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.
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.
7,10-Epoxy Octadeca 7,9-Dienoic Acid: Potential Candidate of Antibacterial Agent against Multidrug-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
Structural modification of natural lipids by biocatalysis can change their properties or even create novel functionalities. Hydroxy fatty acid, one of those oxylipins, can be produced from microbial bioconversion of the natural vegetable oils. Recently 7,10-dihydroxy-8(E)-octadecenoic acid (DOD) was produced with high yield from olive oil by bacterial strain Pseudomonas aeruginosa PR3, and further study confirmed that DOD contained strong antimicrobial activities against broad range of microorganisms. In this study, we tried to modify DOD molecules by physical reaction to create new functionality and/or to enhance the antimicrobial activity of DOD. After the harsh heat-treatment, a novel furan fatty acid, 7,10-epoxy octadeca 7,9-dienoic acid (EODA) was produced from DOD. We confirmed that EODA presented strong antibacterial activity against multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and also EODA showed a recuperative effect of the beta-lactam antibiotics activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
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.
A Meridian Alignment Hypothesis for Binocular Extension of Listing's Law
Retinal image disparity exists between two eyes in binocular fixation due to horizontal separation of the eyeball. Cyclovergence rotates the eyes to reduce the cyclodisparity of the retinal image. It is known that human vergence following the binocular extension of Listing's Law in dark environments. This paper proposes a new hypothesis explaining the purpose of non-visually induced cyclovergence. The hypothesize states that the non-visually mediated cyclovergence minimizes the cyclodisparity by maximizing the alignment between two eyes’ horizontal and vertical meridians. Numerical simulations show that the binocular extension of Listing's Law can be explained by this hypothesis. The hypothesis will improve the understanding of human visual perception, which could potentially help the clinical diagnosis of visual disorder and the development of virtual reality tools.
Development of Bacterial Nanocellulose Bioink for 3D Bioprinting of Human Cartilage
Bacterial nanocellulose (BNC) consists of a 3D network of nanofibrils with excellent biocompatibility. These nanofibrils are tighly entangled, and in order to create a printable material for 3D bioprinting, the BNC network has to be disassembled into shorter fibrils. In this study, we evaluate two disassembly methods; acid hydrolysis, and mechanical defibrillation with the novel aqueous counter collision technique (ACC-BNC), to create bioinks with good shear thinning properties and desired printability. Post-printing, the ACC-BNC hydrogels were mixed with alginate to enable crosslinking, in order to retain the shape fidelity of the constructs during cultivation. The ACC-BNC bioink was also evaluated in an in vitro experiment with fibroblasts as well as by a clinically relevant setting in vivo, to study chondrogenesis. The cell proliferation was assessed by morphological and immunohistochemical analysis. The ACC-BNC bioink showed outstanding printability and post-printing mechanical stability. Furthermore, both the in vitro and in vivo results, in terms of cell proliferation of human fibroblasts and chondrocytes, respectively, were excellent. The human nasal chondrocyte ACC-BNC constructs had excellent structural integrity and a gradually increasing production of glycosaminoglycans and collagen II after 60 days of implantation in nude mice. The novel ACC disentanglement technique makes the BNC bioink highly suitable for 3D bioprinting in reconstructive surgery.
