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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Three-Dimensional Spirals of Atomic Layered MoS2.
Nano Lett.
PUBLISHED: 10-28-2014
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Atomically thin two-dimensional (2D) layered materials, including graphene, boron nitride, and transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), can exhibit novel phenomena distinct from their bulk counterparts and hold great promise for novel electronic and optoelectronic applications. Controlled growth of such 2D materials with different thickness, composition, and symmetry are of central importance to realize their potential. In particular, the ability to control the symmetry of TMD layers is highly desirable because breaking the inversion symmetry can lead to intriguing valley physics, nonlinear optical properties, and piezoelectric responses. Here we report the first chemical vapor deposition (CVD) growth of spirals of layered MoS2 with atomically thin helical periodicity, which exhibits a chiral structure and breaks the three-dimensional (3D) inversion symmetry explicitly. The spirals composed of tens of connected MoS2 layers with decreasing areas: each basal plane has a triangular shape and shrinks gradually to the summit when spiraling up. All the layers in the spiral assume an AA lattice stacking, which is in contrast to the centrosymmetric AB stacking in natural MoS2 crystals. We show that the noncentrosymmetric MoS2 spiral leads to a strong bulk second-order optical nonlinearity. In addition, we found that the growth of spirals involves a dislocation mechanism, which can be generally applicable to other 2D TMD materials.
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Response of alpine grassland to elevated nitrogen deposition and water supply in China.
Oecologia
PUBLISHED: 10-14-2014
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Species composition and productivity are influenced by water and N availability in semi-arid grasslands. To assess the effects of increased N deposition and water supply on plant species composition and productivity, two field experiments with four N addition treatments, and three N and water combination treatments were conducted in alpine grassland in the mid Tianshan mountains, northwest China. When considering N addition alone, aboveground biomass (AGB) of forbs (FAGB) responded less to N addition than AGB of grasses (GAGB). GAGB increased as an effect of N combined with water addition but FAGB did not show such an effect, reflecting a stronger response of grasses to the interaction of water availability and N than forbs. Under all treatments, N allocation to the aboveground tissue did not change for either forbs or grasses. N deposition and water addition did not alter species richness in the present study. These results suggest that N addition generally promoted AGB but had little effect on species richness in wet years. Snowfall in winter combined with rainfall in the early growing season likely plays a critical role in regulating plant growth of the subsequent year in the alpine grassland.
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[Fungal diversity and enzyme activities in marine sediments in the South China sea].
Wei Sheng Wu Xue Bao
PUBLISHED: 09-10-2014
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We studied species diversity and enzyme activities of fungi from 11 marine sediment samples in the South China Sea.
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Two novel mutations in the homogentisate-1,2-dioxygenase gene identified in Chinese Han Child with Alkaptonuria.
J. Pediatr. Endocrinol. Metab.
PUBLISHED: 08-12-2014
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Abstract Alkaptonuria (AKU) is an autosomal recessive disorder of tyrosine metabolism, which is caused by a defect in the enzyme homogentisate 1,2-dioxygenase (HGD) with subsequent accumulation of homogentisic acid. Presently, more than 100 HGD mutations have been identified as the cause of the inborn error of metabolism across different populations worldwide. However, the HGD mutation is very rarely reported in Asia, especially China. In this study, we present mutational analyses of HGD gene in one Chinese Han child with AKU, which had been identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry detection of organic acids in urine samples. PCR and DNA sequencing of the entire coding region as well as exon-intron boundaries of HGD have been performed. Two novel mutations were identified in the HGD gene in this AKU case, a frameshift mutation of c.115delG in exon 3 and the splicing mutation of IVS5+3 A>C, a donor splice site of the exon 5 and exon-intron junction. The identification of these mutations in this study further expands the spectrum of known HGD gene mutations and contributes to prenatal molecular diagnosis of AKU.
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Importance of diameter control on selective synthesis of semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes.
ACS Nano
PUBLISHED: 08-11-2014
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The coexistence of semiconducting and metallic single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) during synthesis is one of the major bottlenecks that prevent their broad application for the next-generation nanoelectronics. Herein, we present more understanding and demonstration of the growth of highly enriched semiconducting SWNTs (s-SWNTs) with a narrow diameter distribution. An important fact discovered in our experiments is that the selective elimination of metallic SWNTs (m-SWNTs) from the mixed arrays grown on quartz is diameter-dependent. Our method emphasizes controlling the diameter distribution of SWNTs in a narrow range where m-SWNTs can be effectively and selectively etched during growth. In order to achieve narrow diameter distribution, uniform and stable Fe-W nanoclusters were used as the catalyst precursors. About 90% of as-prepared SWNTs fall into the diameter range 2.0-3.2 nm. Electrical measurement results on individual SWNTs confirm that the selectivity of s-SWNTs is ?95%. The present study provides an effective strategy for increasing the purity of s-SWNTs via controlling the diameter distribution of SWNTs and adjusting the etchant concentration. Furthermore, by carefully comparing the chirality distributions of Fe-W-catalyzed and Fe-catalyzed SWNTs under different water vapor concentrations, the relationship between the diameter-dependent and electronic-type-dependent etching mechanisms was investigated.
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PB2-E627K and PA-T97I substitutions enhance polymerase activity and confer a virulent phenotype to an H6N1 avian influenza virus in mice.
Virology
PUBLISHED: 07-25-2014
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H6N1 avian influenza viruses (AIVs) may pose a potential human risk as suggested by the first documented naturally-acquired human H6N1 virus infection in 2013. Here, we set out to elucidate viral determinants critical to the pathogenesis of this virus using a mouse model. We found that the recombinant H6N1 viruses possessing both the PA-T97I and PB2-E627K substitutions displayed the greatest enhancement of replication in vitro and in vivo. Polymerase complexes possessing either PB2-E627K, PA-T97I, and PB2-E627K/PA-T97I displayed higher virus polymerase activity when compared to the wild-type virus, which may account for the increased replication kinetics and enhanced virulence of variant viruses. Our results demonstrate that PB2-E627K and PA-T97I enhance the ability of H6N1 virus to replicate and cause disease in mammals. Influenza surveillance efforts should include scrutiny of these regions of PB2 and PA because of their impact on the increased virulence of H6N1 AIVs in mice.
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Evolution of interlayer coupling in twisted molybdenum disulfide bilayers.
Nat Commun
PUBLISHED: 07-06-2014
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Van der Waals coupling is emerging as a powerful method to engineer physical properties of atomically thin two-dimensional materials. In coupled graphene-graphene and graphene-boron nitride layers, interesting physical phenomena ranging from Fermi velocity renormalization to Hofstadter's butterfly pattern have been demonstrated. Atomically thin transition metal dichalcogenides, another family of two-dimensional-layered semiconductors, can show distinct coupling phenomena. Here we demonstrate the evolution of interlayer coupling with twist angles in as-grown molybdenum disulfide bilayers. We find that the indirect bandgap size varies appreciably with the stacking configuration: it shows the largest redshift for AA- and AB-stacked bilayers, and a significantly smaller but constant redshift for all other twist angles. Our observations, together with ab initio calculations, reveal that this evolution of interlayer coupling originates from the repulsive steric effects that leads to different interlayer separations between the two molybdenum disulfide layers in different stacking configurations.
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Systematic determination of absolute absorption cross-section of individual carbon nanotubes.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 05-12-2014
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Optical absorption is the most fundamental optical property characterizing light-matter interactions in materials and can be most readily compared with theoretical predictions. However, determination of optical absorption cross-section of individual nanostructures is experimentally challenging due to the small extinction signal using conventional transmission measurements. Recently, dramatic increase of optical contrast from individual carbon nanotubes has been successfully achieved with a polarization-based homodyne microscope, where the scattered light wave from the nanostructure interferes with the optimized reference signal (the reflected/transmitted light). Here we demonstrate high-sensitivity absorption spectroscopy for individual single-walled carbon nanotubes by combining the polarization-based homodyne technique with broadband supercontinuum excitation in transmission configuration. To our knowledge, this is the first time that high-throughput and quantitative determination of nanotube absorption cross-section over broad spectral range at the single-tube level was performed for more than 50 individual chirality-defined single-walled nanotubes. Our data reveal chirality-dependent behaviors of exciton resonances in carbon nanotubes, where the exciton oscillator strength exhibits a universal scaling law with the nanotube diameter and the transition order. The exciton linewidth (characterizing the exciton lifetime) varies strongly in different nanotubes, and on average it increases linearly with the transition energy. In addition, we establish an empirical formula by extrapolating our data to predict the absorption cross-section spectrum for any given nanotube. The quantitative information of absorption cross-section in a broad spectral range and all nanotube species not only provides new insight into the unique photophysics in one-dimensional carbon nanotubes, but also enables absolute determination of optical quantum efficiencies in important photoluminescence and photovoltaic processes.
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Lowly pathogenic avian influenza (H9N2) infection in Plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae), Qinghai Lake, China.
