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Feng Li - Top 30 Publications

Down-regulation of IFITM1 and its growth inhibitory role in cervical squamous cell carcinoma.

Cervical cancer is a major cause of death in women worldwide. Interferon-induced transmembrane protein 1 (IFITM1) is involved in antivirus defense, cell adhesion, and carcinogenesis in different tissues. However, the role of IFITM1 gene in cervical squamous cell cancer is unclear.

MicroRNA-27b inhibition promotes Nrf2/ARE pathway activation and alleviates intracerebral hemorrhage-induced brain injury.

Oxidative stress and neuroinflammation are the key factors leading to secondary brain injury after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). We investigated the effects of miR-27b, an oxidative stress-responsive microRNA, on ICH-induced brain injury in rats. The ICH model was induced by intracerebral injection of collagenase. Following ICH, miR-27b expression in the striatum was reduced, whereas expression of Nrf2 mRNA and protein was increased. In PC12 cells, overexpression of miR-27b reduced expression of Nrf2, Hmox1, Sod1 and Nqo1, while miR-27b inhibition had the opposite effects. Dual luciferase reporter assays showed that Nrf2 mRNA was a direct target of miR-27b. Intracerebroventricular injection of miR-27b antagomir and transfection of miR-27b inhibitor inhibited endogenous miR-27b in rats and PC12 cells, respectively. MiR-27b antagomir promoted activation of the ICH-induced Nrf2/ARE pathway and reduced the lipid peroxidation, neuroinflammation, cell death and neurological deficits otherwise seen after ICH. In PC12 cells, the miR-27b inhibitor diminished iron-induced oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis, and those effects were blocked by Nrf2 knockdown. These results demonstrate that miR-27b inhibition alleviates ICH-induced brain injury, which may be explained in part by its regulation on the Nrf2/ARE pathway.

Suppression of STIM1 inhibits the migration and invasion of human prostate cancer cells and is associated with PI3K/Akt signaling inactivation.

Store-operated calcium entry (SOCE) plays an important role in the invasion and migration of cancer cells. Stromal-interacting molecule 1 (STIM1) is a critical component in the SOCE. STIM1 has been attracting more and more attention due to its oncogenic potential. STIM1 inhibition suppresses cell proliferation, migration and invasion in a variety of cancer models both in vitro and in vivo. However, the role of STIM1 in prostate carcinogenesis, in particular, in tumor migration and invasion is unclear. Herein, we downregulated STIM1 in prostate cancer cells by lentivirus-mediated short hairpin (shRNA), and then studied its impacts on cell migration and invasion. We found that migration and invasion of prostate cancer cells were significantly inhibited after the suppression of STIM1. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway was inactivated by STIM1 knockdown. The PI3K inhibitor LY294002 synergized with STIM1 knockdown to inhibit cell motility. Our results revealed that STIM1 may act as a novel regulator to promote migration and invasion of prostate cancer cells and is associated with the activation of the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway.

Using printing orientation for tuning fluidic behaviour in microfluidic chips made by fused deposition modelling (FDM) 3D printing.

Fluidic behaviour in microfluidic devices is dictated by low Reynolds numbers, complicating mixing. Here, the effect of the orientation of the extruded filament on the fluidic behaviour is investigated in fused deposition modeling (FDM) printed fluidic devices. Devices were printed with filament orientations at 0°, 30°, 60°, 90° to the direction of the flow. The extent of mixing was observed when pumping yellow and blue solutions into the inlets of a y-shaped device, and measuring the extent of mixing of two coloured solutions under different angles and at flow rates of 25, 50, and 100 μL/min. Fluidic devices printed with filament extruded at 60° to the flow showed the highest mixing efficiency, but results obtained at 30° suggested more complex fluid movement, as the measured degree of mixing decreased along the fluidic channel at higher flow rates. To explore this, a device with -37° filament orientation on top surface was designed to align with the direction of the first fluid input channel and +37 ° on bottom surface of the channel to align with the direction of the second fluidic input. Results indicated a rotational movement of the fluids down the microchannel, which were confirmed by computational fluid dynamics. These results demonstrate the impact of the filament extrusion direction on fluidic behaviour in microfluidic devices made by FDM printing. Two chips with laminar flow (0° filament direction) or mixing flow (corkscrew filament direction) were used to perform isotachophoresis and colorimetric detection of iron in river water, respectively, demonstrating the simplicity with which the same device can be tuned for different applications simply by controlling the way the device is printed.

