Publications by authors named "Zhihao Li"

142 Publications

Metabolomic profile combined with transcriptomic analysis reveals the value of UV-C in improving the utilization of waste grape berries.

Food Chem 2021 Jun 4;363:130288. Epub 2021 Jun 4.

College of Enology, Viti-Viniculture Engineering Technology Center of State Forestry and Grassland Administration, Shaanxi Engineering Research Center for Viti-Viniculture, Heyang Viti-Viniculture Station, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China. Electronic address:

Table grape is a popular fruit worldwide. The quality of the appearance of table grapes directly affects their commercial value. Table grape bunches are usually carefully managed during production. At different developmental stages, a large number of grape berries are pruned as waste for commercial appearance, which leads to wasted resources. Ultraviolet-C (UV-C) can regulate the accumulation of secondary metabolites in fruits. In this study, metabolomic profile was combined with transcriptomic analysis technology to explore the value of UV-C in improving the utilization of waste grapes. The berries of the 'Jumeigui' grape were subjected to UV-C radiation treatment in the green-berry stage, veraison stage, and maturation stage. The results showed that UV-C could brown grape berries and decrease their sugar content at different developmental stages. Compared with other samples, those treated with UV-C in the veraison stage had the most upregulated metabolites, while samples in the green-berry stage had the most down-regulated metabolites. UV-C promoted the accumulation of stilbenes and some flavonoids in the berries at each developmental stage (especially at the green-berry and veraison stages). Compared with other stages, UV-C treatment during the veraison stage led to the highest number of upregulated genes related to transcription factors, protein modification, indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), abscisic acid (ABA), gibberellin acid (GA), receptor kinases, and Ascorbic acid/Glutathione (Ascorb/Gluath). UV-C might promote the accumulation of phenolic components by upregulating the expression of their biosynthesis related genes. UV-C may be an effective in vitro approach for improving the application value of waste grape berries by enhancing the accumulation of the nutritious phenolic components.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2021.130288DOI Listing
June 2021

Facet Selectivity Guided Assembly of Nanoarchitectures onto Two-Dimensional Metal-Organic-Framework Nanosheets.

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 2021 May 28. Epub 2021 May 28.

Wuhan Univiversity, College of Chemistry and Molecular Sciences, Luojiashan Street, 430072, Wuhan, CHINA.

Facet-selective nanostructures in living systems usually exhibit outstanding optical and enzymatic properties and play important roles in biological functions such as photonics, matter exchange, and biocatalysis. Bioinspired construction of facet-selective nanostructures offers great opportunities for sophisticated nanomaterials with extended applications, but remains a formidable task. Herein, a macromolecule-mediated strategy was developed for the assembly of upconversion nanoparticles/two dimemsional metal-organic framework (UCNPs/2DMOFs) heterostructures with facet selectivity. Both experimental and theoretical results demonstrate that polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) can be utilized as an interface-selective mediator to further promote the facet-selective assembly of MOFs onto the surface of UCNPs. More importantly, the UCNPs/2DMOFs nanostructures with facet selectivity display specific optical properties and show great advantages in multiplexed coding and anti-counterfeiting. Our demonstration of UCNPs/2DMOFs provides a vivid example for the controlled fabrication of facet-selective nanostructures and can promote the development of advanced functional materials for applications in biosensing, energy conversion, and information assurance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.202103486DOI Listing
May 2021

Isolation and identification of an osmotolerant strain T4 for 2, 3-butanediol production with tobacco waste.

Prep Biochem Biotechnol 2021 May 19:1-8. Epub 2021 May 19.

Key Laboratory of Biobased Materials, Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, China.

Microbial biomass and waste materials conversion for biochemicals production has been an alternative for energy conservation and emission reduction. While toxic substances in biomass materials and high osmotic pressure formed in fermentation-based systems block the bioconversion processes of microorganisms. In the present study, strain T4 that isolated from tobacco waste could resist toxic inhibitors such as nicotine and was suitable for generation of 2, 3-butanediol (2, 3-BD) with a high concentration of glucose (up to 20%). 30.06 and 1.54 g/L of 2, 3-BD was generated respectively from 50 g/L of tobacco waste with and without 200 g/L glucose after fermentation for 48 h. Besides, the results of biochemical tests showed that it was gram-positive and able to liquefy gelatin, hydrolyze starch and produce catalases. It could utilize glucose but not lactose as carbohydrates during fermentation. The 16S rRNA sequence and systematic analysis revealed that T4 was identified to be a (). This work presents a promising model microorganism chassis to use the biomass waste for high value-added biochemicals production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10826068.2021.1925912DOI Listing
May 2021

Electroacupuncture at GV20‑GB7 regulates mitophagy to protect against neurological deficits following intracerebral hemorrhage via inhibition of apoptosis.

Mol Med Rep 2021 Jul 6;24(1). Epub 2021 May 6.

Department of Clinical Medicine, Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, Harbin, Heilongjiang 150040, P.R. China.

The acupuncture penetrating line of Baihui (GV20) to Qubin (GB7) spans the parietal, frontal and temporal lobes. The present study aimed to elucidate the mechanism by which electroacupuncture (EA) at GV20‑GB7 regulates mitophagy in intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and whether it serves a neuroprotective role. A whole blood‑induced ICH model was used. Mitophagy‑regulating proteins, including BCL/adenovirus E1B 19 kDa‑interacting protein 3 (BNIP3), PTEN‑induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1), Parkin and apoptosis‑associated proteins were detected by western blotting; autophagy following ICH was evaluated by immunofluorescent techniques; morphological characteristics of mitophagy were observed using transmission electron microscopy; and TUNEL assay was performed to determine the number of apoptotic cells. Immunohistochemistry was used to detect p53 expression. The protective role of EA (GV20‑GB7) via enhanced mitophagy and suppressed apoptosis in ICH was further confirmed by decreased modified neurological severity score. The results showed that EA (GV20‑GB7) treatment upregulated mitochondrial autophagy following ICH and inhibited apoptotic cell death. The mechanism underlying EA (GV20‑GB7) treatment may involve inhibition of p53, an overlapping protein of autophagy and apoptosis. EA (GV20‑GB7) treatment decreased neurobehavioral deficits following ICH but pretreatment with 3‑methyladenine counteracted the beneficial effects of EA (GV20‑GB7) treatment. In conclusion, EA (GV20‑GB7) improved recovery from ICH by regulating the balance between mitophagy and apoptosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2021.12131DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8127033PMC
July 2021

Association between supportive attitude and adoptive practice of control strategy against COVID-19 amosng college students in China: a cross-sectional study.

