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Florent Xavier Smit, Jurriaan A Luiken, Peter G Bolhuis
We performed replica exchange molecular dynamics and forward flux sampling simulations of hexapeptide VQIINK and VQIVYK systems, also known as, respectively, fragments PHF6* and PHF6 from tau protein. Part of the microtubule binding region, these fragments are known to be aggregation prone, and at least one of them is a prerequisite for fibril formation of the tau protein. Using a coarse-grained force field, we establish the phase behavior of both fragments, and investigate the nucleation kinetics for the conversion into a β-sheet fibril...
October 24, 2016: Journal of Physical Chemistry. B
Nidhi Rawat, Michael O Pumphrey, Sixin Liu, Xiaofei Zhang, Vijay K Tiwari, Kaori Ando, Harold N Trick, William W Bockus, Eduard Akhunov, James A Anderson, Bikram S Gill
Fusarium head blight (FHB), caused by Fusarium graminearum, is a devastating disease of wheat and barley that leads to reduced yield and mycotoxin contamination of grain, making it unfit for human consumption. FHB is a global problem, with outbreaks in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and South America. In the United States alone, total direct and secondary economic losses from 1993 to 2001 owing to FHB were estimated at $7.67 billion. Fhb1 is the most consistently reported quantitative trait locus (QTL) for FHB resistance breeding...
October 24, 2016: Nature Genetics
Wei Zhou, Xin Wang, Dan Zhou, Yidan Ouyang, Jialing Yao
Increasing grain yield and improving grain quality are two important goals for rice breeding. A better understanding of the factors that contribute to the overall grain quantity and nutritional quality of rice will lay the foundation for developing new breeding strategies. RAG2 is a member of 14-16 kDa α-amylase/trypsin inhibitors in rice, which belong to the albumin of seed storage proteins. We found that RAG2 was specifically expressed in ripening seed and its transcription peak was between 14 and 21 days after flowering...
October 24, 2016: Plant Biotechnology Journal
Shijiao Han, Jiang Cheng, Huidong Fan, Junsheng Yu, Lu Li
High-response organic field-effect transistor (OFET)-based NO₂ sensors were fabricated using the synergistic effect the synergistic effect of zinc oxide/poly(methyl methacrylate) (ZnO/PMMA) hybrid dielectric and CuPc/Pentacene heterojunction. Compared with the OFET sensors without synergistic effect, the fabricated OFET sensors showed a remarkable shift of saturation current, field-effect mobility and threshold voltage when exposed to various concentrations of NO₂ analyte. Moreover, after being stored in atmosphere for 30 days, the variation of saturation current increased more than 10 folds at 0...
October 21, 2016: Sensors
Wojciech Pulawski, Michal Jamroz, Michal Kolinski, Andrzej Kolinski, Sebastian Kmiecik
The CABS coarse-grained model is a well-established tool for modeling globular proteins (predicting their structure, dynamics and interactions). Here we introduce an extension of CABS representation and force field (CABS-membrane) to the modeling of the effect of biological membrane environment on the structure of membrane proteins. We validate the CABS-membrane model in folding simulations of 10 short helical membrane proteins not using any knowledge about their structure. The simulations start from random protein conformations placed outside the membrane environment and allow for full flexibility of the modeled proteins during their spontaneous insertion into the membrane...
October 24, 2016: Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling
Owen Duncan, Josua Trösch, Ricarda Fenske, Nicolas L Taylor, A Harvey Millar
Yield and quality improvement of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) is a focus in efforts to meet new demands from population growth and changing human diets. As the complexity of the wheat genome is unravelled, determining how it is used to build the protein machinery of wheat plants is a key next step in explaining detailed aspects of wheat growth and development. The specific functions of wheat organs during vegetative development and the role of metabolism, protein degradation and remobilisation in driving grain production are the foundations of crop performance and have recently become accessible through studies of the wheat proteome...
October 24, 2016: Plant Journal: for Cell and Molecular Biology
Takao Matsumoto, Yeong-Gi So, Yuji Kohno, Hidetaka Sawada, Ryo Ishikawa, Yuichi Ikuhara, Naoya Shibata
The interactions between magnetic skyrmions and structural defects, such as edges, dislocations, and grain boundaries (GBs), which are all considered as topological defects, will be important issues when magnetic skyrmions are utilized for future memory device applications. To investigate such interactions, simultaneous visualization of magnetic skyrmions and structural defects at high spatial resolution, which is not feasible by conventional techniques, is essential. Here, taking advantages of aberration-corrected differential phase-contrast scanning transmission electron microscopy, we investigate the interaction of magnetic skyrmions with a small-angle GB in a thin film of FeGe1-xSix...
