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Selected Abstracts

Factors Dominating Adhesion of NaCl onto Potato Chips

V.E. Buck
ABSTRACT:, In this study, the adhesion factors examined were time between frying and coating, surface oil content, chip temperature, oil composition, NaCl size, NaCl shape, and electrostatic coating. Three different surface oil content potato chips, high, low, and no, were produced. Oils used were soybean, olive, corn, peanut, and coconut. After frying, chips were coated immediately, after 1 d, and after 1 mo. NaCl crystals of 5 different particle sizes (24.7, 123, 259, 291, and 388 ,m) were coated both electrostatically and nonelectrostatically. Adhesion of cubic, dendritic, and flake crystals was examined. Chips were coated at different temperatures. Chips with high surface oil had the highest adhesion of salt, making surface oil content the most important factor. Decreasing chip temperature decreased surface oil and adhesion. Increasing time between frying and coating reduced adhesion for low surface oil chips, but did not affect high and no surface oil chips. Changing oil composition did not affect adhesion. Increasing salt size decreased adhesion. Salt size had a greater effect on chips with lower surface oil content. When there were significant differences, cubic crystals gave the best adhesion followed by flake crystals then dendritic crystals. For high and low surface oil chips, electrostatic coating did not change adhesion of small size crystals but decreased adhesion of large salts. For no surface oil content chips, electrostatic coating improved adhesion for small salt sizes but did not affect adhesion of large crystals. [source]

Complexes of glutathione with heavy metal ions as a new biochemical marker of aquatic environment pollution,

Jiri Baloun
Abstract Reduced glutathione (GSH) plays a number of key roles in many biochemical pathways. This peptide is highly reactive and forms conjugates with other molecules via its sulfhydryl moiety. The interactions of the common heavy metal pollutant Cd(II) with GSH were determined by using the Brdicka reaction to evaluate whether this technique would be suitable as a biomarker. After GSH interaction with Cd(II) ions, two characteristic changes in the measured voltammogram were observed: Cat2 signal height decreased, and a new signal called P1 was found. The observed signal probably relates to the formation of a GSH,heavy metal ion complex adsorbed on the surface of the working electrode. When the interaction of GSH with cisplatin was studied, the same characteristic changes in the voltammogram were observed, which confirmed our hypothesis. Moreover, changes in the height of P1 and Cat2 signals with increasing time of GSH interaction with Cd(II) ions and/or cisplatin were also investigated. Cat2 peak height decreased proportionally with increasing time of interaction. This decrease can be explained by shielding of free sulfhydryl moiety by heavy metal ions, so it cannot catalyze the evolution of hydrogen from the supporting electrolyte. In addition, we found that, with increasing time of the interaction, the P1 signal was enhanced and shifted to more positive potentials for both Cd(II) ions and cisplatin. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2010;29:497,500. © 2009 SETAC [source]

Epilepsy and Recreational Scuba Diving: An Absolute Contraindication or Can There Be Exceptions?

EPILEPSIA, Issue 5 2007
A Call for Discussion
Summary:, Recreational scuba diving is a popular sport, and people with epilepsy often ask physicians whether they may engage in diving. Scuba diving is not, however, without risk for anyone; apart from the risk of drowning, the main physiological problems, caused by exposure to gases at depth, are decompression illness, oxygen toxicity, and nitrogen narcosis. In the United Kingdom, the Sport Diving Medical Committee advises that, to dive, someone with epilepsy must be seizure free and off medication for at least 5 years. The reasons for this are largely theoretical. We review the available evidence in the medical literature and diving websites. The risk of seizures recurring decreases with increasing time in remission, but the risk is never completely abolished. We suggest that people with epilepsy who wish to engage in diving, and the physicians who certify fitness to dive, should be provided with all the available evidence. Those who have been entirely seizure-free on stable antiepileptic drug therapy for at least 4 years, who are not taking sedative antiepileptic drugs and who are able to understand the risks, should then be able to consider diving to shallow depths, provided both they and their diving buddy have fully understood the risks. [source]

Differentiation of human ameloblast-lineage cells in vitro

Qiaomei Yan
Previous studies have shown that ameloblast-like cells can be selectively cultured from the enamel organ in a serum-free medium with low calcium concentrations. The purpose of this study was to further characterize this culture system to identify differentiated ameloblast-lineage cells. Tooth organs from 19,24-wk-old fetal cadavers were either frozen and cryosectioned for immunostaining, or digested in collagenase/dispase for cell culture. The cells were grown in keratinocyte media supplemented with 0.05 mM calcium, and characterized by morphology and immunofluorescence. Epithelial clones with two distinct morphologies, including smaller cobblestone-shaped cells and larger (5,15 times in size) rounded cells, began to form between day 8 and day 12 after culture. The cobblestone-shaped cells continued to proliferate in culture, while the larger cells proliferated slowly or not at all. These larger cells formed filopodia, usually had two or more nuclei and a radiating cytoplasm at the cell margin, and were more abundant with increasing time in culture. Both cell types stained for cytokeratin 14, and the larger cells appeared more differentiated, showing stronger staining for amelogenin and ameloblastin. Immunofluorescence of the tooth bud sections showed staining for these matrix proteins as ameloblasts differentiated from the inner enamel epithelium. These results show the successful culture of differentiating ameloblast-lineage cells, and lay a foundation for use of these cells to further understand ameloblast biology with application to tooth enamel tissue engineering. [source]

