Publications by authors named "Yang Xu"

3,053 Publications

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Space-confined construction of two-dimensional nitrogen-doped carbon with encapsulated bimetallic nanoparticles as oxygen electrocatalysts.

Chem Commun (Camb) 2021 Jul 27. Epub 2021 Jul 27.

Key Laboratory of Applied Surface and Colloid Chemistry, Ministry of Education, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710119, China.

A space-confined strategy has been used to control the pyrolysis of two-dimensional (2D) [email protected](Zn). A thin SiO2 layer as a confined space could avoid the destruction of the 2D morphology during pyrolysis and expose more active sites. The obtained NiCo-NC material exhibits high ORR and Zn-air battery performance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d1cc02591kDOI Listing
July 2021

CD70-targeting CAR-T cells have potential activity against CD19-negative B-cell Lymphoma.

Cancer Commun (Lond) 2021 Jul 27. Epub 2021 Jul 27.

Department of Hematology, The Second Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 310009, P. R. China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cac2.12201DOI Listing
July 2021

Characterization of Dissolved Organic Matter and Its Derived Disinfection Byproduct Formation along the Yangtze River.

Environ Sci Technol 2021 Jul 23. Epub 2021 Jul 23.

State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tongji University, 1239 Siping Road, Yangpu District, Shanghai 200092, China.

The Yangtze River basin covers one-fifth of China's land area and serves as a water source for one-third of China's population. During long-distance water transport from upstream to downstream, various sources of dissolved organic matter (DOM) lead to considerable variation in DOM properties, significantly impacting water treatability and disinfection byproduct (DBP) formation after chlorination. Using size-exclusion chromatography and fluorescence spectroscopy, the spatial variation in DOM characteristics was comprehensively investigated on a basin scale. The formation of 36 DBPs and speciated total organic halogen in chlorinated samples was determined. Overall, the Yangtze River waters featured a high proportion of terrestrially derived humic substances that served as important precursors for trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids, which was responsible for the increase in total DBP formation along the Yangtze River. The downstream waters were characterized by high levels of microbially derived protein-like biopolymers, which significantly contributed to the formation of haloacetaldehydes and haloacetonitriles that dominated DBP-associated mammalian cell cytotoxicity. Moreover, the precursors of haloacetaldehydes and haloacetonitriles in downstream waters were highly hydrophilic, posing a challenge for water treatment. This study presents an extensive basin-scale study, providing insights into DOM variations along the Yangtze River, illustrating the impact of DOM properties on drinking water from a DBP perspective.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.1c02378DOI Listing
July 2021

Incorporation of Antimicrobial Bio-Based Carriers onto Poly(vinyl alcohol--ethylene) Surface for Enhanced Antimicrobial Activity.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2021 Jul 26. Epub 2021 Jul 26.

Department of Food Science and Technology, University of California-Davis, Davis, California 95616, United States.

A biobased rechargeable antimicrobial modification approach was developed using a covalent immobilization of food grade yeast cell wall particles on a model plastic film. We demonstrate the applications of this modification approach on poly(vinyl alcohol--ethylene) surface to inactivate inoculated bacteria with or without the presence of organic content, reducing the cross-contamination between food contact surface and model fresh produce, and inhibiting the growth of biofilms on the film surface. These biobased cell wall particle modified plastic films can enhance the binding of chlorine to the plastic surface in the form of -halamine, extend the stability of chlorine against high organic content and ambient storage, and improve the rechargeability of the plastic films. Upon charging with chlorine, these modified plastic films inactivated 5 log of model Gram-negative bacteria ( O157:H7) and Gram-positive bacteria ( used as a surrogate of pathogenic ) within 2 min of surface inoculation in water and within 20 min in an organic-rich aqueous environment. The modified plastic films prevented the transfer of bacteria and eliminated cross-contamination from the contaminated films to a spinach leaf surface, while 3 log CFU/leaf of bacteria were transferred from a contaminated native film to a noninoculated spinach surface. In addition, these modified plastic films reduced the adhesion of cells by 2.7-3.6 log CFU/cm compared with control films during extended incubation for biofilm formation. Overall, this study demonstrates the feasibility of this biobased food grade modification approach to reduce microbial contamination and improve produce safety in the food processing industry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.1c07311DOI Listing
July 2021

Exploiting natural variation in crown root traits via genome-wide association studies in maize.

BMC Plant Biol 2021 Jul 23;21(1):346. Epub 2021 Jul 23.

Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Physiology/ Key Laboratory of Plant Functional Genomics of the Ministry of Education/ Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Crop Genomics and Molecular Breeding, Yangzhou, 225009, China.

Background: Root system architecture (RSA), which is determined by the crown root angle (CRA), crown root diameter (CRD), and crown root number (CRN), is an important factor affecting the ability of plants to obtain nutrients and water from the soil. However, the genetic mechanisms regulating crown root traits in the field remain unclear.

Methods: In this study, the CRA, CRD, and CRN of 316 diverse maize inbred lines were analysed in three field trials. Substantial phenotypic variations were observed for the three crown root traits in all environments. A genome-wide association study was conducted using two single-locus methods (GLM and MLM) and three multi-locus methods (FarmCPU, FASTmrMLM, and FASTmrEMMA) with 140,421 SNP.

