ResearchPad - quantitative-analysis https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Staurosporine and NEM mainly impair WNK-SPAK/OSR1 mediated phosphorylation of KCC2 and NKCC1]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14752 The pivotal role of KCC2 and NKCC1 in development and maintenance of fast inhibitory neurotransmission and their implication in severe human diseases arouse interest in posttranscriptional regulatory mechanisms such as (de)phosphorylation. Staurosporine (broad kinase inhibitor) and N-ethylmalemide (NEM) that modulate kinase and phosphatase activities enhance KCC2 and decrease NKCC1 activity. Here, we investigated the regulatory mechanism for this reciprocal regulation by mass spectrometry and immunoblot analyses using phospho-specific antibodies. Our analyses revealed that application of staurosporine or NEM dephosphorylates Thr1007 of KCC2, and Thr203, Thr207 and Thr212 of NKCC1. Dephosphorylation of Thr1007 of KCC2, and Thr207 and Thr212 of NKCC1 were previously demonstrated to activate KCC2 and to inactivate NKCC1. In addition, application of the two agents resulted in dephosphorylation of the T-loop and S-loop phosphorylation sites Thr233 and Ser373 of SPAK, a critical kinase in the WNK-SPAK/OSR1 signaling module mediating phosphorylation of KCC2 and NKCC1. Taken together, these results suggest that reciprocal regulation of KCC2 and NKCC1 via staurosporine and NEM is based on WNK-SPAK/OSR1 signaling. The key regulatory phospho-site Ser940 of KCC2 is not critically involved in the enhanced activation of KCC2 upon staurosporine and NEM treatment, as both agents have opposite effects on its phosphorylation status. Finally, NEM acts in a tissue-specific manner on Ser940, as shown by comparative analysis in HEK293 cells and immature cultured hippocampal neurons. In summary, our analyses identified phospho-sites that are responsive to staurosporine or NEM application. This provides important information towards a better understanding of the cooperative interactions of different phospho-sites.

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<![CDATA[Walking along the road with anonymous users in similar attributes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b6dda11463d7e7491b405ea

Recently, the ubiquitousness of smartphones and tablet computers have changed the style of people’s daily life. With this tendency, location based service (LBS) has become one of the prosperous types of service along with the wireless and positioning technology development. However, as the LBS server needs precise location information about the user to provide service result, the procedure of LBS may reveal location privacy, especially when a user is utilizing continuous query along the road. In continuous query, attributes of the user are released inadvertently with per-query, and the information can be collected by an adversary as background knowledge to correlate the location trajectory and infer the personal privacy. Although, a user can employ a central server (CS) to provide privacy preservation for his location, the trustfulness of CS still is without testified and it is usually considered as an un-trusted entity. Thus, in this paper, the trustfulness of CS is verified by a game tree, and then with the result we propose a hash based attribute anonymous scheme (short for HBAA) to obfuscate the attributes released in each query along the road. With the help of HBAA, the CS has no opportunity to get any information about the user who sends his query for generalization service. Furthermore, as the set of attributes is transmitted into a fixed length of hash value, the processing time that spent in attribute generalization is stripped down and the performance of executive efficiency is improved. At last, security analysis and simulation experiment are proposed, and then results of security proving as well as simulation experiments further reflect the superiority of our proposed scheme.

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<![CDATA[Adverse events following single dose treatment of lymphatic filariasis: Observations from a review of the literature]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b079dfc463d7e75962e7971

Background

WHO’s Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) uses mass drug administration (MDA) of anthelmintic medications to interrupt LF transmission in endemic areas. Recently, a single dose combination of ivermectin (IVM), diethylcarbamazine (DEC), and albendazole (ALB) was shown to be markedly more effective than the standard two-drug regimens (DEC or IVM, plus ALB) for achieving long-term clearance of microfilaremia.

Objective and methods

To provide context for the results of a large-scale, international safety trial of MDA using triple drug therapy, we searched Ovid Medline for studies published from 1985–2017 that reported adverse events (AEs) following treatment of LF with IVM, DEC, ALB, or any combination of these medications. Studies that reported AE rates by treatment group were included.