Effects of floods versus low flows on invertebrates in a New Zealand gravel-bed river

Summary 1. Floods and low flows are hydrological events that influence river ecosystems, but few studies have compared their relative importance in structuring invertebrate communities. Invertebrates were sampled in riffles and runs at eight sites along 40 km of a New Zealand gravel-bed river every 1,3 months over 2.5 years, during which time a number of large flood and low flow events occurred. Flows were high in winter and spring, and low in summer and autumn. Four flow-related variables were calculated from hydrological data: flow on the day of sampling (Qsample), maximum and minimum flow between successive samples (Qmax and Qmin, respectively), and the number of days since the last bed-moving flood (Ndays). 2. The invertebrate community was summarised by relative densities of the 19 most abundant taxa and four biotic metrics [total abundance, taxon richness, the number of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera and Trichoptera taxa (i.e. EPT richness), and per cent EPT]. Invertebrate density fluctuated greatly, and was high in summer and autumn, and low during winter and spring. Stepwise multiple regression (SMR) analysis was used to investigate relationships between the invertebrate community and season, flow, habitat and water temperature. 3. Seasonal variables were included in almost 50% of the SMR models, while flow-related variables were included in >75% of models. Densities of many taxa were negatively correlated to Qmin and Qmax, and positively correlated to Ndays, suggesting that while high flows reduced invertebrate densities, densities recovered with increasing time following a flood. Although season and flow were confounded in this study, many of the taxa analysed display little seasonal variation in abundance, suggesting that flow-related variables were more important in structuring communities than seasonal changes in density associated with life-cycles. 4. Five discrete flood and low flow events were identified and changes to invertebrate communities before and after these events examined. Invertebrate densities decreased more commonly after floods than after low flows, and there was a significant positive relationship between the number of taxa showing reductions in density and flood magnitude. Densities of most invertebrates either remained unchanged, or increased after low flow events, except for four taxa whose densities declined after a very long period (up to 9 months) of low flow. This decline was attributed to autogenic sloughing of thick periphyton communities and subsequent loss of habitat for these taxa. 5. Invertebrate communities changed more after floods and the degree of change was proportional to flood magnitude. Community similarity increased with increasing time since the last disturbance, suggesting that the longer stable flows lasted, the less the community changed. These results suggest that invertebrate communities in the Waipara River were controlled by both floods and low flows, but that the relative effects of floods were greater than even extended periods of extreme low flow. 6. Hydraulic conditions in riffles and runs were measured throughout the study. Riffles had consistently faster velocities, but were shallower and narrower than runs at all measured flows. Invertebrate density in riffles was expressed as a percentage of total density and regressed against the flow-related variables to see whether invertebrate locations changed according to flow. Significant negative relationships were observed between the per cent density of common taxa in riffles and Qsample, Qmax and Qmin. This result suggests either that these animals actively drifted into areas of faster velocity during low flows, or that their densities within riffles increased as the width of these habitats declined. [source]

Infiltration into effluent irrigation-induced repellent soils and the dependence of repellency on ambient relative humidity

R. Wallach
Abstract As a result of water scarcity and as a means of wastewater disposal, reuse of treated sewage effluent in irrigated agriculture is practiced worldwide. Among the detrimental aspects of wastewater re-use in agriculture is the possibility that soils will be rendered water repellent. The current study focuses on time dependent variation of infiltration rate in effluent-induced repellent soils, and time dependent variation in water repellency at different levels of ambient relative humidity (RH). The shape of the cumulative infiltration curve of water was found to depend on the repellency degree (concave for wettable and slightly repellent soils, convex for severely repellent soil). Compared with infiltration rates in the wettable and slightly repellent soils, infiltration rates in the severely repellent soil were very low at the beginning and then increased. When the liquid-vapor surface tension was reduced by means of ethanol addition to the infiltrating solution, the cumulative infiltration curve of the severely repellent soil also became concave. Repellency degree (as measured by WDPT) was found to be essentially constant over a large range of ambient RH values (<10 , ,81%), and to increase sharply at values above 90%. The relative increase in water drop penetration time (WDPT) at high RH was greatest for the least repellent soil (10-fold increase in WDPT), and least for the most repellent soil (2-fold increase in WDPT). At RH > 90%, the time to reach equilibrium with respect to WDPT and soil moisture content was similar. In contrast, at values of ambient RH ranging from < 10 to 81%, WDPT was invariant over the course of reaching equilibrium with respect to moisture content. However, after reaching moisture content equilibrium, WDPT declined with increasing time. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Emotional availability: Differential predictions to infant attachment and kindergarten adjustment based on observation time and context

Zeynep Biringen
Two studies are used to illustrate the importance of context and length of time in the use of the Emotional Availability Scales (EAS) to predict aspects of child development. The purpose of the first study was to examine whether prediction of attachment by the EAS is better with increasing amounts of time. We scored emotional availability (EA) every 15 min for a total of 2 hr, with correlations showing an increasingly stronger relation with attachment with increasing time. In addition, difference scores were calculated between the first and the last 15 min for each EAS dimension. The difference score was significantly higher for the insecure group, suggesting that we need more observation time for the prediction of insecure attachments than is the case for the prediction of secure attachments. The second study investigated whether EA is differentially predictive based on context. We explored play contexts versus reunion contexts. We also explored the relations with other indices of child development. Results revealed that some dimensions of EA (e.g., maternal nonhostility) are difficult to detect outside of a stress context. Maternal nonhostility during the reunion (but not the play situation) was correlated with child aggression in the kindergarten classroom. In addition, most dimensions of EA assessed in the reunion context were better predictors of teacher reports of kindergarten adjustment than was EA assessed in the play situation. [source]

