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Chapters

Bottomley, A.L., Turnbull, L., Whitchurch, C.B. & Harry, E.J. 2017, 'Immobilization Techniques of Bacteria for Live Super-resolution Imaging Using Structured Illumination Microscopy.' in Pontus Nordenfelt and Mattias Collin (ed), Bacterial Pathogenesis, pp. 197-209.
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Advancements in optical microscopy technology have allowed huge progression in the ability to understand protein structure and dynamics in live bacterial cells using fluorescence microscopy. Paramount to high-quality microscopy is good sample preparation to avoid bacterial cell movement that can result in motion blur during image acquisition. Here, we describe two techniques of sample preparation that reduce unwanted cell movement and are suitable for application to a number of bacterial species and imaging methods.

Journal articles

Ajani, P.A., Harwood, D.T. & murray, S.A. 2017, 'Recent trends in marine phycotoxins from Australian coastal waters', Marine Drugs.

Ajani, P.A., Harwood, D.T. & Murray, S.A. 2017, 'Recent trends in marine phycotoxins from Australian coastal waters'.
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Ajani, P.A., Harwood, D.T. & Murray, S.A. 2017, 'Recent trends in marine phycotoxins from Australian coastal waters.', Marine Drugs, vol. 15, no. 2.
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Alvarado, R., To, J., Lund, M.E., Pinar, A., Mansell, A., Robinson, M.W., O'Brien, B.A., Dalton, J.P. & Donnelly, S. 2017, 'The immune modulatory peptide FhHDM-1 secreted by the helminth Fasciola hepatica prevents NLRP3 inflammasome activation by inhibiting endolysosomal acidification in macrophages.', FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 85-95.
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The NLRP3 inflammasome is a multimeric protein complex that controls the production of IL-1β, a cytokine that influences the development of both innate and adaptive immune responses. Helminth parasites secrete molecules that interact with innate immune cells, modulating their activity to ultimately determine the phenotype of differentiated T cells, thus creating an immune environment that is conducive to sustaining chronic infection. We show that one of these molecules, FhHDM-1, a cathelicidin-like peptide secreted by the helminth parasite, Fasciola hepatica, inhibits the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome resulting in reduced secretion of IL-1β by macrophages. FhHDM-1 had no effect on the synthesis of pro-IL-1β. Rather, the inhibitory effect was associated with the capacity of the peptide to prevent acidification of the endolysosome. The activation of cathepsin B protease by lysosomal destabilization was prevented in FhHDM-1-treated macrophages. By contrast, peptide derivatives of FhHDM-1 that did not alter the lysosomal pH did not inhibit secretion of IL-1β. We propose a novel immune modulatory strategy used by F. hepatica, whereby secretion of the FhHDM-1 peptide impairs the activation of NLRP3 by lysosomal cathepsin B protease, which prevents the downstream production of IL-1β and the development of protective T helper 1 type immune responses that are detrimental to parasite survival.-Alvarado, R., To, J., Lund, M. E., Pinar, A., Mansell, A., Robinson, M. W., O'Brien, B. A., Dalton, J. P., Donnelly, S. The immune modulatory peptide FhHDM-1 secreted by the helminth Fasciola hepatica prevents NLRP3 inflammasome activation by inhibiting endolysosomal acidification in macrophages.

Anderson, C. & Ryan, L.M. 2017, 'A Comparison of Spatio-Temporal Disease Mapping Approaches Including an Application to Ischaemic Heart Disease in New South Wales, Australia.', Int J Environ Res Public Health, vol. 14, no. 2.
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The field of spatio-temporal modelling has witnessed a recent surge as a result of developments in computational power and increased data collection. These developments allow analysts to model the evolution of health outcomes in both space and time simultaneously. This paper models the trends in ischaemic heart disease (IHD) in New South Wales, Australia over an eight-year period between 2006 and 2013. A number of spatio-temporal models are considered, and we propose a novel method for determining the goodness-of-fit for these models by outlining a spatio-temporal extension of the Moran's I statistic. We identify an overall decrease in the rates of IHD, but note that the extent of this health improvement varies across the state. In particular, we identified a number of remote areas in the north and west of the state where the risk stayed constant or even increased slightly.

Anderson, C., Lee, D. & Dean, N. 2017, 'Spatial clustering of average risks and risk trends in Bayesian disease mapping', Biometrical Journal, vol. 59, no. 1, pp. 41-56.
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© 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, WeinheimSpatiotemporal disease mapping focuses on estimating the spatial pattern in disease risk across a set of nonoverlapping areal units over a fixed period of time. The key aim of such research is to identify areas that have a high average level of disease risk or where disease risk is increasing over time, thus allowing public health interventions to be focused on these areas. Such aims are well suited to the statistical approach of clustering, and while much research has been done in this area in a purely spatial setting, only a handful of approaches have focused on spatiotemporal clustering of disease risk. Therefore, this paper outlines a new modeling approach for clustering spatiotemporal disease risk data, by clustering areas based on both their mean risk levels and the behavior of their temporal trends. The efficacy of the methodology is established by a simulation study, and is illustrated by a study of respiratory disease risk in Glasgow, Scotland.

Barratt, J., Kaufer, A., Peters, B., Craig, D., Lawrence, A., Roberts, T., Lee, R., McAuliffe, G., Stark, D. & Ellis, J. 2017, 'Isolation of Novel Trypanosomatid, Zelonia australiensis sp. nov. (Kinetoplastida: Trypanosomatidae) Provides Support for a Gondwanan Origin of Dixenous Parasitism in the Leishmaniinae.', PLoS Negl Trop Dis, vol. 11, no. 1, p. e0005215.
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The genus Leishmania includes approximately 53 species, 20 of which cause human leishmaniais; a significant albeit neglected tropical disease. Leishmaniasis has afflicted humans for millennia, but how ancient is Leishmania and where did it arise? These questions have been hotly debated for decades and several theories have been proposed. One theory suggests Leishmania originated in the Palearctic, and dispersed to the New World via the Bering land bridge. Others propose that Leishmania evolved in the Neotropics. The Multiple Origins theory suggests that separation of certain Old World and New World species occurred due to the opening of the Atlantic Ocean. Some suggest that the ancestor of the dixenous genera Leishmania, Endotrypanum and Porcisia evolved on Gondwana between 90 and 140 million years ago. In the present study a detailed molecular and morphological characterisation was performed on a novel Australian trypanosomatid following its isolation in Australia's tropics from the native black fly, Simulium (Morops) dycei Colbo, 1976. Phylogenetic analyses were conducted and confirmed this parasite as a sibling to Zelonia costaricensis, a close relative of Leishmania previously isolated from a reduviid bug in Costa Rica. Consequently, this parasite was assigned the name Zelonia australiensis sp. nov. Assuming Z. costaricensis and Z. australiensis diverged when Australia and South America became completely separated, their divergence occurred between 36 and 41 million years ago at least. Using this vicariance event as a calibration point for a phylogenetic time tree, the common ancestor of the dixenous genera Leishmania, Endotrypanum and Porcisia appeared in Gondwana approximately 91 million years ago. Ultimately, this study contributes to our understanding of trypanosomatid diversity, and of Leishmania origins by providing support for a Gondwanan origin of dixenous parasitism in the Leishmaniinae.

Barraza, V., Restrepo-Coupe, N., Huete, A., Grings, F., Beringer, J., Cleverly, J.R. & Eamus, D. 2017, 'Estimation of latent heat flux over savannah vegetation across the North Australian Tropical Transect from multiple sensors and global meteorological data', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol. 232, pp. 689-703.
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Latent heat flux (LE) and corresponding water loss in non-moisture-limited ecosystems are well corre-lated to radiation and temperature. By contrast, in savannahs and arid and semi-arid lands LE is mostlydriven by available water and the vegetation exerts a strong control over the rate of transpiration.Therefore, LE models that use optical vegetation indices (VIs) to represent the vegetation component(transpiration as a function of surface conductance, Gs) generally overestimate water fluxes in water-limited ecosystems. In this study, we evaluated and compared optical and passive microwave indexbased retrievals of Gsand LE derived using the Penman-Monteith (PM) formulation over the North Aus-tralian Tropical Transect (NATT). The methodology was evaluated at six eddy covariance (EC) sites fromthe OzFlux network. To parameterize the PM equation for retrievals of LE (PM-Gs), a subset of Gsvalueswas derived from meteorological and EC flux observations and regressed against individual and com-bined satellite indices, from (1) MODIS AQUA: the Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) and theEnhanced Vegetation Index (EVI); and from (2) AMSR-E passive microwave: frequency index (FI), polar-ization index (PI), vegetation optical depth (VOD) and soil moisture (SM) products. Similarly, we combinedoptical and passive microwave indices (multi-sensor model) to estimate weekly Gsvalues, and evaluatedtheir spatial and temporal synergies. The multi-sensor approach explained 40–80% of LE variance at somesites, with root mean square errors (RMSE) lower than 20 W/m2and demonstrated better performanceto other satellite-based estimates of LE. The optical indices represented potential Gsassociated with thephenological status of the vegetation (e.g. leaf area index, chlorophyll content) at finer spatial resolution.The microwave indices provided information about water availability and moisture stress (e.g. watercontent in leaves and shallow soil depths, atmospheric demand) at a high tem...

Barraza, V., Restrepo-Coupe, N., Huete, A., Grings, F., Beringer, J., Cleverly, J.R. & Eamus, D. 2017, 'Estimation of latent heat flux over savannah vegetation across the North Australian Tropical Transect from multiple sensors and global meteorological data', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol. 232, pp. 689-703.
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Latent heat flux (LE) and corresponding water loss in non-moisture-limited ecosystems are well corre-lated to radiation and temperature. By contrast, in savannahs and arid and semi-arid lands LE is mostlydriven by available water and the vegetation exerts a strong control over the rate of transpiration.Therefore, LE models that use optical vegetation indices (VIs) to represent the vegetation component(transpiration as a function of surface conductance, Gs) generally overestimate water fluxes in water-limited ecosystems. In this study, we evaluated and compared optical and passive microwave indexbased retrievals of Gsand LE derived using the Penman-Monteith (PM) formulation over the North Aus-tralian Tropical Transect (NATT). The methodology was evaluated at six eddy covariance (EC) sites fromthe OzFlux network. To parameterize the PM equation for retrievals of LE (PM-Gs), a subset of Gsvalueswas derived from meteorological and EC flux observations and regressed against individual and com-bined satellite indices, from (1) MODIS AQUA: the Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) and theEnhanced Vegetation Index (EVI); and from (2) AMSR-E passive microwave: frequency index (FI), polar-ization index (PI), vegetation optical depth (VOD) and soil moisture (SM) products. Similarly, we combinedoptical and passive microwave indices (multi-sensor model) to estimate weekly Gsvalues, and evaluatedtheir spatial and temporal synergies. The multi-sensor approach explained 40–80% of LE variance at somesites, with root mean square errors (RMSE) lower than 20 W/m2and demonstrated better performanceto other satellite-based estimates of LE. The optical indices represented potential Gsassociated with thephenological status of the vegetation (e.g. leaf area index, chlorophyll content) at finer spatial resolution.The microwave indices provided information about water availability and moisture stress (e.g. watercontent in leaves and shallow soil depths, atmospheric demand) at a high tem...

