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Kosmos
Astronomia Astrofizyka
Inne

Kultura
Sztuka dawna i współczesna, muzea i kolekcje

Metoda
Metodologia nauk, Matematyka, Filozofia, Miary i wagi, Pomiary

Materia
Substancje, reakcje, energia
Fizyka, chemia i inżynieria materiałowa

Człowiek
Antropologia kulturowa Socjologia Psychologia Zdrowie i medycyna

Wizje
Przewidywania Kosmologia Religie Ideologia Polityka

Ziemia
Geologia, geofizyka, geochemia, środowisko przyrodnicze

Życie
Biologia, biologia molekularna i genetyka

Cyberprzestrzeń
Technologia cyberprzestrzeni, cyberkultura, media i komunikacja

Działalność
Wiadomości | Gospodarka, biznes, zarządzanie, ekonomia

Technologie
Budownictwo, energetyka, transport, wytwarzanie, technologie informacyjne

Czasopisma z MDPI

Wydawnictwo MDPI publikuje czasopisma Open Access.

Three known triterpenoids, namely ursolic acid (1), and the 27-E- and 27-Z-p-coumaric esters of ursolic acid (compounds 2, 3), were isolated together with a new triterpene 2,3-seco-taraxer-14-en-2,3-lactone [pycanocarpine (4)] from an ethanolic extract of Pleiocarpa pycnantha leaves. The structure of 4 was unambiguously assigned using NMR, HREIMS and X-ray crystallography. The cytotoxic activities of the compounds were evaluated against HeLa, MCF-7, KMST-6 and HT-29 cells using the WST-1 assay. Ursolic acid (1) displayed potent cytotoxic activity against HeLa, HT-29 and MCF-7 cells with IC50 values of 10, 10 and 20 µM respectively. The new compound 4 and its hydrolysed derivative 5 were selectively cytotoxic to the breast cancer cell line, MCF-7 with IC50 values 20 and 10 µM respectively. This is the first report on isolation of a 2,3-seco-taraxerene derivative from the Apocynaceae family and cytotoxic activityof P. pycnantha constituents.

http://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/19/3/3389 2014/03/20 - 21:51

The channel fluorine implantation (CFI) process was integrated with the Si3N4 contact etch stop layer (SiN CESL) uniaxial-strained n-channel metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (nMOSFET) with the hafnium oxide/silicon oxynitride (HfO2/SiON) gate stack. The SiN CESL process clearly improves basic electrical performance, due to induced uniaxial tensile strain within the channel. However, further integrating of the CFI process with the SiN CESL-strained nMOSFET exhibits nearly identical transconductance, subthreshold swing, drain current, gate leakage and breakdown voltage, which indicates that the strain effect is not affected by the fluorine incorporation. Moreover, hydrogen will diffuse toward the interface during the SiN deposition, then passivate dangling bonds to form weak Si-H bonds, which is detrimental for channel hot electron stress (CHES). Before hydrogen diffusion, fluorine can be used to terminate oxygen vacancies and dangling bonds, which can create stronger Hf-F and Si-F bonds to resist consequent stress. Accordingly, the reliability of constant voltage stress (CVS) and CHES for the SiN CESL uniaxial-strained nMOSFET can be further improved by the fluorinated HfO2/SiON using the CFI process. Nevertheless, the nMOSFET with either the SiN CESL or CFI process exhibits less charge detrapping, which means that a greater part of stress-induced charges would remain in the gate stack after nitrogen (SiN CESL) or fluorine (CFI) incorporation.

http://www.mdpi.com/1996-1944/7/3/2370 2014/03/20 - 21:51

The channel fluorine implantation (CFI) process was integrated with the Si3N4 contact etch stop layer (SiN CESL) uniaxial-strained n-channel metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (nMOSFET) with the hafnium oxide/silicon oxynitride (HfO2/SiON) gate stack. The SiN CESL process clearly improves basic electrical performance, due to induced uniaxial tensile strain within the channel. However, further integrating of the CFI process with the SiN CESL-strained nMOSFET exhibits nearly identical transconductance, subthreshold swing, drain current, gate leakage and breakdown voltage, which indicates that the strain effect is not affected by the fluorine incorporation. Moreover, hydrogen will diffuse toward the interface during the SiN deposition, then passivate dangling bonds to form weak Si-H bonds, which is detrimental for channel hot electron stress (CHES). Before hydrogen diffusion, fluorine can be used to terminate oxygen vacancies and dangling bonds, which can create stronger Hf-F and Si-F bonds to resist consequent stress. Accordingly, the reliability of constant voltage stress (CVS) and CHES for the SiN CESL uniaxial-strained nMOSFET can be further improved by the fluorinated HfO2/SiON using the CFI process. Nevertheless, the nMOSFET with either the SiN CESL or CFI process exhibits less charge detrapping, which means that a greater part of stress-induced charges would remain in the gate stack after nitrogen (SiN CESL) or fluorine (CFI) incorporation.

http://www.mdpi.com/1996-1944/7/3/2370 2014/03/20 - 21:51

The mechanism for OH and NO3 radical-initiated oxidation reactions of methyl methacrylate (MMA) was investigated by using density functional theory (DFT) molecular orbital theory. Geometrical parameters of the reactants, intermediates, transition states, and products were fully optimized at the B3LYP/6-31G(d,p) level. Detailed oxidation pathways were presented and discussed. The rate constants were deduced by the canonical variational transition-state (CVT) theory with the small-curvature tunneling (SCT) correction and the multichannel Rice-Ramspergere-Kassele-Marcus (RRKM) theory, based on the potential energy surface profiles over the general atmospheric temperature range of 180–370 K. The calculated results were in reasonable agreement with experimental measurement.