Detection of Nucleic Acids Using Enzyme-Catalyzed Template-Guided Deposition of Polyaniline,

Q. Gao
An electrochemical procedure for the detection of nucleic acids is realized by utilizing polyaniline as a signal generator for the transduction of nucleic acid hybridization events (see figure). The unique combination of enzymatic amplification and template-guided deposition can be used in conjunction with other detection techniques, and the sensitivity of the biosensor increases with increasing time. [source]

Ultraviolet absorbance of the mucus of a tropical damselfish: effects of ontogeny, captivity and disease

J. P. Zamzow
The ultraviolet (UV) absorbance of the mucus of a Great Barrier Reef damselfish Pomacentrus amboinensis was investigated with regard to ontogeny and time spent in captivity. The UV absorbance of P. amboinensis mucus increased with fish size and decreased with time spent in captivity. The wavelength of maximum absorbance of the mucus did not change with fish size, but shifted towards shorter wavelengths with increasing time spent in captivity. The UV absorbance of the mucus of fish with ,fin rot' was compared to that of similar healthy individuals, and a significant decrease in UV absorbance of unhealthy fish mucus was detected; no wavelength shifting occurred. Pomacentrus amboinensis appears to sequester mycosporine-like amino acids from the diet in order to protect epithelial tissues from UV damage, and decreases in UV absorbance in captive fish were probably due to insufficient dietary availability. [source]

Monitoring of unfolding of metallo-proteins by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry

Vincenzo Cunsolo
Abstract An electrospray ionisation (ESI) mass spectrometric method for the determination of the equilibrium constant and free energy (,G) of protein unfolding was used to monitor the denaturation process at different pH of three metallo-proteins, i.e. wild-type copper azurin, zinc azurin and wild-type amicyanin. The time course of the unfolding process was followed by dissolving the proteins under denaturing conditions (methanol,water (1 : 1, v/v)) at different pH (2.5, 3.0, 3.5) and recording ESI spectra at time intervals. The spectra showed two series of peaks, corresponding to the native holo-protein and the unfolded apo-protein. From the intensity ratio of these two series of peaks at increasing time and at equilibrium, the equilibrium constants for the unfolding process for the three proteins could be determined. From these equilibrium constants a ,G° derivation was attempted. The ,G° values obtained decrease with decrease in pH, in agreement with the expected reduction of conformational stability of proteins at lower pH. The results obtained confirm that ESI-MS can be used for monitoring of unfolding process and to derive quantitative thermodynamic data. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Hypocretin-1 Dose-Dependently Modulates Maternal Behaviour in Mice

K. L. D'Anna
Increases in neuronal activity of hypocretin (HCRT), a peptide involved in arousal, and in HCRT-1 receptor mRNA expression have recently been identified in association with lactation. HCRT is released within brain regions regulating maternal behaviour and it is possible that increased HCRT neurotransmission during lactation supports maternal care. The present study examined for the first time the behavioural effects of HCRT on lactating mice. At intermediate doses, intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injections of HCRT-1 (0.06 and 0.1 µg) elevated levels of licking and grooming of pups (but not self-grooming) and number of nursing bouts without affecting other behaviours. At the highest dose, HCRT-1 (0.3 µg, i.c.v) delayed latency to nurse, decreased nursing, increased time off nest, and decreased maternal aggression. Intraperitoneal injections of the HCRT-1 receptor antagonist, SB-334867, exhibited a general trend towards increasing time spent low-arched back nursing (P = 0.053) and decreasing licking and grooming of pups while high-arched back nursing (P = 0.052). This suggests that the endogenous release of HCRT, working independently or dependently with other neuromodulators, may be necessary for full maternal behaviour expression. Possible sites of HCRT action in enhancing and impairing maternal care were identified via examinations of c,Fos immunoreactivity in association with i.c.v. HCRT injections. Together, these finding support the idea of HCRT modulating maternal behaviour, with intermediate levels (0.06 and 0.1 µg) supporting (even augmenting) some behaviours, but with levels that are too high (0.3 µg HCRT, i.c.v.), maternal behaviour and aggression are suppressed. [source]

A comparative adsorption study of copper on various industrial solid wastes

AICHE JOURNAL, Issue 10 2004
Archana Agrawal
Abstract The adsorption behavior of Cu on three solid waste materials,sea nodule residue (SNR), fly ash (FA), and red mud (RM),was investigated. The effects of various parameters, such as pH of the feed solution, contact time, temperature, adsorbate and adsorbent concentration, and particle size of the adsorbent, were studied for optimization of the process parameters. Adsorption of copper increased with increasing time, temperature, pH, and adsorbate concentration, and decreased with increasing initial copper concentration. The equilibrium data fit well with the Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms in the case of SNR, but not on RM and FA, because there was no appreciable effect of temperature on the metal removal on these two adsorbents. The adsorption of copper on SNR followed first-order kinetics involving the surface complex formation mechanism on the charged surface. Under the optimized conditions the adsorption capacity for copper was found to be 19.65 mg/g of SNR, 1.98 mg/g of FA, and 2.28 mg/g of RM. Thus the adsorption capacity of SNR was found to be more than that of activated carbon, thus making it suitable for the treatment of industrial effluents to reduce the level of copper within the permissible limits for its land disposal (3 mg/L) according to ISI guidelines. © 2004 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J 50: 2430,2438, 2004 [source]

