Publications by authors named "Zhongwei Huang"

60 Publications

Physical activity levels and mental health burden of healthcare workers during COVID-19 lockdown.

Stress Health 2021 Jul 7. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, National University Health Systems, Singapore.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has precipitated international lockdown measures to curb disease transmissions. The closure of public activity spaces as well as changes in pandemic workload may disrupt healthcare workers' physical activity and self-care routines. We sought to examine the association between physical activity levels and mental health burden of healthcare workers during the COVID-19 lockdown in Singapore. This cross-sectional study comprised of an multidomain survey that was administered digitally to 707 healthcare workers between 17 May and 18 June 2020. Exercise frequency, duration and intensity of these healthcare workers had reduced significantly during the lockdown compared to pre-lockdown. 25.3%, 37.2%, and 11.9% had screened positive for moderate-to-extremely-severe depression, anxiety and stress respectively. Reductions in exercise duration was a significant risk factor for mild stress and moderate-to-severe depression while increase in exercise frequency was found to be a protective factor against depressed mood. Our study revealed that a short-term reduction in physical activity levels during lockdown was associated with poorer psychological outcomes. Given the protection that exercise confers on depression, physical activity should be promoted at the workplace and at home to support healthcare workers to cope through this protracted health crisis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smi.3078DOI Listing
July 2021

Analysis of the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 65 patients with scrub typhus on the east coast of China.

Ann Palliat Med 2021 May;10(5):5694-5705

Department of Emergency Medicine, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, China.

Background: The present study set out to investigate the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 65 patients with tsutsugamushi disease.

Methods: The clinical data of 65 patients with tsutsugamushi disease, who were admitted to the Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University were retrospectively analyzed. The clinical symptoms, laboratory examination results, clinical treatment plans, treatments, and outcomes of the patients were analyzed.

Results: The 65 patients with tsutsugamushi disease, included 40 males (61.54%) and 25 females (38.46%). The patients were aged from 1 year and 7 months to 88 years old, and the peak age was 60-70 years old. Geographically, the patients were concentrated in Rugao and Tongzhou District. Infections were most common between October and December (categorized as "autumn type"), and peaked in November. Farmers had the highest infection rate of any occupation (66%). All patients had the symptom of fever, with the body temperature of 60 (92.31%) patients exceeding 38.5 °C, while 58 (89%) and 51 (78%) patients had characteristic eschar and skin rash, respectively. There were 56 (86.15%) patients with varying degrees of liver damage, 8 (12.31%) cases of elevated D-dimer, 3 (4.62%) cases of myocardial injury, 38 (58.46%) cases of superficial lymph node enlargement, 8 (12.31%) cases of splenomegaly, and 2 cases (3.08%) of bulbar conjunctival congestion. Of the 65 patients enrolled, the overall misdiagnosis rate of first medical contact was 64.62.

Conclusions: Tsutsugamushi disease, infection has obvious seasonality and a susceptible population, especially among farmers and the elderly.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/apm-21-1100DOI Listing
May 2021

Water-soluble brown carbon in atmospheric aerosols along the transport pathway of Asian dust: Optical properties, chemical compositions, and potential sources.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Oct 24;789:147971. Epub 2021 May 24.

Key Laboratory for Semi-Arid Climate Change of the Ministry of Education, College of Atmospheric Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China; Institute of Surface-Earth System Science, School of Earth System Science, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China. Electronic address:

As an important type of light-absorbing aerosol, brown carbon (BrC) has the potential to affect the atmospheric photochemistry and Earth's energy budget. A comprehensive field campaign was carried out along the transport pathway of Asian dust during the spring of 2016, including a desert site (Erenhot), a rural site (Zhangbei), and an urban site (Jinan), in northern China. Optical properties, bulk chemical compositions, and potential sources of water-soluble brown carbon (WS-BrC) were investigated in atmospheric total suspended particulate (TSP) samples. Samples from Zhangbei had higher mass absorption efficiency at 365 nm (MAE, 1.32 ± 0.34 m g) than those from Jinan (1.00 ± 0.23 m g) and Erenhot (0.84 ± 0.30 m g). Compere to the non-dust samples, elevated water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC) concentrations and MAE values of dust samples from Erenhot are related to the input of high molecular weight organic compounds and biogenic matter from the Gobi Desert, while lower values from Zhangbei and Jinan are attributed to the dilution effect caused by strong northwesterly winds. Based on fluorescence excitation-emission matrix spectra and parallel factor analysis, two humic-like (C1 and C2) and two protein-like (C3 and C4) substances were identified. Together, C1 and C2 accounted for ~64% of total fluorescence intensity at the highly polluted urban Jinan site; C3 represented ~45% at the rural Zhangbei site where local biomass burning affects; and C4 contributed ~24% in the desert region (Erenhot) due to dust-sourced biogenic substances. The relative absorptive forcing of WS-BrC compared to black carbon at 300-400 nm was about 31.3%, 13.9%, and 9.2% during non-dust periods at Erenhot, Zhangbei, and Jinan, respectively, highlighting that WS-BrC may significantly affect the radiative balance of Earth's climate system and should be included in radiative forcing models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.147971DOI Listing
October 2021

Reasons for termination of pregnancy in mid-trimester: A single-centre experience.

Ann Acad Med Singap 2021 04;50(4):343-345

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, National University Hospital, Singapore.

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April 2021

Research progress of circRNA as a biomarker of sepsis: a narrative review.