BMC Public Health 2021 04 26;21(1):796. Epub 2021 Apr 26.

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, 510515, China.

Background: We investigated college students' attitude and compliance towards a prevention strategy involving use of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional online survey in four universities in Guangdong Province (China) based on purposive sampling. A self-administered questionnaire was given to College students (CSs) to measure the supportive attitude towards an outbreak control strategy and adoption of NPIs in respondents.

Results: A total of 44,446 CSs participated between 31 January and 10 February 2020; 92.7% of respondents supported the outbreak control strategy. The proportion of respondents who avoided public places, wore a facemask, avoid gatherings, and washed hands more frequently than usual was 94.8, 92.8, 91.2 and 86.9%. respectively. A total of 76.5% respondents adopted all four measures. A supportive attitude was associated with NPI adoption. Students who were female, postgraduate, anxious, and not depressed tended to have a higher supportive attitude and higher chance of NPI adoption.

Conclusions: Higher supportiveness towards the disease control strategy for the Chinese public may lead to higher adoption rate of NPIs. Psychosocial factors were related to a supportive attitude and adoption of the NPI. We believe that our findings could aid policymakers to create NPIs to prevent and control emerging infectious diseases such as COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-10752-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8072096PMC
April 2021

S100A14 inhibits cell growth and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in prostate cancer through FAT1-mediated Hippo signaling pathway.

Hum Cell 2021 Jul 23;34(4):1215-1226. Epub 2021 Apr 23.

Department of Urology, Fujian Medical University Union Hospital, No. 29, Xinquan Road, Gulou District, Fuzhou, 350001, Fujian, China.

Prostate cancer (PCA) is an epithelial malignant tumor occurring in the prostate gland. It is the second most common male cancer in the world and one of the top five cancer deaths in men. To combat this disease, it is needed to identify important tumor suppressor genes and elucidate the molecular mechanisms. S100 calcium-binding protein A14 (S100A14), a member of the S100 family, is located on chromosome 1q21.3 and contains an EF-hand motif that binds calcium. S100A14 is involved in a variety of tumor biological processes in several types of cancers. Its expression level and related biological functions are tissue or tumor specific. However, its possible effects on prostate cancer are still unclear. Herein, we found the low expression of S100A14 in human prostate cancer tissues and cell lines. S100A14 suppressed the proliferation of prostate cancer cells and promoted cell apoptosis. Additionally, S100A14 suppressed the motility and EMT processes of prostate cancer cells. We further found S100A14 promoted the expression of FAT1 and activated the Hippo pathway, which, therefore, suppressed the prostate cancer progression. The in vivo assays confirmed that S100A14 suppressed tumor growth of prostate cancer cells through FAT1-mediated Hippo pathway in mice. In conclusion, we clarified the mechanism underlying S100A14 suppressing prostate cancer progression and, therefore, we thought S100A14 could serve as a tumor suppressor protein.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13577-021-00538-8DOI Listing
July 2021

How to Efficiently Prepare Transparent Lubricant-Infused Surfaces: Inspired by Candle Soot.

Langmuir 2021 04 16;37(16):4869-4878. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for the Green Preparation and Application of Functional Materials, Hubei University, Wuhan 430062, People's Republic of China.

Poly(dimethylsiloxane) is a common dispersant, modifier, and binder in the field of bioinspired wettability. Herein, the soot production when poly(dimethylsiloxane) was burning was used to directly construct a superhydrophobic coating with the water contact angle reaching 159.7°. After the lubricant was infused, its transparency was greater than 80% of air in the visible light range of the human eye. In addition, the sliding angle and contact angle of the coating were stable for 15 days. It showed excellent oil-locking ability and stability. Even if the superhydrophobic coating was immersed in various organic solvents for 15 days, its hydrophobicity did not change. Moreover, the coating had an excellent anti-fouling ability and self-cleaning ability to meet actual application conditions. Furthermore, the preparation method was simple and rapid, without the participation of fluorine-containing modifiers, and provides a brand-new method for preparing transparent lubricant-infused surfaces.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.langmuir.1c00062DOI Listing
April 2021

Postharvest Dehydration Temperature Modulates the Transcriptomic Programme and Flavonoid Profile of Grape Berries.

Foods 2021 Mar 23;10(3). Epub 2021 Mar 23.

College of Enology, Viti-Viniculture Engineering Technology Center of State Forestry and Grassland Administration, Shaanxi Engineering Research Center for Viti-Viniculture, Heyang Viti-Viniculture Station, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China.

Raisins are a popular and nutritious snack that is produced through the dehydration of postharvest grape berries under high temperature (HT). However, the response of the endogenous metabolism of white grape varieties to postharvest dehydration under different temperature have not been fully elucidated to date. In this study, the white grape cultivar 'Xiangfei' was chosen to investigate the effect of dehydration at 50 °C, 40 °C, and 30 °C on the transcriptomic programme and metabolite profiles of grape berries. Postharvest dehydration promoted the accumulation of soluble sugar components and organic acids in berries. The content of gallic acid and its derivatives increased during the dehydration process and the temperature of 40 °C was the optimal for flavonoids and proanthocyanidins accumulation. High-temperature dehydration stress might promote the accumulation of gallic acid by increasing the expression levels of their biosynthesis related genes and regulating the production of NADP and NADPH. Compared with that at 30 °C, dehydration at 40 °C accelerated the transcription programme of 7654 genes and induced the continuous upregulation of genes related to the heat stress response and redox homeostasis in each stage. The results of this study indicate that an appropriate dehydration temperature should be selected and applied when producing polyphenols-rich raisins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/foods10030687DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8005005PMC
March 2021

Point-of-Care Pathogen Testing Using Photonic Crystals and Machine Vision for Diagnosis of Urinary Tract Infections.

