49 research outputs found

    Dynamics of Gut Microbiome in Giant Panda Cubs Reveal Transitional Microbes and Pathways in Early Life

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    Adult giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) express transitional characteristics in that they consume bamboos, despite their carnivore-like digestive tracts. Their genome contains no cellulolytic enzymes; therefore, understanding the development of the giant panda gut microbiome, especially in early life, is important for decoding the rules underlying gut microbial formation, inheritance and dietary transitions. With deep metagenomic sequencing, we investigated the gut microbiomes of two newborn giant panda brothers and their parents living in Macao, China, from 2016 to 2017. Both giant panda cubs exhibited progressive increases in gut microbial richness during growth, particularly from the 6th month after birth. Enterobacteriaceae dominated the gut microbial compositions in both adult giant pandas and cubs. A total of 583 co-abundance genes (CAGs) and about 79 metagenomic species (MGS) from bacteria or viruses displayed significant changes with age. Seven genera (Shewanella, Oblitimonas, Helicobacter, Haemophilus, Aeromonas, Listeria, and Fusobacterium) showed great importance with respect to gut microbial structural determination in the nursing stage of giant panda cubs. Furthermore, 10 orthologous gene functions and 44 pathways showed significant changes with age. Of the significant pathways, 16 from Escherichia, Klebsiella, Propionibacterium, Lactobacillus, and Lactococcus displayed marked differences between parents and their cubs at birth, while 29 pathways from Escherichia, Campylobacter and Lactobacillus exhibited significant increase in cubs from 6 to 9 months of age. In addition, oxidoreductases, transferases, and hydrolases dominated the significantly changed gut microbial enzymes during the growth of giant panda cubs, while few of them were involved in cellulose degradation. The findings indicated diet-stimulated gut microbiome transitions and the important role of Enterobacteriaceae in the guts of giant panda in early life

    A Combination of Nutriments Improves Mitochondrial Biogenesis and Function in Skeletal Muscle of Type 2 Diabetic Goto–Kakizaki Rats

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    BACKGROUND: Recent evidence indicates that insulin resistance in skeletal muscle may be related to reduce mitochondrial number and oxidation capacity. However, it is not known whether increasing mitochondrial number and function improves insulin resistance. In the present study, we investigated the effects of a combination of nutrients on insulin resistance and mitochondrial biogenesis/function in skeletal muscle of type 2 diabetic Goto-Kakizaki rats. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We demonstrated that defect of glucose and lipid metabolism is associated with low mitochondrial content and reduced mitochondrial enzyme activity in skeletal muscle of the diabetic Goto-Kakizaki rats. The treatment of combination of R-alpha-lipoic acid, acetyl-L-carnitine, nicotinamide, and biotin effectively improved glucose tolerance, decreased the basal insulin secretion and the level of circulating free fatty acid (FFA), and prevented the reduction of mitochondrial biogenesis in skeletal muscle. The nutrients treatment also significantly increased mRNA levels of genes involved in lipid metabolism, including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha (Ppar alpha), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-delta (Ppar delta), and carnitine palmitoyl transferase-1 (Mcpt-1) and activity of mitochondrial complex I and II in skeletal muscle. All of these effects of mitochondrial nutrients are comparable to that of the antidiabetic drug, pioglitazone. In addition, the treatment with nutrients, unlike pioglitazone, did not cause body weight gain. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These data suggest that a combination of mitochondrial targeting nutrients may improve skeletal mitochondrial dysfunction and exert hypoglycemic effects, without causing weight gain

    Perspective From the 5th International Pemphigus and Pemphigoid Foundation Scientific Conference

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    The 5th Scientific Conference of the International Pemphigus and Pemphigoid Foundation (IPPF), “Pemphigus and Pemphigoid: A New Era of Clinical and Translational Science” was held in Orlando, Florida, on May 15–16, 2018. Scientific sessions covered recent, ongoing, and future clinical trials in pemphigus and bullous pemphigoid, disease activity and quality of life instruments, and the IPPF Natural History Study. Furthermore, the meeting provided an opportunity to hear firsthand from patients, investigators, and industry about their experience enrolling for clinical trials

    Comparative genomics reveals insights into avian genome evolution and adaptation

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    Birds are the most species-rich class of tetrapod vertebrates and have wide relevance across many research fields. We explored bird macroevolution using full genomes from 48 avian species representing all major extant clades. The avian genome is principally characterized by its constrained size, which predominantly arose because of lineage-specific erosion of repetitive elements, large segmental deletions, and gene loss. Avian genomes furthermore show a remarkably high degree of evolutionary stasis at the levels of nucleotide sequence, gene synteny, and chromosomal structure. Despite this pattern of conservation, we detected many non-neutral evolutionary changes in protein-coding genes and noncoding regions. These analyses reveal that pan-avian genomic diversity covaries with adaptations to different lifestyles and convergent evolution of traits

    Synthesis, growth mechanism and room-temperature blue luminescence emission of uniform WO3 nanosheets with W as starting material

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    Uniform single-crystalline tungsten oxide (WO3) nanosheets have been synthesized in a large-scale with W powders as starting material. The results from the thermal stability measurements show that the as-synthesized WO3 nanosheets are anhydrous. Their thickness and length are ∼80 and ∼500 nm, respectively. They exhibit blue luminescence emissions at ∼431, 486 and 497 nm, UV emissions at ∼362 and 398 nm. The blue emissions are resulted from the band–band indirect transition and the UV emissions should be attributed to the defect states of WO3. The growth mechanism of the two-dimensional WO3 nanosheets is discussed

    One-pot synthesis of hierarchically assembled tungsten oxide (hydrates) nano/microstructures by a crystal-seed-assisted hydrothermal process

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    Hierarchically assembled tungsten oxide (hydrates) nano/microstructures were synthesized by a crystal-seed-assisted hydrothermal process. Crystal seeds were prepared by refluxing the sol formed by oxidation reaction between W and H2O2. NaCl was used as the capping agent. The assembled nano/microstructures could be controlled to form multiple morphologies: double-layer nano/microbundles, quasi-nanorod arrays, nanorod-spheres, double-layer nano/microdisks and double-layer six-pod prisms. Their morphologies and phase compositions are dependent on crystal seeds, substrate, and precursor concentration. Hierarchical assembly mechanisms are proposed for the formation of the assembled nano/microstructures. The assembled double-layer nano/microstructures are composed of two different phases of tungsten oxide (hydrates), which represent new cases for two-phase nano/microstructures
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