Effect of Black Cumin (Nigella Sativa) Extract on Damaged Brain Cells
The nervous system is made up of complex delicate structures such as the spinal cord, peripheral nerves and the brain. These are prone to various types of injury ranging from neurodegenerative diseases to trauma leading to diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple system atrophy etc. Unfortunately, because of the complicated structure of nervous system, spontaneous regeneration, repair and healing is seldom seen due to which brain damage, peripheral nerve damage and paralysis from spinal cord injury are often permanent and incapacitating. Hence, innovative and standardized approach is required for advance treatment of neurological injury. Nigella sativa (N. sativa), an annual flowering plant native to regions of southern Europe and Asia; has been suggested to have neuroprotective and anti-seizures properties. Neuroregeneration is found to occur in damaged cells when treated using extract of N. sativa. Due to its proven health benefits, lots of experiments are being conducted to extract all the benefits from the plant. The flowers are delicate and are usually pale blue and white in color with small black seeds. These seeds are the source of active components such as 30–40% fixed oils, 0.5–1.5% essential oils, pharmacologically active components containing thymoquinone (TQ), ditimoquinone (DTQ) and nigellin. In traditional medicine, this herb was identified to have healing properties and was extensively used Middle East and Far East for treating diseases such as head ache, back pain, asthma, infections, dysentery, hypertension, obesity and gastrointestinal problems. Literature studies have confirmed the extract of N. sativa seeds and TQ have inhibitory effects on inducible nitric oxide synthase and production of nitric oxide as well as anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities. Experimental investigation will be conducted to understand which ingredient of N. sativa causes neuroregeneration and roots to its healing property. An aqueous/ alcoholic extract of N. sativa will be made. Seed oil is also found to have used by researchers to prepare such extracts. For the alcoholic extracts, the seeds need to be powdered and soaked in alcohol for a period of time and the alcohol must be evaporated using rotary evaporator. For aqueous extracts, the powder must be dissolved in distilled water to obtain a pure extract. The mobile phase will be the extract while the suitable stationary phase (substance that is a good adsorbent e.g. silica gels, alumina, cellulose etc.) will be selected. Different ingredients of N. sativa will be separated using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) for treating damaged cells. Damaged brain cells will be treated individually and in different combinations of 2 or 3 compounds for different intervals of time. The most suitable compound or a combination of compounds for the regeneration of cells will be determined using DOE methodology. Later the gene will also be determined and using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) it will be replicated in a plasmid vector. This plasmid vector shall be inserted in the brain of the organism used and replicated within. The gene insertion can also be done by the gene gun method. The gene in question can be coated on a micro bullet of tungsten and bombarded in the area of interest and gene replication and coding shall be studied. Investigation on whether the gene replicates in the organism or not will be examined.
Chondrocytes and Stem Cells in 3D-Bioprinted Structures Create Human Cartilage in Vivo
Cartilage repair and replacement is a major challenge in plastic reconstructive surgery. The development of a process capable of creating a patient-specific cartilage framework would be a major breakthrough. Here, we described methods for creating human cartilage in vivo and quantitatively assessing the proliferative capacity and cartilage-formation ability in mono- and co-cultures of human chondrocytes and human mesenchymal stem cells in a three-dimensional (3D)-bioprinted hydrogel scaffold. The 3D-bioprinted constructs (5 × 5 × 1.2 mm) were produced using nanofibrillated cellulose and alginate in combination with human chondrocytes and human mesenchymal stem cells using a 3D-extrusion bioprinter. Immediately following bioprinting, the constructs were implanted subcutaneously on the back of 48 nude mice and explanted after 30 and 60 days, respectively, for morphological and immunohistochemical examination. During explantation, the constructs were easy to handle, and the majority had retained their macroscopic grid appearance. Constructs consisting of human nasal chondrocytes showed good proliferation ability, with 17.2% of the surface areas covered with proliferating chondrocytes after 60 days. In constructs comprising a mixture of chondrocytes and stem cells, an additional proliferative effect was observed involving chondrocyte production of glucosaminoglycans and type 2 collagen. This clinically highly relevant study revealed 3D bioprinting as a promising technology for the creation of human cartilage.
