHLs and components of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), AHLs genes and microbes, and AHLs and microbes were investigated. The results showed that the performance could be restored by regulating influent organic loading rate stage-by-stage. A variation in microbial community and endogenous AHLs was also found during the restoration process. It was found that C-HSL had improved the synthesis of protein in EPS and resulted in better aggregation of microbes. C-HSL, as well as C-HSL and 3-oxoC-HSL, could prompt the metabolism of acidogenic fermentation bacteria. While 3-oxoC-HSL was identified as the key signal molecule in enhancing methanogenesis. The present work advanced the understanding of microbial social behaviors and provided an attractive strategy for the restoration of anaerobic digestion after shock loadings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2021.124972DOI Listing
June 2021

Metformin inhibits mTOR and c-Myc by decreasing YAP protein expression in OSCC cells.

Oncol Rep 2021 Mar 24;45(3):1249-1260. Epub 2020 Dec 24.

Department of Implantology, School and Hospital of Stomatology, Cheeloo College of Medicine, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong 250012, P.R. China.

Metformin is an antidiabetic drug that has been reported to have an inhibitory effect on different types of cancers, including oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). However, few studies have explored the role of Yes‑associated protein (YAP), a vital factor contributing to OSCC biology, in metformin‑induced anticancer activity in OSCC cells. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to investigate the molecular relationship between metformin and YAP in OSCC cells. CAL27 and SCC25 cell lines were treated with various concentrations of metformin for 24 h. Cell proliferation was detected by Cell Counting Kit‑8 (CCK‑8) and flow cytometric assays. Cell apoptosis was analyzed using flow cytometry. The intracellular protein levels of target genes were determined by western blotting. It was demonstrated that metformin affected the cell cycle and apoptosis of CAL27 and SCC25 cells. Alteration of YAP protein expression affected metformin‑mediated changes in the cell cycle and apoptosis of CAL27 and SCC25 cells. In addition, compared to the control treatment, metformin treatment decreased the protein levels of YAP, mTOR, p‑mTOR and c‑Myc. The overexpression of YAP alleviated the inhibitory effect of metformin on the protein expression of mTOR, p‑mTOR and c‑Myc. The combination of metformin and verteporfin markedly enhanced the effects of metformin on the protein expression of mTOR, p‑mTOR and c‑Myc. Therefore, the results of the present study suggest that metformin suppresses OSCC by inhibiting YAP protein expression and by suppressing the YAP‑mediated effects of metformin on the protein expression of mTOR and c‑Myc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/or.2020.7909DOI Listing
March 2021

A cathodic electro-fermentation system for enhancing butyric acid production from rice straw with a mixed culture.

Sci Total Environ 2021 May 28;767:145011. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

State Key Laboratory of Urban Water Resource and Environment, School of Environment, Harbin Institute of Technology, 73 Huanghe Road, Harbin 150090, China.

Bio-electrochemical system (BES) emerges as a versatile approach to handling environmental problems with the harvest of sustainable energy and value-added chemicals. To enhance the butyric acid production from rice straw, microbial fuel cell (MFC) and cathodic electro-fermentation (CEF) systems were constructed in this study. Inoculated with the same mixed culture, fermentative butyric acid production efficiency of the two BESs were evaluated with/without neutral red (NR) as electron mediator, respectively. It was found that the butyric acid fermentation efficiency in the MFC system was inefficient. While, the CEF system presented an evident positive effect on butyric acid production. The production and specific yield of butyric acid in the CEF system reached 5.54 g/L and 0.41 g/g, higher than that in the open circuit (OC) system by 17.37% and 28.13%, respectively. Mass percentage of butyric acid in the produced total volatile fatty acids (VFAs) was also increased from 44.74% to 52.76%. The addition of NR had no positive effect on the butyric acid production, due to the low contribution of electric current to the end-products. With the cathode potential of -0.80 V (vs Ag/AgCl), relative abundance of the butyric acid fermenting bacteria (Clostridium cluster IV and cluster XIVa) in the microbial mixture was increased from 20.25% in the OC system to 33.61% in the CEF system. This research work not only presents a novel method for enhancing butyric acid production by rice straw fermentation, but also aids an understanding of the fermentation mechanism in CEF systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145011DOI Listing
May 2021

Conspiracy vs science: A large-scale analysis of online discussion cascades.