Findings

We reviewed 162 published manuscripts, 55 of which met inclusion criteria. Among these, 34 were clinic or hospital-based clinical trials, and 21 were community-based studies. Reported AE rates varied widely. The median AE rate following DEC or IVM treatment was greater than 60% among microfilaremic participants and less than 10% in persons without microfilaremia. The most common AEs reported were fever, headache, myalgia or arthralgia, fatigue, and malaise.

Interpretation

Mild to moderate systemic AEs related to death of microfilariae are common following LF treatment. Post-treatment AEs are transient and rarely severe or serious. Comparison of AE rates from different community studies is difficult due to inconsistent AE reporting, varied infection rates, and varied intensity of follow-up. A more uniform approach for assessing and reporting AEs in LF community treatment studies would be helpful.

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<![CDATA[Economic Evaluation of an Area-Wide Integrated Pest Management Program to Control the Asian Tiger Mosquito in New Jersey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da43ab0ee8fa60b8ace5

Aedes albopictus is the most invasive mosquito in the world, an important disease vector, and a biting nuisance that limits outdoor activities. Area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) is the recommended control strategy. We conducted an economic evaluation of the AW-IPM project in Mercer and Monmouth Counties, New Jersey with a controlled design (AW-IPM vs. control) from 2009 through 2011. The study analyzed financial documents and staff time for AW-IPM and surveyed an average of 415 randomly chosen households in AW-IPM and control areas each fall from 2008 through 2011. Hours lost from yard and porch activities were calculated as differences between actual and potential hours of these activities in an average summer week if there had been no mosquito concerns. Net estimated benefits of AW-IPM were based on cross-over and difference-in-difference analyses. Reductions in hours lost were valued based on respondents' willingness to pay for a hypothetical extra hour free of mosquitoes spent on yard or porch activities and literature on valuation of a quality adjusted life year (QALY). The incremental cost of AW-IPM per adult was $41.18 per year. Number of hours lost due to mosquitoes in AW-IPM areas between the base year (2008) and the intervention years (2009-2011) declined by 3.30 hours per summer week in AW-IPM areas compared to control areas. Survey respondents valued this improvement at $27.37 per adult per summer week. Over the 13-week summer, an average adult resident gained 42.96 hours of yard and porch time, worth $355.82. The net benefit over the summer was $314.63. With an average of 0.0027 QALYs gained per adult per year, AW-IPM was cost effective at $15,300 per QALY gained. The benefit-cost ratio from hours gained was 8.64, indicating that each $1 spent on AW-IPM gave adults additional porch and yard time worth over $8.

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<![CDATA[A Hybrid Least Squares and Principal Component Analysis Algorithm for Raman Spectroscopy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f5ab0ee8fa60b70115

Raman spectroscopy is a powerful technique for detecting and quantifying analytes in chemical mixtures. A critical part of Raman spectroscopy is the use of a computer algorithm to analyze the measured Raman spectra. The most commonly used algorithm is the classical least squares method, which is popular due to its speed and ease of implementation. However, it is sensitive to inaccuracies or variations in the reference spectra of the analytes (compounds of interest) and the background. Many algorithms, primarily multivariate calibration methods, have been proposed that increase robustness to such variations. In this study, we propose a novel method that improves robustness even further by explicitly modeling variations in both the background and analyte signals. More specifically, it extends the classical least squares model by allowing the declared reference spectra to vary in accordance with the principal components obtained from training sets of spectra measured in prior characterization experiments. The amount of variation allowed is constrained by the eigenvalues of this principal component analysis. We compare the novel algorithm to the least squares method with a low-order polynomial residual model, as well as a state-of-the-art hybrid linear analysis method. The latter is a multivariate calibration method designed specifically to improve robustness to background variability in cases where training spectra of the background, as well as the mean spectrum of the analyte, are available. We demonstrate the novel algorithm’s superior performance by comparing quantitative error metrics generated by each method. The experiments consider both simulated data and experimental data acquired from in vitro solutions of Raman-enhanced gold-silica nanoparticles.

