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  1. Luo D, Ibrahim Z, Ma J, Ismail Z, Iseley DT
    Sensors (Basel), 2016 Dec 16;16(12).
    PMID: 27999245 DOI: 10.3390/s16122149
    In this study, tapered polymer fiber sensors (TPFSs) have been employed to detect the vibration of a reinforced concrete beam (RC beam). The sensing principle was based on transmission modes theory. The natural frequency of an RC beam was theoretically analyzed. Experiments were carried out with sensors mounted on the surface or embedded in the RC beam. Vibration detection results agreed well with Kistler accelerometers. The experimental results found that both the accelerometer and TPFS detected the natural frequency function of a vibrated RC beam well. The mode shapes of the RC beam were also found by using the TPFSs. The proposed vibration detection method provides a cost-comparable solution for a structural health monitoring (SHM) system in civil engineering.
  2. Luo D, Li P, Yue Y, Ma J, Yang H
    Sensors (Basel), 2017 May 04;17(5).
    PMID: 28471372 DOI: 10.3390/s17050962
    The protection of concrete structures against corrosion in marine environments has always been a challenge due to the presence of a saline solution-A natural corrosive agent to the concrete paste and steel reinforcements. The concentration of salt is a key parameter influencing the rate of corrosion. In this paper, we propose an optical fiber-based salinity sensor based on bundled multimode plastic optical fiber (POF) as a sensor probe and a concave mirror as a reflector in conjunction with an intensity modulation technique. A refractive index (RI) sensing approach is analytically investigated and the findings are in agreement with the experimental results. A maximum sensitivity of 14,847.486/RIU can be achieved at RI = 1.3525. The proposed technique is suitable for in situ measurement and monitoring of salinity in liquid.
  3. Qureshi MI, Rasli AM, Awan U, Ma J, Ali G, Faridullah, et al.
    Environ Sci Pollut Res Int, 2015 Mar;22(5):3467-76.
    PMID: 25242593 DOI: 10.1007/s11356-014-3584-2
    The objective of the study is to establish the link between air pollution, fossil fuel energy consumption, industrialization, alternative and nuclear energy, combustible renewable and wastes, urbanization, and resulting impact on health services in Malaysia. The study employed two-stage least square regression technique on the time series data from 1975 to 2012 to possibly minimize the problem of endogeniety in the health services model. The results in general show that air pollution and environmental indicators act as a strong contributor to influence Malaysian health services. Urbanization and nuclear energy consumption both significantly increases the life expectancy in Malaysia, while fertility rate decreases along with the increasing urbanization in a country. Fossil fuel energy consumption and industrialization both have an indirect relationship with the infant mortality rate, whereas, carbon dioxide emissions have a direct relationship with the sanitation facility in a country. The results conclude that balancing the air pollution, environment, and health services needs strong policy vistas on the end of the government officials.
  4. Tao L, Ma J, Kunisue T, Libelo EL, Tanabe S, Kannan K
    Environ. Sci. Technol., 2008 Nov 15;42(22):8597-602.
    PMID: 19068854
    The occurrence of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in human blood is known to be widespread; nevertheless, the sources of exposure to humans, including infants, are not well understood. In this study, breast milk collected from seven countries in Asia was analyzed (n=184) for nine PFCs, including perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA). In addition, five brands of infant formula (n=21) and 11 brands of dairy milk (n=12) collected from retail stores in the United States were analyzed, for comparison with PFC concentrations previously reported for breast milk from the U.S. PFOS was the predominant PFC detected in almost all Asian breast milk samples, followed by perfluorohexanesulfonate (PFHxS) and PFOA. Median concentrations of PFOS in breast milk from Asian countries varied significantly;the lowest concentration of 39.4 pg/mL was found in India, and the highest concentration of 196 pg/mL was found in Japan. The measured concentrations were similarto or less than the concentrations previously reported from Sweden, the United States, and Germany (median, 106-166 pg/mL). PFHxS was found in more