Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 56400

Biotechnology and Bioengineering

Differential Survival Rates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Strains on the Wings of Pantala flavescens
Biofilm forming Pseudomonads occupy the top third position in causing hospital acquired infections. P. aeruginosa is notoriously known for its tendency to develop drug resistance. Major classes of drug such as β-lactams, aminoglycosides, quinolones, and polymyxins are found ineffective against multi-drug resistance Pseudomonas. To combat the infections, rather than administration of a single antibiotic, use of combinations (tobramycin and essential oils from plants and/or silver nanoparticles, chitosan, nitric oxide, cis-2-decenoic acid) in single formulation are suggested to control P. aeruginosa biofilms. Conventional techniques to prevent hospital-acquired implant infections such as coatings with antibiotics, controlled release of antibiotics from the implant material, contact-killing surfaces, coating the implants with functional DNase I and, coating with glycoside hydrolase are being followed. Coatings with bioactive components besides having limited shelf-life, require cold-chain and, are likely to fail when bacteria develop resistance. Recently identified nano-scale physical architectures on the insect wings are expected to have potential bactericidal property. Nanopillars are bactericidal to Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, K. pnuemoniae and few species of Pseudomonas. Our study aims to investigate the survival rate of biofilm forming Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain over non-biofilm forming strain on the nanopillar architecture of dragonfly (Pantala flavescens) wing. Dragonflies were collected near house-hold areas and, insect identification was carried out by the Department of Entomology, Tamilnadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India. Two strains of P. aeruginosa such as PAO1 (potent biofilm former) and MTCC 1688 (non-weak biofilm former) were tested against the glass coverslip (control) and wings of dragonfly (test) for 48 h. The wings/glass coverslips were incubated with bacterial suspension in 48-well plate. The plates were incubated at 37 °C under static condition. Bacterial attachment on the nanopillar architecture of the wing surface was visualized using FESEM. The survival rate of P. aeruginosa was tested using colony counting technique and flow cytometry at 0.5 h, 1 h, 2 h, 7 h, 24 h, and 48 h post-incubation. Cell death was analyzed using propidium iodide staining and DNA quantification. The results indicated that the survival rate of non-biofilm forming P. aeruginosa is 0.2 %, whilst that of biofilm former is 45 % on the dragonfly wings at the end of 48 h. The reduction in the survival rate of biofilm and non-biofilm forming P. aeruginosa was 20% and 40% respectively on the wings compared to the glass coverslip. In addition, Fourier Transformed Infrared Radiation was used to study the modification in the surface chemical composition of the wing during bacterial attachment and, post-sonication. This result indicated that the chemical moieties are not involved in the bactericidal property of nanopillars by the conserved characteristic peaks of chitin pre and post-sonication. The nanopillar architecture of the dragonfly wing efficiently deters the survival of non-biofilm forming P. aeruginosa, but not the biofilm forming strain. The study highlights the ability of biofilm formers to survive on wing architecture. Understanding this survival strategy will help in designing the architecture that combats the colonization of biofilm forming pathogens.
Feasibility Study of Mine Tailing’s Treatment by Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans DSM 26636
Among the diverse types of pollutants produced by anthropogenic activities, metals represent a serious threat, due to their accumulation in ecosystems and their elevated toxicity. The mine tailings of abandoned mines contain high levels of metals such as arsenic (As), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), and lead (Pb), which do not suffer any degradation process, they are accumulated in environment. Abandoned mine tailings potentially could contaminate rivers and aquifers representing a risk for human health due to their high metal content. In an attempt to remove the metals and thereby mitigate the environmental pollution, an environmentally friendly and economical method of bioremediation has been introduced. Bioleaching has been actively studied over the last several years, and it is one of the bioremediation solutions used to treat heavy metals contained in sewage sludge, sediment and contaminated soil. Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans, an extremely acidophilic, chemolithoautotrophic, gram-negative, rod shaped microorganism, which is typically related to Cu mining operations (bioleaching), has been well studied for industrial applications. The sulfuric acid produced plays a major role in bioleaching. Specifically, Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans strain DSM 26636 has been able to leach Al, Ni, V, Fe, Mg, Si, and Ni contained in slags from coal combustion wastes. The present study reports the ability of A. thiooxidans DSM 26636 for the bioleaching of metals contained in two different mine tailing samples (MT1 and MT2). It was observed that Al, Fe, and Mn were removed in 36.3±1.7, 191.2±1.6, and 4.5±0.2 mg/kg for MT1, and in 74.5±0.3, 208.3±0.5, and 20.9±0.1 for MT2. Besides, < 1.5 mg/kg of Au and Ru were also bioleached from MT1; in MT2, bioleaching of Zn was observed at 55.7±1.3 mg/kg, besides removal of < 1.5 mg/kg was observed for As, Ir, Li, and 0.6 for Os in this residue. These results show the potential of strain DSM 26636 for the bioleaching of metals that came from different mine tailings.
Application of the Best Technique for Estimating the Rest-Activity Rhythm Period in Shift Workers
Under free living conditions, human biological clocks show a periodicity of 24 hour for numerous physiological, behavioral and biochemical variables. However, this period is not the original period; rather it merely exhibits synchronization with the solar clock. It is, therefore, most important to investigate characteristics of human circadian clock, essentially in shift workers, who normally confront with contrasting social clocks. Aim of the present study was to investigate rest-activity rhythm and to vouch for the best technique for the computation of periods in this rhythm in subjects randomly selected from different groups of shift workers. The rest-activity rhythm was studied in forty-eight shift workers from three different organizations, namely Newspaper Printing Press (NPP), Chhattisgarh State Electricity Board (CSEB) and Raipur Alloys (RA). Shift workers of NPP (N = 20) were working on a permanent night shift schedule (NS; 20:00-04:00). However, in CSEB (N = 14) and RA (N = 14), shift workers were working in a 3-shift system comprising of rotations from night (NS; 22:00-06:00) to afternoon (AS; 14:00-22:00) and to morning shift (MS; 06:00-14:00). Each subject wore an Actiwatch (AW64, Mini Mitter Co. Inc., USA) for 7 and/or 21 consecutive days, only after furnishing a certificate of consent. One-minute epoch length was chosen for the collection of wrist activity data. Period was determined by using Actiware sleep software (Periodogram), Lomb-Scargle Periodogram (LSP) and Spectral analysis software (Spectre). Other statistical techniques, such as ANOVA and Duncan’s multiple-range test were also used whenever required. A statistically significant circadian rhythm in rest-activity, gauged by cosinor, was documented in all shift workers, irrespective of shift work. Results indicate that the efficiency of the technique to determine the period (τ) depended upon the clipping limits of the τs. It appears that the technique of spectre is more reliable.
