Mathematical Modelling of Joints Space Path Planning of Walking with Scottish Rite Orthosis
Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (LCPD) involves avascular necrosis of the femoral head in children. In this disease, the closure of the blood supply of the femoral head results in the softening of the hip bone; and it is said the bone temporarily dies. Different treatments are used for this illness. The most famous treatment is the use of the so called Scottish Rite Orthosis. The objective of our study is to plan a path of walking with the Scottish Rite Orthosis; from where perusing the effect of different parameters of the orthosis on one's walking can be investigated without the need of experiments on different braces; it is aimed to generate a three-dimensional gait of walking with the brace using a mathematical model.
Oxalate Method for Assessing the Electrochemical Surface Area for Ni-Based Nanoelectrodes Used in Formaldehyde Sensing Applications
In this study, we used an accurate and precise method to measure the electrochemically active surface areas (Aecsa) of nickel electrodes. Calculated Aecsa is really important for the evaluation of an electro-catalyst’s activity in electrochemical reaction of different organic compounds. The method involves the electrochemical formation of Ni(OH)₂ and NiOOH in the presence of adsorbed oxalate in alkaline media. The studies were carried out using cyclic voltammetry with polycrystalline nickel as a reference material and electrodeposited nickel nanowires, homogeneous and heterogeneous nickel films. From cyclic voltammograms, the charge (Q) values for the formation of Ni(OH)₂ and NiOOH surface oxides were calculated under various conditions. At sufficiently fast potential scan rates (200 mV s⁻¹), the adsorbed oxalate limits the growth of the surface hydroxides to a monolayer. Although the Ni(OH)₂/NiOOH oxidation peak overlaps with the oxygen evolution reaction, in the reverse scan, the NiOOH/ Ni(OH)₂ reduction peak is well-separated from other electrochemical processes and can be easily integrated. The values of these integrals were used to correlate experimentally measured charge density with an electrochemically active surface layer. The Aecsa of the nickel nanowires, homogeneous and heterogeneous nickel films were calculated to be Aecsa-NiNWs = 4.2066 ± 0.0472 cm², Aecsa-homNi = 1.7175 ± 0.0503 cm² and Aecsa-hetNi = 2.1862 ± 0.0154 cm². These valuable results were expanded and used in electrochemical studies of formaldehyde oxidation. As mentioned nickel nanowires, heterogeneous and homogeneous nickel films were used as simple and efficient sensor for formaldehyde detection. For this purpose, electrodeposited nickel electrodes were modified in 0.1 mol L⁻¹ solution of KOH in order to expect electrochemical activity towards formaldehyde. The investigation of the electrochemical behavior of formaldehyde oxidation in 0.1 mol L⁻¹ NaOH solution at the surface of modified nickel nanowires, homogeneous and heterogeneous nickel films were carried out by means of electrochemical techniques such as cyclic voltammetric and chronoamperometric methods. From investigations of effect of different formaldehyde concentrations (from 0.001 to 0.1 mol L⁻¹) on electrochemical signal - current we provided catalysis mechanism of formaldehyde oxidation, detection limit and sensitivity of nickel electrodes. The results indicated that nickel electrodes participate directly in the electrocatalytic oxidation of formaldehyde. In the overall reaction, formaldehyde in alkaline aqueous solution exists predominantly in form of CH₂(OH)O⁻, which is oxidized to CH₂(O)O⁻. Taking into account the determined (Aecsa) values we have been able to calculate the sensitivities: 7 mA mol L⁻¹ cm⁻² for nickel nanowires, 3.5 mA mol L⁻¹ cm⁻² for heterogeneous nickel film and 2 mA mol L⁻¹ cm⁻² for heterogeneous nickel film. The detection limit was 0.2 mM for nickel nanowires, 0.5 mM for porous Ni film and 0.8 mM for homogeneous Ni film. All of these results make nickel electrodes capable for further applications.
Effect of Vertical Vibrations on Human Postural Balance
Standing is a human posture in which the body is held in an upright position and supported only by the feet. The degeneration of the balance in control system in the elderly and in many pathologies has forced researchers to understand more about how the system works. In this paper, a new approach in modelling the human postural control system is presented; this modelling takes advantage of the vestibular system which has an important role in balancing the human stance. With the presence of the controller, the effect of the vertical vibrations of the feet is studied. This study could be an initial step in designing active orthosis which can improve postural stability using the feet.
Exploring Structure of Human Chromosomes Using Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging
Chromatin condensation is maintained by DNA-based proteins and some divalent cations (Mg²⁺, Ca²⁺, etc.). Condensation process during cell division maintains structural and functional organizations of chromosomes by transferring genetic information correctly to daughter cells. Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM) technique measures the fluorescence decay of fixed human chromosomes by calculating the lifetime of fluorophores at a pixel x of the arrival of each photon as a function of time delay t, following excitation with a laser pulse. Fixed metaphase human chromosomes were labelled with DNA-binding dye, DAPI and later DAPI fluorescence lifetime measured using multiphoton microscopy. 5 out of 23 pairs of human chromosomes shown shorter lifetime at the centromere region, differentiating proportion of compaction along the length of chromosomes. Different lifetime was observed in a condensed and de-condensed chromosome. It clearly indicates the involvement of divalent cations in the process of condensation.
