Τετάρτη, 30 Νοεμβρίου 2016

Contamination of ground red pepper with fungi and mycotoxin


Alexandros Sfakianakis
Anapafseos 5 . Agios Nikolaos

Paediatric spinal cord infarction : A previously healthy 14-year-old female who began having difficulty breathing at school immediately after experiencing a burning sensation down her neck and back.


Alexandros Sfakianakis
Anapafseos 5 . Agios Nikolaos


Source: Rawal Medical Journal
The Editorial Board of Rawal Medical Journal would like to thank the following individuals who reviewed manuscripts for volume 41, 2016


PTEN Activation by DNA Damage Induces Protective Autophagy in Response to Cucurbitacin B in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells

Cucurbitacin B (Cuc B), a natural product, induced both protective autophagy and DNA damage mediated by ROS while the detailed mechanisms remain unclear. This study explored the mechanism of Cuc B-induced DNA damage and autophagy. Cuc B decreased cell viability in concentration- and time-dependent manners. Cuc B caused long comet tails and increased expression of γ-H2AX, phosphorylation of ATM/ATR, and Chk1/Chk2. Cuc B induced autophagy as evidenced by monodansylcadaverine (MDC) staining, increased expression of LC3II, phosphorylated ULK1, and decreased expression of phosphorylated AKT, mTOR. Cuc B induced apoptosis mediated by Bcl-2 family proteins and caspase activation. Furthermore, Cuc B induced ROS formation, which was inhibited by N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC). NAC pretreatment dramatically reversed Cuc B-induced DNA damage, autophagy, and apoptosis. Cuc B-induced apoptosis was reversed by NAC but enhanced by 3-methyladenine (3-MA), chloroquine (CQ), and silencing phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN). 3-MA and CQ showed no effect on Cuc B-induced DNA damage. In addition, Cuc B increased PTEN phosphorylation and silence PTEN restored Cuc B-induced autophagic protein expressions without affecting DNA damage. In summary, Cuc B induced DNA damage, apoptosis, and protective autophagy mediated by ROS. PTEN activation in response to DNA damage bridged DNA damage and prosurvival autophagy.

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Overview of Pregnancy in Renal Transplant Patients

Kidney transplantation offers best hope to women with end-stage renal disease who wish to become pregnant. Pregnancy in a kidney transplant recipient continues to remain challenging due to side effects of immunosuppressive medication, risk of deterioration of allograft function, risk of adverse maternal complications of preeclampsia and hypertension, and risk of adverse fetal outcomes of premature birth, low birth weight, and small for gestational age infants. The factors associated with poor pregnancy outcomes include presence of hypertension, serum creatinine greater than 1.4 mg/dL, and proteinuria. The recommended maintenance immunosuppression in pregnant women is calcineurin inhibitors (tacrolimus/cyclosporine), azathioprine, and low dose prednisone; and it is considered safe. Sirolimus and mycophenolate mofetil should be stopped 6 weeks prior to conception. The optimal time to conception continues to remain an area of contention. It is important that counseling for childbearing should start as early as prior to getting a kidney transplant and should be done at every clinic visit after transplant. Breast-feeding is not contraindicated and should not be discouraged. This review will help the physicians in medical optimization and counseling of renal transplant recipients of childbearing age.

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Influence of Extreme Storage Conditions on Extra Virgin Olive Oil Parameters: Traceability Study

This study reflects the effect of extreme storage conditions on several extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) varieties (arbequina, hojiblanca, and picual). The conditions were simulated in the laboratory, by means of heating treatments in stove at different temperatures (40 and 60°C) and times (two and three weeks). The aim is the evaluation of the deterioration of the quality parameters and minority components, which are responsible for the nutritional and therapeutic properties (fatty acids, polyphenols, pigments, and tocopherols), and organoleptic qualities. The quality criteria and limits used in this work are according to International Olive Council. The results contribute to the control of the traSceability for the commercialization of the EVOO.

