ResearchPad - oils https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Cuminaldehyde potentiates the antimicrobial actions of ciprofloxacin against <i>Staphylococcus aureus</i> and <i>Escherichia coli</i>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14566 Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus are important agents of urinary tract infections that can often evolve to severe infections. The rise of antibiotic-resistant strains has driven the search for novel therapies to replace the use or act as adjuvants of antibiotics. In this context, plant-derived compounds have been widely investigated. Cuminaldehyde is suggested as the major antimicrobial compound of the cumin seed essential oil. However, this effect is not fully understood. Herein, we investigated the in silico and in vitro activities of cuminaldehyde, as well as its ability to potentiate ciprofloxacin effects against S. aureus and E. coli. In silico analyses were performed by using different computational tools. The PASS online and SwissADME programmes were used for the prediction of biological activities and oral bioavailability of cuminaldehyde. For analysis of the possible toxic effects and the theoretical pharmacokinetic parameters of the compound, the Osiris, SwissADME and PROTOX programmes were used. Estimations of cuminaldehyde gastrointestinal absorption, blood brain barrier permeability and skin permeation by using SwissADME; and drug likeness and score by using Osiris, were also evaluated The in vitro antimicrobial effects of cuminaldehyde were determined by using microdilution, biofilm formation and time-kill assays. In silico analysis indicated that cuminaldehyde may act as an antimicrobial and as a membrane permeability enhancer. It was suggested to be highly absorbable by the gastrointestinal tract and likely to cross the blood brain barrier. Also, irritative and harmful effects were predicted for cuminaldehyde if swallowed at its LD50. Good oral bioavailability and drug score were also found for this compound. Cuminaldehyde presented antimicrobial and anti-biofilm effects against S. aureus and E. coli.. When co-incubated with ciprofloxacin, it enhanced the antibiotic antimicrobial and anti-biofilm actions. We suggest that cuminaldehyde may be useful as an adjuvant therapy to ciprofloxacin in S. aureus and E. coli-induced infections.

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<![CDATA[Instigation of indigenous thermophilic bacterial consortia for enhanced oil recovery from high temperature oil reservoirs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13812 The purpose of the study involves the development of an anaerobic, thermophilic microbial consortium TERIK from the high temperature reservoir of Gujarat for enhance oil recovery. To isolate indigenous microbial consortia, anaerobic baltch media were prepared and inoculated with the formation water; incubated at 65°C for 10 days. Further, the microbial metabolites were analyzed by gas chromatography, FTIR and surface tension. The efficiency of isolated consortia towards enhancing oil recovery was analyzed through core flood assay. The novelty of studied consortia was that, it produces biomass (600 mg/l), bio-surfactant (325 mg/l), and volatile fatty acids (250 mg/l) at 65°C in the span of 10 days, that are adequate to alter the surface tension (70 to 34 mNm -1) and sweep efficiency of zones facilitating the displacement of oil. TERIK was identified as Clostridium sp. The FTIR spectra of biosurfactant indicate the presence of N-H stretch, amides and polysaccharide. A core flooding assay was designed to explore the potential of TERIK towards enhancing oil recovery. The results showed an effective reduction in permeability at residual oil saturation from 2.14 ± 0.1 to 1.39 ± 0.05 mD and 19% incremental oil recovery.

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<![CDATA[The southern Gulf of Mexico: A baseline radiocarbon isoscape of surface sediments and isotopic excursions at depth]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne8afb4d0-568f-42aa-84a3-644a9625edfc

