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  1. Bi Y, Xu X, Chua SY, Chow EMT, Wang X
    Sensors (Basel), 2018 Mar 07;18(3).
    PMID: 29518889 DOI: 10.3390/s18030798
    Laser sensing has been applied in various underwater applications, ranging from underwater detection to laser underwater communications. However, there are several great challenges when profiling underwater turbulence effects. Underwater detection is greatly affected by the turbulence effect, where the acquired image suffers excessive noise, blurring, and deformation. In this paper, we propose a novel underwater turbulence detection method based on a gated wavefront sensing technique. First, we elaborate on the operating principle of gated wavefront sensing and wavefront reconstruction. We then setup an experimental system in order to validate the feasibility of our proposed method. The effect of underwater turbulence on detection is examined at different distances, and under different turbulence levels. The experimental results obtained from our gated wavefront sensing system indicate that underwater turbulence can be detected and analyzed. The proposed gated wavefront sensing system has the advantage of a simple structure and high detection efficiency for underwater environments.
  2. Zhu W, Zheng W, Hu X, Xu X, Zhang L, Tian J
    Biochim Biophys Acta Proteins Proteom, 2017 Apr;1865(4):404-413.
    PMID: 28087425 DOI: 10.1016/j.bbapap.2017.01.004
    Lonicera japonica Thunb., also known as Jin Yin Hua and Japanese honeysuckle, is used as a herbal medicine in Asian countries. Its flowers have been used in folk medicine in the clinic and in making food or healthy beverages for over 1500years in China. To investigate the molecular processes involved in L. japonica development from buds to flowers exposed to UV radiation, a comparative proteomics analysis was performed. Fifty-four proteins were identified as differentially expressed, including 42 that had increased expression and 12 that had decreased expression. The levels of the proteins related to glycolysis, TCA/organic acid transformation, major carbohydrate metabolism, oxidative pentose phosphate, stress, secondary metabolism, hormone, and mitochondrial electron transport were increased during flower opening process after exposure to UV radiation. Six metabolites in L. japonica buds and flowers were identified and relatively quantified using LC-MS/MS. The antioxidant activity was performed using a 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl assay, which revealed that L. japonica buds had more activity than the UV irradiated flowers. This suggests that UV-B radiation induces production of endogenous ethylene in L. japonica buds, thus facilitating blossoming of the buds and activating the antioxidant system. Additionally, the higher metabolite contents and antioxidant properties of L. japonica buds indicate that the L. japonica bud stage may be a more optimal time to harvest than the flower stage when using for medicinal properties.
  3. Muhamad HM, Xu X, Zhang X, Jaaman SA, Muda AM
    J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 2018 05;143(5):2708.
    PMID: 29857727 DOI: 10.1121/1.5036926
    Studies of Irrawaddy dolphins' acoustics assist in understanding the behaviour of the species and thereby conservation of this species. Whistle signals emitted by Irrawaddy dolphin within the Bay of Brunei in Malaysian waters were characterized. A total of 199 whistles were analysed from seven sightings between January and April 2016. Six types of whistles contours named constant, upsweep, downsweep, concave, convex, and sine were detected when the dolphins engaged in traveling, foraging, and socializing activities. The whistle durations ranged between 0.06 and 3.86 s. The minimum frequency recorded was 443 Hz [Mean = 6000 Hz, standard deviation (SD) = 2320 Hz] and the maximum frequency recorded was 16 071 Hz (Mean = 7139 Hz, SD = 2522 Hz). The mean frequency range (F.R.) for the whistles was 1148 Hz (Minimum F.R. = 0 Hz, Maximum F.R. = 4446 Hz; SD = 876 Hz). Whistles in the Bay of Brunei were compared with population recorded from the waters of Matang and Kalimantan. The comparisons showed differences in whistle duration, minimum frequency, start frequency, and number of inflection point. Variation in whistle occurrence and frequency may be associated with surface behaviour, ambient noise, and recording limitation. This will be an important element when planning a monitoring program.
