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Zhao F.-J.,Nanjing Agricultural University | Zhao F.-J.,Rothamsted Research | Moore K.L.,University of Oxford | Lombi E.,University of South Australia | And 2 more authors.
Trends in Plant Science | Year: 2014

To maintain cellular homeostasis, concentrations, chemical speciation, and localization of mineral nutrients and toxic trace elements need to be regulated. Imaging the cellular and subcellular localization of elements and measuring their in situ chemical speciation are challenging tasks that can be undertaken using synchrotron-based techniques, such as X-ray fluorescence and X-ray absorption spectrometry, and mass spectrometry-based techniques, such as secondary ion mass spectrometry and laser-ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. We review the advantages and limitations of these techniques, and discuss examples of their applications, which have revealed highly heterogeneous distribution patterns of elements in different cell types, often varying in chemical speciation. Combining these techniques with molecular genetic approaches can unravel functions of genes involved in element homeostasis. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Zhu Y.-G.,Chinese Institute of Urban Environment | Zhu Y.-G.,CAS Research Center for Eco Environmental Sciences | Yoshinaga M.,Florida International University | Zhao F.-J.,Nanjing Agricultural University | And 2 more authors.
Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences | Year: 2014

Arsenic is the most prevalent environmental toxic element and causes health problems throughout the world. The toxicity, mobility, and fate of arsenic in the environment are largely determined by its speciation, and arsenic speciation changes are driven, at least to some extent, by biological processes. In this article, biotransformation of arsenic is reviewed from the perspective of the formation of Earth and the evolution of life, and the connection between arsenic geochemistry and biology is described. The article provides a comprehensive overview of molecular mechanisms of arsenic redox and methylation cycles as well as other arsenic biotransformations. It also discusses the implications of arsenic biotransformation in environmental remediation and food safety, with particular emphasis on groundwater arsenic contamination and arsenic accumulation in rice. © 2014 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

Shen H.,Chinese Institute of Urban Environment
Environmental health : a global access science source | Year: 2014

Exposomics is the cutting-edge concept of screening the environmental risk factors for disease. In the novel "top-down" approach, we estimate the molecular exposome by measuring all body fluid analytes in a case-controlled study. However, to detect diverse pollutants, a sufficient sample size and multiple analytical methods are required. This may lead to dramatically increased costs and research workload. To help reduce complexity, we suggest a sample pooling strategy along with a scheme for combining both general unknown or multi-targeted screening with targeted analysis. The sample pooling method was tested using computer simulations. By comprehensively analysis of pooled samples, it is possible to identify environmental risk factors. Factors are initially screened in the pooled case and control population samples, then in the randomized grouped and pooled case and control subpopulation samples. In the sample grouping, five or more pools were suggested for groups having 30 individuals per pool. This study suggests that sample pooling is a useful strategy for exposomics research, which provides a hypothesis-free method for pollutant risk screening.

Huang Q.,Chinese Institute of Urban Environment
Environmental science and pollution research international | Year: 2011

The prevalence of bisphenol A (BPA) in the environment has attracted increasing attention because of the toxicity of this manmade pollutant. However, the toxicity related to cardiac development remains largely unknown. In the present paper, we investigated the cardiac toxicity of BPA using marine medaka (Oryzias melastigma) embryos. At 2 days postfertilization (dpf), the embryos were continuously exposed to a low concentration of BPA (200 μg/L) for the whole embryonic stage. Heart rate and sinus venosus (SV)-bulbus arteriosus (BA) distance were measured under microscopy. The mRNA expression levels of genes were quantified by SYBR real-time RT-PCR, and hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining was used to examine the histology of fish larvae hearts. Neither the heart rate nor the SV-BA distance of the embryos was affected by BPA exposure. However, the mRNA expression levels of Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase, BMP4, COX-1, FGF8, GATA4, and NKX2.5 were all downregulated at the critical developmental stages (6 and 10 dpf). Interestingly, the mRNA expression levels of COX-2 and LERP were significantly upregulated at 10 dpf. The mRNA expressions of inflammation-related genes (TNFα, IL1β, SOD, and CCL11) were all significantly upregulated after exposure. Moreover, we found that both the body length and the body width decreased in the larvae after embryonic exposure to BPA. The distributed foci of inflammation were observed in the juveniles after 2 weeks' depuration. Exposure to BPA at embryonic stages could alter the expression of heart development-related genes and inflammation-related genes of O. melastigma. The larvae hatched from exposed embryos showed the foci of inflammation in the heart ventricles and the decrease of the body length and width.

Huang J.,Chinese Institute of Urban Environment | Arthanareeswaran G.,National Institute of Technology Tiruchirappalli | Zhang K.,Chinese Institute of Urban Environment
Desalination | Year: 2012

Polyethersulfone (PES) based ultrafiltration membranes were fabricated via phase inversion by adding silver-loaded sodium zirconium phosphate nanoparticles (nanoAgZ) in PES casting solutions. The effect of nanoAgZ concentration on the membrane performance, i.e., morphology, hydrophilicity, thermal stability, permeation and antifouling properties was investigated. The results of thermal gravitational analysis (TGA) showed that the thermal stability of the hybrid membrane had been improved by the addition of nanoAgZ particles. Contact angle results indicated that the hydrophilicity of the modified membranes was enhanced. The contact angle of the membrane decreased from 71.5° to 52.6° with the increase of the nanoparticle content in the casting solution. Permeation experiment results showed that the modified PES membranes demonstrate better separation performance over the pure PES membrane. The pure water flux of PES membrane increased from 82.1L/m 2h to 100.6L/m 2h with the addition of the nanoparticles. Most importantly, the incorporation of the nanoAgZ particles enhanced the BSA fouling resistance and also the anti-biofouling performance of the membrane. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

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