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Contact-Free Cognitive Load Recognition Based on Eye Movement

The cognitive overload not only affects the physical and mental diseases, but also affects the work efficiency and safety. Hence, the research of measuring cognitive load has been an important part of cognitive load theory. In this paper, we proposed a method to identify the state of cognitive load by using eye movement data in a noncontact manner. We designed a visual experiment to elicit human’s cognitive load as high and low state in two light intense environments and recorded the eye movement data in this whole process. Twelve salient features of the eye movement were selected by using statistic test. Algorithms for processing some features are proposed for increasing the recognition rate. Finally we used the support vector machine (SVM) to classify high and low cognitive load. The experimental results show that the method can achieve 90.25% accuracy in light controlled condition.

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Freeze Dried Quetiapine-Nicotinamide Binary Solid Dispersions: A New Strategy for Improving Physicochemical Properties and Ex Vivo Diffusion

Improving the physicochemical properties and oral bioavailability of quetiapine fumarate (QF) enabling enhanced antipsychotic attributes are the main aims of this research. The freeze dried solid dispersion strategy was adopted using nicotinamide (NIC) as highly soluble coformer. The prepared dispersions were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Static disc intrinsic dissolution rate and ex vivo diffusion through intestinal tissues were conducted and compared to pure quetiapine fumarate. The results demonstrated a highly soluble coamorphous system formed between quetiapine fumarate and nicotinamide at 1 : 3 molar ratio through H-bonding interactions. The results showed >14-fold increase in solubility of QF from the prepared dispersions. Increased intrinsic dissolution rate (from 0.28 to 0.603 mg cm−2 min−1) and faster flux rate through duodenum (from 0.027 to 0.041 mg cm−2 h−1) and jejunum (0.027 to 0.036 mg cm−2 h−1) were obtained. The prepared coamorphous dispersion proved to be effective in improving the drug solubility and dissolution rate and ex vivo diffusion. Therefore, binary coamorphous dispersions could be a promising solution to modify the physicochemical properties, raise oral bioavailability, and change the biopharmaceutics classification (BCS) of some active pharmaceutical ingredients.

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Pinoresinol Diglucoside Alleviates oxLDL-Induced Dysfunction in Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells

Atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases are the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Deposition of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) is one of the initiators and promoters of atherosclerosis. Eucommia lignans were shown to possess antihypertensive effects. This study aimed to investigate the effects of pinoresinol diglucoside (PD), a Eucommia lignan, on oxLDL-induced endothelial dysfunction. HUVECs were treated with oxLDL and/or PD followed by assessing radical oxygen species (ROS), apoptosis, nitrogen oxide (NO), malondialdehyde (MDA), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity with specific assays kits, mRNA levels with quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and protein levels with western blot. PD abolished oxLDL-induced ROS and MDA production, apoptosis, upregulation of lectin-like oxidized LDL recptor-1 (LOX-1), intercellular Adhesion Molecule 1 (ICAM-1), and nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B-cells (NF-κB), and activation of p38MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinases)/NF-κB signaling. Meanwhile, PD alleviated oxLDL-caused inhibition of SOD activity, eNOS expression, and NO production. These data demonstrated that PD was effective in protecting endothelial cells from oxLDL-caused injuries, which guarantees further investigation on the clinical benefits of PD on cardiovascular diseases.

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Vector Spaces of New Special Magic Squares: Reflective Magic Squares, Corner Magic Squares, and Skew-Regular Magic Squares

The definition of a regular magic square motivates us to introduce the new special magic squares, which are reflective magic squares, corner magic squares, and skew-regular magic squares. Combining the concepts of magic squares and linear algebra, we consider a magic square as a matrix and find the dimensions of the vector spaces of these magic squares under the standard addition and scalar multiplication of matrices by using the rank-nullity theorem.

