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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Evaluation of the Xpert MTB/RIF assay for diagnosis of tuberculosis and rifampin resistance in county-level laboratories in Hunan province, China.
Chin. Med. J.
PUBLISHED: 11-11-2014
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The Xpert MTB/RIF showed high sensitivity and specificity in previous studies carried out in different epidemiological and geographical settings and patient populations in high-burden tuberculosis (TB) countries. However, there were little data obtained by validation or demonstration study of the assay in China. In this study, the performance of Xpert MTB/RIF was investigated in two county-level laboratories in Hunan Province, China.
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A novel variation of GDF3 in Chinese Han children with a broad phenotypic spectrum of non-syndromic CHDs.
Cardiol Young
PUBLISHED: 11-06-2014
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The GDF3 gene plays a fundamental role in embryonic morphogenesis. Recent studies have indicated that GDF3 plays a previously unrecognised role in cardiovascular system development. Non-syndromic CHDs might be a clinically isolated manifestation of GDF3 mutations. The purpose of the present study was to identify potential pathological mutations in the GDF3 gene in Chinese children with non-syndromic CHDs, and to gain insight into the aetiology of non-syndromic CHDs.
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Enhanced transgene expression from single-stranded D-sequence-substituted recombinant AAV vectors in human cell lines in vitro and in murine hepatocytes in vivo.
J. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 10-31-2014
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We have previously reported that the removal of a 20-nucleotide sequence, termed the D-sequence, from both ends of the inverted terminal repeats (ITRs) in the adeno-associated virus serotype 2 (AAV2) genome, significantly impairs rescue, replication, and encapsidation of the viral genomes (J. Mol. Biol., 250: 573-580, 1995; J. Virol., 70: 1668-1677, 1996). Here we describe that substitution of only one D-sequence in either ITR restores each of these functions, but DNA strands of only single-polarity are encapsidated in mature progeny virions. Since most commonly used recombinant AAV vectors contain a single-stranded (ss) DNA, which is transcriptionally-inactive, efficient transgene expression from AAV vectors is dependent upon viral second-strand DNA synthesis. We have also identified a transcription-suppressor sequence in one of the D-sequences, which shares homology with the binding site for the cellular NF-?B-repressing factor (NRF). The removal of this D-sequence from, and substitution with a sequence containing putative binding sites for transcription factors in, ssAAV vectors significantly augments transgene expression both in human cell lines in vitro and in murine hepatocytes in vivo. The development of these genome-modified ssAAV vectors has implications not only in the basic biology of AAV, but also in the optimal use of these vectors in human gene therapy.
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Puerarin Enhances Bone Mass by Promoting Osteoblastogenesis and Slightly Lowering Bone Marrow Adiposity in Ovariectomized Rats.
Biol. Pharm. Bull.
PUBLISHED: 10-10-2014
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We investigated the effect of puerarin on bone mass and marrow adiposity in ovariectomy (OVX)-induced osteoporosis. The rats were divided into four groups: control; OVX; OVX + estradiol (OVX-E); and OVX + puerarin treatment (OVX-GE). In vivo, Bone mineral density (BMD) and histomorphometry were measured under microCT. The mechanical properties of tibia were obtained in 3-point bending test. Plasma osteocalcin and adiponectin were determined using ELISA. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) were measured using biochemical methods. In vitro, MTT and Oil Red O staining were used to compare osteoblast proliferation and adipocyte differentiation, respectively. Osteocalcin and adiponectin in culture supernatants were determined using ELISA. The results showed that puerarin significantly enhanced bone volume density and trabecular number compared with OVX and OVX-E groups (P < 0.05, P < 0.05, respectively). Puerarin increased energy to ultimate load, plasma osteocalcin and ALP (P < 0.01). However, BMD in OVX-GE group was less than that in control (P < 0.01) and OVX-E groups (P < 0.05). The culture supernatants from OVX-GE group showed increased osteocalcin compared with those from OVX (P < 0.01) and OVX-E groups (P < 0.05). Puerarin lowered adiponectin in culture supernatant compared with supernatant from OVX group and inhibited the increase in adipocytes caused by OVX (P < 0.01). However, the amount of lipids did not differ between OVX-GE and OVX groups. These findings suggest that puerarin likely enhances bone formation by stimulating the proliferation and differentiation of osteoblasts while slightly inhibiting the adipotic differentiation.
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Single-source-precursor synthesis of dense SiC/HfCxN1-x-based ultrahigh-temperature ceramic nanocomposites.
Nanoscale
PUBLISHED: 10-04-2014
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A novel single-source precursor was synthesized by the reaction of an allyl hydrido polycarbosilane (SMP10) and tetrakis(dimethylamido)hafnium(iv) (TDMAH) for the purpose of preparing dense monolithic SiC/HfCxN1-x-based ultrahigh temperature ceramic nanocomposites. The materials obtained at different stages of the synthesis process were characterized via Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) as well as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The polymer-to-ceramic transformation was investigated by means of MAS NMR and FT-IR spectroscopy as well as thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) coupled with in situ mass spectrometry. Moreover, the microstructural evolution of the synthesized SiHfCN-based ceramics annealed at different temperatures ranging from 1300 °C to 1800 °C was characterized by elemental analysis, X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Based on its high temperature behavior, the amorphous SiHfCN-based ceramic powder was used to prepare monolithic SiC/HfCxN1-x-based nanocomposites using the spark plasma sintering (SPS) technique. The results showed that dense monolithic SiC/HfCxN1-x-based nanocomposites with low open porosity (0.74 vol%) can be prepared successfully from single-source precursors. The average grain size of both HfC0.83N0.17 and SiC phases was found to be less than 100 nm after SPS processing owing to a unique microstructure: HfC0.83N0.17 grains were embedded homogeneously in a ?-SiC matrix and encapsulated by in situ formed carbon layers which acted as a diffusion barrier to suppress grain growth. The segregated Hf-carbonitride grains significantly influenced the electrical conductivity of the SPS processed monolithic samples. While Hf-free polymer-derived SiC showed an electrical conductivity of ca. 1.8 S cm(-1), the electrical conductivity of the Hf-containing material was analyzed to be ca. 136.2 S cm(-1).
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Refolding of a fully functional flavivirus methyltransferase revealed that S-adenosyl methionine but not S-adenosyl homocysteine is co-purified with flavivirus methyltransferase.
Protein Sci.
PUBLISHED: 09-08-2014
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Methylation of flavivirus RNA is vital for its stability and translation in the infected host cell. This methylation is mediated by the flavivirus methyltransferase (MTase), which methylates the N7 and 2'-O positions of the viral RNA cap by utilizing S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) as a methyl donor. In this report, we demonstrate that SAM, in contrast to the reaction by-product S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine (SAH) which was assumed previously, is co-purified with the Dengue (DNV) and West Nile virus (WNV) MTases produced in Escherichia coli (E. coli). This endogenous SAM can be removed by denaturation and refolding of the MTase protein. The refolded MTase of DNV serotype 3 (DNV3) displays methylation activity comparable to native enzyme, and its crystal structure at 2.1 Å is almost identical to that of native MTase. We characterized the binding of Sinefungin (SIN), a previously described SAM-analog inhibitor of MTase function, to the native and refolded DNV3 MTase by isothermal titration calorimetry, and found that SIN binds to refolded MTase with more than sixteen times the affinity of SIN binding to the MTase purified natively. Moreover, we show that SAM is also co-purified with other flavivirus MTases, indicating that purification by refolding may be a generally applicable tool for studying flavivirus MTase inhibition.
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One-Dimensional Densely Aligned Perovskite-Decorated Semiconductor Heterojunctions with Enhanced Photocatalytic Activity.
Small
PUBLISHED: 09-06-2014
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By using one-dimensional rutile TiO2 nanorod arrays as the structure-directing scaffold as well as the TiO2 source to two consecutive hydrothermal reactions, densely aligned SrTiO3 -modified rutile TiO2 heterojunction photocatalysts are crafted for the first time. The first hydrothermal processing yielded nanostructured rutile TiO2 with the hollow openings on the top of nanorods (i.e., partially etched rutile TiO2 nanorod arrays; denoted PE-TNRAs). The subsequent second hydrothermal treatment in the presence of Sr(2+) transforms the surface of partially etched rutile TiO2 nanorods into SrTiO3 nanoparticles via the concurrent dissolution of TiO2 and precipitation of SrTiO3 while retaining the cylindrical shape (i.e., forming SrTiO3 -decorated rutile TiO2 composite nanorods; denoted STO-TNRAs). The structural and composition characterizations substantiate the success in achieving STO-TNRA nanostructures. In comparison to PE-TNRAs, STO-TNRA photocatalysts exhibit higher photocurrents and larger photocatalytic degradation rates of methylene blue (3.21 times over PE-TNRAs) under UV light illumination as a direct consequence of improved charge carrier mobility and enhanced electron/hole separation. Such 1D perovskite-decorated semiconductor nanoarrays are very attractive for optoelectronic applications in photovoltaics, photocatalytic hydrogen production, among other areas.