Results: A total of 38 QTL including 126 SNPs were detected for CRA, CRD, and CRN. Additionally, 113 candidate genes within 50 kb of the significant SNPs were identified. Combining the gene annotation information and the expression profiles, 3 genes including GRMZM2G141205 (IAA), GRMZM2G138511 (HSP) and GRMZM2G175910 (cytokinin-O-glucosyltransferase) were selected as potentially candidate genes related to crown root development. Moreover, GRMZM2G141205, encoding an AUX/IAA transcriptional regulator, was resequenced in all tested lines. Five variants were identified as significantly associated with CRN in different environments. Four haplotypes were detected based on these significant variants, and Hap1 has more CRN.

Conclusions: These findings may be useful for clarifying the genetic basis of maize root system architecture. Furthermore, the identified candidate genes and variants may be relevant for breeding new maize varieties with root traits suitable for diverse environmental conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12870-021-03127-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8299645PMC
July 2021

Reopening International Borders without Quarantine: Contact Tracing Integrated Policy against COVID-19.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 07 14;18(14). Epub 2021 Jul 14.

Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China.

With the COVID-19 vaccination widely implemented in most countries, propelled by the need to revive the tourism economy, there is a growing prospect for relieving the social distancing regulation and reopening borders in tourism-oriented countries and regions. This need incentivizes stakeholders to develop border control strategies that fully evaluate health risks if mandatory quarantines are lifted. In this study, we have employed a computational approach to investigate the contact tracing integrated policy in different border-reopening scenarios in Hong Kong, China. Explicitly, by reconstructing the COVID-19 transmission from historical data, specific scenarios with joint effects of digital contact tracing and other concurrent measures (i.e., controlling arrival population and community nonpharmacological interventions) are applied to forecast the future development of the pandemic. Built on a modified SEIR epidemic model with a 30% vaccination coverage, the results suggest that scenarios with digital contact tracing and quick isolation intervention can reduce the infectious population by 92.11% compared to those without contact tracing. By further restricting the inbound population with a 10,000 daily quota and applying moderate-to-strong community nonpharmacological interventions (NPIs), the average daily confirmed cases in the forecast period of 60 days can be well controlled at around 9 per day (95% CI: 7-12). Two main policy recommendations are drawn from the study. First, digital contact tracing would be an effective countermeasure for reducing local virus spread, especially when it is applied along with a moderate level of vaccination coverage. Second, implementing a daily quota on inbound travelers and restrictive community NPIs would further keep the local infection under control. This study offers scientific evidence and prospective guidance for developing and instituting plans to lift mandatory border control policies in preparing for the global economic recovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147494DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8303901PMC
July 2021

The Efficacy of Phage Therapy in a Murine Model of Pneumonia and Sepsis.

Front Microbiol 2021 5;12:682255. Epub 2021 Jul 5.

Department of Microbiology, Tokyo Medical University, Tokyo, Japan.

The emergence of multi-drug resistant necessitates the search for treatment options other than antibiotic use. The use of bacteriophages is currently being considered as an alternative to antibiotics for the treatment of bacterial infections. A number of bacteriophages were introduced to treat pneumonia in past reports. However, there are still lack of knowledge regarding the dosages, application time, mechanism and safety of phage therapy against pneumonia. We used the bacteriophage KPP10 against strain D4-induced pneumonia mouse models and observed their outcomes in comparison to control models. We found that the nasal inhalation of highly concentrated KPP10 (MOI = 80) significantly improved survival rate in pneumonia models ( < 0.01). The number of viable bacteria in both lungs and in serum were significantly decreased ( < 0.01) in phage-treated mice in comparison to the control mice. Pathological examination showed that phage-treated group had significantly reduced bleeding, inflammatory cell infiltration, and mucus secretion in lung interstitium. We also measured inflammatory cytokine levels in the serum and lung homogenates of mice. In phage-treated models, serum TNFα, IL-1β, and IFN-γ levels were significantly lower ( < 0.05, < 0.01, and < 0.05, respectively) than those in the control models. In the lung homogenate, the mean IL-1β level in phage-treated models was significantly lower ( < 0.05) than that of the control group. We confirmed the presence of phage in blood and lungs, and evaluated the safety of bacteriophage use in living models since bacteriophage mediated bacterial lysis arise concern of endotoxic shock. The study results suggest that phage therapy can potentially be used in treating lung infections caused by .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2021.682255DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8287650PMC
July 2021

Metabolomic analyses reveals new stage-specific features of the COVID-19.

Eur Respir J 2021 Jul 21. Epub 2021 Jul 21.

Clinical Data Center, Guangdong Provincial People's Hospital/Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China.

The current pandemic of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) has affected more than 160 million of individuals and caused millions of deaths worldwide at least in part due to the unclarified pathophysiology of this disease. Therefore, identifying the underlying molecular mechanisms of COVID-19 is critical to overcome this pandemic. Metabolites mirror the disease progression of an individual by acquiring extensive insights into the pathophysiological significance during disease progression. We provide a comprehensive view of metabolic characterization of sera from COVID-19 patients at all stages using untargeted and targeted metabolomic analysis. As compared with the healthy controls, we observed different alteration patterns of circulating metabolites from the mild, severe and recovery stages, in both discovery cohort and validation cohort, which suggest that metabolic reprogramming of glucose metabolism and urea cycle are potential pathological mechanisms for COVID-19 progression. Our findings suggest that targeting glucose metabolism and urea cycle may be a viable approach to fight against COVID-19 at various stages along the disease course.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1183/13993003.00284-2021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8311281PMC
July 2021

Determination of hardness for maize kernels based on hyperspectral imaging.

