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1.Dopamine Surface Modification of Trititanate Nanotubes: Proposed In-Situ Structure Models.

Author:Liu, Ruochen; Fu, Xuejian; Wang, Congyi; Dawson, Graham

Source:Chemistry (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany),2016,Vol.22

Abstract:Two models for self-assembled dopamine on the surface of trititanate nanotubes are proposed: individual monomer units linked by π-π stacking of the aromatic regions and mono-attached units interacting through hydrogen bonds. This was investigated with solid state NMR spectroscopy studies and powder X-ray diffraction.

2.Advances of RRAM Devices: Resistive Switching Mechanisms, Materials and Bionic Synaptic Application

Author:Shen, ZJ;Zhao, C;Qi, YF;Xu, WY;Liu, YN;Mitrovic, IZ;Yang, L;Zhao, CZ


Abstract:Resistive random access memory (RRAM) devices are receiving increasing extensive attention due to their enhanced properties such as fast operation speed, simple device structure, low power consumption, good scalability potential and so on, and are currently considered to be one of the next-generation alternatives to traditional memory. In this review, an overview of RRAM devices is demonstrated in terms of thin film materials investigation on electrode and function layer, switching mechanisms and artificial intelligence applications. Compared with the well-developed application of inorganic thin film materials (oxides, solid electrolyte and two-dimensional (2D) materials) in RRAM devices, organic thin film materials (biological and polymer materials) application is considered to be the candidate with significant potential. The performance of RRAM devices is closely related to the investigation of switching mechanisms in this review, including thermal-chemical mechanism (TCM), valance change mechanism (VCM) and electrochemical metallization (ECM). Finally, the bionic synaptic application of RRAM devices is under intensive consideration, its main characteristics such as potentiation/depression response, short-/long-term plasticity (STP/LTP), transition from short-term memory to long-term memory (STM to LTM) and spike-time-dependent plasticity (STDP) reveal the great potential of RRAM devices in the field of neuromorphic application.

3.Production of "biobetter" variants of glucarpidase with enhanced enzyme activity

Author:Al-Qahtani, AD;Bashraheel, SS;Rashidi, FB;O'Connor, CD;Romero, AR;Domling, A;Goda, SK


Abstract:Glucarpidase, also known as carboxypeptidase G(2), is a Food and Drug Administration-approved enzyme used in targeted cancer strategies such as antibody-directed enzyme prodrug therapy (ADEPT). It is also used in drug detoxification when cancer patients have excessive levels of the anti-cancer agent methotrexate. The application of glucarpidase is limited by its potential immunogenicity and limited catalytic efficiency. To overcome these pitfalls, mutagenesis was applied to the glucarpidase gene of Pseudomonas sp. strain RS-16 to isolate three novels "biobetter" variants with higher specific enzyme activity. DNA sequence analysis of the genes for the variants showed that each had a single point mutation, resulting in the amino acid substitutions: I100 T, G123S and T239 A. K-m, V-max and K-cat measurements confirmed that each variant had increased catalytic efficiency relative to wild type glucarpidase. Additionally, circular dichroism studies indicated that they had a higher alpha-helical content relative to the wild type enzyme. However, three different software packages predicted that they had reduced protein stability, which is consistent with having higher activities as a tradeoff. The novel glucarpidase variants presented in this work could pave the way for more efficient drug detoxification and might allow dose escalation during chemotherapy. They also have the potential to increase the efficiency of ADEPT and to reduce the number of treatment cycles, thereby reducing the risk that patients will develop antibodies to glucarpidase.

