1,295 research outputs found

    The high-pressure behavior of CaMoO4

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    We report a high-pressure study of tetragonal scheelite-type CaMoO4 up to 29 GPa. In order to characterize its high-pressure behavior, we have combined Raman and optical-absorption measurements with density-functional theory calculations. We have found evidence of a pressure-induced phase transition near 15 GPa. Experiments and calculations agree in assigning the high-pressure phase to a monoclinic fergusonite-type structure. The reported results are consistent with previous powder x-ray-diffraction experiments, but are in contradiction with the conclusions obtained from earlier Raman measurements, which support the existence of more than one phase transition in the pressure range covered by our studies. The observed scheelite-fergusonite transition induces significant changes in the electronic band gap and phonon spectrum of CaMoO4. We have determined the pressure evolution of the band gap for the low- and high-pressure phases as well as the frequencies and pressure dependences of the Raman-active and infrared-active modes. In addition, based upon calculations of the phonon dispersion of the scheelite phase, carried out at a pressure higher than the transition pressure, we propose a possible mechanism for the reported phase transition. Furthermore, from the calculations we determined the pressure dependence of the unit-cell parameters and atomic positions of the different phases and their room-temperature equations of state. These results are compared with previous experiments showing a very good agreement. Finally, information on bond compressibility is reported and correlated with the macroscopic compressibility of CaMoO4. The reported results are of interest for the many technological applications of this oxide.Comment: 36 pages, 10 figures, 8 table

    Rind from purple mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) attenuates diet-induced physiological and metabolic changes in obese rats

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    The pulp of the purple mangosteen, Garcinia mangostana, is a popular tropical fruit but the rind containing xanthones such as őĪ-mangostin together with procyanidins and anthocyanidins is usually discarded as waste. However, this rind has been used in South-East Asia for diarrhoea, dysentery, skin infections and wounds. As xanthones have reported anti-inflammatory and antioxidant responses, this study has determined the bioactive compounds and evaluated the effects of G. mangostana rind on physiological, metabolic, liver and cardiovascular parameters in rats with diet-induced metabolic syndrome. Rats fed a diet with increased simple sugars and saturated fats developed obesity, hypertension, increased left ventricular stiffness, dyslipidaemia and fatty liver. Administration of G. mangostana rind as 5% of the food to rats with diet-induced metabolic syndrome gave a dose of 168 mg/kg/day őĪ-mangostin, 355 mg/kg/day procyanidins, 3.9 mg/kg/day anthocyanins and 11.8 mg/kg/day hydroxycitric acid for 8 weeks which reduced body weight and attenuated physiological and metabolic changes in rats including decreased abdominal fat deposition, decreased abdominal circumference and whole-body fat mass, improved liver structure and function and improved cardiovascular parameters such as systolic blood pressure, left ventricular stiffness and endothelial function. These responses were associated with decreased infiltration of inflammatory cells, decreased deposition of collagen in both heart and liver and decreased mean adipocyte size in retroperitoneal adipose tissues. We conclude that, in rats with diet-induced metabolic syndrome, chronic intake of G. mangostana rind decreased infiltration of inflammatory cells which decreased physiological, metabolic, liver and cardiovascular symptoms

    Anthocyanins in chronic diseases : the power of purple

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    Anthocyanins are mainly purple-coloured phenolic compounds of plant origin that as secondary metabolites are important in plant survival. Understanding their health benefits in humans requires sourcing these unstable compounds in sufficient quantities at a reasonable cost, which has led to improved methods of extraction. Dark-coloured fruits, cereals and vegetables are current sources of these compounds. The range of potential sustainable sources is much larger and includes non-commercialised native plants from around the world and agri-waste containing anthocyanins. In the last 5 years, there have been significant advances in developing the therapeutic potential of anthocyanins in chronic human diseases. Anthocyanins exert their beneficial effects through improvements in gut microbiota, oxidative stress and inflammation, and modulation of neuropeptides such as insulin-like growth factor-1. Their health benefits in humans include reduced cognitive decline; protection of organs such as the liver, as well as the cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal tract and kidneys; improvements in bone health and obesity; and regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism. This review summarises some of the sources of anthocyanins and their mechanisms and benefits in the treatment of chronic human diseases

