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  1. Chou L, Dai J, Qian X, Karimipour A, Zheng X
    Agric Water Manag, 2020 Oct 20.
    PMID: 33100487 DOI: 10.1016/j.agwat.2020.106583
    With the development of Chinese economy, more and more attention has been paid to environmental protection, the implementation of water price policy affects economic and environmental changes in China. This paper analyzes the impact of water price policy on agricultural land use and the scale of water pollution discharge in 240 cities in China between 2001 and 2017, by including data from China Urban Statistical Yearbook and China Land & Resources Almanac. The theoretical analysis of this study indicates that the optimal scale of pollution depends on the local initial endowment, economic investment capital and the marginal cost of environmental pollution caused by government's economic activities. Furtherly, the economic activities have a worsening impact on environmental pollution, but when the government implements environmental protection and water price policy measures in response to environmental pollution caused by economic activities, it has a significant impact on the decline in the scale of pollution. The government has promoted the pollution suppression model in the formulation of water prices, which has internalized the external cost of pollution in economic activities and can effectively reduce the scale of agricultural water pollution discharge.
  2. Du J, Loh KH, Hu W, Zheng X, Affendi YA, Ooi JLS, et al.
    Biodivers Data J, 2019;7:e47537.
    PMID: 31849564 DOI: 10.3897/BDJ.7.e47537
    Background: Redang Islands Marine Park consists of nine islands in the state of Terengganu, Malaysia. Redang Island is one of the largest off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, which is famous for its crystal-clear waters and white sandy beaches. The ichthyofauna of the Redang archipelago was surveyed by underwater visual observations between August 2016 and May 2018. Census data were compiled with existing records into the checklist of the marine fish of the Redang archipelago presented herein. A total of 314 species belonging to 51 families were recorded. The most speciose families (Pomacentridae, Labridae, Scaridae, Serranidae, Apogonidae, Carangidae, Gobiidae, Chaetodontidae, Lutjanidae, Nemipteridae and Siganidae) were also amongst the most speciose at the neighbouring Tioman archipelago (except Chaetodontidae). The coral fish diversity index value for the six families of coral reef fishes (Chaetodontidae, Pomacanthidae, Pomacentridae, Labridae, Scaridae and Acanthuridae) of the study sites was 132. We estimated that there were 427 coral reef fish species in the Redang archipelago. According to the IUCN Red List, eight species are Near Threatened (Carcharhinus melanopterus, Chaetodon trifascialis, Choerodon schoenleinii, Epinephelus fuscoguttatus, E. polyphekadion, Plectropomus leopardus, Taeniura lymma and Triaenodon obesus), eleven are Vulnerable (Bolbometopon muricatum, Chaetodon trifasciatus, Chlorurus sordidus, Dascyllus trimaculatus, Epinephelus fuscoguttatus, E. polyphekadion, Halichoeres marginatus, Heniochus acuminatus, Nebrius ferrugineus, Neopomacentrus cyanomos and Plectropomus areolatus) and three are Endangered (Amphiprion clarkia, Cheilinus undulatus and Scarus ghobban) in the Redang archipelago.

    New information: Five species are new records for Malaysia (Ctenogobiops mitodes, Epibulus brevis, Halichoeres erdmanni, H. richmondi and Scarus caudofasciatus) and 25 species are newly recorded in the Redang archipelago.