Vet. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 04-18-2014
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Avian influenza viruses (AIVs) are globally important contagions. Several domestic mammals can be infected with AIVs and may play important roles in the adaptation and transmission of these viruses in mammals, although the roles of wild mammals in the natural ecology of AIVs are not yet clear. Here, we performed a serological survey of apparently healthy Plateau pikas at Qinghai Lake in China to assess the prevalence of exposure to AIVs. Ninety-two of 293 (31%) of wild Plateau pikas possessed serum antibodies against a lowly pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) H9N2 virus. Experimental inoculation of Plateau pikas with a LPAI H9N2 virus resulted in productive viral replication in respiratory tissues without prior adaptation. Our findings suggest that Plateau pikas represent a natural mammalian host to H9N2 AIVs and may play a role in the ongoing circulation of H9N2 viruses at Qinghai Lake in China. Surveillance for AIV infection in Plateau pika populations and other mammals that have close contact with the Plateau pikas should be considered.
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Hidden potential of tropical fruit waste components as a useful source of remedy for obesity.
J. Agric. Food Chem.
PUBLISHED: 04-09-2014
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The array of comorbidities that comes with obesity and the propelling surge of this disease globally today make the urgent need for treatment vital. Although promoting a healthy physical regimen and controlled diet to affected patients are the main bulk of present treatment, prescriptions of weight-loss medications have also been introduced to complement this treatment. However, the use of synthetic medications may produce adverse side effects and consequently affect the patient's quality of life. In view of these problems, the use of natural sources as alternative remedies has recently become very popular. Tropical fruit "waste components", namely, the seed, flower, leaf, peel, and part of the fruit, which are often discarded after consumption, have recently been studied and showed evidence suggesting their potential as promising future alternative sources of remedy. The high amounts of phytochemicals present in these components were believed to be responsible for the antiobesity effect observed experimentally. This review aims to introduce some of the recently discussed tropical fruit waste components that have been discovered to possess antiobesity effects. The major bioactive compounds of the respective fruit components identified and deduced to be responsible for the overall bioactivity will be evaluated. Following this, the subsequent need for the development of an effective processing or recycling technique required to effectively tap the maximum potential of these fruit parts will also be addressed.
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A case-control study of high-intensity focused ultrasound combined with sonographically guided intratumoral ethanol injection in the treatment of uterine fibroids.
J Ultrasound Med
PUBLISHED: 03-25-2014
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The purpose of this study was to explore the feasibility of high-intensity focused ultrasound combined with sonographically guided intratumoral ethanol injection in the treatment of uterine fibroids and to compare its therapeutic effects and potential side effects with those of simple high-intensity focused ultrasound treatment.
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Cloning, expression and characterization of glycerol dehydrogenase involved in 2,3-butanediol formation in Serratia marcescens H30.
J. Ind. Microbiol. Biotechnol.
PUBLISHED: 03-15-2014
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The meso-2,3-butanediol dehydrogenase (meso-BDH) from S. marcescens H30 is responsible for converting acetoin into 2,3-butanediol during sugar fermentation. Inactivation of the meso-BDH encoded by budC gene does not completely abolish 2,3-butanediol production, which suggests that another similar enzyme involved in 2,3-butanediol formation exists in S. marcescens H30. In the present study, a glycerol dehydrogenase (GDH) encoded by gldA gene from S. marcescens H30 was expressed in Escherichia coli BL21(DE3), purified and characterized for its properties. In vitro conversion indicated that the purified GDH could catalyze the interconversion of (3S)-acetoin/meso-2,3-butanediol and (3R)-acetoin/(2R,3R)-2,3-butanediol. (2S,3S)-2,3-Butanediol was not a substrate for the GDH at all. Kinetic parameters of the GDH enzyme showed lower K m value and higher catalytic efficiency for (3S/3R)-acetoin in comparison to those for (2R,3R)-2,3-butanediol and meso-2,3-butanediol, implying its physiological role in favor of 2,3-butanediol formation. Maximum activity for reduction of (3S/3R)-acetoin and oxidations of meso-2,3-butanediol and glycerol was observed at pH 8.0, while it was pH 7.0 for diacetyl reduction. The enzyme exhibited relative high thermotolerance with optimum temperature of 60 °C in the oxidation-reduction reactions. Over 60 % of maximum activity was retained at 70 °C. Additionally, the GDH activity was significantly enhanced for meso-2,3-BD oxidation in the presence of Fe(2+) and for (3S/3R)-acetoin reduction in the presence of Mn(2+), while several cations inhibited its activity, particularly Fe(2+) and Fe(3+) for (3S/3R)-acetoin reduction. The properties provided potential application for single configuration production of acetoin and 2,3-butanediol .
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Experimental infection of dogs with H6N1 avian influenza A virus.
Arch. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 03-15-2014
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H6N1 avian influenza A viruses, which have spread across North America, Europe and Asia, have been shown to be infectious not only for birds but also for mammals. Because humans lack immunity to H6N1 avian influenza A viruses, the emergence of these viruses in humans would probably cause a pandemic. Replication of H6N1 avian influenza A viruses in dogs may facilitate their adaptation in humans because dogs are often in close contact with humans. However, the susceptibility of dogs to these viruses is unknown. To address this question, we infected beagles intranasally (i.n.) with an H6N1 avian influenza A virus that was isolated from a mallard. Inoculation of this virus into beagles resulted in the virus being detectable in the lung and seroconversion with no clinical signs except for a fever at 1 day post-inoculation (dpi). In addition, the virus was transiently shed from the nose and in the feces of the infected beagles. Our results suggest that dogs can be subclinically infected with H6N1 avian influenza A viruses, which, like H7N9, have low pathogenicity in birds and may serve as an intermediate host to transfer this virus to humans. Certain actions may be taken to prevent the potential transmission of these viruses, including the development of H6N1 avian influenza vaccines for prevention.
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Application of derivative and derivative ratio spectrophotometry to simultaneous trace determination of rhodamine B and rhodamine 6G after dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction.
Spectrochim Acta A Mol Biomol Spectrosc
PUBLISHED: 02-21-2014
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Two novel methods, first derivative spectrophotometric method ((1)D) and first derivative ratio spectrophotometric method ((1)DR), have been developed for the simultaneous trace determination of rhodamine B (RhB) and rhodamine 6G (Rh6G) in food samples after dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction (DLLME). The combination of derivative spectrophotometric techniques and DLLME procedure endows the presented methods with enhanced sensitivity and selectivity. Under optimum conditions, the linear calibration curves ranged from 5 to 450 ng mL(-1), with the correlation coefficients (r) of 0.9997 for RhB and 0.9977 for Rh6G by (1)D method, and 0.9987 for RhB and 0.9958 for Rh6G by (1)DR method, respectively. The calculated limits of detection (LODs) based on the variability of the blank solutions (S/N = 3 criterion) for 11 measurements were in the range of 0.48-1.93 ng mL(-1). The recoveries ranged from 88.1% to 111.6% (with RSD less than 4.4%) and 91.5-110.5% (with RSD less than 4.7%) for (1)D and (1)DR method, respectively. The influence of interfering substances such as foreign ions and food colorants which might be present in the food samples on the signals of RhB and Rh6G was examined. The developed methods have been successfully applied to the determination of RhB and Rh6G in black tea, red wine and chilli powder samples with the characteristics of simplicity, cost-effectiveness, environmental friendliness, and could be valuable for routine analysis.
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Eukaryotic microbial communities in hypersaline soils and sediments from the alkaline hypersaline Huama Lake as revealed by 454 pyrosequencing.
Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek
PUBLISHED: 02-13-2014
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In hypersaline ecosystems, microbial assemblages are structurally distinctive and play important roles in many microbiological and ecological processes. Here, eukaryotic microorganisms in hypersaline samples were investigated by 454 pyrosequencing of internal transcribed spacer (ITS) gene libraries. In total, 4,645, 1,677, and 5,912 reads were obtained from ITS libraries of waterlogged samples, salt crusts, and saline loess from the alkaline Huama Lake in Shaanxi, China. Analyses of pyrosequencing data revealed that the dominant genera were Dunaliella, Alternaria and Chlamydomonas, which dominated the microbial assemblages in the waterlogged sediments, the salt crusts and the saline loess from the lake banks, respectively. The various infrequent species were not commonly shared by the three types of samples, demonstrating that the eukaryotic microbial compositions of the different environments were distinct. However, the micro-eukaryotic assemblages associated with similar environmental conditions shared some components and were phylogenetically related. The eukaryotic microbial community composition was correlated with the pH value of the site (p = 0.001; r(2) = 0.99), but not with the concentration of total nitrogen or the inorganic ions investigated in this study. The results of this study demonstrated that the hypersaline ecosystems hosted surprisingly diverse eukaryotic microbial community.
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A novel breeding strategy for new strains of Hypsizygus marmoreus and Grifola frondosa based on ligninolytic enzymes.
World J. Microbiol. Biotechnol.
