Publications by authors named "Zhihao Zhao"

32 Publications

How does air pollution affect urban settlement of the floating population in China? New evidence from a push-pull migration analysis.

BMC Public Health 2021 Sep 17;21(1):1696. Epub 2021 Sep 17.

School of Economics and Management, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Beijing, China.

Background: Severe air pollution in China threatens human health, and its negative impact decreases the urban settlement intentions of migrants in destination cities. We establish a comprehensive framework based on the push-pull migration model to investigate this phenomenon.

Methods: We employ a logistic model to analyze air pollution's impact on the settlement intentions of the floating population based on the CMDS 2017 in China, combining the city-level socioeconomic variables with the individual-level variables.

Results: Our results show that the annual average concentration of PM2.5 increases by 1 unit and that the probability of migrants' settlement intentions will decrease by 8.7%. Using a heterogeneity analysis, we find that the following migrant groups are more sensitive to air pollution: males, people over 30 years old, less educated people, and migrants with nonagricultural hukou. With every 1 unit increase in PM2.5, each group's settlement intentions decrease by 13.2, 16.7, 16.9, and 12.6%, respectively.

Conclusions: Our results are consistent with existing studies. This study discovers that both external environment and internal factors influence migrants' settlement intentions. Specifically, the differences in population sizes, economic development levels, public services, infrastructure conditions, and environmental regulations between cities play a significant role in migration decisions. We also confirm heterogeneous sensitivities to air pollution of different migrant subgroups in terms of individual characteristics, family factors, migration features, social and economic attributes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-11711-xDOI Listing
September 2021

Capsule networks with non-iterative cluster routing.

Neural Netw 2021 Aug 8;143:690-697. Epub 2021 Aug 8.

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Oklahoma, Norman, United States. Electronic address:

Capsule networks use routing algorithms to flow information between consecutive layers. In the existing routing procedures, capsules produce predictions (termed votes) for capsules of the next layer. In a nutshell, the next-layer capsule's input is a weighted sum over all the votes it receives. In this paper, we propose non-iterative cluster routing for capsule networks. In the proposed cluster routing, capsules produce vote clusters instead of individual votes for next-layer capsules, and each vote cluster sends its centroid to a next-layer capsule. Generally speaking, the next-layer capsule's input is a weighted sum over the centroid of each vote cluster it receives. The centroid that comes from a cluster with a smaller variance is assigned a larger weight in the weighted sum process. Compared with the state-of-the-art capsule networks, the proposed capsule networks achieve the best accuracy on the Fashion-MNIST and SVHN datasets with fewer parameters, and achieve the best accuracy on the smallNORB and CIFAR-10 datasets with a moderate number of parameters. The proposed capsule networks also produce capsules with disentangled representation and generalize well to images captured at novel viewpoints. The proposed capsule networks also preserve 2D spatial information of an input image in the capsule channels: if the capsule channels are rotated, the object reconstructed from these channels will be rotated by the same transformation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neunet.2021.07.032DOI Listing
August 2021

Selection rules of triboelectric materials for direct-current triboelectric nanogenerator.

Nat Commun 2021 Aug 3;12(1):4686. Epub 2021 Aug 3.

Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, P. R. China.

The rapid development of Internet of Things and artificial intelligence brings increasing attention on the harvesting of distributed energy by using triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG), especially the direct current TENG (DC-TENG). It is essential to select appropriate triboelectric materials for obtaining a high performance TENG. In this work, we provide a set of rules for selecting the triboelectric materials for DC-TENG based on several basic parameters, including surface charge density, friction coefficient, polarization, utilization rate of charges, and stability. On the basis of the selection rules, polyvinyl chloride, used widely in industry rather than in TENG, is selected as the triboelectric layer. Its effective charge density can reach up to ~8.80 mC m in a microstructure-designed DC-TENG, which is a new record for all kinds of TENGs. This work can offer a basic guideline for the triboelectric materials selection and promote the practical applications of DC-TENG.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-25046-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8333059PMC
August 2021

"Barcode" cell sensor microfluidic system: Rapid and sample-to-answer antimicrobial susceptibility testing applicable in resource-limited conditions.

Biosens Bioelectron 2021 Jul 21;192:113516. Epub 2021 Jul 21.

Department of Chemistry, Hong Kong Baptist University. Waterloo Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China; HKBU Institute of Research and Continuing Education, Shenzhen, China; State Key Laboratory of Environmental and Biological Analysis, The Hong Kong Baptist University, Waterloo Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China. Electronic address:

Many rapid antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) methods have been proposed to contain clinical antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and preserve the effectiveness of remaining antimicrobials. However, far fewer methods have been proposed to test AMR in resource-limited conditions, such as for frequent safety screenings of water/food/public facilities, urgent surveys of massive samples during a pandemic, or AMR tests in low-income countries. Rapid AST methods realized thus far have a variety of drawbacks when used for such surveys, e.g., high cost and the requirement of expensive instruments such as microscopy. A more reasonable strategy would be to screen samples via onsite testing first, and then send any sample suspected to contain AMR bacteria for advanced testing. Accordingly, a cost-efficient AST is demanded, which can rapidly process a large number of samples without using expensive equipment. To this end, current work demonstrates a novel "barcode" cell sensor based on an adaptive linear filter array as a fully automatic and microscope-free method for counting very small volumes of cells (~1.00 × 10 cells without pre-incubation), wherein suspended cells concentrate into microbars with length proportional to the number of cells. We combined this sensor with an on-chip culture approach we had demonstrated for rapid and automated drug exposure and realized a low-cost and resource-independent platform for portable AST, from which results can be obtained simply through a cell phone. This method has a much shorter turnaround time (2-3 h) than that of standard methods (16-24 h). Thanks to its microscopy-free analysis, affordability, portability, high throughput, and user-friendliness, our "barcode" AST system has the potential to fulfill the various demands of AST when advanced facilities are not available, making it a promising new tool in the fight against AMR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bios.2021.113516DOI Listing
July 2021

All-Weather Droplet-Based Triboelectric Nanogenerator for Wave Energy Harvesting.