Bioefficiency of Cinnamomum verum Loaded Niosomes and Its Microbicidal and Mosquito Larvicidal Activity against Aedes aegypti, Anopheles stephensi and Culex quinquefasciatus
Emergences of mosquito vector-borne diseases are considered as a perpetual problem globally in tropical countries. The outbreak of several diseases such as chikungunya, zika virus infection and dengue fever has created a massive threat towards the living population. Frequent usage of synthetic insecticides like Dichloro Diphenyl Trichloroethane (DDT) eventually had its adverse harmful effects on humans as well as the environment. Since there are no perennial vaccines, prevention, treatment or drugs available for these pathogenic vectors, WHO is more concerned in eradicating their breeding sites effectively without any side effects on humans and environment by approaching plant-derived natural eco-friendly bio-insecticides. The aim of this study is to investigate the larvicidal potency of Cinnamomum verum essential oil (CEO) loaded niosomes. Cholesterol and surfactant variants of Span 20, 60 and 80 were used in synthesizing CEO loaded niosomes using Transmembrane pH gradient method. The synthesized CEO loaded niosomes were characterized by Zeta potential, particle size, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR), GC-MS and SEM analysis to evaluate charge, size, functional properties, the composition of secondary metabolites and morphology. The Z-average size of the formed niosomes was 1870.84 nm and had good stability with zeta potential -85.3 meV. The entrapment efficiency of the CEO loaded niosomes was determined by UV-Visible Spectrophotometry. The bio-potency of CEO loaded niosomes was treated and assessed against gram-positive (Bacillus subtilis) and gram-negative (Escherichia coli) bacteria and fungi (Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans) at various concentrations. The larvicidal activity was evaluated against II to IV instar larvae of Aedes aegypti, Anopheles stephensi and Culex quinquefasciatus at various concentrations for 24 h. The mortality rate of LC₅₀ and LC₉₀ values were calculated. The results exhibited that CEO loaded niosomes have greater efficiency against mosquito larvicidal activity. The results suggest that niosomes could be used in various applications of biotechnology and drug delivery systems with greater stability by altering the drug of interest.
Exploring Paper Mill Sludge and Sugarcane Bagasse as Carrier Matrix in Solid State Fermentation for Carotenoid Pigment Production by Planococcus sp. TRC1
Bacterial isolates from Planococcus genus are known for the production of yellowish orange pigment that belongs to the carotenoid family. These pigments are of immense pharmacological importance as antioxidant, anticancer, eye and liver protective agent, etc. The production of this pigment in a cost effective manner is a challenging task. The present study explored paper mill sludge (PMS), a solid lignocellulosic waste generated in large quantities from pulp and paper mill industry as a substrate for carotenoid pigment production by Planococcus sp. TRC1. PMS was compared in terms of efficacy with sugarcane bagasse, which is a highly explored substrate for valuable product generation via solid state fermentation. The results showed that both the biomasses yielded the highest carotenoid during 48 hours of incubation, 31.6 mg/gm and 42.1 mg/gm for PMS and bagasse respectively. Compositional alterations of both the biomasses showed reduction in lignin, hemicellulose and cellulose content by 41%, 15%, 1% for PMS and 38%, 25% and 6% for sugarcane bagasse after 72 hours of incubation. Structural changes in the biomasses were examined by FT-IR, FESEM, and XRD which further confirmed modification of solid biomasses by bacterial isolate. This study revealed the potential of PMS to act as cheap substrate for carotenoid pigment production by Planococcus sp. TRC1, as it showed a significant production in comparison to sugarcane bagasse which gave only 1.3 fold higher production than PMS. Delignification of PMS by TRC1 during pigment production is another important finding for the reuse of this waste from the paper industry.
Bioleaching of Metals Contained in Spent Catalysts by Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans DSM 26636
Spent catalysts are considered as hazardous residues of major concern, mainly due to the simultaneous presence of several metals in elevated concentrations. Although hydrometallurgical, pyrometallurgical and chelating agent methods are available to remove and recover some metals contained in spent catalysts; these procedures generate potentially hazardous wastes and the emission of harmful gases. Thus, biotechnological treatments are currently gaining importance to avoid the negative impacts of chemical technologies. To this end, diverse microorganisms have been used to assess the removal of metals from spent catalysts, comprising bacteria, archaea and fungi, whose resistance and metal uptake capabilities differ depending on the microorganism tested. Acidophilic sulfur oxidizing bacteria have been used to investigate the biotreatment and extraction of valuable metals from spent catalysts, namely Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans and Acidithiobacillus ferroxidans, as they present the ability to produce leaching agents such as sulfuric acid and sulfur oxidation intermediates. In the present work, the ability of A. thiooxidans DSM 26636 for the bioleaching of metals contained in five different spent catalysts was assessed by growing the culture in modified Starkey mineral medium (with elemental sulfur at 1%, w/v), and 1% (w/v) pulp density of each residue for up to 21 days at 30 °C and 150 rpm. Sulfur-oxidizing activity was periodically evaluated by determining sulfate concentration in the supernatants according to the NMX-k-436-1977 method. The production of sulfuric acid was assessed in the supernatants as well, by a titration procedure using NaOH 0.5 M with bromothymol blue as acid-base indicator, and by measuring pH using a digital potentiometer. On the other hand, Inductively Coupled Plasma - Optical Emission Spectrometry was used to analyze metal removal from the five different spent catalysts by A. thiooxidans DSM 26636. Results obtained show that, as could be expected, sulfuric acid production is directly related to the diminish of pH, and also to highest metal removal efficiencies. It was observed that Al and Fe are recurrently removed from refinery spent catalysts regardless of their origin and previous usage, although these removals may vary from 9.5 ± 2.2 to 439 ± 3.9 mg/kg for Al, and from 7.13 ± 0.31 to 368.4 ± 47.8 mg/kg for Fe, depending on the spent catalyst proven. Besides, bioleaching of metals like Mg, Ni, and Si was also obtained from automotive spent catalysts, which removals were of up to 66 ± 2.2, 6.2±0.07, and 100±2.4, respectively. Hence, the data presented here exhibit the potential of A. thiooxidans DSM 26636 for the simultaneous bioleaching of metals contained in spent catalysts from diverse provenance.
