This is a survey on the present status of assisted reproductive technology in the Asia-Oceanic region. The survey formats were sent to the 19-member societies of AOFOG. By the end of August 1991, 11 countries responded: Australia, Egypt, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Republic of China, Singapore and Thailand. This report is a summary of data from 12 countries including Korea. It comprised of 14 headings: IVF, GIFT, AIH, AID, donor sperm in ART, donor eggs in ART, preembryos from IVF for donation, cryopreservation of eggs, cryopreservation of fertilized eggs and preembryos, research of preembryos, surrogate mothers, additional procedures, quality assurance in reproductive technology and formation of policy for emerging reproductive technology. Each heading is composed of status of regulations, cost and coverage and the results and management of program.
Sauropus androgymus (SA), a vegetable of the Euphorbiaceae family, is a common food source in Malaysia. In Taiwan, over 30 patients have developed progressive respiratory failure after consuming the extract from raw SA leaves as a means of losing weight. Symptoms consistent with a severe obstructive ventilatory defect progressed, despite cessation of SA intake and treatment with bronchodilators, corticosteroids, cytotoxic agents and plasmaphresis. Five patients with end-stage Sauropus androgynus-induced bronchiolitis obliterans (SABO) syndrome underwent lung transplantation. There was no early mortality. One patient died of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder and another patient died of bronchial stenosis with infection, 5 and 3.5 months, respectively, post-transplantation. The remaining 3 patients have been followed from 29 to 34 months, with improved general condition and pulmonary function. Perfusion/ventilation scans revealed that these improvements were exclusively attributed to the functional grafts. We believe that lung transplantation is the only effective modality of treatment for patients with end-stage SABO syndrome.
To discuss the cold resistance performance of different Herba Rhodiolae and successfully transplant Herba Rhodiolae to the Gansu plateau area for nursing, domestication and planting, this paper systematically studies six physiological and biochemical features of Rhodiola kirilowii, Rhodiola algida, Rhodiola crenulata and Herba Rhodiolae that are closely associated with cold resistance features and concludes with the cold resistance capability of Rhodiola kirilowii. In the selected six main indexes of the Herba Rhodiolae, the POD, SOD and CAT activity and MDA and Pro content in the leaf are the main physiological and biochemical indexes to indicate the cold resistance performance of four Herba Rhodiolae seedlings and can be regarded as the preliminary indexes to assess the winter performance of Herba Rhodiolae. The research work will provide the theoretical basis for the wild variants of Herba Rhodiolae and GAPJ base construction.
Ovarian cancer starts in the ovaries in its earlier stages and then spreads to the pelvis, uterus, and abdominal region. The success of an ovarian cancer treatment depends on the stage of the cancer and the diagnostic system. Squamous cell carcinoma antigen (SCC-Ag) is one of the most efficient cancer biomarkers, and elevated levels of SCC-Ag in ovarian cancer cells have been used to identify ovarian cancer. Carbon is a potential material for biosensing applications due to its thermal, electrical, and physical properties. Multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) are carbon-based materials that can be used here to detect SCC-Ag. Anti-SCC-Ag antibody was immobilized on the amine-modified MWCNT dielectric sensing surface to detect SCC-Ag. The uniformity of the surface structure was measured with a 3D nanoprofiler, and the results confirmed the detection of SCC-Ag at ∼80 pM. The specific detection of SCC-Ag was confirmed with two control proteins (factor IX and human serum albumin), and the system did not show biofouling. This experimental set-up with MWCNTs a dielectric sensing surface can lead to the detection of ovarian cancer in its initial stages.