PUBLISHED: 02-10-2014
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A novel breeding strategy for new strains of Hypsizygus marmoreus and Grifola frondosa using ligninolytic enzymes as markers was evaluated with the detection and analysis of activities and composition of 15 edible fungi. The results showed that the activity and composition of ligninolytic enzyme system varied in response to changes of fungal strains. By analyzing the growth rate of mycelia and their ability to produce ligninolytic enzymes, H. marmoreus and P. geesteranus, G. frondosa and P. sajor-caju were screened for further study. Three colonies of 26 regenerated colonies of H. marmoreus and P. geesteranus protoplast fusion and one colony of 48 regenerated colonies of G. frondosa and P. sajor-caju were selected respectively. At the same time, these four strains were identified using RAPD and ISSR molecular markers. The results showed that the strains HM5G1 and PS7F1 are new strains and have low similarity to parental strains H. marmoreus and G. frondosa. These results are supported by the results of antagonism tests. These two fusants were significantly higher in their ligninolytic enzyme activity than H. marmoreus and G. frondosa. The growth rates of strains HM5G1and PS7F1 were also noticeably higher than those of H. marmoreus and G. frondosa, by 1.36 and 1.5 times respectively. The biological efficiency of the strain HM5G1 was 11.5% higher than that of the parental strain H. marmoreus. This work suggests that it is an efficient way of breeding new strains to use the decolorization of ligninolytic enzymes as a preliminary screening marker.
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A novel core-shell magnetic nano-sorbent with surface molecularly imprinted polymer coating for the selective solid phase extraction of dimetridazole.
Food Chem
PUBLISHED: 02-02-2014
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A novel core-shell magnetic nano-sorbent with surface molecularly-imprinted polymer coating was prepared via a sol-gel process. Methyltrimethoxysilane and 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane were used as functional monomers, tetraethyl orthosilicate as cross-linker, and Al(3+) as dopant to generate Lewis acid sites in the silica matrix for the metal coordinate interactions with the template dimetridazole (DMZ). The ratios of the monomers, the dopant, and the cross-linker, were optimised by a OA9 (3(4)) orthogonal array design. The resultant sorbent was characterised by scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, powder X-ray diffraction, and magnetometry. The binding performances of the sorbent were evaluated by static, kinetic and selective adsorption experiments. The nano-sorbent was successfully applied to solid phase extraction followed by spectrophotometric determination of DMZ in real samples. Spiked recoveries ranged from 90.33% to 106.20% for egg, milk powder, and pig feed samples, with relative standard deviations of less than 4.54%.
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Porous silicon oxide-PLGA composite microspheres for sustained ocular delivery of daunorubicin.
Acta Biomater
PUBLISHED: 01-03-2014
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A water-soluble anthracycline antibiotic drug (daunorubicin, DNR) was loaded into oxidized porous silicon (pSiO2) microparticles and then encapsulated with a layer of polymer (poly lactide-co-glycolide, PLGA) to investigate their synergistic effects in control of DNR release. Similarly fabricated PLGA-DNR microspheres without pSiO2, and pSiO2 microparticles without PLGA were used as control particles. The composite microparticles synthesized by a solid-in-oil-in-water emulsion method have mean diameters of 52.33±16.37?m for PLGA-pSiO2_21/40-DNR and the mean diameter of 49.31±8.87?m for PLGA-pSiO2_6/20-DNR. The mean size, 26.00±8?m, of PLGA-DNR was significantly smaller, compared with the other two (P<0.0001). Optical microscopy revealed that PLGA-pSiO2-DNR microspheres contained multiple pSiO2 particles. In vitro release experiments determined that control PLGA-DNR microspheres completely released DNR within 38days and control pSiO2-DNR microparticles (with no PLGA coating) released DNR within 14days, while the PLGA-pSiO2-DNR microspheres released DNR for 74days. Temporal release profiles of DNR from PLGA-pSiO2 composite particles indicated that both PLGA and pSiO2 contribute to the sustained release of the payload. The PLGA-pSiO2 composite displayed a more constant rate of DNR release than the pSiO2 control formulation, and displayed a significantly slower release of DNR than either the PLGA or pSiO2 formulations. We conclude that this system may be useful in managing unwanted ocular proliferation when formulated with antiproliferation compounds such as DNR.
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Quantitative-proteomic comparison of alpha and Beta cells to uncover novel targets for lineage reprogramming.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Type-1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which insulin-secreting pancreatic beta cells are destroyed by the immune system. An emerging strategy to regenerate beta-cell mass is through transdifferentiation of pancreatic alpha cells to beta cells. We previously reported two small molecules, BRD7389 and GW8510, that induce insulin expression in a mouse alpha cell line and provide a glimpse into potential intermediate cell states in beta-cell reprogramming from alpha cells. These small-molecule studies suggested that inhibition of kinases in particular may induce the expression of several beta-cell markers in alpha cells. To identify potential lineage reprogramming protein targets, we compared the transcriptome, proteome, and phosphoproteome of alpha cells, beta cells, and compound-treated alpha cells. Our phosphoproteomic analysis indicated that two kinases, BRSK1 and CAMKK2, exhibit decreased phosphorylation in beta cells compared to alpha cells, and in compound-treated alpha cells compared to DMSO-treated alpha cells. Knock-down of these kinases in alpha cells resulted in expression of key beta-cell markers. These results provide evidence that perturbation of the kinome may be important for lineage reprogramming of alpha cells to beta cells.
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IL-28B polymorphisms correlated with treatment response in HCV-4 mono-infected patients: a meta-analysis.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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The role of interleukin 28B (IL-28B) polymorphisms played in hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been gradually explicit, especially in HCV genotype 1, 2 and 3. However, no confirmative conclusion was acquired in genotype 4 HCV patients. Thus we conducted this meta-analysis.
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Growth of High-Density-Aligned and Semiconducting-Enriched Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes: Decoupling the Conflict between Density and Selectivity.
ACS Nano
PUBLISHED: 12-06-2013
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Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) are highly desired for future electronic applications due to the excellent electrical, mechanical, and thermal properties. However, the density and the selectivity in the growth of aligned semiconducting nanotubes do not coexist previously: when the selectivity is high, the density is low and vice versa. In the present work, we found that random carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in the catalyst area block the growth of aligned SWNTs along the lattice structure on the quartz surface, thus significantly reducing the density of nanotubes during growth. More interestingly, it was shown that the random CNTs can be selectively removed through appropriate treatments using water vapor as an in situ etchant while the aligned SWNTs survive even after long-time water vapor treatment. To obtain high-density semiconducting SWNT arrays, we designed an improved multiple-cycle growth method, which included the treatment of SWNTs with water vapor after each growth cycle without cooling the system. Using this method, we have successfully obtained dense semiconducting SWNTs (?10 SWNTs/?m) over large areas and with high uniformity.
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[Apatite-forming ability of pure titanium implant after micro-arc oxidation treatment].
Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao
PUBLISHED: 10-23-2013
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To investigate the apatite forming ability of pure titanium implant after micro-arc oxidation treatment in simulated body fluid (SBF) and obtain implants with calcium phosphate (Ca-P) layers.
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High-throughput optical imaging and spectroscopy of individual carbon nanotubes in devices.
Nat Nanotechnol
PUBLISHED: 07-19-2013
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Single-walled carbon nanotubes are uniquely identified by a pair of chirality indices (n,m), which dictate the physical structures and electronic properties of each species. Carbon nanotube research is currently facing two outstanding challenges: achieving chirality-controlled growth and understanding chirality-dependent device physics. Addressing these challenges requires, respectively, high-throughput determination of the nanotube chirality distribution on growth substrates and in situ characterization of the nanotube electronic structure in operating devices. Direct optical imaging and spectroscopy techniques are well suited for both goals, but their implementation at the single nanotube level has remained a challenge due to the small nanotube signal and unavoidable environment background. Here, we report high-throughput real-time optical imaging and broadband in situ spectroscopy of individual carbon nanotubes on various substrates and in field-effect transistor devices using polarization-based microscopy combined with supercontinuum laser illumination. Our technique enables the complete chirality profiling of hundreds of individual carbon nanotubes, both semiconducting and metallic, on a growth substrate. In devices, we observe that high-order nanotube optical resonances are dramatically broadened by electrostatic doping, an unexpected behaviour that points to strong interband electron-electron scattering processes that could dominate ultrafast dynamics of excited states in carbon nanotubes.
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Molecular characterization and phylogenetic analysis of new variants of the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus in Gansu, China in 2012.
Viruses
PUBLISHED: 06-17-2013
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Between January 2012 and March 2012, the infection rates of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) increased substantially in vaccinated swine herds in many porcine farms in Gansu Province, China. The spike (S) glycoprotein is an important determinant for PEDV biological properties. To determine the distribution profile of PEDV outbreak strains, we sequenced the full-length S gene of five samples from two farms where animals exhibited severe diarrhea and high mortality rates. Five new PEDV variants were identified, and the molecular diversity, phylogenetic relationships, and antigenicity analysis of Gansu field samples with other PEDV reference strains were investigated. A series of insertions, deletions, and mutations in the S gene was found in five PEDV variants compared with classical and vaccine strains. These mutations may provide stronger pathogenicity and antigenicity to the new PEDV variants that influenced the effectiveness of the CV777-based vaccine. Our results suggest that these new PEDV variant strains in Gansu Province might be from South Korean or South China, and the effectiveness of the CV777-based vaccine needs to be evaluated.
