The UV-vis spectra of isocorydine 1, norisocorydine 2 and boldine 3 were studied in 2% v/v acetonitrile, at constant ionic strength (0.1 M NaCl, 35 degree Celsius). The pK(a) values of isocorydine 1 and norisocorydine 2 were 11.75 and 12.07, respectively. Boldine 3 gave a pK(a) value of 9.16 and 10.44. All of the alkaloids 1-3 were stable at physiological pH; thereby all of them will not ionize, thus permitting the basic nitrogen to be protonated and accumulated within the acidic food vacuole of Plasmodium via pH trapping. Subsequently, acidic food vacuoles that have been neutralized by alkaloids would result in enhancement of the antiplasmodial activity. The alkaloids showed antiplasmodial activity against Plasmodium falciparum and antioxidant activities; DPPH radical scavenging, metal chelating and ferric reducing power. The antioxidant properties of the alkaloids under investigation revealed that in addition to the antiplasmodial activity, the alkaloids can also prevent oxidative damage. It can be prevented by binding free heme and neutralizing the electrons produced during the Plasmodium falciparum mediated haemoglobin destruction in the host. Slightly basic properties of the aforementioned alkaloids, along with their antioxidant activities, are advantageous in improving the suppression of malaria infection that cause less damage to the host.
While many studies of coral bleaching report on broad, regional scale responses, fewer examine variation in susceptibility among coral taxa and changes in community structure, before, during and after bleaching on individual reefs. Here we report in detail on the response to bleaching by a coral community on a highly disturbed reef site south of mainland Singapore before, during and after a major thermal anomaly in 2010. To estimate the capacity for resistance to thermal stress, we report on: a) overall bleaching severity during and after the event, b) differences in bleaching susceptibility among taxa during the event, and c) changes in coral community structure one year before and after bleaching. Approximately two thirds of colonies bleached, however, post-bleaching recovery was quite rapid and, importantly, coral taxa that are usually highly susceptible were relatively unaffected. Although total coral cover declined, there was no significant change in coral taxonomic community structure before and after bleaching. Several factors may have contributed to the overall high resistance of corals at this site including Symbiodinium affiliation, turbidity and heterotrophy. Our results suggest that, despite experiencing chronic anthropogenic disturbances, turbid shallow reef communities may be remarkably resilient to acute thermal stress.
The present study established a novel mouse model of a runway drug self-administration in our laboratory. The operant runway apparatus consisted of three long runways arranged in a zig-zag manner. The methodology consisted of six distinct phases: habituation, preconditioning, conditioning, post-conditioning, extinction and reinstatement. The effects of saline were compared with escalating doses of either ethanol (0.5-4.0 g/kg, i.p), heroin (5-40 mg/kg, i.p), or nicotine (0.1-0.5mg/kg, i.p) administered in the goal box during the conditioning phase (day 1 to day 5). A significant decrease in the time of trained (conditioned) mice to reach the goal box confirmed the subjects' motivation to seek those drugs on day 6 (expression). The mice were then subjected to non-rewarded extinction trials for 5 days over which run times were significantly increased. After 5 days of abstinence, a priming dose of ethanol or heroin (1/5th of maximum dose used in conditioning) significantly reinstated the drug-seeking behavior. These results suggest that the modified runway model can serve as a powerful behavioral tool for the study of the behavioral and neurobiological bases of drug self-administration and, as such, is appropriate simple but powerful tool for investigating the drug-seeking behavior of laboratory mice.
Phaseonium is a three-level Λ quantum system, in which a coherent microwave and an optical control (pump) beams can be used to actively modulate the dielectric response. Here we propose a new metamaterial structure comprising of a periodic array of triangular phaseonium metamolecules arranged as a trefoil. We present a computational study of the spatial distribution of magnetic and electric fields of the probe light and the corresponding transmission and reflection, for various parameters of the optical and microwave beams. For specific values of the probing frequencies and control fields, the phaseonium can display either metallic or dielectric optical response. We find that, in the metallic regime, the phaseonium metamaterial structure supports extremely large transmission, with optical amplification at large enough intensity of the microwave thanks to strong surface plasmon coupling; while, in the dielectric regime without microwave excitation, the transmission bandwidth can be tuned by varying the control beam intensity. Implementation of such phaseonium metamaterial structure in solid-state systems, such as patterned crystals doped with rare-earth elements or dielectric matrices embedded with quantum dots, could enable a new class of actively tunable quantum metamaterials.