To identify seasonal fluxes and sources of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) wet deposition, concentrations and δ15N signatures of nitrate (NO3-) and ammonium (NH4+) in wet precipitation were measured at four typical land-use types in the Three Gorges reservoir (TGR) area of southwest China for a one-year period. Higher DIN fluxes were recorded in spring and summer and their total fluxes (averaged 7.58 kg N ha-1) were similar to the critical loads in aquatic ecosystems. Significant differences of precipitation δ15N were observed for NH4+-N between town and wetland sites in spring and between urban and rural sites in summer. For NO3--N, significant differences of precipitation δ15N were observed between town and rural sites in spring and between urban and town sites in autumn, respectively. Quantitative results of NO3--N sources showed that both biomass burning and coal combustion had higher fluxes at the urban site especially in winter (0.18 ± 0.09 and 0.19 ± 0.08 kg N ha-1), which were about three times higher than those at the town site. A similar finding was observed for soil emission and vehicle exhausts in winter. On the whole, DIN wet deposition averaged at 12.13 kg N ha-1 yr-1 with the urban site as the hotspot (17.50 kg N ha-1 yr-1) and regional NO3--N fluxes had a seasonal pattern with minimum values in winter. The contribution to NO3--N wet deposition from biomass burning was 26.1 ± 14.1%, which is the second dominant factor lower than coal combustion (26.5 ± 12.6%) in the TGR area during spring and summer. Hence N emission reduction from biomass burning, coal combustion and vehicle exhausts should be strengthened especially in spring and summer to effectively manage DIN pollution for the sustainable development in TGR area.
The current differentiation process of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) into cardiomyocytes to enhance the purity of hPSC-derived cardiomyocytes requires some purification processes, which are laborious processes. We developed cell sorting plates, which are prepared from coating thermoresponsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) and extracellular matrix proteins. After hPSCs were induced into cardiomyocytes on the thermoresponsive surface coated with laminin-521 for 15 days, the temperature of the cell culture plates was decreased to 8-9 °C to detach the cells partially from the thermoresponsive surface. The detached cells exhibited a higher cardiomyocyte marker of cTnT than the remaining cells on the thermoresponsive surface as well as the cardiomyocytes after purification using conventional cell selection. The detached cells expressed several cardiomyocyte markers, such as α-actinin, MLC2a and NKX2.5. This study suggested that the purification of hPSC-derived cardiomyocytes using cell sorting plates with the thermoresponsive surface is a promising method for the purification of hPSC-derived cardiomyocytes without conventional laborious processes.
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) provide a platform to obtain patient-specific cells for use as a cell source in regenerative medicine. Although iPSCs do not have the ethical concerns of embryonic stem cells, iPSCs have not been widely used in clinical applications, as they are generated by gene transduction. Recently, iPSCs have been generated without the use of genetic material. For example, protein-induced PSCs and chemically induced PSCs have been generated by the use of small and large (protein) molecules. Several epigenetic characteristics are important for cell differentiation; therefore, several small-molecule inhibitors of epigenetic-modifying enzymes, such as DNA methyltransferases, histone deacetylases, histone methyltransferases, and histone demethylases, are potential candidates for the reprogramming of somatic cells into iPSCs. In this review, we discuss what types of small chemical or large (protein) molecules could be used to replace the viral transduction of genes and/or genetic reprogramming to obtain human iPSCs.
Epidemics of enterovirus 71 infections caused the rapid death of many children in Malaysia in 1997 and in Taiwan in 1998. Pulmonary edema occurred in most of the fatal cases and was considered to be neurogenic. The role of the heart was rarely investigated before. Between January 1998-January 2001, 34 consecutive patients who were admitted to the intensive care unit due to enterovirus infection were studied prospectively. Patients were divided into two groups: group I with pulmonary edema, and group II without pulmonary edema. Comparisons were made between the two groups based upon demographic, neurological, and cardiovascular manifestations. Group I consisted of 11 patients (5 boys, 6 girls; mean age, 22.8 months), and group II of 23 patients (12 boys, 11 girls; mean age, 28.8 months). There were no significant differences between the two groups in comparing sex, age, body weight, neurological severity, intracranial pressure, cell count, protein and glucose levels in cerebral spinal fluid, and blood pressure. All group I patients had left ventricular dysfunction, and their ejection fractions were significantly lower than those of patients in group II (37 +/- 11% vs. 75 +/- 6%, P < 0.001). Group I heart rates were higher than those of group II (175 +/- 24 vs. 137 +/- 25, P < 0.001). In group I, 9 patients who received conventional treatment died, and the only two survivors received left ventricular assist devices. In conclusion, the pulmonary edema of fulminant enterovirus 71 infection is associated with left ventricular failure. Left ventricular function is the major determinant of outcome. Early recognition of heart failure and aggressive cardiac intervention are life-saving. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2003; 35:263-268.