ACS Nano 2021 Jul 30. Epub 2021 Jul 30.

Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100083, China.

The liquid-solid triboelectric nanogenerator (LS-TENG) has been demonstrated to harvest energy efficiently through the contact electrification effect between liquid and solid triboelectric materials, which can avoid the wear issue in solid-solid TENG. However, the droplet-based LS-TENG reveals the problems that it generally works with the continuous falling droplets or needs to be fully packaged, which greatly limit its practical application. Here, a droplet-based triboelectric nanogenerator (DB-TENG) with a simple open structure is designed to effectively solve these problems. The nonpackaged DB-TENG can work stably under extreme conditions with high humidity or high concentrations of salt, acid, or alkali solutions, showing the DB-TENGs can be flexibly utilized in all types of working environments with better reliability and lower maintenance costs. It is of great significance that the integrated DB-TENG network array can realize the all-weather ocean energy harvesting. Furthermore, under the simulated ocean wave, a scaled-up DB-TENG with considerable output performance can charge capacitors and drive electrical devices. Overall, the DB-TENG shows many advantages: simple open structure, all-weather working ability, timely supplement of water loss, no tight packaging, wear resistance, suitable for extreme working environments. This work provides a convenient and feasible way toward all-weather wave energy harvesting in real marine environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.1c02790DOI Listing
July 2021

Using Weakly Supervised Deep Learning to Classify and Segment Single-Molecule Break-Junction Conductance Traces.

Chemphyschem 2021 Jul 29. Epub 2021 Jul 29.

Department of Electronics, Peking University, Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, Key Laboratory for the Physics and Chemistry of Nanodevices, Beijing, 100871, China.

In order to design molecular electronic devices with high performance and stability, it is crucial to understand their structure-to-property relationships. Single-molecule break junction measurements yield a large number of conductance-distance traces, which are inherently highly stochastic. Here we propose a weakly supervised deep learning algorithm to classify and segment these conductance traces, a method that is mainly based on transfer learning with the pretrain-finetune technique. By exploiting the powerful feature extraction capabilities of the pretrained VGG-16 network, our convolutional neural network model not only achieves high accuracy in the classification of the conductance traces, but also segments precisely the conductance plateau from an entire trace with very few manually labeled traces. Thus, we can produce a more reliable estimation of the junction conductance and quantify the junction stability. These findings show that our model has achieved a better accuracy-to-manpower efficiency balance, opening up the possibility of using weakly supervised deep learning approaches in the studies of single-molecule junctions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cphc.202100414DOI Listing
July 2021

Hyperglycaemia-associated macrophage pyroptosis accelerates periodontal inflamm-aging.

J Clin Periodontol 2021 Oct 18;48(10):1379-1392. Epub 2021 Aug 18.

State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, National Clinical Research Center for Oral Diseases, West China Hospital of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.

Aim: Pyroptosis and inflamm-aging have been newly identified to be involved in diabetic periodontitis. This study aimed to elucidate whether macrophage pyroptosis plays a role in periodontal inflamm-aging by impacting the senescence of fibroblasts, as well as the potential mechanism via NLR family CARD domain-containing protein 4 (NLRC4) phosphorylation.

Materials And Methods: Diabetes was induced in mice using streptozotocin. Periodontal pyroptosis and senescence were detected using immunohistochemical analysis. Prior to evaluating senescence in human gingival fibroblasts cultured with conditioned medium derived from macrophages, RAW 264.7 macrophages were confirmed to undergo pyroptosis by scanning electron microscopy and gasdermin D (GSDMD) detection. The NLRC4-related pathway was examined under hyperglycaemic conditions.

Results: Our data showed that macrophage pyroptosis induced the expression of senescent markers in vivo and in vitro. Importantly, clearance of pyroptotic macrophages rescued senescence in fibroblasts. Furthermore, GSDMD activation and pyroptosis in hyperglycaemia were found to be mediated by NLRC4 phosphorylation.

Conclusions: Hyperglycaemia could initially induce macrophage pyroptosis and lead to cellular senescence, thereby critically contributing to periodontal pathogenesis in diabetes. In particular, NLRC4 phosphorylation could be a potential therapeutic target for the inhibition of this process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcpe.13517DOI Listing
October 2021

Low-Cost, Environmentally Friendly, and High-Performance Triboelectric Nanogenerator Based on a Common Waste Material.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2021 Jul 24;13(26):30776-30784. Epub 2021 Jun 24.

Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100083, P. R. China.

