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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Organic Photocells

I found this paper in Nature.

Photoelectrochemical complexes for solar energy conversion that chemically and autonomously regenerate

Moon-Ho Ham1,6, Jong Hyun Choi2,6, Ardemis A. Boghossian1,6, Esther S. Jeng1,6, Rachel A. Graff1, Daniel A. Heller1, Alice C. Chang1, Aidas Mattis3, Timothy H. Bayburt3, Yelena V. Grinkova3, Adam S. Zeiger4, Krystyn J. Van Vliet4, Erik K. Hobbie5, Stephen G. Sligar3, Colin A. Wraight3 & Michael S. Strano1

Abstract Naturally occurring photosynthetic systems use elaborate pathways of self-repair to limit the impact of photo-damage. Here, we demonstrate a complex consisting of two recombinant proteins, phospholipids and a carbon nanotube that mimics this process. The components self-assemble into a configuration in which an array of lipid bilayers aggregate on the surface of the carbon nanotube, creating a platform for the attachment of light-converting proteins. The system can disassemble upon the addition of a surfactant and reassemble upon its removal over an indefinite number of cycles. The assembly is thermodynamically metastable and can only transition reversibly if the rate of surfactant removal exceeds a threshold value. Only in the assembled state do the complexes exhibit photoelectrochemical activity. We demonstrate a regeneration cycle that uses surfactant to switch between assembled and disassembled states, resulting in an increased photoconversion efficiency of more than 300% over 168 hours and an indefinite extension of the system lifetime.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Erik Erikson's Epigenetic Principle

This series of videos is part of an on-line course: Theories of Personality. Erikson's theory and the Social Cognitivists' theories are presented.

Ever wonder what is was like before people shared their lives in their blogs and social networks liked LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. They must have experienced an inconceivable loneliness, isolation and paranoia.

For Life

Affective Responses

Current Topics in Genome Analysis 2010

This lecture series consists of ten 90 min. lectures.

Sweden in second spot

U.S. slips in WEF's competitiveness rankings

Published September 08, 2010
| Reuters
BEIJING, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Switzerland remains the world's most competitive economy, while the United States has fallen from second to fourth, according to the World Economic Forum.

The United States was overtaken in the WEF's Global Competitiveness Report 2010/2011 by Sweden in second spot and Singapore in third.

Last year the Asian city state ranked third and Sweden fourth.

The WEF attributed America's slipping competitiveness to a build-up in U.S. macroeconomic imbalances, a weakening of the country's public and private institutions and concerns about the state of its financial markets.

China moved up two places in the rankings to 27th.

The Geneva-based group released the report ahead of a meeting next week in the port city of Tianjin near Beijing. (Reporting by Aileen Wang and Alan Wheatley; Editing by KenWills)

Politics Conducted through Death Threats

One and one half million oppose becoming a part of the muslim homeland.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Astragaloside IV

There are a couple thousand papers on Astragaloside IV out there, but these are the ones that seemed interesting to me.

Inhibitory effects of astragaloside IV on ovalbumin-induced chronic experimental asthma

Authors: Chen, Zhen; Zhou, Lin-fu; Du, Qiang; Zhang, Qian; Huang, Mao; Yin, Kai-sheng

Source: Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, Volume 86, Number 7, 1 July 2008 , pp. 449-457(9)

Publisher: NRC Research Press


Astragaloside IV, a new cycloartane-type triterpene glycoside extract of Astragalus membranaceus Bunge, has been identified for its potent immunoregulatory, antiinflammatory, and antifibrotic actions. Here we investigated whether astragaloside IV could suppress the progression of airway inflammation, airway hyperresponsiveness, and airway remodeling in a murine model of chronic asthma. BALB/c mice sensitized to ovalbumin (OVA) were chronically challenged with aerosolized OVA for 8 weeks. Astragaloside IV was orally administered at a dose of 50 mg·kg-1·day-1 during each OVA challenge. Astragaloside IV treatment resulted in significant reduction of eosinophilic airway inflammation, airway hyperresponsiveness, interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13 levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and total immunoglobulin E levels in serum. Furthermore, astragaloside IV treatment markedly inhibited airway remodeling, including subepithelial fibrosis, smooth muscle hypertrophy, and goblet cell hyperplasia. In addition, the expression of transforming growth factor-β1 in the lung was also reduced by astragaloside IV. These data indicate that astragaloside IV may mitigate the development of characteristic features in chronic experimental asthma.

