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Now showing items 1 - 16 of 124

  • A study of "cancer villages" in Jiangsu Province of China

    Cheng, Yuanyuan   Nathanail, C. Paul  

    China's economic boom has created many environmental and health challenges, including so-called cancer villages. This study, the first to use the lens of cancer villages at provincial level, examines the correlation between changes in Jiangsu cancer villages and economic and environmental quality indicators identified as being relevant, and hence to highlight environmental issues that should be mitigated to protect public health. Since 2001, 25 cancer villages have been reported in Jiangsu. The distribution pattern of these villages is of a cluster whose mean centre had moved from Suzhou city in 2001 to Taizhou in 2006 and 2011. By applying the buffer analysis tool of ArcGIS10.2.2 using 3-km and 5-km radius buffer, to examine the relationship between these cancer villages and the surrounding rivers, it was revealed that 76% of the villages fall within the 3-km buffer zone, and 88% are within the 5-km buffer zone. A fairly strong correlation between the cancer villages and annual GDP, as well as pollutant discharge, was found, with correlation coefficients of 0.94 for Jiangsu, 0.89 for Northern Jiangsu, 0.93 for Central Jiangsu, 0.83 for Southern Jiangsu and 0.64 for city level. The change of newly added cancer villages is significantly influenced by the discharge of sewage water (raising COD) and SO2, and the peak of newly added cancer villages, as well as discharge of COD and SO2 all occurred in 2005. For four cities, the total sewage water discharge and SO2 emissions are consistent with the order of the distribution density of the villages. The phenomenon of cancer villages in China will gradually be resolved as the government takes effective measures to tackle environmental issues coupled with people's increasing environmental and health awareness.
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  • Characterisation of MHC class I genes in the koala

    Cheng, Yuanyuan   Polkinghorne, Adam   Gillett, Amber   Jones, Elizabeth A.   O'Meally, Denis   Timms, Peter   Belov, Katherine  

    Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) populations are on the decline across the majority of Australia's mainland. Two major diseases threatening the long-term survival of affected koala populations are caused by obligate intracellular pathogens: Chlamydia and koala retrovirus (KoRV). To improve our understanding of the koala immune system, we characterised their major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I genes, which are centrally involved in presenting foreign peptides derived from intracellular pathogens to cytotoxic T cells. A total of 11 class I genes were identified in the koala genome. Three genes, Phci-UA, UB and UC, showed relatively high genetic variability and were expressed in all 12 examined tissues, whereas the other eight genes had tissue-specific expression and limited polymorphism. Evidence of diversifying selection was detected in Phci-UA and UC, while gene conversion may have played a role in creating new alleles at Phci-UB. We propose that Phci-UA, UB and UC are likely classical MHC genes of koalas, and further research is needed to understand their role in koala chlamydial and KoRV infections.
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  • A study of “cancer villages” in Jiangsu Province of China

    Cheng, Yuanyuan   Nathanail, C. Paul  

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  • Nanocoating:Anti-icing superamphiphobic surface on 1060 aluminum alloy mesh

    Xu, Zhouyi   Qi, Hongbin   Cheng, Yuanyuan   He, Xiyan  

    The superamphiphobic 1060 aluminum alloy mesh with nano-villus coating on surface was prepared by chemical micro-engraving method. NaOH solution was used to form micro-sized roughness on the mesh substrate, and PFMS (1H, 1H, 2H, 2H-perfluoroalkyltrimethoxysilane) was used to reduce the surface energy of the mesh matrix and combined with -OH on the surface to form nanocoating of superamphiphobicity. When water was used as test liquid, the contact angle on the surface was 158 degrees, and glycerol was used as test liquid, the contact angle on the surface was 163 degrees. In order to test the performance of superamphiphobic surface, the experiments of ice resistance, corrosion resistance, self-cleaning and wear resistance were carried out in this paper. The experimental results show that the superamphiphobic aluminum alloy mesh with nanocoating has excellent anti-icing performance at -18 degrees C for the first 26 h, good corrosion and wearing resistance. It can replace the traditional aluminum material in low temperature environment to ensure the normal operation of precision electronic devices.
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  • Rapid cultivation and stability of autotrophic nitrifying granular sludge.