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Sustained release of triamcinolone acetonide from an episcleral plaque of multilayered poly-?-caprolactone matrix.
Acta Biomater
PUBLISHED: 05-30-2013
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A subtenon injection of triamcinolone acetonide (TA) is a widely used treatment modality for various chorio-retinal diseases. Although it is less invasive than intravitreal injection, it can produce dose-associated ocular complications and has the disadvantages associated with systemic TA exposure. In this study we have developed and evaluated an episcleral film consisting of TA and poly-?-caprolactone (PCL). The films were prepared by spraying a mixture of PCL in dichloromethane and TA in acetone. The films were produced as 6mm wide and 12mm long episcleral plaques. X-ray diffraction demonstrated an even distribution of TA crystals in PCL, although the TA was less crystalized than a native TA control. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy revealed effective integration of TA within the PCL matrix. An in vitro study of the release of TA from the episcleral plaques showed that TA release rate was only 40-50% that of the equivalent native TA control. An in vivo study demonstrated that the plaques were well tolerated in rabbit eyes with significantly less systemic TA exposure. The episcleral plaques provided therapeutic vitreous TA levels for 3months, while TA levels in the vitreous were detectable for only 1month following an equivalent dose by subtenon TA injection. The PCL-TA 30-60 episcleral plaque may be further developed as a better alternative treatment for many chronic vitreo-retinal diseases, providing longer and controlled release and fewer drug-associated complications than those associated with a conventional subtenon injection of TA.
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Differentiation of pancreatic endocrine progenitors reversibly blocked by premature induction of MafA.
Dev. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 05-22-2013
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Specification and maturation of insulin(+) cells accompanies a transition in expression of Maf family of transcription factors. In development, MafA is expressed after specification of insulin(+) cells that are expressing another Maf factor, MafB; after birth, these insulin(+) MafA(+) cells stop MafB expression and gain glucose responsiveness. Current differentiation protocols for deriving insulin-producing ?-cells from stem cells result in ?-cells lacking both MafA expression and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. So driving expression of MafA, a ?-cell maturation factor in endocrine precursors could potentially generate glucose-responsive MafA(+) ? cells. Using inducible transgenic mice, we characterized the final stages of ?-cell differentiation and maturation with MafA pause/release experiments. We found that forcing MafA transgene expression, out of its normal developmental context, in Ngn3(+) endocrine progenitors blocked endocrine differentiation and prevented the formation of hormone(+) cells. However, this arrest was reversible such that with stopping the transgene expression, the cells resumed their differentiation to hormone(+) cells, including ?-cells, indicating that the block likely occurred after progenitors had committed to a specific hormonal fate. Interestingly, this delayed resumption of endocrine differentiation resulted in a greater proportion of immature insulin(+)MafB(+) cells at P5, demonstrating that during maturation the inhibition of MafB in ?-cell transitioning from insulin(+)MafB(+) to insulin(+)MafB(-) stage is regulated by cell-autonomous mechanisms. These results demonstrate the importance of proper context of initiating MafA expression on the endocrine differentiation and suggest that generating mature Insulin(+)MafA(+) ?-cells will require the induction of MafA in a narrow temporal window to achieve normal endocrine differentiation.
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A Pt(II)-Dip complex stabilizes parallel c-myc G-quadruplex.
Chem. Commun. (Camb.)
PUBLISHED: 04-16-2013
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A new G-quadruplex (GQ) stabilizer, [Pt(Dip)2](PF6)2 (Dip: 4,7-diphenyl-1,10-phenanthroline), is prepared by the microwave irradiation method. The complex can highly stabilize G-quadruplex, but has negligible interactions with duplex DNA. Aromatic anchors on the polypyridyl ligands bestow the stabilizer with a high binding preference towards parallel GQ.
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Isolation and characterization of endophytic fungi from Camptotheca acuminata.
World J. Microbiol. Biotechnol.
PUBLISHED: 04-02-2013
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In this study, a total of 161 endophytic fungal isolates from Camptotheca acuminata were obtained and classified to 16 taxa according to morphological and molecular analysis. These taxa were composed of 2 frequent genera (Botryosphaeria and Fusarium) and 14 infrequent groups such as Xylaria, Diaporthe, Rhizopus, Epicoccum, and Preussia, demonstrating that fungal endophytes in C. acuminata were highly abundant and diverse. Antimicrobial activity screening using filter-paper diffusion method showed that 47.6 % of the tested isolates had antimicrobial activity against at least one of the test microorganisms. Screening of fungal endophyte-derived camptothecin analogues by TLC and LC-MS/MS³ demonstrated that a strain Botryosphaeria dothidea, X-4 could produce 9-methoxycamptothecin (9-MCPT) when cultured in Sabourauds dextrose broth for 12 days under shake flask and bench-scale fermention conditions. This work showed that the fungal endophytes from C. acuminata could be an alternative source for the production of 9-MCPT and other natural antimicrobial compounds.
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Scutellarin from Scutellaria baicalensis suppresses adipogenesis by upregulating PPAR? in 3T3-L1 cells.
J. Nat. Prod.
PUBLISHED: 03-22-2013
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Adipocyte dysfunction is a major cause of obesity, which is associated strongly with many disorders including psychological and medical morbidities, metabolic abnormalities, and cardiovascular diseases as well as a series of cancers. This study investigated the antiadipogenic activity of scutellarin (1) in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes as well as the underlying molecular mechanisms. It was observed that 1 reduced adipocyte differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells potently, as evidenced by a decrease in cellular lipid accumulation. At the molecular level, mRNA expression of the master adipogenic transcription factors, PPAR? and C/EBP?, was decreased markedly. However, mRNA levels of C/EBP?, the upstream regulator of PPAR? and C/EBP?, were not decreased by 1. Moreover, a dose-dependent upregulation of PPAR? was observed for 1. Computational modeling indicated that 1 can bind to PPAR?, ?, and ? each in a distinct manner, while it can activate PPAR? only by forming a hydrogen bond with Y464, thus stabilizing the AF-2 helix and activating PPAR?. Therefore, these results suggest that 1, a major component of Scutellaria baicalensis, attenuates fat cell differentiation by upregulating PPAR? as well as downregulating the expression of PPAR? and C/EBP?, thus showing therapeutic potential for obesity-related diseases.
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Domestic cats and dogs are susceptible to H9N2 avian influenza virus.
Virus Res.
PUBLISHED: 02-26-2013
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Replication and transmission of avian influenza virus (AIV) in domestic dogs and cats may pose a risk to humans. The susceptibility of cats and dogs to H9N2 influenza virus was evaluated by intranasally or orally inoculating animals with an H9N2 influenza virus. Cats had recoverable virus in respiratory tissues and the olfactory bulb three days post-inoculation and shed H9N2 virus into nasal washes and pharyngeal swabs from day 2 through day 10 post-inoculation. Virus was recovered from respiratory tissues of dogs three days post-inoculation, but was not detected in nasal washes or pharyngeal swabs. While no virus shedding or replication was detected in cats or dogs following consumption of H9N2-infected chicks, one of two cats and one of two dogs seroconverted. Two of three naïve contact cats seroconverted following co-housing with cats that were intranasally inoculated with H9N2 virus, whereas none of the three naïve contact dogs seroconverted. Our results demonstrate that H9N2 AIV can infect domestic cats and dogs via the upper respiratory tract and indicate that cats are more susceptible than dogs to H9N2 AIV. These findings suggest that domestic dogs and cats may serve as host species contributing to the adaptation of H9N2 viruses in mammals.
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A new NAD(H)-dependent meso-2,3-butanediol dehydrogenase from an industrially potential strain Serratia marcescens H30.
Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol.
PUBLISHED: 02-18-2013
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The budC gene coding for a new meso-2,3-butanediol dehydrogenase (BDH) from Serratia marcescens H30 was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli BL21(DE3), purified, and characterized for its properties. The recombinant BDH with a molecular weight of 27.4 kDa exhibited a reversible transformation between acetoin and 2,3-butanediol. In the presence of NADH, BDH could catalyze the reduction of diacetyl and (3R)-acetoin to (3S)-acetoin and meso-2,3-butanediol, respectively, while (3S)-acetoin as a substrate could be further transformed into (2S, 3S)-2,3-butanediol at pH 9.0. For diol oxidation reactions, (3R)-acetoin and (3S)-acetoin were obtained when meso-2,3-butanediol and (2S,3S)-2,3-butanediol were used as the substrates with BDH and NAD(+). (2R,3R)-2,3-butanediol was not a substrate for the BDH at all. The low K m value (4.1 mM) in meso-2,3-butanediol oxidation reaction and no activity for diacetyl, acetoin, and 2,3-butanediol as the substrates with NADP(+)/NADPH suggested that the budC gene product belongs to a NAD(H)-dependent meso-2,3-BDH. Maximum activities for diacetyl and (3S/3R)-acetoin reduction were observed at pH 8.0 and pH 5.0 while for meso-2,3-butanediol oxidation it was pH 8.0. However, the optimum temperature for oxidation and reduction reactions was about 40 °C. In addition, the BDH activity for meso-2,3-butanediol oxidation was enhanced in the presence of Fe(2+) and for diacetyl and (3S/3R)-acetoin reduction in the presence of Mg(2+) and Mn(2+), while several metal ions inhibited its activity, particularly Fe(3+) for reduction of diacetyl and acetoin. Sequence analysis showed that the BDH from S. marcescens H30 possessed two conserved sequences including the coenzyme binding motif (GxxxGxG) and the active-site motif (YxxxK), which are present in the short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase superfamily.
