Scholarly Research Excellence

Digital Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 56058

Biotechnology and Bioengineering

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.
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.
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.
Solubility and Dissolution Enhancement of Poorly Soluble Drugs Using Biosericin
Currently, sericin is being treated as waste of sericulture industry, especially at reeling process. Looking at prospective physicochemical properties, an attempt has been made to explore pharmaceutical applications of sericin waste in fabrication of medicated solid dispersions. Solid dispersions (SDs) of poorly soluble drugs (Lornoxicam, Meloxicam & Felodipine) were prepared by spray drying, solvent evaporation, ball milling and physical kneading in mass ratio of drug: sericin (1:0.5, 1:1, 1:1.5, 1:2, 1:2.5 and 1:3 w/w) and were investigated by solubility, ATR-FTIR, XRD and DSC, micromeritics and tablettability, surface morphology and in-vitro dissolution. It has been observed that sericin improves solubility of drugs by 8 to 10 times compared to pure drugs. The presence of hydrogen bonding between drugs and sericin was confirmed from the ATR-FTIR spectra. Amongst these methods, spray dried (1:2 w/w) SDs showed fully amorphous state representing molecularly distributed drug as confirmed from XRD and DSC study. Spray dried meloxicam SDs showed better compressibility and compactibility. The microphotograph of spray dried batches of lornoxicam (SDLX) and meloxicam SDs (SDMX) showed bowl shaped, and bowl plus spherical particles respectively, while spray dried felodipine SDs (SDFL) showed spherical shape. The SDLX, SDMX and SDFL (1:2 w/w) displayed better dissolution performance than other methods. Conclusively, hydrophilic matrix of sericin can be used to deliver poor water soluble drugs and its aerodynamic shape may show a great potential for various drug deliveries. If established as pharmaceutical excipient, sericin holds a potential to revolutionise economics of pharmaceutical industry, and sericulture farming, especially of Asian countries.
The Molecular Mechanism of Vacuolar Function in Yeast Cell Homeostasis
Cell homeostasis is regulated by vacuolar activity and it has been shown that lipid composition of the vacuole plays an important role in vacuolar function. The major phosphoinositide species present in the vacuolar membrane include phosphatidylinositol 3,5-biphosphate (PI(3,5)P₂) which is generated from PI(3)P controlled by Fab1p. Deletion of FAB1 gene reduce the synthesis of PI(3,5)P₂ and thus result in enlarged or fragmented vacuoles, with neutral vacuolar pH due to reduced vacuolar H⁺-ATPase activity. These mutants also exhibited poor growth at high extracellular pH and in the presence of CaCl₂. Conversely, VPS34 regulates the synthesis of PI(3)P from phosphatidylinositol (PI), and the lack of Vps34p results in the reduction of vacuolar activity. Although the cellular observations are clear, it is still unknown about the molecular mechanism between the phospholipid biosynthesis pathway and vacuolar activity. Since both VPS34 and FAB1 are important in vacuolar activity, we hypothesize that the molecular mechanism of vacuolar function might be regulated by the transcriptional regulators of phospholipid biosynthesis. In this study, we study the role of the major phospholipid biosynthesis transcription factor, INO2, in the regulation of vacuolar activity. We first performed qRT-PCR to examine the effect of Ino2p on the expression of VPS34 and FAB1. Our results showed that VPS34 was upregulated in the presence of inositol for both WT and ino2Δ cells. However, FAB1 was only upregulated significantly in ino2Δ cells. This indicated that Ino2p might be the negative regulator for FAB1 expression. Next, growth sensitivity experiment showed that WT, vma3Δ, and ino2Δ grew well in growth medium buffered to pH 5.5 containing 10 mM CaCl₂. As cells were switched to growth medium buffered to pH 7 containing CaCl₂ WT, ino2Δ and opi1Δ showed growth reduction, whereas vma3Δ was completely nonviable. As the concentration of CaCl₂ was increased to 60 mM, ino2Δ cells showed moderate growth reduction compared to WT. This result suggests that ino2Δ cells have better vacuolar activity. Microscopic analysis and vacuolar acidification were employed to further elucidate the importance of INO2 in vacuolar homeostasis. Analysis of vacuolar morphology indicated that WT and vma3Δ cells displayed vacuoles that occupied a small area of the cell when grown in media buffered to pH 5.5. Whereas, ino2Δ displayed fragmented vacuoles. On the other hand, all strains grown in media buffered to pH 7, exhibited enlarged vacuoles that occupied most of the cell’s surface. This indicated that the presence of INO2 may play negative effect in vacuolar morphology when cells are grown in media buffered to pH 5.5. Furthermore, vacuolar acidification assay showed that only vma3Δ cells displayed notably less acidic vacuoles as cells were grown in media buffered to pH 5.5 and pH 7. Whereas, ino2Δ cells displayed more acidic pH compared to WT at pH7. Taken together, our results demonstrated the molecular mechanism of the vacuolar activity regulated by the phospholipid biosynthesis transcription factors Ino2p. Ino2p negatively regulates vacuolar activity through the expression of FAB1.