    Zhang, Linan   Long, Bei   Cheng, Yuanyuan   Wu, Junfeng   Zhang, Binchao   Zeng, Yu   Huang, Sinong   Zeng, Mingjing  

    Autotrophic nitrifying granular sludge (ANGS) was cultivated by gradually decreasing the influent organics and adding exogenous nitrifying bacteria. Under the strategy, ANGS was domesticated within 36 days. Stability of the seed heterotrophic granules decreased significantly during conversion of organic wastewater to inorganic ammonia wastewater. Obvious granular breakage was observed during these days. However, the granular debris still had good settlement performance. With microbes gradually acclimated to the new environment, the debris provided a large number of carriers for the attached growth of the exogenous nitrifying bacteria, and they replaced the heterotrophic bacteria and became the dominant species. The domesticated ANGS showed good nitrification performance during the 37th to the 183rd day (ammonia nitrogen load between 0.28 and 0.29 kg/m3 =C2=B7 d). The removal rate of ammonia nitrogen was usually more than 95%, and nitrite accumulation rate was always larger than 50%. However, nitrification ability was gradually lost with the increase of the ammonia nitrogen load (0.3-0.64 kg/m3 =C2=B7 d) from the 184th day, and it almost approached the influent ammonia nitrogen at the 269th day. Interestingly, good structure stability of the ANGS was maintained during long-term operation, and the ANGS became smoother and denser at the end of the experiment.=20
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  • Characterisation of MHC class I genes in the koala

    Cheng, Yuanyuan   Polkinghorne, Adam   Gillett, Amber   Jones, Elizabeth A.   O’Meally, Denis   Timms, Peter   Belov, Katherine  

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  • Pro-resolving lipid mediators as therapeutic leads for cardiovascular diseases

    Cheng, Yuanyuan   Rong, Jianhui  

    Introduction: Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of human death globally. Lipid mediators contribute to the initiation and resolution of inflammation in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases. These resolving lipid mediators antagonize the effects of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins (PGs) and leukotrienes (LTs) on macrophage/neutrophil infiltration, enhance macrophage phagocytosis towards apoptotic cells, and accelerate tissue repair. Importantly, pro-inflammatory PGs and LTs may be converted into anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective metabolites, suggesting potential benefits to cardiovascular diseases.Area coveredIn this review, the authors not only reviewed biosynthesis and bioactivities of various lipid mediators but also discussed the strategies for the discovery of novel lipid mediators in cardiovascular diseases. The authors further employed bioinformatics analysis and network pharmacology analysis to elucidate the interactions between lipid mediators and proteins, and predict the new targets for cardiovascular diseases.Expert opinion: Bioinformatics and network pharmacology analysis indeed helped the prediction of several new targets (e.g. FAAH, HDAC4, SIP and PTGER4). Such information consolidates the therapeutic potential of lipid mediators in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Nevertheless, future success in the development of lipid mediators as new therapy requires extensive effort to explore toxicological property, drug delivery study, biosynthesis and the underlying mechanisms of treating cardiovascular diseases.
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  • Pro-resolving lipid mediators as therapeutic leads for cardiovascular diseases

    Cheng, Yuanyuan   Rong, Jianhui  

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  • Evolution of the avian beta-defensin and cathelicidin genes.

    Cheng, Yuanyuan   Prickett, Michael Dennis   Gutowska, Weronika   Kuo, Richard   Belov, Katherine   Burt, David W  

    BACKGROUND: beta-defensins and cathelicidins are two families of cationic antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) with a broad range of antimicrobial activities that are key components of the innate immune system. Due to their important roles in host defense against rapidly evolving pathogens, the two gene families provide an ideal system for studying adaptive gene evolution. In this study we performed phylogenetic and selection analyses on beta-defensins and cathelicidins from 53 avian species representing 32 orders to examine the evolutionary dynamics of these peptides in birds.; RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Avian beta-defensins are found in a gene cluster consisting of 13 subfamiles. Nine of these are conserved as one to one orthologs in all birds, while the others (AvBD1, AvBD3, AvBD7 and AvBD14) are more subject to gene duplication or pseudogenisation events in specific avian lineages. Avian cathelicidins are found in a gene cluster consisting of three subfamilies with species-specific duplications and gene loss. Evidence suggested that the propiece and mature peptide domains of avian cathelicidins are possibly co-evolving in such a way that the cationicity of the mature peptide is partially neutralised by the negative charge of the propiece prior to peptide secretion (further evidence obtained by repeating the analyses on primate cathelicidins). Negative selection (overall mean dN < dS) was detected in most of the gene domains examined, conserving certain amino acid residues that may be functionally crucial for the avian beta-defensins and cathelicidins, while episodic positive selection was also involved in driving the diversification of specific codon sites of certain AMPs in avian evolutionary history. These findings have greatly improved our understanding of the molecular evolution of avian AMPs and will be useful to understand their role in the avian innate immune response. Additionally, the large dataset of beta-defensin and cathelicidin peptides may also provide a valuable resource for translational research and development of novel antimicrobial agents in the future.=20
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  • Evolution of the avian β-defensin and cathelicidin genes

    Cheng, Yuanyuan   Prickett, Michael Dennis   Gutowska, Weronika   Kuo, Richard   Belov, Katherine   Burt, David W.  

