Displaying all 20 publications

  1. Idros N, Ho MY, Pivnenko M, Qasim MM, Xu H, Gu Z, et al.
    Sensors (Basel), 2015;15(6):12891-905.
    PMID: 26046595 DOI: 10.3390/s150612891
    This proof-of-concept study proposes a novel sensing mechanism for selective and label-free detection of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT). It is realized by surface chemistry functionalization of silica nanoparticles (NPs) with 3-aminopropyl-triethoxysilane (APTES). The primary amine anchored to the surface of the silica nanoparticles (SiO2-NH2) acts as a capturing probe for TNT target binding to form Meisenheimer amine-TNT complexes. A colorimetric change of the self-assembled (SAM) NP samples from the initial green of a SiO2-NH2 nanoparticle film towards red was observed after successful attachment of TNT, which was confirmed as a result of the increased separation between the nanoparticles. The shift in the peak wavelength of the reflected light normal to the film surface and the associated change of the peak width were measured, and a merit function taking into account their combined effect was proposed for the detection of TNT concentrations from 10-12 to 10-4 molar. The selectivity of our sensing approach is confirmed by using TNT-bound nanoparticles incubated in AptamerX, with 2,4-dinitrotoluene (DNT) and toluene used as control and baseline, respectively. Our results show the repeatable systematic color change with the TNT concentration and the possibility to develop a robust, easy-to-use, and low-cost TNT detection method for performing a sensitive, reliable, and semi-quantitative detection in a wide detection range.
  2. Teo BW, Toh QC, Chan XW, Xu H, Li JL, Lee EJ
    Asia Pac J Clin Nutr, 2014;23(4):619-25.
    PMID: 25516320 DOI: 10.6133/apjcn.2014.23.4.01
    Clinical practice guidelines recommend objective nutritional assessments in managing chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients but were developed while referencing to a North-American population. Specific recommendations for assessing muscle mass were suggested (mid-arm circumference, MAC; corrected mid-arm muscle area, cAMA; mid-arm muscle circumference, MAMC). This study aimed to assess correlation and association of these assessments with dietary protein intake in a multi-ethnic Asian population of healthy and CKD patients.
  3. Teo BW, Bagchi S, Xu H, Toh QC, Li J, Lee EJ
    Singapore Med J, 2014 Dec;55(12):652-5.
    PMID: 25630320
    INTRODUCTION: Clinical practice guidelines recommend using creatinine-based equations to estimate glomerular filtration rates (GFRs). While these equations were formulated for Caucasian-American populations and have adjustment coefficients for African-American populations, they are not validated for other ethnicities. The Chronic Kidney Disease-Epidemiology Collaborative Group (CKD-EPI) recently developed a new equation that uses both creatinine and cystatin C. We aimed to assess the accuracy of this equation in estimating the GFRs of participants (healthy and with chronic kidney disease [CKD]) from a multiethnic Asian population.

    METHODS: Serum samples from the Asian Kidney Disease Study and the Singapore Kidney Function Study were used. GFR was measured using plasma clearance of 99mTc-DTPA. GFR was estimated using the CKD-EPI equations. The performance of GFR estimation equations were examined using median and interquartile range values, and the percentage difference from the measured GFR.

    RESULTS: The study comprised 335 participants (69.3% with CKD; 38.5% Chinese, 29.6% Malays, 23.6% Indians, 8.3% others), with a mean age of 53.5 ± 15.1 years. Mean standardised serum creatinine was 127 ± 86 μmol/L, while mean standardised serum cystatin C and mean measured GFR were 1.43 ± 0.74 mg/L and 67 ± 33 mL/min/1.73 m2, respectively. The creatinine-cystatin C CKD-EPI equation performed the best, with an estimated GFR of 67 ± 35 mL/min/1.73 m2.

