Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) is a medical diagnosis technique with high sensitivity and specificity. In this research, a new method based on SPR is proposed for rapid, 10-minute detection of the anti-dengue virus in human serum samples. This novel technique, known as rapid immunoglobulin M (IgM)-based dengue diagnostic test, can be utilized quickly and easily at the point of care. Four dengue virus serotypes were used as ligands on a biochip. According to the results, a serum volume of only 1 μl from a dengue patient (as a minimized volume) is required to indicate SPR angle variation to determine the ratio of each dengue serotype in samples with 83-93% sensitivity and 100% specificity.
The orangutan is the world's largest arboreal mammal, and images of the red ape moving through the tropical forest canopy symbolise its typical arboreal behaviour. Records of terrestrial behaviour are scarce and often associated with habitat disturbance. We conducted a large-scale species-level analysis of ground-based camera-trapping data to evaluate the extent to which Bornean orangutans Pongo pygmaeus come down from the trees to travel terrestrially, and whether they are indeed forced to the ground primarily by anthropogenic forest disturbances. Although the degree of forest disturbance and canopy gap size influenced terrestriality, orangutans were recorded on the ground as frequently in heavily degraded habitats as in primary forests. Furthermore, all age-sex classes were recorded on the ground (flanged males more often). This suggests that terrestrial locomotion is part of the Bornean orangutan's natural behavioural repertoire to a much greater extent than previously thought, and is only modified by habitat disturbance. The capacity of orangutans to come down from the trees may increase their ability to cope with at least smaller-scale forest fragmentation, and to cross moderately open spaces in mosaic landscapes, although the extent of this versatility remains to be investigated.
The major antimalarial drug quinine perturbs uptake of the essential amino acid tryptophan, and patients with low plasma tryptophan are predisposed to adverse quinine reactions; symptoms of which are similar to indications of tryptophan depletion. As tryptophan is a precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT), here we test the hypothesis that quinine disrupts serotonin function. Quinine inhibited serotonin-induced proliferation of yeast as well as human (SHSY5Y) cells. One possible cause of this effect is through inhibition of 5-HT receptor activation by quinine, as we observed here. Furthermore, cells exhibited marked decreases in serotonin production during incubation with quinine. By assaying activity and kinetics of the rate-limiting enzyme for serotonin biosynthesis, tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH2), we showed that quinine competitively inhibits TPH2 in the presence of the substrate tryptophan. The study shows that quinine disrupts both serotonin biosynthesis and function, giving important new insight to the action of quinine on mammalian cells.
Currently, information on prevalence of soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections among different tribes of Orang Asli (aboriginal) is scarce in Malaysia. The present study is a cross-sectional study aimed at determining the factors associated with the prevalence of STH infections among the Proto-Malay, Negrito and Senoi tribes. Faecal samples were collected from 500 participants and socioeconomic data was collected via pre-tested questionnaire. All samples were processed using formalin-ether sedimentation and Wheatley's trichrome staining. Trichuris trichiura (57%) was the most common STH seen among the participants, followed by Ascaris lumbricoides (23.8%) and hookworm (7.4%). Trichuriasis and ascariasis showed an age-dependency relationship; significantly higher rates were observed among Senois who aged <15 years. Likewise, Negritos also showed an age-dependency association with ascariasis affecting mainly the under 15 years old individuals. Multivariate logistic regression model indicated the following predictors of trichuriasis among these communities; being aged <15 years, consuming raw vegetables, belonging to a large household members (≥8) and earning low household income (
Recent progress with tailored growth and post-process sorting enables carbon nanotube (CNT) assemblies with predominantly metallic or semi-conducting concentrations. Cryogenic and microwave measurements performed here show transport dimensionality and overall order increasing with increasing metallic concentration, even in atmospheric doping conditions. By 120 GHz, the conductivity of predominantly semi-conducting assemblies grew to 400% its DC value at an increasing growth rate, while other concentrations a growth rate that tapered off. A generalized Drude model fits to the different frequency dependent behaviors and yields useful quality control parameters such as plasma frequency, mean free path, and degree of localization. As one of the first demonstrations of waveguides fabricated from this material, sorted CNTs from both as-made and post-process sources were inserted into sections of practical micro-strip. With both sources, sorted CNT micro-strip increasingly outperformed the unsorted with increasing frequency-- illustrating that sorted CNT assemblies will be important for high frequency applications.
