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Ebenezer Owusu-Addo, Andre M N Renzaho, Ben J Smith
Cash transfer programs (CTs) have been rigorously evaluated since their inception in the 1990s. However, to date, there has been no study critically examining the utility of the methodological approaches used to evaluate CTs. This article reviews the approaches used to evaluate CTs in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to provide recommendations for improving future CTs evaluations. We conducted searches for CTs evaluation studies in SSA in the peer-reviewed and grey literature using electronic databases, hand searching of selected journals, organisational websites, Google Scholar and Scirus Internet search engines...
February 14, 2018: Evaluation and Program Planning
Elisabetta Falvo, Francesca Malagrinò, Alessandro Arcovito, Francesco Fazi, Gianni Colotti, Elisa Tremante, Patrizio Di Micco, Aldo Braca, Roberta Opri, Alessandro Giuffrè, Giulio Fracasso, Pierpaolo Ceci
A genetically engineered human ferritin heavy chain (HFt)-based construct has been recently shown by our group to efficiently entrap and deliver doxorubicin to cancer cells. This construct, named HFt-MP-PAS, contained a tumor-selective sequence (MP) responsive to proteolytic cleavage by tumor proteases (MMPs), located between each HFt subunit and an outer shielding polypeptide sequence rich in proline (P), serine (S) and alanine (A) residues (PAS). HFt-MP-PAS displayed excellent therapeutic efficacy in xenogenic pancreatic and head and neck cancer models in vivo, leading to a significant increase in overall animal survivals...
February 20, 2018: Journal of Controlled Release: Official Journal of the Controlled Release Society
Aymerick Eudes, Roland Berthomieu, Zhangying Hao, Nanxia Zhao, Veronica Teixeira Benites, Edward E K Baidoo, Dominique Loqué
Muconic acid (MA) is a dicarboxylic acid used for the production of industrially relevant chemicals such as adipic acid, terephthalic acid, and caprolactam. Because the synthesis of these polymer precursors generates toxic intermediates by utilizing petroleum-derived chemicals and corrosive catalysts, the development of alternative strategies for the bio-based production of MA has garnered significant interest. Plants produce organic carbon skeletons by harvesting carbon dioxide and energy from the sun, and therefore represent advantageous hosts for engineered metabolic pathways towards the manufacturing of chemicals...
February 20, 2018: Metabolic Engineering
Helen Murphy, Joanna Strong
A difficult birth experience can have long lasting psychological effects on both mother and baby and this study details 4 in-depth accounts of first time mothers who described their birth experience as traumatizing. Narrative analysis was used to record discrepancies between the ideal and the real and produced narrative accounts that highlighted how these mothers felt invisible and dismissed in a medical culture of engineering obstetrics. Participants also detailed how their birth experience could be improved and this is set in context alongside current recommendations in maternal health care and the complexities of delivering such care in UK health settings...
February 23, 2018: Health Care for Women International
Min Zeng, Sha Jin, Kaiming Ye
Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting enables the creation of tissue constructs with heterogeneous compositions and complex architectures. It was initially used for preparing scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. It has recently been adopted to create living tissues, such as cartilage, skin, and heart valve. To facilitate vascularization, hollow channels have been created in the hydrogels by 3D bioprinting. This review discusses the state of the art of the technology, along with a broad range of biomaterials used for 3D bioprinting...
February 1, 2018: SLAS Technology
Emma Karlsson, Jae Ho Shin, Gunnar Westman, Leif A Eriksson, Lisbeth Olsson, Valeria Mapelli
The biobased production of adipic acid, a precursor in the production of nylon, is of great interest in order to replace the current petrochemical production route. Glucose-rich lignocellulosic raw materials have high potential to replace the petrochemical raw material. A number of metabolic pathways have been proposed for the microbial conversion of glucose to adipic acid, but achieved yields and titers remain to be improved before industrial applications are feasible. One proposed pathway starts with lysine, an essential metabolite industrially produced from glucose by microorganisms...
2018: PloS One
Besiki Stvilia, Shuheng Wu, Dong Joon Lee
RESEARCHERS’ PARTICIPATION IN ONLINE RIMSS: This article examined how researchers participated in research information management systems (RIMSs), their motivations for participation, and their priorities for those motivations. Profile maintenance, question-answering, and endorsement activities were used to define three cumulatively increasing levels of participation: Readers, Record Managers, and Community Members. Junior researchers were more engaged in RIMSs than were senior researchers...