,-Irradiation of ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylene: Electron paramagnetic resonance and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging studies of the mechanism of subsurface oxidation

Todd M. Alam
Abstract The shelf aging of irradiated ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) causes subsurface oxidation, which leads to failure in UHMWPE orthopedic components, yet the mechanisms causing subsurface oxidation remain unclear. The shelf aging of ,-irradiated UHMWPE bars has been studied with electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging and with microtoming and Fourier transform infrared microscopy. The bars initially contained only allyl radicals, and upon air exposure, a surface layer of peroxyl radicals formed through the reaction of allyl radicals with oxygen. Importantly, a band of low radical intensity just beneath the peroxyl layer became apparent. NMR imaging showed a zone of altered proton relaxation in this zone. With increasing time, surface peroxyl radicals persisted in comparison with the interior allyl radicals, although oxygen did not appear to penetrate any more deeply into the bar. The area of maximal oxidation and mechanical disruption, measured after 3 years, was at the interface between the zone of exterior peroxyl radicals and the zone of low radical intensity. We present a mechanism involving the intermediacy of sterically strained reactive dialkyl peroxides at this interface to explain subsurface oxidation. We also demonstrate that EPR and NMR imaging provides information that could potentially be used to identify subsurface oxidized UHMWPE components before failure. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem 42: 5929,5941, 2004 [source]


D. R. Edwards
ABSTRACT: Grazed pastures represent a potential source of non-point pollution. In comparison to other nonpoint sources (e.g., row-cropped lands), relatively little information exists regarding possible magnitudes of pollution from grazed pasture; how that pollution is affected by weather, soil, management and other variables; and how the pollution can be minimized. The objective of this study was to assess how the quality of runoff from fescue plots is influenced by duration of cattle manure application (4,12 weeks) and manure application strategy (none, weekly application of 1.4 kg/plot, and monthly application at 5.6 kg/plot). Additional analyses were performed to relate runoff quality to the timing of sample collection. The study was conducted at the University of Kentucky Maine Chance Agricultural Experiment Station north of Lexington. Plots (2.4 m wide by 6.1 m long) were constructed and established in Kentucky 31 fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) to represent pasture. Grazing was simulated by application of beef cattle manure to the plots. Runoff was generated by applying simulated rainfall approximately 4, S and 12 weeks following initiation of manure application. Runoff samples were collected and analyzed according to standard methods for nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and fecal coliforms (FC). Runoff concentrations of N and P from manure-treated plots were low and generally not consistently different from control plot concentrations or related to manure application strategy. Runoff FC concentrations from manure-treated plots were higher than from control plot concentrations. Runoff concentrations of ammonia N, total Kjeldahl N, ortho-P and FC decreased approximately exponentially in response to increasing time of sample collection. These findings suggest that manure deposition on well-managed pasture at the rates used in this study might have a negligible impact on nutrient content of runoff. [source]

Microbiological, chemical and sensory changes of whole and filleted Mediterranean aquacultured sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) stored in ice

Dimitra Taliadourou
Abstract The effect of filleting on the microbiological, chemical and sensory properties of aquacultured sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) stored in ice was studied. Pseudomonads, H2S-producing bacteria (including Shewanella putrefaciens) and Brochothrix thermosphacta were the dominant bacteria at the end of the 16 day storage period in ice for both whole ungutted and filleted sea bass. Enterobacteriaceae were also found in the spoilage microflora of whole ungutted and filleted sea bass, but their counts were always lower than those of pseudomonads, H2S-producing bacteria (including S putrefaciens) and B thermosphacta. Total viable counts for whole ungutted sea bass were always lower than those for filleted sea bass samples. Of the chemical indicators of spoilage, TMA (trimethylamine) values of whole ungutted sea bass increased very slowly, whereas significantly higher values were obtained for filleted samples, with respective values of 0.253 and 1.515 mg N per 100 g muscle being reached at the end of their shelf-life (days 13 and 9 respectively). TVB-N (total volatile basic nitrogen) values showed a slight increase for whole ungutted sea bass during storage, reaching a value of 26.77 mg N per 100 g muscle (day 13), whereas for filleted fish a corresponding value of 26.88 mg N per 100 g muscle was recorded (day 9). TBA (thiobarbituric acid) values increased slowly for whole ungutted and filleted sea bass samples throughout the entire storage period, reaching final values of 4.48 (day 13) and 13.84 (day 9) mg malonaldehyde kg,1 respectively. Sensory assessment of raw fish using the EC freshness scale gave a grade E for up to 5 days for whole ungutted sea bass, a grade A for a further 4 days and a grade B for an additional 4 days, after which sea bass was graded as C (unfit). Overall acceptability scores for odour, taste and texture of cooked whole ungutted and filleted sea bass decreased with increasing time of storage. The results of this study indicate that the shelf-life of sea bass stored in ice, as determined by overall acceptability sensory scores and microbiological data, is 8,9 days for filleted and 12,13 days for whole ungutted fish. Copyright © 2003 Society of Chemical Industry [source]

