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  1. Cui J, Zhou J, Peng Y, Chan A, Mao J
    Environ Sci Process Impacts, 2015 Dec;17(12):2082-91.
    PMID: 26515781 DOI: 10.1039/c5em00383k
    A detailed study on the solution chemistry of red soil in South China is presented. Data are collected from two simulated column-leaching experiments with an improved setup to evaluate the effects of atmospheric N deposition (ADN) composition and ADN flux on agricultural soil acidification using a (15)N tracer technique and an in situ soil solution sampler. The results show that solution pH values decline regardless of the increase of the NH4(+)/NO3(-) ratio in the ADN composition or ADN flux, while exchangeable Al(3+), Ca(2+), Mg(2+), and K(+) concentrations increase at different soil depths (20, 40, and 60 cm). Compared with the control, ADN (60 kg per ha per year N, NH4(+)/NO3(-) ratio of 2 : 1) decreases solution pH values, increases solution concentrations of NO3(-)-N, Al(3+), Ca(2+) and Mg(2+) at the middle and lower soil depths, and promotes their removal. NH4(+)-N was not detected in red soil solutions of all the three soil layers, which might be attributed to effects of nitrification, absorption and fixation in farmland red soil. Some of the NO3(-)-N concentrations at 40-60 cm soil depth exceed the safe drinking level of 10 mg L(-1), especially when the ADN flux is beyond 60 kg ha(-1) N. These features are critical for understanding the ADN agro-ecological effects, and for future assessment of ecological critical loads of ADN in red soil farmlands.
  2. Peng Y, Zhou F, Cui J, Du K, Leng Q, Yang F, et al.
    Environ Sci Pollut Res Int, 2017 Jul;24(19):16206-16219.
    PMID: 28540543 DOI: 10.1007/s11356-017-9221-0
    The Three Gorges Dam's construction and industrial transfer have resulted in a new air pollution pattern with the potential to threaten the reservoir eco-environment. To assess the impact of socioeconomic factors on the pattern of air quality vairation and economical risks, concentrations of SO2, NO2, and PM10, industry genres, and meteorological conditions were selected in the Three Gorges Reservoir of Chongqing (TGRC) during 2006-2015. Results showed that air quality had improved to some extent, but atmospheric NO2 showed an increased trend during 2011-2015. Spatially, higher atmospheric NO2 extended to the surrounding area. The primary industry, especially for agriculture, had shown to be responsible for the remarkable increase of atmospheric NO2 (p 
  3. Cao M, Liu Y, Yuan H, Qiu Y, Xie Q, Yi P, et al.
    J AOAC Int, 2020 Sep 01;103(5):1400-1405.
    PMID: 33241395 DOI: 10.1093/jaoacint/qsaa048
    BACKGROUND: Chewable areca products are popular in Asian countries, including India, Pakistan, Malaysia, and China. The major alkaloids present in areca products are guvacine, arecaidine, guvacoline, and arecoline which cause carcinogenicity and addiction.

    OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was the quantitative analysis of the alkaloid content of areca chewable products from different countries and regions using HPLC-UV, as well as the benefit of their safety evaluation products.

    METHOD: An HPLC-UV method was established for qualitative and quantitative analyses of 65 batches of areca chewable products from different countries and regions. Additionally, similarity evaluation of chromatographic fingerprints was applied for data analysis.

    RESULTS: These results reveal a significant variation in the levels of areca alkaloids among tested products, specifically guvacoline (0.060-1.216 mg/g), arecoline (0.376-3.592 mg/g), guvacine (0.028-1.184 mg/g), and arecaidine (0.184-1.291 mg/g). There were significant differences in the alkaloid content of areca chewable products from different producing areas.

    CONCLUSIONS: The method will be useful in the safety evaluation of different areca chewable products.

    HIGHLIGHTS: The established HPLC-UV method can be adopted for safety evaluation of areca chewable products from different countries and regions due to its general applicability.