Ann Transl Med 2021 Apr;9(8):720

Department of Emergency Medicine, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, China.

Objective: Explore the possibility of circRNAs as markers of sepsis.

Background: Sepsis is an abnormal immune response of our body to infection that can lead to organ failure and death. Although the research on sepsis has been extensive in the past few years, sepsis-associated morbidity and mortality are still increasing. Early diagnosis and early treatment are important for patients with sepsis. Although many markers, including procalcitonin and C-reactive protein, have been proposed as diagnostic indicators of sepsis, there are still challenges in the early diagnosis and treatment of sepsis due to the lack of sensitivity and specificity of these substances. Recently, a large number of studies have found that circular RNAs (circRNAs) participate in a variety of biological functions, such as immune response, regulating the expression of miRNAs, and they are closely related to the occurrence and development of many diseases, including sepsis. However, the clear mechanism of the role of circRNAs has not been fully elucidated. An increasing number of studies have confirmed that circRNAs have potential in the diagnosis and treatment of sepsis. By studying the regulatory mechanism of circRNAs in sepsis, we can search for new molecular intervention targets for the treatment of sepsis, which is conducive to the development of new molecular therapeutic drugs for sepsis.

Methods: In the present study, we summarize and analyze the role of circRNAs in the pathogenesis of sepsis and discuss the possibility of circRNA as a biomarker for the diagnosis of sepsis.

Conclusions: The biological characteristics of circRNAs and their role in the occurrence and development of sepsis make them possible markers of sepsis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/atm-21-1247DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8106021PMC
April 2021

G-rich sequence factor 1 serves as a prognostic biomarker in septic patients.

Ann Transl Med 2021 Apr;9(8):691

Department of Emergency Medicine, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, China.

Background: Sepsis is a condition of organ dysfunction caused by infection, and is unavoidably related to costs and mortality; however, no biomarker has yet been identified to clearly predict the prognosis of septic patients. In this study, we aimed to explore the role of guanine-rich sequence factor 1 (GRSF1) in evaluating the severity and prognosis of sepsis.

Methods: The expression of GRSF1 in peripheral blood was measured and analyzed in 42 septic participants and 32 healthy controls respectively by using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). Clinical data were assessed by correlation analysis. In addition, GRSF1 expression was investigated in cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) induced mice septic models by RT-qPCR and western blot (WB).

Results: The expression of GRSF1 expression in septic patients in the first day of electronic intensive care unit (eICU) administration was significantly lower in comparison with HC. Further analysis showed GRSF1 expression was strongly related to the Acute Physiologic Assessment and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II) score and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score. Low expression of GRSF1 predicted high mortality within 24 hours in septic patients and in CLP-induced mice.

Conclusions: Decreased expression of GRSF1 was significantly correlated with high mortality in septic patients, and also in experimental septic mice. The GRSF1 protein may be a potential prognostic biomarker in sepsis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/atm-21-1022DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8106065PMC
April 2021

In vitro bacteriostatic effects of Polymyxin B combined with Propofol medium and long chain fat emulsion injection against Escherichia coli.

Ann Palliat Med 2021 Apr;10(4):4687-4696

Department of Emergency Medicine, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, China.

Background: Polymyxins is a class of cyclic polypeptide antibiotics with strong antibacterial activity against Gram-negative bacteria. However, bacteria become resistant to Polymyxins. Thus, Polymyxin B (PMB) in combination with other antimicrobials may be a better choice in clinic. This study aimed to evaluate the synergistic bacteriostatic effect of PMB combined with Propofol medium and long chain fat emulsion injection against Escherichia coli in vitro.

Methods: The Minimal Inhibitory Concentration of Polymyxin B combined with Propofol medium and long chain fat emulsion injection and two drugs used alone against Escherichia coli were detected with the Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion (K-B) method, and the diameter of the inhibition zone was calculated to evaluate bacteriostatic effects.

Results: Different concentrations of PMB all had obvious bacteriostatic effects on Escherichia coli, while different concentrations of Propofol medium and long chain fat emulsion injection had no bacteriostatic effects on Escherichia coli. The bacteriostatic effect of the combination of PMB with Propofol medium and long chain fat emulsion injection against Escherichia coli was synergistic, and no effects of uncorrelated and antagonism were observed in this combination.

Conclusions: PMB combined with Propofol medium and long chain fat emulsion injection can improve the bacteriostatic effect for Escherichia coli in vitro.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/apm-21-751DOI Listing
April 2021

Global assessment of future sectoral water scarcity under adaptive inner-basin water allocation measures.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Aug 7;783:146973. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface Processes, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China. Electronic address:

Water scarcity has become a major threat to sustainable development under climate change. To reduce the population exposure to water scarcity and improve universal access to safe drinking water are important targets of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 in the near future. This study aims to examine the potential of applying adaptive inner-basin water allocation measures (AIWAM), which were not explicitly considered in previous studies, for mitigating water scarcity in the future period (2020-2050). By incorporating AIWAM in water scarcity assessment, nonagricultural water uses are assumed to have high priority over agricultural water use and thus would receive more water supply. Results show that global water deficit is projected to be ~3241.9 km/yr in 2050, and severe water scarcity is mainly found in arid and semi-arid regions, e.g. Western US, Northern China, and the Middle East. Future warming climate and socioeconomic development tend to aggravate global water scarcity, particularly in Northern Africa, Central Asia, and the Middle East. The application of AIWAM could significantly mitigate water scarcity for nonagricultural sectors by leading to a decrease of global population subject to water scarcity by 12% in 2050 when compared to that without AIWAM. However, this is at the cost of reducing water availability for agricultural sector in the upstream areas, resulting in an increase of global irrigated cropland exposed to water scarcity by 6%. Nevertheless, AIWAM provides a useful scenario that helps design strategies for reducing future population exposure to water scarcity, particularly in densely populated basins and regions. Our findings highlight increasing water use competition across sectors between upstream and downstream areas, and the results provide useful information to develop adaptation strategies towards sustainable water management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146973DOI Listing
August 2021

Long Non-Coding RNA RMRP Contributes to Sepsis-Induced Acute Kidney Injury.