than 70% of the samples analyzed from Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, and Vietnam, at mean concentrations ranging from 6.45 (Malaysia) to 15.8 (Philippines) pg/mL PFOA was found frequently only in samples from Japan; the mean concentration for that country was 77.7 pg/mL. None of the PFCs were detected in the infant-formula or dairy-milk samples from the U.S. except a few samples that contained concentrations close to the limit of detection. The estimated average daily intake of PFOS by infants from seven Asian countries, via breastfeeding, was 11.8 +/- 10.6 ng/kg bw/ day; this value is 7-12 times higher than the estimated adult dietary intakes previously reported from Germany, Canada, and Spain. The average daily intake of PFOA by Japanese infants was 9.6 +/- 4.9 ng/kg bw/day, a value 3-10 times greater than the estimated adult dietary intakes reported from Germany and Canada. The highest estimated daily intakes of PFOS and PFOA by infants from seven Asian countries studied were 1-2 orders of magnitude below the tolerable daily intake values recommended by the U.K. Food Standards Agency.
  5. Yang F, Xu X, Wang W, Ma J, Wei D, He P, et al.
    PLoS ONE, 2017;12(5):e0177509.
    PMID: 28498839 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0177509
    Estimating balanced nutrient requirements for soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merr) in China is essential for identifying optimal fertilizer application regimes to increase soybean yield and nutrient use efficiency. We collected datasets from field experiments in major soybean planting regions of China between 2001 and 2015 to assess the relationship between soybean seed yield and nutrient uptake, and to estimate nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) requirements for a target yield of soybean using the quantitative evaluation of the fertility of tropical soils (QUEFTS) model. The QUEFTS model predicted a linear-parabolic-plateau curve for the balanced nutrient uptake with a target yield increased from 3.0 to 6.0 t ha-1 and the linear part was continuing until the yield reached about 60-70% of the potential yield. To produce 1000 kg seed of soybean in China, 55.4 kg N, 7.9 kg P, and 20.1 kg K (N:P:K = 7:1:2.5) were required in the above-ground parts, and the corresponding internal efficiencies (IE, kg seed yield per kg nutrient uptake) were 18.1, 126.6, and 49.8 kg seed per kg N, P, and K, respectively. The QUEFTS model also simulated that a balanced N, P, and K removal by seed which were 48.3, 5.9, and 12.2 kg per 1000 kg seed, respectively, accounting for 87.1%, 74.1%, and 60.8% of the total above-ground parts, respectively. These results were conducive to make fertilizer recommendations that improve the seed yield of soybean and avoid excessive or deficient nutrient supplies. Field validation indicated that the QUEFTS model could be used to estimate nutrient requirements which help develop fertilizer recommendations for soybean.
  6. Huang W, Chen X, Guan Q, Zhong Z, Ma J, Yang B, et al.
    Gene, 2019 Mar 20;689:43-50.
    PMID: 30528270 DOI: 10.1016/j.gene.2018.11.083
    Atmospheric CO2 level is one of the most important factors which affect plant growth and crop production. Although many crucial genes and pathways have been identified in response to atmospheric CO2 changes, the integrated and precise mechanisms of plant CO2 response are not well understood. Alternative splicing (AS) is an important gene regulation process that affects many biological processes in plants. However, the AS pattern changes in plants in response to elevated CO2 levels have not yet been investigated. Here, we used RNA-Seq data of Arabidopsis thaliana grown under different CO2 concentration to analyze the global changes in AS. We found that AS increased with the rise in CO2 concentration. Additionally, we identified 345 differentially expressed (DE) genes and 251 differentially alternative splicing (DAS) genes under the elevated CO2 condition. Moreover, the results showed that the expression of most of the DAS genes did not change significantly, indicating that AS can serve as an independent mechanism for gene regulation in response to elevated CO2. Furthermore, our analysis of function categories revealed that the DAS genes were associated mainly with the stimulus response. Overall, this the first study to explore the changes of AS in plants in response to elevated CO2.
  7. He Q, Shahabi H, Shirzadi A, Li S, Chen W, Wang N, et al.
    Sci. Total Environ., 2019 May 01;663:1-15.
