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Zhang C.,University College for Sciences & Arts | Zheng C.,Queqing Environmental Protection Bureau | Zhou S.,University College for Sciences & Arts | Shen Y.,University College for Sciences & Arts | Zuo C.,University College for Sciences & Arts
Materials Research Bulletin | Year: 2017

Construction of high-efficiency electrochromic electrodes with large and fast optical modulation is important for development of advanced smart windows. In this work, we report highly porous metal oxide (Co3O4) nanowall arrays via solvothermal method. Noticeable porous structure and cross-linked network are realized in the interconnected Co3O4 nanowalls. Improved porosity and faster ion/electrons transportation are combined in this unique nanowall architecture. The electrochromic properties of Co3O4 nanowall arrays are characterized via optical-electrochemical measurements. Cyclic voltammetry and transmittance tests demonstrate that the interconnected Co3O4 nanowall arrays show larger (52% at 632 nm) and faster (0.8–0.9 s) modulation of yellow-brown light, and higher electrochemical reactivity and smaller polarization as compared to the common Co3O4 nanowall arrays (31% at 632 nm with 1.3–1.5 s). The enhanced optical modulation is owing to the porous cross-linked nanowall structure with more active sites and shorter diffusion paths for ions/electrons. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd

PubMed | University of Michigan, Beijing Normal University, University of Zürich, University College for Sciences & Arts and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2015

Iceberg calving from all Antarctic ice shelves has never been directly measured, despite playing a crucial role in ice sheet mass balance. Rapid changes to iceberg calving naturally arise from the sporadic detachment of large tabular bergs but can also be triggered by climate forcing. Here we provide a direct empirical estimate of mass loss due to iceberg calving and melting from Antarctic ice shelves. We find that between 2005 and 2011, the total mass loss due to iceberg calving of 755 24 gigatonnes per year (Gt/y) is only half the total loss due to basal melt of 1516 106 Gt/y. However, we observe widespread retreat of ice shelves that are currently thinning. Net mass loss due to iceberg calving for these ice shelves (302 27 Gt/y) is comparable in magnitude to net mass loss due to basal melt (312 14 Gt/y). Moreover, we find that iceberg calving from these decaying ice shelves is dominated by frequent calving events, which are distinct from the less frequent detachment of isolated tabular icebergs associated with ice shelves in neutral or positive mass balance regimes. Our results suggest that thinning associated with ocean-driven increased basal melt can trigger increased iceberg calving, implying that iceberg calving may play an overlooked role in the demise of shrinking ice shelves, and is more sensitive to ocean forcing than expected from steady state calving estimates.

Khan S.,University College for Sciences & Arts | Farooqui N.U.,University College for Sciences & Arts
International Journal of Phytomedicine | Year: 2014

Phytomedicines have been in use against various diseases since time immemorial. The primitive man used herbs as therapeutic agents and medicament, which they were able to procure easily. The nature has provided abundant plant wealth for all living creatures, which possess medicinal virtues. Despite considerable progress in the management of diabetes mellitus by synthetic drugs, the search for natural anti-diabetic plant products for controlling diabetes is going on. There are many antidiabetic plants known through the folklore but their introduction into the modern therapy system awaits the discovery of animal test system that closely parallels to the pathological course of diabetes in human beings. The present review article provides an outlook about the present scenario of the developments made in the field of herbal medicine research worldwide for diabetes. The latest approaches and the related challenges have also been discussed. Keywords: Phytomedicie, Diabetes, antidiabetic plants © 2014, Advanced Research Journals. All rights reserved.

PubMed | Anderson University, South Carolina, University of Houston and University College for Sciences & Arts
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The American journal on addictions | Year: 2015

To assess tobacco use among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals from the 2014 Houston Pride Parade and Festival in Houston, Texas (TX).Cross-sectional study using convenience sample of LGBT individuals (n=99) examining tobacco use, sexual orientation, and other socio-demographic factors through survey participation.Findings showed a high prevalence of tobacco and electronic cigarettes use. White LGBT individuals had greater odds of using any type of tobacco product.Despite a high smoking prevalence among the surveyed LGBT individuals, this study sample did not identify tobacco use as a health issue.Supports the need for further investigation on tobacco-related disparities among LGBT individuals in Houston, TX.

