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  1. Cao, Yi (Ed.)
    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are among the most widespread natural and anthropogenic pollutants, and some PAHs are proven developmental toxicants. We chemically characterized clean and heavily polluted sites and exposed fish embryos to PAH polluted sediment extracts during four critical developmental stages. Embryos were collected from Fundulus heteroclitus populations inhabiting the clean and heavily polluted Superfund estuary. Embryos of parents from the clean sites are sensitive to PAH pollutants while those of parents from the heavily polluted site are resistant. Chemical analysis of embryos suggests PAH accumulation and pollution-induced toxicity among sensitive embryos during development that ultimately kills all sensitivemore »embryos before hatching, while remarkably, the resistant embryos develop normally. The adverse effects on sensitive embryos are manifested as developmental delays, reduced heart rates, and severe heart, liver, and kidney morphological abnormalities. Gene expression analysis of early somitogenesis, heartbeat initiation, late organogenesis, and pre-hatching developmental stages reveals genes whose expression significantly differs between sensitive and resistant embryo populations and helps to explain mechanisms of sensitivity and resistance to polluted environments during vertebrate animal development.« less
  2. Cao, Yi (Ed.)
    PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field) stimulation has been used for therapeutic purposes for over 50 years including in the treatment of memory loss, depression, alleviation of pain, bone and wound healing, and treatment of certain cancers. However, the underlying cellular mechanisms mediating these effects have remained poorly understood. In particular, because magnetic field pulses will induce electric currents in the stimulated tissue, it is unclear whether the observed effects are due to the magnetic or electric component of the stimulation. Recently, it has been shown that PEMFs stimulate the formation of ROS (reactive oxygen species) in human cell cultures by amore »mechanism that requires cryptochrome, a putative magnetosensor. Here we show by qPCR analysis of ROS-regulated gene expression that simply removing cell cultures from the Earth’s geomagnetic field by placing them in a Low-Level Field condition induces similar effects on ROS signaling as does exposure of cells to PEMF. This effect can be explained by the so-called Radical Pair mechanism, which provides a quantum physical means by which the rates and product yields (e.g. ROS) of biochemical redox reactions may be modulated by magnetic fields. Since transient cancelling of the Earth’s magnetic field can in principle be achieved by PEMF exposure, we propose that the therapeutic effects of PEMFs may be explained by the ensuing modulation of ROS synthesis. Our results could lead to significant improvements in the design and therapeutic applications of PEMF devices.« less
  3. Cao, Yi (Ed.)
    Raphidocelis subcapitata is one of the most frequently used species for algal growth inhibition tests. Accordingly, many microalgal culture collections worldwide maintain R . subcapitata for distribution to users. All R . subcapitata strains maintained in these collections are derived from the same cultured strain, NIVA-CHL1. However, considering that 61 years have passed since this strain was isolated, we suspected that NIVA-CHL1 in culture collections might have acquired various mutations. In this study, we compared the genome sequences among NIVA-CHL1 from 8 microalgal culture collections and one laboratory in Japan to evaluate the presence of mutations. We found single-nucleotide polymorphismsmore »or indels at 19,576 to 28,212 sites per strain in comparison with the genome sequence of R . subcapitata NIES-35, maintained at the National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan. These mutations were detected not only in non-coding but also in coding regions; some of the latter mutations may affect protein function. In growth inhibition test with 3,5-dichlorophenol, EC50 values varied 2.6-fold among the 9 strains. In the ATCC 22662–2 and CCAP 278/4 strains, we also detected a mutation in the gene encoding small-conductance mechanosensitive ion channel, which may lead to protein truncation and loss of function. Growth inhibition test with sodium chloride suggested that osmotic regulation has changed in ATCC 22662–2 and CCAP 278/4 in comparison with NIES-35.« less