http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/15/3/5032 2014/03/20 - 21:51

The mechanism for OH and NO3 radical-initiated oxidation reactions of methyl methacrylate (MMA) was investigated by using density functional theory (DFT) molecular orbital theory. Geometrical parameters of the reactants, intermediates, transition states, and products were fully optimized at the B3LYP/6-31G(d,p) level. Detailed oxidation pathways were presented and discussed. The rate constants were deduced by the canonical variational transition-state (CVT) theory with the small-curvature tunneling (SCT) correction and the multichannel Rice-Ramspergere-Kassele-Marcus (RRKM) theory, based on the potential energy surface profiles over the general atmospheric temperature range of 180–370 K. The calculated results were in reasonable agreement with experimental measurement.

http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/15/3/5032 2014/03/20 - 21:51

Interference is a serious cause of performance degradation for IEEE802.15.4 devices. The effect of concurrent transmissions in IEEE 802.15.4 has been generally investigated by means of simulation or experimental activities. In this paper, a mathematical framework for the derivation of chip, symbol and packet error probability of a typical IEEE 802.15.4 receiver in the presence of interference is proposed. Both non-coherent and coherent demodulation schemes are considered by our model under the assumption of the absence of thermal noise. Simulation results are also added to assess the validity of the mathematical framework when the effect of thermal noise cannot be neglected. Numerical results show that the proposed analysis is in agreement with the measurement results on the literature under realistic working conditions.

http://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/14/3/5622 2014/03/20 - 21:51

Zinc is a vital micronutrient used for over 300 enzymatic reactions and multiple biochemical and structural processes in the body. To date, sensitive and specific biological markers of zinc status are still needed. The aim of this study was to evaluate Gallus gallus as an in vivo model in the context of assessing the sensitivity of a previously unexplored potential zinc biomarker, the erythrocyte linoleic acid: dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (LA:DGLA) ratio. Diets identical in composition were formulated and two groups of birds (n = 12) were randomly separated upon hatching into two diets, Zn(+) (zinc adequate control, 42.3 μg/g zinc), and Zn(−) (zinc deficient, 2.5 μg/g zinc). Dietary zinc intake, body weight, serum zinc, and the erythrocyte fatty acid profile were measured weekly. At the conclusion of the study, tissues were collected for gene expression analysis. Body weight, feed consumption, zinc intake, and serum zinc were higher in the Zn(+) control versus Zn(−) group (p < 0.05). Hepatic TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 gene expression were higher in the Zn(+) control group (p < 0.05), and hepatic Δ6 desaturase was significantly higher in the Zn(+) group (p < 0.001). The LA:DGLA ratio was significantly elevated in the Zn(−) group compared to the Zn(+) group (22.6 ± 0.5 and 18.5 ± 0.5, % w/w, respectively, p < 0.001). This study suggests erythrocyte LA:DGLA is able to differentiate zinc status between zinc adequate and zinc deficient birds, and may be a sensitive biomarker to assess dietary zinc manipulation.

http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/6/3/1164 2014/03/20 - 21:51

Objective: To develop a convenient; sensitive; accurate; and economical technique for genotyping of hepatitis B viruses (HBVs). Methods: The mercapto-modified B1; B2; C1; and C2-specific genotyping probes consisted of two probes for each HBV genotype that served as a double verification system. These probes were fixed on the surface of No. 1; 2; 3; and 4 gold electrodes; respectively; via Au-S bonds. Different charge generated by the binding of RuHex to phosphate groups of the DNA backbone before and after hybridization was used for distinguishing the different genotypes. Results: During hybridization with genotype B; the charges detected at the No. 1 and 2 electrodes were significantly increased; while the charge at the No. 3 and 4 electrodes did not change significantly. During hybridization with genotype C; the charges detected at No. 3 and 4 electrodes were significantly increased; while the signals remained unchanged at the No. 1 and 2 electrodes. During hybridization with mixed genotypes (B and C); the charges detected at all four electrodes were significantly increased. The linear range of detection was 10–7 to 10–10 mol/L and the sensitivity for detecting mixed B (10%) or C (10%). Conclusions: Rapid genotyping of HBVs based on electrochemical sensing is simple, has good specificity; and can greatly reduce the cost. This method can be used for sensitive detection of mixed B and C HBV genotypes.

http://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/14/3/5611 2014/03/20 - 21:51

Objective: To develop a convenient; sensitive; accurate; and economical technique for genotyping of hepatitis B viruses (HBVs). Methods: The mercapto-modified B1; B2; C1; and C2-specific genotyping probes consisted of two probes for each HBV genotype that served as a double verification system. These probes were fixed on the surface of No. 1; 2; 3; and 4 gold electrodes; respectively; via Au-S bonds. Different charge generated by the binding of RuHex to phosphate groups of the DNA backbone before and after hybridization was used for distinguishing the different genotypes. Results: During hybridization with genotype B; the charges detected at the No. 1 and 2 electrodes were significantly increased; while the charge at the No. 3 and 4 electrodes did not change significantly. During hybridization with genotype C; the charges detected at No. 3 and 4 electrodes were significantly increased; while the signals remained unchanged at the No. 1 and 2 electrodes. During hybridization with mixed genotypes (B and C); the charges detected at all four electrodes were significantly increased. The linear range of detection was 10–7 to 10–10 mol/L and the sensitivity for detecting mixed B (10%) or C (10%). Conclusions: Rapid genotyping of HBVs based on electrochemical sensing is simple, has good specificity; and can greatly reduce the cost. This method can be used for sensitive detection of mixed B and C HBV genotypes.