Impact of Nitrogenous Wastewater and Seawater Acidification on Algae
Oysters (Ostreidae) and hard clams (Meretrix lusoria) are important shallow sea-cultured shellfish in Taiwan, and are mainly farmed in Changhua, Yunlin, Chiayi and Tainan. As these shellfish are fed primarily on natural plankton, the artificial feed is not required, leading to high economic value in aquatic farming. However, in recent years, though mariculture production areas have expanded steadily, large-scale deaths of farmed shellfish have also become increasingly common due to climate change and human factors. Through studies over the past few years, our research team has determined the impact of nitrogen deprivation on growth and morphological variations in algae and sea anemones (Actiniaria) and identified the target genes affected by adverse environmental factors. In mariculture, high-density farming is commonly adopted, which results in elevated concentrations of nitrogenous waste in the water. In addition, excessive carbon dioxide from the atmosphere also dissolves in seawater, causing a steady decrease in the pH of seawater, leading to acidification. This study to observe the impact of high concentrations of nitrogen sources and carbon dioxide on algae.
Improved Predictive Models for the IRMA Network Using Nonlinear Optimisation
Cellular complexity stems from the interactions among thousands of different molecular species. Thanks to the emerging fields of systems and synthetic biology, scientists are beginning to unravel these regulatory, signaling, and metabolic interactions and to understand their coordinated action. Reverse engineering of biological networks has has several benefits but a poor quality of data combined with the difficulty in reproducing it limits the applicability of these methods. A few years back, many of the commonly used predictive algorithms were tested on a network constructed in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae) to resolve this issue. The network was a synthetic network of five genes regulating each other for the so-called in vivo reverse-engineering and modeling assessment (IRMA). The network was constructed in S. cereviase since it is a simple and well characterized organism. The synthetic network included a variety of regulatory interactions, thus capturing the behaviour of larger eukaryotic gene networks on a smaller scale. We derive a new set of algorithms by solving a nonlinear optimization problem and show how these algorithms outperform other algorithms on these datasets.
Computation of Natural Logarithm Using AbstractChemical Reaction Networks
Ratio computation is an important computation on the molecular level and it has been conjectured that biological systems have evolved motifs to execute ratio computation. We present new results on how abstract chemical reaction networks (ACRNs), viz., catalysis, annihilation and degradation, can be used to implement circuits that accurately compute ratio of two input signals. The input signals can be either constant values scalars or time-varying scalars or polynomials. We also characterise the robustness of our circuits to parameter variations, as would be encountered in wet-lab implementations. Our ACRNs can be implemented in wet-lab via DNA strand displacement techniques or genelets or DNA Toolbox.