World Wide Web 2021 Jan 27:1-22. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

Department of Automation, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Key Laboratory of System Control and Information Processing, Ministry of Education of China, Shanghai, 200240 China.

With the emergence and rapid proliferation of social media platforms and social networking sites, recent years have witnessed a surge of misinformation spreading in our daily life. Drawing on a large-scale dataset which covers more than 1.4M posts and 18M comments from an online social media platform, we investigate the propagation of two distinct narratives-(i) conspiracy information, whose claims are generally unsubstantiated and thus referred as misinformation to some extent, and (ii) scientific information, whose origins are generally readily identifiable and verifiable. We find that conspiracy cascades tend to propagate in a multigenerational branching process whereas science cascades are more likely to grow in a breadth-first manner. Specifically, conspiracy information triggers larger cascades, involves more users and generations, persists longer, and is more viral and bursty than science information. Content analysis reveals that conspiracy cascades contain more negative words and emotional words which convey anger, fear, disgust, surprise and trust. We also find that conspiracy cascades are much more concerned with political and controversial topics. After applying machine learning models, we achieve an AUC score of nearly 90% in discriminating conspiracy from science narratives using the constructed features. We further investigate user's role during the growth of cascades. In contrast with previous assumption that misinformation is primarily driven by a small set of users, we find that conspiracy cascades are more likely to be controlled by a broader set of users than science cascades, imposing new challenges on the management of misinformation. Although political affinity is thought to affect the consumption of misinformation, there is very little evidence that political orientation of the information source plays a role during the propagation of conspiracy information; Instead, we find that conspiracy information from media outlets with left or right orientation triggers smaller cascades and is less viral than information from online social media platforms (e.g., Twitter and Imgur) whose political orientations are unclear. Our study provides complementing evidence to current misinformation research and has practical policy implications to stem the propagation and mitigate the influence of misinformation online.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11280-021-00862-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7839941PMC
January 2021

Deoxynivalenol Induces Caspase-8-Mediated Apoptosis through the Mitochondrial Pathway in Hippocampal Nerve Cells of Piglet.

Toxins (Basel) 2021 Jan 20;13(2). Epub 2021 Jan 20.

College of Animal Science and Technology, Anhui Agricultural University, Hefei 230036, China.

Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a common trichothecene mycotoxin found worldwide. DON has broad toxicity towards animals and humans. However, the mechanism of DON-induced neurotoxicity in vitro has not been fully understood. This study investigated the hypothesis that DON toxicity in neurons occurs via the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway. Using piglet hippocampal nerve cells (PHNCs), we evaluated the effects of different concentrations of DON on typical indicators of apoptosis. The obtained results demonstrated that DON treatment inhibited PHNC proliferation and led to morphological, biochemical, and transcriptional changes consistent with apoptosis, including decreased mitochondrial membrane potential, mitochondrial release of cytochrome C (CYCS) and apoptosis inducing factor (AIF), and increased abundance of active cleaved-caspase-9 and cleaved-caspase-3. Increasing concentrations of DON led to decreased B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) expression and increased expression of BCL2-associated X (Bax) and B-cell lymphoma-2 homology 3 interacting domain death agonist (Bid), which in turn increased transcriptional activity of the transcription factors AIF and P53 (a tumor suppressor gene, promotes apoptosis). The addition of a caspase-8 inhibitor abrogated these effects. These results reveal that DON induces apoptosis in PHNCs via the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway, and caspase-8 is shown to play an important role during apoptosis regulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/toxins13020073DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7909276PMC
January 2021

Laser-Induced MoO/Sulfur-Doped Graphene Hybrid Frameworks as Efficient Antibacterial Agents.

Langmuir 2021 02 22;37(4):1596-1604. Epub 2021 Jan 22.

Key Laboratory for Thin Film and Microfabrication (Ministry of Education), Department of Micro/Nano Electronics, School of Electronic Information and Electrical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, P. R. China.