http://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/14/3/5611 2014/03/20 - 21:51

Several materials science type research topics are described in which advantageous use of crystal symmetry considerations has been helpful in ferreting the essential elements of dislocation behavior in determining material properties or for characterizing crystal/polycrystalline structural relationships; for example: (1) the mechanical strengthening produced by a symmetrical bicrystal grain boundary; (2) cleavage crack formation at the intersection within a crystal of symmetrical dislocation pile-ups; (3) symmetry aspects of anisotropic crystal indentation hardness measurements; (4) X-ray diffraction topography imaging of dislocation strains and subgrain boundary misorientations; and (5) point and space group aspects of twinning. Several applications are described in relation to the strengthening of grain boundaries in nanopolycrystals and of multiply-oriented crystal grains in polysilicon photovoltaic solar cell materials. A number of crystallographic aspects of the different topics are illustrated with a stereographic method of presentation.

http://www.mdpi.com/2073-8994/6/1/148 2014/03/20 - 21:51

Several materials science type research topics are described in which advantageous use of crystal symmetry considerations has been helpful in ferreting the essential elements of dislocation behavior in determining material properties or for characterizing crystal/polycrystalline structural relationships; for example: (1) the mechanical strengthening produced by a symmetrical bicrystal grain boundary; (2) cleavage crack formation at the intersection within a crystal of symmetrical dislocation pile-ups; (3) symmetry aspects of anisotropic crystal indentation hardness measurements; (4) X-ray diffraction topography imaging of dislocation strains and subgrain boundary misorientations; and (5) point and space group aspects of twinning. Several applications are described in relation to the strengthening of grain boundaries in nanopolycrystals and of multiply-oriented crystal grains in polysilicon photovoltaic solar cell materials. A number of crystallographic aspects of the different topics are illustrated with a stereographic method of presentation.

http://www.mdpi.com/2073-8994/6/1/148 2014/03/20 - 21:51

In many data envelopment analysis (DEA) applications, the analyst always confronts the difficulty that the selected data set is not suitable to apply traditional DEA models for their poor discrimination. This paper presents an approach using Shannon’s entropy to improve the discrimination of traditional DEA models. In this approach, DEA efficiencies are first calculated for all possible variable subsets and analyzed using Shannon’s entropy theory to calculate the degree of the importance of each subset in the performance measurement, then we combine the obtained efficiencies and the degrees of importance to generate a comprehensive efficiency score (CES), which can observably improve the discrimination of traditional DEA models. Finally, the proposed approach has been applied to some data sets from the prior DEA literature.

http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/16/3/1571 2014/03/20 - 21:51

In many data envelopment analysis (DEA) applications, the analyst always confronts the difficulty that the selected data set is not suitable to apply traditional DEA models for their poor discrimination. This paper presents an approach using Shannon’s entropy to improve the discrimination of traditional DEA models. In this approach, DEA efficiencies are first calculated for all possible variable subsets and analyzed using Shannon’s entropy theory to calculate the degree of the importance of each subset in the performance measurement, then we combine the obtained efficiencies and the degrees of importance to generate a comprehensive efficiency score (CES), which can observably improve the discrimination of traditional DEA models. Finally, the proposed approach has been applied to some data sets from the prior DEA literature.

http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/16/3/1571 2014/03/20 - 21:51

Acoustic techniques have been used for many years to find and locate leaks in buried water distribution systems. Hydrophones and accelerometers are typically used as sensors. Although geophones could be used as well, they are not generally used for leak detection. A simple acoustic model of the pipe and the sensors has been proposed previously by some of the authors of this paper, and their model was used to explain some of the features observed in measurements. However, simultaneous measurements of a leak using all three sensor-types in controlled conditions for plastic pipes has not been reported to-date and hence they have not yet been compared directly. This paper fills that gap in knowledge. A set of measurements was made on a bespoke buried plastic water distribution pipe test rig to validate the previously reported analytical model. There is qualitative agreement between the experimental results and the model predictions in terms of the differing filtering properties of the pipe-sensor systems. A quality measure for the data is also presented, which is the ratio of the bandwidth over which the analysis is carried out divided by the centre frequency of this bandwidth. Based on this metric, the accelerometer was found to be the best sensor to use for the test rig described in this paper. However, for a system in which the distance between the sensors is large or the attenuation factor of the system is high, then it would be advantageous to use hydrophones, even though they are invasive sensors.

http://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/14/3/5595 2014/03/20 - 21:51

Acoustic techniques have been used for many years to find and locate leaks in buried water distribution systems. Hydrophones and accelerometers are typically used as sensors. Although geophones could be used as well, they are not generally used for leak detection. A simple acoustic model of the pipe and the sensors has been proposed previously by some of the authors of this paper, and their model was used to explain some of the features observed in measurements. However, simultaneous measurements of a leak using all three sensor-types in controlled conditions for plastic pipes has not been reported to-date and hence they have not yet been compared directly. This paper fills that gap in knowledge. A set of measurements was made on a bespoke buried plastic water distribution pipe test rig to validate the previously reported analytical model. There is qualitative agreement between the experimental results and the model predictions in terms of the differing filtering properties of the pipe-sensor systems. A quality measure for the data is also presented, which is the ratio of the bandwidth over which the analysis is carried out divided by the centre frequency of this bandwidth. Based on this metric, the accelerometer was found to be the best sensor to use for the test rig described in this paper. However, for a system in which the distance between the sensors is large or the attenuation factor of the system is high, then it would be advantageous to use hydrophones, even though they are invasive sensors.

