Publications by authors named "Zhiyong Zhou"

112 Publications

[Automatic segmentation of kidney tumor based on cascaded multiscale convolutional neural networks].

Sheng Wu Yi Xue Gong Cheng Xue Za Zhi 2021 Aug;38(4):722-731

Suzhou Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215163, P.R.China.

The background of abdominal computed tomography (CT) images is complex, and kidney tumors have different shapes, sizes and unclear edges. Consequently, the segmentation methods applying to the whole CT images are often unable to effectively segment the kidney tumors. To solve these problems, this paper proposes a multi-scale network based on cascaded 3D U-Net and DeepLabV3+ for kidney tumor segmentation, which uses atrous convolution feature pyramid to adaptively control receptive field. Through the fusion of high-level and low-level features, the segmented edges of large tumors and the segmentation accuracies of small tumors are effectively improved. A total of 210 CT data published by Kits2019 were used for five-fold cross validation, and 30 CT volume data collected from Suzhou Science and Technology Town Hospital were independently tested by trained segmentation models. The results of five-fold cross validation experiments showed that the Dice coefficient, sensitivity and precision were 0.796 2 ± 0.274 1, 0.824 5 ± 0.276 3, and 0.805 1 ± 0.284 0, respectively. On the external test set, the Dice coefficient, sensitivity and precision were 0.817 2 ± 0.110 0, 0.829 6 ± 0.150 7, and 0.831 8 ± 0.116 8, respectively. The results show a great improvement in the segmentation accuracy compared with other semantic segmentation methods.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7507/1001-5515.202101044DOI Listing
August 2021

Facile synthesis of one-dimensional vanadyl acetate nanobelts toward a novel anode for lithium storage.

Dalton Trans 2021 Sep 5;50(33):11568-11578. Epub 2021 Aug 5.

School of Physics, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, 510640, P. R. China.

Transition metal oxides (TMOs) are prospective anode materials for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), owing to their high theoretical specific capacity. However, the inherently low conductivity of TMOs restricts their application. The coupling of lithium-ion conducting polymer ligands with TMO structures is favorable for the dynamics of electrochemical processes. Herein, vanadyl acetate (VA) nanobelts, an organic-inorganic hybrid material, are synthesized for the first time as an anode material for LIBs. As a result, the VA nanobelt electrode displays an outstanding electrochemical performance, including a highly stable reversible specific capacity (around 1065 mA h g at 200 mA g), superior long-term cyclability (with a capacity of approximately 477 mA h g at 2 A g over 500 cycles) and attractive rate capability (1012 mA h g when the current density recovers to 200 mA g). In addition, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), cyclic voltammetry (CV) curves at different scanning rates and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) are used to investigate the variation of the specific capacity and the electrochemical kinetic characteristics of the VA electrode during cycling in detail, respectively. Also, the structural variations of the VA electrode in the initial two cycles are also investigated by in situ XRD testing. The periodic evolution of the in situ XRD patterns demonstrates that the VA nanobelt electrode shows excellent reversibility for Li ion insertion/extraction. This work offers an enlightening insight into the future research into organo-vanadyl hybrids as advanced anode materials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d1dt01930aDOI Listing
September 2021

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in fine road dust from a coal-utilization city: Spatial distribution, source diagnosis and risk assessment.

Chemosphere 2021 Jul 13;286(Pt 1):131555. Epub 2021 Jul 13.

Institute of Intelligent Machines, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei, 230031, China. Electronic address:

Coal combustion can release large amounts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which persist in various environment matrices (e.g., road dust) and hence cause the carcinogenic risk to human health. In this study, an exhaustive characterization of road dust samples coupling their physicochemical characteristics and stable isotope compositions (δC and δN) was conducted to evaluate the source, level, spatial distribution, and carcinogenic risk of PAHs in a typical coal-utilization city. Concentrations of Σ PAHs ranged from 605.5 to 25,374.3 ng/g with a mean concentration of 4083.0 ng/g. Pollution levels of sites around the coal-fired power plant (Zone 1) were significantly higher than those in other zones (p < 0.05). PAH concentration showed significant correlations with both C and N fractions (p < 0.01). Compositions of δC and δN in road dust coupled to principal component analysis and the partitions and diagnostic ratios of PAHs contributed to associating road dust to several local sources of contamination. Coal combustion and vehicular exhaust were major sources of PAHs around the power plant and urban area. Results of incremental lifetime cancer risk showed 81.5% of all sampling sites suffered potential risk (>10) for both adults and children, while children around the power plant suffered the highest risk. Despite the estimation of only potential risk being posed by PAHs in road dust, human exposure to the various environmental matrices, scientific and systematic assessment of carcinogenic risks by PAHs in the total environment warrants further investigations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.131555DOI Listing
July 2021

The dynamic changes of Nrf2 mediated oxidative stress, DNA damage and base excision repair in testis of rats during aging.

Exp Gerontol 2021 09 24;152:111460. Epub 2021 Jun 24.

College of Medical Science, China Three Gorges University, Yichang, Hubei 443002, PR China; Third-Grade Pharmacological Laboratory on Chinese Medicine Approved by State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, China Three Gorges University, Yichang, Hubei 443002, PR China. Electronic address:

Accumulation of oxidative stress, DNA damage and impaired DNA repair appear to play critical roles in the decline of testicular function with aging. However, when those factors begin to lose control in testis during aging has not yet been well understood. This study was designed to assess the changes of oxidative stress and DNA damage status, and DNA repair capacity in testis during aging. Thus, male Sprague-Dawley rats at 3, 9, 15 and 24 months of age were used to delineate the dynamic changes in testicular weight and index, testosterone concentration, testicular histology, Nrf2-mediated oxidative stress, DNA damage, DNA repair and apoptosis. Results showed that testicular weight and index, testosterone concentration and spermatid number progressively declined from 9 to 24 months of age. Similarly, seminiferous tubule diameters and seminiferous epithelium heights gradually diminished with aging. Nrf2-mediated antioxidant defense ability was significantly impaired in testis with increasing age including decreased the activity of SOD and the expression levels of Nrf2, HO-1 and NQO-1, and increased the contents of MDA. In addition, DNA damage including DNA single-strand breaks (SSBs) and DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) also progressively increased accompanied by increased levels of 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and γ-H2AX, and activated ATM/Chk2 and ATR/Chk1 pathway. Consistent with the results of Nrf2 pathway, the expression levels of APE1, OGG1 and XRCC1 involved in base excision DNA repair (BER) pathway increased from 3 to 9 months of age, and then gradually decreased after 9 months of age. Finally, TUNEL and Western blot results further confirmed germ cell apoptosis progressively increased from 3 to 24 months of age as evidenced by decreased ratio of Bcl-2/Bax and levels of Bcl-2 expression, and increased Bax expression levels. Taken together, our results suggest that downregulation of antioxidant ability mediated by Nrf2 pathway and impairment of BER capacity might correlate with increased DNA damage, and then induce declining testicular function during aging after adult.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exger.2021.111460DOI Listing
September 2021

Cyclin-dependent kinase 15 upregulation is correlated with poor prognosis for patients with breast cancer.