Original Paper
Pharmacology Planta Med 2006; 72(1): 4-8
DOI: 10.1055/s-2005-873126

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Astragaloside IV from Astragalus membranaceus Shows Cardioprotection during Myocardial Ischemia in vivo and in vitro

Wei-Dong Zhang1, 3[*], Hong Chen2[*], Chuan Zhang1, Run-Hui Liu1, Hui-Liang Li1, Hong-Zhuan Chen2
1 Department of Natural Medicinal Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, P. R. China
2 Department of Pharmacology, Shanghai Second Medical University, Shanghai, P. R. China
3 School of Pharmacy, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, P. R. China

Astragaloside IV is the major active constituent of Astragalus membranaceus, which has been widely used for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases in China. However, the effects of astragaloside IV on myocardial ischemia and its mechanisms of action remain largely unknown. In this study, we have examined the effects of astragaloside IV on myocardial infarction and coronary flow in vivo and in vitro. The possible roles of its antioxidative and nitric oxide-inducing properties were also explored. Astragaloside IV significantly reduced infarct size in dogs subjected to coronary ligation in vivo. Astragaloside IV also improved post-ischemic heart function and ameliorated reperfusion arrhythmias in rat hearts in vitro. The cardioprotection of astragaloside IV was accompanied by a significant increase in coronary flow both in vivo and in vitro. The nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, Nω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester partially abrogated astragaloside IV's protective effect on heart function. Myocardial antioxidative enzyme superoxide dismutase activity increased with astragaloside IV administration. These data suggest the potential roles of antioxidative and nitric oxide-inducing properties of astragaloside IV in its protection from myocardial ischemia.

Key words
Astragaloside IV - ischemia - cardioprotection - nitric oxide - superoxide dismutase

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《Chinese Journal of Pathophysiology》 2008-01

Association of attenuating left ventricular remodeling in murine dilated cardiomyopathy with phosphorylation of p38MAPK after interference by astragaloside
SHEN E,CHEN Rui-zhen,YANG Ying-zhen,GUO Qi,YU Yong,ZOU Yun-zeng,CHEN Hao-zhu(Key Laboratory of Viral Heart Diseases,Ministry of Public Health,Shanghai Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases,Zhongshan Hospital,Fudan University,Shanghai 200032,China.)
AIM:To investigate the effects and mechanism of astragaloside(Astr)on ventricular remodeling in CVB3-induced murine dilated cardiomyopathy(DCM).METHODS:BALB/c mice were inoculated ip repeatedly with CVB3 by increment to establish animal model of DCM(n=30).Other mice infected with CVB3 were fed with Astra(0.6 mg·kg-1·d-1)as DCM+Astr(n=20).Control mice(n=10)were treated with same volume of EMEM without CVB3.The diameter of LV and cardiac function were measured by high frequency echocardiography.Serum concentrations of PINP,PICP and PIIINP were detected by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay(ELISA).The collagen in myocardium was stained with Sirius red.collagen volume fraction(CVF)and collagen I were calculated by image analysis software.Expressions of collagen type I and III were confirmed by reversed transcriptional polymerase chain reaction(RT-PCR).The action of phosphorylation of p38MAPK was determined by Western blotting.RESULTS:Astragaloside raised the survival rates of mice with DCM,decreased LV dilation and dysfunction.Compared with controls,the exceptional deposition of collagens in DCM was suppressed by Astr.High expression of p38MAPK phosphorylation in DCM mice was decreased by Astr.CONCLUSION:Astr attenuating ventricular remodeling may be associated with the decreased action of phosphorylation of p38MAPK in CVB3-induced murine DCM.

