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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-08-23
    Description: In experimental investigations on axial symmetry, over-ventilated CH 4 /air diffusion combustion in a packed bed is executed to study the height, shape and stability of the flame. The combustor is a quartz tube packed with alumina pellets in which a cylindrical fuel stream is surrounded by a coflow air nozzle. The results show that the bed length and pellet diameter have a significant influence on the flame properties. In general, the flame above the pellet surface has axial symmetry, and its shape and colour are similar to those of a conventional diffusion flame when the bed length is smaller. The colour of the flame front varies with the bed length. The changed colour indicates an increased flame front temperature and that the combustion regime above the bed surface may change from non-premixed combustion to partially premixed combustion or even premixed combustion owing to the mix and dispersion effect in the packed bed. In addition, multiple flame behaviours, such as an inclined flame front, isolated reaction zone and oscillatory motion followed by a pulsating sound with a few hertz in a packed bed, are observed experimentally. The possible reasons for these phenomena are discussed.
    Keywords: energy
    Electronic ISSN: 2054-5703
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
    Published by Royal Society
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-05-15
    Description: H7N9 virus has caused five infection waves since it emerged in 2013. The highest number of human cases was seen in wave 5; however, the underlying reasons have not been thoroughly elucidated. In this study, the geographical distribution, phylogeny, and genetic evolution of 240 H7N9 viruses in wave 5, including 35 new isolates from patients and poultry in nine provinces, were comprehensively analyzed together with strains from first four waves. Geographical distribution analysis indicated that the newly emerging highly pathogenic (HP) and low-pathogenicity (LP) H7N9 viruses were cocirculating, causing human and poultry infections across China. Genetic analysis indicated that dynamic reassortment of the internal genes among LP-H7N9/H9N2/H6Ny and HP-H7N9, as well as of the surface genes, between the Yangtze and Pearl River Delta lineages resulted in at least 36 genotypes, with three major genotypes (G1 [A/chicken/Jiangsu/SC537/2013-like], G3 [A/Chicken/Zhongshan/ZS/2017-like], and G11 [A/Anhui/40094/2015-like]). The HP-H7N9 genotype likely evolved from G1 LP-H7N9 by the insertion of a KRTA motif at the cleavage site (CS) and then evolved into 15 genotypes with four different CS motifs, including PKG KRTA R/G, PKG KRIA R/G, PKR KRAA R/G, and PKR KRTA R/G. Approximately 46% (28/61) of HP strains belonged to G3. Importantly, neuraminidase (NA) inhibitor (NAI) resistance (R292K in NA) and mammalian adaptation (e.g., E627K and A588V in PB2) mutations were found in a few non-human-derived HP-H7N9 strains. In summary, the enhanced prevalence and diverse genetic characteristics that occurred with mammalian-adapted and NAI-resistant mutations may have contributed to increased numbers of human infections in wave 5. IMPORTANCE The highest numbers of human H7N9 infections were observed during wave 5 from October 2016 to September 2017. Our results showed that HP-H7N9 and LP-H7N9 had spread virtually throughout China and underwent dynamic reassortment with different subtypes (H7N9/H9N2 and H6Ny) and lineages (Yangtze and Pearl River Delta lineages), resulting in totals of 36 and 3 major genotypes, respectively. Notably, the NAI drug-resistant (R292K in NA) and mammalian-adapted (e.g., E627K in PB2) mutations were found in HP-H7N9 not only from human isolates but also from poultry and environmental isolates, indicating increased risks for human infections. The broad dissemination of LP- and HP-H7N9 with high levels of genetic diversity and host adaptation and drug-resistant mutations likely accounted for the sharp increases in the number of human infections during wave 5. Therefore, more strategies are needed against the further spread and damage of H7N9 in the world.