Rational design and scalable construction of antibacterial mediators based on unique graphene architectures with highly efficient antibacterial ability and significant biocompatibility are challenging. Herein, sulfur-doped graphene skeletons uniformly decorated with metal oxide nanoparticles were designed and constructed via one-step laser-induced microexplosive techniques and demonstrated for the first time as highly efficient antibacterial agents. The optical density and flat colony counting methods demonstrated that the as-designed laser-induced MoO/sulfur-doped graphene hybrids exhibited exceptional activity inhibition of and . Moreover, the bacteria were treated with an impressive laser-induced MoO/sulfur-doped graphene colloidal solution of concentration as low as 1 mg/mL for 4 h, leading to an excellent viability loss of 85% for the two bacteria. Cell toxicity experiments proved that the biological toxicity of laser-induced MoO/sulfur-doped graphene to pig sperm cells was negligible. The molecular dynamics calculations proposed that the intrinsic interaction with -acetylglucosamine at the cell wall and the high-efficiency synergistic effect of sulfur-doped graphene and MoO played the key role in inhibiting the viability of bacteria. This work provides new insights for a novel structure design and opens up a potential route to construct antibacterial agents with high efficiency for clinical application.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.langmuir.0c03453DOI Listing
February 2021

Experimental Study on Corrosion Performance of Oil Tubing Steel in HPHT Flowing Media Containing O and CO.

Materials (Basel) 2020 Nov 18;13(22). Epub 2020 Nov 18.

School of Mechanical Engineering, Xi'an Shiyou University, Xi'an 710065, China.

The high pressure and high temperature (HPHT) flow solution containing various gases and Cl ions is one of the corrosive environments in the use of oilfield tubing and casing. The changing external environment and complex reaction processes are the main factors restricting research into this type of corrosion. To study the corrosion mechanism in the coexistence of O and CO in a flowing medium, a HPHT flow experiment was used to simulate the corrosion process of N80 steel in a complex downhole environment. After the test, the material corrosion rate, surface morphology, micromorphology, and corrosion product composition were tested. Results showed that corrosion of tubing material in a coexisting environment was significantly affected by temperature and gas concentration. The addition of O changes the structure of the original CO corrosion product and the corrosion process, thereby affecting the corrosion law, especially at high temperatures. Meanwhile, the flowing boundary layer and temperature changed the gas concentration near the wall, which changed the corrosion priority and intermediate products on the metal surface. These high temperature corrosion conclusions can provide references for the anticorrosion construction work of downhole pipe strings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ma13225214DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7698940PMC
November 2020

Infanticide vs. inherited cardiac arrhythmias.

Europace 2021 Mar;23(3):441-450

Istituto Auxologico Italiano, IRCCS, Center for Cardiac Arrhythmias of Genetic Origin, Via Pier Lombardo, 22, 20135 Milan, Italy.

Aims: In 2003, an Australian woman was convicted by a jury of smothering and killing her four children over a 10-year period. Each child died suddenly and unexpectedly during a sleep period, at ages ranging from 19 days to 18 months. In 2019 we were asked to investigate if a genetic cause could explain the children's deaths as part of an inquiry into the mother's convictions.

Methods And Results: Whole genomes or exomes of the mother and her four children were sequenced. Functional analysis of a novel CALM2 variant was performed by measuring Ca2+-binding affinity, interaction with calcium channels and channel function. We found two children had a novel calmodulin variant (CALM2 G114R) that was inherited maternally. Three genes (CALM1-3) encode identical calmodulin proteins. A variant in the corresponding residue of CALM3 (G114W) was recently reported in a child who died suddenly at age 4 and a sibling who suffered a cardiac arrest at age 5. We show that CALM2 G114R impairs calmodulin's ability to bind calcium and regulate two pivotal calcium channels (CaV1.2 and RyR2) involved in cardiac excitation contraction coupling. The deleterious effects of G114R are similar to those produced by G114W and N98S, which are considered arrhythmogenic and cause sudden cardiac death in children.

Conclusion: A novel functional calmodulin variant (G114R) predicted to cause idiopathic ventricular fibrillation, catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia, or mild long QT syndrome was present in two children. A fatal arrhythmic event may have been triggered by their intercurrent infections. Thus, calmodulinopathy emerges as a reasonable explanation for a natural cause of their deaths.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/europace/euaa272DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7947592PMC
March 2021

Solitary Peutz-Jeghers hamartomatous polyp in the distal jejunum treated with endoscopic mucosal resection: A case report.

Gastroenterol Hepatol 2020 Oct 20. Epub 2020 Oct 20.

Department of Gastroenterology, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan 430071, China; Hubei Clinical Center & Key Lab of Intestinal & Colorectal Diseases, Wuhan 430071, China. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gastrohep.2020.09.004DOI Listing
October 2020

Microplastics and associated contaminants in the aquatic environment: A review on their ecotoxicological effects, trophic transfer, and potential impacts to human health.

J Hazard Mater 2021 03 15;405:124187. Epub 2020 Oct 15.