Borovkov, K., Mishura, Y., Novikov, A. & Zhitlukhin, M. 2017, 'Bounds for expected maxima of Gaussian processes and their discrete approximations', Stochastics, vol. 89, no. 1, pp. 21-37.
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© 2015 Taylor & Francis The paper deals with the expected maxima of continuous Gaussian processes (Formula presented.) that are Hölder continuous in (Formula presented.)-norm and/or satisfy the opposite inequality for the (Formula presented.)-norms of their increments. Examples of such processes include the fractional Brownian motion and some of its “relatives” (of which several examples are given in the paper). We establish upper and lower bounds for (Formula presented.) and investigate the rate of convergence to that quantity of its discrete approximation (Formula presented.). Some further properties of these two maxima are established in the special case of the fractional Brownian motion.

Chekli, L., Eripret, C., Park, S.H., Tabatabai, S.A.A., Vronska, O., Tamburic, B., Kim, J.H. & Shon, H.K. 2017, 'Coagulation performance and floc characteristics of polytitanium tetrachloride (PTC) compared with titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4) and ferric chloride (FeCl3) in algal turbid water', Separation and Purification Technology, vol. 175, pp. 99-106.
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© 2016 Elsevier B.V.Seasonal green algae blooms in freshwaters have raised attention on the need to develop novel effective treatment processes for the removal of algae in water. In the present study, the performance of newly developed polytitanium tetrachloride (PTC) coagulant for the removal of freshwater microalga Chlorella vulgaris has been investigated and compared with titanium tetrachloride (TiCl4) coagulant and the conventional ferric chloride (FeCl3) coagulant. The main benefit of using titanium-based coagulants is that the sludge produced after flocculation may be recycled into a valuable product: titanium dioxide photocatalyst. Both titanium-based coagulants achieved good flocculation over a broader pH range and coagulant dose compared to conventional FeCl3 coagulant. All three coagulants achieved comparable performance in terms of turbidity removal (i.e. turbidity removal efficiency >97%); although TiCl4 performed slightly better at the lower tested dose (i.e. <9 mg/L). Zeta potential measurements indicated that charge neutralisation may not be the sole mechanism involved in the coagulation of algae for all three coagulants. Analysis of the dynamic floc size variation during floc breakage showed no regrowth after floc breakage for the three coagulants. The flocs formed by both Ti-based coagulants were larger than those formed by FeCl3 and also grew at a faster rate. This study indicates that Ti-based coagulants are effective and promising coagulants for algae removal in water.

De Silva, K.S.B., Keast, V.J., Gentle, A. & Cortie, M.B. 2017, 'Optical properties and oxidation of α-phase Ag-Al thin films.', Nanotechnology, vol. 28, no. 9, p. 095202.
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We investigate a series of Ag-Al thin films containing up to 12 at% Al with the purpose of discovering whether these alloys would be a better choice for nanophotonic applications than pure Ag. Variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometry, AFM, x-ray diffraction and density functional theory are applied to explore and characterize the materials. Electromagnetic simulations of optical properties are used to place the results into a theoretical framework. We find that the increase in electron-to-atom ratio associated with the Al additions changes the optical properties: additions of the order of 1-2 at% Al are beneficial as they are associated with favorable changes in the dielectric function, but for greater additions of Al there is a flattening of the absorption edge and an increase in optical loss. In addition, contents of more than about 2 at% Al are associated with the onset of time-dependent intergranular oxidation, which causes a pronounced dip in the reflectance spectrum at about 2.3-2.4 eV (∼500-540 nm).

Dorantes-Aranda, J.J., Campbell, K., Bradbury, A., Elliott, C.T., Harwood, D.T., Murray, S.A., Ugalde, S.C., Wilson, K., Burgoyne, M. & Hallegraeff, G.M. 2017, 'Comparative performance of four immunological test kits for the detection of Paralytic Shellfish Toxins in Tasmanian shellfish.', Toxicon, vol. 125, pp. 110-119.
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Blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium tamarense (Group 1) seriously impacted the Tasmanian shellfish industry during 2012 and 2015, necessitating product recalls and intensive paralytic shellfish toxin (PST) product testing. The performance of four commercial PST test kits, Abraxis™, Europroxima™, Scotia™ and Neogen™, was compared with the official AOAC LC-FLD method for contaminated mussels and oysters. Abraxis and Europroxima kits underestimated PST in 35-100% of samples when using standard protocols but quantification improved when concentrated extracts were further diluted (underestimation ≤18%). The Scotia kit (cut off 0.2-0.7 mg STX-diHCl eq/kg) delivered 0% false negatives, but 27% false positives. Neogen produced 5% false negatives and 13% false positives when the cut off was altered to 0.5-0.6 mg STX-diHCl eq/kg, the introduction of a conversion step eliminated false negatives. Based on their sensitivity, ease of use and performance, the Neogen kit proved the most suitable kit for use with Tasmanian mussels and oysters. Once formally validated for regulatory purposes, the Neogen kit could provide shellfish growers with a rapid tool for harvesting decisions at the farm gate. Effective rapid screening preventing compliant samples undergoing testing using the more expensive and time consuming LC-FLD method will result in significant savings in analytical costs.

Dubios, S., Fenwick, N., Ryan, E.A., Baker, L., Baker, S.E., Beausoleil, N.J., Carter, S., Cartwright, B., Costa, F., Draper, C., Griffin, J., Grogan, A., Howald, G., Jones, B., Littin, K.E., Lombard, A.T., Mellor, D.J., Ramp, D., Schuppli, C.A. & Fraser, D. 2017, 'International consensus principles for ethical wildlife control', Conservation Biology.
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Human–wildlife conflicts are commonly addressed by excluding, relocating, or lethally controlling animals with the goal of preserving public health and safety, protecting property, or conserving other valued wildlife. However, declining wildlife populations, a lack of efficacy of control methods in achieving desired outcomes, and changes in how people value animals have triggered widespread acknowledgment of the need for ethical and evidence-based approaches to managing such conflicts. We explored international perspectives on and experiences with human–wildlife conflicts to develop principles for ethical wildlife control. A diverse panel of 20 experts convened at a 2-day workshop and developed the principles through a facilitated engagement process and discussion. They determined that efforts to control wildlife should begin wherever possible by altering the human practices that cause human–wildlife conflict and by developing a culture of coexistence; be justified by evidence that significant harms are being caused to people, property, livelihoods, ecosystems, and/or other animals; have measurable outcome-based objectives that are clear, achievable, monitored, and adaptive; predictably minimize animal welfare harms to the fewest number of animals; be informed by community values as well as scientific, technical, and practical information; be integrated into plans for systematic long-term management; and be based on the specifics of the situation rather than negative labels (pest, overabundant) applied to the target species. We recommend that these principles guide development of international, national, and local standards and control decisions and implementation.

Faiz, A., Donovan, C., Nieuwenhuis, M.A.E., van den Berge, M., Postma, D.S., Yao, S., Park, C.Y., Hirsch, R., Fredberg, J.J., Tjin, G., Halayko, A.J., Rempel, K.L., Ward, J.P.T., Lee, T., Bossé, Y., Nickle, D.C., Obeidat, M., Vonk, J.M., Black, J.L., Oliver, B.G., Krishnan, R., McParland, B., Bourke, J.E. & Burgess, J.K. 2017, 'Latrophilin receptors: Novel bronchodilator targets in asthma', Thorax, vol. 72, pp. 74-82.
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© 2016 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd & British Thoracic Society.Background Asthma affects 300 million people worldwide. In asthma, the major cause of morbidity and mortality is acute airway narrowing, due to airway smooth muscle (ASM) hypercontraction, associated with airway remodelling. However, little is known about the transcriptional differences between healthy and asthmatic ASM cells. Objectives To investigate the transcriptional differences between asthmatic and healthy airway smooth muscle cells (ASMC) in culture and investigate the identified targets using in vitro and ex vivo techniques. Methods Human asthmatic and healthy ASMC grown in culture were run on Affymetrix_Hugene_1.0_ST microarrays. Identified candidates were confirmed by PCR, and immunohistochemistry. Functional analysis was conducted using in vitro ASMC proliferation, attachment and contraction assays and ex vivo contraction of mouse airways. Results We suggest a novel role for latrophilin (LPHN) receptors, finding increased expression on ASMC from asthmatics, compared with non-asthmatics in vivo and in vitro, suggesting a role in mediating airway function. A single nucleotide polymorphism in LPHN1 was associated with asthma and with increased LPHN1 expression in lung tissue. When activated, LPHNs regulated ASMC adhesion and proliferation in vitro, and promoted contraction of mouse airways and ASMC. Conclusions Given the need for novel inhibitors of airway remodelling and bronchodilators in asthma, the LPHN family may represent promising novel targets for future dual therapeutic intervention.

Feng, G., Gao, J., Peng, B. & Zhang, X. 2017, 'A Varying-Coefficient Panel Data Model with Fixed Effects: Theory and an Application to US commercial banks', Journal of Econometrics, vol. 196, no. 1, pp. 68-82.
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In this paper, we propose a semiparametric varying-coefficient categorical panel data model in which covariates (variables affecting the coefficients) are purely categorical. This model has two features: first, fixed effects are included to allow for correlation between individual unobserved heterogeneity and the regressors; second, it allows for cross-sectional dependence through a general spatial error dependence structure. We derive a semiparametric estimator for our model by using a modified within transformation, and then show the asymptotic and finite properties for this estimator under large N and T. The Monte Carlo study shows that our methodology works well for both large N and T, and large N and small T cases. Finally, we illustrate our model by analyzing the effects of state-level banking regulations on the returns to scale of commercial banks in the US. Our empirical results suggest that returns to scale is higher in more regulated states than in less regulated states.

