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The mesoporous rhodium nanoparticles, produced using a soft template and simple solution chemistry, were thermally stable up to 400°C and three to four time more effective than normal catalytic converters. Mesoporous nanoparticles are used as catalytic converters to reduce the pollution from vehicle exhaust by converting toxic gases and pollutants to less toxic pollutants. The research has the potential to significantly reduce the amount of pollution caused by cars and trucks. The study, led by Bo Jiang and Prof Yusuke Yamauchi of the National Institute of Materials Science and Waseda University in Tokyo and the University Wollongong, was published today in Nature Communications. Professor Yamauchi said the porous rhodium nanoparticles could make a dramatic improvement to air pollution in cities around the world. Small angle neutron scattering (SANS) was performed on the Quokka instrument at the Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering by Dr Katy Wood and Dr Md Shahriar Hossain, Senior Research Fellow from the University of Wollongong, to characterise the micelles in solution at two stages of the five step process. Researchers from Waseda University in Japan, Bilkent University in Turkey, and Bangabandhu Sheik Mujibur Rahaman Agricultural University in Bangladesh also contributed to the study. Growing metals inside hard templates, such as mesoporous silica, had previously been achieved but there have been few reports of the synthesis of mesoporous rhodium catalysts. The use of a soft template is considered a robust platform to prepare various types of metallic nanoparticles and nanostructured films with uniform mesoporous architecture, Because rhodium is characterised by stable, closely packed atoms, it is less reactive chemically under mild conditions. The investigators overcame this challenge by their selection of polymer precursor, reduction agent and mixing solvent. The polymer, poly(ethylene oxide)-b-poly(methylmethacrylate (PEO-b-PMMA) self- assembled into spherical micelles with the addition of water. The micelles act as a soft yet robust template for mesoporous nanostructures. When a solution of Na3RhCl6 was added, composite micelles were formed. After undergoing nucleation, they coalesced and grew into mesoporous rhodium nanostructures that could be extracted using a solvent. Because the micelles act a template for the formation of the nanoparticles, the investigators needed to fully characterise them in solution. "SANS was able to determine the size of the micelles, which was approximately 20 nanometres, and confirm that they were homogenous, well-shaped spheres," said Wood. "Because the polymer molecule is defining the pores, it opens up the possibility of changing pore size or other modification to tune the final product," said Wood. Quokka measurements also indicated that the micelles did not change shape after the addition of the metal precursor, which was an important consideration. Transmission electron microscopy was also used for a visual characterisation of the micelles. Low angle X-ray diffraction provided detailed information about the pores; confirmed the openings were uniform in size and closely packed and suggested the particles were purely metallic. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirmed the electron state of the rhodium surface. The investigators also gained insight into the atomic mechanism that contributed to the formation of the mesoporous structure. Ultraviolet-vis absorption spectroscopy suggested the dissolved metal ions coordinate to the micelle surface and drove the nucleation of the rhodium precursor. The study found the nanoparticles retained their shape and structure in temperatures up to 400°C and would perform well as catalyst for the removal of nitrogen oxide from lean burn exhaust containing high concentrations of O2.