    CONCLUSION: The new creatinine-cystatin C equation estimated GFR with little bias, and had increased precision and accuracy in our multiethnic Asian population. This two-biomarker equation may increase the accuracy of population studies on CKD, without the need to consider ethnicity.
  4. Xu H, Thomas RK, Penfold J, Li PX, Ma K, Welbourne RJL, et al.
    J Colloid Interface Sci, 2018 Feb 15;512:231-238.
    PMID: 29073464 DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2017.10.064
    The methyl ester sulfonates represent a promising group of anionic surfactants which have the potential for improved performance and biocompatibility in a range of applications. Their solution properties, in particular their tolerance to hard water, suggests that surface ordering may occur in the presence of multi-valent counterion. Understanding their adsorption properties in a range of different circumstances is key to the exploitation of their potential. Neutron reflectivity and surface tension have been used to characterise the adsorption at the air-aqueous solution interface of the anionic surfactant sodium tetradecanoic 2-sulfo 1-methyl ester, C14MES, in the absence of electrolyte and in the presence of mono, di, and tri-valent counterions, Na+, Ca2+, and Al3+. In particular the emphasis has been on exploring the tendency to form layered structures at the interface. In the absence of electrolyte and in the presence of NaCl and CaCl2 and AlCl3 at low concentrations monolayer adsorption is observed, and the addition of electrolyte results in enhanced adsorption. In the presence of NaCl and CaCl2 only monolayer adsorption is observed. However at higher AlCl3 concentrations surface multilayer formation is observed, in which the number of bilayers at the surface depends upon the surfactant and AlCl3 concentrations.
  5. Ling W, Liew G, Li Y, Hao Y, Pan H, Wang H, et al.
    Adv. Mater. Weinheim, 2018 Jun;30(23):e1800917.
    PMID: 29633379 DOI: 10.1002/adma.201800917
    The combination of novel materials with flexible electronic technology may yield new concepts of flexible electronic devices that effectively detect various biological chemicals to facilitate understanding of biological processes and conduct health monitoring. This paper demonstrates single- or multichannel implantable flexible sensors that are surface modified with conductive metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) such as copper-MOF and cobalt-MOF with large surface area, high porosity, and tunable catalysis capability. The sensors can monitor important nutriments such as ascorbicacid, glycine, l-tryptophan (l-Trp), and glucose with detection resolutions of 14.97, 0.71, 4.14, and 54.60 × 10-6 m, respectively. In addition, they offer sensing capability even under extreme deformation and complex surrounding environment with continuous monitoring capability for 20 d due to minimized use of biological active chemicals. Experiments using live cells and animals indicate that the MOF-modified sensors are biologically safe to cells, and can detect l-Trp in blood and interstitial fluid. This work represents the first effort in integrating MOFs with flexible sensors to achieve highly specific and sensitive implantable electrochemical detection and may inspire appearance of more flexible electronic devices with enhanced capability in sensing, energy storage, and catalysis using various properties of MOFs.
  6. Basheva ES, Danov KD, Radulova GM, Kralchevsky PA, Xu H, Ung YW, et al.
    J Colloid Interface Sci, 2019 Mar 07;538:660-670.
    PMID: 30572230 DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2018.12.034
    HYPOTHESES: The micellar solutions of sulfonated methyl esters (SME) are expected to form stratifying foam films that exhibit stepwise thinning. From the height of the steps, which are engendered by micellar layers confined in the films, we could determine the micelle aggregation number, surface electric potential, and ionization degree. Moreover, addition of the zwitterionic surfactant cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB) is expected to transform the small spherical micelles of SME into giant wormlike aggregates.

    EXPERIMENTS: Stratifying films from SME solutions are formed and the heights of the steps are recorded. The viscosity of mixed SME + CAPB solutions is measured at various concentrations and weight ratios of the two surfactants.

    FINDINGS: By theoretical analysis of the foam film data, we established that at 30-100 mM SME spherical micelles are formed and their aggregation number was determined. The addition of calcium ions, as in hard water, does not produce significant effect. However, SME and CAPB exhibit a strong synergism with respect to micelle growth as indicated by the high solution's viscosity. For this reason, the SME + CAPB mixtures represent a promising system for formulations in personal-care and house-hold detergency, having in mind also other useful properties of SME, such as high hard water tolerance, biodegradability and skin compatibility.

