Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 64156

Effect of Supply Frequency on Pre-Breakdown and Breakdown Phenomena in Unbridged Vacuum Gaps
This paper presents experimental results leading towards a better understanding of pre-breakdown and breakdown behavior of vacuum gaps under variable frequency alternating excitations. The frequency variation is in the range of 30 to 300 Hz in steps of 10 Hz for a fixed gap spacing of 0.5 mm. The results indicate that the pre-breakdown currents show an inverse relation with the breakdown voltage in general though erratic behavior was observed over a certain range of frequencies. A breakdown voltage peak was observed at 130 Hz. This was pronounced when the electrode pair was of stainless steel and less pronounced when copper and aluminum electrodes were used. The experimental results are explained based on F-N emission, I-F emission, and also thermal interaction due to quasi-continuous shower of anode micro-particles. Further, it is speculated that the ostensible cause for time delay between voltage and current peaks is due to the presence of neutral molecules in the gap.
A First-Principles Investigation of Magnesium-Hydrogen System: From Bulk to Nano
Bulk MgH2 has drawn much attention for the purpose of hydrogen storage because of its high hydrogen storage capacity (~7.7 wt %) as well as low cost and abundant availability. However, its practical usage has been hindered because of its high hydrogen desorption enthalpy (~0.8 eV/H2 molecule), which results in an undesirable desorption temperature of 3000C at 1 bar H2 pressure. To surmount the limitations of bulk MgH2 for the purpose of hydrogen storage, a detailed first-principles density functional theory (DFT) based study on the structure and stability of neutral (Mgm) and positively charged (Mgm+) Mg nanoclusters of different sizes (m = 2, 4, 8 and 12), as well as their interaction with molecular hydrogen (H2), is reported here. It has been found that due to the absence of d-electrons within the Mg atoms, hydrogen remained in molecular form even after its interaction with neutral and charged Mg nanoclusters. Interestingly, the H2 molecules do not enter into the interstitial positions of the nanoclusters. Rather, they remain on the surface by ornamenting these nanoclusters and forming new structures with a gravimetric density higher than 15 wt %. Our observation is that the inclusion of Grimme’s DFT-D3 dispersion correction in this weakly interacting system has a significant effect on binding of the H2 molecules with these nanoclusters. The dispersion corrected interaction energy (IE) values (0.1-0.14 eV/H2 molecule) fall in the right energy window, that is ideal for hydrogen storage. These IE values are further verified by using high-level coupled-cluster calculations with non-iterative triples corrections i.e. CCSD(T), (which has been considered to be a highly accurate quantum chemical method) and thereby confirming the accuracy of our ‘dispersion correction’ incorporated DFT calculations. The significance of the polarization and dispersion energy in binding of the H2 molecules are confirmed by performing energy decomposition analysis (EDA). A total of 16, 24, 32 and 36 H2 molecules can be attached to the neutral and charged nanoclusters of size m = 2, 4, 8 and 12 respectively. Ab-initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) simulation shows that the outermost H2 molecules are desorbed at a rather low temperature viz. 150 K (-1230C) which is expected. However, complete dehydrogenation of these nanoclusters occur at around 1000C. Most importantly, the host nanoclusters remain stable up to ~500 K (2270C). All these results on the adsorption and desorption of molecular hydrogen with neutral and charged Mg nanocluster systems indicate towards the possibility of reducing the dehydrogenation temperature of bulk MgH2 by designing new Mg-based nano materials which will be able to adsorb molecular hydrogen via this weak Mg-H2 interaction, rather than the strong Mg-H bonding. Notwithstanding the fact that in practical applications, these interactions will be further complicated by the effect of substrates as well as interactions with other clusters, the present study has implications on our fundamental understanding to this problem.
Neutral Sugar Contents of Laurel-leaved and Cryptomeria japonica Forests
Soil neutral sugar contents in Kasuga-yama Hill Primeval Forest (Nara, Japan) were examined using the Waksman’s approximation analysis to clarify relations with the neutral sugar constituted the soil organic matter and the microbial biomass. Samples were selected from the soil surrounding laurel-leaved (BB-1) and Carpinus japonica (BB-2) trees for analysis. The water and HCl soluble neutral sugars increased microbial biomass of the laurel-leaved forest soil. Arabinose, xylose, and galactose of the HCl soluble fraction were used immediately in comparison with other neutral sugars. Rhamnose, glucose, and fructose of the HCl soluble fraction were re-composed by the microbes.
Sympathetic Cooling of Antiprotons with Molecular Anions
Molecular anions play a central role in a wide range of fields: from atmospheric and interstellar science, anionic superhalogens to the chemistry of highly correlated systems. However, up to now the synthesis of negative ions in a controlled manner at ultracold temperatures, relevant for the processes in which they are involved, is currently limited to a few Kelvin by supersonic beam expansion followed by resistive, buffer gas or electron cooling in cryogenic environments. We present a realistic scheme for laser cooling of C2- molecules to sub-Kelvin temperatures, which has so far only been achieved for a few neutral diatomic molecules. The generation of a pulsed source of C2- and subsequent laser cooling techniques of C2- molecules confined in a Penning trap are reviewed. Further, laser cooling of one anionic species would allow to sympathetically cool other molecular anions, electrons and antiprotons that are confined in the same trapping potential. In this presentation the status of the experiment and the feasibility of C2- sympathetic Doppler laser cooling, photo-detachment cooling and AC-Stark Sisyphus cooling will be reviewed.
Neutral Sugars in Two-Step Hydrolysis of Laurel-Leaved and Cryptomeria japonica Forests
Soil neutral sugar contents in Kasuga-yama Hill Primeval Forest, which is a World Heritage Site in Nara, Japan consisting of lowland laurel-leaved forest where natural conditions have been preserved for more than 1,000 years, were examined using the two-step hydrolysis to clarify the source of the neutral sugar and relations with the neutral sugar constituted the soil organic matter and the microbial biomass. Samples were selected from the soil (L, F, H and A horizons) surrounding laurel-leaved (BB-1) and Carpinus japonica (BB-2 and PW) trees for analysis. The neutral sugars were one factor of increasing the fungal and bacterial biomass in the laurel-leaved forest soil (BB-1). The more neutral sugar contents in the Cryptomeria japonica forest soil (PW) contributed to the growth of the bacteria and fungi than those of in the Cryptomeria japonica forest soil (BB-2). The neutral sugars had higher correlation with the numbers of bacteria and fungi counted by the dilution plate count method than by the direct microscopic count method. The numbers of fungi had higher correlation with those of bacteria by the dilution plate method.
Delay-Independent Closed-Loop Stabilization of Neutral System with Infinite Delays
In this paper, the problem of stability and stabilization for neutral delay-differential systems with infinite delay is investigated. Using Lyapunov method, new delay-independent sufficient condition for the stability of neutral systems with infinite delay is obtained in terms of linear matrix inequality (LMI). Memory-less state feedback controllers are then designed for the stabilization of the system using the feasible solution of the resulting LMI, which are easily solved using any optimization algorithms. Numerical examples are given to illustrate the results of the proposed methods.
Advanced Stability Criterion for Time-Delayed Systems of Neutral Type and Its Application
This paper investigates stability problem for linear systems of neutral type with time-varying delay. By constructing various Lyapunov-Krasovskii functional, and utilizing some mathematical techniques, the sufficient stability conditions for the systems are established in terms of linear matrix inequalities (LMIs), which can be easily solved by various effective optimization algorithms. Finally, some illustrative examples are given to show the effectiveness of the proposed criterion.
Modeling of Hydrogen Production by Inductively Coupled Methane Plasma for Input Power Pin=700W
Hydrogen occurs naturally in the form of chemical compounds, most often in water and hydrocarbons. The main objective of this study is 2D modeling of hydrogen production in inductively coupled plasma in methane at low pressure. In the present model, we include the motions and the collisions of both neutral and charged particles by considering 19 species (i.e in total ; neutrals, radicals, ions, and electrons), and more than 120 reactions (electron impact with methane, neutral-neutral, neutral-ions and surface reactions). The results show that the rate conversion of methane reach 90% and the hydrogen production is about 30%.
Laser Cooling of Internal Degrees of Freedom of Molecules: Cesium Case
Optical pumping technique with laser fields combined with photo-association of ultra-cold atoms leads to control on demand the vibrational and/or the rotational population of molecules. Here, we review the basic concepts and main steps should be followed, including the excitation schemes and detection techniques we use to achieve the ro-vibrational cooling of Cs2 molecules. We also discuss the extension of this technique to other molecules. In addition, we present a theoretical model used to support the experiment. These simulations can be widely used for the preparation of various experiments since they allow the optimization of several important experimental parameters.
Design of Dendritic Molecules Bearing Donor-Acceptor Groups (Pyrene-Bodipy): Optical and Photophysical Properties
In this work, we report the synthesis of a novel series of dendritic molecules bearing donor-acceptor groups (pyrene-bodipy) with potential applications in energy transfer. Initially, first and second generation Fréchet type dendrons (Py2-G1OH and Py4-G2OH) were prepared from 1-pyrenylbutanol and 3,5-dihydroxybenzylic alcohol. These compounds were further linked to a bodipy unit via an esterification reaction in order to obtain the desired products (Bodipy-G1Py2) and Bodipy-G2Py4). These compounds were fully characterized by FTIR and 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy and their molecular weights were determined by MALDITOF. The optical and photophysical properties of these molecules were evaluated by absorbance and fluorescence spectroscopy, in order to compare their behaviour with other analogue molecules.
Nonparametric Estimation of Risk-Neutral Densities via Empirical Esscher Transform
This paper introduces an empirical version of the Esscher transform for risk-neutral option pricing. Traditional parametric methods require the formulation of an explicit risk-neutral model and are operational only for a few probability distributions for the returns of the underlying. In our proposal, we make only mild assumptions on the pricing kernel and there is no need for the formulation of the risk-neutral model for the returns. First, we simulate sample paths for the returns under the physical distribution. Then, based on the empirical Esscher transform, the sample is reweighted, giving rise to a risk-neutralized sample from which derivative prices can be obtained by a weighted sum of the options pay-offs in each path. We compare our proposal with some traditional parametric pricing methods in four experiments with artificial and real data.
Prosody Generation in Neutral Speech Storytelling Application Using Tilt Model
This paper proposes Intonation Modeling for Prosody generation in Neutral speech for Marathi (language spoken in Maharashtra, India) story telling applications. Nowadays audio story telling devices are very eminent for children. In this paper, we proposed tilt model for stressed words in Marathi for speech modification. Tilt model predicts modification in tone of neutral speech. GMM is used to identify stressed words for modification.
In Silico Studies on Selected Drug Targets for Combating Drug Resistance in Plasmodium Falcifarum
With drug resistance becoming widespread in Plasmodium falciparum infections, development of the alternative drugs is the desired strategy for prevention and cure of malaria. Three drug targets were selected to screen promising drug molecules from the GSK library of around 14000 molecules. Using an in silico structure-based drug designing approach, the differences in binding energies of the substrate and inhibitor were exploited between target sites of parasite and human to design a drug molecule against Plasmodium. The docking studies have shown several promising molecules from GSK library with more effective binding as compared to the already known inhibitors for the drug targets. Though stronger interaction has been shown by several molecules as compare to reference, few molecules have shown the potential as drug candidates though in vitro studies are required to validate the results.
Investigation of Biocorrosion in Brass by Arthrobacter Sulfureus in Neutral Medium
Microbial corrosion of brass gauze by the aerobic film forming bacteria Arthrobacter sulfurous in neutral media was investigated using gravimetric studies. Maximum weight loss of 166.98 mg was observed for a period of 28 days of exposure to the bacterial medium as against the weight loss of 13.69 mg for control. The optical density studies for the bacterial culture was found to show attainment of stationary phase in 48 h. Scanning electron microscopy analysis of the samples shows the presence of pitting corrosion. The energy dispersive X-ray analysis of the samples showed increased oxygen and phosphorus content in the sample due to bacterial activity.
Investigation of Biocorrosion in Brass by Arthrobacter sulfureus in Neutral Medium
Microbial corrosion of brass gauze by the aerobic film forming bacteria Arthrobacter sulfurous in neutral media was investigated using gravimetric studies. Maximum weight loss of 166.98 mg was observed for a period of 28 days of exposure to the bacterial medium as against the weight loss of 13.69 mg for control. The optical density studies for the bacterial culture was found to show attainment of stationary phase in 48 h. Scanning electron microscopy analysis of the samples shows the presence of pitting corrosion. The energy dispersive X-ray analysis of the samples showed increased oxygen and phosphorus content in the sample due to bacterial activity.
Optical Diagnostics of Corona Discharge by Laser Interferometry
In this work, we propose to determine the density of neutral particles of an electric discharge peak - Plan types performed in air at atmospheric pressure by applying a technique based on laser interferometry. The experimental methods used so far as the shadowgraph or stereoscopy, give rather qualitative results with regard to the determination of the neutral density. The neutral rotational temperature has been subject of several studies but direct measurements of kinetic temperature are rare. The aim of our work is to determine quantitatively and experimentally depopulation with a Mach-Zehnder type interferometer. This purely optical appearance of the discharge is important when looking to know the refractive index of any gas for any physicochemical applications.
A Novel Method for Face Detection
Facial expression recognition is one of the open problems in computer vision. Robust neutral face recognition in real time is a major challenge for various supervised learning based facial expression recognition methods. This is due to the fact that supervised methods cannot accommodate all appearance variability across the faces with respect to race, pose, lighting, facial biases, etc. in the limited amount of training data. Moreover, processing each and every frame to classify emotions is not required, as the user stays neutral for the majority of the time in usual applications like video chat or photo album/web browsing. Detecting neutral state at an early stage, thereby bypassing those frames from emotion classification would save the computational power. In this work, we propose a light-weight neutral vs. emotion classification engine, which acts as a preprocessor to the traditional supervised emotion classification approaches. It dynamically learns neutral appearance at Key Emotion (KE) points using a textural statistical model, constructed by a set of reference neutral frames for each user. The proposed method is made robust to various types of user head motions by accounting for affine distortions based on a textural statistical model. Robustness to dynamic shift of KE points is achieved by evaluating the similarities on a subset of neighborhood patches around each KE point using the prior information regarding the directionality of specific facial action units acting on the respective KE point. The proposed method, as a result, improves ER accuracy and simultaneously reduces the computational complexity of ER system, as validated on multiple databases.
Designing Dibenzosilole and Methyl Carbazole Based Donor Materials with Favourable Photovoltaic Parameters for Bulk Heterojunction Organic Solar Cells
Five new Acceptor-Donor-Acceptor (A-D-A) type small donor molecules (M1-M5) namely; dimethyl cyanoacetate terthiophene di(methylthiophene) dibenzosilole (DMCAO3TBS) (M1), dimelononitrile terthiophene di(methylthiophene) dibenzosilole (DMCNTBS) (M2), dimethyl rhodanine terthiophene di(methylthiophene) dibenzosilole (DMRTBS) (M3), dimelanonitrile terthiophene di(methylthiophene) methyl fluorene (DMCNTF) (M4) and dimethyl rhodanine terthiophene di(methylthiophene) methyl fluorine (DMRTF) (M5) were designed and theoretically explored their electronic, photophysical and geometrical properties via DFT best functional MPW1PW91/6-311G (d,p) level of theory with respect to reference molecules dioctyl cyanoacetate terthiophene di(octylthiophene) dioctylfluorene (DCAO3TF) (Ra) and dioctyl cyanoacetate terthiophene di(octylthiophene) octylcarbazole (DCAO3TCz) (Rb). Among the designed donor molecules (M1-M5), M2 and M4 represented lowest band gap value (2.480 eV and 2.47 eV) with distinctive broad absorption peak at 598 and 601 nm in chloroform due to the presence of stronger electron withdrawing acceptor molecule which pulls the λmax value towards red shift. Theoretically estimated reorganization energies of these molecules recommended excellent property of charge mobility. The designed donor molecules M1-M5, demonstrated lower λe value with reference to their λh, showing that these molecules could be ideal candidates for the transfer of electron with and M2, M4 are best among these as champion molecules with having lowest λe (0.006 D and 0.005 D respectively). Additionally, the Voc of M2 and M4 are 2.01 eV and 1.85 eV respectively with reference respect to PCBM. Thus, our present investigation suggested that our designed donor molecules (M1-M5) are suitable candidates for the solar cell and proposed for high and better performance for the small molecule based solar cell devices.
Energetics of Photosynthesis with Respect to the Environment and Recently Reported New Balanced Chemical Equation
Photosynthesis is a physiological process where green plants prepare their food from carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and water being absorbed from the soil in presence of sun light and chlorophyll. From this definition it is clear that four reactants (Carbon Dioxide, Water, Light and Chlorophyll) are essential for the process to proceed and the product is a sugar or carbohydrate ultimately stored as starch. The entire process has “Light Reaction” (Photochemical) and “Dark Reaction” (Biochemical). Biochemical reactions are very much complicated being catalysed by various enzymes and the path of carbon is known as “Calvin Cycle” according to the name of its discover. The overall reaction which is now universally accepted can be explained like this. Six molecules of carbon dioxide react with twelve molecules of water in presence of chlorophyll and sun light to give only one molecule of sugar (Carbohydrate) six molecules of water and six molecules of oxygen is being evolved in gaseous form. This is the accepted equation and also chemically balanced. However while teaching the subject the author came across a new balanced equation from among the students who happened to be the daughter of the author. In the new balanced equation in place of twelve water molecules in the reactant side seven molecules can be expressed and accordingly in place of six molecules of water in the product side only one molecule of water is produced. The energetics of the photosynthesis as related to the environment and the newly reported balanced chemical equation has been discussed in detail in the present research paper presentation in this international conference on energy, environmental and chemical engineering.
Calibration of Hybrid Model and Arbitrage-Free Implied Volatility Surface
This paper investigates whether the combination of local and stochastic volatility models can be calibrated exactly to any arbitrage-free implied volatility surface of European option. The risk neutral Brownian Bridge density is applied for calibration of the leverage function of our Hybrid model. Furthermore, the tails of marginal risk neutral density are generated by Generalized Extreme Value distribution in order to capture the properties of asset returns. The local volatility is generated from the arbitrage-free implied volatility surface using stochastic volatility inspired parameterization.
Advanced Model for Calculation of the Neutral Axis Shifting and the Wall Thickness Distribution in Rotary Draw Bending Processes
Rotary draw bending is a method which is being used in tube forming. In the tube bending process, the neutral axis moves towards the inner arc and the wall thickness distribution changes for tube’s cross section. Thinning takes place in the outer arc of the tube (extrados) due to the stretching of the material, whereas thickening occurs in the inner arc of the tube (intrados) due to the comparison of the material. The calculations of the wall thickness distribution, neutral axis shifting, and strain distribution have not been accurate enough, so far. The previous model (the geometrical model) describes the neutral axis shifting and wall thickness distribution. The geometrical of the tube, bending radius and bending angle are considered in the geometrical model, while the influence of the material properties of the tube forming are ignored. The advanced model is a modification of the previous model using material properties that depends on the correction factor. The correction factor is a purely empirically determined factor. The advanced model was compared with the Finite element simulation (FE simulation) using a different bending factor (Bf=bending radius/ diameter of the tube), wall thickness (Wf=diameter of the tube/ wall thickness), and material properties (strain hardening exponent). Finite element model of rotary draw bending has been performed in PAM-TUBE program (version: 2012). Results from the advanced model resemble the FE simulation and the experimental test.
Disruption Coordination of Supply Chain with Loss-Averse Retailer Under Buy-Back Contract
This paper aims to investigate a two stage supply chain of one leading supplier and one following retailer that experiences two factors perturbation out of supplier's production cost, retailer's marginal cost and retail price in stochastic demand environment. Granted that risk neutral condition has long been discussed, little attention has been given to disruptions under the premise of risk neutral supplier and risk aversion retailer. We establish the optimal order quantity and revealed the profit distribution coefficient in risk-neutral static model, make adjustment under disruption scenario, and then select utility function method for risk aversion model. Using buy-back contract policy, the improvement of parameters can achieve channel coordination where Pareto optimal is realized.
The Actuation of Semicrystalline Poly(Vinylidene Fluoride) Tie Molecules: A Computational and Experimental Study
The area of artificial muscles has received significant attention from many research domains including soft robotics, biomechanics and smart textiles in recent years. Poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) has been used to form artificial muscles since it contracts upon heating when under load. In this study, PVDF fibers were produced by melt spinning technique at different solid state draw ratios and then actuation mechanism for PVDF tie molecules within the semicrystalline region of PVDF polymer has been investigated using molecular dynamics simulations. Tie molecules are polymer chains that link two (or more) crystalline regions in semicrystalline polymers. The changes in fiber length upon heating have been investigated using a novel simulation technique. The results show that conformational changes of the tie molecules from the longer all-trans conformation at low temperature (β structure) to the shorter conformation (α structure) at higher temperature accrue by increasing the temperature. These results may be applied to understand the actuation observed for PVDF upon heating.
Globally Attractive Mild Solutions for Non-Local in Time Subdiffusion Equations of Neutral Type
In this work is proved the existence of at least one globally attractive mild solution to the Cauchy problem, for fractional evolution equation of neutral type, involving the fractional derivate in Caputo sense. An almost sectorial operator on a Banach space X and a kernel belonging to a large class appears in the equation, which covers many relevant cases from physics applications, in particular, the important case of time - fractional evolution equations of neutral type. The main tool used in this work was the Hausdorff measure of noncompactness and fixed point theorems, specifically Darbo-type. Initially, the equation is a Cauchy problem, involving a fractional derivate in Caputo sense. Then, is formulated the equivalent integral version, and defining a convenient functional, using the analytic integral resolvent operator, and verifying the hypothesis of the fixed point theorem of Darbo type, give us the existence of mild solution for the initial problem. Furthermore, each mild solution is globally attractive, a property that is desired in asymptotic behavior for that solution.
The Role of Emotion in Attention Allocation
In this exploratory study to examine the effects of emotional significance on change detection using the flicker paradigm, three different categories of scenes were randomly presented (neutral, positive and negative) in three different blocks. We hypothesized that because of the different effects on attention, performance in change detection tasks differs for scenes with different effective values. We found the greatest accuracy of change detection was for changes occurring in positive and negative scenes (compared with neutral scenes). Secondly and most importantly, changes in negative scenes (and also positive scenes, though not with statistical significance) were detected faster than changes in neutral scenes. Interestingly, women were less accurate than men in detecting changes in emotionally significant scenes (both negative and positive), i.e., women detected fewer changes in emotional scenes in the time limit of 40s. But on the other hand, women were quicker to detect changes in positive and negative images than men. The study makes important contributions to the area of the role of emotions on information processing. The role of emotion in attention will be discussed.
In Vitro and in Vivo Evaluation of Nano Collagen Molecules to Enhance Mesenchymal Stem Cells Differentiate into Insulin Producing Cells
The use of specific molecules including nutrients and pharmacological agents has been tried in modulation of stem cells differentiation (MSCs) to insulin producing cells. The aim of this study is to investigate the ability of nano collagen molecules (nutrient or scaffold) to enhance the MSCs differentiation into insulin-producing cells in combination with nicotinamide and exendin-4 (pharmacological agents) in vitro and in vivo. The results demonstrated that the cells exhibit morphologically islet-like clusters after treatment with nano collagen molecules, nicotinamide and exendin-4. MSCs extra treated with nano collagen molecules showed significant increases in Nkx6.1 and insulin mRNA expression at 14-d and 21-d culture compared with those merely treated with nicotinamide and exendin-4. Early 7-day elevation in PDX-1 mRNA expression was observed. Furthermore, the MSCs exposed to nano collagen molecules produced the highest secretion of insulin (p < 0.05). Type-2 diabetes induced by high-fat diet and low dose of streptozotocin in rat model was built in this study. This rat exhibited higher food intake, water intake, lower glucose tolerance, lower-insulin tolerance, and higher HbA1C (significant increases, p < 0.01) as compared with the normal rat that demonstrated the model of type-2 diabetes was successfully built. Biopsy examinations also showed that obvious destruction of islet. After injection of differentiated MSCs into the destructed pancreas of diabetes rat, more regenerated islet were observed at the rats that treated with nano collagen molecules and exhibited much lower HbA1C as compared with the normal rat and diabetes rat after 4 weeks (significant deceases, p < 0.001). These results indicate that the culturing MSCs with nano collagen molecules, nicotinamide, and exendin-4 are beneficial for MSCs differentiation into islet-like cells. These nano collagen molecules may lead to alternations or up-regulation of gene expression and influence the differentiated outcomes induced by nicotinamide and exendin-4.
Econophysics: The Use of Entropy Measures in Finance
Concepts of econophysics are usually used to solve problems related to uncertainty and nonlinear dynamics. In the theory of option pricing the risk neutral probabilities play very important role. The application of entropy in finance can be regarded as the extension of both information entropy and the probability entropy. It can be an important tool in various financial methods such as measure of risk, portfolio selection, option pricing and asset pricing. Gulko applied Entropy Pricing Theory (EPT) for pricing stock options and introduced an alternative framework of Black-Scholes model for pricing European stock option. In this article, we present solutions to maximum entropy problems based on Tsallis, Weighted-Tsallis, Kaniadakis, Weighted-Kaniadakies entropies, to obtain risk-neutral densities. We have also obtained the value of European call and put in this framework.
Heterogeneity, Asymmetry and Extreme Risk Perception; Dynamic Evolution Detection From Implied Risk Neutral Density
The current paper displays a new method of extracting information content from options prices by eliminating biases caused by daily variation of contract maturity. Based on Kernel regression tool, this non-parametric technique serves to obtain a spectrum of interpolated options with constant maturity horizons from negotiated optional contracts on the S&P TSX 60 index. This method makes it plausible to compare daily risk neutral densities from which extracting time continuous indicators allows the detection traders attitudes’ evolution, such as, belief homogeneity, asymmetry and extreme Risk Perception. Our findings indicate that the applied method contribute to develop effective trading strategies and to adjust monetary policies through controlling trader’s reactions to economic and monetary news.
Airborne Molecular Contamination in Clean Room Environment
In clean room environment molecular contamination in very small concentrations can cause significant harm for the components and processes. This is commonly referred as airborne molecular contamination (AMC). There is a shortage of high sensitivity continuous measurement data for existence and behavior of several of these contaminants. Accordingly, in most cases correlation between concentration of harmful molecules and their effect on processes is not known. In addition, the formation and distribution of contaminating molecules are unclear. In this work sensitive optical techniques are applied in clean room facilities for investigation of concentrations, forming mechanisms and effects of contaminating molecules. Special emphasis is on reactive acid and base gases ammonia (NH3) and hydrogen fluoride (HF). They are the key chemicals in several operations taking place in clean room processes.
Thermal Buckling of Functionally Graded Panel Based on Mori-Tanaka Scheme
Due to the asymmetry of the material properties of the Functionally Graded Materials(FGMs) in the thickness direction, neutral surface of the model is not the same as the mid-plane of the symmetric structure. In order to investigate the thermal bucking behavior of FGMs, neutral surface is chosen as a reference plane. In the model, material properties are assumed to be temperature dependent, and varied continuously in the thickness direction of the plate. Further, the effective material properties such as Young’s modulus and Poisson’s ratio are homogenized using Mori-Tanaka scheme which considers the interaction among adjacent inclusions. In this work, the finite element methods are used, and the first-order shear deformation theory of plate are accounted. The thermal loads are assumed to be uniform, linear and non-linear distribution through the thickness directions, respectively. Also, the effects of various parameters for thermal buckling behavior of FGM panel are discussed in detail.
Investigation of Neutral Axis Shifting and Wall Thickness Distribution of Bent Tubes Produced by Rotary Draw Bending
Rotary draw bending is a method used for tube forming. During the tube bending process, the neutral axis moves towards the inner arc and the wall thickness changes in the cross section of the tube. Wall thinning of the tube takes place at the extrados, whereas wall thickening of the tube occurs at the intrados. This paper investigates the tube bending with rotary draw bending process using thick-walled tubes and different material properties (16Mo3 and 10CrMo9-10). The experimental tests and finite element simulations are used to calculate the variable characteristics (wall thickness distribution, neutral axis shifting and longitudinal strain distribution). These results are compared with results of a plasto-mechanical model. Moreover, the cross section distortion is investigated in this study. This study helped to get bends with smaller wall factor for different material properties.
Wettability Behavior of Organic Silane Molecules with Different Alkyl-Chain Length Coated Si Surface
Control of surface wettability is very important in various industrial fields. Thus, contact angle hysteresis which is defined as the difference between advancing and receding water contact angles has been paid attention because the surface having low contact angle hysteresis can control wetting behavior of water droplet. Self-assembled monolayer (SAM) formed using organic silane molecules has been used to control surface wettability, in particular, static contact angles, however, the effect of alkyl-chain length in organic silane molecules on the contact angle hysteresis has not yet clarified. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effect of alkyl-chain length (C1-C18) in organic silane molecules on the contact angle hysteresis. SAMs were formed on Si wafer by thermal CVD method using silane coupling agents having different alkyl-chain length. The static water contact angles increased with an increase in the alkyl-chain length. On the other hand, although the water contact angle hysteresis tended to decrease with an increase in the alkyl-chain length, in case of the alkyl-chain length of more than C16 the contact angle hysteresis increased. This could be due to the decrease in the molecular mobility because of the increase in the molecular packing density in chemisorbed silane molecules.
On Radially Symmetric Vibrations of Bi-Directional Functionally Graded Circular Plates on the Basis of Mindlin’s Theory and Neutral Axis
The present paper deals with the free axisymmetric vibrations of bi-directional functionally graded circular plates using Mindlin’s plate theory and physical neutral surface. The temperature-dependent, as well as temperature-independent mechanical properties of the plate material, varies in radial and transverse directions. Also, temperature profile for one- and two-dimensional temperature variations has been obtained from the heat conduction equation. A simple computational formulation for the governing differential equation of motion for such a plate model has been derived using Hamilton's principle for the clamped and simply supported plates at the periphery. Employing the generalized differential quadrature method, the corresponding frequency equations have been obtained and solved numerically to retain their lowest three roots as the natural frequencies for the first three modes. The effect of various other parameters such as temperature profile, functionally graded indices, and boundary conditions on the vibration characteristics has been presented. In order to validate the accuracy and efficiency of the method, the results have been compared with those available in the literature.
Synthesis of a Serie of Metallic Complexes Derived from bis(4-Amino-5-Mercapto-1,2,4-Triazol-3-yl)butane with First Raw Transition Metals
The present research work describes the synthesis, through a multi-step strategy, as well as the structural characterization of a polydentate organic ligand, namely the bis(4-amino-5-mercapto-1,2,4-triazole-3-yl)butane (BAMT). The bis-triazolic ligand was characterized by different spectroscopic studies, in order to enlighten its coordination mode, in the neutral and deprotonated forms, towards cobalt(II), nickel(II) and copper(II) sulfates, in both solution and solid state. The stoichiometry of the complexes [neutral BAMT-metal] and [deprotonated BAMT-metal] was first established in a solution of DMF with each of the three metallic cations and their complexation constants calculated, allowing us to compare the stability of the various prepared complexes. The various complexes were finally isolated in the solid state and the coordination mode of neutral and deprotonated BAMT explored towards each of the three metallic sulfates. The establishment of some ligand field parameters (Dq, B, β…) by electronic spectroscopy finally allowed to compare the coordination modes of BAMT towards each of the three metals and to highlight the influence of the deprotonation on the complexing properties of the bis-triazolic ligand.
Determination and Qsar Modelling of Partitioning Coefficients for Some Xenobiotics in Soils and Sediments
For organic xenobiotics, sorption to Aldrich humic acid is a key process controlling their mobility, bioavailability, toxicity and fate in the soil. Hydrophobic organic compounds possessing either acid or basic groups can be partially ionized (deprotonated or protonated) within the range of natural soil pH. For neutral and ionogenicxenobiotics including (neutral, acids and bases) sorption coefficients normalized to organic carbon content, Koc, have measured at different pH values. To this end, the batch equilibrium technique has been used, employing SPME combined with GC-MSD as an analytical tool. For most ionogenic compounds, sorption has been affected by both pH and pKa and can be explained through Henderson-Hasselbalch equation. The results demonstrate that when assessing the environmental fate of ionogenic compounds, their pKa and speciation under natural conditions should be taken into account. A new model has developed to predict the relationship between log Koc and pH with full statistical evaluation against other existing predictive models. Neutral solutes have displayed a good fit with the classical model using log Kow as log Koc predictor, whereas acidic and basic compounds have displayed a good fit with the LSER approach and the new proposed model. Measurement limitations of the Batch technique and SPME-GC-MSD have been found with ionic compounds.
Acid-Responsive Polymer Conjugates as a New Generation of Corrosion Protecting Materials
Protection of metals is a critical issue in industry. The annual cost of corrosion in the world is estimated to be about 2.5 trillion dollars and continuously increases. Therefore, there is a need for developing novel protection approaches to improve corrosion protection. We designed and synthesized smart polymer/corrosion inhibitor conjugates as new generations of corrosion protecting materials. Firstly, a polymerizable acrylate derivative of 8-hydroxyquinoline (8HQ), an effective corrosion inhibitor, containing acid-labile β-thiopropionate linkage was prepared in three steps. Then, it was copolymerized with ethyl acrylate in the presence of 1,1′-azobis(cyclohexanecarbonitrile) (ABCN) by radical polymerization. Nanoparticles with an average diameter of 140 nm were prepared from the polymer conjugate by the miniemulsion-solvent evaporation process. The release behavior of 8HQ from the the nanoparticles was studied in acidic (pH 3.5) and neutral media (pH 7.0). The release profile showed a faster release of 8HQ in acidic medium in comparison with neutral medium. Indeed 100% of 8HQ was released after 14 days in acidic medium whereas only around 15% of 8HQ was released during the same period at neutral pH. Therefore, the polymer conjugate nanoparticles are suitable materials as additives or to form coatings on metal substrates for corrosion protection.
