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Cell membrane fatty acids influence fundamental properties of the plasma membrane, including membrane fluidity, protein functionality, and lipid raft signalling. Evidence suggests that dietary n-3 PUFA may target the plasma membrane of immune cells by altering plasma membrane lipid dynamics, thereby regulating the attenuation of immune cell activation and suppression of inflammation. As lipid-based immunotherapy might be a promising new clinical strategy for the treatment of inflammatory disorders, we conducted in vitro and in vivo experiments to examine the effects of n-3 PUFA on CD4+ T cell membrane order, mitochondrial bioenergetics and lymphoproliferation. n-3 PUFA were incorporated into human primary CD4+ T cells phospholipids in vitro in a dose-dependent manner, resulting in a reduction in whole cell membrane order, oxidative phosphorylation and proliferation. At higher doses, n-3 PUFA induced unique phase separation in T cell-derived giant plasma membrane vesicles. Similarly, in a short-term human pilot study, supplementation of fish oil (4 g n-3 PUFA/d) for 6 weeks in healthy subjects significantly elevated EPA (20 : 5n-3) levels in CD4+ T cell membrane phospholipids, and reduced membrane lipid order. These results demonstrate that the dynamic reshaping of human CD4+ T cell plasma membrane organisation by n-3 PUFA may modulate down-stream clonal expansion.
It has been demonstrated that microRNAs (miRNAs) play important roles in the control of melanogenesis and hair color in mammals. By comparing miRNA expression profiles between brown and white alpaca skin, we previously identified miR508-3p as a differentially expressed miRNA suggesting its potential role in melanogenesis and hair color formation. The present study was conducted to determine the role of miR508-3p in melanogenesis in alpaca melanocytes. In situ hybridization showed that miR508-3p is abundantly present in the cytoplasma of alpaca melanocytes. miR508-3p was predicted to target the gene encoding microphthalmia transcription factor (MITF) and a luciferase reporter assay indicated that miR508-3p regulates MITF expression by directly targeting its 3′UTR. Overexpression of miR508-3p in alpaca melanocytes down-regulated MITF expression both at the messenger RNA and protein level and resulted in decreased expression of key melanogenic genes including tyrosinase and tyrosinase-related protein 2. Overexpression of miR508-3p in melanocytes also resulted in decreased melanin production including total alkali-soluble melanogenesis, eumelanogenesis and pheomelanogenesis. Results support a functional role of miR508-3p in regulating melanogenesis in alpaca melanocytes by directly targeting MITF.
Soluble starch synthase II (SSII) plays an important role in the biosynthesis of starch and in rice it consists of three isoforms encoded by SSII-1, SSII-2 and SSII-3. However, the genetic effects of various SSII alleles on grain quality have not been systematically characterized. In the present study, the japonica alleles on SSII-1, SSII-2 and SSII-3 (SSIIa) loci from a japonica cultivar, Suyunuo, were respectively introgressed by molecular marker-assisted selection into a typical indica cultivar, Guichao2, through successive backcrossing, generating three sets of near-isogenic lines (NILs). Grain quality and starch property analysis showed that NIL-SSII-3j exhibited significant decreases in the following parameters: amylose content, average granule size, and setback viscosity and consistency; but increases in peak viscosity, hot paste viscosity, gelatinization temperature and relative crystallinity. Moreover, the proportion of short amylopectin chains and branching degree also increased when compared with those of NIL-SSII-3i (Guochao2). Similar effects were observed in NIL-SSII-1j, and certain alterations in the fine structure of starch (granule size) were revealed. However, NIL-SSII-2j did not exert significant effect on grain quality and starch properties. In brief, among the SSII gene family, the functional diversity occurred on SSII-1 and SSII-3, and not on SSII-2. Therefore, it appears that more attention should be directed to SSII-1 and SSII-3 loci for improving the eating and cooking quality of rice.