TSynthetic Klebsiella pneumoniae-Shewanella oneidensis consortium enables glyc-erol-fed high-performance microbial fuel cells.

Microbial fuel cell (MFC) is an eco-friendly bio-electrochemical system that uses mi-croorganism as biocatalyst to convert biomass into electricity. Glycerol, as a waste in the biodiesel refinery processes, is an appealing substrate for MFC. Nevertheless, glycerol cannot be utilized as carbon source by well-known exoelectrogens such as Shewanella oneidensis. Herein, to generate electricity by rapidly harnessing glycerol, we rationally constructed a Klebsiella pneumoniae-Shewanella oneidensis microbial consortium to efficiently harvest electricity from glycerol, in which K. pneumoniae converted glycerol into lactate, fed to S. oneidensis as carbon source and electron do-nor. To improve electricity output, we systematically engineered the consortium in terms of carbon flux distribution and efficiency of extracellular electron transfer (EET). To direct more carbon flux to lactate biosynthesis in K. pneumoniae, we elimi-nated the ethanol pathway by knocking out the alcohol dehydrogenase gene (adhE), and enhanced lactate biosynthesis by heterologously expressing a lactate dehydrogen-ase gene (ldhD) from Lactobacillus bulgaricus and a lactate transporter gene (lldP) from Escherichia coli. To facilitate EET between S. oneidensis and anode surfaces, a biosynthetic flavins pathway from Bacillus subtilis was introduced into S. oneidensis. We further optimized the glycerol concentration, thus S. oneidensis could be continu-ously fed with lactate synthesized from K. pneumoniae at a constant rate. Our glycer-ol-fed MFC generated a maximum power density of 19.9 mW/m(2) , significantly higher than that of the wild-type consortium. This work suggested that engineering microbial consortia is an efficient strategy to expand the spectrum of usable carbon sources and promote electricity power production in MFCs.

Correlation of the ultrasound imaging of breast cancer and the expression of molecular biological indexes.

This paper aims to 137 cases of breast malignant tumors confirmed by surgery and pathology were collected. All patients received ultrasound examination and were not treated by radiotherapy or chemotherapy before operation. The preoperative ultrasound images of breast cancer patients and postoperative pathological characteristics of paraffin sections were retrospectively observed. Ultrasound indicators included tumor size, shape, ratio of the longest/shortest dimension, edge of the spiculation and peripheral hyperechoic halo sign, internal echo types, micro calcification, posterior echo types, blood flow and signs of lymph node metastasis. The pathological indexes included histological type, infiltrating ductal carcinoma (IDC), histological grading, cancer tissue in the interior and edge of the lesion and stroma and expression of molecular biology indexes (ER, PR and C-erbB-2). The correlation of ultrasound imaging of breast cancer and his to pathological type and grading were analyzed and the ultrasounic characteristics and the his to pathological features was compared; then to explore the correlation of ultrasonic imaging of breast cancer and the expression of ER, PR and C-erbB-2. the tumor size of IDC (>2cm) was lager than that of the ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and the early-stage IDC, with statistical significance (P<0.05), but compared with the specific carcinoma of breast (P>0.05). The ratio of irregular mass of IDC was more than that of the specific carcinoma of breast (P<0.05), but without statistical significance compared with the DCIS and early-stage IDC (P>0.05). The spiculate margin in the IDC was more than that of the early-stage IDC, DCIS and specific carcinoma of breast (P>0.05). The ratio of the longest/ shortest dimension, peripheral hyperechoic halo sign, internal echo, micro calfication, posterior echo types were not related to the types of breast cancer (P>0.05). The irregular mass rate in the III IDC were much higher than that in the I and II level IDC (P>0.05). The posterior echo attenuation in the I IDC was much higher than the II and III IDC (P>0.05). The tumor size, spiculate margin, peripheral hyperechoic halo, internal echo types, micro calcification were not significantly related to the histological grading of IDC. The tumor with larger size (>2cm), enhanced posterior echo, or lower internal echo will have a high histological classification and high rate of cancer tissue (P<0.05). The tumor with enhanced peripheral hyperechoic halo sign will have a higher histological classification and higher rate of cancer tissue in the peripheral tissues, compared with the tumors without halo (P<0.05). The tumor shape, ratio of the longest/ shortest dimension, spiculate margin were not significantly related to the internal tissues (P>0.05). The ratio of the longest/ shortest dimension (>1), spiculate margin and halo signs were related to the positive expression of ER and PR (P<0.05). The internal necrosis was related to the negative expression of PR, (P<0.05). The tumor size, shape, posterior echo types and blood flow were not significantly related to the expression of ER, PR and C-erbB-2 (P>0.05).

