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In this work, winery wastes generated by a cellar producing approximately 300,000 hL of wine per year was monitored for a period of one year. On average, 196 L of wastewater, 0.1 kg of waste activated sludge (dry matter) and 1.6 kg of wine lees were produced per hectoliter of wine produced. Different winery wastes, deriving from different production steps, namely waste activated sludge from wastewater treatment and wine lees, were co-treated using an anaerobic digestion process. Testing was conducted on a pilot scale for both mesophilic and thermophilic conditions. The process was stable for a long period at 37 °C, with an average biogas production of 0.386 m3/kg CODfed. On the other hand, for thermophilic conditions, volatile fatty acids accumulated in the reactor and the process failed after one hydraulic retention time (23 days). In order to fix the biological process, trace elements (iron, cobalt and nickel) were added to the feed of the thermophilic reactor. Metals augmentation improved process stability and yields at 55 °C. The pH ranged between 7.8 and 8.0, and specific gas production was 0.450 m3/kg CODfed, which corresponded to dry matter and COD removals of 34% and 88%, respectively. Although the observed performances in terms of biogas production were good, the thermophilic process exhibited some limitations related to both the necessity of metals addition and the worse dewaterability properties. In fact, while the mesophilic digestates reached a good dewatering quality via the addition of 6.5 g of polymer per kg of dry matter, the required dosage for the thermophilic sludge was greater than 10 g/kg of dry matter.
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The advanced research and development of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) is vast due to their incredible applications today. In this work, AgNPs were synthesized using soil derived Pseudomonas putida MVP2. The AgNPs formation on the P. putida cell membrane and its cell free supernatant was studied. The synthesized AgNPs were characterized by UV–visible spectroscopy, scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), energy dispersive X-ray (EDAX) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrum analysis. The mode of action of AgNPs on the bacteria was studied against clinically isolated bacterial pathogens, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Bacillus cereus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Helicobacter pylori by membrane integrity, and protein leakage using confocal and electron microscopy. Interestingly, AgNPs had no cytotoxicity under 25μg/mL and it was toxic at above 50μg/mL on human epidermoid larynx carcinoma (HEp-2) cells. This study evidenced that biogenic nanoparticles could affect the bacterial replication, protein leakage and eventually cell death. This might be used for active antimicrobial agents for the chronic infections.
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An extensive monitoring campaign was conducted between November 2011 and July 2012 at schools, homes, offices and Regional air quality network stations in Rome, within the LIFE+ EXPAH Project. This study allowed to improve the knowledge of actual concentrations and percent composition of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) over the city area. High concentrations of all PAH congeners were observed during winter colder periods, e.g. benzo[a]pyrene weekly average concentration reached 3.0ng/m3, while much lower values were recorded in summer (<0.1ng/m3), with seasonal variability (winter-to-summer ratios R) exceeding 10. This latter value was larger than that recorded for other pollutants including PM2.5 (R∼2.5). Also the percent composition of PAHs in particulates and the rates of diagnostic concentration ratios between selected congeners changed along the year, allowing to draw insights about the predominant sources and their respective importance. In particular, biomass burning for heating purposes was identified as the prevailing PAH source during winter and vehicle traffic in summer. Discrepancies between PAH profiles estimated from the emission inventory and observations were detected, with possible implication for modelling of PAH congeners.
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The aim of this paper was to provide a proof of concept demonstrating that molecular modelling methodologies can be employed as a part of an integrated strategy to support toxicity prediction consistent with the mode of action/adverse outcome pathway (MoA/AOP) framework. To illustrate the role of molecular modelling in predictive toxicology, a case study was undertaken in which molecular modelling methodologies were employed to predict the activation of the peroxisome proliferator-activated nuclear receptor γ (PPARγ) as a potential molecular initiating event (MIE) for liver steatosis. A stepwise procedure combining different in silico approaches (virtual screening based on docking and pharmacophore filtering, and molecular field analysis) was developed to screen for PPARγ full agonists and to predict their transactivation activity (EC50). The performance metrics of the classification model to predict PPARγ full agonists were balanced accuracy=81%, sensitivity=85% and specificity=76%. The 3D QSAR model developed to predict EC50 of PPARγ full agonists had the following statistical parameters: q2cv=0.610, Nopt=7, SEPcv=0.505, r2pr=0.552. To support the linkage of PPARγ agonism predictions to prosteatotic potential, molecular modelling was combined with independently performed mechanistic mining of available in vivo toxicity data followed by ToxPrint chemotypes analysis. The approaches investigated demonstrated a potential to predict the MIE, to facilitate the process of MoA/AOP elaboration, to increase the scientific confidence in AOP, and to become a basis for 3D chemotype development.
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Microfluidic Y-junctions were used to study mechanical mechanisms involved in pig gastric mucin (PGM) plug removal from within one of two bifurcation branches with 2-phase air and liquid flow. Water control experiments showed moderate plug removal due to shear from vortex formation in the blockage branch and suggest a PGM yield stress of 35Pa, as determined by computational fluid dynamics. Addition of hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) surfactant improved clearing effectiveness due to bubbling in 1mm diameter channels and foaming in 500μm diameter channels. Plug removal mechanisms have been identified as vortex shear, bubble scouring, and then foam scouring as air flow rate is increased with constant liquid flow. The onset of bubbling and foaming is attributed to a flow regime transition from slug to slug-annular. Flow rates explored for 1mm channels are typically experienced by bronchioles in generations 8 and 9 of lungs. Results have implications on treatment of cystic fibrosis and other lung diseases.