ELANORA-GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA, November 22, 2016-- Professor Dr. Henry O Meissner (also known in earlier years of his career under full name Ostrowski-Meissner) has been included in Marquis Who's Who. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.Professor Dr. Meissner is a three-time graduate of the Agricultural University of Kraków, from which he holds a Ph.D. in nutritional biochemistry, a Master of Science in environmental physiology, and a Bachelor of Science in agricultural sciences. For more than five decades, he has utilized his educational foundation in his career as a nutritional biochemist and educator. Professor Dr. Meissner has devoted his work to the prevention and intervention of metabolic and medical conditions through standardized bioavailable herbal therapeutic products, non-invasive therapies and functional health foods, with special consideration to environmental and ecological factors. He is noted for his research in all aspects of nutritional biochemistry and manufacturing technology of herbal extracts, as well as herbal extraction technology and application of standardized herbal extracts in dietary and therapeutic practice. His work has led to the development of production lines and a variety of unique proprietary therapeutic and functional products for different companies in Australia and internationally.Since 1986, Professor Dr. Meissner has served as the executive director of research and development for TTD International. The company, which is primarily concerned with natural health services and food technology, supports his efforts to create preventive and therapeutic programs for specific groups of people, such as diabetics, athletes, the overweight, those with celiac disease and women with pre- & post-menopausal symptoms. Professor Dr. Meissner has developed and introduced to the international market a variety of novel functional foods, therapeutic preparations, raw standardized active herbal ingredients, and ready-to-use dietary supplements and therapeutics derived through non-chemical extraction of freshly-harvested biomass of organically-cultivated medicinal plants.Passionate about environmental pollution caused by plastic waste, Professor Dr. Meissner spent about 10 years on applied research related to biodegradable polymers used as packaging material, including potable water, various liquids, and dried and fresh food. He also involved himself in the study and introduction of electro-chemically activated, non-toxic water sanitizer for use in public and commercial facilities as a non-toxic disinfectant for processing equipment, as well as a preservative for fresh foods and non-chemical sanitizer for pure and contaminant-free communal water supply. Further achievements include designing an environmentally friendly, solar-powered bio-sanitation system for the delivery of potable water through purification using non-chemical disinfecting sanitation of contaminated water sources. The water is delivered in various biodegradable flexible plastic packaging forms to communities in need of pure water and medical intervention in locations worldwide. Additionally, as an extension to his work in therapeutic research, Professor Dr. Meissner has designed and introduced to the market therapeutic devices for personal use, such as a hand-held multi-channel personal pulse magnetic device and personal dual photo-spectral device for dermal regeneration.Professor Dr. Meissner has parlayed his knowledge into a number of research and teaching positions over the years, including at Sydney University, CSIRO-Australia, Nagoya University in Japan, Hubei Agricultural College in China, the Chinese Academy of Science (both Agricultural and then Medical Sciences), Charles Sturt University in Bathurst, NSW, Australia and Research Institute of Medicinal Plants in Poland. He has also held leadership, international research coordinator and consultant roles with a multitude of organizations and institutions nationwide. Professor Dr. Meissner has authored 23 books and contributed more than 300 articles to professional journals. His many accomplishments were taken into consideration when he was chosen to be featured in the 2nd through 8th editions of Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare, as well as several editions of Who's Who in the World and Who's Who in Science and Engineering.About Marquis Who's Who :Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the First Edition of Who's Who in America , Marquis Who's Who has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Today, Who's Who in America remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. Marquis now publishes many Who's Who titles, including Who's Who in America , Who's Who in the World , Who's Who in American Law , Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare , Who's Who in Science and Engineering , and Who's Who in Asia . Marquis publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who's Who website at

News Article | November 29, 2016

MANHATTAN, KANSAS -- The American Association for the Advancement of Science is honoring Vara Prasad, Kansas State University distinguished professor of agronomy, as one of its 2016 fellows. Prasad is among 391 fellows chosen this year and was selected for his distinguished contributions to the field of abiotic stress physiology, particularly for understanding responses of food grain crops to high temperature stress. "I am very pleased and humbled by this recognition," Prasad said. "I am thankful to all my students and scholars who contributed to innovative research; my colleagues, staff and administrators at Kansas State University for their continuous support; my mentors for their guidance; and my family members for their constant encouragement." The American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS, is the world's largest scientific society. The association's fellowship program recognizes individuals whose efforts toward advancing science applications are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished. Prasad's selection follows a vote by peers in the association. This year's fellows were formally announced in the AAAS News and Notes section of the journal Science on Nov. 25. Prasad will be recognized at a certificate and pinning ceremony at the association's annual meeting Feb. 18, 2017, in Boston. Prasad joins 24 current and emeritus Kansas State University faculty members who are fellows of the association. "This is an important recognition by one of the leading professional scientific societies," said Peter Dorhout, the university's vice president of research. "Dr. Prasad had been involved in research here that will shed light on how the changing climate conditions affect our ability to grow crops, which impacts our largest industry in Kansas and the Midwest." Prasad is the director of the university's Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sustainable Intensification, which is funded by the United States Agency for International Development. Prasad's research focuses on understanding responses of food grain crops to climate change factors and developing crop, water and soil management strategies for efficient use of inputs and to improve crop yields. He has quantified the influence of high temperature stress on various physiological and yield processes of several grain crops, improved our understanding of physiological and biochemical mechanisms associated with high temperature tolerance, and screened germplasm collection and identified genotypes tolerant to high temperature stress in various food grain crops. He has active research and capacity building programs in several countries in Asia and Africa that are focused on providing food and nutritional security to smallholder farmers. A Kansas State University faculty member since 2005, Prasad has received $62 million in grant funding to support research, education and extension activities from local, national and international agencies. He has published more than 150 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and his research has been cited 5,130 times. He has mentored and trained more than 100 research scholars and graduate students. He has received several noteworthy awards for his research, teaching and service activities, including International Educator of the Year, the Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award, the Commerce Bank and W.T. Kemper Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award, and the Dr. Ron and Rae Iman Outstanding Faculty Award from Kansas State University, as well as the Early Career and Outstanding Research Award from Gamma Sigma Delta. He is a fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society of America. Prasad earned his bachelor's degree in 1991 and his master's degree in 1993 from Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University in India. He earned his doctorate from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom in 1999.