The southern Gulf of Mexico (sGoM) is home to an extensive oil recovery and development infrastructure. In addition, the basin harbors sites of submarine hydrocarbon seepage and receives terrestrial inputs from bordering rivers. We used stable carbon, nitrogen, and radiocarbon analyses of bulk sediment organic matter to define the current baseline isoscapes of surface sediments in the sGoM and determined which factors might influence them. These baseline surface isoscapes will be useful for accessing future environmental impacts. We also examined the region for influence of hydrocarbon deposition in the sedimentary record that might be associated with hydrocarbon recovery, spillage and seepage, as was found in the northern Gulf of Mexico (nGoM) following the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill in 2010. In 1979, the sGoM experienced a major oil spill, Ixtoc 1. Surface sediment δ13C values ranged from -22.4‰ to -19.9‰, while Δ14C values ranged from -337.1‰ to -69.2‰. Sediment δ15N values ranged from 2.8‰ to 7.2‰, while the %C on a carbonate-free basis ranged in value of 0.65% to 3.89% and %N ranged in value of 0.09% to 0.49%. Spatial trends for δ13C and Δ14C were driven by water depth and distance from the coastline, while spatial trends for δ15N were driven by location (latitude and longitude). Location and distance from the coastline were significantly correlated with %C and %N. At depth in two of twenty (10%) core profiles, we found negative δ13C and Δ14C excursions from baseline values in bulk sedimentary organic material, consistent with either oil-residue deposition or terrestrial inputs, but likely the latter. We then used 210Pb dating on those two profiles to determine the time in which the excursion-containing horizons were deposited. Despite the large spill in 1979, no evidence of hydrocarbon residue remained in the sediments from this specific time period.

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<![CDATA[Chemical profile of Lippia thymoides, evaluation of the acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity of its essential oil, and molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8c194fd5eed0c484b4d3c7

The essential oils of the fresh and dry flowers, leaves, branches, and roots of Lippia thymoides were obtained by hydrodistillation and analyzed using gas chromatography (GC) and GC–mass spectrometry (MS). The acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity of the essential oil of fresh leaves was investigated on silica gel plates. The interactions of the key compounds with acetylcholinesterase were simulated by molecular docking and molecular dynamics studies. In total, 75 compounds were identified, and oxygenated monoterpenes were the dominant components of all the plant parts, ranging from 19.48% to 84.99%. In the roots, the main compounds were saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, having contents varying from 39.5% to 32.17%, respectively. In the evaluation of the anticholinesterase activity, the essential oils (detection limit (DL) = 0.1 ng/spot) were found to be about ten times less active than that of physostigmine (DL = 0.01ng/spot), whereas thymol and thymol acetate presented DL values each of 0.01 ng/spot, equivalent to that of the positive control. Based on the docking and molecular dynamics studies, thymol and thymol acetate interact with the catalytic residues Ser203 and His447 of the active site of acetylcholinesterase. The binding free energies (ΔGbind) for these ligands were -18.49 and -26.88 kcal/mol, demonstrating that the ligands are able to interact with the protein and inhibit their catalytic activity.

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<![CDATA[The role of embryo contact and focal adhesions during maternal recognition of pregnancy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823f5d5eed0c484639429

Maternal recognition of pregnancy (MRP) in the mare is an unknown process. In a non-pregnant mare on day 14 post-ovulation (PO), prostaglandin F (PGF) is secreted by the endometrium causing regression of the corpus luteum. Prior to day 14, MRP must occur in order to attenuate secretion of PGF. The embryo is mobile throughout the uterus due to uterine contractions from day of entry to day 14. It is unknown what signaling is occurring. Literature stated that infusing oil or placing a glass marble into the equine uterus prolongs luteal lifespan and that in non-pregnant mares, serum exosomes contain miRNA that are targeting the focal adhesion (FA) pathway. The hypothesis of this study is embryo contact with endometrium causes a change in abundance of focal adhesion molecules (FA) in the endometrium leading to decrease in PGF secretion. Mares (n = 3/day) were utilized in a cross-over design with each mare serving as a pregnant and non-pregnant (non-mated) control on days 9 and 11 PO. Mares were randomly assigned to collection day and endometrial samples and embryos were collected on the specified day. Biopsy samples were divided into five pieces, four for culture for 24 hours and one immediately snap frozen. Endometrial biopsies for culture were placed in an incubator with one of four treatments: [1] an embryo in contact on the luminal side of the endometrium, [2] beads in contact on the luminal side of the endometrium, [3] peanut oil in contact on the luminal side of the endometrium or [4] the endometrium by itself. Biopsies and culture medium were frozen for further analysis. RNA and protein were isolated from biopsies for PCR and Western blot analysis for FA. PGF assays were performed on culture medium to determine concentration of PGF. Statistics were performed using SAS (P ≤ 0.05 indicated significance). The presence of beads on day 9 impacted samples from pregnant mares more than non-pregnant mares and had very little impact on day 11. Presence of oil decreased FA in samples from pregnant mares on day 9. On day 11, oil decreased FA abundance in samples from non-pregnant mares. Embryo contact caused multiple changes in RNA and protein abundance in endometrium from both pregnant and non-pregnant mares. The PGF secretion after 24 hours with each treatment was also determined. On day 9, there was no change in PGF secretion compared to any treatments. On day 11, presence of peanut oil increased PGF secretion in samples from non-pregnant mares. In samples from non-pregnant mares, presence of an embryo decreased PGF secretion compared to control samples from non-pregnant mares. Results revealed that while beads and peanut oil may impact abundance of FA RNA and protein in endometrial samples, it does not appear to impact PGF secretion. Conversely, embryo contact for 24 hours with endometrium from a non-pregnant mare causes a decrease in PGF secretion. These results suggest that it is not just contact of any substance/object causing attenuation of PGF secretion, but the embryo itself is necessary to decrease PGF secretion.