Yonsei Med J 2021 Mar;62(3):262-273

Department of Emergency, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, China.

Purpose: This study aimed to explore the role of the long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) RNA component of mitochondrial RNAase P (RMRP) in sepsis-induced acute kidney injury (AKI).

Materials And Methods: Venous blood was collected from septic patients and healthy people. C57BL/6 mice who underwent cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) were used as in vivo models of septic AKI. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced HK-2 cells were employed as in vitro models of AKI. Flow cytometry analysis was conducted to detect cell apoptosis. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blot assays were used to detect levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Results: RMRP was upregulated in sera from patients with AKI and in LPS-induced cells. Knockdown of RMRP inhibited cell apoptosis and reduced production of inflammatory factors in LPS-induced cells, as well as alleviated AKI in CLP mice. RMRP facilitated inflammation by activating NACHT, LRR, and PYD domains-containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome. We found that microRNA 206 (miR-206) binds with and is negatively regulated by RMRP: miR-206 directly targets the 3' untranslated region of DEAD-box helicase 5 (DDX5) and negatively regulates DDX5 expression. By binding with miR-206, RMRP upregulated DDX5 expression. Rescue assays revealed that overexpression of DDX5 counteracted the effect of RMRP inhibition on cell apoptosis and inflammatory response in LPS-induced cells.

Conclusion: The lncRNA RMRP contributes to sepsis-induced AKI through upregulation of DDX5 in a miR-206 dependent manner and through activation of NLRP3 inflammasome. This novel discovery may provide a potential strategy for treating AKI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3349/ymj.2021.62.3.262DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7934096PMC
March 2021

The role of seasonality in the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

Environ Res 2021 04 19;195:110874. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

School of Basic Medical Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, 730000, China.

It has been reported that the transmission of COVID-19 can be influenced by the variation of environmental factors due to the seasonal cycle. However, its underlying mechanism in the current and onward transmission pattern remains unclear owing to the limited data and difficulties in separating the impacts of social distancing. Understanding the role of seasonality in the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic is imperative in formulating public health interventions. Here, the seasonal signals of the COVID-19 time series are extracted using the EEMD method, and a modified Susceptible, Exposed, Infectious, Recovered (SEIR) model incorporated with seasonal factors is introduced to quantify its impact on the current COVID-19 pandemic. Seasonal signals decomposed via the EEMD method indicate that infectivity and mortality of SARS-CoV-2 are both higher in colder climates. The quantitative simulation shows that the cold season in the Southern Hemisphere countries caused a 59.71 ± 8.72% increase of the total infections, while the warm season in the Northern Hemisphere countries contributed to a 46.38 ± 29.10% reduction. COVID-19 seasonality is more pronounced at higher latitudes, where larger seasonal amplitudes of environmental indicators are observed. Seasonality alone is not sufficient to curb the virus transmission to an extent that intervention measures are no longer needed, but health care capacity should be scaled up in preparation for new surges in COVID-19 cases in the upcoming cold season. Our study highlights the necessity of considering seasonal factors when formulating intervention strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.110874DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7892320PMC
April 2021

Multi-target drug design of anti-Alzheimer's disease based on tacrine.

Mini Rev Med Chem 2021 Feb 12. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

School of Pharmacy, Key Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology and Drug Evaluation (Yantai University), Ministry of Education, Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Drug Delivery System and Biotech Drugs in Universities of Shandong, Yantai University, Yantai, 264005. China.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease with concealed onset, which is characterized by damage of cholinergic system, deposition and accumulation of β-amyloid protein (Aβ) and Neurofibrillary tangles. Because cholinergic system plays a key role in the process of brain memory, cholinergic system has become one of the important targets in anti-AD research. In view of the complicated pathological characteristics of AD, the multi-target directed ligands (MTDLs) that can act on multiple targetsis considered to be an effective treatment strategy at present. Tacrine, as the first acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor, has been discontinued because of its hepatotoxicity, but its core structure is simple and easy to modify. By using tacrine to target the catalytic active site (CAS), the tacrine-based MTDLs can act on both CAS and peripheral anion site (PAS) of AChE so as to serve as a dual-site AChE inhibitor. Additionally, the tacrine-based MTDLs can also be designed on the basis of other theories of AD, for example, introducing functional moieties to modulate the formation of β-amyloid (Aβ), oxidation resistance or metal chelation. In this paper, the research progress of tacrine-based MTDLs is summarized.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1389557521666210212151127DOI Listing
February 2021

Parkinson's Disease Classification and Clinical Score Regression via United Embedding and Sparse Learning From Longitudinal Data.

IEEE Trans Neural Netw Learn Syst 2021 Feb 3;PP. Epub 2021 Feb 3.