Long-term post-fire changes in the northeastern boreal forest of Quebec

Louis De Grandpré
Abstract. Natural dynamics in the boreal forest is influenced by disturbances. Fire recurrence affects community development and landscape diversity. Forest development was studied in the northeastern boreal forest of Quebec. The objective was to describe succession following fire and to assess the factors related to the changes in forest composition and structure. The study area is located in northeastern Quebec, 50 km north of Baie-Comeau. We used the forest inventory data gathered by the Ministère des Ressources naturelles du Québec (MRNQ). In circular plots of 400 m2, the diameter at breast height (DBH) of all stems of tree species greater than 10 cm was recorded and in 40 m2 subplots, stems smaller than 10 cm were measured. A total of 380 plots were sampled in an area of 6000 km2. The fire history reconstruction was done based on historical maps, old aerial photographs and field sampling. A time-since-fire class, a deposit type, slope, slope aspect and altitude were attributed to each plot. Each plot was also described according to species richness and size structure characteristics. Traces of recent disturbance were also recorded in each plot. Changes in forest composition were described using ordination analyses (NMDS and CCA) and correlated with the explanatory variables. Two successional pathways were observed in the area and characterized by the early dominance of intolerant hardwood species or Picea mariana. With time elapsed since the last fire, composition converged towards either Picea mariana, Abies balsamea or a mixture of both species and the size structure of the coniferous dominated stands got more irregular. The environmental conditions varied between stands and explained part of the variability in composition. Their effect tended to decrease with increasing time elapsed since fire, as canopy composition was getting more similar. Gaps may be important to control forest dynamics in old successional communities. [source]

Mechanochemical copolymerization of poly(vinyl chloride) with methyl methylacrylate in an open mill machine

Peixin He
Mechanical degradation of poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC) and mechanochemical copolymerization in poly(vinyl chloride)/methyl methylacrylate (PVC/MMA) systems were studied in an open mill machine. The effects of the mastication temperature, mastication time, and additives (oxygen, THF, or hydroquinone) on the mechanical degradation of PVC were investigated. The molecular weight of PVC decreased with increasing mastication time, and the efficiency of the mechanodegradation of PVC was lowered with increasing mastication temperature. The effects of the ratio of PVC to MMA, thin-passage time, and initiator on mechanochemical copolymerization also were studied. The experimental results indicated that the degree of copolymerization increased with increasing thin-passage times up to 45 times and then remained constant. There was a maximum degree of copolymerization at a ratio of 0.22 g/mL (PVC/MMA), and the efficiency of copolymerization always decreased with increasing time. The maximum degree and efficiency of copolymerization were 5.8 and 89%, respectively. The poly(vinyl chloride- co -methyl methylacrylate) copolymer can further improve the interfacial adhesion of PVC and PMMA. Thus it improves the mechanical properties of the PVC/CPE blend more effectively than pure PMMA. J. VINYL. ADDIT. TECHNOL. 12:42,48, 2006. © 2006 Society of Plastics Engineers. [source]

EBSD investigation of intergranular corrosion attack on low interstitial stainless steel

T. Kuníková
Abstract Grain boundary effect on corrosion behaviour of low interstitial AISI 316LN austenitic stainless steel after homogenization and heat treatment at 700 and 800°C was investigated by means of Electron Backscattered Diffraction (EBSD) technique. Rapid oxalic acid etch test (ASTM A262- practice A) was used to determine steel susceptibility to intergranular corrosion. An attempt to quantify oxalic acid etch test results was also made. Beneficial effect of low carbon and nitrogen content on grain boundary precipitation and corrosion was observed. No changes neither in grain orientations nor in grain boundary types between sensitised and non-sensitised steel states using orientation measurements were recorded. Twin boundaries were found in all samples with highest amount and only small occurrence changes. CSL categorizations showed only little increase of special boundary fractions with increasing time and temperature of heat treatment. Irrespective to annealing conditions a continued network of random boundaries was retained. Additionally, based on misorientation measurement of 50 grooved grain boundaries, a tendency for preferred attack of high angle boundaries (30,55°) was noted. [source]

Systemic lupus erythematosus prevalence in the U.K.: methodological issues when using the General Practice Research Database to estimate frequency of chronic relapsing-remitting disease,

A. L. Nightingale BSc (Hons)
Abstract Purpose The purpose of this study was to calculate the prevalence of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) between 1992 and 1998 using the General Practice Research Database (GPRD) Methods We identified all individuals who had contributed at least 3 years of data to the GPRD and who had a diagnosis of SLE with supporting evidence of their diagnosis. We calculated the annual age- and sex-specific prevalence of SLE. Additionally, we stratified the prevalence by years of data contributed to the GRPD. Results In males the point estimate of the prevalence of SLE increased from 7.5/100,000 (CI95 6.3, 8.8) to 10.1/100,000 (CI95 7.8, 12.2) but this rise was not statistically significant. However, prevalence appeared to increase significantly amongst females from 42.6/100,000 (CI95 39.6, 45.6) in 1992 to 70.8/100,000 (CI95 65.1, 76.6) in 1998. This increase was mainly amongst women aged 50,79 and in those contributing more than 5 years of data and could not be explained by increasing incidence of SLE or decreasing mortality during the study period. Conclusions We found an increasing prevalence of SLE that could not be explained by increasing incidence or decreasing mortality. This is almost certainly an artefact caused by the increased likelihood of detecting or confirming cases of chronic relapsing-remitting diseases with increasing time contributed to the GPRD. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Mass transfer from theophylline hydrogels of a -PVA/H2O and a -PVA/NaCl/H2O system on heating

