166 research outputs found

    Forced Convection Heat Transfer Coefficient and Pressure Drop of Diamond-Shaped Fin-Array

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    After reading Professor Ali Farazmand's essay "Building Administrative Capacity in the Age of Rapid Globalization: A Modest Prescription for the Twenty-First Century," one is reminded that the list of capacities we need to develop is long, the tasks are diverse, and the challenges are tremendous. By offering a "modest" prescription, Farazmand departs emphatically from recent attempts to rewrite administrative capacity by downgrading it and outsourcing it to the market or by making it imitate corporate structures and techniques. Such exercises of yesteryear are correctly being excoriated now, but it would be well to remember that this failed model was inspired and facilitated by the stagnation and many perversities of the state-centered model that it replaced. As we stand at the cusp of a new generation of public administration reforms, we are reminded by Professor Farazmand's exposition that we no longer have any widely accepted and integrative theories left to guide our practice of reform, and that a search must begin to look at past evidence with a critical eye toward developing practical and theoretical insights to advance the public administration agenda

    An Innovative Method to Identify Autoantigens Expressed on the Endothelial Cell Surface: Serological Identification System for Autoantigens Using a Retroviral Vector and Flow Cytometry (SARF)

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    Autoantibodies against integral membrane proteins are usually pathogenic. Although anti-endothelial cell antibodies (AECAs) are considered to be critical, especially for vascular lesions in collagen diseases, most molecules identified as autoantigens for AECAs are localized within the cell and not expressed on the cell surface. For identification of autoantigens, proteomics and expression library analyses have been performed for many years with some success. To specifically target cell-surface molecules in identification of autoantigens, we constructed a serological identification system for autoantigens using a retroviral vector and flow cytometry (SARF). Here, we present an overview of recent research in AECAs and their target molecules and discuss the principle and the application of SARF. Using SARF, we successfully identified three different membrane proteins: fibronectin leucine-rich transmembrane protein 2 (FLRT2) from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) from a patient with rheumatoid arthritis, and Pk (Gb3/CD77) from an SLE patient with hemolytic anemia, as targets for AECAs. SARF is useful for specific identification of autoantigens expressed on the cell surface, and identification of such interactions of the cell-surface autoantigens and pathogenic autoantibodies may enable the development of more specific intervention strategies in autoimmune diseases

    Protein engineering of conger eel galectins by tracing of molecular evolution using probable ancestral mutants

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Conger eel galectins, congerin I (ConI) and congerin II (ConII), show the different molecular characteristics resulting from accelerating evolution. We recently reconstructed a probable ancestral form of congerins, Con-anc. It showed properties similar to those of ConII in terms of thermostability and carbohydrate recognition specificity, although it shares a higher sequence similarity with ConI than ConII.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>In this study, we have focused on the different amino acid residues between Con-anc and ConI, and have performed the protein engineering of Con-anc through site-directed mutagenesis, followed by the molecular evolution analysis of the mutants. This approach revealed the functional importance of loop structures of congerins: (1) N- and C-terminal and loop 5 regions that are involved in conferring a high thermostability to ConI; (2) loops 3, 5, and 6 that are responsible for stronger binding of ConI to most sugars; and (3) loops 5 and 6, and Thr38 residue in loop 3 contribute the specificity of ConI toward lacto-<it>N</it>-fucopentaose-containing sugars.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Thus, this methodology, with tracing of the molecular evolution using ancestral mutants, is a powerful tool for the analysis of not only the molecular evolutionary process, but also the structural elements of a protein responsible for its various functions.</p

    N,N’-Bis(2-chloroethyl)-N-nitrosourea (BCNU)-induced Apoptosis of Neural Progenitor Cells in the Developing Fetal Rat Brain

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    N,N’-bis(2-chloroethyl)-N-nitrosourea (BCNU) is one of the major drugs used in chemotherapy against malignant gliomas due to its effects, such as induction of bifunctional alkylation of DNA and formation of interstrand DNA cross-linkages, and induces cortical malformations in the fetal and neonatal rat brain. In this study, pregnant rats were treated with 7.5 mg/kg of BCNU on gestational day 13 (GD 13), and their fetuses were collected from 12 to 72 hours after BCNU treatment in order to examine the timecourses of morphological and immunohistochemical changes in neural progenitor cells in the developing brain. The number of pyknotic cells in the telencephalon peaked at 24 h and then gradually decreased until 72 h. The majority of these pyknotic cells were positive for cleaved caspase-3, a key executioner of apoptosis. The pyknotic cells showed the ultrastructural characteristics of apoptosis. The number of p53-positive cells began to increase prior to the appearance of apoptotic cells and p21-positive cells. The number of phosphorylated-histone H3-positive cells (mitotic cells) decreased from 24 to 36 h. The number of Iba1-positive cells (microglial cells) in the telencephalon increased from 12 to 48 h. These results suggest that BCNU induces p53-dependent apoptosis and reduces proliferative activity, resulting in reduction of the weight of the telencephalon and the thickness of the telencephalic wall in the fetal brain. This study will help to clarify the mechanisms of BCNU-induced fetal brain toxicity