  3. Cassol S, Weniger BG, Babu PG, Salminen MO, Zheng X, Htoon MT, et al.
    AIDS Res. Hum. Retroviruses, 1996 Oct 10;12(15):1435-41.
    PMID: 8893051
    Global surveillance of HIV-1 subtypes for genetic characterization is hampered by the biohazard of processing and the difficulties of shipping whole blood or cells from many developing country regions. We developed a technique for the direct automated sequencing of viral DNA from dried blood spot (DBS) specimens collected on absorbent paper, which can be mailed unrefrigerated in sturdy paper envelopes with low biohazard risk. DBS were collected nonrandomly from HIV-1-infected, mostly asymptomatic, patients in five Asian countries in 1991, and shipped via airmail or hand carried without refrigeration to Bangkok, and then transshipped to North America for processing. After more than 2 years of storage, including 6 months at ambient temperatures, proviral DNA in the DBS was amplified by nested PCR, and a 389-nucleotide segment of the C2-V3 env gene region was sequenced, from which 287 base pairs were aligned and subtyped by phylogenetic analysis with neighbor-joining and other methods. From southern India, there were 25 infections with subtype C and 2 with subtype A. From Myanmar (Burma), we identified the first subtype E infection, as well as six subtype BB, a distinct cluster within subtype B that was first discovered in Thailand and that has now appeared in China, Malaysia, and Japan. From southwest China, one BB was identified, while a "classical" B typical of North American and European strains was found in Indonesia. From Thailand, five DBS of ambiguous serotype were identified as three B, one BB, and one E. A blinded control serotype E specimen was correctly identified, but a serotype BB control was not tested. Most HIV-1 in southern India appears to be env subtype C, with rare A, as others have reported in western and northern India. The subtypes BB and E in Myanmar, and the BB in China, suggest epidemiological linkage with these subtypes in neighboring Thailand. DBS are a practical, economical technique for conducting large-scale molecular epidemiological surveillance to track the global distribution and spread of HIV-1 variants.
  4. Du J, Loh KH, Then AY, Zheng X, Teguh Peristiwady, Rizman-Idid M, et al.
    Zookeys, 2019;861:107-118.
    PMID: 31333328 DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.861.34043
    Five specimens of Epinephelusepistictus (Temminck & Schlegel, 1843) were collected from a major landing site located on the west coast of Peninsula Malaysia during a fish faunal survey on 23 August 2017. The present study extends the distribution range of E.epistictus southwards from Andaman Sea to the Strait of Malacca. Species identification was confirmed by colour pattern and DNA barcoding (567 bp of cytochrome C oxidase I) of all E.epistictus specimens and nine closely related Epinephelus species. The interspecies genetic distance ranged from 0.002-0.245. This study also presents, for the first time for Malaysia, data on length-weight relationships and otolith measurements. It contributes to a better understanding of taxonomy, and phylogenetic and genetic diversity of E.epistictus.
  5. Global Retinoblastoma Study Group, Fabian ID, Abdallah E, Abdullahi SU, Abdulqader RA, Adamou Boubacar S, et al.
    JAMA Oncol, 2020 May 01;6(5):685-695.
    PMID: 32105305 DOI: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.6716
    Importance: Early diagnosis of retinoblastoma, the most common intraocular cancer, can save both a child's life and vision. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that many children across the world are diagnosed late. To our knowledge, the clinical presentation of retinoblastoma has never been assessed on a global scale.

    Objectives: To report the retinoblastoma stage at diagnosis in patients across the world during a single year, to investigate associations between clinical variables and national income level, and to investigate risk factors for advanced disease at diagnosis.

    Design, Setting, and Participants: A total of 278 retinoblastoma treatment centers were recruited from June 2017 through December 2018 to participate in a cross-sectional analysis of treatment-naive patients with retinoblastoma who were diagnosed in 2017.

    Main Outcomes and Measures: Age at presentation, proportion of familial history of retinoblastoma, and tumor stage and metastasis.