J Int Med Res 2021 Jun;49(6):300060521999552

Department of Rehabilitation, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang, Jiangxi, China.

Objective: To investigate the clinical significance of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 15 in breast cancer.

Methods: This prospective observational study enrolled 154 patients with breast cancer. Tumor tissues and paired paracancerous normal tissues were collected. Additionally, 85 samples of benign breast lesions were obtained from patients with mammary gland hyperplasia. Patient characteristics were recorded, and CDK15, human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER)2, estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and Ki67 immunohistochemical expression were determined.

Results: The rate of strong CDK15 expression was 63.6% (98/154) in breast cancer tissues, which was remarkably higher than that in benign breast lesions (34.1%, 29/85). Similarly, the ratio of strong CDK15 expression was markedly higher in tumor tissues (63.6%, 98/15) than in paracancerous normal tissues (27.3%, 42/154). Pearson's analysis showed that the CDK15 expression score was positively correlated with HER2 and Ki67. Patients with high CDK15 expression showed markedly higher ratios of TNM stage III to IV, lymph node metastasis, and increased tumor diameters but a significantly lower rate of ductal carcinoma in situ. The median survival time of these patients was significantly shorter. Kaplan-Meier curve analysis showed that low CDK15 expression predicted longer survival times.

Conclusion: Upregulated CDK15 predicted poor clinical outcomes in breast cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0300060521999552DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8236788PMC
June 2021

Plasmodium falciparum kelch 13 Mutations, 9 Countries in Africa, 2014-2018.

Emerg Infect Dis 2021 07;27(7):1902-1908

The spread of drug resistance to antimalarial treatments poses a serious public health risk globally. To combat this risk, molecular surveillance of drug resistance is imperative. We report the prevalence of mutations in the Plasmodium falciparum kelch 13 propeller domain associated with partial artemisinin resistance, which we determined by using Sanger sequencing samples from patients enrolled in therapeutic efficacy studies from 9 sub-Saharan countries during 2014-2018. Of the 2,865 samples successfully sequenced before treatment (day of enrollment) and on the day of treatment failure, 29 (1.0%) samples contained 11 unique nonsynonymous mutations and 83 (2.9%) samples contained 27 unique synonymous mutations. Two samples from Kenya contained the S522C mutation, which has been associated with delayed parasite clearance; however, no samples contained validated or candidate artemisinin-resistance mutations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2707.203230DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8237877PMC
July 2021

Saponins from Panax japonicus alleviate HFD-induced impaired behaviors through inhibiting NLRP3 inflammasome to upregulate AMPA receptors.

Neurochem Int 2021 09 12;148:105098. Epub 2021 Jun 12.

Hubei Province Key Laboratory of Occupational Hazard Identification and Control, Wuhan University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430065, China; New Medicine Innovation and Development Institute, Department of Pharmacy, College of Medicine, Wuhan University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430065, China. Electronic address:

Obesity is characterized by a condition of low-grade chronic inflammation that facilitates development of numerous comorbidities and dysregulation of brain homeostasis. It is reported that obesity can lead to behavioral alterations such as cognitive decline and depression-like behaviors both in humans and rodents. Saponins from panax japonicus (SPJ) have been reported to exhibit anti-inflammatory action in mouse model of diet-induced obesity. We evaluated the neuroprotection of SPJ on high fat diet (HFD) induced impaired behaviors such as memory deficit and depressive-like behaviors, and explored the underlying mechanisms. 6-week male Balb/c mice were divided into normal control group (NC, 17% total calories from fat), HFD group (60% total calories from fat), and HFD treated with SPJ groups (orally gavaged with dosages of 15 mg/kg and 45 mg/kg), respectively. After treatment for 16 weeks, behavioral tests were performed to evaluate the cognition and depression-like behaviors of the mice. The underling mechanisms of SPJ on HFD-induced impaired behaviors were investigated through histopathological observation, Western blot analysis and immunofluorescence. Our results showed that HFD-fed mice caused behavioral disorders, neuronal degeneration as well as elevated neuroinflammation, which was partly involved in NLRP3 inflammasome that finally resulted in decreased protein levels of AMPA receptors and down-regulated phosphorylated levels of CaMKII and CREB in cortex and hippocampus. All the above changes in cortex and hippocampus induced by HFD were mitigated by SPJ treatment. SPJ treatment alleviated HFD-induced recognitive impairment and depression-like behaviors of mice, which could be partly due to the capacity of SPJ to mitigate neuroinflammation through inhibition of NLRP3 inflammasome and upregulation of AMPA receptors signaling pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuint.2021.105098DOI Listing
September 2021

Caloric restriction ameliorates high-fat diet induced cognitive deficits through attenuating neuroinflammation via the TREM2-PI3K/AKT signaling pathway.

Food Funct 2021 Jul 2;12(14):6464-6478. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

College of Medical Science, Three Gorges University, Yichang, Hubei 443002, China.

Prolonged high-fat diet (HFD) feeding impairs cognitive function in rodents. However, the mechanism of caloric restriction (CR) for remedying HFD-induced cognitive dysfunction remains elusive. In the present study, we investigated the effect of CR on HFD-induced cognitive dysfunction and its possible mechanism. BALB/c mice were fed with HFD for 16 weeks and subsequently subjected to CR for 12 weeks. After cognitive function was evaluated by behavioral tests such as Morris water maze and three-chamber paradigm tests, the mice were sacrificed. The prefrontal cortex and hippocampus were rapidly harvested and deposited at -80 °C. The neuroprotective mechanisms of CR on HFD-induced cognitive deficits were evaluated by histopathological and electron microscopy observations, western blotting and immunofluorescence. Compared with the normal control group, HFD mice exhibited obvious cognitive deficits, glucose tolerance impairment, neuronal degeneration and abnormalities of synaptic ultrastructure in the cortex and hippocampus. CR treatment improved cognitive dysfunction and histopathological changes as well as increased the cognition-related protein levels of PSD-95, synaptophysin and BDNF. Meanwhile, HFD increased the protein levels of pro-inflammatory factors including iNOS, COX-2 and IL-1β but decreased the protein levels of anti-inflammatory factors such as CD206, TGF-β, Ym-1 and Arg 1 in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, downregulated the protein levels of TREM2 and PI3K and decreased the phosphorylation level of AKT, which can be reversed by CR treatment. Therefore, our results indicated that CR ameliorated cognitive deficits of mice induced by a high-fat diet. The underlying mechanism is associated with the attenuation of the neuroinflammatory response mediated by the TREM2-PI3K/AKT signaling pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0fo02946gDOI Listing
July 2021

The facile synthesis and electrochemical performance of NiVO as a novel anode material for lithium-ion batteries.