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<![CDATA[Shrinkage of hepatocellular carcinoma after radiofrequency ablation following transcatheter arterial chemoembolization: Analysis of contributing factors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c818e88d5eed0c484cc24bb

Objective

This study was conducted to investigate tumor shrinkage and influencing factors in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) from radiofrequency (RF) ablation following transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE).

Methods

A total of 222 patients underwent combined sequential treatment of TACE and RF ablation for HCC at our institution between 2008 and 2014. Of those, 86 patients (men, 68; women, 18) who achieved compact iodized oil tagging and complete ablation were included for this retrospective study. We measured three-dimensional tumor diameters and calculated tumor volumes on pre-treatment CT/MRI and follow-up CT scans performed post-TACE, post-ablation, and 1 month post-treatment, respectively. To compare periodically generated tumor diameters and volumes, repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) was applied. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed to identify factors impacting tumor shrinkage after RF ablation.

Results

Diameters and volumes of HCCs declined significantly in the immediate aftermath of RF ablation (i.e., between post-TACE and post-ablation CT scans) (p < 0.001, for both). Mean reduction rates in tumor diameter and volume immediately after RF ablation were 18.2 ± 9.1% and 44.4 ± 14.6%, respectively. Of note, tumors of left hepatic lobe and in subphrenic or perivascular locations showed lower rates of post-ablative volume reduction than those in counterpart locations (p = 0.002, 0.046, 0.024, respectively). Tumor size and liver function did not influence tumor shrinkage after RF ablation.

Conclusion

In patients with HCC, significant tumor shrinkage occurs immediately after RF ablation. The degree of shrinkage in response to ablative treatment seems to vary by tumor location.

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<![CDATA[Effects of the electrical conductivity of a soilless culture system on gamma linolenic acid levels in borage seed oil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75ac6dd5eed0c484d0875e

Borage is a well-known plant of great importance in human nutrition and health. Expanding knowledge of particular plants that have anti-cancer products is a global concern. There is substantial information regarding the benefits, presence and extraction of gamma linolenic acid (GLA; 18:3n6) in different plants around the world, especially in borage seeds. However, there is little information concerning the effects of the salinity of the nutrient solution on the growth and presence of GLA in borage seeds. The objective of this work was to determine the optimal salinity of the nutrient solution for obtaining GLA in soilless cultivation systems. Borage plants were grown in coconut fibre and provided three treatments of nutrient solution of 2.20, 3.35 and 4.50 dS m-1, increasing solution salinity with the standard nutrient solution of concentrated macronutrients as a reference. Vegetative growth, seed production and GLA ratio were measured. The results of vegetative development and GLA production doubled and tripled with the increase in salinity of the nutrient solution, respectively.

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<![CDATA[Toxicity and oviposition deterrence of essential oils of Clinopodium nubigenum and Lavandula angustifolia against the myiasis-inducing blowfly Lucilia sericata]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe5ad5eed0c484e5b930

