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  • Author or Editor: Y.L. Chen x
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Rapid and accurate diagnosis of influenza is important for patient management and infection control. We determined the performance of the cobas® Influenza A/B assay, a rapid automated nucleic acid assay performed on the cobas® Liat System for qualitative detection of influenza A and influenza B from nasopharyngeal (NP) swab specimens. Retrospective frozen and prospectively collected NP swabs from patients with signs and symptoms of influenza collected in universal transport medium (UTM) were tested at multiple sites including CLIA-waived sites using the cobas® Influenza A/B assay. Results were compared to the Prodesse ProFlu+ assay and to viral culture. Compared to the Prodesse ProFlu+ Assay, sensitivities of the cobas® Influenza A/B assay for influenza A and B were 97.7 and 98.6%, respectively; specificity was 99.2 and 99.4%. Compared to viral culture, the cobas® Influenza A/B assay showed sensitivities of 97.5 and 96.9% for influenza virus A and B, respectively; specificities were 97.9% for both viruses. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)/sequencing showed that the majority of viral culture negative but cobas® Influenza A/B positive results were true positive results, indicating that the cobas® Influenza A/B assay has higher sensitivity compared to viral culture.

In conclusion, the excellent accuracy, rapid time to result, and remarkable ease of use make the cobas® Influenza A/B nucleic acid assay for use on the cobas® Liat System a highly suitable point-of-care solution for the management of patients with suspected influenza A and B infection.

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Gastrodia elata Blume polysaccharide (GEP) was extracted and then chemically characterised. Its antioxidant activity was evaluated in vitro and in vivo. The results of the in vitro investigation show that GEP consists of glucose with molecular weight of 875 185 Da and exhibits high hydroxyl radical scavenging, as well as 2,2-diphenyl-1- picrylhydrazyl activity and reducing capacity. For antioxidant activity in vivo, D-galactose-induced-aged mice were orally administered with three different doses of GEP over a period of 6 weeks. The administration of GEP dosedependently increased the body weight gain rates, liver and brain indices, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activities, and malondialdehyde levels in the sera and brains of ageing mice. These results suggest that GEP exhibits high antioxidant activity and can retard human ageing associated with free radicals.

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Summary

1,7-Dihydroxy-3,8-dimethoxyxanthone (X1) and 1,8-dihydroxy-3,7-dimethoxyxanthone (X2) are two important xanthones of the Tibetan medicinal plant Gentianopsis paludosa (Hook. f.) Ma. They are very similar in structure, the only difference being exchange of OH and OCH3 at the 7 and 8 positions. By calculations based on the geometry of the molecules using the MM+ force field, the different distances between the hydroxyl groups of the two xanthones were obtained (4.64774 Å for X2 and 7.19412 Å for X1), therefore, the two hydroxyl groups of X1 should freely interact with more water molecules than those of X2 in aqueous solution. In other words, X2 is more hydrophobic than X1. Micellar electrokinetic capillary chromatography (MEKC) was therefore chosen for separation of the compounds. The optimum separation conditions were: 20 mm borate + 20 mm SDS (pH 9.8) as running buffer, 17.5 kV applied potential, and detection wavelength 260 nm. The two xanthones were well separated in 9.0 min, with Gaussian peak shapes. The repeatability of the MEKC method (expressed as RSD) for X1 and X2 was 0.9 and 1.1%, respectively, for migration time, and 3.1 and 1.4% for peak area. The limits of detection (S/N = 3) were 0.41 μg mL−1 for X1 and 0.82 μg mL−1 for X2. The recovery of the MEKC method for the two xanthones was also satisfactory.