Enhancement of Morphogenetic Potential to Obtain Elite Varities of Sauropus androgynous (L.) Merr. through Somatic Embryogenesis
Somatic embryogenesis is a remarkable illustration of the dictum of plant totipotency where developmental reconstruction of somatic cells takes place towards the embryogenic pathway. It recapitulates the morphological and developmental process that occurs in zygotic embryogenesis. S. androgynous commonly called as multivitamin plant. The leaves are consumed as green leafy vegetable by the Southeast Asian communities due to their rich nutritional profile. Despite being a good nutritional vegetable with proteins, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, it is warned for excessive intake due to the presence of alkoloid called papaverine. Papaverine at higher concentrations is toxic and leads to a syndrome called Bronchiolitis Obliterans. In the present study, morphogenetic potential of shoot tip, leaf and nodal explants of Sauropus androgynous was investigated to develop and enhance the reliable plant regeneration protocol via somatic embryogenesis. Somatic embryos were derived directly from the embryogenic callus derived from shoot tip, node and leaf cultures on Phillips and Collins (L2) medium supplemented with NAA at various concentrations ranging from 5.3 µM/l to 26.85 µM/l within two months of inoculation. Thus obtained embryos were sub cultured to modified L2 media supplemented with increased vitamin level for the further growth. Somatic embryos with well-developed cotyledons were transferred to normal and modified L2 basal medium for conversion. The plantlets thus obtained were subjected to brief acclimatization before transferring them to land. About 95% of survival rate was recorded. The augmentation process of culturing various explants through somatic embryogenesis using synthetic medium with various plant growth regulators under controlled conditions have aggrandized the commercial production of Sauropus making it easily available over the conventional propagation methods. In addition, regeneration process through somatic embryogenesis has ameliorated the development of desired character in Sauropus with low papaverine content thereby providing a valuable resource to the food and pharmaceutical industry. Based on this research, plant tissue culture techniques have shown promise for economical and convenient application in Sauropus androgynous breeding.
Evaluation of Anti-Inflammatory Activities in Wild Herb Urginea wightii
The present work focusses on anti-inflammatory action of Urginea wightii in-vitro. Urginea wightii is a member of Hyacinthaceae and considered to be wonder plant because of its varied important medicinal properties. The plant is endemic to India, Africa, and Mediterranian regions. Presence of alkaloids, flavonoid-glycosides especially flavonone derivatives are responsible for the strong anti-inflammatory activity of Urginea wightii. In present research work, anti-inflammatory activity of methanol extract of the bulb powder was tested on Male Wistar Rats. In these test animals, inflammation was induced by injecting carrageenan as the irritant to induce paw edema in Wistar rats. Inflammation of Paw edema was treated with both plant extract and Pyrox gel a known synthetic anti-inflammatory drug through external application. The result indicated that anti-inflammatory activity of Urginea wightii extract was almost similar to the synthetic Pyrox gel. This disproves the modern world's scepticism towards the herbal medicines and encourages to rely on natural plant extracts.
An Android Application for ECG Monitoring and Evaluation Using Pan-Tompkins Algorithm
Parallel to the fast worldwide increase of elderly population and spreading unhealthy life habits, there is a significant rise in the number of patients and health problems. The supervision of people who have health problems and oversight in detection of people who have potential risks, bring a considerable cost to health system and increase workload of physician. To provide an efficient solution to this problem, in the recent years mobile applications have shown their potential for wide usage in health monitoring. In this paper we present an Android mobile application that records and evaluates ECG signal using Pan-Tompkins algorithm for QRS detection. The application model includes an alarm mechanism that is proposed to be used for sending message including abnormality information and location information to health supervisor.