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<![CDATA[Palytoxin Found in Palythoa sp. Zoanthids (Anthozoa, Hexacorallia) Sold in the Home Aquarium Trade]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da59ab0ee8fa60b8f850

Zoanthids (Anthozoa, Hexacorallia) are colonial anemones that contain one of the deadliest toxins ever discovered, palytoxin (LD50 in mice 300 ng/kg), but it is generally believed that highly toxic species are not sold in the home aquarium trade. We previously showed that an unintentionally introduced zoanthid in a home aquarium contained high concentrations of palytoxin and was likely responsible for a severe respiratory reaction when an individual attempted to eliminate the contaminant colonies using boiling water. To assess the availability and potential exposure of palytoxin to marine aquarium hobbyists, we analyzed zoanthid samples collected from local aquarium stores for palytoxin using liquid chromatography and high resolution mass spectrometry and attempted to identify the specimens through genetic analysis of 16S and cytochrome c oxidase 1 (COI) markers. We found four specimens of the same apparent species of zoanthid, that we described previously to be responsible for a severe respiratory reaction in a home aquarium, to be available in three aquarium stores in the Washington D.C. area. We found all of these specimens (n = 4) to be highly toxic with palytoxin or palytoxin-like compounds (range 0.5–3.5 mg crude toxin/g zoanthid). One of the most potent non-protein compounds ever discovered is present in dangerous quantities in a select species of zoanthid commonly sold in the home aquarium trade.

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<![CDATA[Skewed Brownian Fluctuations in Single-Molecule Magnetic Tweezers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf0ab0ee8fa60bc0ebb

Measurements in magnetic tweezers rely upon precise determination of the position of a magnetic microsphere. Fluctuations in the position due to Brownian motion allows calculation of the applied force, enabling deduction of the force-extension response function for a single DNA molecule that is attached to the microsphere. The standard approach relies upon using the mean of position fluctuations, which is valid when the microsphere axial position fluctuations obey a normal distribution. However, here we demonstrate that nearby surfaces and the non-linear elasticity of DNA can skew the distribution. Through experiment and simulations, we show that such a skewing leads to inaccurate position measurements which significantly affect the extracted DNA extension and mechanical properties, leading to up to two-fold errors in measured DNA persistence length. We develop a simple, robust and easily implemented method to correct for such mismeasurements.

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<![CDATA[Profiling the Anaerobic Response of C. elegans Using GC-MS]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da28ab0ee8fa60b8156d

The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a model organism that has seen extensive use over the last four decades in multiple areas of investigation. In this study we explore the response of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to acute anoxia using gas-chromatography mass-spectrometry (GC-MS). We focus on the readily-accessible worm exometabolome to show that C. elegans are mixed acid fermenters that utilize several metabolic pathways in unconventional ways to remove reducing equivalents – including partial reversal of branched-chain amino acid catabolism and a potentially novel use of the glyoxylate pathway. In doing so, we provide detailed methods for the collection and analysis of excreted metabolites that, with minimal adjustment, should be applicable to many other species. We also describe a procedure for collecting highly volatile compounds from C. elegans. We are distributing our mass spectral library in an effort to facilitate wider use of metabolomics.

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<![CDATA[Diversity of Cacao Trees in Waslala, Nicaragua: Associations between Genotype Spectra, Product Quality and Yield Potential]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db29ab0ee8fa60bd0df9

The sensory quality and the contents of quality-determining chemical compounds in unfermented and fermented cocoa from 100 cacao trees (individual genotypes) representing groups of nine genotype spectra (GG), grown at smallholder plantings in the municipality of Waslala, Nicaragua, were evaluated for two successive harvest periods. Cocoa samples were fermented using a technique mimicking recommended on-farm practices. The sensory cocoa quality was assessed by experienced tasters, and seven major chemical taste compounds were quantified by near infrared spectrometry (NIRS). The association of the nine, partially admixed, genotype spectra with the analytical and sensory quality parameters was tested. The individual parameters were analyzed as a function of the factors GG and harvest (including the date of fermentation), individual trees within a single GG were used as replications. In fermented cocoa, significant GG-specific differences were observed for methylxanthines, theobromine-to-caffeine (T/C) ratio, total fat, procyanidin B5 and epicatechin, as well as the sensory attributes global score, astringency, and dry fruit aroma, but differences related to harvest were also apparent. The potential cocoa yield was also highly determined by the individual GG, although there was significant tree-to-tree variation within every single GG. Non-fermented samples showed large harvest-to-harvest variation of their chemical composition, while differences between GG were insignificant. These results suggest that selection by the genetic background, represented here by groups of partially admixed genotype spectra, would be a useful strategy toward enhancing quality and yield of cocoa in Nicaragua. Selection by the GG within the local, genetically segregating populations of seed-propagated cacao, followed by clonal propagation of best-performing individuals of the selected GG could be a viable alternative to traditional propagation of cacao by seed from open pollination. Fast and gentle air-drying of the fermented beans and their permanent dry storage were an efficient and comparatively easy precondition for high cocoa quality.

