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A power MOSFET-based push–pull configuration nanosecond-pulse generator has been designed, constructed, and characterized to permeabilize cells for biological and medical applications. The generator can deliver pulses with durations ranging from 80 ns up to 1 µs and pulse amplitudes up to 1.4 kV. The unit has been tested for in vitro experiments on a medulloblastoma cell line. Following the exposure of cells to 100, 200, and 300 ns electric field pulses, permeabilization tests were carried out, and viability tests were conducted to verify the performance of the generator. The maximum temperature rise of the biological load was also calculated based on Joule heating energy conservation and experimental validation. Our results indicate that the developed device has good capabilities to achieve well-controlled electro-manipulation in vitro.
The Neotoma Paleoecology Database is a community-curated data resource that supports interdisciplinary global change research by enabling broad-scale studies of taxon and community diversity, distributions, and dynamics during the large environmental changes of the past. By consolidating many kinds of data into a common repository, Neotoma lowers costs of paleodata management, makes paleoecological data openly available, and offers a high-quality, curated resource. Neotoma’s distributed scientific governance model is flexible and scalable, with many open pathways for participation by new members, data contributors, stewards, and research communities. The Neotoma data model supports, or can be extended to support, any kind of paleoecological or paleoenvironmental data from sedimentary archives. Data additions to Neotoma are growing and now include >3.8 million observations, >17,000 datasets, and >9200 sites. Dataset types currently include fossil pollen, vertebrates, diatoms, ostracodes, macroinvertebrates, plant macrofossils, insects, testate amoebae, geochronological data, and the recently added organic biomarkers, stable isotopes, and specimen-level data. Multiple avenues exist to obtain Neotoma data, including the Explorer map-based interface, an application programming interface, the neotoma R package, and digital object identifiers. As the volume and variety of scientific data grow, community-curated data resources such as Neotoma have become foundational infrastructure for big data science.
Research has shown both production and health benefits for the use of chicory (Cichorium intybus) within ruminant diets. Despite this, little was known about the effects of this forage, containing differing fatty acid profiles and secondary plant compounds compared with ryegrass, on beef stability, fatty acid composition or sensory properties. An experiment was conducted to investigate whether the inclusion of chicory in the diet of grazing beef steers would alter these three properties in the M. Longissimus muscle when compared with beef steers grazing perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne). Triplicate 2 ha plots were established with a chicory (cv. Puna II)/perennial ryegrass mix or a perennial ryegrass control. A core group of 36 Belgian Blue – cross steers were used within a 2-year beef finishing experiment (n=6/replicate plot). In the 2nd grazing year, steers were slaughtered as they reached a target fat class of 3. Muscle pH was checked 2 and 48 h post-slaughter. A section of the hindloin joint containing the M. Longissimus lumborum muscle was removed and a 20 mm-thick steak was cut and muscle samples were taken for analysis of vitamin E and fatty acid analysis. The remaining section of the loin was vacuum packed in modified atmosphere packs and subjected to simulated retail display. A section of the conditioned loin was used for sensory analysis. Data on pH, vitamin E concentration and colour stability in a simulated retail display showed there were no effects of including chicory in the diet of grazing beef steers on meat stability. There were also no differences found in the fatty acid composition or the overall eating quality of the steaks from the two treatments. In conclusion, there were no substantive effects of including chicory in the swards of grazing beef cattle on meat stability, fatty acid composition or sensory properties of the M. Longissimus muscle when compared with beef steers grazing ryegrass-only swards.
Intrauterine or fetal growth restriction (IUGR) is a major complication of pregnancy and leads to significant perinatal morbidities and mortality. Typically, induction of IUGR in animals involves the complete occlusion or ablation of vessels to the uterus or placenta, acutely impairing blood flow and fetal growth, usually with high fetal loss. We aimed to produce a model of reduced fetal growth in the spiny mouse with minimal fetal loss. At 27 days gestational age (term is 38–39 days), a piece of silastic tubing was placed around the left uterine artery to prevent the further increase of uterine blood flow with advancing gestation to induce IUGR (occluded). Controls were generated from sham surgeries without placement of the tubing. Dams were humanely euthanized at 37 days gestational age and all fetuses and placentas were weighed and collected. Of the 17 dams that underwent surgery, 15 carried their pregnancies to 37 days gestational age and 95% of fetuses survived to this time. The difference in fetal body weight between occluded and control was ~21% for fetuses in the left uterus side: there were no differences for fetuses in the right uterus side. Offspring from the occluded group had significantly lower brain, liver, lung, kidney and carcass weights compared with shams. Preventing the gestation-related increase of uterine blood flow induced significant growth restriction in the fetal spiny mouse, with minimal fetal loss. This technique could be readily adapted for other small animal.