Antibody labelling to reporter molecules is gaining popularity due to its many potential applications for diagnostics and therapeutics. However, non-directional bioconjugation methods which are commonly used often results in the loss of target binding capabilities. Therefore, a site-specific enzymatic based bioconjugation such as sortase-mediated transpeptidation allows for a more rapid and efficient method of antibody conjugation for diagnostic applications. Here we describe the utilization of sortase A bioconjugation to conjugate a single chain fragment variable (scFv) to the extracellular invertase (invB) from Zymomonas mobilis with the aim of developing an invertase based immunoassay. In addition, conjugation to enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) was also validated to show the flexibility of the method. The invertase conjugated complex was successfully applied for the detection of antibody-antigen interaction using a personal glucose meter (PGM) for assay readout. The setup was used in both a direct and competitive assay highlighting the robustness of the conjugate for assay development. The method provides an alternative conjugation process to allow easy exchange of antibodies to facilitate rapid development of diagnostic assays for various diseases on the PGM platform.
Boron niride microflakes of 2-5 μm in diameter and greater than 40 μm in length with multilayer structure and highly crystalline nature are synthesized in two states of catalysts and dual role of nitrogen at 1100 °C. Most of the microflakes are flat, smooth and vertically aligned with a wall-like view from the top. Transmission electron microscopy shows overlapped layers of microflakes with an interlayer spacing of 0.34 nm. The h-BN components of the synthesized microflakes are verified from B 1s and N1 s peaks at 190. 7 and 397.9 eV. Raman shift at 1370 (cm(-1)) and sharp peaks in the XRD pattern further confirm the h-BN phase and crystalline nature of the synthesized microflakes. Microflakes of h-BN with the above characteristics are highly desirable for the development of a solid state neutron detector with higher detection efficiency.
Cell-cell communication is also known as quorum sensing (QS) that happens in the bacterial cells with the aim to regulate their genes expression in response to increased cell density. In this study, a bacterium (L8A) isolated from dental plaque biofilm was identified as Citrobacter amalonaticus by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS). Its N-acylhomoserine-lactone (AHL) production was screened by using two types of AHL biosensors namely Chromobacterium violaceum CV026 and Escherichia coli [pSB401]. Citrobacter amalonaticus strain L8A was identified and confirmed producing numerous types of AHL namely N-butyryl-L-homoserine lactone (C4-HSL), N-hexanoyl-L-homoserine lactone (C6-HSL), N-octanoyl-L-homoserine lactone (C8-HSL) and N-hexadecanoyl-L-homoserine lactone (C16-HSL). We performed the whole genome sequence analysis of this oral isolate where its genome sequence reveals the presence of QS signal synthase gene and our work will pave the ways to study the function of the related QS genes in this bacterium.
Angiotensin II is one of the key regulatory peptides implicated in the pathogenesis of liver disease. The mechanisms underlying the salubrious role of α-tocopherol and β-carotene on liver pathology have not been comprehensively assessed. Here, we investigated the mechanisms underlying the role of Angiotensin II on hepatic damage and if α-tocopherol and β-carotene supplementation attenuates hepatic damage. Hepatic damage was induced in Apoe(-/-)mice by infusion of Angiotensin II followed by oral administration with α-tocopherol and β-carotene-enriched diet for 60 days. Investigations showed fibrosis, kupffer cell hyperplasia, hepatocyte degeneration and hepatic cell apoptosis; sinusoidal dilatation along with haemorrhages; evidence of fluid accumulation; increased ROS level and increased AST and ALT activities. In addition, tPA and uPA were down-regulated due to 42-fold up-regulation of PAI-1. MMP-2, MMP-9, MMP-12, and M-CSF were down-regulated in Angiotensin II-treated animals. Notably, α-tocopherol and β-carotene treatment controlled ROS, fibrosis, hepatocyte degeneration, kupffer cell hyperplasia, hepatocyte apoptosis, sinusoidal dilatation and fluid accumulation in the liver sinusoids, and liver enzyme levels. In addition, PAI-1, tPA and uPA expressions were markedly controlled by β-carotene treatment. Thus, Angiotensin II markedly influenced hepatic damage possibly by restraining fibrinolytic system. We concluded that α-tocopherol and β-carotene treatment has salubrious role in repairing hepatic pathology.