A modified smoothed particle hydrodynamic (MSPH) computational technique was utilized to simulate molten particle motion and infiltration speed on multi-scale analysis levels. The radial velocity and velocity gradient of molten alumina, iron infiltration in the TiC product and solidification rate, were predicted during centrifugal self-propagating high-temperature synthesis (SHS) simulation, which assisted the coating process by MSPH. The effects of particle size and temperature on infiltration and solidification of iron and alumina were mainly investigated. The obtained results were validated with experimental microstructure evidence. The simulation model successfully describes the magnitude of iron and alumina diffusion in a centrifugal thermite SHS and Ti + C hybrid reaction under centrifugal acceleration.
The microwave industry has shown increasing interest in electronic ceramic material (ECM) due to its advantages, such as light weight, low cost, low loss, and high dielectric strength. In this paper, simple antennas covered by superstrate layers for 2.30 GHz to 2.50 GHz are proposed. The antennas are compact and have the capability of producing high performance in terms of gain, directivity, and radiation efficiency. Bismuth titanate with high dielectric constant of 21, was utilized as the ECM, while the superstrate layers chosen included a split ring resonator and dielectric material. The superstrate layers were designed for some improvement in the performance of directivity, gain, and return loss. The proposed antennas were simulated and fabricated. The results obtained were small antennas that possess high gain and high directivity with 360°, omni-directional signal transmission that resonant types of conventional dipole antenna cannot achieve. The gain of the antenna with the superstrate layer was enhanced by about 1 dBi over the antenna without a superstrate layer at 2.40 GHz.
Mycobacterium abscessus (Ma) is an emerging human pathogen that causes both soft tissue infections and systemic disease. We present the first comparative whole-genome study of Ma strains isolated from patients of wide geographical origin. We found a high proportion of accessory strain-specific genes indicating an open, non-conservative pan-genome structure, and clear evidence of rapid phage-mediated evolution. Although we found fewer virulence factors in Ma compared to M. tuberculosis, our data indicated that Ma evolves rapidly and therefore should be monitored closely for the acquisition of more pathogenic traits. This comparative study provides a better understanding of Ma and forms the basis for future functional work on this important pathogen.
Formation of carbonate minerals by CO2 sequestration is a potential means to reduce atmospheric CO2 emissions. Vast amount of alkaline and alkali earth metals exist in silicate minerals that may be carbonated. Laboratory experiments carried out to study the dissolution rate in Pahang Sandstone, Malaysia, by CO2 injection at different flow rate in surficial condition. X-ray Powder Diffraction (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) with Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDX), Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) and weight losses measurement were performed to analyze the solid and liquid phase before and after the reaction process. The weight changes and mineral dissolution caused by CO2 injection for two hours CO2 bubbling and one week' aging were 0.28% and 18.74%, respectively. The average variation of concentrations of alkaline earth metals in solution varied from 22.62% for Ca(2+) to 17.42% for Mg(2+), with in between 16.18% observed for the alkali earth metal, potassium. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) test is performed to determine significant differences of the element concentration, including Ca, Mg, and K, before and after the reaction experiment. Such changes show that the deposition of alkali and alkaline earth metals and the dissolution of required elements in sandstone samples are enhanced by CO2 injection.
The phylogenetic relationships of some taxa in the Platycnemidinae at the species and generic levels have been investigated. Phylogenetic trees were generated from both individual mitochondrial encoded COI, COII, 16S rDNA and nuclear encoded 28S rDNA and also combined sequences; these data indicate that the component taxa of the genus Copera belong to two distinct genetic clades - the marginipes group and the annulata group. There was no distinct genetic difference between the red-legged and yellow-legged morphs of C. vittata. Molecular data showed that the annulata group is considered a member of the genus Platycnemis, as originally proposed. The genus Coeliccia, a member of the subfamily Calicnemiinae (Platycnemididae), is not grouped with the Platycnemidinae. The Disparoneurinae of the 'Protoneuridae' showed a closer relationship to the Platycnemidinae than the Calicnemiinae. The dataset supports the placement of the Disparoneurinae as a subfamily of the Platycnemididae. This resolves the monophyly of Platycnemididae.
Individuals with lower limb amputation need a secure suspension system for their prosthetic devices. A new coupling system was developed that is capable of suspending the prosthesis. The system's safety is ensured through an acoustic alarm system. This article explains how the system works and provides an in vivo evaluation of the device with regard to pistoning during walking. The system was designed to be used with silicone liners and is based on the requirements of prosthetic suspension systems. Mechanical testing was performed using a universal testing machine. The pistoning during walking was measured using a motion analysis system. The new coupling device produced significantly less pistoning compared to a common suspension system (pin/lock). The safety alarm system would buzz if the suspension was going to fail. The new coupling system could securely suspend the prostheses in transtibial amputees and produced less vertical movement than the pin/lock system.
