The life sciences field is entering an era of big data with the breakthroughs of science and technology. More and more big data-related projects and activities are being performed in the world. Life sciences data generated by new technologies are continuing to grow in not only size but also variety and complexity, with great speed. To ensure that big data has a major influence in the life sciences, comprehensive data analysis across multiple data sources and even across disciplines is indispensable. The increasing volume of data and the heterogeneous, complex varieties of data are two principal issues mainly discussed in life science informatics. The ever-evolving next-generation Web, characterized as the Semantic Web, is an extension of the current Web, aiming to provide information for not only humans but also computers to semantically process large-scale data. The paper presents a survey of big data in life sciences, big data related projects and Semantic Web technologies. The paper introduces the main Semantic Web technologies and their current situation, and provides a detailed analysis of how Semantic Web technologies address the heterogeneous variety of life sciences big data. The paper helps to understand the role of Semantic Web technologies in the big data era and how they provide a promising solution for the big data in life sciences.
Enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) expressing Balb/c nude mice strain with Rag-2 and Jak3 double mutants (Nude-R/J-EGFP mice) was established to improve the take rate of human tumors and to distinguish tumor and host cells. EGFP was ubiquitously expressed in all organs including the brain, lung, liver, heart, kidney, spleen, and gastrointestinal tract in Nude-R/J-EGFP mice. The mice showed complete loss of T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes, and NK cells, indicating a higher take rate of human tumor xenograft. M213-mCherry, an mCherry expressing the cholangiocarcinoma cell line, was successfully detected and tumor vessels derived from the host were clearly identified with fluorescence imager. Thus, dual-color fluorescence imaging visualizes the tumor-host interaction by non-invasive in vivo fluorescent imaging in Nude-R/J-EGFP mice. These finding suggests that Nude-R/J-EGFP mice are becoming a powerful tool to investigate human tumor-host interactions.
To study the impairment of cholangiocyte primary cilia caused by prolonged cold preservation and its correlation with graft cholangiopathy after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). Subjects were 60 male Wistar rats that were divided into 2 groups: a control group (n = 30) receiving a donor liver preserved for 1 h and a study group (n = 30) receiving a donor liver preserved for 12 h. A two-cuff method was used to establish the OLT model, and the hepatic artery and bile ducts were reconstructed using stents. Samples were collected 2, 8, and 16 weeks after surgery, and 5 samples were collected from each group at each time point. Serum biochemical indicators were measured, morphological changes in intrahepatic bile ducts and cholangiocyte primary cilia were observed using an optical microscope and scanning electronic microscope, respectively, and the ciliary marker (α-tubulin) and membrane proteins (PC-1, TRPV4, and P2Y12) were detected using immunofluorescence analysis and Western blotting. In the study group, phlogocytes infiltrated around bile ducts and bile ducts proliferated markedly at 8 weeks. At 16 weeks, the biliary structures were indistinct and some bile ducts disappeared, a large amount of collagen was deposited, numerous phlogocytes infiltrated around ducts, some biliary epithelial cells (BECs) were deformed or dead, and primary cilia disappeared. In the control group, the intrahepatic bile ducts and BECs were nearly intact and the primary cilia were present. In the study group, the expression of α-tubulin, polycystin-1 (PC-1), TRPV4, and P2Y12 in bile ducts disappeared completely after 8 weeks. In the control group, expression of the marker and proteins decreased at 2 weeks and increased slightly after 8 weeks. These results suggest that the study group had dysfunctional primary cilia at the start of OLT and that this dysfunction was irreversible. In the control group, the primary cilia defects and subsequent biliary injury were temporary. Thus, prolonged cold preservation of a donor liver may cause graft cholangiopathy by altering the integrity and functions of cholangiocyte primary cilia.
This study sought to devise a way to assess the infiltration of cancer cells in model stromal tissues. Human breast carcinoma MDA-MB-231 cells were loaded on the surface of a type I collagen gel in the well of 8-well chamber slide and allowed to migrate into the gel. The gel was then subjected to frozen sectioning and staining. Azan staining facilitated satisfactory microscopic observation of cancer cells migrating into the collagen gel. Cell migration was promoted by the presence of fetal calf serum in the gel. In contrast, the proportion of cells remaining on the gel surface increased in the presence of galardin, a matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor. Moreover, the distance of cell migration from the gel surface was significantly shorter depending on the concentration of galardin. Observation of cancer cell migration into reconstituted type I collagen gel with a combination of frozen sectioning and azan staining is a useful way to assess the ability of individual cancer cells to migrate and to evaluate how effectively pharmaceuticals inhibit the first step of invasion.