College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, PR China; Key Laboratory of Environmental Biology and Pollution Control (Hunan University), Ministry of Education, Changsha 410082, PR China.

The microplastic pollution and related ecological impacts in the aquatic environment have attracted global attention over the past decade. Microplastics can be ingested by aquatic organisms from different trophic levels either directly or indirectly, and transferred along aquatic food chains, causing different impacts on life activities of aquatic organisms. In addition, microplastics can adsorb various environmental chemical contaminants and release toxic plastic additives, thereby serving as a sink and source of these associated chemical contaminants and potentially changing their toxicity, bioavailability, and fate. However, knowledge regarding the potential risks of microplastics and associated chemical contaminants (e.g., hydrophobic organic contaminants, heavy metals, plastic additives) on diverse organisms, especially top predators, remains to be explored. Herein, this review describes the effects of microplastics on typical aquatic organisms from different trophic levels, and systematically summarizes the combined effects of microplastics and associated contaminants on aquatic biota. Furthermore, we highlight the research progress on trophic transfer of microplastics and associated contaminants along aquatic food chain. Finally, potential human health concerns about microplastics via the food chain and dietary exposure are discussed. This work is expected to provide a meaningful perspective for better understanding the potential impacts of microplastics and associated contaminants on aquatic ecology and human health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.124187DOI Listing
March 2021

Unusual disseminated Talaromyces marneffei infection mimicking lymphoma in a non-immunosuppressed patient in East China: a case report and review of the literature.

BMC Infect Dis 2020 Oct 28;20(1):800. Epub 2020 Oct 28.

PET Center, The First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 310003, P.R. China.

Background: Talaromyces marneffei infection is an important opportunistic infection associated with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). However, it is unusual in patients with non-AIDS and other non-immunosuppressed conditions. We report a case of delayed diagnosis of disseminated T. marneffei infection in non-AIDS, non-immunosuppressive and non-endemic conditions.

Case Presentation: We describe a previously healthy 24-year-old man who complained of a 3-month history of intermittent diarrhea and a recent week of uncontrollable high fever. The HIV antibody test was negative. Enhanced abdominal computed tomography (CT) and integrated F-2-deoxy-2-fluoro-D-glucose position emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG PET/CT) both suspected malignant lymphoma. However, a large number of yeast-like cells were found in macrophages in cervical lymph node samples by hematoxylin and eosin stain and silver hexamine stain. Subsequent blood culture suggested T. marneffei infection. Metagenomic Next Generation Sequencing (mNGS) results suggested T. marneffei as the dominant pathogen. Unfortunately, the patient continued to develop acute liver failure and died due to adverse events associated with amphotericin B.

Conclusions: Early diagnosis in HIV-negative patients who are otherwise not immunosuppressed and endemic poses a serious challenge. T. marneffei infection is an FDG-avid nonmalignant condition that may lead to false-positive FDG PET/CT scans. Nevertheless, integrated FDG PET/CT is necessary in patients with fever of unknown origin in the early period to perform earlier biopsy for histopathology and culture in highly avid sites and to avoid delays in diagnosis and treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12879-020-05526-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7594432PMC
October 2020

Bayesian hierarchical model for safety signal detection in multiple clinical trials.

Contemp Clin Trials 2020 Dec 20;99:106183. Epub 2020 Oct 20.

Biostatistics and Research Decision Sciences, Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA.

Clinical safety signal detection is of great importance in establishing the safety profile of new drugs and biologics during drug development. Bayesian hierarchical meta-analysis has proven to be a very effective method of identifying potential safety signals by considering the hierarchical structure of clinical safety data from multiple randomized clinical trials conducted under an Investigational New Drug (IND) application or Biological License Application (BLA). This type of model can integrate information across studies, for instance by grouping related adverse events using the MedDRA system-organ-class (SOC) and preferred terms (PT). It therefore improves the precision of parameter estimates compared to models that do not consider the hierarchical structure of the safety data. We propose to extend an existing four-stage Bayesian hierarchical model and consider the exposure adjusted incidence rate, assuming the number of adverse events (AEs) follows a Poisson distribution. The proposed model is applied to a real-world example, using data from three randomized clinical trials of a neuroscience drug and examine in three simulation studies motivated by real-world examples. Comparison is made between the proposed method and other existing methods. The simulation results indicate that our proposed model outperforms other two candidate models in terms of power and false detection rate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cct.2020.106183DOI Listing
December 2020

Graphite films/carbon fiber fabric/ polyurethane composites with ultrahigh in-plane thermal conductivity and enhanced mechanical properties.

