Τετάρτη, 30 Μαρτίου 2016

Perception of speech in cartilage conduction.

Perception of speech in cartilage conduction.

Auris Nasus Larynx. 2016 Mar 25;

Authors: Miyamae R, Nishimura T, Hosoi H, Saito O, Shimokura R, Yamanaka T, Kitahara T

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: By attaching a transducer to the aural cartilage a relatively loud sound is audible even with a negligibly small fixation pressure applied to the transducer. This form of conduction is referred to as cartilage conduction (CC). Utilizing CC, novel audio devices can be developed, and one possible application is a CC hearing aid. However, there are no studies on speech perception in CC. In this study, CC speech recognition performance was measured and compared with that for air and bone conduction (AC and BC, respectively).
METHODS: Nine volunteers with normal hearing participated in the study. The performance-intensity functions were measured for AC, BC and CC. These measurements were performed in the conditions with and without an earplug.
RESULTS: Without the earplug, no differences in speech recognition scores were observed among AC, BC, and CC. With the earplug, the level at which the maximum speech recognition score was obtained did not increase in CC, which agreed with the result of BC but not AC. The maximum speech recognition CC score decreased with the earplug. The performance-intensity functions for AC and BC shifted in parallel with the earplug. These shifts approximated the average threshold shifts. In contrast, for CC, the performance-intensity function did not shift in parallel with the earplug. As for the CC threshold shifts with the earplug, although the threshold at 500Hz decreased by 15.4dB, those at 2000 and 4000Hz increased by 13.8 and 31.1dB, respectively. Compared with AC and BC, CC excessively emphasized low over high frequency sounds when the earplug was inserted. Confusion matrices analysis demonstrated that 4%, 22%, and 74% of the errors occurred at low, intermediate, and high frequency speech sounds, respectively. Thus, this excessive low frequency sound emphasis probably prevented the recognition of high frequency speech sounds.
CONCLUSION: The decrease in the maximum speech recognition score for CC with the earplug was derived from the biased frequency composition. It can be improved by frequency composition adjustment.

PMID: 27021264 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Adenylyl Cyclase-Associated Protein 1 in the Development of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinomas.

Adenylyl Cyclase-Associated Protein 1 in the Development of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinomas.

Bull Exp Biol Med. 2016 Mar 29;

Authors: Kakurina GV, Kondakova IV, Cheremisina OV, Shishkin DA, Choinzonov EL

Abstract
We compared the content of adenylyl cyclase-associated protein 1 (CAP1) in the blood and tissues of patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (with and without regional metastases), patients with chronic inflammatory diseases aggravated by laryngeal and laryngopharyngeal dysplasia, and healthy individuals. The data suggest that serum CAP1 concentration correlated with the depth of primary tumor invasion and the presence of regional metastases. In cancer patients, the serum level of CAP1 was lower than in patients with laryngeal and laryngopharyngeal dysplasia, which can be of importance for differential and timely diagnostics of malignant tumors.

PMID: 27021082 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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IJMS, Vol. 17, Pages 457: Meta-Analysis on Associations of RGS1 and IL12A Polymorphisms with Celiac Disease Risk

The pathogenesis of celiac disease (CD) has been related to polymorphisms in the regulator of G-protein signaling 1 (RGS1) and interleukin-12 A (IL12A) genes, but the existing findings are inconsistent. Our aim is to investigate the associations of two single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs2816316 in RGS1 and rs17810546 in IL12A) with CD risk using meta-analysis. We searched PubMed and Web of Science on RGS1 rs2816316 and IL12A rs17810546 with CD risk. Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of each SNP were estimated. All statistical analyses were performed on Stata 12.0. A total of seven studies were retrieved and analyzed. The available data indicated the minor allele C of rs2816316 was negatively associated with CD (C vs. A: OR = 0.77, 95% CI = 0.74–0.80), and a positive association was found for the minor allele G of rs17810546 (G vs. A: OR = 1.37, 95% CI = 1.31–1.43). The co-dominant model of genotype effect confirmed the significant associations between RGS1 rs2816316/IL12A rs17810546 and CD. No evidence of publication bias was observed. Our meta-analysis supports the associations of RGS1 and IL12A with CD and strongly calls for further studies to better understand the roles of RGS1 and IL12A in the pathogenesis of CD.

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IJMS, Vol. 17, Pages 463: Exploring Erythropoietin and G-CSF Combination Therapy in Chronic Stroke Patients

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Erythropoietin (EPO) and granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) are known to have neuroprotective actions. Based on previous reports showing the synergistic effects of EPO+G-CSF combination therapy in experimental models, we investigated the safety of EPO+G-CSF combination therapy in patients with chronic stroke. In a pilot study, 3 patients were treated with EPO and G-CSF for 5 consecutive days, with follow-up on day 30. In an exploratory double-blind study, 6 patients were allocated to treatment with either EPO+G-CSF or placebo. Treatment was applied once a day for 5 days per month over 3 months. Participants were followed up for 6 months. To substantiate safety, vital signs, adverse events, and hematological values were measured on days 0, 5, and 30 in each cycle and on day 180. Functional outcomes were determined on day 0 and 180. In the laboratory measurements, EPO+G-CSF combination therapy significantly elevated erythropoietin, CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells, white blood cells, and neutrophils on day 5 of each cycle. There were no observations of serious adverse events. In the functional outcomes, the grip power of the dominant hand was increased in the EPO+G-CSF treatment group. In conclusion, this exploratory study suggests a novel strategy of EPO+G-CSF combination therapy for stroke patients.

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IJMS, Vol. 17, Pages 473: Fluorescence-Lifetime Imaging Microscopy for Visualization of Quantum Dots’ Endocytic Pathway

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Accumulation of carboxylated polyethylene glycol (PEG) CdSe/ZnSquantum dots (QDs) has been monitored in living fibroblasts using confocal microscopy for fluorescence intensity and fluorescence-lifetime imaging (FLIM). The wide range of mean photoluminescence (PL) lifetime values was observed for the intracellular QDs in different intracellular microenvironment, which revealed structural heterogeneity of endosomes and enabled the distinguishing among endosomes of different maturity.