  7. Yavrukova VI, Radulova GM, Danov KD, Kralchevsky PA, Xu H, Ung YW, et al.
    Adv Colloid Interface Sci, 2020 Jan;275:102062.
    PMID: 31718784 DOI: 10.1016/j.cis.2019.102062
    This is a review article on the rheological properties of mixed solutions of sulfonated methyl esters (SME) and cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB), which are related to the synergistic growth of giant micelles. Effects of additives, such as fatty alcohols, cocamide monoethanolamine (CMEA) and salt, which are expected to boost the growth of wormlike micelles, are studied. We report and systematize the most significant observed effects with an emphasis on the interpretation at molecular level and understanding the rheological behavior of these systems. The experiments show that the mixing of SME and CAPB produces a significant rise of viscosity, which is greater than in the mixed solutions of sodium dodecyl sulfate and CAPB. The addition of fatty alcohols, CMEA and cationic polymer, leads to broadening of the synergistic peak in viscosity without any pronounced effect on its height. The addition of NaCl leads to a typical salt curve with high maximum, but in the presence of dodecanol this maximum is much lower. At lower salt concentrations, the fatty alcohol acts as a thickener, whereas at higher salt concentrations - as a thinning agent. Depending on the shape of the frequency dependences of the measured storage and loss moduli, G' and G", the investigated micellar solutions behave as systems of standard or nonstandard rheological behavior. The systems with standard behavior obey the Maxwell viscoelastic model (at least) up to the crossover point (G' = G") and can be analyzed in terms of the Cates reptation-reaction model. The systems with nonstandard rheological behavior obey the Maxwell model only in a restricted domain below the crossover frequency; they can be analyzed in the framework of an augmented version of the Maxwell model. The methodology for data analysis and interpretation could be applied to any other viscoelastic micellar system.
  8. Xu H, Li P, Ma K, Welbourn RJL, Penfold J, Roberts DW, et al.
    Langmuir, 2017 09 26;33(38):9944-9953.
    PMID: 28871785 DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.7b02725
    We describe a new laboratory synthesis of the α-methyl ester sulfonates based on direct sulfonation of the methyl ester by SO3 introduced from the vapor phase. This was used to synthesize a chain deuterated sample of αC14MES, which was then used to measure the surface excess of αC14MES directly at the air/water interface over a wide range of concentration using neutron reflection. The adsorption isotherm could be fitted to an empirical equation close to a Langmuir isotherm and gave a limiting surface excess of (3.4 ± 0.1) × 10-6 mol m-2 in the absence of added electrolyte. The neutron-measured surface excesses were combined with the integrated Gibbs equation to fit the variation in surface tension with concentration (σ-ln C curve). The fit was exact provided that we used a prefactor consistent with the counterion at the surface being an impurity divalent ion, as has previously been found for sodium diethylhexylsulfosuccinate (aerosol OT or AOT) and various perfluorooctanoates. The critical micelle concentration (CMC) was determined from this fit to be 2.4 ± 0.3 mM in the absence of electrolyte. In the presence of 100 mM NaCl, this contamination was suppressed and the σ-ln C curve could be fitted using the integrated Gibbs equation with the expected prefactor of 1. The new data were used to reinterpret measurements by Danov et al. on an unpurified sample of αC14MES for which computer refinement was used to try to eliminate the effects of the impurities.
  9. Wang Z, Li P, Ma K, Chen Y, Campana M, Penfold J, et al.
    J Colloid Interface Sci, 2019 May 15;544:293-302.
    PMID: 30861434 DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2019.03.011
    The transition from monolayer to multilayer adsorption at the air-water interface in the presence of multivalent counterions has been demonstrated for a limited range of anionic surfactants which exhibit increased tolerance to precipitation in the presence of multivalent counterions. Understanding the role of molecular structure in determining the transition to surface ordering is an important aspect of the phenomenon. The focus of the paper is on the alkyl ester sulfonate, AES, surfactants; a promising group of anionic surfactants, with the potential for improved performance and biocompatibility. Neutron reflectivity measurements were made in aqueous solution and in the presence of NaCl, CaCl2, MgCl2 and AlCl3, for a range of alkyl ester sulfonate surfactants, in which the headgroup and alkyl chain geometries were manipulated. In the regions of monolayer adsorption changing the AES headgroup and alkyl chain geometries results in an increased saturation adsorption and in a more gradual decrease in the adsorption at low concentrations, consistent with a greater adsorption efficiency. Changing the AES headgroup and alkyl chain geometries also results in changes in the transition from monolayer adsorption to more ordered surface structures with the addition of AlCl3 and mixed multivalent electrolytes. A more limited surface layering is observed for the ethyl ester sulfonate, EES, with a C14 alkyl chain. Replacing the C14 alkyl chain with a C18 isostearic chain results in only monolayer adsorption. The results demonstrate the role and importance of the surfactant molecular structure in determining the nature of the surface adsorption in the presence of different electrolytes, and in the tendency to form extended surface multilayer structures.