Food Chem 2021 Jul 8;366:130559. Epub 2021 Jul 8.

College of Engineering, China Agricultural University, NO. 17 Qinghua East Road, Beijing 100083, PR China.

In order to realize rapid and non-destructive detection of hardness for maize kernels, a method for quantitative hardness measurement was proposed based on hyperspectral imaging technology. Firstly, the regression model of hardness and moisture content was established. Then, based on reflectance hyperspectral imaging at wavelengths within 399.75-1005.80 nm, the prediction model of the moisture content was studied by the partial least squares regression (PLSR) based on the characteristic wavelengths, which was selected through successive projection algorithm (SPA). Finally, the hardness prediction model was validated by combing the prediction model of moisture content with the regression model of hardness. The coefficient of determination (R), the root mean square error (RMSE) the ratio of performance-to-deviation (RPD) and the ratio of error range (RER) of hardness prediction were 0.912, 17.76 MPa, 3.41 and 14, respectively. Therefore, this study provided a method for rapid and non-destructive detection of hardness of maize kernels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2021.130559DOI Listing
July 2021

Identification of NOTCH4 mutation as a response biomarker for immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy.

BMC Med 2021 Jul 21;19(1):154. Epub 2021 Jul 21.

Department of Liver Surgery, State Key Laboratory of Complex Severe and Rare Diseases, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China.

Background: Immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) therapy elicits durable antitumor responses in patients with many types of cancer. Genomic mutations may be used to predict the clinical benefits of ICI therapy. NOTCH homolog-4 (NOTCH4) is frequently mutated in several cancer types, but its role in immunotherapy is still unclear. Our study is the first to study the association between NOTCH4 mutation and the response to ICI therapy.

Methods: We tested the predictive value of NOTCH4 mutation in the discovery cohort, which included non-small cell lung cancer, melanoma, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, esophagogastric cancer, and bladder cancer patients, and validated it in the validation cohort, which included non-small cell lung cancer, melanoma, renal cell carcinoma, colorectal cancer, esophagogastric cancer, glioma, bladder cancer, head and neck cancer, cancer of unknown primary, and breast cancer patients. Then, the relationships between NOTCH4 mutation and intrinsic and extrinsic immune response mechanisms were studied with multiomics data.

Results: We collected an ICI-treated cohort (n = 662) and found that patients with NOTCH4 mutation had better clinical benefits in terms of objective response rate (ORR: 42.9% vs 25.9%, P = 0.007), durable clinical benefit (DCB: 54.0% vs 38.1%, P = 0.021), progression-free survival (PFS, hazard ratio [HR] = 0.558, P < 0.001), and overall survival (OS, HR = 0.568, P = 0.006). In addition, we validated the prognostic value of NOTCH4 mutation in an independent ICI-treated cohort (n = 1423). Based on multiomics data, we found that NOTCH4 mutation is significantly associated with enhanced immunogenicity, including a high tumor mutational burden, the expression of costimulatory molecules, and activation of the antigen-processing machinery, and NOTCH4 mutation positively correlates activated antitumor immunity, including infiltration of diverse immune cells and various immune marker sets.

Conclusions: Our findings indicated that NOTCH4 mutation serves as a novel biomarker correlated with a better response to ICI therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-021-02031-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8293505PMC
July 2021

Detection of human white matter activation and evaluation of its function in movement decoding using stereo-electroencephalography (SEEG).

J Neural Eng 2021 Jul 20. Epub 2021 Jul 20.

School of Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 800# Dongchuan Road, Shanghai, 200240, CHINA.

Objective: White matter tissue takes up approximately 50,% of the human brain volume and it is widely known as a messenger conducting information between areas of the central nervous system. However, the characteristic of white matter neural activity and its potential role in movement decoding are often ignored and still remain largely unknown. In this work, we make quantitative analyses to investigate these two important questions using invasive neural recordings.

Approach: We recorded stereo-electroencephalography (SEEG) data from 32 human subjects during a visually-cued motor task, where SEEG recordings can tap into gray and white matter electrical activity simultaneously. Using the proximal tissue density (PTD) method, we identified the location (i.e., gray or white matter) of each SEEG contact. Focusing on alpha oscillatory and high gamma activities, we compared the activation patterns between gray matter and white matter. Then, we evaluated the possible role of such white matter activation in movement decoding.

Main Results: The results show that white matter also presents activation under the task, in a similar way with the gray matter but at a significantly lower amplitude. Additionally, this work also demonstrates that combing white matter neural activities together with that of gray matter significantly promotes the movement decoding accuracy than using gray matter signals only.

Significance: Taking advantage of SEEG recordings from a large number of subjects, we reveal the characteristics of white matter neural signals in response to the task and demonstrate its enhancing function in movement decoding. This study highlights the importance of taking white matter activities into consideration in further scientific research and translational applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1741-2552/ac160eDOI Listing
July 2021

RBD-Modified Bacterial Vesicles Elicited Potential Protective Immunity against SARS-CoV-2.

Nano Lett 2021 07 19;21(14):5920-5930. Epub 2021 Jul 19.

Laboratory of Molecular Immunology, Institute of Medical Biology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Kunming, China.

The disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection threatens human health. In this study, we used high-pressure homogenization technology not only to efficiently drive the bacterial membrane to produce artificial vesicles but also to force the fusion protein ClyA-receptor binding domain (RBD) to pass through gaps in the bacterial membrane to increase the contact between ClyA-RBD and the membrane. Therefore, the load of ClyA-RBD on the membrane is substantially increased. Using this technology, we constructed a "ring-like" bacterial biomimetic vesicle (BBV) loaded with polymerized RBD (RBD-BBV). RBD-BBVs injected subcutaneously can accumulate in lymph nodes, promote antigen uptake and processing, and elicit SARS-CoV-2-specific humoral and cellular immune responses in mice. In conclusion, we evaluated the potential of this novel bacterial vesicle as a vaccine delivery system and provided a new idea for the development of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.1c00680DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8315139PMC
July 2021

Efficiency and Toxicity of Ruxolitinib as a Salvage Treatment for Steroid-Refractory Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease.

Front Immunol 2021 30;12:673636. Epub 2021 Jun 30.

National Clinical Research Center for Hematologic Diseases, Jiangsu Institute of Hematology, Key Laboratory of Thrombosis and Hemostasis of Ministry of Health, The First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, China.

Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), especially steroid-refractory GVHD, remains a life-threatening complication after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). The effect of the JAK1/2 kinase inhibitor ruxolitinib on treating steroid-refractory acute GVHD has been verified by the REACH1/2 study; however, its safety and efficacy in patients with steroid-refractory chronic GVHD (SR-cGVHD) remain unclear. In this retrospective study, 70 patients received ruxolitinib as a salvage therapy for SR-cGVHD. Twenty-four weeks after ruxolitinib treatment, the overall response rate (ORR) was 74.3% (52/70), including 34 patients who achieved complete remission (CR) and 18 who achieved partial remission (PR). The main adverse event was cytopenia, which occurred in 51.4% (36/70) of patients. After ruxolitinib treatment, the percentage of CD4 cells increased from 18.20% to 23.22% (<0.001), while the percentages of NK (CD16CD56) cells and regulatory T cells (CD4CD127 CD25) decreased (<0.001, <0.001). Among the B cell subsets, the proportion of total B cells approximately tripled from 3.69% to 11.16% (<0.001). Moreover, we observed a significant increase in IL-10 levels after ruxolitinib treatment (=0.025) and a remarkable decrease in levels of suppression of tumorigenicity 2 (ST2) from 229.90 ng/ml to 72.65 ng/ml. The median follow-up after the initiation of ruxolitinib treatment was 401 (6-1076) days. The estimated one-year overall survival rate of the whole group was 66.0% (54.4-77.6%, 95% CI), and the one-year overall survival rate of patients with mild and moderate cGVHD was 69.6% (57.4-81.8%, 95% CI), which was better than that of patients with severe cGVHD (31.3%, 0.0-66.2%, 95% CI) (=0.002). Patients who achieved a CR and PR achieved better survival outcomes (84.5%, 73.9-95.1%, 95% CI) than those who showed NR to ruxolitinib treatments (16.7%, 0-34.3%, 95% CI) (<0.001). At the final follow-up, cGVHD relapse occurred in six patients after they reduced or continued their ruxolitinib doses. Collectively, our results suggest that ruxolitinib is potentially a safe and effective treatment for SR-cGVHD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.673636DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8278571PMC
June 2021

Value of Barthel, PLAN and NIHSS scores for predicting the death of patients with acute ischemic stroke during their 5-year follow-up.

J Clin Neurosci 2021 Aug 8;90:94-98. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

Department of Neurology, The First Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, Hebei 050031, China. Electronic address:

Objective: This study aimed to investigate the value of Barthel, PLAN, and NIHSS scores for predicting death in the 5-year follow-up after patients with AIS are discharged and find a simple and convenient predictive scale.

Methods: Data were prospectively collected from 678 patients with AIS. Patients' death after 5 years of follow-up was considered the final event. The predictors of death were examined through single-factor and multivariate analysis. The receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) of the patients' Barthel, PLAN, and NIHSS scores was drawn, and the area under the curve (AUC) was calculated. Differences in the predictive power of the three scales were compared using MedCalc. The goodness of fit between predictive and actual models was evaluated with the Hosmer-Lemeshow method.

Results: Multivariate analysis suggested that the BI score was an independent predictor of death from AIS in the 5-year follow-up. The Barthel, PLAN, and NIHSS scale scores predicted the 5-year mortality AUC values of AIS were 0.687 [95% CI, (0.649-0.722)], 0.621 [95% CI, (0.583-0.659)], 0.637 [95% CI, (0.599-0.674)], the Hosmer-Lemeshow test revealed P > 0.05, indicating that the three models had a good fit. In pairwise comparison, the AUC value of the BI score was significantly greater than that of the NIHSS scores (Pc = 0.0189). BI and PLAN scores were very close to statistical significance (Pc = 0.0513). However, PLAN and NIHSS scores had no significant differences (Pc = 1.7493).

Conclusion: Simple BI scores had a high predictive value for the death of Chinese patients with AIS within 5 years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jocn.2021.05.049DOI Listing
August 2021

Construction and validation of a prognostic signature using CNV-driven genes for hepatocellular carcinoma.

Ann Transl Med 2021 May;9(9):765

Department of Liver Surgery, State Key Laboratory of Complex Severe and Rare Disease, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College (CAMS & PUMC), Beijing, China.

Background: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the major causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Copy number variations (CNVs) affect the expression of genes and play critical roles in carcinogenesis. We aimed to identify specific CNV-driven genes and establish a prognostic model for HCC.