4.Clinical features and outcomes of adult COVID-19 patients co-infected with Mycoplasma pneumoniae

Author:Zha, L;Shen, J;Tefsen, B;Wang, YJ;Lu, WH;Xu, QC


5.Combinations of fungal and milling pretreatments for enhancing rice straw biogas production during solid-state anaerobic digestion

Author:Mustafa, AM;Poulsen, TG;Xia, YH;Sheng, KC


Abstract:Rice straw was pretreated by different combinations of physical (milling) and biological (incubation with Pleurotus ostreatus fungus) treatment to improve its biodegradability and biogas production during solid-state anaerobic digestion (SS-AD). Effects of milling (62 mm) and incubation time (10, 20 and 30 d), on lignin, cellulose, and hemicellulose degradation during fungal pretreatment and methane yield during digestion were assessed by comparison with untreated rice straw. Both incubation time and milling had significant impacts on both lignin removal during fungal pre-treatment and methane yield during digestion. A combination of fungal pretreatment at 30 days followed by milling prior to anaerobic digestion resulted in 30.4%% lignin removal, the highest selectivity value (the ratio between relative lignin removal and relative cellulose removal) of 4.22, and the highest methane yield of 258 L/kg VS. This was equivalent to a 165%% increase in methane yield from SS-AD compared to untreated rice straw. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

6.Flexible synthesis of polyfunctionalised 3-fluoropyrroles

Author:Cogswell, TJ;Donald, CS;Marquez, R


Abstract:An efficient and selective approach for the synthesis of polyfunctionalised 3-fluoropyrroles has been developed starting from commercial aldehydes. The methodology is concise, efficient and allows for the modular and systematic assembly of polysubstituted 3-fluoropyrroles. This synthesis provides an alternative and highly convergent strategy for the generation of these chemically and biologically important units.

7.Light attenuation - a more effective basis for the management of fine suspended sediment than mass concentration?

Author:Davies-Colley, RJ;Ballantine, DJ;Elliott, SH;Swales, A;Hughes, AO;Gall, MP


Abstract:Fine sediment continues to be a major diffuse pollution concern with its multiple effects on aquatic ecosystems. Mass concentrations (and loads) of fine sediment are usually measured and modelled, apparently with the assumption that environmental effects of sediment are predictable from mass concentrations. However, some severe impacts of fine sediment may not correlate well with mass concentration, notably those related to light attenuation by suspended particles. Light attenuation per unit mass concentration of suspended particulate matter in waters varies widely with particle size, shape and composition. Data for suspended sediment concentration, turbidity and visual clarity (which is inversely proportional to light beam attenuation) from 77 diverse New Zealand rivers provide valuable insights into the mutual relationships of these quantities. Our analysis of these relationships, both across multiple rivers and within individual rivers, supports the proposition that light attenuation by fine sediment is a more generally meaningful basis for environmental management than sediment mass. Furthermore, optical measurements are considerably more practical, being much cheaper (by about four-fold) to measure than mass concentrations, and amenable to continuous measurement. Mass concentration can be estimated with sufficient precision for many purposes from optical surrogates locally calibrated for particular rivers.

8.Supporting culturally and linguistically diverse students during clinical placement: strategies from both sides of the table

Author:O'Reilly, SL;Milner, J


Abstract:Background: Increasing proportions of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) students within health professional courses at universities creates challenges in delivering inclusive training and education. Clinical placements are a core component of most health care degrees as they allow for applied learning opportunities. A research gap has been identified in regard to understanding challenges and strategies for CALD students in health professional placements. Methods: A key stakeholder approach was used to examine barriers and enablers experienced by CALD students in clinical placement. Semi-structured focus groups with healthcare students (n = 13) and clinical placement supervisors (n = 12) were employed. The focus groups were analysed using open coding and thematic analysis. Results: Three main barrier areas were identified: placement planning and preparation; teaching, assessment and feedback; and cultural and language issues. Potential solutions included addressing placement planning and preparation barriers, appropriate student placement preparation, pre-placement identification of higher risk CALD students, and diversity training for supervisors. For the barrier of teaching, assessment & feedback, addressing strategies were to: adapt student caseloads, encourage regular casual supervisor-student conversations, develop supportive placement delivery modes and structures, set expectations early, model the constructive feedback process, use visual aids, and tailor the learning environment to individual student needs. The enablers for cultural & language issues were to: build language and practical approaches for communication, raise awareness of the healthcare system (how it interacts with healthcare professions and how patients access it), and initiate mentoring programs. Conclusions: The findings suggest that teaching and learning strategies should be student-centred, aiming to promote awareness of difference and its impacts then develop appropriate responses by both student and teacher. Universities and partnering agencies, such as clinical training providers, need to provide an inclusive learning environment for students from multiple cultural backgrounds.