Dalton Trans 2021 Jun;50(21):7293-7304

School of Physics and Optoelectronics, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, 510640, P. R. China.

The single-phase binary nickel vanadate Ni2V2O7 was successfully synthesized by a simple solid-state method to explore novel anode materials for lithium-ion batteries. After an activation process, the Ni2V2O7 electrode exhibited excellent electrochemical performance with a stable, high specific capacity of about 960 mA h g-1 at a current density of 100 mA g-1, which is attributed to the multiple valence states and the synergistic effect of the transition elements V and Ni. Even at a high current density of 2000 mA g-1, a stable specific capacity of about 400 mA h g-1 was still obtained. Considering the influence of the activation process on the electrochemical performance of the Ni2V2O7 electrode, we studied the origin of the excellent electrochemical performance, where the improved lithium diffusion coefficient and increased pseudocapacitive contribution caused by the activation process led to a significant improvement in the electrochemical performance, including rate capacity and cycle stability. By combining in situ X-ray diffraction (XRD) and ex situ X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) methods, for the first time, we illustrate the detailed lithium storage mechanism of the Ni2V2O7 electrode during the lithium insertion/extraction process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d1dt00983dDOI Listing
June 2021

N-Demethylsinomenine, an active metabolite of sinomenine, attenuates chronic neuropathic and inflammatory pain in mice.

Sci Rep 2021 04 29;11(1):9300. Epub 2021 Apr 29.

School of Pharmacy, Nantong University, 19 Qixiu Road, Nantong, 226001, Jiangsu Province, China.

Chronic pain is a significant public health problem that afflicts nearly 30% of the global population, but current pharmacotherapies are insufficient. Previous report indicated that N-demethylsinomenine, an active metabolite of sinomenine, is efficacious against postoperative pain. The present study investigated whether N-demethylsinomenine is effective for chronic painful conditions or whether repeated treatment alters its effect. Both chronic constriction injury (CCI) surgery and complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) intraplantar injection induced significant and reliable mechanical allodynia at least for 7 days. Acute treatment with N-demethylsinomenine (10-40 mg/kg, i.p.) dose-dependently attenuated the mechanical allodynia both in CCI-induced neuropathic pain and CFA-induced inflammatory pain in mice. The potency of N-demethylsinomenine for reducing CFA-induced mechanical allodynia was slightly higher than sinomenine. During the period of repeated treatment, N-demethylsinomenine maintained its anti-allodynic effect against both neuropathic and inflammatory pain without producing carry-over effect. Pretreatment with bicuculline, a selective γ-aminobutyric acid type A (GABA) receptor antagonist, almost completely blocked the anti-allodynia of N-demethylsinomenine (40 mg/kg) both in CCI and CFA-treated mice. Our findings indicated that N-demethylsinomenine exhibits GABA receptor-mediated anti-allodynic effects in mouse models of neuropathic and inflammatory pain, suggesting it may be a useful novel pharmacotherapy for the control of chronic pain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-88521-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8085237PMC
April 2021

High Dietary Phosphate Exacerbates and Acts Independently of Low Autophagy Activity in Pathological Cardiac Remodeling and Dysfunction.

Cells 2021 04 1;10(4). Epub 2021 Apr 1.

Charles and Jane Pak Center for Mineral Metabolism and Clinical Research, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390, USA.

High phosphate contributes to uremic cardiomyopathy. Abnormal autophagy is associated with the development and progression of heart disease. What is unknown is the effects of phosphate on autophagy and whether the ill effects of phosphate on cardiomyocytes are mediated by low autophagy. High (2.0% /)-phosphate diet reduced LC3 puncta in cardiomyocytes and ratio of LC3 II/I and increased p62 protein, indicating that autophagy activity was suppressed. Mice with cardiomyocyte-specific deletion of autophagy-related protein 5 () had reduced autophagy only in the heart, developed cardiac dysfunction with hypertrophy and fibrosis, and had a short lifespan. When mice were fed a high-phosphate diet, they developed more apoptosis in cardiomyocytes, more severe cardiac remodeling, and shorter lifespan than normal phosphate-fed mice, indicating that cardiac phosphotoxicity is imparted independently of atg5. In conclusion, although high phosphate suppresses autophagy, high phosphate and low autophagy independently trigger and additionally amplify cardiac remodeling and dysfunction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells10040777DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8065663PMC
April 2021

Association of Plasmodium falciparum kelch13 R561H genotypes with delayed parasite clearance in Rwanda: an open-label, single-arm, multicentre, therapeutic efficacy study.

Lancet Infect Dis 2021 08 14;21(8):1120-1128. Epub 2021 Apr 14.

Malaria Branch, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, United States; US President's Malaria Initiative, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kigali, Rwanda. Electronic address:

Background: Partial artemisinin resistance is suspected if delayed parasite clearance (ie, persistence of parasitaemia on day 3 after treatment initiation) is observed. Validated markers of artemisinin partial resistance in southeast Asia, Plasmodium falciparum kelch13 (Pfkelch13) R561H and P574L, have been reported in Rwanda but no association with parasite clearance has been observed. We aimed to establish the efficacy of artemether-lumefantrine and genetic characterisation of Pfkelch13 alleles and their association with treatment outcomes.

Methods: This open-label, single-arm, multicentre, therapeutic efficacy study was done in 2018 in three Rwandan sites: Masaka, Rukara, and Bugarama. Children aged 6-59 months with P falciparum monoinfection and fever were eligible and treated with a 3-day course of artemether-lumefantrine. Treatment response was monitored for 28 days using weekly microscopy screenings of blood samples for P falciparum. Mutations in Pfkelch13 and P falciparum multidrug resistance-1 (Pfmdr1) genes were characterised in parasites collected from enrolled participants. Analysis of flanking microsatellites surrounding Pfkelch13 was done to define the origins of the R561H mutations. The primary endpoint was PCR-corrected parasitological cure on day 28, as per WHO protocol.