Nanotechnology 2020 Nov;31(47):475710

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, CAPT/HEDPS/LTCS, Key Laboratory of Polymer Chemistry and Physics of Ministry of Education, College of Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, People's Republic of China.

Thermally conductive composites have attracted great attention in virtue of their crucial role in thermal management. In this work, laminated composites were prepared by laying graphite films (GF) and carbon fiber fabrics (CF) in a certain order, then penetrating thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), finally hot-pressing. In order to enhance the inter-layer strength, the graphite films were perforated with arrays of 1 mm holes in diameter which have intervals of 4 mm and permit the seeping of liquid TPU through them. The in-plane thermal conductivity (TC) of composite reaches 242 W m K with the loading of 25 vol% GF and 60 vol% CF, which is 1210 times that of pure TPU. The great improvement of TC is ascribed to the thermal conductive pathways formed by continuous GF with ultrahigh TC. The addition of CF enhances markedly the mechanical properties of composites. Bending strength and modulus of composites are 5.56 and 17.09 times that of pure TPU, respectively. The proposed design and manufacture method are facile and effective to obtain polymeric composites simultaneously with high TC and good mechanical properties.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1361-6528/abb04fDOI Listing
November 2020

ERCP during the COVID-19 epidemic.

Endoscopy 2020 10 23;52(10):933-934. Epub 2020 Sep 23.

Department of Gastroenterology, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1194-4745DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7516385PMC
October 2020

Assessing SARS-CoV-2 RNA levels and lymphocyte/T cell counts in COVID-19 patients revealed initial immune status as a major determinant of disease severity.

Med Microbiol Immunol 2020 Dec 28;209(6):657-668. Epub 2020 Aug 28.

Department of Infectious Diseases, The Second Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Furong Road 678, Hefei, 230601, China.

The magnitude of SARS-CoV-2 infection, the dynamic changes of immune parameters in patients with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and their correlation with the disease severity remain unclear. The clinical and laboratory results from 154 confirmed COVID-19 patients were collected. The SARS-CoV-2 RNA levels in patients were estimated using the Ct values of specific RT-PCR tests. The lymphocyte subsets and cytokine profiles in the peripheral blood were analyzed by flow cytometry and specific immunoassays. 154 confirmed COVID-19 patients were clinically examined up to 4 weeks after admission. The initial SARS-CoV-2 RNA Ct values at admission varied, but were comparable in the patient groups classified according to the age, gender, underlying diseases, and disease severity. Three days after admission, significant higher Ct values were found in severe cases. Significantly reduced counts of T cells and T cell subsets were found in patients with old age and underlying diseases at admission and were characteristic for the development of severe COVID-19. Severe COVID-19 developed preferentially in patients with underlying compromised immunity and was not associated with initial virus levels. Higher SARS-CoV-2 RNA levels in severe cases were apparently a result of impaired immune control associated with dysregulation of inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00430-020-00693-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7454137PMC
December 2020

Tetracycline stress disturbs the mobilization of protein bodies in seed storage reserves during radicle elongation after seed germination.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2020 Nov 26;27(33):42150-42157. Epub 2020 Aug 26.

College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Hunan University, Changsha, 410082, China.

Residues of antibiotics in the soil can have adverse effects on crop plants related closely to humans. However, there is a lack of knowledge on the phytotoxicity of antibiotics to sensitive species. The aim of our study was mainly to reveal tetracycline stress on the mobilization of seed storage proteins, lipids, and minerals of Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L.) during radicle elongation after germination. The Chinese cabbage seed was incubated for 48 h in tetracycline solutions at 1 and 5 μM. For the cotyledons of the seed, the result of TEM showed that tetracycline significantly hindered the mobilization of protein bodies, which was in line with the result of FTIR spectroscopy. However, the mobilization of oil bodies and mineral bodies in cotyledons was not significantly disturbed by the stress of tetracycline, as well as the energy supply in different organs including the cotyledons, hypocotyl, and radicle of the seed. To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate the disturbance on mobilization of protein bodies in seed storage reserves caused by the stress of tetracycline at low levels during radicle elongation after germination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-10569-7DOI Listing
November 2020

Multichannel Room-Temperature Gas Sensors Based on Magnetic-Field-Aligned 3D FeO@SiO@Reduced Graphene Oxide Spheres.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2020 Aug 10;12(33):37418-37426. Epub 2020 Aug 10.