Methods: Integrative analysis of CNVs difference data and differentially expressed genes (DEGs) data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) were conducted to identify critical CNV-driven genes for HCC. A risk model was constructed based on univariate Cox regression analysis, Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO), and multivariate Cox regression analyses. The associations between CNV-driven genes signature and infiltrating immune cells were explored. The International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) dataset was utilized to validate this model.

Results: After integrative analysis of CNVs and corresponding mRNA expression profiles, 568 CNV-driven genes were identified. Sixty-three CNV-driven genes were found to be markedly associated with overall survival (OS) after univariate Cox regression analysis. Finally, eight CNV-driven genes were screened to generate a prognostic risk model. Compared with low-risk group, the OS of patients in the high-risk group was significantly shorter in both the TCGA [hazard ratio (HR) =6.14, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.72-13.86, P<0.001] and ICGC (HR =3.23, 95% CI: 1.17-8.92, P<0.001) datasets. Further analysis revealed the infiltrating neutrophils were positively correlated with risk score. Meanwhile, the high-risk group was associated with higher expression of immune checkpoint genes.

Conclusions: A novel signature based on CNV-driven genes was built to predict the survival of HCC patients and showed good performance. The results of our study may improve understanding of the mechanism that drives HCC, and provide an immunological perspective for individualized therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/atm-20-7101DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8246234PMC
May 2021

Graphene oxide and polydimethylsiloxane coated quartz tuning fork for improved sensitive near- and mid-infrared detection.

Opt Express 2021 Jun;29(13):20190-20204

Sensitive and broadband infrared sensors are required for security and medical applications, as few can rapidly and sensitively detect infrared without uncooled devices. Here, we report a wideband optical-detection strategy based on the thermoelastic effect of a coating-enhanced quartz tuning fork (QTF) and study the feasibility of using an atomic force probe operating in contact mode to monitor the vibration. Graphene oxide (GO) and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) coating were applied on the QTF's surface to improve the light absorption and the thermal-mechanical conversion efficiency. Experimental results showed that the bi-layer coatings yielded a maximum gain factor of 8 in response amplitude and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) than that of a bare QTF, respectively. Lasers with wavelengths of 1512 nm and 10.6 µm were used as the typical representative light source to test the photoresponse of the QTF detector. The device displays a broadband photoresponse covering the near-infrared to mid-infrared range at room temperature, high performance with the maximum photoresponsivity of 85.76 V·mW, and 1σ detection limit of 0.056 µW; the lowest noise equivalent power (NEP) of 1.35 nW·Hz and 43.9 ms response speed is also achieved. The preparation process of detector is simple and easy to implement; the resulting device exhibits high responsivity and wide wavelength response ranging at least from 1512 to 10600 nm, compared with custom QTF; and the surface coating strategy potentially enables the construction of a new class of low-cost photodetection sensors operated at room temperature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.428003DOI Listing
June 2021

In situ detection of electrochemical reaction by weak measurement.

Opt Express 2021 Jun;29(13):19292-19304

In the field of electrochemical energy storage systems, the use of in situ detection technology helps to study the mechanism of electrochemical reaction. Our group has previously in situ detected the electrochemical reaction in vanadium flow batteries by total internal reflection (TIR) imaging. In order to further improve the detection resolution, in this study, the weak measurement (WM) method was introduced to in situ detect the electrochemical reaction during the linear sweep voltammetry or the cyclic voltammetry tests with quantitative measurement of the absolute current density, which lays a foundation for replacing the TIR for two-dimensional imaging of electrochemical reactions in vanadium flow batteries, oxygen/hydrogen evolution reaction, surface treatments, electrochemical corrosion and so on.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.426345DOI Listing
June 2021

The entertainment value of conspiracy theories.

Br J Psychol 2021 Jul 14. Epub 2021 Jul 14.

VU Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Many citizens around the globe believe conspiracy theories. Why are conspiracy theories so appealing? Here, we propose that conspiracy theories elicit intense emotions independent of emotional valence. People therefore find conspiracy theories entertaining - that is, narratives that people perceive as interesting, exciting, and attention-grabbing - and such entertainment appraisals are positively associated with belief in them. Five studies supported these ideas. Participants were exposed to either a conspiratorial or a non-conspiratorial text about the Notre Dame fire (Study 1) or the death of Jeffrey Epstein (preregistered Study 2). The conspiratorial text elicited stronger entertainment appraisals and intense emotions (independent of emotional valence) than the non-conspiratorial text; moreover, entertainment appraisals mediated the effects of the manipulation on conspiracy beliefs. Study 3 indicated that participants endorsed stronger conspiracy beliefs when an election event was described in an entertaining rather than a boring manner. Subsequent findings revealed that both organisational (Study 4) and societal conspiracy beliefs (Study 5) are positively associated with sensation seeking - a trait characterised by a preference for exciting and intense experiences. We conclude that one reason why people believe conspiracy theories is because they find them entertaining.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjop.12522DOI Listing
July 2021

Optical sensors: deciphering plant phenomics in breeding factories.

Trends Plant Sci 2021 Jul 10. Epub 2021 Jul 10.

College of Biosystems Engineering and Food Science, and State Key Laboratory of Modern Optical Instrumentation, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, PR China; Key Laboratory of Spectroscopy Sensing, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Hangzhou 310058, PR China. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tplants.2021.06.012DOI Listing
July 2021

Transparent origami glass.

