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The rhoptry kinase 18 of Toxoplasma gondii (TgROP18) has been identified as a key virulence factor that allows the parasite to escape from host immune defences and promotes its proliferation in host cells. Although much research is focused on the interaction between host cells and TgROP18, the development of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against TgROP18 has not been reported till date. To produce mAbs targeting TgROP18, two hybridomas secreting mAbs against TgROP18, designated as A1 and T2, were generated using cell fusion technology. The subtypes of the A1 and T2 mAbs were identified as IgG3 λ and IgM κ, and peptide scanning revealed that the core sequences of the antigenic epitopes were 180LRAQRRRSELVFE192 and 351NYFLLMMRAEADM363, respectively. The T2 mAb specifically reacted with both T. gondii type I and Chinese I, but not with T. gondii type II, Plasmodium falciparum or Schistosoma japonicum. Finally, the sequences of heavy chain and light chain complementarity-determining regions of T2 were amplified, cloned and characterized, making the modification of the mAb feasible in the future. The development of mAbs against TgROP18 would aid the investigation of the molecular mechanisms underlying the modulation of host cellular functions by TgROP18, and in the development of strategies to diagnose and treat Toxoplasmosis.
The accounting information of a firm is analogous to the characteristics of an organism that contain biological information that influences decisions; such characteristics result from organizational routines (genes). Organizational routines result from organizational learning, and learning from an associated company is an efficient approach for a new venture to establish routines. The study results revealed that the subsidiaries inherited routines from the parent companies related to financial ratios, so we suggest that people should judge the adequacy of a firm’s financial situation by not only referring to the standard of its industry but also to its parent company.
Astronomy cloud computing environment is a cyber-Infrastructure for Astronomy Research initiated by Chinese Virtual Observatory (China-VO) under funding support from NDRC (National Development and Reform commission) and CAS (Chinese Academy of Sciences). Based on virtualization technology, astronomy cloud computing environment was designed and implemented by China-VO team. It consists of five distributed nodes across the mainland of China. Astronomer can get compuitng and storage resource in this cloud computing environment. Through this environments, astronomer can easily search and analyze astronomical data collected by different telescopes and data centers , and avoid the large scale dataset transportation.
Increased temporal and frontal slow-wave delta (1–4 Hz) and theta (4–7
Hz) activities are the most consistent resting-state neural abnormalities
reported in schizophrenia. The frontal lobe is associated with negative
symptoms and cognitive abilities such as attention, with negative
symptoms and impaired attention associated with poor functional
To establish whether frontal dysfunction, as indexed by slowing, would be
associated with functional impairments.
Eyes-closed magnetoencephalography data were collected in 41 participants
with schizophrenia and 37 healthy controls, and frequency-domain source
imaging localised delta and theta activity.
Elevated delta and theta activity in right frontal and right
temporoparietal regions was observed in the schizophrenia
v. control group. In schizophrenia, right-frontal
delta activity was uniquely associated with negative but not positive
symptoms. In the full sample, increased right-frontal delta activity
predicted poorer attention and functional capacity.
Our findings suggest that treatment-associated decreases in slow-wave
activity could be accompanied by improved functional outcome and thus
The three tropical species Gomphandra luzoniensis, Nothapodytes nimmoniana and Goniothalamus amuyon contain important cancer-fighting drugs; however, little is known about how to propagate these species from seeds. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine the germination requirements of seeds of each of these three species in order to provide an effective protocol to produce plants. Fresh seeds of G. luzoniensis germinated up to 73% at high temperatures in light in 4 weeks, and embryos were underdeveloped. Most seeds had morphological dormancy (MD), but a proportion of them had morphophysiological dormancy (MPD). Fresh seeds of N. nimmoniana germinated up to 50% in light in 4 weeks, embryo length increased by 17% before radicle emergence and ≥ 89% of the seeds had germinated after incubation for 6 weeks in light at high temperatures. Thus, about 50% of the seeds have MD and about 50% MPD. Fresh seeds of G. amuyon incubated at 30°C in light for 4 weeks germinated to 69%, whereas at the other incubation temperatures germination took longer than 4 weeks. Embryo length increased 213% before radicle emergence, and after 8 weeks of incubation at high temperatures ≥ 80% of the seeds had germinated. As in the other two species, the seed population consisted of a mixture of MD and MPD. Incubation of seeds of these three species at high temperatures (e.g. 25, 30 and 30/20°C) for up to 2 months is recommended for germination and thus seedling production.
