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  • Author or Editor: N. Wang x
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The present study was to evaluate the survival rate of free and encapsulated Bifidobacterium bifidum BB28 under simulated gastrointestinal conditions and its stability during storage. Results showed that non-microencapsulated Bifidobacterium bifidum BB28 was more susceptible to simulated gastrointestinal conditions than microencapsulated bacteria. Microencapsulated Bifidobacterium BB28 exhibited a lower population reduction than free cells during exposure to simulated gastrointestinal conditions, the viable count of monolayer microcapsules, double layer microcapsules, and triple layer microcapsules decreased by nine magnitudes, four magnitudes, and one magnitude after 2 h, respectively. The enteric test showed that the microorganism cells were released from the monolayer, double layer, and triple layer microcapsules completely in 40 min. Moreover, the optimum storage times of free Bifidobacterium BB28, monolayer microcapsules, double layer microcapsules, and triple layer microcapsules were 21 days, 21 days, 28 days, and more than 35 days in orange juice, pure milk, and nutrition Express (a commercially available milk based drink), and the viable counts were maintained at 1×106 CFU g−1 or more, which means that the double layer and triple layer of microcapsules of B. bifidum BB28 have great potential in food application.

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Fusarium head blight (FHB, caused by Fusarium graminearum) is a severe disease which threatens the yield and quality of harvested grain products, and hence causes major economic losses in wheat (Triticum spp.) and other small grain cereals. One of the infection routes for the pathogen is believed to be through the extruded anther. In order to study the role of the anther on FHB infection, FHB resistance was measured among wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars with non-extruded infertile anthers in cytoplasmic male sterile (CMS) lines and with extruded fertile anthers in their alloplasmic maintainer lines, and in an unrelated restorer line. We artificially inoculated the lines with F. graminearum (isolate NE 90) at 1.0 × 105 or 2.0 × 105 spores mL−1 for 72 or 96 hours. The results indicated that CMS cultivars were significantly more resistant than the maintainer and restorer cultivars. As the CMS lines differed from the maintainer lines by cytoplasm, anther health, anther extrusion, and seed set, additional experiments are needed to determine the role of each factor in infection. However, this research indicates that fertile anthers most likely are an important part of the infection pathway and of susceptibility to FHB.

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Abstract

Phase change materials (PCM) have been extensively scrutinized for their widely application in thermal energy storage (TES). Paraffin was considered to be one of the most prospective PCMs with perfect properties. However, lower thermal conductivity hinders the further application. In this letter, we experimentally investigate the thermal conductivity and energy storage of composites consisting of paraffin and micron-size graphite flakes (MSGFs). The results strongly suggested that the thermal conductivity enhances enormously with increasing the mass fraction of the MSGFs. The formation of heat flow network is the key factor for high thermal conductivity in this case. Meanwhile, compared to that of the thermal conductivity, the latent heat capacity, the melting temperature, and the freezing temperature of the composites present negligible change with increasing the concentration of the MSGFs. The paraffin-based composites have great potential for energy storage application with optimal fraction of the MSGFs.

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Abstract

This paper examines the following questions: (1) Do early pioneer species have a greater impact on the survival and growth of different successional native trees compared to the shrub Rhodomyrtus tomentosa? (2) Do canopy treatments affect soil nutrients and light availability? (3) What is the mechanism underlying the interaction between nurse species and target species? Degraded shrubland sites (Heshan, Guangdong, China), under moist subtropical conditions were studied. About 1-year-old seedlings of Pinus massoniana, Schima wallichii, Schefflera heptaphylla, Castanopsis hystrix, Cryptocarya chinensis and Castanea chinensis were transplanted under the canopy of R. tomentosa, Dicranopteris dichotoma and in open interspaces without vegetation. Survival and growth were recorded from the first growing season after planting. Leaf gas exchange, water potential, soil physicochemical characters and irradiation were then measured. Canonical redundancy analyses (RDA) were used to evaluate the relationships between environmental factors and seedling survival and growth conditions. Both R. tomentosa and D. dichotoma canopy treatment facilitated seedling survival and growth either directly or indirectly. Irradiance/radiation was considered the most important resource (factor) for seedling growth in subtropical regions, however, soil nutrients and species are yet to be examined simultaneously with irradiance/radiation under field conditions. We conclude that early successional species facilitates the survival and growth of late successional species in subtropical shrublands. However, further predictions of successional trajectories remain elusive and are influenced by stochastic processes, including arrival order, shade tolerance, physiological character of the colonizing species and their competitive interactions.

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Abstract

Renal injury is reported to have a high mortality rate. Additionally, there are several limitations to current conventional treatments that are used to manage it. This study evaluated the protective effect of hesperidin against ischemia/reperfusion (I/R)-induced kidney injury in rats. Renal injury was induced by generating I/R in kidney tissues. Rats were then treated with hesperidin at a dose of 10 or 20 mg/kg intravenously 1 day after surgery for a period of 14 days. The effect of hesperidin on renal function, serum mediators of inflammation, and levels of oxidative stress in renal tissues were observed in rat kidney tissues after I/R-induced kidney injury. Moreover, protein expression and mRNA expression in kidney tissues were determined using Western blotting and RT-PCR. Hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining was done for histopathological observation of kidney tissues. The data suggest that the levels of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine in the serum of hesperidin-treated rats were lower than in the I/R group. Treatment with hesperidin also ameliorated the altered level of inflammatory mediators and oxidative stress in I/R-induced renal-injured rats. The expression of p-IκBα, caspase-3, NF-κB p65, Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4) protein, TLR-4 mRNA, and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) was significantly reduced in the renal tissues of hesperidin-treated rats. Histopathological findings also revealed that treatment with hesperidin attenuated the renal injury in I/R kidney-injured rats. In conclusion, our results suggest that hesperidin protects against renal injury induced by I/R by involving TLR-4/NF-κB/iNOS signaling.