9.Effect of Annealing Temperature for Ni/AlOx/Pt RRAM Devices Fabricated with Solution-Based Dielectric

Author:Shen, ZJ;Qi, YF;Mitrovic, IZ;Zhao, CZ;Hall, S;Yang, L;Luo, T;Huang, YB;Zhao, C


Abstract:Resistive random access memory (RRAM) devices with Ni/AlOx/Pt-structure were manufactured by deposition of a solution-based aluminum oxide (AlOx) dielectric layer which was subsequently annealed at temperatures from 200 degrees C to 300 degrees C, in increments of 25 degrees C. The devices displayed typical bipolar resistive switching characteristics. Investigations were carried out on the effect of different annealing temperatures for associated RRAM devices to show that performance was correlated with changes of hydroxyl group concentration in the AlOx thin films. The annealing temperature of 250 degrees C was found to be optimal for the dielectric layer, exhibiting superior performance of the RRAM devices with the lowest operation voltage (<1.5 V), the highest ON/OFF ratio (>10(4)), the narrowest resistance distribution, the longest retention time (>10(4) s) and the most endurance cycles (>150).

10.Predict Epitranscriptome Targets and Regulatory Functions of N-6-Methyladenosine (m(6)A) Writers and Erasers

Author:Song, YY;Xu, QR;Wei, Z;Zhen, D;Su, JL;Chen, KQ;Meng, J


Abstract:Currently, although many successful bioinformatics efforts have been reported in the epitranscriptomics field for N-6-methyladenosine (m(6)A) site identification, none is focused on the substrate specificity of different m(6)A-related enzymes, ie, the methyltransferases (writers) and demethylases (erasers). In this work, to untangle the target specificity and the regulatory functions of different RNA m6A writers (METTL3-METT14 and METTL16) and erasers (ALKBH5 and FTO), we extracted 49 genomic features along with the conventional sequence features and used the machine learning approach of random forest to predict their epitranscriptome substrates. Our method achieved reasonable performance on both the writer target prediction (as high as 0.918) and the eraser target prediction (as high as 0.888) in a 5-fold crossvalidation, and results of the gene ontology analysis of their preferential targets further revealed the functional relevance of different RNA methylation writers and erasers.

11.Financial transfers from adult children and depressive symptoms among mid-aged and elderly residents in China - evidence from the China health and retirement longitudinal study

Author:Wu, Y;Dong, WY;Xu, YJ;Fan, XJ;Su, M;Gao, JM;Zhou, ZL;Niessen, L;Wang, YY;Wang, X

Source:BMC PUBLIC HEALTH,2018,Vol.18

Abstract:Background: Although the awareness of mental health problems in late life is rising, the association between financial transfers to the older generations from children and mental health at older ages in China has received little attention. This study examines the association between financial transfers from children and depressive symptoms among the mid-aged and elderly residents (from 45 years of age and older) in China. Methods: We used the data from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS, 2013) (n= 10,935) This included data on financial transfers from all non-co-resident children to their parents, and the individual scores on depressive symptoms as measured by the 10-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale (CESD-10). A two-level - individual and community levels - mixed linear model was deployed to explore their association. Results: Financial transfers from children to parents was the major component of inter-generational financial transfers in Chinese families. A higher financial support from non-co-resident children was signivicantly and positively related to fewer depressive symptoms (coef. = - 0.195,P-value< 0.001) among both the mid-aged and elderly parents. Conclusions: Financial transfers from non-co-resident children are associated with depressive symptoms among mid-aged and elderly residents in the China situation. Taxation and other policy measures should encourage and facilitate these type of financial transfers and prevent a decrease of support from children to parents.

12.Cortisol level dysregulation and its prevalence-Is it nature's alarm clock?