Capacitive deionization (CDI) is a promising procedure for removing various charged ionic species from brackish water. The performance of graphene-based material in capacitive deionization is lower than the expectation of the industry, so highly-crumpled, few-layered graphene (HCG) and highly-crumpled nitrogen-doped graphene (HCNDG) with high surface area have been introduced as promising candidates for CDI electrodes. Thus, HCG and HCNDG were prepared by exfoliation of graphite in the presence of liquid-phase, microwave-assisted methods. An industrially-scalable, cost-effective, and simple approach was employed to synthesize HCG and HCNDG, resulting in few-layered graphene and nitrogen-doped graphene with large specific surface area. Then, HCG and HCNDG were utilized for manufacturing a new class of carbon nanostructure-based electrodes for use in large-scale CDI equipment. The electrosorption results indicated that both the HCG and HCNDG have fairly large specific surface areas, indicating their huge potential for capacitive deionization applications.
The application of microfluidic devices in diagnostic systems is well-established in contemporary research. Large specific surface area of microspheres, on the other hand, has secured an important position for their use in bioanalytical assays. Herein, we report a combination of microspheres and microfluidic disk in a unique hybrid platform for highly sensitive and selective detection of dengue virus. Surface engineered polymethacrylate microspheres with carefully designed functional groups facilitate biorecognition in a multitude manner. In order to maximize the utility of the microspheres' specific surface area in biomolecular interaction, the microfluidic disk was equipped with a micromixing system. The mixing mechanism (microballoon mixing) enhances the number of molecular encounters between spheres and target analyte by accessing the entire sample volume more effectively, which subsequently results in signal amplification. Significant reduction of incubation time along with considerable lower detection limits were the prime motivations for the integration of microspheres inside the microfluidic disk. Lengthy incubations of routine analytical assays were reduced from 2 hours to 5 minutes while developed system successfully detected a few units of dengue virus. Obtained results make this hybrid microsphere-microfluidic approach to dengue detection a promising avenue for early detection of this fatal illness.
One of the major challenges in bone grafting is the lack of sufficient bone vascularization. A rapid and stable bone vascularization at an early stage of implantation is essential for optimal functioning of the bone graft. To address this, the ability of in situ TiO2 nanofibrous surfaces fabricated via thermal oxidation method to enhance the angiogenic potential of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) was investigated. The cellular responses of HUVECs on TiO2 nanofibrous surfaces were studied through cell adhesion, cell proliferation, capillary-like tube formation, growth factors secretion (VEGF and BFGF), and angiogenic-endogenic-associated gene (VEGF, VEGFR2, BFGF, PGF, HGF, Ang-1, VWF, PECAM-1 and ENOS) expression analysis after 2 weeks of cell seeding. Our results show that TiO2 nanofibrous surfaces significantly enhanced adhesion, proliferation, formation of capillary-like tube networks and growth factors secretion of HUVECs, as well as leading to higher expression level of all angiogenic-endogenic-associated genes, in comparison to unmodified control surfaces. These beneficial effects suggest the potential use of such surface nanostructures to be utilized as an advantageous interface for bone grafts as they can promote angiogenesis, which improves bone vascularization.