Immunological mechanism of low-dose priming radiation resistance in walker-256 tumor model mice.

The aim of the present study was to investigate whether low-dose priming radiation induces antitumor immunity that can be augmented by the modulation of natural killer (NK) cell and cytokine activity using a mouse tumor model. Walker-256 cells were injected into the right flank of male BALB/c mice. At 7 days after inoculation, mice were divided into three groups, including group 1,2,3. In group 1 the mice were without radiation, in group 2 the mice were received 2 Gy radiation only, and in group 3 the mice were radiated with a priming dose of 75 mGy followed by 2 Gy radiation after 24 h. On day 21 following the radiation, the tumors were removed and the tumor index (tumor weight as a percentage of body weight) was calculated. At 1, 7, 14 and 21 days following the 2 Gy radiation, mouse splenocytes were isolated to analyze the NK activity and measure the production of the cytokines interleukin-1β, interferon-γ and tumor necrosis factor-α by ELISA. Apoptosis was also measured by flow cytometry. The results demonstrated that priming radiation significantly delayed the tumor growth and prolonged the median survival time to 38 days compared with the 31-day survival in the 2 Gy radiation group. The percentage of apoptotic cells was significantly higher in the mice that received 75 mGy + 2 Gy radiation compared with that in the mice that received 2 Gy alone; by contrast, mice that were not irradiated exhibited a relatively low level of apoptosis. The primed mice had a higher level of NK activity as compared with the mice exposed to 2 Gy radiation only or mice that were not irradiated. Furthermore, cytokine expression remained at a higher level in mice receiving priming dose of radiation compared that in the mice receiving only 2 Gy radiation. In conclusion, the results indicated that low-dose priming X-ray radiation may enhance the NK activity and the levels of cytokines, and that the immune response serves an important role in anticancer therapy, including radiotherapy.

Erratum: A novel humanized mouse lacking murine p450 oxidoreductase for studying human drug metabolism.

An incorrect version of the Supplementary Information was inadvertently published with this Article where the wrong file was included. The HTML has been updated to include the correct version of the Supplementary Information.

Quantum dot white light emitting diodes with high scotopic/photopic ratios.

Alloy core/shell CdxZn1-xS/ZnS quantum dots (QDs) are emerging as robust candidates for light-emitting diodes (LEDs), however the emission range of the current CdxZn1-xS/ZnS is quite limited, ranging from 390 to 470 nm. It still remains a challenging task to construct white LEDs based on current CdxZn1-xS/ZnS system. Here, a versatile ZnSe with a moderate band gap is introduced onto the Cd0.1Zn0.9S core. The ZnSe shell, on one hand, can passivate the core surface which leads to bright emissions. On the other hand, it is essential in extending the emission to red region so that the emission wavelengths of Cd0.1Zn0.9S/ZnS and Cd0.1Zn0.9S/ZnSe QDs can cover the whole visible region, which is very important for white LED applications. Two- and four-hump QD-based LEDs are computationally and experimentally investigated. Results show that four-hump quantum dot light-emitting diodes (QLED) have better performances than the two-hump one, in the luminous and the vision properties. The fabricated white LEDs (WLEDs) based on Cd0.1Zn0.9S/ZnS and Cd0.1Zn0.9S/ZnSe QDs exhibits a scotopic/photopic ratio (S/P) ratio as high as 2.52, which exceeds the current limit of 2.50 by common lighting technologies, a color rendering index of 90.3, a luminous efficacy of optical radiation of 460.78 lumen per unit optical power, and a correlated color temperature of 5454 K. These results suggest that CdxZn1-xS/ZnS and CdxZn1-xS/ZnSe quantum dots serving as emitters hold great promise for the next-generation white light source with better S/P ratio.

N-Methylation of Amines with Methanol Catalyzed by a Cp*Ir Complex Bearing a Functional 2,2'-Bibenzimidazole Ligand.

A new type of Cp*Ir complex bearing a functional 2,2'-bibenzimidazole ligand was designed, synthesized, and found to be a highly effective and general catalyst for the N-methylation of a variety of amines with methanol in the presence of a weak base (0.3 equiv of Cs2CO3).