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Remediation of chromium-slag leakage with electricity cogeneration via a urea-Cr(VI) cell.
Sci Rep
PUBLISHED: 08-29-2014
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Chromium pollution has been historically widespread throughout the world. Most available remediation technologies often require energy consumption. This study is aimed to develop electrochemical remediation for Cr(VI) in chromium-slag leakage with self-generated electricity. Dynamic leaching experiments of chromium-slag samples were conducted to survey the release and leaching behavior of Cr(VI). Based on previous work, a unique urea-Cr(VI) was designed, in which urea was employed as the fuel and Cr(VI) from the leakage of the dichromate slag served as the oxidant. Furthermore, the electrochemical results showed that the removal percent of Cr(VI) was more than 96% after 18 h with the leakage Cr(VI) concentration of 2.69 mM. The open circuit potential (OCP) varied in the range of 1.56 ~ 1.59 V under different initial Cr(VI) leakage concentrations. The approach explores the feasibility of the promising technique without the need of energy input for simultaneous chromium-slag remediation and generation of electricity.
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Activation of BmGSTd1 promoter and regulation by transcription factor Krüppel (Kr) in silkworm, Bombyx mori.
Gene
PUBLISHED: 08-27-2014
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The Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) are a large family of multifunctional enzymes, many of which play an important role in the detoxification of endogenous and exogenous toxic substances. In this research, firstly, we measured the rutin-induced transcriptional level of BmGSTd1 gene by using real-time quantitative RT-PCR method and dual spike-in strategy. The activities of the BmGSTd1 promoter in various tissues of silkworm were measured by firefly luciferase activity and normalized by the Renilla luciferase activity. Results showed that the activity of the BmGSTd1 promoter were highest in Malpighian tubule, followed by fat body, silk gland, hemocyte, epidermis, and midgut. The essential region for basal and rutin-induced transcriptional activity was -1573 to -931bp in Malpighian tubule and fat body of silkworm. Promoter truncation analysis using a dual-luciferase reporter assay in BmN cells showed that the region -1288 to -1202bp for BmGSTd1 gene was essential for basal and rutin-induced transcriptional activity. Sequence analysis of this region revealed several potential transcriptional regulatory elements such as Bcd and Kr. The mutation of core base of Kr site demonstrated that Kr functioned positively in rutin-mediated BmGSTd1 transcription.
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A feasible approach toward bioactive glass nanofibers with tunable protein release kinetics for bone scaffolds.
Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces
PUBLISHED: 08-23-2014
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A range of fine bioactive glass (BG) fibers with different hydrolysis degree were synthesized via a sol-gel and electrospinning approach. Due to the increased water/TEOS ratio (X ratio) from 2 to 8, the SiOSi network integrity of BG fibers was dramatically enhanced. With a designed protein loading method using simulated body fluid (SBF)/bovine serum albumin (BSA) mixture solution, the tunable protein releasing was successfully achieved. The varied hydrolysis degree of BG fibers was found to induce distinctive releasing behavior. The protein release kinetics intends to present a more controlled and sustained manner with the decreased X ratio from 8 to 2, and such phenomenon is mainly attributed to the 'anchoring' effect of the crystalline apatite mineral layers formed at the fiber surface. This study has therefore offered another way of thinking in the investigation of feasible multifunctionalization strategies for bioactive glasses, and thus provided an impetus to the current research for future advanced BG scaffold materials.
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Highly Fluorescent, Photostable, and Ultrasmall Silicon Drug Nanocarriers for Long-Term Tumor Cell Tracking and In-Vivo Cancer Therapy.
Adv. Mater. Weinheim
PUBLISHED: 08-22-2014
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The silicon nanoparticle (SiNP) nanocarriers feature strong fluorescence, ultrasmall size, robust photostability, and tunable drug-loading capacity. Using the SiNP nanocarriers, the first example of long-term cancer cell tracking is successfully demonstrated. Furthermore, in vivo experiments show that tumor-bearing mice treated with SiNP nanocarriers survive over 20 d without observable tumor growth, demonstrating the high-efficacy chemotherapy of the Si nanocarriers.
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Effects of the biosynthesis and signaling pathway of ecdysterone on silkworm (Bombyx mori) following exposure to titanium dioxide nanoparticles.
J. Chem. Ecol.
PUBLISHED: 08-20-2014
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Silkworm (Bombyx mori), a model Lepidoptera insect, is economically important. Its growth and development are regulated by endogenous hormones. During the process of transition from larvae to pupae, 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) plays an important role. The recent surge in consumer products and applications using metallic nanoparticles has increased the possibility of human or ecosystem exposure due to their unintentional release into the environment. We investigated the effects of exposure to titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs) on the action of 20E in B. mori. Titanium dioxide nanoparticle treatment shortened the molting duration by 8 hr and prolonged the molting peak period by 10 %. Solexa sequencing profiled the changes in gene expression in the brain of fifth-instar B. mori in response to TiO2NPS exposure for 72 hr, to address the effects on hormone metabolism and regulation. Thirty one genes were differentially expressed. The transcriptional levels of pi3k and P70S6K, which are involved in the target of the rapamycin (TOR) signaling pathway, were up-regulated. Transcriptional levels of four cytochrome P450 genes, which are involved in 20E biosynthesis, at different developmental stages (48, 96, 144, and 192 hr) at 5th instars of all displayed trends of increasing expression. Simultaneously, the ecdysterone receptors, also displayed increasing trends. The 20E titers at four developmental stages during the 5th instar were 1.26, 1.23, 1.72, and 2.16 fold higher, respectively, than the control group. These results indicate that feeding B. mori with TiO2 NPs stimulates 20E biosynthesis, shortens the developmental progression, and reduces the duration of molting. Thus, application of TiO2 NPs is of high significance for saving the labor force in sericulture, and our research provides a reference for the ecological problems in the field of Lepidoptera exposured to titanium dioxide nanoparticles.
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Role of gap junction intercellular communication in testicular leydig cell apoptosis induced by oxaliplatin via the mitochondrial pathway.
Oncol. Rep.
PUBLISHED: 08-05-2014
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Platinum agents are widely used in the chemotherapy of testicular cancer. However, adverse reactions and resistance to such agents have limited their application in antineoplastic treatment. The aim of the present study was to determine the role of gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) composed of Cx43 on oxaliplatin?induced survival/apoptosis in mouse leydig normal and cancer cells using MTT, Annexin V/PI double staining assays and western blot analysis. The results showed that GJIC exerted opposite effects on the mouse leydig cancer (I-10) and normal (TM3) cell apoptosis induced by oxaliplatin. In leydig cancer cells, survival of cells exposed to oxaliplatin was substantially reduced when gap junctions formed as compared to no gap junctions. Pharmacological inhibition of gap junctions by oleamide and 18-?-glycyrrhetinic acid resulted in enhanced survival/decreased apoptosis while enhancement of gap junctions by retinoic acid led to decreased survival/increased apoptosis. These effects occurred only in high?density cultures (gap junction formed), while the pharmacological modulations had no effects when there was no opportunity for gap junction formation. Notably, GJIC played an opposite (protective) role in normal leydig cells survival/apoptosis following exposure to oxaliplatin. Furthermore, this converse oxaliplatin?inducing apoptosis exerted through the functional gap junction was correlated with the mitochondrial pathway?related protein Bcl-2/Bax and caspase?3/9. These results suggested that in testicular leydig normal/cancer cells, GJIC plays an opposite role in oxaliplatin?induced apoptosis via the mitochondrial pathway.
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Fibrovascular Ingrowth Into Porous Polyethylene Orbital Implants (Medpor) After Modified Evisceration.
Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg
PUBLISHED: 07-16-2014
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To evaluate, using MRI, the extent and pattern of fibrovascular ingrowth into Medpor implants after modified evisceration.
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Impaired reduction of N2O to N2 in acid soils is due to a posttranscriptional interference with the expression of nosZ.