http://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/14/3/5595 2014/03/20 - 21:51

The ubiquity of mobile devices brings forth a sensing paradigm, participatory sensing, to collect and interpret sensory information from the environment. Participants join in multifarious sensing tasks and share their data. The sensing result can be obtained in light of shared data. It is not uncommon that some corrupted data is provided by participants, which makes sensing result unreliable accordingly. To address this nontrivial issue, we proposed the accumulated reputation model (ARM) to improve the accuracy of the sensing result. In ARM, participants’ reputation will be computed and accumulated based on their sensing data. The sensing data from reputable participants make higher contributions to the sensing result. ARM performs well on calculating accurate sensing results, even in extreme scenarios, where there are many inexperienced or malicious participants.

http://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/14/3/5573 2014/03/20 - 21:51

The ubiquity of mobile devices brings forth a sensing paradigm, participatory sensing, to collect and interpret sensory information from the environment. Participants join in multifarious sensing tasks and share their data. The sensing result can be obtained in light of shared data. It is not uncommon that some corrupted data is provided by participants, which makes sensing result unreliable accordingly. To address this nontrivial issue, we proposed the accumulated reputation model (ARM) to improve the accuracy of the sensing result. In ARM, participants’ reputation will be computed and accumulated based on their sensing data. The sensing data from reputable participants make higher contributions to the sensing result. ARM performs well on calculating accurate sensing results, even in extreme scenarios, where there are many inexperienced or malicious participants.

http://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/14/3/5573 2014/03/20 - 21:51

The site displacement due to ocean tidal loading is regarded as one of the largest uncertainties in precise geodetic positioning measurements, among which the effect of minor ocean tides (MOT), except for the 11 main tidal constituents, are sometimes neglected in routine precise global positioning system (GPS) data processing. We find that MOT can cause large vertical loading displacements with peak-to-peak variations reaching more than 8 mm at coastal/island stations. The impact of MOT on the 24-hour GPS solution is slightly larger than the magnitude of MOT loading itself, with peak-to-peak displacement variation at about 10 mm for the horizontal and 30 mm for the vertical components. We also find that the vertical velocity of all the selected stations in the Southwest Pacific was reduced by more than 10% after considering the MOT effect, while stations with weighted root mean square reduced data account for 62%, 59%, and 36% for the up, east, and north components respectively, in particular for most coastal/island stations. Furthermore, MOT correction could significantly reduce the annual signal of the global stacked east component, the near fortnightly and the long-term periodic signals in the up component. The power of some anomalous harmonics of 1.04 cycle per year is also decreased to some extent. These results further proved the benefits of MOT correction in precise GPS data processing.

http://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/14/3/5552 2014/03/20 - 21:51

Ceramic gas sensors used for measuring ambient air quality have features suitable for practical applications such as healthcare and air quality management, but have a major drawback—large power consumption to preheat the sensor for accurate measurements. In this paper; the adaptive preheating duration control (APC) method is proposed to reduce the power consumption of ambient air quality sensor networks. APC reduces the duration of unnecessary preheating, thereby alleviating power consumption. Furthermore, the APC can allow systems to meet user requirements such as accuracy and periodicity factor when detecting the concentration of a target gas. A performance evaluation of the power consumption of gas sensors is conducted with various user requirements and factors that affect the preheating duration of the gas sensor. This shows that the power consumption of the APC is lower than that of continuous power supply methods and constant power supply/cutoff methods.

http://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/14/3/5536 2014/03/20 - 21:51

There is a growing interest in 3D content following the recent developments in 3D movies, 3D TVs and 3D smartphones. However, 3D content creation is still dominated by professionals, due to the high cost of 3D motion capture instruments. The availability of a low-cost motion capture system will promote 3D content generation by general users and accelerate the growth of the 3D market. In this paper, we describe the design and implementation of a real-time motion capture system based on a portable low-cost wireless camera sensor network. The proposed system performs motion capture based on the data-driven 3D human pose reconstruction method to reduce the computation time and to improve the 3D reconstruction accuracy. The system can reconstruct accurate 3D full-body poses at 16 frames per second using only eight markers on the subject’s body. The performance of the motion capture system is evaluated extensively in experiments.

http://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/14/3/5516 2014/03/20 - 21:51

Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) are generally nano-scale tubes comprising a network of carbon atoms in a cylindrical setting that compared with silicon counterparts present outstanding characteristics such as high mechanical strength, high sensing capability and large surface-to-volume ratio. These characteristics, in addition to the fact that CNTs experience changes in their electrical conductance when exposed to different gases, make them appropriate candidates for use in sensing/measuring applications such as gas detection devices. In this research, a model for a Field Effect Transistor (FET)-based structure has been developed as a platform for a gas detection sensor in which the CNT conductance change resulting from the chemical reaction between NH3 and CNT has been employed to model the sensing mechanism with proposed sensing parameters. The research implements the same FET-based structure as in the work of Peng et al. on nanotube-based NH3 gas detection. With respect to this conductance change, the I–V characteristic of the CNT is investigated. Finally, a comparative study shows satisfactory agreement between the proposed model and the experimental data from the mentioned research.

