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Accurate, reliable and sensitive detection methods for gluten are required to support current EU regulations. The enforcement of legislative levels requires that measurement results are comparable over time and between methods. This is not a trivial task for gluten which comprises a large number of protein targets. This paper describes a strategy for defining a set of specific analytical targets for wheat gluten.
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This study for the first time designed to optimize the extraction of phenolic compounds and antioxidant potential of Berberis asiatica fruits using response surface methodology (RSM). Solvent selection was done based on the preliminary experiments and a five-factors-three-level, Central Composite Design (CCD). Extraction temperature (X1), sample to solvent ratio (X3) and solvent concentration (X5) significantly affect response variables. The quadratic model well fitted for all the responses. Under optimal extraction conditions, the dried fruit sample mixed with 80% methanol having 3.0 pH in a ratio of 1:50 and the mixture was heated at 80°C for 30min; the measured parameters was found in accordance with the predicted values. High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) analysis at optimized condition reveals 6 phenolic compounds. The results suggest that optimization of the extraction conditions is critical for accurate quantification of phenolics and antioxidants in Berberis asiatica fruits, which may further be utilized for industrial extraction procedure.
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The extraction, characterization, purification and upgrading of algal lipids was examined, utilizing Scenedesmus acutus microalgae grown with flue gas from a coal-fired power plant. Lipid extraction was achieved using a procedure based on the Bligh–Dyer method, modified so as to utilize a significantly decreased solvent:biomass ratio than the original protocol. Both activated carbon and K10 montmorillonite were found to function as efficient adsorbents for the removal of chlorophyll, phospholipids and sterols from the crude algae oil. The yield of purified lipids using this approach was similar to that obtained by in situ transesterification of the lipids in S. acutus, confirming that adsorption is an effective method for the removal of non-esterifiable lipids. During the deoxygenation of the purified algae oil at 260°C over a Ni–Al layered double hydroxide catalyst, deactivation of the catalyst was observed, attributed to the presence of highly unsaturated lipid chains which can act as poisons by adsorbing strongly to the catalyst surface and/or acting as precursors to coke formation. However, upgrading at 300°C gave better results, the liquid product consisting of ∼99wt% hydrocarbons, diesel-like (C10–C20) hydrocarbons constituting 76wt% of the liquid after 4h on stream.
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Wild and managed bees provide critical pollination services to both native and cultivated plants, and the invasion of exotic plants can have positive or negative effects on bee communities. In this study we investigated the influence of the exotic invasive Centaurea stoebe ssp. micranthos (spotted knapweed) on bee species diversity and abundance in old-fields (Michigan, USA). We conducted field observations in knapweed dominated fields and adjacent fields with greater forb diversity to determine whether the bee communities foraging in each field type differed in their composition, diversity, and abundance, and to determine how bees’ use of floral resources changed throughout the growing season. This was coupled with a common garden experiment that contrasted the attractiveness of C. stoebe to 12 native plant species, which occur in similar habitats. Both studies were conducted throughout the 2012–2013 growing seasons to examine the temporal effect of floral resource availability. C. stoebe was the most heavily-visited plant, in terms of total bee visitation and bee species richness in both studies. While C. stoebe-dominated old-fields had high floral resource levels during its peak bloom period, before and after this period these fields contained very few floral resources. In contrast, diverse fields had a number of flowering plant species that provided floral resources before, during, and after C. stoebe bloom. As a result, diverse fields contained significantly greater season-long floral resource availability and significantly greater season-total bee abundance, diversity and species richness. This greater species richness was driven at least in part by the ability of diverse flowering plant communities to support bee species that are active before and after the bloom period of C. stoebe. Our results suggest that efforts to manage C. stoebe should take into account the floral resources the plant is providing, and coincide with the restoration of diverse forb communities in order to enhance bee foraging habitat in old-fields.
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In this paper we propose and test a methodology for constructing a credit rating model. We follow a polytomous ordered probit analysis leading to the specification of statistically significant credit rating intervals. We test our model with accounting data of Greek listed firms over the years 2004–2013, a period which includes both the pre-crisis growth and the crisis phase of the Greek economy and the stock market. Using the empirically—based rating categories that the model generates endogenously, we observe not only a clear and timely response of ratings to the changing economic environment, but we also obtain significant predictive ability over a period of one, two and three years.
