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Wang D.,Tianjin International Joint Academy of Biomedicine | Crowe W.E.,Louisiana State University
Chinese Chemical Letters | Year: 2014

The unusual tricyclo[,9]dodecane framework was constructed in eight linear steps in 13% overall yield. An innovative strategy accessing the framework from bicyclo[3.3.1]nonanes was employed. The key steps involve a Robinson annulation, a base induced decarboxylation and epimerization in a single step, and an intramolecular alkylation. © 2014 Dong Wang. Source

Cao S.,Nankai University | Yu L.,Nankai University | Mao J.,Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine | Wang Q.,CAS Institute of Biophysics | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

This study begins with constructing the mini metabolic networks (MMNs) of beta amyloid (Aβ) and acetylcholine (ACh) which stimulate the Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Then we generate the AD network by incorporating MMNs of Aβ and ACh, and other MMNs of stimuli of AD. The panel of proteins contains 49 enzymes/receptors on the AD network which have the 3D-structure in PDB. The panel of drugs is formed by 5 AD drugs and 5 AD nutraceutical drugs, and 20 non-AD drugs. All of these complexes formed by these 30 drugs and 49 proteins are transformed into dyadic arrays. Utilizing the prior knowledge learned from the drug panel, we propose a statistical classification (dry-lab). According to the wet-lab for the complex of amiloride and insulin degrading enzyme, and the complex of amiloride and neutral endopeptidase, we are confident that this dry-lab is reliable. As the consequences of the dry-lab, we discover many interesting implications. Especially, we show that possible causes of Tacrine, donepezil, galantamine and huperzine A cannot improve the level of ACh which is against to their original design purpose but they still prevent AD to be worse as Aβ deposition appeared. On the other hand, we recommend Miglitol and Atenolol as the safe and potent drugs to improve the level of ACh before Aβ deposition appearing. Moreover, some nutrients such as NADH and Vitamin E should be controlled because they may harm health if being used in wrong way and wrong time. Anyway, the insights shown in this study are valuable to be developed further. © Copyright 2015 Cao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Source

Zhang L.,Tianjin International Joint Academy of Biomedicine | Wang H.,Nankai University | Zhang Y.-Q.,Baylor College of Medicine
Journal of Zhejiang University: Science B | Year: 2015

The 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa triggered a global crisis. Nine countries have reported more than 20 000 infection cases in total and nearly 8000 lives have been lost. The actual death toll is likely much higher than this figure; the death rate is as high as 70%, considering confirmed cases.The Ebola virus launches its destruction by shutting down the host’s innate and adaptive immune systems. The virus then replicates itself out of control and causes a cytokine storm in the host. Consequently, the host’s overdriven immune system attacks its own endothelial cells and this leads to multiple organ hemorrhagic damage, the host dies of septic shock finally. Under current circumstances where no specific interventions have shown effectiveness against the virus, our opinions are justified in applying a non-specific anti-viral approach during the incubation period of virus infection as an essential protection to put the host’s immune system into an alert state and henceforth to slow down the viral replication. When the viral infection proceeds to the terminal stage, the key factor would be applying a non-specific immune modulation approach to suppress the cytokine storm that causes multiple organ failure, in an attempt to open a time window for the host’s immune system to recover. © 2015, Zhejiang University and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