  10. Xu H, Li P, Ma K, Welbourn RJL, Penfold J, Thomas RK, et al.
    J Colloid Interface Sci, 2019 Jan 01;533:154-160.
    PMID: 30153592 DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2018.08.061
    The strong binding of Al3+ trivalent counterions to the anionic surfactants sodium polyethylene glycol monoalkyl ether sulfate and α-methyl ester sulfonate results in surface multilayer formation at the air-water interface. In contrast the divalent and monovalent counterions Ca2+ and Na+ result only in monolayer adsorption. Competitive counterion adsorption has been extensively studied in the context of surfactant precipitation and re-dissolution, but remains an important feature in understanding this surface ordering and how it can be manipulated. The α-methyl ester sulfonate surfactants are a promising class of anionic surfactants which have much potential for improved performance in many applications, greater tolerance to extreme solvent conditions such as water hardness, biocompatibility and sustainable production. Hence in this study we have used neutron reflectivity to extend previous studies on the surface ordering of the α-methyl ester sulfonate surfactant, sodium tetradecanoic 2-sulfo 1-methyl ester, in the presence of electrolyte to investigate the role of binary mixtures of electrolytes, AlCl3/CaCl2, and AlCl3/MgCl2. In the mixed electrolytes the evolution of the surface structure, from monolayer to multilayer with increasing AlCl3 concentration, is observed. It is broadly similar to that reported for the addition of only AlCl3. However with increasing CaCl2 concentration the structural evolution is shifted progressively to higher AlCl3 concentrations. Similar observations occur for the AlCl3/MgCl2 mixtures. However the presence of the MgCl2 results in an additional phenomenon; the partial co-adsorption of a more compact lamellar structure which exists until the highest AlCl3 concentrations. The results demonstrate the importance of the competitive adsorption of different counterions in driving and controlling the formation of surface multilayer structures with anionic surfactants. Furthermore it offers a facile route to the manipulation of these surface structures.
  11. Xu H, Li P, Ma K, Welbourn RJL, Doutch J, Penfold J, et al.
    J Colloid Interface Sci, 2018 Apr 15;516:456-465.
    PMID: 29408135 DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2018.01.086
    The α-methyl ester sulfonate, MES, anionic surfactants are a potentially important class of sustainable surfactants for a wide range of applications. The eutectic-like Kraft point minimum in the C16 and C18-MES mixtures is an important feature of that potential. Understanding their individual adsorption properties and the surface mixing of the eutectic mixtures are key to their wider exploitation. Neutron reflectivity has been used to investigate the adsorption at the air-water interface of the C16 and C18-MES surfactants and the eutectic mixture of C16 and C18-MES, in aqueous solution and in electrolyte. The micelle mixing of the eutectic mixture is investigated using small angle neutron scattering. The adsorption isotherms for C14 to C18-MES are found to scale with their critical micelle concentration value. The surface and micelle compositions of the C16 and C18-MES eutectic mixture differ from the eutectic composition; with compositions in the limit of high concentrations richer in C16-MES. The mixing properties are described by the pseudo phase approximation with a repulsive interaction between the two surfactants. The impact of the multivalent ions Al3+ on the adsorption at the air-water interface results in a transition from monolayer to multilayer adsorption.
  12. Wang Z, Li P, Ma K, Chen Y, Penfold J, Thomas RK, et al.
    J Colloid Interface Sci, 2019 Sep 05;557:124-134.
    PMID: 31518834 DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2019.09.016