Complete Genome Sequence Analysis of Pasteurella multocida Subspecies multocida Serotype A Strain PMTB2.1
Pasteurella multocida (PM) is an important veterinary opportunistic pathogen particularly associated with septicemic pasteurellosis, pneumonic pasteurellosis and hemorrhagic septicemia in cattle and buffaloes. P. multocida serotype A has been reported to cause fatal pneumonia and septicemia. Pasteurella multocida subspecies multocida of serotype A Malaysian isolate PMTB2.1 was first isolated from buffaloes died of septicemia. In this study, the genome of P. multocida strain PMTB2.1 was sequenced using third-generation sequencing technology, PacBio RS2 system and analyzed bioinformatically via de novo analysis followed by in-depth analysis based on comparative genomics. Bioinformatics analysis based on de novo assembly of PacBio raw reads generated 3 contigs followed by gap filling of aligned contigs with PCR sequencing, generated a single contiguous circular chromosome with a genomic size of 2,315,138 bp and a GC content of approximately 40.32% (Accession number CP007205). The PMTB2.1 genome comprised of 2,176 protein-coding sequences, 6 rRNA operons and 56 tRNA and 4 ncRNAs sequences. The comparative genome sequence analysis of PMTB2.1 with nine complete genomes which include Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, Haemophilus parasuis, Escherichia coli and five P. multocida complete genome sequences including, PM70, PM36950, PMHN06, PM3480, PMHB01 and PMTB2.1 was carried out based on OrthoMCL analysis and Venn diagram. The analysis showed that 282 CDs (13%) are unique to PMTB2.1and 1,125 CDs with orthologs in all. This reflects overall close relationship of these bacteria and supports the classification in the Gamma subdivision of the Proteobacteria. In addition, genomic distance analysis among all nine genomes indicated that PMTB2.1 is closely related with other five Pasteurella species with genomic distance less than 0.13. Synteny analysis shows subtle differences in genetic structures among different P.multocida indicating the dynamics of frequent gene transfer events among different P. multocida strains. However, PM3480 and PM70 exhibited exceptionally large structural variation since they were swine and chicken isolates. Furthermore, genomic structure of PMTB2.1 is more resembling that of PM36950 with a genomic size difference of approximately 34,380 kb (smaller than PM36950) and strain-specific Integrative and Conjugative Elements (ICE) which was found only in PM36950 is absent in PMTB2.1. Meanwhile, two intact prophages sequences of approximately 62 kb were found to be present only in PMTB2.1. One of phage is similar to transposable phage SfMu. The phylogenomic tree was constructed and rooted with E. coli, A. pleuropneumoniae and H. parasuis based on OrthoMCL analysis. The genomes of P. multocida strain PMTB2.1 were clustered with bovine isolates of P. multocida strain PM36950 and PMHB01 and were separated from avian isolate PM70 and swine isolates PM3480 and PMHN06 and are distant from Actinobacillus and Haemophilus. Previous studies based on Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNPs) and Multilocus Sequence Typing (MLST) unable to show a clear phylogenetic relatedness between Pasteurella multocida and the different host. In conclusion, this study has provided insight on the genomic structure of PMTB2.1 in terms of potential genes that can function as virulence factors for future study in elucidating the mechanisms behind the ability of the bacteria in causing diseases in susceptible animals.
All-or-None Principle and Weakness of Hodgkin-Huxley Mathematical Model
Mathematical and computational modelling are the necessary tools for reviewing, analysing, and predicting processes and events in the wide spectrum range of scientific fields. Therefore, in a field as rapidly developing as neuroscience, the combination of these two modellings can have a significant role in helping to guide the direction the field takes. The paper combined mathematical and computational modelling to prove a weakness in a very precious model in neuroscience. This paper is intended to analyses all-or-none principle in Hodgkin-Huxley mathematical model. By implementation the computational model of Hodgkin-Huxley model and applying the concept of all-or-none principle, an investigation on this mathematical model has been performed. The results clearly showed that the mathematical model of Hodgkin-Huxley does not observe this fundamental law in neurophysiology to generating action potentials. This study shows that further mathematical studies on the Hodgkin-Huxley model are needed in order to create a model without this weakness.
Investigating Role of Novel Molecular Players in Forebrain Roof-Plate Midline Invagination
In the vertebrate embryo, the forebrain anlagen develops from the anterior-most region of the neural tube which is the precursor of the central nervous system (CNS). The roof plate located at the dorsal midline region of the forebrain anlagen, acts as a source of several secreted molecules involved in patterning and morphogenesis of the forebrain. One such key morphogenetic event is the invagination of the forebrain roof plate which results in separation of the single forebrain vesicle into two cerebral hemispheres. Retinoic acid (RA) signaling plays a key role in this process. Blocking RA signaling at the dorsal forebrain midline inhibits dorsal invagination and results in the absence of certain key features of this region, such as thinning of the neuroepithelium and a lowering of cell proliferation. At present we are investigating the possibility of other signaling pathways acting in concert with RA signaling to regulate this process. We have focused on BMP signaling, which we found to be active in a mutually exclusive domain to that of RA signaling within the roof plate. We have also observed that there is a change in BMP signaling activity on modulation of RA signaling indicating an antagonistic relationship between the two. Moreover, constitutive activation of BMP signaling seems to completely inhibit thinning and partially affect invagination, leaving the lowering of cell proliferation in the midline unaffected. We are employing in-silico modeling as well as molecular manipulations to investigate the relative contribution if any, of regional differences in rates of cell proliferation and thinning of the neuroepithelium towards the process of invagination. We have found expression of certain cell adhesion molecules in forebrain roof-plate whose mRNA localization across the thickness of neuroepithelium is influenced by Bmp and RA signaling, giving regional rigidity to roof plate and assisting invagination. We also found expression of certain cytoskeleton modifiers in a localized small domains in invaginating forebrain roof plate suggesting that midline invagination is under control of many factors.
Sustainable and Efficient Recovery of Polyhydroxyalkanoate Polymer from Cupriavidus necator using Environment Friendly Solvents
An imprudent use of environmentally hazardous petrochemical-based plastics and limited availability of fossil fuels have provoked research interests towards production of biodegradable plastics - polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHAs). However, the industrial application of PHAs based products is primarily restricted by their high cost of recovery and extraction protocols. Moreover, solvents used for the extraction and purification are toxic and volatile which causes adverse environmental hazards. Development of efficient downstream recovery strategies along with utilization of non-toxic solvents will accelerate their commercialization. In this study, various extraction strategies were designed for sustainable and cost-effective recovery of PHAs from Cupriavidus necator using non-toxic environment friendly solvents viz. 1,2-propylene carbonate, ethyl acetate, isoamyl alcohol, butyl acetate. The effect of incubation time i.e. 10, 30 and 50 min and temperature i.e. 60, 80, 100, 120°C was tested to identify the most suitable solvent. PHAs extraction using a recyclable solvent, 1,2 propylene carbonate, showed the highest recovery yield (90%) and purity (93%) at 120°C and 30 min incubation. Ethyl acetate showed the better capacity to recover PHAs from cells than butyl acetate. Extraction with ethyl acetate exhibited high recovery yield and purity of 96% and 92%, respectively at 100°C. Effect of non-toxic surfactant such as linear alkylbenzene sulfonic acid (LAS) was also studied at 40, 60 and 80°C, and detergent pH range of 3.0, 5.0, 7.0 and 9.0 for the extraction of PHAs from the cells. LAS gave highest yield of 86% and purity of 88% at temperature 80°C and 5.0 pH.