News Article
Site: http://www.nature.com/nature/current_issue/

Emissions stall Humanity’s greenhouse-gas output increased by just 0.5% in 2014, despite significant global economic growth, according to figures released on 25 November. Carbon emissions rose by 3–4% per year in the first decade of the twenty-first century, but that growth has slowed dramatically over the past 3 years, report the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. The biggest factor is China, where slower economic growth and a shift towards cleaner energy sources and less energy-intensive manufacturing have reduced the energy intensity of the economy. See go.nature.com/kphlae for more. Deforestation rises The rate of legal deforestation in the Amazon rainforest has risen over the past year, Brazilian environment minister Izabella Teixeira announced on 26 November. Satellite images show that 5,831 square kilometres of forest were lost to activities such as livestock farming and agriculture in the year up to July 2015, a 16% increase on the previous year. The increases were largest in the states of Rondônia, Mato Grosso and Amazonas. Of these, Mato Grosso had the biggest area of forest loss, at 1,508 square kilometres. Efforts by the Brazilian federal government have generally been bringing down rates of deforestation, and the current rate is around one-fifth of that in 2004. Blue Origin gets to space and back Commercial spaceflight company Blue Origin — the brainchild of Jeff Bezos, head of online retail giant Amazon — completed a test of its reusable rocket on 23 November. The autonomous vehicle was successfully landed after it propelled a capsule to a height of more than 100 kilometres, which is classed as being in space. The flight comes just seven months after one of the company’s rockets was destroyed during a similar test. Blue Origin has not yet completed a crewed flight; the capsule is designed to carry up to six passengers into space. Anthrax vaccine An anthrax vaccine has become the first to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the ‘Animal Rule’, which allows approval on the basis of animal tests when studies in humans are not ethical or possible. The FDA announced on 23 November that the vaccine, called BioThrax, can be used after exposure to Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes anthrax. BioThrax was initially approved in 1970 to prevent anthrax before exposure to the bacterium. The vaccine is made by Emergent BioDefense Operations Lansing in Michigan. Retraction data A searchable database should soon allow systematic identification of retracted publications. Posts and article identifiers from the blog Retraction Watch will be incorporated into a web application maintained by Center for Open Science in Charlottesville, Virginia, that already tracks research activities such as posting preprints or depositing data sets. The resource will initially have about 5,000 entries, and was announced by both organizations on 24 November. LHC heavy metal After spending five months colliding protons following a major upgrade this year, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, Switzerland, began a one-month run of experiments with heavy ions on 25 November. All main detectors at the accelerator — including ALICE, which was designed for this purpose — are now studying the state of matter known as quark–gluon plasma, which can arise when two nuclei of lead-208 collide. In these collisions, the nuclei carry a record-breaking energy of more than 1 petaelectronvolt. Energy partnership A group of 28 investors from 10 countries has launched a multibillion-dollar clean-energy research partnership. The Breakthrough Energy Coalition, spearheaded by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and including Virgin founder Richard Branson and Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, was announced on 30 November, on the opening day of the international climate-change negotiations in Paris. The private partnership aims to support early-stage research into low-carbon technologies for future energy supply. It will complement energy-research efforts announced by US President Barack Obama and French President François Hollande on the same day, dubbed ‘Mission Innovation’. See go.nature.com/wzigmx for more. Maurice Strong Maurice Strong, the founding head of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and a leading figure in climate-change politics, has died aged 86. He was a major figure in organizing the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and creating the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Strong is regarded as one of the most important people in the history of the environmental and sustainability movements. In a statement released by UNEP on 28 November, Achim Steiner, the current head of the agency, called him a visionary and a pioneer of global sustainable development. Rhino-horn ban A South African court has lifted a ban on the domestic trade in rhino horn (pictured) after two game farmers claimed that it infringed their right to trade in a renewable substance. On 26 November, the judge ruled that the ban, introduced in 2009, had not undergone proper public consultation. He added that since 2008 the number of South African rhinos poached for their horns has increased from less than 100 per year to around 1,200. Conservation group Save the Rhino asked how a national ban could fuel poaching, which mainly serves overseas markets, given that the international trade is illegal. The South African government is to appeal the ruling; the law will stay in place until the appeal has been heard. Carbon plan canned On 25 November, the UK government scrapped a £1-billion (US$1.5-billion) competition to build a demonstration carbon capture and storage plant. Funding for the project — intended to demonstrate that carbon dioxide can be filtered out of power-plant exhaust gases on a commercial scale — has been on the table since 2012, but was removed from government plans in the latest five-year spending review. Open-access policy The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) is tightening its open-access policy to demand that research results become universally available as soon as authors publish them. NWO-funded researchers were previously obliged either to publish in an open-access journal or to submit a version of their work to a public database ‘as soon as possible’ after publishing in a pay-to-read journal. From 1 December, new grant conditions require Dutch researchers to make work immediately accessible. To avoid conflicting with journals that enforce embargo periods, such as Nature, researchers can submit pre-peer-review versions to a database. Animal clones A huge animal-cloning centre in Tianjin, China, will open early in 2016. Launched with 200 million yuan (US$31.3 million) from Sinica, a subsidiary of BoyaLife in Wuxi, the Tianjin International Joint Academy of Biomedicine, Peking University in Beijing and Sooam Biotech in Seoul, the centre will clone cattle, dogs and racehorses. BoyaLife says that the aim is to produce one million cloned cow embryos annually to help Chinese farmers to meet demand for beef. Italian expo The Italian government enacted a decree on 25 November that allocates €80 million (US$85 million) to launch a major research centre to focus on big-data exploitation in health and nutrition, as well as nanotechnologies. Called Human Technopole, the centre will take over part of the site used for the 2015 international exhibition called Milan Expo. It will continue the theme of the exhibition — ‘feeding the planet, energy for life’. Human Technopole will be led by the Genoa-based Italian Institute of Technology and will eventually employ more than 1,000 researchers. European politicians often allow more fish to be taken from the seas than is recommended by scientists. Yet this excess varies by country, according to a study (G. Carpenter et al. Mar. Policy 64, 9–15; 2016). In 2001, the total catch permitted in the European Union averaged 33% more than that advised by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. In 2015, this fell to 7% above the advised level. EU politicians negotiate catch limits in secret, but more transparency is needed, say the authors. 3–4 December The first International Workshop on Metamaterials-by-design takes place in Paris. go.nature.com/hkzg9s 8–9 December The Royal Society of Medicine and the Nutrition Society in London jointly host a meeting that will look at the role of sleep in obesity and nutrition. go.nature.com/xigwne

