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  1. Amini S, Alias H, Aizat-Juhari MA, Mat-Isa MN, Adam JH, Goh HH, et al.
    Genom Data, 2017 Dec;14:5-6.
    PMID: 28761813 DOI: 10.1016/j.gdata.2017.07.008
    Rafflesia cantleyi, known as one of the world's largest flowers, is a specialised holoparasite due to dramatic morphological modifications. It possesses highly reduced vegetative structure and only appears as a flower for sexual reproduction. Moreover, it has an unusual life cycle in that its floral bud development takes up to nine months. In order to fully understand the highly modified floral organ structure and long life cycle of R. cantleyi, we used Illumina sequencing technology (HiSeq) for sequence generation followed by de novo assembly of sequence reads. We obtained the RNA-seq data from three different stages of floral bud, representing the early, mid and advanced developmental stages. These data are available via BioProject accession number PRJNA378435. More than 10.3 Gb raw sequence data were generated, corresponding to 102,203,042 raw reads. Following removal of low-quality reads and trimming of adapter sequences, a total of 91,638,836 reads were obtained. De novo assembly of these sequences using Trinity resulted in 89,690 unique transcripts with an N50 of 1653 bp. The obtained transcriptomic data will be useful for further study to understand the molecular interactions that result in R. cantleyi floral development.
  2. Amini S, Rosli K, Abu-Bakar MF, Alias H, Mat-Isa MN, Juhari MA, et al.
    PLoS One, 2019;14(12):e0226338.
    PMID: 31851702 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0226338
    Rafflesia possesses unique biological features and known primarily for producing the world's largest and existing as a single flower. However, to date, little is known about key regulators participating in Rafflesia flower development. In order to further understand the molecular mechanism that regulates Rafflesia cantleyi flower development, RNA-seq data from three developmental stages of floral bud, representing the floral organ primordia initiation, floral organ differentiation, and floral bud outgrowth, were analysed. A total of 89,890 transcripts were assembled of which up to 35% could be annotated based on homology search. Advanced transcriptome analysis using K-mean clustering on the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) was able to identify 12 expression clusters that reflect major trends and key transitional states, which correlate to specific developmental stages. Through this, comparative gene expression analysis of different floral bud stages identified various transcription factors related to flower development. The members of WRKY, NAC, bHLH, and MYB families are the most represented among the DEGs, suggesting their important function in flower development. Furthermore, pathway enrichment analysis also revealed DEGs that are involved in various phytohormone signal transduction events such as auxin and auxin transport, cytokinin and gibberellin biosynthesis. Results of this study imply that transcription factors and phytohormone signalling pathways play major role in Rafflesia floral bud development. This study provides an invaluable resource for molecular studies of the flower development process in Rafflesia and other plant species.
  3. Burstein R, Henry NJ, Collison ML, Marczak LB, Sligar A, Watson S, et al.
    Nature, 2019 10;574(7778):353-358.
    PMID: 31619795 DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-1545-0
    Since 2000, many countries have achieved considerable success in improving child survival, but localized progress remains unclear. To inform efforts towards United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3.2-to end preventable child deaths by 2030-we need consistently estimated data at the subnational level regarding child mortality rates and trends. Here we quantified, for the period 2000-2017, the subnational variation in mortality rates and number of deaths of neonates, infants and children under 5 years of age within 99 low- and middle-income countries using a geostatistical survival model. We estimated that 32% of children under 5 in these countries lived in districts that had attained rates of 25 or fewer child deaths per 1,000 live births by 2017, and that 58% of child deaths between 2000 and 2017 in these countries could have been averted in the absence of geographical inequality. This study enables the identification of high-mortality clusters, patterns of progress and geographical inequalities to inform appropriate investments and implementations that will help to improve the health of all populations.
  4. Global Burden of Disease Cancer Collaboration, Fitzmaurice C, Abate D, Abbasi N, Abbastabar H, Abd-Allah F, et al.
    JAMA Oncol, 2019 12 01;5(12):1749-1768.
    PMID: 31560378 DOI: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.2996
    Importance: Cancer and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are now widely recognized as a threat to global development. The latest United Nations high-level meeting on NCDs reaffirmed this observation and also highlighted the slow progress in meeting the 2011 Political Declaration on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases and the third Sustainable Development Goal. Lack of situational analyses, priority setting, and budgeting have been identified as major obstacles in achieving these goals. All of these have in common that they require information on the local cancer epidemiology. The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study is uniquely poised to provide these crucial data.

