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[en] Due to their high ionic conductivity, solid polymer electrolyte (SPE) systems have attracted wide spread attention as the most appropriate choice to fabricate all-solid-state electrochemical devices, namely batteries, sensors and fuel cells. In this work, ion conductive polymer electrolyte membranes have been prepared for battery fabrication. However, fractals were found to grow in these polymer electrolyte membranes weeks after they were prepared. It was believed that the formation of fractal aggregates in these membranes were due to ionic movement. The discovery of fractal growth pattern can be used to understand the effects of such phenomenon in the polymer electrolyte membranes. Digital images of the fractal growth patterns were taken and a simulation model was developed based on the Brownian motion theory and a fractal dialect known as L-system. A computer coding has been designed to simulate and visualize the fractal growth. (author)
[en] We study the effect of noise on the evolution of the growth factor of density perturbations in the context of the ΛCDM model. Stochasticity is introduced as a Wiener process amplified by an intensity parameter α. By comparing the evolution of deterministic and stochastic cases for different values of α we estimate the intensity level necessary to make noise relevant for cosmological tests based on large-scale structure data. Our results indicate that the presence of random forces underlying the fluid description can lead to significant deviations from the nonstochastic solution at late times for α≥10-3.
[en] CTCF, a nuclear transcriptional factor, is a multifunctional protein and involves regulation of growth factor- and cytokine-induced cell proliferation/differentiation. In the present study, we investigated the role of CTCF in protecting stress-induced apoptosis in various human cell types. We found that UV irradiation and hyper-osmotic stress induced human corneal epithelial (HCE) and hematopoietic myeloid cell apoptosis detected by significantly increased caspase 3 activity and decreased cell viability. The stress-induced apoptotic response in these cells requires down-regulation of CTCF at both mRNA and protein levels, suggesting that CTCF may play an important role in downstream events of stress-induced signaling pathways. Inhibition of NFκB activity prevented stress-induced down-regulation of CTCF and increased cell viability against stress-induced apoptosis. The anti-apoptotic effect of CTCF was further studied by manipulating CTCF activities in HCE and hematopoietic cells. Transient transfection of cDNAs encoding full-length human CTCF markedly suppressed stress-induced apoptosis in these cells. In contrast, knocking down of CTCF mRNA using siRNA specific to CTCF significantly promoted stress-induced apoptosis. Thus, our results reveal that CTCF is a down stream target of stress-induced signaling cascades and it plays a significant anti-apoptotic role in regulation of stress-induced cellular responses in HCE and hematopoietic myeloid cells
[en] Single pressure multi-fluid models have complex characteristics. This means that it is not properly posed for the initial value problem. Authors made the following conclusions for this issue: (1) Hyperbolicity of the corresponding system of partial differential equations is not a necessary condition for the development of a numerical model for multi-phase flow, but whether or not it is hyperbolic can provide guidance relative to initial conditions, boundary conditions, and expected high frequency behavior of the model. (2) A necessary condition for a well-posed numerical model is stability in the von Neumann sense, i.e. growth factor less than 1.0 for the shortest wave-length, 2Δx. (3) The smallest node size used for convergence studies should be of the order of the characteristic dimension of the average description. In this paper, the semi-implicit solution scheme of SPACE is studied whether it is in accordance with these conclusions
[en] Highlights: ► Inhibition of MAP4K3 by RNAi leads to increased mean lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans. ► Mutation in the citron homology domain of MAP4K3 leads to increased mean lifespan. ► Mutation in the kinase domain of MAP4K3 has no significant effect on mean lifespan. -- Abstract: The TOR pathway is a kinase signaling pathway that regulates cellular growth and proliferation in response to nutrients and growth factors. TOR signaling is also important in lifespan regulation – when this pathway is inhibited, either naturally, by genetic mutation, or by pharmacological means, lifespan is extended. MAP4K3 is a Ser/Thr kinase that has recently been found to be involved in TOR activation. Unexpectedly, the effect of this protein is not mediated via Rheb, the more widely known TOR activation pathway. Given the role of TOR in growth and lifespan control, we looked at how inhibiting MAP4K3 in Caenorhabditiselegans affects lifespan. We used both feeding RNAi and genetic mutants to look at the effect of MAP4K3 deficiency. Our results show a small but significant increase in mean lifespan in MAP4K3 deficient worms. MAP4K3 thus represents a new target in the TOR pathway that can be targeted for pharmacological intervention to control lifespan.
