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  1. Huang B, Zhou N, Chen X, Ong WJ, Li N
    Chemistry, 2018 Dec 10;24(69):18479-18486.
    PMID: 30381861 DOI: 10.1002/chem.201804686
    Developing highly active, non-noble-metal H2 -evolution catalysts is appealing yet still remains a great challenge in the field of electrocatalytic and photocatalytic H2 production. In this work, high quality transition-metal carbonitrides M3 CN (MXene) are investigated using well-defined density functional theory (DFT) calculations. The structural configurations, H-adsorption free energy (ΔGH ) and charge transfer for bare, surface-terminated and transition-metal (TM)-modified M3 CNO2 are systematically studied. The calculated results indicate that all bare transition metal carbonitrides exhibit strong binding between H atom and catalysts. In addition, only Ti3 CNO2 and Nb3 CNO2 have the potential to be HER active catalysts based on the ΔGH results. In an attempt to overcome poor HER activity limitations, we apply O as well as OH mixed groups and TMs modification on the Ti3 CNO2 surface for tuning HER activity, and a significant improvement of HER activity is observed. Overall, this work presents in-depth investigations for transition-metal carbonitrides (MXene) and opens up new designs for robust metal carbonitrides as noble-metal-free cocatalysts for highly efficient and low-cost MXene-based nanocomposites for water splitting applications.
  2. Zhang SX, Looi KH, Li N, Wan X, Li J
    Am J Trop Med Hyg, 2021 Aug 09.
    PMID: 34370702 DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.21-0566
    Wearing a face mask has been a key approach to contain or slow down the spread of COVID-19 in the ongoing pandemic. However, there is huge heterogeneity among individuals in their willingness to wear face masks during an epidemic. This research aims to investigate the individual heterogeneity to wear face masks and its associated predictors during the COVID-19 pandemic when mask-wearing was not mandatory. Based on a survey of 708 Malaysian adults and a multivariate least-squares fitting analysis, the results reveal a significant variance among individuals in wearing masks, as 34% of the individual adults did not always wear masks in public places. Female individuals, individuals who wash their hands more frequently, and those who reported more availability of personal protective equipment were more likely to practice mask-wearing. The identification of less-compliant groups of mask wearing has critical implications by enabling more specific health communication campaigns.
  3. Li N, Wang X, Lu X, Zhang P, Ong WJ
    Chemistry, 2021 Oct 29.
    PMID: 34714582 DOI: 10.1002/chem.202103218
    In this work, a series of non-noble metal single-atom catalysts of Mo2 CS2 -MXene for CO2 reduction were systematically investigated by well-defined density-functional-theory (DFT) calculations. It is found that nine types of transitional metal (TM) supported Mo2 CS2 (TM-Mo2 CS2 ) are very stable, while eight can effectively inhibit the competitive hydrogen evolution reaction (HER). After comprehensively comparing the changes of free energy for each pathway in CO2 reduction reaction (CO2 RR), it is found that the products of TM-Mo2 CS2 are not completely CH4 . Furthermore, Cr-, Fe-, Co- and Ni-Mo2 CS2 are found to render excellent CO2 RR catalytic activity, and their limiting potentials are in the range of 0.245-0.304 V. In particular, Fe-Mo2 CS2 with a nitrogenase-like structure has the lowest limiting potential and the highest electrocatalytic activity. Ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) simulations have also proven that these kinds of single-atom catalysts with robust performance could exist stably at room temperature. Therefore, these single TM atoms anchored on the surface of MXenes can be profiled as a promising catalyst for the electrochemical reduction of CO2 .
  4. Liu J, Tan CSY, Yu Z, Li N, Abell C, Scherman OA
    Adv. Mater. Weinheim, 2017 Jun;29(22).
    PMID: 28370560 DOI: 10.1002/adma.201605325
    Recent progress on highly tough and stretchable polymer networks has highlighted the potential of wearable electronic devices and structural biomaterials such as cartilage. For some given applications, a combination of desirable mechanical properties including stiffness, strength, toughness, damping, fatigue resistance, and self-healing ability is required. However, integrating such a rigorous set of requirements imposes substantial complexity and difficulty in the design and fabrication of these polymer networks, and has rarely been realized. Here, we describe the construction of supramolecular polymer networks through an in situ copolymerization of acrylamide and functional monomers, which are dynamically complexed with the host molecule cucurbit[8]uril (CB[8]). High molecular weight, thus sufficient chain entanglement, combined with a small-amount dynamic CB[8]-mediated non-covalent crosslinking (2.5 mol%), yields extremely stretchable and tough supramolecular polymer networks, exhibiting remarkable self-healing capability at room temperature. These supramolecular polymer networks can be stretched more than 100× their original length and are able to lift objects 2000× their weight. The reversible association/dissociation of the host-guest complexes bestows the networks with remarkable energy dissipation capability, but also facile complete self-healing at room temperature. In addition to their outstanding mechanical properties, the networks are ionically conductive and transparent. The CB[8]-based supramolecular networks are synthetically accessible in large scale and exhibit outstanding mechanical properties. They could readily lead to the promising use as wearable and self-healable electronic devices, sensors and structural biomaterials.
  5. Li Y, Ren J, Li N, Liu J, Tan SC, Low TY, et al.
    Exp Gerontol, 2020 11;141:111110.
    PMID: 33045358 DOI: 10.1016/j.exger.2020.111110
    BACKGROUND: Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) has been aggressively sold as a dietary supplement to boost testosterone levels although the impact of DHEA supplementation on testosterone levels has not been fully established. Therefore, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of RCTs to investigate the effect of oral DHEA supplementation on testosterone levels.