Nat Commun 2021 Jul 12;12(1):4261. Epub 2021 Jul 12.

State Key Laboratory of Chemical Engineering, College of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, People's Republic of China.

The art of origami has emerged as an engineering tool with ever increasing potential, but the technique is typically limited to soft and deformable materials. Glass is indispensable in many applications, but its processing options are limited by its brittle nature and the requirement to achieve optical transparency. We report a strategy that allows making three dimensional transparent glass with origami techniques. Our process starts from a dynamic covalent polymer matrix with homogeneously dispersed silica nanoparticles. Particle cavitation and dynamic bond exchange offer two complementary plasticity mechanisms that allow the nanocomposite to be permanently folded into designable geometries. Further pyrolysis and sintering convert it into transparent three dimensional glass. Our method expands the scope of glass shaping and potentially opens up its utilities in unexplored territories.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-24559-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8275568PMC
July 2021

Novel insights into enhanced dewaterability and consolidation characteristics of landfill sludge and fresh sludge conditioned by Fe activated sodium persulfate.

J Environ Manage 2021 Jul 9;296:113196. Epub 2021 Jul 9.

Department of Civil Engineering, Shanghai University, 99 Shangda Road, Shanghai, 200444, PR China.

Considering the reduction and resource utilization of landfill sludge (LS) and fresh sludge (FS), Fe activated NaSO is proposed. The effects of the molar ratio of Fe/SO and the addition of NaSO on the dewatering performance of sludge were studied by vacuum filtration experiments. Consolidation tests were conducted on the sludge with different NaSO dosage, and the compression, consolidation, and permeability characteristics of the sludge were researched. Besides, via particle size distribution (PSD) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) test, the variation of particle size of sludge was studied from the microscopic perspective. The results are as follows: the specific resistance of filtration (SRF) of LS and FS decreases by 99.3%, 95.2% at an optimal dosage (the molar ratio of (Fe/SO) = 1, 30% NaSO); the particle size of LS and FS is significantly smaller; the consolidation and permeability coefficients are increased by 1-2 orders of magnitude compared with non-conditioned sludge; the water content of LS and FS drops from 86.5% to 58.4%, 82.4%-59.7%. The research results have certain guiding significance for the in-situ treatment of sludge deep dewatering.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.113196DOI Listing
July 2021

Data mining and network analysis reveals C-X-C chemokine receptor type 5 is involved in the pathophysiology of age-related macular degeneration.

J Biomol Struct Dyn 2021 Jul 9:1-10. Epub 2021 Jul 9.

Department of Ophthalmology, University of Missouri-Columbia, MO, USA.

Our previous studies found that the C-X-C motif chemokine receptor 5 (CXCR5) loss leads to retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) dysfunction and AMD pathogenesis. The current study aimed to characterize the G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) structure of CXCR5 and analyze its interactions with AMD-related risk genes. The sequence alignments, homology model of CXCR5 and structural assessment analysis were performed. Data and text mining were then performed to identify AMD-related risk genes and their interaction with CXCR5 using statistical and mathematical algorithms. Sequence alignment and phylogenetic tree analysis revealed that human CXCR5 was highly similar (85.4839%) to the rabbit. The least similarity (33.871%) was found to be in zebrafish compared to the other species. The CXCR5 model structural assessment and secondary structure analysis exhibited an excellent model. Network analysis revealed that IL10, TNF, ICAM1, CXCL1, CXCL8, APP, TLR4, SELL, C3, IL17A and CCR2 were the most connected genes CXCR5. These findings suggest that CXCR5 signaling may regulate the biological function of RPE and modulate AMD pathophysiology via GPCR signaling and interacting with identified AMD risk genes. In summary, the data presented here provide novel and crucial insights into the molecular mechanisms of CXCR5 involvement in AMD.Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07391102.2021.1949391DOI Listing
July 2021

Transcriptome-wide analysis reveals core sets of transcriptional regulators of sensome and inflammation genes in retinal microglia.

Genomics 2021 Jul 7;113(5):3058-3071. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, Missouri, United States of America. Electronic address:

Background: Retinal microglial cells (RMCs) play crucial roles in maintaining normal visual functions in a healthy eye. However, the underlying mechanisms of RMCs over-activation manifesting the alterations of sensome profile and inflammation state, which contribute to various retinal neurodegenerative diseases, remain elusive. Here, we aimed to identify the core set of sensome and pro-inflammatory genes and their regulators using transcriptome and data mining approaches.

Methods: We performed paired-end RNA-sequencing in primary microglial cell cultures treated with TNFα/IFNϒ (10 ng/ml for 12 h) and PBS as a control. Gene enrichment analysis and hierarchical clustering for the differentially expressed transcripts highlight functional pathways and network perturbations. We examined overlaps of the mouse microglial gene expression profiles with the data-mined human sensome and pro-inflammatory marker genes. The core sets of sensome and pro-inflammatory genes were selected and predicted for transcription factors (TFs). The identified TFs in RNA-Seq are validated by the quantitative PCR method.

