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The removal of 10 organic micropollutants (OMPs) was studied in two MBRs using different types of membrane (flat sheet microfiltration, MF, and hollow fiber ultrafiltration, UF) operated under aerobic conditions with direct dosing of powdered activated carbon (PAC) in the mixed liquor. In both reactors high COD degradation and nitrification were achieved (>95%), while nitrate removal was only observed after PAC addition. The adsorbent improved the operation of both systems (sludge properties and microbial diversity) which resulted in an enhancement of the quality of the final effluent. The operation with both types of membrane was feasible being the UF system slightly better in terms of the quality of the final effluent. The strategy of 250 mg/L of PAC additions every 35 days was validated according to the results obtained for the removal of the most recalcitrant OMPs, such as diclofenac and carbamazepine. Concerning the type of membrane, only significant differences were observed for diclofenac and roxithromycin, which were better removed in the UF configuration. These differences were attributed to sorption and/or further biotransformation processes occurring in the cake layer.
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Adelphocoris suturalis Jakovlev (Hemiptera: Miridae) is an insect pest that causes severe agricultural damage to cotton and many other important crops. In insects, olfaction is very important throughout their lifetime. There are two groups of small soluble proteins, named odorant binding proteins (OBPs) and chemosensory proteins (CSPs), which are suggested to participate in the initial biochemical recognition steps of insect olfactory signal transduction. In this study, a total of 16 OBPs (12 classical OBPs and 4 plus-C OBPs) and 8 CSPs, were identified in the antennal transcriptome of A. suturalis. The sex- and tissue-specific profiles of these binding protein genes showed that 13 of the 16 OBP transcripts were highly expressed in the antennae of both sexes, and 4 OBPs (AsutOBP1, 4, 5 and 9) were expressed higher in the male antennae compared to the female antennae. Three CSPs (AsutCSP1, 4 and 5) were expressed specifically in the antennae of both sexes, and AsutCSP1 was expressed higher in the male antennae than in the female antennae. Our findings identify several novel OBP and CSP genes for further investigation of the olfactory system of A. suturalis at the molecular level.
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In this study fungal pretreatment of willow sawdust (WSD) via the white rot fungi Leiotrametes menziesii and Abortiporus biennis was studied and the effect on fractionation of lignocellulosic biomass and biochemical methane potential (BMP), was evaluated. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and IR spectroscopy were used to investigate the changes in the structural characteristics of the pretreated WSD. Fungal pretreatment results revealed that A. biennis is more attractive, since it resulted in higher lignin degradation and lower holocellulose uptake. Samples of the 14th and 30th d of cultivation (i.e. the middle and the end of the pretreatment experiment) with both fungi were used for BMP tests and the effect of pretreatment duration was also evaluated. BMP increase by 31 and 43% was obtained due to the cultivation of WSD with A. biennis, for 14 and 30 d, respectively. In addition, combination of biological (after 30 d of cultivation) with alkaline (NaOH 20 g/100 gTS) pretreatment was performed, in order to assess the effect of the chemical agent on biologically pretreated WSD, in terms of lignocellulosic content and BMP. Combination of alkaline with fungal pretreatment led to high lignin degradation for both fungi, while the cellulose and hemicellulose removal efficiencies were higher for combined alkaline and L. menziesii pretreatment. The maximum BMP was observed for the combined alkaline and A. biennis pretreatment and was 12.5 and 50.1% higher than the respective alkaline and fungal pretreatment alone and 115% higher than the respective BMP of raw WSD.
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MgO nanoparticles have been used as an efficient catalyst for the diastereoselective preparation of trans-2-benzoyl-3-(aryl)-2H-furo[3,2-c]chromen-4(3H)-ones by the multi-component reaction of 2,4′-dibromoacetophenone, pyridine, benzaldehydes and 4-hydroxycoumarin under ultrasonic irradiation. This interesting result revealed that the pyridiniumylide assisted tandem three-component coupling reaction is highly diastereoselective. Atom economy, wide range of products, high catalytic activity, excellent yields in short reaction times, diastereoselective synthesis and environmental benignity are some of the important features of this protocol.
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Olive mill wastewater (OMWW) is a major problem in olive oil – producing countries, due to its high organic load and concentration in phenols that are toxic for marine life, plants and soil microorganisms. In the present study, two mushroom species were tested in regard to their OMWW's oxidative capacity, Pleurotus citrinopileatus LGAM 28684 and Irpex lacteus LGAM 238. OMWW (25% v/v) degradation was investigated for several culture conditions, namely pH, agitation speed, nitrogen-based supplements and their concentration. The selected values were pH 6, agitation rate 150 rpm, 30 g L−1 corn steep liquor as nitrogen source for P. citrinopileatus and 20 g L−1 diammonium tartrate for I. lacteus. The two strains performed well in cultures supplemented with OMWW, generating very high titers of oxidative enzymes and achieving more than 90% color and phenols reduction within a 24 days cultivation period. In addition, the amount of glucans present in the fungal biomass was assessed. Hence, P. citrinopileatus and I. lacteus appear as potent degraders of OMWW with the ability to use the effluent as a substrate for the production of biotechnologically important enzymes and valuable fungal glucans.