An Automated Sensor System for Cochlear Implants Electrode Array Insertion
A cochlear implant, referred to as a CI, is a small electronic device that can provide direct electrical stimulation to the auditory nerve. During cochlear implant surgery, atraumatic electrode array insertion is considered to be a crucial step. However, during implantation, the mechanical behaviour of an electrode array inside the cochlea is not known. The behaviour of an electrode array inside of the cochlea is hardly identified by regular methods. In this study, a CI electrode array capacitive sensor system is proposed. It is able to automatically determine the array state as a result of the capacitance variations. Instead of applying sensors to the electrode array, the capacitance information from the electrodes will be gathered and analysed. Results reveal that this sensing method is capable of recognising different states when fed into a pre-shaped model.
Influence of Infrared Radiation on the Growth Rate of Microalgae Chlorella sorokiniana
Nowadays, with dramatic increasing of global energy demand along with progressively decreasing of raw materials, development of bioeconomy concept and close-loop technologies allowing achieving resource efficiency and sustainability have to become one of the main priorities worldwide. At this point, a potential of microalgae as a substrate for value-added products and CO₂-neutral energy production is becoming more and more discussed topic over the last few decades. In comparison to conventional biomass, microalgae can be cultivated in wide range of conditions without compromising food and feed production thus addressing issues associated with negative social and the environmental impacts. However, one of the most challenging tasks is to undergo seasonal variations and to achieve optimal growing conditions for indoor closed systems that can cover further demand for material and energetic utilization of microalgae. For instance, outdoor cultivation in St. Petersburg (Russia) is only suitable within rather narrow time frame (from mid-May to mid-September). At earlier and later periods insufficient sunlight and heat for the growth of microalgae were detected. On the other hand, without additional physical effects the biomass increment in summer is 3-5 times per week, depending on the solar radiation and the ambient temperature. In order increase biomass production, scientists from all over the world have proposed various technical solutions for cultivators and have been studying the influence of various physical factors affecting the biomass growth namely: magnetic field, radiation impact, electric field, etc. In this paper, the influence of infrared (IR) radiation and fluorescent light on the growth rate of microalgae Chlorella sorokiniana have been studied. The cultivation of Chlorella sorokiniana was carried out in 500 ml cylindrical glass vessels, which were constantly aerated. To accelerate the cultivation process, the mixture was stirred for 15 minutes at 500 rpm following 120 minutes of the rest time. At the same time, metabolic needs in nutrients were provided by addition of micro- and macronutrients in the microalgae growing medium. Lighting was carried out by fluorescent lamps with the intensity of 2500 ± 300 Lx. The influence of infrared radiation was determined using IR lamps with a voltage of 220 V, power of 250 W in order to achieve the intensity of 13 600 ± 500 Lx. Obtained results showed that under the influence of IR radiation along with combined effect of active aeration and variable mixing, the biomass increment on the 2nd day was 3 times compared to the blind sample, and on the 7th day, it was eight-fold. On the other hand, application of IR lamps for the biomass growth allows maintaining the optimal temperature of microalgae suspension at approximately 25…28 °C, which might especially be beneficial during the cold season in extreme climate zones.
Designing Next Generation Platforms for Recombinant Protein Production by Genome Engineering of Escherichia coli
We propose a paradigm shift in our approach to design improved platforms for recombinant protein production, by addressing system level issues rather than the individual steps associated with recombinant protein synthesis like transcription, translation, etc. We demonstrate that by controlling and modulating the cellular stress response (CSR), which is responsible for feedback control of protein synthesis, we can generate hyper-producing strains. We did transcriptomic profiling of post-induction cultures, expressing different types of protein, to analyze the nature of this cellular stress response. We found significant down-regulation of substrate utilization, translation, and energy metabolism genes due to generation CSR inside the host cell. However, transcription profiling has also shown that many genes are up-regulated post induction and their role in modulating the CSR is unclear. We hypothesized that these up-regulated genes trigger signaling pathways, generating the CSR and concomitantly reduce the recombinant protein yield. To test this hypothesis, we knocked out the up-regulated genes, which did not have any downstream regulatees, and analyzed their impact on cellular health and recombinant protein expression. Two model proteins i.e., GFP and L-Asparaginase were chosen for this analysis. We observed a significant improvement in expression levels, with some knock-outs showing more than 7-fold higher expression compared to control. The 10 best single knock-outs were chosen to make 45 combinations of all possible double knock-outs. A further increase in expression was observed in some of these double knock- outs with GFP levels being highest in a double knock-out ΔyhbC + ΔelaA. However, for L-Asparaginase which is a secretory protein, the best results were obtained using a combination of ΔelaA+ΔcysW knock-outs. We then tested all the knock outs for their ability to enhance the expression of a 'difficult-to-express' protein. The Rubella virus E1 protein was chosen and tagged with sfGFP at the C-terminal using a linker peptide for easy online monitoring of expression of this fusion protein. Interestingly, the highest increase in Rubella-sGFP levels was obtained in the same double knock-out ΔelaA + ΔcysW (5.6 fold increase in expression yield compared to the control) which gave the highest expression for L-Asparaginase. However, for sfGFP alone, the ΔyhbC+ΔmarR knock-out gave the highest level of expression. These results indicate that there is a fair degree of commonality in the nature of the CSR generated by the induction of different proteins. Transcriptomic profiling of the double knock out showed that many genes associated with the translational machinery and energy biosynthesis did not get down-regulated post induction, unlike the control where these genes were significantly down-regulated. This confirmed our hypothesis of these genes playing an important role in the generation of the CSR and allowed us to design a strategy for making better expression hosts by simply knocking out key genes. This strategy is radically superior to the previous approach of individually up-regulating critical genes since it blocks the mounting of the CSR thus preventing the down-regulation of a very large number of genes responsible for sustaining the flux through the recombinant protein production pathway.
