Publications by authors named "Yufei Li"

110 Publications

The global mental health burden of COVID-19 on critical care staff.

Br J Nurs 2021 Jun;30(11):634-642

Clinical Senior Lecturer, Department of Surgery and Cancer, St Mary's Campus, and Consultant in Intensive Care, Intensive Care Unit, Charing Cross Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London.

Background: Although the mental health burden in healthcare workers caused by COVID-19 has gained increasing attention both within the profession and through public opinion, there has been a lack of data describing their experience; specifically, the mental wellbeing of healthcare workers in the intensive care unit (ICU), including those redeployed.

Aims: The authors aimed to compare the mental health status of ICU healthcare workers (physicians, nurses and allied health professionals) affected by various factors during the COVID-19 pandemic; and highlight to policymakers areas of staff vulnerabilities in order to improve wellbeing strategies within healthcare systems.

Methods: An online survey using three validated scales was conducted in France, the UK, Italy, Mainland China, Taiwan, Egypt and Belgium.

Findings: The proportion of respondents who screened positive on the three scales across the countries was 16-49% for depression, 60-86% for insomnia and 17-35% for post-traumatic stress disorder. The authors also identified an increase in the scores with longer time spent in personal protective equipment, female gender, advancing age and redeployed status.

Conclusion: The high prevalence of mental disorders among ICU staff during the COVID-19 crisis should inform local and national wellbeing policies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12968/bjon.2021.30.11.634DOI Listing
June 2021

Change in Susceptibility Values in Knee Cartilage After Marathon Running Measured Using Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping.

J Magn Reson Imaging 2021 May 24. Epub 2021 May 24.

School of Biomedical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.

Background: Quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) has been used to study the magnetic susceptibility properties of collagen fibers in articular cartilage; however, it is unclear whether QSM is sensitive to changes due to degradation caused by long-distance running. It is clinically important to understand the link between long-distance running and microstructural changes in knee cartilage.

Purpose: To investigate the ability of QSM to assess microstructural changes within cartilage after repetitive loading.

Study Type: Prospective.

Population: Thirteen recreational, male long-distance runners.

Field Strength/sequence: Three-dimensional gradient recalled echo acquired at 3 T.

Assessment: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and 3D kinematics (translations and rotations during treadmill walking and running) of the knee joint were collected before and after marathon running. The compartments for analysis included the patella, trochlea, and subregions of femoral and tibial cartilage. Changes in regional susceptibility and cartilage thickness were calculated after marathon running. A susceptibility profile was obtained by fitting susceptibility as a function of the normalized depth of cartilage from the superficial to deep layers.

Statistical Tests: Paired t-test or Wilcoxon signed-rank test, 95% confidence interval (CI) of the depth-wise susceptibility profile, Pearson correlation or Spearman correlation.

Results: There was a statistically significant increase in susceptibility value in the weight-bearing region of central medial femoral cartilage (cMF-c) after marathon running (pre-marathon: -0.0219 ± 0.0151 ppm, post-marathon: -0.0070 ± 0.0213 ppm, P < 0.05), while the cartilage thickness did not show significant changes in any regions (P-value range: 0.068-0.963). Significant susceptibility elevations occurred in the middle and deep layers of cMF-c (95% CIs did not overlap). A trend toward a positive correlation was found between the changes in susceptibility value in cMF-c and proximal-distal translation of the knee joint during walking (r = 0.55, P = 0.101) and running (r = 0.57, P = 0.089).

Data Conclusion: Localized magnetic susceptibility alterations were observed within knee cartilage in the weight-bearing area after repetitive loading without any morphologic changes.

Level Of Evidence: 2 TECHNICAL EFFICACY: Stage 2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmri.27745DOI Listing
May 2021

The Analysis of Trajectory Control of Non-holonomic Mobile Robots Based on Internet of Things Target Image Enhancement Technology and Backpropagation Neural Network.

Front Neurorobot 2021 22;15:634340. Epub 2021 Mar 22.

Medical Cosmetic Center, Department of Dermatology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.

The trajectory tracking and control of incomplete mobile robots are explored to improve the accuracy of the trajectory tracking of the robot controller. First, the mathematical kinematics model of the non-holonomic mobile robot is studied. Then, the improved Backpropagation Neural Network (BPNN) is applied to the robot controller. On this basis, a mobile robot trajectory tracking controller combining the fuzzy algorithm and the neural network is designed to control the linear velocity and angular velocity of the mobile robot. Finally, the robot target image can be analyzed effectively based on the Internet of Things (IoT) image enhancement technology. In the MATLAB environment, the performances of traditional BPNN and improved BPNN in mobile robots' trajectory tracking are compared. The tracking accuracy before and after the improvement shows no apparent differences; however, the training speed of improved BPNN is significantly accelerated. The fuzzy-BPNN controller presents significant improvements in tracking speed and tracking accuracy compared with the improved BPNN. The trajectory tracking controller of the mobile robot is designed and improved based on the fuzzy BPNN. The designed controller combining the fuzzy algorithm and the improved BPNN can provide higher accuracy and tracking efficiency for the trajectory tracking and control of the non-holonomic mobile robots.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnbot.2021.634340DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8020999PMC
March 2021

Cross-Species Comparison of Metabolomics to Decipher the Metabolic Diversity in Ten Fruits.

Metabolites 2021 Mar 12;11(3). Epub 2021 Mar 12.