http://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/14/3/5502 2014/03/20 - 21:51

Although the androgen receptor (AR) has been implicated in the promotion of apoptosis in testicular cells (TSCs), the molecular pathway underlying AR-mediated apoptosis and its sensitivity to environmental hormones in TSCs and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) remain unclear. We generated the iPSCs from bovine TSCs via the electroporation of OCT4. The established iPSCs were supplemented with leukemia inhibitory factor and bone morphogenetic protein 4 to maintain and stabilize the expression of stemness genes and their pluripotency. Apoptosis signaling was assessed after exposure to mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP), the active metabolite of di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate. Here, we report that iPSCs were more resistant to MEHP-induced apoptosis than were original TSCs. MEHP also repressed the expression of AR and inactivated WNT signaling, and then led to the commitment of cells to apoptosis via the cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor p21CIP1. The loss of the frizzed receptor 7 and the gain of p21CIP were responsible for the stimulatory effect of MEHP on AR-mediated apoptosis. Our results suggest that testicular iPSCs can be used to study the signaling pathways involved in the response to environmental disruptors, and to assess the toxicity of environmental endocrine disruptors in terms of the maintenance of stemness and pluripotency.

http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/15/3/5011 2014/03/20 - 21:51

Benzene is identified as a carcinogen. Continued exposure of benzene may eventually lead to damage to the bone marrow, accompanied by pancytopenia, aplastic anemia or leukemia. This paper explores the variations of endogenous metabolites to provide possible clues for the molecular mechanism of benzene-induced hematotoxicity. Liquid chromatography coupled with time of flight-mass spectrometry (LC-TOF-MS) and principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to investigate the variation of endogenous metabolites in bone marrow cells and plasma of male C3H/He mice. The mice were injected subcutaneously with benzene (0, 300, 600 mg/day) once daily for seven days. The body weights, relative organ weights, blood parameters and bone marrow smears were also analyzed. The results indicated that benzene caused disturbances in the metabolism of oxidation of fatty acids and essential amino acids (lysine, phenylalanine and tyrosine) in bone marrow cells. Moreover, fatty acid oxidation was also disturbed in plasma and thus might be a common disturbed metabolic pathway induced by benzene in multiple organs. This study aims to investigate the underlying molecular mechanisms involved in benzene hematotoxicity, especially in bone marrow cells.

http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/15/3/4994 2014/03/20 - 21:51

Lymphoma and leukemia represent a serious threat to human health and life expectancy. Resveratrol is, among the natural-derived chemopreventive molecules, one of the most effective and better studied. In this paper the main mechanisms of cell death triggered by- or linked to- resveratrol are reviewed and discussed. The main focus is on lymphoma and leukemia experimental models where resveratrol has been tested and investigated at the cellular, molecular or physiological levels. The most relevant in vivo challenges involving resveratrol are also reported and analyzed in order to define the key features of this polyphenol and the potential for the treatment of hematologic tumors.

http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/15/3/4977 2014/03/20 - 21:51

Lymphoma and leukemia represent a serious threat to human health and life expectancy. Resveratrol is, among the natural-derived chemopreventive molecules, one of the most effective and better studied. In this paper the main mechanisms of cell death triggered by- or linked to- resveratrol are reviewed and discussed. The main focus is on lymphoma and leukemia experimental models where resveratrol has been tested and investigated at the cellular, molecular or physiological levels. The most relevant in vivo challenges involving resveratrol are also reported and analyzed in order to define the key features of this polyphenol and the potential for the treatment of hematologic tumors.

http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/15/3/4977 2014/03/20 - 21:51

The cyanobacterial toxin Cylindrospermopsin (CYN), a potent protein synthesis inhibitor, is increasingly being found in freshwater bodies infested by cyanobacterial blooms worldwide. Moreover, it has been reported to be implicated in human intoxications and animal mortality. Recently, the alteration of the activity and gene expression of some glutathione related enzymes in tilapias (Oreochromis niloticus) exposed to a single dose of CYN has been reported. However, little is known about the effects induced by repeated doses of this toxin in tilapias exposed by immersion and the potential reversion of these biochemical alterations after two different depuration periods (3 or 7 days). In the present study, tilapias were exposed by immersion to repeated doses of a CYN-containing culture of Aphanizomenon ovalisporum during 14 days, and then were subjected to depuration periods (3 or 7 days) in clean water in order to examine the potential reversion of the effects observed. The activity and relative mRNA expression by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of the antioxidant enzymes glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and soluble glutathione-S-transferases (sGST), and also the sGST protein abundance by Western blot analysis were evaluated in liver and kidney of fish. Results showed significant alterations in most of the parameters evaluated and their recovery after 3 days (GPx activity, sGST relative abundance) or 7 days (GPx gene expression, sGST activity). These findings not only confirm the oxidative stress effects produced in fish by cyanobacterial cells containing CYN, but also show the effectiveness of depuration processes in mitigating the CYN-containing culture toxic effects.

http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6651/6/3/1062 2014/03/15 - 18:19