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Statement published on pairing smoking cessation with lung cancer screening

Researchers, including an associate professor from the Medical University of South Carolina Hollings Cancer Center, say smokers who go to a doctor to be screened for lung cancer should also be encouraged to quit smoking during their visit, according to a...

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Researchers found new clue to fighting acute myeloid leukaemia

A study led by researchers from the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore (CSI Singapore) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) has uncovered a new clue that may help fight acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), the most common form of cancer of the blood...

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Annular erythematous eruption with a high response to mosquito bite



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Orange pigmentation spots on the sole may be from a stink bug



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Levels of immunoglobulin E specific to the major food allergen and chemokine (C-C motif) ligand (CCL)17/thymus and activation regulated chemokine and CCL22/macrophage-derived chemokine in infantile atopic dermatitis on Ishigaki Island

Abstract

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a multifactorial T-helper (Th)2-mediated skin disease frequently associated with elevated serum immunoglobulin (Ig)E and food allergy is also a Th2- and IgE-mediated adverse immunological reaction. Our previous study indicated the relation of egg allergy history and disease severity of AD. Thus, the purpose of the study was to investigate the levels of IgE specific to major food allergens (egg, milk, wheat) and Th2 chemokines (chemokine [C-C motif] ligand [CCL]17/thymus and activation regulated chemokine [TARC] and CCL22/macrophage-derived chemokine [MDC]) and the relationship between them. A total of 743 nursery school children were enrolled. Dermatologist-based physical examination and a questionnaire survey were also conducted. Significantly increased levels of disease severity markers (CCL17/TARC and CCL22/MDC) were confirmed in children with AD. The levels of CCL22/MDC in all of the children were markedly high compared with those reported in adults. IgE specific to egg white, ovomucoid, wheat and mite antigen were significantly higher in the AD group than in the non-AD group. Among them, IgE specific to egg allergens were well associated with disease severity markers, and IgE specific to ovomucoid seemed particularly well correlated with the presence of egg allergy history. In conclusion, the markedly high level of CCL22/MDC in children as compared with those reported in adults may partly explain the AD-prone nature of children and their spontaneous remission afterwards. Mild but significant correlation of IgE specific to egg allergens and Th2 chemokines may explain correlation of disease severity and comorbidity of egg allergy in our previous study.



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Relationship between androgenetic alopecia and cardiovascular risk factors according to BASP classification in Koreans

Abstract

There have been many studies on the relationship between androgenetic alopecia (AGA) and cardiovascular risk factors, but the study results were inconsistent and research on AGA in Asians remains insufficient. This study investigated the relationship between Korean AGA and various cardiovascular risk factors, considering life habits, type of hair loss and sex. We investigated subjects who visited a hospital for public or industrial health medical examinations between October 2012 and December 2014. A questionnaire as well as anthropometric measurements and a blood test were performed. Among the 1884 total subjects, 52.6% had AGA. AGA patients displayed a significantly higher prevalence rate of cardiovascular diseases, smoking rate, fasting glucose and triglyceride, and a significantly lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level than did the non-AGA group. The results of the subgroup analysis showed higher prevalence rates of hypertension, stroke, metabolic syndrome and smoking in male AGA patients. The more severe the AGA, the higher the incidences of hypertension, diabetes and smoking were observed. According to the analysis results by BASP classification, the F-type AGA patients displayed a higher body mass index, waist circumference and diastolic blood pressure, and had a significantly higher prevalence rate of hypertension. As a result of the large population-based study, modifications in lifestyle and early screening for cardiovascular disease, as well as hypertension and diabetes, are suggested.



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Generalized keratosis pilaris-like eruptions in a chronic myelogenous leukemia patient treated with nilotinib



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Persistent supravenous erythematous eruption-like changes from antibiotics



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Photolysis quantum yield measurements in the near-UV; a critical analysis of 1-(2-nitrophenyl)ethyl photochemistry

Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2016, Accepted Manuscript
DOI: 10.1039/C5PP00440C,
John E. T. Corrie, Jack Kaplan, Biff Forbush, David Ogden, David Trentham
None
The content of this RSS Feed (c) The Royal Society of Chemistry


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Viruses, Vol. 8, Pages 93: Enterovirus Control of Translation and RNA Granule Stress Responses

Enteroviruses such as poliovirus (PV) and coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) have evolved several parallel strategies to regulate cellular gene expression and stress responses to ensure efficient expression of the viral genome. Enteroviruses utilize their encoded proteinases to take over the cellular translation apparatus and direct ribosomes to viral mRNAs. In addition, viral proteinases are used to control and repress the two main types of cytoplasmic RNA granules, stress granules (SGs) and processing bodies (P-bodies, PBs), which are stress-responsive dynamic structures involved in repression of gene expression. This review discusses these processes and the current understanding of the underlying mechanisms with respect to enterovirus infections. In addition, the review discusses accumulating data suggesting linkage exists between RNA granule formation and innate immune sensing and activation.