With the great progress in human activities and production technologies, the waste inevitably produced causes not only environmental pollution but also resource waste; meanwhile, the mobile and portable electronic devices urgently need a distributed and sustainable energy source to ensure their stable operation. Here, the waste pollutants (milk cartons) generated from daily life, commonly associated with environmental concerns, are instead identified as an available resource for preparing an emerging energy harvester (triboelectric nanogenerator, TENG), which can convert ubiquitous mechanical energy into electric power. Consequently, based on the waste material, the initial charge density of the TENG is as low as 0.035 mC m, which can be tremendously improved to 1.00 mC m through combining a charge excitation circuit, achieving efficient energy harvesting. In addition, compared to the common dielectric film, the waste material can reduce the cost and simplify the process of the preparation of TENG. This work provides not only an innovative approach to simultaneously realize environmental protection and energy harvesting but also more material choice for the preparation of a low-cost and high-performance TENG.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.1c09192DOI Listing
July 2021

Light-inducible deformation of mitochondria in live cells.

Cell Chem Biol 2021 Jun 8. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

Department of Biomedical Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Sha Tin, Hong Kong SAR, China; Shun Hing Institute of Advanced Engineering (SHIAE), The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Sha Tin, Hong Kong SAR, China. Electronic address:

Mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell, are dynamic organelles that undergo constant morphological changes. Increasing evidence indicates that mitochondria morphologies and functions can be modulated by mechanical cues. However, the mechano-sensing and -responding properties of mitochondria and the relation between mitochondrial morphologies and functions are unclear due to the lack of methods to precisely exert mechano-stimulation on and deform mitochondria inside live cells. Here, we present an optogenetic approach that uses light to induce deformation of mitochondria by recruiting molecular motors to the outer mitochondrial membrane via light-activated protein-protein hetero-dimerization. Mechanical forces generated by motor proteins distort the outer membrane, during which the inner mitochondrial membrane can also be deformed. Moreover, this optical method can achieve subcellular spatial precision and be combined with different optical dimerizers and molecular motors. This method presents a mitochondria-specific mechano-stimulator for studying mitochondria mechanobiology and the interplay between mitochondria shapes and functions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chembiol.2021.05.015DOI Listing
June 2021

Sec62 promotes pro-angiogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma cells under hypoxia.

Cell Biochem Biophys 2021 Jun 12. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Changhai Hospital, Naval Medical University, Shanghai, China.

This study aimed to investigate the underlying molecular pathogenic mechanism of Sec62 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Microarray analysis was conducted to profile the global gene expression in the HCC cell line Huh7 cells transfected with Sec62 vs. NC and Sec62 vs. NC. Ingenuity pathway analysis and gene set enrichment analysis were used to perform Sec62-related signaling pathway analysis from screened differentially expressed genes (DEGs). A protein-protein interaction network was constructed. Experimental validation of the expression of key DEGs was conducted. Hypoxia-induced tube formation was undertaken to investigate the role of Sec62 in angiogenesis. A total of 74 intersected DEGs were identified from Huh7 cells with Sec62 vs. NC and Sec62 vs. NC. Among them, 65 DEGs were correlated with the expression of Sec62. The P53 signaling pathway was found to be enriched in Huh7 cells with Sec62 vs. NC, while the acute phase response signaling pathway was enriched in Huh7 cells with Sec62 vs. NC. DEGs, such as serine protease inhibitor E (SERPINE) and tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily, member 11B (TNFRSF11B), were not only identified as the lead genes of these enriched pathways, but were also found to be closely related to Sec62. Moreover, knockdown of Sec62 decreased the expression of SERPINE1 (plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1)) and TNFRSF11B, whereas overexpression of Sec62 had the opposite effects. In addition, knockdown of Sec62 inhibited hypoxia-induced tube formation via PAI-1. Sec62 promoted pro-angiogenesis of HCC under hypoxia by regulating PAI-1, and it may be a crucial angiogenic switch in HCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12013-021-01008-6DOI Listing
June 2021

Optogenetic activation of intracellular signaling based on light-inducible protein-protein homo-interactions.

Neural Regen Res 2022 Jan;17(1):25-30

Department of Biomedical Engineering; Shun Hing Institute of Advanced Engineering (SHIAE), The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Sha Tin, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China.

Dynamic protein-protein interactions are essential for proper cell functioning. Homo-interaction events-physical interactions between the same type of proteins-represent a pivotal subset of protein-protein interactions that are widely exploited in activating intracellular signaling pathways. Capacities of modulating protein-protein interactions with spatial and temporal resolution are greatly desired to decipher the dynamic nature of signal transduction mechanisms. The emerging optogenetic technology, based on genetically encoded light-sensitive proteins, provides promising opportunities to dissect the highly complex signaling networks with unmatched specificity and spatiotemporal precision. Here we review recent achievements in the development of optogenetic tools enabling light-inducible protein-protein homo-interactions and their applications in optical activation of signaling pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/1673-5374.314293DOI Listing
January 2022

Co-delivery of IOX1 and doxorubicin for antibody-independent cancer chemo-immunotherapy.

Nat Commun 2021 04 23;12(1):2425. Epub 2021 Apr 23.

Zhejiang Key Laboratory of Smart Biomaterials and Key Laboratory of Biomass Chemical Engineering of Ministry of Education, College of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.