Cutaneous myiasis is a severe worldwide medical and veterinary issue. In this trial the essential oil (EO) of the Andean medicinal plant species Clinopodium nubigenum (Kunth) Kuntze was evaluated for its bioactivity against the myiasis-inducing blowfly Lucilia sericata (Meigen) (Diptera Calliphoridae) and compared with that of the well-known medicinal plant species Lavandula angustifolia Mill. The EOs were analysed and tested in laboratory for their oviposition deterrence and toxicity against L. sericata adults. The physiology of EO toxicity was evaluated by enzymatic inhibition tests. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of the EOs were tested as well. At 0.8 μL cm-2, both EOs completely deterred L. sericata oviposition up to 3 hours. After 24 h, the oviposition deterrence was still 82.7% for L. angustifolia and the 89.5% for C. nubigenum. The two EOs were also toxic to eggs and adults of L. sericata. By contact/fumigation, the EOs, the LC50 values against the eggs were 0.07 and 0.48 μL cm-2 while, by topical application on the adults, LD50 values were 0.278 and 0.393 μL per individual for C. nubigenum and L. angustifolia EOs, respectively. Inhibition of acetylcholine esterase of L. sericata by EOs (IC50 = 67.450 and 79.495 mg L-1 for C. nubigenum and L. angustifolia, respectively) suggested that the neural sites are targets of the EO toxicity. Finally, the observed antibacterial and antifungal properties of C. nubigenum and L. angustifolia EOs suggest that they could also help prevent secondary infections.

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<![CDATA[Oil palm plantations in Peninsular Malaysia: Determinants and constraints on expansion]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fde3d5eed0c484e5afe5

Agricultural expansion is one of the leading causes of deforestation in the tropics and in Southeast Asia it is predominantly driven by large-scale production for international trade. Peninsular Malaysia has a long history of plantation agriculture and has been a predominantly resource-based economy where expanding plantations like those of oil palm continue to replace natural forests. Habitat loss from deforestation and expanding plantations threatens Malaysian biodiversity. Expanding industrial plantations have also been responsible for drainage and conversions of peatland forests resulting in release of large amounts of carbon dioxide. The demand for palm oil is expected to increase further and result in greater pressures on tropical forests. Given Malaysia’s high biophysical suitability for oil palm cultivation, it is important to understand patterns of oil palm expansion to better predict forest areas that are vulnerable to future expansion. We study natural forest conversion to industrial oil palm in Peninsular Malaysia between 1988 and 2012 to identify determinants of recent oil palm expansion using logistic regression and hierarchical partitioning. Using maps of recent conversions and remaining forests, we characterize agro-environmental suitability and accessibility for the past and future conversions. We find that accessibility to previously existing plantations is the strongest determinant of oil palm expansion and is significant throughout the study period. Almost all (> 99%) of the forest loss between 1988 and 2012 that has been converted to industrial oil palm plantations is within 1 km from oil palm plantations that have been established earlier. Although most forest conversions to industrial oil palm have been in areas of high biophysical suitability, there has been an increase in converted area in regions with low oil palm suitability since 2006. We find that reduced suitability does not necessarily restrict conversions to industrial oil palm in the region; however, lack of access to established plantations does.

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<![CDATA[A comparison of emulsion stability for different OSA-modified waxy maize emulsifiers: Granules, dissolved starch, and non-solvent precipitates]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648d0bd5eed0c484c81df8

This work investigates the stability of emulsions prepared by using octenyl succinic anhydride (OSA)-modified waxy maize starch in the form of granules, dissolved starch, and non-solvent precipitated starch as Pickering emulsion stabilisers. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of different forms of starches on the stability of emulsion using light microscopy, light scattering, and static multiple light scattering. All starch samples were hydrophobically modified with 3% (w/w) n-octenyl succinyl anhydride (OSA). Starch polymer solutions were prepared by dissolving OSA- modified starch in water in an autoclave at 140°C. Non-solvent precipitates were obtained through ethanol precipitation of dissolved waxy maize. The stability of the oil/water emulsions were different for the three forms of starches used. The granule-based emulsions were unstable, with only a small proportion of the granules adsorbed onto oil droplets, as viewed under a light microscope. The emulsions were observed to cream after 2 hours. The dissolved starch and non-solvent precipitate-based emulsions were stable towards creaming for months, and they had almost 100% emulsifying index (EI = 1) by visual observation and EI ~ 0.9 by multiple light scattering measurements. The results from light microscopy and multiple light scattering measurements indicated the occurrence of coalescence for all three types of emulsions. The coalescence was fastest within days for the granule stabilised system while it was slower both for the dissolved starch and non-solvent precipitate-based emulsions. The latter demonstrated the least degree of coalescence over time. Thus, it was concluded that differences in starch particle size and molecular structure influenced the emulsion droplet size and stability. A decreased particle size correlates to a decrease in droplet size, thus increasing stabilisation against creaming. However, stability towards coalescence was low for the large granules but was best for the non-solvent precipitate starch indicating that there is a window of optimal particle size for stability. Thus, best emulsifying properties were obtained with the non-solvent precipitates (~ 120 nm particle size) where the emulsions remained stable after one year of storage. In conclusion, this study illustrated the potentiality of non-solvent precipitated starch as emulsion stabilizers.