Nano Lett 2021 04 26;21(7):2854-2860. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

Key Laboratory of Biomedical Polymers of Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry and Molecular Sciences, School of Microelectronics, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) caused by bacterial invasion can lead to life-threatening complications, posing a significant health threat to more than 150 million people worldwide. As a result, there is need for accurate and rapid diagnosis of UTIs to enable more effective treatment. Described here is an intelligent diagnostic system constructed for bacterial detection using an immunobiosensor, signal-amplification biochip, and image processing algorithm based on machine vision. This prototype can quickly detect bacteria by collection of enhanced luminescence enabled by the photonic crystals integrated into the biochip. By use of a machine vision algorithm, the very small luminescence signals are analyzed to provide a low detection limit and wide dynamic range. This sensor system can offer an affordable, accessible, and user-friendly digital diagnostic solution, possibly suitable for wearable technology, that could improve treatment of this challenging disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.0c04942DOI Listing
April 2021

Target Reprogramming Lysosomes of CD8+ T Cells by a Mineralized Metal-Organic Framework for Cancer Immunotherapy.

Adv Mater 2021 Apr 24;33(17):e2100616. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

The State Key Laboratory Breeding Base of Basic Science of Stomatology (Hubei-MOST) & Key Laboratory of Oral Biomedicine Ministry of Education, School & Hospital of Stomatology, Wuhan University, Wuhan, 430079, China.

T cell immunotherapy holds significant challenges in solid tumors, mainly due to the T cells' low activation and the decreased synthesis-release of therapeutic proteins, including perforin and granzyme B, which are present in lysosomes. In this study, a lysosome-targeting nanoparticle (LYS-NP) is developed by way of a mineralized metal-organic framework (MOF) coupled with a lysosome-targeting aptamer (CD63-aptamer) to enhance the antitumor effect of T cells. The MOF synthesized from Zn and dimethylimidazole has good protein encapsulation and acid sensitivity, and is thus an ideal lysosomal delivery vector. Calcium carbonate (CaCO ) is used to induce MOF mineralization, improve the composite material's stability in encapsulating therapeutic protein, and provide calcium ions with synergistic effects. Before mineralization, perforin and granzyme B-T cell-needed therapeutic proteins for tumors-are preloaded with the MOF. Moreover, T cells are pretreated with processed tumor-specific antigens to activate or produce memory before reprogramming the lysosomes, facilitating the T cell receptor (TCR) for release of the therapeutic proteins. Using T cells recombined by LYS-NPs, a significant enhancement of breast cancer control is confirmed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/adma.202100616DOI Listing
April 2021

Case Report: Dendritic Cells and Macrophages Capture Sperm in Chronically Inflamed Human Epididymis.

Front Immunol 2021 23;12:629680. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

Department of Urology, Fujian Medical University Union Hospital, Fuzhou, China.

Chronic inflammation of the male genital tract is thought to be a primary etiological factor of male infertility. The abundance and activation of macrophages and dendritic cells in patients with chronic inflammation of genital tract were closely associated with oligozoospermia and asthenospermia. Chronic epididymitis appears to be more important than seminal vesiculitis or prostatitis due to the direct interaction between spermatozoa and epididymal inflammatory cells. In this study, we present a case report of a 41-year-old male with oligoasthenospermia and chronic epididymitis. Hematoxylin-eosin staining and immunofluorescence analyses showed that antigen presenting cells including macrophages and dendritic cells were found capturing spermatozoa in the lumen of cauda epididymis. To our knowledge, this is the first case report that directly observed dendritic cells capturing spermatozoa in the lumen of an inflamed epididymis. This finding directly explains chronic epididymitis as the possible cause of oligospermia in patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.629680DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7942197PMC
February 2021

CaO/gelatin oxygen slow-releasing microspheres facilitate tissue engineering efficiency for the osteonecrosis of femoral head by enhancing the angiogenesis and survival of grafted bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells.

Biomater Sci 2021 Apr 2;9(8):3005-3018. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Department of Spinal Surgery, Orthopedic Medical Center, Zhujiang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510280, China.

The osteonecrosis of femoral head (ONFH), a common refractory disease, is still not fully understood today. Hypoxia caused by ischemia is not only an important pathogenic factor but also a critical challenge for the survival of seed cells in the tissue engineering therapy of ONFH. To explore an efficient strategy to treat ONFH by targeting hypoxia, newly designed CaO/gelatin microspheres were composited with 3D printed polycaprolactone/nano-hydroxyapatite (PCL/nHA) porous scaffold, sodium alginate/gelatin hydrogel, and bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) to develop a novel tissue engineering scaffold and then transplanted into the core depression area of the ONFH rabbit model. The current data demonstrated that CaO/gelatin microspheres can constantly release oxygen for 19 days. In vitro assays with BMSCs illustrated that scaffolds have high biocompatibility and are favorable for cell proliferation in extreme hypoxia (1% O). The in vivo study demonstrated that the transplanted scaffold with oxygen-generating microspheres significantly enhanced the osteogenic and angiogenic effects compared to the scaffold without microspheres. Further assessments revealed that microspheres in the scaffold can reduce the local cell apoptosis and enhance the survival of grafted cells in the host. Collectively, the present study developed a novel oxygen slow-releasing composite scaffold, which can facilitate tissue engineering efficiency for treating the osteonecrosis of the femoral head by enhancing the angiogenesis and survival of grafted stem cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0bm02071kDOI Listing
April 2021

Intention Understanding in Human-Robot Interaction Based on Visual-NLP Semantics.

Front Neurorobot 2020 2;14:610139. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Manufacturing, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, China.