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NHS is unprepared for risks posed by climate change, warn leading UK health bodies

A newly formed coalition of leading UK health bodies has written to England’s health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to urge that the NHS should be better prepared to deal with climate change risks.The UK...
recent?d=yIl2AUoC8zA recent?d=dnMXMwOfBR0 recent?i=5AjB6mhoNhM:TQN-T-jkho0:V_sGLiP recent?d=qj6IDK7rITs recent?i=5AjB6mhoNhM:TQN-T-jkho0:gIN9vFw recent?d=l6gmwiTKsz0 recent?d=7Q72WNTAKBA recent?i=5AjB6mhoNhM:TQN-T-jkho0:F7zBnMy recent?i=5AjB6mhoNhM:TQN-T-jkho0:-BTjWOF


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Five minutes with . . . Ian Green

“We’re shocked that NHS England has abandoned its own process for the approval of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV. PrEP is a real game changer: it could revolutionise the prevention of HIV....
recent?d=yIl2AUoC8zA recent?d=dnMXMwOfBR0 recent?i=YiOaQCvFl20:b_VtRjrQemI:V_sGLiP recent?d=qj6IDK7rITs recent?i=YiOaQCvFl20:b_VtRjrQemI:gIN9vFw recent?d=l6gmwiTKsz0 recent?d=7Q72WNTAKBA recent?i=YiOaQCvFl20:b_VtRjrQemI:F7zBnMy recent?i=YiOaQCvFl20:b_VtRjrQemI:-BTjWOF


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The Laplacian-Energy-Like Invariants of Three Types of Lattices

This paper mainly studies the Laplacian-energy-like invariants of the modified hexagonal lattice, modified Union Jack lattice, and honeycomb lattice. By utilizing the tensor product of matrices and the diagonalization of block circulant matrices, we derive closed-form formulas expressing the Laplacian-energy-like invariants of these lattices. In addition, we obtain explicit asymptotic values of these invariants with software-aided computations of some integrals.

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Generalized Fractional Integral Operators and -Series

Two fractional integral operators associated with Fox -function due to Saxena and Kumbhat are applied to -series, which is an extension of both Mittag-Leffler function and generalized hypergeometric function . The Mellin and Whittaker transforms are obtained for these compositional operators with -series. Further some interesting properties have been established including power function and Riemann-Liouville fractional integral operators. The results are expressed in terms of -function, which are in compact form suitable for numerical computation. Special cases of the results are also pointed out in the form of lemmas and corollaries.

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Physiological and Biochemical Changes in Moth Bean (Vigna aconitifolia L.) under Cadmium Stress

Moth bean (Vigna aconitifolia L.), a drought resistant legume, possesses high nutritional value. Cadmium (Cd) is a nonessential and the most toxic heavy metal in plants. The present study was to test the hypothesis of whether moth bean being a drought resistant legume can withstand the cadmium stress. Ten-day-old moth bean seedlings were subjected to cadmium stress and investigated for a period of 15 days every 3-day intervals. Cadmium quantification in moth bean tissues suggests root accumulation and translocation to aerial parts in a concentration dependent manner. Results of physiological and biochemical studies revealed that cadmium has affected the growth parameters like shoot and root lengths and tissue dry weights. Significant alternations in relative water content and cell membrane stability were observed in stressed seedlings. Similarly superoxide radical, lipoxygenase activity, membrane lipid peroxidation products, protein carbonyls, and reduced glutathione and nonprotein thiols were found increased in stressed seedlings compared to controls. However, hydrogen peroxide and ascorbic acid levels were not altered significantly in both stressed and control seedlings. Cadmium translocation ability from roots to aerial parts and elevated levels of nonenzymatic antioxidants in stressed seedlings suggest the cadmium stress withstanding ability of moth bean.

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Redox Signaling and Neural Control of Cardiovascular Function



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KvLEA, a New Isolated Late Embryogenesis Abundant Protein Gene from Kosteletzkya virginica Responding to Multiabiotic Stresses

The LEA proteins are a kind of hydrophilic proteins, playing main functions in desiccation tolerance. However, their importance as a kind of stress proteins in abiotic stress is being clarified little by little. In this study we isolated, cloned, and identified the first KvLEA gene in Kosteletzkya virginica. Bioinformatic analysis showed that the protein encoded by this gene had common properties of LEA proteins and the multiple sequences alignment and phylogenetic analysis further showed that this protein had high homology with two Arabidopsis LEA proteins. Gene expression analysis revealed that this gene had a higher expression in root and it was induced obviously by salt stress. Moreover, the transcripts of KvLEA were also induced by other abiotic stresses including drought, high temperature, chilling, and ABA treatment. Among these abiotic stresses, ABA treatment brought about the biggest changes to this gene. Collectively, our research discovered a novel LEA gene and uncovered its involvement in multiabiotic stresses in K. virginica. This research not only enriched studies on LEA gene in plant but also would accelerate more studies on K. virginica in the future.

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Immobilization of dehydrogenase onto epoxy-functionalized nanoparticles for synthesis of (R)-mandelic acid

Publication date: July 2016
Source:International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, Volume 88
Author(s): Xiao-Ping Jiang, Ting-Ting Lu, Cai-Hong Liu, Xiao-Ming Ling, Meng-Yao Zhuang, Jiu-Xun Zhang, Ye-Wang Zhang
Epoxy functionalized magnetic Fe3O4@SiO2 nanoparticles were successfully prepared and characterized by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The prepared nanoparticles were used for immobilization of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) from Saccharomyces cerevisiae by covalent attachment. The optimal immobilization conditions were obtained as follows: enzyme/support 4.49mg/g, pH 8.0, buffer concentration 0.05M, time 12h and temperature 30°C. Under these conditions, a high immobilization yield and efficiency of above 92% were obtained after the optimization. Broad pH tolerance and high thermostability were achieved by the immobilization. The immobilized ADH retained about 84% initial activity after five cycles. Kinetic parameters Vmax and Km of free and immobilized ADH were determined as 56.72μM/min, 44.27μM/min and 11.54mM, 31.32mM, respectively. (R)-mandelic acid synthesis with the immobilized ADH was carried out, and the yield of (R)-mandelic acid was as high as 64%. These results indicate that the ADH immobilized onto epoxy-functionalized nanoparticles is an efficient and simple way for preparation of stable ADH, and the immobilized ADH has potential applications in the production of (R)-mandelic acid.