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Experimental infection of non-human primates with avian influenza virus (H9N2).
Arch. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 02-06-2013
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Several cases of humans infected with the H9N2 avian influenza virus (AIV) have been described since 1999; however, the infectivity and pathogenicity of H9N2 in humans is not well defined. A non-human primate model in rhesus macaques was developed to study H9N2 virus infections as a means of better understanding the pathogenesis and virulence of this virus, in addition to testing antiviral drugs. Rhesus macaques inoculated with H9N2 AIV presented with biphasic fever and viral pneumonia. H9N2 was recovered from nasal washes and pharyngeal samples up to days 7-9 postinfection, followed by an increase in HI (hemagglutination inhibition) antibody titers. Tissue tropism and immunohistochemistry indicated that H9N2 AIV replicated in the upper respiratory tract (turbinate, trachea, and bronchus) and in all lobes of the lung. Our data suggest that rhesus macaques are a suitable animal model to study H9N2 influenza virus infections, particularly in the context of viral evolution and pathogenicity.
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Quantum-coupled radial-breathing oscillations in double-walled carbon nanotubes.
Nat Commun
PUBLISHED: 01-24-2013
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Van der Waals-coupled materials, ranging from multilayers of graphene and MoS(2) to superlattices of nanoparticles, exhibit rich emerging behaviour owing to quantum coupling between individual nanoscale constituents. Double-walled carbon nanotubes provide a model system for studying such quantum coupling mediated by van der Waals interactions, because each constituent single-walled nanotube can have distinctly different physical structures and electronic properties. Here we systematically investigate quantum-coupled radial-breathing mode oscillations in chirality-defined double-walled nanotubes by combining simultaneous structural, electronic and vibrational characterizations on the same individual nanotubes. We show that these radial-breathing oscillations are collective modes characterized by concerted inner- and outer-wall motions, and determine quantitatively the tube-dependent van der Waals potential governing their vibration frequencies. We also observe strong quantum interference between Raman scattering from the inner- and outer-wall excitation pathways, the relative phase of which reveals chirality-dependent excited-state potential energy surface displacement in different nanotubes.
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Visualizing Hg2+ ions in living cells using a FRET-based fluorescent sensor.
Spectrochim Acta A Mol Biomol Spectrosc
PUBLISHED: 01-10-2013
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A novel FRET fluorescent sensor for Hg2+ imaging in living cells is rationally designed based on a coumarin-rhodamine platform. RBC1 exhibit high selectivity and excellent sensitivity in both absorbance and fluorescence detection of Hg2+ in aqueous solution. After addition of increasing concentrations of Hg2+, it result in the decrease of coumarin emission at 467 nm and a new emission profile of rhodamine at 590 nm gradually increased. The response time to Hg2+ is less than 2 min, and other metal ions including Fe2+, Mn2+, Ni2+, Co2+, Cu2+, Zn2+, Cd2+, Pb2+, and Cr3+ had no interference. In addition, fluorescent imaging of Hg2+ in A375 cells is also successfully demonstrated. The design strategy of two fluorophores switching in this work would help to extend the development of FRET fluorescent sensors.
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Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition at Two Sites in an Arid Environment of Central Asia.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Arid areas play a significant role in the global nitrogen cycle. Dry and wet deposition of inorganic nitrogen (N) species were monitored at one urban (SDS) and one suburban (TFS) site at Urumqi in a semi-arid region of central Asia. Atmospheric concentrations of NH3, NO2, HNO3, particulate ammonium and nitrate (pNH4 (+) and pNO3 (-)) concentrations and NH4-N and NO3-N concentrations in precipitation showed large monthly variations and averaged 7.1, 26.6, 2.4, 6.6, 2.7 µg N m(-3) and 1.3, 1.0 mg N L(-1) at both SDS and TFS. Nitrogen dry deposition fluxes were 40.7 and 36.0 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1) while wet deposition of N fluxes were 6.0 and 8.8 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1) at SDS and TFS, respectively. Total N deposition averaged 45.8 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1)at both sites. Our results indicate that N dry deposition has been a major part of total N deposition (83.8% on average) in an arid region of central Asia. Such high N deposition implies heavy environmental pollution and an important nutrient resource in arid regions.
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Ni2+ doped indium oxide nanocubes: doped contents inducing transferring of their intrinsic magnetisms.
J Nanosci Nanotechnol
PUBLISHED: 11-22-2011
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A series of Ni2+ doped indium oxide nanocubes with different Ni2+ contents (nominally from 3 at.% to 20 at.%) were prepared by direct solvothermal method. We found that the highest Ni2+ doped percentage was 20 at.% in the experiment and crystalline sizes of these Ni2+ doped indium oxide specimens linearly increased with increments of doped contents and then decreased. Meanwhile, their magnetisms were also transferred from ferromagnetism to paramagnetic properties due to the stronger Ni-O-Ni paramagnetic chemical bonds. HRTEM, SAED and XRD further confirmed their magnetic properties were intrinsic and not caused by second impure phases.
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[Effects of microbial pretreatment of kenaf stalk by the white-rot fungus Pleurotus sajor-caju on bioconversion of fuel ethanol production].
Sheng Wu Gong Cheng Xue Bao
PUBLISHED: 11-10-2011
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Kenaf stalk was pretreated by the white-rot fungus Pleurotus sajor-caju incubated in solid-state kenaf stalk cultivation medium. Delignification and subsequent enzymatic saccharification and fermentation of kenaf stalk were investigated in order to evaluate effects of microbial pretreatment on bioconversion of kenaf lignocellulose to fuel ethanol production. The highest delignification rate of 50.20% was obtained after 25-35 days cultivation by P. sajor-caju, which could improve subsequent enzymatic hydrolysis efficiency of kenaf cellulose. And the saccharification rate of pretreated kenaf stalk reached 69.33 to 78.64%, 4.5-5.1 times higher than the control. Simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) with microbial-pretreatment kenaf stalk as substrate was performed. The highest overall ethanol yield of 68.31% with 18.35 to 18.90 mg/mL was achieved after 72 h of SSF.
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Neural fate decisions mediated by trans-activation and cis-inhibition in Notch signaling.
Bioinformatics
PUBLISHED: 10-11-2011
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In the developing nervous system, the expression of proneural genes, i.e. Hes1, Neurogenin-2 (Ngn2) and Deltalike-1 (Dll1), oscillates in neural progenitors with a period of 2-3 h, but is persistent in post-mitotic neurons. Unlike the synchronization of segmentation clocks, oscillations in neural progenitors are asynchronous between cells. It is known that Notch signaling, in which Notch in a cell can be activated by Dll1 in neighboring cells (trans-activation) and can also be inhibited by Dll1 within the same cell (cis-inhibition), is important for neural fate decisions. There have been extensive studies of trans-activation, but the operating mechanisms and potential implications of cis-inhibition are less clear and need to be further investigated.
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Preparation and characterization of nano-hydroxyapatite/chitosan cross-linking composite membrane intended for tissue engineering.
Int. J. Biol. Macromol.
PUBLISHED: 08-09-2011
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In this paper, a series of nano-hydroxyapatite(n-HA)/chitosan cross-linking composite membranes (n-HA; 0, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 wt%) were successfully developed by a simple casting/solvent evaporation method. n-HA with size about 20 nm in vertical diameter and about 100 nm in horizontal diameter was successfully synthesized by a hydro-thermal precipitation method, and then dispersed into chitosan/genipin solution with the aid of continuous ultrasound to develop n-HA/chitosan cross-linking composite membranes. The detailed characterizations including Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffractometer (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), water adsorption and tensile test were performed. With the analysis of FTIR spectra and TGA spectra, it suggested that there was existence of possible interactions between polymer and n-HA. Meanwhile, the n-HA content was greatly effected on the morphology as well as the tensile property of composite membrane. In vitro cytotoxicity test suggested that the developed n-HA/chitosan cross-linking composite membrane was non-cytotoxicity against L929 cells after 24hs incubation might be suitable for further in vivo application.
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Flt3L controls the development of radiosensitive dendritic cells in the meninges and choroid plexus of the steady-state mouse brain.