A Case Study: Innovative Aquatic-Based Bioeconomy for Chlorella Sorokiniana
Over the last decade due to the climate change and a strategy of natural resources preservation the interest for the aquatic biomass has dramatically increased. Along with mitigation of the environmental pressure and connection of waste streams (including CO2 and heat emissions), microalgae bioeconomy can supply food, feed, pharmaceutical and power industry with number of value-added products. Furthermore, in comparison to conventional biomass, microalgae can be cultivated in wide range of conditions without compromising food and feed production thus addressing issues associated with negative social and the environmental impacts. This paper presents the state-of-the art technology for microalgae bioeconomy from cultivation process to production of valuable components and by-streams. Microalgae Chlorella sorokiniana were cultivated in the pilot-scale innovation concept in Hamburg (Germany) using different systems such as race way ponds (2 x 5000 L) and flat panel reactors (8 x 180 L). In order to achieve the optimum growth conditions along with suitable cellular composition for the further extraction of the value added components, process parameters such as light intensity, temperature and pH are continuously being monitored. On the other hand, metabolic need in nutrients is provided by addition of micro and macronutrients into a medium. After repeated-batch cultivation processes to biomass dry matter content of 4…5 g∙L -1 efficacious harvesting and cell disruption, determination of lipids, proteins and saccharides was carried out. Lipids extraction is conducted in repeated-batch semi-automatic mode using hot extraction method according to Randall. As solvents hexane and ethanol are used at different ratio of 9:1 and 1:9 respectively. Depending on cell disruption method along with solvents ratio, the total lipids content showed significant variations between 8,1 and 13,9 %. The highest percentage of extracted biomass was reached with a sample pretreated with microwave digestion using 90 % of hexane and 10 % of ethanol as solvents. Proteins content in microalgae was determined by 2 different methods, namely: Total Kejadahl Nitrogen (TKN), which further was converted to protein content, as well as Bradford method using Brilliant Blue G-250 dye. Obtained results, showed a good correlation between both methods with protein content being in the range of 39,8 – 47,1 %. Characterization of neutral and acid saccharides from microalgae was conducted by phenol-sulfuric acid method at two wavelengths of 480 and 490 nm. The average concentration of neutral and acid saccharides under the optimal cultivation conditions was 19,5 and 26,1 % respectively. Subsequently, biomass residues are used as substrate for anaerobic digestion on the pilot-scale (2.1 m3 ) with an aim to supply the whole process with the heat and electricity. The methane concentration, which was measured on the daily bases, showed some variations over the cultivation season and was in the range between 48 and 55 %. CO2 which is formed during the fermentation process and after the combustion in the Combined Heat and Power unit is used within the cultivation process as a carbon source for the photoautotrophic synthesis of biomass.
Orthosis and Finite Elements: A Study for Development of New Designs through Additive Manufacturing
The gait pattern in people that present motor limitations foment the demand for auxiliary locomotion devices. These artifacts for movement assistance vary according to its shape, size, and functional features, following the clinical applications desired. Among the ortheses of lower limbs, the ankle-foot orthesis aims to improve the ability to walk in people with different neuromuscular limitations, although they do not always answer patients' expectations for their aesthetic and functional characteristics. The purpose of this study is to explore the possibility of using new design in additive manufacturer to reproduce the shape and functional features of an ankle-foot orthesis in an efficient and modern way. Therefore, this work presents a study about the performance of the mechanical forces through the analysis of finite elements in an ankle-foot orthesis. It will be demonstrated a study of distribution of the stress on the orthopedic device in orthostatism and during the movement in the course of patient's walk.
Biosorption of Nickel by Penicillium simplicissimum SAU203 Isolated from Indian Metalliferous Mining Overburden
Nickel, an industrially important metal is not mined in India, due to the lack of its primary mining resources. But, the chromite deposits occurring in the Sukinda and Baula-Nuasahi region of Odhisa, India, is reported to contain around 0.99% of nickel entrapped in the goethite matrix of the lateritic iron rich ore. Weathering of the dumped chromite mining overburden often leads to the contamination of the ground as well as the surface water with toxic nickel. Microbes inherent to this metal contaminated environment are reported to be capable of removal as well as detoxification of various metals including nickel. Nickel resistant fungal isolates obtained in pure form from the metal rich overburden were evaluated for their potential to biosorb nickel by using their dried biomass. Penicillium simplicissimum SAU203 was the best nickel biosorbant among the 20 fungi tested and was capable to sorbing 16.85 mg Ni/g biomass from a solution containing 50 mg/l of Ni. The identity of the isolate was confirmed using 18S rRNA gene analysis. The sorption capacity of the isolate was further standardized following Langmuir and Freundlich adsorption isotherm models and the results reflected energy efficient sorption. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy studies of the nickel loaded and control biomass in a comparative basis revealed the involvement of hydroxyl, amine and carboxylic groups in Ni binding. The sorption process was also optimized for several standard parameters like initial metal ion concentration, initial sorbet concentration, incubation temperature and pH, presence of additional cations and pre-treatment of the biomass by different chemicals. Optimisation leads to significant improvements in the process of nickel biosorption on to the fungal biomass. P. simplicissimum SAU203 could sorb 54.73 mg Ni/g biomass with an initial Ni concentration of 200 mg/l in solution and 21.8 mg Ni/g biomass with an initial biomass concentration of 1g/l solution. Optimum temperature and pH for biosorption was recorded to be 30°C and pH 6.5 respectively. Presence of Zn and Fe ions improved the sorption of Ni(II), whereas, cobalt had a negative impact. Pre-treatment of biomass with various chemical and physical agents has affected the proficiency of Ni sorption by P. simplicissimum SAU203 biomass, autoclaving as well as treatment of biomass with 0.5 M sulfuric acid and acetic acid reduced the sorption as compared to the untreated biomass, whereas, NaOH and Na₂CO₃ and Twin 80 (0.5 M) treated biomass resulted in augmented metal sorption. Hence, on the basis of the present study, it can be concluded that P. simplicissimum SAU203 has the potential for the removal as well as detoxification of nickel from contaminated environments in general and particularly from the chromite mining areas of Odhisa, India.
