Distinctive cortico-striatal circuits that serve motor and cognitive functions have been recently mapped based on resting state connectivity. It has been reported that age differences in cortico-striatal connectivity relate to cognitive declines in aging. Moreover, children in their early teens (i.e., youth) already show mature motor network patterns while their cognitive networks are still developing. In the current study, we examined age differences in the frontal-striatal "cognitive" and "motor" circuits in children and adolescence, young adults (YAs), and older adults (OAs). We predicted that the strength of the "cognitive" frontal-striatal circuits would follow an inverted "U" pattern across age; children and OAs would have weaker connectivity than YAs. However, we predicted that the "motor" circuits would show less variation in connectivity strength across the lifespan. We found that most areas in both the "cognitive" and "motor" circuits showed higher connectivity in YAs than children and OAs, suggesting general inverted "U"-shaped changes across the lifespan for both the cognitive and motor frontal-striatal networks.
Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) often experience difficulties in handwriting. The current study examined the relationships between three motor assessments and the spatial and temporal consistency of handwriting. Twelve children with probable DCD and 29 children from 7 to 12 years who were typically developing wrote the lowercase letters "e" and "l" in cursive and printed forms repetitively on a digitizing tablet. Three behavioral assessments, including the Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration (VMI), the Minnesota Handwriting Assessment (MHA) and the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC), were administered. Children with probable DCD had low scores on the VMI, MABC and MHA and showed high temporal, not spatial, variability in the letter-writing task. Their MABC scores related to temporal consistency in all handwriting conditions, and the Legibility scores in their MHA correlated with temporal consistency in cursive "e" and printed "l". It appears that children with probable DCD have prominent difficulties on the temporal aspect of handwriting. While the MHA is a good product-oriented assessment for measuring handwriting deficits, the MABC shows promise as a good assessment for capturing the temporal process of handwriting in children with DCD.
The daily susceptibility rhythm to permethrin and the expression level of the delta class glutathione S-transferase (BgGSTD1) gene were investigated in Blattella germanica. Male cockroaches were exposed to the same concentration of permethrin at different times in a light-dark cycle, and results showed that the highest resistance occurred at night. Furthermore, the circadian rhythmicity of permethrin susceptibility was demonstrated by the highest resistance at subjective night under constant darkness. The mRNA level of the BgGSTD1 gene in the fat body of B. germanica peaked early in the day or subjective day under light-dark or constant dark conditions, whereas enzyme activity of cytosolic GSTs did not reflect the rhythmic pattern as well as BgGSTD1 expression. RNA interference (RNAi) was employed to study the function of BgGSTD1 in the circadian rhythm of permethrin susceptibility in B. germanica. Both BgGSTD1 mRNA level and cytosolic GSTs activity were significantly decreased by dsGSTD1 injection. In addition, survival of B. germanica with silenced BgGSTD1 was significantly decreased at night but not in the day when the cockroaches were exposed to permethrin. Total cytosolic GSTs activity demonstrated that is not the only gene involved in the circadian regulation of the permethrin resistance, although it is one of the major regulators of permethrin resistance.
Mutations in the F-box only protein 7 gene (FBXO7), the substrate-specifying subunit of SCF E3 ubiquitin ligase complex, cause Parkinson's disease (PD)-15 (PARK15). To identify new variants, we sequenced FBXO7 cDNA in 80 Taiwanese early onset PD patients (age at onset ? 50) and only two known variants, Y52C (c.155A>G) and M115I (c.345G>A), were found. To assess the association of Y52C and M115I with the risk of PD, we conducted a case-control study in a cohort of PD and ethnically matched controls. There was a nominal difference in the Y52C G allele frequency between PD and controls (p = 0.045). After combining data from China , significant difference in the Y52C G allele frequency between PD and controls (p = 0.012) and significant association of G allele with decreased PD risk (p = 0.017) can be demonstrated. Upon expressing EGFP-tagged Cys52 FBXO7 in cells, a significantly reduced rate of FBXO7 protein decay was observed when compared with cells expressing Tyr52 FBXO7. In silico modeling of Cys52 exhibited a more stable feature than Tyr52. In cells expressing Cys52 FBXO7, the level of TNF receptor-associated factor 2 (TRAF2) was significantly reduced. Moreover, Cys52 FBXO7 showed stronger interaction with TRAF2 and promoted TRAF2 ubiquitination, which may be responsible for the reduced TRAF2 expression in Cys52 cells. After induced differentiation, SH-SY5Y cells expressing Cys52 FBXO7 displayed increased neuronal outgrowth. We therefore hypothesize that Cys52 variant of FBXO7 may contribute to reduced PD susceptibility in Chinese.