Video streaming over mobile wireless networks is getting popular in recent years. High video quality relies on large bandwidth provisioning, however, it decreases the number of supported users in wireless networks. Thus, effective bandwidth utilization becomes a crucial issue in wireless network as the bandwidth resource in wireless environment is precious and limited. The NGN quality of service mechanisms should be designed to reduce the impact of traffic burstiness on buffer management. For this reason, we propose an active dropping mechanism to deal with the effective bandwidth utilization in this paper. We use scalable video coding extension of H.264/AVC standard to provide different video quality for users of different levels. In the proposed dropping mechanism, when the network loading exceeds the threshold, the dropping mechanism starts to drop data of the enhancement layers for users of low service level. The dropping probability alters according to the change in network loading. With the dropping mechanism, the base station increases the system capability and users are able to obtain better service quality when the system is under heavy loading. We also design several methods to adjust the threshold value dynamically. By using the proposed mechanism, better quality can be provided when the network is in congestion.
In the present study, twenty-four Duroc × Landrance × Yorkshire (initial body weight (BW) of 21·82 (sem 2·06) kg) cross-bred pigs were used to determine whether dietary vitamin D supplementation could confer protection against viral infections through the retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) signalling pathway in pigs. Experimental treatments were arranged in a 2 × 2 factorial manner with the main effects of immune challenge (control v. porcine rotavirus (PRV) challenge) and dietary concentrations of vitamin D (200 and 5000 IU; where 1 IU of vitamin D is defined as the biological activity of 0.025 mg of cholecalciferol). The pigs were fed a diet containing 200 or 5000 IU vitamin D in the first week of the study period. On day 8, the pigs were orally dosed with 4 ml of Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium/Ham's F-12 medium containing PRV or essential medium (control). Serum samples were collected on day 8 (pre-challenge), and 6 d after the PRV challenge, the pigs were killed to evaluate intestinal morphology and tissue gene expression following the last blood collection. Pigs challenged with PRV had decreased BW gain (P< 0·01), feed intake (P< 0·01), villus height (P< 0·01), faecal consistency (P< 0·05), and serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D concentration (P< 0·01) and increased (P< 0·01) serum IL-2, IL-6 and interferon (IFN)-β concentrations. Vitamin D supplementation mitigated these effects. The mRNA expression of RIG-I (P< 0·01), IFN-β promoter stimulator 1 (P< 0·01), IFN-β (P< 0·01) and interferon-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15) (P< 0·01) was up-regulated by the PRV challenge and vitamin D supplementation in the intestine. In conclusion, vitamin D supplementation could activate the RIG-I signalling pathway and thus alleviate the negative effects caused by PRV challenge.
While demand response has achieved promising results on making the power grid more efficient and reliable, the additional dynamics and flexibility brought by demand response also increase the uncertainty and complexity of the centralized load forecast. In this paper, we propose a game-theoretic demand response scheme that can transform the traditional centralized load prediction structure into a distributed load prediction system by the participation of customers. Moreover, since customers are generally rational and thus naturally selfish, they may cheat if cheating can improve their payoff. Therefore, enforcing truth-telling is crucial. We prove analytically and demonstrate with simulations that the proposed game-theoretic scheme is incentive compatible, i.e., all customers are motivated to report and consume their true optimal demands and any deviation will lead to a utility loss. We also prove theoretically that the proposed demand response scheme can lead to the solution that maximizes social welfare and is proportionally fair in terms of utility function. Moreover, we propose a simple dynamic pricing algorithm for the power substation to control the total demand of all customers to meet the target demand curve. Finally, simulations are shown to demonstrate the efficiency and effectiveness of the proposed game-theoretic algorithm.