    The ester sulfonate anionic surfactants are a potentially valuable class of sustainable surfactants. The micellar growth, associated rheological changes, and the onset of precipitation are important consequences of the addition of electrolyte and especially multi-valent electrolytes in anionic surfactants. Small angle neutron scattering, SANS, has been used to investigate the self-assembly and the impact of different valence electrolytes on the self-assembly of a range of ester sulfonate surfactants with subtly different molecular structures. The results show that in the absence of electrolyte small globular micelles form, and in the presence of NaCl, and AlCl3 relatively modest micellar growth occurs before the onset of precipitation. The micellar growth is more pronounced for the longer unbranched and branched alkyl chain lengths. Whereas changing the headgroup geometry from methyl ester to ethyl ester has in general a less profound impact. The study highlights the importance of relative counterion binding strengths and shows how the surfactant structure affects the counterion binding and hence the micelle structure. The results have important consequences for the response of such surfactants to different operational environments.
  13. Wong LP, Ong RT, Poh WT, Liu X, Chen P, Li R, et al.
    Am. J. Hum. Genet., 2013 Jan 10;92(1):52-66.
    PMID: 23290073 DOI: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2012.12.005
    Whole-genome sequencing across multiple samples in a population provides an unprecedented opportunity for comprehensively characterizing the polymorphic variants in the population. Although the 1000 Genomes Project (1KGP) has offered brief insights into the value of population-level sequencing, the low coverage has compromised the ability to confidently detect rare and low-frequency variants. In addition, the composition of populations in the 1KGP is not complete, despite the fact that the study design has been extended to more than 2,500 samples from more than 20 population groups. The Malays are one of the Austronesian groups predominantly present in Southeast Asia and Oceania, and the Singapore Sequencing Malay Project (SSMP) aims to perform deep whole-genome sequencing of 100 healthy Malays. By sequencing at a minimum of 30× coverage, we have illustrated the higher sensitivity at detecting low-frequency and rare variants and the ability to investigate the presence of hotspots of functional mutations. Compared to the low-pass sequencing in the 1KGP, the deeper coverage allows more functional variants to be identified for each person. A comparison of the fidelity of genotype imputation of Malays indicated that a population-specific reference panel, such as the SSMP, outperforms a cosmopolitan panel with larger number of individuals for common SNPs. For lower-frequency (<5%) markers, a larger number of individuals might have to be whole-genome sequenced so that the accuracy currently afforded by the 1KGP can be achieved. The SSMP data are expected to be the benchmark for evaluating the value of deep population-level sequencing versus low-pass sequencing, especially in populations that are poorly represented in population-genetics studies.
  14. Gurr GM, Lu Z, Zheng X, Xu H, Zhu P, Chen G, et al.
    Nat Plants, 2016 02 22;2:16014.
    PMID: 27249349 DOI: 10.1038/nplants.2016.14
    Global food security requires increased crop productivity to meet escalating demand(1-3). Current food production systems are heavily dependent on synthetic inputs that threaten the environment and human well-being(2,4,5). Biodiversity, for instance, is key to the provision of ecosystem services such as pest control(6,7), but is eroded in conventional agricultural systems. Yet the conservation and reinstatement of biodiversity is challenging(5,8,9), and it remains unclear whether the promotion of biodiversity can reduce reliance on inputs without penalizing yields on a regional scale. Here we present results from multi-site field studies replicated in Thailand, China and Vietnam over a period of four years, in which we grew nectar-producing plants around rice fields, and monitored levels of pest infestation, insecticide use and yields. Compiling the data from all sites, we report that this inexpensive intervention significantly reduced populations of two key pests, reduced insecticide applications by 70%, increased grain yields by 5% and delivered an economic advantage of 7.5%. Additional field studies showed that predators and parasitoids of the main rice pests, together with detritivores, were more abundant in the presence of nectar-producing plants. We conclude that a simple diversification approach, in this case the growth of nectar-producing plants, can contribute to the ecological intensification of agricultural systems.
  15. Borzych-Duzalka D, Shroff R, Ariceta G, Yap YC, Paglialonga F, Xu H, et al.
    Am. J. Kidney Dis., 2019 Apr 19.
    PMID: 31010601 DOI: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2019.02.014
    RATIONALE & OBJECTIVE: Arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) have been recommended as the preferred vascular access for pediatric patients on maintenance hemodialysis (HD), but data comparing AVFs with other access types are scant. We studied vascular access choice, placement, complications, and outcomes in children.