School of Tropical Crops, Hainan University, Haikou 570288, China.

Fruits provide humans with multiple kinds of nutrients and protect humans against worldwide nutritional deficiency. Therefore, it is essential to understand the nutrient composition of various fruits in depth. In this study, we performed LC-MS-based non-targeted metabolomic analyses with ten kinds of fruit, including passion fruit, mango, starfruit, mangosteen, guava, mandarin orange, grape, apple, blueberry, and strawberry. In total, we detected over 2500 compounds and identified more than 300 nutrients. Although the ten fruits shared 909 common-detected compounds, each species accumulated a variety of species-specific metabolites. Additionally, metabolic profiling analyses revealed a constant variation in each metabolite's content across the ten fruits. Moreover, we constructed a neighbor-joining tree using metabolomic data, which resembles the single-copy protein-based phylogenetic tree. This indicates that metabolome data could reflect the genetic relationship between different species. In conclusion, our work enriches knowledge on the metabolomics of fruits, and provides metabolic evidence for the genetic relationships among these fruits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/metabo11030164DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8000971PMC
March 2021

Novel Transcriptome Study and Detection of Metabolic Variations in UV-B-Treated Date Palm ( cv. Khalas).

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Mar 4;22(5). Epub 2021 Mar 4.

National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement and National Center of Plant Gene Research (Wuhan), Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China.

Date palm () is one of the most widespread fruit crop species and can tolerate drastic environmental conditions that may not be suitable for other fruit species. Excess UV-B stress is one of the greatest concerns for date palm trees and can cause genotoxic effects. Date palm responds to UV-B irradiation through increased DEG expression levels and elaborates upon regulatory metabolic mechanisms that assist the plants in adjusting to this exertion. Sixty-day-old Khalas date palm seedlings (first true-leaf stage) were treated with UV-B (wavelength, 253.7 nm; intensity, 75 μW cm for 72 h (16 h of UV light and 8 h of darkness). Transcriptome analysis revealed 10,249 and 12,426 genes whose expressions were upregulated and downregulated, respectively, compared to the genes in the control. Furthermore, the differentially expressed genes included transcription factor-encoding genes and chloroplast- and photosystem-related genes. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was used to detect metabolite variations. Fifty metabolites, including amino acids and flavonoids, showed changes in levels after UV-B excess. Amino acid metabolism was changed by UV-B irradiation, and some amino acids interacted with precursors of different pathways that were used to synthesize secondary metabolites, i.e., flavonoids and phenylpropanoids. The metabolite content response to UV-B irradiation according to hierarchical clustering analysis showed changes in amino acids and flavonoids compared with those of the control. Amino acids might increase the function of scavengers of reactive oxygen species by synthesizing flavonoids that increase in response to UV-B treatment. This study enriches the annotated date palm unigene sequences and enhances the understanding of the mechanisms underlying UV-B stress through genetic manipulation. Moreover, this study provides a sequence resource for genetic, genomic and metabolic studies of date palm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22052564DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7961990PMC
March 2021

Knowledge Enhanced LSTM for Coreference Resolution on Biomedical Texts.

Bioinformatics 2021 Mar 10. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

School of Computer Science and Technology, Xi'an Jiaotong University, 710049, China Xi'an, Shaanxi.

Motivation: Bio-entity Coreference Resolution focuses on identifying the coreferential links in biomedical texts, which is crucial to complete bio-events' attributes and interconnect events into bio-networks. Previously, as one of the most powerful tools, deep neural network-based general domain systems are applied to the biomedical domain with domain-specific information integration. However, such methods may raise much noise due to its insufficiency of combining context and complex domain-specific information.

Results: In this paper, we explore how to leverage the external knowledge base in a fine-grained way to better resolve coreference by introducing a knowledge-enhanced Long Short Term Memory network (LSTM), which is more flexible to encode the knowledge information inside the LSTM. Moreover, we further propose a knowledge attention module to extract informative knowledge effectively based on contexts. The experimental results on the BioNLP and CRAFT datasets achieve state-of-the-art performance, with a gain of 7.5 F1 on BioNLP and 10.6 F1 on CRAFT. Additional experiments also demonstrate superior performance on the cross-sentence coreferences.

Supplementary Information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/btab153DOI Listing
March 2021

Prevalence of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder in health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

PLoS One 2021 10;16(3):e0246454. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

International Centre for Evidence in Disability, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.

Objective: The COVID-19 pandemic has placed health care workers under psychological stress. Previous reviews show a high prevalence of mental disorders among health care workers, but these need updating and inclusion of studies written in Chinese. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to provide updated prevalence estimates for depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, benefitting from the inclusion of studies published in Chinese.

Methods: Systematic search of EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Global Health, Web of Science, CINAHL, Google Scholar and the Chinese databases SinoMed, WanfangMed, CNKI and CQVIP, for studies conducted between December 2019 and August 2020 on the prevalence of depression, anxiety and PTSD in health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Studies published in both English and Chinese were included.

Results: Data on the prevalence of moderate depression, anxiety and PTSD was pooled across 65 studies involving 97,333 health care workers across 21 countries. The pooled prevalence of depression was 21.7% (95% CI, 18.3%-25.2%), of anxiety 22.1% (95% CI, 18.2%-26.3%), and of PTSD 21.5% (95% CI, 10.5%-34.9%). Prevalence estimates are also provided for a mild classification of each disorder. Pooled prevalence estimates of depression and anxiety were highest in studies conducted in the Middle-East (34.6%; 28.9%). Subgroup and meta-regression analyses were conducted across covariates, including sampling method and outcome measure.