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Assessment of Cytotoxic Activity of Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.), Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.), and Ginger (Zingiber officinale R.) Essential Oils in Cervical Cancer Cells (HeLa)

The objective of this study was to evaluate the cytotoxic activity of rosemary (REO, Rosmarinus officinalis L.), turmeric (CEO, Curcuma longa L.), and ginger (GEO, Zingiber officinale R.) essential oils in HeLa cells. Cytotoxicity tests were performed in vitro, using tetrazolium (MTT) and neutral red assays for evaluation of antiproliferative activity by different mechanisms, trypan blue assay to assess cell viability and evaluation of cell morphology for Giemsa to observe the cell damage, and Annexin V to evaluate cell death by apoptosis. CEO and GEO exhibited potent cytotoxic activity against HeLa cells. IC50 obtained was 36.6 μg/mL for CEO and 129.9 μg/mL for GEO. The morphology of HeLa cells showed condensation of chromatin, loss of cell membrane integrity with protrusions (blebs), and cell content leakage for cells treated with CEO and GEO, from the lowest concentrations studied, 32.81 μg/mL of CEO and 32.12 μg/mL of GEO. The Annexin V assay revealed a profile of cell death by apoptosis for both CEO and GEO. The results indicate cytotoxic activity in vitro for CEO and GEO, suggesting potential use as anticancer agents for cervical cancer cells.

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Calcium Apatite Deposition Disease: Diagnosis and Treatment

Calcium apatite deposition disease (CADD) is a common entity characterized by deposition of calcium apatite crystals within and around connective tissues, usually in a periarticular location. CADD most frequently involves the rotator cuff. However, it can theoretically occur in almost any location in the musculoskeletal system, and many different locations of CADD have been described. When CADD presents in an unexpected location it can pose a diagnostic challenge, particularly when associated with pain or swelling, and can be confused with other pathologic processes, such as infection or malignancy. However, CADD has typical imaging characteristics that usually allows for a correct diagnosis to be made without additional imaging or laboratory workup, even when presenting in unusual locations. This is a review of the common and uncommon presentations of CADD in the appendicular and axial skeleton as well as an updated review of pathophysiology of CADD and current treatments.

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Variations of the Physicochemical Parameters and Metal Levels and Their Risk Assessment in Urbanized Bagmati River, Kathmandu, Nepal

During post-monsoon 2013, surface water samples were collected form 34 sites from the Bagmati River and its tributaries within the Kathmandu Valley to assess the river water quality. The physical parameters were measured on site and major ions (Na+, , K+, Mg2+, Ca2+, Cl−, , and ) and 17 elements in water were analyzed in the laboratory. Conductivity ranged from 21.92 to 846 S/cm, while turbidity ranged from 2.52 to 223 NTU and dissolved oxygen (DO) ranged from 0.04 to 8.98 mg/L. The ionic and elemental concentrations were higher in the lower section where the population density is high compared to the headwaters. The large input of wastewater and organic load created anoxic condition by consuming dissolved oxygen along the lower belt of the river. The concentration of the elements was found to be in the order of Mn > Zn > Ti > Rb > Cr > Cu > Sc > Ni > V > Li > Co > Mo > Cd > Y > Ga > Be > Nb. The concentration of Mn, Cd, Cr, Co, and Zn was particularly higher in urban and semiurban sections. Enrichment factor (EF) calculations for Cd, Co, and Zn showed their highly enriched values indicating that these elements originated from anthropogenic sources. Preliminary risk assessments were determined by the hazard quotient (HQ) calculations in order to evaluate the health risk of the metals. The values of elements were found to be in the order Sb > Mn > Cr > V > Co > Cd > Cu > Zn > Ni > Li > Mo with all averaged HQ values less than 1, indicating no or limited health risk of metals from the river to the local residence. However the values of Sb in some parts of the Bagmati were close to unity indicating its possible threat. Anthropogenic activities like industrial activities, municipal waste water, and road construction besides the river appear to control the chemical constituent of the river water. Overall the river was highly polluted with elevated concentrations of major ions and elements and there is a need for restoration projects.

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STLIS: A Scalable Two-Level Index Scheme for Big Data in IoT

The rapid development of the Internet of Things causes the dramatic growth of data, which poses an important challenge on the storage and quick retrieval of big data. As an effective representation model, RDF receives the most attention. More and more storage and index schemes have been developed for RDF model. For the large-scale RDF data, most of them suffer from a large number of self-joins, high storage cost, and many intermediate results. In this paper, we propose a scalable two-level index scheme (STLIS) for RDF data. In the first level, we devise a compressed path template tree (CPTT) index based on S-tree to retrieve the candidate sets of full path. In the second level, we create a hierarchical edge index (HEI) and a node-predicate (NP) index to accelerate the match. Extensive experiments are executed on two representative RDF benchmarks and one real RDF dataset in IoT by comparison with three representative index schemes, that is, RDF-3X, Bitmat, and TripleBit. Results demonstrate that our proposed scheme can respond to the complex query in real time and save much storage space compared with RDF-3X and Bitmat.