Parkinson's disease (PD) is known as an irreversible neurodegenerative disease that mainly affects the patient's motor system. Early classification and regression of PD are essential to slow down this degenerative process from its onset. In this article, a novel adaptive unsupervised feature selection approach is proposed by exploiting manifold learning from longitudinal multimodal data. Classification and clinical score prediction are performed jointly to facilitate early PD diagnosis. Specifically, the proposed approach performs united embedding and sparse regression, which can determine the similarity matrices and discriminative features adaptively. Meanwhile, we constrain the similarity matrix among subjects and exploit the l2,p norm to conduct sparse adaptive control for obtaining the intrinsic information of the multimodal data structure. An effective iterative optimization algorithm is proposed to solve this problem. We perform abundant experiments on the Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI) data set to verify the validity of the proposed approach. The results show that our approach boosts the performance on the classification and clinical score regression of longitudinal data and surpasses the state-of-the-art approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TNNLS.2021.3052652DOI Listing
February 2021

A novel experimental apparatus for single polycrystalline diamond compact cutter tests.

Rev Sci Instrum 2021 Jan;92(1):015109

State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and Prospecting, China University of Petroleum (Beijing), Beijing 102249, China.

Polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bits are increasingly favored in the drilling field due to their high efficiency in rock breaking together with their longevity. To investigate the rock failure mechanism and further improve the performance of PDC bits, innovative experimental equipment is proposed in this paper. With its assistance, we can study the characteristics of rock-breaking using a PDC cutter under different conditions, e.g., high pressure and high temperature (HPHT), confining pressure, and jet impingement. The setup can be grouped into three parts: a rock cutting system, high-pressure jet generation system, and controlling system. A series of experiments was conducted to demonstrate the reliability of the setup. The results demonstrate the improvement in performance of PDC bits in the exploration of HPHT formations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/5.0033425DOI Listing
January 2021

Identifying a transport mechanism of dust aerosols over South Asia to the Tibetan Plateau: A case study.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Mar 14;758:143714. Epub 2020 Nov 14.

Key Laboratory for Semi-Arid Climate Change of the Ministry of Education, College of Atmospheric Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China.

Dust aerosol, one of the important light-absorbing impurities in snow and ice sheets in the Tibet Plateau (TP), can significantly affect the magnitude and timing of snow melting and glacier recession by altering the surface albedo. It is thus of great importance to understand the potential source and transport mechanism of the dust aerosol over the TP. A typical dust storm case, erupted from the Thar Desert (ThD) in South Asia on 1 to 4 May 2018, was selected to understand synoptic causes and a transport mechanism to the TP using the latest Second Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA-2) reanalysis data. Comparing with active/passive satellite-based and AERONET-based observations, the MERRA-2 data provide both the spatio-temporal distribution and evolution process of the dust aerosol more accurately. This study also found that the entire Indian-Gangetic Plain (IGP), Southern India, the Bay of Bengal, and even the TP were influenced by the dust event. The synoptic analysis showed that the dust storm was caused jointly by an upper-level jet stream (ULJS), an upper trough and the subtropical high. A typical south-north secondary circulation adjacent its exit zone, mainly triggered by the ULJS, promoted much stronger and higher vertical uplift of the dust aerosols over the ThD. Consequently, those uplifted dust particles were easily transported to the TP across the majestic Himalayas by the southerly airflows in front of the low-pressure trough over Afghanistan and the southern branch trough over the Bengal Bay. These results indicate that dust aerosol and anthropogenic pollutions constrained and driven by the typical atmospheric circulation condition from South Asia are likely to be transported to the TP. Therefore, it is necessary to further pay attention to the influence of dust aerosols from South Asia on the weather and climate in the TP and its downstream areas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.143714DOI Listing
March 2021

The role of lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 in acute kidney injury of septic mice.

Transl Androl Urol 2020 Oct;9(5):2192-2199

Department of Emergency Medicine, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, China.

Background: This experiment aimed to investigate the role and mechanism of lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2) in kidney injury in septic mice induced by cecal ligation and perforation (CLP).

Methods: Male BALB/c mice were randomly divided into two groups: sham-operation group (Sham group) and septic group (CLP group). The septic model was simulated by cecal ligation and puncture method, but only cecal ligation was used for the sham operation group. The whole serum and renal tissue samples of the mice were collected 24 hours after modeling in both groups. Hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining was used to observe the pathological changes of renal tissue, the renal injury score was recorded, and the creatinine (Cr) and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels were detected by automatic biochemical analyzer, while the serum Lp-PLA2 level was detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The 7-day survival rate and the survival curve of the two groups were statistically analyzed.

Results: Compared with the Sham group, the pathological score of renal injury in the CLP Group was higher, the level of Lp-PLA2 in serum was significantly increased (all P<0.01), and the expression of Lp-PLA2 in renal tissue was significantly elevated (all P<0.01). Furthermore, the 7-day survival rate of the Sham group was 90%, while that of CLP group was 25%.

Conclusions: The expression level of Lp-PLA2 in blood and kidney tissue of septic mice was increased and correlated with prognosis. However, the predictive value of Lp-PLA2 for prognosis in septic mice needs further study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/tau-20-1173DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7658152PMC
October 2020

The correlations between the serum expression of miR-206 and the severity and prognosis of sepsis.

Ann Palliat Med 2020 Sep 3;9(5):3222-3234. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

Department of Emergency Medicine, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, China.