Perspicuous assessments of taxonomic boundaries and discovery of cryptic taxa are of paramount importance in interpreting ecological and evolutionary phenomena among black flies (Simuliidae) and combating associated vector-borne diseases. Simulium tani Takaoka & Davies is the largest and perhaps the most taxonomically challenging species complex of black flies in the Oriental Region. We use a DNA sequence-based method to delineate currently recognized chromosomal and morphological taxa in the S. tani complex on the Southeast Asian mainland and Taiwan, while elucidating their phylogenetic relationships. A molecular approach using multiple genes, coupled with morphological and chromosomal data, supported recognition of cytoform K and morphoform 'b' as valid species; indicated that S. xuandei, cytoform L, and morphoform 'a' contain possible cryptic species; and suggested that cytoform B is in the early stages of reproductive isolation whereas lineage sorting is incomplete in cytoforms A, C, and G.
5G communications require a multi Gb/s data transmission in its small cells. For this purpose millimeter wave (mm-wave) RF signals are the best solutions to be utilized for high speed data transmission. Generation of these high frequency RF signals is challenging in electrical domain therefore photonic generation of these signals is more studied. In this work, a photonic based simple and robust method for generating millimeter waves applicable in 5G access fronthaul is presented. Besides generating of the mm-wave signal in the 60 GHz frequency band the radio over fiber (RoF) system for transmission of orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) with 5 GHz bandwidth is presented. For the purpose of wireless transmission for 5G application the required antenna is designed and developed. The total system performance in one small cell was studied and the error vector magnitude (EVM) of the system was evaluated.
Mycobacterium indicus pranii (MIP) is a non-pathogenic mycobacterium, which has been tested on several cancer types like lung and bladder where tumour regression and complete recovery was observed. In discovering the potential cytotoxic elements, a preliminary test was carried out using four different fractions consisting of live bacteria, culture supernatant, heat killed bacteria and heat killed culture supernatant of MIP against two human cancer cells A549 and CaSki by 3-(4,5-dimethyl thiazol)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Apoptosis was investigated in MCF-7 and ORL-115 cancer cells by poly-(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) and DNA fragmentation assays. Among four MIP fractions, only heat killed MIP fraction (HKB) showed significant cytotoxicity in various cancer cells with inhibitory concentration, IC50 in the range 5.6-35.0 μl/(1.0 × 10(6) MIP cells/ml), while cytotoxicity effects were not observed in the remaining fractions. HKB did not show cytotoxic effects on non-cancerous cells contrary to cancerous cells, suggesting its safe usage and ability to differentially recognize between these cells. Evaluation on PARP assay further suggested that cytotoxicity in cancer cells were potentially induced via caspase-mediated apoptosis. The cytotoxic and apoptotic effects of MIP HKB have indicated that this fraction can be a good candidate to further identify effective anti-cancer agents.
The acid corrosion inhibition process of mild steel in 1 M HCl by azelaic acid dihydrazide has been investigated using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), potentiodynamic polarization, open circuit potential (OCP) and electrochemical frequency modulation (EFM). Azelaic acid dihydrazide was synthesized, and its chemical structure was elucidated and confirmed using spectroscopic techniques (infrared, nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectroscopy). Potentiodynamic polarization studies indicate that azelaic acid dihydrazide is a mixed-type inhibitor. The inhibition efficiency increases with increased inhibitor concentration and reaches its maximum of 93% at 5 × 10(-3) M. The adsorption of the inhibitor on a mild steel surface obeys Langmuir's adsorption isotherm. The effect of te perature on corrosion behavior in the presence of 5 × 10(-3) M inhibitor was studied in the temperature range of 30-60 °C. The results indicated that inhibition efficiencies were enhanced with an increase in concentration of inhibitor and decreased with a rise in temperature. To inspect the surface morphology of inhibitor film on the mild steel surface, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used before and after immersion in 1.0 M HCl.