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We report herein, two synthetic approaches to three types of nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates (N-BPs) in moderate to high yields (58–88%). Ester cleavage of selected bisphosphonates was undertaken to obtain their N-BP-acid analogs. Based on the reported bisphosphonate properties and the prospective biological prediction using computer-assisted molecular modeling (CAMM), new compounds were evaluated in a mouse model of antigen-induced arthritis (AIA) and the delayed-type hypersensitivity granuloma reaction (DTH-GRA) for chronic inflammation. Pharmacological results showed that N-BP-acids are more favorable for antiarthritis activity than N-BP-esters. On the other hand, the majority of N-BPs revealed good antiinflammatory potency compared to their acid analogs. The results also showed that the presence of a free thiol group in a molecule enhances the anti-inflammatory activity. Furthermore, bioscreening results were in good agreement with the prediction investigation. A hypothesis of molecular modeling study, including fitting of the synthesized compounds into 3D-pharmacophore using Discovery Studio 2.5 software and their docking into the human farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase (hFPPS, PDB code: 2F8C protein) showed good results consistent with the observed pharmacological properties.
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Pentraxin-3 (PTX3) and soluble tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-like weak inducer of apoptosis (sTWEAK) are new candidate prognostic markers for comorbidities and mortality in various inflammatory diseases. Acute decompensation of cirrhosis is characterized by acute exacerbation of chronic systemic inflammation. Recently, increased circulating PTX3 levels have been reported in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis patients and positively correlated with disease severity. This study aims to explore serum PTX3/sTWEAK levels and their relationship with clinical outcomes in cirrhotic patients with acute decompensation.
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Candida albicans is a common fungal pathogen in humans. In healthy individuals, C. albicans represents a harmless commensal organism, but infections can be life threatening in immunocompromised patients. The complete genome sequence of C. albicans is extremely useful for identifying genes that may be potential drug targets and important for pathogenic virulence. However, there are still many uncharacterized genes in the Candida genome database. In this study, we investigated C. albicans Hom6, the functions of which remain undetermined experimentally.
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Among relevant metal ions in biological systems, zinc and iron play a key role as active partners of the catalytic machinery. In particular, the inhibition of metal enzymes that are involved in physiological and pathological processes has been deeply investigated for the rational design of selective and efficient drugs based on chelators. Since imidazole histidine residue is one of the most versatile sites in proteins, especially in enzymes acting in the presence of metal ions as cofactors, in this work the synthesis and characterization of a new imidazole derivative, namely 5-methyl-2-phenoxymethyl-3-H-imidazole-4-carboxylic acid (PIMA) is reported. PIMA was designed as metallo-β-lactamase inhibitor thanks to its similarity with penicillin V, a β-lactam antibiotic inactivated by metallo-β-lactamase, for which there are no commercially available inhibitors. The evaluation of PIMA coordinating ability toward iron, zinc, and gallium, these latter selected as a non-paramagnetic probe for iron, is performed by theoretical DFT calculations and in solution by experimental techniques, i.e. potentiometry, UV–vis and NMR spectroscopy. PIMA exhibits an efficient metal chelating ability; the prevailing species in physiological condition are ML3 for Fe3+ and Ga3+ and ML2 for Zn2+, in which chelation is due to deprotonated carboxylic oxygen and imidazole nitrogen in the N,O donor set. The demonstrated ability of PIMA to chelate zinc ion, combined with its structure similarity with penicillin V, supports further exploration of this imidazole-4-carboxylate as metallo-β-lactamase inhibitor.
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Photogalvanic cells (PG) have been extensively studied for solar power and storage at low intensity artificial sunlight. But, PG can be practically significant and applicable in daily life only when they are validated at natural sunlight intensity. Therefore, the present study of photogalvanics of Sudan I-Fructose with efficiency enhancer chemical such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) surfactant in alkaline medium has been used to observe their workable feasibility in natural sunlight with investigation for optimal fabrication parameters. The cell has been found workable in natural sunlight with greatly enhanced optimum cell performance compared to that for reported similar cells. The observed optimum cell performance in terms of maximum power, short-circuit current, open-circuit potential, conversion efficiency and storage capacity (as half change time) is of the order of 1081.1μW, 4200μA, 1048mV, 13.5%, and 31min, respectively.
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