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<![CDATA[Plasma and Liver Lipidomics Response to an Intervention of Rimonabant in ApoE*3Leiden.CETP Transgenic Mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daabab0ee8fa60ba92f3

Background

Lipids are known to play crucial roles in the development of life-style related risk factors such as obesity, dyslipoproteinemia, hypertension and diabetes. The first selective cannabinoid-1 receptor blocker rimonabant, an anorectic anti-obesity drug, was frequently used in conjunction with diet and exercise for patients with a body mass index greater than 30 kg/m2 with associated risk factors such as type II diabetes and dyslipidaemia in the past. Less is known about the impact of this drug on the regulation of lipid metabolism in plasma and liver in the early stage of obesity.

Methodology/Principal Findings

We designed a four-week parallel controlled intervention on apolipoprotein E3 Leiden cholesteryl ester transfer protein (ApoE*3Leiden.CETP) transgenic mice with mild overweight and hypercholesterolemia. A liquid chromatography–linear ion trap-Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance-mass spectrometric approach was employed to investigate plasma and liver lipid responses to the rimonabant intervention. Rimonabant was found to induce a significant body weight loss (9.4%, p<0.05) and a significant plasma total cholesterol reduction (24%, p<0.05). Six plasma and three liver lipids in ApoE*3Leiden.CETP transgenic mice were detected to most significantly respond to rimonabant treatment. Distinct lipid patterns between the mice were observed for both plasma and liver samples in rimonabant treatment vs. non-treated controls. This study successfully applied, for the first time, systems biology based lipidomics approaches to evaluate treatment effects of rimonabant in the early stage of obesity.

Conclusion

The effects of rimonabant on lipid metabolism and body weight reduction in the early stage obesity were shown to be moderate in ApoE*3Leiden.CETP mice on high-fat diet.

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<![CDATA[Type 2 Diabetes Associated Changes in the Plasma Non-Esterified Fatty Acids, Oxylipins and Endocannabinoids]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db24ab0ee8fa60bd007e

Type 2 diabetes has profound effects on metabolism that can be detected in plasma. While increases in circulating non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) are well-described in diabetes, effects on signaling lipids have received little attention. Oxylipins and endocannabinoids are classes of bioactive fatty acid metabolites with many structural members that influence insulin signaling, adipose function and inflammation through autocrine, paracrine and endocrine mechanisms. To link diabetes-associated changes in plasma NEFA and signaling lipids, we quantitatively targeted >150 plasma lipidome components in age- and body mass index-matched, overweight to obese, non-diabetic (n = 12) and type 2 diabetic (n = 43) African-American women. Diabetes related NEFA patterns indicated ∼60% increase in steroyl-CoA desaturase activity and ∼40% decrease in very long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid chain shortening, patterns previously associated with the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Further, epoxides and ketones of eighteen carbon polyunsaturated fatty acids were elevated >80% in diabetes and strongly correlated with changes in NEFA, consistent with their liberation during adipose lipolysis. Endocannabinoid behavior differed by class with diabetes increasing an array of N-acylethanolamides which were positively correlated with pro-inflammatory 5-lipooxygenase-derived metabolites, while monoacylglycerols were negatively correlated with body mass. These results clearly show that diabetes not only results in an increase in plasma NEFA, but shifts the plasma lipidomic profiles in ways that reflect the biochemical and physiological changes of this pathological state which are independent of obesity associated changes.