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<![CDATA[Efficacy assessment of commercially available natural products and antibiotics, commonly used for mitigation of pathogenic Vibrio outbreaks in Ecuadorian Penaeus (Litopenaeus) vannamei hatcheries]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52ebd5eed0c4842bd266

Bacterial diseases cause high mortality in Penaeus (Litopenaeus) vannamei postlarvae. Therefore, appropriate application of efficient therapeutic products is of vital importance for disease control. This study evaluated through in vitro analyses the antimicrobial effectiveness of commercial therapeutic products used for P. vannamei bacterial diseases and antibiotics against pathogenic Vibrio strains circulating in Ecuadorian hatcheries. Twenty strains were isolated from 31 larvae samples with high bacterial counts from 10 hatcheries collected during mortality events. The strains virulence was verified through challenge tests with Artemia franciscana nauplii and P. vannamei postlarvae. Through 16S rRNA sequence analysis, strains showed a great similarity to the Vibrio sequences reported as pathogens, with 95% belonging to the Harveyi clade. Through antibiograms and minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) in vitro tests we found that furazolidone, ciprofloxacin, chloramphenicol, norfloxacin, nalidixic acid, florfenicol, fosfomycin and enrofloxacin inhibited the growth of all or most of the strains. Less efficient antibiotics were penicillin, oxytetracycline and tetracycline. A multiple antibiotic resistance (MAR) index of 0.23 showed some level of resistance to antibiotics, with two MAR prevalent patterns (Penicillin-Oxytetracycline and Penicillin-Oxytetracycline-Tetracycline). From a total of 16 natural products (five probiotics, nine organic acids and two essential oils), only three (one probiotic, one organic acid and one essential oil) were effective to control most of the strains. Shrimp producers can apply relatively simple in vitro analyses, such as those employed in this study, to help take adequate management decisions to reduce the impact of bacterial diseases and increase profit.

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<![CDATA[Chemical composition, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cytotoxic activities of Opuntia stricta cladodes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59feb5d5eed0c48413531a

Background

The Opuntia spp. have been used in traditional medicine for many centuries. It is used in the management of diseases that involves oxidative stress, especially diabetes, obesity and cancer. Opuntia stricta (Haw) is one of the relatively unknown species in South Africa where it is regarded more as a weed. Because of this, not much is known about its chemical composition.

Aim

To determine the chemical composition, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cytotoxic activities of Opuntia stricta cladodes.

Methods

The phytochemical composition of acetone, aqueous and ethanol extract of cladodes of Opuntia stricta (Haw), as well as the vitamins A, C and E of its dried weight cladodes and the antioxidant activities, were evaluated using standard in vitro methods. The anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic activities were evaluated using cell-based assays. The phytochemical composition and vitamins were determined spectrophotometrically, while the antioxidant activities were determined by DPPH, nitric oxide, hydrogen peroxide scavenging activity and phosphomolybdenum (total) antioxidant activity. Anti-inflammatory activity was determined using RAW 264.7 cells, while cytotoxicity was determined using U937 cells.

Results

The phytochemical composition showed a significant difference in the various extracts. The total phenolics were higher than other phytochemicals in all the extracts used. All the extracts displayed antioxidant activity, while most of the extracts showed anti-inflammatory activity. Only one extract showed cytotoxicity, and it was mild.

Conclusion

The results show that the Opuntia stricta is rich in polyphenolic compounds and has good antioxidant activity as well as anti-inflammatory activities.