  4. Cui J, Cui J, Peng Y, Yao D, Chan A, Chen Z, et al.
    Sci Total Environ, 2020 Jun 27;744:140558.
    PMID: 32711301 DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.140558
    Fluxes and composition dynamics of atmospheric nitrogen deposition play key roles in better balancing economic development and ecological environment. However, there are some knowledge gaps and difficulties in urban ecosystems, especially for small and medium-sized cities. In this study, both flux and composition (ratio of NH4+-N to NO3--N, RN) of wet-deposited dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN, sum of NO3--N and NH4+-N) were estimated and sources were identified at a long-term urban observation station in Tongling, a typical medium-sized city in eastern China during 2010-2016, respectively. Results showed that wet-deposited DIN fluxes were 33.20 and 28.15 kgN ha-1 yr-1 in Tongling city during 2010-2011 and 2015-2016, respectively. Compared to these two periods, both DIN and NO3--N fluxes decreased by 15.2% and 31.8% for a series of NOx abatement measures applied effectively, respectively. At the same time, the NH4+-N flux remained stable and ranged from 19.53 to 20.62 kgN ha-1 yr-1, and the RN increased from 1.7 to 2.2. Seasonally, winds from the southwest and west-southwest with higher frequencies and speeds in spring and summer brought more NH4+-N and DIN wet deposition from an ammonia plant, which could threaten the safety of regional hydrosphere ecosystems. On the whole, the wet-deposited NH4+-N was threatening regional ecosystems of both the hydrosphere and forest. The wet-deposited DIN including NH4+-N in Tongling city stemmed mainly from a combined source of coal combustion and dust from Cu extraction and smelting, ammonia production, and roads. Therefore, production lines should be updated for Cu extraction and smelting industries, thermal power generations and the ammonia plant, old vehicles should be eliminated, and the use of new energy vehicles should be promoted for regional sustainable development and human health in the medium-sized city.
  5. Wu Y, Liang Y, Mei C, Cai L, Nadda A, Le QV, et al.
    Chemosphere, 2022 Jan;286(Pt 3):131891.
    PMID: 34416587 DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.131891
    Nanocellulose based gas barrier materials have become an increasingly important subject, since it is a widespread environmentally friendly natural polymer. Previous studies have shown that super-high gas barrier can be achieved with pure and hierarchical nanocellulose films fabricated through simple suspension or layer-by-layer technique either by itself or incorporating with other polymers or nanoparticles. Improved gas barrier properties were observed for nanocellulose-reinforced composites, where nanocellulose partially impermeable nanoparticles decreased gas permeability effectively. However, for nanocellulose-based materials, the higher gas barrier performance is jeopardized by water absorption and shape deformation under high humidity conditions which is a challenge for maintaining properties in material applications. Thus, numerous investigations have been done to solve the problem of water absorption in nanocellulose-based materials. In this literature review, gas barrier properties of pure, layer-by-layer and composite nanocellulose films are investigated. The possible theoretical gas barrier mechanisms are described, and the prospects for nanocellulose-based materials are discussed.
  6. Peng W, Ma NL, Zhang D, Zhou Q, Yue X, Khoo SC, et al.
    Environ Res, 2020 12;191:110046.
    PMID: 32841638 DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2020.110046
    Locusts differ from ordinary grasshoppers in their ability to swarm over long distances and are among the oldest migratory pests. The ecology and biology of locusts make them among the most devastating pests worldwide and hence the calls for actions to prevent the next outbreaks. The most destructive of all locust species is the desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria). Here, we review the current locust epidemic 2020 outbreak and its causes and prevention including the green technologies that may provide a reference for future directions of locust control and food security. Massive locust outbreaks threaten the terrestrial environments and crop production in around 100 countries of which Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya are the most affected. Six large locust outbreaks are reported for the period from 1912 to 1989 all being closely related to long-term droughts and warm winters coupled with occurrence of high precipitation in spring and summer. The outbreaks in East Africa, India and Pakistan are the most pronounced with locusts migrating more than 150 km/day during which the locusts consume food equivalent to their own body weight on a daily basis. The plague heavily affects the agricultural sectors, which is the foundation of national economies and social stability. Global warming is likely the main cause of locust plague outbreak in recent decades driving egg spawning of up to 2-400,000 eggs per square meter. Biological control techniques such as microorganisms, insects and birds help to reduce the outbreaks while reducing ecosystem and agricultural impacts. In addition, green technologies such as light and sound stimulation seem to work, however, these are challenging and need further technological development incorporating remote sensing and modelling before they are applicable on large-scales. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the 2020 locust outbreak is the worst in 70 years probably triggered by climate change, hurricanes and heavy rain and has affected a total of 70,000 ha in Somalia and Ethiopia. There is a need for shifting towards soybean, rape, and watermelon which seems to help to prevent locust outbreaks and obtain food security. Furthermore, locusts have a very high protein content and is an excellent protein source for meat production and as an alternative human protein source, which should be used to mitigate food security. In addition, forestation of arable land improves local climate conditions towards less precipitation and lower temperatures while simultaneously attracting a larger number of birds thereby increasing the locust predation rates.
  7. Tan JWC, Sim D, Ako J, Almahmeed W, Cooper ME, Dalal JJ, et al.
    Eur Cardiol, 2021 Feb;16:e14.
    PMID: 33976709 DOI: 10.15420/ecr.2020.52
    The Asian Pacific Society of Cardiology convened a consensus statement panel for optimising cardiovascular (CV) outcomes in type 2 diabetes, and reviewed the current literature. Relevant articles were appraised using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation system, and consensus statements were developed in two meetings and were confirmed through online voting. The consensus statements indicated that lifestyle interventions must be emphasised for patients with prediabetes, and optimal glucose control should be encouraged when possible. Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) are recommended for patients with chronic kidney disease with adequate renal function, and for patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. In addition to SGLT2i, glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists are recommended for patients at high risk of CV events. A blood pressure target below 140/90 mmHg is generally recommended for patients with type 2 diabetes. Antiplatelet therapy is recommended for secondary prevention in patients with atherosclerotic CV disease.
  8. Klionsky DJ, Abdel-Aziz AK, Abdelfatah S, Abdellatif M, Abdoli A, Abel S, et al.
    Autophagy, 2021 Jan;17(1):1-382.
    PMID: 33634751 DOI: 10.1080/15548627.2020.1797280
    In 2008, we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, this topic has received increasing attention, and many scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Thus, it is important to formulate on a regular basis updated guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Despite numerous reviews, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to evaluate autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. Here, we present a set of guidelines for investigators to select and interpret methods to examine autophagy and related processes, and for reviewers to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of reports that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a dogmatic set of rules, because the appropriateness of any assay largely depends on the question being asked and the system being used. Moreover, no individual assay is perfect for every situation, calling for the use of multiple techniques to properly monitor autophagy in each experimental setting. Finally, several core components of the autophagy machinery have been implicated in distinct autophagic processes (canonical and noncanonical autophagy), implying that genetic approaches to block autophagy should rely on targeting two or more autophagy-related genes that ideally participate in distinct steps of the pathway. Along similar lines, because multiple proteins involved in autophagy also regulate other cellular pathways including apoptosis, not all of them can be used as a specific marker for bona fide autophagic responses. Here, we critically discuss current methods of assessing autophagy and the information they can, or cannot, provide. Our ultimate goal is to encourage intellectual and technical innovation in the field.
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