Effects of Ophiocordyceps dipterigena BCC 2073 β-Glucan as a Prebiotic on the in vitro Growth of Probiotic and Pathogenic Bacteria
The β-glucan produced by Ophiocordyceps dipterigena BCC 2073 is a (1, 3)-β-D-glucan with highly branching O-6-linkedside chains that are resistant to acid hydrolysis (by hydrochloric acid and porcine pancreatic alpha-amylase). This β-glucan can be utilized as a prebiotic due to its advantageous structural and biological properties. The effects of using this β-glucan as the sole carbon source for the in vitro growth of two probiotic bacteria (L. acidophilus BCC 13938 and B. animalis ATCC 25527) were investigated. Compared with the effect of using 1% glucose or FOS as the sole carbon source, using 1% β-glucan for this purpose showed that this prebiotic supported and stimulated the growth of both types of probiotic bacteria and induced them to produce the highest levels of metabolites during their growth. The highest levels of lactic and acetic acid, 10.04 g·L⁻¹ and 2.82 g·L⁻¹, respectively, were observed at 2 h of cultivation using glucose as the sole carbon source. Furthermore, the fermentation broth obtained using 1% β-glucan as the sole carbon source had greater antibacterial activity against selected pathogenic bacteria (B. subtilis TISTR 008, E. coli TISTR 780, and S. typhimurium TISTR 292) than did the broths prepared using glucose or fructo-oligosaccharide (FOS) as the sole carbon source. The fermentation broth obtained by growing L. acidophilus BCC 13938 in the presence of β-glucan inhibited the growth of B. subtilis TISTR 008 by more than 70% and inhibited the growth of both S. typhimurium TISTR 292 and E. coli TISTR 780 by more than 90%. In conclusion, O. dipterigena BCC 2073 is a potential source of a β-glucan prebiotic that could be used for commercial production in the near future.
Biomechanical Performance of the Synovial Capsule of the Glenohumeral Joint with a BANKART Lesion through Finite Element Analysis
Mechanical Computation is a great tool to study the performance of complex models. An example of it is the study of the human body structure. This paper took advantage of different types of software to make a 3D model of the glenohumeral joint and apply a finite element analysis. The main objective was to study the change in the biomechanical properties of the joint when it presents an injury. Specifically, a BANKART lesion, which consists in the detachment of the anteroinferior labrum from the glenoid. Stress and strain distribution of the soft tissues were the focus of this study. First, a 3D model was made of a joint without any pathology, as a control sample, using segmentation software for the bones with the support of medical imagery and a cadaveric model to represent the soft tissue. The joint was built to simulate a compression and external rotation test using CAD to prepare the model in the adequate position. When the healthy model was finished, it was submitted to a finite element analysis and the results were validated with experimental model data. With the validated model, it was sensitized to obtain the best mesh measurement. Finally, the geometry of the 3D model was changed to imitate a BANKART lesion. Then, the contact zone of the glenoid with the labrum was slightly separated simulating a tissue detachment. With this new geometry, the finite element analysis was applied again, and the results were compared with the control sample created initially. With the data gathered, this study can be used to improve understanding of the labrum tears. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that the computational analysis are approximations and the initial data was taken from an in vitro assay.
Plant Mediated RNAi Approach to Knock Down Ecdysone Receptor Gene of Colorado Potato Beetle
RNA interference (RNAi) has proved its usefulness in functional genomic research on insects recently and is considered potential strategy in crop improvement for the control of insect pests. The different insect pests incur significant losses to potato yield worldwide, Colorado Potato Beetle (CPB) being most notorious one. The present study focuses to knock down highly specific 20-hydroxyecdysone hormone-receptor complex interaction by using RNAi approach to silence Ecdysone receptor (EcR) gene of CPB in transgenic potato plants expressing dsRNA of EcR gene. The partial cDNA of Ecdysone receptor gene of CPB was amplified using specific primers in sense and anti-sense orientation and cloned in pRNAi-GG vector flanked by an intronic sequence (pdk). Leaf and internodal explants of Lady Olympia, Agria and Granola cultivars of potato were infected with Agrobacterium strain LBA4404 harboring plasmid pRNAi-CPB, pRNAi-GFP (used as control). Neomycin phosphotransferase (nptII) gene was used as a plant selectable marker at a concentration of 100 mg L⁻¹. The primary transformants obtained have shown proper integration of T-DNA in plant genome by standard molecular analysis like polymerase chain reaction (PCR), real-time PCR, Sothern blot. The transgenic plants developed out of these cultivars are being evaluated for their efficacy against larvae as well adults of CPB. The transgenic lines are expected to inhibit expression of EcR protein gene, hindering their molting process, hence leading to increased potato yield.
