Biological Sciences - Collected Works

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    Fresh living Arthrospira as dietary supplements: Current status and challenges
    (Elsevier, 2019-04-21) Ma, Zengling ; Ahmed, Faruq ; Yuan, Bo ; Zhang, Wei
    Background Arthrospira (Spirulina) spp. has long been consumed as a dietary supplement that provides rich natural nutrients consisting of 60–70% proteins including essential amino acids, vitamins, and some minerals. The currently available Spirulina products in the market are mainly hot and spray-dried and their nutritional values are significantly compromised due to degradation of the heat-sensitive bioactive components. Scope and approach This commentary provides a critical view on the differences in main nutritional composition between dried and fresh living Arthrospira. In addition, the current R&D advances in the development of fresh living Arthrospira as a dietary supplement including the cultivation system, preservation and storage, product development, nutritional and functional properties and food safety were critically discussed. Key findings and conclusions Fresh living Arthrospira can better maintain their nutritional, functional, and health values, and therefore could be developed for a new range of Arthrospira derived products. However, the cultivation system that could ensure the food safety and long-term storage technologies to preserve the cell viability in different product formulations are still under development for expanding the commercial applications.
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    A novel training-free method for real-time prediction of femoral strain
    (Elsevier, 2019-02-12) Ziaeipoor, Hamed ; Taylor, Mark ; Pandy, Marcus G ; Martelli, Saulo
    Surrogate methods for rapid calculation of femoral strain are limited by the scope of the training data. We compared a newly developed training-free method based on the superposition principle (Superposition Principle Method, SPM) and popular surrogate methods for calculating femoral strain during activity. Finite-element calculations of femoral strain, muscle, and joint forces for five different activity types were obtained previously. Multi-linear regression, multivariate adaptive regression splines, and Gaussian process were trained for 50, 100, 200, and 300 random samples generated using Latin Hypercube (LH) and Design of Experiment (DOE) sampling. The SPM method used weighted linear combinations of 173 activity-independent finite-element analyses accounting for each muscle and hip contact force. Across the surrogate methods, we found that 200 DOE samples consistently provided low error (RMSE < 100 µε), with model construction time ranging from 3.8 to 63.3 h and prediction time ranging from 6 to 1236 s per activity. The SPM method provided the lowest error (RMSE = 40 µε), the fastest model construction time (3.2 h) and the second fastest prediction time per activity (36 s) after Multi-linear Regression (6 s). The SPM method will enable large numerical studies of femoral strain and will narrow the gap between bone strain prediction and real-time clinical applications.
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    α-lipoic acid regulate growth, antioxidant status and lipid metabolism of Chinese mitten crab Eriocheir sinensis: Optimum supplement level and metabonomics response
    (Elsevier, 2019-03-16) Xu, Chang ; Wang, Xiaodan ; Han, Fenglu ; Qi, Changle ; Li, Erchao ; Guo, Jianlin ; Qin, Jianguang ; Chen, Li Qiao
    The α-lipoic acid (α-LA) is a novel feed additive to improve growth, antioxidant capacity and lipid metabolism in animal husbandry. In this study, isonitrogenous and isoenergetic diets were formulated at seven levels of α-LA (0, 300, 600, 1200, 2400, 4800, or 9600 mg/kg) and fed to the Chinese mitten crab Eriocheir sinensis juveniles for eight weeks. According to weight gain and specific grwoth rate, the optimal level of α-LA supplement in the diet is estimated at 1339–1574 mg/kg for E. sinensis. The α-LA supplement significantly increased the activities of SOD, GSH-Px and T-AOC, and the content of GSH in the hepatopancreas except for SOD in the crabs fed 9600 mg/kg α-LA. Excess dietary α-LA supplement increased the content of MDA in the hepatopancreas. The E. sinensis fed 2400 mg/kg α-LA in the diet showed the highest mRNA expressions of es_TGL1, es_TGL2, es_IL and es_DGL and had higher lipid catabolism when taking 300 mg/kg α-LA than other diets, which coincides with higher mRNA expressions of es_IL, es_DGL and CPT-1 in the hepatopancreas. The crab fed 2400 mg/kg α-LA significantly modified 45 metabolites in serum compared with the control. The supplmentation of α-LA significantly influenced fatty acid metabolism, amino acid metabolism, carnitine metabolism and accumulation of plant antioxidants. This study indicates that α-LA is a promising feed additive to regulate growth, antioxidant status and lipid metabolism in E. sinensis, but its inclusion in the diet should be <2400 mg/kg α-LA to maximize the benefitial effect and minimize side effects.