With the rapid development of robotic and AI technology in recent years, human-robot interaction has made great advancement, making practical social impact. Verbal commands are one of the most direct and frequently used means for human-robot interaction. Currently, such technology can enable robots to execute pre-defined tasks based on simple and direct and explicit language instructions, e.g., certain keywords must be used and detected. However, that is not the natural way for human to communicate. In this paper, we propose a novel task-based framework to enable the robot to comprehend human intentions using visual semantics information, such that the robot is able to satisfy human intentions based on natural language instructions (total three types, namely clear, vague, and feeling, are defined and tested). The proposed framework includes a language semantics module to extract the keywords despite the explicitly of the command instruction, a visual object recognition module to identify the objects in front of the robot, and a similarity computation algorithm to infer the intention based on the given task. The task is then translated into the commands for the robot accordingly. Experiments are performed and validated on a humanoid robot with a defined task: to pick the desired item out of multiple objects on the table, and hand over to one desired user out of multiple human participants. The results show that our algorithm can interact with different types of instructions, even with unseen sentence structures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnbot.2020.610139DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7888278PMC
February 2021

Segment 6 monosegment-preserving hepatectomy for hepatoblastoma: individualizing treatment beyond the resectability criteria.

Hepatobiliary Surg Nutr 2021 Jan;10(1):142-145

Liver Transplantation Center, Department of Surgery, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/hbsn-20-457DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7867712PMC
January 2021

Functional metagenomic and enrichment metatranscriptomic analysis of marine microbial activities within a marine oil spill area.

Environ Pollut 2021 Apr 27;274:116555. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

School of Chemical Engineering, Hebei University of Technology, Tianjin, 300130, China.

Microorganisms can degrade petroleum hydrocarbons, providing the advantages of low cost and few side effects towards ecosystems. Here, we evaluated the mechanisms of microbial degradation of marine petroleum hydrocarbon using metagenomics and metatranscriptomics approaches in order to provide new insight into microbial degradation of petroleum hydrocarbon. Seawater samples were collected at a depth of ∼8 m from an area near a drilling platform in the Bohai Bay and metagenomic sequencing was used to evaluate the functional potential of these marine microbial communities. Metatranscriptomic sequencing, fluorescence in-situ hybridization experiments, and flow cytometry were also performed on the microbial communities of samples subjected to 12 different culture conditions. The data were also subjected to Weighted Gene Co-expression Network Analysis (WGCNA) and co-transcription data visualization to evaluate co-transcription of gene functions. Metagenomic sequencing indicated the presence of numerous genes that were related to petroleum hydrocarbon metabolism. Further, the high co-transcription of genes in multiple pathways, indicated that groups of genes were synergistically transcribed to metabolize petroleum hydrocarbons. Metatranscriptomics also showed that microbial metabolism was highly active in the enrichments and that the transcription of a large number of prokaryotic replication and repair genes were significantly up-regulated including those encoding for the type VI secretion system (T6SS) protein, DNA polymerase I, thymidine phosphorylase, mevalonate kinase, and two-component systems. Concomitantly, the transcription of ribosomal genes involved in translation and photosynthetic genes involved in energy metabolism were down-regulated. Overall, oil and oxygen presence can increase the oil-degradation rates and related genes' transcription. Lot different metabolisms are co-regulated to exploit nutrients derived from the metabolism of petroleum hydrocarbons. Our analysis of metagenomic, metatranscriptomic and degradation data in this study show that a widespread gene spectrum involved in oil-degradation and the cooperation among genes is of great importance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.116555DOI Listing
April 2021

Bifunctional scaffolds of hydroxyapatite/poly(dopamine)/carboxymethyl chitosan with osteogenesis and anti-osteosarcoma effect.

Biomater Sci 2021 May;9(9):3319-3333

Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Materials Science and Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510641, PR China. and National Engineering Research Center for Tissue Restoration and Reconstruction, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510006, PR China and Key Laboratory of Biomedical Materials Science and Engineering, Ministry of Education, and Innovation Center for Tissue Restoration and Reconstruction, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510006, PR China and Guangzhou Regenerative Medicine and Health Guangdong Laboratory, 510005, PR China.

The bifunctional tissue engineering scaffold with anti-tumor and bone repair properties is promising for the therapy of bone tumor where large bone defects often occur. In this study, hydroxyapatite (HA), poly(dopamine) (PDA), and carboxymethyl chitosan (CMCS) composite scaffolds were prepared by the 3D-printing technology. PDA significantly improved the rheological properties of the slurry for molding, mechanical properties, surface relative potential, and water absorption of composite scaffolds. The osteogenic properties of HA/PDA/CMCS composite scaffolds were evaluated by the cell experiment in vitro. The photothermal properties and anti-tumor effects of the scaffolds in vivo were assessed by the tumor model in nude mice. HA/PDA/CMCS composite scaffolds could promote more osteogenic differentiation of mouse bone marrow stromal cells (mBMSCs) than scaffolds without PDA in vitro and the effect was not hindered by the photothermal process. The PDA-modified composite scaffold had excellent photothermal properties. Cell experiments showed that scaffolds with PDA under irradiation could suppress the tumor effectively. In vivo anti-tumor effects in nude mice indicated that the HA/PDA/CMCS composite scaffold promoted cell apoptosis/necrosis by the direct photothermal effect. Vascular injury was developed subsequently, which lead to the suppression of tumor cell proliferation due to hypoxia-ischemia. HA/PDA/CMCS composite scaffolds with multiple effects have great potential application in bone tumor therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0bm01785jDOI Listing
May 2021

Baicalin and the liver-gut system: Pharmacological bases explaining its therapeutic effects.

Pharmacol Res 2021 Mar 22;165:105444. Epub 2021 Jan 22.