Conclusions: This systematic review and meta-analysis has identified a high prevalence of moderate depression, anxiety and PTSD among health care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Appropriate support is urgently needed. The response would benefit from additional research on which interventions are effective at mitigating these risks.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0246454PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7946321PMC
April 2021

Interactional mechanisms of Paenibacillus polymyxa SC2 and pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) suggested by transcriptomics.

BMC Microbiol 2021 Mar 4;21(1):70. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

College of Life Sciences, Shandong Engineering Research Center of Plant-Microbia Restoration for Saline-Alkali Land, Shandong Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, National Engineering Laboratory for Efficient Utilization of Soil and Fertilizer Resources, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai'an, 271018, China.

Background: Paenibacillus polymyxa SC2, a bacterium isolated from the rhizosphere soil of pepper (Capsicum annuum L.), promotes growth and biocontrol of pepper. However, the mechanisms of interaction between P. polymyxa SC2 and pepper have not yet been elucidated. This study aimed to investigate the interactional relationship of P. polymyxa SC2 and pepper using transcriptomics.

Results: P. polymyxa SC2 promotes growth of pepper stems and leaves in pot experiments in the greenhouse. Under interaction conditions, peppers stimulate the expression of genes related to quorum sensing, chemotaxis, and biofilm formation in P. polymyxa SC2. Peppers induced the expression of polymyxin and fusaricidin biosynthesis genes in P. polymyxa SC2, and these genes were up-regulated 2.93- to 6.13-fold and 2.77- to 7.88-fold, respectively. Under the stimulation of medium which has been used to culture pepper, the bacteriostatic diameter of P. polymyxa SC2 against Xanthomonas citri increased significantly. Concurrently, under the stimulation of P. polymyxa SC2, expression of transcription factor genes WRKY2 and WRKY40 in pepper was up-regulated 1.17-fold and 3.5-fold, respectively.

Conclusions: Through the interaction with pepper, the ability of P. polymyxa SC2 to inhibit pathogens was enhanced. P. polymyxa SC2 also induces systemic resistance in pepper by stimulating expression of corresponding transcription regulators. Furthermore, pepper has effects on chemotaxis and biofilm formation of P. polymyxa SC2. This study provides a basis for studying interactional mechanisms of P. polymyxa SC2 and pepper.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12866-021-02132-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7931354PMC
March 2021

A commentary on "The optimal dosage, route and timing of glucocorticoids administration for improving knee function, pain and inflammation in primary total knee arthroplasty: A systematic review and network meta-analysis of 34 randomized trials" [Int. J. Surg. 82 (2020 Oct) 182-191].

Int J Surg 2021 03 2;87:105888. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Department of Plastic Surgery, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200040, China; Medical Cosmetic Center, Department of Dermatology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200065, China. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijsu.2021.01.014DOI Listing
March 2021

Nitrogen and litter addition decreased sexual reproduction and increased clonal propagation in grasslands.

Oecologia 2021 Jan 24;195(1):131-144. Epub 2021 Jan 24.

Key Laboratory of Vegetation Ecology, Ministry of Education, Institute of Grassland Science, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, China.

The trade-offs between sexual reproduction and clonal propagation are of great significance in terms of ecology and evolution for clonal plants, and they vary with environmental change. Nitrogen (N) deposition can increase litter accumulation in grassland and promote litter decomposition and consequently increase nutrient availability. However, the response of plant reproduction to N and litter addition in grasslands remains unclear. We examined the combined effects of N addition and litter manipulation (i.e. initial litter, removal, addition) on sexual reproduction and clonal propagation of a perennial clonal grass, Leymus chinensis, at the population (total number) and individual (number per ramet) levels in an 11-year field experiment. Nitrogen addition and litter additionally decreased spike and seed number at the population level, and N addition reduced those at the individual level. Nitrogen addition and litter interactively affected bud number at the two levels, and N addition decreased bud number in the litter removal treatments and increased that in the litter addition treatments. The increased soil available N, rather than light and soil water content, explained the change in sexual reproduction and clonal propagation. The positive effects of litter addition on bud number in the treatments with N addition, suggested that the N deposition increased litter accumulation could intensify clonal propagation of perennial grasses and increase their dominance in grasslands. Grassland management that reduces litter accumulation, such as grazing and mowing, can therefore, help alleviate the negative effects of N deposition on plant diversity through decreasing clonal propagation of the dominant species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00442-020-04812-8DOI Listing
January 2021

The involvement of ADAR1 in antidepressant action by regulating BDNF via miR-432.

Behav Brain Res 2021 03 4;402:113087. Epub 2021 Jan 4.