Key Laboratory for Thin Film and Microfabrication (Ministry of Education), Department of Micro/Nano Electronics, School of Electronic Information and Electrical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, P. R. China.

Reduced graphene oxide (rGO) is considered as one of the ideal sensing materials for high-performance room-temperature gas sensors owing to its large specific surface areas, numerous active sites, and high carrier mobility. However, the sensing performance cannot be maximized due to the inevitable sheet stacking and agglomeration. Herein, we firstdemonstrate multichannel room-temperature gas sensors using magnetic-field-induced alignment of three-dimensional (3D) FeO@SiO@rGO core-shell spheres. Moreover, the sensing channels composed of spheres can be tailored by changing the concentration of spheres and the magnetic field. Experimental results suggest that the multichannel 3D FeO@SiO@rGO sensor exhibits an ultrahigh sensitivity of 34.41 with a good response stability and high selectivity toward 5 ppm of NO at room temperature, which is ca. 7.96 times higher than that of the random 3D rGO gas sensor. The high performance can be mainly ascribed to a full utilization of their large specific surface area and active sites of rGO nanosheets. We believe that our results not only contribute to the development of high-performance rGO-based sensing devices, but also provide a general approach to maximize the sensing performance of other nanomaterials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.0c05574DOI Listing
August 2020

Inkjet-Printed Ultrathin MoS-Based Electrodes for Flexible In-Plane Microsupercapacitors.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2020 Sep 24;12(35):39444-39454. Epub 2020 Aug 24.

Key Laboratory of Thin Film and Microfabrication Technology (Ministry of Education), School of Electronics, Information and Electrical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Dong Chuan Road No. 800, Shanghai 200240, P. R. China.

Flexible and wearable energy storage microdevice systems with high performance and safety are promising candidates for the electronics of on-chip integration. Herein, we demonstrate inkjet-printed ultrathin electrodes based on molybdenum disulfide (MoS) nanosheets for flexible and all-solid-state in-plane microsupercapacitors (MSCs) with high capacitance. The MoS nanosheets were uniformly dispersed in the low-boiling point and nontoxic solvent isopropanol to form highly concentrated inks suitable for inkjet printing. The MSCs were assembled by printing the highly concentrated MoS inks on a polyimide substrate with appropriate surface tension using a simple and low-cost desktop inkjet printer. Because of the two-dimensional structure of MoS nanosheets, the as-assembled planar MSCs have high loadings of active materials per unit area, resulting in more flexibility and thinness than the capacitors with a traditional sandwich structure. These planar MSCs can not only possess any collapsible shape through the computer design but also exhibit excellent electrochemical performance (with a maximum energy density of 0.215 mW h cm and a high-power energy density of 0.079 W cm), outstanding mechanical flexibility (almost no degradation of capacitance at different bending radii), good cycle stability (85.6% capacitance retention even after 10,000 charge-discharge cycles), and easy scale-up. Moreover, a blue light-emitting diode can be powered using five MSCs connected in series. The in-plane and low-cost MSCs with high energy densities have great application potential for integrated energy storage systems including wearable planar solar cells and other electronics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.0c11788DOI Listing
September 2020

Enhancing room-temperature NO detection of cobalt phthalocyanine based gas sensor at an ultralow laser exposure.

Phys Chem Chem Phys 2020 Sep 11;22(33):18499-18506. Epub 2020 Aug 11.

Key Laboratory of Thin Film and Microfabrication (Ministry of Education), Department of Micro/Nano Electronics, School of Electronic Information and Electrical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, P. R. China.

Metal phthalocyanines (MPcs) have attracted great interest in the gas sensing field, but the long recovery time with hard desorption of gas has hindered their further practical application. The combination of cobalt and carboxyl groups increases the electron concentration. Herein, cobalt phthalocyanine (CoPc-COOH) modified with carboxyl groups was prepared and applied to detect nitrogen dioxide (NO) and its sensing performance at room temperature was determined. These CoPc-COOH nanofibres have demonstrated outstanding recovery performance at an ultralow laser exposure. In particular, UV-Vis and FTIR results indicate no change in the molecular structure of CoPc-COOH powders before and after laser exposure. The enhancement in the recovery properties of the laser-assisted method can be attributed to the generation of electron and hole pairs in the CoPc-COOH nanofibres, where the adsorbed NO molecules transformed from NO to NO by taking one hole with faster desorption. Thus, our study provides a valuable gas sensing recovery mode and mechanism for constructing practical gas sensors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0cp02093aDOI Listing
September 2020

Discrimination of False Negative Results in RT-PCR Detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNAs in Clinical Specimens by Using an Internal Reference.