MBio
PUBLISHED: 06-26-2014
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Accumulating empirical evidence over the last 60 years has shown that the reduction of N2O to N2 is impaired by low soil pH, suggesting that liming of acid soils may reduce N2O emissions. This option has not gained much momentum in global change research, however, possibly due to limited understanding of why low pH interferes with N2O reductase. We hypothesized that the reason is that denitrifying organisms in soils are unable to assemble functional N2O reductase (N2OR) at low pH, as shown to be the case for the model strain Paracoccus denitrificans. We tested this by experiments with bacteria extracted from soils by density gradient centrifugation. The soils were sampled from a long-term liming experiment (soil pH 4.0, 6.1, and 8.0). The cells were incubated (stirred batches, He atmosphere) at pH levels ranging from 5.7 to 7.6, while gas kinetics (NO, N2O, and N2) and abundances of relevant denitrification genes (nirS, nirK, and nosZ) and their transcripts were monitored. Cells from the most acidic soil (pH 4.0) were unable to reduce N2O at any pH. These results warrant a closer inspection of denitrification communities of very acidic soils. Cells from the neutral soils were unable to produce functional N2OR at pH values of ?6.1, despite significant transcription of the nosZ gene. The N2OR expressed successfully at pH 7.0, however, was functional over the entire pH range tested (5.7 to 7.6). These observations lend strong support to our hypothesis: low soil pH diminishes/prevents reduction of N2O, primarily by precluding a successful assembly of functional N2O reductase. Importance: Impaired N2O reduction in acid soils was first observed ~60 years ago, and the phenomenon has been rediscovered several times since then. The practical implication would be that the emissions of N2O from cropped soils could be controlled by soil pH management, but this option has largely been ignored till now. One reason for this could be that the mechanisms involved have remained obscure. Here, we provide compelling evidence that the primary reason is that low pH interferes with the making of the enzyme N2O reductase rather than the function of the enzyme if properly assembled. The implications are important for understanding how pH controls the kinetics of N2O and N2 production by denitrification. The improved understanding provides credibility for soil pH management as a way to mitigate N2O emissions.
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Osteosarcoma of the jaws: case report on synchronous multicentric osteosarcomas.
J Clin Diagn Res
PUBLISHED: 06-20-2014
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Research has shown that osteosarcomas display high potential for metastasis to the lungs, pleurae and bones. Mandible, on the other hand, is an uncommon site for metastatic tumour cell colonization. Nevertheless, a metastatic tumour to mandible might be the first indication of an undiscovered malignancy at a distant site. This case report presents a case of a 61-year-old female patient. An osteosarcoma metastasized to her mandible shortly after the curettage of her jaw cyst. Both the metastatic osteosarcoma and the jaw cyst were confirmed by pathology. Initially, bilateral well-defined radiolucent lesions were shown in her panoramic X-ray image. Also, the diagnosis of a dentigerous cyst was made, based on histology. Two months later, a mixed radiolucent-radio opaque mass, which was confirmed as an osteosarcoma by pathology later, occupied the site of the previously enucleated dentigerous cyst, in her right mandible. Then, an identical osteosarcoma was found in the left pelvis on further doing overall radiological and pathological examinations. The pathologic hypotheses, treatment modality and follow-up of this case have also been presented.
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Effects of feral cats on the evolution of anti-predator behaviours in island reptiles: insights from an ancient introduction.
Proc. Biol. Sci.
PUBLISHED: 06-20-2014
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Exotic predators have driven the extinction of many island species. We examined impacts of feral cats on the abundance and anti-predator behaviours of Aegean wall lizards in the Cyclades (Greece), where cats were introduced thousands of years ago. We compared populations with high and low cat density on Naxos Island and populations on surrounding islets with no cats. Cats reduced wall lizard populations by half. Lizards facing greater risk from cats stayed closer to refuges, were more likely to shed their tails in a standardized assay, and fled at greater distances when approached by either a person in the field or a mounted cat decoy in the laboratory. All populations showed phenotypic plasticity in flight initiation distance, suggesting that this feature is ancient and could have helped wall lizards survive the initial introduction of cats to the region. Lizards from islets sought shelter less frequently and often initially approached the cat decoy. These differences reflect changes since islet isolation and could render islet lizards strongly susceptible to cat predation.
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Relative Skeletal Effects in Different Sites of the Mandible with the Proximal Tibia during Ovariectomy and the Subsequent Estrogen Treatment.
J Oral Implantol
PUBLISHED: 06-11-2014
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Abstract The precise relationship of bone quality and bone volumn between the mandible and the systemic bone remains largely unknown. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the skeletal association of the manbible in specific skeletal sites with the proximal tibia. Thirty three-month-old female Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned into three treatments: a transabdominal sham operation (Sham group), an ovariectomy (OVX group), and an estriol treatment after ovariectomy (OVX-E group). Three months later, the microarchitecture of the trabecular and cortical bone was assessed by performing microcomputed tomography (microCT) of the right mandibular and the proximal tibia, as well as bone mineral density (BMD) used by motif calibration method. The mechanical properties of the left basal part of the mandible, 1mm behind the third mandibular molar and the proximal tibia were obtained using a three-point bending test. We found a correlation between alveolar bone around mandibular first molar and the proximal tibia for the bone surface area to bone volume ratio (r = 0.85, p <0.01), trabecular thickness(r = 0.85, p <0.01), and trabecular spacing(r = 0.717, p <0.05). No relationship for the above three parameters was found between alveolar bone around mandibular second or third molar with the proximal tibia. There was significant difference in BMD of the proximal tibia, but no in the mandible. Biomechanical testing demonstrated significant correlations in the basal bone below the molars of the mandible and the proximal tibia. The results indicate the positive correlation of tibial bone microstructure and the mechanical feature with specific skeletal sites of the mandible. Bone volumn evaluated by BMD and bone quality evaluated by bone micro-architecture and biomechanical properties, should together determine bone mass.
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Hematite concave nanocubes and their superior catalytic activity for low temperature CO oxidation.
Nanoscale
PUBLISHED: 05-28-2014
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Hematite (?-Fe2O3) concave nanocubes bound by high-index {1344?} and {123?8} facets were synthesized and their catalytic activity for CO oxidation were also investigated.
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Transcriptional and epigenetic basis for restoration of G6PD enzymatic activity in human G6PD-deficient cells.
Blood
PUBLISHED: 05-07-2014
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HDAC inhibitors (HDACi) increase transcription of some genes through histone hyperacetylation. To test the hypothesis that HDACi-mediated enhanced transcription might be of therapeutic value for inherited enzyme deficiency disorders, we focused on the glycolytic and pentose phosphate pathways (GPPPs). We show that among the 16 genes of the GPPPs, HDACi selectively enhance transcription of glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD). This requires enhanced recruitment of the generic transcription factor Sp1, with commensurate recruitment of histone acetyltransferases and deacetylases, increased histone acetylation, and polymerase II recruitment to G6PD. These G6PD-selective transcriptional and epigenetic events result in increased G6PD transcription and ultimately restored enzymatic activity in B cells and erythroid precursor cells from patients with G6PD deficiency, a disorder associated with acute or chronic hemolytic anemia. Therefore, restoration of enzymatic activity in G6PD-deficient nucleated cells is feasible through modulation of G6PD transcription. Our findings also suggest that clinical consequences of pathogenic missense mutations in proteins with enzymatic function can be overcome in some cases by enhancement of the transcriptional output of the affected gene.
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Catalytic hydrolysis of urea from wastewater using different aluminas by a fixed bed reactor.
Environ Sci Pollut Res Int
PUBLISHED: 04-16-2014
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In order to find an effective method for treating urea wastewater, the experiments on the hydrolysis of urea in wastewater were conducted in a fixed bed reactor with different aluminas (?-Al2O3, ?-Al2O3, and ?-Al2O3) as catalysts respectively in contrast with inert ceramic particle. The results indicate that the three alumina catalysts show obvious catalytic activity for urea hydrolysis at 125 °C. The order of activity is ?-Al2O3?>??-Al2O3?>??-Al2O3, and the activity difference increases with increasing temperature. According to the characterization results, surface acidity has little impact on the activity of catalyst. However, it was found that surface basicity of alumina catalyst plays an important role in catalytic hydrolysis of urea, and the activity of catalyst may be also influenced by the basic strength. With ?-Al2O3 as catalyst, the urea concentration in wastewater is reduced to 4.96 mg/L at a temperature of 165 °C. Moreover, the ?-Al2O3 shows a good stability for urea hydrolysis. The hydrolysis of urea over ?-Al2O3 catalyst can evidently reduce the reaction temperature and is promising to replace industrial thermal hydrolysis process.
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Ginsenoside Rh1 potentiates dexamethasone's anti-inflammatory effects for chronic inflammatory disease by reversing dexamethasone-induced resistance.
Arthritis Res. Ther.