College of Basic Medical Sciences, Dalian Medical University, Dalian, Liaoning, China; National and Local Joint Engineering Research Center for Drug Research and Development of Neurodegenerative Diseases, Dalian, Liaoning, China. Electronic address:

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a biomarker of depression. Recent studies have found adenosine deaminase acting on RNA1 (ADAR1) is a novel target being sensitive to stress at epigenetic level. The epigenetic regulation mechanism of stress-related depression is still unclear so far. To explore the potential regulating mechanism of ADAR1 on BDNF, over and low expression of ADAR1 in PC12 and SH-SY5Y cell lines are prepared. In the meanwhile, chronic unpredictable stress (CUS) mice are treated with ADAR1 inducer (interferon-γ, IFN-γ). ADAR1 regulates BDNF expression, which is proven by that over and low expressions of ADAR1 increase and decrease BDNF mRNA and protein respectively in vitro. Additionally, ADAR1 inducer alleviates the depressive-like behavior of CUS mice by recovering the decreased BDNF protein in brain and serum. Moreover, over and low expressions of ADAR1 reduce and enhance microRNA-432 (miR-432) expression respectively in vitro. Furtherly, over and low miR-432 expressions lead to decreased and increased BDNF and ADAR1 mRNA, protein and immunoreactivity respectively in vitro. The above results demonstrate that ADAR1 is involved in antidepressant action by regulating BDNF via miR-432. Those novel findings can provide a new idea for the study of epigenetic regulation mechanism, early diagnosis, and effective treatment of stress-related depression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2020.113087DOI Listing
March 2021

The influence of various additives on coagulation process at different dosing point: From a perspective of structure properties.

J Environ Sci (China) 2021 Mar 28;101:168-176. Epub 2020 Aug 28.

Key Laboratory of Drinking Water Science and Technology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100086, China. Electronic address:

Structure properties of flocs (size, fractal dimension (D), etc.) have a high impact on coagulation efficiency. In this work, the influences of three different additives (ferric salt (Fe), phosphate (P), and citric acid (CA)) on coagulation process/efficiency were investigated. Results showed that a small amount of extra Fe can facilitate the growth of Al flocs by providing more 'active sites'. Although zeta potential and D showed a limited change, the average floc size increased apparently and the increment was more obvious when Fe was added after the formation of the flocs. In contrast, P addition during the rapid mixing period will decrease the final average floc size, while the influence is less significant when P was added after the growth of the flocs. In terms of CA, a more striking negative effect on the growth ability of the flocs was observed compared to P. The strong complexing/coordination interactions between CA and aluminum hydroxide is the main reason behind the influence. CA also significantly decreased the D value of the flocs compared to P, and D showed a comparatively higher decrease when P or CA was added during the rapid mixing stage compared to the addition after the flocs formation. These results indicated that the addition of CA or P during the rapid mixing stage 'inactivated' or occupied more 'active sites' on the preliminarily formed Al NPs during the hydrolysis process, and therefore presented stronger impact on the morphology/size of the formed flocs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jes.2020.08.016DOI Listing
March 2021

Selection of a subspecies-specific diterpene gene cluster implicated in rice disease resistance.

Nat Plants 2020 12 7;6(12):1447-1454. Epub 2020 Dec 7.

National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement and National Center of Plant Gene Research (Wuhan), Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China.

Diterpenoids are the major group of antimicrobial phytoalexins in rice. Here, we report the discovery of a rice diterpenoid gene cluster on chromosome 7 (DGC7) encoding the entire biosynthetic pathway to 5,10-diketo-casbene, a member of the monocyclic casbene-derived diterpenoids. We revealed that DGC7 is regulated directly by JMJ705 through methyl jasmonate-mediated epigenetic control. Functional characterization of pathway genes revealed OsCYP71Z21 to encode a casbene C10 oxidase, sought after for the biosynthesis of an array of medicinally important diterpenoids. We further show that DGC7 arose relatively recently in the Oryza genus, and that it was partly formed in Oryza rufipogon and positively selected for in japonica during domestication. Casbene-synthesizing enzymes that are functionally equivalent to OsTPS28 are present in several species of Euphorbiaceae but gene tree analysis shows that these and other casbene-modifying enzymes have evolved independently. As such, combining casbene-modifying enzymes from these different families of plants may prove effective in producing a diverse array of bioactive diterpenoid natural products.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41477-020-00816-7DOI Listing
December 2020

Combined toxicity characteristics and regulation of residual quinolone antibiotics in water environment.

Chemosphere 2021 Jan 11;263:128301. Epub 2020 Sep 11.

Jilin Branch of China Kunlun Contracting Engineering Corporation, No. 888 Binjiangxi Road, Jilin, 132013, China. Electronic address:

In this study, the mixture toxicity index method was used to evaluate the combined toxicity of residual Quinolones (QNs) on algae in twelve groups of water environment reported in the literature. The selected three sets of data (II, Ⅺ, and Ⅻ) combined with full factorial design method were used to analyze the significance of the combined toxicity. Subsequently, molecular docking was used to reveal the significant mechanism of the primary effect of the combined toxicity. Finally, based on the sensitivity analysis method, the acid-base conditions affecting the combined toxicity were screened, and molecular dynamics simulation was used to control the combined toxicity in the water environment. The results of the mixture toxicity index method showed that the combined toxicity in all the twelve groups of water environments was synergistic. The full factorial design method revealed that ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, enrofloxacin, lomefloxacin, and their binary combinations from the combined toxicity system of QNs, were the significant factors that caused the synergistic toxicity of QN on algae. Molecular docking confirmed that the total number of amino acids, the number of significant amino acids, and hydrogen bonds of QNs toxic targets were significantly related to the synergistic effect of the combined toxicity. In addition, the molecular dynamics simulation showed that the binding energy of residual QNs and toxic targets changes with the acid-base conditions of the water environment. Thus, the combined toxicity can be slowed down or reduced by adequately adjusting the acid-base condition of the water.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.128301DOI Listing
January 2021

Benefiting others and self: Production of vitamins in plants.