Mutations in HTRA2 have been reported to associate with Parkinsons disease (PD). This study investigates if the genetic variants in HTRA2 contribute to Taiwanese PD. HTRA2 cDNA fragments from 80 patients with early-onset PD (onset ?50 years) were sequenced. The identified variants were further examined for a cohort of PD and ethnically matched controls. A novel heterozygous R36W was identified in one early-onset and two late-onset PD patients, which was absent in 606 normal controls. The clinical features and 99mTc-TRODAT-1 SPECT image of the early-onset patient carrying R36W were similar to that of idiopathic PD. The R36W mutation of the patient was inherited from his mother whose SPECT revealed asymmetric reduction of 99mTc-TRODAT-1 uptake in the left striatum, suggesting that the defect of the nigrostriatal pathway may be attributable to the R36W in this family. Protein subcellular fractionation further revealed that R36W affected the processing of the proprotein after transport into mitochondria. Although the functional assays are promising, a larger cohort of both cases and controls should be screened to clarify the role of R36W in Taiwanese PD pathogenicity.
Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) are characterized as having motor difficulties and learning impairment that may last well into adolescence and adulthood. Although behavioral deficits have been identified in many domains such as visuo-spatial processing, kinesthetic perception, and cross-modal sensory integration, recent studies suggested that the functional impairment of certain brain areas, such as cerebellum and basal ganglia, are the underlying causes of DCD. This review focuses on the "motor learning deficits" in DCD and their possible neural correlates. It presents recent evidence from both behavioral and neuroimaging studies and discusses dominant neural hypotheses in DCD. Given the heterogeneity of this disorder, a successful intervention program should target the specific deficits on an individual basis. Future neuroimaging studies are critical steps in enhancing our understanding of learning deficits in DCD.
In this study, a lab-scale serial photobioreactor composed of three column reactors was constructed and continuously operated to investigate several parameters influencing photohydrogen production when using the synthetic wastewater and the anaerobic hydrogen fermentation effluents as the influents. The results indicated that better hydrogen production rate was obtained when the serial photobioreactor was operated under cellular recycling at a short HRT of 8h. The serial photobioreactor maintained high hydrogen content ca. 80% in the produced gas and 0.4× dilution ratio was the suitable ratio for hydrogen production. When the photobioreactor fed with the real wastewater (Effluent 1) containing 100 mg/L NH4Cl, Column 1 reactor successfully reduced ammonia concentration to about 60 mg/L for cell synthesis, resulting in a steady hydrogen production in the following two column reactors. The average hydrogen production rate was 205 mL-H2/L/d.
Spinal cerebellar ataxia type 12 (SCA12) has been attributed to the elevated expression of ppp2r2b. To better elucidate the pathomechanism of the neuronal disorder and to search for a pharmacological treatment, Drosophila models of SCA12 were generated by overexpression of a human ppp2r2b and its Drosophila homolog tws. Ectopic expression of ppp2r2b or tws caused various pathological features, including neurodegeneration, apoptosis, and shortened life span. More detailed analysis revealed that elevated ppp2r2b and tws induced fission of mitochondria accompanied by increases in cytosolic reactive oxygen species (ROS), cytochrome c, and caspase 3 activity. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that fragmented mitochondria with disrupted cristae were engulfed by autophagosomes in photoreceptor neurons of flies overexpressing tws. Additionally, transgenic flies were more susceptible to oxidative injury induced by paraquat. By contrast, ectopic Drosophila Sod2 expression and antioxidant treatment reduced ROS and caspase 3 activity and extended the life span of the SCA12 fly model. In summary, our study demonstrates that oxidative stress induced by mitochondrial dysfunction plays a causal role in SCA12, and reduction of ROS is a potential therapeutic intervention for this neuropathy.
Before switching totally to alternative fuel stage, CO(2) mitigation process has considered a transitional strategy for combustion of fossil fuels inevitably. In comparison to other CO(2) mitigation options, such as oceanic or geologic injection, the biological photosynthetic process would present a far superior and sustainable solution under both environmental and social considerations. The utilization of the cyanobacteria Anabaena sp. CH1 in carbon dioxide mitigation processes is analyzed in our research. It was found that an original developed photobioreactor with internal light source exhibits high light utilization. Anabaena sp. CH1 demonstrates excellent CO(2) tolerance even at 15% CO(2) level. This enables flue gas from power plant to be directly introduced to Anabaena sp. CH1 culture. Double light intensity and increased 47% CO(2) bubble retention time could enhance CO(2) removal efficiencies by 79% and 67%, respectively. A maximum CO(2) fixation rate of 1.01 g CO(2)L(-1)day(-1) was measured experimentally.
This study used a DNA recombination method to knock out the poly-?-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) synthesis gene phbC in the photosynthetic bacterium Rhodopseudomonas palustris WP3-5. The experimental results indicated that the mutant strain Rps. palustris M23 could be successfully screened. Fluorescent observation with Nile blue staining showed no significant PHB granule accumulation in the mutant cells. Batch mode experiments using acetic acid as a carbon source revealed a 29.1% and 25.9% hydrogen gas content from M23 and WP3-5, respectively. However, this trend did not appear when using propionic acid as carbon source. Under continuous operation, the hydrogen gas content from M23 could be maintained above 72%. The average hydrogen production rates of the WP3-5 and M23 strains were 264 mL-H(2)/L/day and 457 mL-H(2)/L/day, respectively. The total biogas volume collected from M23 was 1.7 times higher than that from the wild type.