PUBLISHED: 04-15-2014
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Acquired resistance to glucocorticoids constitutes a major clinical challenge, often overlooked in the search for compounds to improve the effect of classic steroids. We sought to unravel how a plant-original compound, ginsenoside Rh1, potentiates dexmethasone (DEX)'s potential anti-inflammation properties.
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The effects of different core-shell structures on the electrochemical performances of Si-Ge nanorod arrays as anodes for micro-lithium ion batteries.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces
PUBLISHED: 04-09-2014
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Connected and airbag isolated Si-Ge nanorod (NR) arrays in different configurations have been fabricated on wafer scale Si substrates as anodes in micro-lithium ion batteries (LIBs), and the impacts of configurations on electrochemical properties of the electrodes were investigated experimentally and theoretically. It is demonstrated that the Si inner cores can be effectively protected by the connected Ge shells and contribute to the enhanced capacity by ?68%, derived from an activation process along with the amorphization of the crystalline lattice. The first-principles calculations further verify the smaller forces on the Si layers at the atomic level during the restricted volume expansion with the covering of Ge layers. This work provides general guidelines for designing other composites and core-shell configurations in electrodes of micro-LIBs to accomplish higher capacities and longer cycle lives.
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Role of norEF in denitrification, elucidated by physiological experiments with Rhodobacter sphaeroides.
J. Bacteriol.
PUBLISHED: 04-04-2014
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Many denitrifying organisms contain the norEF gene cluster, which codes for two proteins that are thought to be involved in denitrification because they are expressed during the reduction of nitrite and nitric oxide. The products of both genes are predicted to be membrane associated, and the norE product is a member of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit III family. However, the specific role of norEF is unknown. The denitrification phenotypes of Rhodobacter sphaeroides strains with and without norEF genes were studied, and it was found that loss of norEF lowered the rate of denitrification from nitrate and resulted in accumulation of micromolar concentrations of nitric oxide during denitrification from nitrite. norEF appears to have no direct role in the reduction of nitric oxide; however, since deletion of norEF in the wild-type 2.4.3 strain had essentially no influence on the kinetics of potential nitric oxide reduction (Vmax and Ks), as measured by monitoring the depletion of a bolus of nitric oxide injected into anoxic cultures without any other electron acceptors. However, norEF-deficient cells that had undergone a more chronic exposure to micromolar concentrations of nitric oxide showed an ?50% reduction in Vmax but no change in apparent Ks. These results can explain the occurrence of norEF in the 2.4.3 strain of R. sphaeroides, which can reduce nitrate to nitrous oxide, and their absence from strains such as 2.4.1, which likely use nitric oxide reductase to mitigate stress due to episodic exposure to nitric oxide from exogenous sources.
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Effects of feeding silkworm with nanoparticulate anatase TiO2 (TiO2 NPs) on its feed efficiency.
Biol Trace Elem Res
PUBLISHED: 03-28-2014
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This study aimed to investigate the effects of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs) on feed efficiency of silkworm (Bombyx mori) (B. mori). The results showed that the amount of ingested food was increased by 3.31%, the percentage of ingested food was increased by 16.36%, the instar was prolonged by 6.77 h, the body mass of mature silkworm was increased by 11.41%, the cocoon mass was increased by 5.47%, the cocoon shell mass was increased by 9.80%, and the ratio of cocoon shell was increased by 3.54%. Average cocoon filament length, reelability, and neatness were increased by 3.15, 17.57, and 1.72%, respectively, whereas the cocoon filament size was decreased by 0.19%. The gene expression profiles were also examined with digital gene expression (DGE). The results showed that among 4,011 genes detected, 127 genes were differentially expressed including 57 genes whose expression was upregulated and 70 genes whose expression was downregulated. The expression levels of five genes related to metabolism were verified with quantitative real-time PCR, and the results were consistent with the DGE data. The activities of three major digestive enzymes in the midgut were also assayed; the results showed that the activities of trehalase, protease, and lipase in TiO2 NP-fed group were increased by 42.55, 78.13, and 33.33%, respectively. These results indicate that feeding B. mori with TiO2 NPs can stimulate the transcriptional level of genes related to digestion and absorption of nutrients in the midgut and increase the activities of trehalase, protease, and lipase and, thus, increase the feed efficiency of B. mori.
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Comparison of deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty and penetrating keratoplasty with respect to postoperative corneal sensitivity and tear film function.
Graefes Arch. Clin. Exp. Ophthalmol.
PUBLISHED: 03-18-2014
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To investigate tear film function, central and peripheral corneal sensitivity and corneal subbasal nerve morphology in the cornea after deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK) compared with penetrating keratoplasty (PK).
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MYH9-related disease: description of a large Chinese pedigree and a survey of reported mutations.
Acta Haematol.
PUBLISHED: 03-15-2014
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We describe a large four-generational Chinese pedigree segregating MYH9 -related disease caused by a V1516L mutation. The clinical findings supported previously established genotype-phenotype correlations, and also demonstrated interindividual variability of disease manifestations even within the same family. The same mutation was previously reported in another Chinese pedigree but resulting from a different DNA substitution. Analyzing the patterns of previously reported mutations revealed a limited spectrum of pathogenic variants. The implications of this finding are discussed.
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Research on a novel poly (vinyl alcohol)/lysine/vanillin wound dressing: Biocompatibility, bioactivity and antimicrobial activity.
Burns
PUBLISHED: 03-12-2014
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Burn wound dressings have played significant roles in daily clinical practice. An "ideal" burn wound dressing is non-adhesion, absorbency and antimicrobial activity. However, such a dressing is currently not available. A novel composite hydrogel was based on poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) containing lysine (Lys) and vanillin (V) using freezing-thawing method. The properties of this hydrogel were characterized by environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM), attenuated total reflectance fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), tensile testing, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and water vapour transmission rate (WVTR). Then the antibacterial activity of PVA/Lys/V composite hydrogel was examined by bacteriolytic plate. In vivo experiment, a burn rat model was used to evaluate the histological analysis of this hydrogel. In results, the Schiff base formed in the three-phase system. It improved the tensile strength and crystallization of the PVA/Lys/V composite hydrogel. Meanwhile, this hydrogel showed excellent bactericidal activities to both gram-negative bacteria (E. coli) and gram-positive bacteria (S. aureus) due to the Schiff base. And the antibacterial activity toward gram-negative bacteria was better than another. On Day 7, 95-100% of the surface areas of PVA/Lys/V composite treated burns were covered with regenerating epidermis. And the new tissue and capillary vessel formed around the wounds after treatment. Therefore, it is suggested that treatment with PVA/Lys/V composite hydrogel will be effective also in patients with burns and other skin wounds.
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Distribution, origin, and transformation of metal and metalloid pollution in vegetable fields, irrigation water, and aerosols near a Pb-Zn mine.
Environ Sci Pollut Res Int
PUBLISHED: 03-05-2014
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Pollution of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) in vegetable fields was investigated near a Pb-Zn mine that has been exploited for over 50 years without a tailing reservoir. A total of 205 water, soil, and aerosol samples were taken and quantified by combined chemical, spectrometric, and mineral analytical methods. The pollution origins were identified by Pb isotopes and the pathways of transformation and transport of the elements and minerals was studied. The data showed that the vegetable fields were seriously polluted by As, Cd, and Pb. Some concentrations in the samples were beyond the regulatory levels and not suitable for agricultural activities. This study revealed that: (1) particulate matter is a major pollution source and an important carrier of mineral particles and pollutants; (2) the elements from the polluted water and soils were strongly correlated with each other; (3) Pb isotope ratios from the samples show that Pb minerals were the major pollution sources in the nearby vegetable fields, and the aerosols were the main carrier of mining pollution; (4) the alkaline, rich-carbonate, and wet conditions in this area promoted the weathering and transformation of galena into the secondary minerals, anglesite and cerussite, which are significant evidence of such processes; (5) the soil and the aerosols are a recycled secondary pollution source for each other when being re-suspended with wind.Highlights• Mining activities generated heavy metal pollution in fields around a Pb-Zn mine• The elements from water and soils are strongly correlated• Anglesite and cerussite are evidence of galena transformation into secondary minerals• Particulate matter is an important transport carrier of pollution.
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The ESR1 gene in unexplained recurrent spontaneous abortion.