Lower Fractional Anisotropy in the Gray Matter of Amygdala-Hippocampus-Nucleus Accumbens Circuit in Methamphetamine Users: an In Vivo Diffusion Tensor Imaging Study.

The basolateral amygdala (BLA), hippocampal ventral subiculum, and nucleus accumbens (NAc) comprise the amygdala-hippocampus-NAc (AHN) circuit, which is implicated in drug seeking and reward. The goal of this study was to evaluate microstructural changes and relevant clinical features of the AHN circuit gray matter (GM) in methamphetamine (MA) users using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Thirty MA users and 30 age-matched normal volunteers underwent 3-T MR imaging to obtain structural T1-weighted images and DTI data. Freesurfer software was used to automatically segment the NAc and subiculum. A Jülich probability map was employed to parcellate the BLA. Fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) maps were generated and non-linearly coregistered to structural space. DTI measures of the AHN circuit GM were compared between MA users and controls using repeated measures analysis of variance. Correlation analyses were performed between DTI measures and clinical characteristics. Anatomical correlations between the NAc and BLA/subiculum in both groups were assessed using correlation analyses. The MA group had significant lower FA in the bilateral BLA, subiculum, and NAc. Higher total MA dose corresponded with lower FA in all three structures. Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale scores negatively correlated with the right subiculum FA. Lower left BLA FA was associated with higher thinking disorder and hostile-suspicion factor scores. Left BLA FA was significantly associated with bilateral NAc FA in MA users. Those findings provided neuroimaging evidence of MA-induced microstructural impairment in the AHN circuit GM. Enhanced anatomical correlations between the left BLA and bilateral NAc may be part of the mechanism of MA intake relapse and for development of psychosis.

Ultrasensitive Ratiometric Homogeneous Electrochemical MicroRNA Biosensing via Target-Triggered Ru(III) Release and Redox Recycling.

A new label-free and enzyme-free ratiometric homogeneous electrochemical microRNA biosensing platform was constructed via target-triggered Ru(III) release and redox recycling. To design the effective ratiometric dual-signal strategy, [Ru(NH3)6](3+) (Ru(III)) as one of electroactive probe was ingeniously entrapped in the pores of positively charged mesoporous silica nanoparticle (PMSN), as well as another electroactive probe [Fe(CN)6](3-) (Fe(III)) was selected to facilitate Ru(III) redox reclycling due to their distinctly separated reduction potential and different redox properties. Owing to the liberation of the formed RNA-ssDNA complex from PMSN, the target miRNA triggered the Ru(III) release and was quickly electro-reduced to Ru (II), then the in-site generated Ru(II) could be chemically oxidized back to Ru(III) by Fe(III). Thus, with the release of Ru(III) and the consumption of Fe(III), a significant enhancement for the ratio of electro-reduction current [Ru(NH3)6](3+) over [Fe(CN)6](3-) (IRu(III)/IFe(III)) value was observed, which was dependent on the concentration of the target miRNA. Consequently, a simple, accurate and ultrasensitive method for miRNAs assay was readily realized. Furthermore, the limit of detection (LOD) of our method was down to 33 aM (S/N=3), comparable or even superior to other approaches reported in literature. More importantly, it also exhibited excellent analytical performance in the complex biological matrix cell lysates. Therefore, this homogeneous biosensing strategy not only provides an ingenious idea for realizing simple, rapid, reliable, and ultrasensitive bioassays, but also has a great potential to be adopted as a powerful tool for the precision medicine.

Therapeutic evaluation of arterio-portal fistula-related gastroesophageal variceal bleeding.

Intrahepatic arterio-portal fistula is an uncommon etiology of portal hypertension, which presents diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. This study aimed to assess the efficacy and outcomes of gastroesophageal variceal bleeding caused by arterio-portal fistula using different therapeutic approaches.