Sharif M. Shaheen
Abstract Theophylline hydrogels of atactic -poly(vinyl alcohol) (a -PVA)/H2O and a -PVA/NaCl/H2O systems were prepared followed by cyclic freezing (,30°C for 16,hr),thawing (at room temperature for 8,hr) and one cycle gelation (at ,20°C for 24,hr) processes, respectively. In order to prepare xerogels (dried hydrogels) of these hydogel systems, an apparently first-order mass transfer phenomenon of water as evaporation was observed for a -PVA/H2O hydrogel system, while heating at 60°C. The rate of evaporation decreased with increasing time in hyperbolic fashion. The total surface area (both lateral and two end surfaces of hydrogel matrix disc) decreased linearly for the first 90,min and thereafter had a tendency towards the steady-state. The total mass flux showed time dependent linear reduction phenomenon, which is a characteristic physical behavior for these hydrogel systems on heat treatment. When NaCl was included in a -PVA/H2O system mass transfer of water followed fourth-order polynomial. But in consideration of a comparative study, sustained mass transfer was found from the hydrogel matrices of a -PVA/H2O/NaCl system (gelation at ,20°C). Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Secondary Apoptosis of Spiral Ganglion Cells Induced by Aminoglycoside: Fas,Fas Ligand Signaling Pathway,

Woo Yong Bae MD
Abstract Objectives/Hypothesis: Hair cell loss results in the secondary loss of spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs), over a period of several weeks. The death of the SGNs themselves results from apoptosis. Previous studies have shown that several molecules are involved in the apoptosis of SGNs that occurred secondary to hair cell loss. However, the precise mechanism of apoptosis of the SGNs remains unclear. The aim of this study was to ascertain the secondary apoptosis of spiral ganglion cells induced by aminoglycoside and to investigate the role of the Fas,FasL signaling pathway using guinea pigs as an experimental animal model. Study Design: Laboratory study using experimental animals. Methods: Guinea pigs weighing 250 to 300 g (n = 21) from 3 to 4 weeks of age were used. Gentamicin (60 ,L) was injected through a cochleostomy site on their left side. At 1 (n = 7), 2 (n = 7), and 3 (n = 7) weeks after gentamicin treatment, their cochleas were obtained from their temporal bone. Hematoxylin and eosin and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick-end labeling staining were performed to observe apoptosis. To investigate the involvement of the Fas,FasL signaling pathway in the secondary apoptosis of SGNs, we performed reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), western blotting, and immunohistochemistry. Results: A progressive loss of spiral ganglion cells with increasing time after gentamicin treatment was observed on light microscopic examination. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick-end labeling staining demonstrated induction of apoptotic cell death in SGNs after gentamicin treatment. Expression of FasL increased over time after gentamicin treatment as determined by RT-PCR and western blotting. On immunohistochemical staining, we observed the localization of FasL in the SGNs. The proapoptotic molecules Bax and Bad were increased, but levels of the antiapoptotic molecule Bcl-2 were decreased at increasing survival times after gentamicin treatment on RT-PCR. The gentamicin-treated group displayed initial activation of caspase-8 and increased the cleavage of caspase-3, caspase-8, and PARP protein in a time-dependent manner. Conclusions: The secondary apoptosis of SGNs could be a result of the apoptotic Fas,FasL signaling pathway. Blocking the Fas,FasL signaling pathway could be considered as a method for preventing secondary degeneration of SGNs, and further studies are needed to confirm this. [source]

Negative fluid-attenuated inversion recovery imaging identifies acute ischemic stroke at 3 hours or less,

Götz Thomalla MD
Objective o evaluate the use of fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) imaging as surrogate marker of lesion age within the first 6 hours of ischemic stroke. Methods e analyzed FLAIR and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) sequences performed within 6 hours of symptom onset in 120 consecutive patients with ischemic stroke with known symptom onset. The visibility of acute ischemic lesions on FLAIR images was judged in two steps (on FLAIR alone and with knowledge of DWI) and compared with DWI. Results egative FLAIR in the case of positive DWI allocated ischemic lesions to a time window 3 hours or less with a high specificity (0.93) and a high positive predictive value (0.94), whereas sensitivity (0.48) and negative predictive value (0.43) were low. Lesion visibility on FLAIR images alone (35.6%) and with knowledge of DWI (62.5%) was lower than on DWI (97.1%). The sensitivity of FLAIR increased with increasing time from symptom onset from 27.0/50.0% , 3 hours to 56.7/93.3% after 3 to 6 hours (FLAIR alone/with knowledge of DWI). Multivariate regression analysis spotted longer time from symptom onset and larger size of the ischemic lesion as independent predictors of lesion visibility on FLAIR images. Interpretation "mismatch" between positive DWI and negative FLAIR allows the identification of patients that are highly likely to be within the 3-hour time window. Within the first 6 hours of stroke, the sensitivity of FLAIR sequences for acute ischemic lesions increases with time from symptom onset elapsing, approximating 100% after 3 to 6 hours. Ann Neurol 2009;65:724,732 [source]