    STUDY DESIGN: Prospective observational cohort study.

    SETTING & PARTICIPANTS: 552 children and adolescents from 27 countries on maintenance HD followed up prospectively by the International Pediatric HD Network (IPHN) Registry between 2012 and 2017.

    PREDICTOR: Type of vascular access: AVF, central venous catheter (CVC), or arteriovenous graft.

    OUTCOME: Infectious and noninfectious vascular access complication rates, dialysis performance, biochemical and hematologic parameters, and clinical outcomes.

    ANALYTICAL APPROACH: Univariate and multivariable linear mixed models, generalized linear mixed models, and proportional hazards models; cumulative incidence functions.

    RESULTS: During 314 cumulative patient-years, 628 CVCs, 225 AVFs, and 17 arteriovenous grafts were placed. One-third of the children with an AVF required a temporary CVC until fistula maturation. Vascular access choice was associated with age and expectations for early transplantation. There was a 3-fold higher living related transplantation rate and lower median time to transplantation of 14 (IQR, 6-23) versus 20 (IQR, 14-36) months with CVCs compared with AVFs. Higher blood flow rates and Kt/Vurea were achieved with AVFs than with CVCs. Infectious complications were reported only with CVCs (1.3/1,000 catheter-days) and required vascular access replacement in 47%. CVC dysfunction rates were 2.5/1,000 catheter-days compared to 1.2/1,000 fistula-days. CVCs required 82% more revisions and almost 3-fold more vascular access replacements to a different site than AVFs (P<0.001).

    LIMITATIONS: Clinical rather than population-based data.

    CONCLUSIONS: CVCs are the predominant vascular access choice in children receiving HD within the IPHN. Age-related anatomical limitations and expected early living related transplantation were associated with CVC use. CVCs were associated with poorer dialysis efficacy, higher complication rates, and more frequent need for vascular access replacement. Such findings call for a re-evaluation of pediatric CVC use and practices.

  16. Sreekar R, Katabuchi M, Nakamura A, Corlett RT, Slik JWF, Fletcher C, et al.
    R Soc Open Sci, 2018 Sep;5(9):181168.
    PMID: 30839691 DOI: 10.1098/rsos.181168
    The relationship between β-diversity and latitude still remains to be a core question in ecology because of the lack of consensus between studies. One hypothesis for the lack of consensus between studies is that spatial scale changes the relationship between latitude and β-diversity. Here, we test this hypothesis using tree data from 15 large-scale forest plots (greater than or equal to 15 ha, diameter at breast height ≥ 1 cm) across a latitudinal gradient (3-30o) in the Asia-Pacific region. We found that the observed β-diversity decreased with increasing latitude when sampling local tree communities at small spatial scale (grain size ≤0.1 ha), but the observed β-diversity did not change with latitude when sampling at large spatial scales (greater than or equal to 0.25 ha). Differences in latitudinal β-diversity gradients across spatial scales were caused by pooled species richness (γ-diversity), which influenced observed β-diversity values at small spatial scales, but not at large spatial scales. Therefore, spatial scale changes the relationship between β-diversity, γ-diversity and latitude, and improving sample representativeness avoids the γ-dependence of β-diversity.
  17. Carrero JJ, Thomas F, Nagy K, Arogundade F, Avesani CM, Chan M, et al.
    J Ren Nutr, 2018 11;28(6):380-392.
    PMID: 30348259 DOI: 10.1053/j.jrn.2018.08.006
    OBJECTIVE: To better define the prevalence of protein-energy wasting (PEW) in kidney disease is poorly defined.