2018: PloS One
Paula Ana Iribarren, Lucía Ayelén Di Marzio, María Agustina Berazategui, Javier Gerardo De Gaudenzi, Vanina Eder Alvarez
SUMOylation is a post-translational modification conserved in eukaryotic organisms that involves the covalent attachment of the small ubiquitin-like protein SUMO to internal lysine residues in target proteins. This tag usually alters the interaction surface of the modified protein and can be translated into changes in its biological activity, stability or subcellular localization, among other possible outputs. SUMO can be attached as a single moiety or as SUMO polymers in case there are internal acceptor sites in SUMO itself...
2018: PloS One
Maria Sardi, Vaishnavi Paithane, Michael Place, De Elegant Robinson, James Hose, Dana J Wohlbach, Audrey P Gasch
Cellulosic plant biomass is a promising sustainable resource for generating alternative biofuels and biochemicals with microbial factories. But a remaining bottleneck is engineering microbes that are tolerant of toxins generated during biomass processing, because mechanisms of toxin defense are only beginning to emerge. Here, we exploited natural diversity in 165 Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains isolated from diverse geographical and ecological niches, to identify mechanisms of hydrolysate-toxin tolerance. We performed genome-wide association (GWA) analysis to identify genetic variants underlying toxin tolerance, and gene knockouts and allele-swap experiments to validate the involvement of implicated genes...
February 23, 2018: PLoS Genetics
Qian Zhang, Chenhan Liu, Xue Liu, Jinyu Liu, Zhiguang Cui, Yin Zhang, Lin Yang, Yang Zhao, Terry T Xu, Yunfei Chen, Jiang Wei, Zhiqiang Mao, Deyu Li
van der Waals (vdW) crystals with covalently bonded building blocks assembled together through vdW interactions have attracted tremendous attention recently because of their interesting properties and promising applications. Compared to the explosive research on two-dimensional (2D) vdW materials, quasi-one-dimensional (quasi-1D) vdW crystals have received considerably less attention while they also present rich physics and engineering implications. Here we report on the thermal conductivity of exfoliated quasi-1D Ta2Pd3Se8 vdW nanowires...
February 23, 2018: ACS Nano
Yingjie Zhang, Mohammad Heiranian, Blanka Janicek, Zoe Budrikis, Stefano Zapperi, Pinshane Huang, Harley T Johnson, Narayana R Aluru, Joseph W Lyding, Nadya Mason
Spatially non-uniform strain is important for engineering the pseudo-magnetic field and band structure of graphene. Despite the wide interest in strain engineering, there is still a lack of control on device-compatible strain patterns due to the limited understanding of the structure-strain relationship. Here we study the effect of substrate corrugation and curvature on the strain profiles of graphene via combined experimental and theoretical studies of a model system - graphene on closely packed SiO2 nanospheres with different diameters (20 - 200 nm)...
February 23, 2018: Nano Letters
Anne Pihl Bali, Hans Jasper Genee, Morten Sommer
Understanding and engineering solute transporters is important for metabolic engineering and the development of therapeutics. However, limited available experimental data on membrane transporters makes sequence-function relationships complex to predict. Here we apply a ligand-responsive biosensor systems that enable selective growth of E. coli cells only if they functionally express an importer that is specific to the biosensor ligand. Using this system in a directed evolution framework, we successfully engineer the specificity of nicotinamide riboside transporters, PnuC, to accept thiamine as a substrate...
February 23, 2018: ACS Synthetic Biology
K P Dou, C C Kaun, R Q Zhang
A clear understanding of electrode-molecule interfaces is a prerequisite for the rational engineering of future generations of nanodevices that will rely on single-molecule coupling between components. With a model system, we reveal a peculiar dependence on interfaces in all graphene nanoribbon-based carbon molecular junctions. The effect can be classified into two types depending on the intrinsic feature of the embedded core graphene nanoflake (GNF). For metallic GNFs with |NA - NB | = 1, good/poor contact transparency occurs when the core device aligns with the center/edge of the electrode...