Existence of Minimal and Maximal Mild Solutions for Non-Local in Time Subdiffusion Equations of Neutral Type
In this work is proved the existence of at least one minimal and maximal mild solutions to the Cauchy problem, for fractional evolution equation of neutral type, involving a general kernel. An operator A generating a resolvent family and integral resolvent family on a Banach space X and a kernel belonging to a large class appears in the equation, which covers many relevant cases from physics applications, in particular, the important case of time - fractional evolution equations of neutral type. The main tool used in this work was the Kuratowski measure of noncompactness and fixed point theorems, specifically Darbo-type, and an iterative method of lower and upper solutions, based in an order in X induced by a normal cone P. Initially, the equation is a Cauchy problem, involving a fractional derivate in Caputo sense. Then, is formulated the equivalent integral version, and defining a convenient functional, using the theory of resolvent families, and verifying the hypothesis of the fixed point theorem of Darbo type, give us the existence of mild solution for the initial problem. Furthermore, the existence of minimal and maximal mild solutions was proved through in an iterative method of lower and upper solutions, using the Azcoli-Arzela Theorem, and the Gronwall’s inequality. Finally, we recovered the case derivate in Caputo sense.
Extraction of Osmolytes from the Halotolerant Fungus Aspergillus oryzae
Salin soils occupy about 7% of land area; they are characterized by unsuitable physical conditions for the growth of living organisms. However, researches showed that some microorganisms especially fungi are able to grow and adapt to such extreme conditions; it is due to their ability to develop different physiological mechanisms in their adaptation. The aim of this study is to identify qualitatively the osmolytes that the biotechnological important fungus A. oryzae accumulated and/or produced in its adaptation, which they were detected by Thin-layer chromatography technique (TLC) using several systems, from different media (Wheat brane, MNM medium and MM medium). The results showed that The moderately halotolerant fungus A. oryzae, accumulates mixture of molecules, containing polyols and sugars , some amino acids in addition to some molecules which were not defined. Wheat bran was the best medium for the extraction of these molecules, where the proportion was 85.71%, followed by MNM medium 64.28%, then the minimum medium MM 14.28%. Properties of osmolytes are becoming increasingly useful in molecular biology, agriculture pharmaceutical, medicinal, and biotechnological interests.
Cellular Energy Metabolism Decreases with Age in the Trophocytes and Oenocytes of Honeybees (Apis Mellifera)
The expression, concentration, and activity of mitochondrial energy-utilized molecules and cellular energy-regulated molecules decreased with age in the trophocytes and oenocytes of honeybees (Apis mellifera), but those of cellular energy-metabolized molecules is unknown. In this study, the expression, concentration, and activity of cellular energy-metabolized molecules were assayed in the trophocytes and fat cells of young and old worker bees by using the techniques of cell and biochemistry. The results showed that (i) the •-hydroxylacyl-coenzyme A dehydrogenase (HOAD) activity/citrate synthase (CS) activity ratio, non-esterified fatty acids concentrations, the expression of eukaryotic initiation factor 4E, and the expression of phosphorylated eIF4E binding protein 1 decreased with age; (ii) fat and glycogen accumulation increased with age; and (iii) the pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) activity/citrate synthase (CS) activity ratio was not correlated with age. These finding indicated that •-oxidation (HOAD/CS) and protein synthsis decreased with age. Glycolysis (PDH/CS) was unchanged with age. The most likely reason is that sugars are the vital food of worker bees. Taken together these data reveal that young workers have higher cellular energy metabolism than old workers and that aging results in a decline in the cellular energy metabolism in worker honeybees.
Amino Acid Coated Silver Nanoparticles: A Green Catalyst for Methylene Blue Reduction
Highly stable and homogeneously dispersed amino acid coated silver nanoparticles (ANP) of ≈ 10 nm diameter, ranging from 420 to 430 nm are prepared on AgNO3 solution addition to gum of Azadirachta indica solution at 373.15 K. The amino acids were selected based on their polarity. The synthesized nanoparticles were characterized by UV-Vis, FTIR spectroscopy, HR-TEM, XRD, SEM and 1H-NMR. The coated nanoparticles were used as catalyst for the reduction of methylene blue dye in presence of Sn(II) in aqueous, anionic and cationic micellar media. The rate of reduction of dye was determined by measuring the absorbance at 660 nm, spectrophotometrically and followed the order: Kcationic > Kanionic > Kwater. After 12 min and in absence of the ANP, only 2%, 3% and 6% of the dye reduction was completed in aqueous, anionic and cationic micellar media respectively while, in presence of ANP coated by polar neutral amino acid with non-polar -R group, the reduction completed to 84%, 95% and 98% respectively. The ANP coated with polar neutral amino acid having non-polar -R group, increased the rate of reduction of the dye by 94, 3205 and 6370 folds in aqueous, anionic and cationic micellar media respectively. Also, the rate of reduction of the dye increased by three folds when the micellar media was changed from anionic to cationic when the ANP is coated by a polar neutral amino acid having a non-polar -R group.
Study of Water Cluster-Amorphous Silica Collisions in the Extreme Space Environment Using the ReaxFF Reactive Force Field Molecular Dynamics Simulation Method
The concept of high velocity particle impact on the spacecraft surface materials has been one of the important issues in the design of such materials. Among these particles, water clusters might be the most abundant and the most important particles to be studied. The importance of water clusters is that upon impact on the surface of the materials, they can cause damage to the material and also if they are sub-cooled water clusters, they can attach to the surface of the materials and cause ice accumulation on the surface which is very problematic in spacecraft and also aircraft operations. The dynamics of the collisions between amorphous silica structures and water clusters with impact velocities of 1 km/s to 10 km/s are studied using the ReaxFF reactive molecular dynamics simulation method. The initial water clusters include 150 water molecules and the water clusters are collided on the surface of amorphous fully oxidized and suboxide silica structures. These simulations show that the most abundant molecules observed on the silica surfaces, other than reflecting water molecules, are H3O+ and OH- for the water cluster impacts on suboxide and fully oxidized silica structures, respectively. The effect of impact velocity on the change of silica mass is studied. At high impact velocities the water molecules attach to the silica surface through a chemisorption process meaning that water molecule dissociates through the interaction with silica surface. However, at low impact velocities, physisorbed water molecules are also observed, which means water molecule attaches and accumulates on the silica surface. The amount of physisorbed waters molecules at low velocities is higher on the suboxide silica surfaces. The evolution of the temperatures of the water clusters during the collisions indicates that the possibility of electron excitement at impact velocities less than 10 km/s is minimal and ReaxFF reactive molecular dynamics simulation can predict the chemistry of these hypervelocity impacts. However, at impact velocities close to 10 km/s the average temperature of the impacting water clusters increase to about 2000K, with individual molecules oocasionally reaching temperatures of over 8000K and thus will be prudent to consider the concept of electron excitation at these higher impact velocities which goes beyond the current ReaxFF ability.
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) in the Supply Chain: Impact on Customer Satisfaction
Electronic data interchange EDI is the computer-to-computer exchange of structured business information. This information typically takes the form of standardized electronic business documents, such as invoices, purchase orders, bills of lading, and so on. The purpose of this study is to identify the impact EDI might have on supply chain and typically on customer satisfaction keeping in mind the constraints the organization might face. This study included 139 subject matter experts (SMEs) who participated by responding to a survey that was distributed. 85% responded that they are extremely for the implementation while 10% were neutral and 5% were against the implementation. From the quality assurance department, we have got 75% from the clients agreed to move on with the change whereas 10% stayed neutral and finally 15% were against the change. From the legal department where 80% of the answers were for the implementation and 10% of the participants stayed neutral whereas the last 10% were against it. The survey consisted of 40% male and 60% female (sex-ratio (F/M=1,5), who had chosen to participate. Our survey also contained 3 categories in terms of technical background where 80% are from technical background and 15% were from nontechnical background and 5% had some average technical background. This study examines the impact of EDI on customer satisfaction which is the primary hypothesis and justifies the importance of the implementation which enhances the customer satisfaction.
Pd(II) Complex with 4-Bromo-2,6-Bis-Hydroxymethyl-Phenol and Nikotinamid: Synthesis and Spectral Analysis
In the present study, the reactions involving 4-Bromo-2,6-bis-hydroxymethyl-phenol (BBHMP) and nikotinamide (NA) in the presence Pd (II) ion were investigated. Optimum conditions for the reactions were established as pH 7 and λ = 450 nm. According to absorbance measurements, the mole ratio of BBHMP : NA : Pd2+ was found as 1 : 2 : 2. As a result of physico-chemical, spectrophotometric and thermal analysis results, the reactions of BBHMP and NA with Pd (II) is complexation reactions and one molecule BBHMP and two molecules of NA react with two molecules of metal (II) ion.
Soliton Solutions in (3+1)-Dimensions
Solitons are among the most beneficial solutions for science and technology for their applicability in physical applications including plasma, energy transport along protein molecules, wave transport along poly-acetylene molecules, ocean waves, constructing optical communication systems, transmission of information through optical fibers and Josephson junctions. In this talk, we will apply the bilinear technique to generate a class of soliton solutions to the (3+1)-dimensional nonlinear soliton equation of Jimbo-Miwa type. Examples of the resulting soliton solutions are computed and a few solutions are plotted.
Calculation of Electronic Structures of Nickel in Interaction with Hydrogen by Density Functional Theoretical (DFT) Method
Hydrogen-Materials interaction and mechanisms can be modeled at nano scale by quantum methods. In this work, the effect of hydrogen on the electronic properties of a cluster material model «nickel» has been studied by using of density functional theoretical (DFT) method. Two types of clusters are optimized: Nickel and hydrogen-nickel system. In the case of nickel clusters (n = 1-6) without presence of hydrogen, three types of electronic structures (neutral, cationic and anionic), have been optimized according to three basis sets calculations (B3LYP/LANL2DZ, PW91PW91/DGDZVP2, PBE/DGDZVP2). The comparison of binding energies and bond lengths of the three structures of nickel clusters (neutral, cationic and anionic) obtained by those basis sets, shows that the results of neutral and anionic nickel clusters are in good agreement with the experimental results. In the case of neutral and anionic nickel clusters, comparing energies and bond lengths obtained by the three bases, shows that the basis set PBE/DGDZVP2 is most suitable to experimental results. In the case of anionic nickel clusters (n = 1-6) with presence of hydrogen, the optimization of the hydrogen-nickel (anionic) structures by using of the basis set PBE/DGDZVP2, shows that the binding energies and bond lengths increase compared to those obtained in the case of anionic nickel clusters without the presence of hydrogen, that reveals the armor effect exerted by hydrogen on the electronic structure of nickel, which due to the storing of hydrogen energy within nickel clusters structures. The comparison between the bond lengths for both clusters shows the expansion effect of clusters geometry which due to hydrogen presence.
Mathematical Model for Interaction Energy of Toroidal Molecules and Other Nanostructures
Carbon nanotori provide several properties such as high tensile strength and heat resistance. They are promised to be ideal structures for encapsulation, and their encapsulation ability can be determined by the interaction energy between the carbon nanotori and the encapsulated nanostructures. Such interaction energy is evaluated using Lennard-Jones potential and continuum approximation. Here, four problems relating to toroidal molecules are determined in order to find the most stable configuration. Firstly, the interaction energy between a carbon nanotorus and an atom is examined. The second problem relates to the energy of a fullerene encapsulated inside a carbon nanotorus. Next, the interaction energy between two symmetrically situated and parallel nanotori is considered. Finally, the classical mechanics is applied to model the interaction energy between the toroidal structure of cyclodextrin and the spherical DNA molecules. These mathematical models might be exploited to study a number of promising devices for future developments in bio and nanotechnology.
The Effect of Endurance Training on Serum VCAM-1 in Overweight Women
Vascular adhesion molecules-1 (VCAM-1) is one of the factors associating obesity and inflammatory lesions like atherosclerosis. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of endurance training on serum concentration of VCAM-1 in overweight women. Thirty female overweight (BMI ≥ 25) voluntarily participated in our study. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of two groups: Endurance training or control group. Training group exercised for 12 weeks, three sessions a week with definite intensity and distance. Pre and post 12 weeks of endurance training blood samples were taken (5cc) in fasting state from all subjects. Data was analyzed via independent t test (p≤0.05). The results showed that endurance training had significant effect on VCAM, body weight, fat percentage, BMI and maximum oxygen consumption (p ≤ 0.05). This study demonstrates that endurance training caused a decrease in the adhesion molecules level and decreasing inflammation, endurance training may perhaps play an effective role in atherosclerosis.
Aza-Flavanones as Small Molecule Inhibitors of MicroRNA-10b in MDA-MB-231 Breast Cancer Cells
MiRNAs contribute to oncogenesis either as tumor suppressors or oncogenes. Hence, discovery of miRNA-based therapeutics are imperative to ameliorate cancer. Modulation of miRNA maturation is accomplished via several therapeutic agents, including small molecules and oligonucleotides. Due to the attractive pharmacokinetic properties of small molecules over oligonucleotides, we set to identify small molecule inhibitors of a metastasis-inducing microRNA. Cytotoxicity profile of aza-flavanone C1 was analyzed in a panel of breast cancer cells employing the NCI-60 screen protocols. Flow cytometry, immunofluorescence and western blotting of apoptotic or EMT markers were performed to analyze the effect of C1. A dual luciferase assay unequivocally suggested that C1 repressed endogenous miR-10b in MDA-MB-231 cells. A derivative of aza-flavanone C1 is shown as a strong inhibitor miR-10b. Blockade of miR-10b by C1 resulted in decreased expression of miR-10b targets in an aggressive breast cancer cell line model, MDA-MB-231. Abrogation of TWIST1, an EMT-inducing transcription factor also contributed to C1 mediated apoptosis. Moreover C1 exhibited a specific and selective down-regulation of miR-10b and did not function as a general inhibitor of miRNA biogenesis or other oncomiRs of breast carcinoma. Aza-flavanone congener C1 functions as a potent inhibitor of the metastasis-inducing microRNA, miR-10b. Our present study provides evidence for targeting metastasis-inducing microRNA, miR-10b with a derivative of Aza-flavanone. Better pharmacokinetic properties of small molecules place them as attractive agents compared to nucleic acids based therapies to target miRNA. Further work, in generating analogues based on aza-flavanone moieties will significantly improve the affinity of the small molecules to bind miR-10b. Finally, it is imperative to develop small molecules as novel miRNA-therapeutics in the fight against cancer.
Development of Ecofriendly Ionic Liquid Modified Reverse Phase Liquid Chromatography Method for Simultaneous Determination of Anti-Hyperlipidemic Drugs
Among the analytical techniques, reverse phase liquid chromatography (RPLC) is currently used in pharmaceutical industry. Ecofriendly analytical chemistry offers the advantages of decreasing the environmental impact with the advantage of increasing operator safety which constituted a topic of industrial interest. Recently, ionic liquids have been successfully used to reduce or eliminate the conventional organic toxic solvents. In the current work, a simple and ecofriendly ionic liquid modified RPLC (IL-RPLC) method has been firstly developed and compared with RPLC under acidic and neutral mobile phase conditions for simultaneous determination of atorvastatin-calcium, rosuvastatin and simvastatin. Several chromatographic effective parameters have been changed in a systematic way. Adequate results have been achieved by mixing ILs with ethanol as a mobile phase under neutral conditions at 1 mL/min flow rate on C18 column. The developed IL-RPLC method has been validated for the quantitative determination of drugs in pharmaceutical formulations. The method showed excellent linearity for analytes in a wide range of concentrations with acceptable precise and accurate data. The current IL-RPLC technique could have vast applications particularly under neutral conditions for simple and greener (bio)analytical applications of pharmaceuticals.
Solvent Extraction in Ionic Liquids: Structuration and Aggregation Effects on Extraction Mechanisms
A promising challenge in solvent extraction is to replace the conventional organic solvents, with ionic liquids (IL). Depending on the extraction systems, these new solvents show better efficiency than the conventional ones. Although some assumptions based on ions exchanges have been proposed in the literature, these properties are not predictable because the involved mechanisms are still poorly understood. It is well established that the mechanisms underlying solvent extraction processes are based not only on the molecular chelation of the extractant molecules but also on their ability to form supra-molecular aggregates due to their amphiphilic nature. It is therefore essential to evaluate how IL affects the aggregation properties of the extractant molecules. Our aim is to evaluate the influence of IL structure and polarity on solvent extraction mechanisms, by looking at the aggregation of the extractant molecules in IL. We compare extractant systems that are well characterized in common solvents and show thanks to SAXS and SANS measurements, that in the absence of IL ion exchange mechanisms, extraction properties are related to aggregation.
Adaptive Thermal Comfort Model for Air-Conditioned Lecture Halls in Malaysia
This paper presents an adaptive thermal comfort model study in the tropical country of Malaysia. A number of researchers have been interested in applying the adaptive thermal comfort model to different climates throughout the world, but so far no study has been performed in Malaysia. For the use as a thermal comfort model, which better applies to hot and humid climates, the adaptive thermal comfort model was developed as part of this research by using the collected results from a large field study in six lecture halls with 178 students. The relationship between the operative temperature and behavioral adaptations was determined. In the developed adaptive model, the acceptable indoor neutral temperatures lay within the range of 23.9-26.0 oC, with outdoor temperatures ranging between 27.0–34.6oC. The most comfortable temperature for students in the lecture hall was 25.7 oC.
Swelling Behaviour of Kappa Carrageenan Hydrogel in Neutral Salt Solution
Hydrogel films were prepared from kappa carrageenan by crosslinking with glutaraldehyde. Carrageenan films extracted from Kappaphycus alvarezii seaweed were immersed in glutaraldehyde solution for 2 min and then cured at 110 °C for 25 min. The obtained crosslinked films were washed with ethanol to remove the unreacted glutaraldehyde and then air dried to constant weights. The aim of this research was to study the swelling degree behaviour of the hydrogel film to neutral salts solution, namely NaCl, KCl, and CaCl2. The results showed that swelling degree of crosslinked films varied non-monotonically with salinity of NaCl. Swelling degree decreased with the increasing of KCl concentration. Swelling degree of crosslinked film in CaCl2 solution was lower than that in NaCl and in KCl solutions.
Interaction of Glycolipid S-TGA-1 with Bacteriorhodopsin and Its Functional Role
It has been demonstrated that lipid molecules in biological membranes are responsible for the functionalization and structuration of membrane proteins. However, it is still unclear how the interaction of lipid molecules with membrane proteins is correlated with the function of the membrane proteins. Here we first developed an evaluation method for the interaction between membrane proteins and lipid molecules via surface plasmon resonance (SPR) analysis. Bacteriorhodopsin (bR), which was obtained by the culture of halobacteria, was used as a membrane protein. We prepared SPR sensor chips covered with self-assembled monolayer containing mercaptocarboxylic acids, and immobilized bR onto them. Then, we evaluated the interactions with various lipids that have different structures. As a result, the halobacterium-specific glycolipid S-TGA-1 was found to have much higher affinity with bRs than other lipids. This is probably due to not only hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions but also hydrogen bonds with sugar moieties in the glycolipid. Next, we analyzed the roles of the lipid in the structuration and functionalization of bR. CD analysis showed that S-TGA-1 could promote trimerization of bR monomers more efficiently than any other lipids. Flash photolysis further indicated that bR trimers formed by S-TGA-1 reproduced the photocyclic activity of bR in purple membrane, halobacterium-membrane. These results suggest that S-TGA-1 promotes trimerization of bR through strong interactions and consequently fulfills the bR’s function efficiently.
Selective Separation of Amino Acids by Reactive Extraction with Di-(2-Ethylhexyl) Phosphoric Acid
Amino acids are valuable chemical products used in in human foods, in animal feed additives and in the pharmaceutical field. Recently, there has been a noticeable rise of amino acids utilization throughout the world to include their use as raw materials in the production of various industrial chemicals: oil gelating agents (amino acid-based surfactants) to recover effluent oil in seas and rivers and poly(amino acids), which are attracting attention for biodegradable plastics manufacture. The amino acids can be obtained by biosynthesis or from protein hydrolysis, but their separation from the obtained mixtures can be challenging. In the last decades there has been a continuous interest in developing processes that will improve the selectivity and yield of downstream processing steps. The liquid-liquid extraction of amino acids (dissociated at any pH-value of the aqueous solutions) is possible only by using the reactive extraction technique, mainly with extractants of organophosphoric acid derivatives, high molecular weight amines and crown-ethers. The purpose of this study was to analyse the separation of nine amino acids of acidic character (l-aspartic acid, l-glutamic acid), basic character (l-histidine, l-lysine, l-arginine) and neutral character (l-glycine, l-tryptophan, l-cysteine, l-alanine) by reactive extraction with di-(2-ethylhexyl)phosphoric acid (D2EHPA) dissolved in butyl acetate. The results showed that the separation yield is controlled by the pH value of the aqueous phase: the reactive extraction of amino acids with D2EHPA is possible only if the amino acids exist in aqueous solution in their cationic forms (pH of aqueous phase below the isoeletric point). The studies for individual amino acids indicated the possibility of selectively separate different groups of amino acids with similar acidic properties as a function of aqueous solution pH-value: the maximum yields are reached for a pH domain of 2–3, then strongly decreasing with the pH increase. Thus, for acidic and neutral amino acids, the extraction becomes impossible at the isolelectric point (pHi) and for basic amino acids at a pH value lower than pHi, as a result of the carboxylic group dissociation. From the results obtained for the separation from the mixture of the nine amino acids, at different pH, it can be observed that all amino acids are extracted with different yields, for a pH domain of 1.5–3. Over this interval, the extract contains only the amino acids with neutral and basic character. For pH 5–6, only the neutral amino acids are extracted and for pH > 6 the extraction becomes impossible. Using this technique, the total separation of the following amino acids groups has been performed: neutral amino acids at pH 5–5.5, basic amino acids and l-cysteine at pH 4–4.5, l-histidine at pH 3–3.5 and acidic amino acids at pH 2–2.5.
Quorum Quenching Activities of Bacteria Isolated from Red Sea Sediments
Quorum sensing (QS) is the process by which bacteria communicate with each other through small signaling molecules, such as N-acylhomoserine lactones (AHLs). Also, certain bacteria have the ability to degrade AHL molecules by a process referred to as quorum quenching (QQ); therefore, QQ can be used to control bacterial infections and biofilm formation. In this study, we aimed to identify new species of bacteria with QQ activities. To achieve this, sediments from Red Sea were collected either in the close vicinity of Sea grass or from area with no vegetation. From these samples, we isolated 72 bacterial strains and tested their ability to degrade/inactivate AHL molecules. Chromobacterium violaceum based bioassay was used in initial screening of isolates for QQ activity. The QQ activity of the positive isolates was further confirmed and quantified by employing liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. These analyses showed that isolated bacterial strain could degrade AHL molecules with different acyl chain length and modifications. Sequencing of 16S-rRNA genes of positive isolates revealed that they belong to three different genera. Specifically, two isolates belong to genus Erythrobacter, four to Labrenzia and one isolate belongs to Bacterioplanes. Time course experiment showed that isolate belonging to genus Erythrobacter could degrade AHLs faster than other isolates. Furthermore, these isolates were tested for their ability to inhibit formation of biofilm and degradation of 3OXO-C12 AHLs produced by P. aeruginosa PAO1. Our results showed that isolate VG12 is better at controlling biofilm formation. This aligns with the ability of VG12 to cause at least 10-fold reduction in the amount of different AHLs tested.
Rapid Separation of Biomolecules and Neutral Analytes with a Cationic Stationary Phase by Capillary Electrochromatography
The unique properties of capillary electrochromatography (CEC) such as high performance, high selectivity, low consumption of both reagents and analytes ensure this technique an attractive one for the separation of biomolecules including nucleosides and nucleotides, peptides, proteins, carbohydrates. Monoliths have become a well-established separation media for CEC in the format that can be compared to a single large 'particle' that does not include interparticular voids. Convective flow through the pores of monolith significantly accelerates the rate of mass transfer and enables a substantial increase in the speed of the separation. In this work, we propose a new approach for the preparation of cationic monolithic stationary phase for capillary electrochromatography. Instead of utilizing a charge bearing monomer during polymerization, the desired charge-bearing group is generated on the capillary monolith after polymerization by using the reactive moiety of the monolithic support via one-pot, simple reaction. Optimized monolithic column compensates the disadvantages of frequently used reversed phases, which are difficult for separation of polar solutes. Rapid separation and high column efficiencies are achieved for the separation of neutral analytes, nucleic acid bases and nucleosides in reversed phase mode. Capillary monolith showed satisfactory hydrodynamic permeability and mechanical stability with relative standard deviation (RSD) values below 2 %. A new promising, reactive support that has a 'ligand selection flexibility' due to its reactive functionality represent a new family of separation media for CEC.
Characterization of Self-Assembly Behavior of 1-Dodecylamine Molecules on Au (111) Surface
Self-assembled characteristics and adsorption performance of 1-dodecylamine molecules on gold (Au) (111) surfaces were characterized via cyclic voltammetry (CV), surface-enhanced infrared absorption spectroscopy (SEIRAS) and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). The present study focused on the formation of 1-dodecylamine (DDA) on a gold surface with respect to the ex-situ arrangement of an adlayer on the Au(111) surface, and phase transition at potential dynamics carried out by EC-STM. This study reveals that alkyl amine molecules were formed an adsorption pattern with highly regular “lie down shape” on Au(111) surface, even in an extreme acid system (pH = 1). Acidic electrolyte (HClO₄) could protonate the surface of alkyl amine of a monolayer of the gold surface when potential shifts to negative. The quite stability of 1-dodecylamine on the gold surface maintained the monolayer across the potential window (0.1-0.8V). This transform model was confirmed by EC-STM. In addition, amine-modified Au(111) electrode adlayer used to examine how to affect an electron transfer across an interface using [Fe(CN)₆]³⁻/[Fe(CN)₆]⁴⁻ redox pair containing 0.1 M HClO₄ solution.
Optical Emission Studies of Laser Produced Lead Plasma: Measurements of Transition Probabilities of the 6P7S → 6P2 Transitions Array
We present new data on the optical emission spectra of the laser produced lead plasma using a pulsed Nd:YAG laser at 1064 nm (pulse energy 400 mJ, pulse width 5 ns, 10 Hz repetition rate) in conjunction with a set of miniature spectrometers covering the spectral range from 200 nm to 720 nm. Well resolved structure due to the 6p7s → 6p2 transition array of neutral lead and a few multiplets of singly ionized lead have been observed. The electron temperatures have been calculated in the range (9000 - 10800) ± 500 K using four methods; two line ratio, Boltzmann plot, Saha-Boltzmann plot and Morrata method whereas, the electron number densities have been determined in the range (2.0 – 8.0) ± 0.6 ×1016 cm-3 using the Stark broadened line profiles of neutral lead lines, singly ionized lead lines and hydrogen Hα-line. Full width at half maximum (FWHM) of a number of neutral and singly ionized lead lines have been extracted by the Lorentzian fit to the experimentally observed line profiles. Furthermore, branching fractions have been deduced for eleven lines of the 6p7s → 6p2 transition array in lead whereas the absolute values of the transition probabilities have been calculated by combining the experimental branching fractions with the life times of the excited levels The new results are compared with the existing data showing a good agreement.
Energy States of Some Diatomic Molecules: Exact Quantization Rule Approach
In this study, we obtain the approximate analytical solutions of the radial Schrödinger equation for the Deng-Fan diatomic molecular potential by using exact quantization rule approach. The wave functions have been expressed by hypergeometric functions via the functional analysis approach. An extension to rotational-vibrational energy eigenvalues of some diatomic molecules are also presented. It is shown that the calculated energy levels are in good agreement with the ones obtained previously E_nl-D (shifted Deng-Fan).
Probability-Based Damage Detection of Structures Using Model Updating with Enhanced Ideal Gas Molecular Movement Algorithm
Model updating method has received increasing attention in damage detection structures based on measured modal parameters. Therefore, a probability-based damage detection (PBDD) procedure based on a model updating procedure is presented in this paper, in which a one-stage model-based damage identification technique based on the dynamic features of a structure is investigated. The presented framework uses a finite element updating method with a Monte Carlo simulation that considers the uncertainty caused by measurement noise. Enhanced ideal gas molecular movement (EIGMM) is used as the main algorithm for model updating. Ideal gas molecular movement (IGMM) is a multiagent algorithm based on the ideal gas molecular movement. Ideal gas molecules disperse rapidly in different directions and cover all the space inside. This is embedded in the high speed of molecules, collisions between them and with the surrounding barriers. In IGMM algorithm to accomplish the optimal solutions, the initial population of gas molecules is randomly generated and the governing equations related to the velocity of gas molecules and collisions between those are utilized. In this paper, an enhanced version of IGMM, which removes unchanged variables after specified iterations, is developed. The proposed method is implemented on two numerical examples in the field of structural damage detection. The results show that the proposed method can perform well and competitive in PBDD of structures.
Molecular Profiling of an Oleaginous Trebouxiophycean Alga Parachlorella kessleri Subjected to Nutrient Deprivation
Parachlorella kessleri, a marine unicellular green alga belonging to class Trebouxiophyceae, accumulates large amounts of oil, i.e., lipids under nutrient-deprived (-N, -P, and -S) conditions. Understanding their metabolic imprints is important for elucidating the physiological mechanisms of lipid accumulations in this microalga subjected to nutrient deprivation. Metabolic and lipidomic profiles were obtained respectively using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) of P. kessleri under nutrient starvation (-N, -P and -S) conditions. Relative quantities of more than 100 metabolites were systematically compared in all these three starvation conditions. Our results demonstrate that in lipid metabolism, the quantities of neutral lipids increased significantly followed by the decrease in other metabolites involved in photosynthesis, nitrogen assimilation, etc. In conclusion, the metabolomics and lipidomic profiles have identified a few common metabolites such as citric acid, valine, and trehalose to play a significant role in the overproduction of oil by this microalga subjected to nutrient deprivation. Understanding the entire system through untargeted metabolome profiling will lead to identifying relevant metabolites involved in the biosynthesis and degradation of precursor molecules that may have the potential for biofuel production, aiming towards the vision of tomorrow’s bioenergy needs.
Molecular Simulation of NO, NH3 Adsorption in MFI and H-ZSM5
Due to developing the industries, the emission of pollutants such as NOx, SOx, and CO2 are rapidly increased. Generally, NOx is attributed to the mono nitrogen oxides of NO and NO2 that is one of the most important atmospheric contaminants. Hence, controlling the emission of nitrogen oxides is urgent environmentally. Selective Catalytic Reduction of NOx is one of the most common techniques for NOx removal in which Zeolites have wide application due to their high performance. In zeolitic processes, the catalytic reaction occurs mostly in the pores. Therefore, investigation the adsorption phenomena of the molecules in order to gain an insight and understand the catalytic cycle is of important. Hence, in current study, molecular simulations is applied for studying the adsorption phenomena in nanocatalysts applied for SCR of NOx process. The effect of cation addition to the support in the catalysts’ behavior through adsorption step was explored by Mont Carlo (MC). Simulation time of 1 Ns accompanying 1 fs time step, COMPASS27 Force Field and the cut off radios of 12.5 Ȧ was applied for performed runs. It was observed that the adsorption capacity increases in the presence of cations. The sorption isotherms demonstrated the behavior of type I isotherm categories and sorption capacity diminished with increase in temperature whereas an increase was observed at high pressures. Besides, NO sorption showed higher sorption capacity than NH3 in H–ZSM5. In this respect, the Energy distributions signified that the molecules could adsorb in just one sorption site at the catalyst and the sorption energy of NO was stronger than the NH3 in H-ZSM5. Furthermore, the isosteric heat of sorption data showed nearly same values for the molecules; however, it indicated stronger interactions of NO molecules with H-ZSM5 Zeolite compared to the isosteric heat of NH3 which was low in value.
Neutral Heavy Scalar Searches via Standard Model Gauge Boson Decays at the Large Hadron Electron Collider with Multivariate Techniques
In this article, we study the prospects of the proposed Large Hadron electron Collider (LHeC) in the search for heavy neutral scalar particles. We consider a minimal model with one additional complex scalar singlet that interacts with the Standard Model (SM) via mixing with the Higgs doublet, giving rise to an SM-like Higgs boson and a heavy scalar particle. Both scalar particles are produced via vector boson fusion and can be tested via their decays into pairs of SM particles, analogously to the SM Higgs boson. Using multivariate techniques, we show that the LHeC is sensitive to heavy scalars with masses between 200 and 800 GeV down to scalar mixing of order 0.01.
Studies on Efficacy of Some Acaricidal Molecules against Mites in Polyhouse Capsicum
The experiment was conducted during Kharif 2016 at Hingoni, Ahmednagar (dist.), Maharashtra (India) to evaluate the novel molecules of acaricides against mites in polyhouse capsicum. The study was planned with randomized block design (RBD) and included nine treatments replicated thrice with 30 m² each plot size. The crop (var. Bachata) was raised according to the standard package of practices except plant protection measures. The molecules viz., spiromesifen 22.9SC (95 gm a.i. ha⁻¹), fenpyroximate 5EC (15 gm a.i. ha⁻¹), hexythiazox 5.45EC (15 gm a.i. ha⁻¹), diafenthiuron 50WP (300 gm a.i. ha⁻¹), chlorfenapyr 10SC (75 gm a.i. ha⁻¹) were compared with a standard acaricide, dicofol 18.5EC (500 gm a.i. ha⁻¹) and biopesticides like Verticillium lecanii (2 g/l), Metarhizium anisopliae (2 g/l) and Neem oil 10,000ppm (2ml/l). In total three sprays were given after 30, 50 and 70 days after transplanting (DAT) at an interval of 20 days. The insecticidal solutions were prepared in water by diluting required concentration of chemical and applied using knapsack sprayer with hollow cone nozzle @ 500L of solution per hectare. The mites were counted per 4 cm² in three leaves from randomly selected five plants in each plot at 1 day before treatment (precount) and 1, 3, 5, 7, 10 and 15 days after treatment. The results revealed that fenpyroximate 5EC found best by recording significantly least mite population (2.72/4 cm² leaf area) followed by hexythiazox 5.45EC and spiromesifen 22.9SC (3.78 and 3.82 per 4 cm² leaf area, respectively) and followed by remaining treatments chlorfenapyr 10SC (4.13/4 cm² leaf area), diafenthiuron 50WP (4.32/4 cm² leaf area), and dicofol 18.5EC (4.48/4 cm² leaf area). Among the biopesticides tested Neem oil and Verticillium lecanii were found to be superior to Metarhizium anisopliae. Overall, newer molecules like fenpyroximate, hexythiazox, spiromesifen, diafenthiuron, and Chlorfenapyr can be used for the effective management of mites under polyhouse capsicum.