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Biomolecule-loaded chitosan nanoparticles induce apoptosis and molecular changes in cancer cell line (SiHa)

Publication date: July 2016
Source:International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, Volume 88
Author(s): Anbu Sujima Anbu, Palanivel Velmurugan, ​Jeong-Ho Lee, Byung-Taek Oh, Perumal Venkatachalam
The present study reports on the synthesis of chitosan nanoparticles (CNPs) using methanol extracts of Gymnema sylvestre (GS) leaves and Cinnamomum zeylanicum (CZ) bark. Biomolecule-loaded nanoparticles induced apoptosis in a human cervical cancer (SiHa) cell line, and experiments were carried out to elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms. FT-IR and XRD showed possible functional groups of the biomolecules and the crystalline nature of CNPs, respectively. Transmission electron microscopy images revealed that synthesized GSCNPs and CZCNPs had a smooth spherical shape with average sizes of about 58–80 and 60–120nm, respectively. Dynamic light scattering studies indicated that both GSCNPs and CZCNs were structurally stable with homogenous and heterogeneous natures, respectively. Furthermore, synthesized GSCNPs and CZCNPs exhibited dose-dependent cytotoxicity against the SiHa cancer cell line, with inhibitory concentration (IC50) values of 102.17μg/ml, 87.75μg/ml, 132.74μg/ml and 90.35μg/ml for GS leaf extract, GSCNPs, CZBE and CZCNPs, respectively.



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Control of microbiological corrosion on carbon steel with sodium hypochlorite and biopolymer

Publication date: July 2016
Source:International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, Volume 88
Author(s): Sara H. Oliveira, Maria Alice G.A. Lima, Francisca P. França, Magda R.S. Vieira, Pulkra Silva, Severino L. Urtiga Filho
In the present work, the interaction of a mixture of a biocide, sodium hypochlorite (NaClO), and a biopolymer, xanthan, with carbon steel coupons exposed to seawater in a turbulent flow regime was studied. The cell concentrations, corrosion rates, biomasses, and exopolysaccharides (EPSs) produced on the coupon surfaces with the various treatments were quantified. The corrosion products were evaluated using X-ray diffraction (XRD), and the surfaces of steels were analysed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results indicated that xanthan and the hypochlorite-xanthan mixture reduced the corrosion rate of steel.



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Crystal structure and dynamics of Spt16N-domain of FACT complex from Cicer arietinum

Publication date: July 2016
Source:International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, Volume 88
Author(s): Venkat N. Are, Biplab Ghosh, Ashwani Kumar, Rekha Gadre, Ravindra D. Makde
The facilitates chromatin transcription (FACT) complex, a heterodimer of SSRP1 and Spt16 proteins, is an essential histone chaperone that transiently reorganizes nucleosomes during transcription, replication and repair. N-terminal domain of Spt16 subunit (Spt16N) is strictly conserved in all the known Spt16 orthologs. Genetic studies in yeast have revealed a partially redundant role of Spt16N for the FACT functionality. Here, we report the crystal structure of Spt16N from a plant origin (Spt16Nca, Cicer arietinum) and its comparisons with the known Spt16N structures from yeasts and human. The inter-domain angle in Spt16Nca is significantly different from that of the yeast and human Spt16N structures. Normal mode analysis and classical molecular dynamics simulations reveal inter-domain movement in Spt16Nca and later also shows conformational flexibility of the critical loops. Spt16Nca binds to histone H3/H4 complex, similar to its orthologs from yeast and human origins. Further, conservation of electrostatic surface potentials in Spt16N structures from evolutionary distinct domains of eukaryotes (plant, human and fungi) have provided the potential sites on Spt16N for histone interactions. The structural comparisons with M24 peptidases show that the hydrophobic pocket shielded by a flexible loop of C-terminal domain of Spt16N that may be functionally important.



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Extraction of Angelica sinensis polysaccharides using ultrasound-assisted way and its bioactivity

Publication date: July 2016
Source:International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, Volume 88
Author(s): Ying Zhao, Yongyong Shi, Huixin Yang, Lijuan Mao
In the present article, ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) of polysaccharides from Angelica sinensis were investigated. The aim of the study is to examine the extraction parameters such as ultrasound power (140–180W), the ratio of liquid to solid (5–7), extraction time (40–50min) and extraction temperature (80–100°C) and to obtain the best possible combinations of these parameters through response surface methodology (RSM). Based on contour plots and variance analysis, optimum operational conditions for maximizing polysaccharides yield were found to be 180w, 7, 45min and 90°C. Under the optimum operating conditions determined, 6.96% polysaccharides were achieved. In addition, the results showed that A. sinensis polysaccharides (ASP) could increase antioxidant enzymes activities and decrease the MDA levels in the skeletal muscle of exhaustive exercise rats. This study provides strong evidence that A. sinensis polysaccharides supplementation possessed protective effects against exhaustive exercise-induced oxidative stress.



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Understanding the structure and digestibility of heat-moisture treated starch

Publication date: July 2016
Source:International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, Volume 88
Author(s): Hongwei Wang, Binjia Zhang, Ling Chen, Xiaoxi Li
To rationalize the effects of heat-moisture treatment (HMT) on starch digestibility, the HMT-induced alterations in the mesoscopic and molecular scale structures of regular and high-amylose maize starches, as well as in their digestibility, were evaluated. Accompanying the supramolecular structural disorganizations and certain molecular degradation induced by HMT, somewhat molecular rearrangements occurred to probably form densely packed starch fractions, which eventually weakened starch digestion and thus transformed RDS into SDS and RS for regular and high-amylose starches. Interestingly, due to its larger amount of inter-helical water molecules that could be induced by HMT, B-polymorphic high-amylose starch was more susceptible to HMT (relative A-polymorphic regular starch), causing more prominent structural evolutions including molecular re-assembly and thus increasingly slowed digestion. In particular, the treated high-amylose starch with 30% moisture content showed a high SDS+RS content (48.3%). The results indicate that HMT-treated starch may serve as a functional ingredient with adjustable enzymatic digestibility for various food products.