    Print ISSN: 0022-538X
    Electronic ISSN: 1098-5514
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 3
    Keywords: CANCER ; EXPRESSION ; COMBINATION ; LUNG ; MODEL ; MODELS ; TOXICITY ; CLASSIFICATION ; liver ; GENE ; GENE-EXPRESSION ; microarray ; validation ; QUALITY ; BREAST ; breast cancer ; BREAST-CANCER ; PERFORMANCE ; gene expression ; MICROARRAY DATA ; HUMANS ; microarrays ; PREDICTION ; PROJECT ; FOLLICULAR LYMPHOMA ; MULTIPLE-MYELOMA ; rodent ; neuroblastoma ; development ; methods ; GENE-EXPRESSION DATA ; DNA MICROARRAYS ; rodents ; RECOMMENDATIONS ; EXPRESSION DATA ; CONTROL MAQC PROJECT ; PUBLISHED MICROARRAY ; RISK-STRATIFICATION
    Abstract: Gene expression data from microarrays are being applied to predict preclinical and clinical endpoints, but the reliability of these predictions has not been established. In the MAQC-II project, 36 independent teams analyzed six microarray data sets to generate predictive models for classifying a sample with respect to one of 13 endpoints indicative of lung or liver toxicity in rodents, or of breast cancer, multiple myeloma or neuroblastoma in humans. In total, 〉30,000 models were built using many combinations of analytical methods. The teams generated predictive models without knowing the biological meaning of some of the endpoints and, to mimic clinical reality, tested the models on data that had not been used for training. We found that model performance depended largely on the endpoint and team proficiency and that different approaches generated models of similar performance. The conclusions and recommendations from MAQC-II should be useful for regulatory agencies, study committees and independent investigators that evaluate methods for global gene expression analysis
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
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  • 4
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    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    In: Science
    Publication Date: 2018-10-19
    Print ISSN: 0036-8075
    Electronic ISSN: 1095-9203
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Geosciences , Computer Science , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2018-12-02
    Description: Production of 25-hydroxycholesterol (25HC), a potent inhibitor of viral infection, is catalyzed by cholesterol 25-hydroxylase (CH25H). We previously reported that 25HC induced CH25H expression in a liver X receptor (LXR)-dependent manner, implying that LXR can play an important role in antiviral infection. In this study, we determined that activation of LXR by 25HC or synthetic ligands [T0901317 (T317) or GW3965] inhibited infection of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or MLV-(VSV)-GFP in HepG2 cells or RAW 264.7 macrophages. Genetic deletion of LXRα, LXRβ, or CH25H expression in HepG2 cells by CRISPR/Cas9 method increased cell susceptibility to HSV-1 infection and attenuated the inhibition of LXR on viral infection. Lack of interferon (IFN)- expression also increased cell susceptibility to viral infection. However, it attenuated, but did not block, the inhibition of LXR on HSV-1 infection. In addition, expression of CH25H, but not IFN-, was inversely correlated to cell susceptibility to viral infection and the antiviral actions of LXR. Metabolism of 25HC into 25HC-3-sulfate (25HC3S) by cholesterol sulfotransferase-2B1b moderately reduced the antiviral actions of 25HC because 25HC3S is a weaker inhibitor of HSV-1 infection than 25HC. Furthermore, administration of T317 to BALB/c mice reduced HSV-1 growth in mouse tissues. Taken together, we demonstrate an antiviral system of 25HC with involvement of LXR activation, interaction between CH25H and IFN-, and 25HC metabolism.
    Print ISSN: 0022-2275
    Electronic ISSN: 1539-7262
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2018-02-09
    Description: Objectives To provide an up-to-date overview of long-term trends of liver cancer mortality and evaluate the effects attributable to age, period and cohort in Chinese population stratified by gender and urban/rural areas. Methods Population and liver cancer mortality data were obtained based on the Disease Surveillance Points in China from 1991 to 2014. To examine the time trends of liver cancer mortality by gender in urban and rural areas in China, Joinpoint analysis was used to estimate the annual per cent change. The intrinsic estimator, a method of age-period-cohort analysis to estimate age, period and cohort effects simultaneously, was used to analyse the underlying mechanisms for liver cancer mortality trends in the aforementioned four groups. Results We observed a significant decline in liver cancer mortality for urban men (average annual per cent change (AAPC)=–1.1%, P〈0.05) and urban women (AAPC=–1.4%, P〈0.05), while the liver cancer mortality remained stable for rural men (AAPC=–0.1%, P〉0.05) and rural women (AAPC=–0.9%, P〉0.05). Compared with the 15–19 age group, the liver cancer mortality risk of the 85 and above age group increased 65 and 42 times for urban and rural men, and 102 and 70 times for urban and rural women. From the 1990–1994 period to the 2005–2009 period, the risk increased 56% and 92% for urban and rural men, and 30% and 74% for urban and rural women. Compared with period and cohort effects, age effects were the most influential factor in liver cancer mortality. Conclusions As the status of ageing population in China gets worse, the burden caused by liver cancer mortality could still be a great challenge for China in the future. The disparity of liver cancer mortality trends between urban and rural residents can be attributed to period effects, referring to the unequal medical levels and resources between urban and rural areas.
    Keywords: Open access, Epidemiology
    Electronic ISSN: 2044-6055
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BMJ Publishing
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2018-02-27
    Description: Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) infection in domestic cats is the smallest usable natural model for lentiviral infection studies. FLA-E*01801 was applied to FIV AIDS vaccine research. We determined the crystal structure of FLA-E*01801 complexed with a peptide derived from FIV (gag positions 40 to 48; RMANVSTGR [RMA9]). The A pocket of the FLA-E*01801 complex plays a valuable restrictive role in peptide binding. Mutation experiments and circular-dichroism (CD) spectroscopy revealed that peptides with Asp at the first position (P1) could not bind to FLA-E*01801. The crystal structure and in vitro refolding of the mutant FLA-E*01801 complex demonstrated that Glu 63 and Trp 167 in the A pocket play important roles in restricting P1D. The B pocket of the FLA-E*01801 complex accommodates M/T/A/V/I/L/S residues, whereas the negatively charged F pocket prefers R/K residues. Based on the peptide binding motif, 125 FLA-E*01801-restricted FIV nonapeptides (San Diego isolate) were identified. Our results provide the structural basis for peptide presentation by the FLA-E*01801 molecule, especially A pocket restriction on peptide binding, and identify the potential cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) epitope peptides of FIV presented by FLA-E*01801. These results will benefit both the reasonable design of FLA-E*01801-restricted CTL epitopes and the further development of the AIDS vaccine. IMPORTANCE Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a viral pathogen in cats, and this infection is the smallest usable natural model for lentivirus infection studies. To examine how FLA I presents FIV epitope peptides, we crystallized and solved the first classic feline major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) molecular structure. Surprisingly, pocket A restricts peptide binding. Trp 167 blocks the left side of pocket A, causing P1D to conflict with Glu 63 . We also identified the FLA-E*01801 binding motif X (except D)-(M/T/A/V/I/L/S)-X-X-X-X-X-X-(R/K) based on structural and biochemical experiments. We identified 125 FLA-E*01801-restricted nonapeptides from FIV. These results are valuable for developing peptide-based FIV and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) vaccines and for studying how MHC-I molecules present peptides.