Anti-programmed cell death-1 (PD-1)/programmed cell death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) antibodies are currently used in the clinic to interupt the PD-1/PD-L1 immune checkpoint, which reverses T cell dysfunction/exhaustion and shows success in treating cancer. Here, we report a histone demethylase inhibitor, 5-carboxy-8-hydroxyquinoline (IOX1), which inhibits tumour histone demethylase Jumonji domain-containing 1A (JMJD1A) and thus downregulates its downstream β-catenin and subsequent PD-L1, providing an antibody-independent paradigm interrupting the PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint. Synergistically, IOX1 inhibits cancer cells' P-glycoproteins (P-gp) through the JMJD1A/β-catenin/P-gp pathway and greatly enhances doxorubicin (DOX)-induced immune-stimulatory immunogenic cell death. As a result, the IOX1 and DOX combination greatly promotes T cell infiltration and activity and significantly reduces tumour immunosuppressive factors. Their liposomal combination reduces the growth of various murine tumours, including subcutaneous, orthotopic, and lung metastasis tumours, and offers a long-term immunological memory function against tumour rechallenging. This work provides a small molecule-based potent cancer chemo-immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22407-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8065121PMC
April 2021

Induction chemotherapy followed by intensity-modulated radiotherapy versus concurrent chemoradiotherapy in nasopharyngeal carcinoma: A retrospective analysis.

Clin Otolaryngol 2021 Sep 5;46(5):976-982. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

Department of Biotherapy, Cancer Center, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.

Objectives: The optimal treatment strategy of combining systemic chemotherapy and radiotherapy for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is controversial. This study aimed to compare the efficacy and toxicities of induction chemotherapy followed by intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IC-RT) versus concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) in NPC.

Methods: Of 448 stage II-IVb NPC patients treated with IC-RT or CCRT were retrospectively analysed. The primary outcome was overall survival, which was analysed by using Kaplan-Meier curves and log-rank (Mantel-Cox) test.

Results: The median follow-up was 66 months (interquartile range, 46-84 months). There was no statistically significant difference in the estimated 5-year overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), distance metastasis-free survival (DMFS) and locoregional relapse-free survival (LRFS) between IC-RT group and CCRT group (OS: 89.5% vs 91.7%, P = .568; PFS: 85.2% vs 87.5%, P = .615; DMFS: 90.9% vs 91.7%, P = .847; LRFS: 92.0% vs 96.9%, P = .104). In the multivariate analysis, the treatment group (IC-RT vs CCRT) was not an independent prognostic factor for OS, PFS, DMFS and LRFS. Less advanced tumour stage and lymph node stage were predictive of higher OS. EBV-DNA level was an independent prognostic factor that was only significantly associated with LRFS.

Conclusions: IC-RT achieves similar survival outcomes and treatment-related toxicities as CCRT in OS, PFS, DMFS and LRFS for patients with NPC. We need multicentre randomised controlled trials to reconfirm our data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/coa.13763DOI Listing
September 2021

Modulation of destructive quantum interference by bridge groups in truxene-based single-molecule junctions.

Chem Commun (Camb) 2021 Jan;57(5):667-670

CAS Key Laboratory of Molecular Nanostructure and Nanotechnology and Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing, 100190, China. and University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China.

Electron transport properties of polycyclic truxene derivatives have been investigated by the single molecule conductance measurement technique and theoretical study. Molecules with nitrogen and carbonyl substituents at the bridge sites exhibit higher single-molecule conductances by almost one order of magnitude compared with non-substituted analogues. It can be ascribed that the anti-resonance feature produced by destructive quantum interference (DQI) is alleviated and pushed away from the Fermi energy. These findings provide an effective chemical strategy for manipulating the DQI behavior in single molecular devices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0cc07438aDOI Listing
January 2021

Rationally patterned electrode of direct-current triboelectric nanogenerators for ultrahigh effective surface charge density.

Nat Commun 2020 Dec 3;11(1):6186. Epub 2020 Dec 3.

Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100083, China.

As a new-era of energy harvesting technology, the enhancement of triboelectric charge density of triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) is always crucial for its large-scale application on Internet of Things (IoTs) and artificial intelligence (AI). Here, a microstructure-designed direct-current TENG (MDC-TENG) with rationally patterned electrode structure is presented to enhance its effective surface charge density by increasing the efficiency of contact electrification. Thus, the MDC-TENG achieves a record high charge density of ~5.4 mC m, which is over 2-fold the state-of-art of AC-TENGs and over 10-fold compared to previous DC-TENGs. The MDC-TENG realizes both the miniaturized device and high output performance. Meanwhile, its effective charge density can be further improved as the device size increases. Our work not only provides a miniaturization strategy of TENG for the application in IoTs and AI as energy supply or self-powered sensor, but also presents a paradigm shift for large-scale energy harvesting by TENGs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20045-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7712892PMC
December 2020

miRNAs as key regulators via targeting the phytohormone signaling pathways during somatic embryogenesis of plants.

3 Biotech 2020 Nov 29;10(11):495. Epub 2020 Oct 29.

Hainan Key Laboratory of Tropical Oil Crops Biology/Coconut Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences, Wenchang, 571339 Hainan People's Republic of China.