Beneficial Effect of Micropropagation Coupled with Mycorrhization on Enhancement of Growth Performance of Medicinal Plants
Medicinal plants are globally valuable sources of herbal products. Wild populations of many medicinal plants are facing threat of extinction because of their narrow distribution, endemicity, and degradation of specific habitats. Micropropagation is an established in vitro technique by which large number of clones can be obtained from a small bit of explants in a short span of time within a limited space. Mycorrhization can minimize the transient transplantation shock, experienced by the micropropagated plants when they are transferred from lab to land. AM fungal association improves the physiological status of the host plants through better uptake of water and nutrients, particularly phosphorus. Consequently, the growth performance and biosynthesis of active principles are significantly enhanced in AM fungal treated plants. Bacopa monnieri, Andrographis paniculata, Agave vera-curz, Drymaria cordata and Majorana hortensis, important medicinal plants used in various indigenous systems of medicines, are selected for the present study. They form the main constituents of many herbal formulations. Standard in vitro techniques were followed to obtain the micropropagated plants. Shoot tips and nodal segments were used as explants. Explants were cultured on Murashige and Skoog, and Phillips and Collins media supplemented with various combinations of growth regulators. Multiple shoots were obtained on a media containing both auxins and cytokinins at various concentrations and combinations. Multiple shoots were then transferred to rooting media containing auxins for root induction. Thus, obtained in vitro regenerated plants were subjected to brief acclimatization before transferring them to land. One-month-old in vitro plants were treated with AM fungi, and the symbiotic effect on the overall growth parameters was analyzed. It was found that micropropagation coupled with mycorrhization has significant effect on the enhancement of biomass and biosynthesis of active principles in these selected medicinal plants. In vitro techniques coupled with mycorrhization have opened a possibility of obtaining better clones in respect of enhancement of biomass and biosynthesis of active principles. Beneficial effects of AM fungal association with medicinal plants are discussed.
Selective Recovery and Molecular Identification of Laccase-Producing Bacteria from Selected Terrestrial and Aquatic Milieu in the Eastern Cape, South Africa: Toward the Production of Environmentally Relevant Biocatalysts
Laccase is constantly gaining status as important biocatalyst in biotechnology. The illimitable potential of its industrial applications and the corresponding aggressive need for phenomenal volumes of extracellularly secreted laccases have called for its interminable production from sources which are able to meet this demand within a relatively short period of time, preferably bacteria. In response to this call, this study was designed to source for laccase-producing bacteria from different environmental matrices. Three sampling environments were chosen such as wastewater treatment plants, University of Fort Hare vicinity and the Hogback woodland, all within the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Samples such as effluents, sediments, leaf litters, degrading wood and rock scrapings were selectively enriched with some model aromatic compounds and were further screened qualitatively and quantitatively on five phenolic substrates ABTS (2,2’-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid), Guaiacol, 1-Naphthol, Potassium Ferric Cyanide and Syringaldazine). Basis for selection was their ability to elicit a colour change on at least three of the above mentioned agar based assay substrates. The choice isolates were further identified based on 16S rRNA molecular identification techniques. 33 isolates were screened out of the 40 representative distinct colonies during the qualitative plate screens, while quantitative screens selected out 11 bacterial isolates. They were, based on molecular identification, desginated as members of the genera Pseudomonas, Stenotrophomonas and Citrobacter of the gammaproteobacteria and Bordetalla and Achromobacter of the betaproteobacteria respectively. We therefore conclude based on our outcomes that we may have isolated efficient laccase-producing bacteria, which might be of beneficial significance in catalysis and biotechnology.
De Novo Assembly and Characterization of the Transcriptome during Seed Development, and Generation of Genic-SSR Markers in Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.)
Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) is known to be one of the oldest edible fruit tree species, with a wide geographical global distribution. Fruits from the two defined varieties (Hicaznar and 33N26) were taken at intervals after pollination and fertilization at different sizes. Seed samples were used for transcriptome sequencing. Primary sequencing was produced by Illumina Hi-Seq™ 2000. Firstly, we had raw reads, and it was subjected to quality control (QC). Raw reads were filtered into clean reads and aligned to the reference sequences. De novo analysis was performed to detect genes expressed in seeds of pomegranate varieties. We performed downstream analysis to determine differentially expressed genes. We generated about 27.09 gb bases in total after Illumina Hi-Seq sequencing. All samples were assembled together, we got 59,264 Unigenes, the total length, average length, N50, and GC content of Unigenes are 84.547.276 bp, 1.426 bp, 2,137 bp, and 46.20 %, respectively. Unigenes were annotated with 7 functional databases, finally, 42.681(NR: 72.02%), 39.660 (NT: 66.92%), 30.790 (Swissprot: 51.95%), 20.212 (COG: 34.11%), 27.689 (KEGG: 46.72%), 12.328 (GO: 20.80%), and 33,833 (Interpro: 57.09%) Unigenes were annotated. With functional annotation results, we detected 42.376 CDS, and 4.999 SSR distribute on 16.143 Unigenes.