Effects of Silver Nanoparticles on in vitro Adventitious Shoot Regeneration of Water Hyssop (Bacopa monnieri L. Wettst.)
Water hyssop (Bacopa monnieri L. Wettst.) is an important medicinal aquatic/semi aquatic plant native to India where it is used in traditional medicinal system. The plant contains bioactive compounds mainly Bacosides which are the main ingridient of commercial drug available as memory enhancer tonic. The local name of water hyssop is Brahmi and brahmi based drugs are available against for curing chronic diseases and disorders Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, asthma, cancer, mental illness, respiratory ailments, and stomach ulcers. The plant is not a cultivated plant and collection of plant from nature make palnt threatened to endangered. On the other hand, low seed viability and availability make it difficult to propagate plant through traditional techniques. In recent years, plant tissue culture techniques have been employed to propagate plant for its conservation and production for continuous availability of secondary metabolites. On the other hand, application of nanoparticles has been reported for increasing biomass, in vitro regeneration and secondary metabolites production. In this study, silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were applied at the rate of 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 ppm to Murashihe and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with 1.0 mg/l Benzylaminopurine (BAP), 3.0% sucrose and 0.7% agar. Leaf explants of water hyssop were cultured on AgNPs containing medium. Shoot induction from leaf explants were relatively slow compared to medium without AgNPs. Multiple shoot induction was recorded after 3-4 weeks of culture comapred to control that occured within 10 days. Regenerated shoots were rooted successfully on MS medium supplemented with 1.0 mg/l IBA and acclimatized in the aquariums for further studies.
Improved Production, Purification and Characterization of Invertase from Penicillium lilacinum by Shaken Flask Technique of Submerged Fermentation
Recent years researchers have been motivated towards extensive exploring of living organism, which could be utilized effectively in intense industrial conditions. The present study shows enhanced production, purification and characterization of industrial enzyme, invertase (Beta-D-fructofuranosidase) from Penicillium lilacinum. Various agricultural based by-products (cotton stalk, sunflower waste, rice husk, molasses and date syrup) were used as energy source. The highest amount of enzyme (13.05 Units/mL) was produced when the strain was cultured on growth medium containing date syrup as energy source. Yeast extract was used as nitrogen source after 96 h of incubation at incubation temperature of 40º C. Initial pH of medium was 8.0, inoculum size 6x10⁶ conidia and 200 rev/min agitation rate. The enzyme was also purified (7 folds than crude) and characterized. Molecular mass of purified enzyme (65 kDa) was determined by 10 % SDS-PAGE. Lineweaver-Burk Plot was used to determine Kinetic constants (Vmax 178.6 U/mL/min and Km 2.76 mM). Temperature and pH optima were 55º C and 5.5 respectively. MnCl₂ (52.9 %), MgSO₄ (48.9 %), BaCl₂ (24.6 %), MgCl₂ (9.6 %), CoCl₂ (5.7 %) and NaCl (4.2 %) enhanced the relative activity of enzyme and HgCl₂ (-92.8 %), CuSO₄ (-80.2 %) and CuCl₂ (-76.6 %) were proved inhibitors. The strain was showing enzyme activity even at extreme conditions of temperature (up to 60º C) and pH (up to 9), so it can be used in industries.