J. Exp. Med.
PUBLISHED: 07-25-2011
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Antigen-presenting cells in the disease-free brain have been identified primarily by expression of antigens such as CD11b, CD11c, and MHC II, which can be shared by dendritic cells (DCs), microglia, and monocytes. In this study, starting with the criterion of Flt3 (FMS-like receptor tyrosine kinase 3)-dependent development, we characterize the features of authentic DCs within the meninges and choroid plexus in healthy mouse brains. Analyses of morphology, gene expression, and antigen-presenting function established a close relationship between meningeal and choroid plexus DCs (m/chDCs) and spleen DCs. DCs in both sites shared an intrinsic requirement for Flt3 ligand. Microarrays revealed differences in expression of transcripts encoding surface molecules, transcription factors, pattern recognition receptors, and other genes in m/chDCs compared with monocytes and microglia. Migrating pre-DC progenitors from bone marrow gave rise to m/chDCs that had a 5-7-d half-life. In contrast to microglia, DCs actively present self-antigens and stimulate T cells. Therefore, the meninges and choroid plexus of a steady-state brain contain DCs that derive from local precursors and exhibit a differentiation and antigen-presenting program similar to spleen DCs and distinct from microglia.
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Preparation and characterization of chitosan nanopores membranes for the transport of drugs.
Int J Pharm
PUBLISHED: 07-20-2011
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In this paper, a novel chitosan nanopores membrane was developed by selective dissolution of its composition. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) as the porogen was selected to generate the nanopores structure of chitosan membrane. As the observation with scanning electron microscopy (SEM), we could find that the PEG content was greatly influenced on the structure of chitosan membrane. As the PEG content was larger than 50%, the chitosan nanopores membrane could successfully developed. Differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) measurement revealed that the PEG component could not be completely dissolved from the membrane and there was presence the possible interaction (hydrogen bond) between two components. Water adsorption test suggested that the obtained membranes have the great capacity of water adsorption ranging from 162.4 ± 22.5% to 321.5 ± 6.5%. In vitro degradation experiment showed that the obtained chitosan membranes have good biodegradability in the lysozyme solution. The permeability test was performed with two model drugs: vitamin B12 (non-ionic water-soluble drug) and sodium sulfamerazine (ionic water-soluble drug). And the results showed that these two drugs have significant differences in the permeability, indicating that chitosan nanopores membranes can potentially be used to the transport of drugs with controlled diffusion manner.
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A combined chitosan/nano-size hydroxyapatite system for the controlled release of icariin.
J Mater Sci Mater Med
PUBLISHED: 06-04-2011
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Icariin, a plant-derived flavonol glycoside, has been proved as an osteoinductive agent for bone regeneration. For this reason, we developed an icariin-loaded chitosan/nano-sized hydroxyapatite (IC-CS/HA) system which controls the release kinetics of icariin to enhance bone repairing. First, by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, we found that icariin was stable in the system developed without undergoing any chemical changes. On the other hand, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and mechanical test revealed that the introduction of icariin did not remarkably change the phase, morphology, porosity and mechanical strength of the CS/HA composite. Then the hydrolytic degradation and drug release kinetics in vitro were investigated by incubation in phosphate buffered saline solution. The results indicated that the icariin was released in a temporally controlled manner and the release kinetics could be governed by degradation of both chitosan and hydroxyapatite matrix. Finally the in vitro bioactivity assay revealed that the loaded icariin was biologically active as evidenced by stimulation of bone marrow derived stroma cell alkaline phosphatase activity and formation of mineralized nodules. This successful IC-CS/HA system offers a new delivery method of osteoinductive agents and a useful scaffold design for bone regeneration.
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Electrospun fibrous scaffold of hydroxyapatite/poly (?-caprolactone) for bone regeneration.
J Mater Sci Mater Med
PUBLISHED: 05-20-2011
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Development of fibrous scaffold of hydroxyapatite/biopolymer nanocomposite offers great potential in the field of bone regeneration and tissue engineering. Hydroxyapatite (HA)/poly (?-caprolactone) (PCL) fibrous scaffolds were successfully prepared by electrospinning dopes containing HA and PCL in this work. It was found that pre-treating HA with ?-glycioxypropyltrimethoxysilane (A-187) was effective in improving HA dispersion both in solutions and in a PCL matrix. Mechanical properties of the scaffolds were greatly enhanced by the filling of A187-HA. The bioactivity of PCL was remarkably improved by the addition of HA and A187-HA. Fibroblasts and osteoblasts were seeded on scaffolds to evaluate the effect of A-187 on biocompatibility of HA/PCL composites. Based on this study, good dispersion of HA in PCL matrix was granted by pretreatment of HA with A-187 and A187-HA/PCL fibrous scaffolds were obtained by electrospinning. These results demonstrated that the scaffolds may possess improved mechanical performance and good bioactivity due to A187-HA incorporation.
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Enhanced anti-tumor efficacy by co-delivery of doxorubicin and paclitaxel with amphiphilic methoxy PEG-PLGA copolymer nanoparticles.
Biomaterials
PUBLISHED: 05-17-2011
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The use of single chemotherapeutic drug has shown some limitations in anti-tumor treatment, such as development of drug resistance, high toxicity and limited regime of clinical uses. The combination of two or more therapeutic drugs is feasible means to overcome the limitations. Co-delivery strategy has been proposed to minimize the amount of each drug and to achieve the synergistic effect for cancer therapies. Attempts have been made to deliver chemotherapeutic drugs simultaneously using drug carriers, such as micelles, liposomes, and inorganic nanoparticles (NPs). Here we reported core-shell NPs that were doubly emulsified from an amphiphilic copolymer methoxy poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (mPEG-PLGA). These NPs offered advantages over other nanocarriers, as they were easy to fabricate by improved double emulsion method, biocompatible, and showed high loading efficacy. More importantly, these NPs could co-deliver hydrophilic doxorubicin (DOX) and hydrophobic paclitaxel (TAX). The drug-loaded NPs possessed a better polydispersity, indicating that they are more readily subject to controlled size distribution. Studies on drug release and cellular uptake of the co-delivery system demonstrated that both drugs were effectively taken up by the cells and released simultaneously. Furthermore, the co-delivery nanocarrier suppressed tumor cells growth more efficiently than the delivery of either DOX or TAX at the same concentrations, indicating a synergistic effect. Moreover, the NPs loading drugs with a DOX/TAX concentration ratio of 2:1 showed the highest anti-tumor activity to three different types of tumor cells. This nanocarrier might have important potential in clinical implications for co-delivery of multiple anti-tumor drugs with different properties.
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Characterisation of systemic and ocular drug level of triamcinolone acetonide following a single sub-Tenon injection.
Br J Ophthalmol
PUBLISHED: 05-08-2010
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AIM To characterise the pharmacokinetics of triamcinolone acetonide (TA) in various ocular tissues following a single sub-Tenon injection. METHODS Twenty-one Chinchilla adult pigmented rabbits received sub-Tenon injection of TA (40 mg in 0.4 ml) in their right eyes. Three animals were killed at each designated time points (3 h, 1 day, 3 days, 7 days, 14 days, 21 days and 30 days) and the globes were snap frozen and dissected into aqueous, iris-ciliary body, vitreous, neuroretina and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE)/choroid. The concentrations of TA in the various ocular tissues were analysed using ultra-performance liquid chromatography, coupled with tandem mass spectrometric detection. RESULTS TA concentration followed a mono-exponential decrease over the study period in all ocular tissues of the injected eyes. The concentration was much higher in the RPE/choroid (892.14+/-558.11 ng/g at post-injection day 30) than in the other tissues (171.65+/-136.40 ng/g in neuroretina, 15.65+/-23.06 ng/ml in vitreous, 3.76+/-1.79 ng/g in iris-ciliary body, 2.64+/-0.96 ng/ml in aqueous at post-injection day 30). The TA level in the RPE/choroid had the lowest coefficient of logarithmic regression (0.07 in RPE/choroid, 0.10 in neuroretina, 0.11 in vitreous, 0.17 in iris-ciliary body, 0.18 in aqueous), indicating a 2.6 times slower clearance than in aqueous. The half-life of TA was 10.4 days in RPE/choroid. TA was detectable in the fellow eyes and was also detectable at very low levels in all blood samples during the entire study period. CONCLUSION TA was mostly cleared from RPE/choroid and retina in a mono-exponential mode. TA was above the therapeutic level for at least 30 days following a sub-Tenon injection.
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Characterization and biocompatibility of nanohybrid scaffold prepared via in situ crystallization of hydroxyapatite in chitosan matrix.
Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces
PUBLISHED: 04-26-2010
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Hydroxyapatite (HAP) precursor solution was first mixed with an acetic acid chitosan (CS) solution. The mixture was then lyophilized to form the original scaffold, which stored the HAP precursors. The nano HAP crystallized homogeneously from the CS matrix during the alkaline treatment to form a nanohybrid scaffold. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) were used to investigate the fabrication process of the nanohybrid scaffold. XRD results showed that the in situ deposited mineral (HAP) in the scaffold has phase structure similar to natural bone. FTIR and XPS results indicated that CSs hydroxyl group, amino and amide regulated the nano HAP crystallization process, which resulted in the nano homogeneous distribution of nano HAP and provided nano topographical features for the nanohybrid scaffold. MTT testing and SEM images of human bone mesenchymal stem cells (hBMSCs) cultures revealed the attachment and growth of hBMSCs in the biocomposite scaffold. Cell morphology and viability data showed that the nanohybrid composite scaffold is suitable for use in bioapplications.