News Article | April 19, 2016

The target is the fearsome fungal disease wheat blast. The pathogen was spotted in Bangladesh in February this year—its first report in Asia. Wheat is the second major food source in Bangladesh, after rice. The blast disease has, so far, caused up to 90% yield losses in more than 15,000 hectares. Scientists fear that the pathogen could spread further to other wheat growing areas in South Asia. The UK and Bangladeshi teams are making raw genetic data for the wheat blast pathogen available on a new website——and inviting others to do the same. Professor Sophien Kamoun, of The Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, who is leading the project, said that a wide cultural change is needed for scientists to optimally address new threats to food security. "I have a beef with the way that research is typically done. We need a fundamentally new approach to sharing genetic data for emerging plant diseases," he said. "We need to generate and make data public more rapidly and seek input from a larger crowd because, collectively, we are better able to answer questions." Professor Kamoun, with colleagues at The Genome Analysis Centre and John Innes Centre in Norwich, and with Professor Tofazzal Islam's Team of Bangabndhu Sheikh Mujubur Rahman Agricultural University (BSMRAU) in Bangladesh, is hoping that the website, together with an accompanying Facebook page, will provide a hub for information, collaboration and comment. They are basing the site on their successful Open Ash Dieback website, which brought scientists together in the fight against ash dieback disease. The blast fungus normally infects rice and over 50 types of grasses. Occasionally, a blast fungus strain would jump from one host to another resulting in a new disease. Such a "host jump" to wheat has happened in Brazil in the 1980s. The wheat blast pathogen is now rife in South America, where it infects up to 3 million hectares and causes serious crop losses. Prof Kamoun and colleagues are working with Professor Tofazzal Islam's team, of the Department of Biotechnology of BSMRAU in Gazipur, Bangladesh. They hope that the genetic data will help determine whether the Bangladeshi wheat-infecting strain has evolved independently from local grass-infecting fungi or was somehow introduced into the country. Professor Tofazzal Islam said "This pathogen causes a destructive disease on rice and it would be disastrous if the same situation arises now in wheat. Genomic and post-genomic research should clarify the origin of the wheat strain and guide measures for disease management. Prompt responses are needed from the scientific community and the government of Bangladesh for addressing this national crisis to ensure increasing wheat production, which is linked with future food and nutritional security of the nation." The group of scientists includes Dr Diane Saunders at The Genome Analysis Centre and John Innes Centre who developed a technique last year, known as Field Pathogenomics. To date, Field Pathogenomics has been applied to track another fungal crop disease - yellow rust. The method generates highly-specific genetic information directly from diseased wheat samples to determine the identity of the pathogen strain that's associated with an epidemic. Application of this method to wheat blast should unmask the pathogen in Bangladesh and contribute to a response plan. The recent wheat blast epidemic in Bangladesh has prompted Professor Nick Talbot, University of Exeter, to post on the website a set of genetic data generated by his group from worldwide populations of the wheat and rice blast fungus. Prof Talbot said "In an emergency like this one, the community must come together to share data and compare notes. Only then, we will determine the true identity of the pathogen and put in place effective measures in a timely fashion." Professor Neil Hall, Director of The Genome Analysis Centre said: "It is critical in emerging crises like this that scientific data is rapidly generated and made available as soon as possible. Having an open-access site has already galvanized open exchange of information for the ash dieback disease. The scientific community needs to rally behind open science to respond to recurrent threats to global food security." Explore further: Rice blast research reveals details on how a fungus invades plants

Blair M.W.,National University of Colombia | Blair M.W.,Cornell University | Hurtado N.,National University of Colombia | Sharma P.,Agricultural University
Molecular Ecology Resources | Year: 2012