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<![CDATA[The Effect of Bioactive Compounds on In Vitro and In Vivo Antioxidant Activity of Different Berry Juices]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da2dab0ee8fa60b83162

Background

Berry fruit is known for its high contents of various bioactive compounds. The latter constitute of anthocyanins, flavonols and flavanols and posses high antioxidative activity. The highly dynamic antioxidant system can be evaluated in vitro and in vivo in several model organisms. These measurements represent a good approximation of the real potential of bioactive compounds in the cells of higher eucarions. The aim of the study was thus to determine in vitro and in vivo antioxidant activity of different berry juices, which reportedly contain high amounts of phenolics.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Five different berry species were collected from several locations in central Slovenia and juice was extracted from each species separately. Juice was assessed for their in vitro and in vivo antioxidant activity. Phenolic profiles of berries were determined with the use of a HPLC/MS system, in vitro antioxidant activity with the DPPH radical scavenging method and in vivo antioxidative activity using Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The highest diversity of individual phenols was detected for bilberry juice. The highest in vitro antioxidant capacity was determined for blackcurrant juice. A decrease in intracellular oxidation compared to control was observed in the following order: blackcurrant < chokeberry = blueberry < bilberry. The results indicate important differences in antioxidant activity of berry juices between in vitro and in vivo studies.

Conclusion/Significance

In addition to the total content of phenolic compounds entering the cells, a key factor determining antioxidative activity of berry juices is also the ratio between the compounds. Where high content levels of anthocyanins and very low content levels of flavonols and hydroxycinnamic acids were measured a lower intracellular oxidation has been detected. Specifically, intracellular oxidation increased with higher consumption of hydroxycinnamic acids and lower consumption of anthocyanins in the cells. Antioxidative activity also increased when the consumption of analyzed phenols was rather low.

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<![CDATA[Modulation of the Major Paths of Carbon in Photorespiratory Mutants of Synechocystis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf3ab0ee8fa60bc1cfb

Background

Recent studies using transcript and metabolite profiles of wild-type and gene deletion mutants revealed that photorespiratory pathways are essential for the growth of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 under atmospheric conditions. Pool size changes of primary metabolites, such as glycine and glycolate, indicated a link to photorespiration.

Methodology/Principal Findings

The 13C labelling kinetics of primary metabolites were analysed in photoautotrophically grown cultures of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to demonstrate the link with photorespiration. Cells pre-acclimated to high CO2 (5%, HC) or limited CO2 (0.035%, LC) conditions were pulse-labelled under very high (2% w/w) 13C-NaHCO3 (VHC) conditions followed by treatment with ambient 12C at HC and LC conditions, respectively. The 13C enrichment, relative changes in pool size, and 13C flux of selected metabolites were evaluated. We demonstrate two major paths of CO2 assimilation via Rubisco in Synechocystis, i.e., from 3PGA via PEP to aspartate, malate and citrate or, to a lesser extent, from 3PGA via glucose-6-phosphate to sucrose. The results reveal evidence of carbon channelling from 3PGA to the PEP pool. Furthermore, 13C labelling of glycolate was observed under conditions thought to suppress photorespiration. Using the glycolate-accumulating ΔglcD1 mutant, we demonstrate enhanced 13C partitioning into the glycolate pool under conditions favouring photorespiration and enhanced 13C partitioning into the glycine pool of the glycine-accumulating ΔgcvT mutant. Under LC conditions, the photorespiratory mutants ΔglcD1 and ΔgcvT showed enhanced activity of the additional carbon-fixing PEP carboxylase pathway.

Conclusions/Significance

With our approach of non-steady-state 13C labelling and analysis of metabolite pool sizes with respective 13C enrichments, we identify the use and modulation of major pathways of carbon assimilation in Synechocystis in the presence of high and low inorganic carbon supplies.

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<![CDATA[A Simple ERP Method for Quantitative Analysis of Cognitive Workload in Myoelectric Prosthesis Control and Human-Machine Interaction]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad1ab0ee8fa60bb65ca