Measuring Fluctuating Asymmetry in Human Faces Using High-Density 3D Surface Scans
Fluctuating asymmetry (FA) has been studied for many years as an indicator of developmental stability or ‘genetic quality’ based on the assumption that perfect symmetry is ideally the expected outcome for a bilateral organism. Further studies have also investigated the possible link between FA and attractiveness or levels of masculinity or femininity. These hypotheses have been mostly examined using 2D images, and the structure of interest is usually presented using a limited number of landmarks. Such methods have the downside of simplifying and reducing the dimensionality of the structure, which will in return increase the error of the analysis. In an attempt to reach more conclusive and accurate results, in this study we have used high-resolution 3D scans of human faces and have developed an algorithm to measure and localize FA, taking a spatially-dense approach. A symmetric spatially dense anthropometric mask with paired vertices is non-rigidly mapped on target faces using an Iterative Closest Point (ICP) registration algorithm. A set of 19 manually indicated landmarks were used to examine the precision of our mapping step. The protocol’s accuracy in measurement and localizing FA is assessed using simulated faces with known amounts of asymmetry added to them. The results of validation of our approach show that the algorithm is perfectly capable of locating and measuring FA in 3D simulated faces. With the use of such algorithm, the additional captured information on asymmetry can be used to improve the studies of FA as an indicator of fitness or attractiveness. This algorithm can especially be of great benefit in studies of high number of subjects due to its automated and time-efficient nature. Additionally, taking a spatially dense approach provides us with information about the locality of FA, which is impossible to obtain using conventional methods. It also enables us to analyze the asymmetry of a morphological structures in a multivariate manner; This can be achieved by using methods such as Principal Components Analysis (PCA) or Factor Analysis, which can be a step towards understanding the underlying processes of asymmetry. This method can also be used in combination with genome wide association studies to help unravel the genetic bases of FA. To conclude, we introduced an algorithm to study and analyze asymmetry in human faces, with the possibility of extending the application to other morphological structures, in an automated, accurate and multi-variate framework.
Magnetic Cellulase/Halloysite Nanotubes as Biocatalytic System for Converting Agro-Waste into Value-Added Product
The 'nano-biocatalyst' utilizes an ordered assembling of enzyme on to nanomaterial carriers to catalyze desirable biochemical kinetics and substrate selectivity. The current study describes an inter-disciplinary approach for converting agriculture waste, sugarcane bagasse into D-glucose exploiting halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) decorated cellulase enzyme as nano-biocatalytic system. Cellulase was successfully immobilized on HNTs employing polydopamine as an eco-friendly crosslinker while iron oxide nanoparticles were attached to facilitate magnetic recovery of material. The characterization studies (UV-Vis, TEM, SEM, and XRD) displayed the characteristic features of both cellulase and magnetic HNTs in the resulting nanocomposite. Various factors (i.e., working pH, temp., crosslinker conc., enzyme conc.) which may influence the activity of biocatalytic system were investigated. The experimental design was performed using Response Surface Methodology (RSM) for process optimization. Analyses data demonstrated that the nanobiocatalysts retained 80.30% activity even at elevated temperature (55°C) and excellent storage stabilities after 10 days. The repeated usage of system revealed a remarkable consistent relative activity over several cycles. The immobilized cellulase was employed to decompose agro-waste and the maximum decomposition rate of 67.2 % was achieved. Conclusively, magnetic HNTs can serve as a potential support for enzyme immobilization with long term usage, good efficacy, reusability and easy recovery from solution.
Cellulose Enhancement in Wood Used in Pulp Production by Overexpression of Korrigan and Sucrose Synthase Genes
The wood of Eucalyptus, Populus and bamboos are some important species used as raw material for the manufacture of pulp. However, higher levels of lignin pose a problem during Kraft pulping and yield of pulp is also lower. In order to increase the yield of pulp per unit wood and reduce the use of chemicals during kraft pulping it is important to reduce the lignin content and/or increase cellulose content in wood. Cellulose biosynthesis in wood takes place by the coordinated action of many enzymes. The two important enzymes are KORRIGAN and SUCROSE SYNTHASE. KORRIGAN (Endo-1,4--glucanase) is implicated in the process of editing growing cellulose chains and improvement of the crystallinity of produced cellulose, whereas SUCROSE SYNTHASE is involved in providing substrate (UDP-glucose) for growing cellulose chains. The present study was aimed at the cloning, characterization and overexpression of these genes in Eucalyptus and Populus. An efficient shoot organogenesis protocol from leaf explants taken from micro shoots of the species has been developed. Agrobacterium mediated genetic transformation using Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain EHA105 and LBA4404 harboring binary vector pBI121 was achieved. Both the genes were cloned from cDNA library of Populus deltoides. These were subsequently characterized using various bioinformatics tools. The cloned genes were then inserted into pBI121 under the CaMV35S promotors replacing GUS gene. The constructs were then mobilized into above strains of Agrobacterium and used for the transformation work. Subsequently, genetic transformation of these clones with target genes following already developed protocol is in progress. Four transgenic lines of Eucalyptus tereticornis overexpressing Korrigan gene under the strong constitutive promoters CaMV35S have been developed, which are being further evaluated. Work on development of more transgenic lines overexpressing these genes in Populus and Eucalyptus is also in progress. This presentation will focus on important developments in this direction.