Results: TNFα/IFNϒ induced 668 differentially expressed transcripts in retinal microglial cells relative to the control. Furthermore, gene enrichment analysis and the gene expression network revealed activated microglial genes, biological, molecular and inflammatory pathways. The overlapping analysis of the TNFα/IFNϒ-activated microglia genes and the data-mined human gene sets revealed 22 sensome and 61 pro-inflammatory genes. Based on network analysis, we determined 10 genes as the core sets of sensome and pro-inflammatory genes and predicted the top ten TFs that regulate them. The SP110, IRF1, FLI1, SP140 (sensome) and RELB, BATF2, NFKB2, TRAFD1, SP100, NFKB1 (inflammation) are differentially expressed between the TNFα/IFNϒ activated and the non-activated microglia which were validated by quantitative PCR. The outcomes indicate that these transcriptional regulators are highly expressed and may regulate the sensome and inflammatory genes of RMCs and switch them to over-activation.

Conclusion: Our results comprise a powerful, cross-species functional genomics resource for sensome and inflammation of RMCs, which may provide novel therapeutic approaches to prevent retinal neurodegenerative diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygeno.2021.07.001DOI Listing
July 2021

Is aspirin a drug or just a marker for biliary cancer?

Hepatology 2021 Jul 9. Epub 2021 Jul 9.

Department of Liver Surgery, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China.

The research by Liao et al. showed that postdiagnosis aspirin use improved the mortality of various subtypes of biliary tract cancer (BTC). The results were impressive, with the adjusted hazard ratios of mortality ranging from 0.51 to 0.58, and all subgroup analyses were statistically significant. However, we think that some other aspects should be discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hep.32052DOI Listing
July 2021

Metformin Antagonizes Ovarian Cancer Cells Malignancy Through MSLN Mediated IL-6/STAT3 Signaling.

Cell Transplant 2021 Jan-Dec;30:9636897211027819

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Fifth Affiliated People's Hospital of Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu, Sichuan, People's Republic of China.

Background: Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecological malignancy, and chemotherapy remains the cornerstone for ovarian cancer management. Due to the unsatisfactory prognosis, a better understanding of the underlying molecular carcinogenesis is urgently required.

Methods: Assays for determining cell growth, cell motility, and apoptosis were employed to evaluate the potential antitumor effects of metformin against ovarian cancer cells. Molecular biological methods were employed to explore the underlying mechanism. Human ovarian cancer samples and Gene Expression Profiling Interactive Analysis (GEPIA) dataset were used for uncovering the clinical significances of mesothelin (MSLN) on ovarian cancer.

Results: In the present work, we found that metformin treatment led to cell growth and cell migration inhibition, and induced cell apoptosis. Metformin administration also impaired cancer cell stemness and the capillary-like structure formation capacity of SKOV3 cells. On mechanism, metformin treatment remarkably reduced mesothelin (MSLN) expression, downregulated IL-6/STAT3 signaling activity, subsequently resulted in VEGF and TGFβ1 expression. We also observed an oncogenic function of MSLN on ovarian cancer.

Conclusions: Collectively, our findings suggested that metformin exerts anticancer effects by suppressing ovarian cancer cell malignancy, which attributed to MSLN inhibition mediated IL6/STAT3 signaling and VEGF and TGFβ1 downregulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/09636897211027819DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8274104PMC
July 2021

U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein is essential for early larval development in silkworm, Bombyx mori.

Insect Sci 2021 Jul 7. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

Key Laboratory of Insect Developmental and Evolutionary Biology, Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences, Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, 200032, China.

U1 small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (U1 snRNP) associates with 5' splice sites in the form of ribonucleoprotein particles, is highly conserved among species. The physiological functions of U1 snRNP in a lepidopteran model insect Bombyx mori is mostly unknown. Here we showed that U1 snRNP plays an important role in the development of silkworm. Knockout of U1 snRNP in silkworm showed either delayed or stationary 1st-instar larva development compared with the wild type group. U1 snRNP deletion mutants exhibited abnormal cellular phenotypes with enlarged cell nucleus, scanty cytoplasm, and enlarged nuclei. RNA-seq analysis revealed that genes involved in metabolic pathway, biosynthesis of secondary metabolites and steroid hormone biosynthesis were significantly affected by U1 snRNP depletion. Taken together, our study suggests that U1 snRNP homeostasis plays an important role in silkworm development. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1744-7917.12946DOI Listing
July 2021

Associations of musculoskeletal disorders with occupational stress and mental health among coal miners in Xinjiang, China: a cross-sectional study.

BMC Public Health 2021 Jul 6;21(1):1327. Epub 2021 Jul 6.

Department of Public Health, Xinjiang Medical University, Ürümqi, 830011, China.

Background: Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), a common type of occupational diseases, have become the main cause of absenteeism and early retirement in the occupational population, as well as a major risk factor for occupational disability. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of occupational stress and mental health on MSDs in coal miners in Xinjiang, China, to provide a theoretical basis for reducing the incidence of MSDs in coal miners and improving their physical and mental health.

Methods: In this study, stratified cluster random sampling was used to randomly select six coal mining companies in Xinjiang, and 1675 coal miners were surveyed by questionnaire. The status of occupational stress, mental health and MSDs among coal miners was investigated by means of the Effort-Reward Imbalance questionnaire (ERI), Symptom Checklist-90(SCL-90), and Musculoskeletal disorders scale (MSDs) questionnaire.

