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Strawberry contains many bioactive compounds such as vitamin C and polyphenols as well as folate, a vitamin that is especially important for women of childbearing age. We investigated the effects of the acute consumption of strawberry on the serum levels of vitamin C and folate, and on the antioxidant potential of low-density lipoprotein (LDL). In a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study, twenty-three healthy female volunteers (age 22⋅5 ± 1⋅4 years) ingested 500 g of a strawberry purée beverage or a sugar content-matched placebo beverage. Blood samples were collected at fasting and at 0⋅5, 1, 2 and 4 h post-ingestion. The serum concentrations of vitamin C and folate were significantly elevated from 0⋅5 to 4 h after the strawberry beverage ingestion (P < 0⋅001); the levels peaked at 2 h, with peak levels of 15⋅0 ± 2⋅5 μg/ml for vitamin C and 14⋅4 ± 7⋅0 ng/ml for folate. Notably, at 1 h after the strawberry beverage ingestion, the LDL oxidation lag time was significantly prolonged (P < 0⋅05), suggesting that the antioxidant potential of LDL was increased. After the ingestion of either beverage, the serum levels of glucose and insulin reached a peak at 0⋅5 h and then quickly returned to baseline levels. These results suggest that strawberries are a useful source of vitamin C and folate and may help enhance the antioxidant potential of LDL in healthy young women.
We have previously shown that the C-terminal region of the intermediate subunit of Entamoeba histolytica galactose- and N-acetyl-D-galactosamine-inhibitable lectin (C-Igl) is a useful antigen for serodiagnosis of amebiasis. An immunochromatographic kit was developed using fluorescent silica nanoparticles coated with C-Igl prepared in Escherichia coli. Samples for examination were added to the freeze-dried particles and then applied to the immunochromatographic device, in which a test line on the membrane was also coated with C-Igl. Fluorescent intensity was measured using a hand-held reader. In an evaluation of the kit using a human monoclonal antibody, the minimum amount of C-Igl specific antibody showing positive results was 100 pg. In the evaluation of serum samples with different antibody titers in indirect immunofluorescent antibody tests in the kit, 20 µL of serum was sufficient to obtain positive results at 30 min. Serum samples from symptomatic patients with amebic colitis and amebic liver abscess and those from asymptomatic E. histolytica-cyst carriers showed positive results in the kit. Based on evaluation using sera from healthy controls and patients with other infectious diseases, the sensitivity and specificity of the kit were 100 and 97.6%, respectively. Therefore, we conclude that the newly developed kit is useful for rapid serodiagnosis of amebiasis.
Thermodynamic calculations of the reaction between hydrated OPC phases and saline groundwater indicate an elevated pH > 13, which is not associated with the well known initial release of the alkalis. Instead, the pH elevation is attributed to the generation of OH− accompanied with the precipitation of Friedel's salt (Ca3Al2O6·CaCl2·10H2O; AFm-Cl2) from the reaction of portlandite (Ca(OH)2;CH) and hydrogarnet (Ca3Al2O6·6H2O; C3AH6) with chloride ions from the saline groundwater. If such a reaction mechanism were to occur in the context of the geological disposal of radioactive wastes, the impact of a hyper alkaline plume on other barrier components, such as a bentonite buffer, could be significant. Experimental investigations were therefore conducted using only portlandite and hydrogarnet to represent hydrated OPC and NaCl solution to represent a saline groundwater. The pH elevation was confirmed and showed good agreement with the thermodynamic calculations. The experiments were repeated using hardened OPC paste to confirm this reaction mechanism in the presence of other hydrated OPC phases. In this case, however, the pH elevation was not as high as expected. This deviation can be explained by the residual aluminum, after being partially consumed by AFt and/or AFm, not being wholly assigned to hydrogarnet and a better agreement between the thermodynamic calculations and the experimentally measured results can be made assuming a fraction of aluminum is incorporated into the C-S-H gel phase.
Butyrolactone-I (BL-I) is a specific inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases and prevents germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) in porcine oocytes. This study first focused on the effect of BL-I on the time course of GVBD and progression to metaphase II (MII) in oocytes after the removal of BL-I. When porcine oocytes were treated with 20 μM BL-I for 28 h, the intervals taken to undergo GVBD and progress to MII were 4-8 h and 16-20 h after washing out BL-I, respectively. These intervals were both approximately 8 h behind those of the control oocytes. When the BL-I treatment was performed for 20 h, instead of 28 h, there were no differences in the timing or frequency of progression to MII between the BL-I treatment and control groups. To determine whether the cytoplasmic maturation was the same, the ability of oocytes to form a female pronucleus in response to an electric stimulus was examined. When oocytes were stimulated at 28 h after the removal of BL-I, the rate of pronucleus formation was significantly lower in oocytes treated with BL-I than in untreated oocytes, despite the fact that both groups reached MII at a similar time. When the electric stimulus was given at 36 h after the removal of BL-I, oocytes had a pronucleus formation rate comparable to that of control oocytes. Therefore, the findings suggest that BL-I treatment of porcine oocytes at the germinal vesicle stage affects not only the progression of meiosis, but also the events involved in cytoplasmic maturation.
A room temperature scanning micro-Hall probe microscope (RT-SHPM) was used for imaging stray magnetic field fluctuations at the surfaces of strontium ferrite permanent magnets (SFM) in the presence of external bias fields. The RT-SHPM enables the extremely fast, non-invasive, and quantitative measurement of localized surface magnetic fields on the sub-micron-scale. A 0.8 × 0.8 μm2 GaAs/AlGaAs micro-Hall probe (300K Hall coefficient =0.3ω/G; field sensitivity=0.04 G/√Hz ) with an integrated STM tip for precise vertical positioning was used as a magnetic field sensor. External bias fields (Hex) of up to 2700 Oe were applied parallel to the easy and hard axes of thermally demagnetized SFMs. Sample areas of up to 50×50 μm were imaged at a height of 0.3 μm above the SFM surface for each Hex, with scan speeds of approximately one frame/second (128×128 pixels) enabling quasi-real time imaging in synchronization with bias field changes. RT-SHPM images of surfaces normal to the easy axis of demagnetized samples at Hex=0, clearly showed the presence of 8-15 μm sized domains and stray magnetic field fluctuations of ±200G; images of surfaces normal to the hard axis showed 20 μm sized domains with magnetic field fluctuations of ±100G. Pronounced domain movement and rotation was observed for surfaces normal to the easy axis at bias fields above 700 Oe applied along the easy axis. A good correlation was found between domain movement and vibrating sample magnetometer hysteresis measurements. The RT-SHPM system was demonstrated to be a valuable tool for the direct and non-invasive study of micro-magnetic phenomena in ferromagnetic materials.
Epitaxially grown films of Bi4Ti3O12 (BIT) were prepared on the substrate of a sapphire single crystal heated at 650°C using a sintered Bi4Ti3O12 target by electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) plasma sputtering. The BIT film of the same composition with the target was obtained under the conditions of microwave power(Mp) higher than 500 W and RF power(Rp) between 300 to 700 W. Increasing Mp or Rp, the deposition rate of the film was increased and the surface of the film became rough. The film exhibiting flat surface, good crystalline orientation and stoichiometric composition was prepared at such the high rate as 3.5 Å/sec under the conditions of Mp=500W and Rp=500W. Dielectric constants(1KHz) of the films deposited on (1120), (1102) and (0001) of sapphire were 93, 121 and 90, respectively, and refractive indexes of each films for the wave length of 632 nm were 2.32, 2.38 and 2.37, respectively.
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