Genome Sequencing, Assembly and Annotation of Gelidium Pristoides from Kenton-on-Sea, South Africa
Genome is complete set of the organism's hereditary information encoded as either deoxyribonucleic acid or ribonucleic acid in most viruses. The three different types of genomes are nuclear, mitochondrial and the plastid genome and their sequences which are uncovered by genome sequencing are known as an archive for all genetic information and enable researchers to understand the composition of a genome, regulation of gene expression and also provide information on how the whole genome works. These sequences enable researchers to explore the population structure, genetic variations, and recent demographic events in threatened species. Particularly, genome sequencing refers to a process of figuring out the exact arrangement of the basic nucleotide bases of a genome and the process through which all the afore-mentioned genomes are sequenced is referred to as whole or complete genome sequencing. Gelidium pristoides is South African endemic Rhodophyta species which has been harvested in the Eastern Cape since the 1950s for its high economic value which is one motivation for its sequencing. Its endemism further motivates its sequencing for conservation biology as endemic species are more vulnerable to anthropogenic activities endangering a species. As sequencing, mapping and annotating the Gelidium pristoides genome is the aim of this study. To accomplish this aim, the genomic DNA was extracted and quantified using the Nucleospin Plank Kit, Qubit 2.0 and Nanodrop. Thereafter, the Ion Plus Fragment Library was used for preparation of a 600bp library which was then sequenced through the Ion S5 sequencing platform for two runs. The produced reads were then quality-controlled and assembled through the SPAdes assembler with default parameters and the genome assembly was quality assessed through the QUAST software. From this assembly, the plastid and the mitochondrial genomes were then sampled out using Gelidiales organellar genomes as search queries and ordered according to them using the Geneious software. The Qubit and the Nanodrop instruments revealed an A260/A280 and A230/A260 values of 1.81 and 1.52 respectively. A total of 30792074 reads were obtained and produced a total of 94140 contigs with resulted into a sequence length of 217.06 Mbp with N50 value of 3072 bp and GC content of 41.72%. A total length of 179281bp and 25734 bp was obtained for plastid and mitochondrial respectively. Genomic data allows a clear understanding of the genomic constituent of an organism and is valuable as foundation information for studies of individual genes and resolving the evolutionary relationships between organisms including Rhodophytes and other seaweeds.
Nano-Particle of π-Conjugated Polymer for Near-Infrared Bio-Imaging
Molecular imaging has attracted much attention recently, which visualizes biological molecules, cells, tissue, and so on. Among various in vivo imaging techniques, the fluorescence imaging method has been widely employed as a useful modality for small animals in pre-clinical researches. However, the higher signal intensity is needed for highly sensitive in vivo imaging. The objective of the current study is the development of a fluorescent imaging agent with high brightness for the tumor imaging of a mouse. The strategy to enhance the fluorescence signal of a bio-imaging agent is the increase of the absorption of the excitation light and the fluorescence conversion efficiency. We developed a nano-particle fluorescence imaging agent consisting of a π-conjugated polymer emitting a fluorescence signal in a near infrared region. A large absorption coefficient and high emission intensity at a near infrared optical window for biological tissue enabled highly sensitive in vivo imaging with a tumor-targeting ability by an EPR (enhanced permeation and retention) effect. The signal intensity from the π-conjugated fluorescence imaging agent is larger by two orders of magnitude compared to a quantum dot, which has been known as the brightest imaging agent. The π-conjugated polymer nano-particle would be a promising candidate in the in vivo imaging of small animals.
The Instablity of TetM Gene Encode Tetracycline Resistance Gene in Lactobacillus casei FNCC 0090
Bacteria ability to survive in antibiotic is controlled by the presence of gene that encodes the antibiotic resistance protein. The instability of the antibiotic resistance gene can be observed by exposing the bacteria under the lethal dose of antibiotic. Low concentration of antibiotic can induce mutation, which may take a role in bacterial adaptation through the antibiotic concentration. Lactobacillus casei FNCC 0090 is one of the probiotic bacteria that has an ability to survive in tetracycline by expressing the tetM gene. The aims of this study are to observe the possibilities of mutation happened in L.casei FNCC 0090 by exposing in sub-lethal dose of tetracycline and also observing the instability of the tetM gene by comparing the sequence between the wild type and mutant. L.casei FNCC 0090 has a lethal dose in 60 µg/ml, low concentration is applied to induce the mutation, the range from 10 µg/ml, 15 µg/ml, 30 µg/ml, 45 µg/ml, and 50 µg/ml. L.casei FNCC 0090 is exposed to the low concentration from lowest to the highest concentration to induce the adaptation. Plasmid is isolated from the highest concentration culture which is 50 µg/ml by using modified alkali lysis method with the addition of lysozyme. The tetM gene is isolated by using PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) method, then PCR amplicon is purified and sequenced. Sequencing is done on both samples, wild type and mutant. Both sequences are compared and the mutations can be traced in the presence of nucleotides changes. The changing of the nucleotides means that the tetM gene is instable.
Metabolic Manipulation as a Strategy for Optimization of Biomass Productivity and Oil Content in the Microalgae Desmodesmus Sp.
The microalgae oil emerges as a promising source of raw material for many industrial applications. Thus, this study had as a main focus on the cultivation of the microalgae species Desmodesmus sp. in laboratory scale with a view to maximizing biomass production and triglyceride content in the lipid fraction. Initially, culture conditions were selected to optimize biomass production, which was subsequently subjected to nutritional stress by varying nitrate and phosphate concentrations in order to increase the content and productivity of fatty acids. The culture medium BOLD 3N, nitrate and phosphate, light intensity 250,500 and 1000 μmol photons.m².s⁻¹, photoperiod of 12:12 were evaluated. Under the best conditions of the tests, a maximum cell division of 1.13 div.dia⁻¹ was obtained on the sixth day of culture, beginning of the exponential phase, and a maximum concentration of 8.42x107 cell.mL⁻¹ and dry biomass of 3.49 gL⁻¹ on the 20th day, in the stationary phase. The lipid content in the first stage of culture was approximately 8% after 12 days and at the end of the culture in the stationary phase ranged from 12% to 16% (20 days). In the microalgae grown at 250 μmol fotons.m2.s-1 the fatty acid profile was mostly polyunsaturated (52%). The total of unsaturated fatty acids, identified in this species of microalga, reached values between 70 and 75%, being qualified for use in the food and pharmaceutical industry. In addition, this study showed that the cultivation conditions influenced mainly the production of polyunsaturated fatty acids, with the predominance of γ-linolenic acid. However, in the cultures submitted to the highest the intensity of light (1000 μmol photons.m².s⁻¹) and low concentrations of nitrate and phosphate, saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, which present greater oxidative stability, were identified mainly (60 to 70 %) being qualified for the production of biodiesel and for oleochemistry.