How Different Are We After All: A Cross-Cultural Study Using the International Affective Picture System
Despite ample cross-cultural studies with emotional valence, it is unclear if the emotions are universal or particular. Previous studies have shown that the individualist culture favors high-valence emotions compared to low-valence emotions. In contrast, collectivist culture favors low-valence emotions compared to high-valence emotions. In this current study, Chinese, Mexicans, and Indians reported valence and semantic-contingency. In total, 120 healthy participants were selected by ethnicity and matched for age and education. Each participant was presented 45 non-chromatic pictures, which were converted from chromatic pictures selected from International Affective Picture Database (IAPS) belonging to five-categories, i.e. (i) less pleasant, (ii) high pleasant, (iii) less unpleasant (iv) high unpleasant (v) neutral. The valence scores assigned to neutral, less-unpleasant, and high-pleasant pictures differed significantly between Chinese, Indian, and Mexicans participants. Significant effects demonstrated from the two-way ANOVAs, confirmed main significant effects of valence (F(1,117) = 24.83, p =0.000) and valence x country (F(2,117) = 2.74, p = 0.035). Significant effects emerging from the one-way ANOVAs were followed up through Bonferroni’s test post-hoc comparisons (p < 0.01). This analysis showed significant effect of neutral (F(2,119) = 6.50, p =0.002), less-unpleasant (F(2,119) = 13.79, p =0.000), and high-unpleasant (F(2,119) = 5.99, p =0.003). There were no significant differences in valence scores for the less-pleasant and more-pleasant between participants from three countries. The IAPS norms require modification for their appropriate application in individualist and collectivist cultures.
Tetra Butyl Ammonium Cyanate Mediated Selective Synthesis of Sulfonyltriuret and Their Investigation towards Trypsin Protease Modulation
A pseudo peptide can mimic the biological or structural properties of natural peptides. They have become an increasing attention in medicinal chemistry because of their interesting advantages like more bioavailability and less biodegradation than compare to the physiologically active native peptides which increase their therapeutic applications. Many biologically active compounds contain urea as functional groups, and they have improved pharmacokinetic properties because of their bioavailability and metabolic stability. Recently we have reported a single-step synthesis of sulfonyl urea and sulfonyltriuret from sulfonyl chloride and sodium cyanate. But the yield of sulfonyltriuret was less around 40-60% because of the formation of other products like sulfonamide and sulfonylureas. In the present work, we mainly focused on the selective synthesis of sulfonyltriuret using tetrabutylammonium cyanate and sulfonyl chloride. More precisely, we are interested in the controlled synthesis of oligomeric urea mainly sulfonyltriuret as a new class of pseudo peptide and their application as protease modulators. The distinctive architecture of these molecules in the form of their pseudo-peptide backbone offers promise as a potential pharmacophore. The synthesized molecules have been screened on trypsin enzyme, and we observed that these molecules are the efficient modulator of trypsin enzyme.
Naturally Occurring Chemicals in Biopesticides' Resistance Control through Molecular Topology
Biopesticides, such as naturally occurring chemicals, pheromones, fungi, bacteria and insect predators are often a winning choice in crop protection because of their environmental friendly profile. They are considered to have lower toxicity than traditional pesticides. After almost a century of pesticides use, resistances to traditional insecticides are wide spread, while those to bioinsecticides have raised less attention, and resistance management is frequently neglected. This seems to be a crucial mistake since resistances have already occurred for many marketed biopesticides. With an eye to the future, we present here a selection of new natural occurring chemicals as potential bioinsecticides. The molecules were selected using a consolidated mathematical paradigm called molecular topology. Several QSAR equations were depicted and subsequently applied for the virtual screening of hundred thousands molecules of natural origin, which resulted in the selection of new potential bioinsecticides. The most innovative aspect of this work does not only reside in the importance of the identification of new molecules overcoming biopesticides’ resistances, but on the possibility to promote shared knowledge in the field of green chemistry through this unique in silico discipline named molecular topology.
Regulation of PKA-Dependent Calcineurin as a Switch in Cell Secretion
This study will investigate cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)/protein kinase A (PKA) dependent calcineurin (Cn), known as protein phosphatase 2 B (PP2B) as well, regulation of chloride ion (Cl⁻) secretion and the release of pro-inflammatory molecules in immune cells such as cytokines. THP-1-derived monocytes, primary human monocytes and the bronchial epithelial cell line (16HBE14o-) were used in this study. The 16HBE14o- cells were chosen as positive control. Hence, to further confirm the expression of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), calcium binding protein (S100A10), annexin A2 (AnxA2) and calcineurin A subunit (CnA) in all three cell types, cell lysate was probed against corresponding primary antibodies by immunoblotting. Western blot analyses show the expression of CFTR, AnxA2, CnA and S100A10 in THP-1-derived monocytes and primary human monocytes. In conclusion, CFTR, S100A10, CnA and AnxA2 are expressed in THP-1-derived monocytes and primary human monocytes and regulate Cl⁻ secretion. Also, they may play a role in the pro-inflammatory molecules release. The ongoing work will confirm interaction between these proteins in the cell lines.
Effect of Organics on Radionuclide Partitioning in Nuclear Fuel Storage Ponds
Sellafield has a number of fuel storage ponds, some of which have been open to the air for a number of decades. This has caused corrosion of the fuel resulting in a release of some activity into solution, reduced water clarity, and accumulation of sludge at the bottom of the pond consisting of brucite (Mg(OH)2) and other uranium corrosion products. Both of these phases are also present as colloidal material. 90Sr and 137Cs are known to constitute a small volume of the radionuclides present in the pond, but a large fraction of the activity, thus they are most at risk of challenging effluent discharge limits. Organic molecules are known to be present also, due to the ponds being open to the air, with occasional algal blooms restricting visibility further. The contents of the pond need to be retrieved and safely stored, but dealing with such a complex, undefined inventory poses a unique challenge. This work aims to determine and understand the sorption-desorption interactions of 90Sr and 137Cs to brucite and uranium phases, with and without the presence of organic molecules from chemical degradation and bio-organisms. The influence of organics on these interactions has not been widely studied. Partitioning of these radionuclides and organic molecules has been determined through LSC, ICP-AES/MS, and UV-vis spectrophotometry coupled with ultrafiltration in both binary and ternary systems. Further detailed analysis into the surface and bonding environment of these components is being investigated through XAS techniques and PHREEQC modelling. Experiments were conducted in CO2-free or N2 atmosphere across a high pH range in order to best simulate conditions in the pond. Humic acid used in brucite systems demonstrated strong competition against 90Sr for the brucite surface regardless of the order of addition of components. Variance of pH did have a small effect, however this range (10.5-11.5) is close to the pHpzc of brucite, causing the surface to buffer the solution pH towards that value over the course of the experiment. Sorption of 90Sr to UO2 obeyed Ho’s rate equation and demonstrated a slow second-order reaction with respect to the sharing of valence electrons from the strontium atom, with the initial rate clearly dependent on pH, with the equilibrium concentration calculated at close to 100% sorption. There was no influence of humic acid seen when introduced to these systems. Sorption of 137Cs to UO3 was significant, with more than 95% sorbed in just over 24 hours. Again, humic acid showed no influence when introduced into this system. Both brucite and uranium based systems will be studied with the incorporation of cyanobacterial cultures harvested at different stages of growth. Investigation of these systems provides insight into, and understanding of, the effect of organics on radionuclide partitioning to brucite and uranium phases at high pH. The majority of sorption-desorption work for radionuclides has been conducted at neutral to acidic pH values, and mostly without organics. These studies are particularly important for the characterisation of legacy wastes at Sellafield, with a view to their safe retrieval and storage.
The Comparison between bFGF and Small Molecules in Derivation of Chicken Primordial Germ Cells and Embryonic Germ Cells
Objective: Chicken gonadal tissue has a two population such primordial germ cells (PGCs) and stromal cells (somatic cells). PGCs and embryonic germ cells (EGCs) that is a pluripotent type of PGCs in long-term culture are suitable sources for the production of chicken pluripotent stem cell lines, transgenic birds, vaccine and recombinant protein production. In general, the effect of growth factors such bFGF and mouse LIF on derivation of PGCs in vitro are important and in this study we could see the unique effect of small molecules such PD032 and SB43 as a chemical, in comparison to growth factors. Materials and Methods: After incubation of fertilized chicken egg up to 6 days and isolation of primary gonadal tissues and culture of mixed cells like PGCs and stromal cells. PGCs proliferate in the present of fetal calf serum (FCS) and small molecules and in another group bFGF, that these factors are important for PGCs culture and derivation. Somatic cells produce a multilayer feeder under the PGCs in primary culture and PGCs make a small cluster under these cells. Results: In present of small molecules and high volume of FCS (15%), the present of EGCs as a pluripotent stem cells were clear four weeks, that they had a positive immune-staining and periodic acid-Schiff staining (PAS), but in present of growth factors like bFGF without any chemicals, the present of PGCs were clear but after 7 until 10 days, there were disappear. Conclusion: Until now we have seen many researches about derivation and maintenance of chicken PGCs, in the hope of understanding the mechanisms that occur during germline development and production of a therapeutic product by transgenic birds. There are still many unknowns in this area and this project will try to have efficient conditions for identification of suitable culture medium for long-term culture of PGCs in vitro without serum and feeder cells.
Adsorption of NO and NH3 in MFI and H-ZSM5: Monte Carlo Simulation
Due to developing industries, the emission of pollutants such as NOx, SOx, and CO2 are rapidly increased. Generally, NOx is attributed to the mono nitrogen oxides of NO and NO2 that is one of the most important atmospheric contaminants. Hence, controlling the emission of nitrogen oxides is environmentally urgent. Selective catalytic reduction of NOx is one of the most common techniques for NOx removal in which zeolites have wide application due to their high performance. In zeolitic processes, the catalytic reaction occurs mostly in the pores. Therefore, investigation of the adsorption phenomena of the molecules in order to gain an insight and understand the catalytic cycle is of important. Hence, in current study, benefiting from molecular simulations, the adsorption phenomena in the nanocatalysts of SCR of NOx process was investigated in order to get a good insight of the catalysts’ behavior. The effect of cation addition to the support in the catalysts’ behavior through adsorption step was explored by Mont Carlo (MC) using Materials Studio Package. Simulation time of 1 Ns accompanying 1 fs time step, COMPASS27 Force Field and the cut off radios of 12.5 Ȧ was applied for performed runs. It was observed that the adsorption capacity increases in the presence of cations. The sorption isotherms demonstrated the behavior of type I isotherm categories and sorption capacity diminished with increase in temperature whereas an increase was observed at high pressures. Besides, NO sorption showed higher sorption capacity than NH3 in H–ZSM5. In this respect, the energy distributions signified that the molecules could adsorb in just one sorption site at the catalyst and the sorption energy of NO was stronger than the NH3 in H-ZSM5. Furthermore, the isosteric heat of sorption data showed nearly same values for the molecules; however, it indicated stronger interactions of NO molecules with H-ZSM5 zeolite compared to the isosteric heat of NH3 which was low in value.
Net Zero Energy Schools: The Starting Block for the Canadian Energy Neutral K-12 Schools
Changes in the patterns of life in the late 20th and early 21st century have created new challenges for educational systems. Greening the physical environment of school buildings has emerged as a response to some of those challenges and led to the design of energy efficient K-12 school buildings. With the advancement in knowledge and technology, the successful construction of Net Zero Energy Schools, such as the Lady Bird Johnson Middle School demonstrates a cutting edge generation of sustainable schools, and solves the former challenge of attaining energy self-sufficient educational facilities. There are approximately twenty net zero energy K-12 schools in the U.S. of which about six are located in Climate Zone 5 and 6 based on ASHRAE climate zone classification. This paper aims to describe and analyze the current status of energy efficient and NZE schools in Canada. An attempt is made to study existing U.S. energy neutral strategies closest to the climate zones in Canada (zones 5 and 6) and identify the best practices for Canadian schools.
Residual Dipolar Couplings in NMR Spectroscopy Using Lanthanide Tags
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is an indispensable technique used in structure determination of small and macromolecules to study their physical properties, elucidation of characteristic interactions, dynamics and thermodynamic processes. Quantum mechanics defines the theoretical description of NMR spectroscopy and treatment of the dynamics of nuclear spin systems. The phenomenon of residual dipolar coupling (RDCs) has become a routine tool for accurate structure determination by providing global orientation information of magnetic dipole-dipole interaction vectors within a common reference frame. This offers accessibility of distance-independent angular information and insights to local relaxation. The measurement of RDCs requires an anisotropic orientation medium for the molecules to partially align along the magnetic field. This can be achieved by introduction of liquid crystals or attaching a paramagnetic center. Although anisotropic paramagnetic tags continue to mark achievements in the biomolecular NMR of large proteins, its application in small organic molecules remains unspread. Here, we propose a strategy for the synthesis of a lanthanide tag and the measurement of RDCs in organic molecules using paramagnetic lanthanide complexes.
Experimental Study on the Molecular Spring Isolator
As a novel passive vibration isolation technology, molecular spring isolator (MSI) is investigated in this paper. An MSI consists of water and hydrophobic zeolites as working medium. Under periodic excitation, water molecules intrude into hydrophobic pores of zeolites when the pressure rises and water molecules extrude from hydrophobic pores when pressure drops. At the same time, energy is stored, released and dissipated. An MSI of piston-cylinder structure was designed in this work. Experiments were conducted to investigate the stiffness properties of MSI. The results show that MSI exhibits high-static-low dynamic (HSLD) stiffness. Furthermore, factors such as the quantity of zeolites, temperature, and ions in water are proved to have an influence on the stiffness properties of MSI.
Quantitative Structure–Activity Relationship Analysis of Some Benzimidazole Derivatives by Linear Multivariate Method
The relationship between antibacterial activity of eighteen different substituted benzimidazole derivatives and their molecular characteristics was studied using chemometric QSAR (Quantitative Structure–Activity Relationships) approach. QSAR analysis has been carried out on inhibitory activity towards Staphylococcus aureus, by using molecular descriptors, as well as minimal inhibitory activity (MIC). Molecular descriptors were calculated from the optimized structures. Principal component analysis (PCA) followed by hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) and multiple linear regression (MLR) was performed in order to select molecular descriptors that best describe the antibacterial behavior of the compounds investigated, and to determine the similarities between molecules. The HCA grouped the molecules in separated clusters which have the similar inhibitory activity. PCA showed very similar classification of molecules as the HCA, and displayed which descriptors contribute to that classification. MLR equations, that represent MIC as a function of the in silico molecular descriptors were established. The statistical significance of the estimated models was confirmed by standard statistical measures and cross-validation parameters (SD = 0.0816, F = 46.27, R = 0.9791, R2CV = 0.8266, R2adj = 0.9379, PRESS = 0.1116). These parameters indicate the possibility of application of the established chemometric models in prediction of the antibacterial behaviour of studied derivatives and structurally very similar compounds.
Search for Flavour Changing Neutral Current Couplings of Higgs-up Sector Quarks at Future Circular Collider (FCC-eh)
In the search for new physics beyond the Standard Model, Flavour Changing Neutral Current (FCNC) is a good research field in terms of the observability at future colliders. Increased Higgs production with higher energy and luminosity in colliders is essential for verification or falsification of our knowledge of physics and predictions, and the search for new physics. Prospective electron-proton collider constituent of the Future Circular Collider project is FCC-eh. It offers great sensitivity due to its high luminosity and low interference. In this work, thq FCNC interaction vertex with off-shell top quark decay at electron-proton colliders is studied. By using [email protected] multi-purpose event generator, observability of tuh and tch couplings are obtained with equal coupling scenario. Upper limit on branching ratio of tree level top quark FCNC decay is determined as 0.012% at FCC-eh with 1 ab ^&minus;1 luminosity.
Spinochromes: Kairomones Involved in the Symbiosis between the Shrimp Tuleariocaris holthuisi and Echinometra mathaei
Seawater being an ideal dispersing agent, chemical communication stays predominant in marine ecosystems. However, if many molecules acting in chemical heterospecific communication have already been well described in terrestrial ecosystems, only three of these molecules were identified in marine ecosystems. Echinoderms and their symbiotic organisms constitute very good models to study heterospecific chemical communication because each class synthesizes a specific type of molecules and symbioses with echinoderms as hosts are very usual. In this study, the chemical communication that allows the commensal shrimps Tuleariocaris holthuisi Hipeau-Jacquotte, 1965 to live with their host Echinometra mathaei (Blainville, 1825) was investigated. The chemoreception of the shrimp was characterized using olfactometers and it was demonstrated that hosts and synthetic hydroxynaphthoquinones are attractive to the symbiotic shrimps. Hydroxynaphthoquinonic pigments also known as spinochromes are by the way synthesized by sea urchin and involved in all probability in a lot of mechanisms. To our knowledge, this study is the first highlighting the ecological function of naphthoquinones as kairomones. Chemical extractions were also performed on sea urchins in order to analyze and identify their specific hydroxynaphthoquinones using HPLC-ESI-MS. Accurate mass identification and elemental composition have been performed on various organs (gonads, coelomic liquid, digestive system and test) in different morphotypes of Echinometra mathaei for a better understanding of the molecular diversity of these semiochemicals. Moreover, some experiments were performed to investigate the dependence of T. holthuisi for their host. First, the analyses showed that the molecules involved in shrimp pigmentation are the same that the ones involved in E. mathaei, suggesting a potential feeding on the host. Secondly, a substantial shrimp depigmentation and an increase of the mortality rate were demonstrated after the symbionts-host separation which could mean a potential implication of spinochromes in the shrimp metabolism.
The Effect of Emotional Stimuli Related to Body Imbalance in Postural Control and the Phenomenological Experience of Young Healthy Adults
Background: Recent theories in the field of emotions have taken the relevance of motor control beyond a system related to personal autonomy (walking, running, grooming), and integrate it into the emotional dimension. However, to our best knowledge, there are no studies that specifically investigate how emotional stimuli related to motor control modify emotional states in terms of postural control and phenomenological experience. Objective: The main aim of this work is to investigate the emotions produced by stimuli of bodily imbalance (neutral, pleasant and unpleasant) in the postural control and the phenomenological experience of young, healthy adults. Methodology: 46 healthy young people are shown emotional videos (neutral, pleasant, motor unpleasant, and non-motor unpleasant) related to the body imbalance. During the period of stimulation of each of the videos (60 seconds) the participant is standing on a force platform to collect temporal and spatial data of postural control. In addition, the electrophysiological activity of the heart and electrodermal activity is recorded. In relation to the two unpleasant conditions (motor versus non-motor), a phenomenological interview is carried out to collect the subjective experience of emotion and body perception. Results: Pleasant and unpleasant emotional videos have significant changes with respect to the neutral condition in terms of greater area, higher mean velocity, and greater mean frequency power on the anterior-posterior axis. The results obtained with respect to the electrodermal response was that the pleasurable and unpleasant conditions produced a significant increase in the phasic component with respect to the neutral condition. Regarding the electrophysiology of the heart, no significant change was found in any condition. Phenomenological experiences in the two unpleasant conditions differ in body perception and the emotional meaning of the experience. Conclusion: Emotional stimuli related to bodily imbalance produce changes in postural control, electrodermal activity, and phenomenological experience. This experimental setting could be relevant to be implemented in people with motor disorders (Parkinson, Stroke, TBI) to know how emotions affect motor control.
The Effects of Inferior Tilt Fixation on a Glenoid Components in Reverse Shoulder-Arthroplasty
Reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (RTSA) has become an effective treatment option for cuff tear arthropathy and massive, irreparable rotator cuff tears and indications for its use are expanding. Numerous methods for optimal fixation of the glenoid component have been suggested, such as inferior overhang, inferior tilt, to maximize initial fixation and prevent glenoid component loosening. The inferior tilt fixation of a glenoid component has been suggested, which is expected to decrease scapular notching and to improve the stability of a glenoid component fixation in reverse total shoulder arthroplasty. Inferior tilt fixation of the glenoid component has been suggested, which can improve stability and, because it provides the most uniform compressive forces and imparts the least amount of tensile forces and micromotion, reduce the likelihood of mechanical failure. Another study reported that glenoid component inferior tilt improved impingement-free range of motion as well as minimized the scapular notching. Several authors have shown that inferior tilt of a glenoid component reduces scapular notching. However, controversy still exists regarding its importance in the literature. In this study the influence of inferior tilt fixation on the primary stability of a glenoid component has been investigated. Finite element models were constructed from cadaveric scapulae and glenoid components were implanted with neutral and 10° inferior tilts. Most previous biomechanical studies regarding the effect of glenoid component inferior tilt used a solid rigid polyurethane foam or sawbones block, not cadaveric scapulae, to evaluate the stability of the RTSA. Relative micromotions at the bone-glenoid component interface, and the distribution of bone stresses under the glenoid component and around the screws were analyzed and compared between neutral and 10° inferior tilt groups. Contact area between bone and screws and cut surface area of the cancellous bone exposed after reaming of the glenoid have also been investigated because of the fact that cancellous and cortical bone thickness vary depending on the resection level of the inferior glenoid bone. The greater relative micromotion of the bone-glenoid component interface occurred in the 10° inferior tilt group than in the neutral tilt group, especially at the inferior area of the bone-glenoid component interface. Bone stresses under the glenoid component and around the screws were also higher in the 10° inferior tilt group than in the neutral tilt group, especially at the inferior third of the glenoid bone surface under the glenoid component and inferior scapula. Thus inferior tilt fixation of the glenoid component may adversely affect the primary stability and longevity of the reverse total shoulder arthroplasty.
Aqueous Hydrogen Sulphide in Slit-Shaped Silica Nano-Pores: Confinement Effects on Solubility, Structural and Dynamical Properties
It is known that confinement in nm-size pores affects many structural and transport properties of water and co-existing volatile species. Of particular interest for fluids in sub-surface systems, in catalysis, and in separations are reports that confinement can enhance the solubility of gases in water. Equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations were performed for aqueous H₂S confined in slit-shaped silica pores at 313K. The effect of pore width on the H₂S solubility in water was investigated. Other properties of interest include the molecular distribution of the various fluid molecules within the pores, the hydration structure for solvated H₂S molecules, and the dynamical properties of the confined fluids. The simulation results demonstrate that confinement reduces the H₂S solubility in water and that the solubility increases with pore size. Analysis of spatial distribution functions suggests that these results are due to perturbations on the coordination of water molecules around H₂S due to confinement. Confinement is found to dampen the dynamical properties of aqueous H₂S as well. Comparing the results obtained for aqueous H₂S to those reported elsewhere for aqueous CH₄, it can be concluded that H₂S permeates hydrated slit-shaped silica nano-pores faster than CH₄. In addition to contributing to better understanding the behavior of fluids in subsurface formations, these observations could also have important implications for developing new natural gas sweetening technologies.
Introduction of PMMA-Tag to VHH for Improving Recovery and Immobilization Rate of VHHS
The PMMA-tag was genetically fused with the C-terminal region of VHH molecules. This antibody, VHH, is known as a single-chain domain, which is devoid of light chains. The PMMA-tag, which could affect the isoelectric point (pI) changeable with a charge of amino acid in VHHs were closely related to the solubility of VHH molecules during refolding. The genetic fusion of PMMA-tag to C-terminal region of VHHs significantly affects the recovery of their soluble protein during refolding by 50 mM TAPS at pH 8.5. It could be refolded with a recovery of more than 95% by dialysis at pH 8.5. A marked difference in the antigen-binding activities in the adsorption state was significantly high in VHH-PM compared to the wild type of VHH. There are approximately 8-fold differences in the antigen-binding activities in the adsorption state between VHH-PM and VHH.
Voltage Sag Characteristics during Symmetrical and Asymmetrical Faults
Electrical faults in transmission and distribution networks can have great impact on the electrical equipment used. Fault effects depend on the characteristics of the fault as well as the network itself. It is important to anticipate the network&rsquo;s behavior during faults when planning a new equipment installation, as well as troubleshooting. Moreover, working backwards, we could be able to estimate the characteristics of the fault when checking the perceived effects. Different transformer winding connections dominantly used in the Greek power transfer and distribution networks and the effects of 1-phase to neutral, phase-to-phase, 2-phases to neutral and 3-phase faults on different locations of the network were simulated in order to present voltage sag characteristics. The study was performed on a generic network with three steps down transformers on two voltage level buses (one 150 kV/20 kV transformer and two 20 kV/0.4 kV). We found that during faults, there are significant changes both on voltage magnitudes and on phase angles. The simulations and short-circuit analysis were performed using the PSCAD simulation package. This paper presents voltage characteristics calculated for the simulated network, with different approaches on the transformer winding connections during symmetrical and asymmetrical faults on various locations.
Study of Aqueous Solutions: A Dielectric Spectroscopy Approach
The time domain dielectric relaxation spectroscopy (TDRS) probes the interaction of a macroscopic sample with a time-dependent electrical field. The resulting complex permittivity spectrum, characterizes amplitude (voltage) and time scale of the charge-density fluctuations within the sample. These fluctuations may arise from the reorientation of the permanent dipole moments of individual molecules or from the rotation of dipolar moieties in flexible molecules, like polymers. The time scale of these fluctuations depends on the sample and its relative relaxation mechanism. Relaxation times range from some picoseconds in low viscosity liquids to hours in glasses, Therefore the DRS technique covers an extensive dynamical process, its corresponding frequency range from 10-4 Hz to 1012 Hz. This inherent ability to monitor the cooperative motion of molecular ensemble distinguishes dielectric relaxation from methods like NMR or Raman spectroscopy which yield information on the motions of individual molecules. An experimental set up for Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) technique from 10 MHz to 30 GHz has been developed for the aqueous solutions. This technique has been very simple and covers a wide band of frequencies in the single measurement. Dielectric Relaxation Spectroscopy is especially sensitive to intermolecular interactions. The complex permittivity spectra of aqueous solutions have been fitted using Cole-Davidson (CD) model to determine static dielectric constants and relaxation times for entire concentrations. The heterogeneous molecular interactions in aqueous solutions have been discussed through Kirkwood correlation factor and excess properties.
Revealing Potential Drug Targets against Proto-Oncogene Wnt10B by Comparative Molecular Docking
Wingless type Mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) Integration site-10B (Wnt10B) is an important member of the Wnt protein family that functions as cellular messenger in paracrine manner. Aberrant Wnt10B activity is the cause of several abnormalities including cancers of breast, cervix, liver, gastric tract, esophagus, pancreas as well as physiological problems like obesity, and osteoporosis. The objective of this study was to determine the possible inhibitors against aberrant expression of Wnt10B in order to prevent and treat the physiological disorders associated with it. Wnt10B3D structure was predicted by using comparative modeling and then analyzed by PROCHECK, Verify3D, and Errat. The model having 84.54% quality value was selected and acylated to satisfy the hydrophobic nature of Wnt10B. For search of inhibitors, virtual screening was performed on Natural Products (NP) database. The compounds were filtered and ligand-based screening was performed using the antagonist for mouse Wnt-3A. This resulted in a library of 272 unique compounds having most potent drug like activities for Wnt-4. Out of the 271 molecules analyzed three small molecules ZINC35442871, ZINC85876388, and ZINC00754234 having activity against Wnt4 abbarent expression were found common through docking experiment of Wnt10B. It is concluded that the three molecules ZINC35442871, ZINC85876388, and ZINC00754234 can be considered as lead compounds for performing further drug designing experiments against aberrant Wnt expressions.
A One Dimensional Cdᴵᴵ Coordination Polymer: Synthesis, Structure and Properties
One dimensional coordination polymer of Cdᴵᴵ based on pyrazine (pz) and 3-nitrophthalic acid (3-nphaH₂), namely poly[[diaqua bis(3-nitro-2-carboxylato-1-carboxylic acid)(µ₂-pyrazine) cadmium(II)]dihydrate], {[Cd(3-nphaH)2(pz)(H₂O)₂]. 2H₂O}ₙ was prepared and characterized. The asymmetric unit consists of one Cdᴵᴵ center, two (3-nphaH)– anions, two halves of two crystallographically distinct pz ligands, two coordinated and two uncoordinated water molecules. The Cdᴵᴵ cation is surrounded by four oxygen atoms from two (3-nphaH)– and two water molecules as well as two nitrogen atoms from two pz ligands in distorted octahedral geometry. Complicated hydrogen bonding network accompanied with N–O···π and C–O···π stacking interactions leads to formation of a 3D supramolecular network. Commonly, this kind of C–O–π and N–O···π interaction is detected in electron-rich CO/NO groups of (3-nphaH)– ligand and electron-deficient π-system of pyrazine.
In vitro and in vivo Potential Effect of the N-Acylsulfonamide Bis-oxazolidin-2-ones on Toxoplasma gondii
Toxoplasmosis is a cosmopolitan infection due to Toxoplasma gondii (T.gondii). It is a significant cause of congenital disease and an important opportunistic pathogen which has become a worldwide increasing problem due to the AIDS epidemic. Current available drugs do not give satisfactory results and often have only a static and several adverse side effects as it is the case of pyrimethamine. So, the need to develop and evaluate new drugs is critical. The purpose of this study is to investigate the in vitro and in vivo effects of the new chiral N-acylsulfonamide bis-oxazolidin-2-ones on T.gondii. In this study, anti-T.gondii RH strain activities, of two new chiral N-acylsulfonamide bis-oxazolidin-2-ones were evaluated in vitro, using a MRC-5 fibroblast tissue cultures to determine the concentration that inhibit parasite multiplication by 50% (IC50) of each drug and in vivo, by PCR detection of the tachyzoites in mice ascites after new molecules treatment, using the 35-fold repetitive B1 gene of T.gondii. The in vitro results demonstrated that the treatment with the tested molecules decreased the amount of tachyzoites in cell culture in a dose-dependent manner. The inhibition was complete for concentrations over 4 mg/ml. The IC50 of Mol 1 and Mol 2 were 1.5 and 3 mg/ml, respectively, and were quite similar to the control one (2 mg/ml). The Mol 1 was highly active against T.gondii in cell cultures than Mol 2; these results were similar to those of sulfadiazine-treated group (p < 0.05). Toxoplasma-specific DNA was demonstrated in all ascites samples from infected mice of the different tested groups. Mol 1 showed better effect than Mol 2, but it did not completely inhibit the parasite proliferation. The intensity of amplification products increased when the treatment started late after infection. These findings suggest continuous parasite replication despite the treatment. In conclusion, our results showed a promising treatment effect of the tested molecules and suggest that in vitro, the Mol 1, and Mol 2 have a dose-dependent effect and a high cytotoxicity on the studied cells. The present study revealed that concentration and duration of tested molecules treatment are major factors that influence the course of Toxoplasma infection in infected mice.
Different Methods of Producing Bioemulsifier by Bacillus licheniformis Strains
Biosurfactants and bioemulsifiers are a structurally diverse group of surface-active molecules synthesized by microorganisms, they are amphipathic molecules which reduce surface and interfacial tensions and widely used in pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food and petroleum industries. In this paper, several methods of bioemulsifer synthesis and purification by Bacillus licheniformis strains (namely ACO1, PTCC 1595 and ACO4) were investigated. Strains were grown in nutrient broth with different conditions in order to get maximum production of bioemulsifer. The purification of bio emulsifier and the quality evaluation of the product was done by adding sulfuric acid (H₂SO₄) (98%), Ethanol or HCl to the solution followed by centrifuging. To determine the optimal conditions yielding the highest bioemulsifier production, the effect of various carbon and nitrogen sources, temperature, NaCl concentration, pH, O₂ levels, incubation time are indispensable and all of them were highly effective in bioemulsifiers production.
Thermodynamic and Spectroscopic Investigation of Binary 2,2-Dimethyl-1-Propanol+ CO₂ Gas Hydrates
Gas hydrate is a non-stoichiometric crystalline compound consisting of host water-framework and low molecular weight guest molecules. Small gaseous molecules such as CH₄, CO₂, and N₂ can be captured in the host water framework lattices of the gas hydrate with specific temperature and pressure conditions. The three well-known crystal structures of structure I (sI), structure II (sII), and structure H (sH) are determined by the size and shape of guest molecules. In this study, we measured the phase equilibria of binary (2,2-dimethyl-1-propanol + CO₂, CH₄, N₂) hydrates to explore their fundamental thermodynamic characteristics. We identified the structure of the binary gas hydrate by employing synchrotron high-resolution powder diffraction (HRPD), and the guest distributions in the lattice of gas hydrate were investigated via dispersive Raman and ¹³C solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopies. The end-to-end distance of 2,2-dimethyl-1-propanol was calculated to be 7.76 Å, which seems difficult to be enclathrated in large cages of sI or sII. However, due to the flexibility of the host water framework, binary hydrates of sI or sII types can be formed with the help of small gas molecule. Also, the synchrotron HRPD patterns revealed that the binary hydrate structure highly depends on the type of help gases; a cubic Fd3m sII hydrate was formed with CH₄ or N₂, and a cubic Pm3n sI hydrate was formed with CO₂. Interestingly, dispersive Raman and ¹³C NMR spectra showed that the unique tuning phenomenon occurred in binary (2,2-dimethyl-1-propanol + CO₂) hydrate. By optimizing the composition of NPA, we can achieve both thermodynamic stability and high CO₂ storage capacity for the practical application to CO₂ capture.