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Aging is related to declined cardiac hemodynamic function. As pumping performance may be significantly related to slowed ventricular depolarization and non-synchronous contraction, we hypothesized that aging may cause dysfunction of intercalated disc (ID), which is the structure responsible for intercellular electrical communication between cardiomyocytes.
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Congenital cytomegalovirus infection occurs in 0.7% of live births with 15-20% of infected children developing long-term disability including hearing loss and cognitive deficit. Fetal cytomegalovirus infection is established by viral DNA amplification by polymerase chain reaction in amniotic fluid obtained by amniocentesis following maternal seroconversion or after the diagnosis of ultrasound features suggestive of fetal infection. Severe brain ultrasound anomalies are associated with a poor prognosis. The prognosis of an infected fetus showing either no ultrasound features or nonsevere ultrasound anomalies is difficult to establish up until late in the second or third trimester of pregnancy.
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The ligand-activated nuclear receptor pregnane X receptor (PXR, NR1I2) and the constitutive androstane receptor (CAR, NR1I3) are two master transcriptional regulators of many important drug metabolizing enzymes and transporter genes (DMET) in response to xenobiotics including many drugs. The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα, NR1C1), the target of lipid lowering fibrate drugs, primarily regulates fatty acid catabolism and energy-homeostasis. Recent research has shown that there are substantial overlaps in the regulated genes of these receptors. For example, both CAR and PXR also modulate the transcription of key enzymes involved in lipid and glucose metabolism and PPARα also functions as a direct transcriptional regulator of important DMET genes including cytochrome P450s CYP3A4 and CYP2C8. Despite their important and widespread influence on liver metabolism, comparative data are scarce, particularly at a global level and in humans. The major objective of this study was to directly compare the genome-wide transcriptional changes elucidated by the activation of these three nuclear receptors in primary human hepatocytes. Cultures from six individual donors were treated with the prototypical ligands for CAR (CITCO), PXR (rifampicin) and PPARα (WY14,643) or DMSO as vehicle control. Genomewide mRNA profiles determined with Affymetrix microarrays were analyzed for differentially expressed genes and metabolic functions. The results confirmed known prototype target genes and revealed strongly overlapping sets of coregulated but also distinctly regulated and novel responsive genes and pathways. The results further specify the role of PPARα as a regulator of drug metabolism and the role of the xenosensors PXR and CAR in lipid metabolism and energy homeostasis. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Xenobiotic nuclear receptors: New Tricks for An Old Dog, edited by Dr. Wen Xie.
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Detection is the first step to efficient treatment, therefore early detection of biofilm gains paramount importance for the initiation of mitigation protocols. A systematic study was conducted to detect the biofilm formation (1h to 2month period) on aluminium, titanium surfaces and their corresponding oxide film surfaces. The limit of detection (LOD) in case of traditional MALDI-MS was limited to a 6h old biofilm. Whereas, in case of the Graphene nanosheet mediated MALDI-MS (GN-MALDI-MS) approach, early detection of the biofilm was demonstrated to be 1h on titanium surfaces and 3h for Al surfaces.
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Digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG) is a major component of thylakoid membranes, occupying approximately 20% of the membrane system. This lipid composition is conserved from cyanobacteria to the chloroplasts of terrestrial plants, suggesting that DGDG is important for the function of photosynthetic membranes. Here we isolated the gene for DGDG synthase in the cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 (7942dgdA) and found that this gene is essential for this species. 7942dgdA could be knocked out only when genes for cyanobacterial or plant DGDG synthases were expressed, indicating that the important factor was not the specific synthetic pathway but the lipid product. Lack of DGDG could not be compensated by the other membrane lipids in S. elongatus PCC 7942 or by glucosylgalactosyldiacylglycerol synthesized by the β-GlcT gene of Chloroflexus aurantiacus. These results reveal that DGDG has an indispensable role in S. elongatus PCC 7942 and that the second galactose molecule is key. Conservation and distribution of the galactolipid synthetic pathway among oxygenic phototrophs is discussed. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Plant Lipid Biology edited by Kent D. Chapman and Ivo Feussner.
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