Findings: 228 participants were enrolled and 224 (98·2%) reached the study endpoint. PCR-corrected efficacies were 97·0% (95% CI 88-100) in Masaka, 93·8% (85-98) in Rukara, and 97·2% (91-100) in Bugarama. Pfkelch13 R561H mutations were present in 28 (13%) of 218 pre-treatment samples and P574L mutations were present in two (1%) pre-treatment samples. 217 (90%) of the 240 Pfmdr1 haplotypes observed in the pretreatment samples, had either the NFD (N86Y, Y184F, D1246Y) or NYD haplotype. Eight (16%) of 51 participants in Masaka and 12 (15%) of 82 participants in Rukara were microscopically positive 3 days after treatment initiation, which was associated with pre-treatment presence of Pfkelch13 R561H in Masaka (p=0·0005). Genetic analysis of Pfkelch13 R561H mutations suggest their common ancestry and local origin in Rwanda.

Interpretation: We confirm evidence of emerging artemisinin partial resistance in Rwanda. Although artemether-lumefantrine remains efficacious, vigilance for decreasing efficacy, further characterisation of artemisinin partial resistance, and evaluation of additional antimalarials in Rwanda should be considered.

Funding: The US President's Malaria Initiative.

Translation: For the French translation of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(21)00142-0DOI Listing
August 2021

Human Posture Detection Method Based on Wearable Devices.

J Healthc Eng 2021 24;2021:8879061. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

College of Medical Instruments, Shanghai University of Medicine & Health Sciences, Shanghai 201318, China.

The dynamic detection of human motion is important, which is widely applied in the fields of motion state capture and rehabilitation engineering. In this study, based on multimodal information of surface electromyography (sEMG) signals of upper limb and triaxial acceleration and plantar pressure signals of lower limb, the effective virtual driving control and gait recognition methods were proposed. The effective way of wearable human posture detection was also constructed. Firstly, the moving average window and threshold comparison were used to segment the sEMG signals of the upper limb. The standard deviation and singular values of wavelet coefficients were extracted as the features. After the training and classification by optimized support vector machine (SVM) algorithm, the real-time detection and analysis of three virtual driving actions were performed. The average identification accuracy was 90.90%. Secondly, the mean, standard deviation, variance, and wavelet energy spectrum of triaxial acceleration were extracted, and these parameters were combined with plantar pressure as the gait features. The optimized SVM was selected for the gait identification, and the average accuracy was 90.48%. The experimental results showed that, through different combinations of wearable sensors on the upper and lower limbs, the motion posture information could be dynamically detected, which could be used in the design of virtual rehabilitation system and walking auxiliary system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/8879061DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8016574PMC
March 2021

In situ hydrothermal synthesis of double-carbon enhanced novel cobalt germanium hydroxide composites as promising anode material for sodium ion batteries.

Dalton Trans 2021 Mar 10;50(12):4288-4299. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

School of Physics, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, 510640, P. R. China.

Germanium (Ge)-based materials are considered to be one of the most promising anode materials for sodium-ion batteries (SIBs). Nevertheless, the practical electrochemical performance is severely hampered by poor cyclability due to volumetric expansion of Ge upon cycling. Herein, double-carbon confined cobalt germanium hydroxide ([email protected]/rGO) composites has been facilely synthesized with the supportion of l-ascorbic acid and graphene oxide (GO) as anode materials for sodium-ion storage. As a result, the [email protected]/rGO anode delivers a high cyclic stability with a reversible capacity of 416 mA h g after 100 cycles at 100 mA g and an excellent rate capability of 206 mA h g at 2000 mA g compared with CGH, [email protected] and CGH/rGO composites. Besides, the reversible capacity of 266 mA h g still remained even after 500 cycles at current density of 1 A g. Such outstanding electrochemical performance could be accredited to a strong interaction between CGH, carbon, and graphene, which increases the electronic conductivity, relieves the volume expansion aroused by sodiation/desodiation, shortens the pathway of electron/ion transportation that further improving the reaction kinetics and endowing the material with remarkable cycling capability. Obviously, this in situ hydrothermal synthesis of double carbon coating strategy can be extended to designing other candidates of anode materials for SIBs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d1dt00135cDOI Listing
March 2021

Development of a new barcode-based, multiplex-PCR, next-generation-sequencing assay and data processing and analytical pipeline for multiplicity of infection detection of Plasmodium falciparum.

Malar J 2021 Feb 16;20(1):92. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Division of Parasitic Diseases, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, USA.

Background: Simultaneous infection with multiple malaria parasite strains is common in high transmission areas. Quantifying the number of strains per host, or the multiplicity of infection (MOI), provides additional parasite indices for assessing transmission levels but it is challenging to measure accurately with current tools. This paper presents new laboratory and analytical methods for estimating the MOI of Plasmodium falciparum.

Methods: Based on 24 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) previously identified as stable, unlinked targets across 12 of the 14 chromosomes within P. falciparum genome, three multiplex PCRs of short target regions and subsequent next generation sequencing (NGS) of the amplicons were developed. A bioinformatics pipeline including B4Screening pathway removed spurious amplicons to ensure consistent frequency calls at each SNP location, compiled amplicons by SNP site diversity, and performed algorithmic haplotype and strain reconstruction. The pipeline was validated by 108 samples generated from cultured-laboratory strain mixtures in different proportions and concentrations, with and without pre-amplification, and using whole blood and dried blood spots (DBS). The pipeline was applied to 273 smear-positive samples from surveys conducted in western Kenya, then providing results into StrainRecon Thresholding for Infection Multiplicity (STIM), a novel MOI estimator.

Results: The 24 barcode SNPs were successfully identified uniformly across the 12 chromosomes of P. falciparum in a sample using the pipeline. Pre-amplification and parasite concentration, while non-linearly associated with SNP read depth, did not influence the SNP frequency calls. Based on consistent SNP frequency calls at targeted locations, the algorithmic strain reconstruction for each laboratory-mixed sample had 98.5% accuracy in dominant strains. STIM detected up to 5 strains in field samples from western Kenya and showed declining MOI over time (q < 0.02), from 4.32 strains per infected person in 1996 to 4.01, 3.56 and 3.35 in 2001, 2007 and 2012, and a reduction in the proportion of samples with 5 strains from 57% in 1996 to 18% in 2012.

