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Open AccessArticle
The Chloroplast Genome of Lilium henrici: Genome Structure and Comparative Analysis
Molecules 2018, 23(6), 1276; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23061276 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Lilium henrici Franchet, which belongs to the family Liliaceae, is an endangered plant native to China. The wild populations of L. henrici have been largely reduced by habitat degradation or loss. In our study, we determined the whole chloroplast genome sequence for L.
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Lilium henrici Franchet, which belongs to the family Liliaceae, is an endangered plant native to China. The wild populations of L. henrici have been largely reduced by habitat degradation or loss. In our study, we determined the whole chloroplast genome sequence for L. henrici and compared its structure with other Lilium (including Nomocharis) species. The chloroplast genome of L. henrici is a circular structure and 152,784 bp in length. The large single copy and small single copy is 82,429 bp and 17,533 bp in size, respectively, and the inverted repeats are 26,411 bp in size. The L. henrici chloroplast genome contains 116 different genes, including 78 protein coding genes, 30 tRNA genes, 4 rRNA genes, and 4 pseudogenes. There were 51 SSRs detected in the L. henrici chloroplast genome sequence. Genic comparison among L. henrici with other Lilium (including Nomocharis) chloroplast genomes shows that the sequence lengths and gene contents show little variation, the only differences being in three pseudogenes. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that N. pardanthina was a sister species to L. henrici. Overall, this study, providing L. henrici genomic resources and the comparative analysis of Lilium chloroplast genomes, will be beneficial for the evolutionary study and phylogenetic reconstruction of the genus Lilium, molecular barcoding in population genetics. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Combined Galvanostatic and Potentiostatic Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation of Titanium in Different Concentrations of H2SO4
Metals 2018, 8(6), 386; https://doi.org/10.3390/met8060386 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
We report on plasma electrolytic oxidation of titanium, employing a technique with combined potentiostatic and galvanostatic control. The effect of different H 2 SO 4 electrolyte concentrations on the titanium oxide formation was studied sytematically. The titanium oxide consisted of two distinguishable layers.
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We report on plasma electrolytic oxidation of titanium, employing a technique with combined potentiostatic and galvanostatic control. The effect of different H 2 SO 4 electrolyte concentrations on the titanium oxide formation was studied sytematically. The titanium oxide consisted of two distinguishable layers. The upper layer is porous, up to few micrometers thick and primarily rutile, while the interlayer is compact, comparatively thin and is associated to anatase formation. The electrolyte concentration changed substantially layer thickness, porosity and phase composition, as deduced from scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Stimulatory Effects of Melatonin on Porcine In Vitro Maturation Are Mediated by MT2 Receptor
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(6), 1581; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19061581 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Melatonin is a multifunctional molecule with numerous biological activities. The fact that melatonin modulates the functions of porcine granulosa cells via the MT2 receptor suggests the possibility of MT2 receptor-mediation for melatonin to promote cumulus expansion of porcine cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs). Therefore, we
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Melatonin is a multifunctional molecule with numerous biological activities. The fact that melatonin modulates the functions of porcine granulosa cells via the MT2 receptor suggests the possibility of MT2 receptor-mediation for melatonin to promote cumulus expansion of porcine cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs). Therefore, we investigated the presence of MT2 in porcine COCs, and the effects of melatonin with or without selective MT2 antagonists (luzindole and 4-P-PDOT) on this process; COCs underwent in vitro maturation culturing with six different conditions (control, melatonin, luzindole, 4-P-PDOT, melatonin + luzindole or melatonin + 4-P-PDOT). Cumulus expansion, oocyte nuclear maturation, and subsequent embryo development after parthenogenetic activation (PA) were evaluated. In experiment 1, MT2 was expressed in both oocytes and cumulus cells. In experiment 2, melatonin significantly increased the proportion of complete cumulus expansion (degree 4), which was inhibited by simultaneous addition of either luzindole or 4-P-PDOT. A similar pattern was observed in the expression of genes related to cumulus expansion, apoptosis, and MT2. In experiment 3, no significant difference was observed in immature, degenerate, and MII oocyte rates among the groups. In experiment 4, melatonin significantly increased blastocyst formation rates and total blastocyst cell numbers after PA, but these effects were abolished when either luzindole or 4-P-PDOT was added concomitantly. In conclusion, our results indicate that the MT2 receptor mediated the stimulatory effects of melatonin on porcine cumulus expansion and subsequent embryo development. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Introduction to a Resources Special Issue on Criticality of the Rare Earth Elements: Current and Future Sources and Recycling
Resources 2018, 7(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources7020035 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The rare earth elements (REE) are vital to modern technologies and society and are amongst the most important of the critical elements. This special issue of Resources examines a number of facets of these critical elements, current and future sources of the REE,