The relationship between soil seed bank, above-ground vegetation and disturbance intensity on old-field successional permanent plots

Michaela Dölle
Abstract Questions: How does disturbance and successional age influence richness, size and composition of the soil seed bank? What is the potential contribution of the soil seed bank to the plant community composition on sites differing in their successional age or disturbance intensity? Location: Experimental Botanical Garden of Göttingen University, central Germany. Methods: Above-ground vegetation and soil seed bank were studied on formerly arable fields in a 36-year-old permanent plot study with five disturbance intensities, ranging from yearly ploughing via mowing to long-term uninterrupted succession. We compared species compositions, seed densities and functional features of the seed bank and above-ground vegetation by using several methods in parallel. Results: The seed bank was mainly composed of early successional species typical of strongly disturbed habitats. The difference between seed bank composition and above-ground vegetation decreased with increasing disturbance intensity. The species of greatest quantitative importance in the seed bank was the non-native forb Solidago canadensis. Conclusions: The ability of a plant community to regenerate from the soil seed bank dramatically decreases with increasing time since abandonment (successional age) and with decreasing disturbance intensity. The present study underlines that plant species typical of grasslands and woodlands are limited by dispersal capacity, owing to low capacity for accumulation of seeds in the soil and the fact that most species do not build up persistent seed banks. Rare and target species were almost absent from the seed bank and will, after local elimination, depend on reintroduction for continuation of their presence. [source]

Cancer risk in patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated with anti,tumor necrosis factor , therapies: Does the risk change with the time since start of treatment?

Johan Askling
Objective To determine the short-term and medium-term risks of cancer in patients receiving anti,tumor necrosis factor , (anti-TNF,) therapies that have proven effective in the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions. Methods By linking together data from the Swedish Biologics Register, Swedish registers of RA, and the Swedish Cancer Register, we identified and analyzed for cancer occurrence a national cohort of 6,366 patients with RA who first started anti-TNF therapy between January 1999 and July 2006. As comparators, we used a national biologics-naive RA cohort (n = 61,160), a cohort of RA patients newly starting methotrexate (n = 5,989), a cohort of RA patients newly starting disease-modifying antirheumatic drug combination therapy (n = 1,838), and the general population of Sweden. Relative risks (RRs) were estimated using Cox regression analyses, examining overall RR as well as RR by time since the first start of anti-TNF therapy, by the duration of active anti-TNF therapy, and by the anti-TNF agent received. Results During 25,693 person-years of followup in 6,366 patients newly starting anti-TNF, 240 first cancers occurred, yielding an RR of 1.00 (95% confidence interval 0.86,1.15) versus the biologics-naive RA cohort, and similar RRs versus the other 2 RA comparators. RRs did not increase with increasing time since the start of anti-TNF therapy, nor with the cumulative duration of active anti-TNF therapy. During the first year following the first treatment start, but not thereafter, dissimilar cancer risks for adalimumab, etanercept, and infliximab were observed. Conclusion During the first 6 years after the start of anti-TNF therapy in routine care, no overall elevation of cancer risk and no increase with followup time were observed. [source]

Bärtierchen und die Kunst des Überlebens.

Von Biodiversität bis Biotechnologie
Abstract Viele kleine Tiere sind häufigen Veränderungen des Mikroklimas ausgesetzt, die ihr Überleben direkt beeinflussen. Solche Veränderungen, wie die De- und Rehydrierung oder das Gefrieren und Wiederauftauen, können mehrmals regelmäßig im Tagesverlauf auftreten oder auch nur gelegentlich im Abstand von Wochen oder Monaten. Als Tönnchen sind Bärtierchen in der Lage, einen langen Zeitraum zu überdauern. Mit zunehmender Zeit in Anhydrobiose nehmen jedoch DNA-Schäden zu, daher kann davon ausgegangen werden, dass aufgrund zellulärer Schädigungen kein unbegrenztes Überdauern möglich ist. Bislang sind die zugrundeliegenden Mechanismen noch weitgehend unklar. Für die Biotechnologie sind Bärtierchen daher ein lohnendes Forschungsfeld, denn für eine Langzeitkonservierung biologischer Materialien gibt es zahlreiche Anwendungsmöglichkeiten. From Biodiversity to Biotechnology: Water bears and the art of survival Many small organisms are frequently exposed to microclimate changes, which directly affect their survival. Such changes, for example dehydration and rehydration or freezing and thawing, can occur several times during a day or at intervals of weeks or months. As a tun, water bears are able to survive long periods of time, however, with increasing time in the anhydrobiotic state DNA damage increases. Therefore, we assume that unlimited survival is not possible, due to cellular damage. Currently the basic mechanisms of this phenomenon are to a large extent unknown. Water bears are an interesting field of research in biotechnology, as many applications for long-term preservation of biological material can be envisaged. [source]

Characterization of an unusual folding pattern in a catalytically active guanine quadruplex structure