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Changing States of Multistage Process Chains

Generally, a process describes a change of state of some kind (state transformation). This state change occurs from an initial state to a concluding state. Here, the authors take a step back and take a holistic look at generic processes and process sequences from a state perspective. The novel perspective this concept introduces is that the processes and their parameters are not the priority; they are rather included in the analysis by implication. A supervised machine learning based feature ranking method is used to identify and rank relevant state characteristics and thereby the processes’ inter- and intrarelationships. This is elaborated with simplified examples of possible applications from different domains to make the theoretical concept and results more feasible for readers from varying domains. The presented concept allows for a holistic description and analysis of complex, multistage processes sequences. This stands especially true for process chains where interrelations between processes and states, processes and processes, or states and states are not fully understood, thus where there is a lack of knowledge regarding causations, in dynamic, complex, and high-dimensional environments.

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Analytical Model of Waterflood Sweep Efficiency in Vertical Heterogeneous Reservoirs under Constant Pressure

An analytical model has been developed for quantitative evaluation of vertical sweep efficiency based on heterogeneous multilayer reservoirs. By applying the Buckley-Leverett displacement mechanism, a theoretical relationship is deduced to describe dynamic changes of the front of water injection, water saturation of producing well, and swept volume during waterflooding under the condition of constant pressure, which substitutes for the condition of constant rate in the traditional way. Then, this method of calculating sweep efficiency is applied from single layer to multilayers, which can be used to accurately calculate the sweep efficiency of heterogeneous reservoirs and evaluate the degree of waterflooding in multilayer reservoirs. In the case study, the water frontal position, water cut, volumetric sweep efficiency, and oil recovery are compared between commingled injection and zonal injection by applying the derived equations. The results are verified by numerical simulators, respectively. It is shown that zonal injection works better than commingled injection in respect of sweep efficiency and oil recovery and has a longer period of water free production.

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Rhinosporidiosis: A Rare Cause of Proptosis and an Imaging Dilemma for Sinonasal Masses

Background. Rhinosporidiosis is a common disease entity in tropical countries; however, it can be encountered in other parts of the world as well due to increasing medical tourism. It may mimic other more malignant and vigorous pathologies of the involved part. Case Report. We present a case of a 36-year-old male presenting with proptosis due to involvement of nasolacrimal duct which is rare. We will discuss typical CT and MRI features of the disease which were present in the case. Conclusion. For a surgeon and a radiologist, this is a necessary differential to be kept in mind for sinonasal masses. CT and MRI are invaluable investigations. However, FNAC is confirmatory. Both clinical and radiological aspects are required to reach correct diagnosis.

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Revealing Seed Coat Colour Variation and Their Possible Association with Seed Yield Parameters in Common Vetch (Vicia sativa L.)

The seed coat colour variation of 70 common vetch genotypes were determined by using uniform colour scale and their possible correlation with seed yield parameters including the number of pods per plant, the number of seeds per pod, pod dimension, and seed yield (kg/da) was determined. The results revealed presence of highly significant () variations for both the seed yield and the seed coat colour parameters measured. The number of pods per plant, the number of seeds per pod, and seed yield ranged from 5.8 to 16.03, from 5.2 to 7.66, and from 143.37 to 531.1, respectively. The lightness value varied from 19.00 to 40.28 while chromaticity and values ranged from −0.16 to 8.99 and from 0.79 to 22.11, respectively. The highest correlation coefficients were determined between and (), and and (). The seed coat colour traits and seed yield parameters generally showed weak negative correlations. Seed yellowness () and seed yield had correlation coefficient of −0.25, while correlation between and seed yield was determined as −0.23. The results indicated that lightness and yellowness of seed coat may be used as an important parameter to prescreen high yield genotypes of common vetch.