Feng, G., Gao, J., Peng, B. & Zhang, X. 2017, 'A Varying-Coefficient Panel Data Model with Fixed Effects: Theory and an Application to US commercial banks', Journal of Econometrics, vol. 196, no. 1, pp. 68-82.
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In this paper, we propose a semiparametric varying-coefficient categorical panel data model in which covariates (variables affecting the coefficients) are purely categorical. This model has two features: first, fixed effects are included to allow for correlation between individual unobserved heterogeneity and the regressors; second, it allows for cross-sectional dependence through a general spatial error dependence structure. We derive a semiparametric estimator for our model by using a modified within transformation, and then show the asymptotic and finite properties for this estimator under large N and T. The Monte Carlo study shows that our methodology works well for both large N and T, and large N and small T cases. Finally, we illustrate our model by analyzing the effects of state-level banking regulations on the returns to scale of commercial banks in the US. Our empirical results suggest that returns to scale is higher in more regulated states than in less regulated states.

Gramaglia, I., Velez, J., Combes, V., Grau, G.E.R., Wree, M. & van der Heyde, H.C. 2017, 'Platelets activate a pathogenic response to blood-stage Plasmodium infection but not a protective immune response.', Blood.
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Clinical studies indicate that thrombocytopenia correlates with the development of severe falciparum malaria, suggesting that platelets either contribute to control of parasite replication possibly as innate parasite killer cells or function in eliciting pathogenesis. Removal of platelets by anti-CD41 mAb treatment, platelet inhibition by aspirin, and adoptive transfer of WT platelets to CD40-KO mice, which do not control parasite replication, resulted in similar parasitemia compared with control mice. Human platelets at a physiological ratio of 1 platelet to 9 RBCs did not inhibit the in vitro development or replication of blood-stage P. falciparum The percentage of iRBCs with bound platelets during the ascending parasitemia in P. chabaudi and P. berghei infected mice and the 48 hour in vitro cycle of P. falciparum was <10%. P. chabaudi and P. berghei iRBCs with apoptotic parasites (TdT+) exhibited minimal platelet binding (<5%), which was similar to non-apoptotic iRBCs. These findings collectively indicate platelets do not kill bloodstage Plasmodium at physiologically relevant effector to target ratios. P. chabaudi primary and secondary parasitemia was similar in mice depleted of platelets by mAb-injection just prior to infection, indicating that activation of the protective immune response does not require platelets. In contrast to the lack of an effect on parasite replication, adoptive transfer of WT platelets to CD40-KO mice, which are resistant to experimental cerebral malaria, partially restored experimental cerebral malaria mortality and symptoms in CD40-KO recipients, indicating platelets elicit pathogenesis and platelet CD40 is a key molecule.

Green, D.W., Ben-Nissan, B., Yoon, K.S., Milthorpe, B. & Jung, H.-.S. 2017, 'Natural and Synthetic Coral Biomineralization for Human Bone Revitalization.', Trends Biotechnol, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 43-54.
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Coral skeletons can regenerate replacement human bone in nonload-bearing excavated skeletal locations. A combination of multiscale, interconnected pores and channels and highly bioactive surface chemistry has established corals as an important alternative to using healthy host bone replacements. Here, we highlight how coral skeletal systems are being remolded into new calcified structures or synthetic corals by biomimetic processes, as places for the organized permeation of bone tissue cells and blood vessels. Progressive technologies in coral aquaculture and self-organization inorganic chemistry are helping to modify natural corals and create synthetic coral architectures able to accelerate bone regeneration with proper host integration at more skeletal locations, adapted to recent surgical techniques and used to treat intrinsic skeletal deformities and metabolic conditions.

Guo, X., Sun, B., Su, D., Liu, X., Liu, H., Wang, Y. & Wang, G. 2017, 'Recent developments of aprotic lithium-oxygen batteries: functional materials determine the electrochemical performance', Science Bulletin.
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Horgan, F.G., Palenzuela, A.N., Stuart, A.M., Naredo, A.I., Ramal, A.F., Bernal, C.C. & Almazan, M.-.L.P. 2017, 'Effects of silicon soil amendments and nitrogen fertilizer on apple snail (Ampullariidae) damage to rice seedlings', CROP PROTECTION, vol. 91, pp. 123-131.
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Hudson, L.N., Newbold, T., Contu, S., Hill, S.L.L., Lysenko, I., De Palma, A., Phillips, H.R.P., Alhusseini, T.I., Bedford, F.E., Bennett, D.J., Booth, H., Burton, V.J., Chng, C.W.T., Choimes, A., Correia, D.L.P., Day, J., Echeverría-Londoño, S., Emerson, S.R., Gao, D., Garon, M., Harrison, M.L.K., Ingram, D.J., Jung, M., Kemp, V., Kirkpatrick, L., Martin, C.D., Pan, Y., Pask-Hale, G.D., Pynegar, E.L., Robinson, A.N., Sanchez-Ortiz, K., Senior, R.A., Simmons, B.I., White, H.J., Zhang, H., Aben, J., Abrahamczyk, S., Adum, G.B., Aguilar-Barquero, V., Aizen, M.A., Albertos, B., Alcala, E.L., Del Mar Alguacil, M., Alignier, A., Ancrenaz, M., Andersen, A.N., Arbeláez-Cortés, E., Armbrecht, I., Arroyo-Rodríguez, V., Aumann, T., Axmacher, J.C., Azhar, B., Azpiroz, A.B., Baeten, L., Bakayoko, A., Báldi, A., Banks, J.E., Baral, S.K., Barlow, J., Barratt, B.I.P., Barrico, L., Bartolommei, P., Barton, D.M., Basset, Y., Batáry, P., Bates, A.J., Baur, B., Bayne, E.M., Beja, P., Benedick, S., Berg, Å., Bernard, H., Berry, N.J., Bhatt, D., Bicknell, J.E., Bihn, J.H., Blake, R.J., Bobo, K.S., Bóçon, R., Boekhout, T., Böhning-Gaese, K., Bonham, K.J., Borges, P.A.V., Borges, S.H., Boutin, C., Bouyer, J., Bragagnolo, C., Brandt, J.S., Brearley, F.Q., Brito, I., Bros, V., Brunet, J., Buczkowski, G., Buddle, C.M., Bugter, R., Buscardo, E., Buse, J., Cabra-García, J., Cáceres, N.C., Cagle, N.L., Calviño-Cancela, M., Cameron, S.A., Cancello, E.M., Caparrós, R., Cardoso, P., Carpenter, D., Carrijo, T.F., Carvalho, A.L., Cassano, C.R., Castro, H., Castro-Luna, A.A., Rolando, C.B., Cerezo, A., Chapman, K.A., Chauvat, M., Christensen, M., Clarke, F.M., Cleary, D.F.R., Colombo, G., Connop, S.P., Craig, M.D., Cruz-López, L., Cunningham, S.A., D'Aniello, B., D'Cruze, N., da Silva, P.G., Dallimer, M., Danquah, E., Darvill, B., Dauber, J., Davis, A.L.V., Dawson, J., de Sassi, C., de Thoisy, B., Deheuvels, O., Dejean, A., Devineau, J.-.L., Diekötter, T., Dolia, J.V., Domínguez, E., Dominguez-Haydar, Y., Dorn, S., Draper, I., Dreber, N., Dumont, B., Dures, S.G., Dynesius, M., Edenius, L., Eggleton, P., Eigenbrod, F., Elek, Z., Entling, M.H., Esler, K.J., de Lima, R.F., Faruk, A., Farwig, N., Fayle, T.M., Felicioli, A., Felton, A.M., Fensham, R.J., Fernandez, I.C., Ferreira, C.C., Ficetola, G.F., Fiera, C., Filgueiras, B.K.C., Fırıncıoğlu, H.K., Flaspohler, D., Floren, A., Fonte, S.J., Fournier, A., Fowler, R.E., Franzén, M., Fraser, L.H., Fredriksson, G.M., Freire, G.B., Frizzo, T.L.M., Fukuda, D., Furlani, D., Gaigher, R., Ganzhorn, J.U., García, K.P., Garcia-R, J.C., Garden, J.G., Garilleti, R., Ge, B.-.M., Gendreau-Berthiaume, B. & et al. 2017, 'The database of the PREDICTS (Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems) project.', Ecol Evol, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 145-188.
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The PREDICTS project-Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems (www.predicts.org.uk)-has collated from published studies a large, reasonably representative database of comparable samples of biodiversity from multiple sites that differ in the nature or intensity of human impacts relating to land use. We have used this evidence base to develop global and regional statistical models of how local biodiversity responds to these measures. We describe and make freely available this 2016 release of the database, containing more than 3.2 million records sampled at over 26,000 locations and representing over 47,000 species. We outline how the database can help in answering a range of questions in ecology and conservation biology. To our knowledge, this is the largest and most geographically and taxonomically representative database of spatial comparisons of biodiversity that has been collated to date; it will be useful to researchers and international efforts wishing to model and understand the global status of biodiversity.

Irga, P.J., Abdo, P., Zavattaro, M. & Torpy, F.R. 2017, 'An assessment of the potential fungal bioaerosol production from an active living wall', Building and Environment, vol. 111, pp. 140-146.
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© 2016Active living walls, or indoor air biofilters, have been proposed as a sustainable and aesthetic means of improving indoor air quality. However these systems have yet to be adequately assessed for their potential contribution to airborne fungal proliferation in indoor spaces. The current work represents a simulation study to determine, under realistic office conditions, whether a typical active living wall makes a quantifiable contribution to the airborne aeromycota. We found that the living wall studied made no significant contribution to the density or diversity of airborne culturable fungi in a test room. Few organisms of concern to public health were identified. We conclude that active biofilters are unlikely to make hazardous contributions to indoor fungi; however, further work that documents the bioaerosol generation rate with variations in temperature, airflow, plant varieties, planting densities, maintenance schedule, age of plants, plant growth substrates and substrate moisture content need further elucidation.