Evaluation of Antimicrobial Properties of Lactic Acid Bacteria of Enterococcus Genus
The ability of the lactic acid bacteria (LAB) to prevent and cure a variety of diseases, their protective role against infections and colonization of pathogenic microorganisms in the digestive tract, has lead to the coining of the term probiotics or pro-life. LAB inhibiting the growth of pathogenic and food spoilage microorganisms, maintaining the nutritive quality and improving the shelf life of foods. They have also been used as flavor and texture producers. Enterococcus strains have been used for treatment of diseases such as diarrhea or antibiotic associated diarrhea, inflammatory pathologies that affect colon such as irritable bowel syndrome, or immune regulation, diarrhea caused by antibiotic treatments. The obtaining and investigation of biological properties of proteinoceous antibiotics, on the basis of probiotic LAB shown, that bacteriocins, metabiotics, and peptides of LAB represent bactericides have a broad range of activity and are excellent candidates for development of new prophylactic and therapeutic substances to complement or replace conventional antibiotics. The genotyping by 16S rRNA sequencing for LAB were used. Cell free culture broth (CFC) broth was purified by the Gel filtration method on the Sephadex Superfine G 25 resin. Antimicrobial activity was determined by spot-on-lawn method and expressed in arbitrary units (AU/ml). The diversity of multidrug-resistance (MDR) of pathogenic strains to antibiotics, most widely used for treatment of human diseases in the Republics of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh were examined. It was shown, that difference of resistance of pathogens to antibiotics depends on their isolation sources. The influences of partially purified antimicrobial preparations (AMP), obtained from the different strains of Enterococcus genus on the growth of MDR pathogenic bacteria were investigated. It was shown, that bacteriocin containing partially purified preparations, obtained from different strains of Enterococcus faecium and durans species, possess bactericidal or bacteriostatic activity against antibiotic resistant intestinal, spoilage and food-borne pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, and Salmonella. Endemic strains of LAB, isolated from Matsoni made from donkey, buffalo and goat milk, shown broad spectrum of activity against food spoiling microorganisms, moulds and fungi, such as Salmonella sp., Esherichia coli, Aspergillus and Penicillium species. Highest activity against MDR pathogens shown bacteria, isolated from goat milk products. High stability of the investigated strains of the genus Enerococcus, isolated from samples of matsun from different regions of Nagorno-Karabakh (NKR) to the antibiotics was shown. The obtained data show high stability of the investigated different strains of the genus Enerococcus. The high genetic diversity in Enterococcus group suggests adaptations for specific mutations in different environments. Thus, endemic strains of LAB are able to produce bacteriocins with high and different inhibitory activity against broad spectrum of microorganisms isolated from different sources and belong to different taxonomic group. Prospect of the use of certain antimicrobial preparations against pathogenic strains is obvious. These AMP can be applied for long term use against different etiology antibiotic resistant pathogens for prevention or treatment of infectional diseases as an alternative to antibiotics.
Renewable Energy-Assessment of Co-Digestion Strategies to Optimize Methane Production from Microalgae
Anaerobic digestion of microalgae to generate biogas is another alternative for energy production apart from the biofuel production. However, the high protein content of microalgae may inhibits the anaerobic bacteria results in the lower biogas production. Anaerobic co-digestion of microalgae with high carbon co-substrates could balance the carbon to nitrogen ratio and future to increase the methane (CH₄) production. Therefore, this study is designed to investigate the methane yield of fresh water microalgae Chlorella vulgaris or marine microalgae Isochrysis 1800 co-digested with easily degradable carbon-rich potato processing wastes. The results demonstrated that co-digestion of Chlorella vulgaris or Isochrysis 1800 together with potato processing wastes (discarded parts or peels) could improve the carbon to nitrogen ratio results in the improvement of CH₄ yield. Compared to only digestion of Isochrysis 1800 (85.35 mlCH₄/g VS), adding 75% of discarded parts (DP) of potato processing wastes into it increased the methane yield to 300.84 mlCH₄/g VS, while the methane yield is 223.65 mlCH₄/g VS when adding 75% of peels to Isochrysis 1800. Chlorella vulgaris mixed with 75% of discarded parts of potato processing wastes produced higher methane (330.07 mlCH₄/g VS), and it was produced 176.17 mlCH₄/g VS of methane when only digestion of Chlorella vulgaris. The highest methane production is 246.14 mlCH₄/g VS when Chlorella vulgaris mixed with 75% of peels compared to the other adding proportions. Based on the current study, anaerobic co-digestion of microalgae with potato processing wastes is a feasible method to increase both carbon to nitrogen ratio and methane production.
Use of Microbial Fuel Cell for Metal Recovery from Wastewater
Metal containing wastewater is generated in large quintiles due to rapid industrialization. Generally, the metal present in wastewater is not biodegradable and can be accumulated in living animals, humans and plant tissue, causing disorder and diseases. The conventional metal recovery methods include chemical, physical and biological methods, but these are chemical and energy intensive. The recent development in microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology provides a new approach for metal recovery; this technology offers a flexible platform for both reduction and oxidation reaction oriented process. The use of MFCs will be a new platform for more efficient and low energy approach for metal recovery from the wastewater. So far metal recover was extensively studied using chemical, physical and biological methods. The MFCs present a new and efficient approach for removing and recovering metals from different wastewater, suggesting the use of different electrode for metal recovery can be a new efficient and effective approach.