Syst Biol Reprod Med
PUBLISHED: 02-25-2014
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Recurrent spontaneous abortion (RSA) is a health problem that affects nearly 1% of fertile couples. However, the underlying etiology and mechanism(s) remain elusive. The aim of this study was to investigate estrogen receptor (ESR) 1 gene polymorphisms for risk association of unexplained recurrent spontaneous abortion (URSA) in the Chinese Han population. The entire coding region of the ESR1 gene was sequenced from 129 URSA patients and 183 healthy controls. There was a significant difference between the G allele and GG genotype distributions, of the ESR1 gene (XbaI) polymorphism, between the URSA and the control groups (?(2) = 14.93, df = 1, p < 0.001, OR = 2.01 95% CI: 1.41-2.88 by allele; ?(2) = 12.24, df = 2, p = 0.002 by genotype). The PvuII polymorphism, C allele frequency was higher in RSA than in controls (41.9% vs. 34.7%, respectively). Women carrying C-G haplotype were associated with an increased risk of URSA in this population (permutation test p value = 0.016, OR = 1.76 95% CI: 1.19-2.59). Estrogen receptor 1 gene PvuII and XbaI polymorphisms were associated with URSA in a Chinese Han population. However, independent replication of these associations are necessary to assure veracity.
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Special role of Foxp3 for the specifically altered microRNAs in Regulatory T cells of HCC patients.
BMC Cancer
PUBLISHED: 02-07-2014
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Regulatory T cells (Tregs) exhibit functional abnormalities in the context of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The microRNAs (miRNAs) are identified as the key modulators in Tregs. This study was to explore whether the expression profiles of miRNAs of Tregs were different in HCC-activated Tregs and whether Foxp3 had special effects on them.
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Identification and control of a Pseudomonas spp (P. fulva and P. putida) bloodstream infection outbreak in a teaching hospital in Beijing, China.
Int. J. Infect. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 02-04-2014
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An outbreak of bacteremia caused by Pseudomonas spp (P. fulva and P. putida) was first identified in our hospital in the summer of 2010 and reoccurred in the following year. Based on the epidemiological data collected in these 2 years, we initiated an investigation on the source of the outbreak. The aim of this study was to report the results of the investigation, as well as the intervention strategies that resulted in successful control of the outbreak.
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PDLLA/PRGD/?-TCP conduits build the neurotrophin-rich microenvironment suppressing the oxidative stress and promoting the sciatic nerve regeneration.
J Biomed Mater Res A
PUBLISHED: 01-27-2014
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A novel nerve guidance conduit comprising poly{(lactic acid)-co-[(glycolic acid)-alt-(l-lysine)]} (PRGD), poly (d,l-lactic acid) (PDLLA) and ?-tricalcium phosphate (?-TCP) was constructed to facilitate the peripheral nerve regeneration. From the comparative study, PDLLA/PRGD/?-TCP conduit achieved the best recovery in regard of the ultrastructure observation and the SFI evaluation. At the first stage of the injury (7 days), the maximum expression augments in ZnSOD (6.4 folds) and GPX4 (6.8 folds) were observed in PDLLA/PRGD/?-TCP group; while striking rise in actin (6.8 folds), tubulin (5.6 folds), and ERM components expressions were observed later (35 days). Meanwhile, compared with PDLLA and PDLLA/PRGD conduits, PDLLA/PRGD/?-TCP conduits achieved the highest local nerve growth factor (NGF) content and an accumulating BDNF content. We speculated that addition of RGD and ?-TCP in the composites were the main positive factors to build the microenvironment rich in NGF and BDNF, which help to counteract with the oxidative stress and to boost the cytoskeletal protein expressions. Therefore, PDLLA/PRGD/?-TCP could be promising composites used in peripheral nerve regeneration.
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The interplay of T1- and T2-relaxation on T1-weighted MRI of hMSCs induced by Gd-DOTA-peptides.
Biomaterials
PUBLISHED: 01-16-2014
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Three Gd-DOTA-peptide complexes with different peptide sequence are synthesized and used as T1 contrast agent to label human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) for magnetic resonance imaging study. The peptides include a universal cell penetrating peptide TAT, a linear MSC-specific peptide EM7, and a cyclic MSC-specific peptide CC9. A significant difference in labeling efficacy is observed between the Gd-DOTA-peptides as well as a control Dotarem. All Gd-DOTA-peptides as well as Dotarem induce significant increase in T1 relaxation rate which is in favor of T1-weighted MR imaging. Gd-DOTA-CC9 yields the maximum labeling efficacy but poor T1 contrast enhancement. Gd-DOTA-EM7 yields the minimum labeling efficacy but better T1 contrast enhancement. Gd-DOTA-TAT yields a similar labeling efficacy as Gd-DOTA-CC9 and similar T1 contrast enhancement as Gd-DOTA-EM7. The underlying mechanism that governs T1 contrast enhancement effect is discussed. Our results suggest that T1 contrast enhancement induced by Gd-DOTA-peptides depends not only on the introduced cellular Gd content, but more importantly on the effect that Gd-DOTA-peptides exert on the T1-relaxation and T2-relaxation processes/rates. Both T1 and particularly T2 relaxation rate have to be taken into account to interpret T1 contrast enhancement. In addition, the interpretation has to be based on cellular instead of aqueous longitudinal and transverse relaxivities of Gd-DOTA-peptides.
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Self-esteem as mediator and moderator of the relationship between stigma perception and social alienation of Chinese adults with disability.
Disabil Health J
PUBLISHED: 01-14-2014
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Several studies show the relationship between self-esteem and stigma perception and also between self-esteem and social alienation, but none sufficiently analyze the relationship between stigma perception and social alienation of people with disability.
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Peripheral expression of MAPK pathways in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.
J Clin Neurosci
PUBLISHED: 01-11-2014
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Alteration of mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways may cause aberrant protein phosphorylation and enhanced apoptosis in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). Increased susceptibility of lymphocytes to apoptosis has been reported in AD. To our knowledge this is the first study to investigate the expression and phosphorylation status of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) in peripheral blood lymphocytes of 20 AD and 20 PD patients and 20 healthy controls using western blot analysis. Compared with controls, no significant difference of total p38MAPK or JNK levels were observed in AD and PD patients, whereas phosphorylated p38MAPK and phosphorylated JNK levels were significantly increased in the AD and PD groups (p<0.001). However, the increased levels of the two phosphorylated kinases in AD versus PD patients presented no significant difference. Interestingly, phosphorylated p38MAPK and phosphorylated JNK levels were positively correlated with disease duration (r=0.602, p=0.005 and r=0.561, p=0.010, respectively) and negatively correlated with the Mini Mental State Examination score (r=-0.664, p=0.001 and r=-0.578, p=0.008, respectively) in AD patients. No correlations between protein levels and clinical variables were found in PD patients. Investigation of peripheral changes in the expression of p38MAPK and JNK may lead to the development of innovative biomarkers of neurodegenerative diseases, particularly for AD.
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Glutathione S-transferase A1 polymorphism and the risk of recurrent spontaneous abortion in Chinese Han population.
J. Assist. Reprod. Genet.
PUBLISHED: 01-05-2014
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Recurrent spontaneous abortion (RSA) is a multifactor and distressing disease. There are still approximately half of the RSA patients with cause not being identified to date. Accumulating studies have confirmed that genetic polymorphisms in glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) were associated with the risk of recurrent spontaneous abortion. In this study, we aimed to investigate the relationship between the polymorphism of GSTA1, which is GSTA1 -69C/T (rs3957357), and the development of recurrent spontaneous abortion.
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Regulation of CARD8 expression by ANRIL and association of CARD8 single nucleotide polymorphism rs2043211 (p.C10X) with ischemic stroke.
Stroke
PUBLISHED: 01-02-2014
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ANRIL has long been considered as the strongest candidate gene at the 9p21 locus, robustly associated with stroke and coronary artery disease. However, the underlying molecular mechanism remains unknown. The present study works to elucidate such a mechanism.
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Cyclin D1 G870A Polymorphism and Risk of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma: A Case-Control Study and Meta-Analysis.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Cyclin D1 (CCND1) plays a key role in cell cycle regulation. It is a well-established human oncogene which is frequently amplified or overexpressed in cancers. The association between CCND1 G870A polymorphism and cancer risk has been widely assessed. However, a definitive conclusion between CCND1 G870A polymorphism and risk of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) remains elusive.
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Delineation of early and later adult onset depression by diffusion tensor imaging.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Due to a lack of evidence, there is no consistent age of onset to define early onset (EO) versus later onset (LO) major depressive disorder (MDD). Fractional anisotropy (FA), derived from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), has been widely used to study neuropsychiatric disorders by providing information about the brain circuitry, abnormalities of which might facilitate the delineation of EO versus LO MDD.
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A statistical parametric mapping toolbox used for voxel-wise analysis of FDG-PET images of rat brain.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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PET (positron emission tomography) imaging researches of functional metabolism using fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) of animal brain are important in neuroscience studies. FDG-PET imaging studies are often performed on groups of rats, so it is desirable to establish an objective voxel-based statistical methodology for group data analysis.