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Comprehensive study on the structure of the BSA from extended-to aged form in wide (2–12) pH range

Publication date: July 2016
Source:International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, Volume 88
Author(s): N. Varga, V. Hornok, D. Sebők, I. Dékány
In this work we studied the structure of the bovine serum albumin (BSA) and the protein-ligand interactions since researchers prefer to use them as carriers in drug delivery systems. Systematic study (between pH 2–12, in double distilled water and physiological salt solution) was carried out to determine the changes in the secondary and the tertiary structures of the BSA, the apparent molecular weight (Mw), the size (dLS) and the electrokinetic potential (ζ). At pH 7, the BSA has higher stability in the absence (ζ=−69mV, dLS=2.2nm, A2=1.4×10−3mlmol/g2) than in the presence of salt solution (ζ=−2.4mV, dLS=5.3nm, A2=−3.2×10−4mlmol/g2). The Mw strongly depends on the pH and the ionic strength (at pH 3 in the absence of salt, the Mw is 54.6kDa while in the presence of salt is 114kDa) which determines the geometry of the protein. The protein-ligand interactions were characterized by fluorescence (FL) and isothermal microcalorimetry (ITC) methods; these independent techniques provided similar thermodynamic parameters such as the binding constant (K) and the Gibbs free energy (ΔG).



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A study on the adsorption of methylene blue onto gum ghatti/TiO2 nanoparticles-based hydrogel nanocomposite

Publication date: July 2016
Source:International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, Volume 88
Author(s): Hemant Mittal, Suprakas Sinha Ray
The objective of this work was to study the isotherm and kinetic models for the adsorption of methylene blue (MB) onto a TiO2 nanoparticle (TiO2NP)-containing hydrogel nanocomposite (HNC) of polyacrylamide-grafted gum ghatti (PAAm-g-Gg). The grafting of PAAm onto Gg was conducted using N,N’-methylene-bis-acrylamide (MBA) as a crosslinker, and different weight percentages of TiO2NPs were incorporated into the hydrogel matrix during the grafting reaction. The graft co-polymerization and the formation of the HNC were confirmed using FTIR, XRD, BET, SEM, TEM and EDS analyses. The adsorption of MB was studied in batch mode and it was found to be highly dependent on solution pH, ionic strength temperature and adsorbent loading. The MB-adsorption process followed the pseudo-second-order rate model and Langmuir adsorption isotherm with a maximum adsorption capacity of 1305.5mgg−1. Thermodynamic studies revealed that the adsorption of MB onto the HNC surface was spontaneous, endothermic and through a process of physisorption. The results also showed that the HNC was much more effective for the adsorption of cationic dyes than anionic dyes, and it retained its original adsorption capacity for five successive cycles of adsorption-desorption. In conclusion, the hydrogel nanocomposite showed huge potential for remediating industrial wastewater polluted by toxic cationic dyes.



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C. butyricum lipoteichoic acid inhibits the inflammatory response and apoptosis in HT-29 cells induced by S. aureus lipoteichoic acid

Publication date: July 2016
Source:International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, Volume 88
Author(s): Jinbo Wang, Lili Qi, Lehe Mei, Zhige Wu, Hengzheng Wang
Lipoteichoic acid (LTA) is one of microbe-associated molecular pattern (MAMP) molecules of gram-positive bacteria. In this study, we demonstrated that Clostridium butyricum LTA (bLTA) significantly inhibited the inflammatory response and apoptosis induced by Staphylococcus aureus LTA (aLTA) in HT-29 cells. aLTA stimulated the inflammatory responses by activating a strong signal transduction cascade through NF-κB and ERK, but bLTA did not activate the signaling pathway. bLTA pretreatment inhibited the activation of the NF-κB and ERK signaling pathway induced by aLTA. The expression and release of cytokines such as IL-8 and TNF-α were also suppressed by bLTA pretreatment. aLTA treatment induced apoptosis in HT-29 cells, but bLTA did not affect the viability of the cells. Further study indicated that bLTA inhibited apoptosis in HT-29 cells induced by aLTA. These results suggest that bLTA may act as an aLTA antagonist and that an antagonistic bLTA may be a useful agent for suppressing the pro-inflammatory activities of gram-positive pathogenic bacteria.



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Biosynthesis, spectral properties and thermostability of cyanobacterial allophycocyanin holo-α subunits

Publication date: July 2016
Source:International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, Volume 88
Author(s): Huaxin Chen, Qiuzi Liu, Jin Zhao, Peng Jiang
Allophycocyanin (APC) is generally used as fluorescent labels. In this study, apcA genes from a mesophilic cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 and a thermophilic cyanobacterium Thermosynechococcus elongatus BP-1 were cloned into expression vectors to construct pathway for biosynthesis of allophycocyanin holo-α subunits (named as holo-ApcAS for Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 and holo-ApcAT for T. elongatus BP-1) in Escherichia coli. The two holo-ApcAs were successfully reconstituted in E. coli and purified by metal affinity chromatography. Spectral analysis showed that the two proteins have similar spectroscopic properties, with absorbance maximum both at 614nm and emission maximum at 639nm for holo-ApcAS and 638nm for holo-ApcAT. At high temperature, the recombinant holo-ApcAT was much more stable than the recombinant holo-ApcAS. Holo-ApcAS was most fluorescent at pH 8.5 and stable in pH range of 6.0–9.0 while holo-ApcAT was most fluorescent at pH 6.0 and stable in pH range of 5.0–7.0, with residual fluorescence intensity no less than 90% of the maximum fluorescence. These findings will pave the way for further protein engineering to achieve high stable APC from extremophiles.