The number of people with asthma has dramatically increased over the past few decades and the cost of care is more than $11·3 billion per year. The use of steroids is the major treatment to control asthma symptoms, but the side effects are often devastating. Seeking new drugs or new strategies to reduce the dose of steroid taken has always been an important task. A bovine whey protein extract (WPE), which is enriched in transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), has been demonstrated to have the potential for reducing symptoms associated with mild-to-moderate T-helper cell type 1-mediated psoriasis in human subjects. However, whether WPE also has potential for inhibiting T-helper cell type 2 (Th2)-mediated disease remains unclear. In the present study, using a murine asthma model, we found that sensitised mice fed WPE daily, before they were challenged, resulted in reducing airway inflammation, serum ovalbumin-specific IgE, Th2-related cytokine production and airway hyperresponsiveness. Increase in the regulatory T cell (Treg) population in vitro and in vivo was observed when treated with WPE. According to the results from the TGF-β-blocking antibody study, we suggest that TGF-β is the main component that endows WPE with the potential to reduce the generation of Treg. Thus, the present data suggest that WPE has the potential to alleviate the symptoms of asthma by inducing the generation of Treg. Therefore, regular administration of WPE might be potentially beneficial for patients with asthma.
The association between autoimmune diseases and schizophrenia has rarely
been systematically investigated.
To investigate the association between schizophrenia and a variety of
autoimmune diseases and to explore possible gender variation in any such
Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database was used to identify
10 811 hospital in-patients with schizophrenia and 108 110 age-matched
controls. Univariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were
performed, separately, to evaluate the association between autoimmune
diseases and schizophrenia. We applied the false discovery rate to
correct for multiple testing.
When compared with the control group, the in-patients with schizophrenia
had an increased risk of Graves' disease (odds ratio (OR) = 1.32, 95% CI
1.04–1.67), psoriasis (OR = 1.48, 95% CI 1.07–2.04), pernicious anaemia
(OR = 1.71, 95% CI 1.04–2.80), celiac disease (OR = 2.43, 95% CI
1.12–5.27) and hypersensitivity vasculitis (OR = 5.00, 95% CI
1.64–15.26), whereas a reverse association with rheumatoid arthritis (OR
= 0.52, 95% CI 0.35–0.76) was also observed. Gender-specific variation
was found for Sjögren syndrome, hereditary haemolytic anaemia, myasthenia
gravis, polymyalgia rheumatica and dermatomyositis.
Schizophrenia was associated with a greater variety of autoimmune
diseases than was anticipated. Further investigation is needed to gain a
better understanding of the aetiology of schizophrenia and autoimmune
Welded joints of P92 steel subjected to creep testing at 650 °C and 70 MPa were investigated. Type IV cracking was observed in the fine-grained heat-affected zone (FGHAZ) of the welded joints by optical microscopy. It was found that with varying creep times, the number of creep voids increased at an accelerating rate and the maximum number of voids was formed in the FGHAZ. Scanning electron microscopy observations revealed that precipitates were formed in the interior of creep voids, suggesting that the nucleation of the creep voids is related to the precipitates. These creep voids then connected with each other, isolated the grain from the matrix, and formed zigzag microcracks, leading to type IV cracking. New coarse carbides—the Laves phase and Cr7C3—were precipitated during creep. These carbides can deteriorate the creep strength and stimulate the nucleation of creep voids in the FGHAZ.
A robust, stable and thin primary amine functionalization is applied to gold and silver nanoparticles from poly(allylamine hydrochloride) (PAH) by converting a fraction of the amine groups in the polymer to dithiocarbamate (DTC) ligands, which absorb strongly onto noble metal surfaces. We observe marked improvements in the properties of gold nanospheres with a DTC-anchored rather than physisorbed PAH cap. The same level of improvement is not seen in silver nanoparticles, although it is clear from a distinct change in the plasmon spectrum in silver nanocubes that the DTC ligand does interact with the silver surface. In spite of their amine functionalization, both silver and gold particles show low cytotoxicity, possibly due to absorption of serum proteins forming a protective coating on the positively charged particle surface.