Author:Jones, C;Gwenin, C


Abstract:This review examines the stress hormone cortisol which plays an important role in regulating and supporting different bodily functions. Disruption in cortisol production has an impact on health and this review looks at a wide range of papers where cortisol has been indicated as a factor in numerous chronic conditions-especially those which are classed as "noncommunicable diseases" (NCDs). Timely detection, screening, and treatment for NCDs are vital to address the growing problem of NCDs worldwide-this would have health and socioeconomic benefits. Interestingly, many of the papers highlight the pro-inflammatory consequences of cortisol dysregulation and its deleterious effects on the body. This is particularly relevant given the recent findings concerning COVID-19 where pro-inflammatory cytokines have been implicated in severe inflammation.

13.Mutations in the pantothenate kinase of Plasmodium falciparum confer diverse sensitivity profiles to antiplasmodial pantothenate analogues

Author:Tjhin, ET;Spry, C;Sewell, AL;Hoegl, A;Barnard, L;Sexton, AE;Siddiqui, G;Howieson, VM;Maier, AG;Creek, DJ;Strauss, E;Marquez, R;Auclair, K;Saliba, KJ

Source:PLOS PATHOGENS,2018,Vol.14

Abstract:The malaria-causing blood stage of Plasmodium falciparum requires extracellular pantothenate for proliferation. The parasite converts pantothenate into coenzyme A (CoA) via five enzymes, the first being a pantothenate kinase (PfPanK). Multiple antiplasmodial pantothenate analogues, including pantothenol and CJ-15,801, kill the parasite by targeting CoA bio-synthesis/utilisation. Their mechanism of action, however, remains unknown. Here, we show that parasites pressured with pantothenol or CJ-15,801 become resistant to these analogues. Whole-genome sequencing revealed mutations in one of two putative PanK genes (Pfpank1) in each resistant line. These mutations significantly alter PfPanK activity, with two conferring a fitness cost, consistent with Pfpank1 coding for a functional PanK that is essential for normal growth. The mutants exhibit a different sensitivity profile to recently-described, potent, antiplasmodial pantothenate analogues, with one line being hypersensitive. We provide evidence consistent with different pantothenate analogue classes having different mechanisms of action: some inhibit CoA biosynthesis while others inhibit CoA-utilising enzymes.

14.Nitrogen addition increases sexual reproduction and improves seedling growth in the perennial rhizomatous grass Leymus chinensis

Author:Gao, S;Wang, JF;Knops, JMH;Wang, J

Source:BMC PLANT BIOLOGY,2020,Vol.20

Abstract:Background: The Eurasian steppe is an important vegetation type characterized by cold, arid and nitrogen poor conditions. At the Eastern edge, including in the Songnen grassland, the vegetation is dominated by Leymus chinensis (henceforth L. chinensis) and is increasing threatened by elevated anthropogenic nitrogen deposition. L. chinensis is a perennial grass that mainly reproduces vegetatively and its sexual reproduction is limited. However, sexual reproduction plays an important role influencing colonization after large disturbances. To develop an understanding of how elevated nitrogen deposition changes the plant community structure and functioning we need a better understanding how sexual reproduction of L. chinensis changes with nitrogen enrichment. Here we report on a field experiment where we added 10 g N m(-2) yr(-1) and examined changes in seed traits, seed germination and early seedling growth. Results: Nitrogen addition increased seed production by 79%%, contributing to this seed increases were a 28%% increase in flowering plant density, a 40%% increase in seed number per plant and a 11%% increase in seed weight. Seed size increased with a 42%% increase in large seeds and a 49%% decrease in the smallest seed size category. Seed germination success improved by 10%% for small seeds and 18%% for large seeds. Combined, the increased in seed production and improved seed quality doubled the potential seed germination. Subsequent seedling above and below-ground biomass also significantly increased. Conclusions: All aspects of L. chinensis sexual reproduction increased with nitrogen addition. Thus, L. chinensis competitive ability may increase when atmospheric nitrogen deposition increases, which may further reduce overall plant diversity in the low diversity Songnen grasslands.