Irga, P.J., Paull, N.J., Abdo, P. & Torpy, F.R. 2017, 'An assessment of the atmospheric particle removal efficiency of an in-room botanical biofilter system', Building and Environment.
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Kardaras, C., Oblłój, J. & Platen, E. 2017, 'The numéraire property and long-term growth optimality for drawdown-constrained investments', Mathematical Finance, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 68-95.
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We consider the portfolio choice problem for a long-run investor in a general continuous semimartingale model. We combine the decision criterion of pathwise growth optimality with a flexible specification of attitude toward risk, encoded by a linear drawdown constraint imposed on admissible wealth processes. We define the constrained numéraire property through the notion of expected relative return and prove that drawdown-constrained numéraire portfolio exists and is unique, but may depend on the investment horizon. However, when sampled at the times of its maximum and asymptotically as the time-horizon becomes distant, the drawdown-constrained numéraire portfolio is given explicitly through a model-independent transformation of the unconstrained numéraire portfolio. The asymptotically growth-optimal strategy is obtained as limit of numéraire strategies on finite horizons.

Larsson, M., Ajani, P.A., Rubio, A.M., Guise, K., MacPherson, R.G., Brett, S.J., Davies, K.P. & Doblin, M. 2017, 'Long-term perspective on the relationship between phytoplankton and nutrient concentrations in a southeastern Australian estuary', Marine Pollution Bulletin, vol. 114, no. 1, pp. 227-238.
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Lee, R., Comber, B., Abraham, J., Wagner, M., Lennard, C., Spindler, X. & Roux, C. 2017, 'Supporting fingerprint identification assessments using a skin stretch model - A preliminary study.', Forensic Sci Int, vol. 272, pp. 41-49.
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To support fingerprint expert opinion, this research proposes an approach that combines subjective human analysis (as currently applied by fingerprint practitioners) with a statistical test of the result. This approach relies on the hypothesis that there are limits to the distortion caused by skin stretch. Such limits can be modelled by applying a multivariate normal probability density function to the distances and angle formed by a marked ridge characteristic and the two closest neighbouring minutiae. This study presents a model tested on 5 donors in total. The "expected range" of distortion in a within-source comparison using 10 minutiae was determined and compared to between-source comparisons. The expected range of log probability densities for within-source comparisons marked with 10 minutiae was determined to be from -33.4 to -60.0, with all between-source data falling outside this range, between -83 and -305. These results suggest that the proposed generated metric could be a powerful tool for the assessment of fingerprint expert opinion in operational casework.

Lees, T., Nassif, N., Simpson, A., Shad-Kaneez, F., Martiniello-Wilks, R., Lin, Y., Jones, A., Qu, X. & Lal, S. 2017, 'Recent advances in molecular biomarkers for diabetes mellitus: A systematic review.', Biomarkers, pp. 1-27.
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CONTEXT: Diabetes is a growing global metabolic epidemic. Current research is focusing on exploring how the biological processes and clinical outcomes of diabetes are related and developing novel biomarkers to measure these relationships, as this can subsequently improve diagnostic, therapeutic and management capacity. OBJECTIVE: To identify the most recent advances in molecular biomarkers of diabetes and directions that warrant further research. METHODS: Using a systematic search strategy, the MEDLINE, CINAHL and OVID MEDLINE databases were canvassed for articles that investigated molecular biomarkers for diabetes. Initial selections were made based on article title, whilst final inclusion was informed by a critical appraisal of the full text of each article. RESULTS: The systematic search returned 246 records, of which 113 were unique. Following screening, 29 records were included in the final review. Three main research strategies (the development of novel technologies, broad biomarker panels, and targeted approaches) identified a number of potential biomarkers for diabetes including miR-126, C-reactive protein, 2-aminoadipic acid and betatrophin. CONCLUSION: The most promising research avenue identified is the detection and quantification of micro RNA. Further, the utilisation of functionalised electrodes as a means to detect biomarker compounds also warrants attention.

Leigh, A., Sevanto, S., Close, J.D. & Nicotra, A.B. 2017, 'The influence of leaf size and shape on leaf thermal dynamics: does theory hold up under natural conditions?', Plant Cell Environ, vol. 40, no. 2, pp. 237-248.
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Laboratory studies on artificial leaves suggest that leaf thermal dynamics are strongly influenced by the two-dimensional size and shape of leaves and associated boundary layer thickness. Hot environments are therefore said to favour selection for small, narrow or dissected leaves. Empirical evidence from real leaves under field conditions is scant and traditionally based on point measurements that do not capture spatial variation in heat load. We used thermal imagery under field conditions to measure the leaf thermal time constant (τ) in summer and the leaf-to-air temperature difference (∆T) and temperature range across laminae (Trange ) during winter, autumn and summer for 68 Proteaceae species. We investigated the influence of leaf area and margin complexity relative to effective leaf width (we ), the latter being a more direct indicator of boundary layer thickness. Normalized difference of margin complexity had no or weak effects on thermal dynamics, but we strongly predicted τ and ∆T, whereas leaf area influenced Trange . Unlike artificial leaves, however, spatial temperature distribution in large leaves appeared to be governed largely by structural variation. Therefore, we agree that small size, specifically we , has adaptive value in hot environments but not with the idea that thermal regulation is the primary evolutionary driver of leaf dissection.

Liana, A.E., Marquis, C.P., Gunawan, C., Gooding, J.J. & Amal, R. 2017, 'T4 Bacteriophage Conjugated Magnetic Particles for E. coli Capturing: Influence of Bacteriophage Loading, Temperature and Tryptone', Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, vol. 151, pp. 47-57.
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This work demonstrates the use of bacteriophage conjugated magnetic particles (Fe3O4) for the rapid capturing and isolation of Escherichia coli. The investigation of T4 bacteriophage adsorption to silane functionalised Fe3O4 with amine (single bondNH2), carboxylic (single bondCOOH) and methyl (single bondCH3) surface functional groups reveals the domination of net electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions in governing bacteriophage adsorption. The bare Fe3O4 and Fe3O4-NH2 with high T4 loading captured 3-fold more E. coli (∼70% capturing efficiency) compared to the low loading T4 on Fe3O4-COOH, suggesting the significance of T4 loading in E. coli capturing efficiency. Importantly, it is further revealed that E. coli capture is highly dependent on the incubation temperature and the presence of tryptone in the media. Effective E. coli capturing only occurs at 37 °C in tryptone-containing media with the absence of either conditions resulted in poor bacteria capture. The incubation temperature dictates the capturing ability of Fe3O4/T4, whereby T4 and E. coli need to establish an irreversible binding that occurred at 37 °C. The presence of tryptophan-rich tryptone in the suspending media was also critical, as shown by a 3-fold increase in E. coli capture efficiency of Fe3O4/T4 in tryptone-containing media compared to that in tryptone-free media. This highlights for the first time that successful bacteria capturing requires not only an optimum tailoring of the particle’s surface physicochemical properties for favourable bacteriophage loading, but also an in-depth understanding of how factors, such as temperature and solution chemistry influence the subsequent bacteriophage-bacteria interactions.

Lin, B.M.T., Hwang, F.J. & Gupta, J.N.D. 2017, 'Two-machine flowshop scheduling with three-operation jobs subject to a fixed job sequence', Journal of Scheduling.
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Luo, L., Bokil, N.J., Wall, A.A., Kapetanovic, R., Lansdaal, N.M., Marceline, F., Burgess, B.J., Tong, S.J., Guo, Z., Alexandrov, K., Ross, I.L., Hibbs, M.L., Stow, J.L. & Sweet, M.J. 2017, 'SCIMP is a transmembrane non-TIR TLR adaptor that promotes proinflammatory cytokine production from macrophages.', Nat Commun, vol. 8, p. 14133.
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Danger signals activate Toll-like receptors (TLRs), thereby initiating inflammatory responses. Canonical TLR signalling, via Toll/Interleukin-1 receptor domain (TIR)-containing adaptors and proinflammatory transcription factors such as NF-κB, occurs in many cell types; however, additional mechanisms are required for specificity of inflammatory responses in innate immune cells. Here we show that SCIMP, an immune-restricted, transmembrane adaptor protein (TRAP), promotes selective proinflammatory cytokine responses by direct modulation of TLR4. SCIMP is a non-TIR-containing adaptor, binding directly to the TLR4-TIR domain in response to lipopolysaccharide. In macrophages, SCIMP is constitutively associated with the Lyn tyrosine kinase, is required for tyrosine phosphorylation of TLR4, and facilitates TLR-inducible production of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-12p40. Point mutations in SCIMP abrogating TLR4 binding also prevent SCIMP-mediated cytokine production. SCIMP is, therefore, an immune-specific TLR adaptor that shapes host defence and inflammation.

Maeda, E., Ma, X., Wagner, F., Kim, H., Oki, T., Eamus, D. & Huete, A. 2017, 'Evapotranspiration seasonality across the Amazon basin', Earth System Dynamics Discussions.
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Evapotranspiration (ET) of Amazon forests is a main driver of regional climate patterns and an important indicator of ecosystem functioning. Despite its importance, the seasonal variability of ET over Amazon forests, and its relationship with environmental drivers, is still poorly understood. In this study, we carry out a water balance approach to analyse seasonal patterns in ET and their relationships with water and energy drivers over five sub-basins across the Amazon basin. We used in-situ measurements of river discharge, and remotely sensed estimates of terrestrial water storage, rainfall, and solar radiation. We show that the characteristics of ET seasonality in all sub-basins differ in timing and magnitude. The highest mean annual ET was found in the northern Rio Negro basin (~ 1497 mm year−1) and the lowest values in the Solimões River basin (~ 986 mm year−1). For the first time in a basin-scale study, using observational data, we show that factors limiting ET vary across climatic gradients in the Amazon, confirming local-scale eddy covariance studies. Both annual mean and seasonality in ET are driven by a combination of energy and water availability, as neither rainfall nor radiation alone could explain patterns in ET. In southern basins, despite seasonal rainfall deficits, deep root water uptake allows increasing rates of ET during the dry season, when radiation is usually higher than in the wet season. We demonstrate contrasting ET seasonality with satellite greenness across Amazon forests, with strong asynchronous relationships in ever-wet watersheds, and positive correlations observed in seasonally dry watersheds. Finally, we compared our results with estimates obtained by two ET models, and we conclude that neither of the two tested models could provide a consistent representation of ET seasonal patterns across the Amazon.