Dysfunction of the endothelium is regarded as an important factor in the pathogenesis of vascular disease in diabetes mellitus (DM). Unfortunately, prevention of the progression of vascular complications of DM remains pessimistic. Ferulic acid and astragaloside IV, isolated from traditional Chinese medicine Angelica sinensis and Radix astragali respectively, exhibit potential cardio-protective and anti-hyperglycemic properties. In the present study, we investigated the protective effects and underlying mechanism of ferulic acid and astragaloside IV against vascular endothelial dysfunction in diabetic rats. After the diabetic rat model was established using streptozotocin, sixty rats were divided into 6 groups (control, model, ferulic acid, astragaloside IV, ferulic acid + astragaloside IV, and metformin) and treated for 10 weeks. Blood samples were collected to measure levels of hemoglobin A1c (HbAlc), triglyceride (TG), total cholesterol (TC), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), low density lipoproteins (Ox-LDL), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and creatinine (Cr), nitric oxide (NO) and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), and abdominal aorta tissue samples were collected for observing histological morphology changes of endothelium and detecting gene and protein expression of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) P65, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α). We found that ferulic acid combined with astragaloside IV was capable of improving the structure of the aortic endothelium wall, attenuating the increase of HbAlc, TG, TC, LDL-C and Ox-LDL, promoting the release of NO and eNOS, and inhibiting over-activation of MCP-1, TNF-α, and NF-κB P65, without damage to liver and kidney function. In conclusion, ferulic acid combined with astragaloside IV exhibited significant protective effects against vascular endothelial dysfunction in diabetic rats through the NF-κB pathway involving decrease of Ox-LDL, increase of NO and eNOS, and activation of NF-κB P65, MCP-1 and TNF-α.
This study aimed to develop a reverse phase high-performance liquid chromatographic (RP-HPLC) method for the determination of efavirenz in human plasma and to use it for determining the concentrations of efavirenz in Chinese AIDS patient. A simple mobile phase consisting of 0.01 mol/L NaH2PO4 solution and acetonitrile (38:62, V/V) was pumped at a flow rate of 1.0 mL/min through a reverse phase Diamonsil C18 column maintained at 30°C. Diazepam was used as an internal standard and monitored with efavirenz at 247 nm. The protein of 100 μL plasma sample was precipitated before 20 μL of the supernatant was directly injected into the column. The linear response over the concentration ranges 0.10-20.0 μg/mL was obtained and the linear regression equations was Y = 2.2873X ‒ 0.1449 (r = 0.9999). The intra-day and inter-day precisions (1.9-2.6%, 2.2-7.2%, respectively), the relative and absolute recovery (99.3-106.3%, 75.6-80.3%, respectively) met the international standards. Stability of plasma samples were evaluated for short-term (ambient temperature for 16 h) and long-term (-20°C for 30 days) storage conditions and were found to be stable. The mean plasma concentration of efavirenz of the 406 patients was 2.21 ± 1.95 μg/mL, 77.3% of which were within the therapeutic window (1-4 μg/mL), 15.1% were below the window, and 7.6% were over it. In conclusion, the method had advantages of convenience, rapidity, necessary accuracy and precision, high practicality and met the needs for therapeutic drug monitoring and the pharmacokinetic study of efavirenz, especially in underdeveloped countries. For Chinese AIDS patients, it was beneficial to use efavirenz under the guidance of therapeutic drug monitoring.
Malignant pericardial effusion is one of the severe complications in advanced lung cancer patients, seriously affecting the patient's cardiopulmonary function and even life. Pericardial drainage and instillation of anti-neoplastic drugs in the pericardial cavity seems to offer the best chance of controlling pericardial effusion. We reported a case concerning treatment of a 63-year-old man in advanced lung cancer with a large amount of pericardial effusion. We utilized pericardium puncture and drainage combined with instillation of Cinobufacini injection in the pericardial cavity to treat pericardial effusion. After treatment with Cinobufacini injection for two weeks, the patient was followed up in one month to assess effectiveness, quality of life, and safety. We found that the cardiac tamponade symptoms such as difficult breathing, chest distress, and palpitations were significantly relieved. The patient's quality of life was effectively improved with KPS scores increased. We also found that the levels of tumor marker CA-125 in the pericardial effusion decreased (from 340.80 U/mL to 34.85 U/mL) and pericardium B ultrasound showed that the quantity of pericardial effusion reduced significantly (from 2.5 cm to 0.6 cm). Furthermore, there were little gastrointestinal adverse reactions and myelosuppression in the patient after instillation of the Cinobufacini injection. Taken together, this provides a new way for treating cancerous pericardial effusion, especially for patients who cannot tolerate instillation of chemotherapy drugs, and is worthwhile to carry out more standardized studies in the future.
At the end of 2013, a Japanese newspaper reported that 4,173 children were unidentified or missing in Japan. The article concluded that child abuse was a matter of national concern. In examining the strengths and weaknesses of Japan's welfare system in regard to child abuse, it would seem that a weakness exists with regard to its ambiguity on the roles of different officers who contact suspected cases. Although three types of officer (health, welfare, and police officers) can take charge, child abuse cases might be missed because the division of labor varies between the different types of officer. However, a strength exists in the periodical pediatric health check system that is in place in each of Japan’s 1,742 municipalities. To efficiently implement early intervention for child abuse, it is necessary to rearrange the division of labor among the three types of officers to clarify who should intervene in suspected cases.
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