Background: An accurate assessment of the severity and prognosis of sepsis, especially septic shock, is vital for the tailored treatment of this condition. miRNA participates in the inflammatory response and cell apoptosis and regulates inflammation-related signaling pathways. Immune disorders often accompany sepsis. Since serum miRNA expression is superior to traditional biological markers in terms of sensitivity and specificity, its role in the assessment of sepsis has increasingly been recognized.

Methods: Serum miRNAs were extracted from septic patients and healthy individuals by using the ultracentrifugation method. The differential expressions of miRNAs in the serum samples were detected by high-throughput sequencing technology. The differentially expressed miRNAs between the two groups were analyzed by bioinformatics. The quantitative polymerase chain reaction real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was used to amplify the sample size to verify the results and to screen the highly-expressed miR206 in septic patients. Subsequently, serum samples were collected from 63 septic patients, and 30 patients with septic shock and qRT-PCR were performed to analyze the expression of miR-206. These 93 patients were divided into the miR-206 low-expression group and miR-206 high-expression group according to miR206 expression level. The potential correlations between the miR-206 expression and the clinical data were analyzed by using SPSS 25.0.

Results: Serum miRNA expression significantly differed between septic patients and healthy individuals. High-throughput sequencing results showed that, compared with those in healthy individuals, 29 miRNA molecules were down-regulated, and 25 molecules were up-regulated in the serum samples of septic patients. qRT-PCR identified the significantly up-regulated miR-206 in septic patients. qRT-PCR also showed significantly higher miR-206 expression levels in patients with septic shock than in septic patients. Furthermore, we observed a significantly longer prothrombin time and activated partial thromboplastin time, and significantly higher SOFA score, APACHE-II score, and in-hospital mortality rate. miR-206 was positively correlated with SOFA sore and APACHE-II score.

Conclusions: Serum miR-206 expression is positively correlated with the severity and prognosis of sepsis. Thus, it may be a potential biomarker for assessing the severity and prognosis of sepsis, although the specific mechanism warrants further investigations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/apm-20-1391DOI Listing
September 2020

A clinical study of preoperative carbohydrate administration to improve insulin resistance in patients with multiple injuries.

Ann Palliat Med 2020 Sep 10;9(5):3278-3287. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

Department of Emergency Medicine, Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University, Nantong, China.

Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate the tolerance and safety of carbohydrate administration to patients with multiple injuries prior to surgery, and to analyze the effects of carbohydrate intake on their immediate insulin resistance (IR), postoperative complications, and length of hospital stay.

Methods: A total of 125 patients with mild multiple injuries who were admitted to the Emergency Surgery Department of Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University for elective surgery were randomized to administration of either placebo or carbohydrate. Finally, 82 patients (male: 39, female: 43) successfully completed the experiment and collected data. Preoperative general condition, subjective comfort, blood glucose concentration, serum insulin and insulin resistance index (IR) were studied.

Results: The two groups of patients matched in gender, age, body mass index (BMI) (P>0.05). Patients in CHO group treated with carbohydrates three hours before surgery compared with patients treated with preoperative specification. The thirst, hunger and anxiety of the patients in the CHO group were significantly relieved (P<0.05). Blood glucose concentration, serum insulin, and IR were much lower in the CHO group (P<0.05).

Conclusions: It is a relatively safe approach that patients took carbohydrates 3 hours before surgery, and there was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of postoperative aspiration. Taking carbohydrates before surgery can not only relieve preoperative discomfort, but also reduce postoperative insulin resistance, which is helpful to avoid postoperative metabolic disorder and speed up recovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/apm-20-1424DOI Listing
September 2020

Global prediction system for COVID-19 pandemic.

Sci Bull (Beijing) 2020 Nov 2;65(22):1884-1887. Epub 2020 Aug 2.

Collaborative Innovation Center for Western Ecological Safety, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scib.2020.08.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7396206PMC
November 2020

Optimal temperature zone for the dispersal of COVID-19.

Sci Total Environ 2020 Sep 16;736:139487. Epub 2020 May 16.

Collaborative Innovation Center for West Ecological Safety (CIWES), College of Atmospheric Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China.

It is essential to know the environmental parameters within which the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can survive to understand its global dispersal pattern. We found that 60.0% of the confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) occurred in places where the air temperature ranged from 5 °C to 15 °C, with a peak in cases at 11.54 °C. Moreover, approximately 73.8% of the confirmed cases were concentrated in regions with absolute humidity of 3 g/m to 10 g/m. SARS-CoV-2 appears to be spreading toward higher latitudes. Our findings suggest that there is an optimal climatic zone in which the concentration of SARS-CoV-2 markedly increases in the ambient environment (including the surfaces of objects). These results strongly imply that the COVID-19 pandemic may spread cyclically and outbreaks may recur in large cities in the mid-latitudes in autumn 2020.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139487DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7229913PMC
September 2020

Investigation of aerosol absorption with dual-polarization lidar observations.