Soluble extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs) cause membrane fouling in membrane bioreactors (MBRs), correlated with MBR sludge characteristics. Effects of F/M ratios on the evolution of soluble EPSs, fouling propensity of supernatants, and sludge metabolic activity were measured in this study in a two-period sequencing batch reactor (SBR). The experimental results show that fouling propensity was directly correlated with soluble-EPS concentration and composition. Sludge that had entirely lost active cells by long-term starvation released 64.4 ± 0.9 mg/L of humic acids, which caused a rapid increase in membrane resistance (40.67 ± 2.24 × 10(11) m(-1)) during fouling tests. During short-term starvation, induced by incubation at a normal to low F/M ratio of 0.05 d(-1), sludge can use previously secreted utilization-associated products (UAPs) to maintain endogenous respiration. Therefore, the strategies of accumulating sludge and prolonging sludge retention time in MBRs may create long-term starvation and promote membrane fouling.
Mesorhizobium sp. F28 was used in the NHase/amidase enzyme system to convert acetonitrile into acetamide and acetic acid, and the cells grew with the production of acetic acid. The NHase activity of the strain F28 was 78 U mg(-1)dcw, observed in the conversion of 19.5mM acetonitrile at 0.2h. As the initial pH value was between 6.5 and 8.3, 18.3mM acetonitrile completely converted into acetamide within 2h and the accumulation of acetamide subsequently converted into acetic acid and ammonia within 46h. When 20.3mM acetamide was added in the medium, the conversion rate of acetonitrile was 80% at 2h and the conversion rate of the accumulative acetamide was slightly affected. The concentrations of acetic acid and ammonia were respectively 6.01 and 6.68 mM at 46h. The addition of acetic acid decreased the activities of the NHase and amidase. The conversion rate of acetonitrile was 94% at 9.5h and traces of acetic acid (0.25 mM) and ammonia (0.29 mM) were produced. The effects of product-inhibition indicated that the appropriate operation of bioreactor would be beneficial for Mesorizobium sp. F28 to degrade acetonitrile continuously.
Pigment-dispersing factor (PDF) is a neuropeptide that is synthesized specifically and constantly in the circadian clock cells of many insects. The functions of PDF have not been fully determined, but it might serve as the output and coupling signal of circadian locomotor rhythms. In this experiment, we explore the functions of PDF in the German cockroach with RNA interference technique. Since the 2nd day after pdf double-strand RNA (dsRNA) injection, the amount of pdf mRNA decreased significantly, and this knockdown effect could persist at least 56 days. With immunostaining technique, the clock cells of pdf dsRNA-injected cockroaches could not be stained by anti-PDF antibody. In the behavioral study, pdf dsRNA injection caused rhythmic males to become arrhythmic in light-dark cycles or in constant darkness. In addition, due to the nocturnal nature of the German cockroaches, the locomotor activity increased after lights-off or entering subjective night. However, this activity peak gradually disappeared after pdf dsRNA injection. Based on these 2 lines of evidences, PDF serves as an output regulator of locomotor circadian rhythm in the German cockroach.
Little is known about whether Asian children with epilepsy have more attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-related symptoms, emotional/ behavioral problems, and physical conditions compared with those described in Western studies. The authors investigated the rates of ADHD-related symptoms, emotional/behavioral problems, and physical conditions among pediatric patients with epilepsy.
The aim of this study was to determine the competition between H(2) production and polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) accumulation of Rhodopseudomonas palustris WP3-5 when grown on six different substrates. From the results, strain WP3-5 can utilize acetate, propionate, malate, and lactate to produce H(2) but can only synthesize PHB on acetate and propionate. The substrate conversion efficiency (SCE) on acetate and propionate increased significantly after the maximum PHB content was achieved, illustrating a competition for reducing power when PHB synthesis occurred. However, when strain WP3-5 was cultivated at suboptimal pH values on acetate, the synthesized PHB prevented strain WP3-5 from the stress of the inappropriate pH and retained H(2) producing efficiency as at optimal pH value. Consequently, although PHB synthesis does compete with H(2) production in R. palustris WP3-5, it is still conducive to H(2) production when strain WP3-5 is in a stressful condition.
This study investigated nitrogen and phosphorus assimilation and lipid production of microalgae in industrial wastewater. Two native strains of freshwater microalgae were evaluated their biomass growth and lipid production in modified BBM medium. Chlamydomonas sp. TAI-2 had better biomass growth and higher lipid production than Desmodesmus sp.TAI-1. The optimal growth and lipid accumulation of Chlamydomonas sp. TAI-2 were tested under different nitrogen sources, nitrogen and CO(2) concentrations and illumination period in modified BBM medium. The optimal CO(2) aeration was 5% for Chlamydomonas sp. TAI-2 to achieve maximal lipid accumulation under continuous illumination. Using industrial wastewater as the medium, Chlamydomonas sp. TAI-2 could remove 100% NH(4)(+)-N (38.4 mg/L) and NO(3)(-)-N (3.1mg/L) and 33% PO(4)(3-)-P (44.7 mg/L) and accumulate the lipid up to 18.4%. Over 90% of total fatty acids were 14:0, 16:0, 16:1, 18:1, and 18:3 fatty acids, which could be utilized for biodiesel production.
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