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Controllable synthesis of branched ZnO/Si nanowire arrays with hierarchical structure.
Nanoscale Res Lett
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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A rational approach for creating branched ZnO/Si nanowire arrays with hierarchical structure was developed based on a combination of three simple and cost-effective synthesis pathways. The crucial procedure included growth of crystalline Si nanowire arrays as backbones by chemical etching of Si substrates, deposition of ZnO thin film as a seed layer by magnetron sputtering, and fabrication of ZnO nanowire arrays as branches by hydrothermal growth. The successful synthesis of ZnO/Si heterogeneous nanostructures was confirmed by morphologic, structural, and optical characterizations. The roles of key experimental parameters, such as the etchant solution, the substrate direction, and the seed layer on the hierarchical nanostructure formation, were systematically investigated. It was demonstrated that an etchant solution with an appropriate redox potential of the oxidant was crucial for a moderate etching speed to achieve a well-aligned Si nanowire array with solid and round surface. Meanwhile, the presence of gravity gradient was a key issue for the growth of branched ZnO nanowire arrays. The substrate should be placed vertically or facedown in contrast to the solution surface during the hydrothermal growth. Otherwise, only the condensation of the ZnO nanoparticles took place in a form of film on the substrate surface. The seed layer played another important role in the growth of ZnO nanowire arrays, as it provided nucleation sites and determined the growing direction and density of the nanowire arrays for reducing the thermodynamic barrier. The results of this study might provide insight on the synthesis of hierarchical three-dimensional nanostructure materials and offer an approach for the development of complex devices and advanced applications.
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Molecular mechanisms of reduced nerve toxicity by titanium dioxide nanoparticles in the phoxim-exposed brain of Bombyx mori.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Bombyx mori (B. mori), silkworm, is one of the most important economic insects in the world, while phoxim, an organophosphorus (OP) pesticide, impact its economic benefits seriously. Phoxim exposure can damage the brain, fatbody, midgut and haemolymph of B. mori. However the metabolism of proteins and carbohydrates in phoxim-exposed B. mori can be improved by Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs). In this study, we explored whether TiO2 NPs treatment can reduce the phoxim-induced brain damage of the 5th larval instar of B. mori. We observed that TiO2 NPs pretreatments significantly reduced the mortality of phoxim-exposed larva and relieved severe brain damage and oxidative stress under phoxim exposure in the brain. The treatments also relieved the phoxim-induced increases in the contents of acetylcholine (Ach), glutamate (Glu) and nitric oxide (NO) and the phoxim-induced decreases in the contents of norepinephrine (NE), Dopamine (DA), and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), and reduced the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), Na+/K+-ATPase, Ca2+-ATPase, and Ca2+/Mg2+-ATPase activities and the activation of total nitric oxide synthase (TNOS) in the brain. Furthermore, digital gene expression profile (DGE) analysis and real time quantitative PCR (qRT-PCR) assay revealed that TiO2 NPs pretreatment inhibited the up-regulated expression of ace1, cytochrome c, caspase-9, caspase-3, Bm109 and down-regulated expression of BmIap caused by phoxim; these genes are involved in nerve conduction, oxidative stress and apoptosis. TiO2 NPs pretreatment also inhibited the down-regulated expression of H+ transporting ATP synthase and vacuolar ATP synthase under phoxim exposure, which are involved in ion transport and energy metabolism. These results indicate that TiO2 NPs pretreatment reduced the phoxim-induced nerve toxicity in the brain of B. mori.
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Association between thrombophilia gene polymorphisms and preeclampsia: a meta-analysis.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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To estimate the relationship between the risk of preeclampsia and two thrombophilia gene single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), the factor V G1691A SNP and the prothrombin G20210A SNP.
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Spatial patterns of whole brain grey and white matter injury in patients with occult spastic diplegic cerebral palsy.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Spastic diplegic cerebral palsy (SDCP) is a common type of cerebral palsy (CP), which presents as a group of motor-impairment syndromes. Previous conventional MRI studies have reported abnormal structural changes in SDCP, such as periventricular leucomalacia. However, there are roughly 27.8% SDCP patients presenting normal appearance in conventional MRI, which were considered as occult SDCP. In this study, sixteen patients with occult SDCP and 16 age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects were collected and the data were acquired on a 3T MR system. We applied voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) analysis to investigate whole brain grey and white matter injury in occult SDCP. By using VBM method, the grey matter volume reduction was revealed in the bilateral basal ganglia regions, thalamus, insula, and left cerebral peduncle, whereas the white matter atrophy was found to be located in the posterior part of corpus callosum and right posterior corona radiata in the occult SDCP patients. By using TBSS, reduced fractional anisotropy (FA) values were detected in multiple white matter regions, including bilateral white matter tracts in prefrontal lobe, temporal lobe, internal and external capsule, corpus callosum, cingulum, thalamus, brainstem and cerebellum. Additionally, several regions of white matter tracts injury were found to be significantly correlated with motor dysfunction. These results collectively revealed the spatial patterns of whole brain grey and white matter injury in occult SDCP.
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A novel mutation of Hyaluronan synthase 2 gene in Chinese children with ventricular septal defect.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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As a major product of extracellular matrix (ECM), Hyaluronic acid (HA) is involved in early cardiac development and mainly synthesized by Hyaluronan synthase 2 (HAS2) during embryogenesis. Targeted deletion of HAS2 gene in mice led to obvious cardiac and vascular defects. To clarify the potential association of the mutation in HAS2 with the development of congenital heart disease (CHD), in this study, we sequenced the coding region of HAS2 and identified a novel non-synonymous variant c.A1496T (p.Glu499Val) in one of 100 non-syndromic Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) patients. The variant was not observed in 250 controls. In addition, to determine the contribution of HAS2 variant in VSD, we compared HA content in supernatant using HA quantitative analysis and found that the mutation obviously affected the HA synthetic activity of HAS2. To our knowledge, this is the first time that the mutation in HAS2 was found in Chinese VSD patients, which suggested that HAS2 may be involved in the etiology of non-syndromic VSD and have the vital function in the development of heart septum.
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Potent anti-myeloma activity of the novel bromodomain inhibitors I-BET151 and I-BET762.
Blood
PUBLISHED: 12-13-2013
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The bromodomain and extra terminal (BET) protein BRD2-4 inhibitors hold therapeutic promise in preclinical models of hematologic malignancies. However, translation of these data to molecules suitable for clinical development has yet to be disclosed. Herein we expand the mechanistic understanding of BET inhibitors in multiple myeloma using the chemical probe molecule I-BET151. I-BET151 induces apoptosis and exerts strong anti-proliferative effect in vitro and in vivo. This is associated with contrasting effects on oncogenic MYC and HEXIM1, an inhibitor of the transcriptional activator P-TEFb. I-BET151 causes transcriptional repression of MYC and MYC-dependent programmes, by abrogating recruitment to chromatin of the P-TEFb component CDK9, in a BRD2-4-dependent manner. In contrast, transcriptional upregulation of HEXIM1 is BRD2-4 independent. Finally, pre-clinical studies show that I-BET762 has favourable pharmacological profile as an oral agent and inhibited myeloma cell proliferation, resulting in survival advantage in a systemic myeloma xenograft model. These data provide a strong rationale for extending the clinical testing of the novel anti-myeloma agent I-BET762 and reveal insights into biological pathways required for myeloma cell proliferation.
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Association between TP53 gene Arg72Pro polymorphism and idiopathic infertility in southeast Chinese Han males.
Syst Biol Reprod Med
PUBLISHED: 11-26-2013
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TP53 is a tumor-suppressor gene which is involved in multiple pathways including apoptosis, transcriptional regulation, and cell cycle control. To analyze whether the TP53 gene Arg72Pro polymorphism (rs1042522) is responsible for susceptibility to idiopathic infertility in southeast Chinese Han males, we used the PCR restriction fragment length polymorphism technique to detect the genotype distribution of 361 infertile men (including 212 with non-obstructive azoospermia and 149 with severe oligozoospermia) in comparison with 384 fertile controls. Genotyping was confirmed by DNA sequencing from randomly selected samples. The frequency of rs1042522 indicated an association with risk of idiopathic male infertility under a dominant mode (GG?+?GC genotypes vs. CC genotype, P?=?0.013; ?(2)?=?6.169; OR?=?1.581; 95%CI?=?1.1-2.272; df?=?1). Comparison of the allele frequencies revealed a significantly higher incidence of Arg allele among azoospermia group compared with controls (P?=?0.001; ?(2) =10.864; OR?=?1.502; 95%CI?=?1.177-1.917; df?=?1). Our data suggest that the Arg allele was related only to azoospermia, not to severe oligozoospermia (P?=?0.133; ?(2)?=?2.261; OR?=?1.23; 95%CI?=?0.939-1.611; df?=?1). This study indicated that the TP53 gene Arg72Pro polymorphism of the spermatogenic pathway may be associated with idiopathic infertility in southeast Chinese Han males.
