SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

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Significant increase in energy density of batteries must be achieved by exploring new materials and cell configurations. Lithium metal and lithiated silicon are two promising high-capacity anode materials. Unfortunately, both these anodes require reliable passivating layer to survive the serious environmental corrosion during handling and cycling. Here we developed a surface fluorination process to form a homogeneous and dense LiF coating on reactive anode materials, with in situ generated fluorine gas by using a fluoropolymer, CYTOP, as the precursor. The process is effectively a “reaction in the beaker”, avoiding handling highly-toxic fluorine gas directly. For lithium metal, this LiF coating serves as a chemically stable and mechanically strong interphase, which minimizes the corrosion reaction with carbonate electrolytes and suppresses dendrite formation, enabling dendrite-free and stable cycling over 300 cycles with current densities up to 5 mA/cm2. Lithiated silicon can serve as either a prelithiation additive for existing lithium-ion batteries or a replacement for lithium metal in Li-O2 and Li-S batteries. However, lithiated silicon reacts vigorously with the standard slurry solvent N-methyl-2-pyrrolidinone (NMP), indicating it is not compatible with the real battery fabrication process. With the protection of crystalline and dense LiF coating, LixSi can be processed in anhydrous NMP with a high capacity of 2504 mAh/g. With low solubility of LiF in water, this protection layer also enables the stability of LixSi in humid air (~40% relative humidity). Therefore, this facile surface fluorination process brings huge benefit to both the existing lithium-ion batteries and next-generation lithium metal batteries.

Concepts: Oxygen, Density, Metal, Battery, Rechargeable battery, Lithium, Lithium battery, Passivation

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The objectives of this study were to examine differences in social participation among Veterans with spinal cord injuries/disorders with and without post-traumatic stress disorder, and determine if lower social participation was independently associated with having post-traumatic stress disorder.

Concepts: Mental disorder, Posttraumatic stress disorder, Stress, Spinal cord injury, United States Department of Veterans Affairs

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Isotretinoin is the most effective drug for acne with some side effects. Few studies exist regarding the effects of isotretinoin on hematological parameters with different results. Mostly, baseline values with a single value during or at the end of the treatment were compared. In this study, we aimed to determine the differences in hematological parameters during isotretinoin treatment until reaching the cumulative dose of 120 mg/kg.

Concepts: Acne vulgaris, Isotretinoin

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The abuse of 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), a psychedelic drug, can lead to a variety of disorders in neural system, including the death of retinal neural cells. MDMA at lower doses does not cause obvious cytotoxicity to photoreceptor cells, indicating potential indirect mechanisms which have not yet been elucidated. This study investigated the effect of MDMA at non-toxic concentration on macrophage activation state and its resultant toxicity to photoreceptor cells. Using a co-culture system, cytotoxicity was caused by MDMA on 661W cells after co-culturing with RAW264.7 macrophage. Results showed that MDMA induced the macrophages to M1 polarization, releasing more pro-inflammatory cytokines, upregulating the M1-related gene and protein expression. The phenotype, secretion pattern and cytotoxicity of the macrophages treated by MDMA are comparable to those of the ones stimulated by IFNγ and LPS. Our study demonstrated that MDMA promoted macrophage polarization to M1 and induced inflammatory response, providing the scientific rationale for the photoreceptor cell damage caused by the MDMA abuse.

Concepts: Gene, Cell, Cell biology, Apoptosis, Photoreceptor cell, Visual system, Cytotoxicity, Toxicity

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Intracellular compartmentalisation is a significant barrier to the successful nucleocytosolic delivery of biologics. The endocytic system has been shown to be responsible for compartmentalisation, providing an entry point, and trigger(s) for the activation of drug delivery systems. Consequently, many of the technologies used to understand endocytosis have found utility within the field of drug delivery. The use of fluorescent proteins as markers denoting compartmentalisation within the endocytic system has become commonplace. Several of the limitations associated with the use of green fluorescent protein (GFP) within the context of drug delivery have been explored here by asking a series of related questions: (1) Are molecules that regulate fusion to a specific compartment (i.e. Rab- or SNARE-GFP fusions) a good choice of marker for that compartment? (2) How reliable was GFP-marker overexpression when used to define a given endocytic compartment? (3) Can glutathione-s-transferase (GST) fused in frame with GFP (GST-GFP) act as a fluid phase endocytic probe? (4) Was GFP fluorescence a robust indicator of (GFP) protein integrity? This study concluded that there are many appropriate and useful applications for GFP; however, thought and an understanding of the biological and physicochemical character of these markers are required for the generation of meaningful data.

