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Schistosomiasis is an inflammatory disease that occurs when schistosome species eggs are deposited in the liver, resulting in fibrosis and portal hypertension. Schistosomes can interact with host inflammasomes to elicit host immune responses, leading to mitochondrial damage, generation of high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and activation of apoptosis during inflammation. This study aims to examine whether ROS and NF-κB (p65) expression elicited other types of inflammasome activation in Schistosoma mansoni-infected mouse livers. We examine the relationship between inflammasome activation, mitochondrial damage and ROS production in mouse livers infected with S. mansoni. We demonstrate a significant release of ROS and superoxides and increased NF-κB (p65) in S. mansoni-infected mouse livers. Moreover, activation of the NLRP3 and AIM2 inflammasomes was triggered by S. mansoni infection. Stimulation of HuH-7 hepatocellular carcinoma cells with soluble egg antigen induced activation of the AIM2 inflammasome pathway. In this study, we demonstrate that S. mansoni infection promotes both NLRP3 and AIM2 inflammasome activation.
Breed and diet are important production factors in pigs, affecting growth rate and fat deposition. Subcutaneous fat and intramuscular (marbling) fat are important for carcass and meat quality and this study has investigated how these two fat depots are affected by breed and diet.
Simulation of chemical-mechanical polishing is important because the chip-level planarity are difficult to control. The simulator has been developed for predicting and optimizing the thickness distribution after the STI and damascene CMP as well as ILD CMP using chip-level pattern density, elastic spring model and erosion model. In this study, the results of CMP simulation is shown to agree well with the measured data. The simulator can be used to optimize CMP process conditions and to generate design rules for filling dummy patterns which are used to improve the planarity and uniformity.
Programs intended to provide supporting information for the high-level radioactive waste (HLW) repository program must consider the licensing requirements and the technical issues involved with extrapolation of short-term test data to periods of up to 10,000 years. The licensing requirements of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and the issues the NRC staff considers important for the development of predictive methods, are described. Because performance predictions of the geologic repository and particular components of the waste package must largely be based upon inference, a reasonable assurance, on the basis of the record before the Commission, is the general standard that will be required.
Non-alloyed ohmic contacts using Ti/Pt/Au and Ni/Ge/Au on InGaAs/GaAs layers grown by Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) have been investigated. The n-type InGaAs film has a doping concentration higher than 1X1019 cm-3. Specific contact resistance below 2X10-7 Ωcm2 could be easily achieved with Ti/Pt/Au. Due to the layer intermixing and outdiffusion of In and Ga, the specific contact resistance and sheet resistance increase after thermal treatment. When Ni/Ge/Au is used as the contact metal, the outdiffusion of In and Ga atoms is more severe than that of Ti/Pt/Au. After annealing at 450°C for two minutes, the Au4In formed and the characteristics of the contact became worse. All the phenomena illustrated above have been observed and investigated by Transmission Line Model, X-ray diffraction, Auger Electron Spectroscopy and Secondary Ion Mass Spectrum. As far as the thermal stability is concerned, it is convinced that Ti/Pt/Au is the best one of these two non-alloyed ohmic contact studied.
The Ga0.51In0.49p/GaAs system has better desired property (ΔEC >ΔEV) than the conventional AlGaAs/GaAs system for heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) application. However, in the fabrication of HBTs, a precise control of the etch of the epilayer is very important. In this study, CH4/H2 and BCl3/SF6 were used for the reactive ion etch of the Ga0.51In0.49P/GaAs. It is found that the etch rate of Ga0.51In0.49P could be higher than that of GaAs with CH4/H2 gas mixture under appropriate etching conditions. While in the case of BCl3/SF6, the etching rate of GaAs could be much higher than that of the Ga0.51In0.49P. By properly using CH4/H2 and BCl3/SF6, the fabrication of Ga0.51In0.49P-based device using reactive ion etch could be easily achieved.
ZnO films were deposited by Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) onto silicon substrates to serve as a buffer layer for GaN films grown by MOCVD. A ZnO buffer layer was found to improve the quality of GaN grown on Si. The thermal stability of ZnO as a buffer layer was also examined. It was determined that exposure of ZnO/Si to NH3 at high temperature (> 600°C) results in the decomposition of ZnO and subsequent poor nucleation of GaN. The ZnO layer thickness on GaN quality was found to be important.
The molecular basis and control of the biochemical and biophysical properties of skeletal muscle, regarded as muscle phenotype, are examined in terms of fibre number, fibre size and fibre types. A host of external factors or stimuli, such as ligand binding and contractile activity, are transduced in muscle into signalling pathways that lead to protein modifications and changes in gene expression which ultimately result in the establishment of the specified phenotype. In skeletal muscle, the key signalling cascades include the Ras-extracellular signal regulated kinase-mitogen activated protein kinase (Erk-MAPK), the phosphatidylinositol 3′-kinase (PI3K)-Akt1, p38 MAPK, and calcineurin pathways. The molecular effects of external factors on these pathways revealed complex interactions and functional overlap. A major challenge in the manipulation of muscle of farm animals lies in the identification of regulatory and target genes that could effect defined and desirable changes in muscle quality and quantity. To this end, recent advances in functional genomics that involve the use of micro-array technology and proteomics are increasingly breaking new ground in furthering our understanding of the molecular determinants of muscle phenotype.
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