Department of Pharmacy, Fifth Medical Center of PLA General Hospital, Beijing, 100039, China. Electronic address:

With the development of high-throughput screening and bioinformatics technology, natural products with a range of pharmacological targets in multiple diseases have become important sources of new drug discovery. These compounds are derived from various plants, including the dried root of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, which is often used as a traditional Chinese herb named Huangqin, a popular medication used for thousands of years in China. Many studies have shown that baicalin, an extract from Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, exerts various protective effects on liver and gut diseases. Baicalin plays a therapeutic role mainly by mediating downstream apoptosis and immune response pathways induced by upstream oxidative stress and inflammation. During oxidative stress regulation, PI3K/Akt/NRF2, Keap-1, NF-κB and HO-1 are key factors associated with the healing effects of baicalin on NAFLD/NASH, ulcerative colitis and cholestasis. In the inflammatory response, IL-6, IL-1β, TNF-α, MIP-2 and MIP-1α are involved in the alleviation of NAFLD/NASH, cholestasis and liver fibrosis by baicalin, as are TGF-β1/Smads, STAT3 and NF-κB. Regarding the apoptosis pathway, Bax, Bcl-2, Caspase-3 and Caspase-9 are key factors related to the suppression of hepatocellular carcinoma and attenuation of liver injury and colorectal cancer. In addition to immune regulation, PD-1/PDL-1 and TLR4-NF-κB are correlated with the alleviation of hepatocellular carcinoma, ulcerative colitis and colorectal cancer by baicalin. Moreover, baicalin regulates intestinal flora by promoting the production of SCFAs. Furthermore, BA is involved in the interactions of the liver-gut axis by regulating TGR5, FXR, bile acids and the microbiota. In general, a comprehensive analysis of this natural compound was conducted to determine the mechanism by which it regulates bile acid metabolism, the intestinal flora and related signaling pathways, providing new insights into the pharmacological effects of baicalin. The mechanism linking the liver and gut systems needs to be elucidated to draw attention to its great clinical importance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2021.105444DOI Listing
March 2021

Baicalin and the liver-gut system: Pharmacological bases explaining its therapeutic effects.

Pharmacol Res 2021 Mar 22;165:105444. Epub 2021 Jan 22.

Department of Pharmacy, Fifth Medical Center of PLA General Hospital, Beijing, 100039, China. Electronic address:

With the development of high-throughput screening and bioinformatics technology, natural products with a range of pharmacological targets in multiple diseases have become important sources of new drug discovery. These compounds are derived from various plants, including the dried root of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, which is often used as a traditional Chinese herb named Huangqin, a popular medication used for thousands of years in China. Many studies have shown that baicalin, an extract from Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, exerts various protective effects on liver and gut diseases. Baicalin plays a therapeutic role mainly by mediating downstream apoptosis and immune response pathways induced by upstream oxidative stress and inflammation. During oxidative stress regulation, PI3K/Akt/NRF2, Keap-1, NF-κB and HO-1 are key factors associated with the healing effects of baicalin on NAFLD/NASH, ulcerative colitis and cholestasis. In the inflammatory response, IL-6, IL-1β, TNF-α, MIP-2 and MIP-1α are involved in the alleviation of NAFLD/NASH, cholestasis and liver fibrosis by baicalin, as are TGF-β1/Smads, STAT3 and NF-κB. Regarding the apoptosis pathway, Bax, Bcl-2, Caspase-3 and Caspase-9 are key factors related to the suppression of hepatocellular carcinoma and attenuation of liver injury and colorectal cancer. In addition to immune regulation, PD-1/PDL-1 and TLR4-NF-κB are correlated with the alleviation of hepatocellular carcinoma, ulcerative colitis and colorectal cancer by baicalin. Moreover, baicalin regulates intestinal flora by promoting the production of SCFAs. Furthermore, BA is involved in the interactions of the liver-gut axis by regulating TGR5, FXR, bile acids and the microbiota. In general, a comprehensive analysis of this natural compound was conducted to determine the mechanism by which it regulates bile acid metabolism, the intestinal flora and related signaling pathways, providing new insights into the pharmacological effects of baicalin. The mechanism linking the liver and gut systems needs to be elucidated to draw attention to its great clinical importance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2021.105444DOI Listing
March 2021

Application of Robot Positioning for Cannulated Screw Internal Fixation in the Treatment of Femoral Neck Fracture: Retrospective Study.

JMIR Med Inform 2021 Jan 21;9(1):e24164. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Department of Osteology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Luohe Medical College, Luohe, China.

Background: Femoral neck fracture is a common type of hip fracture. Conventional surgical treatment aims at fixing the fracture site with screws and then gradually promoting bone healing. A robot-assisted orthopedic surgery system is computer technology applied to surgical treatment.

Objective: This study aimed to explore the therapeutic effect and prognostic value of percutaneous cannulated screw internal fixation using robot-assisted positioning in patients with femoral neck fractures.

Methods: From July 2018 to September 2019, 42 cases of femoral neck fracture admitted to the Second Affiliated Hospital of Luohe Medical College were randomly and averagely divided into control and study groups. The patients in the control group were treated with conventional percutaneous cannulated screw internal fixation, while the patients in the study group were treated with robot-assisted percutaneous cannulated screw fixation during surgical treatment. We compared the treatment conditions and results of the operation between the 2 groups. The Harris score was used to evaluate the treatment efficacy. The state of fracture healing was followed up and compared between the 2 groups.

Results: The duration of the operation was shorter, there was less fluoroscopy use, and there were fewer drilled holes in the study group than in the control group (all, P<.001). There was no statistical difference in the amount of intraoperative bleeding between the 2 groups (P=.33). The Harris score (P=.045) and number of excellent and good ratings (P=.01) were significantly higher in the study group than in the control group. The difference in the fracture healing rate between the 2 groups was not statistically significant (P=.23). The fracture healing duration of the study group was shorter than that of the control group (P=.001).

Conclusions: The use of robotic positioning aids in the treatment of femoral neck fractures with percutaneous cannulated screw fixation can effectively improve the efficiency of surgery, shorten the duration of surgery, and reduce the radiation damage to patients. Meanwhile, it improves postoperative treatment and recovery rates of the patients and shortens the fracture healing time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/24164DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7862001PMC
January 2021

Altered hippocampal-prefrontal functional network integrity in adult macaque monkeys with neonatal hippocampal lesions.