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<![CDATA[Screening dietary biochanin A, daidzein, equol and genistein for their potential to increase DHA biosynthesis in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478c8bd5eed0c484bd2fbe

Plant oil utilization in aquafeeds is still the most practical option, although it decreases the content of the nutritionally highly valuable omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3, EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3, DHA) in fish. Phytoestrogens and their metabolites are putatively able to affect genes encoding proteins centrally involved in the biosynthesis of EPA and DHA due to their estrogenic potential. Thus, the aim of the study was to screen the potential of the phytoestrogens to stimulate the biosynthesis of EPA and DHA in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Additionally, the potential effects on growth performance, nutrient composition and hepatic lipid metabolism in rainbow trout were investigated. For that, a vegetable oil based diet served as a control diet (C) and was supplemented with 15 g/kg dry matter of biochanin A (BA), daidzein (DA), genistein (G) and equol (EQ), respectively. These five diets were fed to rainbow trout (initial body weight 83.3 ± 0.4 g) for 52 days. Growth performance and nutrient composition of whole body homogenates were not affected by the dietary treatments. Furthermore, feeding EQ to rainbow trout significantly increased DHA levels by +8% in whole body homogenates compared to samples of fish fed the diet C. A tendency towards increased DHA levels in whole body homogenates was found for fish fed the diet G. Fish fed diets BA and DA lacked these effects. Moreover, EQ and G fed fish showed significantly decreased hepatic mRNA steady state levels for fatty acyl desaturase 2a (delta-6) (fads2a(d6)). In contrast, carnitine palmitoyl transferases 1 (cpt1) hepatic mRNA steady state levels and hepatic Fads2a(d6) protein contents were not affected by the dietary treatment. In conclusion, when combined with dietary vegetable oils, equol and genistein seem to stimulate the biosynthesis of DHA and thereby increase tissue DHA levels in rainbow trout, however, only to a moderate extent.

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<![CDATA[Tofu and fish oil independently modulate serum lipid profiles in rats: Analyses of 10 class lipoprotein profiles and the global hepatic transcriptome]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c605a43d5eed0c4847ccc8f

Soy protein and fish oil are food components that decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. Previous studies demonstrated that these food components reduced serum cholesterol levels and suppressed hepatic lipogenesis. However, the underlying mechanisms of action of these food components remain unclear. Ten classes of serum lipoprotein profiles showed that dietary tofu, a soybean curd, suppressed cholesterol absorption, while fish oil reduced most of the lipoprotein classes in rats. Tofu and fish oil both halved the level of the lipoprotein class LAC1 (LDL-anti-protease complex), a 15-nm LDL-anti-protease complex, which is speculated to be a cause of atherosclerosis. Moreover, a global transcriptome analysis revealed that tofu inhibited the mRNA expression of genes involved in hepatic lipogenesis, while fish oil stimulated that of genes related to fatty acid degradation. Therefore, tofu and fish oil independently regulate lipid metabolism. The decrease observed in LAC1 may have been due to reduced cholesterol absorption in the tofu diet group and the interference of lipogenesis via the activation of polyunsaturated fatty acid detoxification in the fish oil group.

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<![CDATA[Modeling effects of crop production, energy development and conservation-grassland loss on avian habitat]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa5dad5eed0c484ca9576

Birds are essential components of most ecosystems and provide many services valued by society. However, many populations have undergone striking declines as their habitats have been lost or degraded by human activities. Terrestrial grasslands are vital habitat for birds in the North American Prairie Pothole Region (PPR), but grassland conversion and fragmentation from agriculture and energy-production activities have destroyed or degraded millions of hectares. Conservation grasslands can provide alternate habitat. In the United States, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is the largest program maintaining conservation grasslands on agricultural lands, but conservation grasslands in the PPR have declined by over 1 million ha since the program’s zenith in 2007. We used an ecosystem-services model (InVEST) parameterized for the PPR to quantify grassland-bird habitat remaining in 2014 and to assess the degradation status of the remaining grassland-bird habitat as influenced by crop and energy (i.e., oil, natural gas, and wind) production. We compared our resultant habitat-quality ratings to grassland-bird abundance data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey to confirm that ratings were related to grassland-bird abundance. Of the grassland-bird habitat remaining in 2014, about 19% was degraded by crop production that occurred within 0.1 km of grassland habitats, whereas energy production degraded an additional 16%. We further quantified the changes in availability of grassland-bird habitat under various land-cover scenarios representing incremental losses (10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%) of CRP grasslands from 2014 levels. Our model identified 1 million ha (9%) of remaining grassland-bird habitat in the PPR that would be lost or degraded if all CRP conservation grasslands were returned to crop production. Grassland regions world-wide face similar challenges in maintaining avian habitat in the face of increasing commodity and energy production to sate the food and energy needs of a growing world population. Identifying ways to model the impacts of the tradeoff between food and energy production and wildlife production is an important step in creating solutions.

