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  • Author: Chun Guo x
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Abstract

With the rapid growth of the smartphone and tablet market, mobile application (App) industry that provides a variety of functional devices is also growing at a striking speed. Product life cycle (PLC) theory, which has a long history, has been applied to a great number of industries and products and is widely used in the management domain. In this study, we apply classical PLC theory to mobile Apps on Apple smartphone and tablet devices (Apple App Store). Instead of trying to utilize often-unavailable sales or download volume data, we use open-access App daily download rankings as an indicator to characterize the normalized dynamic market popularity of an App. We also use this ranking information to generate an App life cycle model. By using this model, we compare paid and free Apps from 20 different categories. Our results show that Apps across various categories have different kinds of life cycles and exhibit various unique and unpredictable characteristics. Furthermore, as large-scale heterogeneous data (e.g., user App ratings, App hardware/software requirements, or App version updates) become available and are attached to each target App, an important contribution of this paper is that we perform in-depth studies to explore how such data correlate and affect the App life cycle. Using different regression techniques (i.e., logistic, ordinary least squares, and partial least squares), we built different models to investigate these relationships. The results indicate that some explicit and latent independent variables are more important than others for the characterization of App life cycle. In addition, we find that life cycle analysis for different App categories requires different tailored regression models, confirming that inner-category App life cycles are more predictable and comparable than App life cycles across different categories.

Abstract

Background: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) known to be sensitive to mechanical stimulus. This type of stimulus plays a role in cellular differentiation, so that it might affect MSCs differentiation toward cardiomyocytes.

Objectives: Investigate the effect of mechanical stimulus on MSCs differentiation toward cardiomyocytes.

Methods: The adipose tissue-derived MSCs were induced to differentiate with 5-azacytidine, and stimulated by one Hz mechanical stretching up to 8%. After 10 days, the cell’s cardiac markers and cardiogenesis-related genes were detected by immumohistochemistrical staining and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, and the cell’s ATPase activity was detected.

Results: The cyclic mechanical stretching enhanced the expression of cardiogenesis-related genes and cardiac markers, and stimulated the activity of Na+-K+-ATPase and Ca2+-ATPase in the MSCs treated with 5-azacytidine. Without 5-azacytidine pre-treatment, cyclic mechanical stretch alone has little effect.

Conclusion: Mechanical stretch combined with 5-azacytidine treatment could accelerate MSCs differentiation toward cardiomyocytes.

Abstract

Introduction

Enolases are enzymes in the glycolytic pathway, which catalyse the reversible conversion of D-2-phosphoglycerate into phosphoenol pyruvate in the second half of the pathway. In this research, the effects of α-enolase (ENO1) on steroid reproductive-related hormone receptor expression and on hormone synthesis of primary granulosa cells from goose F1 follicles were studied.

Material and Methods

Primary granulosa cells from the F1 follicles of eight healthy 8-month-old Zi geese were separated and cultured. An ENO1 interference expression vector was designed, constructed and transfected into primary cultured granulosa cells. The mRNA expression levels of follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR), luteinising hormone receptor (LHR), oestrogen receptor α (ER α), oestrogen receptor β (ER β), growth hormone receptor (GHR) and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1) in the cells were evaluated as were the secretion levels of oestradiol, activin, progesterone, testosterone, inhibin and follistatin in cell supernatant.

Results

α-enolase gene silencing reduced the expression of FSHR, LHR, ERα, ERβ, GHR, and IGFBP-1 mRNA, potentiated the secretion of oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and follistatin of granulosa cells, and hampered the production of activin and inhibin.

Conclusion

ENO1 can regulate the reactivity of granulosa cells to reproductive hormones and regulate cell growth and development by adjusting their hormone secretion and reproductive hormone receptor expression. The study provided a better understanding of the functional action of ENO1 in the processes of goose ovary development and egg laying.

Abstract

Investigation of the embedded chains in soil starts to play an important role in understanding the structural performance of mooring system, when the embedded anchors will be employed to sustain large loads with the gradually growth of installation depth of offshore aquaculture farm. The aim of this study is to investigate the dynamic response of mooring line considering the influence of embedded chains in clay soil for net cage system. Lumped-mass method is used to establish the numerical model for evaluating the performance of mooring line with embedded chains. To validate the numerical model, comparisons of numerical results with the analytical formulas and the experimental data are conducted. A good agreement of the profile and the tension response is obtained. Then, the effect of embedded chains on the static and dynamic response of mooring line is evaluated, and the dynamic behavior of mooring system considering embedded chains for net cage system is investigated. The results indicate that the soil resistance on embedded chains should be included to predict the mooring line development and the load on the embedded anchors in the numerical simulations. An appropriate safety factor should be included if employing the simplified model Case C at the initial design phase. And the effect of embedded chains on the holding capacity of embedded anchors in single-point mooring system for single net cage cannot be negligible during the design and operation phases. Consequently, it is profound to take into account the interaction of embedded chains and soil for accurately predicting the reliability of mooring system for fish cage.

Abstract

Objective To explore whether age, disease severity, cytokines and lymphocytes in H1N1 influenza A patients correlate with viral load and clearance.

Methods Total of 70 mild and 16 severe patients infected with H1N1 influenza A virus were enrolled in this study.

Results It was found that the patients under 14 years old and severe patients displayed significantly higher viral loads and prolonged viral shedding periods compared with the patients over 14 years old and mild patients, respectively (P < 0.05). Moreover, the patients under 14 years old and severe patients displayed significantly lower Th17 cell frequency than the patients over 14 years old and mild patients (P < 0.01). The viral shedding period inversely correlated with the frequency of IL-17+IFN-γ-CD4+ T cells. Additionally, the decreased concentration of serum TGF-β correlated with the decreased frequency of IL-17+IFN-γ-CD4+ T cells.

Conclusions Both younger and severe patients are associated with higher viral loads and longer viral shedding periods, which may partially be attributed to the impaired Th17 cell response.

Abstract

Introduction: A real-time RT-PCR method for identification and quantification of porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDV) strains in China was developed.

Material and Methods: Based on the conserved sequence of the PEDV nucleocapsid (N) gene, a primer pair and probe were designed to establish a TaqMan-MGB real-time RT-PCR assay for quantitative detection of the virus. The sequence was cloned into the pMD18-T vector and a series of diluted recombinant plasmids were used to generate a standard curve with an R2 value of 0.999.

Results: The developed quantitative PCR assay detected viral titres as low as 0.1 TCID50 with high specificity and no cross-reaction with other porcine viruses (PoRV, TGEV, PRRSV, or CSFV). The intra-batch and inter-batch coefficients of variation were both less than 1%, which indicated good reproducibility. Thirty clinical diarrhoea samples obtained from pigs in Shanghai and Fujian were analysed using this quantitative PCR assay. Out of these samples, 93.3% were found to be PEDV positive.

Conclusion: This approach is suitable for clinical sample identification and pathogenesis studies.

Abstract

Five pathogen-free miniature pigs (minipigs) were infected with the virulent strain SH08 of Streptococcus suis 2 (SS2) by intramuscular injection. The pigs died consecutively within 72 h after the challenge. An additional five non-infected pigs were euthanised and used as controls. Microstructural observations showed that degeneration, bleeding, congestion, cellular necrosis, and an increase in inflammatory cells were present in all organs and tissues except the brain. Ultrastructural observations revealed mitochondrial vacuolation and malformed or missing cristae, indicating that infection of minipigs with strain SH08 of SS2 can lead to extensive lesions in major internal organs and tissues. The findings also demonstrated that the minipig is a useful model for the study of SS2 infection.