Neuroimage 2021 02 15;227:117645. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

Yerkes Imaging Center, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, 954 Gatewood Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30329, United States; Department of Psychology, Emory University, 954 Gatewood Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30329, United States. Electronic address:

The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and ventral lateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) play critical but different roles in working memory (WM) processes. Resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) was employed to investigate the effects of neonatal hippocampal lesions on the functional connectivity (FC) between the hippocampus (H) and the DLPFC and VLPFC and its relation to WM performance in adult monkeys. Adult rhesus monkeys with neonatal H lesions (Neo-H, n = 5) and age- and gender-matched sham-operated monkeys (Neo-C, n = 5) were scanned around 10 years of age. The FC of H-DLPFC and H-VLPFC in Neo-H monkeys was significantly altered as compared to controls, but also switched from being positive in the Neo-C to negative in the Neo-H. In addition, the altered magnitude of FC between right H and bilateral DLPFC was significantly associated with the extent of the hippocampal lesions. In particular, the effects of neonatal hippocampal lesion on FC appeared to be selective to the left hemisphere of the brain (i.e. asymmetric in the two hemispheres). Finally, FC between H and DLPFC correlated with WM task performance on the SU-DNMS and the Obj-SO tasks for the control animals, but only with the H-VLPFC and SU-DNMS task for the Neo-H animals. In conclusion, the present rsfMRI study revealed that the neonatal hippocampal lesions significantly but differently altered the integrity in the functional connectivity of H-DLPFC and H-VLPFC. The similarities between the behavioral, cognitive and neural alterations in Neo-H monkeys and Schizophrenia (SZ) patients provide a strong translational model to develop new therapeutic tools for SZ.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.117645DOI Listing
February 2021

Bioactive Core-Shell CaF Upconversion Nanostructure for Promotion and Visualization of Engineered Bone Reconstruction.

ACS Nano 2020 11 5;14(11):16085-16095. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

School of Materials Science and Engineering & National Institute for Advanced Materials, Key Laboratory of Advanced Energy Materials Chemistry, Tianjin Key Lab for Rare Earth Materials and Applications, Centre for Rare Earth and Inorganic Functional Materials, Nankai University, Tianjin, 300350, China.

Inorganic ion metabolism plays significant roles in various life processes including signal transduction, substance exchange, and cellular constructions. Regulation and monitoring of ion metabolism offer great promise to modulate biological activities and provide insights into related mechanisms. Here, a synergistic nanodepot based on a bioactive core-shell CaF upconversion nanostructure that integrates multiple mineral ions for metabolic regulation was built for the acceleration and monitoring of the biomineralization process. Multiple mineral ions released from the nanodepots can accelerate the growth of inorganic crystals and enhance the production of organic matrixes, synergistically facilitating the regeneration of bone defects . During the process, such a nanodepot can be constructed to specifically recognize osteoblasts for the monitoring of biomineralization. This nanoprobe represents an efficient strategy to promote and monitor biomineralization-related metabolic activities with applications in fundamental research, disease diagnosis, and regenerative medicine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.0c08013DOI Listing
November 2020

Air and surface contamination in non-health care settings among 641 environmental specimens of 39 COVID-19 cases.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2020 10 9;14(10):e0008570. Epub 2020 Oct 9.

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China.

Little is known about the SARS-CoV-2 contamination of environmental surfaces and air in non-health care settings among COVID-19 cases. We explored the SARS-CoV-2 contamination of environmental surfaces and air by collecting air and swabbing environmental surfaces among 39 COVID-19 cases in Guangzhou, China. The specimens were tested on RT-PCR. The information collected for COVID-19 cases included basic demographic, clinical severity, symptoms at onset, radiological testing, laboratory testing and hospital admission. A total of 641 environmental surfaces and air specimens were collected among 39 COVID-19 cases before disinfection. Among them, 20 specimens (20/641, 3.1%) were tested positive from 9 COVID-19 cases (9/39, 23.1%), with 5 (5/101, 5.0%) positive specimens from 3 asymptomatic cases, 5 (5/220, 2.3%) from 3 mild cases, and 10 (10/374, 2.7%) from 3 moderate cases. All positive specimens were collected within 3 days after diagnosis, and 10 (10/42, 23.8%) were found in toilet (5 on toilet bowl, 4 on sink/faucet/shower, 1 on floor drain), 4 (4/21, 19.0%) in anteroom (2 on water dispenser/cup/bottle, 1 on chair/table, 1 on TV remote), 1 (1/8, 12.5%) in kitchen (1 on dining-table), 1 (1/18, 5.6%) in bedroom (1 on bed/sheet pillow/bedside table), 1 (1/5, 20.0%) in car (1 on steering wheel/seat/handlebar) and 3 (3/20, 21.4%) on door knobs. Air specimens in room (0/10, 0.0%) and car (0/1, 0.0%) were all negative. SARS-CoV-2 was found on environmental surfaces especially in toilet, and may survive for several days. We provided evidence of potential for SARS-CoV-2 transmission through contamination of environmental surfaces.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0008570DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7577473PMC
October 2020

Comparative Study on Pretreatment Processes for Different Utilization Purposes of Switchgrass.

ACS Omega 2020 Sep 27;5(35):21999-22007. Epub 2020 Aug 27.

Key Laboratory of Biobased Materials, Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 189 Songling Road, Qingdao, Shandong 266101, China.

Switchgrass (, L., Poaceae) with the advantages of high cellulose yield, and high growth even under low input and poor soil quality, has been identified as a promising candidate for production of low-cost biofuels, papermaking, and nanocellulose. In this study, 12 chemical pretreatments on a laboratory scale were compared for different utilization purposes of switchgrass. It was found that the pretreated switchgrass with sodium hydroxide showed considerable potential for providing mixed sugars for fermentation with 11.10% of residual lignin, 53.85% of residual cellulose, and 22.06% of residual hemicellulose. The pretreatment with 2.00% (v/v) nitric acid was the best method to remove 78.37% of hemicellulose and 39.82% of lignin under a low temperature (125 °C, 30 min), which can be used in the production of nanocellulose. Besides, a completely randomized design analysis of switchgrass pretreatments provided the alternative ethanol organosolv delignification of switchgrass for the papermaking industry with a high residual cellulose of 58.56%. Finally, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) were carried out to confirm the changes in functional groups, crystallinity, and thermal behavior of the three materials, respectively, from the optimal pretreatments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsomega.0c01047DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7482092PMC
September 2020

Cross-sectional exploration of brain functional connectivity in the triadic development model of adolescents.

Brain Imaging Behav 2020 Sep 11. Epub 2020 Sep 11.

School of Psychology, Science and Engineering Building L3-1328, Shenzhen University, 3688 Nanhai Ave., Shenzhen, 518060, Guangdong, People's Republic of China.