  4. Mellor D, Hucker A, Waterhouse M, binti Mamat NH, Xu X, Cochrane J, et al.
    Am J Mens Health, 2014 Nov;8(6):521-31.
    PMID: 24707036 DOI: 10.1177/1557988314528370
    This study investigated how dissatisfaction with particular aspects of the body was associated with overall body dissatisfaction among male adolescents in Western and Asian cultures. One hundred and six Malaysian Malays, 55 Malaysian Chinese, 195 Chinese from China, and 45 non-Asian Australians aged 12 to 19 years completed a questionnaire assessing dissatisfaction with their overall body and dissatisfaction with varying aspects of their body. Dissatisfaction with the face, height, and hair was positively correlated with overall body dissatisfaction among Malaysian Malays after body mass index, age and dissatisfaction with body areas typically included in measures (weight/shape, upper, middle, and lower body, and muscles) had been controlled for. Dissatisfaction with the face was positively correlated with overall body dissatisfaction among Malaysian Chinese. These findings demonstrate the differences in body focus for males from different cultures and the importance of using assessment measures that address all possible areas of body focus.
  5. Mellor D, Waterhouse M, Mamat NH, Xu X, Cochrane J, McCabe M, et al.
    Body Image, 2013 Jan;10(1):54-61.
    PMID: 23228484 DOI: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2012.10.002
    This study investigated how dissatisfaction with various aspects of the body is associated with overall body dissatisfaction among female adolescents in Western and Asian cultures. Data used in the study were obtained from 58 Malaysian Malays, 95 Malaysian Chinese, 242 Chinese from China, and 81 non-Asian Australians aged 12-19 years (M=15.72, SD=1.72) who were recruited from high schools. Participants completed a questionnaire assessing dissatisfaction with their body overall, and dissatisfaction with varying aspects of their body. Malaysian Chinese were the most dissatisfied with their bodies. After controlling for body mass index (BMI), age and dissatisfaction with weight/shape, upper, middle and lower body, and muscles, dissatisfaction with the face was positively correlated with overall body dissatisfaction among Malaysian Malays and Australians. These findings demonstrate the importance of using assessment measures that address all possible areas of body focus as well as being tailored to the relevant culture.
  6. Li L, He Y, Yang H, Zhu J, Xu X, Dong J, et al.
    J. Clin. Microbiol., 2005 Aug;43(8):3835-9.
    PMID: 16081920
    The genetic and phylogenetic characteristics of human enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackievirus A16 (CA16) sampled from children with hand, foot, and mouth disease in Shenzhen, People's Republic of China, over a 6-year period (1999 to 2004) were examined with reverse transcription-PCR and DNA sequencing. Out of 147 stool specimens, 60 showed positive signals when screened with EV71- and CA16-specific primers. EV71 was identified in 19 specimens, and CA16 was identified in 41 specimens; coinfection by EV71 and CA16 was not observed. Phylogenetic analysis of all EV71 strains isolated from the mainland Chinese samples established C4 as the predominant genotype. Only one other known strain (3254-TAI-98; AF286531), isolated in Taiwan in 1998, was identified as belonging to genotype C4. Phylogenetic analysis of CA16 strains allowed us to identify three new genetic lineages (A, B, and C), with lineage C recently predominating in Asian countries, such as the People's Republic of China, Malaysia, and Japan. These new observations indicate that CA16 circulating in the People's Republic of China is genetically diverse, and additional surveillance is warranted.
  7. Xu X, Liu F, Chen J, Ono H, Li D, Kuntner M
    Zookeys, 2015.
    PMID: 25878527 DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.488.8726