FZD7 is a novel prognostic marker and promotes tumor metastasis via WNT and EMT signaling pathways in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

Frizzled (FZD) proteins are receptors for secreted WNT proteins and play a critical role in the malignant progression of various cancers. However, the role of human FZD family members in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) was rarely investigated. In this study, we found that the FZD7 gene was the most commonly up-regulated FZD member in ESCC cell lines compared with other FZDs. TMA studies further validated that FZD7 protein was up-regulated in 165 of 252 (65.5%) informative ESCC patients and significantly correlated with poor overall survival (P=0.001). Additionally, multivariate Cox regression analysis showed that FZD7 overexpression was an independent prognostic factor for ESCC patients. Ectopic expression of FZD7 could promote ESCC cell metastasis both in vitro and in vivo. Under WNT3A stimulation, FZD7 was able to induce the nuclear translocation of β-catenin and activate the downstream targets of WNT/β-catenin signaling, as well as promote epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) potential in ESCC cells. Our study demonstrated for the first time that FZD7 contributes to the malignant progression of ESCC and represents a novel prognostic marker and a potential therapeutic target for ESCC patients.

T-Nb2 O5 /C Nanofibers Prepared through Electrospinning with Prolonged Cycle Durability for High-Rate Sodium-Ion Batteries Induced by Pseudocapacitance.

Homogeneous ultrasmall T-Nb2 O5 nanocrystallites encapsulated in 1D carbon nanofibers (T-Nb2 O5 /CNFs) are prepared through electrospinning followed by subsequent pyrolysis treatment. In a Na half-cell configuration, the obtained T-Nb2 O5 /CNFs with the merits of unique microstructures and inherent pseudocapacitance, deliver a stable capacity of 150 mAh g(-1) at 1 A g(-1) over 5000 cycles. Even at an ultrahigh charge-discharge rate of 8 A g(-1) , a high reversible capacity of 97 mAh g(-1) is still achieved. By means of kinetic analysis, it is demonstrated that the larger ratio of surface Faradaic reactions of Nb2 O5 at high rates is the major factor to achieve excellent rate performance. The prolonged cycle durability and excellent rate performance endows T-Nb2 O5 /CNFs with potentials as anode materials for sodium-ion batteries.

Encapsulating [email protected] Core-Shell Nanoparticles in Porous Carbon Sandwich: a Nitrogen and Phosphorus Dual-Doped PH-Universal Electrocatalysts for High-efficient Hydrogen Evolution.

A new, highly-efficient and pH-universal sandwich-architecture HER electrocatalysts, constructed by 0-dimensional N and P dual-doped core-shell [email protected] nanoparticles embedded into a 3-dimensional porous carbon sandwich ([email protected],P-C/CG), was synthesized by a facile two-step method of hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) and pyrolysis. Owing to the synergistic effect of N, P-codoped [email protected] core-shell and sandwich-nanostructural substrates, it increases the interfacial electron transfer rate and the number of active sites. Because of the presence of high surface area and large porous sizes, it improves the mass transfer dynamics. This nanohybrid shows remarkable electrocatalytic activity toward the HER in wide pH value, with good stability. The computational study and experiments reveal that the carbon atoms closed to N and P heteroatoms dopants on the shell of [email protected],P-C are the effective active sites for HER catalyst, and Co2P and N, P dopants synergistically optimize the binding free energy of H* on the active sites.

Concurrent Effects of Sediment Accretion and Nutrient Availability on the Clonal Growth Strategy of Carex brevicuspis-A Wetland Sedge That Produces Both Spreading and Clumping Ramets.

Clonal plants producing both clumping and spreading ramets can adjust their growth forms in response to resource heterogeneity or environmental stress. They might produce clumping ramets to retain favorable patches, or produce spreading ramets to escape from stress-affected patches. This study aimed to investigate the rarely reported concurrent effects of sediment accretion and nutrient enrichment, which often occur simultaneously in lacustrine wetlands, on the vegetative propagation and clonal growth forms of Carex brevicuspis C.B. Clarke by conducting a factorial experiment of sediment burial and nutrient addition. Biomass accumulation, new ramet and rhizome numbers, and ramet length of C. brevicuspis were not affected at moderate burial, but were significantly lower after deep burial. Similarly, nutrient enrichment increased the growth and vegetative propagation of C. brevicuspis up to moderate sediment burial, but not after deep burial. Sediment accretion increased the proportion of spreading ramets produced by C. brevicuspis, whereas nutrient addition had no effect on the clonal growth forms. Our results indicated that the plasticity of clonal growth forms is an effective strategy used by plants to acclimate to moderate sediment accretion. Nutrient enrichment did not influence the clonal growth forms of C. brevicuspis and could not facilitate its acclimation to heavy sedimentation condition.

Two-stage mixotrophic cultivation for enhancing the biomass and lipid productivity of Chlorella vulgaris.