Neuroprotective effects of Astragaloside IV in 6-hydroxydopamine-treated primary nigral cell culture

Wing-Sai Chana, b, 1, Siva Sundara Kumar Durairajana, 1, Jia-Hong Lua, Yan Wanga, Li-Xia Xiea, Wan-Fung Kuma, Irene Kooa, Ken Kin Lam Yungb and Min Lia, ,

aSchool of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong

bDepartment of Biology, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong

Received 27 November 2008; revised 16 April 2009; accepted 21 April 2009. Available online 4 May 2009.

Parkinson's disease (PD) is caused by a progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Oxidative stress and neural degeneration are suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. In the present study, Astragaloside IV (AS-IV) extracted from the dried root of Astragalus membranaceus, a well-known Chinese medicine used for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, was investigated for its capacity to protect dopaminergic neurons in experimental Parkinson's disease. By examining the effect of AS-IV on 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced loss of dopaminergic neurons in primary nigral culture, we found that AS-IV pretreatment significantly and dose-dependently attenuated 6-OHDA-induced loss of dopaminergic neurons. Neuronal fiber length studies showed that massive neuronal cell death with degenerated neurons was observed in those cultures incubated with 6-OHDA, whereas in AS-IV co-treatments most dopaminergic neurons were seen to be intact and sprouting. In flow cytometric analysis, AS-IV resulted in a marked and dose-dependent rescue in tyrosine hydrolase (TH)-immunopositive cells from 6-OHDA-induced degeneration of dopaminergic neurons. Double immunofluorescence revealed that AS-IV treatment alone at concentrations of 100 and 200 μM increased the level of TH and NOS (nitrite oxide synthase) immunoreactivities; however, the protective effect of AS-IV on TH and NOS immunopositive cells in 6-OHDA treated nigral cell cultures was only seen at a concentration of 100 μM. These findings show that AS-IV can protect dopaminergic neurons against 6-OHDA-induced degeneration. Besides the neuroprotective effect, AS-IV alone promoted neurite outgrowth and increased TH and NOS immunoreactive of dopaminergic neurons. The neuroprotective and neurosprouting effects of AS-IV are specific for dopaminergic neurons and it has therapeutic potential in the treatment of PD.

Keywords: Parkinson's disease; Tyrosine hydroxylase; Nitric oxide synthase; Nigral primary cell cultures; 6-Hydroxydopamine; Astragaloside IV

Neuroscience Letters
Volume 363, Issue 3, 17 June 2004, Pages 218-223
doi:10.1016/j.neulet.2004.03.036 | How to Cite or Link Using DOI
Copyright © 2004 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved. Cited By in Scopus (43)
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Astragaloside IV protects against ischemic brain injury in a murine model of transient focal ischemia

Yumin Luo, , a, Zhen Qina, Zhen Honga, Xinmin Zhangb, Ding Dinga, Jian-Hui Fua, Wei-Dong Zhangc and Jun Chend

a Institute of Neurology, Fudan University Huashan Hospital, Shanghai 200040, PR China

b Institute of Integrated Traditional Chinese (TC) and Western Medicine, Fudan University Huashan Hospital, Shanghai 200040, PR China

c College of Pharmacy, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, PR China

d State Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology, Fudan University, Shanghai 200040, PR China

Received 29 December 2003; Revised 23 February 2004; accepted 15 March 2004. Available online 2 June 2004.

Astragalus membranaceus is a herbal medicine that has been used clinically in stroke patients in China for decades, but its potential neuroprotective effect against ischemic brain injury has not been experimentally tested. In this study, we investigated the effect of Astragaloside IV, a purified extract from Astragalus membranaceus, in a murine model of focal cerebral ischemia/reperfusion produced by transient (1.5 h) middle cerebral artery occlusion. As determined at 72 h after ischemia, post-ischemic treatment of Astragaloside IV (20 or 40 mg/kg) markedly and significantly (P<0.03 vs. vehicle-treated animals) reduced infarct volume. Astragaloside IV treatment also decreased the levels of malondialdehyde, an indicator of lipid peroxidation, and increased the levels of the antioxidant enzymes glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase in ischemic tissues. The results presented here provide the first evidence of a neuroprotective effect of Astragaloside IV in the model of ischemic brain injury. We suggest that the anti-infarction effect by Astragaloside IV may be derived at least in part from its antioxidant properties.