Preparation of Fluoroalkyl End-Capped Oligomers/Silica Nanocomposites Possessing a Nonflammable Characteristic Even After Calcination at 800 oC
Fluoroalkyl end-capped oligomers [RF-(M)n-RF; RF = fluoroalkyl groups; M = radical polymerizable monomers] can form nanometre size-controlled self-assembled oligomeric aggregates through the aggregations of end-capped fluoroalkyl groups. Fluoroalkyl end-capped oligomeric aggregates can also interact with guest molecules to afford fluorinated aggregate/guest molecule nanocomposites; although the corresponding non-fluorinated oligomers cannot form such molecular aggregates to interact with guest molecules. For example, silica nanoparticles should act as guest molecules in fluorinated oligomeric aggregate cores to give new fluorinated oligomer-coated silica nanoparticles (fluorinated oligomer/silica nanocomposites). In these fluoroalkyl end-capped oligomers/silica nanocomposites, some fluorinated oligomers/silica nanocomposites were found to exhibit no weight loss behavior corresponding to the contents of oligomers in the silica matrices even after calcination at 800 oC. Fluoroalkyl end-capped vinyltrimethoxysilane oligomer-coated silica nanoparticles can be prepared by the sol-gel reaction of the corresponding fluorinated oligomer under alkaline conditions. The modified glass surface treated with this fluorinated oligomeric nanoparticle exhibited a completely super-hydrophobic characteristic. These fluorinated nanoparticles were also applied to the surface modification possessing a super-oleophobic characteristic. Not only fluoroalkyl end-capped oligomers but also low molecular weight fluorinated surfactants such as perfluoro-1,3-propanedisulfonic acid (PFPS) were applied to the preparation of fluorinated surfactants/silica nanocomposites to give no weight loss in proportion to the content of the surfactants in the nanocomposites even after calcination at 800 oC.
Theoretical Investigation of Gas Adsorption on Metal- Graphene Surface
Carbon nanostructures are of great importance in academic research and industry, which can be mentioned to chemical sensors, catalytic processes, pharmaceutical and environmental issues. Common point in all of these applications is the occurrence of adsorption of molecules on these structures. Important carbon nanostructures in this case are mainly nanotubes and graphene. To modify pure graphene, recently, many experimental and theoretical studies have carried out to investigate of metal adsorption on graphene. In this work, the adsorption of CO molecules on pure graphene and on metal adatom on graphene surface has been simulated based on density functional theory (DFT). All calculations were performed by PBE functional and Troullier-Martins pseudopotentials. Density of states (DOS) for graphene-CO, graphen and CO around the Fermi energy has been moved and very small mixing occured which implies the physisorption of CO on the bare graphen surface. While, the results have showed that CO adsorption on transition-metal adatom on graphene surface is chemisorption.
Comparing Pathogen Inhibition Effect of Different Preparations of Probiotic L. reuteri Strains
Adhesion is key factor for colonization of the gastrointestinal tract and the ability of probiotic strains to inhibit pathogens. Therefore, the adhesion ability is considered as a suitable biomarker for the selection of potential probiotic. In the present study, eight probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri strains were evaluated as viable, LiCl treated or heat-killed forms and compared with probiotic reference strains (L. reuteri ATCC55730). All strains investigated were able to adhere to Caco-2 cells. All probiotic L. reuteri strains tested were able to inhibit and displace (P < 0.05) the adhesion of Escherichia coli ATCC25922, Salmonella typhi NCDC113, Listeria monocytogenes ATCC53135 and Enterococcus faecalis NCDC115. The probiotic strain L. reuteri LR6 showed the strongest adhesion and pathogen inhibition ability among the eight L. reuteri strains tested. In addition, the abilities to inhibit and to displace adhered pathogens depended on both the probiotic and the pathogen strains tested suggesting the involvement of various mechanisms. The adhesion and antagonistic potential of the probiotic strains were significantly decreased upon exposure to 5M LiCl, showing that surface molecules, proteinaceous in nature, are involved. The heat-killed forms of the probiotic L. reuteri strains also inhibited the attachment of selected pathogens to Caco-2 cells. In conclusion, in vitro assays showed that L. reuteri strains, as viable or heat-killed forms, are adherent to Caco-2 cell line model and are highly antagonistic to selected pathogens in which surface molecules, proteinaceous molecules in particular, plays an important role.
Double Functionalization of Magnetic Colloids with Electroactive Molecules and Antibody for Platelet Detection and Separation
Neonatal thrombopenia occurs when the mother generates antibodies against her baby’s platelet antigens. It is particularly critical for newborns because it can cause coagulation troubles leading to intracranial hemorrhage. In this case, diagnosis must be done quickly to make platelets transfusion immediately after birth. Before transfusion, platelet antigens must be tested carefully to avoid rejection. The majority of thrombopenia (95 %) are caused by antibodies directed against Human Platelet Antigen 1a (HPA-1a) or 5b (HPA-5b). The common method for antigen platelets detection is polymerase chain reaction allowing for identification of gene sequence. However, it is expensive, time-consuming and requires significant blood volume which is not suitable for newborns. We propose to develop a point-of-care device based on double functionalized magnetic colloids with 1) antibodies specific to antigen platelets and 2) highly sensitive electroactive molecules in order to be detected by an electrochemical microsensor. These magnetic colloids will be used first to isolate platelets from other blood components, then to capture specifically platelets bearing HPA-1a and HPA-5b antigens and finally to attract them close to sensor working electrode for improved electrochemical signal. The expected advantages are an assay time lower than 20 min starting from blood volume smaller than 100 µL. Our functionalization procedure based on amine dendrimers and NHS-ester modification of initial carboxyl colloids will be presented. Functionalization efficiency was evaluated by colorimetric titration of surface chemical groups, zeta potential measurements, infrared spectroscopy, fluorescence scanning and cyclic voltammetry. Our results showed that electroactive molecules and antibodies can be immobilized successfully onto magnetic colloids. Application of a magnetic field onto working electrode increased the detected electrochemical signal. Magnetic colloids were able to capture specific purified antigens extracted from platelets.
Physiological Normoxia and Cellular Adhesion of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma Primary Cells: Real-Time PCR and Immunohistochemistry Study
Cell adhesion is of fundamental importance in the cell communication, signaling, and motility, and its dysfunction occurs prevalently during cancer progression. The knowledge of the molecular and cellular processes involved in abnormalities in cancer cells adhesion has greatly increased, and it has been focused mainly on cellular adhesion molecules (CAMs) and tumor microenvironment. Unfortunately, most of the data regarding CAMs expression relates to study on cells maintained in standard oxygen condition of 21%, while the emerging evidence suggests that culturing cells in ambient air is far from physiological. In fact, oxygen in human tissues ranges from 1 to 11%. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of physiological lymph node normoxia (5% O2), and hyperoxia (21% O2) on the expression of cellular adhesion molecules of primary diffuse large B-cell lymphoma cells (DLBCL) isolated from 10 lymphoma patients. Quantitative RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry were used to confirm the differential expression of several CAMs, including ICAM, CD83, CD81, CD44, depending on the level of oxygen. Our findings also suggest that DLBCL cells maintained at ambient O2 (21%) exhibit reduced growth rate and migration ability compared to the cells growing in normoxia conditions. Taking into account all the observations, we emphasize the need to identify the optimal human cell culture conditions mimicking the physiological aspects of tumor growth and differentiation.
Study on the Neurotransmitters and Digestion of Amino Acids Affecting Psychological Chemical Imbalance
With technological advances in the computational biomedical field, the ability to measure neurotransmitters’ chemical imbalances that affect depression and anxiety has been established. By comparing the thermodynamics stability of amino acid supplements, such as glutamine, tyrosine, phe-nylalanine, and methionine, this research analyzes mood-regulating neurotransmitters, amino acid supplements, and antipsychotic substances (ie. Reserpine molecule and CRF complexes) in relation to depression and anxiety and suggests alternative complexes that are low in energy to act as more efficient treatments for mood disorders. To determine a molecule’s thermodynamic stability, this research examines the molecular energy using Avogadro, a software for building virtual molecules and calculating optimized geometry using GAFF (General Amber Force Field) and UFF (Universal Force Field). The molecules, built using Avogadro, is analyzed using their theoretical values and atomic properties.
Membrane Permeability of Middle Molecules: A Computational Chemistry Approach
Drug discovery is shifting from small molecule based drugs targeting local active site to middle molecules (MM) targeting large, flat, and groove-shaped binding sites, for example, protein-protein interface because at least half of all targets assumed to be involved in human disease have been classified as “difficult to drug” with traditional small molecules. Hence, MMs such as peptides, natural products, glycans, nucleic acids with various high potent bioactivities become important targets for drug discovery programs in the recent years as they could be used for ‘undruggable” intracellular targets. Cell membrane permeability is one of the key properties of pharmacodynamically active MM drug compounds and so evaluating this property for the potential MMs is crucial. Computational prediction for cell membrane permeability of molecules is very challenging; however, recent advancement in the molecular dynamics simulations help to solve this issue partially. It is expected that MMs with high membrane permeability will enable drug discovery research to expand its borders towards intracellular targets. Further to understand the chemistry behind the permeability of MMs, it is necessary to investigate their conformational changes during the permeation through membrane and for that their interactions with the membrane field should be studied reliably because these interactions involve various non-bonding interactions such as hydrogen bonding, -stacking, charge-transfer, polarization dispersion, and non-classical weak hydrogen bonding. Therefore, parameters-based classical mechanics calculations are hardly sufficient to investigate these interactions rather, quantum mechanical (QM) calculations are essential. Fragment molecular orbital (FMO) method could be used for such purpose as it performs ab initio QM calculations by dividing the system into fragments. The present work is aimed to study the cell permeability of middle molecules using molecular dynamics simulations and FMO-QM calculations. For this purpose, a natural compound syringolin and its analogues were considered in this study. Molecular simulations were performed using NAMD and Gromacs programs with CHARMM force field. FMO calculations were performed using the PAICS program at the correlated Resolution-of-Identity second-order Moller Plesset (RI-MP2) level with the cc-pVDZ basis set. The simulations clearly show that while syringolin could not permeate the membrane, its selected analogues go through the medium in nano second scale. These correlates well with the existing experimental evidences that these syringolin analogues are membrane-permeable compounds. Further analyses indicate that intramolecular -stacking interactions in the syringolin analogues influenced their permeability positively. These intramolecular interactions reduce the polarity of these analogues so that they could permeate the lipophilic cell membrane. Conclusively, the cell membrane permeability of various middle molecules with potent bioactivities is efficiently studied using molecular dynamics simulations. Insight of this behavior is thoroughly investigated using FMO-QM calculations. Results obtained in the present study indicate that non-bonding intramolecular interactions such as hydrogen-bonding and -stacking along with the conformational flexibility of MMs are essential for amicable membrane permeation. These results are interesting and are nice example for this theoretical calculation approach that could be used to study the permeability of other middle molecules. This work was supported by Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) under Grant Number 18ae0101047.
Role of Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 in Electroacupuncture Analgesia on Chronic Inflammatory Pain in Mice
Chronic inflammatory pain results from peripheral tissue injury or local inflammation to increase the release of protons, histamines, adenosine triphosphate, and several proinflammatory cytokines. Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) is involved in fibromyalgia, neuropathic, and inflammatory pain; however, its exact mechanisms in chronic inflammatory pain are still unclear. We investigate the analgesic effect of EA by injecting complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA) in the hind paw of mice to induce chronic inflammatory pain ( > 14 d). Our results showed that EA significantly reduced chronic mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia in the chronic inflammatory pain model. Chronic mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia was also abolished in TRPV1−/− mice. TRPV1 increased in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and spinal cord (SC) at 2 weeks after CFA injection. The expression levels of downstream molecules such as pPKA, pPI3K, and pPKC increased, as did those of pERK, pp38, and pJNK. Transcription factors (pCREB and pNFκB) and nociceptive ion channels (Nav1.7 and Nav1.8) were involved in this process. Inflammatory mediators such as GFAP (Glial fibrillary acidic protein), S100B, and RAGE (Receptor for advanced glycation endproducts) were also involved. The expression levels of these molecules were reduced in EA (electroacupuncture) and TRPV1−/−mice but not in the sham EA group. The present study demonstrated that EA or TRPV1 gene deletion reduced chronic inflammatory pain through TRPV1 and related molecules. In addition, our data provided evidence to support the clinical use of EA for treating chronic inflammatory pain.
Determination of the Inhibitory Effects of N-Methylpyrrole Derivatives on Glutathione Reductase Enzyme
Glutathione reductase (GR) is a crucial antioxidant enzyme which is responsible for the maintenance of the antioxidant GSH (glutathione) molecule. Antimalarial effects of some chemical molecules are attributed to their inhibition of GR; thus inhibitors of this enzyme are expected to be promising candidates for the treatment of malaria. In this work, GR inhibitory properties of N-Methylpyrrole derivatives are reported. Firstly, GR was purified by means of affinity chromatography using 2’,5’-ADP-Sepharose 4B as ligand. Enzymatic activity was measured by Beutler’s method. Synthesis of the compounds was approved by thin layer chromatography and column chromatography. Different inhibitor concentrations were used and all compounds were tested in triplicate at each concentration used. It was found that all compounds have better inhibitory activity than the strong GR inhibitor N,N-bis(2-chloroethyl)-N-nitrosourea, especially three molecules, 8m, 8n, and 8q, are the best among them with low micromolar I₅₀ values. Findings of our study indicate that these Schiff base derivatives are strong GR inhibitors which can be used as leads for designation of novel antimalaria candidates.
Design of Direct Power Controller for a High Power Neutral Point Clamped Converter Using Real-Time Simulator
In this paper, a direct power control (DPC) strategies have been investigated in order to control a high power AC/DC converter with time variable load. This converter is composed of a three level three phase neutral point clamped (NPC) converter as rectifier and an H-bridge four quadrant current control converter. In the high power application, controller not only must adjust the desired outputs but also decrease the level of distortions which are injected to the network from the converter. Regarding this reason and nonlinearity of the power electronic converter, the conventional controllers cannot achieve appropriate responses. In this research, the precise mathematical analysis has been employed to design the appropriate controller in order to control the time variable load. A DPC controller has been proposed and simulated using Matlab/Simulink. In order to verify the simulation result, a real-time simulator- OPAL-RT- has been employed. In this paper, the dynamic response and stability of the high power NPC with variable load has been investigated and compared with conventional types using a real-time simulator. The results proved that the DPC controller is more stable and has more precise outputs in comparison with the conventional controller.
Role of Gender in Apparel Stores' Consumer Review: A Sentiment Analysis
The ubiquity of web 2.0 platforms, in the form of wikis, social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and online review portals (e.g., Yelp), helps shape today’s apparel consumers’ purchasing decision. Online reviews play important role towards consumers’ apparel purchase decision. Each of the consumer reviews carries a sentiment (positive, negative or neutral) towards products. Commercially, apparel brands and retailers analyze sentiment of this massive amount of consumer review data to update their inventory and bring new products in the market. The purpose of this study is to analyze consumer reviews of selected apparel stores with a view to understand, 1) the difference of sentiment expressed through men’s and woman’s text reviews, 2) the difference of sentiment expressed through men’s and woman’s star-based reviews, and 3) the difference of sentiment between star-based reviews and text-based reviews. A total of 9,363 reviews (1,713 men and 7,650 women) were collected using Yelp Dataset Challenge. Sentiment analysis of collected reviews was carried out in two dimensions: star-based reviews and text-based reviews. Sentiment towards apparel stores expressed through star-based reviews was deemed: 1) positive for 3 or 4 stars 2) negative for 1 or 2 stars and 3) neutral for 3 stars. Sentiment analysis of text-based reviews was carried out using Bing Liu dictionary. The analysis was conducted in IPyhton 5.0. Space. The sentiment analysis results revealed the percentage of positive text reviews by men (80%) and women (80%) were identical. Women reviewers (12%) provided more neutral (e.g., 3 out of 5 stars) star reviews than men (6%). Star-based reviews were more negative than the text-based reviews. In other words, while 80% men and women wrote positive reviews for the stores, less than 70% ended up giving 4 or 5 stars in those reviews. One of the key takeaways of the study is that star reviews provide slightly negative sentiment of the consumer reviews. Therefore, in order to understand sentiment towards apparel products, one might need to combine both star and text aspects of consumer reviews. This study used a specific dataset consisting of selected apparel stores from particular geographical locations (the information was not given for privacy concern). Future studies need to include more data from more stores and locations to generalize the findings of the study.
Adsorption of Phenolic Compounds on Activated Carbon DSAC36-24
Activated carbon DSAC36-24 iy is adsorbent materials, characterized by a specific surface area of 548.13 m&sup2;g⁻&sup1;. Their manufacture uses the natural raw materials like the nucleus of dates. In this study the treatment is done in two stages: A chemical treatment by H3PO4 followed by a physical treatment under nitrogen for 1 hour then under stream of CO2 for 24 hours. A characterization of the various parameters was determined such as the measurement of the specific surface area, determination of pHPZC, bulk density, iodine value. The study of the adsorption of organic molecules (hydroquinone, paranitrophenol, 2,4-dinitrophenol, 2,4,6-trinitrophenol) indicates that the adsorption phenomena are essentially due to the van der Waals interaction. In the case of organic molecules carrying the polar substituents, the existence of hydrogen bonds is also proved by the donor-acceptor forces. The study of the pH effect was done with modeling by different models (Langmuir, Freundlich, Langmuir-Freundlich, Redlich-Peterson), a kinetic treatment is also followed by the application of Lagergren, Weber, Macky.
Binding Ability of Carbazolylphenyl Dendrimers with Zinc (II) Tetraphenylporphyrin Core towards Cryptands
The processes of complexation of the Zn-tetraarylporphyrins with eight 4-(4-(3,6-bis(t-butyl)carbazol-9-yl-phenyl)-1,2,3-triazole (ZnP1) and eight 4-(4-(3,6-di-tert-butyl-9-H-carbazol-9-yl)phenoxy)methyl)-2,4,6-trimethylphenyl (ZnP2)with the 1,10-diaza-4,7,13,18tetraoxabicyclo[8.5.5]eicosane (L1),1,10-diaza-4,7,13,16,21,24-hexaoxabicyclo[8.8.8]hexacosane (L2)and 1,10-diaza-5,6,14,15-dibenzo-4,7,13,16,21,24 hexaoxabicyclo[8.8.8] hexacosane (L3) were investigated by the method of spectrophotometric titration and 1H NMR-spectroscopy. We determined the structures of the host-guest complexes, and their stability constants in toluene were calculated. It was found out that the ZnP1 interacts with the guest molecules L1, L2 with the formation of stable &quot;nest&quot; type complexes and does not form similar complexes with the L3 (presumably due to the fact that the L3 does not match the size of the porphyrin ZnP(1) cavity). On the other hand, the porphyrin ZnP2 binds all of the ligands L1-L3, however complexes thus formed are less stable than complexes ZnP1-L1, ZnP1-L2. In the report, we will also discuss the influence of the alkali cations additives on the stability of the complexes between the porphyrin ZnP1, ZnP2 hosts and guest molecules of the ligands L1-L3.
CP-96345 Rregulates Hydrogen Sulphide Induced TLR4 Signaling Pathway Adhesion Molecules in Caerulein Treated Pancreatic Acinar Cells
We have earlier shown that mouse pancreatic acinar cells produce hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and play a role in the pathogenesis of acute pancreatitis. This study is to determine the effect of H2S on TLR4 mediated innate immune signaling in acute pancreatitis via substance P (SP). Male Swiss mice were treated with hourly intraperitoneal injection of caerulein (50μg/kg) for 10 hour. DL-propargylglycine (PAG) (100 mg/kg i.p.), an inhibitor of H2S formation was administered 1h after the induction of acute pancreatitis. Pancreatic acinar cells from male Swiss mice were incubated with or without caerulein (10–7 M for 60 min) and CP-96345 (NK1R inhibitor). To better understand the effect of H2S in inflammation, acinar cells were stimulated with caerulein after addition of H2S donor, NaHS. In addition, caerulein treated pancreatic acinar cells were pretreated with PAG (30 µM), for 1h. H2S inhibitor, PAG, eliminated TLR4, IRAK4, TRAF6 and NF-kB levels in an in vitro and in vivo model of caerulein-induced acute pancreatitis. PPTA gene deletion reduced TLR4, MyD88, IRAK4, TRAF6, adhesion molecules and NF-kB in caerulein treated pancreatic acinar cells whereas administration of NaHS resulted in further rise in TLR4 and NF-kB levels in caerulein treated pancreatic acinar cells. In addition, acini isolated from mice and treated with PPTA gene receptor NK1R antagonist CP96345 did not exhibit further increase in TLR4, IRAK4, TRAF6, adhesion molecules and NF-kB levels after NaHS pretreatment. The present findings show for the first time that in acute pancreatitis, H2S up-regulates TLR4 pathway and NF-kB via substance P.
Generalized Hyperbolic Functions: Exponential-Type Quantum Interactions
In the search of potential models applied in the theoretical treatment of diatomic molecules, some of them have been constructed by using standard hyperbolic functions as well as from the so-called q-deformed hyperbolic functions (sc q-dhf) for displacing and modifying the shape of the potential under study. In order to transcend the scope of hyperbolic functions, in this work, a kind of generalized q-deformed hyperbolic functions (g q-dhf) is presented. By a suitable transformation, through the q deformation parameter, it is shown that these g q-dhf can be expressed in terms of their corresponding standard ones besides they can be reduced to the sc q-dhf. As a useful application of the proposed approach, and considering a class of exactly solvable multi-parameter exponential-type potentials, some new q-deformed quantum interactions models that can be used as interesting alternative in quantum physics and quantum states are presented. Furthermore, due that quantum potential models are conditioned on the q-dependence of the parameters that characterize to the exponential-type potentials, it is shown that many specific cases of q-deformed potentials are obtained as particular cases from the proposal.
A Detailed Computational Investigation into Copper Catalyzed Sonogashira Coupling Reaction
Sonogashira coupling reactions are widely employed in the synthesis of molecules of biological and pharmaceutical importance. Copper catalyzed Sonogashira coupling reactions are gaining importance owing to the low cost and less toxicity of copper as compared to the palladium catalyst. In the present work, a detailed computational study has been carried out on the Sonogashira coupling reaction between aryl halides and terminal alkynes catalyzed by Copper (I) species with trans-1, 2 Diaminocyclohexane as ligand. All calculations are performed at Density Functional Theory (DFT) level, using the hybrid Becke3LYP functional. Cu and I atoms are described using an effective core potential (LANL2DZ) for the inner electrons and its associated double-ζ basis set for the outer electrons. For all other atoms, 6-311G+* basis set is used. We have identified that the active catalyst species is a neutral 3-coordinate trans-1,2 diaminocyclohexane ligated Cu (I) alkyne complex and found that the oxidative addition and reductive elimination occurs in a single step proceeding through one transition state. This is owing to the ease of reductive elimination involving coupling of Csp2-Csp carbon atoms and the less stable Cu (III) intermediate. This shows the mechanism of copper catalyzed Sonogashira coupling reactions are quite different from those catalyzed by palladium. To gain further insights into the mechanism, substrates containing various functional groups are considered in our study to traverse their effect on the feasibility of the reaction. We have also explored the effect of ligand on the catalytic cycle of the coupling reaction. The theoretical results obtained are in good agreement with the experimental observation. This shows the relevance of a combined theoretical and experimental approach for rationally improving the cross-coupling reaction mechanisms.
The Application of Enzymes on Pharmaceutical Products and Process Development
Enzymes are biological molecules that significantly regulate the rate of almost all of the chemical reactions that take place within cells, and have been widely used for products’ innovations. They are vital for life and serve a wide range of important functions in the body, such as aiding in digestion and metabolism. The present study was aimed at finding out the extent to which biological molecules have been utilized by pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and biofuel industries in commercial and scale up applications. Taking into account the escalating business opportunities in this vertical, biotech firms have also been penetrating enzymes industry especially that of food. The aim of the study therefore was to find out how biocatalysis can be successfully deployed; how enzyme application can improve industrial processes. To achieve the purpose of the study, the researcher focused on the analytical tools that are critical for the scale up implementation of enzyme immobilization to ascertain the extent of increased product yield at minimum logistical burden and maximum market profitability on the environment and user. The researcher collected data from four pharmaceutical companies located at Anambra state and Imo state of Nigeria. Questionnaire items were distributed to these companies. The researcher equally made a personal observation on the applicability of these biological molecules on innovative Products since there is now shifting trends toward the consumption of healthy and quality food. In conclusion, it was discovered that enzymes have been widely used for products’ innovations but there are however variations on their applications. It was also found out that pivotal contenders of enzymes market have lately been making heavy investments in the development of innovative product solutions. It was recommended that the applications of enzymes on innovative products should be widely practiced.
The Impact of Anxiety on the Access to Phonological Representations in Beginning Readers and Writers
Anxiety is known to have an impact on working memory. In reasoning or memory tasks, individuals with anxiety tend to show longer response times and poorer performance. Furthermore, there is a memory bias for negative information in anxiety. Given the crucial role of working memory in lexical learning, anxious students may encounter more difficulties in learning to read and spell. Anxiety could even affect an earlier learning, that is the activation of phonological representations, which are decisive for the learning of reading and writing. The aim of this study is to compare the access to phonological representations of beginning readers and writers according to their level of anxiety, using an auditory lexical decision task. Eighty students of 6- to 9-years-old completed the French version of the Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale and were then divided into four anxiety groups according to their total score (Low, Median-Low, Median-High and High). Two set of eighty-one stimuli (words and non-words) have been auditory presented to these students by means of a laptop computer. Stimuli words were selected according to their emotional valence (positive, negative, neutral). Students had to decide as quickly and accurately as possible whether the presented stimulus was a real word or not (lexical decision). Response times and accuracy were recorded automatically on each trial. It was anticipated a) longer response times for the Median-High and High anxiety groups in comparison with the two others groups, b) faster response times for negative-valence words in comparison with positive and neutral-valence words only for the Median-High and High anxiety groups, c) lower response accuracy for Median-High and High anxiety groups in comparison with the two others groups, d) better response accuracy for negative-valence words in comparison with positive and neutral-valence words only for the Median-High and High anxiety groups. Concerning the response times, our results showed no difference between the four groups. Furthermore, inside each group, the average response times was very close regardless the emotional valence. Otherwise, group differences appear when considering the error rates. Median-High and High anxiety groups made significantly more errors in lexical decision than Median-Low and Low groups. Better response accuracy, however, is not found for negative-valence words in comparison with positive and neutral-valence words in the Median-High and High anxiety groups. Thus, these results showed a lower response accuracy for above-median anxiety groups than below-median groups but without specificity for the negative-valence words. This study suggests that anxiety can negatively impact the lexical processing in young students. Although the lexical processing speed seems preserved, the accuracy of this processing may be altered in students with moderate or high level of anxiety. This finding has important implication for the prevention of reading and spelling difficulties. Indeed, during these learnings, if anxiety affects the access to phonological representations, anxious students could be disturbed when they have to match phonological representations with new orthographic representations, because of less efficient lexical representations. This study should be continued in order to precise the impact of anxiety on basic school learning.
Biomimetic Systems to Reveal the Action Mode of Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate in Lipid Membrane
Catechins are powerful antioxidants which have attractive properties useful for tumor therapy. Considering their antioxidant activity, these molecules can act as a scavenger of the reactive oxygen species (ROS), alleviating the damage of cell membrane induced by oxidative stress. The complexity and dynamic nature of the cell membrane compromise the analysis of the biophysical interactions between drug and cell membrane and restricts the transport or uptake of the drug by intracellular targets. To avoid the cell membrane complexity, we used biomimetic systems as liposomes and Langmuir monolayers to study the interaction between catechin and membranes at the molecular level. Liposomes were formed after the dispersion of anionic 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-[phospho-rac-(1-glycerol)(sodium salt) (DPPG) phospholipids in an aqueous solution, which mimic the arrangement of lipids in natural cell membranes and allows the entrapment of catechins. Langmuir monolayers were formed after dropping amphiphilic molecules, DPPG phospholipids, dissolved in an organic solvent onto the water surface. In this work, we mixed epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) with DPPG liposomes and exposed them to ultra-violet radiation in order to evaluate the antioxidant potential of these molecules against oxidative stress induced by radiation. The presence of EGCG in the mixture decreased the rate of lipid peroxidation, proving that EGCG protects membranes through the quenching of the reactive oxygen species. Considering the high amount of hydroxyl groups (OH groups) on structure of EGCG, a possible mechanism to these molecules interact with membrane is through hydrogen bonding. We also investigated the effect of EGCG at various concentrations on DPPG Langmuir monolayers. The surface pressure isotherms and infrared reflection-absorption spectroscopy (PM-IRRAS) results corroborate with absorbance results preformed on liposome-model, showing that EGCG interacts with polar heads of the monolayers. This study elucidates the physiological action of EGCG which can be incorporated in lipid membrane. These results are also relevant for the improvement of the current protocols used to incorporate catechins in drug delivery systems.
Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship Modeling of Detoxication Properties of Some 1,2-Dithiole-3-Thione Derivatives
Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR) studies have been performed on nineteen molecules of 1,2-dithiole-3-thione analogues. The compounds used are the potent inducers of enzymes involved in the maintenance of reduced glutathione pools as well as phase-2 enzymes important to electrophile detoxication. A multiple linear regression (MLR) procedure was used to design the relationships between molecular descriptor and detoxication properties of the 1,2-dithiole-3-thione derivatives. The predictivity of the model was estimated by cross-validation with the leave-one-out method. Our results suggest a QSAR model based of the following descriptors: qS2, qC3, qC5, qS6, DM, Pol, log P, MV, SAG, HE and EHOMO for the specific activity of quinone reductase; qS1, qS2, qC3, qC4, qC5, qS6, DM, Pol, logP, MV, SAG, HE and EHOMO for the production of growth hormone. To confirm the predictive power of the models, an external set of molecules was used. High correlation between experimental and predicted activity values was observed, indicating the validation and the good quality of the derived QSAR models.
Similarity of the Disposition of the Electrostatic Potential of Tetrazole and Carboxylic Group to Investigate Their Bioisosteric Relationship
Bioisosteres are functional groups that can be interchangeably used without affecting the potency of the drug. Bioisosteres have similar pharmacological properties. Bioisosterism is useful for modifying the physicochemical properties of a drug while obeying the Lipinski’s rules. Bioisosteres are key in optimizing the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics properties of a drug. Tetrazole and carboxylate anions are non-classic bioisosteres. Density functional theory was used to obtain the wavefunction of the molecules and the optimized geometries. The quantum theory of atoms in molecules (QTAIM) was used to uncover the similarity of the average electron density in tetrazole and carboxylate anions. This similarity between the bioisosteres capped by a methyl group was valid despite the fact that the groups have different volumes, charges, energies, or electron populations. The biochemical correspondence of tetrazole and carboxylic acid was also determined to be a result of the similarity of the topography of the electrostatic potential (ESP). The ESP demonstrates the pharmacological and biochemical resemblance for a matching “key-and-lock” interaction.
Examining the Role of Soil pH on the Composition and Abundance of Nitrite Oxidising Bacteria
Nitrification, the microbial oxidation of ammonia to nitrate (NO3-) via nitrite (NO2-) is a vital process in the biogeochemical nitrogen cycle and is performed by two distinct functional groups; ammonia oxidisers (comprised of ammonia oxidising bacteria (AOB) and ammonia oxidising archaea (AOA)) and nitrite oxidising bacteria. Autotrophic nitrification is said to occur in acidic soils, even though most laboratory cultures of isolated ammonia and nitrite oxidising bacteria fail to grow below neutral pH. Published studies revealed that soil pH is a major driver for determining the distribution and abundance of AOB and AOA. To determine whether distinct populations of nitrite oxidising bacteria within the lineages of Nitrospira and Nitrobacter are adapted to a particular range of pH as observed in ammonia oxidising organisms, the community structure of Nitrospira-like and Nitrobacter-like NOB were examined across a pH gradient (4.5–7.5) by amplifying nitrite oxido-reductase (nxrA) and 16S rRNA genes followed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). The community structure of both Nitrospira and Nitrobacter changed with soil pH, with distinct populations observed in acidic and neutral soils. The abundance of Nitrospira-like 16S rRNA and Nitrobacter-like nxrA gene copies contrasted across the pH gradient. Nitrobacter-like nxrA gene abundance decreased with increasing soil pH, whereas Nitrospira-like 16S rRNA gene abundance increased with increasing pH. Findings indicated that abundance and distributions of soil NOB is influence by soil pH.
Fabrication of Porous Materials for the Removal of Lead from Waste Water
Adsorption of lead by a natural porous material was studied to establish a baseline for the removal of heavy metals from drinking and waste water. Samples were examined under different conditions such as solution pH, solution concentration, solution temperature, and exposure time. New materials with potentially enhanced adsorption properties were developed by functionalizing the surface of the natural porous material to fabricate graphene based coated and sulfide based treated porous material. The functionalized materials were characterized with Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Raman, Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) techniques. Solution pH effect on removal efficiency has been investigated in acidic (pH = 4), neutral (pH = 6) and basic (pH = 10) pH levels. All adsorbent materials showed highest adsorption capacities at neutral pH levels. Batch experiment was employed to assess the efficacy for the removal of lead with the sorption kinetics and the adsorption isotherms being determined for the natural and treated porous materials. The addition of graphene-based and sulfide-based materials increased the lead removal capacity of the natural clean porous material. Theoretical calculations confirmed pseudo-second order model as kinetic mechanism for lead adsorption for all adsorbents.