Phi Thickening Induction as a Response to Abiotic Stress in the Orchid Miltoniopsis
Phi thickenings are specialized secondary cell wall thickenings that are found in the cortex of the roots in a wide range of plant species, including orchids. The role of phi thickenings in the root is still under debate through research have linked environmental conditions, particularly abiotic stresses such as water stress, heavy metal stress and salinity to their induction in the roots. It has also been suggested that phi thickenings may act as a barrier to regulate solute uptake, act as a physical barrier against fungal hyphal penetration due to its resemblance to the Casparian strip and play a mechanical role to support cortical cells. We have investigated phi thickening function in epiphytic orchids of the genus Miltoniopsis through induction experiment against factors such as soil compaction and water stress. The permeability of the phi thickenings in Miltoniopsis was tested through uptake experiments using the fluorescent tracer dyes Calcofluor white, Lucifer yellow and Propidium iodide then viewed with wide-field or confocal microscopy. To test whether phi thickening may prevent fungal colonization in the root cell, fungal re-infection experiment was conducted by inoculating isolated symbiotic fungus to sterile in vitro Miltoniopsis explants. As the movement of fluorescent tracers through the apoplast was not blocked by phi thickenings, and as phi thickenings developed in the roots of sterile cultures in the absence of fungus and did not prevent fungal colonization of cortical cells, the phi thickenings in Miltoniopsis do not function as a barrier. Phi thickenings were found to be absent in roots grown on agar and remained absent when plants were transplanted to moist soil. However, phi thickenings were induced when plants were transplanted to well-drained media, and by the application of water stress in all soils tested. It is likely that phi thickenings stabilize the root cortex during dehydration. Nevertheless, the varied induction responses present in different plant species suggest that the phi thickenings may play several adaptive roles, instead of just one, depending on species.
Hormones and Mineral Elements Associated with Osteoporosis in Postmenopausal Women in Eastern Slovakia
Osteoporosis is a multifactorial disease that results in reduced quality of life, causes decreased bone strength, and changes in their microarchitecture. Mostly postmenopausal women are at risk. In our study, we measured anthropometric parameters of postmenopausal women (104 women of control group – CG and 105 women of osteoporotic group - OG) and determined TSH hormone levels and PTH as well as mineral elements - Ca, P, Mg and enzyme alkaline phosphatase. Through the correlation analysis in CG, we have found association based on age and BMI, P and Ca, as well as Mg and Ca; in OG we determined interdependence based on an association of age and BMI, age and Ca. Using the Student's t test, we found significantly important differences in biochemical parameters of Mg (p ˂ 0,001) and TSH (p ˂ 0,05) between CG and OG.
Association of miRNA146a rs2910164 Polymorphism and Helicobacter pylori Infection in Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a multi-step disease, and chronic gastric infection with H. pylori could play a role in one or more of the steps in this pathogenic process. Polymorphisms in several miRNAs are considered to increase the risk for the development of CRC by controlling proliferation, apoptosis and H. pylori pathogenesis. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate miRNA146a rs2910164 polymorphism and Helicobacter pylori infection in CRC. A total of 65 patients with CRC were divided into 2 groups: 28 patients < 50 years of age and 37 patients ≥ 50 years of age. DNA was extracted from all samples by a standard method and H. pylori cagA and miRNA146a rs2910164 genotypes were determined by PCR method. The results show that there was no significant difference in the frequency of H. pylori cagA gene between the two groups but there was a significant difference in the distribution of rs2910164 genotypes in patients < 50 years of age with the p-value of 0.05 and odds ratio equal to 2.69. On other hand, patients < 50 years of age with genotype CC of miRNA146a showed a significant difference in CRC risk. Furthermore, there was a significant correlation between rs2910164 CC genotype with Helicobacter pylori infection in patients < 50 years of age. The present study suggests that the CC genotype of miRNA146a in combination with H. pylori infection can be effective as risk factors and molecular markers for early diagnosis and treatment of CRC.
Design and Fabrication of Optical Nanobiosensors for Detection of MicroRNAs Involved in Neurodegenerative Diseases
MicroRNAs are a novel class of small RNAs which regulate gene expression by translational repression or degradation of messenger RNAs. To produce sensitive, simple and cost-effective assays for microRNAs, detection is in urgent demand due to important role of these biomolecules in progression of human disease such as Alzheimer’s, Multiple sclerosis, and some other neurodegenerative diseases. Herein, we report several novel, sensitive and specific microRNA nanobiosensors which were designed based on colorimetric and fluorescence detection of nanoparticles and hybridization chain reaction amplification as an enzyme-free amplification. These new strategies eliminate the need for enzymatic reactions, chemical changes, separation processes and sophisticated equipment whereas less limit of detection with most specify are acceptable. The important features of these methods are high sensitivity and specificity to differentiate between perfectly matched, mismatched and non-complementary target microRNAs and also decent response in the real sample analysis with blood plasma. These nanobiosensors can clinically be used not only for the early detection of neuro diseases but also for every sickness related to miRNAs by direct detection of the plasma microRNAs in real clinical samples, without a need for sample preparation, RNA extraction and/or amplification.
