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Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30871135


The water⁻energy⁻food (WEF) nexus attracts much attention due to the elevated public concern regarding environmental conservation and sustainability. As we head into a new era of civilization, population increase and modernized lifestyles have led to an increasing need for water, energy, and food. However, severe hydrological precipitation significantly impacts agricultural harvest, and such influence becomes more apparent under the influence of climate change. Meanwhile, the major method of electricity generation (i.e., fossil fuel burning) has a negative impact on the environment. These inevitable threats are crucial and have to be dealt with for a society on the road towards sustainability. In the present study, an integrated evaluation of the WEF nexus was conducted for two areas with different levels of urbanization using empirical multiple linear regression in a simultaneous equation model (SEM). By incorporating the collected data into the SEM, the weighting coefficient of each identified variable was obtained, and the nexus implication was assessed in model simulation at different scenarios considering the population growth, agro-technology advancement, energy structure improvement, and available water resources. In the simulated results, three observations were found: (1) the rural area is more sustainable than the urban one; (2) the sustainability for both the investigated areas is significantly subject to their water supply and demand; and (3) food production was found to have a less important effect on the sustainable development of the urban area. This study identified the key factors in the WEF nexus exploration, which are economically and environmentally important for resource allocation. An empirical model was developed to correlate sustainable achievement with WEF management, as well as strategic policies that should be implemented under the pressure of urbanization.

Abastecimento de Alimentos , Urbanização , Abastecimento de Água , Agricultura , Mudança Climática , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Crescimento Demográfico
Nanotechnology ; 28(25): 255301, 2017 Jun 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28548051


Focused ion beam (FIB) systems have become powerful diagnostic and modification tools for nanoscience and nanotechnology. Gas field ion sources (GFISs) built from atomic-size emitters offer the highest brightness among all ion sources and thus can improve the spatial resolution of FIB systems. Here we show that the Ir/W(111) single-atom tip (SAT) can emit high-brightness Xe+ ion beams with a high current stability. The ion emission current versus extraction voltage was analyzed from 150 K up to 309 K. The optimal emitter temperature for maximum Xe+ ion emission was ∼150 K and the reduced brightness at the Xe gas pressure of 1 × 10-4 torr is two to three orders of magnitude higher than that of a Ga liquid metal ion source, and four to five orders of magnitude higher than that of a Xe inductively coupled plasma ion source. Most surprisingly, the SAT emitter remained stable even when operated at 309 K. Even though the ion current decreased with increasing temperature, the current at room temperature (RT) could still reach over 1 pA when the gas pressure was higher than 1 × 10-3 torr, indicating the feasibility of RT-Xe-GFIS for application to FIB systems. The operation temperature of Xe-SAT-GFIS is considerably higher than the cryogenic temperature required for the helium ion microscope (HIM), which offers great technical advantages because only simple or no cooling schemes can be adopted. Thus, Xe-GFIS-FIB would be easy to implement and may become a powerful tool for nanoscale milling and secondary ion mass spectroscopy.

Nat Commun ; 8: 14440, 2017 02 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28195123


There are only a handful of scanning techniques that can provide surface topography at nanometre resolution. At the same time, there are no methods that are capable of non-invasive imaging of the three-dimensional surface topography of a thin free-standing crystalline material. Here we propose a new technique-the divergent beam electron diffraction (DBED) and show that it can directly image the inhomogeneity in the atomic positions in a crystal. Such inhomogeneities are directly transformed into the intensity contrast in the first-order diffraction spots of DBED patterns and the intensity contrast linearly depends on the wavelength of the employed probing electrons. Three-dimensional displacement of atoms as small as 1 angstrom can be detected when imaged with low-energy electrons (50-250 eV). The main advantage of DBED is that it allows visualization of the three-dimensional surface topography and strain distribution at the nanometre scale in non-scanning mode, from a single shot diffraction experiment.

J Cell Physiol ; 226(8): 2198-205, 2011 Aug.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21520072