Author Keywords: Cerebral ischemia; Antioxidant; Astragaloside IV; Superoxide dismutase; Malondialdehyde; Glutathione peroxidase

Radix Astragalis effects on the proliferative activities of epidermal stem cells derived from human skin

Hu, X. | Zou, P. | Liu, L.-L. | Liu, D.-W.
Journal of Clinical Rehabilitative Tissue Engineering Research. Vol. 13, no. 19, pp. 3689-3692. 7 May 2009

BACKGROUND: Repairing wound by using stem cells technology is an important strategy in the wound healing treatment of current medical field. Radix Astragalis, which strengthening body resistance, benefiting vital energy, promoting blood flow and anti-aging, has been widely applied in the treatment of many clinical diseases and syndromes. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the regulatory effect of Radix Astragalis on the proliferation of human epidermal stem cells derived from human skin. DESIGN, TIME AND SETTING: The cell, molecular biology experiment was performed at the First Affiliated Hospital, Nanchang University from September 2005 to June 2008. MATERIALS: Remaining free skin graft of burn and plastic patients was obtained from Burn Center, First Affiliated Hospital, Nanchang University. Radix Astragalis injection solution was purchased from Zhengda Qingchunbao, China (lot number 0207114), astragaloside .1.0mg per milliliter, equal to 2 g crude drug. METHODS: Epidermis was dissociated by Trypsin-ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA). The type IV collagen was used to isolate and purify the human epidermal stem cells. The cultured cells in experimental group were treated with keratinocyte serum-free medium (KSFM) supplemented with Radix Astragalis and epidermal growth factor in vitro. The procedures were identical in control group, but no Radix Astragalis were added. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The colony forming efficiency was calculated. The cell cycle was determined by the flow cytometer. The expression of the telomerase reverse transcriptase in epidermal stem cells was detected by the immunocytochemistry staining and the image quantitative analysis. RESULTS: Epidermal stem cells presented adhered to the wall, and large cell clone formed at 10 days. The colony forming efficiency of the epidermal stem cells in experimental group and the proportion of the epidermal stem cell in G(0)/G(1) period were significantly higher than in control group (t=3.17, P < 0.01; t =2.83, P < 0.05). The telomerase reverse transcriptase had positive expression in the epidermal stem cells of both groups. The average value of absorbance and positive area in experimental group was much higher than in control group (t=2.25, P < 0.05; t =4.12, P < 0.01). CONCLUSION: Radix Astragalis can effectively increase the cellular expression of telomerase reverse transcriptase and the proliferative activities of human epidermal stem cells derived from human skin in vitro.

Descriptors: Stem cells | Human | Telomerase | Burns | In vitro testing | Images | Hospitals | Forming

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

En ängel och Hallelujah

Some talented kids.

Avestas tjejkör ger en konsert i Stjärnsunds kyrka.

Frida Josefsson & Caroline Morelius i Hedemora 25/7- 09

Here Am I (Featuring Vendela Palmgren) Lyrics
I always huh 'one of those
Scales never tell
What I think no

But I have a dream
Deep inside me here
I want to give my dream
A voice, so everyone can hear
Yeah so everyone can hear

Here I am, you see me
Is where I belong
Is in front of you
I see a star ready to lead me
For today, I feel
That I have something to give
Here I am, I hide no more
You see me

Have you known how it is
What to look for answers
And dream of a life
Where you get ready to shine

Even if it feels
Completely impossible sometimes
So, I think I can
Can independently

Here I am, you see me
Is where I belong
Is in front of you
I see a star ready to lead me
For today, I feel
That I have something to give
Here I am, I hide no more
You see me