    The spider suborder Mesothelae, containing a single extant family Liphistiidae, represents a species-poor and ancient lineage. These are conspicuous spiders that primitively retain a segmented abdomen and appendage-like spinnerets. While their classification history is nearly devoid of phylogenetic hypotheses, we here revise liphistiid genus level taxonomy based on original sampling throughout their Asian range, and on the evidence from a novel molecular phylogeny. By combining morphological and natural history evidence with phylogenetic relationships in the companion paper, we provide strong support for the monophyly of Liphistiidae, and the two subfamilies Liphistiinae and Heptathelinae. While the former only contains Liphistius Schiödte, 1849, a genus distributed in Indonesia (Sumatra), Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, we recognize and diagnose seven heptatheline genera, all but three removed from the synonymy of Heptathela: i) Ganthela Xu & Kuntner, gen. n. with the type species Ganthelayundingensis Xu, sp. n. is known from Fujian and Jiangxi, China; ii) a rediagnosed Heptathela Kishida, 1923 is confined to the Japanese islands (Kyushu and Okinawa); iii) Qiongthela Xu & Kuntner, gen. n. with the type species Qiongthelabaishensis Xu, sp. n. is distributed disjunctly in Hainan, China and Vietnam; iv) Ryuthela Haupt, 1983 is confined to the Ryukyu archipelago (Japan); v) Sinothela Haupt, 2003 inhabits Chinese areas north of Yangtze; vi) Songthela Ono, 2000 inhabits southwest China and northern Vietnam; and vii) Vinathela Ono, 2000 (Abcathela Ono, 2000, syn. n.; Nanthela Haupt, 2003, syn. n.) is known from southeast China and Vietnam.
  8. Ross H, Husain MJ, Kostova D, Xu X, Edwards SM, Chaloupka FJ, et al.
    MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep., 2015 May 29;64(20):547-50.
    PMID: 26020137
    An estimated 11.6% of the world cigarette market is illicit, representing more than 650 billion cigarettes a year and $40.5 billion in lost revenue. Illicit tobacco trade refers to any practice related to distributing, selling, or buying tobacco products that is prohibited by law, including tax evasion (sale of tobacco products without payment of applicable taxes), counterfeiting, disguising the origin of products, and smuggling. Illicit trade undermines tobacco prevention and control initiatives by increasing the accessibility and affordability of tobacco products, and reduces government tax revenue streams. The World Health Organization (WHO) Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, signed by 54 countries, provides tools for addressing illicit trade through a package of regulatory and governing principles. As of May 2015, only eight countries had ratified or acceded to the illicit trade protocol, with an additional 32 needed for it to become international law (i.e., legally binding). Data from multiple international sources were analyzed to evaluate the 10 most commonly used approaches for addressing illicit trade and to summarize differences in implementation across select countries and the European Union (EU). Although the WHO illicit trade protocol defines shared global standards for addressing illicit trade, countries are guided by their own legal and enforcement frameworks, leading to a diversity of approaches employed across countries. Continued adoption of the methods outlined in the WHO illicit trade protocol might improve the global capacity to reduce illicit trade in tobacco products.
  9. 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.
  10. Shen Y, Wang L, Fu J, Xu X, Yue GH, Li J
    BMC Genomics, 2019 Jun 07;20(1):467.
    PMID: 31174480 DOI: 10.1186/s12864-019-5872-1
    BACKGROUND: Genetic diversity within a species reflects population evolution, ecology, and ability to adapt. Genome-wide population surveys of both natural and introduced populations provide insights into genetic diversity, the evolutionary processes and the genetic basis underlying local adaptation. Grass carp is the most important freshwater foodfish species for food and water weed control. However, there is as yet no overall picture on genetic variations and population structure of this species, which is important for its aquaculture.