The cyanobacterial toxin Cylindrospermopsin (CYN), a potent protein synthesis inhibitor, is increasingly being found in freshwater bodies infested by cyanobacterial blooms worldwide. Moreover, it has been reported to be implicated in human intoxications and animal mortality. Recently, the alteration of the activity and gene expression of some glutathione related enzymes in tilapias (Oreochromis niloticus) exposed to a single dose of CYN has been reported. However, little is known about the effects induced by repeated doses of this toxin in tilapias exposed by immersion and the potential reversion of these biochemical alterations after two different depuration periods (3 or 7 days). In the present study, tilapias were exposed by immersion to repeated doses of a CYN-containing culture of Aphanizomenon ovalisporum during 14 days, and then were subjected to depuration periods (3 or 7 days) in clean water in order to examine the potential reversion of the effects observed. The activity and relative mRNA expression by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of the antioxidant enzymes glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and soluble glutathione-S-transferases (sGST), and also the sGST protein abundance by Western blot analysis were evaluated in liver and kidney of fish. Results showed significant alterations in most of the parameters evaluated and their recovery after 3 days (GPx activity, sGST relative abundance) or 7 days (GPx gene expression, sGST activity). These findings not only confirm the oxidative stress effects produced in fish by cyanobacterial cells containing CYN, but also show the effectiveness of depuration processes in mitigating the CYN-containing culture toxic effects.

http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6651/6/3/1062 2014/03/15 - 18:19

A bell-shaped vibratory angular rate gyro, which is inspired by the Chinese traditional bell, is a kind of axisymmetric shell resonator gyroscope. Its sensitive element is a vibratory-like Chinese traditional bell, using a piezoelectric element on the wall of the vibrator to detect the standing wave’s precession to solve the input angular rate. This work mainly studies the circuit system of a bell-shaped vibratory angular rate gyro. It discusses the process of circuit system design, analysis and experiment, in detail, providing the foundation to develop a bell-shaped vibratory angular rate gyro. Since the bell-shaped resonator’s curved structure has the characteristics of large noise in the piezoelectric signal and large harmonics, this paper analyzes its working and signal detection method, then gives the whole plan of the circuit system, including the drive module, the detection module and the control loop. It also studies every part of the whole system, gives a detailed design and analysis process and proves part of the circuit system using digital simulation. At the end of the article, the test result of the circuit system shows that it can remove the disadvantages of the curved structure having large noise in the piezoelectric signal and large harmonics and is more effective at solving the input angular rate.

http://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/14/3/5254 2014/03/15 - 18:19

A bell-shaped vibratory angular rate gyro, which is inspired by the Chinese traditional bell, is a kind of axisymmetric shell resonator gyroscope. Its sensitive element is a vibratory-like Chinese traditional bell, using a piezoelectric element on the wall of the vibrator to detect the standing wave’s precession to solve the input angular rate. This work mainly studies the circuit system of a bell-shaped vibratory angular rate gyro. It discusses the process of circuit system design, analysis and experiment, in detail, providing the foundation to develop a bell-shaped vibratory angular rate gyro. Since the bell-shaped resonator’s curved structure has the characteristics of large noise in the piezoelectric signal and large harmonics, this paper analyzes its working and signal detection method, then gives the whole plan of the circuit system, including the drive module, the detection module and the control loop. It also studies every part of the whole system, gives a detailed design and analysis process and proves part of the circuit system using digital simulation. At the end of the article, the test result of the circuit system shows that it can remove the disadvantages of the curved structure having large noise in the piezoelectric signal and large harmonics and is more effective at solving the input angular rate.

http://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/14/3/5254 2014/03/15 - 18:19

This paper addresses the problem of modeling maneuvering target motion in tracking applications. A target trajectory can typically be divided into segments with different dynamic motion modes, such as a constant velocity motion, a constant acceleration motion or a constant turn rate motion. To integrate the different motion modes into a uniform model, a Constant Speed Changing Rate and Constant Turn Rate (CSCRCTR) model is proposed. A new state vector is defined, and the state transition function is derived. Based on the CSCRCTR model, we present a tracking algorithm using a particle filter. The performances of the CSCRCTR model, the uniform model (UM) and the interacting multiple model (IMM) for tracking a simulated maneuvering target are compared and show that the CSCRCTR model maintains a good consistency for different types of motions and achieves better accuracy than UM and IMM when maneuvers occur.

http://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/14/3/5239 2014/03/15 - 18:19

The nucleolus is a dynamic subnuclear structure, which is crucial to the normal operation of the eukaryotic cell. The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), coronavirus nucleocapsid (N) protein, plays important roles in the process of virus replication and cellular infection. Virus infection and transfection showed that N protein was predominately localized in the cytoplasm, but also found in the nucleolus in Vero E6 cells. Furthermore, by utilizing fusion proteins with green fluorescent protein (GFP), deletion mutations or site-directed mutagenesis of PEDV N protein, coupled with live cell imaging and confocal microscopy, it was revealed that, a region spanning amino acids (aa), 71–90 in region 1 of the N protein was sufficient for nucleolar localization and R87 and R89 were critical for its function. We also identified two nuclear export signals (NES, aa221–236, and 325–364), however, only the nuclear export signal (aa325–364) was found to be functional in the context of the full-length N protein. Finally, the activity of this nuclear export signal (NES) was inhibited by the antibiotic Lepomycin B, suggesting that N is exported by a chromosome region maintenance 1-related export pathway.