Common bean is an important and diverse crop legume with several wild relatives that are all part of the Phaseoleae tribe of tropical crop legumes. Sequence databases have been a good source of sequences to mine for simple sequence repeats (SSRs). The objective of this research was to evaluate 14 sequence collections from common bean for SSRs and to evaluate the diversity of the polymorphic microsatellites derived from these collections. SSRs were found in 10 of the GenBank sequence collections with an average of 11.3% of sequences containing microsatellite motifs. The most common motifs were based on tri- and dinucleotides. In a marker development programme, primers were designed for 125 microsatellites which were tested on a panel of 18 common bean genotypes. The markers were named as part of the bean microsatellite-database (BMd) series, and the average polymorphism information content was 0.404 for polymorphic markers and predicted well the genepool structure of common beans and the status of the wild and cultivated accessions that were included in the study. Therefore, the BMd series of microsatellites is useful for multiple studies of genetic relatedness and as anchor markers in future mapping of wide crosses in the species. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

News Article | November 14, 2016

COPENHAGEN, 14-Nov-2016 — /EuropaWire/ — The Board of the University of Copenhagen has found the person to succeed Ralf Hemmingsen as leader of the university for the next five years. On 1 March 2017, the current Provost at the Technical University of Denmark, Henrik C. Wegener, will become Rector of the university. A total of 26 persons applied for the position. The University of Copenhagen’s new Rector knows about bacteria, infectious diseases – and about running a university. Henrik Wegener has a PhD in microbiology from the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, which merged with the University of Copenhagen in 2007. After his PhD degree he has, among other things, been Head of Research, Professor, Centre Director, Institute Director and, since 2011, Provost at the Technical University of Denmark in charge of research, research centres, collaboration agreements, international relations, etc. Henrik Wegener holds a Master of Public Administration and serves as one of the EU Commission’s top research advisers. “We’ve had a strong and broad field of applicants. The Board has chosen Henrik Wegener because he has both the professional and personal competences required, and because he has created excellent results throughout his career, both as a researcher and in leadership roles. Altogether, he has 18 years of leadership experience at all levels. He has been in charge of large-scale change processes, and is recognised for working through dialogue and involvement of the entire organisation, and for achieving the goals of the initiatives he launches. The University of Copenhagen will get a leader who has good knowledge of the university, but who also has an outsider’s new and refreshing view of the tasks ahead. And then he understands how a university can impact framework conditions for research as well as the importance of protecting the integrity of the university,” Nils Strandberg Pedersen says. Henrik Wegener is an internationally recognised researcher within food safety, antibiotic resistance and bacterial zoonoses, i.e. bacteria transferred from animals to humans. As a researcher he has been working with applied research at four sector research institutions: The Danish Veterinary Serum Institute, the Danish Zoonosis Centre, Denmark’s National Veterinary Institute and the Danish Institute for Food and Veterinary Research, all of which are now merged with the Technical University of Denmark. For a number of years he served as national expert to the World Health Organisation, WHO. As Provost at the Technical University of Denmark, he has had the overall responsibility for the university’s research activities.  In addition, he has extensive experience of collaboration with public and private sector players, nationally and internationally. “The University of Copenhagen is the most important university in Denmark. The university must continue to address society’s need for new knowledge and talented graduates. Quality of education and basic research at the highest international level should therefore still be top of the agenda. The university must be developed through a determined focus on high-level research, keen priorities, global recruitment of researchers as well as inspiring and demanding research-based teaching of an international standard. The same goes for the efforts to develop a professional and coherent administration in collaboration with staff and students. And then, of course, we will continue to focus on safeguarding the university’s external interests, and not least maintain our independence,” Henrik Wegener says.

Chaudhary H.K.,Agricultural University | Tayeng T.,Central Agricultural University | Kaila V.,Agricultural University | Rather S.A.,Agricultural University
Plant Breeding | Year: 2013

Wheat × Imperata cylindrica-mediated approach of doubled haploidy breeding requires hand emasculation followed by pollination with I. cylindrica pollen. The pace of this endeavour can be enhanced by utilizing asynchronous flowering of wheat spikes by direct pollination without emasculation followed by morphological marker-assisted screening of selfed and crossed seeds. The emasculated and un-emasculated spikes of 13 spring and six winter wheat genotypes and two triticale × wheat derivatives were pollinated with I. cylindrica pollen. The response of different genotypes for production of crossed and selfed seeds with direct pollination varied significantly within and between groups for spring and winter wheats, whereas triticale × wheat derivatives responded similarly to each other but significantly different from spring and winter wheats. Although, the proportion of pseudoseed formation was lower in case of direct pollination, yet in some genotypes, it was comparable to that of pollination after emasculation. Moreover, the response for haploid embryo induction frequency was similar in both the cases. The method of direct pollination can be utilized for easy and economical induction of haploids. © 2013 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