Somatic embryogenesis is the regeneration of embryos from the somatic cell via dedifferentiation and redifferentiation without the occurrence of fertilization. A complex network of genes regulates the somatic embryogenesis process. Especially, microRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as key regulators by affecting phytohormone biosynthesis, transport and signal transduction pathways. miRNAs are small, non-coding small RNA regulatory molecules involved in various developmental processes including somatic embryogenesis. Several types of miRNAs such as miR156, miR157, miR 159, miR 160, miR165, miR166, miR167, miR390, miR393 and miR396 have been reported to intricate in regulating somatic embryogenesis via targeting the phytohormone signaling pathways. Here we review current research progress on the miRNA-mediated regulation involved in somatic embryogenesis via regulating auxin, ethylene, abscisic acid and cytokinin signaling pathways. Further, we also discussed the possible role of other phytohormone signaling pathways such as gibberellins, jasmonates, nitric oxide, polyamines and brassinosteroids. Finally, we conclude by discussing the expression of miRNAs and their targets involved in somatic embryogenesis and possible regulatory mechanisms cross talk with phytohormones during somatic embryogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13205-020-02487-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7596142PMC
November 2020

GABAergic Interneuron and Neurotransmission Are mTOR-Dependently Disturbed in Experimental Focal Cortical Dysplasia.

Mol Neurobiol 2021 Jan 10;58(1):156-169. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

Department of Neurology, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, 180 Fenglin Road, Shanghai, 200032, China.

Focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) is a major cause for drug-resistant epilepsies. The molecular and cellular mechanisms of epileptogenesis in FCD are still poorly understood. Some studies have suggested that deficiencies of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system may play an important role in type II FCD, but it remains controversial. In order to examine whether and how GABAergic interneurons and synaptic function are affected, we generated a somatic mTOR hyperactivation-based mouse model of type II FCD by in utero electroporation, quantified densities of interneurons in the malformed cortices, and recorded miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents in dysmorphic neurons. We detected 20-25% reduction of GABAergic interneurons within malformed cortices, independent of cortical regions and cell subtypes but proportionate to the decrease of global neuron counts. GABAergic synaptic transmission from interneurons to mTOR hyperactivated dysmorphic neurons was dramatically disrupted, outweighing the decrease of interneuron counts. Postnatal mTOR inhibition partially rescued these alterations of GABAergic system. We also quantified the expression of GABA receptor, GABA transporter, and chloridion transporter encoding genes and found that their expression was relatively intact within the malformed cortices. Taken together, these results confirmed that GABAergic interneuron and synapse transmission are disturbed profoundly in an mTOR-dependent manner in type II FCD. Our study suggests that postsynaptic mechanisms independent of interneuron reduction or altered expression of GABA synapse genes might be accountable for the impaired GABAergic neurotransmission in type II FCD as well as other mTOR-related epilepsies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12035-020-02086-yDOI Listing
January 2021

Novel Decomposition Technique on Rational-Based Neuro-Transfer Function for Modeling of Microwave Components.

Micromachines (Basel) 2020 Jul 17;11(7). Epub 2020 Jul 17.

School of Microelectronics, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China.

The rational-based neuro-transfer function (neuro-TF) method is a popular method for parametric modeling of electromagnetic (EM) behavior of microwave components. However, when the order in the neuro-TF becomes high, the sensitivities of the model response with respect to the coefficients of the transfer function become high. Due to this high-sensitivity issue, small training errors in the coefficients of the transfer function will result in large errors in the model output, leading to the difficulty in training of the neuro-TF model. This paper proposes a new decomposition technique to address this high-sensitivity issue. In the proposed technique, we decompose the original neuro-TF model with high order of transfer function into multiple sub-neuro-TF models with much lower order of transfer function. We then reformulate the overall model as the combination of the sub-neuro-TF models. New formulations are derived to determine the number of sub-models and the order of transfer function for each sub-model. Using the proposed decomposition technique, we can decrease the sensitivities of the overall model response with respect to the coefficients of the transfer function in each sub-model. Therefore, the modeling approach using the proposed decomposition technique can increase the modeling accuracy. Two EM parametric modeling examples are used to demonstrate the proposed decomposition technique.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/mi11070696DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7407277PMC
July 2020

Development of SSR markers based on transcriptome data and association mapping analysis for fruit shell thickness associated traits in oil palm ( Jacq.).

3 Biotech 2020 Jun 31;10(6):280. Epub 2020 May 31.

Hainan Key Laboratory of Tropical Oil Crops Biology/Coconut Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences, Wenchang, 571339 Hainan People's Republic of China.

Present study mainly aimed to ascertain the distribution characteristics of gene-based microsatellite loci and to develop polymorphic SSR markers from the already available transcriptome data of Jacq, an important oil crop. From this study, we identified the sum of 5791 SSRs across 51,425 unigenes from the transcripts of oil palm. We were able to evaluate 331primer pairs and characterized 183 polymorphic gene-based SSR markers. We identified a total of 506 alleles from the 183 polymorphic SSR loci, with an average of 2.77 alleles per locus. The characterized gene-based SSR markers from the transcriptome data of oil palm exhibited moderate levels of polymorphism with a significant level of heterozygosity ranges from 0.096 to 0.594 (mean = 0.336 ± 0.11). Among the identified SSR markers, sixty polymorphic markers were used to analyze genotypes of 55 oil palm accessions selected from three different provinces of China. Association mapping analysis provided the information of four markers that are associated with fruit shell thickness trait of oil palm. Among the four markers identified from association analysis, one SSR marker obtained from Unigene17150 is strictly associated with the oil palm fruit shell thickness trait.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13205-020-02269-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7261811PMC
June 2020

Enzyme-Triggered Transcytosis of Dendrimer-Drug Conjugate for Deep Penetration into Pancreatic Tumors.