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Levels of anti-fructose-modified HSA antibodies correlate with disease status in diabetic subjects

Publication date: July 2016
Source:International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, Volume 88
Author(s): Shaziya Allarakha, Kiran Dixit, Mohammad Shoaib Zaheer, Sheelu Shafiq Siddiqi, Moinuddin, Asif Ali
ObjectiveThis study aimed to assess the changes induced in HSA upon fructose-modification and to use the modified protein as an antigen for studying the presence of antibodies in diabetic patients. Further, magnitude of oxidative stress was also assessed.MethodsHSA was modified with fructose, changes induced were studied by DSC measurements and near-UV CD. The binding characteristics of antibodies in the sera of diabetes patients to native and modified-HSA was assessed by ELISA and band shift assay. The oxidative stress in these patients was studied by carbonyl content estimation, FRAP assay and TBARS determinationResultsDSC revealed that fructose modified-HSA was more thermostable than its native form. Changes in tertiary structure of fructose-modified HSA were seen in near-UV CD. Patient studies showed that fructose-modified HSA acts as a potent immunogen compared to its native form and the levels of antibodies against fructose-modified HSA served as a parameter for tracking the glycemic control and oxidative stress parameters (carbonyl content, FRAP value and MDA level) in diabetic patients.ConclusionsFructose-modification of HSA causes perturbations in its structure and function, thereby, making the protein antigenic besides decreasing its antioxidant capacity. This study suggests that fructose-modified-HSA is an important contributor in diabetic pathophysiology.



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Optimized method for TAG protein homology modeling: In silico and experimental structural characterization

Publication date: July 2016
Source:International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, Volume 88
Author(s): Jyoti Singh Tomar, Rama Krishna Peddinti
The DNA glycosylases cleave CN glycosyl bond to release a free base and generate abasic sites concurrently. Function and structure of these enzymes in the pathogenic bacterium Acinetobacter baumannii and its closely related species are not well characterized. Inhibition of TAG enzyme is a promising drug design strategy against A. baumannii. Here optimized molecular modeling approaches were used to provide a structural scaffold of TAG. The recombinant TAG protein was expressed and purified to determine oligomeric state using size exclusion chromatography, which showed the existence of TAG protein as monomer (mwt ∼21kDa). Secondary structure and substrate binding were analyzed using CD are in good agreement with the in silico predictions. Near UV-CD spectrum shows the involvement of Tyr residues in substrate recognition. Molecular docking studies were performed to understand the molecular recognition interactions and this knowledge was used to identify the potent inhibitors using virtual screening. Residues crucial for DNA holding and enzyme catalysis are reconfirmed by the in silico mutational studies.



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Cell Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis Induction via Modulation of Mitochondrial Integrity by Bcl-2 Family Members and Caspase Dependence in Dracaena cinnabari-Treated H400 Human Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Dracaena cinnabari Balf.f. is a red resin endemic to Socotra Island, Yemen. Although there have been several reports on its therapeutic properties, information on its cytotoxicity and anticancer effects is very limited. This study utilized a bioassay-guided fractionation approach to determine the cytotoxic and apoptosis-inducing effects of D. cinnabari on human oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). The cytotoxic effects of D. cinnabari crude extract were observed in a panel of OSCC cell lines and were most pronounced in H400. Only fractions DCc and DCd were active on H400 cells; subfractions DCc15 and DCd16 exhibited the greatest cytotoxicity against H400 cells and D. cinnabari inhibited cells proliferation in a time-dependent manner. This was achieved primarily via apoptosis where externalization of phospholipid phosphatidylserine was observed using DAPI/Annexin V fluorescence double staining mechanism studied through mitochondrial membrane potential assay cytochrome enzyme-linked immunosorbent and caspases activities revealed depolarization of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and significant activation of caspases 9 and 3/7, concomitant with S phase arrest. Apoptotic proteins array suggested that MMP was regulated by Bcl-2 proteins family as results demonstrated an upregulation of Bax, Bad, and Bid as well as downregulation of Bcl-2. Hence, D. cinnabari has the potential to be developed as an anticancer agent.

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Death of a 29-Year-Old Male from Undifferentiated Sepsis

Tumour necrosis factor alpha inhibitors, such as infliximab, and other biologic agents are associated with increased risk of opportunistic infection, including tuberculosis. Tuberculosis infections associated with infliximab tend to present atypically and can be difficult to diagnose, as they are more likely to manifest as extrapulmonary or disseminated disease. The authors report a case involving a 29-year-old male patient who died following 16 days of treatment for undifferentiated sepsis and who was found on autopsy to have widespread disseminated tuberculosis. Prior to the onset of illness, the patient had received infliximab for the treatment of Crohn’s disease. Following discussion of the case, the authors review the definition of adverse events, provide a root cause analysis of the cognitive errors and breakdowns in the health care system that contributed to the reported outcome, and identify opportunities to address these breakdowns and improve patient safety measures for future cases.

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Zinc Chelation Mediates the Lysosomal Disruption without Intracellular ROS Generation

We report the molecular mechanism for zinc depletion caused by TPEN (N,N,N′,N′-Tetrakis(2-pyridylmethyl)ethylenediamine) in neuroblastoma cells. The activation of p38 MAP kinase and subsequently caspase 3 is not due to or followed by redox imbalance or ROS generation, though these are commonly observed in literature. We found that TPEN is not responsible for ROS generation and the mechanism involves essentially lysosomal disruption caused by intracellular zinc depletion. We also observed a modest activation of Bax and no changes in the Bcl-2 proteins. As a result, we suggest that TPEN causes intracellular zinc depletion which can influence the breakdown of lysosomes and cell death without ROS generation.

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Determinants of Early Marriage from Married Girls’ Perspectives in Iranian Setting: A Qualitative Study

Early marriage is a worldwide problem associated with a range of health and social consequences for teenage girls. Designing effective health interventions for managing early marriage needs to apply the community-based approaches. However, it has received less attention from policymakers and health researchers in Iran. Therefore, the current study aimed to explore determinants of early marriage from married girls’ perspectives. The study was conducted from May 2013 to January 2015 in Ahvaz, Iran. A purposeful sampling method was used to select fifteen eligible participants. Data were collected through face-to-face, semistructured interviews and were analyzed using the conventional content analysis approach. Three categories emerged from the qualitative data including “family structure,” “Low autonomy in decision-making,” and “response to needs.” According to the results, although the participants were not ready to get married and intended to postpone their marriage, multiple factors such as individual and contextual factors propelled them to early marriage. Given that early marriage is a multifactorial problem, health care providers should consider a multidimensional approach to support and empower these vulnerable girls.

