In the present work, the microstructure of the melt-spun Al 90 Ce 10 alloy has been characterized using X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy together with energy-dispersive spectrometry. It has been found that the microstructure of the melt-spun Al 90 Ce 10 alloy is composed of the amorphous phase, f -Al, f -Al 11 Ce 3 , Al 3 Ce and unidentified phases, quite different from that of the ingot-like alloy consisting of coarse primary f -Al- f -Al 11 Ce (...) 3 dendrites embedded in the f -Al- f -Al 11 Ce 3 eutectic matrix. Moreover, the amorphous phase is dominant in the melt-spun Al 90 Ce 10 alloy according to the XRD and TEM results. Al 3 Ce particles, less than 100 nm in size, are dispersed in the partial amorphous phase. Polygonal f -Al 11 Ce 3 crystals embedded in the f -Al matrix are also observed. The presence of the hexagonal, kite-like and petal-like intermetallic particles surrounded by the amorphous phase indicates that there exist micro-inhomogeneous structures in the Al 90 Ce 10 melt. These results demonstrate that the overheating of the melt has a significant effect on the amorphization of the Al 90 Ce 10 alloy. (shrink)
We agree with many of the principles proposed by Frost but highlight crucial caveats and report research findings that challenge several assertions made in the target article. We discuss the roles that visual processing, development, and bilingualism play in visual word recognition and reading. These are overlooked in all current models, but are fundamental to any universal model of reading.
The Protein Ontology (PRO) provides a formal, logically-based classification of specific protein classes including structured representations of protein isoforms, variants and modified forms. Initially focused on proteins found in human, mouse and Escherichia coli, PRO now includes representations of protein complexes. The PRO Consortium works in concert with the developers of other biomedical ontologies and protein knowledge bases to provide the ability to formally organize and integrate representations of precise protein forms so as to enhance accessibility to results of protein (...) research. PRO (http://pir.georgetown.edu/pro) is part of the Open Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) Foundry. (shrink)
Social capital can serve as informal governance in weak investor-protection regimes. Using hand-collected data on entrepreneurs’ political connections and firm ownership, we construct several original measures of social capital and examine their effect on the performance of entrepreneurial firms in China after their initial public offerings. Political connections or a high percentage of external investors tend to enhance firm performance, but intragroup related-party transactions commonly lead to performance decline. These forms of social capital have a strong influence on the performance (...) of Chinese firms, whereas formal governance variables such as board size or board independence have little effect. Although social capital may serve as an informal governance mechanism and effectively substitute for formal governance mechanisms in an emerging market, this role of social capital raises several ethical concerns, notably the development of rent-seeking and crony capitalism. (shrink)
Up till now, China has not enacted any legal mechanisms governing certification or supervision for ethics committees. This article analyses deficiencies in the protection of subjects in clinical drug trials under China’s current laws and regulations; it emphasizes that investigators, as practitioners who have direct contact with subjects, play significant roles in protecting and safeguarding subjects’ rights and interests. The paper compares the status quo in China in this area to that of other countries and discusses ways China might enhance (...) the protection of rights and interests of trial subjects, such as enhancing the ethical awareness of investigators through training, improving laws and regulations, and strengthening the communication between investigators and ethics committees. (shrink)
Although activated spinal cord glia contribute importantly to neuropathic pain, how nerve injury activates glia remains controversial. It has recently been proposed, on the basis of genetic approaches, that toll-like receptor 4 may be a key receptor for initiating microglial activation following L5 spinal nerve injury. The present studies extend this idea pharmacologically by showing that TLR4 is key for maintaining neuropathic pain following sciatic nerve chronic constriction injury. Established neuropathic pain was reversed by intrathecally delivered TLR4 receptor antagonists derived (...) from lipopolysaccharide. Additionally, -naltrexone, -naloxone, and -naloxone, which we show here to be TLR4 antagonists in vitro on both stably transfected HEK293-TLR4 and microglial cell lines, suppressed neuropathic pain with complete reversal upon chronic infusion. Immunohistochemical analyses of spinal cords following chronic infusion revealed suppression of CCI-induced microglial activation by -naloxone and -naloxone, paralleling reversal of neuropathic pain. Together, these CCI data support the conclusion that neuron-to-glia signaling through TLR4 is important not only for initiating neuropathic pain, as suggested previously, but also for maintaining established neuropathic pain. Furthermore, these studies suggest that the novel TLR4 antagonists -naloxone and -naloxone can each fully reverse established neuropathic pain upon multi-day administration. This finding with -naloxone is of potential clinical relevance. This is because -naloxone is an antagonist that is inactive at the -opioid selective receptors on neurons that produce analgesia. Thus, these data suggest that -opioid antagonists such as -naloxone may be useful clinically to suppress glial activation, yet -opioid agonists suppress pain. (shrink)