This study proposes a two-stage mixotrophic process for cultivating Chlorella vulgaris. Heterotrophic growth is the dominant step in Phase I (to increase microalgal biomass) and photoautotrophic growth occurs in Phase II (to improve biomass concentration and lipid production). The results show that the addition of the low-cost antioxidant sodium erythorbate (8 g L(-1)) significantly accelerates the growth of microalgae in the first stage with air aeration. Furthermore, a higher CO2 fixation rate was obtained in the second stage (at least 344.32 mg CO2 L(-1) day(-1)) with 10% CO2 aeration. This approximately corresponds to an increase of 177% over simple photoautotrophic cultivation with 10% CO2 aeration during the whole period. The two-stage cultivation strategy achieved a maximum C. vulgaris biomass concentration of 3.45 g L(-1) and lipid productivity of 43.70 mg L(-1) day(-1), which are 1.85 and 1.64 times those arising due to simple photoautotrophy, respectively. Moreover, an analysis of the product's fatty acid profile indicates that C. vulgaris might be an ideal candidate for two-stage mixotrophic cultivation of a renewable biomass for use in biodiesel applications. Another interesting point to note from the study is that it is an insufficiency of N and CO2 that probably limits the further growth of C. vulgaris.

A high-quality genome assembly of quinoa provides insights into the molecular basis of salt bladder-based salinity tolerance and the exceptional nutritional value.

Chenopodium quinoa is a halophytic pseudocereal crop that is being cultivated in an ever-growing number of countries. Because quinoa is highly resistant to multiple abiotic stresses and its seed has a better nutritional value than any other major cereals, it is regarded as a future crop to ensure global food security. We generated a high-quality genome draft using an inbred line of the quinoa cultivar Real. The quinoa genome experienced one recent genome duplication about 4.3 million years ago, likely reflecting the genome fusion of two Chenopodium parents, in addition to the γ paleohexaploidization reported for most eudicots. The genome is highly repetitive (64.5% repeat content) and contains 54 438 protein-coding genes and 192 microRNA genes, with more than 99.3% having orthologous genes from glycophylic species. Stress tolerance in quinoa is associated with the expansion of genes involved in ion and nutrient transport, ABA homeostasis and signaling, and enhanced basal-level ABA responses. Epidermal salt bladder cells exhibit similar characteristics as trichomes, with a significantly higher expression of genes related to energy import and ABA biosynthesis compared with the leaf lamina. The quinoa genome sequence provides insights into its exceptional nutritional value and the evolution of halophytes, enabling the identification of genes involved in salinity tolerance, and providing the basis for molecular breeding in quinoa.Cell Research advance online publication 10 October 2017; doi:10.1038/cr.2017.124.

Electro-Grafted Electrode with Graphene-oxide-Like DNA Affinity for Ratiometric Homogeneous Electrochemical Biosensing of MicroRNA.

This work demonstrated for the first time a simple and rapid approach to endow the electrode with the excellent discrimination ability over single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) and double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) through the robust electrochemical grafting of in-situ generated 1-naphthalenesulfonate (NS(-)) diazonium salt onto the surface of indium tin oxide (ITO) electrode. On the basis of understanding the influence of sequence and length on the binding affinity of ssDNA and dsDNA toward NS(-) grafted ITO (NS(-)-ITO) electrode, these interesting findings were successfully employed to rationally develop a ratiometric homogeneous electrochemical biosensing platform for microRNA based on the affinity-mediated signal transduction. The achievement of ultrasensitive detection of microRNA lies in a compatibly designed T7 exonuclease-assisted isothermal amplification strategy, in which the presence of target microRNA initiated the continual and opposite affinity-inversion of two rationally engineered electrochemical signal reporters, methylene blue (MB) labeled hairpin reporter and ferrocene (Fc) labeled dsDNA reporter, toward NS(-)-ITO electrode, thereby providing the ratiometric transduction and amplification of the homogeneous electrochemical output signal. By measuring the distinct variation in the peak current intensity ratios of Fc and MB tags, this ratiometric homogeneous electrochemical microRNA biosensing platform showed a detection limit of 25 aM, which is much lower than that of the reported homogeneous electrochemical biosensors. Therefore, we envision that the proposed approach will find useful applications in disease molecular diagnoses and biomedicine.

Kinin B1 receptor as a novel, prognostic progression biomarker for carotid atherosclerotic plaques.