    Results: The cohort included 4351 new patients from 153 countries; the median age at diagnosis was 30.5 (interquartile range, 18.3-45.9) months, and 1976 patients (45.4%) were female. Most patients (n = 3685 [84.7%]) were from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Globally, the most common indication for referral was leukocoria (n = 2638 [62.8%]), followed by strabismus (n = 429 [10.2%]) and proptosis (n = 309 [7.4%]). Patients from high-income countries (HICs) were diagnosed at a median age of 14.1 months, with 656 of 666 (98.5%) patients having intraocular retinoblastoma and 2 (0.3%) having metastasis. Patients from low-income countries were diagnosed at a median age of 30.5 months, with 256 of 521 (49.1%) having extraocular retinoblastoma and 94 of 498 (18.9%) having metastasis. Lower national income level was associated with older presentation age, higher proportion of locally advanced disease and distant metastasis, and smaller proportion of familial history of retinoblastoma. Advanced disease at diagnosis was more common in LMICs even after adjusting for age (odds ratio for low-income countries vs upper-middle-income countries and HICs, 17.92 [95% CI, 12.94-24.80], and for lower-middle-income countries vs upper-middle-income countries and HICs, 5.74 [95% CI, 4.30-7.68]).

    Conclusions and Relevance: This study is estimated to have included more than half of all new retinoblastoma cases worldwide in 2017. Children from LMICs, where the main global retinoblastoma burden lies, presented at an older age with more advanced disease and demonstrated a smaller proportion of familial history of retinoblastoma, likely because many do not reach a childbearing age. Given that retinoblastoma is curable, these data are concerning and mandate intervention at national and international levels. Further studies are needed to investigate factors, other than age at presentation, that may be associated with advanced disease in LMICs.