Study of the Influence of the Region, the Depth and the Drying Process on the Chemical Composition of Gelidium sesquipedale
The Moroccan coasts represent an important wealth of red algae which have an economic interest. Among these algae, the Gelidium sesquipedale, which is exploited industrially for its richness in agar. The aim of this study is to establish a general overview of the macronutrient composition of Gelidium sesquipedale and to compare this composition according to three factors: the harvest site (El Jadida, Casablanca and Mohammadia), the harvest depth (coast and depth) and the drying process (open air and oven). Proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates are measured by different methods. The analysis of results show that the protein concentrations of the El Jadida and Mohammadia samples are significantly higher than that of Casablanca (0.026 ± 0.0007 µg/µg DW 0.024 ± 0.001 µg/µg DW and 0.006 ± 0.0007 µg/µg DW, p < 0.05 respectively). However, Casablanca samples are significantly richer in total sugars (0.023 ± 0.002 µg/µg DW, p < 0.05) and less rich in reducing sugars (0.0001 ± 0.00001 µg/µg DW, p < 0.05) compared to other samples. The lipid concentrations of the samples from the three harvest sites do not show any significant difference. With respect to depth, only total protein and total sugar concentrations were significantly higher in the coast versus depth samples (0.035 ± 0.004 µg/µg DW vs. 0.026 ± 0.0007 µg/µg DW and 0.035 ± 0.006 µg/µg DW vs. 0.012 ± 0.005 µg/µg DW p < 0.05 respectively). For the drying process, protein, total sugars and lipid concentrations were significantly higher in open air samples compared to oven samples (0.006 ± 0.0007 µg/µg DW). vs 0.004 ± 0.0003 µg/µg DW, 0.023 ± 0.002 µg/µg DW vs 0.007 ± 0.002 µg/µg DW and 8% vs 4% p < 0.05 respectively). Our results demonstrate that the chemical composition of Gelidium sesquipedale varies according to the harvest region. In addition, samples harvested on the coast and dried in the open air are the richest in macronutrients.
Evaluation of Moroccan Microalgae Spirulina platensis as a Potential Source of Natural Antioxidants
The antioxidant activity of three extracts (water, lipidic and ethanolic) prepared from the microalgae Spirulina platensis isolated from Moroccan lake, using 2, 2 diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2,2’-azino-bis ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS) radical assay, was studied and compared. The obtained results revealed that the IC₅₀ found using DPPH were lower than that of ABTS for all extracts from these planktonic blue-green algae. The high levels of phenolic and flavonoid content were found in the ethanolic extract 0,33 ± 0,01 mg GAE/g dw and 0,21 ± 0,01 mg quercetin/g dw respectively. In addition, using DPPH, the highest activity with IC₅₀ = 0,449 ± 0,083 mg/ml, was found for the ethanolic extract, followed by that of lipidic extract (IC₅₀ = 0,491 ± 0,059 mg/ml). The lowest activity was for the aqueous extract (IC₅₀ = 4,148 ± 0,132 mg/ml). For ABTS, the highest activity was observed for the lipidic extract with IC₅₀ = 0,740 ± 0,012 mg/ml, while, the aqueous extract recorded the lowest activity (IC₅₀ = 6,914 ± 0, 0067 mg/ml). A moderate activity was showed for the ethanolic extract (IC₅₀ = 5,852 ± 0, 0171 mg/ml). It can be concluded from this first study that Spirulina platensis extracts show an interesting antioxidant and antiradicals properties suggesting that this alga could be used as a potential source of antioxidants. A qualitative and quantitative analysis of polyphenol and flavonoids in the extracts using HPLC is in progress so as to study the correlation between the antioxidant activity and chemical composition.
Production, Characterisation, and in vitro Degradation and Biocompatibility of a Solvent-Free Polylactic-Acid/Hydroxyapatite Composite for 3D-Printed Maxillofacial Bone-Regeneration Implants
The current gold-standard for maxillofacial reconstruction surgery (MRS) utilizes auto-grafted cancellous bone as a filler. This study was aimed towards developing a polylactic-acid/hydroxyapatite (PLA-HA) composite suitable for fused-deposition 3D printing. Functionalization of the polymer through the addition of HA was directed to promoting bone-regeneration properties so that the material can rival the performance of cancellous bone grafts in terms of bone-lesion repair. This kind of composite enables the production of MRS implants based off 3D-reconstructions from image studies – namely computed tomography – for anatomically-correct fitting. The present study encompassed in-vitro degradation and in-vitro biocompatibility profiling for 3D-printed PLA and PLA-HA composites. PLA filament (Verbatim Co.) and Captal S hydroxyapatite micro-scale HA powder (Plasma Biotal Ltd) were used to produce PLA-HA composites at 5, 10, and 20%-by-weight HA concentration. These were extruded into 3D-printing filament, and processed in a BFB-3000 3D-Printer (3D Systems Co.) into tensile specimens, and were mechanically challenged as per ASTM D638-03. Furthermore, tensile specimens were subjected to accelerated degradation in phosphate-buffered saline solution at 70°C for 23 days, as per ISO-10993-13-2010. This included monitoring of mass loss (through dry-weighing), crystallinity (through thermogravimetric analysis/differential thermal analysis), molecular weight (through gel-permeation chromatography), and tensile strength. In-vitro biocompatibility analysis included cell-viability and extracellular matrix deposition, which were performed both on flat surfaces and on 3D-constructs – both produced through 3D-printing. Discs of 1 cm in diameter and cubic 3D-meshes of 1 cm3 were 3D printed in PLA and PLA-HA composites (n = 6). The samples were seeded with 5000 MG-63 osteosarcoma-like cells, with cell viability extrapolated throughout 21 days via resazurin reduction assays. As evidence of osteogenicity, collagen and calcium deposition were indirectly estimated through Sirius Red staining and Alizarin Red staining respectively. Results have shown that 3D printed PLA loses structural integrity as early as the first day of accelerated degradation, which was significantly faster than the literature suggests. This was reflected in the loss of tensile strength down to untestable brittleness. During degradation, mass loss, molecular weight, and crystallinity behaved similarly to results found in similar studies for PLA. All composite versions and pure PLA were found to perform equivalent to tissue-culture plastic (TCP) in supporting the seeded-cell population. Significant differences (p = 0.05) were found on collagen deposition for higher HA concentrations, with composite samples performing better than pure PLA and TCP. Additionally, per-cell-calcium deposition on the 3D-meshes was significantly lower when comparing 3D-meshes to discs of the same material (p = 0.05). These results support the idea that 3D-printable PLA-HA composites are a viable resorbable material for artificial grafts for bone-regeneration. Degradation data suggests that 3D-printing of these materials – as opposed to other manufacturing methods – might result in faster resorption than currently-used PLA implants.