http://www.mdpi.com/1999-4915/6/3/1253 2014/03/15 - 18:19

The nucleolus is a dynamic subnuclear structure, which is crucial to the normal operation of the eukaryotic cell. The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), coronavirus nucleocapsid (N) protein, plays important roles in the process of virus replication and cellular infection. Virus infection and transfection showed that N protein was predominately localized in the cytoplasm, but also found in the nucleolus in Vero E6 cells. Furthermore, by utilizing fusion proteins with green fluorescent protein (GFP), deletion mutations or site-directed mutagenesis of PEDV N protein, coupled with live cell imaging and confocal microscopy, it was revealed that, a region spanning amino acids (aa), 71–90 in region 1 of the N protein was sufficient for nucleolar localization and R87 and R89 were critical for its function. We also identified two nuclear export signals (NES, aa221–236, and 325–364), however, only the nuclear export signal (aa325–364) was found to be functional in the context of the full-length N protein. Finally, the activity of this nuclear export signal (NES) was inhibited by the antibiotic Lepomycin B, suggesting that N is exported by a chromosome region maintenance 1-related export pathway.

http://www.mdpi.com/1999-4915/6/3/1253 2014/03/15 - 18:19

Influenza (flu) pandemics have exhibited a great threat to human health throughout history. With the emergence of drug-resistant strains of influenza A virus (IAV), it is necessary to look for new agents for treatment and transmission prevention of the flu. Defensins are small (2–6 kDa) cationic peptides known for their broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. Beta-defensins (β-defensins) are mainly produced by barrier epithelial cells and play an important role in attacking microbe invasion by epithelium. In this study, we focused on the anti-influenza A virus activity of mouse β-defensin 1 (mBD1) and β defensin-3 (mBD3) by synthesizing their fusion peptide with standard recombinant methods. The eukaryotic expression vectors pcDNA3.1(+)/mBD1-mBD3 were constructed successfully by overlap-PCR and transfected into Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells. The MDCK cells transfected by pcDNA3.1(+)/mBD1-mBD3 were obtained by G418 screening, and the mBD1-mBD3 stable expression pattern was confirmed in MDCK cells by RT-PCR and immunofluorescence assay. The acquired stable transfected MDCK cells were infected with IAV (A/PR/8/34, H1N1, 0.1 MOI) subsequently and the virus titers in cell culture supernatants were analyzed by TCID50 72 h later. The TCID50 titer of the experimental group was clearly lower than that of the control group (p < 0.001). Furthermore, BALB/C mice were injected with liposome-encapsulated pcDNA3.1(+)/mBD1-mBD3 through muscle and then challenged with the A/PR/8/34 virus. Results showed the survival rate of 100% and lung index inhibitory rate of 32.6% in pcDNA3.1(+)/mBD1-mBD3group; the TCID50 titer of lung homogenates was clearly lower than that of the control group (p < 0.001). This study demonstrates that mBD1-mBD3 expressed by the recombinant plasmid pcDNA3.1(+)/mBD1-mBD3 could inhibit influenza A virus replication both in vitro and in vivo. These observations suggested that the recombinant mBD1-mBD3 might be developed into an agent for influenza prevention and treatment.

http://www.mdpi.com/1999-4915/6/3/1237 2014/03/15 - 18:19

Influenza (flu) pandemics have exhibited a great threat to human health throughout history. With the emergence of drug-resistant strains of influenza A virus (IAV), it is necessary to look for new agents for treatment and transmission prevention of the flu. Defensins are small (2–6 kDa) cationic peptides known for their broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. Beta-defensins (β-defensins) are mainly produced by barrier epithelial cells and play an important role in attacking microbe invasion by epithelium. In this study, we focused on the anti-influenza A virus activity of mouse β-defensin 1 (mBD1) and β defensin-3 (mBD3) by synthesizing their fusion peptide with standard recombinant methods. The eukaryotic expression vectors pcDNA3.1(+)/mBD1-mBD3 were constructed successfully by overlap-PCR and transfected into Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells. The MDCK cells transfected by pcDNA3.1(+)/mBD1-mBD3 were obtained by G418 screening, and the mBD1-mBD3 stable expression pattern was confirmed in MDCK cells by RT-PCR and immunofluorescence assay. The acquired stable transfected MDCK cells were infected with IAV (A/PR/8/34, H1N1, 0.1 MOI) subsequently and the virus titers in cell culture supernatants were analyzed by TCID50 72 h later. The TCID50 titer of the experimental group was clearly lower than that of the control group (p < 0.001). Furthermore, BALB/C mice were injected with liposome-encapsulated pcDNA3.1(+)/mBD1-mBD3 through muscle and then challenged with the A/PR/8/34 virus. Results showed the survival rate of 100% and lung index inhibitory rate of 32.6% in pcDNA3.1(+)/mBD1-mBD3group; the TCID50 titer of lung homogenates was clearly lower than that of the control group (p < 0.001). This study demonstrates that mBD1-mBD3 expressed by the recombinant plasmid pcDNA3.1(+)/mBD1-mBD3 could inhibit influenza A virus replication both in vitro and in vivo. These observations suggested that the recombinant mBD1-mBD3 might be developed into an agent for influenza prevention and treatment.