Adolescence represents a transitional stage with increased risk taking and mood dysregulation. These vulnerabilities are accountable by developmental dynamics in the triadic functional brain networks underlying reward seeking (REW), emotional avoidance (EMO), and cognitive regulation (COG). However, these triadic dynamics, though conceptually established, have yet been investigated directly. Capitalizing on public database of resting-state fMRI from 222 adolescents (8-18 years old, 89F133M), this study examined cross-sectional development profiles of functional connectivity (FC) by jointly considering bilateral seeds of the ventral striatum, amygdala, and dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex in probing the networks of REW, EMO, and COG, respectively. Positive and negative FCs were considered separately for clarification of synergetic and suppressive interactions. While the REW and EMO mostly exhibited quadratic FC changes across age, suggesting reduced reward sensitivity and risk avoidance, the COG exhibited both linear and quadratic FC changes, suggesting both protracted maturation of cognitive ability and lowered top-down regulation. Additional age × gender effects were identified in the precentral gyrus and superior medial prefrontal cortex, which may associate risky action and emotion dysregulation to boys and girls, respectively. These results provide network evidence in substantiating the "triadic model" and deepening existing insights into neurodevelopmental mechanisms associated with adolescent behavior.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11682-020-00379-3DOI Listing
September 2020

[Knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to COVID-19 pandemic among residents in Hubei and Henan Provinces].

Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao 2020 May;40(5):733-740

School of Public Health, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Tropical Disease Research, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, China.

Objective: To survey the residents for their understanding of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) in two hard hit provinces of China to facilitate the governmental decisions on strategies against the disease.

Methods: We invited the participants from Hubei and Henan Provinces of China for an internetbased survey starting from 12:00 on February 21, 2020 to 12:00 on February 23. The survey included the general conditions, KAP of COVID-19, psychological status and living conditions of the residents.

Results: The effective response rate of the questionnaire was 98.9%. The mean (P25, P75) age of the participants was 19 (16, 40) years, and 54.3% of them were students. Social media were the most important source of information concerning the pandemic of the respondents. The respondents had a high awareness of person-to-person transmission of the virus through the respiratory tract or droplets but showed a relatively low level of awareness of the population susceptible to COVID-19 and its specific symptoms. The results of multivariate analysis showed that women, undergraduate students (including college students) and higher degree holders had better knowledge of COVID-19 ( < 0.05); the proportion of respondents who expressed to have different levels of psychological stressed such as worry, anxiety and panic reached 77.2%; 16.7% of the responders considered psychological interventions necessary for their psychological conditions; 63.6% of the respondents confessed a bias against the people returning from Hubei and Henan provinces, while 22.4% worried that they might be biased because of their residence in Hubei and Henan. The rate of personal protective equipment shortage was as high as 69.4%; the rates of the responders who would "covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing", "properly use masks in accordance with regulations", "maintain proper hand hygiene ", "avoid gatherings with relatives and friends" and "refrain from going to public places" were 92.4%, 95.9%, 93.5%, 88.8% and 93.1%, respectively. Women and groups with good knowledge of the disease reported better protective behaviors against the diseases ( < 0.05).

Conclusions: The residents in Hubei and Henan Provinces have generally good KAP related to COVID-19, and the online platforms plays a positive role to in circulating epidemic-related information. It is essential to further increase the supply of the protective materials and pay more attention to the mental health of the residents during the pandemic, and psychological counseling and psychological protection should be provided if necessary.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12122/j.issn.1673-4254.2020.05.20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7277320PMC
May 2020

Truncated Face-Rotating Polyhedra Constructed from Pentagonal Pentaphenylpyrrole through Graph Theory.

J Am Chem Soc 2020 Sep 11;142(38):16223-16228. Epub 2020 Sep 11.

State Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces, Key Laboratory of Chemical Biology of Fujian Province, Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Energy Materials (iChEM), and College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, P.R. China.

Discovering novel families of molecular polyhedra through graph theory has attracted increasing interest. Nevertheless, the design principles of molecular polyhedra based on graph theory remain elusive, especially for those containing five-node units. Herein, we construct a series of chiral truncated face-rotating polyhedra () from pentagonal pentaphenylpyrrole (PPP) derivatives and chiral diamines. Graph theory is used to elucidate the geometry of these novel , which represent a new family of molecular polyhedra. The phenyl flipping of PPP faces in these is significantly restricted, thus making chiral and strongly emissive in solution. In addition, also generate circularly polarized luminescence. This study provides new insights into the rational design of novel molecular polyhedra through graph theory.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jacs.0c08243DOI Listing
September 2020

Third-generation sequencing found LncRNA associated with heat shock protein response to heat stress in Populus qiongdaoensis seedlings.

BMC Genomics 2020 Aug 24;21(1):572. Epub 2020 Aug 24.

Key Laboratory of Genetics and Germplasm Innovation of Tropical Special Forest Trees and Ornamental Plants, Ministry of Education / Engineering Research Center of Rare and Precious Tree Species in Hainan Province, College of Forestry, Hainan University, Haikou, 570228, P. R. China.

Background: As air temperatures increase globally, more and more plants are exposed to heat-stress conditions. Although many studies have explored regulation networks in plants with the aim of improving their heat-stress tolerance, only few have revealed them in trees. Here, individuals of Populus qiongdaoensis seedlings, which grows naturally in tropical areas, exposed to heat at 40 °C and the non-coding regulation networks were explored using the PacBio RSII and the Illumina sequencing platform.

Results: In total, we obtained 88,161 full-length transcripts representing 39,343 genes using 5,498,988 long reads and 350,026,252 clean reads, and also 216 microRNAs (miRNAs) via 95,794,107 reads. We then identified 928 putative long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), consisting of 828 sense lncRNAs (89.22%), 34 long intergenic non-coding RNAs (3.66%), 16 antisense (1.72%), and 50 sense intronic lncRNAs (5.39%). Under the dual criteria of |logfold-change| ≥ 1 and P-value < 0.05, 1690 genes, 25 lncRNAs, and 15 miRNAs were found differentially expressed under the heat stress treatment. Furthermore, 563 and 595 mRNAs were detected as target genes of 14 differently expressed miRNAs and 26 differentially expressed lncRNAs. Functional annotation analysis of these target genes demonstrated they were related to cell membrane stability, plant hormone signal transduction, antioxidation, and aldarate metabolism. Lastly, we uncovered a key interaction network of lncRNAs, miRNAs and mRNAs that consisted of miR1444d, miR482a.1, miR530a, lncHSP18.2, HSP18.1, and HSP18.2. Expression level analysis showed that miRNAs in the network were up-regulated, while mRNAs and lncRNA were down-regulated, and also found that lncHSP18.2 may cis-regulate HSP18.2.