J Integr Plant Biol 2021 Jan;63(1):210-227

College of Tropical Crops, Hainan University, Haikou, 570228, China.

Vitamins maintain growth and development in humans, animals, and plants. Because plants serve as essential producers of vitamins, increasing the vitamin contents in plants has become a goal of crop breeding worldwide. Here, we begin with a summary of the functions of vitamins. We then review the achievements to date in elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying how vitamins are synthesized, transported, and regulated in plants. We also stress the exploration of variation in vitamins by the use of forward genetic approaches, such as quantitative trait locus mapping and genome-wide association studies. Overall, we conclude that exploring the diversity of vitamins could provide new insights into plant metabolism and crop breeding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jipb.13047DOI Listing
January 2021

Electron Donor-Acceptor Complex-Initiated Photochemical Cyanation for the Preparation of α-Amino Nitriles.

Org Lett 2020 12 7;22(24):9638-9643. Epub 2020 Dec 7.

State Key Laboratory of Elemento-Organic Chemistry, Research Institute of Elemento-Organic Chemistry, College of Chemistry, Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemical Science and Engineering (Tianjin), Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China.

An electron donor-acceptor complex-initiated α-cyanation of tertiary amines has been described. The reaction protocol provides a novel method to synthesize various α-amino nitriles under mild conditions. The reaction can proceed smoothly without the presence of photocatalysts and transition metal catalysts, and either oxidants are unnecessary or O is the only oxidant. The practicality of this method is showcased not only by the late-stage functionalization of natural alkaloid derivatives and pharmaceutical intermediate, but also by the applicability of a stop-flow microtubing reactor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.orglett.0c03703DOI Listing
December 2020

Food insecurity and obesity among US young adults: the moderating role of biological sex and the mediating role of diet healthfulness.

Public Health Nutr 2020 Nov 13:1-8. Epub 2020 Nov 13.

Department of Epidemiology, Brown School of Public Health, 121 South Main Street, Providence, RI02903, USA.

Objective: To examine the association between food insecurity (FI) and obesity, measured by BMI and waist circumference (WC), among young adults and test the moderating role of biological sex and the mediating role of diet healthfulness (DH).

Design: Cross-sectional.

Setting: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011-2016.

Participants: The sample included 4667 young adults aged 18-35 years.

Results: Given the interaction terms between sex and FI, biological sex was a moderator between both FI and WC (P = 0·031) and FI and BMI (P = 0·007) among young adults. FI was associated with a 1·16 kg/m2 higher BMI (95 % CI 0·27, 2·05) and a 2·09 cm larger WC (95 % CI 0·05, 4·14) among young female adults, while FI was associated with a 0·26 kg/m2 higher BMI (95 % CI -0·65, 1·16) and a 0·78 cm larger WC (95 % CI -1·13, 2·89) among young male adults. DH mediated the relationships between both FI and BMI (indirect effect β = 0·14; 95 % CI 0·05, 0·23) and FI and WC (indirect effect β = 0·31; 95 % CI 0·10, 0·51) among females. Females with FI had poorer DH and thus had higher BMI and larger WC.

Conclusions: Young female adults with FI were more likely to experience overall and abdominal obesity compared with their male counterparts. Results also suggest that females with FI had poorer DH and thus had increased risk of both abdominal and overall obesity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1368980020004577DOI Listing
November 2020

Biomimetic Synthesis of Iridoid Alkaloids as Novel Leads for Fungicidal and Insecticidal Agents.

J Agric Food Chem 2020 Nov 30;68(45):12577-12584. Epub 2020 Oct 30.

State Key Laboratory of Elemento-Organic Chemistry, Research Institute of Elemento-Organic Chemistry, College of Chemistry, Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemical Science and Engineering (Tianjin), Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, People's Republic of China.

Monoterpenoid alkaloids are well known for their broad and excellent biological activities, but their extremely low content and complex chemical structure limit their practical application. This study used the biosynthetic precursor genipin as a basic material to conduct a biomimetic synthesis of iridoid alkaloids. The structures of the iridoid alkaloids were characterized by H and C NMR spectroscopy and high-resolution mass spectrometry, and their fungicidal and insecticidal activities were evaluated. Bioassay results indicated that iridoid alkaloids possess good to excellent activities against phytopathogenic fungi, diamondback moth, bean aphid, and spider mite. Compound had the most promising activity against three important phytopathogenic fungi (LC value of 34.5 μg/mL with a 95% confidence interval of 33.4-35.5 μg/mL), (18 μg/mL, 15.7-20.8 μg/mL), and (26 μg/mL, 22.4-30.4 μg/mL), thereby emerging as a potential new fungicidal lead. The structure-activity relationship research has shown that the electrical property and steric hindrance sizes of iridoid alkaloids apparently influence fungicidal activity. Moreover, compound exhibited good insecticidal activity against diamondback moth with an LC (35.6 μg/mL, 95% confidence interval 19.0-66.6 μg/mL) comparable to that of the commercial insecticide rotenone (35.4 μg/mL, 95% confidence interval 22.2-56.4 μg/mL). This outcome indicates that this compound deserves further study as a potential lead for development of new insecticides.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.0c04885DOI Listing
November 2020

Integrative Metabolomic and Transcriptomic Analyses Reveal Metabolic Changes and Its Molecular Basis in Rice Mutants of the Strigolactone Pathway.