Biomass and Biogas Yield of Maize as Affected by Nitrogen Rates with Varying Harvesting under Semi-Arid Condition of Pakistan
Management considerations including harvesting time and nitrogen application considerably influence the biomass yield, quality and biogas production. Therefore, a field study was conducted to determine the effect of various harvesting times and nitrogen rates on the biomass yield, quality and biogas yield of maize crop. This experiment was consisted of various harvesting times i.e., harvesting after 45, 55 and 65 days of sowing (DAS) and nitrogen rates i.e., 0, 100, 150 and 200 kg ha-1 respectively. The data indicated that maximum plant height, leaf area, dry matter (DM) yield, protein, acid detergent fiber, neutral detergent fiber, crude fiber contents and biogas yield were recorded 65 days after sowing while lowest was recorded 45 days after sowing. In contrary to that significantly higher chlorophyll contents were observed at 45 DAS. In case of nitrogen rates maximum plant height, leaf area, and DM yield, protein contents, ash contents, acid detergent fiber, neutral detergent fiber, crude fiber contents and chlorophyll contents were determined with nitrogen at the rate of 200 kg ha-1, while minimum was observed when no N was applied. Therefore, harvesting 65 DAS and N application @ 200 kg ha-1 can be suitable for getting the higher biomass and biogas production.
Influence of Single Source Irradiation on the Homogeneous Alignment of Liquid Crystals Molecules on Glass Substrates
A detailed study of homogeneous alignment of liquid crystal molecules on a glass substrate will be presented. Thin films of polyimide were coated on several glass substrates. Various methods were employed to prepare coated surfaces to achieve desired alignment; these include traditionally rubbing the surface with a felt cloth then exposing them perpendicular to the easy axis with incandescent light (IL), linearly polarized ultraviolet (LPUVR) and un-polarized ultraviolet (UPUVR) radiation. The quality of the alignment was tested by measuring the tilt angle in the temperature range between 30°C to 55°C. Regression analysis of the data using ‘SigmaPlot’ suggests a gradual increase in tilt angle (1.1°-1.8°) for the rubbed, 0.6° to 3.6° increase for the rubbed plus IL radiated and 1.6° to 4.6° for the rubbed plus UPUVL radiated samples, respectively. However to our surprise, we found tilt angle to be decreasing from 2.4° to 1.6° for the rubbed plus LPUVL radiated samples. We hope that these findings will be helpful in the fabrication of display panels and other electro-optic devices.
Prediction of Road Accidents in Qatar by 2022
There is growing concern over increasing incidences of road accidents and consequent loss of human life in Qatar. In light to the future planned event in Qatar, World Cup 2022; Qatar should put into consideration the future deaths caused by road accidents, and past trends should be considered to give a reasonable picture of what may happen in the future. Qatar roads should be arranged and paved in a way that accommodate high capacity of the population in that time, since then there will be a huge number of visitors from the world. Qatar should also consider the risk issues of road accidents raised in that period, and plan to maintain high level to safety strategies. According to the increase in the number of road accidents in Qatar from 1995 until 2012, an analysis of elements affecting and causing road accidents will be effectively studied. This paper aims to identify and criticize the factors that have high effect on causing road accidents in the state of Qatar, and predict the total number of road accidents in Qatar 2022. Alternative methods are discussed and the most applicable ones according to the previous researches are selected for further studies. The methods that satisfy the existing case in Qatar were the multiple linear regression model (MLR) and artificial neutral network (ANN). Those methods are analyzed and their findings are compared. We conclude that by using MLR the number of accidents in 2022 will become 355,226 accidents, and by using ANN 216,264 accidents. We conclude that MLR gave better results than ANN because the artificial neutral network doesn’t fit data with large range varieties.
Identification of Promiscuous Epitopes for Cellular Immune Responses in the Major Antigenic Protein Rv3873 Encoded by Region of Difference 1 of Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Rv3873 is a relatively large size protein (371 amino acids in length) and its gene is located in the immunodominant genomic region of difference (RD)1 that is present in the genome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis but deleted from the genomes of all the vaccine strains of Bacillus Calmette Guerin (BCG) and most other mycobacteria. However, when tested for cellular immune responses using peripheral blood mononuclear cells from tuberculosis patients and BCG-vaccinated healthy subjects, this protein was found to be a major stimulator of cell mediated immune responses in both groups of subjects. In order to further identify the sequence of immunodominant epitopes and explore their Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA)-restriction for epitope recognition, 24 peptides (25-mers overlapping with the neighboring peptides by 10 residues) covering the sequence of Rv3873 were synthesized chemically using fluorenylmethyloxycarbonyl chemistry and tested in cell mediated immune responses. The results of these experiments helped in the identification of an immunodominant peptide P9 that was recognized by people expressing varying HLA-DR types. Furthermore, it was also predicted to be a promiscuous binder with multiple epitopes for binding to HLA-DR, HLA-DP and HLA-DQ alleles of HLA-class II molecules that present antigens to T helper cells, and to HLA-class I molecules that present antigens to T cytotoxic cells. In addition, the evaluation of peptide P9 using an immunogenicity predictor server yielded a high score (0.94), which indicated a greater probability of this peptide to elicit a protective cellular immune response. In conclusion, P9, a peptide with multiple epitopes and ability to bind several HLA class I and class II molecules for presentation to cells of the cellular immune response, may be useful as a peptide-based vaccine against tuberculosis.
Critical Thinking and Creativity of Undergraduate Nursing Students: Descriptive and Disposition in Academic Levels
Critical thinking and creativity are desirable competency for contemporary nurses although there are growing concerns supporting a disturbing paucity in its achievement. Nursing colleges in Thailand have developed teaching strategies and curricula that nurture critical thinking and creativity dispositions according academic levels. Objectives: This descriptive study identified critical thinking and creativity dispositions of Thai nursing students according academic levels. Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted among 515 nursing students for four academic levels. All are studying at Boromarajonani College of Nursing Chon Buri, Thailand. Descriptive and univariate general linear model analysis were applied. Results: The scores on critical thinking disposition gradually increased as academic level is rising from the junior year throughout the senior year, but its scores are neutral. Scores on creativity skill is neutral and constant thorough the four academic years. The fourth grade students had slightly higher scores on creativity when compared to others. A significant relationship between critical thinking and creativity was also found. Conclusions: The scores on critical thinking disposition gradually improved which greatly increased in the senior year. However, creativity has neutrally progressed. The findings suggest the importance of targeting the development of curriculum and teaching strategies for all grades of nursing students to increase their critical thinking and creativity skills.
Implicit and Explicit Mechanisms of Emotional Contagion
Emotional contagion is characterized as an automatic tendency to synchronize behaviors that facilitate emotional convergence among humans. It might thus play a pivotal role to understand the dynamics of key social interactions. However, a few research has investigated its potential mechanisms. We suggest two complementary but independent processes that may underlie emotional contagion. The efficient contagion hypothesis, based on fast and implicit bottom-up processes, modulated by familiarity and spread of activation in the emotional associative networks of memory. Secondly, the emotional contrast hypothesis, based on slow and explicit top-down processes guided by deliberated appraisal and hypothesis-testing. In order to assess these two hypotheses, an experiment with 39 participants was conducted. In the first phase, participants were induced (between-groups) to an emotional state (positive, neutral or negative) using a standardized video taken from the FilmStim database. In the second phase, participants classified and rated (within-subject) the emotional state of 15 faces (5 for each emotional state) taken from the POFA database. In the third phase, all participants were returned to a baseline emotional state using the same neutral video used in the first phase. In a fourth phase, participants classified and rated a new set of 15 faces. The accuracy in the identification and rating of emotions was partially explained by the efficient contagion hypothesis, but the speed with which these judgments were made was partially explained by the emotional contrast hypothesis. However, results are ambiguous, so a follow-up experiment is proposed in which emotional expressions and activation of the sympathetic system will be measured using EMG and EDA respectively.
Neural Correlates of Diminished Humor Comprehension in Schizophrenia: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study
The present study aimed at evaluation of neural correlates of humor comprehension impairments observed in schizophrenia. To investigate the nature of this deficit in schizophrenia and to localize cortical areas involved in humor processing we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The study included chronic schizophrenia outpatients (SCH; n=20), and sex, age and education level matched healthy controls (n=20). The task consisted of 60 stories (setup) of which 20 had funny, 20 nonsensical and 20 neutral (not funny) punchlines. After the punchlines were presented, the participants were asked to indicate whether the story was comprehensible (yes/no) and how funny it was (1-9 Likert-type scale). fMRI was performed on a 3T scanner (Magnetom Skyra, Siemens) using 32-channel head coil. Three contrasts in accordance with the three stages of humor processing were analyzed in both groups: abstract vs neutral stories - incongruity detection; funny vs abstract - incongruity resolution; funny vs neutral - elaboration. Additionally, parametric modulation analysis was performed using both subjective ratings separately in order to further differentiate the areas involved in incongruity resolution processing. Statistical analysis for behavioral data used U Mann-Whitney test and Bonferroni’s correction, fMRI data analysis utilized whole-brain voxel-wise t-tests with 10-voxel extent threshold and with Family Wise Error (FWE) correction at alpha = 0.05, or uncorrected at alpha = 0.001. Between group comparisons revealed that the SCH subjects had attenuated activation in: the right superior temporal gyrus in case of irresolvable incongruity processing of nonsensical puns (nonsensical > neutral); the left medial frontal gyrus in case of incongruity resolution processing of funny puns (funny > nonsensical) and the interhemispheric ACC in case of elaboration of funny puns (funny > neutral). Additionally, the SCH group revealed weaker activation during funniness ratings in the left ventro-medial prefrontal cortex, the medial frontal gyrus, the angular and the supramarginal gyrus, and the right temporal pole. In comprehension ratings the SCH group showed suppressed activity in the left superior and medial frontal gyri. Interestingly, these differences were accompanied by protraction of time in both types of rating responses in the SCH group, a lower level of comprehension for funny punchlines and a higher funniness for absurd punchlines. Presented results indicate that, in comparison to healthy controls, schizophrenia is characterized by difficulties in humor processing revealed by longer reaction times, impairments of understanding jokes and finding nonsensical punchlines more funny. This is accompanied by attenuated brain activations, especially in the left fronto-parietal and the right temporal cortices. Disturbances of the humor processing seem to be impaired at the all three stages of the humor comprehension process, from incongruity detection, through its resolution to elaboration. The neural correlates revealed diminished neural activity of the schizophrenia brain, as compared with the control group. The study was supported by the National Science Centre, Poland (grant no 2014/13/B/HS6/03091).
Role of Natural Products in Drug Discovery of Anti-Biotic and Anti-Cancer Agents
For many years, small organic molecules derived naturally from microbes and plants have delivered a number of expedient therapeutic drug agents. The search for naturally occurring lead compounds has continued in recent years as well, with the constituents of marine flora and fauna along with those of telluric microorganisms and plants being investigated for their anti-bacterial and anti-cancer activities. It has been observed that such promising lead molecules incline to promptly generate substantial attention among scientists like synthetic organic chemists and biologists. Subsequently, the availability of a given precious natural product sample may be enriched, and it may be possible to determine a preliminary idea of structure-activity relationships to develop synthetic analogues. For instance, anti-tumor drug topotecan is a synthetic chemical compound similar in chemical structure to camptothecin which is found in extracts of Camptotheca acuminate. Similarly, researchers at AstraZeneca discovered anti-biotic pyrrolamide through a fragment-based lead generation approach from kibdelomycin, which is isolated from Staphylococcus aureuss.
Rare Earth Metal Ion-Doped SiO2 Nanocomposite Membranes for Gas Separation in Steam Atmosphere
Y2O3-doped silica membranes were synthesized with the sol-gel method by using a tetraethyl orthosilicate-derived sol mixed with yttrium nitrate hexahydrate. These solutions were used to fabricate hydrogen separation microporous membranes with a sandwich-type structure on γ-Al2O3 supported by tubular α-Al2O3. Pore size distribution measurements were conducted directly on the membranes before and after hydrothermal treatment with a nano-permporometer. The gas permeance properties of the membranes were measured in the temperature range 100–500°C. The Y-doped SiO2 membrane (Si/Y = 3/1) was found to exhibit asymptotically stable permeances of 2.39×10-7 mol m-2 s -1 Pa-1 for He and 6.19 ×10-10 mol m-2 s -1 Pa-1 for CO2, with a high selectivity of 386 (He/CO2) at 500°C for 20 h in the presence of steam. The Y-doped silica membranes exhibit very high gas permeances for molecules with smaller kinetic diameters. The apparent activation energies of the H2 permeance at 400°C were 24.2±0.2 and 21.3±0.7 kJ mol−1 for SiO2 and Si/Y, respectively. Very high permeances were obtained for N2 and O2, 2.2 and 5 × 10-8 mol m-2 s -1 Pa-1 respectively, which demonstrates that these materials are promising air purification and/or separation systems that block larger impurity molecules by molecular sieving effects. Y-doped SiO2 exhibits greater hydrothermal stability at high temperatures and higher selectivity than SiO2 membranes.
Aorta Adhesion Molecules in Cholesterol-Fed Rats Supplemented with Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Sunflower Oil, in Either Commercial or Modified Forms
Chronic inflammation plays a pivotal role in CVD development, while phytochemicals have been shown to reduce CVD risk. Several studies have correlated olive oil consumption with CVD prevention and CVD risk reduction. However, the effect of individual olive oil macro- or micro-constituents and possible synergisms among them needs to be further elucidated. Herein, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) lipidic and polar phenolics fractions were evaluated for their effect on inflammatory markers in cholesterol-fed rats. Oils combining different characteristics as to their polar phenolic content and lipid profile were used. Male Wistar rats were fed for 9 weeks on either a high-cholesterol diet (HCD) or a HCD supplemented with oils, either commercially available, i.e. EVOO, sunflower oil (SO), or modified as to their polar phenol content, i.e. phenolics deprived-EVOO (EVOOd), SO enriched with the EVOO phenolics (SOe). Post-intervention, aorta and blood samples were collected. HCD induced dyslipidemia, manifested by serum total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol elevation. Additionally, HCD resulted in higher adhesion molecules’ levels in rat aorta. In the case of E-selectin, this increase was attenuated by HCD supplementation with EVOO and EVOOd, while no alterations were observed in SO and SOe groups. No differences were observed between pairs of commercial and modified oils, indicating that oleates may be the components responsible for aorta E-selectin levels lowering. The same was true for vascular adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1); augmentation in cholesterol-fed animals was attenuated by EVOO and EVOOd diets, highlighting oleates effect. In addition, VCAM-1 levels were higher in SO group compared to the respective SOe, indicating that in the presence of phenolic compounds linoleic acid have become less prone to oxidation. Intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) levels were higher in cholesterol-fed rats, however not affected by any of the oils supplemented during the intervention. Overall, EVOO was found superior in regulating adhesion molecule levels in rat aorta compared to SO. EVOO and EVOOd exhibited analogous effects on all adhesion molecules assessed, indicating that EVOO major constituents (oleates) improve E-selectin and VCAM-1 levels in rat aorta, independently from phenolics presence. Further research is needed to elucidate the effect of phenolics and oleates in other tissues.
Synthesis of 5'-Azidonucleosides as Building Blocks for the Preparation of Biologically Active Bioconjugates
The cancer cells require higher amount of nucleoside building blocks for their proliferation, therefore they have significantly higher uptake of nucleosides by the different nucleoside transporters. Therefore, the conjugation with nucleosides may significantly increase the efficiency and selectivity of potential active pharmaceutical ingredients. On the other hand, the advantage of using a nucleoside could be either the higher activity on targeted enzymes overrepresented in cancer cells or an enhanced cellular uptake of the bioconjugates in these cells compared to the healthy ones. This fact can be used to make the nucleosides, as targeting moieties covalently bound to anti-cancer drug molecules which can selectively accumulate in cancer cells. However, in order to form the nucleoside-drug conjugates, such nucleoside building blocks are needed, which can selectively be coupled to the drug molecules containing even a high number of diverse functional groups. One of the most selective conjugation techniques is the copper-catalyzed azide-alkyne click reaction that requires the presence of an alkyl group on one of the conjugated molecules and an azide group on the other. In case of nucleosides, the development of azide group is simpler for which the replacement of the 5'-hydroxy group is the most suitable. This transformation generally involves many side reactions and result in very low yields. In addition, during our experiments, the transformation of the 2'-deoxyguanosine to the corresponding 5'-deoxy-5’-azido-2’-deoxyguanosine could not be performed with any of the methods described in the literature. Therefore, we have tried to overcome these difficulties with not only using the traditional process based on the 2 step exchange of tosyl to azide, but also using the Mitsunobu reaction which requires only one step. However, this path proved to be unsuccessful in spite of the optimizing the reaction conditions. Finally, a method has been developed whereby the azide groups were incorporated into the 5’-position resulting in significantly better yields compared to all other previous methods, and we were able to produce all the four nucleoside derivatives.
Production of Antimicrobial Agents against Multidrug-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus through the Biocatalysis of Vegetable Oils
Structural modification of natural lipids via chemical reaction or microbial bioconversion can change their properties or even create novel functionalities. Enzymatic oxidation of lipids leading to formation of oxylipin is one of those modifications. Hydroxy fatty acids, one of those oxylipins have gained important attentions because of their structural and functional properties compared with other non-hydroxy fatty acids. Recently 7,10-dihydroxy-8(E)-octadecenoic acid (DOD) was produced with high yield from lipid-containing oleic acid by microbial conversion, and the further study confirmed that DOD contained strong antimicrobial activities against a broad range of microorganisms. In this study, we tried to modify DOD molecules by the enzymatic or physical reaction to create new functionality or to enhance the antimicrobial activity of DOD. After modification of DOD molecules by different ways, we confirmed that the antimicrobial activity of DOD was highly enhanced and presented strong antimicrobial activities against multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, suggesting that DOD and its derivatives can be used as efficient antimicrobial agents for medical and industrial applications.
Time Domain Dielectric Relaxation Microwave Spectroscopy
Time domain dielectric relaxation microwave spectroscopy (TDRMS) is a term used to describe a technique of observing the time dependant response of a sample after application of time dependant electromagnetic field. A TDRMS probes the interaction of a macroscopic sample with a time dependent electrical field. The resulting complex permittivity spectrum, characterizes amplitude (voltage) and time scale of the charge-density fluctuations within the sample. These fluctuations may arise from the reorientation of the permanent dipole moments of individual molecules or from the rotation of dipolar moieties in flexible molecules, like polymers. The time scale of these fluctuations depends on the sample and its relative relaxation mechanism. Relaxation times range from some picoseconds in low viscosity liquids to hours in glasses, Therefore the TDRS technique covers an extensive dynamical process. The corresponding frequencies range from 10-4 Hz to 1012 Hz. This inherent ability to monitor the cooperative motion of molecular ensemble distinguishes dielectric relaxation from methods like NMR or Raman spectroscopy, which yield information on the motions of individual molecules. Recently, we have developed and established the TDR technique in laboratory that provides information regarding dielectric permittivity in the frequency range 10 MHz to 30 GHz. The TDR method involves the generation of step pulse with rise time of 20 pico-seconds in a coaxial line system and monitoring the change in pulse shape after reflection from the sample placed at the end of the coaxial line. There is a great interest to study the dielectric relaxation behaviour in liquid systems to understand the role of hydrogen bond in liquid system. The intermolecular interaction through hydrogen bonds in molecular liquids results in peculiar dynamical properties. The dynamics of hydrogen-bonded liquids have been studied. The theoretical model to explain the experimental results will be discussed.
Investigating Role of Novel Molecular Players in Forebrain Roof-Plate Midline Invagination
In the vertebrate embryo, the forebrain anlagen develops from the anterior-most region of the neural tube which is the precursor of the central nervous system (CNS). The roof plate located at the dorsal midline region of the forebrain anlagen, acts as a source of several secreted molecules involved in patterning and morphogenesis of the forebrain. One such key morphogenetic event is the invagination of the forebrain roof plate which results in separation of the single forebrain vesicle into two cerebral hemispheres. Retinoic acid (RA) signaling plays a key role in this process. Blocking RA signaling at the dorsal forebrain midline inhibits dorsal invagination and results in the absence of certain key features of this region, such as thinning of the neuroepithelium and a lowering of cell proliferation. At present we are investigating the possibility of other signaling pathways acting in concert with RA signaling to regulate this process. We have focused on BMP signaling, which we found to be active in a mutually exclusive domain to that of RA signaling within the roof plate. We have also observed that there is a change in BMP signaling activity on modulation of RA signaling indicating an antagonistic relationship between the two. Moreover, constitutive activation of BMP signaling seems to completely inhibit thinning and partially affect invagination, leaving the lowering of cell proliferation in the midline unaffected. We are employing in-silico modeling as well as molecular manipulations to investigate the relative contribution if any, of regional differences in rates of cell proliferation and thinning of the neuroepithelium towards the process of invagination. We have found expression of certain cell adhesion molecules in forebrain roof-plate whose mRNA localization across the thickness of neuroepithelium is influenced by Bmp and RA signaling, giving regional rigidity to roof plate and assisting invagination. We also found expression of certain cytoskeleton modifiers in a localized small domains in invaginating forebrain roof plate suggesting that midline invagination is under control of many factors.
Dye Retention by a Photochemicaly Crosslinked Poly(2-Hydroxy-Ethyl-Meth-Acrylic) Network in Water
The purpose of this work is to study retention of dye dissolved in distilled water, by an hydrophilic acrylic polymer network. The polymer network considered is Poly (2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (PHEMA): it is prepared by photo-polymerization under UV irradiation in the presence of a monomer (HEMA), initiator and an agent cross-linker. PHEMA polymer network obtained can be used in the retention of dye molecules present in the wastewater. The results obtained are interesting in the study of the kinetics of swelling and de-swelling of cross linked polymer networks PHEMA in colored aqueous solutions. The dyes used for retention by the PHEMA networks are eosin Y and Malachite Green, dissolved in distilled water. Theoretical conformational study by a simplified molecular model of system cross linked PHEMA / dye (eosin Y and Malachite Green), is used to simulate the retention phenomenon (or Docking) dye molecules in cavities in nano-domains included in the PHEMA polymer network.
Biomimetic Luminescent Textile Using Biobased Products
Various organisms involve bioluminescence for their particular biological function. The bio-based molecules responsible for bioluminescence vary from one species to another, research has been done to identify the chemistry and different mechanisms involved in light production in living organisms. The light emitting chemical systems such as firefly and bacterial luminous mostly involves enzyme-catalyzed reactions and is widely used for ATP measurement, bioluminescence imaging, environmental biosensors etc. Our strategy is to design bioluminescent textiles using such bioluminescent systems. Hence, a detailed literature work was carried out to study on how to mimic bioluminescence effect seen in nature. Reaction mechanisms in various bioluminescent living organisms were studied and the components or molecules responsible for luminescence were identified. However, the challenge is to obtain the same effect on textiles by immobilizing enzymes responsible for light creation. Another challenge is also to regenerate substrates involved in the reaction system to create a longer lasting illumination in bioluminescent textiles. Natural film-forming polymers were used to immobilize the reactive components including enzymes on textile materials to design a biomimetic luminescent textile.
Mitochondrial Energy Utilization is Unchanged with Age in the Trophocytes and Oenocytes of Queen Honeybees (Apis mellifera)
The lifespans of queen honeybees (Apis mellifera) are much longer than those of worker bees. The expression, concentration, and activity of mitochondrial energy-utilized molecules decreased with age in the trophocytes and oenocytes of worker bees, but they are unknown in queen bees. In this study, the expression, concentration, and activity of mitochondrial energy-utilized molecules were evaluated in the trophocytes and oenocytes of young and old queen bees by biochemical techniques. The results showed that mitochondrial density and mitochondrial membrane potential; nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide reduced form (NADH), and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels; the NAD+/NADH ratio; and relative expression of NADH dehydrogenase 1 and ATP synthase normalized against mitochondrial density were not significantly different between young and old queen bees. These findings reveal that mitochondrial energy utilization maintains a young status in the trophocytes and oenocytes of old queen bees and that trophocytes and oenocytes have aging-delaying mechanisms and can be used to study cellular longevity.
In vivo Spectroscopic Study on the Effects of Ionising and Non-Ionising Radiation on Some Biophysical Properties of Rat Blood
The present study aimed to analyse the radiation risk associated with the exposure of haemoglobin (Hb) of rat red blood cells (rbcs) exposed to a 50-Hz 6-kV/m electric field, a fast neutron dose of 1 mSv, and mixed radiation from fast neutrons and an electric field distributed over a period of three weeks at a rate of 5 days/week and 8 hours/day. The dielectric measurements and the absorption spectra for the haemoglobin molecule in the frequency range of 1 kHz to 5 MHz were measured for all of the samples. The dielectric relaxation results demonstrated an increase in the dielectric increment (∆ε) for the rbcs from all of the irradiated animals, which indicates an increase in the electric dipole. Moreover, the results revealed a decrease in the relaxation time (τ) and the molecular radius (r) of the irradiated molecules, which indicates that the increase in ∆ε is mainly due to a pronounced increase in the centre of mass of the charge on the electric dipole of the Hb molecule. The results from the absorption spectra indicate that the ratio of met-haemoglobin to oxy-haemoglobin is altered by irradiation. Moreover, the results from the delayed effect studies show that the structure and function of the newly generated Hb molecules are altered and dissimilar to that of healthy Hb.
Low Dose In-Line Electron Holography for 3D Atomic Resolution Tomography of Soft Materials
In principle, the latest generation aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopes (TEMs) could achieve sub-Å resolution, but there is bottleneck that hinders the final step towards revealing 3D structure. Firstly, in order to achieve a resolution around 1 Å with single atom sensitivity, the electron dose rate needs to be sufficiently large (10⁴-10⁵eÅ⁻² s⁻¹). With such large dose rate, the electron beam can induce surfaces alterations or even bulk modifications, in particular, for electron beam sensitive (soft) materials such as nm size particles, organic materials, proteins or macro-molecules. We will demonstrate methodology of low dose electron holography for observing 3D structure for soft materials such as single Oleic acid molecules at atomic resolution. The main improvement of this new type of electron holography is based on two concepts. Firstly, the total electron dose is distributed over many images obtained at different defocus values from which the electron hologram is then reconstructed. Secondly, in contrast to the current tomographic methods that require projections from several directions, the 3D structural information of the nano-object is then extracted from this one hologram obtained from only one viewing direction.
Biosynthesis and Metabolism of Anthraquinone Derivatives
In review the generalized data about biosynthetic routs formation anthraquinone molecules in natural cells. The basic possibilities of various ways of biosynthesis of different quinoid substances are shown.
Effect of Citric Acid on Hydrogen-Bond Interactions and Tensile Retention Properties of Citric Acid Modified Thermoplastic Starch Biocomposites
The tensile retention and waterproof properties of thermoplastic starch (TPS) resins were significantly enhanced by modifying with proper amounts of citric acid (CA) and by melt-blending with poly(lactic acid) (PLA), although no distinguished chemical reaction occurred between CA and starch molecules. As evidenced by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and Solid-state 13C Nuclear Magnetic Resonance analyses, disruption of intra and interhydrogen-bondings within starch molecules did occur during the modification processes of CA modified TPS (i.e. TPS100CAx) specimens. The tensile strength (σf) retention values of TPS specimens reduced rapidly from 27.8 to 20.5 and 0.4 MPa, respectively, as the conditioning time at 20°C/50% relative humidity (RH) increased from 0 to 7 and 70 days, respectively. While the elongation at break (εf) retention values of TPS specimens increased rapidly from 5.9 to 6.5 and 34.8%, respectively, as the conditioning time increased from 0 to 7 and 70 days. After conditioning at 20°C/50% RH for 70 days, the σf and εf retention values of the best prepared (TPS100CA0.1)30PLA70 specimen are equivalent to 85% and 167% of its initial σf and εf values, respectively, and are more than 105 times higher but 48% lower than those of TPS specimens conditioned at 20°C/50% RH for the same amount of time. Demarcated diffraction peaks, new melting endotherms of recrystallized starch crystals and distinguished ductile characteristics with drawn debris were found for many conditioned TPS specimens, however, only slight retrogradation effect and much less drawn debris was found for most conditioned TPS100CAx and/or (TPS100CA0.1)xPLAy specimens. The significantly improved water proof, tensile retention properties and relatively unchanged in retrogradation effect found for most conditioned TPS100CAx and/or (TPS100CA0.1)xPLAy specimens are apparently due to the efficient blocking of the moisture-absorbing hydroxyl groups (free or hydrogen bonded) by hydrogen-bonding CA with starch molecules during their modification processes.
In Silico Design of Organometallic Complexes as Potential Antibacterial Agents
The complexes of transition metals with various organic ligands have been extensively studied as models of some important pharmaceutical molecules. It was found that biological properties of different substituted organic molecules are improved when they are complexed by different metals. Therefore, it is of great importance for the development of coordination chemistry to explore the assembly of functional organic ligands with metal ion and to investigate the relationship between the structure and property. In the present work, we have bioassayed the antibacterial potency of benzimidazoles and their metal salts (Cu or Zn) against yeast Sarcina lutea. In order to validate our in vitro study, we performed in silico studies using molecular docking software. The investigated compounds and their metal complexes (Cu, Zn) showed good to moderate inhibitory activity against Sarcina lutea. In silico docking studies of the synthesized compounds suggested that complexed benzimidazoles have a greater binding affinity and improved antibacterial activity in comparison with non-complexed ligands. These results are part of the CMST COST Action No. 1105 "Functional metal complexes that bind to biomolecules".
Green Construction in EGYPT
This paper introduces green building construction in Egypt with different concepts and practices. The following study includes green building applied definition, guidelines, regulations and Standards. Evaluation of cost/benefit of green construction methods and green construction rating systems are presented. Relevant case studies will be reviewed. Four sites will be included.
Chromatographic Lipophilicity Determination of Newly Synthesized Steroid Derivatives for Further Biological Analysis
In this study, a set of 29 newly synthesized steroid derivatives were investigated using reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) as a first step in preselection of drug candidates. This analysis presents an experimental determination of chromatographic lipophilicity, and it was conducted to obtain physicochemical characterization of these molecules. As the most widely used bonded phases in RP-HPLC, octadecyl (C18) and octyl (C8) were used. Binary mixtures of water and acetonitrile or methanol were used as mobile phases. Obtained results were expressed as retention factor values logk and they were correlated with logP values. The results showed that both columns provide good estimations of the chromatographic lipophilicity of the molecules included in this study. This analysis was conducted in order to characterize newly synthesized steroid derivatives for further investigation regarding their antiproliferative and antimicrobial activity. This article is based upon work from COST Action (CM1306), supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology).
Preparation and Properties of Chloroacetated Natural Rubber Rubber Foam Using Corn Starch as Curing Agent
In general, rubber foam is produced based on the sulfur curing system. However, the remaining sulfur in the rubber product waste is burned to sulfur dioxide gas causing the environment pollution. To avoid using sulfur as curing agent in the rubber foam products, this research work proposes non-sulfur curing system by using corn starch as a curing agent. The ether crosslinks were proposed to be produced via the functional bonding between hydroxyl groups of the starch molecules and chloroacetate groups added on the natural rubber molecules. The chloroacetated natural rubber (CNR) latex was prepared via the epoxidation reaction of the concentrated natural rubber latex, subsequently, epoxy rings were attacked by chloroacetic acid to produce hydroxyl groups and chloroacetate groups on the rubber molecules. Foaming agent namely NaHCO3 was selected to add in the CNR latex due to the low decomposition temperature at about 50°C. The appropriate curing temperature was assigned to be 90°C that is above gelatinization temperature; 60-70°C, of starch. The effect of weight ratio of starch, i.e., 0 phr, 3 phr and 5 phr, on the physical properties of CNR rubber foam was investigated. It was found that density reduced from 0.81 g/cm3 for 0 phr to 0.75 g/cm3 for 3 phr and 0.79 g/cm3 for 5 phr. The ability to return to its original thickness after prolonged compressive stresses of CNR rubber foam cured with starch loading of 5 phr was found to be considerably better than that of CNR rubber foam cured with starch 3 phr and CNR rubber foam without addition of starch according to the compression set that was determined to decrease from 66.67% to 40% and 26.67% with the increase loading of starch. The mechanical properties including tensile strength and modulus of CNR rubber foams cured using starch were determined to increase except that the elongation at break was found to decrease. In addition, all mechanical properties of CNR rubber foams cured with the starch 3 phr and 5 phr were found to be slightly different and drastically higher than those of CNR rubber foam without the addition of starch. This research work indicates that starch can be applicable as a curing agent for CNR rubber. This is confirmed by the increase of the elastic modulus (G') of CNR rubber foams that was cured with the starch over the CNR rubber foam without curing agent. This type of rubber foam is believed to be one of the biodegradable and environment-friendly product that can be cured at low temperature of 90°C.
Comparative Study in Evaluating the Antioxidation Efficiency for Native Types Antioxidants Extracted from Crude Oil with the Synthesized Class
The natural native antioxidants N,N-P-methyl phenyl acetone and N,N-phenyl acetone were isolated from the Iraqi crude oil region of Kirkuk by ion exchange and their structure was characterized by spectral and chemical analysis methods. Tetraline was used as a liquid hydrocarbon to detect the efficiency of isolated molecules at elevated temperature (393 K) that it has physicochemical specifications and structure closed to hydrocarbons fractionated from crude oil. The synthesized universal antioxidant 2,6-ditertiaryisobutyl-p-methyl phenol (Unol) with known stochiometric coefficient of inhibition equal to (2) was used as a model for comparative evaluation at the same conditions. Modified chemiluminescence method was used to find the amount of absorbed oxygen and the induction periods in and without the existence of isolated antioxidants molecules. The results of induction periods and quantity of absorbed oxygen during the oxidation process were measured by manometric installation. It was seen that at specific equal concentrations of N,N-phenyl acetone and N, N-P-methyl phenyl acetone in comparison with Unol at 393 K were with (2) and (2.5) times efficient than do Unol. It means that they had the ability to inhibit the formation of new free radicals and prevent the chain reaction to pass from the propagation to the termination step rather than decomposition of formed hydroperoxides.