Conclusion: The combined approach of new multiplex PCRs and NGS, the unique bioinformatics pipeline and STIM could identify 24 barcode SNPs of P. falciparum correctly and consistently. The methodology could be applied to field samples to reliably measure temporal changes in MOI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12936-021-03624-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7885407PMC
February 2021

Icariin improves brain function decline in aging rats by enhancing neuronal autophagy through the AMPK/mTOR/ULK1 pathway.

Pharm Biol 2021 Dec;59(1):183-191

Medical College of China Three Gorges University, Yichang, P. R. Chinas.

Context: Icariin (ICA) is the main active ingredient of Maxim (Berberidaceae), which is used in the immune, reproductive, neuroendocrine systems, and anti-aging.

Objective: To evaluate the effect of ICA on natural aging rat.

Materials And Methods: 16-month-old Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were randomly divided into aging, low and high-dose ICA groups ( = 8); 6-month-old rats were taken as the adult control ( = 8). Rats were fed regular feed (aging and adult control) or feed containing ICA (ICA 2 and 6 mg/kg group) for 4 months. HE and Nissl staining were used to assess pathological changes. Western blot was used to test the expression of autophagy (LC3B, p62, Atg5, Beclin1) and p-AMPK, p-mTOR and p-ULK1 (ser 757). Immunofluorescence was used to detect the co-localization of LC3 and neurons.

Results: ICA improved neuronal degeneration associated with aging and increased the staining of Nissl bodies. Western blot showed that ICA up-regulated autophagy-related proteins LC3B (595%), Beclin1 (73.5%), p-AMPK (464%) protein ( < 0.05 vs. 20 M) in the cortex and hippocampus of aging rats, down-regulated the expression of p62 (56.9%), p-mTOR (53%) and p-ULK1 (ser 757) (65.4%) protein ( < 0.05 vs. 20 M). Immunofluorescence showed that the fluorescence intensity of LC3 decreased in the aging rat brain, but increased and mainly co-localized with neurons after ICA intervention.

Conclusions: Further research needs to verify the expression changes of AMPK/mTOR/ULK1 and the improvement effect of ICA in elderly. These results will further accelerate the applications of ICA and the treatment for senescence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13880209.2021.1878238DOI Listing
December 2021

CT-based peritumoral radiomics signatures for malignancy grading of clear cell renal cell carcinoma.

Abdom Radiol (NY) 2021 06 11;46(6):2690-2698. Epub 2021 Jan 11.

The Affiliated Suzhou Science & Technology Town Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Suzhou, 215163, China.

Objective: To evaluate the efficiency of CT-based peritumoral radiomics signatures of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) for malignancy grading in preoperative prediction.

Materials And Methods: 203 patients with pathologically confirmed as ccRCC were retrospectively enrolled in this study. All patients were categorized into training set (n = 122) and validation set (n = 81). For each patient, two types of volumes of interest (VOI) were masked on CT images. One type of VOIs was defined as the tumor mass volume (TMV), which was masked by radiologists delineating the outline of all contiguous slices of the entire tumor, while the other type defined as the peritumoral tumor volume (PTV), which was automatically created by an image morphological method. 1760 radiomics features were calculated from each VOI, and then the discriminative radiomics features were selected by Pearson correlation analysis for reproducibility and redundancy. These selected features were investigated their validity for building radiomics signatures by mRMR feature ranking method. Finally, the top ranked features, which were used as radiomics signatures, were input into a classifier for malignancy grading. The prediction performance was evaluated by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve in an independent validation cohort.

Results: The radiomics signatures of PTV showed a better performance on malignancy grade prediction of ccRCC with AUC of 0.807 (95% CI 0.800-0.834) in train data and 0.848 (95% CI 0.760-0.936) in validation data, while the radiomics signatures of TMV with AUC of 0.773 (95% CI 0.744-0.802) in train data and 0.810 (95% CI 0.706-0.914) in validation data.

Conclusion: The CT-based peritumoral radiomics signature is a potential way to be used as a noninvasive tool to preoperatively predict the malignancy grades of ccRCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00261-020-02890-zDOI Listing
June 2021

Panax notoginseng Saponins Attenuate Neuroinflammation through TXNIP-Mediated NLRP3 Inflammasome Activation in Aging Rats.

Curr Pharm Biotechnol 2021 ;22(10):1369-1379

Pharmacy Department, Wuhan University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430065, China.

Introduction: Microglia-mediated inflammatory responses play a crucial role in aging-related neurodegenerative diseases. The TXNIP/NLRP3 pathway is a key pathway leading to microglial activation. Panax notoginseng Saponins (PNS) have been widely used for the treatment of stroke in China.

Objective: This study evaluates the anti-neuroinflammatory effect of PNS and investigates the mechanism via TXNIP-mediated NLRP3 inflammasome activation in aging rats.

Material And Methods: Eighteen-month-old Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into the aging control group and PNS treated groups (n=15 each group). For PNS-treated groups, rats were administrated food with PNS at the doses of 10 mg/kg and 30 mg/kg for consecutive 6 months until they were 24-month old. Rats from the aging control group were given the same food without PNS. Twomonth- old rats were purchased and given the same food until they were 6-months old as the adult control group (n = 15). Then, the cortex and hippocampus were rapidly harvested and deposited. H&E staining was used to assess histo-morphological changes. Western blotting was carried out to detect the protein expression. Immunofluorescence was employed to measure the co-localization of NLRP3, TXNIP and Iba-1. In vitro model was established by LPS+ATP co-incubation in the BV2 microglia cell line.

Results: Aging rats exhibited increased activation of microglia, accompanied by a high level of IL-1β expression. Meanwhile, aging rats showed enhanced protein expression of TXNIP and NLRP3 related molecules, which co-localized with microglia. PNS treatment effectively reduced the number of degenerated neurons and reversed the activation of the TXNIP/NLRP3 inflammatory pathway. In vitro results showed that PNS up to 100 μg/ml had no significant toxicity on BV2 microglia. PNS (25, 50 μg/ml) effectively reduced the inflammatory response induced by LPS and ATP co-stimulation, thus inhibiting the expression of TXNIP/NLRP3 pathway-related proteins.

Discussion And Conclusion: PNS treatment improved aging-related neuronal damage through inhibiting TXNIP mediated NLRP3 inflammasome activation, which provided a potential target for the treatment of inflammation-related neurodegenerative diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1389201021999201110204735DOI Listing
August 2021

High Phosphate Induces and Klotho Attenuates Kidney Epithelial Senescence and Fibrosis.

Front Pharmacol 2020 20;11:1273. Epub 2020 Aug 20.