October 24, 2016: Scientific Reports
M Weih, F Pourazari, G Vico
At least 16 nutrient elements are required by plants for growth and survival, but the factors affecting element concentration and their temporal evolution are poorly understood. The objective was to investigate i) element concentration pattern in winter wheat as affected by crop developmental stage and weather, and ii) whether, in the short term, element stoichiometry reflects the type of preceding crop. We assessed the temporal trajectories of element concentration pattern (N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, Mn, Fe, Cu, Na, Zn) across the life cycle (from seed to seed) of winter wheat field-grown in cool-temperate Sweden during two years with contrasting weather and when cultivated in monoculture or after different non-wheat preceding crops...
October 24, 2016: Scientific Reports
J D Major, M Al Turkestani, L Bowen, M Brossard, C Li, P Lagoudakis, S J Pennycook, L J Phillips, R E Treharne, K Durose
CdTe thin-film solar cells are now the main industrially established alternative to silicon-based photovoltaics. These cells remain reliant on the so-called chloride activation step in order to achieve high conversion efficiencies. Here, by comparison of effective and ineffective chloride treatments, we show the main role of the chloride process to be the modification of grain boundaries through chlorine accumulation, which leads an increase in the carrier lifetime. It is also demonstrated that while improvements in fill factor and short circuit current may be achieved through use of the ineffective chlorides, or indeed simple air annealing, voltage improvement is linked directly to chlorine incorporation at the grain boundaries...
October 24, 2016: Nature Communications
Jeremy M Law, Jan Wouters, Pol Ghesquière
The direct influence of phonological awareness (PA) on reading outcomes has been widely demonstrated, yet PA may also exert indirect influence on reading outcomes through other cognitive variables such as morphological awareness (MA). However, PA's own development is dependent and influenced by many extraneous variables such as auditory processing, which could ultimately impact reading outcomes. In a group of pre-reading children with a family risk of dyslexia and low-risk controls, this study sets out to answer questions surrounding PA's relationship at various grain sizes (syllable, onset/rime and phoneme) with measures of auditory processing (frequency modulation (FM) and an amplitude rise-time task (RT)) and MA, independent of reading experience...
October 23, 2016: Developmental Science
Christian Hänsel, Semih Afyon, Jennifer L M Rupp
All-solid-state Li-ion batteries based on lithium garnets give new prospects for safer battery operations avoiding liquids, and could enable the integration of high energy density electrode materials. Herein, we critically investigate the structural and chemical stability of the high voltage cathode material, LiMn1.5Ni0.5O4, based on the solid lithium garnet electrolyte LLZO (c-Li6.4Ga0.2La3Zr2O12) for all-solid Li-ion batteries. We manufacture battery cells based on nano-grained synthesized LLZO and composite cathodes (LiMn1...
October 24, 2016: Nanoscale
Miao Hu, Cheng Bi, Yongbo Yuan, Yang Bai, Jinsong Huang
The light instability of CH3NH3PbI x Br3-x is one of the biggest challenges for its application in tandem solar cells. Here we show that an improved crystallinity and grain size of CH3NH3PbI x Br3-x films could stabilize these materials under one sun illumination, improving both the efficiency and stability of the wide-bandgap perovskite solar cells.
June 2016: Advanced Science (Weinheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany)
Cheng-Yu Shih, Chengping Wu, Maxim V Shugaev, Leonid V Zhigilei
Laser ablation in liquids is actively used for generation of clean colloidal nanoparticles with unique shapes and functionalities. The fundamental mechanisms of the laser ablation in liquids and the key processes that control the nanoparticle structure, composition, and size distribution, however, are not yet fully understood. In this paper, we report the results of first atomistic simulations of laser ablation of metal targets in liquid environment. A model combining a coarse-grained representation of the liquid environment (parameterized for water), a fully atomistic description of laser interactions with metal targets, and acoustic impedance matching boundary conditions is developed and applied for simulation of laser ablation of a thin silver film deposited on a silica substrate...
October 15, 2016: Journal of Colloid and Interface Science
Chaoyong Zhao, Fusheng Pan, Lei Zhang, Hucheng Pan, Kai Song, Aitao Tang
In this study, as-extruded Mg-Sr alloys were studied for orthopedic application, and the microstructure, mechanical properties, bio-corrosion properties and cytotoxicity of as-extruded Mg-Sr alloys were investigated by optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy with an energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, tensile and compressive tests, immersion test, electrochemical test and cytotoxicity test. The results showed that as-extruded Mg-Sr alloys were composed of α-Mg and Mg17Sr2 phases, and the content of Mg17Sr2 phases increased with increasing Sr content...