Current xeno-free and chemically defined methods for the differentiation of hPSCs (human pluripotent stem cells) into cardiomyocytes are not efficient and are sometimes not reproducible. Therefore, it is necessary to develop reliable and efficient methods for the differentiation of hPSCs into cardiomyocytes for future use in cardiovascular research related to drug discovery, cardiotoxicity screening, and disease modeling. We evaluated two representative differentiation methods that were reported previously, and we further developed original, more efficient methods for the differentiation of hPSCs into cardiomyocytes under xeno-free, chemically defined conditions. The developed protocol successively differentiated hPSCs into cardiomyocytes, approximately 90-97% of which expressed the cardiac marker cTnT, with beating speeds and sarcomere lengths that were similar to those of a healthy adult human heart. The optimal cell culture biomaterials for the cardiac differentiation of hPSCs were also evaluated using extracellular matrix-mimetic material-coated dishes. Synthemax II-coated and Laminin-521-coated dishes were found to be the most effective and efficient biomaterials for the cardiac differentiation of hPSCs according to the observation of hPSC-derived cardiomyocytes with high survival ratios, high beating colony numbers, a similar beating frequency to that of a healthy adult human heart, high purity levels (high cTnT expression) and longer sarcomere lengths similar to those of a healthy adult human heart.
In this study, three soil amendments (inorganic, liming, or organic-inorganic materials) were used in a Cd-contaminated purple field soil to investigate their impacts on soil Cd availability, enzyme (urease, catalase, sucrase, and acid phosphatase) activities, microbial biomass (carbon/nitrogen) and type (bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes) in mustard and corn trials. Results showed that soil amendments generally decreased soil exchangeable Cd, fungi and bacterial populations while increasing the activities of all the four soil enzymes tested, microbial biomass carbon and populations of actinomycetes (p 0.05) whereas stronger effects appeared in soil organic matter and available nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium; p
With the population growth, urbanization and industrialization, China has become a hotspot of atmospheric deposition nitrogen (ADN), which is a threat to ecosystem and food safety. However, the impacts of increased ADN on rice growth and grain metal content are little studied. Based on previous long-term ADN studies, greenhouse experiment was conducted with four simulated ADN rates of 0, 30, 60 and 90 kg N ha-1 yr-1 (CK, N1, N2 and N3 as δ15N, respectively) to assess rice growth and metal uptake in a red soil ecosystem of southeast China during 2016-2017. Results showed that simulated ADN could promote rice growth and increase yields by 15.68-24.41% (except N2) and accumulations of cadmium (Cd) or copper (Cu) in organs. However, there was no linear relationship between ADN rate and rice growth or Cd or Cu uptake. The 15N-ADN was mainly accumulated in roots (21.31-67.86%) and grains (25.26-49.35%), while Cd and Cu were primarily accumulated in roots (78.86-93.44% and 90.00-96.24%, respectively). 15N-ADN and Cd accumulations in roots were significantly different between the two growing seasons (p
Particle size and surface chemistry are potential determinants of silver nanoparticle (AgNP) respiratory toxicity that may also depend on the lung inflammatory state. We compared the effects of intratracheally-administered AgNPs (20 nm and 110 nm; polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) and citrate-capped; 0.1 mg/Kg) in Brown-Norway (BN) and Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. In BN rats, there was both a neutrophilic and eosinophilic response, while in SD rats, there was a neutrophilic response at day 1, greatest for the 20 nm citrate-capped AgNPs. Eosinophilic cationic protein was increased in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) in BN and SD rats on day 1. BAL protein and malondialdehyde levels were increased in BN rats at 1 and 7 days, and BAL KC, CCL11 and IL-13 levels at day 1, with increased expression of CCL11 in lung tissue. Pulmonary resistance increased and compliance decreased at day 1, with persistence at day 7. The 20 nm, but not the 110 nm, AgNPs increased bronchial hyperresponsiveness on day 1, which continued at day 7 for the citrate-capped AgNPs only. The 20 nm versus the 110 nm size were more proinflammatory in terms of neutrophil influx, but there was little difference between the citrate-capped versus the PVP-capped AgNPs. AgNPs can induce pulmonary eosinophilic and neutrophilic inflammation with bronchial hyperresponsiveness, features characteristic of asthma.