Charles and Jane Pak Center for Mineral Metabolism and Clinical Research, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, United States.

Cellular senescence is an irreversible cell growth arrest and is associated with aging and age-related diseases. High plasma phosphate (Pi) and deficiency of Klotho contribute to aging and kidney fibrosis, a pathological feature in the aging kidney and chronic kidney disease. This study examined the interactive role of Pi and Klotho in kidney senescence and fibrosis. Homozygous Klotho hypomorphic mice had high plasma Pi, undetectable Klotho in plasma and kidney, high senescence with massive collagen accumulation in kidney tubules, and fibrin deposits in peritubular capillaries. To examine the Pi effect on kidney senescence, a high (2%) Pi diet was given to wild-type mice. One week of high dietary Pi mildly increased plasma Pi, and upregulated kidney p16/p21 expression, but did not significantly decrease Klotho. Two weeks of high Pi intake led to increase in plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI)-1, and decrease in kidney Klotho, but still without detectable increase in kidney fibrosis. More prolonged dietary Pi for 12 weeks exacerbated kidney senescence and fibrosis; more so in heterozygous Klotho hypomorphic mice compared to wild-type mice, and in mice with chronic kidney disease (CKD) on high Pi diet compared to CKD mice fed a normal Pi diet. In cultured kidney tubular cells, high Pi directly induced cellular senescence, injury and epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and enhanced HO-induced cellular senescence and injury, which were abrogated by Klotho. Fucoidan, a bioactive molecule with multiple biologic functions including senescence inhibition, blunted Pi-induced cellular senescence, oxidation, injury, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and senescence-associated secretary phenotype. In conclusion, high Pi activates senescence through distinct but interconnected mechanisms: upregulating p16/p21 (early), and elevating plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and downregulating Klotho (late). Klotho may be a promising agent to attenuate senescence and ameliorate age-associated, and Pi-induced kidney degeneration such as kidney fibrosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2020.01273DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7468469PMC
August 2020

De Novo Transcriptomic and Metabolomic Analyses Reveal the Ecological Adaptation of High-Altitude .

Insects 2020 Sep 14;11(9). Epub 2020 Sep 14.

Key Laboratory for Insect-Pollinator Biology of the Ministry of Agriculture, Institute of Apicultural Research, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100093, China.

is one of the most abundant bumblebee species in China, with a distribution range of very varied geomorphology and vegetation, which makes it an ideal pollinator species for research into high-altitude adaptation. Here, we sequenced and assembled transcriptomes of from the low-altitude North China Plain and the high-altitude Tibet Plateau. Subsequent comparative analysis of de novo transcriptomes from the high- and low-altitude groups identified 675 common upregulated genes (DEGs) in the high-altitude . These genes were enriched in metabolic pathways and corresponded to enzyme activities involved in energy metabolism. Furthermore, according to joint analysis with comparative metabolomics, we suggest that the metabolism of coenzyme A (CoA) and the metabolism and transport of energy resources contribute to the adaptation of high-altitude . Meanwhile, we found many common upregulated genes enriched in the Toll and immune deficiency (Imd)signaling pathways that act as important immune defenses in insects, and hypoxia and cold temperatures could induce the upregulation of immune genes in insects. Therefore, we suppose that the Toll and Imd signaling pathways also participated in the high-altitude adaptation of . Like other organisms, we suggest that the high-altitude adaptation of is controlled by diverse mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/insects11090631DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7563474PMC
September 2020

Effects of CuO addition on the sinterability and electric properties in PbNbO-based ceramics.

Ceram Int 2020 Oct 13;46(15):23505-23509. Epub 2020 Jun 13.

Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Key Laboratory of Inorganic Functional Materials and Devices, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1295 Dingxi Road, Shanghai, 200050, People's Republic of China.

PbNbO (PN)-based ceramics with tungsten bronze structure are promising piezoelectric materials in high-temperature devices such as piezoelectric vibration transducers. However, the PN-based ceramics usually exhibit a low bulk density, which greatly limits their practical applications. In this work, CuO was used as the sintering aid to form a liquid-phase bridge, leading to an obvious increase of the bulk density of PN-based ceramics by 11% (from 5.25 to 5.85 g cm) and the improvement of the piezoelectric constant ( ) (from 168 to 190 pC/N) and the Curie temperature ( ) from 367 to 395 °C. The positive influence of CuO on densification has been proved by SEM and fracture toughness. The XRD patterns confirmed that there was no secondary phase introduced by CuO addition. The Raman spectra revealed that part of Cu ions has probably diffused into host lattice of the PN and preferred to occupy on A-sites. These results not only demonstrate the high potential of the CuO added PN-based ceramics for high-temperature piezoelectric applications, but also reveal the corresponding structure-properties relationship as well as provide a way to improve the sinterability, , and simultaneously.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ceramint.2020.06.120DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7292948PMC
October 2020

Diagnosis and Treatment of Rheumatic Adverse Events Related to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors.

J Immunol Res 2020 4;2020:2640273. Epub 2020 Aug 4.

Department of Oncology, Jiangxi Provincial People's Hospital Affiliated to Nanchang University, Jiangxi, China.

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have completely changed the treatment of cancer, and they also can cause multiple organ immune-related adverse reactions (irAEs). Among them, rheumatic irAE is less common, mainly including inflammatory arthritis, rheumatic myalgia/giant cell arteritis, inflammatory myopathy, and Sjogren's syndrome. For oncologists, rheumatism is a relatively new field, and early diagnosis and treatment is very important, and we need to work closely with experienced rheumatologists. In this review, we focused on the incidence, clinical characteristics, and treatment strategies of rheumatic irAE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2020/2640273DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7424376PMC
June 2021

Assessment of molecular markers of anti-malarial drug resistance among children participating in a therapeutic efficacy study in western Kenya.

Malar J 2020 Aug 14;19(1):291. Epub 2020 Aug 14.

Kenya Medical Research Institute, Centre for Global Health Research, P.O. Box 1578, Kisumu, Kenya.

Background: Anti-malarial drug resistance remains a major threat to global malaria control efforts. In Africa, Plasmodium falciparum remains susceptible to artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), but the emergence of resistant parasites in multiple countries in Southeast Asia and concerns over emergence and/or spread of resistant parasites in Africa warrants continuous monitoring. The World Health Organization recommends that surveillance for molecular markers of resistance be included within therapeutic efficacy studies (TES). The current study assessed molecular markers associated with resistance to Artemether-lumefantrine (AL) and Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine (DP) from samples collected from children aged 6-59 months enrolled in a TES conducted in Siaya County, western Kenya from 2016 to 2017.