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Higher-order harmonic resonances and mechanical properties of individual cadmium sulphide nanowires measured by in situ transmission electron microscopy.
J Electron Microsc (Tokyo)
PUBLISHED: 02-24-2010
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The higher-order harmonic resonances, including second and third harmonic modes, were induced by applying alternative current signals inside a high-resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM), which have been used to study the mechanical properties of individual cadmium sulphide (CdS) nanowires. Youngs moduli (E) and mechanical quality factors (Q) of individual CdS nanowires with diameters in the range of 50-350 nm were measured with the assistance of the mechanical resonances. The results indicate that the smooth nanowires have larger E and Q in comparison with the rough nanowires, and for the rough nanowires, E and Q increase with increasing diameters. The morphology- and size-dependent mechanical properties of CdS nanowires are directly correlated with their structure, as imaged by in situ TEM.
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10-Hydroxycamptothecin produced by a new endophytic Xylaria sp., M20, from Camptotheca acuminata.
Biotechnol. Lett.
PUBLISHED: 01-06-2010
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A new 10-hydroxycamptothecin (HCPT)-producing fungus was isolated from Camptotheca acuminata. The strain was classified as a Xylaria sp. based on the internal transcribed spacer and 18S rDNA gene analysis. All elicitors tested, except methyl jasmonate, increased HCPT production in submerged culture. The maximum yield was 5.4 mg HCPT/l(-1), when salicylic acid was added at 0.1 mM to the culture medium.
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In situ TEM studies of oxygen vacancy migration for electrically induced resistance change effect in cerium oxides.
Micron
PUBLISHED: 10-15-2009
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Oxide materials with resistance hysteresis are very promising for next generation memory devices. However, the microscopic dynamic process of the resistance change is still elusive. Here, we use in situ transmission electron microscopy method to study the role of oxygen vacancies for the resistance switching effect in cerium oxides. The structure change during oxygen vacancy migration in CeO(2) induced by electric field was in situ imaged inside high-resolution transmission electron microscope, which gives a direct evidence for oxygen migration mechanism for the microscopic origin of resistance change effect in CeO(2). Our results have implications for understanding the nature of resistance change in metal oxides with mixed valence cations, such as fluorite, rutile and perovskite oxides.
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[Advances in noninvasive measurement of ankle-brachial index].
Sheng Wu Yi Xue Gong Cheng Xue Za Zhi
PUBLISHED: 10-10-2009
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The key of Ankle-brachial index (ABI) measurement is the synchronous measurement of four limbs systolic blood pressures. In this paper is analyzed the inadequacy of the modern blood pressure measurement technologies used in the ABI measurement process. Special emphasis is laid on the principles and characteristics of the double-layer cuffs technology. The research orientation, the existing problems, and the way toward improvement are discussed.
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[Rescue of porcine circovirus type 2 from cloned DNA].
Sheng Wu Gong Cheng Xue Bao
PUBLISHED: 07-27-2009
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Infectious clone is a useful tool in exploring viral replication and pathogenesis. In order to prevent linear PCV2 cyclization, PCR mutagenesis was used to construct the first molecular clone (pSK-2PCV2) by ligating two copies of the complete PCV2 genome with the pBluescript SK (pSK) vector. In addition, pSK-PCV2 and ds-PCV2 were constructed. PK-15 cells were transfected with above three infectious clones. Indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) revealed that the virus antigen mainly localized in infected cell nucleolus and cytoplasm. PCV2 specific nucleotide fragment in cell culture was amplified by RT-PCR. Typical porcine circovirus particles with diameter about 17 nm were also observed by transmission electron microscope (TEM) in the infected cells. The rescued virus sequences from the cultures had 100% homology with the inserting PCV2 genome. The rescued virus shared similar properties with that of the parental virus. The study establishes a platform for further research on the virus molecular biology and pathogenicity.
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Novel surgical method of proximal anastomosis in off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting.
Circ. J.
PUBLISHED: 05-29-2009
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Cerebral embolization as a result of aortic manipulation has emerged as an important risk factor for the incidence of stroke after off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting (OPACB).
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Isolation and characterization of endophytic taxol-producing fungi from Taxus chinensis.
J. Ind. Microbiol. Biotechnol.
PUBLISHED: 03-22-2009
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This study investigated the endophytic fungi diversity of Taxus chinensis and screened the taxol-producing fungi in the host. A total of 115 endophytic fungi isolates obtained from bark segments of T. chinensis were grouped into 23 genera based on the morphological traits and sequence analysis of the internal transcribed spacers (ITS1-5.8S-ITS2), indicating endophytic fungi in T. chinensis are diverse and abundant. Diaporthe, Phomopsis (anamorph of Diaporthe), Acremonium, and Pezicula were the dominant genera, whereas the remaining genera were infrequent groups. The 13 representative species of the distinct genera were capable of producing taxol verified by reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Among the taxol-producing fungi, the yield of taxol produced by the Metarhizium anisopliae, H-27 was 846.1 microg l(-1) in reformative potato dextrose liquid medium, and the fungal taxol was further validated by mass spectrometry (MS). The taxol-producing fungi (92.3%) were infrequent communities, suggesting that infrequent fungi associated with T. chinensis might be a fascinating reservoir of taxol-generating fungi.
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In vivo analysis of dendritic cell development and homeostasis.
Science
PUBLISHED: 03-12-2009
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Dendritic cells (DCs) in lymphoid tissue arise from precursors that also produce monocytes and plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs). Where DC and monocyte lineage commitment occurs and the nature of the DC precursor that migrates from the bone marrow to peripheral lymphoid organs are unknown. We show that DC development progresses from the macrophage and DC precursor to common DC precursors that give rise to pDCs and classical spleen DCs (cDCs), but not monocytes, and finally to committed precursors of cDCs (pre-cDCs). Pre-cDCs enter lymph nodes through and migrate along high endothelial venules and later disperse and integrate into the DC network. Further cDC development involves cell division, which is controlled in part by regulatory T cells and fms-like tyrosine kinase receptor-3.
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Chirality-dependent transport properties of double-walled nanotubes measured in situ on their field-effect transistors.
J. Am. Chem. Soc.
PUBLISHED: 02-20-2009
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Double-walled carbon nanotubes (DWNT), consisting of two coaxial tubes, is an ideal structure for chemical and physical applications. It is of essential importance to probe the one-to-one relationship between electrical transport and chiral structure of DWNTs. Here, the chirality-dependent transport properties of DWNTs have been systematically investigated in situ on their field-effect transistors, through building DWNT-based field-effect transistors into a transmission electron microscope. The transport characteristics of DWNTs can be directly correlated with their chiral indices, and the probe of inner tubes has also been achieved in situ.
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Percutaneously injectable fetal pacemaker: electronics, pacing thresholds, and power budget.
Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc
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We are developing a cardiac pacemaker that is designed to be implanted percutaneously into a fetus to treat complete heart block and consequent hydrops fetalis, which is otherwise fatal. One of the most significant considerations for this device is the technical challenges presented by the battery and charging system. The size of the device is limited to about 3 mm in diameter; batteries on this scale have very small charge capacities. The smaller capacity means that the device needs to be designed so that it uses as little current as possible and so that its battery can be recharged wirelessly. We determined the pacing thresholds for a simple relaxation oscillator that can be assembled from discrete, surface mount components and analyzed the power consumption of the device given different electrode configurations and stimulus parameters. An inductive recharging system will be required for some patients; it is feasible within the package constraints and under development.
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Design and testing of a percutaneously implantable fetal pacemaker.
Ann Biomed Eng
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We are developing a cardiac pacemaker with a small, cylindrical shape that permits percutaneous implantation into a fetus to treat complete heart block and consequent hydrops fetalis, which can otherwise be fatal. The device uses off-the-shelf components including a rechargeable lithium cell and a highly efficient relaxation oscillator encapsulated in epoxy and glass. A corkscrew electrode made from activated iridium can be screwed into the myocardium, followed by release of the pacemaker and a short, flexible lead entirely within the chest of the fetus to avoid dislodgement from fetal movement. Acute tests in adult rabbits demonstrated the range of electrical parameters required for successful pacing and the feasibility of successfully implanting the device percutaneously under ultrasonic imaging guidance. The lithium cell can be recharged inductively as needed, as indicated by a small decline in the pulsing rate.
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The novel role of fungal intracellular laccase: used to screen hybrids between Hypsizigus marmoreus and Clitocybe maxima by protoplasmic fusion.
World J. Microbiol. Biotechnol.
