There is still an ongoing effort to search for sustainable, clean and highly efficient energy generation to satisfy the energy needs of modern society. Among various advanced technologies, electrocatalysis for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) plays a key role and numerous new electrocatalysts have been developed to improve the efficiency of gas evolution. Along the way, enormous effort has been devoted to finding high-performance electrocatalysts, which has also stimulated the invention of new techniques to investigate the properties of materials or the fundamental mechanism of the OER. This accumulated knowledge not only establishes the foundation of the mechanism of the OER, but also points out the important criteria for a good electrocatalyst based on a variety of studies. Even though it may be difficult to include all cases, the aim of this review is to inspect the current progress and offer a comprehensive insight toward the OER. This review begins with examining the theoretical principles of electrode kinetics and some measurement criteria for achieving a fair evaluation among the catalysts. The second part of this review acquaints some materials for performing OER activity, in which the metal oxide materials build the basis of OER mechanism while non-oxide materials exhibit greatly promising performance toward overall water-splitting. Attention of this review is also paid to in situ approaches to electrocatalytic behavior during OER, and this information is crucial and can provide efficient strategies to design perfect electrocatalysts for OER. Finally, the OER mechanism from the perspective of both recent experimental and theoretical investigations is discussed, as well as probable strategies for improving OER performance with regards to future developments.
Titanium dioxide (TiO2), as an important semiconductor metal oxide, has been widely investigated in the field of photocatalysis. The properties of TiO2, including its light absorption, charge transport and surface adsorption, are closely related to its defect disorder, which in turn plays a significant role in the photocatalytic performance of TiO2. Among all the defects identified in TiO2, oxygen vacancy is one of the most important and is supposed to be the prevalent defect in many metal oxides, which has been widely investigated both by theoretical calculations and experimental characterizations. Here, we give a short review on the existing strategies for the synthesis of defective TiO2 with oxygen vacancies, and the defect related properties of TiO2 including structural, electronic, optical, dissociative adsorption and reductive properties, which are intimately related to the photocatalytic performance of TiO2. In particular, photocatalytic applications with regard to defective TiO2 are outlined. In addition, we offer some perspectives on the challenge and new direction for future research in this field. We hope that this tutorial minireview would provide some useful contribution to the future design and fabrication of defective semiconductor-based nanomaterials for diverse photocatalytic applications.
Compressive surface strains have been necessary to boost oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity in core/shell M/platinum (Pt) catalysts (where M can be nickel, cobalt, or iron). We report on a class of platinum-lead/platinum (PtPb/Pt) core/shell nanoplate catalysts that exhibit large biaxial strains. The stable Pt (110) facets of the nanoplates have high ORR specific and mass activities that reach 7.8 milliampere (mA) per centimeter squared and 4.3 ampere per milligram of platinum at 0.9 volts versus the reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE), respectively. Density functional theory calculations reveal that the edge-Pt and top (bottom)-Pt (110) facets undergo large tensile strains that help optimize the Pt-O bond strength. The intermetallic core and uniform four layers of Pt shell of the PtPb/Pt nanoplates appear to underlie the high endurance of these catalysts, which can undergo 50,000 voltage cycles with negligible activity decay and no apparent structure and composition changes.
Cytoplasmic dynein, the 1.2 MDa motor driving minus-end-directed motility, has been reported to move processively along microtubules, but its mechanism of motility remains poorly understood. Here, using S. cerevisiae to produce recombinant dynein with a chemically controlled dimerization switch, we show by structural and single-molecule analysis that processivity requires two dynein motor domains but not dynein's tail domain or any associated subunits. Dynein advances most frequently in 8 nm steps, although longer as well as side and backward steps are observed. Individual motor domains show a different stepping pattern, which is best explained by the two motor domains shuffling in an alternating manner between rear and forward positions. Our results suggest that cytoplasmic dynein moves processively through the coordination of its two motor domains, but its variable step size and direction suggest a considerable diffusional component to its step, which differs from Kinesin-1 and is more akin to myosin VI.
Rationale: Acute lung injury is a common complication after severe trauma, which predisposes patients to multiple organ failure. This syndrome largely accounts for the late mortality that arises and despite many theories, the pathological mechanism is not fully understood. Discovery of histone-induced toxicity in mice presents a new dimension for elucidating the underlying pathophysiology. Objectives: To investigate the pathological roles of circulating histones in trauma-induced lung injury. Methods: Circulating histone levels in patients with severe trauma were determined and correlated with respiratory failure and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) scores. Their cause-effect relationship was studied using cells and mouse models. Measurements and Main Results: In a cohort of 52 patients with severe nonthoracic blunt trauma, circulating histones surged immediately after trauma to levels that were toxic to cultured endothelial cells. The high levels were significantly associated with the incidence of acute lung injury and SOFA scores, as well as markers of endothelial damage and coagulation activation. In in vitro systems, histones damaged endothelial cells, stimulated cytokine release, and induced neutrophil extracellular trap formation and myeloperoxidase release. Cellular toxicity resulted from their direct membrane interaction and resultant calcium influx. In mouse models, cytokines and markers for endothelial damage and coagulation activation significantly increased immediately after trauma or histone infusion. Pathological examinations showed that lungs were the predominantly affected organ with edema, hemorrhage, microvascular thrombosis, and neutrophil congestion. An anti-histone antibody could reduce these changes and protect mice from histone-induced lethality. Conclusions: This study elucidates a new mechanism for acute lung injury after severe trauma and proposes that circulating histones are viable therapeutic targets for improving survival outcomes in patients.
The formation of a metaphase spindle, a bipolar microtubule array with centrally aligned chromosomes, is a prerequisite for the faithful segregation of a cell's genetic material. Using a full-genome RNA interference screen of Drosophila S2 cells, we identified about 200 genes that contribute to spindle assembly, more than half of which were unexpected. The screen, in combination with a variety of secondary assays, led to new insights into how spindle microtubules are generated; how centrosomes are positioned; and how centrioles, centrosomes, and kinetochores are assembled.
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