BIOPOLYMERS, Issue 6 2006
Pinaki R. Majhi
Abstract In the presence of certain metal ions, DNA and RNA can form guanine quadruplex structures, which have been proposed to play a functional role in a variety of biological processes. An 18-nucleotide DNA oligomer, PS2.M, d(GTG3TAG3CG3T2G2), was previously reported to bind hemin and the resulting complex exhibited peroxidase activity. It was proposed that PS2.M folds unimolecularly into an antiparallel quadruplex with unusual, single-base loops and terminal guanines positioned in adjacent quartets. Here we describe structural and stability properties of PS2.M alone in different buffers and metal ions, using gel electrophoresis, circular dichroism (CD), ultraviolet (UV)-visible spectroscopies, and one-dimensional 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Native gel behavior of PS2.M in the presence of either Na+ or Pb2+ suggests the formation of unimolecular structures but, in the presence of K+, both unimolecular and multistranded structures are observed. In the presence of Pb2+ ions, PS2.M forms a unimolecular quadruplex containing three guanine quartets. CD titrations reveal that binding of Pb2+ ions to PS2.M is stoichiometric, and a single lead cation suffices to fully fold PS2.M. The PS2.M,Na+ system also forms a similar unimolecular quadruplex. In the presence of K+, the PS2.M,K+ system forms mixed species. With increasing time and PS2.M concentration, the contribution of unimolecular species decreases while that of multimolecular species increases, and this behavior is independent of buffer media. These results suggest that the catalytically active form, studied in the presence of K+, may be a parallel, multistranded quadruplex rather than an antiparallel, unimolecular quadruplex. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Biopolymers 82:558,569, 2006 This article was originally published online as an accepted preprint. The "Published Online" date corresponds to the preprint version. You can request a copy of the preprint by emailing the Biopolymers editorial office at [source]

The novel ruthenium,, -linolenic complex [Ru2(aGLA)4Cl] inhibits C6 rat glioma cell proliferation and induces changes in mitochondrial membrane potential, increased reactive oxygen species generation and apoptosis in vitro

Geise Ribeiro
Abstract The present study reports the synthesis of a novel compound with the formula [Ru2(aGLA)4Cl] according to elemental analyses data, referred to as Ru2GLA. The electronic spectra of Ru2GLA is typical of a mixed valent diruthenium(II,III) carboxylate. Ru2GLA was synthesized with the aim of combining and possibly improving the anti-tumour properties of the two active components ruthenium and , -linolenic acid (GLA). The properties of Ru2GLA were tested in C6 rat glioma cells by analysing cell number, viability, lipid droplet formation, apoptosis, cell cycle distribution, mitochondrial membrane potential and reactive oxygen species. Ru2GLA inhibited cell proliferation in a time and concentration dependent manner. Nile Red staining suggested that Ru2GLA enters the cells and ICP-AES elemental analysis found an increase in ruthenium from <0.02 to 425,mg/Kg in treated cells. The sub-G1 apoptotic cell population was increased by Ru2GLA (22,±,5.2%) when analysed by FACS and this was confirmed by Hoechst staining of nuclei. Mitochondrial membrane potential was decreased in the presence of Ru2GLA (44,±,2.3%). In contrast, the cells which maintained a high mitochondrial membrane potential had an increase (18,±,1.5%) in reactive oxygen species generation. Both decreased mitochondrial membrane potential and increased reactive oxygen species generation may be involved in triggering apoptosis in Ru2GLA exposed cells. The EC50 for Ru2GLA decreased with increasing time of exposure from 285,µM at 24,h, 211,µM at 48,h to 81,µM at 72,h. In conclusion, Ru2GLA is a novel drug with antiproliferative properties in C6 glioma cells and is a potential candidate for novel therapies in gliomas. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Children's physical activity and psychological health: the relevance of intensity

Gaynor Parfitt
Abstract Aim: To examine the relevance of physical activity intensity when assessing the relationship between activity and psychological health in 9,10-year-old children. Methods: Activity was assessed by accelerometry in 57 boys (n = 23) and girls (n = 34). Total activity and time spent in very light (,1.9 METs) through to vigorous activity (,6 METs) were recorded. Psychological health inventories to assess anxiety, depression and aspects of self-worth were completed. Results: Time accumulated in very light activity had positive correlations with anxiety and depression (r > 0.30, p < 0.05) and negative correlations with aspects of physical self-worth (r > ,0.29, p < 0.05). Time accumulated in vigorous activity had negative correlations with anxiety and behavioural conduct (r > ,0.30, p < 0.05) and positive correlation with aspects of physical self-worth (r > 0.28, p < 0.05). Children spending over 4 h in very light intensity activity had more negative psychological profiles than children spending under 4 h at this intensity. Conclusion: Aspects of psychological health were negatively correlated with very light intensity activity and positively correlated with vigorous intensity activity. Further research should investigate whether reducing time spent in very light intensity activity and increasing time spent in vigorous intensity activity improves psychological health in children. [source]

Dynamic Comparison of Kaplan,Meier Proportions: Monitoring a Randomized Clinical Trial with a Long-Term Binary Endpoint

BIOMETRICS, Issue 1 2008
Erica Brittain
Summary The approach to early termination for efficacy in a trial where events occur over time but the primary question of interest relates to a long-term binary endpoint is not straightforward. This article considers comparison of treatment groups with Kaplan,Meier (KM) proportions evaluated at increasing times from randomization, at increasing calendar testing times. This strategy is employed to improve the ability to detect important treatment effects and provide critical treatments to patients in a timely manner. This dynamic Kaplan,Meier (DKM) approach is shown to be robust; that is, it produces high power and early termination time across a wide range of circumstances. In contrast, a fixed time KM comparison and the log-rank test are both shown to be more variable in performance. Practical considerations of implementing the DKM method are discussed. [source]