ACS Nano 2020 04 20;14(4):4890-4904. Epub 2020 Apr 20.

Department of Ultrasound in Medicine, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310009, China.

The dense fibrotic stroma in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) resists drug diffusion into the tumor and leads to an unsatisfactory prognosis. To address this problem, we demonstrate a dendrimer-camptothecin (CPT) conjugate that actively penetrates deep into PDA tumors through γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT)-triggered cell endocytosis and transcytosis. The dendrimer-drug conjugate was synthesized by covalent attachment of CPT to polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers through a reactive oxygen species (ROS)-sensitive linker followed with surface modification with glutathione. Once the conjugate was delivered to the PDA tumor periphery, the overexpressed GGT on the vascular endothelial cell or tumor cell triggers the γ-glutamyl transfer reactions of glutathione to produce primary amines. The positively charged conjugate was rapidly internalized caveolae-mediated endocytosis and followed by vesicle-mediated transcytosis, augmenting its deep penetration within the tumor parenchyma and releasing active CPT throughout the tumor after cleavage by intracellular ROS. The dendrimer-drug conjugate exhibited high antitumor activity in multiple mice tumor models, including patient-derived PDA xenograft and orthotopic PDA cell xenograft, compared to the standard first-line chemotherapeutic drug (gemcitabine) for advanced pancreatic cancer. This study demonstrates the high efficiency of an active tumor-penetrating dendrimer-drug conjugate transcytotic transport with ROS-responsive drug release for PDA therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.0c00974DOI Listing
April 2020

Optimizing number of cycles of induction chemotherapy for patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma: Retrospective survival analysis.

Head Neck 2020 08 23;42(8):2067-2076. Epub 2020 Mar 23.

Department of Biotherapy, Cancer Center, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.

Background: Induction chemotherapy followed by concurrent chemoradiotherapy is one of the standards of care for patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma, but the optimal number of induction cycles is unclear. Here we compared survival data from patients treated with 2 to 4 cycles.

Methods: Patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma at West China Hospital of Sichuan University between January 2009 and December 2015 were retrospectively analyzed.

Results: Six hundred and seventy three patients met eligibility criteria. After a median follow-up of 53 months (interquartile range, 38-74), there was no difference between 2 and 3 cycles in overall survival (88.14% vs 91.24%). But four cycles were associated with worse overall survival (79.12%) and higher incidence of treatment-related toxicities. Multivariate analysis showed that the number of induction cycles and lymph node classification were prognostic factors.

Conclusions: Two and three cycles of induction chemotherapy are associated with similar survival, while four cycles reduce survival and increase treatment-related toxicity in endemic regions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hed.26141DOI Listing
August 2020

A Fully Self-Powered Vibration Monitoring System Driven by Dual-Mode Triboelectric Nanogenerators.

ACS Nano 2020 Feb 12;14(2):2475-2482. Epub 2020 Feb 12.

Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems, Chinese Academy of Sciences , Beijing 100083 , People's Republic of China.

Vibration sensor is very necessary for monitoring the structural health of constructions. However, it is still a major challenge to meet simultaneously real-time monitoring, continuous assessment, and early incident warning in a simple device without a complicated power and analysis system. Here, we report a self-powered vibration sensor system to achieve real-time and continuous detection of the vibration characteristics from a dual-mode triboelectric nanogenerator (AC/DC-TENG), which can produce either alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC) within different operation zones. Within the vibration-safe region, the AC/DC-TENG with AC output not only can continuously assess the vibration characteristics but also can power the signal transmission. More importantly, once the vibration amplitude crosses the danger threshold, the AC converts immediately to DC, meanwhile triggering the alarm system directly to accurately predict the danger of construction. Our self-powered vibration sensor system can serve as a facile tool for accurately monitoring the structural health of constructions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.9b10142DOI Listing
February 2020

Sec62 promotes early recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma through activating integrinα/CAV1 signalling.

Oncogenesis 2019 Dec 10;8(12):74. Epub 2019 Dec 10.

Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Changhai Hospital, Navy Military Medical University, Shanghai, 200433, China.

Postsurgical recurrence within 2 years is the major cause of poor survival of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients. However, the molecular mechanism underlying HCC recurrence remains unclear. Here, we distinguish the function and mechanism of Sec62 in promoting HCC recurrence. The correlation between Sec62 and early recurrence was demonstrated in 60 HCC samples from a prospective study. HCC cells with Sec62 knockdown (Sec62) or overexpression (Sec62) were used to determine the potential of Sec62 in cell migration in vitro. Microarray analysis comparing Sec62 or Sec62 to their control counterparts was used to explore the mechanisms of Sec62-induced recurrence. A luciferase-labelled orthotopic nude mouse model of HCC with Sec62 or Sec62 was used to validate the potential of Sec62 in early HCC recurrence in vivo. We found that high expression of Sec62 was positively correlated with surgical recurrence in clinical HCC samples. Multivariate analysis revealed that Sec62 was an independent prognostic factor for early recurrence in postoperative HCC patients. Moreover, Sec62 promoted migration and invasion of HCC cells in vitro and postsurgical recurrence in vivo. Mechanically, integrinα/CAV1 signalling was identified as one of the targets of Sec62 in cell movement. Overexpression of integrin α partially rescued the Sec62 knockdown-induced inhibition of cell migration. Sec62 is a potentially prognostic factor for early recurrence in postoperative HCC patients and promotes HCC metastasis through integrinα/CAV1 signalling. Sec62 might be an attractive drug target for combating HCC postsurgical recurrence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41389-019-0183-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6904485PMC
December 2019

High Oleic Acid Peanut Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil Supplementation Attenuate Metabolic Syndrome in Rats by Modulating the Gut Microbiota.