Magnetophotonics 3D MEMS/NEMS System for Quantitative Mitochondrial DNA Defect Profiling
Mitochondrial defects have a significant impact in many human diseases and aging associated phenotypes. The pathogenic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations are diverse and usually present as heteroplasmic. mtDNA 4977bps deletion is one of the common mtDNA defects, and the ratio of mutated versus normal copy is significantly associated with clinical symptoms thus their quantitative detection has become an important unmet needs for advanced disease diagnosis and therapeutic guidelines. This study revealed a Micro-electro-mechanical-system (MEMS) enabled automatic microfluidic chip that only required minimal sample. The system integrated multiple laboratory operation steps into a Lab-on-a-Chip for high-sensitive and prompt measurement. The entire process including magnetic nanoparticle based mtDNA extraction in chip, mutation selective photonic DNA cleavage, and nanoparticle accelerated photonic quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). All subsystems were packed inside a miniature three-dimensional micro structured system and operated in an automatic manner. Integration of magnetic beads with microfluidic transportation could promptly extract and enrich the specific mtDNA. The near infrared responsive magnetic nanoparticles enabled micro-PCR to be operated by pulse-width-modulation controlled laser pulsing to amplify the desired mtDNA while quantified by fluorescence intensity captured by a complementary metal oxide system array detector. The proportions of pathogenic mtDNA in total DNA were thus obtained. Micro capillary electrophoresis module was used to analyze the amplicone products. In conclusion, this study demonstrated a new magnetophotonic based qPCR MEMS system that successfully detects and quantify specific disease related DNA mutations thus provides a promising future for rapid diagnosis of mitochondria diseases.
Insights into Archaeological Human Sample Microbiome Using 16S rRNA Gene Sequencing
Human body is inhabited by a vast number of microorganisms, collectively known as the human microbiome, and there is a tremendous interest in evolutionary changes in human microbial ecology, diversity and function. The field of paleomicrobiology, study of ancient human microbiome, is powered by modern techniques of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), which allows extracting microbial genomic data directly from archaeological sample of interest. One of the major techniques is 16S rRNA gene sequencing, by which certain 16S rRNA gene hypervariable regions are being amplified and sequenced. However, some limitations of this method exist including the taxonomic precision and efficacy of different regions used. The aim of this study was to evaluate the phylogenetic sensitivity of different 16S rRNA gene hypervariable regions for microbiome studies in the archaeological samples. Towards this aim, archaeological bone samples and corresponding soil samples from each burial environment were collected in Medieval cemeteries in Latvia. The Ion 16S™ Metagenomics Kit targeting different 16S rRNA gene hypervariable regions was used for library construction (Ion Torrent technologies). Sequenced data were analysed by using appropriate bioinformatic techniques; alignment and taxonomic representation was done using Mothur program. Sequences of most abundant genus were further aligned to E. coli 16S rRNA gene reference sequence using MEGA7 in order to identify the hypervariable region of the segment of interest. Our results showed that different hypervariable regions had different discriminatory power depending on the groups of microbes, as well as the nature of samples. On the basis of our results, we suggest that wider range of primers used can provide more accurate recapitulation of microbial communities in archaeological samples. Acknowledgements. This work was supported by the ERAF grant Nr. 126.96.36.199/16/A/101.
Study of Microbial Diversity Associated with Tarballs and Their Exploitation in Crude Oil Degradation
Tarballs are crude oil remnants found in oceans after long term weathering process and are a global concern since several decades as potential marine pollutant. Being complicated in structure microbial remediation of tarballs in natural environment is a slow process. They are rich in high molecular weight alkanes and poly aromatic hydrocarbons which are resistant to microbial attack and other environmental factors, therefore remain in environment for long time. However, it has been found that many bacteria and fungi inhabit on tarballs for nutrients and shelter. Many of them are supposed to be oil degraders, while others are supposed to be getting benefited by byproducts formed during hydrocarbon metabolism. Thus tarballs are forming special interesting ecological niche of microbes. This work aimed to study diversity of bacteria and fungi from tarballs and to see their potential application in crude oil degradation. The samples of tarballs were collected from Betul beach of south Goa (India). Different methods were used to isolate culturable fraction of bacteria and fungi from it. Those were sequenced for 16S rRNA gene and ITS for molecular level identification. The 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis revealed the presence of 13 bacterial genera/clades (Alcanivorax, Brevibacterium, Bacillus, Cellulomonas, Enterobacter, Klebsiella, Marinobacter, Nitratireductor, Pantoea, Pseudomonas, Pseudoxanthomonas, Tistrella and Vibrio), while the ITS sequence analysis placed the fungi in 8 diverse genera/ clades (Aspergillus, Byssochlamys, Monascus, Paecilomyces, Penicillium, Scytalidium/ Xylogone, Talaromyces and Trichoderma). All bacterial isolates were screened for oil degradation capacity. Potential strains were subjected to crude oil degradation experiment for quantification. Results were analyzed by GC-MS-MS.
Membrane Spanning DNA Origami Nanopores for Protein Translocation
Single-molecule sensing via protein nanopores has achieved a step-change in portable and label-free DNA sequencing. However, protein pores of both natural or engineered origin are not able to produce the tunable diameters needed for effective protein sensing. Here, we describe a generic strategy to build synthetic DNA nanopores that are wide enough to accommodate folded protein. The pores are composed of interlinked DNA duplexes and carry lipid anchors to achieve the required membrane insertion. Our demonstrator pore has a contiguous cross-sectional channel area of 50 nm2 which is 6-times larger than the largest protein pore. Consequently, transport of folded protein across bilayers is possible. The modular design is amenable for different pore dimensions and can be adapted for protein sensing or to create molecular gates in synthetic biology.
Effect of Low Temperature on Structure and RNA Binding of E.coli CspA: A Molecular Dynamics Based Study
Cold shock protein A (CspA) is major cold inducible protein present in Escherichia coli. The protein is involved in stabilizing secondary structure of RNA by working as chaperone during cold temperature. Two RNA binding motifs play key role in the stabilizing activity. This study aimed to investigate implications of low temperature on structure and RNA binding activity of E. coli CspA. Molecular dynamics simulations were performed to compare the stability of the protein at 37°C and 10 °C. The protein was mutated at RNA binding motifs and docked with RNA to assess the stability of both complexes. Results suggest that CspA as well as CspA-RNA complex is more stable at low temperature. It was also confirmed that RNP1 and RNP2 play key role in RNA binding.