Approximately 20% of global cancer incidence is causally linked to an infectious agent. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) accounts for around 1% of all virus-associated cancers and is associated with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1), the major oncoprotein encoded by EBV, behaves as a constitutively active tumour necrosis factor (TNF) receptor activating a variety of signalling pathways, including the three classic MAPKs (ERK-MAPK, p38 MAPK and JNK/SAPK). The present study identifies novel signalling properties for this integral membrane protein via the induction and secretion of activin A and TGFβ1, which are both required for LMP1's ability to induce the expression of the extracellular matrix protein, fibronectin. However, it is evident that LMP1 is unable to activate the classic Smad-dependent TGFβ signalling pathway, but rather elicits its effects through the non-Smad arm of TGFβ signalling. In addition, there is a requirement for JNK/SAPK signalling in LMP1-mediated fibronectin induction. LMP1 also induces the expression and activation of the major fibronectin receptor, α5β1 integrin, an effect that is accompanied by increased focal adhesion formation and turnover. Taken together, these findings support the putative role for LMP1 in the pathogenesis of NPC by contributing to the metastatic potential of epithelial cells.
GWAS in out-crossing perennial crops is typically limited by insufficient marker density to account for population diversity and effects of population structure resulting in high false positive rates. The perennial crop oil palm is the most productive oil crop. We performed GWAS for oil-to-dry-mesocarp content (O/DM) on 2,045 genotyped tenera palms using 200K SNPs that were selected based on the short-range linkage disequilibrium distance, which is inherent with long breeding cycles and heterogeneous breeding populations. Eighty loci were significantly associated with O/DM (p ≤ 10(-4)) and three key signals were found. We then evaluated the progeny of a Deli x AVROS breeding trial and a 4% higher O/DM was observed amongst those having the beneficial genotypes at two of the three key loci (p < 0.05). We have initiated MAS and large-scale planting of elite dura and pisifera parents to generate the new commercial tenera palms with higher O/DM potential.
The steady two-dimensional stagnation-point flow and heat transfer past a permeable stretching/shrinking sheet with effects of viscous dissipation, Joule heating and partial velocity slip in the presence of a magnetic field is investigated. The partial differential equations are reduced to nonlinear ordinary differential equations by using a similarity transformation, before being solved numerically by shooting technique. Results indicate that the skin friction coefficient and the local Nusselt number increase as magnetic parameter increases. It is found that for the stretching sheet the solution is unique while for the shrinking sheet there exist nonunique solutions (dual solutions) in certain range of parameters. The stability analysis shows that the upper branch solution is stable while the lower branch solution is unstable.
Schistosomiasis is a neglected tropical disease that affects more than 200 million people worldwide. The main disease-causing agents, Schistosoma japonicum, S. mansoni and S. haematobium, are blood flukes that have complex life cycles involving a snail intermediate host. In Asia, S. japonicum causes hepatointestinal disease (schistosomiasis japonica) and is challenging to control due to a broad distribution of its snail hosts and range of animal reservoir hosts. In China, extensive efforts have been underway to control this parasite, but genetic variability in S. japonicum populations could represent an obstacle to eliminating schistosomiasis japonica. Although a draft genome sequence is available for S. japonicum, there has been no previous study of molecular variation in this parasite on a genome-wide scale. In this study, we conducted the first deep genomic exploration of seven S. japonicum populations from mainland China, constructed phylogenies using mitochondrial and nuclear genomic data sets, and established considerable variation between some of the populations in genes inferred to be linked to key cellular processes and/or pathogen-host interactions. Based on the findings from this study, we propose that verifying intraspecific conservation in vaccine or drug target candidates is an important first step toward developing effective vaccines and chemotherapies against schistosomiasis.
This paper presents the preparation of in situ electrodeposited rGO/MnO2 nanocomposite as a binder-free electrode for supercapacitor application. The work describes and evaluates the performance of prepared electrode via green and facile electrodeposition technique of in situ rGO/MnO2-glucose carbon nanocomposites. The carbon content in the composite electrode increased after GO and D (+) glucose solution has been added in the deposition electrolyte. This study found that a suitable concentration of D (+) glucose in the deposition electrolyte can slow down the nucleation process of MnO2 particles and lead to uniform and ultrathin nanoflakes structure. The optimize electrode exhibited low transfer resistance and resulted on excellent electrochemical performance in three electrolyte systems viz. Na2SO4, KOH and KOH/K3Fe(CN)6 redox electrolytes. The optimum energy density and power density were 1851 Whkg(-1) and 68 kWkg(-1) at current density of 20 Ag(-1) in mixed KOH/K3Fe(CN)6 electrolyte.