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Surgical versus conservative interventions for displaced intra-articular calcaneal fractures: a Cochrane Nursing Care Field Corner Column.
Orthop Nurs
PUBLISHED: 11-20-2013
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What is the effect of surgical treatment compared with conservative treatment of displaced intra-articular calcaneal fractures in adults?
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Multipole plasmon resonances in self-assembled metal hollow-nanospheres.
Nanoscale
PUBLISHED: 10-25-2013
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Recently, multipole plasmonic mode resonances in metal hollow structures, such as dipole, quadrupole, and octupole modes, have been widely investigated by researchers with the aim for potential applications in bio-sensing, fluorescence, nanolasers or nonlinear nano-photonics. Here, in this work, the multipole plasmon resonances in self-assembled metal hollow-nanospheres (HNSs) are theoretically and experimentally demonstrated and the hot spots originating from the higher order mode plasmonic resonance and interparticle coupling effect are proposed to be used for Raman scattering enhancements. Dipole, quadrupole, octupole and hexadecapole mode plasmonic resonances were clearly resolved in the extinction spectra of these Ag HNS arrays showing good agreement with the theoretical simulation results. Strong regular hot spots were obtained around the surface and in the gaps of the Ag HNSs through the higher order mode plasmonic resonances and corresponding interparticle coupling effect between the HNSs. Maximum local field intensity was accomplished by optimizing the size of as well as the coupling distance between the HNSs and then it was applied to SERS sensing. Raman mapping also demonstrated these self-assembled plasmonic cavity arrays to be a stable and uniform SERS-active substrate.
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Arrhythmic dynamics from singularity analysis of electrocardiographic maps.
Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc
PUBLISHED: 10-11-2013
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From a point view of nonlinear dynamics, the electrical activity of the heart is a complex dynamical system, whose dynamics reflects the actual state of health of the heart. Nonlinear signal-processing methods are needed in order to accurately characterize these signals and improve understanding of cardiac arrhythmias. Recent developments on reconstructible signals and multiscale information content show that an analysis in terms of singularity exponents provides compact and meaningful descriptors of the structure and dynamics of the system. Such approach gives a compact representation atrial arrhythmic dynamics, which can sharply highlight regime transitions and arrhythmogenic areas.
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Phase space reconstruction of an experimental model of cardiac field potential in normal and arrhythmic conditions.
Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc
PUBLISHED: 10-11-2013
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Cardiac arrhythmias are one of the most important death causes in the world. Compared to the numerical models, the experimental ones provide a more realistic tool to study the mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmias. The in vitro culture of cardiac cells developed on the Multi-Electrodes Array (MEA) constitutes a suitable model in this context. The extracellular field potential (EFP) acquired from the MEA can be used to measure the electrophysiological parameters of action potential. In this article, the stability of this experimental model is investigated using the phase space reconstruction in normal and in arrhythmia conditions. The results show that the embedding dimension of signal EFP changed slightly in both cases (normal conditions and arrhythmia). The parameter time lag ? in the normal conditions is lower than in the arrhythmia. The shape of attractors remains similar but disturbed in case of arrhythmia compared to the normal conditions.
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18F-FDG PET study reveals brain functional changes during attention in rats.
J. Nucl. Med.
PUBLISHED: 10-10-2013
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Attentional impairments are seen in many clinical syndromes, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer disease. Understanding the mechanism of attention can be helpful for the diagnosis and treatment of these diseases. The aim of this study was to assess brain glucose metabolic changes in a rat model of attention.
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Lymph node ratio is an independent prognostic factor in gastric cancer after curative resection (R0) regardless of the examined number of lymph nodes.
Am. J. Clin. Oncol.
PUBLISHED: 09-26-2013
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the outcome of the ratio between metastatic and examined lymph nodes (N ratio) in gastric cancer patients with <15 examined lymph nodes after curative resection.
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Variations of the COL1A1 gene promoter and the relation to developmental dysplasia of the hip.
Genet Test Mol Biomarkers
PUBLISHED: 08-13-2013
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Developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) is one of the most common hip deformities in children. Since the COL1A1 gene is located in the DDH relating region, we investigated the COL1A1 promoter variations in the development of DDH.
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BRG1 variant rs1122608 on chromosome 19p13.2 confers protection against stroke and regulates expression of pre-mRNA-splicing factor SFRS3.
Hum. Genet.
PUBLISHED: 08-10-2013
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A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs1122608 on chromosome 19p13.2 and in the BRG1/SMARCA4 gene was previously associated with coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD and ischemic stroke are both associated with atherosclerosis. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that rs1122608 is associated with ischemic stroke. Further studies were used to identify the most likely mechanism by which rs1122608 regulates atherosclerosis. For case-control association studies, two independent Chinese Han GeneID cohorts were used, including a Central cohort with 1,075 cases and 2,685 controls and the Northern cohort with 1,208 cases and 824 controls. eQTL and real-time RT-PCR analyses were used to identify the potential candidate gene(s) affected by rs1122608. The minor allele T of SNP rs1122608 showed significant association with a decreased risk of ischemic stroke in the Central GeneID cohort (adjusted P adj = 2.1 × 10(-4), OR 0.61). The association was replicated in an independent Northern GeneID cohort (P adj = 6.00 × 10(-3), OR 0.69). The association became more significant in the combined population (P adj = 7.86 × 10(-5), OR 0.73). Allele T of SNP rs1122608 also showed significant association with a decreased total cholesterol level (P adj = 0.013). Allele T of rs1122608 was associated with an increased expression level of SFRS3 encoding an mRNA splicing regulator, but not with the expression of BRG1/SMARCA4 or LDLR (located 36 kb from rs1122608). Increased expression of SFSR3 may decrease IL-1? expression and secretion, resulting in reduced risk of atherosclerosis and stroke. This is the first study that demonstrates that rs1122608 confers protection against ischemic stroke and implicates splicing factor SFSR3 in the disease process.
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A novel protein protects bacterial iron-dependent metabolism from nitric oxide.
J. Bacteriol.
PUBLISHED: 08-09-2013
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Reactive nitrogen species (RNS), in particular nitric oxide (NO), are toxic to bacteria, and bacteria have mechanisms to allow growth despite this stress. Understanding how bacteria interact with NO is essential to understanding bacterial physiology in many habitats, including pathogenesis; however, many targets of NO and enzymes involved in NO resistance remain uncharacterized. We performed for the first time a metabolomic screen on NO-treated and -untreated bacteria to define broadly the effects of NO on bacterial physiology, as well as to identify the function of NnrS, a previously uncharacterized enzyme involved in defense against NO. We found many known and novel targets of NO. We also found that iron-sulfur cluster enzymes were preferentially inhibited in a strain lacking NnrS due to the formation of iron-NO complexes. We then demonstrated that NnrS is particularly important for resistance to nitrosative stress under anaerobic conditions. Our data thus reveal the breadth of the toxic effects of NO on metabolism and identify the function of an important enzyme in alleviating this stress.
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The identification of hotspots of heavy metal pollution in soil-rice systems at a regional scale in eastern China.
Sci. Total Environ.
PUBLISHED: 07-31-2013
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Chinese agricultural soils and crops are suffering from increasing damage from heavy metals, which are introduced from various pollution sources including agriculture, traffic, mining and especially the flourishing private metal recycling industry. In this study, 219 pairs of rice grain and corresponding soil samples were collected from Wenling in Zhejiang Province to identify the spatial relationship and pollution hotspots of Cd, Cu, Ni and Zn in the soil-rice system. The mean soil concentrations of heavy metals were 0.316mgkg(-1) for Cd, 47.3mgkg(-1) for Cu, 31.7mgkg(-1) for Ni and 131mgkg(-1) for Zn, and the metal concentrations in rice grain were 0.132mgkg(-1) for Cd, 2.46mgkg(-1) for Cu, 0.223mgkg(-1) for Ni and 17.4mgkg(-1) for Zn. The coefficient of variability (CV) of soil Cd, Cu and rice Cd were 147%, 146% and 180%, respectively, indicating an extensive variability. While the CVs of other metals ranged from 23.4% to 84.3% with a moderate variability. Kriging interpolation procedure and the Local Morans I index detected the locations of pollution hotspots of these four metals. Cd and Cu had a very similar spatial pattern, with contamination hotspots located simultaneously in the northwestern part of the study area, and there were obvious hotspots for soil Zn in the north area, while in the northeast for soil Ni. The existence of hotspots may be due to industrialization and other anthropogenic activities. An Enrichment Index (EI) was employed to measure the uptake of heavy metals by rice. The results indicated that the accumulation and availability of heavy metals in the soil-rice system may be influenced by both soil heavy metal concentrations and soil physico-chemical properties. Cross-correlograms quantitatively illustrated that EIs were significantly correlated with soil properties. Soil pH and organic matter were the most important factors controlling the uptake of heavy metals by rice. As results, positive measures should be taken into account to control soil pollution and to curtail metal contamination to the food chain in the areas of Wenling, which were the most polluted by toxic metals.