    Print ISSN: 0022-538X
    Electronic ISSN: 1098-5514
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: The transport of LDL-derived cholesterol from lysosomes to peroxisomes is facilitated by membrane contacts formed between the lysosomal protein synaptotagmin VII and the peroxisomal lipid phosphatidylinositol 4, 5-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P 2 ]. Here, we used RNA interference to search for regulators of PI(4,5)P 2 and to study the effects of altered PI(4,5)P 2 homeostasis on cholesterol transport. We found that knockdown of phosphatidylinositol 5-phosphate 4-kinase type-2 α (PIP4K2A) reduced peroxisomal PI(4,5)P 2 levels, decreased lysosome-peroxisome membrane contacts, and increased accumulation of lysosomal cholesterol in human SV-589 fibroblasts. Forced expression of peroxisome-localized, kinase-active PIP4K2A in the knockdown cells reduced cholesterol accumulation, and in vitro addition of recombinant PIP4K2A restored membrane contacts. These results suggest that PIP4K2A plays a critical role in intracellular cholesterol transport by upregulating PI(4,5)P 2 levels in the peroxisomal membrane. Further research into PIP4K2A activity may inform future therapeutic interventions for managing lysosomal storage disorders.
    Print ISSN: 0022-2275
    Electronic ISSN: 1539-7262
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2018-02-09
    Description: Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) is an NAD-consuming enzyme and its specific role in the pathogenesis of alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD) remains elusive. In this study, we applied PJ34 [ N -(5,6-dihydro-6-oxo-2-phenanthridinyl)-2-acetamide hydrochloride] to inhibit hepatic PARP activity to examine the corresponding pathologic alteration in AFLD in mice and the underlying molecular mechanism. We found that PJ34 decreased the intracellular triglyceride (TG) content in hepatocytes. Moreover, PJ34 suppressed the gene expression of diglyceride acyltransferases DGAT1 and DGAT2 and elevated intracellular NAD + levels in hepatocytes. These mechanistic observations were validated in alcohol-fed mice injected with PJ34 intraperitoneally. Our results indicate that the PJ34 injection attenuated hepatic TG accumulation in alcohol-fed mice. Furthermore, PJ34 injection lowered the gene expression of hepatic sterol regulatory element binding protein 1c, DGAT1, and DGAT2, whereas PJ34 injection augmented hepatic NAD + levels in alcohol-fed mice. Finally, nicotinamide riboside supplementation alleviated hepatic TG accumulation in alcohol-fed mice. These data indicate that applying PARP-specific inhibitor PJ34 by intraperitoneal injection attenuated hepatic NAD + depletion and TG accumulation in alcohol-fed mice and may be a potential candidate for use in AFLD therapy.
    Print ISSN: 0022-3565
    Electronic ISSN: 1521-0103
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2018-02-23
    Description: Respiratory diseases, which are leading causes of mortality and morbidity in the world, are dysfunctions of the nasopharynx, the trachea, the bronchus, the lung and the pleural cavity. Symptoms of chronic respiratory diseases, such as cough, sneezing and difficulty breathing, may seriously affect the productivity, sleep quality and physical and mental well-being of patients, and patients with acute respiratory diseases may have difficulty breathing, anoxia and even life-threatening respiratory failure. Respiratory diseases are generally heterogeneous, with multifaceted causes including smoking, ageing, air pollution, infection and gene mutations. Clinically, a single pulmonary disease can exhibit more than one phenotype or coexist with multiple organ disorders. To correct abnormal function or repair injured respiratory tissues, one of the most promising techniques is to correct mutated genes by gene editing, as some gene mutations have been clearly demonstrated to be associated with genetic or heterogeneous respiratory diseases. Zinc finger nucleases (ZFN), transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALEN) and clustered regulatory interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (CRISPR/Cas9) systems are three innovative gene editing technologies developed recently. In this short review, we have summarised the structure and operating principles of the ZFNs, TALENs and CRISPR/Cas9 systems and their preclinical and clinical applications in respiratory diseases.
    Print ISSN: 0022-2593
    Electronic ISSN: 1468-6244
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BMJ Publishing Group
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