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Shih Y.-F.,Chaoyang University of Technology | Cai J.-X.,Chaoyang University of Technology | Kuan C.-S.,Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute TARI | Hsieh C.-F.,Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology
Composites Part B: Engineering | Year: 2012

In this study, the plant and waste fibers (pineapple leaf fiber, banana fiber and recycled disposable chopstick fiber) with an average length from 2.3 to 3.9 mm were chemically modified by 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (A1100). Subsequently, these modified fibers (20 wt.%) and epoxy resin were mixed and cured to form novel fiber-reinforced green composites. The results showed that the decomposition temperatures of the chemically modified fiber-reinforced composites were obviously higher than those of untreated fiber-reinforced composites. In addition, the tensile strengths of the reinforced epoxy composites could be increased from 80% to 117% as compared to that of the pristine epoxy. Moreover, the modified pineapple leaf fiber-reinforced composites exhibited better thermal properties than did other reinforced samples. On the other hand, modified recycled disposable chopstick fiber-reinforced composites possessed pronounced mechanical properties. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Chen M.-H.,Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute TARI | Li W.-S.,Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute TARI | Lue Y.-S.,Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute TARI | Chu C.-L.,National Taiwan University | And 9 more authors.
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine | Year: 2013

This work represents the first evaluation of the effects of water extract of C. nuda (WE-CN), an edible mushroom, on murine bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) and the potential pathway through which the effects are mediated. Our experimental results show that WE-CN could induce phenotypic maturation of DCs, as shown by the increased expression of MHC and costimulatory molecules. In addition, it also induced the proinflammatory cytokines expression on DCs and enhanced both the proliferation and IFN-γ secretion of allogenic T cells. Therefore, since WE-CN did not induce maturation of DCs generated from mice with mutated TLR-4 or TLR-2, suggesting that TLR4 and TLR2 might function as membrane receptors for WE-CN. Moreover, the mechanism of action of WE-CN may be mediated by increased phosphorylation of ERK, p38, and JNK mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and increased NF-B p65 activity, which are important signaling molecules downstream of TLR-4 and TLR-2. Finally, coimmunization of mice with WE-CN and a HER-2/neu DNA vaccine induced a HER-2/neu-specific Th1 response that resulted in significant inhibition of HER-2/neu overexpressing mouse bladder tumor (MBT-2) growth. These data suggest that WE-CN induces DC maturation through TLR-4 and/or TLR-2 and that WE-CN can be used as an adjuvant in cancer vaccine immunotherapy. © 2013 Mei-Hsing Chen et al.

Romkens P.F.A.M.,Wageningen University | Brus D.J.,Wageningen University | Guo H.Y.,Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute TARI | Chu C.L.,Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute TARI | And 2 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2011

At present, soil quality standards used for agriculture do not consider the influence of pH and CEC on the uptake of pollutants by crops. A database with 750 selected paired samples of cadmium (Cd) in soil and paddy rice was used to calibrate soil to plant transfer models using the soil metal content, pH, and CEC or soil Cd and Zn extracted by 0.01M CaCl2 as explanatory variables. The models were validated against a set of 2300 data points not used in the calibration. These models were then used inversely to derive soil quality standards for Japonica and Indica rice cultivars based on the food quality standards for rice. To account for model uncertainty, strict soil quality standards were derived considering a maximum probability that rice exceeds the food quality standard equal to 10 or 5%. Model derived soil standards based on Aqua Regia ranged from less than 0.3mgkg-1 for Indica at pH 4.5 to more than 6mgkg-1 for Japonica-type cultivars in clay soils at pH 7. Based on the CaCl2 extract, standards ranged from 0.03mgkg-1 Cd for Indica cultivars to 0.1mgkg-1 Cd for Japonica cultivars. For both Japonica and Indica-type cultivars, the soil quality standards must be reduced by a factor of 2 to 3 to obtain the strict standards. The strong impact of pH and CEC on soil quality standards implies that it is essential to correct for soil type when deriving national or local standards. Validation on the remaining 2300 samples indicated that both types of models were able to accurately predict (>92%) whether rice grown on a specific soil will meet the food quality standard used in Taiwan. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

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