In recent years, plasma-assisted synthesis has been extensively used in large scale production of functional nano- and micro-scale materials for numerous applications in optoelectronics, photonics, plasmonics, magnetism and drug delivery, however systematic formation of these minuscule structures has remained a challenge. Here we demonstrate a new method to closely manipulate mesostructures in terms of size, composition and morphology by controlling permeability at the boundaries of an impermeable plasma surrounded by a blanket of neutrals. In situ and rapid growth of thin films in the core region due to ion screening is among other benefits of our method. Similarly we can take advantage of exceptional properties of plasma to control the morphology of the as deposited nanostructures. Probing the plasma at boundaries by means of observing the nanostructures, further provides interesting insights into the behaviour of gas-insulated plasmas with possible implications on efficacy of viscous heating and non-magnetic confinement.
Population surveys and species recognition for roosting bats are either based on capture, sight or optical-mechanical count methods. However, these methods are intrusive, are tedious and, at best, provide only statistical estimations. Here, we demonstrated the successful use of a terrestrial Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) laser scanner for remotely identifying and determining the exact population of roosting bats in caves. LIDAR accurately captured the 3D features of the roosting bats and their spatial distribution patterns in minimal light. The high-resolution model of the cave enabled an exact count of the visibly differentiated Hipposideros larvatus and their roosting pattern within the 3D topology of the cave. We anticipate that the development of LIDAR will open up new research possibilities by allowing researchers to study roosting behaviour within the topographical context of a cave's internal surface, thus facilitating rigorous quantitative characterisations of cave roosting behaviour.
Hevea brasiliensis Muell. Arg, a member of the family Euphorbiaceae, is the sole natural resource exploited for commercial production of high-quality natural rubber. The properties of natural rubber latex are almost irreplaceable by synthetic counterparts for many industrial applications. A paucity of knowledge on the molecular mechanisms of rubber biosynthesis in high yield traits still persists. Here we report the comprehensive genome-wide analysis of the widely planted H. brasiliensis clone, RRIM 600. The genome was assembled based on ~155-fold combined coverage with Illumina and PacBio sequence data and has a total length of 1.55 Gb with 72.5% comprising repetitive DNA sequences. A total of 84,440 high-confidence protein-coding genes were predicted. Comparative genomic analysis revealed strong synteny between H. brasiliensis and other Euphorbiaceae genomes. Our data suggest that H. brasiliensis's capacity to produce high levels of latex can be attributed to the expansion of rubber biosynthesis-related genes in its genome and the high expression of these genes in latex. Using cap analysis gene expression data, we illustrate the tissue-specific transcription profiles of rubber biosynthesis-related genes, revealing alternative means of transcriptional regulation. Our study adds to the understanding of H. brasiliensis biology and provides valuable genomic resources for future agronomic-related improvement of the rubber tree.
In our previous studies, we generated a short 13 amino acid antimicrobial peptide (AMP), DM3, showing potent antipneumococcal activity in vitro and in vivo. Here we analyse the underlying mechanisms of action using Next-Generation transcriptome sequencing of penicillin (PEN)-resistant and PEN-susceptible pneumococci treated with DM3, PEN, and combination of DM3 and PEN (DM3PEN). DM3 induced differential expression in cell wall and cell membrane structural and transmembrane processes. Notably, DM3 altered the expression of competence-induction pathways by upregulating CelA, CelB, and CglA while downregulating Ccs16, ComF, and Ccs4 proteins. Capsular polysaccharide subunits were downregulated in DM3-treated cells, however, it was upregulated in PEN- and DM3PEN-treated groups. Additionally, DM3 altered the amino acids biosynthesis pathways, particularly targeting ribosomal rRNA subunits. Downregulation of cationic AMPs resistance pathway suggests that DM3 treatment could autoenhance pneumococci susceptibility to DM3. Gene enrichment analysis showed that unlike PEN and DM3PEN, DM3 treatment exerted no effect on DNA-binding RNA polymerase activity but observed downregulation of RpoD and RNA polymerase sigma factor. In contrast to DM3, DM3PEN altered the regulation of multiple purine/pyrimidine biosynthesis and metabolic pathways. Future studies based on in vitro experiments are proposed to investigate the key pathways leading to pneumococcal cell death caused by DM3.