In 2009, the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) for major depressive disorder (MDD) highlighted an association with PCLO locus on chromosome 7, although not reaching genome-wide significance level. In the present study, we revisited the original GWAS after increasing the overall sample size and the number of interrogated SNPs. In an analysis comparing 1,942 cases with lifetime diagnosis of MDD and 4,565 controls, PCLO showed a genome-wide significant association with MDD at SNP (rs2715157, p = 2.91 × 10−8) and gene-based (p = 1.48 × 10−7) level. Our results confirm the potential role of the PCLO gene in MDD, which is worth further replication and functional studies.
We conducted a prospective cohort study between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2012 at five adult and paediatric academic medical centres to identify factors associated with persistent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonisation. Adults and children presenting to ambulatory settings with a MRSA skin and soft tissue infection (i.e. index cases), along with household members, performed self-sampling for MRSA colonisation every 2 weeks for 6 months. Clearance of colonisation was defined as two consecutive negative sampling periods. Subjects without clearance by the end of the study were considered persistently colonised and compared with those who cleared colonisation. Of 243 index cases, 48 (19·8%) had persistent colonisation and 110 (45·3%) cleared colonisation without recurrence. Persistent colonisation was associated with white race (odds ratio (OR), 4·90; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1·38–17·40), prior MRSA infection (OR 3·59; 95% CI 1·05–12·35), colonisation of multiple sites (OR 32·7; 95% CI 6·7–159·3). Conversely, subjects with persistent colonisation were less likely to have been treated with clindamycin (OR 0·28; 95% CI 0·08–0·99). Colonisation at multiple sites is a risk factor for persistent colonisation and may require more targeted decolonisation efforts. The specific effect of clindamycin on MRSA colonisation needs to be elucidated.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.
The type specimen of liskeardite, (Al, Fe)3AsO4(OH)6·5H2O, from the Marke Valley Mine, Liskeard District, Cornwall, has been reinvestigated. The revised composition from electron microprobe analyses and structure refinement is [Al29.2Fe2.8(AsO4)18(OH)42(H2O)22]·52H2O. The crystal structure was determined using synchrotron data collected on a 2 μm diameter fibre at 100 K. Liskeardite has monoclinic symmetry, space group I2, with the unit-cell parameters a = 24.576(5), b = 7.754(2) Å, c = 24.641(5) Å, and β = 90.19(1)º. The structure was refined to R = 0.059 for 9769 reflections with I > 3σ(I). It is of an open framework type in which intersecting polyhedral slabs parallel to (101) and (10) form 17.4 Å × 17.4 Å channels along , with water molecules occupying the channels. Small amounts (<1 wt.%) of Na, K and Cu are probably adsorbed at the channel walls The framework comprises columns of pharmacoalumite-type, intergrown with chiral chains of six cis edge-shared octahedra. It can be described in terms of cubic close packing, with vacancies at both the anion and cation sites. The compositional and structural relationships between liskeardite and pharmacoalumite are discussed and a possible mechanism for liskeardite formation is presented.
Globally, agriculture accounts for 0·80–0·90 of all freshwater used by humans and, in many crop production systems, this water use is unsustainable. The current paper focuses on the potential exploitation of novel drought stress biology in both crop improvement programmes and via changed crop management practices. The aim is to deliver ‘more crop per drop’. In order to respond to the challenge of feeding a world population of seven billion and growing, it is concluded that an interdisciplinary approach is needed involving new genetic opportunities and plant breeding. It is also shown how crop management can exploit the drought stress physiology of plants to deliver improved water productivity without sacrificing crop yield.
The origin of the far-infrared emission from the nearby radio galaxy M87 remains a matter of debate. Some studies find evidence of a far-infrared excess due to thermal dust emission, whereas others propose that the far-infrared emission can be explained by synchrotron emission without the need for an additional dust emission component. We observed M87 with PACS and SPIRE as part of the Herschel Virgo Cluster Survey (HeViCS). We compare the new Herschel data with a synchrotron model based on infrared, submm and radio data to investigate the origin of the far-infrared emission. We find that both the integrated SED and the Herschel surface brightness maps are adequately explained by synchrotron emission. At odds with previous claims, we find no evidence of a diffuse dust component in M87.