    PMID: 30708212 DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.01.329
    Landslides are major hazards for human activities often causing great damage to human lives and infrastructure. Therefore, the main aim of the present study is to evaluate and compare three machine learning algorithms (MLAs) including Naïve Bayes (NB), radial basis function (RBF) Classifier, and RBF Network for landslide susceptibility mapping (LSM) at Longhai area in China. A total of 14 landslide conditioning factors were obtained from various data sources, then the frequency ratio (FR) and support vector machine (SVM) methods were used for the correlation and selection the most important factors for modelling process, respectively. Subsequently, the resulting three models were validated and compared using some statistical metrics including area under the receiver operating characteristics (AUROC) curve, and Friedman and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests The results indicated that the RBF Classifier model had the highest goodness-of-fit and performance based on the training and validation datasets. The results concluded that the RBF Classifier model outperformed and outclassed (AUROC = 0.881), the NB (AUROC = 0.872) and the RBF Network (AUROC = 0.854) models. The obtained results pointed out that the RBF Classifier model is a promising method for spatial prediction of landslide over the world.
  8. Molineros JE, Yang W, Zhou XJ, Sun C, Okada Y, Zhang H, et al.
    Hum. Mol. Genet., 2017 03 15;26(6):1205-1216.
    PMID: 28108556 DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddx026
    We recently identified ten novel SLE susceptibility loci in Asians and uncovered several additional suggestive loci requiring further validation. This study aimed to replicate five of these suggestive loci in a Han Chinese cohort from Hong Kong, followed by meta-analysis (11,656 cases and 23,968 controls) on previously reported Asian and European populations, and to perform bioinformatic analyses on all 82 reported SLE loci to identify shared regulatory signatures. We performed a battery of analyses for these five loci, as well as joint analyses on all 82 SLE loci. All five loci passed genome-wide significance: MYNN (rs10936599, Pmeta = 1.92 × 10-13, OR = 1.14), ATG16L2 (rs11235604, Pmeta = 8.87 × 10 -12, OR = 0.78), CCL22 (rs223881, Pmeta = 5.87 × 10-16, OR = 0.87), ANKS1A (rs2762340, Pmeta = 4.93 × 10-15, OR = 0.87) and RNASEH2C (rs1308020, Pmeta = 2.96 × 10-19, OR = 0.84) and co-located with annotated gene regulatory elements. The novel loci share genetic signatures with other reported SLE loci, including effects on gene expression, transcription factor binding, and epigenetic characteristics. Most (56%) of the correlated (r2 > 0.8) SNPs from the 82 SLE loci were implicated in differential expression (9.81 × 10-198 
  9. Sun C, Molineros JE, Looger LL, Zhou XJ, Kim K, Okada Y, et al.
    Nat. Genet., 2016 Mar;48(3):323-30.
    PMID: 26808113 DOI: 10.1038/ng.3496
    Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) has a strong but incompletely understood genetic architecture. We conducted an association study with replication in 4,478 SLE cases and 12,656 controls from six East Asian cohorts to identify new SLE susceptibility loci and better localize known loci. We identified ten new loci and confirmed 20 known loci with genome-wide significance. Among the new loci, the most significant locus was GTF2IRD1-GTF2I at 7q11.23 (rs73366469, Pmeta = 3.75 × 10(-117), odds ratio (OR) = 2.38), followed by DEF6, IL12B, TCF7, TERT, CD226, PCNXL3, RASGRP1, SYNGR1 and SIGLEC6. We identified the most likely functional variants at each locus by analyzing epigenetic marks and gene expression data. Ten candidate variants are known to alter gene expression in cis or in trans. Enrichment analysis highlights the importance of these loci in B cell and T cell biology. The new loci, together with previously known loci, increase the explained heritability of SLE to 24%. The new loci share functional and ontological characteristics with previously reported loci and are possible drug targets for SLE therapeutics.
  10. Markt SC, Shui IM, Unger RH, Urun Y, Berg CD, Black A, et al.
    Prostate, 2015 Nov;75(15):1677-81.
    PMID: 26268879 DOI: 10.1002/pros.23035
    BACKGROUND: ABO blood group has been associated with risk of cancers of the pancreas, stomach, ovary, kidney, and skin, but has not been evaluated in relation to risk of aggressive prostate cancer.