PubMed | University of Kentucky and University College for Sciences & Arts
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Experimental and clinical psychopharmacology | Year: 2015

Cigarette smoking among adolescents remains a significant public health concern. This problem is compounded in regions such as rural Appalachia where rates of smoking are consistently higher than national averages and access to treatments is limited. The current research evaluated a home-based contingency management program completed over the Internet with adolescent smokers recruited from rural Appalachia. Participants (N = 62) submitted 3 video recordings per day showing their breath carbon monoxide (CO) levels using a handheld CO monitor. Participants were assigned to either an active treatment condition (AT; n = 31) in which reductions in breath CO were reinforced or a control treatment condition (CT; n = 31) in which providing timely video recordings were reinforced with no requirement to reduce breath CO. Results revealed that participants in the AT condition reduced their breath CO levels significantly more so during treatment than participants in the CT condition. Within-group comparisons revealed that participants in both conditions significantly reduced their breath CO, self-reported smoking, and nicotine dependence ratings during treatment. However, only participants in the AT condition significantly reduced urinary cotinine levels during treatment, and only participants in this condition maintained all reductions until 6-week post treatment. Participants in the CT condition only maintained self-reported smoking reductions until posttreatment assessments. These results support the feasibility and initial efficacy of this incentive-based approach to smoking cessation with adolescent smokers living in rural locations.

PubMed | University of Kentucky, University of North Carolina at Charlotte and University College for Sciences & Arts
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Psychiatric rehabilitation journal | Year: 2015

Rural women, particularly those in the criminal justice system, are at risk for HIV related to the increasing prevalence of injection drug use as well as limited services. Research on HIV risk correlates, including drug use and mental health, has primarily focused on urban women incarcerated in prisons. The purpose of this exploratory study is to examine dual HIV risk by 3 different mental health problems (depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD]) among drug-using women in rural jails.This study involved random selection, screening, and face-to-face interviews with 136 women in 1 Appalachian state. Analyses focused on the relationship between mental health and HIV risk.Nearly 80% of women self-reported symptoms of depression, and more than 60% endorsed symptoms consistent with anxiety and PTSD symptoms. Mental health significantly correlated with severity of certain types of drug use, as well as risky sexual activity. In addition, for women experiencing anxiety and PTSD, injection drug use moderated the relationship between mental health and risky sexual activity.Based on these rates of drug use, mental health problems, and the emergence of injection drug use in rural Appalachia, the need to explore the relationships between these issues among vulnerable and understudied populations, such as rural women, is critical. Because of service limitations in rural communities, criminal justice venues such as jails provide opportune settings for screening, assessment, and intervention for drug use, mental health, and HIV education and prevention. (PsycINFO Database Record

PubMed | University of America and University College for Sciences & Arts
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PLoS genetics | Year: 2014

Cone-rod homeobox (CRX) protein is a paired-like homeodomain transcription factor that is essential for regulating rod and cone photoreceptor transcription. Mutations in human CRX are associated with the dominant retinopathies Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), Cone-Rod Dystrophy (CoRD) and Leber Congenital Amaurosis (LCA), with variable severity. Heterozygous Crx Knock-Out (KO) mice (+/-) have normal vision as adults and fail to model the dominant human disease. To investigate how different mutant CRX proteins produce distinct disease pathologies, we generated two Crx Knock-IN (K-IN) mouse models: Crx(E168d2) (E168d2) and Crx(R90W) (R90W). E168d2 mice carry a frameshift mutation in the CRX activation domain, Glu168del2, which is associated with severe dominant CoRD or LCA in humans. R90W mice carry a substitution mutation in the CRX homeodomain, Arg90Trp, which is associated with dominant mild late-onset CoRD and recessive LCA. As seen in human patients, heterozygous E168d2 (E168d2/+) but not R90W (R90W/+) mice show severely impaired retinal function, while mice homozygous for either mutation are blind and undergo rapid photoreceptor degeneration. E168d2/+ mice also display abnormal rod/cone morphology, greater impairment of CRX target gene expression than R90W/+ or +/- mice, and undergo progressive photoreceptor degeneration. Surprisingly, E168d2/+ mice express more mutant CRX protein than wild-type CRX. E168d2neo/+, a subline of E168d2 with reduced mutant allele expression, displays a much milder retinal phenotype, demonstrating the impact of Crx expression level on disease severity. Both CRX([E168d2]) and CRX([R90W]) proteins fail to activate transcription in vitro, but CRX([E168d2]) interferes more strongly with the function of wild type (WT) CRX, supporting an antimorphic mechanism. E168d2 and R90W are mechanistically distinct mouse models for CRX-associated disease that will allow the elucidation of molecular mechanisms and testing of novel therapeutic approaches for different forms of CRX-associated disease.