Protective Effect of Nigella sativa Oil and Its Neutral Lipid Fraction on Ethanol-Induced Hepatotoxicity in Rat Model
In the present investigation, total oil (TO) and its neutral lipid fraction (NLF) extracted from the seed of the well know studied medicinal plant Nigella sativa were tested for their therapeutically effect on alcohol-induced liver injury in rat model. Male Albino rats were divided into five groups of eight animals each and fed a Lieber–DeCarli liquid diet containing 5% ethanol for experimental groups and dextran for control group, for a period of six weeks. Afterwards, rats received, orally, treatments with Nigella sativa extracts (TO, NLF) and N- acetylcysteine (NAC) as a positive control for four weeks. Activities of antioxidant enzymes; superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT), as well as malondialdehyde (MDA) and reduced glutathione (GSH). Biochemical parameters for kidney and liver functions, in treated and non treated rats, were evaluated throughout the time course of an experiment. Liver histological changes were taken into account. Enzymatic activities of both SOD and CAT increased significantly in rats treated with NLF and TO. While MDA level decreased in TO and NLF treated rats, GSH level increased significantly in TO and NLF treated rats. We noted equally a decrease in liver enzymes AST, ALT, and ALP. Microscopic observation of slides from the liver of ethanol treated rats showed a severe hepatotoxicity with lesions. Treatment with fractions leads to an improvement in liver lesions and a marked reduction in necrosis and infiltration. As a conclusion, both extracts of Nigella sativa seeds, TO and NLF, possess an important therapeutic protective potential against ethanol-induced hepatotoxicity in rats.
Computational Analysis and Daily Application of the Key Neurotransmitters Involved in Happiness: Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins
Happiness and pleasure are a result of dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphin levels in the body. In order to increase the four neurochemical levels, it is important to associate daily activities with its corresponding neurochemical releases. This includes setting goals, maintaining social relationships, laughing frequently, and exercising regularly. The likelihood of experiencing happiness increases when all four neurochemicals are released at the optimal level. The achievement of happiness is important because it increases healthiness, productivity, and the ability to overcome adversity. To process emotions, electrical brain waves, brain structure, and neurochemicals must be analyzed. This research uses Chemcraft and Avogadro to determine the theoretical and chemical properties of the four neurochemical molecules. Each neurochemical molecule’s thermodynamic stability is calculated to observe the efficiency of the molecules. The study found that among dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, alpha-, beta-, and gamma-endorphin, beta-endorphin has the lowest optimized energy of 388.510 kJ/mol. Beta-endorphin, a neurotransmitter involved in mitigating pain and stress, is the most thermodynamically stable and efficient molecule that is involved in the process of happiness. Through examining such properties of happiness neurotransmitters, the science of happiness is better understood.
A Novel Concept of Optical Immunosensor Based on High-Affinity Recombinant Protein Binders for Tailored Target-Specific Detection
Recently, novel strategies based on so-called molecular evolution were shown to be effective for the production of various peptide ligand libraries with high affinities to molecular targets of interest comparable or even better than monoclonal antibodies. The major advantage of these peptide scaffolds is mainly their prevailing low molecular weight and simple structure. This study describes a new high-affinity binding molecules based immunesensor using a simple optical system for human serum albumin (HSA) detection as a model molecule. We present a comparison of two variants of recombinant binders based on albumin binding domain of the protein G (ABD) performed on micropatterned glass chip. Binding domains may be tailored to any specific target of interest by molecular evolution. Micropatterened glass chips were prepared using UV-photolithography on chromium sputtered glasses. Glass surface was modified by (3-aminopropyl)trietoxysilane and biotin-PEG-acid using EDC/NHS chemistry. Two variants of high-affinity binding molecules were used to detect target molecule. Firstly, a variant is based on ABD domain fused with TolA chain. This molecule is in vivo biotinylated and each molecule contains one molecule of biotin and one ABD domain. Secondly, the variant is ABD domain based on streptavidin molecule and contains four gaps for biotin and four ABD domains. These high-affinity molecules were immobilized to the chip surface via biotin-streptavidin chemistry. To eliminate nonspecific binding 1% bovine serum albumin (BSA) or 6% fetal bovine serum (FBS) were used in every step. For both variants range of measured concentrations of fluorescently labelled HSA was 0 – 30 µg/ml. As a control, we performed a simultaneous assay without high-affinity binding molecules. Fluorescent signal was measured using inverse fluorescent microscope Olympus IX 70 with COOL LED pE 4000 as a light source, related filters, and camera Retiga 2000R as a detector. The fluorescent signal from non-modified areas was substracted from the signal of the fluorescent areas. Results were presented in graphs showing the dependence of measured grayscale value on the log-scale of HSA concentration. For the TolA variant the limit of detection (LOD) of the optical immunosensor proposed in this study is calculated to be 0,20 µg/ml for HSA detection in 1% BSA and 0,24 µg/ml in 6% FBS. In the case of streptavidin-based molecule, it was 0,04 µg/ml and 0,07 µg/ml respectively. The dynamical range of the immunosensor was possible to estimate just in the case of TolA variant and it was calculated to be 0,49 – 3,75 µg/ml and 0,73-1,88 µg/ml respectively. In the case of the streptavidin-based the variant we didn´t reach the surface saturation even with the 480 ug/ml concentration and the upper value of dynamical range was not estimated. Lower value was calculated to be 0,14 µg/ml and 0,17 µg/ml respectively. Based on the obtained results, it´s clear that both variants are useful for creating the bio-recognizing layer on immunosensors. For this particular system, it is obvious that the variant based on streptavidin molecule is more useful for biosensing on glass planar surfaces. Immunosensors based on this variant would exhibit better limit of detection and wide dynamical range.
Biological Treatment of Corn Stover with Pleurotus ostreatus, Pleurotus eryngii and Lentinula edudes to Improve Digestibility
Corn stover is leftover of the leaves, stalk, husks and tassels in the field after harvesting the grain combined. Corn stover is a low-quality roughage but has mostly been used as roughage source for feeding ruminant animals in developing countries including Turkey; however, it can also be used to make biofuels as in developed countries. The objectives of the present study were to improve the digestibility of corn stover by the treatment of white rod fungus mainly Pleurotus osteritus (PO), Pleurotus eryingii (PE) and Lantinula edudes (LE) at different incubation times and also to determine the most effective fungus and incubation time to prepare fermeted corn stover for ruminant nutrition. The choped corn stover was treated with PO, PE and LE and incubated for 10, 20, 30 and 40 days in incubator at 26 0C. After each incubation time dry matter(DM), organic matter(OM), crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), neutral detergent lignin (ADL), in-vitro true dry matter digestibility (IVTDMD) and organic matter digestibility (IVTOMD) were determined. The mean IVTDMD and IVTOMD levels were increased by PO, PE and LE treatments in increasing order of incubation times. The obtained IVTDM values were 59.45, 60.51, 60.82 and 60.18 %; 59.45, 70.55, 67.18 and 66.96 %; 59.45, 70.55, 67.18 and 66,96 %; 59.45, 74.90, 69.18 % ; 59.45, 76.50, 71.24 and 73.04 for control, PO, PE and LE treatments at 0, 10, 20, 30 and 40 days incubation times respectively. The obtained IVTOMD values were 56.45,60.26,60.82and 60.18 %; 56.45, 68.70, 67.18 and 66.96 %; 56.45, 71.26, 69.18 and 69.28 %; 56.45, 73.23, 71.24 and 73.04 % for control, PO, PE and LE treatments at 0, 10, 20, 30 and 40 days incubation times respectively. The most effective fungus was PO and the incubation time was 30 days. In conclusion, PO treatment of corn stover with 30 days incubation may be used to prepare fermented corn stover for ruminant nutrition.
Degradation Study of Food Colorants by SingletOxygen
The advanced oxidation processes have been defined as destructive technologies treatment of wastewater. These involve the formation of powerful oxidizing agents (usually hydroxyl radical .OH) capable of reacting with organic compounds present in wastewater, transforming damaging substances in CO2 and H2O (mineralization) or other innocuous products. However, the photochemical degradation with singlet oxygen has been little explored as oxidative pathway for the treatment of effluents containing food colorants. The molecular oxygen is an effective suppressor of organic molecules in the triplet excited state. One of the possible results of the physical withdrawal is the formation of singlet oxygen. Studies with singlet oxygen (1O2) show an high reactivity of the excited state of the molecule with olefins, aromatic hydrocarbons and a number of other organic and inorganic compounds. Its reactivity is about 2500 times larger than the oxygen in the ground state. Thus, in this work, it was studied the degradation of some dyes used in food industry (tartrazine, sunset yellow, erythrosine and carmoisine) by singlet oxygen. The sensitizer used for generating the 1O2 was methylene blue, which has a quantum yield generation of 0.50. Samples were prepared in water at a concentration of 5 ppm and irradiated with a sunlight simulator (Newport brand, model no. 67005) by consecutive 8h. The absorption spectra of UV-Vis molecules were made each hour irradiation. The degradation kinetics for each dye was determined using the maximum length of each dye absorption. The analysis by UV-Vis revealed that the processes were very efficient for the colorants sunset yellow and carmoisine. Both presented degradation kinetics of order zero with degradation constants 0.416 and 0.104, respectively. In the case of sunset yellow degradation reached 53% after 7h irradiation, Demonstrating the process efficiency. The erithrosine presented during the period irradiated a oscillating degradation kinetics, which requires further study. In the other hand, tartrazine was stable in the presence of 1O2. The investigation of the dyes degradation products owned degradation by 1O2 are underway, the techniques used for this are MS and NMR. The results of this study will enable the application of the cleanest methods for the treatment of industrial effluents, as there are other non-toxic and polluting molecules to generate 1O2.
Cocrystals of Etodolac: A Crystal Engineering Approach with an Endeavor to Enhance Its Biopharmaceutical Assets
Cocrystallization comprises a selective route to the intensive design of pharmaceutical products with desired physiochemical and pharmacokinetic properties. The present study is focused on the preparation, characterization, and evaluation of etodolac (ET) co-crystals with coformers nicotinamide (ETNI) and Glutaric acid (ETGA), using cocrystallization approach. Preliminarily examination of the prepared co-crystal was done by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD). DSC thermographs of ETNI and ETGA cocrystals showed single sharp melting endotherms at 144°C and 135°C, respectively, which were different from the melting of drugs and coformers. FT-IR study points towards carbonyl-acid interaction sandwiched between the involving molecules. The emergence of new peaks in the PXRD pattern confirms the formation of new crystalline solid forms. Both the cocrystals exhibited better apparent solubility, and 3.8-5.0 folds increase in IDR were established, as compared to pure etodolac. Evaluations of these solid forms were done using anti-osteoarthritic activities. All the results indicate that etodolac cocrystals possess better anti-osteoarthritic efficacy than free drug. Thus loom of cocrystallization has been found to be a viable approach to resolve the solubility and bioavailability issues that circumvent the use of potential antiosteoarthritic molecules.
Social Licence to Operate Methodology to Secure Commercial, Community and Regulatory Approval for Small and Large Scale Fisheries
Futureye has a bespoke social licence to operate methodology which has successfully secured community approval and commercial return for fisheries which have faced regulatory and financial risk. This unique approach to fisheries management focuses on delivering improved social and environmental outcomes to support the fishing industry make steps towards achieving the United Nations SDGs. An SLO is the community’s implicit consent for a business or project to exist. An SLO must be earned and maintained alongside regulatory licences. In current and new operations, it helps you to anticipate and measure community concerns around your operations – leading to more predictable and sensible policy outcomes that will not jeopardise your commercial returns. Rising societal expectations and increasing activist sophistication mean the international fishing industry needs to resolve community concerns at each stage their supply chain. Futureye applied our tested social licence to operate (SLO) methodology to help Austral Fisheries who was being attacked by activists concerned about the sustainability of Patagonian Toothfish. Austral was Marine Stewardship Council certified, but pirates were making the overall catch unsustainable. Austral wanted to be carbon neutral. SLO provides a lens on the risk that helps industries and companies act before regulatory and political risk escalates. To do this assessment, we have a methodology that assesses the risk that we can then translate into a process to create a strategy. 1) Audience: we understand the drivers of change and the transmission of those drivers across all audience segments. 2) Expectation: we understand the level of social norming of changing expectations. 3) Outrage: we understand the technical and perceptual aspects of risk and the opportunities to mitigate these. 4) Inter-relationships: we understand the political, regulatory, and reputation system so that we can understand the levers of change. 5) Strategy: we understand whether the strategy will achieve a social licence through bringing the internal and external stakeholders on the journey. Futureye’s SLO methodologies helped Austral to understand risks and opportunities to enhance its resilience. Futureye reviewed the issues, assessed outrage and materiality and mapped SLO threats to the company. Austral was introduced to a new way that it could manage activism, climate action, and responsible consumption. As a result of Futureye’s work, Austral worked closely with Sea Shepherd who was campaigning against pirates illegally fishing Patagonian Toothfish as well as international governments. In 2016 Austral launched the world’s first carbon neutral fish which won Austral a thirteen percent premium for tender on the open market. In 2017, Austral received the prestigious Banksia Foundation Sustainability Leadership Award for seafood that is sustainable, healthy and carbon neutral. Austral’s position as a leader in sustainable development has opened doors for retailers all over the world. Futureye’s SLO methodology can identify the societal, political and regulatory risks facing fisheries and position them to proactively address the issues and become an industry leader in sustainability.
Regulation of SHP-2 Activity by Small Molecules for the Treatment of T Cell-Mediated Diseases
The phosphatase SHP-2 is known to exert regulatory activities on cytokine receptor signaling and the dysregulation of SHP-2 has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a variety of diseases. Here we report several small molecule regulators of SHP-2 for the treatment of T cell-mediated diseases. The new cyclodepsipeptide trichomides A, isolated from the fermentation products of Trichothecium roseum, increased the phosphorylation of SHP-2 in activated T cells, and ameliorated contact dermatitis in mice. The trichomides A’s effects were significantly reversed by using the SHP-2-specific inhibitor PHPS1 or T cell-conditional SHP-2 knockout mice. Another compound is a cerebroside Fusaruside isolated from the endophytic fungus Fusarium sp. IFB-121. Fusaruside also triggered the tyrosine phosphorylation of SHP-2, which provided a possible mean of selectively targeting STAT1 for the treatment of Th1 cell-mediated inflammation and led to the discovery of the non-phosphatase-like function of SHP-2. Namely, the Fusaruside-activated pY-SHP-2 selectively sequestrated the cytosolic STAT1 to prevent its recruitment to IFN-R, which contributed to the improvement of experimental colitis in mice. Blocking the pY-SHP-2-STAT1 interaction, with SHP-2 inhibitor NSC-87877 or using T cells from conditional SHP-2 knockout mice, reversed the effects of fusaruside. Furthermore, the fusaruside’s effect is independent of the phosphatase activity of SHP-2, demonstrating a novel role for SHP-2 in regulating STAT1 signaling and Th1-type immune responses.
Microfluidized Fiber Based Oleogels for Encapsulation of Lycopene
This study reports a facile approach to structure soft solids from microfluidizer lycopene-rich plant based structure and oil. First carotenoid-rich plant material (pumpkin was used in this study) processed with high-pressure microfluidizer to release lycopene molecules, then an emulsion was formed by mixing processed plant material and oil. While, in emulsion state lipid soluble carotenoid molecules were allowed to dissolve in the oil phase, the fiber material of plant material provided the network which was required for emulsion stabilization. Additional hydrocolloids (gelatin, xhantan, and pectin) up to 0.5% were also used to reinforce the emulsion stability and their impact on final product properties were evaluated via rheological, textural and oxidation studies. Finally, water was removed from emulsion phase by drying in a tray dryer at 40°C for 36 hours, and subsequent shearing resulted in soft solid (ole gel) structures. The microstructure of these systems was revealed by cryo-scanning electron microscopy. Effect of hydrocolloids on total lycopene and surface lycopene contents were also evaluated. The surface lycopene was lowest in gelatin containing oleo gels and highest in pectin-containing oleo gels. This study outlines the novel emulsion-based structuring method that can be used to encapsulate lycopene without the need of separate extraction of them.
Towards an Appropriate Cultural Content of EFL Textbooks: The Case of Saudi Secondary School EFL Textbooks: A Mixed Method Approach
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the cultural content of Saudi secondary school EFL textbooks towards EFL acquisition. The design of this study is a mixed methods design. Forty-five teachers and 151 students in Saudi secondary schools returned completed questionnaires whereas 11 teachers and 18 students of them participated in follow-up interviews, and only two teachers were observed. The process of EFL textbook evaluation was applied to six EFL Saudi secondary school textbooks for students. Means were used to analyze the participants’ answers on a 5-point Likert scale and inferential statistics were used to test the differences between the students’ and their teachers’ answers. The qualitative content analysis was used to analyze the obtained data from the open-ended questions, interviews, and observations whereas EFL textbooks were evaluated with the use of a checklist and a close-analysis procedure. The results showed that participants considered cultural items from the social life, semantic and pragmatic cultural categories of import however they had a neutral attitude towards cultural items from the arts. Moreover, they either considered the implementation of cultural items from specific suggested cultures to be neutral such as all the items concerned with the native speakers’ cultures or of less import such as the other cultures around the world. There were significant differences between the students’ and their teachers’ answers on one-third of the items of the questionnaire. Aside from this, although the teachers and their students had high agreement on the suggested ways of implementing the cultural elements, it seems that many difficulties have reduced the effectiveness of the cultural content of Saudi EFL textbooks. For example, some of these difficulties were related to the students, teachers, and administration practices. The process of the textbook evaluation showed that Saudi EFL textbooks lack the methods for improving the students’ intercultural communication skills.
De-Novo Structural Elucidation from Mass/NMR Spectra
The structure elucidation based on Mass Spectra (MS) data of unknown substances is an unresolved problem that affects many different fields of application. The recent overview of software available for structure elucidation of small molecules has shown the demand for efficient computational tool that will be able to perform structure elucidation of unknown small molecules and peptides. We developed an algorithm for De-Novo fragment analysis based on MS data that proposes a set of scored and ranked structures that are compatible with the MS and MSMS spectra. Several different algorithms were developed depending on the initial set of fragments and the structure building processes. Also, in all cases, several scores for the final molecule ranking were computed. They were validated with small and middle databases (DB) with the eleven test set compounds. Similar results were obtained from any of the databases that contained the fragments of the expected compound. We presented an algorithm. Or De-Novo fragment analysis based on only mass spectrometry (MS) data only that proposed a set of scored/ranked structures that was validated on different types of databases and showed good results as proof of concept. Moreover, the solutions proposed by Mass Spectrometry were submitted to the prediction of NMR spectra in order to elucidate which of the proposed structures was compatible with the NMR spectra collected.
An Analysis of Eco-efficiency and GHG Emission of Olive Oil Production in Northeast of Portugal
Olive oil production sector plays an important role in Portuguese economy. It had a major growth over the last decade, increasing its weight in the overall national exports. International market penetration for Mediterranean traditional products is increasingly more demanding, especially in the Northern European markets, where consumers are looking for more sustainable products. Trying to support this growing demand this study addresses olive oil production under the environmental and eco-efficiency perspectives. The analysis considers two consecutive product life cycle stages: olive trees farming; and olive oil extraction in mills. Addressing olive farming, data collection covered two different organizations: a middle-size farm (~12ha) (F1) and a large-size farm (~100ha) (F2). Results from both farms show that olive collection activities are responsible for the largest amounts of Green House Gases (GHG) emissions. In this activities, estimate for the Carbon Footprint per olive was higher in F2 (188g CO2e/kgolive) than in F1 (148g CO2e/kgolive). Considering olive oil extraction, two different mills were considered: one using a two-phase system (2P) and other with a three-phase system (3P). Results from the study of two mills show that there is a much higher use of water in 3P. Energy intensity (EI) is similar in both mills. When evaluating the GHG generated, two conditions are evaluated: a biomass neutral condition resulting on a carbon footprint higher in 3P (184g CO2e/Lolive oil) than in 2P (92g CO2e/Lolive oil); and a non-neutral biomass condition in which 2P increase its carbon footprint to 273g CO2e/Lolive oil. When addressing the carbon footprint of possible combinations among studied subsystems, results suggest that olive harvesting is the major source for GHG.
Cleaning of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) Obtained from Ferroalloys Plant
Polycyclic Aromatic hydrocarbons are organic compounds consisting of only hydrogen and carbon aromatic rings. PAH are neutral, non-polar molecules that are produced due to incomplete combustion of organic matter. These compounds are carcinogenic and interact with biological nucleophiles to inhibit the normal metabolic functions of the cells. Norways, the most important sources of PAH pollution is considered to be aluminum plants, the metallurgical industry, offshore oil activity, transport, and wood burning. Stricter governmental regulations regarding emissions to the outer and internal environment combined with increased awareness of the potential health effects have motivated Norwegian metal industries to increase their efforts to reduce emissions considerably. One of the objective of the ongoing industry and Norwegian research council supported "SCORE" project is to reduce potential PAH emissions from an off gas stream of a ferroalloy furnace through controlled combustion. In a dedicated combustion chamber. The sizing and configuration of the combustion chamber depends on the combined properties of the bulk gas stream and the properties of the PAH itself. In order to achieve efficient and complete combustion the residence time and minimum temperature need to be optimized. For this design approach reliable kinetic data of the individual PAH-species and/or groups thereof are necessary. However, kinetic data on the combustion of PAH are difficult to obtain and there is only a limited number of studies. The paper presents an evaluation of the kinetic data for some of the PAH obtained from literature. In the present study, the oxidation is modelled for pure PAH and also for PAH mixed with process gas. Using a perfectly stirred reactor modelling approach the oxidation is modelled including advanced reaction kinetics to study influence of residence time and temperature on the conversion of PAH to CO2 and water. A Chemical Reactor Network (CRN) approach is developed to understand the oxidation of PAH inside the combustion chamber. Chemical reactor network modeling has been found to be a valuable tool in the evaluation of oxidation behavior of PAH under various conditions.
Innovative Food Related Modification of the Day-Night Task Demonstrates Impaired Inhibitory Control among Patients with Binge-Purge Eating Disorder
Introduction: Eating disorders (ED) are common psychopathologies which involve distorted body image and eating disturbances. Binge-purge eating disorders (B/P ED) are characterized by repetitive events of binge eating followed by purges. Patients with B/P ED behavior may be seen as impulsive especially when relate to food stimulation and affective conditions. The current study included innovative modification of the day-night task targeted to assess inhibitory control among patients with B/P ED. Methods: This prospective study included 50 patients with B/P ED during acute phase of illness (T1) upon their admission to specialized ED department in tertiary center. 34 patients repeated the study towards discharge to ambulatory care (T2). Treatment effect was evaluated by BMI and emotional questionnaires regarding depression and anxiety by the Beck Depression Inventory and State Trait Anxiety Inventory questionnaires. Control group included 36 healthy controls with matched demographic parameters who performed both T1 and T2 assessments. The current modification is based on the emotional day-night task (EDNT) which involves five emotional stimulation added to the sun and moon pictures presented to participants. In the current study, we designed the food-emotional modification day night task (F-EDNT) food stimulations of egg and banana which resemble the sun and moon, respectively, in five emotional states (angry, sad, happy, scrambled and neutral). During this computerized task, participants were instructed to push on “day” bottom in response to moon and banana stimulations and on “night” bottom when sun and egg were presented. Accuracy (A) and reaction time (RT) were evaluated and compared between EDNT and F-EDNT as a reflection of participants’ inhibitory control. Results: Patients with B/P ED had significantly improved BMI, depression and anxiety scores on T2 compared to T1 (all p< 0.001). Task performance was similar among patients and controls in the EDNT without significant A or RT differences in both T1 and T2. On F-EDNT during T1, B/P ED patients had significantly reduced accuracy in 4/5 emotional stimulation compared to controls: angry (73±25% vs. 84±15%, respectively), sad (69±25% vs. 80±18%, respectively), happy (73±24% vs. 82±18%, respectively) and scrambled (74±24% vs. 84±13%, respectively, all p< 0.05). Additionally, patients’ RT to food stimuli was significantly faster compared to neutral ones, in both cry and neutral emotional stimulations (356±146 vs. 400±141 and 378±124 vs. 412±116 msec, respectively, p< 0.05). These significant differences between groups as a function of stimulus type were diminished on T2. Conclusion: Having to process food related content, in particular in emotional context seems to be impaired in patients with B/P ED during the acute phase of their illness and elicits greater impulsivity. Innovative modification using such procedures seem to be sensitive to patients’ illness phase and thus may be implemented during screening and follow up through the clinical management of these patients.
Determination of Biomolecular Interactions Using Microscale Thermophoresis
Characterization of biomolecular interactions, such as protein-protein, protein-nucleic acid or protein-small molecule, provides critical insights into cellular processes and is essential for the development of drug diagnostics and therapeutics. Here we present a novel, label-free, and tether-free technology to analyze picomolar to millimolar affinities of biomolecular interactions by Microscale Thermophoresis (MST). The entropy of the hydration shell surrounding molecules determines thermophoretic movement. MST exploits this principle by measuring interactions using optically generated temperature gradients. MST detects changes in the size, charge and hydration shell of molecules and measures biomolecule interactions under close-to-native conditions: immobilization-free and in bioliquids of choice, including cell lysates and blood serum. Thus, MST measures interactions under close-to-native conditions, and without laborious sample purification. We demonstrate how MST determines the picomolar affinities of antibody::antigen interactions, and protein::protein interactions measured from directly from cell lysates. MST assays are highly adaptable to fit to the diverse requirements of different and complex biomolecules. NanoTemper´s unique technology is ideal for studies requiring flexibility and sensitivity at the experimental scale, making MST suitable for basic research investigations and pharmaceutical applications.
Excessive Recruitment of Neutrophils and Elastase Release in Emphysema and COPD; Effect of Natural Protease Inhibitors
Excessive recruitment of Neutrophils into the lungs is a hallmark of several chronic inflammatory disorders such as emphysema and COPD. The resulting of this recruitment is the pathogenesis of lungs which is characterized by an imbalance between leukocyte serine proteinases mainly neutrophil elastase and the physiological inhibitors. The development of emphysema and remodeling of airway tissue occurred when neutrophil migrate into the lungs with more release of elastase and other proteolytic enzymes. Many reports have demonstrated that the extracts from medicinal plants such as Nigella sativa (L.) seeds extracts have anti-elastase activity; this is mainly due to the enrichment of the extracts with many bioactive molecules mainly phenolic compounds. Neutrophil serine proteases including human neutrophil elastase are involved in many inflammatory diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema. Since the current therapies for these diseases are inadequate and have numerous adverse effects, there is an acute need of potential alternative therapies. The natural protease inhibitors have received increasing attention as useful tools for potential utilization in pharmacology. This work is elucidating the most important natural phenolic substances that have been reported recently for their effectiveness as natural anti-elastase molecules, and hence, to the possibility of their use in the field of pharmaceuticals.
Interpreting Ecclesiastical Heritage: Meaning Making and Contentious Conversations
In our post-Christian societies, ecclesiastical heritage acquired a new extrovert profile aiming to reach out an increasingly diverse audience. In this context, the various motivations, interests, personalities and cultural exchanges, found in the ‘post-modern pilgrimage’, bequeath a hybrid and multidimensional character to religious tourism education. In consequence, churches have acquired the challenging role of enriching visitors cultural and spiritual capital. Despite this promising diversification to relate, reveal and provoke constructive discourses, due to the various ‘conflicting interests’, practitioners attempt to tame the rich in symbolism and meanings religious environment through ‘neutral interpretations’. This paper aims to present the results of an ongoing developing strategy related to the presentation of contentious meanings in English churches. The paper will explore some of the underlying issues related to the capacity of ‘neutrality’ to spark, downplay or eliminate contentious conversations relating to the cultural, religious, and social dimension of Christian cultural heritage thematology. In an effort to understand this issue, the paper examines the concept of neutrality and what it stands for, executing a discourse analysis in the semantic context in which the theological lexicon is interwoven with the cultural and social meanings of sacred sites. Following that, the paper examines whether the preferable interpretive strategies meet the post-modern interpretative framework which is marked by polysemy and critical active engagement. The ultimate aim of the paper is to investigate the hypothesis that the preferable neutral strategies, managing the ‘conflicting’ demands of worshippers and visitors, result in the uneven treatment of both, the religious and historical spirit of the place.
Discovering New Organic Materials through Computational Methods
Organic semiconductors have attracted the attention of the scientific community in the past decades due to their unique physicochemical properties, allowing new designs and alternative device fabrication methods. Until today, organic electronic devices are largely based on conjugated polymers mainly due to their easy processability. In the recent years, due to moderate ET and CT efficiencies and the ill-defined nature of polymeric systems the focus has been shifting to small conjugated molecules with well-defined chemical structure, easier control of intermolecular packing, and enhanced CT and ET properties. It has led to the synthesis of new small molecules, followed by the growth of their crystalline structure and ultimately by the device preparation. This workflow is commonly followed without a clear knowledge of the ET and CT properties related mainly to the macroscopic systems, which may lead to financial and time losses, since not all materials will deliver the properties and efficiencies demanded by the current standards. In this work, we present a theoretical workflow designed to predict the key properties of ET of these new materials prior synthesis, thus speeding up the discovery of new promising materials. It is based on quantum mechanical, hybrid, and classical methodologies, starting from a single molecule structure, finishing with the prediction of its packing structure, and prediction of properties of interest such as static and averaged excitonic couplings, and exciton diffusion length.
Structured-Ness and Contextual Retrieval Underlie Language Comprehension
While grammatical devices are essential to language processing, how comprehension utilizes cognitive mechanisms is less emphasized. This study addresses this issue by probing the complement coercion phenomenon: an entity-denoting complement following verbs like begin and finish receives an eventive interpretation. For example, (1) “The queen began the book” receives an agentive reading like (2) “The queen began [reading/writing/etc.…] the book.” Such sentences engender additional processing cost in real-time comprehension. The traditional account attributes this cost to an operation that coerces the entity-denoting complement to an event, assuming that these verbs require eventive complements. However, in closer examination, examples like “Chapter 1 began the book” undermine this assumption. An alternative, Structured Individual (SI) hypothesis, proposes that the complement following aspectual verbs (AspV; e.g. begin, finish) is conceptualized as a structured individual, construed as an axis along various dimensions (e.g. spatial, eventive, temporal, informational). The composition of an animate subject and an AspV such as (1) engenders an ambiguity between an agentive reading along the eventive dimension like (2), and a constitutive reading along the informational/spatial dimension like (3) “[The story of the queen] began the book,” in which the subject is interpreted as a subpart of the complement denotation. Comprehenders need to resolve the ambiguity by searching contextual information, resulting in additional cost. To evaluate the SI hypothesis, a questionnaire was employed. Method: Target AspV sentences such as “Shakespeare began the volume.” were preceded by one of the following types of context sentence: (A) Agentive-biasing, in which an event was mentioned (…writers often read…), (C) Constitutive-biasing, in which a constitutive meaning was hinted (Larry owns collections of Renaissance literature.), (N) Neutral context, which allowed both interpretations. Thirty-nine native speakers of English were asked to (i) rate each context-target sentence pair from a 1~5 scale (5=fully understandable), and (ii) choose possible interpretations for the target sentence given the context. The SI hypothesis predicts that comprehension is harder for the Neutral condition, as compared to the biasing conditions because no contextual information is provided to resolve an ambiguity. Also, comprehenders should obtain the specific interpretation corresponding to the context type. Results: (A) Agentive-biasing and (C) Constitutive-biasing were rated higher than (N) Neutral conditions (p< .001), while all conditions were within the acceptable range (> 3.5 on the 1~5 scale). This suggests that when lacking relevant contextual information, semantic ambiguity decreases comprehensibility. The interpretation task shows that the participants selected the biased agentive/constitutive reading for condition (A) and (C) respectively. For the Neutral condition, the agentive and constitutive readings were chosen equally often. Conclusion: These findings support the SI hypothesis: the meaning of AspV sentences is conceptualized as a parthood relation involving structured individuals. We argue that semantic representation makes reference to spatial structured-ness (abstracted axis). To obtain an appropriate interpretation, comprehenders utilize contextual information to enrich the conceptual representation of the sentence in question. This study connects semantic structure to human’s conceptual structure, and provides a processing model that incorporates contextual retrieval.
Developments and Implementation of Biomaterials in Textile Coating and Finishing
There is a constant need for the improvement of materials applied in textile industries. Nowadays there is a tendency for “bio, eco, natural and environmental friendly” consciousness of the consumer resulting in various textile labels. Materials, totally based on CO2-neutral renewable resources (biopolymers), respond very well to this tendency. Proteins and PLA were evaluated as binders for textile coatings. Much attention is paid to the functionalization of textiles, therefore bio-additves are examined to introduce abrasion resistance, antimicrobial and flame retardant properties.
Synthesis and Preparation of Carbon Ferromagnetic Nanocontainers for Cancer Therapy
In the article the development and demonstration of method and the model device for hyperthermic selective destruction of cancer cells are presented. This method was based on the synthesis and functionalization of carbon nanotubes serving as ferromagnetic material nano containers. Methodology of the production carbon - ferromagnetic nanocontainers includes: the synthesis of carbon nanotubes, chemical and physical characterization, increasing the content of ferromagnetic material and biochemical functionalization involving the attachment of the key addresses. Biochemical functionalization of ferromagnetic nanocontainers is necessary in order to increase the binding selectively with receptors presented on the surface of tumour cells. Multi-step modification procedure was finally used to attach folic acid on the surface of ferromagnetic nanocontainers. Folic acid is ligand of folate receptors which is overexpresion in tumor cells. The presence of ligand should ensure the specificity of the interaction between ferromagnetic nanocontainers and tumor cells. The chemical functionalization contains several step: oxidation reaction, transformation of carboxyl groups into more reactive ester or amide groups, incorporation of spacer molecule (linker), attaching folic acid. Activation of carboxylic groups was prepared with triazine coupling reagent (preparation of superactive ester attached on the nanocontainers). The spacer molecules were designed and synthesized. In order to ensure biocompatibillity of linkers they were built from amino acids or peptides. Spacer molecules were synthesized using the SPPS method. Synthesis was performed on 2-Chlorotrityl resin. The linker important feature is its length. Due to that fact synthesis of peptide linkers containing from 2 to 4 -Ala- residues was carried out. Independent synthesis of the conjugate of foilic acid with 6-aminocaproic acid was made. Final step of synthesis was connecting conjugat with spacer molecules and attaching it on the ferromagnetic nanocontainer surface. This article contains also information about special CVD and microvave plasma system to produce nanotubes and ferromagnetic nanocontainers. The first tests in the device for hyperthermal RF generator will be presented. The frequency of RF generator was in the ranges from 10 to 14Mhz and from 265 to 621kHz.