February 23, 2018: Nanoscale
Francisco Glaria, Israel Arnedo, Ana Sánchez-Ostiz
Since the origin of the Modern Movement, there has been a basic commitment to improving housing conditions and the well-being of occupants, especially given the prediction that 2/3 of humanity will reside in cities by 2050. Moreover, a compact model of the city with tall buildings and urban densification at this scale will be generated. Continuous constructive and technological advances have developed solid foundations on safety, energy efficiency, habitability, and sustainability in housing design. However, studies on improving the quality of life in these areas continue to be a challenge for architects and engineers...
February 23, 2018: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Maria Matos, Bruno Oliveira, Nuria Martínez-Sáez, Ana Guerreiro, Pedro M S D Cal, Jean Bertoldo, Maria Maneiro, Elizabeth Perkins, Julie Howard, Michael Deery, Justin M Chalker, Francisco Corzana, Gonzalo Jiménez-Osés, Gonçalo J L Bernardes
Site-selective chemical conjugation of synthetic molecules to proteins expands their functional and therapeutic capacity. Current protein modification methods, based on both synthetic and biochemical technologies, can achieve site-selectivity, but these techniques often require extensive sequence engineering or are restricted to the N- or C-terminus. Here we show the computer-assisted design of sulfonyl acrylate reagents for the modification of a single lysine residue on native protein sequences. This feature of the designed sulfonyl acrylates, together with the innate and subtle reactivity differences conferred by the unique local microenvironment surrounding each lysine, contribute to the observed regioselectivity of the reaction...
February 23, 2018: Journal of the American Chemical Society
Jae Yoon Lee, YoungWon Koo, GeunHyung Kim
This work investigated the printability and applicability of a core/shell cell-printed scaffold for medium-term (for up to 20 days) cryopreservation and subsequent cultivation with acceptable cellular activities including cell viability. We developed an innovative cell printing process supplemented with a microfluidic channel, a core/shell nozzle, and low temperature working stage to obtain a cell-laden 3D porous collagen scaffold for cryopreservation. The 3D porous biomedical scaffold consisted of core/shell struts with a cell-laden collagen-based bioink/dimethyl sulfoxide mixture in the core-region, and an alginate/poly(ethylene oxide) mixture in the shell-region...
February 23, 2018: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Antonio Pietroiusti, Helene Stockmann-Juvala, Francesca Lucaroni, Kai Savolainen
The use of engineered nanomaterials (ENM) has grown after the turn of the 21st century. Also, the production of ENM has globally grown, and exposure of workers especially via the lungs to ENM has increased. This review tackles with effects of ENM on workers' health because occupational environment is the main source of exposure to ENM. Assessment of exposure to ENM is demanding, and today there are no occupational exposure level (OEL) for ENM. This is partly due to challenges of such measurements, and in part to the unknown causality between ENM metrics and effects...
February 23, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology
David R Johnson, Robert E Boyd, Anthony J Bednar, Charles A Weiss, Matt S Hull, Jessica G Coleman, Alan J Kennedy, Cynthia J Banks, Jeffery A Steevens
The synthesis of carbon-based nanomaterials is often inefficient, generating large amounts of soot with metals as waste by-product. Currently, there are no specific regulations for disposal of engineered nanomaterials or the waste by-products resulting from their synthesis, so it is presumed that by-products are disposed of the same as the parent (bulk) materials. Here we study the terrestrial toxicity of soot from gadolinium metallofullerene nanomanufacturing on earthworms (Eisenia fetida) and isopods (Porcellio scaber)...
February 23, 2018: Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Ashok Kumar, Satyabrata Bag, Bhabatosh Das
BACKGROUND: Genomic islands (GIs) are discrete segments of mobile DNA with defined boundaries, acquired in the bacterial genome from another organism by horizontal gene transfer during the course of evolution. GIs contribute significantly in virulence, disease development, antimicrobial resistance and metabolic process. OBJECTIVE: The present study focuses on the development of a vector based genetic tool carrying selectable and counter-selectable markers, in order to flag the GIs in the bacterial chromosome and monitor their stability in laboratory growth conditions...
February 22, 2018: Recent Patents on Biotechnology
Atieh Hashemi
Genome editing mediated by clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and its associated proteins (Cas) has recently been considered to be used as efficient, rapid and site-specific tools in the modification of endogenous genes in biomedically important cell types and whole organisms. It has become a predictable and precise method of choice for genome engineering by specifying a 20-nt targeting sequence within its guide RNA. First, this review aims to describe the biology of CRISPR system...
February 20, 2018: Current Gene Therapy
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