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Multivariate Statistics and Supervised Learning for Predictive Detection of Unintentional Islanding in Grid-Tied Solar PV Systems

Integration of solar photovoltaic (PV) generation with power distribution networks leads to many operational challenges and complexities. Unintentional islanding is one of them which is of rising concern given the steady increase in grid-connected PV power. This paper builds up on an exploratory study of unintentional islanding on a modeled radial feeder having large PV penetration. Dynamic simulations, also run in real time, resulted in exploration of unique potential causes of creation of accidental islands. The resulting voltage and current data underwent dimensionality reduction using principal component analysis (PCA) which formed the basis for the application of statistic control charts for detecting the anomalous currents that could island the system. For reducing the false alarm rate of anomaly detection, Kullback-Leibler (K-L) divergence was applied on the principal component projections which concluded that statistic based approach alone is not reliable for detection of the symptoms liable to cause unintentional islanding. The obtained data was labeled and a -nearest neighbor (-NN) binomial classifier was then trained for identification and classification of potential islanding precursors from other power system transients. The three-phase short-circuit fault case was successfully identified as statistically different from islanding symptoms.

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Urinary 3-(3-Hydroxyphenyl)-3-hydroxypropionic Acid, 3-Hydroxyphenylacetic Acid, and 3-Hydroxyhippuric Acid Are Elevated in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of mental illnesses highly correlated with gut microbiota. Recent studies have shown that some abnormal aromatic metabolites in autism patients are presumably derived from overgrown Clostridium species in gut, which may be used for diagnostic purposes. In this paper, a GC/MS based metabolomic approach was utilized to seek similar biomarkers by analyzing the urinary information in 62 ASDs patients compared with 62 non-ASDs controls in China, aged 1.5–7. Three compounds identified as 3-(3-hydroxyphenyl)-3-hydroxypropionic acid (HPHPA), 3-hydroxyphenylacetic acid (3HPA), and 3-hydroxyhippuric acid (3HHA) were found in higher concentrations in autistic children than in the controls (). After oral vancomycin treatment, urinary excretion of HPHPA (), 3HPA (), and 3HHA () decreased markedly, which indicated that these compounds may also be from gut Clostridium species. The sensitivity and specificity of HPHPA, 3HPA, and 3HHA were evaluated by receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. The specificity of each compound for ASDs was very high (>96%). After two-regression analysis, the optimal area under the curve (AUC, 0.962), sensitivity (90.3%), and specificity (98.4%) were obtained by ROC curve of Prediction probability based on the three metabolites. These findings demonstrate that the measurements of the three compounds are strong predictors of ASDs and support the potential clinical utility for identifying a subgroup of ASDs subjects.

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Diagnostic Laparoscopy with Ultrasound Still Has a Role in the Staging of Pancreatic Cancer: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Background. The reported incidence of noncurative laparotomies for pancreatic cancer using standard imaging (SI) techniques for staging remains high. The objectives of this study are to determine the diagnostic accuracy of diagnostic laparoscopy with ultrasound (DLUS) in assessing resectability of pancreatic tumors. Study Design. We systematically searched the literature for prospective studies investigating the accuracy of DLUS in determining resectability of pancreatic tumors. Results. 104 studies were initially identified and 19 prospective studies (1,573 patients) were included. DLUS correctly predicted resectability in 79% compared to 55% for SI. DLUS prevented noncurative laparotomies in 33%. Of those, the most frequent DLUS findings precluding resection were liver metastases, vascular involvement, and peritoneal metastases. DLUS had a morbidity rate of 0.8% with no mortalities. DLUS remained superior to SI when analyzing studies published only in the last five years (100% versus 81%), enrolling patients after the year 2000 (74% versus 58%), or comparing DLUS to modern multidimensional CT (100% versus 78%). Conclusion. DLUS seems to still have a role in the preoperative staging of pancreatic cancer. With its ability to detect liver metastases, vascular involvement, and peritoneal metastases, the use of DLUS leads to less noncurative laparotomies.

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Investigation on Microblasting Applied to CrN Coatings

A microblasting treatment carried out on CrN coated samples was studied to investigate the induced effect on corrosion and wear resistance. CrN coating was deposited through Cathodic Arc Evaporation technique on quenched and tempered steel. The properties of the coating were studied by hardness measurements, scratch, potentiodynamic, and pin-on-disk tests. The results show that microblasting reduces the corrosion resistance while improving the wear behavior.

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Cancers, Vol. 8, Pages 42: Radioresistance of Brain Tumors

Radiation therapy (RT) is frequently used as part of the standard of care treatment of the majority of brain tumors. The efficacy of RT is limited by radioresistance and by normal tissue radiation tolerance. This is highlighted in pediatric brain tumors where the use of radiation is limited by the excessive toxicity to the developing brain. For these reasons, radiosensitization of tumor cells would be beneficial. In this review, we focus on radioresistance mechanisms intrinsic to tumor cells. We also evaluate existing approaches to induce radiosensitization and explore future avenues of investigation.

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Current Concepts Related to Hypertrophic Scarring in Burn Injuries

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Abstract

Scarring following burn injury and its accompanying aesthetic and functional sequelae still pose major challenges. Hypertrophic scarring (HTS) can greatly impact patients' quality of life related to appearance, pain, pruritus and even loss of function of the injured body region. The identification of molecular events occurring in the evolution of the burn scar has increased our knowledge; however, this information has not yet translated into effective treatment modalities. Although many of the pathophysiologic pathways that bring about exaggerated scarring have been identified, certain nuances in burn scar formation are starting to be recognized. These include the effects of neurogenic inflammation, mechanotransduction, and the unique interactions of burn wound fluid with fat tissue in the deeper dermal layers, all of which may influence scarring outcome. Tension on the healing scar, pruritus, and pain all induce signaling pathways that ultimately result in increased collagen formation and myofibroblast phenotypic changes. Exposure of the fat domes in the deep dermis is associated with increased HTS, possibly on the basis of altered interaction of adipose-derived stem cells and the deep burn exudate. These pathophysiologic patterns related to stem cell-cytokine interactions, mechanotransduction, and neurogenic inflammation can provide new avenues of exploration for possible therapeutic interventions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.



