1,019 research outputs found

    Kinetics of in situ epoxidation of hemp oil under heterogeneous reaction conditions: an overview with preliminary results

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    Epoxidised hemp oil (EHO) was synthesised in the laboratory by reacting hemp oil (HO) with peroxyacetic acid (PA) in a batch reactor. The peroxyacetic acid was formed in situ from acetic acid (AA) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in the presence on an acidic ion exchange resin (Amberlite IR-120) as catalyst. The overall reaction can be thought of as having two components. The first being epoxidation, a homogenous reaction which occurs at the interface of the aqueous phase and the HO phase while the second is the formation of PA, a heterogeneous reaction at the interface of the aqueous phase and the solid catalyst phase. The overall reaction kinetics were modelled by applying the Langmuir-Hinshelwood-Hougen-Watson (LHHW) model to heterogeneous reactions. Of the steps in the reaction it is postulated that the formation of PA is rate limiting, while the epoxidation occurs comparatively fast negating the requirement for an additional homogenous model. The diffusion steps in the reaction are also ignored in the kinetic model as it is believed that their effects are negligible due to intensive mixing in the batch reactor. Experiments were used to determine the optimal molar ratios of reactants and it was found that at these conditions 88% conversion of double bonds to epoxy groups occurred. The kinetic model was found to be in good agreement with the experimental results

    Human long intrinsically disordered protein regions are frequent targets of positive selection

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    Intrinsically disordered regions occur frequently in proteins and are characterized by a lack of a well-defined three-dimensional structure. Although these regions do not show a higher-order of structural organization, they are known to be functionally important. Disordered regions are rapidly evolving, largely attributed to relaxed purifying selection and an increased role of genetic drift. It has also been suggested that positive selection might contribute to their rapid diversification. However, for our own species it is currently unknown whether positive selection has played a role during the evolution of these protein regions. Here we address this question by investigating the evolutionary pattern of more than 6,600 human proteins with intrinsically disordered regions and their ordered counterparts. Our comparative approach with data from more than 90 mammalian genomes uses a-priori knowledge of disordered protein regions and we show that this increases the power to detect positive selection by an order of magnitude. We can confirm that human intrinsically disordered regions evolve more rapidly, not only within humans but also across the entire mammalian phylogeny. They have, however, experienced substantial evolutionary constraint, hinting at their fundamental functional importance. We find compelling evidence that disordered protein regions are frequent targets of positive selection and estimate that the relative rate of adaptive substitutions differs 4-fold between disordered and ordered protein regions in humans. Our results suggest that disordered protein regions are important targets of genetic innovation and that the contribution of positive selection in these regions is more pronounced than in other protein parts

    Gas gangrene and osteomyelitis of the foot in a diabetic patient treated with tea tree oil

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    Diabetic foot wounds represent a class of chronic non-healing wounds that can lead to the development of soft tissue infections and osteomyelitis. We reviewed the case of a 44-year-old female with a diabetic foot wound who developed gas gangrene while treating her wound with tea tree oil, a naturally derived antibiotic agent. This case report includes images that represent clinical examination and x-ray findings of a patient who required broad-spectrum antibiotics and emergent surgical consultation. Emergency Department (ED) detection of these complications may prevent loss of life or limb in these patients

    A simple algorithm for quantifying DNA methylation levels on multiple independent CpG sites in bisulfite genomic sequencing electropherograms

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    DNA methylation at cytosines is a widely studied epigenetic modification. Methylation is commonly detected using bisulfite modification of DNA followed by PCR and additional techniques such as restriction digestion or sequencing. These additional techniques are either laborious, require specialized equipment, or are not quantitative. Here we describe a simple algorithm that yields quantitative results from analysis of conventional four-dye-trace sequencing. We call this method Mquant and we compare it with the established laboratory method of combined bisulfite restriction assay (COBRA). This analysis of sequencing electropherograms provides a simple, easily applied method to quantify DNA methylation at specific CpG sites

    Two approaches to testing general relativity in the strong-field regime

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    Observations of compact objects in the electromagnetic spectrum and the detection of gravitational waves from them can lead to quantitative tests of the theory of general relativity in the strong-field regime following two very different approaches. In the first approach, the general relativistic field equations are modified at a fundamental level and the magnitudes of the potential deviations are constrained by comparison with observations. In the second approach, the exterior spacetimes of compact objects are parametrized in a phenomenological way, the various parameters are measured observationally, and the results are finally compared against the general relativistic predictions. In this article, I discuss the current status of both approaches, focusing on the lessons learned from a large number of recent investigations.Comment: To appear in the proceedings of the conference New Developments in Gravit

    The Changing Face of Neolithic and Bronze Age Ireland: A Big Data Approach to the Settlement and Burial Records