    Zircon to monazite phase transition in CeVO4

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    X-ray diffraction and Raman-scattering measurements on cerium vanadate have been performed up to 12 and 16 GPa, respectively. Experiments reveal that at 5.3 GPa the onset of a pressure-induced irreversible phase transition from the zircon to the monazite structure. Beyond this pressure, diffraction peaks and Raman-active modes of the monazite phase are measured. The zircon to monazite transition in CeVO4 is distinctive among the other rare-earth orthovanadates. We also observed softening of external translational Eg and internal B2g bending modes. We attributed it to mechanical instabilities of zircon phase against the pressure-induced distortion. We additionally report lattice-dynamical and total-energy calculations which are in agreement with the experimental results. Finally, the effect of non-hydrostatic stresses on the structural sequence is studied and the equations of state of different phases are reported.Comment: 45 pages, 8 figures, 8 table

    Physiological and metabolic effects of yellow mangosteen (Garcinia dulcis) rind in rats with food-induced metabolic syndrome

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    Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of disorders that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. This study has investigated the responses to rind of yellow mangosteen (Garcinia dulcis), usually discarded as waste, in a rat model of human metabolic syndrome. The rind contains higher concentrations of phytochemicals (such as garcinol, morelloflavone and citric acid) than the pulp. Male Wistar rats aged 8‚Äď9 weeks were fed either corn starch diet or high-carbohydrate, high-fat diet for 16 weeks, which were supplemented with 5% freeze-dried G. dulcis fruit rind powder during the last 8 weeks. We characterised metabolic, cardiovascular, liver and gut microbiota parameters. High-carbohydrate, high-fat diet-fed rats developed abdominal obesity, hypertension, increased left ventricular diastolic stiffness, decreased glucose tolerance, fatty liver and reduced Bacteroidia with increased Clostridia in the colonic microbiota. G. dulcis fruit rind powder attenuated these changes, improved cardiovascular and liver structure and function, and attenuated changes in colonic microbiota. G. dulcis fruit rind powder may be effective in metabolic syndrome by appetite suppression, inhibition of inflammatory processes and increased fat metabolism, possibly related to changes in the colonic microbiota. Hence, we propose the use of G. dulcis fruit rind as a functional food to ameliorate symptoms of metabolic syndrome

    Biomolecule surface patterning may enhance membrane association

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    Under dehydration conditions, amphipathic Late Embryogenesis Abundant (LEA) proteins fold spontaneously from a random conformation into alpha-helical structures and this transition is promoted by the presence of membranes. To gain insight into the thermodynamics of membrane association we model the resulting alpha-helical structures as infinite rigid cylinders patterned with hydrophobic and hydrophilic stripes oriented parallel to their axis. Statistical thermodynamic calculations using Single Chain Mean Field (SCMF) theory show that the relative thickness of the stripes controls the free energy of interaction of the alpha-helices with a phospholipid bilayer, as does the bilayer structure and the depth of the equilibrium penetration of the cylinders into the bilayer. The results may suggest the optimal thickness of the stripes to mimic the association of such protein with membranes.Comment: Published in ACS Nano http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/nn204736