Mahbub, K.R., Bahar, M.M., Labbate, M., Krishnan, K., Andrews, S., Naidu, R. & Mallavarapu, M. 2017, 'Bioremediation of mercury: not properly exploited in contaminated soils!', Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology.
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Mahbub, K.R., Kannan Krishnan, Ravi Naidu, Stuart Andrews & Mallavarapu Megharaj 2017, 'Mercury toxicity to terrestrial biota', Ecological Indicators, vol. 74, pp. 451-462.
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The heavy metal mercury is a non-essential hazardous element which concentrates up the food chain. It is necessary to assess the ecological risk of mercury to establish proper regulatory guideline levels. Most of the toxicological assessment of mercury has been focused on aquatic organisms, however in terrestrial bodies the information is limited. Hence this review critically discusses the toxicity of inorganic mercury to key terrestrial biota from recent literature and evaluate whether these information are adequate to establish safe regulatory limits or precautionary values which is invaluable for risk assessment of mercury in soil. Till date soil microorganisms, plants and invertebrates have been utilized for assessing mercury toxicity; among them, microorganisms have been observed to be the most sensitive indicators to mercury stress. Large inconsistency among the measured toxic concentrations indicates that measuring mercury toxicity in soil may be influenced by soil characteristics and ageing period of contamination. This review warrants more studies to obtain widely acceptable safe limit of soil mercury.

Mahbub, K.R., Krishnan, K., Andrews, S., Venter, H., Naidu, R. & Megharaj, M. 2017, 'Bio-augmentation and nutrient amendment decrease concentration of mercury in contaminated soil', Science of the Total Environment, vol. 576, pp. 303-309.
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© 2016 Elsevier B.V.Four mercury (Hg) contaminated soils with different pH (7.6, 8.5, 4.2 and 7.02) and total organic carbon contents (2.1, 2.2, 4 and 0.9%) were subjected to bioremediation utilizing a Hg volatilizing bacterial strain Sphingobium SA2 and nutrient amendment. In a field with ~ 280 mg/kg Hg, 60% of Hg was removed by bio-augmentation in 7 days, and the removal was improved when nutrients were added. Whereas in artificially spiked soils, with ~ 100 mg/kg Hg, removal due to bio-augmentation was 33 to 48% in 14 days. In the field contaminated soil, nutrient amendment alone without bio-augmentation removed 50% of Hg in 28 days. Nutrient amendment also had an impact on Hg remediation in the spiked soils, but the best results were obtained when the strain and nutrients both were applied. The development of longer root lengths from lettuce and cucumber seeds grown in the remediated soils confirmed that the soil quality improved after bioremediation. This study clearly demonstrates the potential of Hg-reducing bacteria in remediation of Hg-contaminated soils. However, it is desirable to trap the volatilized Hg for enhanced bioremediation.

Maitre, M., Kirkbride, K.P., Horder, M., Roux, C. & Beavis, A. 2017, 'Current perspectives in the interpretation of gunshot residues in forensic science: A review.', Forensic Sci Int, vol. 270, pp. 1-11.
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The traces produced when a firearm is discharged can provide important information in cases when questions regarding a possible association of the firearm with a person of interest (POI), time since discharge or shooting distance are raised. With advances in technology, the forensic challenges presented by these traces, known as gunshot residues (GSR), are moving from the analytical domain to the interpretation of the analytical results. Different interpretation frameworks are currently competing. Formal classification of particles, using standards such as that produced by ASTM, focusses only on evaluation of evidence at the sub-source level. Another approach, based on the application of Bayesian reasoning - namely the case-by-case approach - has been proposed that allows evaluation of evidence in regards to activity-related questions. This alternative approach allows an evaluation of the evidence that is more closely aligned to judicial and investigative aims. This paper critically presents the state of the art in regards to GSR interpretation in a holistic manner.

Marquez-Ortiz, R.A., Haggerty, L., Sim, E.M., Duarte, C., Castro-Cardozo, B.E., Beltran, M., Saavedra, S., Vanegas, N., Escobar-Perez, J. & Petty, N.K. 2017, 'First Complete Providencia rettgeri Genome Sequence, the NDM-1-Producing Clinical Strain RB151.', Genome Announc, vol. 5, no. 3.
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Providencia rettgeri is an opportunistic bacterial pathogen of clinical significance due to its association with urinary tract infections and multidrug resistance. Here, we report the first complete genome sequence of P. rettgeri The genome of strain RB151 consists of a 4.8-Mbp chromosome and a 108-kbp blaNDM-1-positive plasmid.

Mittra, R., Pavy, M., Subramanian, N., George, A.M., O'Mara, M.L., Kerr, I.D. & Callaghan, R. 2017, 'Location of contact residues in pharmacologically distinct drug binding sites on P-glycoprotein.', Biochem Pharmacol, vol. 123, pp. 19-28.
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The multidrug resistance P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is characterised by the ability to bind and/or transport an astonishing array of drugs. This poly-specificity is imparted by at least four pharmacologically distinct binding sites within the transmembrane domain. Whether or not these sites are spatially distinct has remained unclear. Biochemical and structural investigations have implicated a central cavity as the likely location for the binding sites. In the present investigation, a number of contact residues that are involved in drug binding were identified through biochemical assays using purified, reconstituted P-gp. Drugs were selected to represent each of the four pharmacologically distinct sites. Contact residues important in rhodamine123 binding were identified in the central cavity of P-gp. However, contact residues for the binding of vinblastine, paclitaxel and nicardipine were located at the lipid-protein interface rather than the central cavity. A key residue (F978) within the central cavity is believed to be involved in coupling drug binding to nucleotide hydrolysis. Data observed in this investigation suggest the presence of spatially distinct drug binding sites connecting through to a single translocation pore in the central cavity.

Murray, B.R., Martin, L.J., Phillips, M.L. & Pyšek, P. 2017, 'Taxonomic perils and pitfalls of dataset assembly in ecology: a case study of the naturalized Asteraceae in Australia', NeoBiota, vol. 34, pp. 1-20.
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The value of plant ecological datasets with hundreds or thousands of species is principally determined by the taxonomic accuracy of their plant names. However, combining existing lists of species to assemble a harmonized dataset that is clean of taxonomic errors can be a difficult task for non-taxonomists. Here, we describe the range of taxonomic difficulties likely to be encountered during dataset assembly and present an easy-to-use taxonomic cleaning protocol aimed at assisting researchers not familiar with the finer details of taxonomic cleaning. The protocol produces a final dataset (FD) linked to a companion dataset (CD), providing clear details of the path from existing lists to the FD taken by each cleaned taxon. Taxa are checked off against ten categories in the CD that succinctly summarize all taxonomic modifications required. Two older, publicly-available lists of naturalized Asteraceae in Australia were merged into a harmonized dataset as a case study to quantify the impacts of ignoring the critical process of taxonomic cleaning in invasion ecology. Our FD of naturalized Asteraceae contained 257 species and infra-species. Without implementation of the full cleaning protocol, the dataset would have contained 328 taxa, a 28% overestimate of taxon richness by 71 taxa. Our naturalized Asteraceae CD described the exclusion of 88 names due to nomenclatural issues (e.g. synonymy), the inclusion of 26 updated currently accepted names and four taxa newly naturalized since the production of the source datasets, and the exclusion of 13 taxa that were either found not to be in Australia or were in fact doubtfully naturalized. This study also supports the notion that automated processes alone will not be enough to ensure taxonomically clean datasets, and that manual scrutiny of data is essential. In the long term, this will best be supported by increased investment in taxonomy and botany in university curricula.

Najafpour, M.M., Heidari, S., Balaghi, S.E., Hołyńska, M., Sadr, M.H., Soltani, B., Khatamian, M., Larkum, A.W. & Allakhverdiev, S.I. 2017, 'Proposed mechanisms for water oxidation by Photosystem II and nanosized manganese oxides.', Biochim Biophys Acta, vol. 1858, no. 2, pp. 156-174.
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Plants, algae and cyanobacteria capture sunlight, extracting electrons from H2O to reduce CO2 into sugars while releasing O2 in the oxygenic photosynthetic process. Because of the important role of water oxidation in artificial photosynthesis and many solar fuel systems, understanding the structure and function of this unique biological catalyst forms a requisite research field. Herein the structure of the water-oxidizing complex and its ligand environment are described with reference to the 1.9Å resolution X-ray-derived crystallographic model of the water-oxidizing complex from the cyanobacterium Thermosynechococcus vulcanus. Proposed mechanisms for water oxidation by Photosystem II and nanosized manganese oxides are also reviewed and discussed in the paper.

Nguyen, L.T., Chen, H., Pollock, C.A. & Saad, S. 2017, 'Sirtuins-mediators of maternal obesity-induced complications in offspring?', FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 1383-1390.
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Obesity is a complex metabolic disease, attributed to diverse and interactive genetic and environmental factors. The associated health consequences of obesity are pleiotropic, with individuals being more susceptible to chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and lipotoxicity-related chronic diseases. The contribution of maternal obesity to the offspring's predisposition to both obesity and its complications is increasingly recognized. Understanding the mechanisms underlying these "transmissible" effects is critical to develop therapeutic interventions to reduce the risk for "programmed" obesity. Sirtuins (SIRTs), particularly SIRT1 and SIRT3, are NAD(+)-dependent deacetylases that regulate metabolic balance and stress responses in both central and peripheral tissues, of which dysregulation is a well-established mediator for the development and effects of obesity. Nevertheless, their implication in the transmissible effects of maternal obesity across generations remains largely elusive. In this review, we examine multiple pathways and systems that are likely to mediate such effects, with particular emphasis on the role of SIRTs.-Nguyen, L. T., Chen, H., Pollock, C. A., Saad, S. Sirtuins-mediators of maternal obesity-induced complications in offspring?

Pandey, A.K., Mishra, A.K., Kumar, R., Berwal, S., Devadas, R., Huete, A. & Kumar, K. 2017, 'CO variability and its association with household cooking fuels consumption over the Indo-Gangetic Plains.', Environ Pollut.
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This study examines the spatio-temporal trends obtained from decade long (Jan 2003-Dec 2014) satellite observational data of Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) and Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere (MOPITT) on carbon monoxide (CO) concentration over the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP) region. The time sequence plots of columnar CO levels over the western, central and eastern IGP regions reveal marked seasonal behaviour, with lowest CO levels occurring during the monsoon months and the highest CO levels occurring during the pre-monsoon period. A negative correlation between CO levels and rainfall is observed. CO vertical profiles show relatively high values in the upper troposphere at ∼200 hPa level during the monsoon months, thus suggesting the role of convective transport and advection in addition to washout behind the decreased CO levels during this period. MOPITT and AIRS observations show a decreasing trend of 9.6 × 10(15) and 1.5 × 10(16) molecules cm(-2) yr(-1), respectively, in columnar CO levels over the IGP region. The results show the existence of a spatial gradient in CO from the eastern (higher levels) to western IGP region (lower levels). Data from the Census of India on the number of households using various cooking fuels in the IGP region shows the prevalence of biomass-fuel (i.e. firewood, crop residue, cowdung etc.) use over the eastern and central IGP regions and that of liquefied petroleum gas over the western IGP region. CO emission estimates from cooking activity over the three IGP regions are found to be in the order east > central > west, which support the existence of the spatial gradient in CO from eastern to the western IGP region. Our results support the intervention of present Indian government on limiting the use of biomass-fuels in domestic cooking to achieve the benefits in terms of the better air quality, household health and regional/global climate change mitigation.