Metabolites 2020 Oct 26;10(11). Epub 2020 Oct 26.

College of Tropical Crops, Hainan University, Haikou, Hainan 570288, China.

Plants have evolved many metabolites to meet the demands of growth and adaptation. Although strigolactones (SLs) play vital roles in controlling plant architecture, their function in regulating plant metabolism remains elusive. Here we report the integrative metabolomic and transcriptomic analyses of two rice SL mutants, (a biosynthesis mutant) and (a perception mutant). Both mutants displayed a series of metabolic and transcriptional alterations, especially in the lipid, flavonoid, and terpenoid pathways. Levels of several diterpenoid phytoalexins were substantially increased in and , together with the induction of terpenoid gene cluster and the corresponding upstream transcription factor , an established determinant of plant immunity. The fact that is a target of , which acted as a downstream transcription factor of SL signaling, suggests that SLs contribute to plant defense through and phytoalexins. Moreover, our data indicated that SLs may modulate rice metabolism through a vast number of clustered or tandemly duplicated genes. Our work revealed a central role of SLs in rice metabolism. Meanwhile, integrative analysis of the metabolome and transcriptome also suggested that SLs may contribute to metabolite-associated growth and defense.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/metabo10110425DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7693813PMC
October 2020

Susceptibility and Volume Measures of the Mammillary Bodies Between Mild Cognitively Impaired Patients and Healthy Controls.

Front Neurosci 2020 15;14:572595. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

Department of Radiology, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.

Purpose: To investigate the baseline values and differences for susceptibility and volume of the mammillary bodies between mild cognitively impaired (MCI) patients and healthy controls (HCs), and further explore their differences in relation to gender, MCI subtypes and apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotypes.

Methods: T1-weighted and multi-echo gradient echo imaging sequences were acquired on a 3T MR scanner to evaluate the T1W based volume and susceptibility differences in the mammillary body for 47 MCI and 47 HCs. -tests were performed to compare volume and susceptibility between groups, and right and left hemispheres. Correlation analysis was used to relate the volume and mean susceptibility as a function of age in MCI and HC groups separately, and to investigate the relationship of susceptibility with the neuro-psychological scales in the MCI group.

Results: Susceptibility was found to be elevated within the right mammillary body in MCI patients compared to HCs ( < 0.05). There were no differences for the mammillary body volumes between the MCI and HC groups, although there was a reduction in volume with age for the MCI group ( = 0.007). Women showed decreased mammillary body volume compared to men in the HC group ( = 0.004). No significant differences were found in relation to MCI subtypes and APOE genotypes. No significant correlations were observed between mammillary body susceptibility with neuro-psychological scales.

Conclusion: This work provides a quantitative baseline for both the volume and susceptibility of the mammillary body which can be used for future studies of cognitive impairment patients underlying the pathology of the Papez circuit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2020.572595DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7522522PMC
September 2020

A multidisciplinary perspective on the evolution of municipal waste management through text-mining: A mini-review.

Waste Manag Res 2021 Jan 7;39(1):32-42. Epub 2020 Oct 7.

School of Economics and Management, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing, People's Republic of China.

The unprecedented urbanization that is occurring worldwide brings with it a vast amount of solid waste, leading to a rapid increase in study of municipal waste management (MWM) worldwide. This mini-review assessed this body of research both quantitatively and qualitatively. The data for the review were 9711 publications indexed by the Science Citation Index Expanded and the Social Sciences Citation Index for the period 2000-2019. The analysis showed that developed countries, the United States in particular, led trends in research during the first part of the period, and developing countries made substantial contributions to the literature more recently. For all years since 2009 except for 2014, China produced more research than the United States, becoming the most productive country in the study of MWM. Home to five of the ten most productive global research institutes on this subject, China is also a hub for collaboration among countries and institutes, as is the United States. Using content analysis and keyword visualization, this study characterized two decades of study of MWM. This study found that the keywords "sustainability," "waste-to-energy," "life-cycle assessment," and "China" exhibited an upward trend in research. This study seeks the pathway to successful scientific research, helping guide researchers as they innovate in and contribute to the field, and proposes pathways that governments can take to build sustainable MWM systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0734242X20962841DOI Listing
January 2021

Combination of Danshen and ligustrazine has dual anti-inflammatory effect on macrophages and endothelial cells.

J Ethnopharmacol 2021 Feb 30;266:113425. Epub 2020 Sep 30.

Pharmaceutical Informatics Institute, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.

Ethnopharmacological Relevance: Salvia Miltiorrhiza Radix et Rhizoma (Danshen) and Chuanxiong Rhizoma (Chuanxiong) are both traditional Chinese medicines with vascular protective effects, and their combination is widely used in China to treat occlusive or ischemic diseases of the cerebrovascular or cardiovascular system. Although it is widely accepted that these diseases have high relevance to inflammation, little is known about the anti-inflammatory effect of Danshen, Chuanxiong, and their combination.

Aim Of Study: We aimed to investigate the complex mode of action of Danshen, Chuanxiong, and their combination and the molecular mechanisms underlying their anti-inflammatory activity. Specifically, toll-like receptor (TLR1/2, 3, and 4)-triggered macrophages and endothelial cells, the two major cell players in atherosclerosis as well as in related cardiovascular and cerebrovascular injuries, were emphasized.