    RESULTS: We used 43,310 SNPs to infer the population structure, evidence of local adaptation and sources of introduction. The overall genetic differentiation of this species was low. The native populations were differentiated into three genetic clusters, corresponding to the Yangtze, Pearl and Heilongjiang River Systems, respectively. The populations in Malaysia, India and Nepal were introduced from both the Yangtze and Pearl River Systems. Loci and genes involved in putative local selection for native locations were identified. Evidence of both positive and balancing selection was found in the introduced locations. Genes associated with loci under putative selection were involved in many biological functions. Outlier loci were grouped into clusters as genomic islands within some specific genomic regions, which likely agrees with the divergence hitchhiking scenario of divergence-with-gene-flow.

    CONCLUSIONS: This study, for the first time, sheds novel insights on the population differentiation of the grass carp, genetics of its strong ability in adaption to diverse environments and sources of some introduced grass carp populations. Our data also suggests that the natural populations of the grass carp have been affected by the aquaculture besides neutral and adaptive forces.

  11. Xu X, Smith CB, Mungall BA, Lindstrom SE, Hall HE, Subbarao K, et al.
    J. Infect. Dis., 2002 Nov 15;186(10):1490-3.
    PMID: 12404167
    Reassortant influenza A viruses bearing the H1 subtype of hemagglutinin (HA) and the N2 subtype of neuraminidase (NA) were isolated from humans in the United States, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Oman, Egypt, and several countries in Europe during the 2001-2002 influenza season. The HAs of these H1N2 viruses were similar to that of the A/New Caledonia/20/99(H1N1) vaccine strain both antigenically and genetically, and the NAs were antigenically and genetically related to those of recent human H3N2 reference strains, such as A/Moscow/10/99(H3N2). All 6 internal genes of the H1N2 reassortants examined originated from an H3N2 virus. This article documents the first widespread circulation of H1N2 reassortants on 4 continents. The current influenza vaccine is expected to provide good protection against H1N2 viruses, because it contains the A/New Caledonia/20/99(H1N1) and A/Moscow/10/99(H3N2)-like viruses, which have H1 and N2 antigens that are similar to those of recent H1N2 viruses.
  12. Xu X, Liu F, Cheng RC, Chen J, Xu X, Zhang Z, et al.
    Proc. Biol. Sci., 2015 Jun 07;282(1808):20142486.
    PMID: 25948684 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.2486
    Living fossils are lineages that have retained plesiomorphic traits through long time periods. It is expected that such lineages have both originated and diversified long ago. Such expectations have recently been challenged in some textbook examples of living fossils, notably in extant cycads and coelacanths. Using a phylogenetic approach, we tested the patterns of the origin and diversification of liphistiid spiders, a clade of spiders considered to be living fossils due to their retention of arachnid plesiomorphies and their exclusive grouping in Mesothelae, an ancient clade sister to all modern spiders. Facilitated by original sampling throughout their Asian range, we here provide the phylogenetic framework necessary for reconstructing liphistiid biogeographic history. All phylogenetic analyses support the monophyly of Liphistiidae and of eight genera. As the fossil evidence supports a Carboniferous Euramerican origin of Mesothelae, our dating analyses postulate a long eastward over-land dispersal towards the Asian origin of Liphistiidae during the Palaeogene (39-58 Ma). Contrary to expectations, diversification within extant liphistiid genera is relatively recent, in the Neogene and Late Palaeogene (4-24 Ma). While no over-water dispersal events are needed to explain their evolutionary history, the history of liphistiid spiders has the potential to play prominently in vicariant biogeographic studies.
  13. Costa H, Xu X, Overbeek G, Vasaikar S, Patro CP, Kostopoulou ON, et al.
    Oncotarget, 2016 Jul 26;7(30):47221-47231.
    PMID: 27363017 DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.9722
    BACKGROUND: Both arginase (ARG2) and human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) have been implicated in tumorigenesis. However, the role of ARG2 in the pathogenesis of glioblastoma (GBM) and the HCMV effects on ARG2 are unknown. We hypothesize that HCMV may contribute to tumorigenesis by increasing ARG2 expression.

    RESULTS: ARG2 promotes tumorigenesis by increasing cellular proliferation, migration, invasion and vasculogenic mimicry in GBM cells, at least in part due to overexpression of MMP2/9. The nor-NOHA significantly reduced migration and tube formation of ARG2-overexpressing cells. HCMV immediate-early proteins (IE1/2) or its downstream pathways upregulated the expression of ARG2 in U-251 MG cells. Immunostaining of GBM tissue sections confirmed the overexpression of ARG2, consistent with data from subsets of Gene Expression Omnibus. Moreover, higher levels of ARG2 expression tended to be associated with poorer survival in GBM patient by analyzing data from TCGA.

    METHODS: The role of ARG2 in tumorigenesis was examined by proliferation-, migration-, invasion-, wound healing- and tube formation assays using an ARG2-overexpressing cell line and ARG inhibitor, N (omega)-hydroxy-nor-L-arginine (nor-NOHA) and siRNA against ARG2 coupled with functional assays measuring MMP2/9 activity, VEGF levels and nitric oxide synthase activity. Association between HCMV and ARG2 were examined in vitro with 3 different GBM cell lines, and ex vivo with immunostaining on GBM tissue sections. The viral mechanism mediating ARG2 induction was examined by siRNA approach. Correlation between ARG2 expression and patient survival was extrapolated from bioinformatics analysis on data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA).

    CONCLUSIONS: ARG2 promotes tumorigenesis, and HCMV may contribute to GBM pathogenesis by upregulating ARG2.

  14. Chang Y, Liu H, Liu M, Liao X, Sahu SK, Fu Y, et al.
    Gigascience, 2019 03 01;8(3).
    PMID: 30535374 DOI: 10.1093/gigascience/giy152
    BACKGROUND: The expanding world population is expected to double the worldwide demand for food by 2050. Eighty-eight percent of countries currently face a serious burden of malnutrition, especially in Africa and south and southeast Asia. About 95% of the food energy needs of humans are fulfilled by just 30 species, of which wheat, maize, and rice provide the majority of calories. Therefore, to diversify and stabilize the global food supply, enhance agricultural productivity, and tackle malnutrition, greater use of neglected or underutilized local plants (so-called orphan crops, but also including a few plants of special significance to agriculture, agroforestry, and nutrition) could be a partial solution.