15.Combined effects of seasonality and stagnation on tap water quality: Changes in chemical parameters, metabolic activity and co-existence in bacterial community

Author:Zhang, HH;Xu, L;Huang, TL;Yan, MM;Liu, KW;Miao, YT;He, HY;Li, SL;Sekar, R


Abstract:In drinking water distribution pipeline systems, the tap water quality is regulated by several biotic and abiotic factors, which can threaten the health of consumers. Stagnation is inevitable in the water distribution pipeline however, the combined effects of seasonal changes and stagnation on tap water quality are not well understood. Here, we investigated the seasonal variations in the chemical and biological quality of water after overnight stagnation for a period of one year. The results showed that the tap water quality deteriorated after overnight stagnation, with up to a 2.7-fold increase in the total iron concentrations. The total bacterial cell concentrations increased by 59-231%% after overnight stagnation. The total cell and cell-bound adenosine triphosphate (ATP) of the stagnant water samples peaked in summer. In addition, Biolog analysis showed that the metabolic activities of microbes were higher in spring. The bacterial community based on Illumina Miseq DNA sequence analysis found that Proteobacteria dominated the drinking water bacterial community. The bacterial community structure varied significantly among different seasons, where the diversity and richness of the community were much higher in spring. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was constructed to determine the correlations between bacterial metabolic functions and the community structure. The redundancy analysis (RDA) indicated that the residual chlorine played a critical role in the construction of the bacterial community. Altogether, the overall findings from the present work provide novel insights into how the quality of tap water quality impacted by the seasonal changes and overnight stagnation.

16.Plant-Derived Tick Repellents Activate the Honey Bee Ectoparasitic Mite TRPA1

Author:Peng, GD;Kashio, M;Morimoto, T;Li, TB;Zhu, JT;Tominaga, M;Kadowaki, T

Source:CELL REPORTS,2015,Vol.12

Abstract:We have identified and characterized the TRPA1 channel of Varroa destructor (VdTRPA1), a major ectoparasitic mite of honey bee. One of the two VdTRPA1 isoforms, VdTRPA1L, was activated by a variety of plant-derived compounds, including electrophilic compounds, suggesting that chemical activation profiles are mostly shared between arthropod TRPA1 channels. Nevertheless, carvacrol and alpha-terpineol activated VdTRPA1L but not a honey bee noxious-stimuli-sensitive TRPA, AmHsTRPA, and Drosophila melanogaster TRPA1. Activation of VdTRPA1L in D. melanogaster taste neurons by the above compounds was sufficient to modify the gustatory behaviors. Carvacrol and a-terpineol repelled V. destructor in a laboratory assay, and a-terpineol repressed V. destructor entry for reproduction into the brood cells in hives. Understanding the functions of parasite TRP channels not only gives clues about the evolving molecular and cellular mechanisms of parasitism but also helps in the development of control methods.

17.Supernatural Explanatory Models of Health and Illness and HIV Antiretroviral Therapy Use Among Young Men Who Have Sex with Men in China

Author:Pan, SW;Smith, MK;Carpiano, RM;Fu, HY;Ong, JJ;Huang, WT;Tang, WM;Tucker, JD


Abstract:Background In China, men who have sex with men (MSM) shoulder a disproportionate HIV burden. Early initiation and adherence to HIV antiretroviral therapy (ART) will be critical to reversing the HIV epidemic in China, but ART usage remains suboptimal among MSM diagnosed with HIV. One understudied but potentially important factor underpinning suboptimal ART usage is personal belief in supernatural explanatory models of health and illness (supernatural explanatory models). This study examines associations between beliefs in supernatural explanatory models and ART usage among MSM in China. Method In 2017, an online survey was distributed nationwide throughout China by gay community-based organizations. Eligible study participants were self-identified MSM between 16 and 30 years old who had tested positive for HIV and who had seen a doctor in the last 2 years. Beliefs in supernatural explanatory models were measured using a three-item scale developed specifically for the Chinese population (range, 3-15). Results Of 73 participants, the majority were currently using ART (83.6%%) and 42.5%% expressed some endorsement of belief in supernatural explanatory models. However, among 21 participants with the strongest belief in supernatural explanatory models, prevalence of current ART usage was 61.9%%. Stronger belief in supernatural explanatory models was significantly associated with lower likelihood of current ART usage (adjusted odds ratio = 0.52; 95%% confidence interval = 0.13-0.75). Conclusion Belief in supernatural explanatory models may be a powerful predictor of ART usage among MSM living with HIV in China. Further studies are needed to corroborate these findings and elucidate mechanisms of association.