Opt Express 2020 Mar;28(5):7028-7035

Polarization lidar has been widely used in recent decades to observe the vertical structures of aerosols and clouds in the atmosphere. We developed a dual-polarization lidar system that can detect polarization measurements simultaneously at 355 nm and 532 nm. Dust events and haze episodes over northern China in 2014 were observed by the developed lidar. The results showed that the dust-dominated aerosol depolarization ratios at 532 nm were larger than those at 355 nm, but those of the air pollutants were smaller, indicating that this tool could provide a more accurate classification of aerosols. Moreover, we found a good relationship between the absorption coefficient of aerosols and the ratio of depolarization ratios at 532 nm and 355 nm for dust aerosols. Our results imply that aerosol absorption from polarization measurements may be determined by lidar at the ultraviolet and visible wavelengths.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.390475DOI Listing
March 2020

Ten-year global particulate mass concentration derived from space-borne CALIPSO lidar observations.

Sci Total Environ 2020 Jun 5;721:137699. Epub 2020 Mar 5.

Key Laboratory for Semi-Arid Climate Change of the Ministry of Education, College of Atmospheric Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China.

Passive remote sensing has been widely used in recent decades to obtain global particulate matter (PM) mass concentration at daytime and under cloud-free condition. In this study, a retrieval method was developed for providing PM (PM and PM) mass concentration both at daytime and nighttime using the latest data version (V4.10) from space-borne Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) lidar measurements. The advantage of the method is that PM & PM mass concentrations were obtained for seven aerosol types respectively base on active remote sensing observation at daytime and nighttime, even under cloudy condition. The results show that satellite-based PM mass concentrations are in good agreement with in-situ observations from 1602 ground monitoring sites throughout the world. Moreover, global distributions of PM and PM mass concentration during 2007-2016 were investigated, showing that for Beijing the annual mean PM mass concentration at nighttime is 11.31% less than those at daytime, however for London is 36.62%. It is suggested that diurnal variations in PM mass concentration are closely related to human activities. This work provides a reliable high-resolution database for long-term particulate mass concentrations on the global scale, which is of importance to evaluate aerosol impacts on climate, environment as well as ecosystem.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137699DOI Listing
June 2020

Adaptive sparse learning using multi-template for neurodegenerative disease diagnosis.

Med Image Anal 2020 04 8;61:101632. Epub 2020 Jan 8.

School of Computer Science and Software Engineering, Guangdong Province Engineering Center of China-made High Performance Data Computing System, Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Service Computing and Applications Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China. Electronic address:

Neurodegenerative diseases are excessively affecting millions of patients, especially elderly people. Early detection and management of these diseases are crucial as the clinical symptoms take years to appear after the onset of neuro-degeneration. This paper proposes an adaptive feature learning framework using multiple templates for early diagnosis. A multi-classification scheme is developed based on multiple brain parcellation atlases with various regions of interest. Different sets of features are extracted and then fused, and a feature selection is applied with an adaptively chosen sparse degree. In addition, both linear discriminative analysis and locally preserving projections are integrated to construct a least square regression model. Finally, we propose a feature space to predict the severity of the disease by the guidance of clinical scores. Our proposed method is validated on both Alzheimer's disease neuroimaging initiative and Parkinson's progression markers initiative databases. Extensive experimental results suggest that the proposed method outperforms the state-of-the-art methods, such as the multi-modal multi-task learning or joint sparse learning. Our method demonstrates that accurate feature learning facilitates the identification of the highly relevant brain regions with significant contribution in the prediction of disease progression. This may pave the way for further medical analysis and diagnosis in practical applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.media.2019.101632DOI Listing
April 2020

Design, Synthesis, and Evaluation of Acetylcholinesterase and Butyrylcholinesterase Dual-Target Inhibitors against Alzheimer's Diseases.

Molecules 2020 Jan 23;25(3). Epub 2020 Jan 23.

School of Pharmacy, Key Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology and Drug Evaluation (Yantai University), Ministry of Education, Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Drug Delivery System and Biotech Drugs in Universities of Shandong, Yantai University, Yantai 264005, China.

A series of novel compounds -, -, -, and - were synthesized and evaluated, together with the known analogs -, for their inhibitory activities towards acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE). The inhibitory activities of AChE and BChE were evaluated by Ellman method. The results show that some compounds have good inhibitory activity against AChE and BChE. Among them, compound showed the strongest inhibitory effect on both AChE (eeAChE IC = 0.39 μM) and BChE (eqBChE IC = 0.28 μM). Enzyme inhibition kinetics and molecular modeling studies have shown that compound bind simultaneously to the peripheral anionic site (PAS) and the catalytic sites (CAS) of AChE and BChE. In addition, the cytotoxicity of compound is lower than that of Tacrine, indicating its potential safety as anti-Alzheimer's disease (anti-AD) agents. In summary, these data suggest that compound is a promising multipotent agent for the treatment of AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules25030489DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7038160PMC
January 2020

A Survey on the Experience of Singaporean Trainees in Obstetrics/Gynecology and Family Medicine of Sexual Problems and Views on Training in Sexual Medicine.

Sex Med 2020 Mar 3;8(1):107-113. Epub 2020 Jan 3.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, National University Health Systems, Singapore.

Introduction: Asian patients may have more difficulty seeking help for their sexual problems because of a largely conservative culture. Residents from both obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN) and family medicine (FM) departments are ideally placed to address sexual problems.

Aim: This survey explored the experience of residents from OBGYN and FM in managing sexual problems and their views on training in sexual medicine (SM).

Method: An anonymized questionnaire collecting data on trainee characteristics, exposure to male and female sexual problems, and training in SM was sent to all FM and OBGYN residents in Singapore. These residents had completed their medical registration with the Singapore Medical Council and were at various stages of specialty training in both FM and OBGYN residency programs in Singapore.