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Major (Si, Al, Fe, Ti, Mg, Ca, Na, K, S, P), minor (Mn) and trace (Li, V, Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Sr, Zr, Mo, Cd, Ag, Sn, Sb, Cs, Ba, Hg, Pb, Bi and U) elements, their chemical forms and the mineral composition, organic matter (TOC) and carbonates (TIC) in surface sediments from the Cai River estuary and Nha Trang Bay were first determined along the salinity gradient. The abundance and ratio of major and trace elements in surface sediments are discussed in relation to the mineralogy, grain size, depositional conditions, reference background and SQG values. Most trace-element contents are at natural levels and are derived from the composition of rocks and soils in the watershed. A severe enrichment of Ag is most likely derived from metal-rich detrital heavy minerals such as Ag-sulfosalts. Along the salinity gradient, several zones of metal enrichment occur in surface sediments because of the geochemical fractionation of the riverine material. The parts of actually and potentially bioavailable forms (isolated by four single chemical reagent extractions) are most elevated for Mn and Pb (up to 36% and 32% of total content, respectively). The possible anthropogenic input of Pb in the region requires further study. Overall, the most bioavailable parts of trace elements are associated with easily soluble amorphous Fe and Mn oxyhydroxides. The sediments are primarily enriched with bioavailable metal forms in the riverine part of the estuary. Natural (such as turbidities) and human-generated (such as urban and industrial activities) pressures are shown to influence the abundance and speciation of potential contaminants and therefore change their bioavailability in this estuarine system.
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The paper describes the facile synthesis of new N-cyclopropyl-1-methyl-1H-indole-2-carboxamide derivatives bearing substituted 2-amino pyrimidine moiety at position-3 of the indole ring. All the intermediate and title compounds were characterized adeptly by 1H NMR, 13C NMR, ESI–MS and elemental analyses. These compounds were evaluated for their in vitro anticancer activity against HeLa, HepG2 and MCF-7 cells. Three among 22 molecules, showed more than 70% growth inhibition against all three tested cancer cells. The nature of the substituent group on the pyrimidine ring (R2) affected significantly the anti-proliferative activity of the molecules. The anti-microbial evaluation of the title molecules revealed the significance of fluoro/chloro groups (R2) in enhancing their inhibition activity. Eight molecules which contain fluoro/chloro groups showed potent anti-microbial activity. In addition, the active molecules displayed negligible toxicity to benign Vero cells.
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Understanding the link between fish and their habitat is essential for an ecosystem approach to fisheries management. However, determining such relationship is challenging, especially for deep-sea species. In this study, we applied generalized additive models (GAMs) to relate presence–absence and relative abundance data of eight economically-important fish species to environmental variables (depth, slope, aspect, substrate type, bottom temperature, salinity and oxygen saturation). We combined 13 years of catch data collected from systematic longline surveys performed across the region. Overall, presence–absence GAMs performed better than abundance models and predictions made for the observed data successfully predicted the occurrence of the eight deep-sea fish species. Depth was the most influential predictor of all fish species occurrence and abundance distributions, whereas other factors were found to be significant for some species but did not show such a clear influence. Our results predicted that despite the extensive Azores EEZ, the habitats available for the studied deep-sea fish species are highly limited and patchy, restricted to seamounts slopes and summits, offshore banks and island slopes. Despite some identified limitations, our GAMs provide an improved knowledge of the spatial distribution of these commercially important fish species in the region.
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The undertaken study describes the synthesis of copper nanoparticles (Cunps) in an aqueous medium using ascorbic acid as a reducing agent via the chemical reduction method. The synthesized copper nanoparticles have resistance to oxidation by atmospheric oxygen for two months. The copper nanoparticles were characterized by UV–Visible spectrophotometry, FTIR spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The average sizes of copper nanoparticles were found to be 28, 16, 12nm at increasing concentrations of l-ascorbic acid respectively. Interestingly, it was found that, the catalytic activity depends on the size of nanoparticles. The catalysis by colloidal copper nanoparticles was studied kinetically with the oxidation of l-threonine (Thr) by peroxomonosulfate (PMS) in aqueous medium. The oxidation rate was found to follow first order kinetics with respect to threonine and peroxomonosulfate. The copper nanoparticles are expected to be a suitable alternative and play an important role in the field of catalysis and environmental remediation.
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A novel and green method of olefin epoxidation was developed by using aqueous hydrogen peroxide as the terminal oxidation agent over Co-Fe3O4 magnetic nanoparticles catalyst in acetonitrile medium. This process showed excellent conversion and selectivity toward both terminal and substituted olefins. Co-Fe3O4 magnetic nanoparticles could be recycled and reused without significant loss of catalytic activity in this transformation.
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