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Genotypes with various Vp-1B alleles perform different levels of pre-harvest sprouting (PHS) tolerance. In this study, 217 white-grained wheat cultivars, including 75 landraces, 39 historical cultivars, and 103 modern cultivars from five major regions of China, were examined to characterize the diversity of the Viviparous-1B ( Vp-1B ) locus associated with PHS tolerance. Four Vp-1B alleles were identified, three ( Vp-1Ba , Vp-1Bb and Vp-1Bc ) of which were previously reported in Chinese wheat cultivars. A new allele, Vp-1Be , was identified in the PHS tolerant landrace Hongheshangtou. Sequence analysis showed that Vp-1Be had an insertion of a 4-bp fragment, two SNPs, and a deletion of an 83-bp fragment compared with the nucleotide sequence of Vp-1Ba (AJ400713), all located in the third intron. Vp-1Be shared 97.80% similarity with the nucleotide sequence of AJ400713. The frequencies of Vp-1Ba , Vp-1Bb , and Vp-1Bc were 36.0%, 5.3%, and 57.3% in landraces; 23.1%, 7.7%, and 69.2% in historical cultivars; and 52.4%, 0%, and 47.6% in current cultivars, respectively.

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Rht18, derived from Triticum durum (tetraploid) wheat, is classified as a gibberellic acid (GA)-responsive dwarfing gene. Prior to this study, the responses of Rht18 to exogenous GA on agronomic traits in hexaploid wheat were still unknown. The response of Rht18 to exogenous GA3 on coleoptile length, plant height, yield components and other agronomic traits were investigated using F4:5 and F5:6 hexaploid dwarf lines with Rht18 derived from two crosses between the tetraploid donor Icaro and tall Chinese winter wheat cultivars, Xifeng 20 and Jinmai 47. Applications of exogenous GA3 significantly increased coleoptile length in both lines and their tall parents. Plant height was significantly increased by 21.3 and 10.7% in the GA3-treated dwarf lines of Xifeng 20 and Jinmai 47, respectively. Compared to the untreated dwarf lines, the partitioning of dry matter to ears at anthesis was significantly decreased while the partitioning of dry matter to stems was significantly increased in the GA3-treated dwarf lines. There were no obvious changes in plant height and dry matter partitioning in the GA3-treated tall parents. Exogenous GA3 significantly decreased grain number spike–1 while it increased 1000-kernel weight in both the dwarf lines and tall parents. Thus, applications of exogenous GA3 restored plant height and other agronomic traits of Rht18 dwarf lines to the levels of the tall parents. This study indicated that Rht18 dwarf mutants are GA-deficient lines with impaired GA biosynthesis.

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Abstract  

To obtain a biodegradable polymer material with satisfactory thermal properties, higher elongation and modulus of elasticity, a new copolyester, poly(hexylene terephthalate-co-lactide) (PHTL), was synthesized via direct polycondensation from terephthaloyl dichloride, 1,6-hexanediol and oligo(lactic acid). The resulting copolyesters were characterized by proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetry (TG) and wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS). By using the relative integral areas of the dyad peaks in 1H NMR spectrum of copolyesters PHTL, the sequence lengths of the hexylene terephthalate and lactide units in the resultant copolyesters are 3.5 and 1.5, respectively. Compared to poly(hexylene terephthalate) (PHT), PHTL has lower T m but higher T g due to the incorporation of lactide unit into the main chains of copolyesters. The degradation test of copolyesters under a physiological condition shows that the degradability of PHTL is sped up due to incorporation of lactide segments.

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Summary  

Electronic stopping power of 19F in Ni, Pd and Gd was measured and compared to Mstar and SRIM calculation as well as experimental results published in literature. It turns out that the present electronic stopping power agrees reasonably well with them.

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Biofortifying food crops with essential minerals would help to alleviate mineral deficiencies in humans. Detection of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for mineral nutrient contents in rice was conducted using backcross inbred lines derived from an interspecific cross of Oryza sativa × O. rufipogon. The population was grown in Hangzhou and Lingshui, with the contents of Mg, Zn, Fe, Mn, Cu and Se in brown rice measured in both trials and that in milled rice tested in Hangzhou only. A total of 24 QTLs for mineral element contents were identified, including two for both the brown and milled rice, 17 for brown rice only, and five for milled rice only. All the seven QTLs detected for the mineral contents in milled rice and 13 of the 19 QTLs for the contents in brown rice had the enhancing alleles derived from O. rufipogon. Fifteen QTLs were clustered in seven chromosomal regions, indicating that common genetic-physiological mechanisms were involved for different mineral nutrients and the beneficial alleles could be utilized to improve grain nutritional quality by markerassisted selection.

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