    METHODS: A systematic literature search was performed in Scopus, Embase, Web of Science, and PubMed databases up to February 2020 for RCTs that investigated the effect of DHEA supplementation on testosterone levels. The estimated effect of the data was calculated using the weighted mean difference (WMD). Subgroup analysis was performed to identify the source of heterogeneity among studies.

    RESULTS: Overall results from 42 publications (comprising 55 arms) demonstrated that testosterone level was significantly increased after DHEA administration (WMD: 28.02 ng/dl, 95% CI: 21.44-34.60, p = 0.00). Subgroup analyses revealed that DHEA increased testosterone level in all subgroups, but the magnitude of increment was higher in females compared to men (WMD: 30.98 ng/dl vs. 21.36 ng/dl); DHEA dosage of ˃50 mg/d compared to ≤50 mg/d (WMD: 57.96 ng/dl vs. 19.43 ng/dl); intervention duration of ≤12 weeks compared to ˃12 weeks (WMD: 44.64 ng/dl vs. 19 ng/dl); healthy participants compared to postmenopausal women, pregnant women, non-healthy participants and androgen-deficient patients (WMD: 52.17 ng/dl vs. 25.04 ng/dl, 16.44 ng/dl and 16.47 ng/dl); and participants below 60 years old compared to above 60 years old (WMD: 31.42 ng/dl vs. 23.93 ng/dl).

    CONCLUSION: DHEA supplementation is effective for increasing testosterone levels, although the magnitude varies among different subgroups. More study needed on pregnant women and miscarriage.

  6. Wang D, Tang G, Huang Y, Yu C, Li S, Zhuang L, et al.
    J Med Case Rep, 2015;9:109.
    PMID: 25962780 DOI: 10.1186/s13256-015-0580-1
    Human infection with avian influenza A (H7N9) virus was first reported on March, 2013 in the Yangtze River Delta region of China. The majority of human cases were detected in mainland China; other regions out of mainland China reported imported human cases, including Hong Kong SAR, Taiwan (the Republic of China) and Malaysia, due to human transportation. Here, we report the first human case of H7N9 infection imported into Guizhou Province during the Spring Festival travel season in January 2014.
  7. Sun Y, Chen G, Wang L, Li N, Srisurapanont M, Hong JP, et al.
    Front Psychiatry, 2019;10:321.
    PMID: 31156476 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00321
    Stigma of major depressive disorder (MDD) is an important public health problem. This study aimed to examine the level of perceived stigma and its associated factors in MDD patients in five Asian countries, including China, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. A total of 547 outpatients with MDD were included from Asian countries. We used the stigma scale of the Explanatory Model Interview Catalogue (EMIC) to assess stigma. The Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), Symptoms Checklist 90-Revised (SCL-90-R), Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS), 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), and Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) were used to assess symptoms, clinical features, functional impairment, health status, and social support. The stigma scores of patients under 55 years old were significantly higher than those equal to or greater than 55 years old (P < 0.001). The stigma scores exhibited significant negative correlation with age; MSPSS scores of family, friends, and others; and SF-36 subscale of mental health, but significant positive correlation with MADRS, FSS, SDS, and SCL-90-R subscale scores of depression, interpersonal sensitivity, obsession-compulsion, psychoticism, and somatization. Multivariate regression analysis revealed that age, SCL-90-R interpersonal sensitivity, obsession-compulsion, psychoticism, MSPSS scores of friends and others, and SF-36 of mental health were significantly associated with the level of perceived stigma. These findings suggest that MDD patients who are young, have a high degree of interpersonal sensitivity and psychoticism, have low health-related quality of life, and have low social support are the target population for stigma interventions in Asia.
  8. Xiao K, Zhai J, Feng Y, Zhou N, Zhang X, Zou JJ, et al.
    Nature, 2020 07;583(7815):286-289.
    PMID: 32380510 DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-2313-x
    The current outbreak of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) poses unprecedented challenges to global health1. The new coronavirus responsible for this outbreak-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-shares high sequence identity to SARS-CoV and a bat coronavirus, RaTG132. Although bats may be the reservoir host for a variety of coronaviruses3,4, it remains unknown whether SARS-CoV-2 has additional host species. Here we show that a coronavirus, which we name pangolin-CoV, isolated from a Malayan pangolin has 100%, 98.6%, 97.8% and 90.7% amino acid identity with SARS-CoV-2 in the E, M, N and S proteins, respectively. In particular, the receptor-binding domain of the S protein of pangolin-CoV is almost identical to that of SARS-CoV-2, with one difference in a noncritical amino acid. Our comparative genomic analysis suggests that SARS-CoV-2 may have originated in the recombination of a virus similar to pangolin-CoV with one similar to RaTG13. Pangolin-CoV was detected in 17 out of the 25 Malayan pangolins that we analysed. Infected pangolins showed clinical signs and histological changes, and circulating antibodies against pangolin-CoV reacted with the S protein of SARS-CoV-2. The isolation of a coronavirus from pangolins that is closely related to SARS-CoV-2 suggests that these animals have the potential to act as an intermediate host of SARS-CoV-2. This newly identified coronavirus from pangolins-the most-trafficked mammal in the illegal wildlife trade-could represent a future threat to public health if wildlife trade is not effectively controlled.
  9. Dehghan M, Mente A, Rangarajan S, Mohan V, Lear S, Swaminathan S, et al.
    Am J Clin Nutr, 2020 04 01;111(4):795-803.
    PMID: 31965140 DOI: 10.1093/ajcn/nqz348
    BACKGROUND: Eggs are a rich source of essential nutrients, but they are also a source of dietary cholesterol. Therefore, some guidelines recommend limiting egg consumption. However, there is contradictory evidence on the impact of eggs on diseases, largely based on studies conducted in high-income countries.