Field Study on Thermal Performance of a Green Office in Bangkok, Thailand: A Possibility of Increasing Temperature Set-Points
In the tropics, indoor thermal environment is usually provided by a cooling mode to maintain comfort all year. Indoor thermal environment performance is sometimes different from the standard or from the first design process because of operation, maintenance, and utilization. The field study of thermal environment in the green building is still limited in this region, while the green building continues to increase. This study aims to clarify thermal performance and subjective perception in the green building by testing the temperature set-points. A Thai green office was investigated twice in October 2018 and in May 2019. Indoor environment variables (temperature, relative humidity, and wind velocity) were collected continuously. The temperature set-point was normally set as 23 &deg;C, and it was changed into 24 &deg;C and 25 &deg;C. The study found that this gap of temperature set-point produced average room temperature from 22.7 to 24.6 &deg;C and average relative humidity from 55% to 62%. Thermal environments slight shifted out of the ASHRAE comfort zone when the set-point was increased. Based on the thermal sensation vote, the feeling-colder vote decreased by 30% and 18% when changing +1 &deg;C and +2 &deg;C, respectively. Predicted mean vote (PMV) shows that most of the calculated median values were negative. The values went close to the optimal neutral value (0) when the set-point was set at 25 &deg;C. The neutral temperature was slightly decreased when changing warmer temperature set-points. Building-related symptom reports were found in this study that the number of votes reduced continuously when the temperature was warmer. The symptoms that occurred by a cooler condition had the number of votes more than ones that occurred by a warmer condition. In sum, for this green office, there is a possibility to adjust a higher temperature set-point to +1 &deg;C (24 &deg;C) in terms of reducing cold sensitivity, discomfort, and symptoms. All results could support the policy of changing a warmer temperature of this office to become "a better green building".
Split Intein Technology: A Universal Purification Template for Non-mAb Proteins
Currently, the purification of “non-standardized” or non-mAb proteins remains challenging and is associated with spending a significant effort in developing a downstream scheme for each new molecule individually. With the split intein technology, we will bring a change to the market while introducing a generic downstream template to simplify this purification procedure. Due to the cleaving ability of inteins, the N-terminal intein is immobilized as the affinity ligand on the chromatographic support, whereas the C-terminal intein is fused to the target as a tag. The high affinity between both inteins enables the tagged target to be purified from the lysate. The intein-mediated C-terminal cleavage reaction triggered by a change in buffer conditions causes a tagless release of the target into the eluate. The tag can be regenerated from the column and does not need to be further removed from the target; such it is often the case using conventional tag purification schemes e.g., His-tag. In numerous case studies, we will present on the integrity of the C-terminal intein tag in upstream and discuss its impact on various microbial and mammalian expressed molecules(e.g., expression titer, solubility, and biological activity). Further, we will focus on the efficiency of the split intein downstream scheme in different process modes leading to a purity >90% of the tagless eluted target from crude feedstocks. The results clearly show the Proof of Concept, that the Split Intein technology is a novel affinity media for non-mab molecules, yielding in high purity in a single chromatographic step.
The Effect of Season, Fire and Slope Position on Seriphium plumosum L. Forage Quality in South African Grassland Communities
Acceptability of plant material to herbivores is influenced by, among other factors; nutrients, plant secondary metabolites and growth stage of the plants. However, the effect of these factors on Seriphium plumosum L. acceptability to livestock is still not clearly understood, despite its importance in managing its encroachment in grassland communities. The study used 2 x 2 x 2 factorial analysis of variance to investigate the effect of season (wet and dry), fire, slope position (top and bottom) and their interaction on Seriphium plumosum chemistry. We tested the hypothesis that S. plumosum chemistry varies temporally, spatially and pre- and post-fire treatment. Seriphium plumosum edible material was collected during the wet and dry season from burned and unburned areas on both top and bottom slopes before being analysed for protein (CP) content, neutral detergent fibre (NDF), total phenolics (TP) and condensed tannins (CT). Season had a significant effect on S. plumosum protein content, neutral detergent fibre, total phenolics and condensed tannins. Fire had a significant effect on CP. Interaction of season x fire had a significant effect on NDF and CP (p < 0.05). Seriphium plumosum in the wet season (6.69% ± 0.20 (SE)) had significantly higher CP than in the dry season (5.22% ± 0.13). NDF was significantly higher (58.01% ± 0.41) in the dry season than in the wet season (53.17% ± 0.34), while TP were significantly higher in the dry season (14.44 mg/gDw ± 1.03) than in the wet season (11.08 mg/gDw ± 1.07). CT in the wet season were significantly higher (1.56 mg/gDw ± 0.13) than in the dry season (1 mg/gDw ± 0.03). CP was significantly higher in burned (6. 31 % ± 0.22) than in unburned S. plumosum edible material (5.60 % ± 0.15). Seriphium plumosum CP was significantly higher in wet season x burned (7.34 % ± 0.31) than wet season x unburned (6.08 % ± 0.20) material and dry season x burned (5.34 % ± 0.18) and unburned (5.09 % ± 0.18) material were similar. NDF was similar in dry season x burned (58.31% ± 0.54) and dry season x unburned (57.69 % ± 0.62) material and significantly higher than similar wet season x burned (52.43% ± 0.45) and wet season x post-unburned (53.88% ± 0.47) material. This study suggests integrating fire, browsers, and supplements as encroacher S. plumosum control agents, especially in the wet season, following fire due to high S. plumosum CP content.
Versatile Variation of Fischer Indolization in Green Synthesis of Nitro Substituted Tetrahydrocarbazole
We wish to report herein a very stimulating variation in Fischer indole reaction by adopting solvent and catalyst free conditions. A concise synthesis of dinitro tetrahydrocarbazole derivative 3 was introduced without the use of any accelerating agent at ambient temperature with fairly good yield. Product was fully corroborated by UV, FTIR, 1H NMR, 13C NMR, MS, and CHN analysis.
Zebrafish Larvae Model: A High Throughput Screening Tool to Study Autism
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder of early onset, characterized by impaired sociability, cognitive function and stereotypies. There is a significant urge to develop and establish new animal models with ASD-like characteristics for better understanding of underlying mechanisms. The aim of the present study was to develop a cost and time effective zebrafish model with quantifiable parameters to facilitate mechanistic studies as well as high-throughput screening of new molecules for autism. Zebrafish embryos were treated with valproic acid and a battery of behavioral tests (anxiety, inattentive behavior, irritability and social impairment) was performed on larvae at 7th day post fertilization, followed by study of molecular markers of autism. This model shows a significant behavioural impairment in valproic acid treated larvae in comparison to control which was again supported by alteration in few marker genes and proteins of autism. The model also shows a rescue of behavioural despair with positive control drugs. The model shows robust parameters to study behavior, molecular mechanism and drug screening approach in a single frame. Thus we postulate that our 7 days zebrafish larval model for autism can help in high throughput screening of new molecules on autism.
Sugar-Induced Stabilization Effect of Protein Structure
Sugars and polyols are known to be bioprotectants preventing such as protein denaturation and enzyme deactivation and widely used as a nontoxic additive in various industrial and medical products. The mechanism of their protective actions has been explained by specific bindings between biological components and additives, changes in solvent viscosities, and surface tension and free energy changes upon transfer of those components into additive solutions. On the other hand, some organisms having tolerances against extreme environment produce stress proteins and/or accumulate sugars in cells, which is called cryptobiosis. In particular, trehalose has been drawing attention relevant to cryptobiosis under external stress such as high or low temperature, drying, osmotic pressure, and so on. The function of cryptobiosis by trehalose has been explained relevant to the restriction of the intra-and/or-inter-molecular movement by vitrification or from the replacement of water molecule by trehalose. Previous results suggest that the structure and interaction between sugar and water are a key determinant for understanding cryptobiosis. Recently, we have shown direct evidence that the protein hydration (solvation) and structural stability against chemical and thermal denaturation significantly depend on sugar species and glycerol. Sugar and glycerol molecules tend to be preferentially or weakly excluded from the protein surface and preserved the native protein hydration shell. Due to the protective action of the protein hydration shell by those molecules, the protein structure is stabilized against chemical (guanidinium chloride) and thermal denaturation. The protective action depends on sugar species. To understand the above trend and difference in detail, it is essentially important to clarify the characteristics of solutions containing those additives. In this study, by using wide-angle X-ray scattering technique covering a wide spatial region (~3-120 Å), we have clarified structures of sugar solutions with the concentration from 5% w/w to 65% w/w. The sugars measured in the present study were monosaccharides (glucose, fructose, mannose) and disaccharides (sucrose, trehalose, maltose). Due to observed scattering data with a wide spatial resolution, we have succeeded in obtaining information on the internal structure of individual sugar molecules and on the correlation between them. Every sugar gradually shortened the average inter-molecular distance as the concentration increased. The inter-molecular interaction between sugar molecules was essentially showed an exclusive tendency for every sugar, which appeared as the presence of a repulsive correlation hole. This trend was more weakly seen for trehalose compared to other sugars. The intermolecular distance and spread of individual molecule clearly showed the dependence of sugar species. We will discuss the relation between the characteristic of sugar solution and its protective action of biological materials.
Segmental Dynamics of Poly(Alkyl Methacrylate) Chain in Ultra-Thin Spin-Cast Films
Polymeric materials are often used in a form of thin film such as food wrap and surface coating. In such the applications, polymer films thinner than 100 nm have been often used. The thickness of such the ultra-thin film is less than the unperturbed size of a polymer chain; therefore, the polymer chain in an ultra-thin film is strongly constrained. However, the details on the constrained dynamics of polymer molecules in ultra-thin films are still unclear. In the current study, the segmental dynamics of single polymer chain was directly investigated by fluorescence microscopy. The individual chains of poly(alkyl methacrylate) labeled by a perylenediimide dye molecule were observed by a highly sensitive fluorescence microscope in a defocus condition. The translational and rotational diffusion of the center segment in a single polymer chain was directly analyzed. The segmental motion in a thin film with a thickness of 10 nm was found to be suppressed compared to that in a bulk state. The detailed analysis of the molecular motion revealed that the diffusion rate of the in-plane rotation was similar to the thin film and the bulk; on the other hand, the out-of-plane motion was restricted in a thin film. This result indicates that the spatial restriction in an ultra-thin film thinner than the unperturbed chain dimension alters the dynamics of individual molecules in a polymer system.
Toxic Dyes Removal in Aqueous Solution Using Calcined and Uncalcined Anionic Clay Zn/Al+Fe
Layered double hydroxide with Zn/(Al+Fe) molar ratio of 3:1 was synthesized by co-precipitation method and their calcined product was obtained by heating treatment of ZAF-HT at 500°C. The calcined and uncalcined materials were used to remove weak acid dyes: indigo carmine (IC) and green bezanyl-F2B (F2B) in aqueous solution. The synthesized materials were characterized by XRD, SEM, FTIR and TG/DTA analysis confirming the formation of pure layered structure of ZAF-HT, the destruction of the original structure after calcination and the intercalation of the dyes molecules. Moreover, the interlayer distance increases from 7.645 Å in ZAF-HT to 19.102 Å after the dyes sorption. The dose of the adsorbents was chosen 0.5 g/l while the initial concentrations were 250 and 750 mg/l for indigo carmine and green bezanyl-F2B respectively. The sorption experiments were carried out at ambient temperature and without adjusting the initial solution pH (pHi = 6.10 for IC and pHi = 5.01 for F2B). In addition, the maximum adsorption capacities obtained by ZAF-HT and CZAF for both dyes followed the order: CZAF-F2B (1501.4 mg.g-1) > CZAF-IC (617.3 mg.g-1) > ZAF-HT-IC (41.4 mg.g-1) > ZAF-HT-F2B (28.9 mg.g-1). The removal of indigo carmine and green bezanyl-F2B by ZAF-HT was due to the anion exchange and/or the adsorption on the surface. By using the calcined material (CZAF), the removal of the dyes was based on a particular property, called ‘memory effect’. CZAF recover the pristine structure in the presence anionic molecules such as acid dyes where they occupy the interlayer space. The sorption process was spontaneous in nature and followed pseudo-second-order. The isotherms showed that the removal of IC and F2B by ZAF-HT and CZAF were consistent with Langmiur model.
Microbiological Activity and Molecular Docking Study of Selected Steroid Derivatives of Biomedical Importance
This study considered the microbiological activity determination and molecular docking study for selected steroid derivatives of biomedical importance. Minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) was determined for steroid derivatives against Staphylococcus aureus using macrodilution method. Some of the investigated steroid derivatives express bacteriostatic effect against Staphylococcus aureus. Molecular docking approaches are the most widely used techniques for predicting the binding mode of a ligand. Molecular docking study was done for steroid derivatives for androgen receptor negative prostate cancer cell line (PC-3) toward Human Cytochrome P450 CYP17A1. The molecules that had the smallest experimental IC50 values confirmed their ability to dock into active place using suitable molecular docking procedure. The binding disposition of those molecules was thoroughly investigated. Microbiological analysis and molecular docking study were conducted with aim to additionally characterize selected steroid derivatives for future investigation regarding their biological activity and to estimate the binding-affinities of investigated derivatives. This article is based upon work from COST Action (TD1305), supported by COST (European Cooperation and Science and Technology).
Application of Zeolite Nanoparticles in Biomedical Optics
Recently nanoparticles (NPs) have been introduced in biomedicine as effective agents for cancer-targeted drug delivery and noninvasive tissue imaging. The most important requirements to these agents are their non-toxicity, biocompatibility and stability. In view of these criteria, the zeolite (ZL) nanoparticles (NPs) may be considered as perfect candidates for biomedical applications. ZLs are crystalline aluminosilicates consisting of oxygen-sharing SiO4 and AlO4 tetrahedral groups united by common vertices in three-dimensional framework and containing pores with diameters from 0.3 to 1.2 nm. Generally, the behavior and physical properties of ZLs are studied by SEM, X-ray spectroscopy, and AFM, whereas optical spectroscopic and microscopic approaches are not effective enough, because of strong scattering in common ZL bulk materials and powders. The light scattering can be reduced by using of ZL NPs. ZL NPs have large external surface area, high dispersibility in both aqueous and organic solutions, high photo- and thermal stability, and exceptional ability to adsorb various molecules and atoms in their nanopores. In this report, using multiphoton microscopy and nonlinear spectroscopy, we investigate nonlinear optical properties of clinoptilolite type of ZL micro- and nanoparticles with average diameters of 2200 nm and 240 nm, correspondingly. Multiphoton imaging is achieved using a laser scanning microscope system (LSM 510 META, Zeiss, Germany) coupled to a femtosecond titanium:sapphire laser (repetition rate- 80 MHz, pulse duration-120 fs, radiation wavelength- 720-820 nm) (Tsunami, Spectra-Physics, CA). Two Zeiss, Plan-Neofluar objectives (air immersion 20×∕NA 0.5 and water immersion 40×∕NA 1.2) are used for imaging. For the detection of the nonlinear response, we use two detection channels with 380-400 nm and 435-700 nm spectral bandwidths. We demonstrate that ZL micro- and nanoparticles can produce nonlinear optical response under the near-infrared femtosecond laser excitation. The interaction of hypericine, chlorin e6 and other dyes with ZL NPs and their photodynamic activity is investigated. Particularly, multiphoton imaging shows that individual ZL NPs particles adsorb Zn-tetraporphyrin molecules, but do not adsorb fluorescein molecules. In addition, nonlinear spectral properties of ZL NPs in native biotissues are studied. Nonlinear microscopy and spectroscopy may open new perspectives in the research and application of ZL NP in biomedicine, and the results may help to introduce novel approaches into the clinical environment.
Batch Adsorption Studies for the Removal of Textile Dyes from Aqueous Solution on Three Different Pine Bark
The main objective of the present study is the valorization of natural raw materials of plant origin for the treatment of textile industry wastewater. Selected bark was: maritime (MP), pinyon (PP) and Aleppo pine (AP) bark. The efficiency of these barks were tested for the removal of three dye; rhodamine B (RhB), Green Malachite (GM) and X Methyl Orange (MO). At the first time we focus to study the different parameters which can influence the adsorption processes such as: nature of the adsorbents, nature of the pollutants (dyes) and the effect of pH. Obtained results reveals that the speed adsorption is strongly influencing by the pH medium and the comparative study show that adsorption is favorable in the acidic medium with amount adsorbed of (Q=40mg/g) for rhodamine B and (Q=46mg/g) for orange methyl. Results of adsorption kinetics reveals that the molecules of GM are adsorbed better (Q=48mg/g) than the molecules of RhB (Q=46mg/g) and methyl orange (Q=18mg/g), with equilibrium time of 6 hours. The results of adsorption isotherms show clearly that the maritime pine bark is the most effective adsorbents with adsorbed amount of (QRhB=200mg/g) and (QMO=88mg/g) followed by pinyon pine (PP) with (QRhB=184mg/g) and (QMO=56mg/g) and finally Aleppo pine (AP) bark with (QRhB=131mg/g) and (QMO= 46mg/g). The different obtained isotherms were modeled using the Langmuir and Freundlich models and according to the adjustment coefficient values R2, the obtained isotherms are well represented by Freundlich model.
Characterization and Quantification of Relatives Amounts of Phosphorylated Glucosyl Residues in C6 and C3 Position in Banana Starch Granules by 31P-NMR
In the degradation transitory starch model, the enzymatic activity of glucan/water dikinase (GWD) and phosphoglucan/water dikinase (PWD) are essential for the granule degradation. GWD and PWD phosphorylate glucose molecules in the positions C6 and C3, respectively, in the amylopectin chains. This action is essential to allow that β-amylase degrade starch granules without previous action of α-amylase. During banana starch degradation, as part of banana ripening, both α- and β-amylases activities and proteins were already detected and, it is also known that there is a GWD and PWD protein bounded to the starch granule. Therefore, the aim of this study was to quantify both Gluc-6P and Gluc-3P in order to estimate the importance of the GWD-PWD-β-amylase pathway in banana starch degradation. Starch granules were isolated as described by Peroni-Okita et al (Carbohydrate Polymers, 81:291-299, 2010), from banana fruit at different stages of ripening, green (20.7%), intermediate (18.2%) and ripe (6.2%). Total phosphorus content was determinate following the Smith and Caruso method (1964). Gluc-6P and Gluc-3P quantifications were performed as described by Lim et al (Cereal Chemistry, 71(5):488-493, 1994). Total phosphorous content in green banana starch is found as 0.009%, intermediary banana starch 0.006% and ripe banana starch 0.004%, both by the colorimetric method and 31P-NMR. The NMR analysis showed the phosphorus content in C6 and C3. The results by NMR indicate that the amylopectin is phosphorylate by GWD and PWD before the bananas become ripen. Since both the total content of phosphorus and phosphorylated glucose molecules at positions C3 and C6 decrease with the starch degradation, it can be concluded that this phosphorylation occurs only in the surface of the starch granule and before the fruit be harvested.
Isotope Effects on Inhibitors Binding to HIV Reverse Transcriptase
In order to understand in details the interactions between ligands and the enzyme isotope effects were studied between clinically used drugs that bind in the active site of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Reverse Transcriptase, HIV-1 RT, as well as triazole-based inhibitor that binds in the allosteric pocket of this enzyme. The magnitudes and origins of the resulting binding isotope effects were analyzed. Subsequently, binding isotope effect of the same triazole-based inhibitor bound in the active site were analyzed and compared. Together, these results show differences in binding origins in two sites of the enzyme and allow to analyze binding mode and place of newly synthesized inhibitors. Typical protocol is described below on the example of triazole ligand in the allosteric pocket. Triazole was docked into allosteric cavity of HIV-1 RT with Glide using extra-precision mode as implemented in Schroedinger software. The structure of HIV-1 RT was obtained from Protein Data Bank as structure of PDB ID 2RKI. The pKa for titratable amino acids was calculated using PROPKA software, and in order to neutralize the system 15 Cl- were added using tLEaP package implemented in AMBERTools ver.1.5. Also N-terminals and C-terminals were build using tLEaP. The system was placed in 144x160x144Å3 orthorhombic box of water molecules using NAMD program. Missing parameters for triazole were obtained at the AM1 level using Antechamber software implemented in AMBERTools. The energy minimizations were carried out by means of a conjugate gradient algorithm using NAMD. Then system was heated from 0 to 300 K with temperature increment 0.001 K. Subsequently 2 ns Langevin−Verlet (NVT) MM MD simulation with AMBER force field implemented in NAMD was carried out. Periodic Boundary Conditions and cut-offs for the nonbonding interactions, range radius from 14.5 to 16 Å, are used. After 2 ns relaxation 200 ps of QM/MM MD at 300 K were simulated. The triazole was treated quantum mechanically at the AM1 level, protein was described using AMBER and water molecules were described using TIP3P, as implemented in fDynamo library. Molecules 20 Å apart from the triazole were kept frozen, with cut-offs established on range radius from 14.5 to 16 Å. In order to describe interactions between triazole and RT free energy of binding using Free Energy Perturbation method was done. The change in frequencies from ligand in solution to ligand bounded in enzyme was used to calculate binding isotope effects.
Hybrid Graphene Based Nanomaterial as Highly Efficient Catalyst for the Electrochemical Determination of Ciprofloxacin
The detection of drug molecules by voltammetry has attracted great interest over the past years. However, many drug molecules exhibit poor electrochemical signals at common electrodes which result in low sensitivity in detection. An efficient way to overcome this problem is to modify electrodes with functional materials. Since discovered in 2004, graphene (or reduced graphene oxide) has emerged as one of the most studied two-dimensional carbon materials in condensed matter physics, electrochemistry, and so on due to its exceptional physicochemical properties. Additionally, the continuous development of technology has opened the new window for the successful fabrications of many novel graphene-based nanomaterials to serve in electrochemical analysis. This research aims to synthesize and characterize gold nanoparticle coated beta-cyclodextrin functionalized reduced graphene oxide (Au NP–β-CD–RGO) nanocomposites with highly conductive and strongly electro-catalytic properties as well as excellent supramolecular recognition abilities for the modification of electrodes. The electrochemical responses of ciprofloxacin at the as-prepared nanocomposite modified electrode was effectively amplified was much higher in comparison with that at the bare electrode. The linear concentration range was from 0.01 to 120 µM, with a detection limit of 2.7 nM using differential pulse voltammetry. Thus, Au NP–β-CD–RGO nanocomposite has great potential as an ideal material to construct sensitive sensors for the electrochemical determination of ciprofloxacin or similar antibacterial drugs in the future based on its excellent stability, selectivity, and reproducibility.
Identification and Characterization of Inhibitors of Epoxide Hydrolase from Trichoderma reesei
Epoxide hydrolases (EHs) are enzymes that are present in all living organisms and catalyze the hydrolysis of epoxides to the corresponding vicinal diols. EHs have high biotechnological interest for the drug design and chemistry transformation for industries. In this study, we describe the identification of substrates and inhibitors of epoxide hydrolase enzyme from the filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei (TrEH), and these inhibitors showed the fungal growth inhibitory activity. We have used the cloned enzyme and expressed in E. coli to develop the screening in the library of fluorescent substrates with the objective of finding the best substrate to be used in the identification of good inhibitors for the enzyme TrEH. The substrate (3-phenyloxiranyl)-acetic acid cyano-(6-methoxy-naphthalen-2-yl)-methyl ester showed the highest specific activity and was chosen for the next steps of the study. The inhibitors screening was performed in the library with more than three thousand molecules and we could identify the 6 best inhibitors. The IC50 of these molecules were determined in nM and all the best inhibitors have urea or amide in their structure, because It has been recognized that these groups fit well in the hydrolase catalytic pocket of the epoxide hydrolases. Then the growth of T. reesei in PDA medium containing these TrEH inhibitors was tested, and fungal growth inhibition activity was demonstrated with more than 60% of inhibition of fungus growth in the assay with the TrEH inhibitor with the lowest IC50. Understanding how this EH enzyme from T. reesei responds to inhibitors may contribute for the study of fungal metabolism and drug design against pathogenic fungi.
In vitro Inhibitory Action of an Aqueous Extract of Carob on the Release of Myeloperoxidase by Human Neutrophils
Background: Myeloperoxidase (MPO) is a hemic enzyme found in high concentrations in the primary neutrophils granules. In addition to its peroxidase activity, it has a chlorination activity, using hydrogen peroxide and chloride ions to form hypochlorous acid, a strong oxidant, capable of chlorinating molecules. Bioactive compounds contained in medicinal plants could limit the action of this enzyme to reduce the reactive oxygen species production and its chlorination activity. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of the carob aqueous extract (CAE) on the release of MPO by human neutrophils in vitro and its activity following stimulation of these cells by PMA. Methods: Neutrophils were isolated by simple sedimentation using the Dextran/Ficoll method. After stimulation with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), neutrophils release the MPO by degranulation. The effect of CAE on the release of MPO was analyzed by the Western blot technique, while, its activity was determined by biochemical method using the method of 3,3', 5,5'- Tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) and hydrogen peroxide. The data were expressed as mean ± SEM. Results: The carob aqueous extract causes a decrease in MPO quantity and activity in a concentration-dependent manner which leads to a reduction of the production of the ROS (reactive oxygen species) and the protection of the molecules against oxidation and chlorination mechanisms. Conclusion: Thanks to its richness in bioactive compounds, the aqueous extract of carob could limit the development of damages related to the uncontrolled activity of MPO.
Preparation and Modeling Carbon Nanofibers as an Adsorbent to Protect the Environment
Carbon nanofibers possess properties that are rarely present in any other types of carbon adsorbents, including a small cross-sectional area, combined with a multitude of slit shaped nanopores that are suitable for adsorption of certain types of molecules. Because of their unique properties these materials can be used for the selective adsorption of organic molecules. On the other hand, activated carbon fiber (ACF) has been widely applied as an effective adsorbent for micro-pollutants in recent years. ACF effectively adsorbs and removes a full spectrum of harmful substances. Although there are various methods of fabricating carbon nanofibres, electrospinning is perhaps the most versatile procedure. This technique has been given great attention in current decades because of the nearly simple, comfortable and low cost. Spinning process control and achieve optimal conditions is important in order to effect on its physical properties, absorbency and versatility with different industrial purposes. Modeling and simulation are suitable methods to obtain this approach. In this paper, activated carbon nanofibers were produced during electrospinning of polyacrylonitrile solution. Stabilization, carbonization and activation of electrospun nanofibers in optimized conditions were achieved, and mathematical modelling of electrosinning process done by focusing on governing equations of electrified fluid jet motion (using FeniCS software). Experimental and theoretical results will be compared with each other in order to estimate the accuracy of the model. The simulation can provide the possibility of predicting essential parameters, which affect the electrospinning process.
Visible-Light-Driven OVs-BiOCl Nanoplates with Enhanced Photocatalytic Activity toward NO Oxidation
A series of BiOCl nanoplates with different oxygen vacancies (OVs) concentrations were successfully synthesized via a facile solvothermal method. The concentration of OVs of BiOCl can be tuned by the ratios of water/ethylene glycol. Such nanoplates containing oxygen vacancies served as an efficient visible-light-driven photocatalyst for NO oxidation. Compared with pure BiOCl, the enhanced photocatalytic performance was mainly attributed to the introduction of OVs, which greatly enhanced light absorption, promoted electron transfer, activated oxygen molecules. The present work could provide insights into the understanding of the role of OVs in photocatalysts for reference. Combined with characterization analysis, such as XRD(X-ray diffraction), XPS(X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy), TEM(Transmission Electron Microscopy), PL(Fluorescence Spectroscopy), and DFT (Density Functional Theory) calculations, the effect of vacancies on photoelectrochemical properties of BiOCl photocatalysts are shown. Furthermore, the possible reaction mechanisms of photocatalytic NO oxidation were also revealed. According to the results of in situ DRIFTS ( Diffused Reflectance Infrared Fourier Transform Spectroscopy), various intermediates were produced during different time intervals of NO photodegradation. The possible pathways are summarized below. First, visible light irradiation induces electron-hole pairs on the surface of OV-BOC (BiOCl with oxygen vacancies). Second, photogenerated electrons form superoxide radical with the contacted oxygen. Then, the NO molecules adsorbed on the surface of OV-BOC are attacked by superoxide radical and form nitrate instead of NO₂ (by-products). Oxygen vacancies greatly improve the photocatalytic oxidation activity of NO and effectively inhibit the production of harmful by-products during the oxidation of NO.
The Aromaticity of P-Substituted O-(N-Dialkyl)Aminomethylphenols
Aromaticity, one of the most important concepts in organic chemistry, has attracted considerable interest from both experimentalists and theoreticians. The geometry optimization of p-substituted o-(N-dialkyl)aminomethylphenols, o-DEAMPH XC₆ H₅CH ₂Y (X=p-OCH₃, CH₃, H, F, Cl, Br, COCH₃, COOCH₃, CHO, CN and NO₂, Y=o-N (C₂H₅)₂, o-DEAMPHs have been performed in the gas phase using the B3LYP/6-311+G(d,p) level. Aromaticities of the considered molecules were investigated using different indices included geometrical (HOMA and Bird), electronic (FLU, PDI and SA) magnetic (NICS(0), NICS(1) and NICS(1)zz indices. The linear dependencies were obtained between some aromaticity indices. The best correlation is observed between the Bird and PDI indices (R² =0.9240). However, not all types of indices or even different indices within the same type correlate well among each other. Surprisingly, for studied molecules in which geometrical and electronic cannot correctly give the aromaticity of ring, the magnetism based index successfully predicts the aromaticity of systems. 1H NMR spectra of compounds were obtained at B3LYP/6–311+G(d,p) level using the GIAO method. Excellent linear correlation (R²= 0.9996) between values the chemical shift of hydrogen atom obtained experimentally of 1H NMR and calculated using B3LYP/6–311+G(d,p) demonstrates a good assignment of the experimental values chemical shift to the calculated structures of o-DEAMPH. It is found that the best linear correlation with the Hammett substituent constants is observed for the NICS(1)zz index in comparison with the other indices: NICS(1)zz =-21.5552+1,1070 σp- (R²=0.9394). The presence intramolecular hydrogen bond in the studied molecules also revealed changes the aromatic character of substituted o-DEAMPHs. The HOMA index predicted for R=NO2 the reduction in the π-electron delocalization of 3.4% was about double that observed for p-nitrophenol. The influence intramolecular H-bonding on aromaticity of benzene ring in the ground state (S0) are described by equations between NICS(1)zz and H-bond energies: experimental, Eₑₓₚ, predicted IR spectroscopical, Eν and topological, EQTAIM with correlation coefficients R² =0.9666, R² =0.9028 and R² =0.8864, respectively. The NICS(1)zz index also correlates with usual descriptors of the hydrogen bond, while the other indices do not give any meaningful results. The influence of the intramolecular H-bonding formation on the aromaticity of some substituted o-DEAMPHs is criteria to consider the multidimensional character of aromaticity. The linear relationships as well as revealed between NICS(1)zz and both pyramidality nitrogen atom, ΣN(C₂H₅)₂ and dihedral angle, φ CAr – CAr -CCH₂ –N, to characterizing out-of-plane properties.These results demonstrated the nonplanar structure of o-DEAMPHs. Finally, when considering dependencies of NICS(1)zz, were excluded data for R=H, because the NICS(1) and NICS(1)zz values are the most negative for unsubstituted DEAMPH, indicating its highest aromaticity; that was not the case for NICS(0) index.
Preventing Neurodegenerative Diseases by Stabilization of Superoxide Dismutase by Natural Polyphenolic Compounds
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease caused by misfolding and aggregation of Cu, Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1). The use of small molecules has been shown to stabilize the SOD1 dimer and preventing its dissociation and aggregation. In this study, we employed molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulation and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) to study the interactions between SOD1 and natural polyphenolic compounds. In order to explore the noncovalent interaction between SOD1 and natural polyphenolic compounds, molecular docking and molecular dynamic (MD) simulations were employed to gain insights into the binding modes and free energies of SOD1-polyphenolic compounds. MM/PBSA methods were used to calculate free energies from obtained MD trajectories. The compounds, Hesperidin, Ergosterol, and Rutin showed the excellent binding affinity in micromolar range with SOD1. Ergosterol and Hesperidin have the strongest binding affinity to SOD1 and was subjected to further characterization. Biophysical experiments using Circular Dichroism and Thioflavin T fluorescence spectroscopy results show that the binding of these two compounds can stabilize SOD1 dimer and inhibit the aggregation of SOD1. Molecular simulation results also suggest that these compounds reduce the dissociation of SOD1 dimers through direct interaction with the dimer interface. This study will be helpful to develop other drug-like molecules which may have the effect to reduce the aggregation of SOD1.