    METHODS: We used three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs8176746, rs505922, and rs8176704) to determine ABO genotype in 2,774 aggressive prostate cancer cases and 4,443 controls from the Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium (BPC3). Unconditional logistic regression was used to calculate age and study-adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for the association between blood type, genotype, and risk of aggressive prostate cancer (Gleason score ≥8 or locally advanced/metastatic disease (stage T3/T4/N1/M1).

    RESULTS: We found no association between ABO blood type and risk of aggressive prostate cancer (Type A: OR = 0.97, 95%CI = 0.87-1.08; Type B: OR = 0.92, 95%CI =n0.77-1.09; Type AB: OR = 1.25, 95%CI = 0.98-1.59, compared to Type O, respectively). Similarly, there was no association between "dose" of A or B alleles and aggressive prostate cancer risk.

    CONCLUSIONS: ABO blood type was not associated with risk of aggressive prostate cancer.

  11. Landoni G, Lomivorotov V, Pisano A, Nigro Neto C, Benedetto U, Biondi Zoccai G, et al.
    Contemp Clin Trials, 2017 08;59:38-43.
    PMID: 28533194 DOI: 10.1016/j.cct.2017.05.011
    OBJECTIVE: There is initial evidence that the use of volatile anesthetics can reduce the postoperative release of cardiac troponin I, the need for inotropic support, and the number of patients requiring prolonged hospitalization following coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. Nevertheless, small randomized controlled trials have failed to demonstrate a survival advantage. Thus, whether volatile anesthetics improve the postoperative outcome of cardiac surgical patients remains uncertain. An adequately powered randomized controlled trial appears desirable.

    DESIGN: Single blinded, international, multicenter randomized controlled trial with 1:1 allocation ratio.

    SETTING: Tertiary and University hospitals.

    INTERVENTIONS: Patients (n=10,600) undergoing coronary artery bypass graft will be randomized to receive either volatile anesthetic as part of the anesthetic plan, or total intravenous anesthesia.

    MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The primary end point of the study will be one-year mortality (any cause). Secondary endpoints will be 30-day mortality; 30-day death or non-fatal myocardial infarction (composite endpoint); cardiac mortality at 30day and at one year; incidence of hospital re-admission during the one year follow-up period and duration of intensive care unit, and hospital stay. The sample size is based on the hypothesis that volatile anesthetics will reduce 1-year unadjusted mortality from 3% to 2%, using a two-sided alpha error of 0.05, and a power of 0.9.

    CONCLUSIONS: The trial will determine whether the simple intervention of adding a volatile anesthetic, an intervention that can be implemented by all anesthesiologists, can improve one-year survival in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery.

  12. Landoni G, Lomivorotov VV, Nigro Neto C, Monaco F, Pasyuga VV, Bradic N, et al.
    N. Engl. J. Med., 2019 03 28;380(13):1214-1225.
    PMID: 30888743 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1816476
    BACKGROUND: Volatile (inhaled) anesthetic agents have cardioprotective effects, which might improve clinical outcomes in patients undergoing coronary-artery bypass grafting (CABG).

    METHODS: We conducted a pragmatic, multicenter, single-blind, controlled trial at 36 centers in 13 countries. Patients scheduled to undergo elective CABG were randomly assigned to an intraoperative anesthetic regimen that included a volatile anesthetic (desflurane, isoflurane, or sevoflurane) or to total intravenous anesthesia. The primary outcome was death from any cause at 1 year.