Stroke caused by atherosclerosis remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, associated with carotid plaque rupture and inflammation progression. However, the inflammatory biomarkers which aid in predicting the future course of plaques are less detailed. The present study investigated the association between plaque vulnerable and inflammatory biomarkers using blood and plaque specimens. Carotid plaque specimens were obtained from 80 patients following stroke, 14 patients suffering from transient ischaemic attack and 17 asymptomatic patients that underwent carotid endarterectomy. To assess changes in plaque characteristics at histological levels, plaques were categorized by the time between the latest ischemic stroke and surgical intervention within 30, 30‑90, 90‑180 and over 180 days following stroke. Serum levels of inflammatory biomarkers interleukin (IL)‑6, IL‑10 and kinin B1 receptor (B1R) were measured by ELISA. Histological assessment of plaque was used to evaluate the plaque stability, progression and the inflammatory biomarker levels. Comparisons of histological characteristics demonstrated that plaques revealed an unstable phenotype following stroke within 30, 30‑90 days and then remodeled into more stable plaques following stroke at 90‑180 and over 180 days. By comparing the serum levels of inflammatory biomarkers, it was observed that IL‑6 and B1R levels tended to decline whereas IL‑10 levels increased in stroke patients from <30 days to over 180 days. Immunohistochemical analysis of IL‑6, IL‑10 and B1R demonstrated similar alterations in serum levels. Correlation analyses revealed that only B1R serum level was significantly correlated with histological level in patients with carotid atherosclerosis. The findings revealed that serum B1R levels may provide prognostic information and currently act as potential indicators for progression in atherosclerosis.

Comparison of varying operating parameters on heavy metals ecological risk during anaerobic co-digestion of chicken manure and corn stover.

In this study, the potential ecological risk of heavy metals (Mn, Zn, Cu, Ni, As, Cd, Pb, Cr) accumulation from anaerobic co-digestion of chicken manure (CM) and corn stover (CS) was evaluated by comparing different initial substrate concentrations, digestion temperatures, and mixture ratios. Results showed that the highest volumetric methane yield of 20.3±1.4L/L reactor was achieved with a CS:CM ratio of 3:1 (on volatile solid basis) in mesophilic solid state anaerobic digestion (SS-AD). Although co-digestion increased the concentrations of all tested heavy metals and the direct toxicity of some heavy metals, the potential ecological risk index indicated that the digestates were all classified as low ecological risk. The biogasification and risk variation of heavy metals were affected by the operating parameters. These results are significant and should be taken into consideration when optimizing co-digestion of animal manure and crop residues during full-scale projects.

Structure-Activity Relationship Studies of β-Lactam-azide Analogues as Orally Active Antitumor Agents Targeting the Tubulin Colchicine Site.

We have synthesized a series of new β-lactam-azide derivatives as orally active anti-tumor agents by targeting tubulin colchicine binding site and examined their structure activity relationship (SAR). Among them, compound 28 exhibited the most potent antiproliferative activity against MGC-803 cells with an IC50 value of 0.106 μM by induction of G2/M arrest and apoptosis and inhibition of the epithelial to mesenchymal transition. 28 acted as a novel inhibitor of tubulin polymerization by its binding to the colchicine site. SAR analysis revealed that a hydrogen atom at the C-3 position of the β-lactam was required for the potent antiproliferative activity of β-lactam-azide derivatives. Oral administration of compound 28 also effectively inhibited MGC-803 xenograft tumor growth in vivo in nude mice without causing significant loss of body weight. These results suggested that compound 28 is a promising orally active anticancer agent with potential for development of further clinical applications.

Determination of Trace Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Organochlorine Pesticides in Water Samples through Large-Volume Stir Bar Sorptive Extraction Method with Thermal Desorption Gas Chromatography.

A fast and sensitive analytical method based on stir bar sorptive extraction technology with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry was developed to simultaneously analyse 18 kinds of polychlorinated biphenyls and 20 kinds of organochlorine pesticides in aqueous samples. A long adsorption time and small sample volume, which are problems encountered in conventional methods of stir bar sorptive extraction, were effectively solved by simultaneously using multiple stir bars for enrichment with sequential cryofocusing and merged injection. Optimised results showed good linear coefficients in the range of 10 to 500 ng/L and the method detection limits of 0.12-2.07 ng/L for polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides. The recovery ratios of the spiked samples at different concentrations were between 64.7 and 111.0%, and their relative standard deviations ranged from 0.9 to 17.6%. Four types of the studied compounds were determined in Qiantang River water samples, and their contents were between 0.82 and 5.00 ng/L. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Corrigendum: Quantitative real-time imaging of glutathione.