Nutrients 2019 Dec 7;11(12). Epub 2019 Dec 7.

Nutrition/Metabolism Laboratory, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, 330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

Unhealthy dietary patterns are important risk factors for metabolic syndrome (MS), which is associated with gut microbiota disorder. High oleic acid peanut oil (HOPO) and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), considered as healthy dietary oil, are rich in oleic acid and bioactive phytochemicals, yet efficacy of MS prevention and mechanisms linking to gut microbiota remain obscure. Herein, we investigated HOPO and EVOO supplementation in attenuating diet-induced MS, and the potential mechanisms focusing on modulation of gut microbiota. Physiological, histological and biochemical parameters and gut microbiota profiles were compared among four groups fed respectively with the following diets for 12 weeks: normal chow diet with ordinary drinking water, high-fat diet with fructose drinking water, HOPO diet with fructose drinking water, and EVOO diet with fructose drinking water. HOPO or EVOO supplementation exhibit significant lower body weight gain, homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), and reduced liver steatosis. HOPO significantly reduced cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) level, while EVOO reduced these levels without significant difference. HOPO and EVOO prevented gut disorder and significantly increased -diversity and abundance of . Moreover, HOPO significantly decreased abundance of and . These findings suggest that both HOPO and EVOO can attenuate diet-induced MS, associated with modulating gut microbiota.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu11123005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6950752PMC
December 2019

Progress in Tissue Culture and Genetic Transformation of Oil Palm: An Overview.

Int J Mol Sci 2019 Oct 28;20(21). Epub 2019 Oct 28.

Coconut Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences, Wenchang 571339, China.

Oil palm (, Jacq.) is a prominent vegetable-oil-yielding crop. Cultivating high-yielding oil palm with improved traits is a pre-requisite to meet the increasing demands of palm oil consumption. However, tissue culture and biotechnological approaches can resolve these concerns. Over the past three decades, significant research has been carried out to develop tissue culture and genetic transformation protocols for oil palm. Somatic embryogenesis is an efficient platform for the micropropagation of oil palm on a large scale. In addition, various genetic transformation techniques, including microprojectile bombardment, mediated, Polyethylene glycol mediated mediated, and DNA microinjection, have been developed by optimizing various parameters for the efficient genetic transformation of oil palm. This review mainly emphasizes the methods established for in vitro propagation and genetic transformation of oil palm. Finally, we propose the application of the genome editing tool CRISPR/Cas9 to improve the various traits in this oil yielding crop.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms20215353DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6862151PMC
October 2019

Ferroelectricity-Enhanced Piezo-Phototronic Effect in 2D V-Doped ZnO Nanosheets.

Adv Sci (Weinh) 2019 Aug 22;6(16):1900314. Epub 2019 Jun 22.

School of Materials Science and Engineering Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta GA 30332-0245 USA.

Emerging 2D electronic materials have shown great potential for regulating and controlling optoelectronic processes. A 2D ferroelectric semiconductor coupled with the piezo-phototronic effect may bring unprecedented functional characteristics. Here, a heterojunction photodetector made of p-Si/V-doped-ferroelectric-ZnO 2D nanosheets (FESZ-PD) is fabricated, and the ferroelectricity-enhanced piezo-phototronic effect on the photoresponse behavior of the FESZ-PD is carefully investigated. By introducing the ferroelectricity and the piezo-phototronic effect, improved current rectification performance is achieved and the photoresponse performance of the heterojunction is enhanced in a broad spectral range. The applied voltage bias during measurement naturally causes ferroelectric spontaneous polarizations to align, resulting in a change in band structure near the interface and the local piezo-phototronic effect. The modulated energy band promotes the generation, separation, and transportation efficiency of photogenerated carriers greatly. Compared with the Si/ZnO 2D nanosheets photodetector without ferroelectricity under strain-free conditions, the photoresponsivity of the FESZ-PD increases by 2.4 times when applying a -0.20‰ compressive strain at +1 V forward bias. These results confirm the feasibility of coupling the ferroelectricity with the piezo-phototronic effect in 2D ferroelectric materials to enhance the photoresponse behavior, which provides a good way to enable the development of high-performance electronic and optoelectronic devices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/advs.201900314DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6702758PMC
August 2019

Integrative omics analysis on phytohormones involved in oil palm seed germination.

BMC Plant Biol 2019 Aug 19;19(1):363. Epub 2019 Aug 19.

Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR), Benin, Nigeria.