Main Outcome Measure: Trainees' exposure to male and female sexual problems and their views on training in Sexual Medicine.

Results: The overall response from the survey was 63.5% (122/192)-54% (70/129) and 69% (52/75) of FM and OBGYN residents responded, respectively. 63% were female, with 22% being senior residents, and 55% attended Singaporean medical schools. About one quarter (30/122) of the respondents encountered patients with sexual problems at least monthly. Most would refer these patients directly to specialists, psychologists, and sex therapists. More than 80% of residents were not confident in managing sexual problems in either sex (89% for male problems; 83% for female problems). Among the recognized categories, only 30% felt confident to manage erectile dysfunction, 26% for vaginismus, while less than 10% felt confident to manage libido, arousal, or orgasm disorders. 95% of the residents agreed that SM should be part of both training curricula, with 70% and 25% suggesting at junior and senior residency, respectively. 93% of them were interested to obtain further knowledge and skills in SM through their core training curriculum and from seminars.

Conclusions: This survey reported a significant number of residents in OBGYN and FM departments are regularly exposed to patients with sexual problems but lack the skills to manage them. OBGYN residents were more familiar with managing female sexual problems while FM residents tend to have more experience in male sexual problems. Almost universally, the residents in FM and OBGYN were very keen to acquire skills in SM, and the results support the incorporation of appropriate knowledge and skills into both national residency program curricula. Huang Z, Choong DS, Ganesan AP, et al. A Survey on the Experience of Singaporean Trainees in Obstetrics/Gynecology and Family Medicine of Sexual Problems and Views on Training in Sexual Medicine. J Sex Med 2019;8:107-113.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.esxm.2019.12.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7042166PMC
March 2020

Design of experimental setup for liquid nitrogen assisted polycrystalline diamond compact bit drilling.

Rev Sci Instrum 2019 Dec;90(12):124505

State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and Prospecting, China University of Petroleum (Beijing), Beijing 102249, China.

A liquid nitrogen assisted polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bit drilling method is expected to be suitable for hot dry rock (HDR) drilling because the huge thermal stress induced in the drilling process can help to break the rock and the low temperature liquid nitrogen can efficiently cool the drilling tools. However, there is no experimental research on liquid nitrogen assisted PDC bits breaking high temperature granite, and the rock breaking efficiency of this new drilling method is still unclear. To investigate the feasibility and efficiency of liquid nitrogen assisted PDC bit breaking HDR, a novel experimental setup was designed. This setup is composed of four units: the drilling fluid circulation system, drilling system, formation simulation system, and data acquisition and control system. It can also be used to research the effects of drilling parameters such as weight on bit, rotary speed, drilling fluid jet pressure, and feed speed on drilling efficiency. A series of drilling experiments using liquid nitrogen and water have been successfully carried out with this setup. The results indicate that liquid nitrogen assisted PDC bit drilling has excellent performance in breaking HDR, which can accelerate the application of this new technique in geothermal drilling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.5125794DOI Listing
December 2019

An innovative experimental equipment for liquid nitrogen fracturing.

Rev Sci Instrum 2019 Mar;90(3):036104

State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and Prospecting, China University of Petroleum-Beijing, Beijing 102249, China.

Due to the unique physical and chemical properties of liquid nitrogen (LN), LN fracturing has been considered as a promising reservoir stimulation technique. In order to further investigate the feasibility of LN fracturing, a new device is designed to research the effect of LN fracturing under different conditions, such as different specimen sizes, temperatures, and confining pressures. The setup consists of three units: a high-pressure LN generating system, a true-triaxial loading and heating system, and a control and data acquisition system. Now, a series of experiments have been successfully carried out based on the setup. The results have proven the excellent fracturing effect of LN and the applications of this setup. The apparatus lays a foundation for the application of LN fracturing in both conventional and geothermal reservoirs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.5086448DOI Listing
March 2019

Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells (BMSCs) Restore Functional Endometrium in the Rat Model for Severe Asherman Syndrome.

Reprod Sci 2019 03 20;26(3):436-444. Epub 2018 Nov 20.

5 Institute of Clinical Medicine, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China.

Objective: To investigate the feasibility to restore functional endometrium using bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) in the Sprague Dawley (SD["SD" has been defined as both "Sprague Dawley" and "standard deviation." Please clarify which one is to be followed.]) rat model for Asherman syndrome (AS).

Design: Basic research on treatment of AS utilizing an optimized rat model.

Setting: University research laboratories.

Animal(s): Sprague Dawley rat model in which AS was induced in accordance to an optimized protocol.

Intervention(s): Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells were harvested from the rat's bone marrow and labeled with green fluorescent protein (GFP) in the second passage of BMSCs. The fifth passage of GFP-labeled BMSCs was injected systemically through the tail vein in the optimized AS rat model.

Main Outcome Measure(s): We examined the reproliferation of the endometrial lining and the expression of markers for endometrium and endometrial receptivity. The localization of engrafted GFP-labeled BMSCs was determined by a laser scanning confocal microscope and a fluorescence microscope. The number of pregnant rats and implanted embryos in each uterus was recorded to evaluate the function of endometrium.