Methods: Three hundred and twenty-three samples collected pre-treatment (day-0) and 110 samples collected at the day of recurrent parasitaemia (up to day 42) were tested for the presence of drug resistance markers in the Pfk13 propeller domain, and the Pfmdr1 and Pfcrt genes by Sanger sequencing. Additionally, the Pfpm2 gene copy number was assessed by real-time polymerase chain reaction.

Results: No mutations previously associated with artemisinin resistance were detected in the Pfk13 propeller region. However, other non-synonymous mutations in the Pfk13 propeller region were detected. The most common mutation found on day-0 and at day of recurrence in the Pfmdr1 multidrug resistance marker was at codon 184F. Very few mutations were found in the Pfcrt marker (< 5%). Within the DP arm, all recrudescent cases (8 sample pairs) that were tested for Pfpm2 gene copy number had a single gene copy. None of the associations between observed mutations and treatment outcomes were statistically significant.

Conclusion: The results indicate absence of Pfk13 mutations associated with parasite resistance to artemisinin in this area and a very high proportion of wild-type parasites for Pfcrt. Although the frequency of Pfmdr1 184F mutations was high in these samples, the association with treatment failure did not reach statistical significance. As the spread of artemisinin-resistant parasites remains a possibility, continued monitoring for molecular markers of ACT resistance is needed to complement clinical data to inform treatment policy in Kenya and other malaria-endemic regions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12936-020-03358-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7427724PMC
August 2020

Long non-coding RNA BCAR4 promotes liver cancer progression by regulating proliferation, migration and invasion.

Oncol Lett 2020 Sep 8;20(3):2779-2787. Epub 2020 Jul 8.

Department of Oncology, Jiangxi Provincial People's Hospital Affiliated to Nanchang University, Nanchang, Jiangxi 330006, P.R. China.

Liver cancer (LC) is one of the primary contributors of cancer-associated death worldwide. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been shown to participate in almost every aspect of cell biology and serve fundamental roles in carcinogenesis and cancer progression, including in LC. However, the clinical significance and functional role of the lncRNA breast cancer anti-estrogen resistance 4 (BCAR4) in LC have not yet been identified. The present study measured the expression levels of BCAR4 in LC cells and tissues, and discovered that BCAR4 was upregulated in LC tissues compared with adjacent normal tissues. Furthermore, high BCAR4 expression was associated with the presence of multiple tumors and advanced Tumor-Node-Metastasis stages (III/IV). Survival analysis found that high BCAR4 expression indicated poor overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS). By analyzing the risk factors of poor OS and PFS using univariate analysis and multivariate analysis, high BCAR4 expression was revealed to be an independent risk factor of poor prognosis. In addition, the role of BCAR4 was further investigated , which revealed overexpression of BCAR4 to markedly promote the proliferation, migration and invasion of LC cells. Conversely, the loss of BCAR4 expression repressed the proliferation, migration and invasion of LC cells. In conclusion, BCAR4 is overexpressed in LC and is associated with LC progression. Therefore, BCAR4 may be used as a potential prognostic marker in LC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/ol.2020.11826DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7400972PMC
September 2020

Harvesting Variable-Speed Wind Energy with a Dynamic Multi-Stable Configuration.

Materials (Basel) 2020 Mar 19;13(6). Epub 2020 Mar 19.

Department of Engineering Mechanics, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an 710072, China.

To harvest the energy of variable-speed wind, we proposed a dynamic multi-stable configuration composed of a piezoelectric beam and a rectangular plate. At low wind speeds, the system exhibits bi-stability, whereas, at high wind speeds, the system exhibits a dynamic tri-stability, which is beneficial for harvesting variable-speed wind energy. The theoretical analysis was carried out. For validation, the prototype was fabricated, and a piezoelectric material was bonded to the beam. The corresponding experiment was conducted, with the wind speed increasing from 1.5 to 7.5 m/s. The experiment results prove that the proposed harvester could generate a large output over the speed range. The dynamic stability is helpful to maintain snap-through motion for variable-speed wind. In particular, the snap-through motion could reach coherence resonance in a range of wind speed. Thus, the system could keep large output in the environment of variable-speed wind.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ma13061389DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7142901PMC
March 2020

Assessment of subpatent Plasmodium infection in northwestern Ethiopia.

Malar J 2020 Mar 4;19(1):108. Epub 2020 Mar 4.

Malaria Branch, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. President's Malaria Initiative, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Background: Ethiopia has set a goal for malaria elimination by 2030. Low parasite density infections may go undetected by conventional diagnostic methods (microscopy and rapid diagnostic tests) and their contribution to malaria transmission varies by transmission settings. This study quantified the burden of subpatent infections from samples collected from three regions of northwest Ethiopia.

Methods: Sub-samples of dried blood spots from the Ethiopian Malaria Indicator Survey 2015 (EMIS-2015) were tested and compared using microscopy, rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), and nested polymerase chain reaction (nPCR) to determine the prevalence of subpatent infection. Paired seroprevalence results previously reported along with gender, age, and elevation of residence were explored as risk factors for Plasmodium infection.

Results: Of the 2608 samples collected, the highest positive rate for Plasmodium infection was found with nPCR 3.3% (95% CI 2.7-4.1) compared with RDT 2.8% (95% CI 2.2-3.5) and microscopy 1.2% (95% CI 0.8-1.7). Of the nPCR positive cases, Plasmodium falciparum accounted for 3.1% (95% CI 2.5-3.8), Plasmodium vivax 0.4% (95% CI 0.2-0.7), mixed P. falciparum and P. vivax 0.1% (95% CI 0.0-0.4), and mixed P. falciparum and Plasmodium malariae 0.1% (95% CI 0.0-0.3). nPCR detected an additional 30 samples that had not been detected by conventional methods. The majority of the nPCR positive cases (61% (53/87)) were from the Benishangul-Gumuz Region. Malaria seropositivity had significant association with nPCR positivity [adjusted OR 10.0 (95% CI 3.2-29.4), P < 0.001].

Conclusion: Using nPCR the detection rate of malaria parasites increased by nearly threefold over rates based on microscopy in samples collected during a national cross-sectional survey in 2015 in Ethiopia. Such subpatent infections might contribute to malaria transmission. In addition to strengthening routine surveillance systems, malaria programmes may need to consider low-density, subpatent infections in order to accelerate malaria elimination efforts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12936-020-03177-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7057598PMC
March 2020

Preparation of highly efficient ion-imprinted polymers with FeO nanoparticles as carrier for removal of Cr(VI) from aqueous solution.