    RESULTS: Here, we present draft genome information for five agriculturally, biologically, medicinally, and economically important underutilized plants native to Africa: Vigna subterranea, Lablab purpureus, Faidherbia albida, Sclerocarya birrea, and Moringa oleifera. Assembled genomes range in size from 217 to 654 Mb. In V. subterranea, L. purpureus, F. albida, S. birrea, and M. oleifera, we have predicted 31,707, 20,946, 28,979, 18,937, and 18,451 protein-coding genes, respectively. By further analyzing the expansion and contraction of selected gene families, we have characterized root nodule symbiosis genes, transcription factors, and starch biosynthesis-related genes in these genomes.

    CONCLUSIONS: These genome data will be useful to identify and characterize agronomically important genes and understand their modes of action, enabling genomics-based, evolutionary studies, and breeding strategies to design faster, more focused, and predictable crop improvement programs.

  15. McDowell N, Allen CD, Anderson-Teixeira K, Brando P, Brienen R, Chambers J, et al.
    New Phytol., 2018 08;219(3):851-869.
    PMID: 29451313 DOI: 10.1111/nph.15027
    Tree mortality rates appear to be increasing in moist tropical forests (MTFs) with significant carbon cycle consequences. Here, we review the state of knowledge regarding MTF tree mortality, create a conceptual framework with testable hypotheses regarding the drivers, mechanisms and interactions that may underlie increasing MTF mortality rates, and identify the next steps for improved understanding and reduced prediction. Increasing mortality rates are associated with rising temperature and vapor pressure deficit, liana abundance, drought, wind events, fire and, possibly, CO2 fertilization-induced increases in stand thinning or acceleration of trees reaching larger, more vulnerable heights. The majority of these mortality drivers may kill trees in part through carbon starvation and hydraulic failure. The relative importance of each driver is unknown. High species diversity may buffer MTFs against large-scale mortality events, but recent and expected trends in mortality drivers give reason for concern regarding increasing mortality within MTFs. Models of tropical tree mortality are advancing the representation of hydraulics, carbon and demography, but require more empirical knowledge regarding the most common drivers and their subsequent mechanisms. We outline critical datasets and model developments required to test hypotheses regarding the underlying causes of increasing MTF mortality rates, and improve prediction of future mortality under climate change.
  16. Shang X, Peng Z, Ye Y, Asan, Zhang X, Chen Y, et al.
    EBioMedicine, 2017 Sep;23:150-159.
    PMID: 28865746 DOI: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2017.08.015
    Hemoglobinopathies are among the most common autosomal-recessive disorders worldwide. A comprehensive next-generation sequencing (NGS) test would greatly facilitate screening and diagnosis of these disorders. An NGS panel targeting the coding regions of hemoglobin genes and four modifier genes was designed. We validated the assay by using 2522 subjects affected with hemoglobinopathies and applied it to carrier testing in a cohort of 10,111 couples who were also screened through traditional methods. In the clinical genotyping analysis of 1182 β-thalassemia subjects, we identified a group of additional variants that can be used for accurate diagnosis. In the molecular screening analysis of the 10,111 couples, we detected 4180 individuals in total who carried 4840 mutant alleles, and identified 186 couples at risk of having affected offspring. 12.1% of the pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants identified by our NGS assay, which were undetectable by traditional methods. Compared with the traditional methods, our assay identified an additional at-risk 35 couples. We describe a comprehensive NGS-based test that offers advantages over the traditional screening/molecular testing methods. To our knowledge, this is among the first large-scale population study to systematically evaluate the application of an NGS technique in carrier screening and molecular diagnosis of hemoglobinopathies.
  17. Grove J, Ripke S, Als TD, Mattheisen M, Walters RK, Won H, et al.
    Nat. Genet., 2019 03;51(3):431-444.
    PMID: 30804558 DOI: 10.1038/s41588-019-0344-8
    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a highly heritable and heterogeneous group of neurodevelopmental phenotypes diagnosed in more than 1% of children. Common genetic variants contribute substantially to ASD susceptibility, but to date no individual variants have been robustly associated with ASD. With a marked sample-size increase from a unique Danish population resource, we report a genome-wide association meta-analysis of 18,381 individuals with ASD and 27,969 controls that identified five genome-wide-significant loci. Leveraging GWAS results from three phenotypes with significantly overlapping genetic architectures (schizophrenia, major depression, and educational attainment), we identified seven additional loci shared with other traits at equally strict significance levels. Dissecting the polygenic architecture, we found both quantitative and qualitative polygenic heterogeneity across ASD subtypes. These results highlight biological insights, particularly relating to neuronal function and corticogenesis, and establish that GWAS performed at scale will be much more productive in the near term in ASD.
  18. 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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