http://www.mdpi.com/1999-4915/6/3/1237 2014/03/15 - 18:19

Although circulating tumor cells (CTCs) were first observed over a century ago, lack of sensitive methodology precluded detailed study of these cells until recently. However, technological advances have now facilitated the identification, enumeration, and characterization of CTCs using a variety of methods. The majority of evidence supporting the use of CTCs in clinical decision-making has been related to enumeration using the CellSearch® system and correlation with prognosis. Growing evidence also suggests that CTC monitoring can provide an early indication of patient treatment response based on comparison of CTC levels before and after therapy. However, perhaps the greatest potential that CTCs hold for oncology lies at the level of molecular characterization. Clinical treatment decisions may be more effective if they are based on molecular characteristics of metastatic cells rather than on those of the primary tumor alone. Molecular characterization of CTCs (which can be repeatedly isolated in a minimally invasive fashion) provides the opportunity for a “real-time liquid biopsy” that allows assessment of genetic drift, investigation of molecular disease evolution, and identification of actionable genomic characteristics. This review focuses on recent advances in this area, including approaches involving immunophenotyping, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), multiplex RT-PCR, microarray, and genomic sequencing.

http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6694/6/1/595 2014/03/15 - 18:19

Although circulating tumor cells (CTCs) were first observed over a century ago, lack of sensitive methodology precluded detailed study of these cells until recently. However, technological advances have now facilitated the identification, enumeration, and characterization of CTCs using a variety of methods. The majority of evidence supporting the use of CTCs in clinical decision-making has been related to enumeration using the CellSearch® system and correlation with prognosis. Growing evidence also suggests that CTC monitoring can provide an early indication of patient treatment response based on comparison of CTC levels before and after therapy. However, perhaps the greatest potential that CTCs hold for oncology lies at the level of molecular characterization. Clinical treatment decisions may be more effective if they are based on molecular characteristics of metastatic cells rather than on those of the primary tumor alone. Molecular characterization of CTCs (which can be repeatedly isolated in a minimally invasive fashion) provides the opportunity for a “real-time liquid biopsy” that allows assessment of genetic drift, investigation of molecular disease evolution, and identification of actionable genomic characteristics. This review focuses on recent advances in this area, including approaches involving immunophenotyping, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), multiplex RT-PCR, microarray, and genomic sequencing.

http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6694/6/1/595 2014/03/15 - 18:19

Smoking has been extensively documented as a risk factor for all histological types of lung cancer and tobacco-specific nitrosamines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons reproducibly cause lung cancer in laboratory rodents. However, the most common lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), frequently develops in never smokers and is particularly common in women and African Americans, suggesting that factors unrelated to smoking significantly impact this cancer. Recent experimental investigations in vitro and in animal models have shown that chronic psychological stress and the associated hyperactive signaling of stress neurotransmitters via β-adrenergic receptors significantly promote the growth and metastatic potential of NSCLC. These responses were caused by modulation in the expression and sensitization state of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) that regulate the production of stress neurotransmitters and the inhibitory neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Similar changes in nAChR-mediated neurotransmitter production were identified as the cause of NSCLC stimulation in vitro and in xenograft models by chronic nicotine. Collectively, these data suggest that hyperactivity of the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system caused by chronic psychological stress or chronic exposure to nicotinic agonists in cigarette smoke significantly contribute to the development and progression of NSCLC. A recent clinical study that reported improved survival outcomes with the incidental use of β-blockers among patients with NSCLC supports this interpretation.

http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6694/6/1/580 2014/03/15 - 18:19

Smoking has been extensively documented as a risk factor for all histological types of lung cancer and tobacco-specific nitrosamines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons reproducibly cause lung cancer in laboratory rodents. However, the most common lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), frequently develops in never smokers and is particularly common in women and African Americans, suggesting that factors unrelated to smoking significantly impact this cancer. Recent experimental investigations in vitro and in animal models have shown that chronic psychological stress and the associated hyperactive signaling of stress neurotransmitters via β-adrenergic receptors significantly promote the growth and metastatic potential of NSCLC. These responses were caused by modulation in the expression and sensitization state of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) that regulate the production of stress neurotransmitters and the inhibitory neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Similar changes in nAChR-mediated neurotransmitter production were identified as the cause of NSCLC stimulation in vitro and in xenograft models by chronic nicotine. Collectively, these data suggest that hyperactivity of the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system caused by chronic psychological stress or chronic exposure to nicotinic agonists in cigarette smoke significantly contribute to the development and progression of NSCLC. A recent clinical study that reported improved survival outcomes with the incidental use of β-blockers among patients with NSCLC supports this interpretation.

http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6694/6/1/580 2014/03/15 - 18:19

This paper concentrates on the HFMD data of China from March 2009 to December 2012. We set up a mathematical model to fit those data with the goodness of fit and obtain the optimal parameter values of the model. By the Chi-square test of statistical inference, the optimal parameter values of the model are reasonable. We obtained the basic reproductive number of the disease for each year, and it is larger than 1. Thus, we conclude that HFMD will persist in China under the current conditions, so we investigate the preventive measures to control the HFMD. If the preventive measures proposed in our paper were implemented, HFMD would be controlled quickly and the number of infections would decline rapidly over a period of time.

http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/11/3/3108 2014/03/15 - 18:19

This paper concentrates on the HFMD data of China from March 2009 to December 2012. We set up a mathematical model to fit those data with the goodness of fit and obtain the optimal parameter values of the model. By the Chi-square test of statistical inference, the optimal parameter values of the model are reasonable. We obtained the basic reproductive number of the disease for each year, and it is larger than 1. Thus, we conclude that HFMD will persist in China under the current conditions, so we investigate the preventive measures to control the HFMD. If the preventive measures proposed in our paper were implemented, HFMD would be controlled quickly and the number of infections would decline rapidly over a period of time.

http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/11/3/3108 2014/03/15 - 18:19