Results: The prevalence of MSDs among coal miners was higher, and there were statistical differences among different sexes, ages, working years, shifts, types of work, educational level and monthly income (P < 0.001). The prevalence of MSDs in different body parts in the occupational stress group and mental disorder group was higher than that in the normal group. The results of multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that females had an increased risk of developing MSDs (OR = 2.23, 95% CI.:1.50,3.33). The risk of MSDs was higher with age < 30 years (30-39 years,OR = 2.39, 95% CI.,1.68,3.40; 40-49 years,OR = 2.15, 95% CI.:1.52,3.04; 50-60 years:OR = 3.25, 95% CI.:2.09,5.07), and the longer the working years, the higher the risk of MSDs (OR = 1.90, 95% CI.:1.38,2.62). The two shifts group (OR = 2.18, 95% CI.:1.59,2.98) had an increased risk of developing MSDs compared with the fixed day shift group. The risk of MSDs was lower in heading drivers (OR = 0.41, 95% CI.:0.29,0.60,) and transport workers (OR = 0.30, 95% CI.:0.20,0.43). The higher the education level, the lower the risk of MSDs (high school: OR = 0.46, 95% CI.:0.34,0.62, junior college and above: OR = 0.12, 95% CI.:0.08,0.17), and the higher the monthly income, the lower the risk of MSDs (OR = 0.50, 95% CI.:0.34,0.74). Occupational stress (OR = 1.32, 95% CI.:1.05,1.67) and mental disorder(OR = 2.94, 95% CI.:2.25,3.84) increased the risk of MSDs. A Bayesian network diagram showed that occupational stress and MSDs have direct effects on mental disorders, and occupational stress can have indirect effects on mental disorders through MSDs.

Conclusion: Our research shows that MSDs are common among coal miners. Occupational stress and psychological disorders can increase the incidence of MSDs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-11379-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8259414PMC
July 2021

Diterpenoids from the genus Euphorbia: Structure and biological activity (2013-2019).

Phytochemistry 2021 Jul 3;190:112846. Epub 2021 Jul 3.

Wuya College of Innovation, Key Laboratory of Structure-Based Drug Design & Discovery, Ministry of Education, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, Shenyang, 110016, People's Republic of China. Electronic address:

Euphorbiaceae is one of the largest families of higher plants, including 7500 species, and many of them are used as medicines in China. From 2013 to 2019, a total of 455 previously undescribed diterpenoids were isolated from 53 species of Euphorbia, and some skeleton types were first discovered from the genus Euphorbia. Most of the diterpenoids isolated from Euphorbia spp. have been tested for their biological activity, and some of them were first reported for Euphorbia diterpenoids in recent years, such as neuroprotection, antimalarial activity and inhibition of osteoclast formation. In this review, we summarize all the isolated diterpenoids from the genus Euphorbia according to their skeleton types, classify all these diterpenoids into 26 normal classes and 37 novel skeleton types, and summarize their biological activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phytochem.2021.112846DOI Listing
July 2021

Acid-activated ROS generator with folic acid targeting for bacterial biofilm elimination.

Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl 2021 Aug 2;127:112225. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

School of Chemical Engineering, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing 210094, China. Electronic address:

Many medical and chemical applications require the precise supply of antimicrobial components in a controlled manner at the location of mature biofilm deposits. This work reports a facile strategy to fabricate nanoscale metal-organic frameworks (NMOFs) coencapsulating the antibacterial ligand (lysine carbon dots, Lys-CDs) and targeted drug (folic acid, FA) in one pot to improve antibiofilm efficiency against established biofilms. The resulting products are characterized by transmission electron microscopy, field-emission scanning electron microscopy, powder x-ray diffraction, and ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy. The results show that Lys-CDs could coordinate with Zn and the adding of FA inhibits the coordination of Lys-CDs with central ions of Zn. The Lys-CDs and FA are successfully exposed with the NMOFs disintegrating in the acid environment of bacterial metabolites. We are surprised to find a sharp increase of reactive oxygen species (ROS) inside the bacterial cells by FA functionalizing NMOFs, which undoubtedly enhance the antibacterial and antibiofilm activity. The as-synthesized ZIF-8-based nanocomposites also show the peroxidase-like activity in an acid environment, and produce extremely active hydroxyl radicals resulting in the improved antibacterial and antibiofilm activity. The possible mechanisms of antibacterial activities indicate that the presence of FA is significant in the sense of targeting bacteria. This study shows a novel approach to construct acid stimulation supply system which may be helpful for the research of antibiofilms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msec.2021.112225DOI Listing
August 2021

Applicability of plasmid calibrant pMON87712 for quantitative detection of the transgenic soybean MON87712.

Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai) 2021 Jul;53(7):933-942

Key Laboratory of Biotechnology and Bioresources Utilization of Ministry of Education, College of Life Science, Dalian Minzu University, Dalian 116600, China.

The transgenic glyphosate-tolerant soybean MON87712 event was developed by the agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology company Monsanto (USA) and commercialized in 2013. Due to the absence of matrix-based and genomic DNA-positive reference material for MON87712, it is very difficult to detect and monitor this event. In this study, we developed a recombinant 760-bp linearized plasmid, including 150 bp of the soybean endogenous lectin gene and 610 bp of the exogenous BBX32 gene plus its 3' flanking sequence of MON87712 by In-Fusion cloning technology. In addition, a duplex real-time polymerase chain reaction for the detection of MON87712 and the soybean endogenous lectin gene was established. By using this method, we achieved specific and quantitative detection of MON87712 in 45 other kinds of crops, with a detection limit of 10 copies/μl. This method provides a new technical means for the accurate detection of transgenic soybean MON87712, as well as technical support for the supervision of agricultural transgenic organisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/abbs/gmab063DOI Listing
July 2021
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