    OBJECTIVES: Our aim was to assess the association of egg consumption with blood lipids, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and mortality in large global studies involving populations from low-, middle-, and high-income countries.

    METHODS: We studied 146,011 individuals from 21 countries in the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study. Egg consumption was recorded using country-specific validated FFQs. We also studied 31,544 patients with vascular disease in 2 multinational prospective studies: ONTARGET (Ongoing Telmisartan Alone and in Combination with Ramipril Global End Point Trial) and TRANSCEND (Telmisartan Randomized Assessment Study in ACEI Intolerant Subjects with Cardiovascular Disease). We calculated HRs using multivariable Cox frailty models with random intercepts to account for clustering by study center separately within each study.

    RESULTS: In the PURE study, we recorded 14,700 composite events (8932 deaths and 8477 CVD events). In the PURE study, after excluding those with history of CVD, higher intake of egg (≥7 egg/wk compared with <1 egg/wk intake) was not significantly associated with blood lipids, composite outcome (HR: 0.96; 95% CI: 0.89, 1.04; P-trend = 0.74), total mortality (HR: 1.04; 95% CI: 0.94, 1.15; P-trend = 0.38), or major CVD (HR: 0.92; 95% CI: 0.83, 1.01; P-trend = 0.20). Similar results were observed in ONTARGET/TRANSCEND studies for composite outcome (HR 0.97; 95% CI: 0.76, 1.25; P-trend = 0.09), total mortality (HR: 0.88; 95% CI: 0.62, 1.24; P-trend = 0.55), and major CVD (HR: 0.97; 95% CI: 0.73, 1.29; P-trend = 0.12).

    CONCLUSIONS: In 3 large international prospective studies including ∼177,000 individuals, 12,701 deaths, and 13,658 CVD events from 50 countries in 6 continents, we did not find significant associations between egg intake and blood lipids, mortality, or major CVD events. The ONTARGET and TRANSCEND trials were registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00153101. The PURE trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT03225586.

  10. Easton DF, Lesueur F, Decker B, Michailidou K, Li J, Allen J, et al.
    J Med Genet, 2016 05;53(5):298-309.
    PMID: 26921362 DOI: 10.1136/jmedgenet-2015-103529
    BACKGROUND: BRCA1 interacting protein C-terminal helicase 1 (BRIP1) is one of the Fanconi Anaemia Complementation (FANC) group family of DNA repair proteins. Biallelic mutations in BRIP1 are responsible for FANC group J, and previous studies have also suggested that rare protein truncating variants in BRIP1 are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. These studies have led to inclusion of BRIP1 on targeted sequencing panels for breast cancer risk prediction.

    METHODS: We evaluated a truncating variant, p.Arg798Ter (rs137852986), and 10 missense variants of BRIP1, in 48 144 cases and 43 607 controls of European origin, drawn from 41 studies participating in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC). Additionally, we sequenced the coding regions of BRIP1 in 13 213 cases and 5242 controls from the UK, 1313 cases and 1123 controls from three population-based studies as part of the Breast Cancer Family Registry, and 1853 familial cases and 2001 controls from Australia.

    RESULTS: The rare truncating allele of rs137852986 was observed in 23 cases and 18 controls in Europeans in BCAC (OR 1.09, 95% CI 0.58 to 2.03, p=0.79). Truncating variants were found in the sequencing studies in 34 cases (0.21%) and 19 controls (0.23%) (combined OR 0.90, 95% CI 0.48 to 1.70, p=0.75).

    CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that truncating variants in BRIP1, and in particular p.Arg798Ter, are not associated with a substantial increase in breast cancer risk. Such observations have important implications for the reporting of results from breast cancer screening panels.

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