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Laccase has been proved important in decolorization of Remazol Brilliant Blue R (RBBR), oxidation of 2, 2-Azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) diammonium salt, lignin degradation and fruiting-body formation. The decolorization of RBBR by laccase was firstly used to screen protoplast fusants. Fusants were obtained by protoplast fusion between the strains of Hypsizigus marmoreus and Clitocybe maxima, and two fusants (IM1 and IIIM5) were screened on PDA medium containing RBBR. These fusants were significant higher in laccase activity than H. marmoreus, nearly 413 and 395 times, respectively. Their hyphal growth rates were also remarkable higher than H. marmoreus, nearly 1.5 and 1.4 times, respectively. Sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis showed these fusants contained the laccase, and the molecular mass of the laccase was consistent with the laccase of C. maxima, nearly 62 kDa. The pileus color of the IM1 and IIIM5 also showed partial recombined characteristics comparing to the parental strains, while biological efficiency ratios were prominent higher than that of H. marmoreus, up to 14.58 and 10.87 %, respectively. Randomly amplified polymorphic DNA bands of fusants not only were similar to parental bands, but presented new non-parental bands. Using the Unweighted pair-group method together with mathematic averages method to gain a dendrogram, in which the fusants showed intra-cluster variations. Significantly, H. marmoreus was the dominant parent, while C. maxima were distant from the fusants. The differences among IM1, IIIM5 and H. marmoreus, and the similarities among IM1, IIIM5 and C. maxima indicated IM1 and IIIM5 were somatic hybrids of H. marmoreus and C. maxima. Accordingly, it is feasible to use laccase to screen fusants of H. marmoreus and C. maxima.
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Hepatitis C virus-induced up-regulation of microRNA-155 promotes hepatocarcinogenesis by activating Wnt signaling.
Hepatology
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Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection usually induces chronic hepatic inflammation, which favors the initiation and progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Moreover, microRNA-155 (miR-155) plays an important role in regulating both inflammation and tumorigenesis. However, little is known about whether and how miR-155 provides the link between inflammation and cancer. In this study we found that miR-155 levels were markedly increased in patients infected with HCV. MiR-155 transcription was regulated by nuclear factor kappa B (NF-?B), and p300 increased NF-?B-dependent miR-155 expression. The overexpression of miR-155 significantly inhibited hepatocyte apoptosis and promoted cell proliferation, whereas miR-155 inhibition induced G(0) /G(1) arrest. Up-regulated miR-155 resulted in nuclear accumulation of ?-catenin and a concomitant increase in cyclin D1, c-myc, and survivin. Gain-of-function and loss-of-function studies demonstrated that miR-155 promoted hepatocyte proliferation and tumorigenesis by increasing Wnt signaling in vitro and in vivo, and DKK1 (Wnt pathway inhibitor) overexpression inhibited the biological role of miR-155 in hepatocytes. Finally, adenomatous polyposis coli (APC), which negatively regulates Wnt signaling, was identified as the direct and functional target of miR-155.
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MicroRNA-mediated regulation in the mammalian circadian rhythm.
J. Theor. Biol.
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Mammalian circadian rhythms have been extensively studied for many years and many computational models have been presented. Most of the circadian rhythms are based on interlocked positive and negative feedback loops involving coding regions of some clock genes. Recent works have implicated that microRNAs (miRNAs) may play crucial roles in modulating the circadian clock. Here we develop a computational model involving four genes, Per, Cry, Bmal1, and Clock, and two miRNAs, miRNA-219 and miRNA-132, to show their post-transcriptional roles in the modulation of the circadian rhythm. The model is based on experimental observations, by which the miRNAs are incorporated into a classic model including only coding genes. In agreement with experimental observations, the model predicts that miRNA-mediated regulation plays critical roles in modulating the circadian clock. In addition, parameter sensitivity analysis indicates that the period of circadian rhythm with miRNA-mediated regulation is more insensitive to perturbations, showing that the miRNA-mediated regulation can enhance the robustness of the circadian rhythms. This study may help us understand the microRNA-mediated regulation in the mammalian circadian rhythm more clearly.
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An atlas of carbon nanotube optical transitions.
Nat Nanotechnol
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Electron-electron interactions are significantly enhanced in one-dimensional systems, and single-walled carbon nanotubes provide a unique opportunity for studying such interactions and the related many-body effects in one dimension. However, single-walled nanotubes can have a wide range of diameters and hundreds of different structures, each defined by its chiral index (n,m), where n and m are integers that can have values from zero up to 30 or more. Moreover, one-third of these structures are metals and two-thirds are semiconductors, and they display optical resonances at many different frequencies. Systematic studies of many-body effects in nanotubes would therefore benefit from the availability of a technique for identifying the chiral index of a nanotube based on a measurement of its optical resonances, and vice versa. Here, we report the establishment of a structure-property atlas for nanotube optical transitions based on simultaneous electron diffraction measurements of the chiral index and Rayleigh scattering measurements of the optical resonances of 206 different single-walled nanotube structures. The nanotubes, which were suspended across open slit structures on silicon substrates, had diameters in the range 1.3-4.7 nm. We also use this atlas as a starting point for a systematic study of many-body effects in the excited states of single-walled nanotubes. We find that electron-electron interactions shift the optical resonance energies by the same amount for both metallic and semiconducting nanotubes, and that this shift (which corresponds to an effective Fermi velocity renormalization) increases monotonically with nanotube diameter. This behaviour arises from two sources: an intriguing cancellation of long-range electron-electron interaction effects, and the dependence of short-range electron-electron interactions on diameter.
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Cytotoxicity and biocompatibility evaluation of N,O-carboxymethyl chitosan/oxidized alginate hydrogel for drug delivery application.
Int. J. Biol. Macromol.
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In this paper, covalently cross-linked hydrogel composed of N,O-carboxymethyl chitosan and oxidized alginate was developed intending for drug delivery application. In vitro/vivo cytocompatibility and biocompatibility of the developed hydrogel were preliminary evaluated. In vitro cytocompatibility test showed that the developed hydrogel exhibited good cytocompatibility against NH3T3 cells after 3-day incubation. According to the results of acute toxicity test, there was no obvious cytotoxicity for major organs during the period of 21-day intraperitoneal administration. Meanwhile, the developed hydrogel did not induce any cutaneous reaction within 72 h of subcutaneous injection followed by slow degradation and adsorption with the time evolution. Moreover, the extraction of developed hydrogel had nearly 0% of hemolysis ratio, which indicated the good hemocompatibility of hydrogel. Based on the above results, it may be concluded that the developed N,O-carboxymethyl chitosan/oxidized alginate hydrogel with non-cytotoxicity and good biocompatibility might suitable for the various drug delivery applications.
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Responses of CH(4), CO(2) and N(2)O fluxes to increasing nitrogen deposition in alpine grassland of the Tianshan Mountains.
Chemosphere
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To assess the effects of nitrogen (N) deposition on greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes in alpine grassland of the Tianshan Mountains in central Asia, CH(4), CO(2) and N(2)O fluxes were measured from June 2010 to May 2011. Nitrogen deposition tended to significantly increase CH(4) uptake, CO(2) and N(2)O emissions at sites receiving N addition compared with those at site without N addition during the growing season, but no significant differences were found for all sites outside the growing season. Air temperature, soil temperature and water content were the important factors that influence CO(2) and N(2)O emissions at year-round scale, indicating that increased temperature and precipitation in the future will exert greater impacts on CO(2) and N(2)O emissions in the alpine grassland. In addition, plant coverage in July was also positively correlated with CO(2) and N(2)O emissions under elevated N deposition rates. The present study will deepen our understanding of N deposition impacts on GHG balance in the alpine grassland ecosystem, and help us assess the global N effects, parameterize Earth System models and inform decision makers.
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Co-delivery strategies based on multifunctional nanocarriers for cancer therapy.
Curr. Drug Metab.
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Chemotherapy is among the most common means for clinicians in the fight against various types of tumors. However, severe toxicity with undesirable toxic effects against normal tissues and cells significantly hinders the applications of these chemotherapeutic agents and leads to multiple complications for patients. Recent developments of nanotechnology-enabled drug delivery platforms allow simultaneous delivery of multiple chemotherapeutic agents to target different metabolic pathways of tumor cells, thus providing new opportunities for higher therapeutic efficacy and lower cytotoxicity. Furthermore, multifunctional nanocarriers can also deliver diagnostic agents, including MRI contrast agents and fluorescent probes, to achieve cancer diagnosis and therapy at the same time. This present review discusses the various aspects of current co-delivery strategies and emphasizes the need for novel designs of biocompatible and non or low toxic nanocarriers. Further studies on potential adverse effects of various nanocarriers are warranted.
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GW8510 increases insulin expression in pancreatic alpha cells through activation of p53 transcriptional activity.
PLoS ONE
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Expression of insulin in terminally differentiated non-beta cell types in the pancreas could be important to treating type-1 diabetes. Previous findings led us to hypothesize involvement of kinase inhibition in induction of insulin expression in pancreatic alpha cells.
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JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.

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