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Combination of SLC administration and tregs depletion is an attractive strategy for targeting hepatocellular carcinoma.
Mol. Cancer
PUBLISHED: 07-23-2013
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Secondary lymphoid tissue chemokine (SLC) is a key CC chemokine for chemotaxis of immune cells and has been an attractive candidate for anti-tumor treatments. However, among the immune cells recruited by SLC to tumors, the CD25+ Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) compromise the anti-tumor effects. In this study, we proposed the combination therapy of intratumoral co-administration of SLC and anti-CD25 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). We hypothesized that the intratumoral injections of SLC and depletion of Tregs would have stronger inhibition effects for the progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in mice.
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Short read mapping for exome sequencing.
Methods Mol. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 07-23-2013
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Mapping short reads to the reference genome is very often the prerequisite for applications utilizing the next-generation sequencing technologies. A dozen of software tools developed for this purpose have been widely used. But many practical issues remained when utilizing them to build a computational pipeline for downstream analyses. In this chapter, we describe the read mapping procedures adopted in our lab for the exome sequencing studies as an example to illustrate those practical details.
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Effects of roxithromycin on ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria in the rhizosphere of wheat.
Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol.
PUBLISHED: 07-13-2013
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In a pot-cultural experiment, the impact of the antibiotic roxithromycin (ROX) addition was assessed on the diversities of microbial structure and function communities, especially involved in ammonia and nitrite oxidation in wheat rhizosphere soil with and without the addition of earthworms. The abundances of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB), and total bacteria were surveyed by the quantitative PCR. The quantities of total bacteria, AOB, and NOB with earthworms were higher than those without earthworms because of the synergistic effect. ROX inhibited the growth of AOB in all treatments, although the quantities of AOB were in a light increase in medium and heavy polluted treatments compared with that in the light polluted treatments. Different from AOB, the quantities of NOB were lowest in light polluted treatments, but the quantities of NOB were rapidly increased in medium and heavy polluted treatments compared with that in the control. These results indicated that the application of ROX principally had a negative effect on nitrification performance by affecting the abundances and relative ratios of both AOB and NOB in soil communities, which affected the N cycle in an agricultural ecosystem. According to the metabolic diversities evaluated by the biologic assay, the tendency of metabolic diversities was quite contrary to the quantities of NOB in all treatments and showed the contrast growing relation of autotrophic and heterotrophic bacteria under ROX pollution pressure in agricultural ecosystems.
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Source, distribution, and health risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in urban street dust from Tianjin, China.
Environ Sci Pollut Res Int
PUBLISHED: 06-30-2013
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To better assess and understand potential health risk of urban residents exposed to urban street dust, the total concentration, sources, and distribution of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in 87 urban street dust samples from Tianjin as a Chinese megacity that has undergone rapid urbanization were investigated. In the meantime, potential sources of PAHs were identified using the principal component analysis (PCA), and the risk of residents exposure to PAHs via urban street dust was calculated using the Incremental Lifetime Cancer Risk (ILCR) model. The results showed that the total PAHs (?PAHs) in urban street dust from Tianjin ranged from 538 ?g kg(-1) to 34.3 mg kg(-1), averaging 7.99 mg kg(-1). According to PCA, the two to three- and four to six-ring PAHs contributed 10.3 and 89.7 % of ?PAHs, respectively. The ratio of the sum of major combustion specific compounds (?COMB)?/??PAHs varied from 0.57 to 0.79, averaging 0.64. The ratio of Ant/(Ant?+?Phe) varied from 0.05 to 0.41, averaging 0.10; Fla/(Fla?+?Pyr) from 0.40 to 0.68, averaging 0.60; BaA/(BaA?+?Chry) from 0.29 to 0.51, averaging 0.38; and IcdP/(IcdP?+?BghiP) from 0.07 to 0.37, averaging 0.22. The biomass combustion, coal combustion, and traffic emission were the main sources of PAHs in urban street dust with the similar proportion. According to the ILCR model, the total cancer risk for children and adults was up to 2.55?×?10(-5) and 9.33?×?10(-5), respectively.
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Extended filaments of bulking sludge sink in the floc layer with particulate substrate.
Chemosphere
PUBLISHED: 06-20-2013
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Recent studies have showed that particulate substrate has a positive effect on sludge settleability. This study was driven by the question of how the extended filaments disappeared when soluble substrate was switched to particulate substrate. A lab-scale aerobic completely stirred tank reactor was performed and evaluated for a period of two months. The results showed that extended filaments were quickly induced with soluble substrate. Total extended filament length of activated sludge decreased and sludge settleability was significantly improved after the soluble substrate was switch to particulate substrate. Due to the lack of hydrolysis products in the bulk liquid when particulate substrate was fed, extended filaments were forced to grow towards the inside of the flocs and finally sink in the floc layer. A physical model was proposed to explain the evolution of extended filaments caused by soluble substrate and cured by particulate substrate.
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Clinical characteristics and treatment options for two types of osteoblastoma in the mobile spine: a retrospective study of 32 cases and outcomes.
Eur Spine J
PUBLISHED: 06-12-2013
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A retrospective study of 32 patients with osteoblastoma (OBL) in the mobile spine was performed to analyze the clinical characteristics of two types of spinal OBL. We also aimed to find influential factors for OBL in the mobile spine.
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Enhanced transgene expression in mammalian cells by recombinant baculovirus vector containing bovine papillomavirus type 1 replication elements.
J Gene Med
PUBLISHED: 06-12-2013
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The baculovirus Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus has been widely explored as a transgene expression vector. Further improvement of the expression of the transgene is important for its application.
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The PGAM4 gene in non-obstructive azoospermia.
Syst Biol Reprod Med
PUBLISHED: 05-01-2013
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Non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA) is considered to be a severe infertility factor due to impaired spermatogenesis with the consequent absence of spermatozoa in the ejaculate. However, the underlying etiology and mechanism(s) remain elusive. The aim of this study was to investigate the mutation and association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the phosphoglycerate mutase 4 (PGAM4) gene in Chinese Han infertile men with NOA. The entire coding region of PGAM4 gene was sequenced from 214 participants including 103 infertile men with NOA and 111 controls with proven fertility. Screening was carried out using PCR and DNA sequencing to identify novel mutations and SNPs of the entire coding region of PGAM4. No mutation, including A138C or G539A, was detected in the coding region of PGAM4. One novel synonymous mutation (G111A, rs20100573) in control individuals was identified. There was no significant difference between NOA patients and controls in the G75C (rs138178131) frequencies (1.9% (2/103) and 4.5% (5/111), respectively, P = 0.292 and P = 0.374, adjusted by age). PGAM4 coding region mutations were not observed and the G75C polymorphism is not associated with NOA susceptibility among the Chinese Han population.
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Strains in the genus Thauera exhibit remarkably different denitrification regulatory phenotypes.
Environ. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 04-05-2013
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Denitrifiers differ in how they handle the transition from oxic to anoxic respiration, with consequences for NO and N2O emissions. To enable stringent comparisons we defined parameters to describe denitrification regulatory phenotype (DRP) based on accumulation of NO2(-) , NO and N2O, oxic/anoxic growth and transcription of functional genes. Eight Thauera strains were divided into two distinct DRP types. Four strains were characterized by a rapid, complete onset (RCO) of all denitrification genes and no detectable nitrite accumulation. The others showed progressive onset (PO) of the different denitrification genes. The PO group accumulated nitrite, and no transcription of nirS (encoding nitrite reductase) was detected until all available nitrate (2 mM) was consumed. Addition of a new portion of nitrate to an actively denitrifying culture of a PO strain (T. terpenica) resulted in a transient halt in nitrite reduction, indicating that the electron flow was redirected to nitrate reductase. All eight strains controlled NO at nano-molar concentrations, possibly reflecting the importance of strict control for survival. Transient N2O accumulation differed by two orders of magnitude between strains, indicating that control of N2O is less essential. No correlation was seen between phylogeny (based on 16S rRNA and functional genes) and DRP.
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