Endothelin-1 (ET-1), a potent proatherogenic vasoconstrictive peptide, is known to promote macrophage foam cell formation via mechanisms that are not fully understood. Excessive lipid accumulation in macrophages is a major hallmark during the early stages of atherosclerotic lesions. Cholesterol homeostasis is tightly regulated by scavenger receptors (SRs) and ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters during the transformation of macrophage foam cells. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible mechanisms by which ET-1 affects lipid accumulation in macrophages. Our results demonstrate that oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) treatment increases lipid accumulation in rat bone marrow-derived macrophages. Combined treatment with ET-1 and oxLDL significantly exacerbated lipid accumulation in macrophages as compared to treatment with oxLDL alone. The results of Western blotting show that ET-1 markedly decreased the ABCG1 levels via ET type A and B receptors and activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway; however, ET-1 had no effect on the protein expression of CD36, SR-BI, SR-A, or ABCA1. In addition, real-time PCR analysis showed that ET-1 treatment did not affect ABCG1 mRNA expression. We also found that ET-1 decreases ABCG1 possibly due to the enhancement of the proteosome/calpain pathway-dependent degradation of ABCG1. Moreover, ET-1 significantly reduced the efficiency of the cholesterol efflux in macrophages. Taken together, these findings suggest that ET-1 may impair cholesterol efflux and further exacerbate lipid accumulation during the transformation of macrophage foam cells.

Transportadores de Cassetes de Ligação de ATP/metabolismo , Endotelina-1/metabolismo , Metabolismo dos Lipídeos , Macrófagos/metabolismo , Membro 1 da Subfamília G de Transportadores de Cassetes de Ligação de ATP , Animais , Calpaína/metabolismo , Endotelina-1/farmacologia , Regulação da Expressão Gênica , Lipoproteínas LDL/metabolismo , Lipoproteínas LDL/farmacologia , Macrófagos/química , Macrófagos/citologia , Fosfatidilinositol 3-Quinase/metabolismo , Complexo de Endopeptidases do Proteassoma/metabolismo , Ratos , Ratos Sprague-Dawley , Receptor de Endotelina A/metabolismo , Receptor de Endotelina B/metabolismo
Nanotechnology ; 20(33): 335701, 2009 Aug 19.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-19636091


We report a reliable method for preparing a pure Ir single-atom tip by thermal treatment in oxygen. The atomic structure of the tip apex and its ion emission characteristics are investigated with field ion microscopy. We have shown that the Ir single-atom tip can be a good field ion emitter, capable of emitting a variety of gas ion beams, such as He+, H2+, N2+, and O2+, with high brightness and stability. In addition, this tip can easily be maintained and regenerated in vacuum, ensuring it has sufficient lifetime for practical applications.

Life Sci ; 84(3-4): 97-104, 2009 Jan 16.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-19041881


AIMS: Resistin promotes macrophage-foam cell formation, but the mechanisms are unclear. In macrophages, lipid uptake is regulated by scavenger receptors (SR-A and CD36), while the cholesterol efflux is regulated by SR-BI, ATP-binding cassette transporter-A1 (ABCA1) and ABCG1. We investigated the mechanisms underlying the dysregulation by resistin of these regulators leading to promotion of lipid accumulation in bone marrow-derived macrophages. MAIN METHODS: Western blotting, real-time PCR and oil red O staining were performed. KEY FINDINGS: Resistin exacerbated lipid accumulation in oxLDL-treated macrophages. Resistin treatment of oxLDL-untreated macrophages showed increased SR-A and CD36 mRNA and protein levels, and decreased ABCA1 protein level, while having no effect on SR-BI or ABCG1 expression. Up-regulation of SR-A and CD36 by resistin resulted from activation of AP-1 and PPARgamma, respectively, and this was confirmed by the lack of activation of either after AP-1 inhibition using curcumin or SP600125, or PPARgamma inhibition using GW9662, respectively. The down-regulation of ABCA1 by resistin was not accompanied by a reduced mRNA level or an activation of LXRalpha/RXR, but resulted from enhanced protein degradation as revealed by the abolition of the down-regulation after inhibition of the proteasome pathway using ALLN or MG-132. A combined inhibition by SP600125, GW9662 and ALLN prevented resistin-induced exacerbation of lipid accumulation in oxLDL-treated macrophages. SIGNIFICANCE: Resistin promotes foam cell formation via dysregulation of SR-A, CD36 and ABCA1. SR-A and CD36 are transcriptionally up-regulated by resistin through AP-1 and PPARgamma, respectively, whereas ABCA1 is down-regulated by resistin through proteasome-mediated enhancement of protein degradation.

Transportadores de Cassetes de Ligação de ATP/fisiologia , Antígenos CD36/fisiologia , Metabolismo dos Lipídeos , Macrófagos/metabolismo , Resistina/fisiologia , Receptores Depuradores Classe A/fisiologia , Transportador 1 de Cassete de Ligação de ATP , Animais , Colesterol/metabolismo , Lipoproteínas LDL/fisiologia , PPAR gama/fisiologia , Complexo de Endopeptidases do Proteassoma/fisiologia , Ratos , Ratos Sprague-Dawley , Fator de Transcrição AP-1/fisiologia