    RESULTS: A total of 5400 patients were randomly assigned: 2709 to the volatile anesthetics group and 2691 to the total intravenous anesthesia group. On-pump CABG was performed in 64% of patients, with a mean duration of cardiopulmonary bypass of 79 minutes. The two groups were similar with respect to demographic and clinical characteristics at baseline, the duration of cardiopulmonary bypass, and the number of grafts. At the time of the second interim analysis, the data and safety monitoring board advised that the trial should be stopped for futility. No significant difference between the groups with respect to deaths from any cause was seen at 1 year (2.8% in the volatile anesthetics group and 3.0% in the total intravenous anesthesia group; relative risk, 0.94; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.69 to 1.29; P = 0.71), with data available for 5353 patients (99.1%), or at 30 days (1.4% and 1.3%, respectively; relative risk, 1.11; 95% CI, 0.70 to 1.76), with data available for 5398 patients (99.9%). There were no significant differences between the groups in any of the secondary outcomes or in the incidence of prespecified adverse events, including myocardial infarction.

    CONCLUSIONS: Among patients undergoing elective CABG, anesthesia with a volatile agent did not result in significantly fewer deaths at 1 year than total intravenous anesthesia. (Funded by the Italian Ministry of Health; MYRIAD ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02105610.).

  13. Szulkin R, Karlsson R, Whitington T, Aly M, Gronberg H, Eeles RA, et al.
    Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev., 2015 Nov;24(11):1796-800.
    PMID: 26307654 DOI: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-15-0543
    BACKGROUND: Unnecessary intervention and overtreatment of indolent disease are common challenges in clinical management of prostate cancer. Improved tools to distinguish lethal from indolent disease are critical.

    METHODS: We performed a genome-wide survival analysis of cause-specific death in 24,023 prostate cancer patients (3,513 disease-specific deaths) from the PRACTICAL and BPC3 consortia. Top findings were assessed for replication in a Norwegian cohort (CONOR).

    RESULTS: We observed no significant association between genetic variants and prostate cancer survival.

    CONCLUSIONS: Common genetic variants with large impact on prostate cancer survival were not observed in this study.

    IMPACT: Future studies should be designed for identification of rare variants with large effect sizes or common variants with small effect sizes.

  14. Schumacher FR, Al Olama AA, Berndt SI, Benlloch S, Ahmed M, Saunders EJ, et al.
    Nat. Genet., 2018 07;50(7):928-936.
    PMID: 29892016 DOI: 10.1038/s41588-018-0142-8
    Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and fine-mapping efforts to date have identified more than 100 prostate cancer (PrCa)-susceptibility loci. We meta-analyzed genotype data from a custom high-density array of 46,939 PrCa cases and 27,910 controls of European ancestry with previously genotyped data of 32,255 PrCa cases and 33,202 controls of European ancestry. Our analysis identified 62 novel loci associated (P C, p.Pro1054Arg) in ATM and rs2066827 (OR = 1.06; P = 2.3 × 10-9; T>G, p.Val109Gly) in CDKN1B. The combination of all loci captured 28.4% of the PrCa familial relative risk, and a polygenic risk score conferred an elevated PrCa risk for men in the ninetieth to ninety-ninth percentiles (relative risk = 2.69; 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.55-2.82) and first percentile (relative risk = 5.71; 95% CI: 5.04-6.48) risk stratum compared with the population average. These findings improve risk prediction, enhance fine-mapping, and provide insight into the underlying biology of PrCa1.
  15. Dadaev T, Saunders EJ, Newcombe PJ, Anokian E, Leongamornlert DA, Brook MN, et al.
    Nat Commun, 2018 06 11;9(1):2256.
    PMID: 29892050 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-04109-8
    Prostate cancer is a polygenic disease with a large heritable component. A number of common, low-penetrance prostate cancer risk loci have been identified through GWAS. Here we apply the Bayesian multivariate variable selection algorithm JAM to fine-map 84 prostate cancer susceptibility loci, using summary data from a large European ancestry meta-analysis. We observe evidence for multiple independent signals at 12 regions and 99 risk signals overall. Only 15 original GWAS tag SNPs remain among the catalogue of candidate variants identified; the remainder are replaced by more likely candidates. Biological annotation of our credible set of variants indicates significant enrichment within promoter and enhancer elements, and transcription factor-binding sites, including AR, ERG and FOXA1. In 40 regions at least one variant is colocalised with an eQTL in prostate cancer tissue. The refined set of candidate variants substantially increase the proportion of familial relative risk explained by these known susceptibility regions, which highlights the importance of fine-mapping studies and has implications for clinical risk profiling.
  16. Schumacher FR, Olama AAA, Berndt SI, Benlloch S, Ahmed M, Saunders EJ, et al.
    Nat. Genet., 2019 02;51(2):363.
    PMID: 30622367 DOI: 10.1038/s41588-018-0330-6
    In the version of this article initially published, the name of author Manuela Gago-Dominguez was misspelled as Manuela Gago Dominguez. The error has been corrected in the HTML and PDF version of the article.
  17. Gopalakrishna G, Langendam M, Scholten R, Bossuyt P, Leeflang M, Noel-Storr A, et al.
    Diagn Progn Res, 2017;1:11.
    PMID: 31095132 DOI: 10.1186/s41512-017-0011-4
    [This corrects the article DOI: 10.1186/s41512-016-0001-y.].
  18. Kassebaum NJ, Bertozzi-Villa A, Coggeshall MS, Shackelford KA, Steiner C, Heuton KR, et al.
    Lancet, 2014 Sep 13;384(9947):980-1004.
    PMID: 24797575 DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60696-6
    BACKGROUND: The fifth Millennium Development Goal (MDG 5) established the goal of a 75% reduction in the maternal mortality ratio (MMR; number of maternal deaths per 100,000 livebirths) between 1990 and 2015. We aimed to measure levels and track trends in maternal mortality, the key causes contributing to maternal death, and timing of maternal death with respect to delivery.