News Article
Site: http://www.rdmag.com/rss-feeds/all/rss.xml/all

Sinica, a subsidiary of Boyalife Group, has signed a deal to establish a $31 million commercial animal cloning facility in Tianjin, China, with the intent to produce beef cattle, racehorses and other animals. According to Xu Xiaochun, the board chairman of Boyalife Group, the plant will initially produce 100,000 cattle embryos per year, eventually increasing its output to 1,000,000 per year. Chinese farmers are struggling to produce enough beef cattle to meet market demand, said Xiaochun. According to Popular Science, China’s meet demand has quadrupled in the last 40 years. The new facility will be built by Sinica, Peking Univ.’s Institute of Molecular Medicine, the Tianjin International Joint Academy of Biomedicine and the Republic of Korea’s Sooam Biotech Research Foundation. Chinese scientists, according to Boyalife Group, have been cloning sheep, cattle and pigs since 2000. In September 2014, Boyalife and Sooam Biotech opened the first commercial cloning company in China’s Shandong Province. The first animals produced were three pure-blooded Tibetan mastiff puppies. Cloning animals for human consumption has been a contentious issue. Recently, the European Union (EU) made strides to ban imports of cloned animals and products made from cloned animals. Giulia Moi, the EU’s agriculture committee co-rapporteur noted European farmers are facing increasing pressure from Asia due to practices such as cloning. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2008 determined meat and milk from clones and their offspring pose no substantial threat when compared with food eaten every day. According to Agence France-Presse, Boyalife Group hopes to hit the 1,000,000 production goal by 2020. Additionally, the company is working with partners to improve primate cloning for disease research purposes. From there, it’s on to humans, if allowed. “The technology is already there,” said Xiaochun to Agence France-Presse. “If this is allowed, I don’t think there are other companies better than Boyalife that make better technology.” In the future, the technology may be applied to reproduction, allowing parents more choice their child’s genetic makeup, Xiaochun suggested.

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