Pasin, D., Cawley, A., Bidny, S. & Fu, S. 2017, 'Characterisation of hallucinogenic phenethylamines using high-resolution mass spectrometry for non-targeted screening purposes.', Drug Test Anal.
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Hallucinogenic phenethylamines such as 2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamines (2C-X) and their N-(2-methoxybenzyl) derivatives (25X-NBOMe) has seen an increase in novel analogues in recent years. These rapidly changing analogues make it difficult for laboratories to rely on traditional targeted screening methods to detect unknown new psychoactive substances (NPS). In this study, twelve 2C-X, six 2,5-dimethoxyamphetamines (DOX) and fourteen 25X-NBOMe derivatives, including two deuterated derivatives (2C-B-d6 and 25I-NBOMe-d9 ), were analysed using ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-QTOF-MS). Collision-induced dissociation (CID) experiments were performed using collision energies set at 10, 20 and 40 eV. For 2C-X and DOX derivatives, common losses were observed including neutral and radical losses such as NH3 (17.0265 Da), CH6 N (32.0500 Da), C2 H7 N (45.0578 Da) and C2 H9 N (47.0735 Da). 2C-X derivatives displayed common product ions at m/z 164.0837 ([C10 H12 O2 ](+) ), 149.0603 ([C9 H9 O2 ](+) ) and 134.0732 ([C9 H10 O](+) ) while DOX derivatives had common product ions at m/z 178.0994 ([C11 H14 O2 ](+) ), 163.0754 ([C10 H11 O2 ](+) ), 147.0804 ([C10 H11 O](+) ) and 135.0810 ([C9 H11 O](+) ). 25X-NBOMe had characteristic product ions at m/z 121.0654 ([C8 H9 O](+) ) and 91.0548 ([C7 H7 ](+) ) with minor common losses corresponding to 2-methylanisole (C8 H10 O, 122.0732 Da), 2-methoxybenzylamine (C8 H11 NO, 137.0847 Da) and C9 H14 NO (152.1074 Da). Novel analogues of the selected classes can be detected by applying neutral loss filters (NLFs) and extracting the common product ions.

Peng, D., Zhang, B., Wu, C., Huete, A.R., Gonsamo, A., Lei, L., Ponce-Campos, G.E., Liu, X. & Wu, Y. 2017, 'Country-level net primary production distribution and response to drought and land cover change', Science of the Total Environment, vol. 574, pp. 65-77.
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© 2016 Elsevier B.V.Carbon sequestration by terrestrial ecosystems can offset emissions and thereby offers an alternative way of achieving the target of reducing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. Net primary production (NPP) is the first step in the sequestration of carbon by terrestrial ecosystems. This study quantifies moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) NPP from 2000 to 2014 at the country level along with its response to drought and land cover change. Our results indicate that the combined NPP for 53 countries represents > 90% of global NPP. From 2000 to 2014, 29 of these 53 countries had increasing NPP trends, most notably the Central African Republic (23 g C/m2/y). The top three and top 12 countries accounted for 30% and 60% of total global NPP, respectively, whereas the mean national NPP per unit area in the countries with the 12 lowest values was only around ~ 300 g C/m2/y - the exception to this was Brazil, which had an NPP of 850 g C/m2/y. Large areas of Russia, Argentina, Peru and several countries in southeast Asia showed a marked decrease in NPP (~ 15 g C/m2/y). About 37% of the NPP decrease was caused by drought while ~ 55% of NPP variability was attributed to changes in water availability. Land cover change explained about 20% of the NPP variability. Our findings support the idea that government policies should aim primarily to improve water management in drought-afflicted countries; land use/land cover change policy could also be used as an alternative method of increasing NPP.

Portbury, S.D., Hare, D.J., Sgambelloni, C.J., Bishop, D.P., Finkelstein, D.I., Doble, P.A. & Adlard, P.A. 2017, 'Age modulates the injury-induced metallomic profile in the brain', Metallomics.
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Rahman, M.A., Phillips, M.R. & Ton-That, C. 2017, 'Efficient multi-coloured Li-doped ZnO thin films fabricated by spray pyrolysis', JOURNAL OF ALLOYS AND COMPOUNDS, vol. 691, pp. 339-342.
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Reyna Zeballos, J.L. 2017, 'Ovarian Follicular Waves in Alpacas and Implications for Embryo Transfer Programs', Alpaca Culture Magazine, vol. 6, no. 1 (March).
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Alpaca female reproductive physiology, in comparison with other domestic species (cattle and sheep), is still considered to be under-researched and in its infancy. Nevertheless, there are commercial embryo transfer protocols available, but the ovarian response is characterised by being extremely variable and unpredictable. Embryo transfer in alpacas has not been critically and systematically studied. The reason behind is attributed to a lack funding and promotion of investigations in Peru and internationally. The aim of this article is to present a simple explanation on how ovarian follicular waves occur in alpacas. Understanding reproductive physiology is crucial for any reproductive program such as embryo transfer and artificial insemination.

Seo, D.H., Pineda, S., Fang, J., Gozukara, Y., Yick, S., Bendavid, A., Lam, S.K.H., Murdock, A.T., Murphy, A.B., Han, Z.J. & Ostrikov, K.K. 2017, 'Single-step ambient-air synthesis of graphene from renewable precursors as electrochemical genosensor.', Nat Commun, vol. 8, p. 14217.
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Thermal chemical vapour deposition techniques for graphene fabrication, while promising, are thus far limited by resource-consuming and energy-intensive principles. In particular, purified gases and extensive vacuum processing are necessary for creating a highly controlled environment, isolated from ambient air, to enable the growth of graphene films. Here we exploit the ambient-air environment to enable the growth of graphene films, without the need for compressed gases. A renewable natural precursor, soybean oil, is transformed into continuous graphene films, composed of single-to-few layers, in a single step. The enabling parameters for controlled synthesis and tailored properties of the graphene film are discussed, and a mechanism for the ambient-air growth is proposed. Furthermore, the functionality of the graphene is demonstrated through direct utilization as an electrode to realize an effective electrochemical genosensor. Our method is applicable to other types of renewable precursors and may open a new avenue for low-cost synthesis of graphene films.

Shi, H., Li, L., Eamus, D., Huete, A., Cleverly, J., Tian, X., Yu, Q., Wang, S., Montagnani, L., Magliulo, V., Rotenberg, E., Pavelka, M. & Carrara, A. 2017, 'Assessing the ability of MODIS EVI to estimate terrestrial ecosystem gross primary production of multiple land cover types', Ecological Indicators, vol. 72, pp. 153-164.
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tTerrestrial ecosystem gross primary production (GPP) is the largest component in the global carbon cycle.The enhanced vegetation index (EVI) has been proven to be strongly correlated with annual GPP withinseveral biomes. However, the annual GPP-EVI relationship and associated environmental regulationshave not yet been comprehensively investigated across biomes at the global scale. Here we exploredrelationships between annual integrated EVI (iEVI) and annual GPP observed at 155 flux sites, whereGPP was predicted with a log-log model: ln(GPP) = a × ln(iEVI) + b. iEVI was computed from MODISmonthly EVI products following removal of values affected by snow or cold temperature and withoutcalculating growing season duration. Through categorisation of flux sites into 12 land cover types, theability of iEVI to estimate GPP was considerably improved (R2from 0.62 to 0.74, RMSE from 454.7 to368.2 g C m−2yr−1). The biome-specific GPP-iEVI formulae generally showed a consistent performancein comparison to a global benchmarking dataset (R2= 0.79, RMSE = 387.8 g C m−2yr−1). Specifically, iEVIperformed better in cropland regions with high productivity but poorer in forests. The ability of iEVI inestimating GPP was better in deciduous biomes (except deciduous broadleaf forest) than in evergreendue to the large seasonal signal in iEVI in deciduous biomes. Likewise, GPP estimated from iEVI was ina closer agreement to global benchmarks at mid and high-latitudes, where deciduous biomes are morecommon and cloud cover has a smaller effect on remote sensing retrievals. Across biomes, a significant andnegative correlation (R2= 0.37, p < 0.05) was observed between the strength (R2) of GPP-iEVI relationshipsand mean annual maximum leaf area index (LAImax), and the relationship between the strength andmean annual precipitation followed a similar trend. LAImaxalso revealed a scaling effect on GPP-iEVIrelationships. Our results suggest that iEVI provides a very simple but robust approach to ...

Stayte, S., Rentsch, P., Tröscher, A.R., Bamberger, M., Li, K.M. & Vissel, B. 2017, 'Activin A Inhibits MPTP and LPS-Induced Increases in Inflammatory Cell Populations and Loss of Dopamine Neurons in the Mouse Midbrain In Vivo.', PLoS One, vol. 12, no. 1, p. e0167211.
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Parkinson's disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disease characterized by a significant loss of dopaminergic neurons within the substantia nigra pars compacta region and a subsequent loss of dopamine within the striatum. A promising avenue of research has been the administration of growth factors to promote the survival of remaining midbrain neurons, although the mechanism by which they provide neuroprotection is not understood. Activin A, a member of the transforming growth factor β superfamily, has been shown to be a potent anti-inflammatory following acute brain injury and has been demonstrated to play a role in the neuroprotection of midbrain neurons against MPP+-induced degeneration in vitro. We hypothesized that activin A may offer similar anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects in in vivo mouse models of Parkinson's disease. We found that activin A significantly attenuated the inflammatory response induced by both MPTP and intranigral administration of lipopolysaccharide in C57BL/6 mice. We found that administration of activin A promoted survival of dopaminergic and total neuron populations in the pars compacta region both 8 days and 8 weeks after MPTP-induced degeneration. Surprisingly, no corresponding protection of striatal dopamine levels was found. Furthermore, activin A failed to protect against loss of striatal dopamine transporter expression in the striatum, suggesting the neuroprotective action of activin A may be localized to the substantia nigra. Together, these results provide the first evidence that activin A exerts potent neuroprotection and anti-inflammatory effects in the MPTP and lipopolysaccharide mouse models of Parkinson's disease.