Virol Sin 2020 Dec 4;35(6):758-767. Epub 2020 Aug 4.

Department of Infectious Diseases, The Second Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, 230601, China.

Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is an essential method for specific diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Unfortunately, false negative test results are often reported. In this study, we attempted to determine the principal causes leading to false negative results of RT-PCR detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNAs in respiratory tract specimens. Multiple sputum and throat swab specimens from 161 confirmed COVID-19 patients were tested with a commercial fluorescent RT-PCR kit targeting the ORF1ab and N regions of SARS-CoV-2 genome. The RNA level of a cellular housekeeping gene ribonuclease P/MRP subunit p30 (RPP30) in these specimens was also assessed by RT-PCR. Data for a total of 1052 samples were retrospectively re-analyzed and a strong association between positive results in SARS-CoV-2 RNA tests and high level of RPP30 RNA in respiratory tract specimens was revealed. By using the ROC-AUC analysis, we identified Ct cutoff values for RPP30 RT-PCR which predicted false negative results for SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR with high sensitivity (95.03%-95.26%) and specificity (83.72%-98.55%) for respective combination of specimen type and amplification reaction. Using these Ct cutoff values, false negative results could be reliably identified. Therefore, the presence of cellular materials, likely infected host cells, are essential for correct SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection by RT-PCR in patient specimens. RPP30 could serve as an indicator for cellular content, or a surrogate indicator for specimen quality. In addition, our results demonstrated that false negativity accounted for a vast majority of contradicting results in SARS-CoV-2 RNA test by RT-PCR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12250-020-00273-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7399361PMC
December 2020

Distinction between Cr and other heavy-metal-resistant bacteria involved in C/N cycling in contaminated soils of copper producing sites.

J Hazard Mater 2021 01 12;402:123454. Epub 2020 Jul 12.

Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, 12 Zhongguancun South St., Haidian District, Beijing 100081, PR China. Electronic address:

For typical copper producing provinces of Heilongjiang, Henan, Inner Mongolia, Jiangxi, Shandong, Tibet, and Yunnan in China, 90 % of sampling sites were heavily polluted with multiple heavy metals. Soil heterogeneity and mutual interference of multimetals are obstacles to explore bacterial resistance pathways in contaminated field soils. Through analyses of contamination indices and bioindicators, combined with multivariate statistical models, the antioxidant enzyme activity, urease-induced precipitation of heavy metals, excretion of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) were attributed to different types of heavy metals. Furthermore, through redundancy analysis combined with phylogenetic analysis of metal-resistant bacteria, we identified that Verrucomicrobia, Acidobacteria, and Planctomycetes secreted EPS-polysaccharides and EPS-proteins to detoxify Cr, a metal with lower concentrations and lower ecological risk as compared to other metals. The pathway was innovatively differentiated from the multimetal resistance pathways in urease and/or catalase-producing bacteria such as Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, BRC1, Bacteroidetes, Dadabacteria, Entotheonellaeota, Nitrospirae, and Gemmatimonadetes using field studies and high-throughput sequencing. Moreover, these metal-resistant bacteria were linked to C/N cycling processes of urea hydrolysis, nitrification, denitrification, EPS production, and calcite precipitation. It will provide new insight into soil bacterial resistance to multimetals in field studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.123454DOI Listing
January 2021

Tea polyphenols attenuate liver inflammation by modulating obesity-related genes and down-regulating COX-2 and iNOS expression in high fat-fed dogs.

BMC Vet Res 2020 Jul 8;16(1):234. Epub 2020 Jul 8.

College of Animal Science and Technology, Anhui Agricultural University, 130 West Changjiang Road, Hefei, 230036, China.

Background: Tea polyphenols (TPs) attenuate obesity related liver inflammation; however, the anti-obesity effects and anti-inflammatory mechanisms are not clearly understood. This study aimed to determine whether the anti-obesity and anti-inflammatory TPs mechanisms associated with cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression levels, and obesity-related gene response in dogs.