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<![CDATA[Topical essential fatty acid oil on wounds: Local and systemic effects]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390bafd5eed0c48491dd3a

Background

The use of medicinal plants and their derivatives is increasing, and approximately one-third of all traditional herbal medicines are intended for wound treatment. Natural products used in these treatments include vegetable oils, which are rich in essential fatty acids. Once in contact with an ulcerative surface, the oil reaches the blood and lymphatic vessels, thus eliciting systemic effects.

Objective

This study evaluated the local and possible systemic effects of essential fatty acids (sunflower oil) applied topically to rat wounds.

Methods

Cutaneous punch wounds (6 mm) were produced on the dorsa of 30 rats. Saline (SS), mineral oil (MO) or essential fatty acid (EFA) solutions were applied topically. Healing was evaluated after 2, 4 and 10 days (n = 5 per group) by visual and histological/morphometric examination, second harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy, and cytokine and growth factor quantification in the scar tissue (real-time PCR) and in serum (ELISA).

Results

MO/EFA-treated animals had higher IGF-1, leptin, IL-6 and IFN-γ mRNA expression and lower serum IL-6 levels than the control (SS/MO) animals. SHG analysis showed no difference in collagen density between the animals treated with MO and EFA.

Conclusion

EFA treatment induces topical (observed by local IGF-1, leptin, IL-6 and IFN-γ production) and systemic effects, lowering IL-6 levels in the serum. As the oil is widely used to shorten ulcer healing time, studies are needed to evaluate the treatment safety and possible undesired effects.

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<![CDATA[Correlations between growth and wool quality traits of genetically divergent Australian lambs in response to canola or flaxseed oil supplementation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c37b7c4d5eed0c484490c47

The correlations between growth and wool traits in response to canola and flaxseed oil supplementation were evaluated in Australian prime lambs. Sixty dual-purpose prime lambs including purebred Merino and crossbred lambs were allocated to one of five treatments of lucerne hay basal diet supplemented with isocaloric and isonitrogenous wheat-based pellets. Treatments were: no oil inclusion (Control); 2.5% canola oil; 5% canola oil; 2.5% flaxseed oil and 5% flaxseed oil, with lamb groups balanced by breed and gender. Each lamb was daily supplemented with 1kg of pellets and had free access to lucerne hay and water throughout the 7-week feeding trial, after a 3-week adaptation. Individual animal basal and supplementary pellet feed intakes were recorded daily, while body conformation traits, body condition scores and liveweights were measured on days 0, 21, 35 and 49. The lambs were dye-banded on the mid-side and shorn before commencing the feeding trial and mid-side wool samples were collected from the same dye-banded area of each lamb at the end of the experiment. Correlations between wool quality traits and lamb performance were non-significant (P>0.05). Oil supplementation had no detrimental effect on lamb growth and wool quality traits (P > 0.05). Gender significantly affected wither height gain and fibre diameter. There were significant interactions between oil supplementation and lamb breed on chest girth. The correlations between clean fleece yield (CFY) and other wool quality traits were moderate ranging from 0.29 to 0.55. Moderate to high correlations between fibre diameter (FD) and other wool quality traits were detected (0.46–0.99) with the strongest relationship between FD and wool spinning fineness (SF). The relationship between CFY and wool comfort factor (CF) were positive, while negative relationships between CFY and the others were observed. A combination of 5% oil supplementation and genetics is an effective and strategic management tool for enhancing feed efficiency and growth performance without negative effects on wool quality in dual-purpose lamb production. This is a good outcome for dual-purpose sheep farmers. It essentially means the absorbed nutrients in supplemented lambs yielded good growth performance without any detrimental impact on wool quality; a win-win case of nutrient partitioning into the synthesis of muscle and wool without compromising either traits.