Su, D., McDonagh, A., Qiao, S.-.Z. & Wang, G. 2017, 'High-Capacity Aqueous Potassium-Ion Batteries for Large-Scale Energy Storage.', Adv Mater, vol. 29, no. 1.
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A potassium iron (II) hexacyanoferrate nanocube cathode material is reported, which operates with an aqueous electrolyte to deliver exceptionally high capacities (up to 120 mA h g(-1) ). The cathode material exhibits excellent structural integrity, leading to fast kinetics and highly reversible properties. All of the battery materials are safe, inexpensive, and provide superior high-rate, long-cycle-life electrochemical performance.

Taudte, R.V., Roux, C. & Beavis, A. 2017, 'Stability of smokeless powder compounds on collection devices.', Forensic Sci Int, vol. 270, pp. 55-60.
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The current trend towards the implementation of organic gunshot residue (OGSR) analysis into gunshot residue (GSR) investigation protocols typically involves the sequential analysis of inorganic and organic GSR. However, to allow for the consecutive analysis of inorganic and organic GSR, specimens will often be stored for different lengths of time which may result in compounds of interest degrading. In order to optimise storage conditions, it is important to consider compound degradation on collection devices during storage. This study investigated the degradation over time of compounds potentially present in smokeless powders and OGSR on two collection devices, alcohol swabs and GSR stubs. Over a period of 63 days, the highest degree of degradation was found in the first four days. Interestingly, energetic compounds were generally found to be more stable than smokeless powder additives such as stabilisers including diphenylamine and ethyl centralite, which might be problematic considering that these compounds are common targets for OGSR. The findings can provide valuable information to operational forensic laboratories to optimise their storage durations.

Teng, B., Ma, P., Yu, C., Zhang, X., Feng, Q., Wen, L., Li, C., Cheng, Z., Jin, D. & Lin, J. 2017, 'Upconversion nanoparticles loaded with eIF4E siRNA and platinum(IV) prodrug to sensitize platinum based chemotherapy for laryngeal cancer and bioimaging', Journal of Materials Chemistry B, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 307-317.
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© The Royal Society of Chemistry.Eukaryotic translation initiation factor (eIF) 4E is a valuable marker in cancer prognostics in many human cancers. Silencing eIF4E via delivery of siRNA may be able to overcome chemoresistance. Cisplatin, used as a first-line anti-cancer reagent, has been widely accepted for its great success in clinical applications but it is restricted due to severe side effects such as nephrotoxicity, peripheral neuropathy, and hearing loss. Moreover, platinum drug resistance is a major obstacle to its use. Platinum(iv) prodrugs (denoted as Pt(iv)) which could be reduced to Pt(ii) by various reductants, including mercaptan and glutathione, within cancer cells have very limited toxicity and might overcome platinum resistance because of their chemical inertness. Moreover, combinational therapies that could sensitize the cancer cells to Pt drugs have received great attention nowadays around the world. Here we report a simple and effective upconversion nanoparticle carrier system loaded with both eIF4E siRNA and Pt(iv). We find that this theranostic system could sensitize laryngeal cancer cells to cisplatin based chemotherapy and allow bioimaging both in vitro and in vivo.

Teng, Z., Lv, H., Wang, C., Xue, H., Pang, H. & Wang, G. 2017, 'Bandgap engineering of ultrathin graphene-like carbon nitride nanosheets with controllable oxygenous functionalization', Carbon, vol. 113, pp. 63-75.
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© 2016 Elsevier LtdSeeking effective approaches of bandgap engineering with increased carrier lifetime is critical for designing semiconductor photoelectronic devices and photocatalysis systems. Ultrathin graphene-like carbon nitride nanosheets have shown promising prospect in photocatalysis, whereas no preparation strategy for adjusting their bandgap in a wide range has ever been reported. Here in, high yield-rate synthesis of ultrathin two-dimensional carbon nitride nanosheets with controllable oxygenous functionalization (the relative mass ratio of oxygen ranges from 0.523% to 19.9%) was firstly achieved by an improved hummer's method combining concentrated sulfuric acid protonation and potassium permanganate assisted exfoliation, and reduction employing hydrazine hydrate. Protonation and intercalation behavior of different acids in the treatment of bulk-g-C3N4 was elaborated at molecule level for the first time. Introduced oxygenous groups are firstly found to have the capability for adjusting the bandgap of graphene-like carbon nitride nanosheets from 2.54 eV to 3.07 eV and significantly increased the lifetime of the photo carriers. Our strategy may open a new vista for design and construction of various carbon nitride nanocomposites and give detailed instructions in bandgap engineering of other two-dimensional functional materials for wider applications.

Wallach, A., Ramp, D. & O'Neill, A.J. 2017, 'Cattle mortality on a predator-friendly station in central Australia', Journal of Mammology, vol. 98, no. 1, pp. 45-52.
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Large predators are declining worldwide primarily due to hunting and persecution by humans, driven in large part by the livestock industry. Some ranchers are transitioning to “predator-friendly” farming by adopting nonlethal predator deterrents. On very large rangeland properties, such as the vast stations of the Australian arid zone, ending lethal control may in itself reduce livestock losses by enabling the predator’s social structure to stabilize. The dingo (Canis dingo), Australia’s apex predator, is commonly subjected to eradication campaigns to protect livestock. We analyzed causes of cattle (Bos taurus) deaths on Evelyn Downs, a 2,300-km2 predator-friendly station in central Australia, for 2 years after dingo protection was established. Husbandry-related challenges, associated with deteriorating environmental conditions, were the leading causes of deaths of cattle. Predation by dingoes was minor and declined as the indices of dingo abundance stabilized and social stability increased. Shifting from killing predators to improving husbandry standards is likely to improve livestock survival and welfare.

Wang, J., Wang, M., Guan, J., Wang, C. & Wang, G. 2017, 'Construction of a non-enzymatic sensor based on the poly(o-phenylenediamine)/Ag-NPs composites for detecting glucose in blood.', Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl, vol. 71, pp. 844-851.
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A non-enzymatic glucose sensor, based on the silver nanoparticles (Ag-NPs)/poly (o-phenylenediamine) (PoPD) composites, is developed by the electrochemical polymerization of o-phenylenediamine and electrodeposition of silver nanoparticles on an indium tin oxide electrode. The Ag-NPs/PoPD composites are characterized by atomic force microscopy, scanning electronic microscopy and energy dispersive spectrometer. Under the optimized experimental conditions, the proposed glucose sensor demonstrates a wide linear range from 0.15 to 13mmolL(-1) with a correlation coefficient of 0.998. The proposed glucose sensor can be used to detect glucose in blood sample with a satisfactory result. In addition, the proposed sensor presents the advantages, such as facile preparation, low cost, high sensitivity and fast response time. It also exhibits good anti-interference performance and stability.

Wangpraseurt, D., Holm, J.B., Larkum, A.W.D., Pernice, M., Ralph, P.J., Suggett, D.J. & Kühl, M. 2017, 'In vivo Microscale Measurements of Light and Photosynthesis during Coral Bleaching: Evidence for the Optical Feedback Loop?', Front Microbiol, vol. 8, p. 59.
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Climate change-related coral bleaching, i.e., the visible loss of zooxanthellae from the coral host, is increasing in frequency and extent and presents a major threat to coral reefs globally. Coral bleaching has been proposed to involve accelerating light stress of their microalgal endosymbionts via a positive feedback loop of photodamage, symbiont expulsion and excess in vivo light exposure. To test this hypothesis, we used light and O2 microsensors to characterize in vivo light exposure and photosynthesis of Symbiodinium during a thermal stress experiment. We created tissue areas with different densities of Symbiodinium cells in order to understand the optical properties and light microenvironment of corals during bleaching. Our results showed that in bleached Pocillopora damicornis corals, Symbiodinium light exposure was up to fivefold enhanced relative to healthy corals, and the relationship between symbiont loss and light enhancement was well-described by a power-law function. Cell-specific rates of Symbiodinium gross photosynthesis and light respiration were enhanced in bleached P. damicornis compared to healthy corals, while areal rates of net photosynthesis decreased. Symbiodinium light exposure in Favites sp. revealed the presence of low light microniches in bleached coral tissues, suggesting that light scattering in thick coral tissues can enable photoprotection of cryptic symbionts. Our study provides evidence for the acceleration of in vivo light exposure during coral bleaching but this optical feedback mechanism differs between coral hosts. Enhanced photosynthesis in relation to accelerating light exposure shows that coral microscale optics exerts a key role on coral photophysiology and the subsequent degree of radiative stress during coral bleaching.

Watson, D.M., Milner, K.V. & Leigh, A. 2017, 'Novel application of species richness estimators to predict the host range of parasites.', Int J Parasitol, vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 31-39.
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Host range is a critical life history trait of parasites, influencing prevalence, virulence and ultimately determining their distributional extent. Current approaches to measure host range are sensitive to sampling effort, the number of known hosts increasing with more records. Here, we develop a novel application of results-based stopping rules to determine how many hosts should be sampled to yield stable estimates of the number of primary hosts within regions, then use species richness estimation to predict host ranges of parasites across their distributional ranges. We selected three mistletoe species (hemiparasitic plants in the Loranthaceae) to evaluate our approach: a strict host specialist (Amyema lucasii, dependent on a single host species), an intermediate species (Amyema quandang, dependent on hosts in one genus) and a generalist (Lysiana exocarpi, dependent on many genera across multiple families), comparing results from geographically-stratified surveys against known host lists derived from herbarium specimens. The results-based stopping rule (stop sampling bioregion once observed host richness exceeds 80% of the host richness predicted using the Abundance-based Coverage Estimator) worked well for most bioregions studied, being satisfied after three to six sampling plots (each representing 25 host trees) but was unreliable in those bioregions with high host richness or high proportions of rare hosts. Although generating stable predictions of host range with minimal variation among six estimators trialled, distribution-wide estimates fell well short of the number of hosts known from herbarium records. This mismatch, coupled with the discovery of nine previously unrecorded mistletoe-host combinations, further demonstrates the limited ecological relevance of simple host-parasite lists. By collecting estimates of host range of constrained completeness, our approach maximises sampling efficiency while generating comparable estimates of the number of primar...