  6. Klionsky DJ, Abdelmohsen K, Abe A, Abedin MJ, Abeliovich H, Acevedo Arozena A, et al.
    Autophagy, 2016;12(1):1-222.
    PMID: 26799652 DOI: 10.1080/15548627.2015.1100356
  7. Guo L, Zheng X, Wang E, Jia X, Wang G, Wen J
    Biomed Pharmacother, 2020 May;125:109784.
    PMID: 32092815 DOI: 10.1016/j.biopha.2019.109784
    Doxorubicin (DOX) is an eff ;ective chemotherapeutic drug to suppress the progression of various types of tumors. However, its clinical application has been largely limited due to its potential cardiotoxicity. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are emerged as critical regulators of cardiac injury. This study was aimed to explore the effects of irigenin (IR), as an isoflavonoid isolated from the rhizome of Belamcanda chinensis, on DOX-induced cardiotoxicity using the in vivo and in vitrostudies. The results indicated that DOX-induced fibrosis, cardiac dysfunction and injury were markedly attenuated by IR through reducing apoptosis, oxidative stress and inflammation in heart tissue samples. Importantly, DOX resulted in a remarkable decrease of miR-425 in heart tissues and cells, which was significantly rescued by IR. Receptor-interacting protein kinase 1 (RIPK1) was discovered to be a direct target of miR-425. DOX induced over-expression of RIPK1 both in vivo and in vitro, which were greatly decreased by IR. Transfection with miR-425 mimic could inhibit RIPK1 expression, whereas reducing miR-425 increased RIPK1 expression levels. In parallel to miR-425 over-expression, RIPK1 knockdown could attenuate apoptosis, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and inflammation in HL-1 cells. However, over-expression of RIPK1 markedly abolished miR-425 mimic-induced apoptosis, ROS accumulation and inflammatory response in DOX-exposed cells. Herein, miR-425 could ameliorate cardiomyocyte injury through directly targeting RIPK1. Furthermore, activation of miR-425 by IR markedly improved DOX-induced cardiotoxicity, and therefore IR could be considered as a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of cardiac injury.
  8. Gurr GM, Lu Z, Zheng X, Xu H, Zhu P, Chen G, et al.
    Nat Plants, 2016 02 22;2:16014.
    PMID: 27249349 DOI: 10.1038/nplants.2016.14
    Global food security requires increased crop productivity to meet escalating demand(1-3). Current food production systems are heavily dependent on synthetic inputs that threaten the environment and human well-being(2,4,5). Biodiversity, for instance, is key to the provision of ecosystem services such as pest control(6,7), but is eroded in conventional agricultural systems. Yet the conservation and reinstatement of biodiversity is challenging(5,8,9), and it remains unclear whether the promotion of biodiversity can reduce reliance on inputs without penalizing yields on a regional scale. Here we present results from multi-site field studies replicated in Thailand, China and Vietnam over a period of four years, in which we grew nectar-producing plants around rice fields, and monitored levels of pest infestation, insecticide use and yields. Compiling the data from all sites, we report that this inexpensive intervention significantly reduced populations of two key pests, reduced insecticide applications by 70%, increased grain yields by 5% and delivered an economic advantage of 7.5%. Additional field studies showed that predators and parasitoids of the main rice pests, together with detritivores, were more abundant in the presence of nectar-producing plants. We conclude that a simple diversification approach, in this case the growth of nectar-producing plants, can contribute to the ecological intensification of agricultural systems.
  9. Xu J, Zheng X, Cheng KK, Chang X, Shen G, Liu M, et al.
    Sci Rep, 2017 03 30;7:45580.
    PMID: 28358020 DOI: 10.1038/srep45580
    Chronic atrophic gastritis (CAG) is a common gastrointestinal disease which has been considered as precancerous lesions of gastric carcinoma. Previously, electro-acupuncture stimulation has been shown to be effective in ameliorating symptoms of CAG. However the underlying mechanism of this beneficial treatment is yet to be established. In the present study, an integrated histopathological examination along with molecular biological assay, as well as 1H NMR analysis of multiple biological samples (urine, serum, stomach, cortex and medulla) were employed to systematically assess the pathology of CAG and therapeutic effect of electro-acupuncture stimulation at Sibai (ST 2), Liangmen (ST 21), and Zusanli (ST 36) acupoints located in the stomach meridian using a rat model of CAG. The current results showed that CAG caused comprehensive metabolic alterations including the TCA cycle, glycolysis, membrane metabolism and catabolism, gut microbiota-related metabolism. On the other hand, electro-acupuncture treatment was found able to normalize a number of CAG-induced metabolomics changes by alleviating membrane catabolism, restoring function of neurotransmitter in brain and partially reverse the CAG-induced perturbation in gut microbiota metabolism. These findings provided new insights into the biochemistry of CAG and mechanism of the therapeutic effect of electro-acupuncture stimulations.
  10. Zheng X, Liao Y, Wang J, Hu S, Rudramurthy GR, Swamy MK, et al.
    PMID: 30524484 DOI: 10.1155/2018/9691085
    Microglial cells, upon hyperactivation, produce proinflammatory cytokines and other oxidative stress mediators causing neuroinflammation, which is associated with the progress of many neurodegenerative diseases. Suppressing the microglial activation has hence been used as an approach for treating such diseases. In this study, the antineuroinflammatory effect of simvastatin was examined in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated rat C6 glioma cells. The cell proliferation and cytotoxic effect of LPS and simvastatin on C6 glioma cells was evaluated by (MTT) assay. Neuroinflammation was induced in differentiated cell lines by treatment with 3.125 μg/mL of LPS for 12 h. Upon induction, the cell lines were treated with different concentrations (3.125, 6.25, 12.5, 25, 50, 100 μM) of simvastatin and incubated in a humidified CO2 incubator for 24 to 48 h. The optimum concentrations of LPS and simvastatin were found to be 3.125 μg/mL and 25 μM, respectively, with a cell viability of more than 90% at 24 h postincubation. Furthermore, proinflammatory marker expression was analyzed by flow cytometry and showed a decrease in interferon-γ, interleukin 6, nuclear factor-κB p65, and tumor necrosis factor-α in simvastatin-treated and LPS-induced neuroinflammatory cells, and the mean fluorescent values were found to be 21.75 ± 0.76, 20.9 ± 1.90, 19.72 ± 1.29, and 16.82 ± 0.97, respectively, as compared to the untreated cells. Thus, we show that simvastatin has the potential to regulate the anti-inflammatory response in microglial cells upon LPS challenge. Hence, simvastatin can be employed as a potent anti-inflammatory drug against neuroinflammatory diseases and neurodegenerative disorders.
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