Transcriptomic Response of Calmodulin Encoding Gene (CaM) in Pesticide Utilizing Talaromyces Fungal Strains
Calmodulin is one of the intracellular calcium proteins that regulates large spectrum of enzymes and cellular functions including metabolism of cyclic nucleotides and glycogen. The potentials of calmodulin gene in fungi necessitates their genetic response and their strong cassette of enzyme secretions for pesticide degradation. Therefore, this study was carried out to investigate the ‘Transcriptomic’ response of calmodulin encoding genes in Talaromyces fungi in response to 2, 2-dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate (DDVP or Dichlorvos) an organophosphate pesticide and γ-Hexachlorocyclohexane (Lindane) an organochlorine pesticide. Fungi strains isolated from rhizosphere from grasses rhizosphere in pesticide polluted sites were subjected to percentage incidence test. Two most frequent fungi were further characterized using ITS gene amplification (ITS1 and ITS4 combinations), they were thereafter subjected to In-vitro DDVP and lindane tolerance tests at different concentrations. They were also screened for presence and expression of calmodulin gene (caM) using RT-PCR technique. The two Talaromyces strains had the highest incidence of 50-72% in pesticide polluted site, they were both identified as Talaromyces astroroseus asemoG and Talaromyces purpurogenum asemoN submitted in NCBI gene-bank with accession numbers KY488464 and KY488468 respectively. T. astroroseus KY488464 tolerated DDVP (1.23±0.023 cm) and lindane (1.11±0.018 cm) at 25 % concentration while T. purpurogenum KY488468 tolerated DDVP (1.33±0.061 cm) and lindane (1.54±0.077 cm) at this concentration. Calmodulin gene was detected in both strains, but RT-PCR expression of caM gene revealed at 900-1000 bp showed an under-expression of caM in T. astrorosues KY488464 but overexpressed in T. purpurogenum KY488464. Thus, the calmodulin gene response of these fungal strains to both pesticides could be considered in monitoring the potentials of fungal strains to pesticide tolerance and bioremediation of pesticide in polluted soil.
Detection and Expression of Peroxidase Genes in Trichoderma harzianum KY488466 and its Response to Crude Oil Degradation
Fungi have potentials for degrading hydrocarbons through the secretion of different enzymes. Crude oil tolerance and degradation by Trichoderma harzianum was investigated in this study with its ability to produce peroxidase enzymes (LiP and MnP). Many fungal strains were isolated from rhizosphere of grasses growing on a crude oil spilled site, and the most frequent strain based on percentage incidence was further characterized using morphological and molecular characteristics. Molecular characterization was done through the amplification of Ribosomal-RNA regions of 18s (1609-1627) and 28s (287-266) using ITS1 and ITS4 combinations and it was identified using NCBI BLAST tool. The selected fungus was also subjected to an in-vitro tolerance test at crude oil concentrations of 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25% while 0% served as control. In addition, lignin peroxidase genes (lig1-6) and manganese peroxidase gene (mnp) were detected and expressed in this strain using RT-PCR technique, its peroxidase producing activities was also studied in aliquots (U/ml). This strain had highest incidence of 80%, it was registered in NCBI as Trichoderma harzianum asemoJ KY488466. The strain KY488466 responded to crude oil concentrations as it increase, the dose inhibition response percentage (DIRP) increased from 41.67 to 95.41 at 5 to 25 % crude oil concentrations. All the peroxidase genes are present in KY488466, and expressed with amplified 900-1000 bp through RT-PCR technique. In this strain, lig2, lig4 and mnp genes were over-expressed, lig 6 was moderately expressed, while none of the genes was under-expressed. The strain also produced 90±0.87 U/ml lignin peroxidase and 120±1.23 U/mil manganese peroxidase enzymes in aliquots. These results imply that KY488466 can tolerate and survive high crude oil concentration and could be exploited for bioremediation of oil-spilled soils, the produced peroxidase enzymes could also be exploited for other biotechnological experiments.
Influence of Iron Content in Carbon Nanotubes on the Intensity of Hyperthermia in the Cancer Treatment
The term ‘cancer’ is given to a collection of related diseases that may affect any part of the human body. It is a pathological behaviour of cells with the potential to undergo abnormal breakdown in the processes that control cell proliferation, differentiation, and death of particular cells. Although cancer is commonly considered as modern disease, there are beliefs that drastically growing number of new cases can be linked to the extensively prolonged life expectancy and enhanced techniques for cancer diagnosis. Magnetic hyperthermia therapy is a novel approach to cancer treatment, which may greatly contribute to higher efficiency of the therapy. Employing carbon nanotubes as nanocarriers for magnetic particles, it is possible to decrease toxicity and invasiveness of the treatment by surface functionalisation. Despite appearing in recent years, magnetic particle hyperthermia has already become of the highest interest in the scientific and medical environment. The reason why hyperthermia therapy brings so much hope for future treatment of cancer lays in the effect that it produces in malignant cells. Subjecting them to thermal shock results in activation of numerous degradation processes inside and outside the cell. The heating process initiates mechanisms of DNA destruction, protein denaturation and induction of cell apoptosis, which may lead to tumour shrinkage, and in some cases, it may even cause complete disappearance of cancer. The factors which have the major impact on the final efficiency of the treatment include temperatures generated inside the tissues, time of exposure to the heating process, and the character of an individual cancer cell type. The vast majority of cancer cells is characterised by lower pH, persistent hypoxia and lack of nutrients, which can be associated to abnormal microvasculature. Since in healthy tissues we cannot observe presence of these conditions, they should not be seriously affected by elevation of the temperature. The aim of this work is to investigate the influence of iron content in iron filled Carbon Nanotubes on the desired nanoparticles for cancer therapy. In the article, the development and demonstration of the method and the model device for hyperthermic selective destruction of cancer cells are presented. This method was based on the synthesis and functionalization of carbon nanotubes serving as ferromagnetic material nanocontainers. The methodology of the production carbon- ferromagnetic nanocontainers (FNCs) includes the synthesis of carbon nanotubes, chemical, and physical characterization, increasing the content of a ferromagnetic material and biochemical functionalization involving the attachment of the key addresses. The ferromagnetic nanocontainers were synthesised in CVD and microwave plasma system. The research work has been financed from the budget of science as a research project No. PBS2/A5/31/2013.