January 1, 2017: Materials Science & Engineering. C, Materials for Biological Applications
Oscar Heredia Díaz, José Luis Aldaba Meza, Baltazar M Baltazar, Germán Bojórquez Bojórquez, Luciano Castro Espinoza, José Luis Corrales Madrid, Juan Manuel de la Fuente Martínez, Héctor Abel Durán Pompa, José Alonso Escobedo, Armando Espinoza Banda, José Antonio Garzón Tiznado, Juvencio González García, José Luis Guzmán Rodríguez, Jesús Ignacio Madueño Martínez, José Luis Martínez Carrillo, Chen Meng, Francisco Javier Quiñones Pando, Enrique Rosales Robles, Ignacio Ruiz Hernández, José Elías Treviño Ramírez, Hugo Raúl Uribe Montes, Francisco Zavala García
Environmental risk assessment (ERA) of genetically modified (GM) crops is a process to evaluate whether the biotechnology trait(s) in a GM crop may result in increased pest potential or harm to the environment. In this analysis, two GM insect-resistant (IR) herbicide-tolerant maize hybrids (MON-89Ø34-3 × MON-88Ø17-3 and MON-89Ø34-3 × MON-ØØ6Ø3-6) and one herbicide-tolerant GM hybrid (MON-ØØ6Ø3-6) were compared with conventional maize hybrids of similar genetic backgrounds. Two sets of studies, Experimental Phase and Pilot Phase, were conducted across five ecological regions (ecoregions) in Mexico during 2009-2013, and data were subject to meta-analysis...
October 22, 2016: Transgenic Research
Silvia Celletti, Youry Pii, Tanja Mimmo, Stefano Cesco, Stefania Astolfi
Plant mechanisms responding to iron (Fe) deficiency have been widely described; it is well known that Strategy II plants, as durum wheat, cope with this stress by increasing both the synthesis and secretion of phytosiderophores (PS). The important contribution of the sulfate assimilatory pathway has been also demonstrated to improve Fe use efficiency in several grasses, such as maize, barley and wheat, most likely because PS are produced from nicotianamine, whose precursor is methionine. Here, the physiological response of durum wheat (T...
October 13, 2016: Plant Physiology and Biochemistry: PPB
Evangelina Silva-Santiago, Juan Pablo Pardo, Rolando Hernández-Muñoz, Armando Aranda-Anzaldo
During the interphase the nuclear DNA of metazoan cells is organized in supercoiled loops anchored to constituents of a nuclear substructure or compartment known as the nuclear matrix. The stable interactions between DNA and the nuclear matrix (NM) correspond to a set of topological relationships that define a nuclear higher-order structure (NHOS). Current evidence suggests that the NHOS is cell-type-specific. Biophysical evidence and theoretical models suggest that thermodynamic and structural constraints drive the actualization of DNA-NM interactions...
October 19, 2016: Gene
G S Polymeris, V Giannoulatou, A Kyriakidou, I K Sfampa, G S Theodorou, E Şahiner, N Meriç, G Kitis, K M Paraskevopoulos
The current work exploits the effective application of thermoluminescence (TL), optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and the possibility of applying Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) for the discrimination between different bioactive responses in the case of the 45S5 bioactive glass (SiO2 45, Na2O 24.5, CaO 24.5, P2O5 6 in wt%), which was synthesized through melting process. These techniques are suggested mainly due to their low spectroscopic detection thresholds. The original 45S5 in grain size range of 20-40μm was immersed in the Simulated Body Fluid (SBF) for various different immersion times ranging over one week...
January 1, 2017: Materials Science & Engineering. C, Materials for Biological Applications
M Buchi Suresh, P Biswas, V Mahender, Roy Johnson
Hydroxyapatite ceramics synthesized through sonochemical route were processed and densified through ramp & hold (R&H) and Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) routes. The effect of processing route on the relative density and electrical conductivity were studied. Further, the samples were Hot Isostatically Pressed (HIP) under argon pressure at elevated temperature to further densify the sample. All these samples processed under different conditions were characterized by X-ray diffraction, Scanning Electron Microscopy and AC Conductivity...
January 1, 2017: Materials Science & Engineering. C, Materials for Biological Applications
Hannah May Brown, Nienke de Vlieger, Clare Collins, Tamara Bucher
Issue addressed: Portion size guidance strategies have been suggested as an important component of weight management; therefore, the Health Star Rating (HSR) front-of-pack labels could influence consumers' portion-size decisions. However, this has not been investigated to date. This study aims to evaluate whether presenting energy content information and HSRs influences portion size self-selection of specific foods and meals.Methods: Adults were randomly assigned to one of three experimental groups in this randomised controlled experiment...
October 20, 2016: Health Promotion Journal of Australia
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