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The rare earth elements (REE) are vital to modern technologies and society and are amongst the most important of the critical elements. This special issue of Resources examines a number of facets of these critical elements, current and future sources of the REE, the mineralogy of the REE, and the economics of the REE sector. These papers not only provide insights into a wide variety of aspects of the REE, but also highlight the number of different areas of research that need to be undertaken to ensure sustainable and secure supplies of these critical metals into the future. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Decision Support System for Public Funding of Experimental Development in Energy Research
Energies 2018, 11(6), 1357; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11061357 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
New energy technologies may fail to make the transition to the market once research funding has ended due to a lack of private engagement to conclude their development. Extending public funding to cover such experimental developments could be one way to improve this
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New energy technologies may fail to make the transition to the market once research funding has ended due to a lack of private engagement to conclude their development. Extending public funding to cover such experimental developments could be one way to improve this transition. However, identifying promising research and development (R&D) proposals for this purpose is a difficult task for the following reasons: Close-to-market implementations regularly require substantial resources while public budgets are limited; the allocation of public funds needs to be fair, open, and documented; the evaluation is complex and subject to public sector regulations for public engagement in R&D funding. This calls for a rigorous evaluation process. This paper proposes an operational three-staged decision support system (DSS) to assist decision-makers in public funding institutions in the ex-ante evaluation of R&D proposals for large-scale close-to-market projects in energy research. The system was developed based on a review of literature and related approaches from practice combined with a series of workshops with practitioners from German public funding institutions. The results confirm that the decision-making process is a complex one that is not limited to simply scoring R&D proposals. Decision-makers also have to deal with various additional issues such as determining the state of technological development, verifying market failures or considering existing funding portfolios. The DSS that is suggested in this paper is unique in the sense that it goes beyond mere multi-criteria aggregation procedures and addresses these issues as well to help guide decision-makers in public institutions through the evaluation process. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
O-Linked N-Acetylglucosamine Transiently Elevates in HeLa Cells during Mitosis
Molecules 2018, 23(6), 1275; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23061275 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) is a dynamic post-translational modification of serine and threonine residues on nuclear and cytoplasmic proteins. O-GlcNAc modification influences many cellular mechanisms, including carbohydrate metabolism, signal transduction and protein degradation. Multiple studies also showed that cell
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O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) is a dynamic post-translational modification of serine and threonine residues on nuclear and cytoplasmic proteins. O-GlcNAc modification influences many cellular mechanisms, including carbohydrate metabolism, signal transduction and protein degradation. Multiple studies also showed that cell cycle might be modulated by O-GlcNAc. Although the role of O-GlcNAc in the regulation of some cell cycle processes such as mitotic spindle organization or histone phosphorylation is well established, the general behaviour of O-GlcNAc regulation during cell cycle is still controversial. In this study, we analysed the dynamic changes of overall O-GlcNAc levels in HeLa cells using double thymidine block. O-GlcNAc levels in G1, S, G2 and M phase were measured. We observed that O-GlcNAc levels are significantly increased during mitosis in comparison to the other cell cycle phases. However, this change could only be detected when mitotic cells were enriched by harvesting round shaped cells from the G2/M fraction of the synchronized cells. Our data verify that O-GlcNAc is elevated during mitosis, but also emphasize that O-GlcNAc levels can significantly change in a short period of time. Thus, selection and collection of cells at specific cell-cycle checkpoints is a challenging, but necessary requirement for O-GlcNAc studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
“Everybody Puts Their Whole Life on Facebook”: Identity Management and the Online Social Networks of LGBTQ Youth
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(6), 1078; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15061078 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth and young adults almost inevitably “come out”, or self-disclose their identity to others. Some LGBTQ youth are more uniformly “out”, while others may disclose to some groups but not others. This selective disclosure is complicated
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Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth and young adults almost inevitably “come out”, or self-disclose their identity to others. Some LGBTQ youth are more uniformly “out”, while others may disclose to some groups but not others. This selective disclosure is complicated on real name social media sites, which tend to encourage a unified presentation of self across social contexts. We explore these complications with a cohort of LBGTQ youth on Facebook (N = 199, Mage = 24.13). Herein we ask: How do LBGTQ youth manage the disclosure of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity to different people in their lives? Further, are there identifiable differences in the online social network structure for LGBTQ youth who manage outness in different ways? Finally, how do LGBTQ young people describe their experiences on Facebook? We answer these questions using a mixed methods approach, combining statistical cluster analysis, network visualization, and qualitative data. Our findings illustrate patterns in network structure by outness cluster type, highlighting both the work involved in managing one’s online identity as well as the costs to (semi-) closeted individuals including a considerably lower overall network connectivity. In particular, outness to family characterized LGBTQ young people’s experiences on Facebook. Full article
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