Effects of Obesity and Family History of Diabetes on the Association of Cholesterol Ester Transfer Protein Gene with High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Levels in Korean Population
Lipid levels are related to the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Cholesterol ester transfer protein (CETP) gene is one of the candidate genes of cardiovascular diseases. A total of 2,304 persons were chosen from a Hospital (N=4,294) in South Korea. Female subjects with the CG/GG genotype had a 2.03 -fold (p=0.0001) higher risk of having abnormal HDL cholesterol levels (=25.69 (OR=1.55, 95% CI: 1.15-2.07, P=0.0037) than in male lean subjects. When analyzed by family history of diabetes, the association with CETP was much stronger in male subjects with positive family history of low physical activity (OR=4.82, 95% CI: 1.86-12.5, P=0.0012) than in male subjects with negative family history of diabetes. This study clearly demonstrates that genetic variants in CETP influence HDL cholesterol levels in Korean adults.
Establishment and Validation of Correlation Equations to Estimate Volumetric Oxygen Mass Transfer Coefficient (KLa) from Process Parameters in Stirred-Tank Bioreactors Using Response Surface Methodology
Process scale-up is essential for the biological process to increase production capacity from bench-scale bioreactors to either pilot or commercial production. Scale-up based on constant volumetric oxygen mass transfer coefficient (KLa) is mostly used as a scale-up factor since oxygen supply is one of the key limiting factors for cell growth. However, to estimate KLa of culture vessels operated with different conditions are time-consuming since it is considerably influenced by a lot of factors. To overcome the issue, this study aimed to establish correlation equations of KLa and operating parameters in 0.5 L and 5 L bioreactor employed with pitched-blade impeller and gas sparger. Temperature, gas flow rate, agitation speed, and impeller position were selected as process parameters and equations were created using response surface methodology (RSM) based on central composite design (CCD). In addition, the effects of these parameters on KLa were also investigated. Based on RSM, second-order polynomial models for 0.5 L and 5 L bioreactor were obtained with an acceptable determination coefficient (R²) as 0.9736 and 0.9190, respectively. These models were validated, and experimental values showed differences less than 10% from the predicted values. Moreover, RSM revealed that gas flow rate is the most significant parameter while temperature and agitation speed were also found to greatly affect the KLa in both bioreactors. Nevertheless, impeller position was shown to influence KLa in only 5L system. To sum up, these modeled correlations can be used to accurately predict KLa within the specified range of process parameters of two different sizes of bioreactors for further scale-up application.
Platform Development for Vero Cell Culture on Microcarriers Using Dissociation-Reassociation Method
Vero cell is a continuous cell line that is widely used for the production of viral vaccines. However, due to its adherent characteristic, scaling up strategy in large-scale production remains complicated and thus limited. Consequently, suspension-like Vero cell culture processes based on microcarriers have been introduced and employed while also providing increased surface area per volume unit. However, harvesting Vero cells from microcarriers is a huge challenge due to difficulties in cells detaching, lower recovery yield, time-consuming and dissociation agent carry-over. To overcome these problems, we developed a dissociation-association platform technology for detaching and re-attaching cells during subculturing from microcarriers to microcarriers, which will be conveniently applied to seed trains strategies in large scale bioreactors. Herein, Hillex-2 was used to culture Vero cells in serum-containing media using spinner flasks as a scale-down model. The overall confluency of cells on microcarriers was observed using inverted microscope, and the sample cells were daily detached in order to obtain the kinetics data. The metabolites consumption and by-products formation were determined by Nova Biomedical BioprofileFlex.
Optimization of Tangential Flow Filtration Process for Purifying DNA Vaccine
Nowadays, DNA vaccines become an interesting subject in the third vaccine generation. The platform of DNA vaccines production has been developed and its downstream process becomes challenging due to the quality of the products in terms of purity and percentage of supercoiled DNA. To overcome these challenges, tangential flow filtration (TFF), which is involved in the purification process, could be used since it provides effective separation of impurity prior to performing further purification steps. However, operating conditions of TFF is varied based on several factors such as sizes of target particle and impurities, a concentration of solution as well as a concentration polarization on the membrane surface. In this study, pVAX1/lacZ was used as a model of TFF optimization in order to prevent a concentration polarization that can lead to the membrane fouling and also minimize a diafiltration volume while maintaining the maximum permeate flux resulting in proper operating times and buffer volume. By using trans membrane pressure (TMP) excursion method, feed flow rates and TMP were varied. The results showed a correlation of permeate flux with TMP where the maximum volume concentration factor reached 2.5 times of the initial volume when feed flow rate and TMP were 7 liters/m²/min and 1 bar, respectively. It was optimal operating conditions before TFF system undergone pressure independent regime. In addition, the diafiltration volume was 14 times of the concentrated volume prior to performing a further anion chromatography process.
Process Development of pVAX1/lacZ Plasmid DNA Purification Using Design of Experiment
Third generation of vaccines is based on gene therapy where DNA is introduced into patients. The antigenic or therapeutic proteins encoded from transgenes DNA triggers an immune-response to counteract various diseases. Moreover, DNA vaccine offers the customization of its ability on protection and treatment with high stability. The production of DNA vaccines become of interest. According to USFDA guidance for industry, the recommended limits for impurities from host cell are lower than 1%, and the active conformation homogeneity supercoiled DNA, is more than 80%. Thus, the purification strategy using two-steps chromatography has been established and verified for its robustness. Herein, pVax1/lacZ, a pre-approved USFDA DNA vaccine backbone, was used and transformed into E. coli strain DH5α. Three purification process parameters including sample-loading flow rate, the salt concentration in washing and eluting buffer, were studied and the experiment was designed using response surface method with central composite face-centered (CCF) as a model. The designed range of selected parameters was 10% variation from the optimized set point as a safety factor. The purity in the percentage of supercoiled conformation obtained from each chromatography step, AIEX and HIC, were analyzed by HPLC. The response data were used to establish regression model and statistically analyzed followed by Monte Carlo simulation using SAS JMP. The results on the purity of the product obtained from AIEX and HIC are between 89.4 to 92.5% and 88.3 to 100.0%, respectively. Monte Carlo simulation showed that the pVAX1/lacZ purification process is robust with confidence intervals of 0.90 in range of 90.18-91.00% and 95.88-100.00%, for AIEX and HIC respectively.