[en] The fusion protein RUNX1-CBFA2T1 associated with t(8;21)-positive acute myeloid leukaemia is a potent inhibitor of haematopoetic differentiation. The role of RUNX1-CBFA2T1 in leukaemic cell proliferation is less clear. We examined the consequences of siRNA-mediated RUNX1-CBFA2T1 depletion regarding proliferation and clonogenicity of t(8;21)-positive cell lines. The t(8;21)-positive cell line Kasumi-1 was electroporated with RUNX1-CBFA2T1 or control siRNAs followed by analysis of proliferation, colony formation, cell cycle distribution, apoptosis and senescence. Electroporation of Kasumi-1 cells with RUNX1-CBFA2T1 siRNAs, but not with control siRNAs, resulted in RUNX1-CBFA2T1 suppression which lasted for at least 5 days. A single electroporation with RUNX1-CBFA2T1 siRNA severely diminished the clonogenicity of Kasumi-1 cells. Prolonged RUNX1-CBFA2T1 depletion inhibited proliferation in suspension culture and G1-S transition during the cell cycle, diminished the number of apoptotic cells, but induced cellular senescence. The addition of haematopoetic growth factors could not rescue RUNX1-CBFA2T1-depleted cells from senescence, and could only partially restore their clonogenicity. RUNX1-CBFA2T1 supports the proliferation and expansion of t(8;21)-positive leukaemic cells by preventing cellular senescence. These findings suggest a central role of RUNX1-CBFA2T1 in the maintenance of the leukaemia. Therefore, RUNX1-CBFA2T1 is a promising and leukaemia-specific target for molecularly defined therapeutic approaches
[en] The direction taken by oil and gas companies, including TransCanada International, in their strategy for growth in global energy markets was discussed. The role that gas plays in meeting the objectives was examined and the different ways in which gas reserves and investments in the gas sector are being turned into high-performing vehicles for adding value to the bottom line were described. Deregulation of, and competition within, the gas and electric power industries are the driving factors for changes within the energy industries. Natural gas will be a winner because it is the first choice for new power generation. Many companies have entered the international playing field to take advantage of the opportunities in international markets. The problems and solutions to monetizing natural gas reserves, some of the international political issues such as regulatory uncertainty, cross-border disputes, lack of regional integration, and sanctions, and how these adverse effects may be mitigated through mergers, acquisitions, or joint ventures, are explored. 14 figs
[en] Targeted agents are an important therapeutic option in the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Panitumumab is a recombinant, fully humanized, immunoglobulin G2 monoclonal antibody that targets the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) with efficacy in mCRC as monotherapy and in combination with chemotherapy. Kirsten rat sarcoma (KRAS) mutation status has emerged as an important biomarker to predict response to anti-EGFR therapy. Optimal timing for panitumumab use in the mCRC treatment algorithm has not been established. This review discusses the mechanism of action, predictive biomarkers, and role of panitumumab in the treatment of mCRC
[en] Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) are highly aggressive and associated with poor prognosis. Basic research to develop new treatment regimens is critically needed. The effects of imatinib mesylate on MPNSTs were examined in six human MPNST cell lines and in a xenograft mouse model. The results showed expression of platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β and suppression of its phosphorylation by imatinib mesylate in all six cell lines. Imatinib mesylate effectively suppressed MPNST cell growth in vitro at concentrations similar to those used clinically (1.46 − 4.6 μM) in three of six cell lines. Knockdown of PDGFR-β by transfection with a specific siRNA also caused significant reduction in cell proliferation in the sensitive cell lines, but not in the resistant cell lines. Furthermore, imatinib mesylate also significantly suppressed colony formation within soft agar and tumor growth in xenograft models using two of the three sensitive MPNST cell lines. There was excellent agreement between in vitro and in vivo sensitivity to imatinib mesylate, suggesting possible selection of imatinib-sensitive tumors by in vitro analysis. The results suggest that imatinib mesylate may be useful in the treatment of MPNST patients and in vitro studies may help select cells that are sensitive to imatinib mesylate in vivo