Methods: TLR1/2-, TLR3-, and TLR4-induced bone marrow macrophages (BMMs) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were treated with Danshen extract (S. miltiorrhiza extract, SME), ligustrazine (2, 3, 5, 6-tetramethylpyrazine, TMP), and their combination (S. miltiorrhiza and TMP injection, SLI), respectively. The proinflammatory cytokines interleukin 6 (IL-6), IL-12, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) were detected as the preliminary indicators of inflammation. In addition, RNA sequencing (RNA-seq)-based transcriptional profiling analyses were conducted for TLR2-activated BMMs to determine the molecular mode of action of SLI as well as the contribution of SME to SLI activity.

Results: SLI mitigated inflammation in both BMMs and HUVECs. Refer to the combination, SME had pronounced anti-inflammatory effect on BMMs but had only a slight effect on HUVECs. In contrast, TMP had considerable anti-inflammatory effect on HUVECs but not on BMMs. Bioinformatic analysis identified a broad spectrum of regulatory genes, in addition to IL-6 gene, and C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 10 (CXCL10) appeared to be another key molecule involved in the mechanism underlying SLI and SME effects. At the molecular level, SME was a major contributor of the anti-inflammatory activity of SLI.

Conclusions: In TLR-activated inflammation, SLI exhibits a "multiple ingredient-multiple target" effect, with SME primarily affecting macrophages and TMP affecting HUVECs. Our study provides evidence for the clinical application of SLI in treating complex diseases involving inflammation-induced injury of both macrophages and epithelial cells. Further bioinformatics studies are required to reveal the entire molecular network involved in TMP, SME, and SLI activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2020.113425DOI Listing
February 2021

Resequencing of 1,143 indica rice accessions reveals important genetic variations and different heterosis patterns.

Nat Commun 2020 09 22;11(1):4778. Epub 2020 Sep 22.

Huazhi Biotech Co. Ltd, 410125, Changsha, China.

Obtaining genetic variation information from indica rice hybrid parents and identification of loci associated with heterosis are important for hybrid rice breeding. Here, we resequence 1,143 indica accessions mostly selected from the parents of superior hybrid rice cultivars of China, identify genetic variations, and perform kinship analysis. We find different hybrid rice crossing patterns between 3- and 2-line superior hybrid lines. By calculating frequencies of parental variation differences (FPVDs), a more direct approach for studying rice heterosis, we identify loci that are linked to heterosis, which include 98 in superior 3-line hybrids and 36 in superior 2-line hybrids. As a proof of concept, we find two accessions harboring a deletion in OsNramp5, a previously reported gene functioning in cadmium absorption, which can be used to mitigate rice grain cadmium levels through hybrid breeding. Resource of indica rice genetic variation reported in this study will be valuable to geneticists and breeders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-18608-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7508829PMC
September 2020

Regulation of hepatic insulin signaling and glucose homeostasis by sphingosine kinase 2.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020 09 11;117(39):24434-24442. Epub 2020 Sep 11.

Centenary Institute, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2050, Australia;

Sphingolipid dysregulation is often associated with insulin resistance, while the enzymes controlling sphingolipid metabolism are emerging as therapeutic targets for improving insulin sensitivity. We report herein that sphingosine kinase 2 (SphK2), a key enzyme in sphingolipid catabolism, plays a critical role in the regulation of hepatic insulin signaling and glucose homeostasis both in vitro and in vivo. Hepatocyte-specific knockout mice exhibit pronounced insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. Likewise, SphK2-deficient hepatocytes are resistant to insulin-induced activation of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)-Akt-FoxO1 pathway and elevated hepatic glucose production. Mechanistically, SphK2 deficiency leads to the accumulation of sphingosine that, in turn, suppresses hepatic insulin signaling by inhibiting PI3K activation in hepatocytes. Either reexpressing functional SphK2 or pharmacologically inhibiting sphingosine production restores insulin sensitivity in SphK2-deficient hepatocytes. In conclusion, the current study provides both experimental findings and mechanistic data showing that SphK2 and sphingosine in the liver are critical regulators of insulin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2007856117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7533871PMC
September 2020

Visible Light-Driven α-Alkylation of -Aryl tetrahydroisoquinolines Initiated by Electron Donor-Acceptor Complexes.

Org Lett 2020 Sep 9;22(18):7290-7294. Epub 2020 Sep 9.

Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Pesticide Science, College of Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China.

The visible light-driven α-alkylation of -aryl tetrahydroisoquinolines was initiated through electron donor-acceptor complex photochemistry. The reaction can proceed smoothly without the addition of any photocatalysts, transition-metal catalysts, or additional oxidants. The proposed mechanism was supported by various mechanistic studies, and the reactive open-shell alkyl radicals were generally produced from an alkylamine and underwent radical coupling for alkylating a wide range of -aryl tetrahydroisoquinolines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.orglett.0c02631DOI Listing
September 2020

Estimating employment from energy-efficiency investments.

MethodsX 2020 8;7:100955. Epub 2020 Jun 8.

School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology, 365 Cherry Street, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA.