Encryption and Decryption of Nucleic Acid Using Deoxyribonucleic Acid Algorithm
The deoxyribonucleic acid text provides a single source of high-quality Cryptography about Deoxyribonucleic acid sequence for structural biologists. We will provide an intuitive, well-organized and user-friendly web interface that allows users to encrypt and decrypt Deoxy Ribonucleic Acid sequence text. It includes complex, securing by using Algorithm to encrypt and decrypt Deoxy Ribonucleic Acid sequence. The utility of this Deoxy Ribonucleic Acid Sequence Text is that, it can provide a user-friendly interface for users to Encrypt and Decrypt store the information about Deoxy Ribonucleic Acid sequence. These interfaces created in this project will satisfy the demands of the scientific community by providing fully encrypt of Deoxy Ribonucleic Acid sequence during this website. We have adopted a methodology by using C# and Active Server Page.NET for programming which is smart and secure. Deoxy Ribonucleic Acid sequence text is a wonderful piece of equipment for encrypting large quantities of data, efficiently. The users can thus navigate from one encoding and store orange text, depending on the field for user’s interest. Algorithm classification allows a user to Protect the deoxy ribonucleic acid sequence from change, whether an alteration or error occurred during the Deoxy Ribonucleic Acid sequence data transfer. It will check the integrity of the Deoxy Ribonucleic Acid sequence data during the access.
LIZTOXD: Inclusive Lizard Toxin Database by Using MySQL Protocol
LIZTOXD provides a single source of high-quality information about proteinaceous lizard toxins that will be an invaluable resource for pharmacologists, neuroscientists, toxicologists, medicinal chemists, ion channel scientists, clinicians, and structural biologists. We will provide an intuitive, well-organized and user-friendly web interface that allows users to explore the detail information of Lizard and toxin proteins. It includes common name, scientific name, entry id, entry name, protein name and length of the protein sequence. The utility of this database is that it can provide a user-friendly interface for users to retrieve the information about Lizard, toxin and toxin protein of different Lizard species. These interfaces created in this database will satisfy the demands of the scientific community by providing in-depth knowledge about Lizard and its toxin. In the next phase of our project we will adopt methodology and by using A MySQL and Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) which and for designing Smart Draw. A database is a wonderful piece of equipment for storing large quantities of data efficiently. The users can thus navigate from one section to another, depending on the field of interest of the user. This database contains a wealth of information on species, toxins, toxins, clinical data etc. LIZTOXD resource that provides comprehensive information about protein toxins from lizard toxins. The combination of specific classification schemes and a rich user interface allows researchers to easily locate and view information on the sequence, structure, and biological activity of these toxins. This manually curated database will be a valuable resource for both basic researchers as well as those interested in potential pharmaceutical and agricultural applications of lizard toxins.
A Scalable Model of Fair Socioeconomic Relations Based on Blockchain and Machine Learning Algorithms-1: On Hyperinteraction and Intuition
This series of interdisciplinary studies is an attempt to investigate and develop a scalable model of fair socioeconomic relations on the base of blockchain using positive psychology techniques and Machine Learning algorithms for data analytics. In this particular study, we use hyperinteraction approach and intuition to investigate their influence on 'wisdom of crowds' via created mobile application which was created for the purpose of this research. Along with the public blockchain and private Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) which were elaborated by us on the base of Ethereum blockchain, a model of fair financial relations of members of DAO was developed. We developed a smart contract, so-called, Fair Price Protocol and use it for implementation of model. The data obtained from mobile application was analyzed by ML algorithms. A model was tested on football matches.
The Fracture Resistance of Zirconia Based Dental Crowns from Cyclic Loading: A Function of Relative Wear Depth
This in vitro study focused on investigating the fatigue resistance of veneered zirconia molar crowns with different veneering ceramic thicknesses, simulating the relative wear depths under simulated cyclic loading. A mandibular first molar was prepared and then scanned using computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology to fabricate 32 zirconia copings of uniform 0.5 mm thickness. The manufactured copings then veneered with 1.5 mm, 1.0 mm, 0.5 mm, and 0.0 mm representing 0%, 33%, 66%, and 100% relative wear of a normal ceramic thickness of 1.5 mm. All samples were thermally aged to 6000 thermo-cycles for 2 minutes with distilled water between 5 ˚C and 55 ˚C. The samples subjected to cyclic fatigue and fracture testing using SD Mechatronik chewing simulator. These samples&nbsp;are&nbsp;loaded up to 1.25x10⁶ cycles or until they fail. During fatigue, testing, extensive cracks were observed in samples with 0.5 mm veneering layer thickness. Veneering layer thickness 1.5-mm group and 1.0-mm group were not different in terms of resisting loads necessary to cause an initial crack or final failure. All ceramic zirconia-based crown restorations with varying occlusal veneering layer thicknesses appeared to be fatigue resistant. Fracture load measurement for all tested groups before and after fatigue loading exceeded the clinical chewing forces in the posterior region. In general, the fracture loads increased after fatigue loading and with the increase in the thickness of the occlusal layering ceramic.
Optimization of the Production Processes of Biodiesel from a Locally Sourced Gossypium herbaceum and Moringa oleifera
This research project addresses the optimization of biodiesel production from gossypium herbaceum (cottonseed) and moringa oleifera seeds. Soxhlet extractor method using n-hexane for gossypium herbaceum (cottonseed) and ethanol for moringa oleifera were used for solvent extraction. 1250 ml of oil was realized from both gossypium herbaceum (cottonseed) and moringa oleifera seeds before characterization. In transesterification process, a 4-factor-3-level experiment was conducted using an optimal design of Response Surface Methodology. The effects of methanol/oil molar ratio, catalyst concentration (%), temperature (°C) and time (mins), on the yield of methyl ester for both cottonseed and moringa oleifera oils were determined. The design consisted of 25 experimental runs (5 lack of fit points, five replicate points, 0 additional center points and I optimality) and provided sufficient information to fit a second-degree polynomial model. The experimental results suggested that optimum conditions were as follows; cottonseed yield (96.231%), catalyst concentration (0.972%), temperature (55oC), time (60mins) and methanol/oil molar ratios (8/1) respectively while moringa oleifera optimum values were yield (80.811%), catalyst concentration (1.0%), temperature (54.7oC), time (30mins ) and methanol/oil molar ratios (8/1) respectively. This optimized conditions were validated with the actual biodiesel yield in experimental trials and literature.