Radio Frequency Heating of Iron-Filled Carbon Nanotubes for Cancer Treatment
There exist more than one hundred different types of cancer, and therefore no particular treatment is offered to people struggling with this disease. The character of treatment proposed to a patient will depend on a variety of factors such as type of the cancer diagnosed, advancement of the disease, its location in the body, as well as personal preferences of a patient. None of the commonly known methods of cancer-fighting is recognised as a perfect cure, however great advances in this field have been made over last few decades. Once a patient is diagnosed with cancer, he is in need of medical care and professional treatment for upcoming months, and in most cases even for years. Among the principal modes of treatment offered by medical centres, one can find radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and surgery. All of them can be applied separately or in combination, and the relative contribution of each is usually determined by medical specialist in agreement with a patient. In addition to the conventional treatment option, every day more complementary and alternative therapies are integrated into mainstream care. There is one promising cancer modality - hyperthermia therapy which is based on exposing body tissues to high temperatures. This treatment is still being investigated and is not widely available in hospitals and oncological centres. There are two kinds of hyperthermia therapies with direct and indirect heating. The first is not commonly used due to low efficiency and invasiveness, while the second is deeply investigated and a variety of methods have been developed, including ultrasounds, infrared sauna, induction heating and magnetic hyperthermia. The aim of this work was to examine possibilities of heating magnetic nanoparticles under the influence of electromagnetic field for cancer treatment. For this purpose, multiwalled carbon nanotubes used as nanocarriers for iron particles were investigated for its heating properties. The samples were subjected to an alternating electromagnetic field with frequency range between 110-619 kHz. Moreover, samples with various concentrations of carbon nanotubes were examined. The lowest frequency of 110 kHz and sample containing 10 wt% of carbon nanotubes occurred to influence the most effective heating process. Description of hyperthermia therapy aiming at enhancing currently available cancer treatment was also presented in this paper. Most widely applied conventional cancer modalities such as radiation or chemotherapy were also described. Methods for overcoming the most common obstacles in conventional cancer modalities, such as invasiveness and lack of selectivity, has been presented in magnetic hyperthermia characteristics, which explained the increasing interest of the treatment.
Designing Active Sites on Amicyanin Using Histidine S Plus Cobalt, and Measuring Their Functional Activity
There is a growing interest in introducing a desired functional group on enzymes in the field of protein engineering. In here, various redox centers were newly created using histidine tag, which is widely used for protein purification, plus cobalt in one of cupredoxins, amicyanin. The coordination of Cobalt-His tag and reactivity of the Co²⁺ loaded His-tag also were characterized. 3xHis-tag, 6xHis-tag, and 9xHis-tag were introduced on amicyanin by site-directed mutagenesis, and then Co²⁺ was loaded on each His-tagged amicyanin. The spectral changes at 330 nm corresponding to cobalt binding on His-tag site indicated the binding ratio of 3xHis-tag, 6xHis-tag, and 9xHis-tag to cobalt as 1:1, 1:2, 1:3 respectively. Based on kinetic studies of binding cobalt to 3xHis-tag, 6xHis-tag, and 9xHis-tagged amicyanin, the nature of the sites was elucidated. In addition, internal electron transfer properties between Cu¹⁺ site and engineered site of amicyanin were determined. These results provide insight into improvement of metal coordination and alternation of the redox properties of metal as a new catalytic site on proteins.
Effects of Cassia tora Seeds Extract on Type 2 Diabetes Induced Mice
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is characterized by insulin resistance, the inability of β-cell and the dysfunction of mitochondria. To characterize effects of Cassia tora extract on mitochondrial dysfunction related T2D, the reduced glutathione level, amount of mitochondrial complexes and activities of mitochondrial complexes were measured. Three groups of mice were modeled; a control group was fed a normal diet, a diabetic group was fed a diabetic diet high in fat and carbohydrates, and a third group was fed a diabetic diet + 70% ethanol extracted Cassia tora seeds for 12 weeks. The amount of mitochondria was determined by Bradford assay after isolation of mitochondria in liver from each group. During isolation of mitochondria, cytosolic fractions of the tissue were collected to measure the reduced glutathione level. Interestingly, high level of the reduced glutathione was observed in Cassia tora treated group and decreased activities of mitochondrial complexes in Cassia tora treated group compared to the diabetic diet group. It indicates that Cassia tora has the potential to increase the reduced form of glutathione functioned as an important antioxidant in cells, and to reduce mitochondrial metabolic compensatory mechanism.
Short-Term Exposing Effects of 4,4'-DDT on Mitochondrial Electron Transport Complexes in Eyes of Zebrafish
4,4’-Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (4,4’-DDT) is colorless, odorless organochlorine and known as persistent toxic organic pollutant accumulated in organs. In this study, effects of 4,4’-DDT on activities of mitochondrial electron transport chain system was analyzed. 4,4’-DDT is directly treated to isolated mitochondria from eyes of zebrafish and then activities of mitochondrial complex I, II, III, IV were measured spectrophotometrically. The reaction was proceeded immediately after adding 4,4’-DDT to examine the short-term exposing effects of persistent organic pollutant. As a result, high concentration of 4,4’-DDT treated mitochondria exhibited slightly enhanced activity in all complexes than non-treated one except complex III in male. Particularly, 4,4’-DDT was more effective on enzymatic activity in mitochondria isolated from eyes of male zebrafish. These results represented that 4,4’-DDT might temporarily induce to open up ion channel on isolated mitochondria resulting in increasing the functional activity of mitochondrial electron transport chain system.
Compensatory Increased Activities of Mitochondrial Respiratory Chain Complexes from Eyes of Glucose-Immersed Zebrafish
Diabetes is a metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycemia, insulin resistant, mitochondrial dysfunction. Diabetes is associated with the development of diabetic retinopathy resulting in worsening vision and eventual blindness. In this study, eyes were enucleated from glucose-immersed zebrafish which is a good animal model to generate diabetes, and then mitochondria were isolated to evaluate activities of mitochondrial electron transfer complexes. Surprisingly, the amount of isolated mitochondria was increased in eyes from glucose-immersed zebrafish compared to those from non-glucose-immerged zebrafish. Spectrophotometric analysis for measuring activities of mitochondrial complex I, II, III, and IV revealed that mitochondria functions was even enhanced in eyes from glucose-immersed zebrafish. These results indicated that 3 days or 7 days glucose-immersion on zebrafish to induce diabetes might contribute metabolic compensatory mechanism to restore their mitochondrial homeostasis on the early stage of diabetes in eyes.