Plantlet Regeneration from Zygotic Embryos of Securidaca longepedunculata Fresen
Securidaca longepedunculata Fresen (Violet tree) belongs to the family Polygalaceae characterised by papillionaceous purplish flowers. This medicinally valued plant disappears at an alarming rate due to intensified anthropopressure particularly the unregulated manner of subterranean plant parts' collection from natural stands. Some indiscriminately harvested plants bear seeds containing both mature and immature zygotic embryos that are often discarded. Here, such seeds are collected for this experiment. Seeds were collected, washed, de-coated, and dipped in 70 % (v/v) ethanol for 30 s followed by rising in 5 % solution sodium hypochlorite, containing two drops of tween 20, for another 25 min. Mature zygotic embryos (MZEs) were excised from seeds and cultured in two basal media (MS and B5), three carbon sources (sucrose, glucose and fructose) at five concentrations (0-40 g/L) while immature zygotic embryos (iMZEs) were composed on similar basal media and carbon source supplemented with 0-2 mg/L Benzylaminopurine (BAP) and 0-2 mg/L Indole acetic acid (IAA). MZEs cultured on MS + 30g/L sucrose differed significantly from other treatments at p≤0.05 with maximum percent sprouting (85.24± 5.67 %) and shoot length (7.53±0.67 cm). MZEs culture had the maximum percent sprouting (85.24± 5.67 %) and shoot length (7.53±0.67 cm) in medium containing MS+ 30g L-1 sucrose. iMZEs on the other hand had maximum growth on MS + 40g/L sucrose supplemented with 1.5 mg/L IAA+ 1.0 mg/L BAP. This study is a geared towards creating an alternative path for the maximum production of plants in vitro, thereby, preventing the plants from disappearing.
Bean in Turkey: Characterization, Inter Gene Pool Hybridization Events, Breeding, Utilizations
Turkey is considered a bridge between Europe, Asia, and Africa and possibly played an important role in the distribution of many crops including common bean. Hundreds of common bean landraces can be found in Turkey, particularly in farmers’ fields, and they consistently contribute to the overall production. To investigate the existing genetic diversity and hybridization events between the Andean and Mesoamerican gene pools in the Turkish common bean, 188 common bean accessions (182 landraces and 6 modern cultivars as controls) were collected from 19 different Turkish geographic regions. These accessions were characterized using phenotypic data (growth habit and seed weight), geographic provenance, 12557 high-quality whole-genome DArTseq markers, and 3767 novel DArTseq loci were also identified. The clustering algorithms resolved the Turkish common bean landrace germplasm into the two recognized gene pools, the Mesoamerican and Andean gene pools. Hybridization events were observed in both gene pools (14.36% of the accessions) but mostly in the Mesoamerican (7.97% of the accessions), and was low relative to previous European studies. The lower level of hybridization witnessed the existence of Turkish common bean germplasm in its original form as compared to Europe. Mesoamerican gene pool reflected a higher level of diversity, while the Andean gene pool was predominant (56.91% of the accessions), but genetically less diverse and phenotypically more pure, reflecting farmers greater preference for the Andean gene pool. We also found some genetically distinct landraces and overall, a meaningful level of genetic variability which can be used by the scientific community in breeding efforts to develop superior common bean strains.
Optimization of Biodiesel Production from Sunflower Oil Using Central Composite Design
The current study investigated the effect of catalyst ratio and methanol to oil ratio on biodiesel production by using central composite design. Biodiesel was produced by transesterification using sodium hydroxide as a homogeneous catalyst, a laboratory scale reactor consisting of flat bottom flask mounts with a reflux condenser and a heating plate was used to produce biodiesel. Key parameters, including, time, temperature and mixing rate were kept constant at 60 minutes, 60 oC and 600 RPM, respectively. From the results obtained, it was observed that the biodiesel yield depends on catalyst ratio and methanol to oil ratio. The highest yield of 50.65% was obtained at catalyst ratio of 0.5 wt.% and methanol to oil mole ratio 10.5. The analysis of variances of biodiesel yield showed the R Squared value of 0.8387. A quadratic mathematical model was developed to predict the biodiesel yield in the specified parameters ranges.