Human adipose-derived stem cells (hADSCs) exhibit heterogeneous characteristics, indicating various genotypes and differentiation abilities. The isolated hADSCs can possess different purity levels and divergent properties depending on the purification methods used. We developed a hybrid-membrane migration method that purifies hADSCs from a fat tissue solution with extremely high purity and pluripotency. A primary fat-tissue solution was permeated through the porous membranes with a pore size from 8 to 25 μm, and the membranes were incubated in cell culture medium for 15-18 days. The hADSCs that migrated from the membranes contained an extremely high percentage (e.g., >98%) of cells positive for mesenchymal stem cell markers and showed almost one order of magnitude higher expression of some pluripotency genes (Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and Nanog) compared with cells isolated using the conventional culture method.
CONTEXT: Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, both overt and subclinical, are associated with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. The association between thyroid hormones and mortality in euthyroid individuals, however, is unclear.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the prospective association between thyroid hormones levels within normal ranges and mortality endpoints.
SETTING AND DESIGN: A prospective cohort study of 212 456 middle-aged South Korean men and women who had normal thyroid hormone levels and no history of thyroid disease at baseline from January 1, 2002 to December 31, 2009. Free T4 (FT4), free T3 (FT3), and TSH levels were measured by RIA. Vital status and cause of death ascertainment were based on linkage to the National Death Index death certificate records.
RESULTS: After a median follow-up of 4.3 years, 730 participants died (335 deaths from cancer and 112 cardiovascular-related deaths). FT4 was inversely associated with all-cause mortality (HR = 0.77, 95% confidence interval 0.63-0.95, comparing the highest vs lowest quartile of FT4; P for linear trend = .01), and FT3 was inversely associated cancer mortality (HR = 0.62, 95% confidence interval 0.45-0.85; P for linear trend = .001). TSH was not associated with mortality endpoints.
CONCLUSIONS: In a large cohort of euthyroid men and women, FT4 and FT3 levels within the normal range were inversely associated with the risk of all-cause mortality and cancer mortality, particularly liver cancer mortality.
The purification of human adipose-derived stem cells (hADSCs) from human adipose tissue cells (stromal vascular fraction) was investigated using membrane filtration through poly(lactide-co-glycolic acid)/silk screen hybrid membranes. Membrane filtration methods are attractive in regenerative medicine because they reduce the time required to purify hADSCs (i.e., less than 30 min) compared with conventional culture methods, which require 5-12 days. hADSCs expressing the mesenchymal stem cell markers CD44, CD73, and CD90 were concentrated in the permeation solution from the hybrid membranes. Expression of the surface markers CD44, CD73, and CD99 on the cells in the permeation solution from the hybrid membranes, which were obtained using 18 mL of feed solution containing 50 × 10⁴ cells, was statistically significantly higher than that of the primary adipose tissue cells, indicating that the hADSCs can be purified in the permeation solution by the membrane filtration method. Cells expressing the stem cell-associated marker CD34 could be successfully isolated in the permeation solution, whereas CD34⁺ cells could not be purified by the conventional culture method. The hADSCs in the permeation solution demonstrated a superior capacity for osteogenic differentiation based on their alkali phosphatase activity, their osterix gene expression, and the results of mineralization analysis by Alizarin Red S and von Kossa staining compared with the cells from the suspension of human adipose tissue. These results suggest that the hADSCs capable of osteogenic differentiation preferentially permeate through the hybrid membranes.