    β-defensins and cathelicidins are two families of cationic antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) with a broad range of antimicrobial activities that are key components of the innate immune system. Due to their important roles in host defense against rapidly evolving pathogens, the two gene families provide an ideal system for studying adaptive gene evolution. In this study we performed phylogenetic and selection analyses on β-defensins and cathelicidins from 53 avian species representing 32 orders to examine the evolutionary dynamics of these peptides in birds. Avian β-defensins are found in a gene cluster consisting of 13 subfamiles. Nine of these are conserved as one to one orthologs in all birds, while the others (AvBD1, AvBD3, AvBD7 and AvBD14) are more subject to gene duplication or pseudogenisation events in specific avian lineages. Avian cathelicidins are found in a gene cluster consisting of three subfamilies with species-specific duplications and gene loss. Evidence suggested that the propiece and mature peptide domains of avian cathelicidins are possibly co-evolving in such a way that the cationicity of the mature peptide is partially neutralised by the negative charge of the propiece prior to peptide secretion (further evidence obtained by repeating the analyses on primate cathelicidins). Negative selection (overall mean dN < dS) was detected in most of the gene domains examined, conserving certain amino acid residues that may be functionally crucial for the avian β-defensins and cathelicidins, while episodic positive selection was also involved in driving the diversification of specific codon sites of certain AMPs in avian evolutionary history. These findings have greatly improved our understanding of the molecular evolution of avian AMPs and will be useful to understand their role in the avian innate immune response. Additionally, the large dataset of β-defensin and cathelicidin peptides may also provide a valuable resource for translational research and development of novel antimicrobial agents in the future.
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  • SNP marker discovery in koala TLR genes.

    Cui, Jian   Frankham, Greta J   Johnson, Rebecca N   Polkinghorne, Adam   Timms, Peter   O'Meally, Denis   Cheng, Yuanyuan   Belov, Katherine  

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play a crucial role in the early defence against invading pathogens, yet our understanding of TLRs in marsupial immunity is limited. Here, we describe the characterisation of nine TLRs from a koala immune tissue transcriptome and one TLR from a draft sequence of the koala genome and the subsequent development of an assay to study genetic diversity in these genes. We surveyed genetic diversity in 20 koalas from New South Wales, Australia and showed that one gene, TLR10 is monomorphic, while the other nine TLR genes have between two and 12 alleles. 40 SNPs (16 non-synonymous) were identified across the ten TLR genes. These markers provide a springboard to future studies on innate immunity in the koala, a species under threat from two major infectious diseases. =20
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  • The origin, dynamics, and molecular evolution of transmissible cancers

    Belov, Katherine   Jones, Elizabeth   Cheng, Yuanyuan  

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  • Chicken genomics

    Cheng, Yuanyuan   Burt, David W.  

    As one of the most economically important species and a unique model organism for biological and medical research, the chicken represents the first non-mammalian amniotic species to have its genome sequenced; and so far, the chicken reference genome represents the best assembled and annotated avian genome. Since the release of the first draft genome sequence, the chicken genome assembly has improved greatly in coverage, contiguity and accuracy owing to the continuous efforts made by the chicken genomics community to generate extensive new data using novel sequencing technologies. Transcriptome sequencing, especially the recent effort to characterise full-length transcripts in chicken tissues, has provided key insights into the complexity of structure and function of the chicken genome. In this article, we review the progress in chicken genome assembly and annotation, and recent advances in comparative genomics in birds. Limitations of current data and plans of research are also discussed.
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  • The Tasmanian devil microbiome—implications for conservation and management

    Cheng, Yuanyuan   Fox, Samantha   Pemberton, David   Hogg, Carolyn   Papenfuss, Anthony T.   Belov, Katherine  