The discovery of many cool brown dwarfs similar to Gliese 229B has led to the definition of a new spectral class, the T dwarfs, whose 1–2.5 μm spectra exhibit signatures of CH4 absorption. Two classification schemes have been proposed for these objects by Burgasser et al. and Geballe et al. We discuss and compare these schemes, and describe a joint classification scheme currently in development that closely follows the guidelines of the MK process. We also address future work toward establishing gravity classes, classifying at other wavelengths, and identifying those features that may signify the end of the T spectral class.
The herbicide chlorsulfuron is commonly applied to cereals and may persist in alkaline soil long enough to damage subsequent sensitive crops. Sewage water, a potential source of the heavy metal cadmium (Cd), is used to irrigate agricultural soils in many developing countries. The current work evaluated the effects of the residual herbicide chlorsulfuron and Cd on maize seedlings, with particular attention to the mechanism of their action on plant growth. Maize seeds were planted in soil that had been sprayed with chlorsulfuron and Cd, after which residues in both seedlings and the soil were measured. The chlorsulfuron dose was correlated with the amount of residue found in seedlings but not in the soil. In all, 39 metabolites were identified in seedlings using the Automated Mass spectral Deconvolution and Identification System software program and the retention index method. The combination of chlorsulfuron and Cd significantly reduced multiple metabolites in the shikimate pathway, malic acid and citric acid production in the tricarboxylic acid cycle, and lactic acid, glucose, aspartic acid, asparagine and 3-glycerophosphoric acid production. In addition, chlorsulfuron caused an increase in multiple amino acids, including tyrosine, methionine and asparagine, and a marked decrease in caffeic and cinnamic acids (the secondary metabolites derived from the shikimate pathway and galactose). Finally, chlorsulfuron and Cd stress markedly increased shikimate acid, decreased 3-glycerophosphoric acid and caused negative correlations between the amounts of phenylalanine and tyrosine and those of quinic- and cinnamic-acid. In conclusion, chlorsulfuron and Cd did not have a synergistic effect on maize seedlings; rather, the combination of these pollutants had an antagonistic effect on some amino acids.
This study aimed to comprehensively evaluate factors that influence the likelihood of syphilis infection from risk-taking behaviours and medical conditions. A retrospective case-control study was conducted by enrolling 664 syphilis inpatients (excluding 11 congenital syphilis patients) and 800 sex- and age-matched controls. Medical histories, clinical data and patient interview data were collected and subjected to logistic regression analyses. The prevalence of syphilis in the study population was 3·9% (675/17 304). By univariate analysis, syphilis infection was associated with migration between cities, marital status, smoking, reproductive history, hypertension, elevated blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) (P < 0·05). A high rate of syphilis-HBV co-infection was observed in HIV-negative patients and further research revealed an association between syphilis and specific HBV serological reactivity. Syphilis was also associated with the frequency, duration and status of tobacco use. Multivariate analysis indicated that syphilis infection was independently associated with migration between cities [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1·368, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·048–1·785], current smoking (aOR 1·607, 95% CI 1·177–2·195), elevated BUN (aOR 1·782, 95% CI 1·188–2·673) and some serological patterns of HBV infection. To prevent the spread of infectious diseases, inpatients and blood donors should be tested for HIV, syphilis, HBV and HCV simultaneously.
The Pioneer-6 and Pioneer-7 space probes carried charged-particle telescopes which measure, for the first time, both the direction of arrival and differential energy spectra of protons and alpha particles. The intensity changes, directional distributions and energy spectra of proton fluxes associated with solar activity are investigated. The data were obtained in the beginning of the new solar cycle (no. 20), when it is possible to unambiguously associate proton-flux increases with specific solar active regions. The origin, possibly long-term storage, and propagation of these proton fluxes are investigated. It was observed that enhanced 0·6–13 MeV proton fluxes associated with specific active regions were present over heliographic longitude ranges as great as ~ 180°. These enhanced fluxes exhibit definite onsets and cut-offs which appear to be associated with the magnetic-sector boundaries observed by Ness on Pioneer-6. Discrete flare-produced intensity increases extending in energy to more than 50 MeV are observed, superposed on the enhanced flux. These increases displayed short transit times and short rise times. Both the enhanced and flare-produced fluxes propagate along the spiral interplanetary magnetic field from the Western hemisphere of the Sun. From these observations we are led to a model in which the magnetic fields from the active region are spread out over a longitude range of 100–180° in the solar corona. The existence of strong unidirectional anisotropies in the initial phases of flare-proton events implies that little scattering occurs between the Sun and spacecraft. However, the gradual approach to an isotropic flux at late times indicates that the decay phase is controlled by the interplanetary magnetic field.
Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is an acute contagious condition caused by a spectrum of human enteroviruses. HFMD reinfection is common in the absence of cross-protection from other virus subtypes. This study focused on reinfection in children in Anhui province, China between 2008 and 2013 using surveillance system data. We classified 8960 cases as reinfected, corresponding to a rate of 2·02%. The reinfection rate was higher in boys than in girls [odds ratio (OR) 1·27, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·21–1·32, P < 0·001], children aged < 3 years (OR 3·82, 95% CI 3·58–4·07, P < 0·001), and children living in rural areas (OR 1·09, 95% CI 1·04–1·14, P = 0·001). The reinfection rate in children who were originally infected with non-enterovirus A71 (non-EVA71) enteroviruses was higher than those infected with EVA71 (OR 1·36, 95% CI 1·02–1·80, P = 0·034). Influential factors of reinfection rate included annual incidence (β coefficient = 0·715, P = 0·002) and the proportion of EVA71 in patients with mild HFMD (β coefficient = −0·509, P = 0·018). These results demonstrate that boys aged <3 years, especially those in rural areas or regions with a lower EVA71 proportion are more prone to reinfection, and specific health education programmes should be developed to protect these susceptible populations.
AlGaN/GaN High Electron Mobility Transistors were exposed to 60Co gamma-irradiation to doses up to 300Gy. The impact of Compton- electron injection (due to gamma-irradiation) is studied through monitoring of minority carrier transport using Electron Beam Induced Current (EBIC) technique. Temperature dependent EBIC measurements were conducted on devices before and after exposure to the irradiation, which provide us with critical information on gamma-irradiation induced defects in the material. As a result of irradiation, minority carrier diffusion length increases significantly, with an accompanying decrease in the activation energy. This is consistent with the longer life time of minority carrier in the material’s valence band as a result of an internal electron injection and subsequent trapping of Compton electrons on neutral levels.
Ag–reduced graphene oxide (Ag/rGO) nanoparticle composites were synthesized through a facile one-step hydrothermal reaction using GO and silver carbonate (Ag2CO3) as raw materials. The homogeneous silver nanospheres with an average size of 50 nm well dispersed on the surface of rGO were obtained without other additives. During the formation process, GO both promotes the dispersion of Ag2CO3 in aqueous solution and acts as the substrate of silver cations, and the hydrolysis of Ag2CO3 provides silver cations and alkaline condition. Moreover, GO further serves as reducing agent to generate elemental silver in the alkaline condition. The as-prepared materials exhibit excellent surface-enhanced Raman scattering activities when used to detect the Raman signals of R6G absorbed on the Ag/rGO substrate.
Narrow-line Seyfert 1 (NLS1) galaxies are a sub-class of active galactic nuclei (AGN) with relatively low-mass black holes, accreting near the Eddington rate. A small fraction of them is radio-loud and harbors relativistic jets. As a class, these provide us with new insights into the cause(s) of radio-loudness, the blazar phenomenon at low black hole masses, and the operation of radio-mode feedback. The NLS1 galaxy RXJ2314.9+2243 is remarkable for its multi-wavelength properties. We present new radio observations taken at Effelsberg, and a summary of the recent results from our multi-wavelength study. RXJ2314.9+2243 is radio-loud, luminous in the infrared, has a flat X-ray spectrum and peculiar UV spectrum, and hosts an exceptionally broad and blueshifted [OIII]λ5007 emission line, indicating the presence of a strong outflow. RXJ2314.9+2243 likely represents an extreme case of AGN induced feedback in the local universe.