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    Inter-sample contamination detection using mixture deconvolution comparison
    (Elsevier, 2019-02-26) Taylor, Duncan A ; Rowe, Emily ; Kruijver, Maarten ; Abarno, Damien ; Bright, Jo-Anne ; Buckleton, John S
    A recent publication has provided the ability to compare two mixed DNA profiles and consider their probability of occurrence if they do, compared to if they do not, have a common contributor. This ability has applications to both quality assurance (to test for sample to sample contamination) and for intelligence gathering purposes (did the same unknown offender donate DNA to multiple samples). We use a mixture to mixture comparison tool to investigate the prevalence of sample to sample contamination that could occur from two laboratory mechanisms, one during DNA extraction and one during electrophoresis. By carrying out pairwise comparisons of all samples (deconvoluted using probabilistic genotyping software STRmix™) within extraction or run batches we identify any potential common DNA donors and investigate these with respect to their risk of contamination from the two proposed mechanisms. While not identifying any contamination, we inadvertently find a potential intelligence link between samples, showing the use of a mixture to mixture comparison tool for investigative purposes.
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    A fully continuous system of DNA profile evidence evaluation that can utilise STR profile data produced under different conditions within a single analysis
    (Elsevier, 2017-09-08) Taylor, Duncan A ; Bright, Jo-Anne ; Kelly, Hannah ; Lin, Meng-Han ; Buckleton, John S
    The introduction of probabilistic DNA interpretation systems has made it possible to evaluate many profiles that previously (under a manual interpretation system) were not. These probabilistic systems have been around for a number of years and it is becoming more common that their use within a laboratory has spanned at least one technology change. This may be a change in laboratory hardware, the DNA profiling kit used, or the manner in which the profile is generated. Up until this point, when replicates DNA profiles are generated, that span a technological change, the ability to utilise all the information in all replicates has been limited or non-existent. In this work we explain and derive the models required to evaluate (what we term) multi-kit analysis problems. We demonstrate the use of the multi-kit feature on a number of scenarios where such an analysis would be desired within a laboratory. Allowing the combination of profiling data that spans a technological change will further increase the amount of DNA profile information produced in a laboratory that can be evaluated.
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    Methods for analysis of glass in glass-containing gunshot residue (gGSR) particles
    (Elsevier, 2019-03-16) Seyfang, Kelsey E ; Lucas, Nick ; Popelka-Filcoff, Rachel Sarah ; Kobus, Hilton John ; Redman, Kahlee E ; Kirkbride, Kenneth Paul
    When lead, barium and antimony, or lead, barium, calcium, silicon and tin are found together in particles associated with a shooting investigation they are considered characteristic of gunshot residue (GSR). Antimony and tin are often absent from the primer of many low calibre rimfire ammunitions, which are the type most commonly used in Australia. Therefore, the likelihood of characteristic particles forming during the firing process of such rimfire ammunition is significantly less than the likelihood of these particles arising from higher calibre ammunition. The majority of rimfire ammunition examined in this research contains ground glass in the primer, which functions as a frictionator. These ammunitions produce a small number of gunshot residue particles containing glass coated with other primer components, which we refer to as glass-containing GSR (gGSR). If these particles are observed in an investigation, they have the potential to add a new dimension to gunshot residue analysis because they are not common in the environment. Furthermore, the composition of glass frictionator is stable during firing, which raises the possibility that chemical testing of the glass in gGSR may be used to identify the ammunition from which the residue was derived or to link deposits of GSR. This paper examines the application of scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (SEM-EDS), focussed ion beam (FIB) techniques and time of flight-secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) to the semi-quantitative analysis and comparisons of gGSR and frictionator extracted from unfired cartridges. SEM-EDS is effective for comparing gGSR with unfired frictionator, but the use of FIB to expose clean glass from the centre of gGSR followed by ToF-SIMS, or ToF-SIMS using ion sputtering to expose clean glass, offers more power for comparisons due to their capability for higher discrimination between frictionators from different sources.