Tayeng T.,Central Agricultural University | Chaudhary H.K.,Agricultural University | Kishore N.,Agricultural University
Plant Breeding | Year: 2012

Colchicine doses ranging from 100 to 10 000ppm with and without 2, 4-D application were administered in vivo to the uppermost internodes of Imperata cylindrica-pollinated wheat plants at various intervals for assessing the potent concentration required for doubling of chromosomes. Although injection of single dose of colchicine concentration ranging from 2000 to 5000ppm at 48h after pollination yielded good response, 2000ppm was found to be the most effective and economically viable dose of colchicine for DH production. Very high doses have also responded to the doubling of the chromosomes, but the recovery of the embryos and regenerated plantlets was very poor. The doubling of the chromosomes was confirmed cytologically from the roots of the regenerated plantlets. The results of this study not only enhanced the production efficiency of DHs but also saved the time and energy required for the chromosome doubling in the haploid embryo-regenerated plantlets. These results bear far-reaching implications in the accelerated genetic upgradation of bread wheat and development of homozygous populations for mapping of targeted genes. © 2012 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

The study has been performed to analyze the content of nitrates V and III as well as lead and cadmium in Brassica vegetables, both fresh and after 5-month storage in a cool storeroom. The experimental material consisted of Chinese cabbage, red and white cabbage, savoy cabbage and Brussels sprouts. The content of nitrates in the plant material was determined with the spectrophotometric method based on Griess reaction, whereas concentrations of heavy metals were assayed with the AAS method after dry mineralization. The 5-month storage period was found to decrease (by ca 65±5%) the content of nitrates V in savoy cabbage and Brussels sprouts. In turn, a ca 2-fold increase in the concentration of these compounds was determined in Chinese cabbage, and a similar tendency was observed in white cabbage. Chinese cabbage turned out to be the richest in the analyzed, undesirable elements and compounds, e.g. after storage it was characterized by an exceeded permissible level of nitrates V (750 mg kg-1 f.w.) and by the biggest, ca 10-fold, increase in concentrations of lead and cadmium. Besides, storage was observed to cause a significant increase in the content of nitrates III in the analyzed vegetables, except red cabbage, in which their content was shown to decrease by about 40%. Concentrations of nitrates III and V, Pb2+ and Cd2+ in tissues of the cabbage plants should be monitored regularly in order to prevent their excessive accumulation in the food chain of man.

Sharma K.D.,Agricultural University | Nayyar H.,Agricultural University
BMC research notes | Year: 2014

BACKGROUND: Cold stress at reproductive phase in susceptible chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) leads to pollen sterility induced flower abortion. The tolerant genotypes, on the other hand, produce viable pollen and set seed under cold stress. Genomic information on pollen development in cold-tolerant chickpea under cold stress is currently unavailable.RESULTS: DDRT-PCR analysis was carried out to identify anther genes involved in cold tolerance in chickpea genotype ICC16349 (cold-tolerant). A total of 9205 EST bands were analyzed. Cold stress altered expression of 127 ESTs (90 up-regulated, 37 down-regulated) in anthers, more than two third (92) of which were novel with unknown protein identity and function. Remaining about one third (35) belonged to several functional categories such as pollen development, signal transduction, ion transport, transcription, carbohydrate metabolism, translation, energy and cell division. The categories with more number of transcripts were carbohydrate/triacylglycerol metabolism, signal transduction, pollen development and transport. All but two transcripts in these categories were up-regulated under cold stress. To identify time of regulation after stress and organ specificity, expression levels of 25 differentially regulated transcripts were also studied in anthers at six time points and in four organs (anthers, gynoecium, leaves and roots) at four time points.CONCLUSIONS: Limited number of genes were involved in regulating cold tolerance in chickpea anthers. Moreover, the cold tolerance was manifested by up-regulation of majority of the differentially expressed transcripts. The anthers appeared to employ dual cold tolerance mechanism based on their protection from cold by enhancing triacylglycerol and carbohydrate metabolism; and maintenance of normal pollen development by regulating pollen development genes. Functional characterization of about two third of the novel genes is needed to have precise understanding of the cold tolerance mechanisms in chickpea anthers.

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