Concepts: Protein, Oxygen, Cell, Molecular biology, Cell membrane, Green fluorescent protein, Yellow fluorescent protein, Fusion power

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Head and Neck Surgery constantly has to oppose non-invasive organ preservation methods and therefore should be evaluated especially with regard to clinical and functional outcome. We will discuss the role of pharyngotomy in the treatment of HNSCC.

Concepts: Medicine, Head and neck anatomy, Head and neck, Cancer, Carcinoma, Squamous cell carcinoma, Squamous epithelium, Food preservation

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The influence of family on an individual’s fertility has long been an important topic of interest in fertility research. Although studies conducted mostly in developed countries found a significant bearing of fertility of the parents on the fertility of the children, there is a lack of formal research around this topic in India. The present study analyses the effect of sibling size of husband and wife on the completed family size of women using information of 5506 ever-married women aged 45-49 years incorporated in the India Human Development Survey-II (2011-2012). Inferential statistics, bivariate, Chi-square and Poisson regression were used as the methods of analysis. The unadjusted estimates of Poisson regression reveal sibling size of women (IRR: 1.02; p < 0.001) and husband (IRR: 1.01; p < 0.001) have a positive correlation with the completed family size of women. However, in the adjusted model, the effect of sibling size especially of husband diminishes gradually in the presence of socio-economic covariates of the women.

Concepts: Family, Regression analysis, Marriage, Husband, Mother, Sibling, Human Development Index, Wife

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The aim of this prospective open comparative study was to establish whether conventional photodynamic-guided bladder biopsies using general anaesthesia and rigid resectoscopes (inpatient) can be replaced with less traumatic flexible cystoscopy in non-sedated patients (outpatient), without compromising the diagnosis of carcinoma in situ (CIS).

Concepts: Cancer, Carcinoma in situ, Comedy

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Enzyme catalyzing the cleavage of the phenylpropanoid side chain was partially purified by ion exchange and gel filtration column chromatography after (NH4)2SO4 precipitation. Enzyme activities were dependent on the concentration of dithiothreitol (DTT) or glutathione (GSH) and activated by addition of 0.5 mM Fe(2+). Enzyme activity for ferulic acid was as high as for 4-coumaric acid in the presence of GSH, suggesting that GSH acts as an endogenous reductant in vanillin biosynthesis. Analyses of the enzymatic reaction products with quantitative NMR (qNMR) indicated that an amount of glyoxylic acid (GA) proportional to vanillin was released from ferulic acid by the enzymatic reaction. These results suggest that phenylpropanoid 2,3-dioxygenase is involved in the cleavage of the ferulic acid side chain to form vanillin and GA in Vanilla planifolia.

Concepts: Protein, Amino acid, Enzyme, High performance liquid chromatography, Lignin, Vanillin, Glyoxylic acid, Vanilla

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Bacterial cells possess a signal transduction system that differs from those described in higher organisms, including human cells. These so-called two-component signal transduction systems (TCSs) consist of a sensor (histidine kinase, HK) and a response regulator, and are involved in cellular functions, such as virulence, drug resistance, biofilm formation, cell wall synthesis, cell division. They are conserved in bacteria across all species. Although TCSs are often studied and characterized individually, they are assumed to interact with each other and form signal transduction networks within the cell. In this review, I focus on the formation of TCS networks via connectors. I also explore the possibility of using TCS inhibitors, especially HK inhibitors, as alternative antimicrobial agents.

Concepts: DNA, Cell, Archaea, Bacteria, Organism, Microbiology, Eukaryote, Cell wall