    METHODS: We used robust statistical methods including the Cause of Death Ensemble model (CODEm) to analyse a database of data for 7065 site-years and estimate the number of maternal deaths from all causes in 188 countries between 1990 and 2013. We estimated the number of pregnancy-related deaths caused by HIV on the basis of a systematic review of the relative risk of dying during pregnancy for HIV-positive women compared with HIV-negative women. We also estimated the fraction of these deaths aggravated by pregnancy on the basis of a systematic review. To estimate the numbers of maternal deaths due to nine different causes, we identified 61 sources from a systematic review and 943 site-years of vital registration data. We also did a systematic review of reports about the timing of maternal death, identifying 142 sources to use in our analysis. We developed estimates for each country for 1990-2013 using Bayesian meta-regression. We estimated 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs) for all values.

    FINDINGS: 292,982 (95% UI 261,017-327,792) maternal deaths occurred in 2013, compared with 376,034 (343,483-407,574) in 1990. The global annual rate of change in the MMR was -0·3% (-1·1 to 0·6) from 1990 to 2003, and -2·7% (-3·9 to -1·5) from 2003 to 2013, with evidence of continued acceleration. MMRs reduced consistently in south, east, and southeast Asia between 1990 and 2013, but maternal deaths increased in much of sub-Saharan Africa during the 1990s. 2070 (1290-2866) maternal deaths were related to HIV in 2013, 0·4% (0·2-0·6) of the global total. MMR was highest in the oldest age groups in both 1990 and 2013. In 2013, most deaths occurred intrapartum or postpartum. Causes varied by region and between 1990 and 2013. We recorded substantial variation in the MMR by country in 2013, from 956·8 (685·1-1262·8) in South Sudan to 2·4 (1·6-3·6) in Iceland.

    INTERPRETATION: Global rates of change suggest that only 16 countries will achieve the MDG 5 target by 2015. Accelerated reductions since the Millennium Declaration in 2000 coincide with increased development assistance for maternal, newborn, and child health. Setting of targets and associated interventions for after 2015 will need careful consideration of regions that are making slow progress, such as west and central Africa.

    FUNDING: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

  19. 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
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