Common goals in the development of human-machine interface (HMI) technology are to reduce cognitive workload and increase function. However, objective and quantitative outcome measures assessing cognitive workload have not been standardized for HMI research. The present study examines the efficacy of a simple event-related potential (ERP) measure of cortical effort during myoelectric control of a virtual limb for use as an outcome tool. Participants trained and tested on two methods of control, direct control (DC) and pattern recognition control (PRC), while electroencephalographic (EEG) activity was recorded. Eighteen healthy participants with intact limbs were tested using DC and PRC under three conditions: passive viewing, easy, and hard. Novel auditory probes were presented at random intervals during testing, and significant task-difficulty effects were observed in the P200, P300, and a late positive potential (LPP), supporting the efficacy of ERPs as a cognitive workload measure in HMI tasks. LPP amplitude distinguished DC from PRC in the hard condition with higher amplitude in PRC, consistent with lower cognitive workload in PRC relative to DC for complex movements. Participants completed trials faster in the easy condition using DC relative to PRC, but completed trials more slowly using DC relative to PRC in the hard condition. The results provide promising support for ERPs as an outcome measure for cognitive workload in HMI research such as prosthetics, exoskeletons, and other assistive devices, and can be used to evaluate and guide new technologies for more intuitive HMI control.

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<![CDATA[Determination of Diniconazole in Agricultural Samples by Sol-Gel Immunoaffinity Extraction Procedure Coupled with HPLC and ELISA]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da7dab0ee8fa60b9949d

Background

In the European Union (EU), the use of diniconazole-M is no longer authorized. However, residues of diniconazole-M occur in various plant commodities.

Methodology/Principal Findings

A selective and simple analytical method for the trace level determination of diniconazole in soil, fruit, vegetables and water samples was developed based on immunoaffinity extraction followed by Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and the high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis. The ELISA was based on monoclonal antibodies highly specific to diniconazole and was a fast, cost-effective, and selective screening method for the detection of diniconazole. The results of the ELISA correlated well with gas chromatography (GC) results, with the correlation coefficient of 0.9879 (n = 19). A simple gel permeation chromato- graphy clean-up method was developed to purify extracts from matrices containing high amounts of fat and natural pigments, without the need for a large dilution of the sample. The immunoaffinity column (IAC) capacity was 0.180 mg g−1. The columns could be re-used approximately 20 times with no significant alteration in capacity. The recoveries from complex samples were in the range of 89.2% to 96.1% with a relative standard deviation (RSD) of 0.770%–6.11% by ELISA. The results were in good agreement with those obtained by HPLC method.

Conclusion/Significance

The IAC extraction procedure coupled with HPLC and ELISA analysis could be also used as alternative effective analytical methods for the determination of diniconazole concentrations in complex samples.

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<![CDATA[The Development of a New Analytical Model for the Identification of Saccharide Binders in Paint Samples]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da6fab0ee8fa60b9445e

This paper describes a method for reliably identifying saccharide materials in paintings. Since the 3rd millennium B.C., polysaccharide materials such as plant gums, sugar, flour, and honey were used as binding media and sizing agents in paintings, illuminated manuscripts, and polychrome objects. Although it has been reported that plant gums have a stable composition, their identification in paint samples is often doubtful and rarely discussed. Our research was carried out independently at two different laboratories: the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles, USA (GCI) and the Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry of the University of Pisa, Italy (DCCI). It was shown in a previous stage of this research that the two methods give highly comparable data when analysing both reference paint samples and paint layers from art objects, thus the combined data was used to build a large database. In this study, the simultaneous presence of proteinaceous binders and pigments in fresh and artificially aged paint replicas was investigated, and it highlighted how these can affect the sugar profile of arabic, tragacanth, and fruit tree gums. The environmental contamination due to sugars from various plant tissues is also discussed. The results allowed the development of a new model for the reliable identification of saccharide binders in paintings based on the evaluation of markers that are stable to ageing and unaffected by pigments. This new model was applied to the sugar profiles obtained from the analysis of a large number of samples from murals, easel paintings, manuscripts, and polychrome objects from different geographical areas and dating from the 13th century BC to the 20th century AD, thus demonstrating its reliability.