PubMed | University College for Sciences & Arts
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Pain | Year: 2016

Chronic pain in childhood and adolescence has been shown to heighten the risk for depressive and anxiety disorders in specific samples in adulthood; however, little is known about the association between a wider variety of chronic pains and internalizing mental health disorders. Using nationally representative data, the objectives of this study were to establish prevalence rates of internalizing mental health disorders (anxiety and depressive disorders) among cohorts with or without adolescent chronic pain, and to examine whether chronic pain in adolescence is associated with lifetime history of internalizing mental health disorders reported in adulthood. Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) was used (N = 14,790). Individuals who had chronic pain in adolescence subsequently reported higher rates of lifetime anxiety disorders (21.1% vs 12.4%) and depressive disorders (24.5% vs 14.1%) in adulthood as compared with individuals without a history of adolescent chronic pain. Multivariate logistic regression confirmed that chronic pain in adolescence was associated with an increased likelihood of lifetime history of anxiety disorders (odds ratio: 1.33; 95% confidence interval: 1.09-1.63, P = 0.005) and depressive disorders (odds ratio: 1.38; confidence interval: 1.16-1.64, P < 0.001) reported in adulthood. Future research is needed to examine neurobiological and psychological mechanisms underlying these comorbidities.

PubMed | University College for Sciences & Arts
Type: | Journal: Micron (Oxford, England : 1993) | Year: 2016

One of the most common diseases that affect human red blood cells (RBCs) is anaemia. To diagnose anaemia, the following methods are typically employed: an identification process that is based on measuring the level of haemoglobin and the classification of RBCs based on a microscopic examination in blood smears. This paper presents a proposed algorithm for detecting and counting three types of anaemia-infected red blood cells in a microscopic coloured image using circular Hough transform and morphological tools. Anaemia cells include sickle, elliptocytosis, microsite cells and cells with unknown shapes. Additionally, the resulting data from the detection process have been analysed by a prevalent data analysis technique: the neural network. The experimental results for this model have demonstrated high accuracy for analysing healthy/unhealthy cells. This algorithm has achieved a maximum detection of approximately 97.8% of all cells in 21 microscopic images. Effectiveness rates of 100%, 98%, 100%, and 99.3% have been achieved using neural networks for sickle cells, elliptocytosis cells, microsite cells and cells with unknown shapes, respectively.

PubMed | Amity University and University College for Sciences & Arts
Type: Journal Article | Journal: World journal of microbiology & biotechnology | Year: 2015

The present study focused on the overproducing mutant of a plant growth promoting rhizobacterium (PGPR) Pseudomonas simiae strain AU (MTCC-12057) for significant drought tolerance in mung bean plants. Five mutants namely AU-M1, AU-M2, AU-M3, AU-M4 and AU-M5 were made after treatment of wild type strain with N-methyl-N-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine. Mutant strain AU-M4 was recorded for enhanced ACC deaminase (ACC-D) activity, indole acetic acid (IAA) production and inorganic phosphate (Pi) solubilization compared to wild strain and other four mutant strains under drought condition. AU-M4 showed higher phosphate solubilization index (8.17) together with higher ACC-D activity (98 nmol/mg/h) and IAA concentration (69.35 g/ml) compared with the wild type P. simiae strain AU ACC-D activity (79 nmol/mg/h) and IAA concentration (38.98 g/ml) respectively. In this report, we investigated the effect of both wild and mutant type bacterial strain on mung bean plants under drought stress. Results showed that mutant AU-M4 and wild type strain AU inoculated plants exhibited superior tolerance against drought stress, as shown by their enhanced plant biomass (fresh weight), higher water content, higher proline accumulation and lower osmotic stress injury. Mutant AU-M4 and wild strain AU inoculated plants reduced the ethylene level by 59 and 45% respectively, compared to the control under stress condition. Furthermore, bacterial inoculated plants showed enhanced induced systemic drought tolerance by reducing stomata size and net photosynthesis resulting higher water content in mung bean plants that may help in survival of plants during drought condition. To mitigate the effects of drought stress, use of PGPR will be needed to ensure sufficient production of food from crop plants. Taking current leads available, concerted future research is needed in this area, particularly on field evaluation with application of potential microorganisms.

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