    Objective: To describe cancer burden for 29 cancer groups in 195 countries from 1990 through 2017 to provide data needed for cancer control planning.

    Evidence Review: We used the GBD study estimation methods to describe cancer incidence, mortality, years lived with disability, years of life lost, and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs). Results are presented at the national level as well as by Socio-demographic Index (SDI), a composite indicator of income, educational attainment, and total fertility rate. We also analyzed the influence of the epidemiological vs the demographic transition on cancer incidence.

    Findings: In 2017, there were 24.5 million incident cancer cases worldwide (16.8 million without nonmelanoma skin cancer [NMSC]) and 9.6 million cancer deaths. The majority of cancer DALYs came from years of life lost (97%), and only 3% came from years lived with disability. The odds of developing cancer were the lowest in the low SDI quintile (1 in 7) and the highest in the high SDI quintile (1 in 2) for both sexes. In 2017, the most common incident cancers in men were NMSC (4.3 million incident cases); tracheal, bronchus, and lung (TBL) cancer (1.5 million incident cases); and prostate cancer (1.3 million incident cases). The most common causes of cancer deaths and DALYs for men were TBL cancer (1.3 million deaths and 28.4 million DALYs), liver cancer (572 000 deaths and 15.2 million DALYs), and stomach cancer (542 000 deaths and 12.2 million DALYs). For women in 2017, the most common incident cancers were NMSC (3.3 million incident cases), breast cancer (1.9 million incident cases), and colorectal cancer (819 000 incident cases). The leading causes of cancer deaths and DALYs for women were breast cancer (601 000 deaths and 17.4 million DALYs), TBL cancer (596 000 deaths and 12.6 million DALYs), and colorectal cancer (414 000 deaths and 8.3 million DALYs).

    Conclusions and Relevance: The national epidemiological profiles of cancer burden in the GBD study show large heterogeneities, which are a reflection of different exposures to risk factors, economic settings, lifestyles, and access to care and screening. The GBD study can be used by policy makers and other stakeholders to develop and improve national and local cancer control in order to achieve the global targets and improve equity in cancer care.

  5. James SL, Castle CD, Dingels ZV, Fox JT, Hamilton EB, Liu Z, et al.
    Inj Prev, 2020 10;26(Supp 1):i96-i114.
    PMID: 32332142 DOI: 10.1136/injuryprev-2019-043494
    BACKGROUND: Past research in population health trends has shown that injuries form a substantial burden of population health loss. Regular updates to injury burden assessments are critical. We report Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2017 Study estimates on morbidity and mortality for all injuries.

    METHODS: We reviewed results for injuries from the GBD 2017 study. GBD 2017 measured injury-specific mortality and years of life lost (YLLs) using the Cause of Death Ensemble model. To measure non-fatal injuries, GBD 2017 modelled injury-specific incidence and converted this to prevalence and years lived with disability (YLDs). YLLs and YLDs were summed to calculate disability-adjusted life years (DALYs).

    FINDINGS: In 1990, there were 4 260 493 (4 085 700 to 4 396 138) injury deaths, which increased to 4 484 722 (4 332 010 to 4 585 554) deaths in 2017, while age-standardised mortality decreased from 1079 (1073 to 1086) to 738 (730 to 745) per 100 000. In 1990, there were 354 064 302 (95% uncertainty interval: 338 174 876 to 371 610 802) new cases of injury globally, which increased to 520 710 288 (493 430 247 to 547 988 635) new cases in 2017. During this time, age-standardised incidence decreased non-significantly from 6824 (6534 to 7147) to 6763 (6412 to 7118) per 100 000. Between 1990 and 2017, age-standardised DALYs decreased from 4947 (4655 to 5233) per 100 000 to 3267 (3058 to 3505).

    INTERPRETATION: Injuries are an important cause of health loss globally, though mortality has declined between 1990 and 2017. Future research in injury burden should focus on prevention in high-burden populations, improving data collection and ensuring access to medical care.

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