    The Tasmanian devil, the world’s largest carnivorous marsupial, is at risk of extinction due to devil facial tumour disease (DFTD), a fatal contagious cancer. The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program has established an insurance population, which currently holds over 600 devils in captive facilities across Australia. Microbes are known to play a crucial role in the health and well-being of humans and other animals, and increasing evidence suggests that changes in the microbiota can influence various aspects of host physiology and development. To improve our understanding of devils and facilitate management and conservation of the species, we characterised the microbiome of wild devils and investigated differences in the composition of microbial community between captive and wild individuals. A total of 1,223,550 bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) sequences were generated via Roche 454 sequencing from 56 samples, including 17 gut, 15 skin, 18 pouch and 6 oral samples. The devil’s gut microbiome was dominated by Firmicutes and showed a high Firmicutes-to-Bacteroidetes ratio, which appears to be a common feature of many carnivorous mammals. Metabolisms of carbohydrates, amino acids, energy, cofactors and vitamins, nucleotides and lipids were predicted as the most prominent metabolic pathways that the devil's gut flora contributed to. The microbiota inside the female’s pouch outside lactation was highly similar to that of the skin, both co-dominated by Firmicutes and Proteobacteria. The oral microbiome had similar proportions of Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes and Fusobacteria. Compositional differences were observed in all four types of microbiota between devils from captive and wild populations. Certain captive devils had significantly lower levels of gut bacterial diversity than wild individuals, and the two groups differed in the proportion of gut bacteria accounting for the metabolism of glycan, amino acids and cofactors and vitamins. Further studies are underway to investigate whether alterations in the microbiome of captive devils can have impacts on their ability to adapt and survive following re-introduction to the wild.
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  • The Tasmanian devil microbiome-implications for conservation and management.

    Cheng, Yuanyuan   Fox, Samantha   Pemberton, David   Hogg, Carolyn   Papenfuss, Anthony T   Belov, Katherine  

    BACKGROUND: The Tasmanian devil, the world's largest carnivorous marsupial, is at risk of extinction due to devil facial tumour disease (DFTD), a fatal contagious cancer. The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program has established an insurance population, which currently holds over 600 devils in captive facilities across Australia. Microbes are known to play a crucial role in the health and well-being of humans and other animals, and increasing evidence suggests that changes in the microbiota can influence various aspects of host physiology and development. To improve our understanding of devils and facilitate management and conservation of the species, we characterised the microbiome of wild devils and investigated differences in the composition of microbial community between captive and wild individuals.; RESULTS: A total of 1,223,550 bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) sequences were generated via Roche 454 sequencing from 56 samples, including 17 gut, 15 skin, 18 pouch and 6 oral samples. The devil's gut microbiome was dominated by Firmicutes and showed a high Firmicutes-to-Bacteroidetes ratio, which appears to be a common feature of many carnivorous mammals. Metabolisms of carbohydrates, amino acids, energy, cofactors and vitamins, nucleotides and lipids were predicted as the most prominent metabolic pathways that the devil's gut flora contributed to. The microbiota inside the female's pouch outside lactation was highly similar to that of the skin, both co-dominated by Firmicutes and Proteobacteria. The oral microbiome had similar proportions of Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes and Fusobacteria.; CONCLUSIONS: Compositional differences were observed in all four types of microbiota between devils from captive and wild populations. Certain captive devils had significantly lower levels of gut bacterial diversity than wild individuals, and the two groups differed in the proportion of gut bacteria accounting for the metabolism of glycan, amino acids and cofactors and vitamins. Further studies are underway to investigate whether alterations in the microbiome of captive devils can have impacts on their ability to adapt and survive following re-introduction to the wild.=20
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  • Research on Properties of High-Performance Cement Mortar for Semiflexible Pavement

    Sun, Yazhen   Cheng, Yuanyuan   Ding, Min   Yuan, Xuezhong   Wang, Jinchang  

    Cement mortar is one of the most important components of semiflexible pavement materials; however, the effects of cement mortar formulation on the performance and the grouting rate are rarely studied. Therefore, the optimum formulation of high-performance cement mortar (HPCM) for different types and contents was studied, and the grouting effect of the cement mortar was studied by rutting tests. The results show that polycarboxylate superplasticizer, expansion admixture, and accelerating admixture have different influences on the workability, the strength, and the drying shrinkage of I IPCM, and the working ability of HPCM is good by adding these three admixtures. The strength at 7 days is 1.3 to 4 times that of the existing specifications, and the shrinkage rate is less than 0.2. The HPCM has higher early strength, and the strength development is stable in the later period compared with the other research studies. The semiflexible material has better pavement performance when the grouting rate is greater than 90%.
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