We develop a methodology for estimating the number and types of jobs that would result from investments in energy efficiency in homes, businesses, and industry. The methodology involves the development of input-output (I-O) bills of goods that characterize how energy-efficiency funds would be spent across sectors of the economy. The methodology builds on and adds greater articulation to the research conducted in prior studies of U.S. energy-efficiency policies.•The first two steps involve estimating the magnitude of investments in energy-efficient technologies and systems required to produce a unit of energy consumption reduction, and then identifying how these investments are expensed across the broad investment categories, which creates the preliminary "bills of goods" for investments in energy efficiency in homes, businesses, and industry.•The third step involves soliciting feedback on the preliminary bills of goods from experts in delivering and evaluating energy-efficiency programs, and then making necessary modifications.•In the final step we apply the input-output coefficients representing the bills of goods to estimate the direct, indirect and induced employment per million dollars of investment in energy efficiency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mex.2020.100955DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7327832PMC
June 2020

Haploid pluripotent stem cells: twofold benefits with half the effort in genetic screening and reproduction.

Curr Opin Genet Dev 2020 10 18;64:6-12. Epub 2020 Jun 18.

State Key Laboratory of Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China; Institute for Stem Cell and Regeneration, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China. Electronic address:

Haploid pluripotent stem cells, which are capable of self-renewal and differentiation into other cell types with only one set of chromosomes, have been established in several species from haploid embryos. Compared with diploid embryonic stem cells (ESCs), haploid embryonic stem cells (haESCs) are smaller in size, have a prolonged metaphase, and undergo self-doubling during culture. The monoallelic expression of haESCs provides great convenience for recessive inheritance research. Genetically modified haESCs also provide benefits in replacement of the gamete genomes, which not only facilitates the study of the function of imprinted genes but also potentially removes barriers to same-sex reproduction. In this review, we focus on strategies for obtaining haESCs and their potential applications in genetic screening, genomic imprinting, and unisexual reproduction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gde.2020.05.013DOI Listing
October 2020

Effect of Danshen on TLR2-triggered inflammation in macrophages.

Phytomedicine 2020 Apr 20;70:153228. Epub 2020 Apr 20.

Pharmaceutical Informatics Institute, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.

Background: Danshen (Salvia Miltiorrhiza Radix et Rhizoma) is a valued herbal plant widely used to treat cardiovascular diseases in Asian countries. In modern medicine, innate immunity-induced inflammation is considered a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. However, little is known about the anti-inflammatory effects and molecular mechanism of Danshen.

Purpose: To evaluate the molecular mechanisms of Danshen on Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2-triggered inflammation in macrophages and identify its bioactive components.

Methods: Pam3CSK4-stimulated bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMMs) were treated with Danshen water extract (DSE), and the levels of proinflammatory cytokines (interleukin (IL)-6, IL-12 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α) were measured by both real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). RNA sequencing (RNA-seq)-based bioinformatics analyses were applied to reveal the novel molecular mechanisms of DSE, followed by western blotting for verification. Additionally, HPLC-UV analysis along with bioassays was performed to identify the bioactive ingredients of DSE.

Results: The results of RT-qPCR and ELISA showed that DSE significantly inhibited proinflammatory cytokine expression in a dose-dependent manner. Transcriptome analyses revealed that a wider panel of inflammatory cytokines responded to the regulatory effect of DSE, and that the TNF signaling pathway might have played a vital role. Western blotting data confirmed the involvement of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases (ERK) and Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK) related singling pathway. Among the seven components identified in DSE, Danshensu (DSS) and protocatechuic aldehyde (PA) were confirmed as bioactive ones with anti-inflammatory effects.

Conclusion: DSE showed a promising effect against TLR2-triggered inflammation associated with the inhibition of the TNF cascade down-streamed mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway, in which IL-6 acts as the key effective molecule, and ERK and JNK phosphorylation was inhibited. Notably, DSS and PA were considered bioactive components with anti-inflammatory bioactivity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2020.153228DOI Listing
April 2020

Hot topics in global perianal fistula research: A scopus-based bibliometric analysis.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2020 Apr;99(17):e19659

Department of Colorectal Surgery, Guang'anmen Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.

Background: The number of citations a scientific paper has received indicates its impact within any medical field. We performed a bibliometric analysis to highlight the key topics of the most frequently cited 100 articles on perianal fistula to determine the advances in this field.

Methods: The Scopus database was searched from 1960 to 2018 using the search terms "perianal fistula" or "anal fistula" or "fistula in ano" or "anal fistulae" or "anorectal fistulae" including full articles. The topic, year of publication, publishing journal, country of origin, institution, and department of the first author were analyzed.

Results: The median number of citations for the top 100 of 3431 eligible papers, ranked in order of the number of citations, was 100 (range: 65-811), and the number of citations per year was 7.5 (range: 3.8-40.1). The most-cited paper (by Parks et al in 1976; 811citations) focused on the classification of perianal fistula. The institution with the highest number of publications was St Mark's Hospital, London, UK. The most-studied topic was surgical management (n = 47). The country and the decade with the greatest number of publications in this field were the USA (n = 34) and the 2000s (n = 50), respectively.

Conclusion: The 100 most frequently cited manuscripts showed that surgical management had the greatest impact on the study of perianal fistula. This citation analysis provides a reference of what could be considered the most classic papers on perianal fistula, and may serve as a reference for researchers and clinicians as to what constitutes a citable paper in this field.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000019659DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7220700PMC
April 2020
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