Background: Heat treatment is widely used to break dormancy for seed germination and phytohormones could be deeply involved. However, effect of heat treatment on phytohormone related genes/proteins/metabolites and possible relationship with dormancy release remains unclear in oil palm. In this study, oil palm seeds were heat-treated at 39 °C for 60 days according to the method for commercial production. The embryos of seeds during heat treatment (0 d, 15 d, 30 d, 45 d and 60 d) and of germinated seeds (70 d and 75 d) were selected to discover the mechanisms involved in oil palm seed germination. RNA-seq and iTRAQ were applied to investigate DEGs and DEPs related to seed germination; qPCR and western blot were used as validation accordingly; endogenous phytohormones were determined by LC-MS/MS and exogenous phytohormones were also applied to validate their effects on seed germination.

Results: RNA-seq results showed that plant hormone signal transduction was one of the most important pathways and eight phytohormones involved, while six of them (ABA, GA, ET, CTK, IAA and JA) were also identified by iTRAQ. Both RNA-seq and iTRAQ results showed that the expression of ABA decreased after heat treatment, which was further validated by qPCR and western blot. Furthermore, changes in endogenous phytohormones showed that ABA decreased rapidly to about 9% of the control at 30 d and then stayed at very low levels until germination; GA and CTK increased while IAA was not affected by heat treatment. Besides, exogenous ABA treatments (10, 100, 1000 mg/L) showed that the germination rate decreased to 63, 42 and 16% of the control, respectively, suggesting that ABA suppress seed germination and the inhibition effect increase with higher concentration; while the germination rates of exogenous GA and IAA treatments barely changed among different concentrations.

Conclusions: Phytohormones are deeply involved in oil palm seed germination and ABA acts as an inhibitor. Heat treatment can eliminate endogenous ABA and break dormancy, while GA and CTK may also involve in dormancy release. At least 30 days of heat treatment might be necessary. This study provided informative perspectives on oil palm seed germination, which could be also applicable in other palm species.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12870-019-1970-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6700987PMC
August 2019

Fast demodulated white-light interferometry-based fiber-optic Fabry-Perot cantilever microphone.

Opt Lett 2018 Jul;43(14):3417-3420

We demonstrate a highly sensitive and stable fiber-optic Fabry-Perot cantilever microphone based on fast demodulated white-light interferometry. The cavity length of the low-finesse Fabry-Perot interferometry is absolutely measured by realizing a high-speed demodulation method utilizing a full spectrum, with the advantages of both high resolution and large dynamic range. An acoustic test demonstrates high sensitivities and linear responsivities at frequencies below 2 kHz. The pressure responsivity and the noise-limited minimum detectable acoustic pressure level are measured to be 211.2 nm/Pa and 5  μPa/Hz, respectively, at the frequency of 1 kHz. Comparative experimental results show that the signal-to-noise ratio is over 10 times higher than a reference condenser microphone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OL.43.003417DOI Listing
July 2018

Dual Maleimide Tagging for Relative and Absolute Quantitation of Cysteine-Containing Peptides by MALDI-TOF MS.

Chembiochem 2018 Mar 15. Epub 2018 Mar 15.

Institute of Functional Nano and Soft Materials (FUNSOM), Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Carbon-Based Functional Materials and Devices, Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, 215123, P.R. China.

A dual maleimide (DuMal) tagging method has been developed for both relative and absolute quantitation of cysteine-containing peptides (CCPs) in combination with MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. A pair of maleimides with minimal differences in their chemical structures, N-methylmaleimide and Nethylmaleimide, have been chosen to allow for the rapid (≈minutes) tagging of CCPs in the Michael addition reaction with high efficiency. It has been validated that the DuMal tagging technique is sensitive and reliable in the quantitative analysis of CCPs. Absolute quantitation of CCPs can be achieved with a detection limit as low as 7.3 nm. Relative quantitation of CCPs can be performed in various sample mixtures with consistent results (coefficient of variation <5 %). The DuMal tagging technique provides a sensitive and accurate approach for the quantitation of biomolecules containing thiol reactive sites; thus it is promising for protein detection, disease diagnosis, and biomarker discovery associated with post-translational modifications of cysteines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cbic.201800031DOI Listing
March 2018

Cerium Addition Improved the Dry Sliding Wear Resistance of Surface Welding AZ91 Alloy.

Materials (Basel) 2018 Feb 6;11(2). Epub 2018 Feb 6.

Key Laboratory of Electromagnetic Processing of Materials, Ministry of Education, Northeastern University, Shenyang 110819, China.

In this study, the effects of cerium (Ce) addition on the friction and wear properties of surface welding AZ91 magnesium alloys were evaluated by pin-on-disk dry sliding friction and wear tests at normal temperature. The results show that both the friction coefficient and wear rate of surfacing magnesium alloys decreased with the decrease in load and increase in sliding speed. The surfacing AZ91 alloy with 1.5% Ce had the lowest friction coefficient and wear rate. The alloy without Ce had the worst wear resistance, mainly because it contained a lot of irregularly shaped and coarse β-MgAl phases. During friction, the β phase readily caused stress concentration and thus formed cracks at the interface between β phase and α-Mg matrix. The addition of Ce reduced the size and amount of MgAl, while generating Al₄Ce phase with a higher thermal stability. The Al-Ce phase could hinder the grain-boundary sliding and migration and reduced the degree of plastic deformation of subsurface metal. Scanning electron microscopy observation showed that the surfacing AZ91 alloy with 1.5% Ce had a total of four types of wear mechanism: abrasion, oxidation, and severe plastic deformation were the primary mechanisms; delamination was the secondary mechanism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ma11020250DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5848947PMC
February 2018
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