Conclusions: Functional enrichment analysis of target genes of miRNAs and lncRNAs indicated that miRNAs and lncRNAs play an important role in the response to heat stress P. qiongdaoensis. Lastly, by investigating the miRNA-lncRNA-mRNA network of this species, we revealed that miRNAs may negatively regulate both lncRNAs and mRNAs in tree responses to heat stress, and found that lncHSP18.2 may cis-regulate HSP18.2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12864-020-06979-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7444055PMC
August 2020

Progress and challenges of metal-organic frameworks-based materials for SR-AOPs applications in water treatment.

Chemosphere 2021 Jan 13;263:127672. Epub 2020 Aug 13.

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

As environmental problems become more and more severe, sulfate radical (SO) based advanced oxidation processes (SR-AOPs) are widely recognized for their high removal efficiency of recalcitrant organic pollutants in water. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have attracted wide attention in SR-AOPs due to their outstanding properties (e.g. large surface area, ultra-high porosity, and diversity of material design, etc). Herein, we present an overview of the development and challenges in the synthesis of different types of MOFs, combination of MOFs with other materials (metal centers, conductors, cellulose, etc.) and the construction of catalysts with special structures (core-shell structures and hollow structures) as well as their applications in SR-AOPs for the degradation of organic pollutants. Several review papers have already mentioned the application of a branch of MOFs or simple composites of MOFs in SR-AOP, whereas the latest progresses on the application of MOFs-based materials to SR-AOPs was described rarely. Besides, the degradation mechanism of MOFs as catalysts has not been systematically discussed. To this end, the mechanisms of MOFs and MOF-based materials as catalysts to activate PMS/PS in different systems are analyzed, including radicals and non-radicals pathways. Meanwhile, considering that the research in this field is still in its infancy, a lot of improvements are still needed to effectively promote and implement this technology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.127672DOI Listing
January 2021

Effects of irradiation treatment on protein structure and digestion characteristics of seed-watermelon ( var.) kernel protein.

Food Sci Biotechnol 2020 Sep 10;29(9):1201-1211. Epub 2020 Jun 10.

Wuhan Xudong Food Co., Ltd., Wuhan, 430000 Hubei Province People's Republic of China.

This study examined the effects of different doses of irradiation treatments on protein structure and digestion characteristic of seed-watermelon seed kernel protein. The results showed that, the molecular structure of seed-watermelon kernel protein was unfolded after the irradiation treatment, the content of -sheet structure in the secondary structure was decreased, while the content of random coil structure increased. The average particle size of the protein increased, and the hydrophobic group buried in the -sheet structure was exposed hence the surface hydrophobicity increased. Besides, the surface morphology of seed-watermelon protein changed from smooth and flat to coarse and concave, the specific surface area in contact with the aqueous medium increased and its solubility increased, the distribution of peptides in the digesta became wider, and the small molecular weight peptides gradually increased.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10068-020-00777-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7406632PMC
September 2020

Contact Settings and Risk for Transmission in 3410 Close Contacts of Patients With COVID-19 in Guangzhou, China : A Prospective Cohort Study.

Ann Intern Med 2020 12 13;173(11):879-887. Epub 2020 Aug 13.

School of Public Health, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China (D.L., X.W., J.Z., Z.L., W.S., Z.W., X.Z., Q.H., P.C., H.L., X.C., M.C., P.Y., X.Y., C.M.).

Background: Risk for transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to close contacts of infected persons has not been well estimated.

Objective: To evaluate the risk for transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to close contacts in different settings.

Design: Prospective cohort study.

Setting: Close contacts of persons infected with SARS-CoV-2 in Guangzhou, China.

Participants: 3410 close contacts of 391 index cases were traced between 13 January and 6 March 2020. Data on the setting of the exposure, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction testing, and clinical characteristics of index and secondary cases were collected.

Measurement: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases were confirmed by guidelines issued by China. Secondary attack rates in different settings were calculated.

Results: Among 3410 close contacts, 127 (3.7% [95% CI, 3.1% to 4.4%]) were secondarily infected. Of these 127 persons, 8 (6.3% [CI, 2.1% to 10.5%]) were asymptomatic. Of the 119 symptomatic cases, 20 (16.8%) were defined as mild, 87 (73.1%) as moderate, and 12 (10.1%) as severe or critical. Compared with the household setting (10.3%), the secondary attack rate was lower for exposures in health care settings (1.0%; odds ratio [OR], 0.09 [CI, 0.04 to 0.20]) and on public transportation (0.1%; OR, 0.01 [CI, 0.00 to 0.08]). The secondary attack rate increased with the severity of index cases, from 0.3% (CI, 0.0% to 1.0%) for asymptomatic to 3.3% (CI, 1.8% to 4.8%) for mild, 5.6% (CI, 4.4% to 6.8%) for moderate, and 6.2% (CI, 3.2% to 9.1%) for severe or critical cases. Index cases with expectoration were associated with higher risk for secondary infection (13.6% vs. 3.0% for index cases without expectoration; OR, 4.81 [CI, 3.35 to 6.93]).

Limitation: There was potential recall bias regarding symptom onset among patients with COVID-19, and the symptoms and severity of index cases were not assessed at the time of exposure to contacts.

Conclusion: Household contact was the main setting for transmission of SARS-CoV-2, and the risk for transmission of SARS-CoV-2 among close contacts increased with the severity of index cases.

Primary Funding Source: Guangdong Province Higher Vocational Colleges and Schools Pearl River Scholar Funded Scheme.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7326/M20-2671DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7506769PMC
December 2020