    Performance Improvement of a Portable Electric Generator Using an Optimized Bio-Fuel Ratio in a Single Cylinder Two-Stroke Engine

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    The performance of an electrical generator using bio-fuel and gasoline blends of different composition as fuel in a single cylinder engine is presented. The effect of an optimized blend ratio of bio-fuel with gasoline on engine performance improvement and thereby on the electrical generator output is studied. Bio-fuels such as ethanol, butanol and methanol are blended with gasoline in different proportions and evaluated for performance. The effects of different bio-fuel/gasoline blending ratios are compared experimentally with that of the gasoline alone using the output power developed by the electric generator as the evaluation parameter. With a composition of 10% ethanol–gasoline, the engine performance is increased up to 6% and with a blending ratio of 20% butanol–gasoline the performance is increased up to 8% compared to the use of 100% gasoline. The investigations are performed on a portable generator used in palm tree harvesting applications

    Atomic structures and functional implications of the archaeal RecQ-like helicase Hjm

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p><it>Pyrococcus furiosus </it>Hjm (<it>Pfu</it>Hjm) is a structure-specific DNA helicase that was originally identified by <it>in vitro </it>screening for Holliday junction migration activity. It belongs to helicase superfamily 2, and shares homology with the human DNA polymerase Θ (PolΘ), HEL308, and <it>Drosophila </it>Mus308 proteins, which are involved in DNA repair. Previous biochemical and genetic analyses revealed that <it>Pfu</it>Hjm preferentially binds to fork-related Y-structured DNAs and unwinds their double-stranded regions, suggesting that this helicase is a functional counterpart of the bacterial RecQ helicase, which is essential for genome maintenance. Elucidation of the DNA unwinding and translocation mechanisms by <it>Pfu</it>Hjm will require its three-dimensional structure at atomic resolution.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>We determined the crystal structures of <it>Pfu</it>Hjm, in two apo-states and two nucleotide bound forms, at resolutions of 2.0–2.7 Å. The overall structures and the local conformations around the nucleotide binding sites are almost the same, including the side-chain conformations, irrespective of the nucleotide-binding states. The architecture of Hjm was similar to that of <it>Archaeoglobus fulgidus </it>Hel308 complexed with DNA. An Hjm-DNA complex model, constructed by fitting the five domains of Hjm onto the corresponding Hel308 domains, indicated that the interaction of Hjm with DNA is similar to that of Hel308. Notably, sulphate ions bound to Hjm lie on the putative DNA binding surfaces. Electron microscopic analysis of an Hjm-DNA complex revealed substantial flexibility of the double stranded region of DNA, presumably due to particularly weak protein-DNA interactions. Our present structures allowed reasonable homology model building of the helicase region of human PolΘ, indicating the strong conformational conservation between archaea and eukarya.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>The detailed comparison between our DNA-free <it>Pfu</it>Hjm structure and the structure of Hel308 complexed with DNA suggests similar DNA unwinding and translocation mechanisms, which could be generalized to all of the members in the same family. Structural comparison also implied a minor rearrangement of the five domains during DNA unwinding reaction. The unexpected small contact between the DNA duplex region and the enzyme appears to be advantageous for processive helicase activity.</p

    A battery charging system for intermittent generation from a synchronous generator with a novel maximum power point tracking control

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    This paper proposed a battery charging system for intermittent generation from a synchronous generator with a novel Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) control method. Analyzing the generation with boost chopper by the state space averaging method, the internal voltage of the generator, the output voltage and the resistance of the output of the boost chopper can be estimated by with only single current sensor. Even though the intermittent generation, the proposed the battery charging system is able to charge the battery constantly because of a bi-directional DC/DC converter and an Electric Double-Layer Capacitor (EDLC). The basic principle of the proposed MPPT control method and the proposed charging system are discussed, and then confirmed by digital computer simulation using PLECS. The simulation results reveal that the proposed MPPT controller controls the maximum power point and the proposed charging system is able to charge the battery constantly
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