This corrects the article DOI: 10.1038/ncomms16087.

Risk assessment of trace metal-polluted coastal sediments on Hainan Island: A full-scale set of 474 geographical locations covering the entire island.

Hainan Island is the second largest island and one of the most famous tourist destinations in China, but sediment contamination by trace metals in coastal areas is a major issue. However, full-scale risk assessments of trace metal-polluted coastal sediments are lacking. In this study, coastal surface sediments from 474 geographical locations covering almost the entire island were collected to identify risk-related variables. Controlling factors and possible sources of trace metals were identified, and the toxicity effects were carefully evaluated. Our results suggest that trace-metal pollution in coastal sediments, which was mainly caused by Pb, Zn and Cu emissions, has primarily resulted from industrial sewage and shipping activities and has threatened the offshore ecosystem of Hainan Island and warrants extensive consideration. This is the first study that has systematically investigated trace metal-polluted coastal sediments throughout the entirety of Hainan Island and provides solid evidence for sustainable marine management in the region.

Efficacy and safety of Apatinib in stage IV sarcomas: experience of a major sarcoma center in China.

This study was conducted to review the efficacy and safety of Apatinib in stage IV sarcoma patients who failed previous chemotherapy.

Note: A 10 Gbps real-time post-processing free physical random number generator chip.

A random number generator with high data rate, small size, and low power consumption is essential for a certain quantum key distribution (QKD) system. We designed a 10 Gbps random number generator ASIC, TRNG2016, for the QKD system. With a 6 mm × 6 mm QFN48 package, TRNG2016 has 10 independent physical random number generation channels, and each channel can work at a fixed frequency up to 1 Gbps. The random number generated by TRNG2016 can pass the NIST statistical tests without any post-processing. With 3.3 V IO power supply and 1.2 V core power supply, the typical power consumption of TRNG2016 is 773 mW with 10 channels on and running at 1 Gbps data rate.

Bright alloy type-II quantum dots and their application to light-emitting diodes.

Type-II quantum dots (QDs) are emerging as a promising candidate for full color light sources owing to their advantages in achieving full color light by tuning the heterostructures. Despite the recent developments in type-II QDs, the choices of proper materials are limited for the composition of a high-quality QD and it still remains a big challenge to enhance the photoluminescence (PL) quantum yields (QYs) of type-II QDs for light-emitting diode (LED) applications. Here, we develop CdxZn1-xS/ZnSe/ZnS type-II QDs with a maximum quantum yield as high as 88.5%. Time-resolved PL results show that the ZnS shell suppresses non-radiative pathways by passivating the surface of CdxZn1-xS/ZnSe, thus leading to a high QY. Moreover, our results demonstrate that the outer ZnS also benefits the charge injection and radiative recombinations of the CdxZn1-xS/ZnSe. The LED based on green Cd0.2Zn0.8S/ZnSe/ZnS QDs achieves a current efficiency (CE) of 9.17cdA(-1), an external quantum efficiency (EQE) of 8.78% and a low turn-on voltage of ∼2.3V.

Genomic adaptation to polyphagy and insecticides in a major East Asian noctuid pest.

The tobacco cutworm, Spodoptera litura, is among the most widespread and destructive agricultural pests, feeding on over 100 crops throughout tropical and subtropical Asia. By genome sequencing, physical mapping and transcriptome analysis, we found that the gene families encoding receptors for bitter or toxic substances and detoxification enzymes, such as cytochrome P450, carboxylesterase and glutathione-S-transferase, were massively expanded in this polyphagous species, enabling its extraordinary ability to detect and detoxify many plant secondary compounds. Larval exposure to insecticidal toxins induced expression of detoxification genes, and knockdown of representative genes using short interfering RNA (siRNA) reduced larval survival, consistent with their contribution to the insect's natural pesticide tolerance. A population genetics study indicated that this species expanded throughout southeast Asia by migrating along a South India-South China-Japan axis, adapting to wide-ranging ecological conditions with diverse host plants and insecticides, surviving and adapting with the aid of its expanded detoxification systems. The findings of this study will enable the development of new pest management strategies for the control of major agricultural pests such as S. litura.Genome of the tobacco cutworm, Spodoptera litura, which is one of the most widespread and destructive agricultural pests in tropical and subtropical Asia.