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    This paper synthesizes and analyses the spatial and temporal patterns of archaeological sites in Ireland spanning the Neolithic period and the Bronze Age transition (4300-1900 cal BC). Included are a large number of unpublished, newly discovered sites excavated through development-led projects. Data were also sourced from national archives, published excavation reports and on-line databases. Software tools were developed to deal with the varying nature and resolution of these datasets, allowing chronology to be considered in the analysis to a degree that is usually not possible in prehistoric studies. Summed radiocarbon probabilities are used to examine the dataset using context- and sample-sensitive approaches. Visualisations of spatial and chronological data illustrate the expansion of Early Neolithic settlement, followed by an apparent attenuation of all settlement activity. The Late Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods are characterised by a resurgence and diversification of activity. To assess the significance of these observations, Irish radiocarbon data are compared to an idealized model derived from North American data. Even after taking various considerations into account, human population increases can be suggested to have occurred during the Early and Late Neolithic periods. Gaps and biases in the data are discussed and priorities for future work are identified

    Ring closing reaction in diarylethene captured by femtosecond electron crystallography

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    The photoinduced ring-closing reaction in diarylethene, which serves as a model system for understanding reactive crossings through conical intersections, was directly observed with atomic resolution using femtosecond electron diffraction. Complementary ab initio calculations were also performed. Immediately following photoexcitation, subpicosecond structural changes associated with the formation of an open-ring excited-state intermediate were resolved. The key motion is the rotation of the thiophene rings, which significantly decreases the distance between the reactive carbon atoms prior to ring closing. Subsequently, on the few picosecond time scale, localized torsional motions of the carbon atoms lead to the formation of the closed-ring photoproduct. These direct observations of the molecular motions driving an organic chemical reaction were only made possible through the development of an ultrabright electron source to capture the atomic motions within the limited number of sampling frames and the low data acquisition rate dictated by the intrinsically poor thermal conductivity and limited photoreversibility of organic materials

    Impacts of local human activities on the Antarctic environment

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    We review the scientific literature, especially from the past decade, on the impacts of human activities on the Antarctic environment. A range of impacts has been identified at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. Chemical contamination and sewage disposal on the continent have been found to be long-lived. Contemporary sewage management practices at many coastal stations are insufficient to prevent local contamination but no introduction of non-indigenous organisms through this route has yet been demonstrated. Human activities, particularly construction and transport, have led to disturbances of flora and fauna. A small number of non-indigenous plant and animal species has become established, mostly on the northern Antarctic Peninsula and southern archipelagos of the Scotia Arc. There is little indication of recovery of overexploited fish stocks, and ramifications of fishing activity oil bycatch species and the ecosystem could also be far-reaching. The Antarctic Treaty System and its instruments, in particular the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources and the Environmental Protocol, provide a framework within which management of human activities take place. In the face of the continuing expansion of human activities in Antarctica, a more effective implementation of a wide range of measures is essential, in order to ensure comprehensive protection of the Antarctic environment, including its intrinsic, wilderness and scientific values which remains a fundamental principle of the Antarctic Treaty System. These measures include effective environmental impact assessments, long-term monitoring, mitigation measures for non-indigenous species, ecosystem-based management of living resources, and increased regulation of National Antarctic Programmes and tourism activities

    Belle II Technical Design Report

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    The Belle detector at the KEKB electron-positron collider has collected almost 1 billion Y(4S) events in its decade of operation. Super-KEKB, an upgrade of KEKB is under construction, to increase the luminosity by two orders of magnitude during a three-year shutdown, with an ultimate goal of 8E35 /cm^2 /s luminosity. To exploit the increased luminosity, an upgrade of the Belle detector has been proposed. A new international collaboration Belle-II, is being formed. The Technical Design Report presents physics motivation, basic methods of the accelerator upgrade, as well as key improvements of the detector.Comment: Edited by: Z. Dole\v{z}al and S. Un

    Increased S-nitrosylation and proteasomal degradation of caspase-3 during infection contribute to the persistence of adherent invasive escherichia coli (AIEC) in immune cells

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    Adherent invasive Escherichia coli (AIEC) have been implicated as a causative agent of Crohn's disease (CD) due to their isolation from the intestines of CD sufferers and their ability to persist in macrophages inducing granulomas. The rapid intracellular multiplication of AIEC sets it apart from other enteric pathogens such as Salmonella Typhimurium which after limited replication induce programmed cell death (PCD). Understanding the response of infected cells to the increased AIEC bacterial load and associated metabolic stress may offer insights into AIEC pathogenesis and its association with CD. Here we show that AIEC persistence within macrophages and dendritic cells is facilitated by increased proteasomal degradation of caspase-3. In addition S-nitrosylation of pro- and active forms of caspase-3, which can inhibit the enzymes activity, is increased in AIEC infected macrophages. This S-nitrosylated caspase-3 was seen to accumulate upon inhibition of the proteasome indicating an additional role for S-nitrosylation in inducing caspase-3 degradation in a manner independent of ubiquitination. In addition to the autophagic genetic defects that are linked to CD, this delay in apoptosis mediated in AIEC infected cells through increased degradation of caspase-3, may be an essential factor in its prolonged persistence in CD patients
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