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The objective of this work was to research the antibacterial effects of orange pigment, which was separated from Monascus pigments, against Staphylococcus aureus. The increase of the diameter of inhibition zone treated with orange pigment indicated that orange pigment had remarkable antibacterial activities against S. aureus. Orange pigment (10 mg ml−1) had a strong destructive effect on the membrane and structure of S. aureus by the analysis of scanning electron microscopy as well as transmission electron microscopy. Sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) further demonstrated that the cell membrane was seriously damaged by orange pigment, which resulted in the leakage of protein from S. aureus cells. A significant decrease in the synthesis of DNA was also seen in S. aureus cells exposed to 10 mg ml−1 orange pigment. All in all, orange pigment showed excellent antibacterial effects against S. aureus.

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Members of WRKY gene family encode transcription factors involved in plant developmental processes and response to biotic and abiotic stresses. In order to understand the function of the TaWRKY71 gene, a homologue gene was isolated and characterised in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) genotype TAM107. Tissue-specific gene expression profiles indicated that TaWRKY71 was constitutively expressed in roots, stems, leaves, stamen and pistil. The relative expression of TaWRKY71 was elucidated under ABA treatment and other abiotic stresses. In agreement with this, several putative cis-acting elements involved in ABA-response, drought-inducibility, low-temperature and heat response were detected in the promoter region of TaWRKY71. The function of TaWRKY71 was further determined by transforming Arabidopsis thaliana. Transgenic plants over-expressing TaWRKY71 displayed enhanced seed germination under ABA treatment and were tolerant to salt and drought stresses. These results indicate that TaWRKY71 gene might play important roles in seed germination and abiotic stress response.

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Abstract  

Although Ir anomaly has been discovered in a number of C/T boundaries in the world, no positive results of this anomaly in Permian/Triassic (P/Tr) boundary were given. There are many well-developed P/T sections in South China. One of representative sections is located at the Baoqing quarry, Meishan Town, Changxin County, Zhejiang Province. Ir, Os, Re, Au, Pt, Cu and Mo were determined by the radiochemical procedure developed in our laboratory. (1) Besides those accessible by INAA. The results reveal that the refractory siderophile and other chalcophile elements have certain enrichment near and at the boundary layer. However, the Ir/Au and other element abundance ratios fail to accord with the extraterrestrial values. The nature of the boundary event was discussed in terms of elemental geochemistry.

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Abstract  

The concentrations of 14 elements, including Ir, Au, Co, Cr, Fe, Sr, Rb, K, Ta, Zn, Sb, Ba, Sc and Se, in the Wuxi fallen ice were determined by neutron activation analysis. The experimental results show that the relative concentration ratios of Ir/Co, Ir/Cr and Ir/Sc etc. in the ice water (0.0069, 0.00024 and 0.11, respectively) are quite close to those of Type C1 chondrite (0.0102, 0.00021 and 0.092, respectively), which implies that the fallen ice might be a piece of extraterrestrial substance.

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Abstract  

The heat capacities of 2-benzoylpyridine were measured with an automated adiabatic calorimeter over the temperature range from 80 to 340 K. The melting point, molar enthalpy, Δfus H m, and entropy, Δfus S m, of fusion of this compound were determined to be 316.49±0.04 K, 20.91±0.03 kJ mol–1 and 66.07±0.05 J mol–1 K–1, respectively. The purity of the compound was calculated to be 99.60 mol% by using the fractional melting technique. The thermodynamic functions (H TH 298.15) and (S TS 298.15) were calculated based on the heat capacity measurements in the temperature range of 80–340 K with an interval of 5 K. The thermal properties of the compound were further investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). From the DSC curve, the temperature corresponding to the maximum evaporation rate, the molar enthalpy and entropy of evaporation were determined to be 556.3±0.1 K, 51.3±0.2 kJ mol–1 and 92.2±0.4 J K–1 mol–1, respectively, under the experimental conditions.

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The concentrations and distributions of total halogen (TX), extractable organohalogen (EOX) and extractable persistent organohalogen (EPOX) were determined in 20 kinds of yogurt specimens collected from Chinese supermarkets using neutron activation analysis (NAA) and gas chromatography equipped with a 63Ni electron capture detector (GC-ECD). The results indicated that the halogens in yogurt mainly existed as non-extractable organohalogen compounds. About 25–30% of EOX was EPOX. EOCl and EPOCl were the main organohalogen species in yogurt. The average concentration of the identified organochlorine, such as organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), was below 4% of EPOCl.

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Abstract  

The characterization of different sized TiO2 (25 nm, 80 nm, and 155 nm) was carried out by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and the micro-distributions of TiO2 in the olfactory bulb of mice after nasal inhalation were investigated by microbeam SRXRF mapping techniques. The results show that TiO2 particles can be translocated to the olfactory bulb through the olfactory nerve system after inhalation. The distributions of Fe, Cu, and Zn in the olfactory bulb were also studied.

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Acta Alimentaria
Authors: R.D. Wang, Y.J. Deng, L.J. Sun, Y.L. Wang, Z.J. Fang, D.F. Sun, Q. Deng, and R. Gooneratne

Growth and haemolytic activity of several pathogenic Vibrio species were compared in egg-fried-rice with different egg ratios. Egg-fried-rice preparations with rice-to-egg ratios of 4:1, 1:1, and 1:4 were inoculated with either Vibrio parahaemolyticus, V. cholerae, V. vulnificus, or V. alginolyticus and incubated for 24 h. Cell number, thermostable direct haemolysin (TDH) activity, and total haemolytic activity were determined. The cell number and total haemolytic activity increased in all Vibrio strains after 24 h, and these were most marked in egg-fried-rice with the highest egg content (1:4 (rice:egg) ratio; P<0.05). V. alginolyticus exhibited the maximal growth and V. parahaemolyticus the highest haemolytic activity, but only V. parahaemolyticus ATCC 33847, V. alginolyticus CAMT 21162, and V. alginolyticus HY 91101 showed TDH activity. Results suggest that lowering egg content in egg-fried-rice could reduce growth and virulence of Vibrio pathogens.

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Shewanella putrefaciens supernatant was found to increase the virulence factors of Vibrio parahaemolyticus by efficiently degrading its acylhomoserine lactone (AHL). To further reveal the regulation mechanism and its key degrading enzyme, a potential AHL-degrading enzyme acylase (Aac) from S. putrefaciens was cloned, and the influences of temperature, pH, protein modifiers, and metals on Aac were tested. Aac was significantly influenced by temperature and pH, and exhibited the highest AHL-degrading activity at temperatures of 37 °C and pH of 8. Mg2+ and Fe2+ can further increase the AHL-degrading activity. 10 mM EDTA inhibited its activity possibly by chelating the co-factors (metals) required for Aac activity. Tryptophan and arginine were identified as key components for Aac activity that are critical to its AHL-degrading activity. This study provides useful information on Aac and for V. parahaemolyticus control.

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Abstract  

The effects of fullerenes, including fellerene soot (FS), extracted fullerene soot (EFS) and pure C60 on the thermal decomposition of ammonium perchlorate (AP) compared with traditional carbon black (CB) catalyst has been studied by employing thermogravimetry (TG), differential thermal analysis (DTA), infrared spectroscopy (IR) and ignition temperature experiments. The results showed that the addition of CB and FS to AP reduced the activation energy as well as the temperature at maximum decomposition rate, but that of EFS and pure C60 had little effect on the thermal decomposition of AP, and among all catalysts, FS was the best one.

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