18.Editorial: Designing Technologies for Youth Mental Health

Author:Baghaei, N;Naslund, JA;Hach, S;Liang, HN


19.Elevated serum uric acid, hyperuricaemia and dietary patterns among adolescents in mainland China

Author:Zhou, H;Ma, ZF;Lu, YM;Du, YY;Shao, J;Wang, LY;Wu, Q;Pan, BY;Zhu, WX;Zhao, QH;Wei, H


Abstract:Background: Elevated serum uric acid concentrations have been associated with metabolic syndrome. However, only limited information is available on the prevalence of hyperuricaemia in adolescents. Therefore, the aim of our cross-sectional study was to study the prevalence of hyperuricaemia and dietary patterns in adolescents aged 13-16 years living in Yangzhou, China. Methods: Adolescents were asked to complete a 20-item food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and provide an overnight fasting finger-prick sample. Principal component analysis (PCA) with varimax rotation was used to derive the dietary patterns that might be associated with high uric acid concentrations. Results: A total of 1070 adolescents were recruited. Of these, 53.6%% (n = 574) were females, and 58.5%% (n = 625) were within the normal body mass index (BMI) range. The males had a significantly higher serving size and frequency in their weekly food consumption, including meat, poultry, Chinese cereal staple foods and Western-style fast foods, than the females (all p < 0.02). The overall mean serum uric acid concentration and prevalence of hyperuricaemia were 368.6 +/- 114.5 mu mol/L and 37.9%%, respectively. The prevalence of hyperuricaemia was 4.633 times greater among the participants who were overweight and obese than among those who were underweight. On the other hand, the prevalence of hyperuricaemia was 0.694 times lower among the participants who had normal weight than those who were underweight. Conclusions: The prevalence of hyperuricaemia was relatively high in Chinese adolescents. The prevention of hyperuricaemia measures should be strengthened in adolescents to effectively control for obesity and gout, which tend to persist into adulthood.

20.Topological Characterization of Human and Mouse m(5)C Epitranscriptome Revealed by Bisulfite Sequencing

Author:Wei, Z;Panneerdoss, S;Timilsina, S;Zhu, JT;Mohammad, TA;Lu, ZL;de Magalhaes, JP;Chen, YD;Rong, R;Huang, YF;Rao, MK;Meng, J


Abstract:Background. Compared with the well-studied 5-methylcytosine (m(5)C) in DNA, the role and topology of epitranscriptome m(5)C remain insufficiently characterized. Results. Through analyzing transcriptome-wide m(5)C distribution in human and mouse, we show that the m(5)C modification is significantly enriched at 5' untranslated regions (5' UTRs) of mRNA in human and mouse. With a comparative analysis of the mRNA and DNA methylome, we demonstrate that, like DNA methylation, transcriptome m(5)C methylation exhibits a strong clustering effect. Surprisingly, an inverse correlation between mRNA and DNA m(5)C methylation is observed at CpG sites. Further analysis reveals that RNA m(5)C methylation level is positively correlated with both RNA expression and RNA half-life. We also observed that the methylation level of mitochondrial RNAs is significantly higher than RNAs transcribed from the nuclear genome. Conclusions. This study provides an in-depth topological characterization of transcriptome-wide m(5)C modification by associating RNA m(5)C methylation patterns with transcriptional expression, DNA methylations, RNA stabilities, and mitochondrial genome.
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