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Abstract  

Results of Carr and Galwey [1] concerning copper malonate (CM) decomposition in vacuo at 510 K prompted present studies on the utility of CM as a low-temperature precursor of oxide-supported copper catalysts. CM deposited upon metal oxides has been converted to copper particles by vacuum thermal decomposition or reduction with aqueous hydrazine. Using the dehydrogenation of isopropanol to acetone as a catalytic probe reaction, comparisons are made between levels of catalytic activity and selectivity induced in TiO2, MgO and Ca(OH)2 supports by copper deposited thereon. Effects of particle size, prereduction temperature, and support reducibility are described and evidence is given for a strong metal support interaction (SMSI)-like inhibition of activity of Cu/TiO2 by prior high temperature reduction.

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Background and aims

Although studies have suggested that individuals with Internet gaming disorder (IGD) may have impairments in cognitive functioning, the nature of the relationship is unclear given that the information is typically derived from cross-sectional studies.

Methods

Individuals with active IGD (n = 154) and those individuals no longer meeting criteria (n = 29) after 1 year were examined longitudinally using functional magnetic resonance imaging during performance of cue-craving tasks. Subjective responses and neural correlates were contrasted at study onset and at 1 year.

Results

Subjects’ craving responses to gaming cues decreased significantly at 1 year relative to study onset. Decreased brain responses in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and lentiform nucleus were observed at 1 year relative to onset. Significant positive correlations were observed between changes in brain activities in the lentiform nucleus and changes in self-reported cravings. Dynamic causal modeling analysis showed increased ACC–lentiform connectivity at 1 year relative to study onset.

Conclusions

After recovery from IGD, individuals appear less sensitive to gaming cues. This recovery may involve increased ACC-related control over lentiform-related motivations in the control over cravings. The extent to which cortical control over subcortical motivations may be targeted in treatments for IGD should be examined further.

Open access

Background

Online gaming has become a popular leisure activity, in which males more frequently develop Internet gaming disorder (IGD) compared to females. However, gender-related neurocognitive differences have largely not been systematically investigated in IGD.

Methods

Cue-elicited-craving tasks were performed before game playing and immediately after deprivation operationalized as a forced break from gaming when the Internet was disconnected. Ninety-nine subjects with IGD (27 males and 22 females) or recreational game use (RGU; 27 males and 23 females) provided functional MRI and subjective data. Analyses investigating effects of group (IGD and RGU) × gender (male and female) at different times (pre-gaming, post-gaming, and post–pre) on cue-elicited craving and brain responses were performed. Correlations between brain responses and subjective measures were calculated.

Results

In pre-, post-, and post–pre tests, significant gender-by-group interactions (p < .001, cluster size > 15 voxels) were observed in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). Further analyses of the DLPFC cluster showed that in post–pre comparisons, results were related to less engagement of the DLPFC in IGD, especially in females. In addition, at post-test, significant interactions were observed in the caudate, as females with IGD showed greater activation as compared to those with RGU.

Discussion

The results raise the possibility that women with RGU may show better executive control than men when facing gaming cues, which may provide resiliency against developing IGD; however, once they develop IGD, their gaming may impair their executive control and enhance their cravings for gaming, which may make it more difficult to quit gaming.

Open access

Physiological male sterility induced by the chemical hybridizing agent (CHA) overcomes problems of maintenance of sterile lines and restorers. However, the mechanism of sterility is unclear. The process of tapetum of CHA-treated ‘Xi’nong 2611’ at uninucleate, binucleate and trinucleate were compared with control to determine if tapetum varying differently during developmental stages. Tapetal degradation in CHA-treated ‘Xi’nong 2611’ began at late uninucleate stage, somewhat earlier than control plants. Cytological observations indicated that the gradual degradation of the tapetum in CHA-treated ‘Xi’nong 2611’ was initiated and terminated earlier than in the control. These findings implied that CHA-induced male sterility was related to abnormally early tapetal degradation. In order to indicate the role of the SKP1 gene in fertility/sterility in wheat, its expression was assessed in anthers at uninucleate, binucleate and trinucleate stages. SKP1 expression was reduced in the later developmental stages, and there was an obvious decrease from the uninucleate to trinucleate stages. Higher expression of the SKP1 gene occurred in ‘Xi’nong 2611’ compared to CHA-treated ‘Xi’nong 2611’. This implied that SKP1 gene expression was inhibited during the fertility transformation process and was related to transformation from fertility to sterility. Moreover, the results from this study suggest that SKP1 plays an essential role of conducting fertility in physiological male sterility.

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