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<![CDATA[Degradation Kinetics and Mechanism of Lithospermic Acid under Low Oxygen Condition Using Quantitative 1H NMR with HPLC-MS]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9eab0ee8fa60ba4c98

A novel quantitative 1H NMR (Q-NMR) combined with HPLC-MS method has been proposed for investigating the degradation process of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) components. Through this method, in-situ monitoring of dynamics degradation process of lithospermic acid (LA), one of the popular polyphenolic acids in TCM, was realized under low oxygen condition. Additionally, this methodology was proved to be simple, rapid and specific. Degradation kinetic runs have been carried out to systematically investigate the effects of two key environmental factors, initial pH values and temperatures. Eight main degradation products of LA were detected, seven of which were tentatively structural elucidated with the help of both NMR and LC-MS in this work and salvianolic acid A (Sal A) was the primary degradation product of LA. A possible degradation pathway of LA was proposed, subsequently. The results showed that the degradation of LA followed pseudo-first-order kinetics. The apparent degradation kinetic constants increased as the initial pH value of the phosphate buffer increased. Under the given conditions, the rate constants of overall degradation as a function of temperature obeyed the Arrhenius equation. Our results proved that the Q-NMR combined with HPLC-MS method can be one of the most promising techniques for investigating degradation process of active components in TCM.

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<![CDATA[A Microplate-Based Nonradioactive Protein Synthesis Assay: Application to TRAIL Sensitization by Protein Synthesis Inhibitors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da85ab0ee8fa60b9c212

Non-radioactive assays based on incorporation of puromycin into newly synthesized proteins and subsequent detection using anti-puromycin antibodies have been previously reported and well-validated. To develop a moderate- to high-throughput assay, an adaptation is here described wherein cells are puromycin-labeled followed by simultaneously probing puromycin-labeled proteins and a reference protein in situ. Detection using a pair of near IR-labeled secondary antibodies (InCell western, ICW format) allows quantitative analysis of protein synthesis in 384-well plates. After optimization, ICW results were compared to western blot analysis using cycloheximide as a model protein synthesis inhibitor and showed comparable results. The method was then applied to several protein synthesis inhibitors and revealed good correlation between potency as protein synthesis inhibitors to their ability to sensitize TRAIL-resistant renal carcinoma cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis.

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<![CDATA[Regulation of neural stem cell proliferation and differentiation by Kinesin family member 2a]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5dab0ee8fa60be0455

In the developing neocortex, cells in the ventricular/subventricular zone are largely multipotent neural stem cells and neural progenitor cells. These cells undergo self-renewal at the early stage of embryonic development to amplify the progenitor pool and subsequently differentiate into neurons. It is thus of considerable interest to investigate mechanisms controlling the switch from neural stem cells or neural progenitor cells to neurons. Here, we present evidence that Kif2a, a member of the Kinesin-13 family, plays a role in regulating the proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells or neural progenitor cells at embryonic day 13.5. Silencing Kif2a by use of in utero electroporation of Kif2a shRNA reduced neural stem cells proliferation or self-renewal but increased neuronal differentiation. We further found that knockdown of Kif2a decreased the protein level of β-catenin, which is a critical molecule for neocortical neurogenesis. Together, these results reveal an important function of Kif2a in embryonic neocortical neurogenesis.

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<![CDATA[Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Circulating S100B Blood Levels in Schizophrenia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da39ab0ee8fa60b871c1

S100B is a calcium-binding protein secreted in central nervous system from astrocytes and other glia cells. High blood S100B levels have been linked to brain damage and psychiatric disorders. S100B levels have been reported to be higher in schizophrenics than healthy controls. To quantify the relationship between S100B blood levels and schizophrenia a systematic literature review of case-control studies published on this topic within July 3rd 2014 was carried out using three bibliographic databases: Medline, Scopus and Web of Science. Studies reporting mean and standard deviation of S100B blood levels both in cases and controls were included in the meta-analysis. The meta-Mean Ratio (mMR) of S100B blood levels in cases compared to controls was used as a measure of effect along with its 95% Confidence Intervals (CI). 20 studies were included totaling for 994 cases and 785 controls. Schizophrenia patients showed 76% higher S100B blood levels than controls with mMR = 1.76 95% CI: 1.44–2.15. No difference could be found between drug-free patients with mMR = 1.84 95%CI: 1.24–2.74 and patients on antipsychotic medication with mMR = 1.75 95% CI: 1.41–2.16). Similarly, ethnicity and stage of disease didn't affect results. Although S100B could be regarded as a possible biomarker of schizophrenia, limitations should be accounted when interpreting results, especially because of the high heterogeneity that remained >70%, even after carrying out subgroups analyses. These results point out that approaches based on traditional categorical diagnoses may be too restrictive and new approaches based on the characterization of new complex phenotypes should be considered.

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