    METHODS: We performed a meta-analysis of PEW prevalence from contemporary studies including more than 50 subjects with kidney disease, published during 2000-2014 and reporting on PEW prevalence by subjective global assessment or malnutrition-inflammation score. Data were reviewed throughout different strata: (1) acute kidney injury (AKI), (2) pediatric chronic kidney disease (CKD), (3) nondialyzed CKD 3-5, (4) maintenance dialysis, and (5) subjects undergoing kidney transplantation (Tx). Sample size, period of publication, reporting quality, methods, dialysis technique, country, geographical region, and gross national income were a priori considered factors influencing between-study variability.

    RESULTS: Two studies including 189 AKI patients reported a PEW prevalence of 60% and 82%. Five studies including 1776 patients with CKD stages 3-5 reported PEW prevalence ranging from 11% to 54%. Finally, 90 studies from 34 countries including 16,434 patients on maintenance dialysis were identified. The 25th-75th percentiles range in PEW prevalence among dialysis studies was 28-54%. Large variation in PEW prevalence across studies remained even when accounting for moderators. Mixed-effects meta-regression identified geographical region as the only significant moderator explaining 23% of the observed data heterogeneity. Finally, two studies including 1067 Tx patients reported a PEW prevalence of 28% and 52%, and no studies recruiting pediatric CKD patients were identified.

    CONCLUSION: By providing evidence-based ranges of PEW prevalence, we conclude that PEW is a common phenomenon across the spectrum of AKI and CKD. This, together with the well-documented impact of PEW on patient outcomes, justifies the need for increased medical attention.

  18. Cheng YC, Stanne TM, Giese AK, Ho WK, Traylor M, Amouyel P, et al.
    Stroke, 2016 Feb;47(2):307-16.
    PMID: 26732560 DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.115.011328
    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Although a genetic contribution to ischemic stroke is well recognized, only a handful of stroke loci have been identified by large-scale genetic association studies to date. Hypothesizing that genetic effects might be stronger for early- versus late-onset stroke, we conducted a 2-stage meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies, focusing on stroke cases with an age of onset <60 years.

    METHODS: The discovery stage of our genome-wide association studies included 4505 cases and 21 968 controls of European, South-Asian, and African ancestry, drawn from 6 studies. In Stage 2, we selected the lead genetic variants at loci with association P<5×10(-6) and performed in silico association analyses in an independent sample of ≤1003 cases and 7745 controls.

    RESULTS: One stroke susceptibility locus at 10q25 reached genome-wide significance in the combined analysis of all samples from the discovery and follow-up stages (rs11196288; odds ratio =1.41; P=9.5×10(-9)). The associated locus is in an intergenic region between TCF7L2 and HABP2. In a further analysis in an independent sample, we found that 2 single nucleotide polymorphisms in high linkage disequilibrium with rs11196288 were significantly associated with total plasma factor VII-activating protease levels, a product of HABP2.

    CONCLUSIONS: HABP2, which encodes an extracellular serine protease involved in coagulation, fibrinolysis, and inflammatory pathways, may be a genetic susceptibility locus for early-onset stroke.

  19. Chu C, Lutz JA, Král K, Vrška T, Yin X, Myers JA, et al.
    Ecol. Lett., 2019 Feb;22(2):245-255.
    PMID: 30548766 DOI: 10.1111/ele.13175
    Climate is widely recognised as an important determinant of the latitudinal diversity gradient. However, most existing studies make no distinction between direct and indirect effects of climate, which substantially hinders our understanding of how climate constrains biodiversity globally. Using data from 35 large forest plots, we test hypothesised relationships amongst climate, topography, forest structural attributes (stem abundance, tree size variation and stand basal area) and tree species richness to better understand drivers of latitudinal tree diversity patterns. Climate influences tree richness both directly, with more species in warm, moist, aseasonal climates and indirectly, with more species at higher stem abundance. These results imply direct limitation of species diversity by climatic stress and more rapid (co-)evolution and narrower niche partitioning in warm climates. They also support the idea that increased numbers of individuals associated with high primary productivity are partitioned to support a greater number of species.
  20. 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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