Sci Total Environ 2020 Jan 7;699:134334. Epub 2019 Sep 7.

College of Chemical Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, No. 15, North Third Ring Road East, Beijing 100029, People's Republic of China. Electronic address:

FeO magnetic nanoparticles were prepared by hydrothermal synthesis and their surface was modified by the sol-gel method. Polymers imprinted with magnetic Cr (VI) were prepared by using CrO as template ion, 4-vinyl pyridine (4-VP) as monomer, isopropanol as solvent and FeO as matrix. The effects of solvent type, amount of Cr (VI) addition and volume of crosslinking agent on the adsorption properties of the imprinted polymers were investigated. The polymers were characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The adsorption equilibrium was reached within 50 min, and the maximum adsorption capacity was 201.55 mg·g. The adsorption process conformed to the Langmuir model, and the results of kinetic fitting showed that the pseudo-first-order kinetic model applied. In the CrO/AlF and CrO/CrO competitive systems, the imprinted polymer showed good selectivity to the template ions, with relative selectivity factors of 6.91 and 5.99, respectively. When the imprinted polymer was reused 6 times, the adsorption capacity decreased by only 8.2%, demonstrating good reusability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.134334DOI Listing
January 2020

Preparation and Application of CO-Triggered Switchable Solvents in Separation of Toluene/-Heptane.

Langmuir 2020 Jan 6;36(2):510-519. Epub 2020 Jan 6.

College of Chemical Engineering , Beijing University of Chemical Technology , No. 15, North Third Ring Road East , Beijing 100029 , People's Republic of China.

Extraction is a common approach to separating aromatics and alkanes, but solvent recovery remains an issue. The polarity, hydrophobic/hydrophilic balance, and other properties of switchable solvents can be reversibly changed in the presence of various triggers, and taking advantage of this property can greatly simplify the process of solvent recovery. In this work, quaternation and anion exchange were used to prepare several switchable solvents by introducing OH ions to derivatives of the amidine compound 1,8-diazabicyclo[5.4.0]undec-7-ene (DBU). The resulting compounds exhibited reversible switching in response to exposure to CO. Using toluene/-heptane as a model hydrocarbon mixture, a reversible phase change extraction process was established. Among the four switchable solvents prepared, [CDBU]OH showed the highest selectivity value and so was used to investigate the effect of various parameters on hydrocarbon separation. The extraction process was found to rapidly reach equilibrium when a two-phase system was generated by bubbling CO through the extraction mixture. Increasing the proportion of the solvent increased the selectivity for toluene, while a 1:1 ratio between the solvent and the toluene/-heptane mixture enhanced the extraction. Increasing the initial toluene concentration reduced the selectivity for toluene, with a value of 5.97 at a toluene concentration of 20%. The switchable solvent recovered its initial state when heated at 60 °C for 1 h. Upon being reused after removal of CO, the solvent exhibited poor separation characteristics, although the selectivity coefficient remained constant at approximately 3.1 during 10 regenerations. Finally, the mechanism of the switchable solvent effect and modeling of experimental data were investigated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.langmuir.9b02890DOI Listing
January 2020

Diagnostic indicators of wild pollinators for biodiversity monitoring in long-term conservation.

Sci Total Environ 2020 Mar 16;708:135231. Epub 2019 Nov 16.

Key Laboratory for Insect-Pollinator Biology of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Institute of Apicultural Research, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100093, China. Electronic address:

For the conservation of wild pollinators, instead of surveying the whole community, one or more indicator species can be used as monitoring targets for long-term conservation. China, the richest country in terms of bumblebee species with 125 species, was selected here to investigate the indicator species of the different biogeographic regions of bumblebees. Four principal biogeographic regions of bumblebee species, i.e., South China, North-Northeast China (North China), the Mongolian Plateau and surrounding mountains (Mongolian Plateau) and the Tibetan Plateau and surrounding mountains (Tibetan Plateau), were revealed by Ward's agglomerative cluster analysis. The role of climatic factors in defining the biogeographic regions was found to be greater than those of topographical factors and their joint effects. We found that 14, 13, 12 and 12 species were associated with the regions of South China, North China, the Mongolian Plateau and the Tibetan Plateau, respectively. In addition, among these species, seven (Bombus atripes, B. bicoloratus, B. breviceps, B. eximius, B. flavescens, B. montivagus and B. trifasciatus), five (B. deuteronymus, B. patagiatus, B. pseudobaicalensis, B. tricornis and B. ussurensis), ten (B. armeniacus, B. confusus, B. cryptarum, B. cullumanus, B. hortorum, B. muscorum, B. ruderarius, B. soroeensis, B. subterraneus and B. terrestris) and four species (B. kashmirensis, B. personatus, B. rufofasciatus and B. waltoni) were identified as important indicator species for South China, North China, the Mongolian Plateau and the Tibetan Plateau, respectively. Furthermore, we identified specific areas for targeted bumblebee diversity monitoring in each region. This study highlights the bioregionalization and the identification of indicator species of bumblebee pollinators for long-term monitoring in conservation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135231DOI Listing
March 2020

Pollen Release Dynamics and Daily Patterns of Pollen-Collecting Activity of Honeybee and Bumblebee in Solar Greenhouse.

Insects 2019 Jul 22;10(7). Epub 2019 Jul 22.

Key Laboratory for Insect-Pollinator Biology of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Institute of Apicultural Research, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100093, China.

Pollen is important not only for pollination and fertilization of plants, but also for colony development of bee pollinators. Anther dehiscence determines the available pollen that can be collected by foragers. In China, honeybees and bumblebees are widely used as pollinators in solar greenhouse agriculture. To better understand the effect of solar greenhouse microclimates on pollen release and pollen-foraging behaviour, we observed the anther dehiscence dynamics and daily pollen-collecting activity of and during peach anthesis in a solar greenhouse in Beijing. Microclimate factors had a significant effect on anther dehiscence and bee foraging behaviour. The proportion of dehisced anthers increased with increasing temperature and decreasing relative humidity and peaked from 11:00 h to 14:00 h, coinciding with the peak pollen-collecting activity of bees. On sunny days, most pollen grains were collected by the two pollinators within two hours after anther dehiscence, at which time the viability of pollen had not yet significantly decreased. Our study helps us to better understand the relationship between food resources and pollinator foraging behaviour and to make better use of bees for pollination in Chinese solar greenhouses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/insects10070216DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6681390PMC
July 2019
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