Nanofluidic behavior has been an active area of research for the past decade. In addition to modifying nanopore size and surface properties, another important way to adjust system performance is to control the liquid composition. In the current study, we investigate the influence of electrolyte concentration on the infiltration behavior, as well as its dependence on temperature. A hydrophilic zeolite Y can be soaked in pure water, while with the addition of an electrolyte it can’t be soaked spontaneously. It is noticed that the effective solid–liquid interfacial tension in nanopores is highly sensitive to the electrolyte concentration, which may be related to the unique confinement environment in nanoporous material. As a result, with the electrolyte concentration varying, the effective interfacial tension changes rapidly. This phenomenon can be attributed to the amplification effect of nanopore surfaces on the solid–liquid interaction. It provides a scientific basis for developing smart liquids for various temperature and pressure ranges.
N-polar and Ga-polar GaN grown on c-plane sapphire by a metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) system were used to fabricate platinum deposited Schottky contacts for hydrogen sensing at room temperature. Wurtzite GaN is a polar material. Along the c-axis, there are N-face (N-polar) or Ga-face (Ga-polar) orientations on the GaN surface. The Ohmic contacts were formed by lift-off of e-beam deposited Ti (200 Å)/Al (1000 Å)/Ni (400 Å)/Au (1200 Å). The contacts were annealed at 850°C for 45 s under a flowing N2 ambient. Isolation was achieved with 2000 Å plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposited SiNx formed at 300°C. A 100 Å of Pt was deposited by e-beam evaporation to form Schottky contacts. After exposure to hydrogen, Ga-polar GaN Schottky showed 10% of current change, while the N-polar GaN Schottky contacts became fully Ohmic. The N-polar GaN Schottky diodes showed stronger and faster response to 4% hydrogen than that of Ga-polar GaN Schottky diodes. The abrupt current increase from N-polar GaN Schottky exposure to hydrogen was attributed to the high reactivity of the N-face surface termination. The surface termination dominates the sensitivity and response time of the hydrogen sensors made of GaN Schottky diodes. Current-voltage characteristics and the real-time detection of the sensor for hydrogen were investigated. These results demonstrate that the surface termination is crucial in the performance of hydrogen sensors made of GaN Schottky diodes.
Keh-Ming Lin, Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Research, National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan,
Chia-Hui Chen, Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Research National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan,
Shu-Han Yu, Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Research National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan,
Sheng-Chang Wang, Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Research National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan
The use of psychiatric medication has transcended geographic, cultural, and ethnic boundaries during the past several decades (Lin, Poland et al., 1993; Lin & Cheung, 1999; Lin & Smith, 2000). Within a few years of their discovery, modern psychotropics have achieved worldwide acceptance as the mainstay for the treatment of the mentally ill (Lin, Poland et al., 1993; Ng, Lin et al., 2005). This notwithstanding, until most recently, clinicians and researchers have paid little attention to potential influences of ethnic and cultural factors on pharmacotherapeutic responses. With a few prominent exceptions, practically all psychiatric medications have been developed and tested in North America and Western Europe, and often, on “young, white males.” In addition, since these research efforts usually aim at defining what are “typical” that can be generalized, variations in responses are often regarded as “noises” and consequently ignored. Therefore, although substantial differences in psychotropic responses have been repeatedly observed and documented in the literature, such information has not been widely disseminated, and our knowledge in this regard is still sparse and unsystematic. Treatment decisions are generally not individualized; choice of medication and dosing routines are largely based on “trial and error” practices rather than on rational principles.
In contrast, recent literature clearly demonstrates that ethnicity and culture powerfully determine individuals' pharmacological responses (Lin & Poland, 1995). These responses are shaped simultaneously by genetic and environmental factors.
We have fabricated a series of a-SiNx/nc-Si/a-SiNx double-barrier structural samples by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) and subsequent thermal annealing technique. The micro-structural properties of the samples were studied by using Raman scattering spectroscopy, planar and cross-section transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The electrical properties of the samples were investigated by frequency dependence of capacitance voltage (C-V) measurements. Charging effect in the nc-Si was exhibited through the hysteresis phenomena of the C-V curve and explained by F-N tunneling. For the thicker SiNx barrier layer samples, Coulomb blockade effect was observed in C-V curve for the sample with thinner SiNx barrier layer, in which two capacitance peaks appeared, and explained by direct tunneling of electrons into the nc-Si through the tunneling SiNx layers. From the interval between the two peaks, the Coulomb charging energy of nc-Si dot was estimated.