Result(s): We had demonstrated that in the in vivo experiments on our rat model for AS, the group which received BMSC injection had significantly improved reproductive outcomes-70% of these rats conceived, whereas none of the rats in the control group got pregnant ( P < .01, χ test). The mean number of embryos undergoing implantation was 14 ± 1.24 in the sham group and 7 ± 5.70 in the BMSC group (Levene test, P = .001). There was no significant difference between the groups from the time of coitus to conception. To further determine how BMSC injection could have resulted in the improved reproductive outcomes in rats with AS, we employed immunohistochemical techniques to examine the endometrium of these treated rats. On hematoxylin-eosin staining, we noted the reproliferation of all layers of the endometrium and with Masson staining, we noted significant reduction in fibrosis in the damaged endometrium of rats treated with BMSCs. Counterstaining for GFP and cytokeratin-positive cells was noted in the endometrial lining of treated rats, which might suggest the action of BMSCs in regenerating the damaged endometrial lining. The expression of the endometrial receptivity marker, Leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), in this regenerated endometrial lining could have resulted in the improved reproductive outcomes observed in the AS rat model treated with BMSCs.

Conclusion: Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells were likely to play an important role in the reconstruction of the injured endometrium and improvement of reproductive outcomes in the optimized AS rat model.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1933719118799201DOI Listing
March 2019

Note: A novel experimental setup for high-pressure abrasive liquid nitrogen jet.

Rev Sci Instrum 2018 Aug;89(8):086109

State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resource and Prospecting, China University of Petroleum, Beijing 102249, China.

A high-pressure abrasive liquid nitrogen (L-N) jet is considered as an efficient rock-breaking technology due to its unique low-temperature characteristic. In order to experimentally investigate the impact of an abrasive L-N jet on rock breakage, a new setup, which considers the low temperature and high expansibility of L-N, is put forward in this note. The setup is composed of four units: the power system, nitrogen-gas pressurization system, particle mixing system, and impingement system. Both a pre-mixed abrasive L-N jet and a post-mixed abrasive L-N jet can be achieved by this equipment. Moreover, it can also be used to investigate the influences of injection parameters and particle parameters on rock breakage. A series of experiments have been carried out based on the setup. The results further promote the application of an abrasive L-N jet.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.5041817DOI Listing
August 2018

Parkinson's Disease Diagnosis via Joint Learning From Multiple Modalities and Relations.

IEEE J Biomed Health Inform 2019 07 3;23(4):1437-1449. Epub 2018 Sep 3.

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative progressive disease that mainly affects the motor systems of patients. To slow this disease deterioration, early and accurate diagnosis of PD is an effective way, which alleviates mental and physical sufferings by clinical intervention. In this paper, we propose a joint regression and classification framework for PD diagnosis via magnetic resonance and diffusion tensor imaging data. Specifically, we devise a unified multitask feature selection model to explore multiple relationships among features, samples, and clinical scores. We regress four clinical variables of depression, sleep, olfaction, cognition scores, as well as perform the classification of PD disease from the multimodal data. The multitask model explores the relationships at the level of clinical scores, image features, and subjects, to select the most informative and diseased-related features for diagnosis. The proposed method is evaluated on the public Parkinson's progression markers initiative dataset. The extensive experimental results show that the multitask framework can effectively boost the performance of regression and classification and outperforms other state-of-the-art methods. The computerized predictions of clinical scores and label for PD diagnosis may offer quantitative reference for decision support as well.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/JBHI.2018.2868420DOI Listing
July 2019

Simplified 4-item criteria for polycystic ovary syndrome: A bridge too far?

Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 2018 Aug 19;89(2):202-211. Epub 2018 Jun 19.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore.

Objectives: Although the Rotterdam 2003 polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) diagnostic criteria is widely used, the need to consider multiple variables makes it unwieldy in clinical practice. We propose a simplified PCOS criteria wherein diagnosis is made if two of the following three items were present: (i) oligomenorrhoea, (ii) anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) above threshold and/or (iii) hyperandrogenism defined as either testosterone above threshold and/or the presence of hirsutism.

Design Setting And Participants: This prospective cross-sectional study consists of healthy women (n = 157) recruited at an annual hospital health screen for staff and volunteers from the university community, and a patient cohort (n = 174) comprising women referred for suspected PCOS.

Main Outcome Measures: We used the healthy cohort to establish threshold values for serum testosterone, antral follicle counts (AFC), ovarian volume (OV) and AMH. Women from the patient cohort, classified as PCOS by simplified PCOS criteria, AMH alone and Rotterdam 2003, were compared with respect to prevalence of oligomenorrhoea, hyperandrogenism and metabolic indices.

Results: In healthy women, testosterone ≥1.89 nmol/L, AFC ≥22 follicles and OV ≥8.44 mL, best predicted oligomenorrhoea and were used as threshold values for PCOS criteria. An AMH level ≥37.0 pmol/L best predicted polycystic ovarian morphology. AMH alone as a single biomarker demonstrated poor specificity (58.9%) for PCOS compared to Rotterdam 2003. In contrast, there was a 94% overlap in women selected as PCOS by the simplified PCOS criteria and Rotterdam 2003. The population characteristics of these two groups of PCOS women showed no significant mean differences in androgenic, ovarian, AMH and metabolic (BMI, HOMA-IR) variables.

Conclusions: Our data recommend the simplified PCOS criteria with population-specific thresholds for diagnosis of PCOS. Its ability to replace ovarian ultrasound biometry with the highly correlated variable AMH, and use of testosterone as a single marker for hyperandrogenaemia alongside the key symptoms of oligomenorrhoea and hirsutism confers significant clinical potential for the diagnosis of PCOS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cen.13755DOI Listing
August 2018