Results: Dogs fed TPs displayed significantly decreased (p < 0.01) mRNA expression of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β), and interleukin-6 (IL-6) compared to dogs that consumed high-fat diet (HFD) alone. TPs significantly (p < 0.01) inhibited COX-2 and iNOS expression level, and decreased liver fat content and degeneration.

Conclusion: These results suggested that TPs act as a therapeutic agent for obesity, liver inflammation, and fat degeneration via COX-2 and iNOS inhibition, with TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 involvement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12917-020-02448-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7346471PMC
July 2020

LncRNA LINC00261 overexpression suppresses the growth and metastasis of lung cancer via regulating miR-1269a/FOXO1 axis.

Cancer Cell Int 2020 26;20:275. Epub 2020 Jun 26.

Department of Respiratory Medicine, Henan Provincial Chest Hospital, No.1, Weiwu Road, Zhengzhou, 450000 Henan Province China.

Background: LncRNAs are key regulators in cancer. The current study explored the role of lncRNA LINC00261 (LINC00261) in lung cancer (LC).

Methods: Expression of LINC00261 in LC tissues and cells was determined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Pearson's Chi square test and Kaplan-Meier analysis were performed to evaluate the correlations between LINC00261 expression and clinical characteristics, and overall survival time. A549 and SPC-A1 cells were transfected with LINC00261 overexpression plasmid, cell viability, cell number, and apoptosis were detected by CCK-8 assay, colony formation, and flow cytometry. Moreover, wound-healing and transwell assay were performed to detect cell metastasis and invasion. Expressions of proteins related to cell proliferation and metastasis were determined by Western blot. Xenograft was constructed, and tumor size and weight were measured and the effects of LINC00261 overexpression on tumor growth were detected. Bioinformatics analysis, dual-luciferase reporter assay, qRT-PCR, correlation analysis, and functional rescue experiments were conducted on clinical cases and LC cells to explore the molecular mechanism of LINC00261 in LC.

Results: In LC, LINC00261 expression was down-regulated, and was associated with more advanced TNM stage, metastasis and a shorter survival time. LINC00261 overexpression inhibited the growth and metastasis of LC cells in vitro and tumor growth in vivo. Furthermore, miR-1269a directly interacted with LINC00261 and FOXO1. The expressions of miR-1269a and FOXO1 were dysregulated by LINC00261 in LC. Additionally, miR-1269a promoted the progression of LC through targeting FOXO1.

Conclusions: Down-regulation of LINC00261 expression has a prognostic value in LC, and overexpression LINC00261 inhibits LC progression via targeting miR-1269a/FOXO1 axis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12935-020-01332-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7318380PMC
June 2020

Insights into catalytic removal and separation of attached metals from natural-aged microplastics by magnetic biochar activating oxidation process.

Water Res 2020 Jul 28;179:115876. Epub 2020 Apr 28.

College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Hunan University and Key Laboratory of Environmental Biology and Pollution Control (Hunan University), Ministry of Education, Changsha, 410082, PR China.

Natural-aged microplastics with changed surface properties accumulate, redistribute and spread in all water fields as carriers of hazardous substances. The combined hazard of co-contamination of microplastics and hazardous substances expands the ecological risks, which urgently needs to design treatment schemes for pollutant removal from microplastics. In this paper, a facile and applicable magnetic biochar with porosity and graphitization (PGMB) was prepared for realizing the goal of metal removal from the microplastics. Heterogeneous catalysis of persulfate (PS) activated by PGMB achieved the decomposition of organics, with the decrease of more than 60% of the attached Pb on the surface of microplastics, and the adsorbed metal amount by PGMB in this system (31.29 mg/g) is much higher than that by the individual PGMB group (7.07 mg/g). Analysis demonstrated that the organic layer covered on the microplastic surface over the long-term weathering provided the key sites for metal sorption, whose decomposition and peeling were the critical steps in whole process. The prepared PGMB was responsible for activating PS to produce reactive species for decomposing the organic matter accompanied with detaching metals from microplastic surface, also would keep the role for re-adsorption of the released metals and separation from aqueous phase by magnetic force. The influences of natural environmental factors including salinity, common matrix species, and temperature on the performance of PGMB/PS system for metal removal from microplastics were discussed to illustrate the universality of the scheme in saline or organic-rich waters. The results of this study provided underlying insights for removing metals from microplastic surface, and decreasing the harm risks in the co-contamination of microplastics and hazardous substances.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2020.115876DOI Listing
July 2020