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Abstract

To explore the basic principles of hierarchical materials designed from nanoscale and up, we have been studying the mechanics of robust and releasable adhesion nanostructures of gecko [1]. On the question of robust adhesion, we have introduced a fractal-like hierarchical hair model to show that structural hierarchy allows the work of adhesion to be exponentially enhanced as the level of structural hierarchy is increased. We show that the nanometer length scale plays an essential role in the bottom-up design and, baring fracture of hairs themselves, a hierarchical hair system can be designed from nanoscale and up to achieve flaw tolerant adhesion at any length scales. For releasable adhesion, we show that elastic anisotropy leads to orientation-dependent adhesion strength. Finite element calculations revealed that a strongly anisotropic attachment pad in contact with a rigid substrate exhibits essentially two levels of adhesion strength depending on the direction of pulling.
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Abstract

In order to understand infection of avian influenza A virus (AIV) and canine distemper virus (CDV) in the Siberian Tiger in Northeast China, 75 Siberian Tiger serum samples from three cap- tive facilities in northeastern China were collected. AIV and CDV antibody surveillance was test- ed by using hemagglutination inhibition and serum neutralization methods. The results showed that the seroprevalence of H5 AIV, H9 AIV and CDV was respectively 9.33% (7/75), 61.33% (46/75) and 16% (12/75). In the 1<years <2 and > 5 year-old group, the seroprevalence of the H9 AIV was 24% and 80% (P < 0.01), and the CDV seroprevalence was 6% and 36% (P < 0.01), respectively. It was demonstrated that 3 (4%) out of 75 serum samples were AIV+CDV seropos- itive, with 2.67% (2/75) in H9+AIV and 1.33% (1/75) in H5+H9+AIV. To our knowledge, this is the first report of AIV and CDV seroprevalence in Siberian Tigers in China, which will provide base-line data for the control of AIV and CDV infection in Siberian Tigers in China.
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Abstract

MDAP-2 is a new antibacterial peptide with a unique structure that was isolated from house- flies. However, its biological characteristics and antibacterial mechanisms against bacteria are still poorly understood. To study the biological characteristics, antibacterial activity, hemolytic activi- ty, cytotoxicity to mammalian cells, and the secondary structure of MDAP-2 were detected; the results showed that MDAP-2 displayed high antibacterial activity against all of the tested Gram-negative bacteria. MDAP-2 had lower hemolytic activity to rabbit red blood cells; only 3.4% hemolytic activity was observed at a concentration of 800μg/ml. MDAP-2 also had lower cytotoxicity to mammalian cells; IC50 values for HEK-293 cells, VERO cells, and IPEC-J2 cells were greater than 1000 μg/ml. The circular dichroism (CD) spectra showed that the peptide most- ly has α-helical properties and some β-fold structure in water and in membrane-like conditions. MDAP-2 is therefore a promising antibacterial agent against Gram-negative bacteria. To deter- mine the antibacterial mechanism(s) of action, fluorescent probes, flow cytometry, and transmis- sion electron microscopy (TEM) were used to study the effects of MDAP-2 on membrane perme- ability, polarization ability, and integrity of Gram-negative bacteria. The results indicated that the peptide caused membrane depolarization, increased membrane permeability, and destroyed membrane integrity. In conclusion, MDAP-2 is a broad-spectrum, lower hemolytic activity, and lower cytotoxicity antibacterial peptide, which is mainly effective on Gram-negative bacteria. It exerts its antimicrobial effects by causing bacterial cytoplasm membrane depolarization, increas- ing cell membrane permeability and disturbing the membrane integrity of Gram-negative bacte- ria. MDAP-2 may offer a new strategy to for defense against Gram-negative bacteria.
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