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Immunoglobulin G4-related disease presenting with prurigo: Circulating T-helper 2 cells may be involved in the pathogenesis

Abstract

We report a case of immunoglobulin G4-related disease (IgG4-RD) which presented with prurigo on the trunk and extremities. A 66-year-old man had a 2-month history of itchy erythematous papules on his trunk and extremities. Bilateral eyelid swelling and enlargement of the submandibular and parotid glands were also observed. Computed tomography revealed pleural thickening and diffuse pancreatic enlargement. Serum levels of IgG4 were markedly increased. A biopsy specimen obtained from an erythematous papule showed a perivascular inflammatory infiltrate of lymphocytes with eosinophils in the dermis, whereas a parotid gland biopsy revealed an infiltrate of abundant IgG4-positive plasma cells. Treatment with prednisolone resulted in improvement of the skin and other lesions along with a decrease in IgG4 serum levels. A flow cytometric assay revealed that percentages of interleukin (IL)-4- and IL-13-producing CD4+ T cells were markedly higher in the circulation of the IgG4-RD patient than in that of healthy subjects. Moreover, those populations dramatically decreased after treatment. Thus, prurigo may be a skin manifestation of IgG4-RD and T-helper 2 cells may contribute to the pathogenesis.



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Case of pigmented dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans with atrophic change



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First case of redness and erosion at bacillus Calmette–Guérin inoculation site after vaccination against influenza



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Viruses, Vol. 8, Pages 87: Natural History of Aerosol Exposure with Marburg Virus in Rhesus Macaques

Marburg virus causes severe and often lethal viral disease in humans, and there are currently no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medical countermeasures. The sporadic occurrence of Marburg outbreaks does not allow for evaluation of countermeasures in humans, so therapeutic and vaccine candidates can only be approved through the FDA animal rule—a mechanism requiring well-characterized animal models in which efficacy would be evaluated. Here, we describe a natural history study where rhesus macaques were surgically implanted with telemetry devices and central venous catheters prior to aerosol exposure with Marburg-Angola virus, enabling continuous physiologic monitoring and blood sampling without anesthesia. After a three to four day incubation period, all animals developed fever, viremia, and lymphopenia before developing tachycardia, tachypnea, elevated liver enzymes, decreased liver function, azotemia, elevated D-dimer levels and elevated pro-inflammatory cytokines suggesting a systemic inflammatory response with organ failure. The final, terminal period began with the onset of sustained hypotension, dehydration progressed with signs of major organ hypoperfusion (hyperlactatemia, acute kidney injury, hypothermia), and ended with euthanasia or death. The most significant pathologic findings were marked infection of the respiratory lymphoid tissue with destruction of the tracheobronchial and mediastinal lymph nodes, and severe diffuse infection in the liver, and splenitis.

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Sleep duration estimates of Canadian children and adolescents

Summary

The objective of this study was to provide contemporary sleep duration estimates of Canadian school-aged children and adolescents and to determine the proportion adhering to the sleep duration recommendations. This study included 24 896 participants aged 10–17 years from the 2013/2014 Canadian Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study (HBSC), a nationally representative cross-sectional study. Bedtime and wake-up times were reported by participants and their sleep duration was calculated. Participants were then classified as having a sleep duration that met the recommended range (9–11 h per night for 10–13-year-olds or 8–10 h per night for 14–17-year-olds), a sleep duration that was shorter than the recommended range or a sleep duration that was longer than the recommended range. An estimated 68% of children aged 10–13 years and 72% of adolescents aged 14–17 years sleep for the recommended amount per night when averaged across all days of the week. Short sleepers represent 31% of school-aged children and 26% of adolescents. Long sleepers are rare (<2% overall). Children and adolescents sleep ~1 h more at weekends compared to weekdays. Approximately 5% of the participants typically went to bed after midnight on weekdays and 31% did so at weekends; these proportions reached 11 and 45%, respectively, within 16–17-year-olds. In general, differences in sleep times between boys and girls are small and not clinically significant. In conclusion, almost one-third of Canadian children and adolescents sleep less than the recommended amount. Public health efforts should continue to monitor the sleep of Canadian children and adolescents and identify subgroups of the population more likely to be affected by insufficient sleep.



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IJERPH, Vol. 13, Pages 383: Changes in Cosmetics Use during Pregnancy and Risk Perception by Women

Cosmetic products contain various chemical substances that may be potential carcinogen and endocrine disruptors. Women’s changes in cosmetics use during pregnancy and their risk perception of these products have not been extensively investigated. The main objective of this study was to describe the proportion of pregnant women changing cosmetics use and the proportion of non-pregnant women intending to do so if they became pregnant. The secondary objectives were to compare, among the pregnant women, the proportions of those using cosmetics before and during pregnancy, and to describe among pregnant and non-pregnant women, the risk perception of these products. A cross-sectional study was carried out in a gynaecology clinic and four community pharmacies. One hundred and twenty-eight women (60 non-pregnant and 68 pregnant women) replied to a self-administered questionnaire. Cosmetics use was identified for 28 products. The results showed that few women intended to change or had changed cosmetics use during pregnancy. Nail polish was used by fewer pregnant women compared to the period before pregnancy (p < 0.05). Fifty-five percent of the women considered cosmetics use as a risk during pregnancy and 65% would have appreciated advice about these products. Our findings indicate that all perinatal health professionals should be ready to advise women about the benefits and risks of using cosmetics during pregnancy.

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