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[en] A comprehensive environmental isotope investigation of several complex groundwater systems and the mixing of groundwater with surface water in the region of Taiyuan, Shanxi Province of China, is presented. Environmental isotopes, including stable isotopes, tritium and uranium series in water and its activity ratio 234U/238U are applied to divide karstic groundwaters into separate Xishan and Dongshan systems. The Xishan karstic water system shows a great scattering of isotope data. This results from the mixing of karstic groundwater and surface water from the Fenhe River. The Dongshan system is homogeneous and karstic water is tritium free and its age should be more than 50-100 a. The increase in uranium activity ratio, which is correlated with the length of the flow paths, shows the run-off direction of the Dongshan karstic water system towards the major natural outlet, the Lancun Spring. The altitudes of recharge of Xishan and Dongshan karstic waters are evaluated as 1400 m and 1300 m, respectively. The ages of fissure groundwaters in metamorphic rocks are determined in terms of their tritium content. Some practical considerations upon groundwater management are also drawn from isotope results. (author). 9 refs, 10 figs, 9 tabs
[en] Highlights: • The nano α-Al_2O_3 with good dispersion was prepared by two-step hydrolysis. • α-Al_2O_3 powders were added as seed particles in the hydrolysis. • This article indicated that the glucose could impel the γ-Al_2O_3 transformed to α-Al_2O_3 directly. • This article indicated that the addictive of α-Al_2O_3 seed could improve the phase transformation rate of γ-Al_2O_3 to α-Al_2O_3. • In this article, the pure α-Al_2O_3 could be obtained by calcining at 1000 °C for 1.5 h. - Abstract: The ultral fine alpha-alumina powder has been successfully synthesized via two-step hydrolysis of aluminum isopropoxide. Glucose and polyvinyl pyrrolidone were used as surfactants during the appropriate processing step. The alpha-alumina powder was used as seed particles. Several synthesis parameters, such as the amount of seeds, surfactants, and calcination temperature, were studied by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectra (FTIR), Thermogravimetry-differential scanning calorimetry (TG-DSC), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The experimental results showed that glucose greatly lower the phase transformation temperature of alpha-alumina by impelling the gamma-alumina transformed to alpha-alumina directly, and the seed could improve the phase transformation rate of alpha-alumina, the polyvinylpyrrolidone have an effect on preventing excessive grain growth and agglomeration of alpha-alumina powder. Comparatively well dispersed alpha-alumina powder with particle size less than 50 nm can be synthesized through this method after calcinations at 1000 °C for 2 h.
[en] An absorptive fungal strain for uranium adsorption which is named Q5, was isolated from the drainage of a uranium mine in South China. The morphological, physiological and phylogenetic characterizations of the strain Q5 were investigated. The results showed that, the strain Q5 identified as Penicillium funiculosum (99 % similarity in gene sequence). Furthermore, the adsorption performance of P. funiculosum was greatly improved by the mutational method that combined hydroxylamine hydrochloride and UV light. The results showed that the adsorption capacity of the mutated P. funiculosum for U(VI) was obviously better than the non-mutational one at pH 2.0-9.0. (author)
[en] A modified version of the typical Chua’s circuit, which possesses a periodic external excitation and a piecewise nonlinear resistor, is considered to investigate the possible bursting oscillations and the dynamical mechanism in the Filippov system. Two new symmetric periodic bursting oscillations are observed when the frequency of external excitation is far less than the natural one. Besides the conventional Hopf bifurcation, two non-smooth bifurcations, i.e., boundary homoclinic bifurcation and non-smooth fold limit cycle bifurcation, are discussed when the whole excitation term is regarded as a bifurcation parameter. The sliding solution of the Filippov system and pseudo-equilibrium bifurcation of the sliding vector field on the switching manifold are analysed theoretically. Based on the analysis of the bifurcations and the sliding solution, the dynamical mechanism of the bursting oscillations is revealed. The external excitation plays an important role in generating bursting oscillations. That is, bursting oscillations may be formed only if the excitation term passes through the boundary homoclinic bifurcation. Otherwise, they do not occur. In addition, the time intervals between two symmetric adjacent spikes of the bursting oscillations and the duration of the system staying at the stable pseudonode are dependent on the excitation frequency. (author)
[en] Chemoresistance is a major factor involved in a poor response and reduced overall survival in patients with advanced breast cancer. Although extensive studies have been carried out to understand the mechanisms of chemoresistance, many questions remain unanswered. In this research, we used two isogenic MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines selected for resistance to doxorubicin (MCF-7DOX) or docetaxel (MCF-7TXT) and the wild type parental cell line (MCF-7CC) to study mechanisms underlying acquired resistance to taxanes in MCF-7TXT cells. Cytotoxicity assay, immunoblotting, indirect immunofluorescence and live imaging were used to study the drug resistance, the expression levels of drug transporters and various tubulin isoforms, apoptosis, microtubule formation, and microtubule dynamics. MCF-7TXT cells were cross resistant to paclitaxel, but not to doxorubicin. MCF-7DOX cells were not cross-resistant to taxanes. We also showed that multiple mechanisms are involved in the resistance to taxanes in MCF-7TXT cells. Firstly, MCF-7TXT cells express higher level of ABCB1. Secondly, the microtubule dynamics of MCF-7TXT cells are weak and insensitive to the docetaxel treatment, which may partially explain why docetaxel is less effective in inducing M-phase arrest and apoptosis in MCF-7TXT cells in comparison with MCF-7CC cells. Moreover, MCF-7TXT cells express relatively higher levels of β2- and β4-tubulin and relatively lower levels of β3-tubulin than both MCF-7CC and MCF-7DOX cells. The subcellular localization of various β-tubulin isoforms in MCF-7TXT cells is also different from that in MCF-7CC and MCF-7DOX cells. Multiple mechanisms are involved in the resistance to taxanes in MCF-7TXT cells. The high expression level of ABCB1, the specific composition and localization of β-tubulin isoforms, the weak microtubule dynamics and its insensitivity to docetaxel may all contribute to the acquired resistance of MCF-7TXT cells to taxanes
[en] Prediction models, based on ultimate analysis of biomass on dry basis (db) which is leveraged to predict chemical exergy, were proposed in this study. A new concept — chemical exergy per equivalent of available electrons transferred to oxygen (reductance degree) of model 1 was established. The result shows that chemical exergy per reductance degree of model 1 is relatively constant for the values of most biomass (db) beyond the±1% relative error range. A modified reductance degree of biomass was presented, whereas oxygen (O) content was neglected due to its inaccurate value and the high p-value for the coefficient of O variable. Chemical exergy per modified reductance degree of models 2 and 3 was approximated to be nearly a constant. Thus, two theoretical prediction models (model 2 and model 3) for the biomass (db) with and without sulfate (920.08(C/3 + H + S/8), 920.72(C/3 + H)) were established, respectively. The coefficients of the two models are of almost the same value, which indicates that the S content has also a negligible effect on chemical exergy. Model 3 (920.72(C/3 + H)) is also herein proposed for prediction of exergy of biomass. The average relative errors of model 1, model 2 and model 3 are 2.882%, 0.643% and 0.634%, respectively. - Highlights: • A new concept — chemical exergy per (modified) reductance degree is established. • Chemical exergy per modified reductance degree is approximately constant. • Estimation model of chemical exergy based on new concept provides higher accuracy. • Chemical exergy of biomass (db) can be easily estimated by simply using C and H.