    High-pressure polymorphs of TbVO4: A Raman and ab initio study

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    Raman measurements on TbVO4 show the occurrence of three pressure-induced phase transitions. The first one, an irreversible transition from the zircon to the scheelite structure, occurs beyond 6.7 GPa. In addition, two reversible transformations take place at 26.7 and 34.4 GPa. The last transition was never reported before. The experimental findings are supported by structural and lattice-dynamics calculations that helped us to identify the post-scheelite phase as a monoclinic fergusonite structure. According to the calculations, the third transition involves a symmetry increase. An orthorhombic structure is proposed for the phase found above 34.4 GPa. The results have been compared with previous studies in TbVO4 and discussed in comparison with related compounds. The calculated equations of state are reported for the different polymorphs of TbVO4. A compressibility increase is caused by the third transition. It is associated to a bond-strength decrease, which is related to a coordination increase and a delocalization of Tb f-electrons. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.Research supported by the Spanish MINECO (Grants No.: MAT2010-21270-C04-01/03/04), MALTA Consolider (CSD2007-00045), and Vicerrectorado de Investigacion y Desarrollo of UPV (UPV2011-0966/0914). The authors also acknowledge the computing time provided by Red Espanola de Supercomputacion and MALTA-Cluster.Errandonea, D.; Manj√≥n Herrera, FJ.; Mu√Īoz, A.; Rodr√≠guez-Hern√°ndez, P.; Panchal, V.; Achary, SN.; Tyagi, AK. (2013). High-pressure polymorphs of TbVO4: A Raman and ab initio study. Journal of Alloys and Compounds. 577:327-335. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jallcom.2013.06.008S32733557

    Chemo-resistant gestational trophoblastic neoplasia: a review of cases at a tertiary cancer centre

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    Background: Gestational trophoblastic neoplasia (GTN) was earlier a dreaded malignancy with high mortality rates. GTN is now considered to be one of the most curable solid tumours in women with cure rates greater than 90% even in the presence of metastases. Despite the high chemo sensitivity, treatment failure or drug resistance has been described in both groups.Methods: In this study, available records of GTN cases over 6 years were reviewed with emphasis on those who were resistant to the first line of chemotherapy. Of these, 37(34.58%) were resistant to the first line of chemotherapy. These cases were studied with respect to age, parity, antecedent pregnancy, interval from antecedent pregnancy, pretreatment ő≤ hCG, risk score and presence of metastases. The data was analyzed in order to find any risk factors associated with chemo-resistance.Results: Total number of cases of GTN was 107. Out of these 107 cases, 63 (58.88%) were low risk and 44 (41.12%) were high risk according to FIGO scoring system. Complete response was achieved with first line chemotherapy in 70 (65.42%) patients. The remaining 37 (34.57%) were resistant to first line chemotherapy. In the low risk group, 30 (47.62%) cases, and in the high-risk group, 7(15.91%) were resistant to first line of chemotherapy.Conclusions: Despite the high chemo sensitivity of GTN, resistance to first line chemotherapy may be encountered in up to 40% of cases.¬† It is important to identify the patients who are at risk to develop resistance, early identification of resistance and change of chemotherapy so as to minimize the exposure of these patients to ineffective chemotherapy

    Calibration of multi-layered probes with low/high magnetic moments

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    We present a comprehensive method for visualisation and quantification of the magnetic stray field of magnetic force microscopy (MFM) probes, applied to the particular case of custom-made multi-layered probes with controllable high/low magnetic moment states. The probes consist of two decoupled magnetic layers separated by a non-magnetic interlayer, which results in four stable magnetic states: ¬Īferromagnetic (FM) and ¬Īantiferromagnetic (A-FM). Direct visualisation of the stray field surrounding the probe apex using electron holography convincingly demonstrates a striking difference in the spatial distribution and strength of the magnetic flux in FM and A-FM states. In situ MFM studies of reference samples are used to determine the probe switching fields and spatial resolution. Furthermore, quantitative values of the probe magnetic moments are obtained by determining their real space tip transfer function (RSTTF). We also map the local Hall voltage in graphene Hall nanosensors induced by the probes in different states. The measured transport properties of nanosensors and RSTTF outcomes are introduced as an input in a numerical model of Hall devices to verify the probe magnetic moments. The modelling results fully match the experimental measurements, outlining an all-inclusive method for the calibration of complex magnetic probes with a controllable low/high magnetic moment
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