The Role and Importance of Genome Sequencing in Prediction of Cancer Risk
The role and relative importance of intrinsic and extrinsic factors in the development of complex diseases such as cancer still remains a controversial issue. Determining the amount of variation explained by these factors needs experimental data and statistical models. These models are nevertheless based on the occurrence and accumulation of random mutational events during stem cell division, thus rendering cancer development a stochastic outcome. We demonstrate that not only individual genome sequencing is uninformative in determining cancer risk, but also assigning a unique genome sequence to any given individual (healthy or affected) is not meaningful. Current whole-genome sequencing approaches are therefore unlikely to realize the promise of personalized medicine. In conclusion, since genome sequence differs from cell to cell and changes over time, it seems that determining the risk factor of complex diseases based on genome sequence is somewhat unrealistic, and therefore, the resulting data are likely to be inherently uninformative.
Production of Antimicrobial Agents against Multidrug-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus through the Biocatalysis of Vegetable Oils
Structural modification of natural lipids via chemical reaction or microbial bioconversion can change their properties or even create novel functionalities. Enzymatic oxidation of lipids leading to formation of oxylipin is one of those modifications. Hydroxy fatty acids, one of those oxylipins have gained important attentions because of their structural and functional properties compared with other non-hydroxy fatty acids. Recently 7,10-dihydroxy-8(E)-octadecenoic acid (DOD) was produced with high yield from lipid-containing oleic acid by microbial conversion, and the further study confirmed that DOD contained strong antimicrobial activities against a broad range of microorganisms. In this study, we tried to modify DOD molecules by the enzymatic or physical reaction to create new functionality or to enhance the antimicrobial activity of DOD. After modification of DOD molecules by different ways, we confirmed that the antimicrobial activity of DOD was highly enhanced and presented strong antimicrobial activities against multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, suggesting that DOD and its derivatives can be used as efficient antimicrobial agents for medical and industrial applications.
Cr³⁺/SiO₄⁴⁻ Codoped Hydroxyapatite Nanorods: Fabrication and Microstructure Analysis
In this study, nanorods of Cr³⁺/SiO₄⁴⁻ codoped hydroxyapatite (Cr³⁺/SiO₄⁴⁻-HA) were synthesized successfully and rapidly through microwave irradiation technique, using (Ca(NO₃)₂•4H₂O), ((NH₄)₂HPO₄), (SiC₈H₂₀O₄) and (Cr(NO₃)₃.9H₂O) as source materials for Ca²⁺, PO₄³⁻, SiO₄⁴⁻ and Cr³⁺ ions, respectively. The impact of dopants on the phase formation and microstructure of the powders were investigated by means of X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectrum analysis (FT-IR) and Field emission electron microscopy (FESEM) techniques. XRD analysis showed that with an incorporation of Cr³⁺/SiO₄⁴⁻ ions into HA structure resulted in peak broadening and reduced peak height due to the amorphous nature and reduced crystallinity of the resulting HA powder. FTIR spectroscopy revealed the existence of the different vibrational modes matching to phosphates and hydroxyl groups. The FESEM analysis showed a change in the crystal shape from spherical to rod shaped particles upon Cr³⁺ doping into the crystal structure. Acknowledgments: This study was supported by Karabük University (Project no. KBÜBAP-17-YD-144). The authors would like to thank for support.
