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1.  Macromolecular Interactions Control Structural and Thermal Properties of Regenerated Tri-Component Blended Films 
With a growing need for sustainable resources research has become highly interested in investigating the structure and physical properties of biomaterials composed of natural macromolecules. In this study, we assessed the structural, morphological, and thermal properties of blended, regenerated films comprised of cellulose, lignin, and hemicellulose (xylan) using the ionic liquid 1-allyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride (AMIMCl). Attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) analysis, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray scattering, and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) were used to qualitatively and quantitatively measure bonding interactions, morphology, and thermal stability of the regenerated films. The results demonstrated that the regenerated films’ structural, morphological, and thermal character changed as a function of lignin-xylan concentration. The decomposition temperature rose according to an increase in lignin content and the surface topography of the regenerated films changed from fibrous to spherical patterns. This suggests that lignin-xylan concentration alters the self-assembly of lignin and the cellulose microfibril development. X-ray scattering confirms the extent of the morphological and molecular changes. Our data reveals that the inter- and intra-molecular interactions with the cellulose crystalline domains, along with the amount of disorder in the system, control the microfibril dimensional characteristics, lignin self-assembly, and possibly the overall material′s structural and thermal properties.
doi:10.3390/ijms17121989
PMCID: PMC5187789  PMID: 27916801
biomaterials; ionic liquids; morphology; lignin; self-assembly; microfibril; X-ray scattering; lignocellulose
2.  P2P proteomics -- data sharing for enhanced protein identification 
Background
In order to tackle the important and challenging problem in proteomics of identifying known and new protein sequences using high-throughput methods, we propose a data-sharing platform that uses fully distributed P2P technologies to share specifications of peer-interaction protocols and service components. By using such a platform, information to be searched is no longer centralised in a few repositories but gathered from experiments in peer proteomics laboratories, which can subsequently be searched by fellow researchers.
Methods
The system distributively runs a data-sharing protocol specified in the Lightweight Communication Calculus underlying the system through which researchers interact via message passing. For this, researchers interact with the system through particular components that link to database querying systems based on BLAST and/or OMSSA and GUI-based visualisation environments. We have tested the proposed platform with data drawn from preexisting MS/MS data reservoirs from the 2006 ABRF (Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities) test sample, which was extensively tested during the ABRF Proteomics Standards Research Group 2006 worldwide survey. In particular we have taken the data available from a subset of proteomics laboratories of Spain's National Institute for Proteomics, ProteoRed, a network for the coordination, integration and development of the Spanish proteomics facilities.
Results and Discussion
We performed queries against nine databases including seven ProteoRed proteomics laboratories, the NCBI Swiss-Prot database and the local database of the CSIC/UAB Proteomics Laboratory. A detailed analysis of the results indicated the presence of a protein that was supported by other NCBI matches and highly scored matches in several proteomics labs. The analysis clearly indicated that the protein was a relatively high concentrated contaminant that could be present in the ABRF sample. This fact is evident from the information that could be derived from the proposed P2P proteomics system, however it is not straightforward to arrive to the same conclusion by conventional means as it is difficult to discard organic contamination of samples. The actual presence of this contaminant was only stated after the ABRF study of all the identifications reported by the laboratories.
doi:10.1186/1759-4499-4-1
PMCID: PMC3298698  PMID: 22293032

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