The purpose of this study was to compare the coronary artery calcium (CAC) scores of metabolically-healthy obese (MHO) and metabolically healthy normal-weight individuals in a large sample of apparently healthy men and women.
OBJECTIVE: Overt and subclinical hypothyroidism are risk factors for atherosclerosis. It is unclear whether thyroid hormone levels within the normal range are also associated with atherosclerosis measured by coronary artery calcium (CAC).
APPROACH AND RESULTS: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 41 403 apparently healthy young and middle-aged men and women with normal thyroid hormone levels. Free thyroxin, free triiodothyronine, and thyroid-stimulating hormone levels were measured by electrochemiluminescent immunoassay. CAC score was measured by multidetector computed tomography. The multivariable adjusted CAC ratios comparing the highest versus the lowest quartile of thyroid hormones were 0.74 (95% confidence interval, 0.60-0.91; P for trend <0.001) for free thyroxin, 0.81 (0.66-1.00; P for trend=0.05) for free triiodothyronine, and 0.78 (0.64-0.95; P for trend=0.01) for thyroid-stimulating hormone. Similarly, the odds ratios for detectable CAC (CAC >0) comparing the highest versus the lowest quartiles of thyroid hormones were 0.87 (0.79-0.96; P for linear trend <0.001) for free thyroxin, 0.90 (0.82-0.99; P for linear trend=0.02) for free triiodothyronine, and 0.91 (0.83-1.00; P for linear trend=0.03) for thyroid-stimulating hormone.
CONCLUSIONS: In a large cohort of apparently healthy young and middle-aged euthyroid men and women, low-normal free thyroxin and thyroid-stimulating hormone were associated with a higher prevalence of subclinical coronary artery disease and with a greater degree of coronary calcification.
KEYWORDS: thyroid hormones; thyrotropin; thyroxine; triiodothyronine
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association between brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV), a convenient, non-radiating, readily available measurement of arterial stiffness, and coronary artery calcium (CAC), a reliable marker of coronary atherosclerosis, in a large sample of young and middle-aged asymptomatic adults; and to assess the incremental value of baPWV for detecting prevalent CAC beyond traditional risk factors.
METHODS: Cross-sectional study of 15,185 asymptomatic Korean adults who voluntarily underwent a comprehensive health screening program including measurement of baPWV and CAC. BaPWV was measured using an oscillometric method with cuffs placed on both arms and ankles. CAC burden was assessed using a multi-detector CT scan and scored following Agatston's method.
RESULTS: The prevalence of CAC > 0 and CAC > 100 increased across baPWV quintiles. The multivariable-adjusted odds ratios (95% CI) for CAC > 0 comparing baPWV quintiles 2-5 versus quintile 1 were 1.06 (0.87-1.30), 1.24 (1.02-1.50), 1.39 (1.15-1.69) and 1.60 (1.31-1.96), respectively (P trend < 0.001). Similarly, the relative prevalence ratios for CAC > 100 were 1.30 (0.74-2.26), 1.59 (0.93-2.71), 1.74 (1.03-2.94) and 2.59 (1.54-4.36), respectively (P trend < 0.001). For CAC > 100, the area under the ROC curve for baPWV alone was 0.71 (0.68-0.74), and the addition of baPWV to traditional risk factors significantly improved the discrimination and calibration of models for detecting prevalent CAC > 0 and CAC > 100.
CONCLUSIONS: BaPWV was independently associated with the presence and severity of CAC in a large sample of young and middle-aged asymptomatic adults. BaPWV may be a valuable tool for identifying apparently low-risk individuals with increased burden of coronary atherosclerosis.
KEYWORDS: Arterial stiffness; Atherosclerosis; Coronary artery calcium; Pulse wave velocity; Subclinical disease