Williams, S.G., Bhadbhade, M., Bishop, R. & Ung, A.T. 2017, 'An alkaloid-like 3-azabicyclo[3.3.1]non-3-ene library obtained from the bridged Ritter reaction', Tetrahedron, pp. 116-128.
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Yu, B., Min, H., Wu, H., Wang, S., Ding, Y. & Wang, G. 2017, 'Production of MoS2/CoSe2 hybrids and their performance as oxygen reduction reaction catalysts', Journal of Materials Science, vol. 52, pp. 3188-3198.
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© 2016 Springer Science+Business Media New YorkA series of MoS2/CoSe2 hybrids with different weight ratios of MoS2 and CoSe2 were prepared by two different hydrothermal methods. The synthesized MoS2/CoSe2 hybrids were characterized by X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. The electrochemical activity and durability of MoS2/CoSe2 hybrids towards oxygen reduction reaction were studied in 0.5 M H2SO4 using rotating disk electrode. The results showed that all of them demonstrated catalytic activity towards oxygen reduction reaction. Furthermore, loading 30% MoS2 on CoSe2 by the first method (CoSe2-30a) displayed the best electrocatalytic activity. The onset potential (0.741 V vs. RHE) and half-wave potential (0.570 V vs. RHE) were higher than those of loading 20% MoS2 on CoSe2 by the second method (CoSe2-20b, 0.737 and 0.565 V vs. RHE), CoSe2 (0.708 and 0.560 V vs. RHE), and MoS2 (0.698 and 0.429 V vs. RHE). Most important, CoSe2-30a showed superior stability and better methanol tolerance than CoSe2-20b, CoSe2, and MoS2.

Zhang, J., Sun, B., McDonagh, A.M., Zhao, Y., Kretschmer, K., Guo, X. & Wang, G. 2017, 'A multi-functional gel co-polymer bridging liquid electrolyte and solid cathode nanoparticles: An efficient route to Li–O2 batteries with improved performance', Energy Storage Materials, vol. 7, pp. 1-7.
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© 2016Lithium-oxygen (Li–O2) batteries have the highest theoretical energy density amongst all rechargeable batteries and have attracted significant attention. However, large over-potentials originating from sluggish reaction kinetics often lead to low round-trip energy efficiency and short cycle life. We report here a novel multi-functional gel co-polymer that efficiently enhances the discharge and charge performances in Li–O2 batteries by intimately connecting the liquid electrolyte and solid cathode nanoparticles. On one hand, the co-polymer material, poly(2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidinyloxy-4-yl methacrylate-co-methyl methacrylate) (P(TMA-MMA)), functions as a binder during the fabrication of the cathode and forms a gel polymer membrane to retain liquid electrolyte and to increase ionic conductivity. On the other hand, the TMA units, containing N–O radical groups that catalyse Li2O2 formation and decomposition during charge and discharge cycles, are distributed throughout the polymer membrane. This allows more effective formation and decomposition of Li2O2 than surface bound catalytic units. The combination of gelable MMA and catalytic TMA moieties enhances the interface between liquid electrolyte and solid cathode by functioning as a medium both to transport Li+ (enhancing discharge process) and to carry electrons (reducing charge over-potential). Consequently, the optimized P(TMA-MMA) co-polymers provide exceptional electrochemical performance in Li–O2 batteries.

Zheng, M., Reimers, J.R., Waller, M.P. & Afonine, P.V. 2017, 'Q', Acta Crystallographica Section D: Structural Biology, vol. 73, no. 1, pp. 45-52.
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© International Union of Crystallography, 2017.Quantum-based refinement utilizes chemical restraints derived from quantum-chemical methods instead of the standard parameterized library-based restraints used in refinement packages. The motivation is twofold: firstly, the restraints have the potential to be more accurate, and secondly, the restraints can be more easily applied to new molecules such as drugs or novel cofactors. Here, a new project called Q|R aimed at developing quantum-based refinement of biomacromolecules is under active development by researchers at Shanghai University together with PHENIX developers. The central focus of this long-term project is to develop software that is built on top of open-source components. A development version of Q|R was used to compare quantum-based refinements with standard refinement using a small model system.Quantum-based refinement software is being developed to refine biomacromolecules against crystallographic or cryo-electron microscopy data.

Conferences

Reyna Zeballos, J.L. 2017, 'Student’s Experience in Online Intensive Mode (IM) Units at The Faculty of Business and Economics.', https://iated.org/inted/, The 11th annual International Technology, Education and Development Conference, INTED2017,, INTED 2017, Valencia (Spain).
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The Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) at Macquarie University conducted a pilot to explore online Intensive Mode (IM) as a delivery option. A project team was assembled to carry out the pilot. The aims were to support academics to introduce pedagogical innovation, address internationalisation, and create new opportunities for students that cannot enrol in full session units due to competing schedules. Additionally, IM units would give students a chance to fast-track their degree and increase flexibility. This paper is a discussion of students’ experience undertaking online IM units that will inform on good learning designs.

Reyna Zeballos, J.L. 2017, 'Surfing the Waves of Self-Regulated Learning to Evaluate Flipped Classrooms (FC)', The 11th annual International Technology, Education and Development Conference, INTED2017, INTED, Valencia (Spain).
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Flipped classrooms (FC) are becoming a standard instructional strategy in higher education in the last five years. Although the research in the field is increasing, it is still considered in its infancy and with the lack of pedagogical integrity. Most of the studies up to date do not count on solid theoretical foundations and assumed students would buy-in this way of instruction. There are limited frameworks available to guide FC implementations, and most of them consider three stages: before, during and after the classroom. A research gap has been identified; there is not any model available to evaluate learning in FC. This paper offers an evidence-based framework to measure self-regulation learning during FC. The model links goal setting, environmental structuring and time management before the classroom. During the classroom, task strategies and help-seeking and self-evaluation and self-consequences after the classroom. The aim is to gain an in-depth understanding on how students self-regulate their learning in FC interventions. Implications for the implementation of FC are considered.

Reyna Zeballos, J.L. 2017, 'The Nightmare is Over: A Simple Guide to Design Effective Subject Outlines', The EdMedia World Conference on Educational Media and Technology, EdMedia, Washington, DC, USA.
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Higher education institutions worldwide are continuously implementing evidence-based educational approaches and quality control of subjects, courses, and programs. In this regard, a subject outline is a learning design document and an agreement between academics and students. It needs to address the subject structure, what are the requirements, assessment tasks, expectations and so on. A useful subject outline requires sound pedagogical and instructional approaches and to be clearly written, succinct, and conversational when possible. If information is missing or is not easily accessible, it will cause student confusion, unnecessary email traffic and potentially, loss of interest in the subject. Anecdotal reports indicate that students do not engage in the reading subject outlines and their attitude towards the usefulness of this document is not well-known in the literature. This paper covers five sections commonly used in subject outlines in Australian universities. Each of them presents evidence-based practices to help the design process considering educational taxonomies, constructive alignment, principles of active learning, authentic assessments and levels of feedback for learners. The aim of this paper is to guide early career academics new to teaching in higher education but also traditional academics moving towards a blended learning approach.

Reyna Zeballos, J.L., horgan, F., ramp, D. & meier, P. 2017, 'Using Learner-Generated Digital Media (LGDM) as an Assessment Tool in Geological Sciences.', The 11th annual International Technology, Education and Development Conference, INTED2017, INTED 2017, Valencia (Spain).
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This study explores learner-generated digital media (LGDM) as an assessment tool in Geological Sciences. The aim was to engage students with the geology subject further and to develop their digital media literacies. For this purpose, a cohort of 97 students from the undergraduate Geological Processes subject (Autumn 2016) at the University of Technology Sydney, were randomly allocated to groups of 2-5 students. The students were asked to produce a five-minute digital media presentation on a chosen study topic. A lecture and workshop on digital media principles were delivered to prepare the students for the task early in the semester. Support and feedback were provided across the entire semester by the lecturer and digital media tutor through computer practicals and preparatory assignments. Group contribution was monitored using the SPARKPlus application. An online questionnaire was used at the end of the semester to gauge students’ attitude towards LGDM. The survey assessed demographics, digital media support, attitudes toward the assignment, and the contribution of LGDM to skills development. Methodological triangulation was used with data sets from the questionnaire, group work and marks obtained. Our preliminary results indicate that students had a positive attitude towards LGDM as an assessment tool and that the assessment provided a novel opportunity for students to apply attributes such as ‘creativity’ to their learning experience of geology. Implications for teaching and learning are discussed.

Wilkinson, S.J., Stoller, P., Ralph, P., Hamdorf, B., Navarro Catana, L. & Santana Kuzava, G. 2016, 'Exploring the feasibility of algae building technology in NSW', SBE16 International High Performance Built Environments Conference, Sydney NSW.
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For some time, Biochemists have been exploring the potential to produce biofuels as an alternative to fossil fuel energy. Biofuels can be derived from crops such as corn, soybean and sugarcane however these crops can contribute to water scarcity and deforestation. Furthermore, large areas of land are used that could otherwise be used for food production. Another possibility is to use microalgae, which does not have the disadvantages associated with crop-based biofuels. Depending on conditions, microalgae can produce bio compounds that are converted into biofuels. The built environment is responsible for around 40 to 50% of total greenhouse gas emissions through fossil fuel consumption. Not only is it necessary to design and to retrofit our built environment to be more energy efficient, but it is also necessary to consider alternative fuel sources. To date, this has mostly focused on solar, wind and geothermal sources, however one residential building in Hamburg Germany has adopted algae building technology in the form of façade panels which act as a source of energy for heating the apartments and for hot water. The climate in northern Germany is very different to Australia, and the question arises; what is the feasibility to adopt algae building technology in New South Wales? There are issues around the physical and technical aspects of the technology, the social and environmental aspects, the regulatory and planning aspects, as well as the economic considerations. This paper reports on a study with key stakeholders in New South Wales to explore barriers and drivers associated with the adoption of algae building technology.

Other

Reyna Zeballos, J.L., meier, P., hanham, J., Vlachopoulos, P. & rodgers, K. 2017, 'Learner-Generated Digital Media (LGDM) Framework'.
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Learner-Generated Digital Media (LGDM) has been incorporated as a tool to assess students in K-12 and higher education in the last decade. There are frameworks developed for video making in the classroom that considers technical know-how and a model that incorporate pedagogies. However, there is the absence of a practical framework to inform academics and students on the implementation of digital presentations as an assessment tool in the curricula. The aim of this poster is to propose a model for how to design, implement and evaluate LGDM as assessment tools in tertiary education. This evidence-based framework considers the following elements: (1) pedagogy; (2) student training; (3) hosting of videos; (4) marking schemes; (5) group contribution; (6) feedback; (7) reflection, and; (8) evaluation. The model serves as a conduit between theory and good practice.