Molecular Migration in Polyvinyl Acetate Matrix: Impact of Compatibility, Number of Migrants and Stress on Surface and Internal Microstructure
Migration of small molecules to, and across the surface of polymer matrices is a little-studied problem with important industrial applications. Tackifiers in adhesives, flavors in foods and binding agents in paints all present situations where the function of a product depends on the ability of small molecules to migrate through a polymer matrix to achieve the desired properties such as softness, dispersion of fillers, and to deliver an effect that is felt (or tasted) on a surface. It’s been shown that the chemical and molecular structure, surface free energies, phase behavior, close environment and compatibility of the system, influence the migrants’ motion. When differences in behavior, such as occurrence of segregation to the surface or not, are observed it is then of crucial importance to identify and get a better understanding of the driving forces involved in the process of molecular migration. In this aim, experience is meant to be allied with theory in order to deliver a validated theoretical and computational toolkit to describe and predict these phenomena. The systems that have been chosen for this study aim to address the effect of polarity mismatch between the migrants and the polymer matrix and that of a second migrant over the first one. As a non-polar resin polymer, polyvinyl acetate is used as the material to which more or less polar migrants (sorbitol, carvone, octanoic acid (OA), triacetin) are to be added. Through contact angle measurement a surface excess is seen for sorbitol (polar) mixed with PVAc as the surface energy is lowered compare to the one of pure PVAc. This effect is increased upon the addition of carvon or triacetin (non-polars). Surface micro-structures are also evidenced by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Ion beam analysis (Nuclear Reaction Analysis), supplemented by neutron reflectometry can accurately characterize the self-organization of surfactants, oligomers, aromatic molecules in polymer films in order to relate the macroscopic behavior to the length scales that are amenable to simulation. The nuclear reaction analysis (NRA) data for deuterated OA 20% shows the evidence of a surface excess which is enhanced after annealing. The addition of 10% triacetin, as a second migrant, results in the formation of an underlying layer enriched in triacetin below the surface excess of OA. The results show that molecules in polarity mismatch with the matrix tend to segregate to the surface, and this is favored by the addition of a second migrant of the same polarity than the matrix. As studies have been restricted to materials that are model supported films under static conditions in a first step, it is also wished to address the more challenging conditions of materials under controlled stress or strain. To achieve this, a simple rig and PDMS cell have been designed to stretch the material to a defined strain and to probe these mechanical effects by ion beam analysis and atomic force microscopy. This will make a significant step towards exploring the influence of extensional strain on surface segregation, flavor release in cross-linked rubbers.
Screening and Isolation of Lead Molecules from South Indian Plant Extracts against NDM-1 Producing Escherichia coli
The discovery and development of newer antibiotics are limited with the increase in resistance of such multi-drug resistant bacteria creating the need for alternative new therapeutic agents. The recently discovered New Delhi Metallo-betalactamase-1 (NDM-1), which confers antibiotic resistance to most of the currently available β-lactams, except colistin and tigecycline, is a global concern. Several antibacterial drugs approved are natural products or their semisynthetic derivatives, but plant extracts remain to be explored to find molecules that are effective against NDM-1 bacteria. Therefore, it is necessary to explore the possibility of finding new and effective antibacterial compounds against NDM-1 bacteria. In the present study, we have screened a diverse set South Indian plant species, and report most plant species as a potential source for antimicrobial compounds against NDM-1 bacteria. Ethanol extracts from the leaves of taxonomically diverse South Indian medicinal plants were screened for antibacterial activity against NDM-1 E. coli using streak plate method. Among the plant screened against NDM-1 E. coli, the ethanol extracts from many plant extracts showed minimum bactericidal concentration between 5 and 15 mg /ml and MIC between 2.54 and 5.12 mg/ml. These extracts also showed a potent synergistic effect when combined with antibiotics colistin and tetracycline. Combretum albidum that was effective was taken for further analysis. At 5mg/L concentration, these extracts inhibited the NDM-1 enzyme in vitro, and residual activity for Combretum albidum was 33.09%. Treatment of NDM-1 E. coli with the extracts disrupted the cell wall integrity and caused 89.7% cell death. The plant extract of Combretum albidum that was effective was subjected to fractionation and the fraction was further subjected to HPLC, LC-MS for identification of antibacterial compound.
Thinking about the Loss of Social Networking Sites May Expand the Distress of Social Exclusion
Social networking sites (SNS) such as Facebook and Twitter are low-cost tools that can promote the creation of social connections by providing a convenient platform that can be accessed at any time. In the current research, a laboratory experiment was conducted test the hypothesis that reminders of losing SNS would alter the impact of social events, especially those involving social exclusion. Specifically, this study explored whether losing SNS would intensify perceived social distress induced by exclusionary bogus feedback. Eighty-eight Facebook users (46 females, 42 males; mean age = 22.6 years, SD = 3.1 years) were recruited via campus posters and flyers at a national university in southern Taiwan. After participants provided consent, they were randomly assigned to a 2 (SNS non-use vs. neutral) between-subjects experiment. Participants completed an ostensible survey about online social networking in which we included an item about the time spent on SNS per day. The last question was used to manipulate thoughts about losing SNS access. Participants under the non-use condition were asked to record three conditions that would render them unable to use SNS (e.g., a network adaptor problem, malfunctioning cable modem, or problems with Internet service providers); participants under the neutral condition recorded three conditions that would render them unable to log onto the college website (e.g., server maintenance, local network or firewall problems). Later, this experiment employed a bogus-feedback paradigm to induce social exclusion. Participants then rated their social distress on a four-item scale, identical to that of Experiment 1 (α = .84). The results showed that thoughts of losing SNS intensified distress caused by social exclusion, suggesting that the loss of SNS has a similar effect to the loss of a primary source for social reconnections. Moreover, the priming effects of SNS on perceived distress were more prominent for heavy users. The demonstrated link between the idea of losing SNS use and increased pain of social exclusion manifests the importance of SNS as a crucial gateway for acquiring and rebuilding social connections. Use of online social networking appears to be a two-edged sword for coping with social exclusion in human lives in the e-society.
Immune Complex Components Act as Agents in Relapsing Fever Borrelia Mediated Rosette Formation
Borrelia duttonii and most other relapsing fever species are Gram-negative bacteria which cause a blood borne infection characterized by the binding of bacterium to erythrocytes. The bacteria associate with two or more erythrocytes to form clusters of cells into rosettes. Rosetting is a major virulence factor and the mechanism is believed to facilitate persistence of bacteria in the circulatory system and the avoidance of host immune cells through masking or steric hindrance effects. However, the molecular mechanisms of rosette formation are still poorly understood. This study aims at determining the molecules involved in the rosette formation phenomenon. Fractionated serum, using different affinity purification methods, was investigated as a rosetting agent and IgG and at least one other serum components were needed for rosettes to form. An IgG titration curve demonstrated that IgG alone is not enough to restore rosette formation level to the level whole serum gives. IgG hydrolysis by IdeS ( Immunoglobulin G-degrading enzyme of Streptococcus pyogenes) and deglycosylation using N-Glycanase proved that the whole IgG molecule regardless of saccharide moieties is critical for Borrelia induced rosetting. Complement components C3 and C4 were also important serum molecules necessary to maintain optimum rosetting rates. The deactivation of complement network and serum depletion with C3 and C4 significantly reduced the rosette formation rate. The dependency of IgG and complement components also implied involvement of the complement receptor (CR1). Rosette formation test with Knops null RBC and sCR1 confirmed that CR1 is also part of Borrelia induced rosette formation.
Metagenomics Analysis of Bacteria in Sorghum Using next Generation Sequencing
Sorghum is an important cereal crop in the world. In particular, it has attracted breeders due to capacity to serve as food, feed, fiber and bioenergy crop. Like any other plant, sorghum hosts a variety of microbes, which can either, have a neutral, negative and positive influence on the plant. In the current study, regions (V3/V4) of 16 S rRNA were targeted to extensively assess bacterial multitrophic interactions in the phyllosphere of sorghum. The results demonstrated that the presence of a pathogen has a significant effect on the endophytic bacterial community. Understanding these interactions is key to develop new strategies for plant protection.
Photocaged Carbohydrates: Versatile Tools for Biotechnological Applications
Light absorbing chromophoric systems are important optogenetic tools for biotechnical and biophysical investigations. Processes such as fluorescence or photolysis can be triggered by light-absorption of chromophores. These play a central role in life science. Photocaged compounds belong to such chromophoric systems. The photo-labile protecting groups enable them to release biologically active substances with high temporal and spatial resolution. The properties of photocaged compounds are specified by the characteristics of the caging group as well as the characteristics of the linked effector molecule. In our research, we work with different types of photo-labile protecting groups and various effector molecules giving us possible access to a large library of caged compounds. As a function of the caged effector molecule, a nearly limitless number of biological systems can be directed. Our main interest focusses on photocaging carbohydrates (e.g. arabinose) and their derivatives as effector molecules. Based on these resulting photocaged compounds a precisely controlled photoinduced gene expression will give us access to studies of numerous biotechnological and synthetic biological applications. It could be shown, that the regulation of gene expression via light is possible with photocaged carbohydrates achieving a higher-order control over this processes. With the one-step cleavable photocaged carbohydrate, a homogeneous expression was achieved in comparison to free carbohydrates.
Computer Simulation of Hydrogen Superfluidity through Binary Mixing
A superfluid is a fluid of bosons that flows without resistance. In order to be a superfluid, a substance’s particles must behave like bosons, yet remain mobile enough to be considered a superfluid. Bosons are low-temperature particles that can be in all energy states at the same time. If bosons were to be cooled down, then the particles will all try to be on the lowest energy state, which is called the Bose Einstein condensation. The temperature when bosons start to matter is when the temperature has reached its critical temperature. For example, when Helium reaches its critical temperature of 2.17K, the liquid density drops and becomes a superfluid with zero viscosity. However, most materials will solidify -and thus not remain fluids- at temperatures well above the temperature at which they would otherwise become a superfluid. Only a few substances currently known to man are capable of at once remaining a fluid and manifesting boson statistics. The most well-known of these is helium and its isotopes. Because hydrogen is lighter than helium, and thus expected to manifest Bose statistics at higher temperatures than helium, one might expect hydrogen to also be a superfluid. As of today, however, no one has yet been able to produce a bulk, hydrogen superfluid. The reason why hydrogen did not form a superfluid in the past is its intermolecular interactions. As a result, hydrogen molecules are much more likely to crystallize than their helium counterparts. The key to creating a hydrogen superfluid is therefore finding a way to reduce the effect of the interactions among hydrogen molecules, postponing the solidification to lower temperature. In this work, we attempt via computer simulation to produce bulk superfluid hydrogen through binary mixing. Binary mixture is a technique of mixing two pure substances in order to avoid crystallization and enhance super fluidity. Our mixture here is KALJ H2. We then sample the partition function using this Path Integral Monte Carlo (PIMC), which is well-suited for the equilibrium properties of low-temperature bosons and captures not only the statistics but also the dynamics of Hydrogen. Via this sampling, we will then produce a time evolution of the substance and see if it exhibits superfluid properties.
Carbon Based Classification of Aquaporin Proteins: A New Proposal
Major Intrinsic proteins (MIPs), actively involved in the passive transport of small polar molecules across the membranes of almost all living organisms. MIPs that specifically transport water molecules are named aquaporins (AQPs). The permeability of membranes is actively controlled by the regulation of the amount of different MIPs present but also in some cases by phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of the channel. Based on sequence similarity, MIPs have been classified into many categories. All of the proteins are made up of the 20 amino acids, the only difference is there in their orientations. Again all the 20 amino acids are made up of the basic five elements namely: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, sulphur and nitrogen. These elements are responsible for giving the amino acids the properties of hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity which play an important role in protein interactions. The hydrophobic amino acids characteristically have greater number of carbon atoms as carbon is the main element which contributes to hydrophobic interactions in proteins. It is observed that the carbon level of proteins in different species is different. In the present work, we have taken a sample set of 150 aquaporins proteins from Uniprot database and a dynamic programming code was written to calculate the carbon percentage for each sequence. This carbon percentage was further used to barcode the aqauporins of animals and plants. The protein taken from Oryza sativa, Zea mays and Arabidopsis thaliana preferred to have carbon percentage of 31.8 to 35, whereas on the other hand sequences taken from Mus musculus, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Homo sapiens, Bos Taurus, and Rattus norvegicus preferred to have carbon percentage of 31 to 33.7. This clearly demarks the carbon range in the aquaporin proteins from plant and animal origin. Hence the atom level analysis of protein sequences can provide us with better results as compared to the residue level comparison.
Superordinated Control for Increasing Feed-in Capacity and Improving Power Quality in Low Voltage Distribution Grids
The ever increasing amount of distributed generation in low voltage distribution grids (mainly PV and micro-CHP) can lead to reverse load flows from low to medium/high voltage levels at times of high feed-in. Reverse load flow leads to rising voltages that may even exceed the limits specified in the grid codes. Furthermore, the share of electrical loads connected to low voltage distribution grids via switched power supplies continuously increases. In combination with inverter-based feed-in, this results in high harmonic levels reducing overall power quality. Especially high levels of third-order harmonic currents can lead to neutral conductor overload, which is even more critical if lines with reduced neutral conductor section areas are used. This paper illustrates a possible concept for smart grids in order to increase the feed-in capacity, improve power quality and to ensure safe operation of low voltage distribution grids at all times. The key feature of the concept is a hierarchically structured control strategy that is run on a superordinated controller, which is connected to several distributed grid analyzers and inverters via broad band powerline (BPL). The strategy is devised to ensure both quick response time as well as the technically and economically reasonable use of the available inverters in the grid (PV-inverters, batteries, stepless line voltage regulators). These inverters are provided with standard features for voltage control, e.g. voltage dependent reactive power control. In addition they can receive reactive power set points transmitted by the superordinated controller. To further improve power quality, the inverters are capable of active harmonic filtering, as well as voltage balancing, whereas the latter is primarily done by the stepless line voltage regulators. By additionally connecting the superordinated controller to the control center of the grid operator, supervisory control and data acquisition capabilities for the low voltage distribution grid are enabled, which allows easy monitoring and manual input. Such a low voltage distribution grid can also be used as a virtual power plant.
New Bio-Strategies for Ochratoxin a Detoxification Using Lactic Acid Bacteria
The occurrence of mycotoxigenic moulds such as Aspergillus, Penicillium and Fusarium in food and feed has an important impact on public health, by the appearance of acute and chronic mycotoxicoses in humans and animals, which is more severe in the developing countries due to lack of food security, poverty and malnutrition. This mould contamination also constitutes a major economic problem due the lost of crop production. A great variety of filamentous fungi is able to produce highly toxic secondary metabolites known as mycotoxins. Most of the mycotoxins are carcinogenic, mutagenic, neurotoxic and immunosuppressive, being ochratoxin A (OTA) one of the most important. OTA is toxic to animals and humans, mainly due to its nephrotoxic properties. Several approaches have been developed for decontamination of mycotoxins in foods, such as, prevention of contamination, biodegradation of mycotoxins-containing food and feed with microorganisms or enzymes and inhibition or absorption of mycotoxin content of consumed food into the digestive tract. Some group of Gram-positive bacteria named lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are able to release some molecules that can influence the mould growth, improving the shelf life of many fermented products and reducing health risks due to exposure to mycotoxins. Some LAB are capable of mycotoxin detoxification. Recently our group was the first to describe the ability of LAB strains to biodegrade OTA, more specifically, Pediococcus parvulus strains isolated from Douro wines. The pathway of this biodegradation was identified previously in other microorganisms. OTA can be degraded through the hydrolysis of the amide bond that links the L-β-phenylalanine molecule to the ochratoxin alpha (OTα) a non toxic compound. It is known that some peptidases from different origins can mediate the hydrolysis reaction like, carboxypeptidase A an enzyme from the bovine pancreas, a commercial lipase and several commercial proteases. So, we wanted to have a better understanding of this OTA degradation process when LAB are involved and identify which molecules where present in this process. For achieving our aim we used some bioinformatics tools (BLAST, CLUSTALX2, CLC Sequence Viewer 7, Finch TV). We also designed specific primers and realized gene specific PCR. The template DNA used came from LAB strains samples of our previous work, and other DNA LAB strains isolated from elderberry fruit, silage, milk and sausages. Through the employment of bioinformatics tools it was possible to identify several proteins belonging to the carboxypeptidase family that participate in the process of OTA degradation, such as serine type D-Ala-D-Ala carboxypeptidase and membrane carboxypeptidase. In conclusions, this work has identified carboxypeptidase proteins being one of the molecules present in the OTA degradation process when LAB are involved.
N-Heterocyclic Carbene Based Dearomatized Iridium Complex as an Efficient Catalyst towards Carbon-Carbon Bond Formation via Hydrogen Borrowing Strategy
The search for atom-economical and green synthetic methods for the synthesis of functionalized molecules has attracted much attention. Metal ligand cooperation (MLC) plays a pivotal role in organometallic catalysis to activate C−H, H−H, O−H, N−H and B−H bonds through reversible bond breaking and bond making process. Towards this goal, a bifunctional N─heterocyclic carbene (NHC) based pyridyl-functionalized amide ligand precursor, and corresponding dearomatized iridium complex was synthesized. The NMR and UV/Vis acid titration study have been done to prove the proton response nature of the iridium complex. Further, the dearomatized iridium complex explored as a catalyst on the platform of MLC via dearomatzation/aromatization mode of action towards atom economical α and β─alkylation of ketones and secondary alcohols by using primary alcohols through hydrogen borrowing methodology. The key features of the catalysis are high turnover frequency (TOF) values, low catalyst loading, low base loading and no waste product. The greener syntheses of quinoline, lactone derivatives and selective alkylation of drug molecules like pregnenolone and testosterone were also achieved successfully. Another structurally similar iridium complex was also synthesized with modified ligand precursor where a pendant amide unit was absent. The inactivity of this analogue iridium complex towards catalysis authenticated the participation of proton responsive imido sidearm of the ligand to accelerate the catalytic reaction. The mechanistic investigation through control experiments, NMR and deuterated labeling study, authenticate the borrowing hydrogen strategy.
Biophysical Study of the Interaction of Harmalol with Nucleic Acids of Different Motifs: Spectroscopic and Calorimetric Approaches
Binding of small molecules to DNA and recently to RNA, continues to attract considerable attention for developing effective therapeutic agents for control of gene expression. This work focuses towards understanding interaction of harmalol, a dihydro beta-carboline alkaloid, with different nucleic acid motifs viz. double stranded CT DNA, single stranded A-form poly(A), double-stranded A-form of poly(C)·poly(G) and clover leaf tRNAphe by different spectroscopic, calorimetric and molecular modeling techniques. Results of this study converge to suggest that (i) binding constant varied in the order of CT DNA > poly(C)·poly(G) > tRNAphe > poly(A), (ii) non-cooperative binding of harmalol to poly(C)·poly(G) and poly(A) and cooperative binding with CT DNA and tRNAphe, (iii) significant structural changes of CT DNA, poly(C)·poly(G) and tRNAphe with concomitant induction of optical activity in the bound achiral alkaloid molecules, while with poly(A) no intrinsic CD perturbation was observed, (iv) the binding was predominantly exothermic, enthalpy driven, entropy favoured with CT DNA and poly(C)·poly(G) while it was entropy driven with tRNAphe and poly(A), (v) a hydrophobic contribution and comparatively large role of non-polyelectrolytic forces to Gibbs energy changes with CT DNA, poly(C)·poly(G) and tRNAphe, and (vi) intercalated state of harmalol with CT DNA and poly(C)·poly(G) structure as revealed from molecular docking and supported by the viscometric data. Furthermore, with competition dialysis assay it was shown that harmalol prefers hetero GC sequences. All these findings unequivocally pointed out that harmalol prefers binding with ds CT DNA followed by ds poly(C)·poly(G), clover leaf tRNAphe and least with ss poly(A). The results highlight the importance of structural elements in these natural beta-carboline alkaloids in stabilizing different DNA and RNA of various motifs for developing nucleic acid based better therapeutic agents.
Exploring the Bifunctional Organocatalysts for Asymmetric Synthesis of 3-Substituted-3-Aminooxindoles
The unfavorable use of metal-based catalysts that are often extortionate and toxic can be overcome by using small organic molecules known as organocatalysts. A variety of small organic molecules, including Brønsted/Lewis bases and acids, based on sulfonic acids, phosphoric acids, amines, phosphines or carbenes, Cinchona alkaloids, have been used as organocatalysts. One of the key reasons for using organocatalysis is their ability to be effectively removed from the final product in comparison to the metallic counterparts, which are exceedingly difficult to remove. The present investigation seeks to explore the catalytic nature of Cinchona alkaloids as an organocatalyst for enantioselective synthesis of 3-substituted-3-aminooxindole, which is known to exhibit a variety of biological activities and pharmacological activities. In this context, an organocatalytic asymmetric route for the synthesis of 3-aminooxindoles via reaction of isatin imine with α-acetoxy-β-ketoesters has been developed. The bifunctional Cinchona derived thiourea catalyzed the reaction of α-acetoxy-β-ketoesters derivatives with isatin imine to afford 3-substituted-aminooxindole derivatives in up to 93% yield, 95% enantiomeric excess and >20:1 diastereomeric ratio. The reaction was performed at room temperature for two hours using 10 mol% of catalyst, in the presence of 4Å molecular sieves in tetrahydrofuran as a solvent at ambient temperature. After the completion of the reaction, the pure product could be easily separated by using column chromatography using hexane and ethyl acetate as solvents. In conclusion, the catalytic potential of Cinchona derived chiral thiourea-tertiary amine catalyst was explored for an organocatalytic enantioselective Mannich reaction of β-ketoester derivatives with various isatin imine derivatives under mild conditions.
Improved Thermal Comfort and Sensation with Occupant Control of Ceiling Personalized Ventilation System: A Lab Study
This study aims at determining the extent to which occupant control of microenvironment influences, improves thermal sensation and comfort, and saves energy in spaces equipped with ceiling personalized ventilation (CPV) system assisted by chair fans (CF) or desk fan (DF). Sixteen subjects participated in 2 experiments in a climatic chamber equipped with two-station CPV systems, one that allows control of fan flow rate and the other is set at fixed fan speed to provide occupant comfort. Each experiment included two participants each entering the cooled space from transitional environment at a conventional mixed ventilation (MV) at 24 ◦C. For CPV diffuser, fresh air was delivered at a rate of 20 CFM and a temperature of 16 ◦C while the recirculated air was delivered at the same temperature but at a flow rate 150 CFM. The macroclimate air of the space was at 26 ◦C. The 20 CFM was considered the minimum fresh airflow air of the CPV and could be changed to 25 or 30 CFM through fan control system. A third experiment where the fresh airflow rate was changed was conducted be eight participants in the same CPV testing chamber. The full speed flow rates for both the CFs and DFs were at 5 CFM and 20 CFM, respectively. Occupant 1 was allowed to operate the CFs or the DFs at (1/3 of the full speed, 2/3 of the full speed, and the full speed) while occupant 2 had no control on the fans. In a separate experiment, occupant 1 controlled the CPV fresh airflow rate while occupant 2 did not control CPV flow rate. Occupants recorded their subjective votes of thermal sensation (TS) and overall thermal comfort (TC) over a period of one hour. The results showed that most participants who controlled the CFs did feel comfortable within the first 12 minutes. Nonetheless, all occupants who did control the CFs did feel comfortable or neutral within the first 30 minutes. The participants, who did not control the CF speeds, did feel comfortable faster than the ones who did. For the DF speed control experiments, most participants who had to control the DFs felt comfortable within the first 12 minutes. Unlike with CF, the participants who did not control the DF speeds, felt comfortable at the same rate as the ones who did not. More participants found that the CPV testing chamber was more comfortable than the conventional MV system, in fact, 87.5% of participants found the CPV+CF and CPV+DF more comfortable, while a range of 60-75% of participants found the MV system comfortable. Most participants in the experiment in which CPV control was considered felt warm or neutral at the beginning, and they reach a point of comfort, or slightly cool when the fresh cool air fan is turned on to 20 CFM. However, when the fresh airflow rate is increased, the up to 50% participants do start feeling cold, and uncomfortable.
Processes Controlling Release of Phosphorus (P) from Catchment Soils and the Relationship between Total Phosphorus (TP) and Humic Substances (HS) in Scottish Loch Waters
Although past work has shown that phosphorus (P), an important nutrient, may form complexes with aqueous humic substances (HS), the principal component of natural organic matter, the nature of such interactions is poorly understood. Humic complexation may not only enhance P concentrations but it may change its bioavailability within such waters and, in addition, influence its transport within catchment settings. This project is examining the relationships and associations of P, HS, and iron (Fe) in Loch Meadie, Sutherland, North Scotland, a mesohumic freshwater loch which has been assessed as reference condition with respect to P. The aim is to identify characteristic spectroscopic parameters which can enhance the performance of the model currently used to predict reference condition TP levels for highly-coloured Scottish lochs under the Water Framework Directive. In addition to Loch Meadie, samples from other reference condition lochs in north Scotland and Shetland were analysed. By including different types of reference condition lochs (clear water, mesohumic and polyhumic water) this allowed the relationship between total phosphorus (TP) and HS to be more fully explored. The pH, [TP], [Fe], UV/Vis absorbance/spectra, [TOC] and [DOC] for loch water samples have been obtained using accredited methods. Loch waters were neutral to slightly acidic/alkaline (pH 6-8). [TP] in loch waters were lower than 50 µg L-1, and in Loch Meadie waters were typically
Three-Level Converters Back-To-Back DC Bus Control for Torque Ripple Reduction of Induction Motor
This paper proposes a regulation method of back-to-back connected three-level converters in order to reduce the torque ripple in induction motor. First part is dedicated to the presentation of the feedback control of three-level PWM rectifier. In the second part, three-level NPC voltage source inverter balancing DC bus algorithm is presented. A theoretical analysis with a complete simulation of the system is presented to prove the excellent performance of the proposed technique.
Classification of Emotions in Emergency Call Center Conversations
The study of emotions expressed in emergency phone call is presented, covering both statistical analysis of emotions configurations and an attempt to automatically classify emotions. An emergency call is a situation usually accompanied by intense, authentic emotions. They influence (and may inhibit) the communication between caller and responder. In order to support responders in their responsible and psychically exhaustive work, we studied when and in which combinations emotions appeared in calls. A corpus of 45 hours of conversations (about 3300 calls) from emergency call center was collected. Each recording was manually tagged with labels of emotions valence (positive, negative or neutral), type (sadness, tiredness, anxiety, surprise, stress, anger, fury, calm, relief, compassion, satisfaction, amusement, joy) and arousal (weak, typical, varying, high) on the basis of perceptual judgment of two annotators. As we concluded, basic emotions tend to appear in specific configurations depending on the overall situational context and attitude of speaker. After performing statistical analysis we distinguished four main types of emotional behavior of callers: worry/helplessness (sadness, tiredness, compassion), alarm (anxiety, intense stress), mistake or neutral request for information (calm, surprise, sometimes with amusement) and pretension/insisting (anger, fury). The frequency of profiles was respectively: 51%, 21%, 18% and 8% of recordings. A model of presenting the complex emotional profiles on the two-dimensional (tension-insecurity) plane was introduced. In the stage of acoustic analysis, a set of prosodic parameters, as well as Mel-Frequency Cepstral Coefficients (MFCC) were used. Using these parameters, complex emotional states were modeled with machine learning techniques including Gaussian mixture models, decision trees and discriminant analysis. Results of classification with several methods will be presented and compared with the state of the art results obtained for classification of basic emotions. Future work will include optimization of the algorithm to perform in real time in order to track changes of emotions during a conversation.
An Experimental Study of Scalar Implicature Processing in Chinese
A prominent component of the semantic versus pragmatic debate, scalar implicature (SI) has been gaining great attention ever since it was proposed by Horn. The constant debate is between the structural and pragmatic approach. The former claims that generation of SI is costless, automatic, and dependent mostly on the structural properties of sentences, whereas the latter advocates both that such generation is largely dependent upon context, and that the process is costly. Many experiments, among which Katsos’s text comprehension experiments are influential, have been designed and conducted in order to verify their views, but the results are not conclusive. Besides, most of the experiments were conducted in English language materials. Katsos conducted one off-line and three on-line text comprehension experiments, in which the previous shortcomings were addressed on a certain extent and the conclusion was in favor of the pragmatic approach. We intend to test the results of Katsos’s experiment in Chinese scalar implicature. Four experiments in both off-line and on-line conditions to examine the generation and response time of SI in Chinese "yixie" (some) and "quanbu (dou)" (all) will be conducted in order to find out whether the structural or the pragmatic approach could be sustained. The study mainly aims to answer the following questions: (1) Can SI be generated in the upper- and lower-bound contexts as Katsos confirmed when Chinese language materials are used in the experiment? (2) Can SI be first generated, then cancelled as default view claimed or can it not be generated in a neutral context when Chinese language materials are used in the experiment? (3) Is SI generation costless or costly in terms of processing resources? (4) In line with the SI generation process, what conclusion can be made about the cognitive processing model of language meaning? Is it a parallel model or a linear model? Or is it a dynamic and hierarchical model? According to previous theoretical debates and experimental conflicts, presumptions could be made that SI, in Chinese language, might be generated in the upper-bound contexts. Besides, the response time might be faster in upper-bound than that found in lower-bound context. SI generation in neutral context might be the slowest. At last, a conclusion would be made that the processing model of SI could not be verified by either absolute structural or pragmatic approaches. It is, rather, a dynamic and complex processing mechanism, in which the interaction of language forms, ad hoc context, mental context, background knowledge, speakers’ interaction, etc. are involved.
An Alternative Proof for the Topological Entropy of the Motzkin Shift
A Motzkin shift is a mathematical model for constraints on genetic sequences. In terms of the theory of symbolic dynamics, the Motzkin shift is nonsofic, and therefore, we cannot use the Perron-Frobenius theory to calculate its topological entropy. The Motzkin shift M(M,N) which comes from language theory, is defined to be the shift system over an alphabet A that consists of N negative symbols, N positive symbols and M neutral symbols. For an x in the full shift AZ, x is in M(M,N) if and only if every finite block appearing in x has a non-zero reduced form. Therefore, the constraint for x cannot be bounded in length. K. Inoue has shown that the entropy of the Motzkin shift M(M,N) is log(M + N + 1). In this paper, we find a new method of calculating the topological entropy of the Motzkin shift M(M,N) without any measure theoretical discussion.
FLC with 3DSVM for 4LEG 4WIRE Shunt Active Power Filter
In this paper, a controller based on fuzzy logic control (FLC) associated to Three Dimensional Space Vector Modulation (3DSVM) is applied for shunt active filter in αβo axes domain. The main goals are to improve power quality under disturbed loads, minimize source currents harmonics and reduce neutral current magnitude in the four-wire structure. FLC is used to obtain the reference current and control the DC-bus voltage at the inverter output. The switching signals of the four-leg inverter are generating through a Three Dimensional Space Vector Modulation (3DSVM). Selected simulation results have been shown to validate the proposed system.
Ant Colony Optimization Control for Multilevel STATCOM
Flexible AC Transmission Systems (FACTS) are potentially becoming more flexible and more economical local controllers in the power system; and because of the high MVA ratings, it would be expensive to provide independent, equal, regulated DC voltage sources to power the multilevel converters which are presently proposed for STATCOMs. DC voltage sources can be derived from the DC link capacitances which are charged by the rectified ac power. In this paper a new stronger control combined of nonlinear control based Lyapunov’s theorem and Ant Colony Algorithm (ACA) to maintain stability of multilevel STATCOM and the utility.
Gold-Mediated Modification of Apoferritin Surface with Targeting Antibodies
Protein apoferritin seems to be a very promising structure for use as a nanocarrier. It is prepared from intracellular ferritin protein naturally found in most organisms. The role of ferritin proteins is to store and transport ferrous ions. Apoferritin is a hollow protein cage without ferrous ions that can be prepared from ferritin by reduction with thioglycolic acid or dithionite. The structure of apoferritin is composed of 24 protein subunits, creating a sphere with 12 nm in diameter. The inner cavity has a diameter of 8 nm. The drug encapsulation process is based on the response of apoferritin structure to the pH changes of surrounding solution. In low pH, apoferritin is disassembled into individual subunits and its structure is “opened”. It can then be mixed with any desired cytotoxic drug and after adjustment of pH back to neutral the subunits are reconnected again and the drug is encapsulated within the apoferritin particles. Excess drug molecules can be removed by dialysis. The receptors for apoferritin, SCARA5 and TfR1 can be found in the membrane of both healthy and cancer cells. To enhance the specific targeting of apoferritin nanocarrier, it is possible to modify its surface with targeting moieties, such as antibodies. To ensure sterically correct complex, we used a a peptide linker based on a protein G with N-terminus affinity towards Fc region of antibodies. To connect the peptide to the surface of apoferritin, the C-terminus of peptide was made of cysteine with affinity to gold. The surface of apoferritin with encapsulated doxorubicin (ApoDox) was coated either with gold nanoparticles (ApoDox-Nano) or gold (III) chloride hydrate reduced with sodium borohydride (ApoDox-HAu). The applied amount of gold in form of gold (III) chloride hydrate was 10 times higher than in the case of gold nanoparticles. However, after removal of the excess unbound ions by electrophoretic separation, the concentration of gold on the surface of apoferritin was only 6 times higher for ApoDox-HAu in comparison with ApoDox-Nano. Moreover, the reduction with sodium borohydride caused a loss of doxorubicin fluorescent properties (excitation maximum at 480 nm with emission maximum at 600 nm) and thus its biological activity. Fluorescent properties of ApoDox-Nano were similar to the unmodified ApoDox, therefore it was more suited for the intended use. To evaluate the specificity of apoferritin modified with antibodies, we used ELISA-like method with the surface of microtitration plate wells coated by the antigen (goat anti-human IgG antibodies). To these wells, we applied ApoDox without targeting antibodies and ApoDox-Nano modified with targeting antibodies (human IgG antibodies). The amount of unmodified ApoDox on antigen after incubation and subsequent rinsing with water was 5 times lower than in the case of ApoDox-Nano modified with targeting antibodies. The modification of non-gold ApoDox with antibodies caused no change in its targeting properties. It can therefore be concluded that the demonstrated procedure allows us to create nanocarrier with enhanced targeting properties, suitable for nanomedicine.