Characterization of Articular Cartilage Based on the Response of Cartilage Surface to Loading/Unloading
Articular cartilage is a fluid-swollen tissue of synovial joints that functions by providing a lubricated surface for articulation and to facilitate the load transmission. The biomechanical function of this tissue is highly dependent on the integrity of its ultrastructural matrix. Any alteration of articular cartilage matrix, either by injury or degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis (OA), compromises its functional behaviour. Therefore, the assessment of articular cartilage is important in early stages of degenerative process to prevent or reduce further joint damage with associated socio-economic impact. Therefore, there has been increasing research interest into the functional assessment of articular cartilage. This study developed a characterization parameter for articular cartilage assessment based on the response of cartilage surface to loading/unloading. This is because the response of articular cartilage to compressive loading is significantly depth-dependent, where the superficial zone and underlying matrix respond differently to deformation. In addition, the alteration of cartilage matrix in the early stages of degeneration is often characterized by PG loss in the superficial layer. In this study, it is hypothesized that the response of superficial layer is different in normal and proteoglycan depleted tissue. To establish the viability of this hypothesis, samples of visually intact and artificially proteoglycan-depleted bovine cartilage were subjected to compression at a constant rate to 30 percent strain using a ring-shaped indenter with an integrated ultrasound probe and then unloaded. The response of articular surface which was indirectly loaded was monitored using ultrasound during the time of loading/unloading (deformation/recovery). It was observed that the rate of cartilage surface response to loading/unloading was different for normal and PG-depleted cartilage samples. Principal Component Analysis was performed to identify the capability of the cartilage surface response to loading/unloading, to distinguish between normal and artificially degenerated cartilage samples. The classification analysis of this parameter showed an overlap between normal and degenerated samples during loading. While there was a clear distinction between normal and degenerated samples during unloading. This study showed that the cartilage surface response to loading/unloading has the potential to be used as a parameter for cartilage assessment.
In vitro Plant Regeneration of Gonystylus Bancanus (Miq) Kurz. Through Direct Organogenesis
Plant regeneration was achieved from shoot tip and nodal segment of Gonystylus bancanus (Miq) Kurz. cultured in Murashige and Skoog’s medium supplemented with various concentrations of 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP). The most optimum concentration of BAP for shoot initiation is 10.0 mgl⁻¹ with approximately 10% of shoot tip and 15% of nodal segment produced single shoot after 28 and 15 days of culture incubation respectively. Rooting was achieved when shoots were transferred into MS medium supplemented with 5.0 mgl⁻¹ Naphthalene acetic acid (NAA). Synthesizing results developed through this research can be a starting point for the upscalling and optimization process in future.
Milk Yield and Fingerprinting of Beta-Casein Precursor (CSN2) Gene in Some Saudi Camel Breeds
Camels are substantial providers of transport, milk, sport, meat, shelter, fuel, security and capital in many countries, particularly Saudi Arabia. Identification of animal breeds has progressed rapidly during the last decade. Advanced molecular techniques are playing a significant role in breeding or strain protection laws. On the other hand, fingerprinting of some molecular markers related to some productive traits in farm animals represents most important studies to our knowledge, which aim to conserve these local genetic resources, and to the genetic improvement of such local breeds by selective programs depending on gene markers. Milk records were taken two days in each week from female camels of Majahem, Safara, Wathaha, and Hamara breeds, respectively from different private farms in northern Jeddah, Riyadh and Alwagh governorates and average weekly yields were calculated. DNA sequencing for CSN2 gene was used for evaluating the genetic variations and calculating the genetic distance values among four Saudi camel populations which are Hamra(R), Safra(Y), Wadha(W) and Majaheim(M). In addition, this marker was analyzed for reconstructing the Neighbor joining tree among evaluating camel breeds. In respect to milk yield during winter season, result indicated that average weekly milk yield of Safara camel breed (30.05 Kg/week) is significantly (p < 0.05) lower than the other 3 breeds which ranged from 39.68 for Hamara to 42.42 Kg/week for Majahem, while there are not significant differences between these three breeds. The Neighbor Joining analysis that re-constructed based on DNA variations showed that samples are clustered into two unique clades. The first clade includes Y (from Y4 to Y18) and M (from M1, to M9). On the other hand, the second cluster is including all R (from R1 to R6) and W (from W1 to W6). The genetic distance values were equal 0.0068 (between the groups M&Y and R&W) and equal 0 (within each group).