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<![CDATA[Reversing wetland death from 35,000 cuts: Opportunities to restore Louisiana’s dredged canals]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1d5b65d5eed0c4846eb912

We determined the number of permits for oil and gas activities in 14 coastal Louisiana parishes from 1900 to 2017, compared them to land loss on this coast, and estimated their restoration potential. A total of 76,247 oil and gas recovery wells were permitted, of which 35,163 (46%) were on land (as of 2010) and 27,483 of which are officially abandoned. There is a direct spatial and temporal relationship between the number of these permits and land loss, attributable to the above and belowground changes in hydrology resulting from the dredged material levees placed parallel to the canal (spoil banks). These hydrologic modifications cause various direct and indirect compromises to plants and soils resulting in wetland collapse. Although oil and gas recovery beneath southern Louisiana wetlands has dramatically declined since its peak in the early 1960s, it has left behind spoil banks with a total length sufficient to cross coastal Louisiana 79 times from east to west. Dragging down the remaining material in the spoil bank back into the canal is a successful restoration technique that is rarely applied in Louisiana, but could be a dramatically cost-effective and proven long-term strategy if political will prevails. The absence of a State or Federal backfilling program is a huge missed opportunity to: 1) conduct cost-effective restoration at a relatively low cost, and, 2) conduct systematic restoration monitoring and hypothesis testing that advances knowledge and improves the efficacy of future attempts. The price of backfilling all canals is about $335 million dollars, or 0.67% of the State’s Master Plan for restoration and a pittance of the economic value gained from extracting the oil and gas beneath over the last 100 years.

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<![CDATA[Tribological and antioxidation properties study of two N-containing borate ester derivatives as additive in rapeseed oil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c181382d5eed0c4847751f2

Two kinds of phenol- and N- containing borate ester, BTEB and BMEB have good hydrolysis stability due to the B-N coordination bond. The PB value improved by 60.7% and 67.6% respectively at 0.5wt% BTEB, BMEB in rapeseed oil. Their antiwear effect increases with the increase of adding content, and BMEB is better than BTEB. The friction-reducing effect of BTEB is better than BMEB. All additives formed a protective film which containing BOx, FeOx and other organic nitrogen compounds. The better capacities of BMEB may due to the complex boundary lubricating film which contain ferrous sulfate, ferrous sulfide. All additives possessed good antioxidation effect, and it increased the oxidation activation energy than rapeseed oil by 51.15% and 78.82% respectively at 0.25wt%.

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<![CDATA[Extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) producing and oil degrading bacteria isolated from the northern Gulf of Mexico]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c12cf10d5eed0c484913e29

Sinking marine oil snow was found to be a major mechanism in the transport of spilled oil from the surface to the deep sea following the Deepwater Horizon (DwH) oil spill. Marine snow formation is primarily facilitated by extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), which are mainly composed of proteins and carbohydrates secreted by microorganisms. While numerous bacteria have been identified to degrade oil, there is a paucity of knowledge on bacteria that produce EPS in response to oil and Corexit exposure in the northern Gulf of Mexico (nGoM). In this study, we isolated bacteria from surface water of the nGoM that grow on oil or Corexit dispersant. Among the 100 strains isolated, nine were identified to produce remarkable amounts of EPS. 16S rRNA gene analysis revealed that six isolates (strains C1, C5, W10, W11, W14, W20) belong to the genus Alteromonas; the others were related to Thalassospira (C8), Aestuariibacter (C12), and Escherichia (W13a). The isolates preferably degraded alkanes (17–77%), over polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (0.90–23%). The EPS production was determined in the presence of a water accommodated fraction (WAF) of oil, a chemical enhanced WAF (CEWAF), Corexit, and control. The highest production of visible aggregates was found in Corexit followed by CEWAF, WAF, and control; indicating that Corexit generally enhanced EPS production. The addition of WAF and Corexit did not affect the carbohydrate content, but significantly increased the protein content of the EPS. On the average, WAF and CEWAF treatments had nine to ten times more proteins, and Corexit had five times higher than the control. Our results reveal that Alteromonas and Thalassospira, among the commonly reported bacteria following the DwH spill, produce protein rich EPS that could have crucial roles in oil degradation and marine snow formation. This study highlights the link between EPS production and bacterial oil-degrading capacity that should not be overlooked during spilled oil clearance.

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