The characteristics of dry etching of the AlGaInN materials system in different reactor types and plasma chemistries are reviewed, along with the depth and thermal stability of etch-induced damage. The application to device processing for both electronics and photonics is also discussed.
A GaN/AlGaN heterojunction bipolar transistor has been fabricated using Cl2/Ar dry etching for mesa formation. As the hole concentration increases due to more efficient ionization of the Mg acceptors at elevated temperatures (> 250°C), the device shows improved gain. Future efforts should focus on methods for reducing base resistance, which are briefly summarized.
Specific roles of individual CDPKs vary, but in general they mediate essential biological functions necessary for parasite survival. A comparative analysis of the structure-activity relationships (SAR) of Neospora caninum, Eimeria tenella and Babesia bovis calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) together with those of Plasmodium falciparum, Cryptosporidium parvum and Toxoplasma gondii was performed by screening against 333 bumped kinase inhibitors (BKIs). Structural modelling and experimental data revealed that residues other than the gatekeeper influence compound–protein interactions resulting in distinct sensitivity profiles. We subsequently defined potential amino-acid structural influences within the ATP-binding cavity for each orthologue necessary for consideration in the development of broad-spectrum apicomplexan CDPK inhibitors. Although the BKI library was developed for specific inhibition of glycine gatekeeper CDPKs combined with low inhibition of threonine gatekeeper human SRC kinase, some library compounds exhibit activity against serine- or threonine-containing CDPKs. Divergent BKI sensitivity of CDPK homologues could be explained on the basis of differences in the size and orientation of the hydrophobic pocket and specific variation at other amino-acid positions within the ATP-binding cavity. In particular, BbCDPK4 and PfCDPK1 are sensitive to a larger fraction of compounds than EtCDPK1 despite the presence of a threonine gatekeeper in all three CDPKs.
Low-dose clarithromycin has been recommended for the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis without nasal polyps. However, it is uncertain whether a high dose of clarithromycin is more effective than a low dose.
Forty-three chronic rhinosinusitis patients were randomised to low-dose or high-dose clarithromycin groups, and clinical efficacy was evaluated. Pre- and post-treatment measures included: nasal symptom assessment, endoscopic inspection (Lund–Kennedy system), a quality of life questionnaire (the Sino-Nasal Outcome Test 20) and examination of cytokine levels (interleukin-5 and -8) in nasal secretions.
The high dose of clarithromycin was significantly better in terms of clinical efficacy than the low dose for the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis (p < 0.025). Significant differences in nasal cytokine levels (interleukin-5 and -8) were also observed between the low-dose and high-dose groups after short-term clarithromycin treatment (p < 0.025).
Short-term, high-dose clarithromycin appears to be more effective for the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis than low-dose clarithromycin.
High-redshift quasars are unique probes of the evolution of supermassive black holes and the intergalactic medium at the end of the epoch of reionization. We present the optical spectra of eight new z ~ 6 quasars selected from the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System 1 (Pan-STARRS1). Details of the selection strategy can be found in Bañados et al. (2014). With this work we increase the number of known quasars at z < 5.7 by more than 10%. The quasars discovered here span a large range of luminosities (19.6 ≤ zP1 ≤ 21.2) and are remarkably heterogeneous in their spectral features: half of them show bright emission lines whereas the other half show weak or no Lyα emission line. We find a larger fraction of weak–line emission quasars than in lower redshift studies, although still based on low number statistics, this may imply that the quasar population could be more diverse than previously thought.
The Burst Observer and Optical Transient Exploring System (BOOTES), is a global robotic
observatory network, which started in 1998 with Spanish leadership devoted to study
optical emissions from gamma ray bursts (GRBs) that occur in the Universe. We present shot
history and current status of BOOTES network. The Network philosophy, science and some
details of 117 GRBs followed-up are discussed.