Chikungunya fever (CHIKF) is a global infectious disease which can affect a wide range of age groups. The pathological and immunological response upon Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infection have been reported over the last few years. However, the clinical profile and immune response upon CHIKV infection in children remain largely unknown. In this study, we analyzed the clinical and immunological response, focusing on the cytokine/chemokine profile in a CHIKV-infected pediatric cohort from Sarawak, Malaysia. Unique immune mediators triggered upon CHIKV infection were identified through meta-analysis of the immune signatures between this pediatric group and cohorts from previous outbreaks. The data generated from this study revealed that a broad spectrum of cytokines/chemokines is up-regulated in a sub-group of virus-infected children stratified according to their viremic status during hospitalization. Furthermore, different immune mediator profiles (the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines and growth and other factors) were observed between children and adults. This study gives an important insight to understand the immune response of CHIKV infection in children and would aid in the development of better prognostics and clinical management for children.
Deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA based sensors, especially as humidity and alpha particle sensors have become quite popular in recent times due to flexible and highly optimizable nature of this fundamental biomaterial. Application of DNA electronics allow for more sensitive, accurate and effective sensors to be developed and fabricated. In this work, we examined the effect of different humidity conditions on the capacitive and resistive response of Aluminum (Al)/DNA/Al Schottky barrier structure when bombarded by time-dependent dosages of alpha particles. Based on current-voltage profiles, which demonstrated rectifying behaviours, Schottky diode parameters such as ideality factor, barrier height and series resistance was calculated. Results observed generally pointed towards a decrease in the resistance value from the pristine to the radiated structures. It was also demonstrated that under the effect of humidity, the capacitance of the DNA thin film increased from 0.05894 to 92.736 nF, with rising relative humidity level. We also observed the occurrence of the hypersensitivity phenomena after alpha irradiation between 2 to 4 min by observing a drop in the series resistance, crucial in the study of DNA damage and repair mechanisms. These observations may also suggest the exciting possibility of utilizing Al/DNA/Al Schottky diodes as potentially sensitive humidity sensors.
Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is a lethal disease with a 5-year mortality rate of around 50%. Molecular targeted therapies are not in routine use and novel therapeutic targets are required. Our previous microarray data indicated sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) metabolism and signalling was deregulated in OSCC. In this study, we have investigated the contribution of S1P signalling to the pathogenesis of OSCC. We show that the expression of the two major enzymes that regulate S1P levels were altered in OSCC: SPHK1 was significantly upregulated in OSCC tissues compared to normal oral mucosa and low levels of SGPL1 mRNA correlated with a worse overall survival. In in vitro studies, S1P enhanced the migration/invasion of OSCC cells and attenuated cisplatin-induced death. We also demonstrate that S1P receptor expression is deregulated in primary OSCCs and that S1PR2 is over-expressed in a subset of tumours, which in part mediates S1P-induced migration of OSCC cells. Lastly, we demonstrate that FTY720 induced significantly more apoptosis in OSCC cells compared to non-malignant cells and that FTY720 acted synergistically with cisplatin to induce cell death. Taken together, our data show that S1P signalling promotes tumour aggressiveness in OSCC and identify S1P signalling as a potential therapeutic target.
Saffron is consumed as food and medicine to treat several illnesses. This study elucidates the saffron effectiveness on diabetic parameters in-vitro and combined with resistance exercise in-vivo. The antioxidant properties of saffron was examined. Insulin secretion and glucose uptake were examined by cultured RIN-5F and L6 myotubes cells. The expressions of GLUT2, GLUT4, and AMPKα were determined by Western blot. Diabetic and non-diabetic male rats were divided into: control, training, extract treatment, training + extract treatment and metformin. The exercise and 40 mg/kg/day saffron treatments were carried out for six weeks. The antioxidant capacity of saffron was higher compare to positive control (P 0.05). Serum glucose, cholesterol, triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein, very low-density lipoprotein, insulin resistance, and glycated hemoglobin levels decreased in treated rats compared to untreated (p 0.05). The findings suggest that saffron consuming alongside exercise could improve diabetic parameters through redox-mediated mechanisms and GLUT4/AMPK pathway to entrap glucose uptake.
The plasticized solid bio-polymer electrolytes (SBEs) system has been formed by introducing glycerol (Gly) as the plasticizer into the carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) doped with oleic acid (OA) via solution casting techniques. The ionic conductivity of the plasticized SBEs has been studied using Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy. The highest conductivity achieved is 1.64 × 10(-4) S cm(-1) for system containing 40 wt. % of glycerol. FTIR deconvolution technique had shown that the conductivity of CMC-OA-Gly SBEs is primarily influenced by the number density of mobile ions. Transference number measurement has shown that the cation diffusion coefficient and ionic mobility is higher than anion which proved the plasticized polymer system is a proton conductor.