You are the voice that I never forget
That makes me want to sing
The fact that I want to reach
The fact that I want to get

You are the one I missed
The song inside of me
The fact that I want to reach
The fact that I want to get

Here I am, you see me
Is where I belong
Is in front of you
I see a star ready to lead me
For today, I feel
That I have something to give
Here I am, I hide no more
You see me

You are the one I missed
The song inside of me

You are the voice that I never forget
That makes me want to sing

Well today I feel
That I have something to give
Here I am, I hide no more
You see me

Här står jag

Jag har den drömmen kvar
Som jag haft i alla dar
Det kan ta tid, som ödet sa
Så många år jag stått beredd
Hela jag, med längtan att bli sedd
Men inte förns idag
Så ser jag...

Här står du, med allt jag velat ha
Som ett svar på frågorna jag bar
I mitt bröst
Nu ser jag allting klart
Här står jag, med världen i min famn
Och jag flyger över hav och land
För lyckan bär ditt namn


Så långt som ögat når
Och så långt som benen går
Har jag sökt, i alla år
Men lyckan kom när jag stod still
Och vände om, och glömde vad jag vill
För ingen människa rår
Nu ser jag...

Här står du, med allt jag velat ha
Som ett svar på frågorna jag bar
I mitt bröst
Nu ser jag allting klart
Här står jag, med världen i min famn
Och jag flyger över hav och land
För lyckan bär ditt namn

Här står du, innanför min dörr
Här står jag, och ingenting blir mer
Som förr..

Nu ser jag...
(Här står du, med allt jag velat ha)
(Som ett svar på frågorna jag bar)
(I mitt bröst)
Nu ser jag allting klart
(Här står jag, med världen i min famn)
Här i min famn
Och jag flyger över hav och land
För lyckan bär ditt namn

Frida Josefsson och Caroline Morelius sjunger Du är allt. Insp. 14/9-09


Susanna Kallur

Susanna Kallur

olika långa ben

Tillbaka Bli medlem i Aftonbladet Snack och börja bloggaKallurs högerben en centimeter längre
Susanna Kallur tror sig äntligen ha kommit på anledningen till de återkommande skadeproblemen.

Vid ett besök hos kontroversiella tyske läkaren Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfart upptäcktes att svenskans högerben är en centimeter längre än det vänstra.

– Nu ska jag få en specialsula tillverkad som kompenserar benlängdsskillnaden, säger Kallur till Svenska Dagbladet.

Susanna Kallur har fått de senaste säsongerna förstörde av återkommande skador. Svenskan vände sig därför till kontroversiella läkaren Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfart i München.

Behandlat flera världsstjärnor
Tysken har behandlat större delen av världseliten i friidrott och även bland annat tennislegendaren Roger Federer. Hans metoder är kontroversiella men Kallur tror sig, tack vare tysken, nu äntligen ha hittat anledningen till de stora problemen.

– De upptäckte att mitt ena ben är lite längre än det andra. Kanske kan det ha bidragit till att jag dragit baksidan två gånger i just högerbenet och också stressfrakturen i höger smalben. Nu ska jag få en specialsula tillverkad som kompenserar benlängdsskillnaden, säger Kallur till SVD.

Läkaren har kritiserats men Kallur säger att både Christian Olsson och Emma Green, som besökt Müller-Wohlfart tidigare, rekommenderade läkaren.

”Tänker inte vänta på Socialstyrelsen”
– Alla jag pratat med som varit där är lyriska, det är ingen placeboeffekt utan funkar verkligen. Jag är beredd att testa och vill inte vänta i tio år på att Socialstyrelsen ska godkänna det.

I onsdags fick svenskan äntligen ta bort stygnen efter infektionen i sitt smalben och har nu fått klartecken att börja stegra träningen igen.

– Jag fick klartecken att trappa upp träningen och frågade snällt om jag fick springa direkt. Det gick bra så jag stack ut på en fyra kilometer lång joggingrunda. Det var underbart.

Patrik Sjögren