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Platelets miRNA as a Prediction Marker of Thrombotic Episodes

The blood platelets are crucial for the coagulation physiology to maintain haemostatic balance and are involved in various pathologies such as atherosclerosis and thrombosis. The studies of recent years have shown that anucleated platelets are able to succeed protein synthesis. Additionally, mRNA translation in blood platelets is regulated by miRNA molecules. Recent works postulate the possibility of using miRNAs as biomarkers of atherosclerosis and ischemic episodes. This review article describes clinical studies that presented blood platelets miRNAs expression profile changes in different thrombotic states, which suggest use of these molecules as predictive biomarkers.

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IWKNN: An Effective Bluetooth Positioning Method Based on Isomap and WKNN

Recently, Bluetooth-based indoor positioning has become a hot research topic. However, the instability of Bluetooth RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indicator) promotes a huge challenge in localization accuracy. To improve the localization accuracy, this paper measures the distance of RSSI vectors on their low-dimensional manifold and proposes a novel positioning method IWKNN (Isomap-based Weighted -Nearest Neighbor). The proposed method firstly uses Isomap to generate low-dimensional embedding for RSSI vectors. Then, the distance of two given RSSI vectors is measured by Euclidean distance of their low-dimensional embeddings. Finally, the position is calculated by WKNN. Experiment indicates that the proposed approach is more robust and accurate.

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Tricky gene mutations detected by free, fast, easy-to-use new software

Scientists have developed an easy-to-use software tool that can detect important genetic mutations that previously needed to be identified by a separate test. The software, called DECoN, accurately and quickly detects changes in copy number of blocks of...

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Genetic analysis of arsenic metabolism in Micrococcus luteus BPB1, isolated from the Bengal basin


A highly arsenic-metabolizing bacterial strain was isolated from an agricultural field known for arsenic contamination near Munshiganj (Bangladesh). Based on 16S rRNA gene analysis, the strain was identified as Micrococcus luteus and designated as strain BPB1. Arsenate and arsenite minimal inhibitory concentrations of 650 mM and 7.5 mM, respectively, were observed for strain BPB1, slightly higher than the figures observed in its close relative M. luteus DSM 20030T. Such observations were consistent with the presence of arsenic-metabolizing genes in the genome of M. luteus. We describe this strain as having an MSH/Mrx-dependent class of arsenate reductase, and an arsenite transporter family in the ACR3(1) group. Besides an intracellular arsenic resistance mechanism, experiments carried out using field emission scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (FESEM-EDS) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) demonstrated the ability of BPB1 to sequester arsenate in extracellular polymeric substances on its cell surface.

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Clinical and Preclinical Cognitive Function Improvement after Oral Treatment of a Botanical Composition Composed of Extracts from Scutellaria baicalensis and Acacia catechu

Dementia and cognitive impairment have become the major concerns worldwide due to a significantly aging population, increasing life span and lack of effective pharmacotherapy. In light of limited pharmaceutical drug choices and the socioeconomic implications of these conditions, the search for safe and effective alternatives from natural sources has gained many attractions within the medical food and dietary supplement industry. Two polyphenol extracts derived from roots of Scutellaria baicalensis and heartwoods of Acacia catechu containing free-B-ring flavonoids and flavans, respectively, were combined into a proprietary blend called UP326. A similar bioflavonoid composition, UP446, has been reported with modulation of pathways related to systemic inflammation. To test the effect of UP326 on memory and learning, a radial arm water maze (RAWM) and contextual fear conditioning (CF) were utilized in aged F344 rats fed with UP326 at doses of 3, 7, and 34 mg/kg for 11 weeks. The 7 and 34 mg/kg dosage groups had significantly fewer errors than aged vehicle control animals and their performance was equivalent to young animal controls. In a separate human clinical trial, test subjects orally given 300 mg of UP326 BID for 30 days showed marked improvement in speed and accuracy of processing complex information in computer tasks and reduced their standard deviation of performance compared to baseline and the placebo group. This data suggest that UP326 may help maintain memory, sustain speed of processing, and reduce the number or memory errors as we age.

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Short Time and Low Temperature Reaction between Metal Oxides through Microwave-Assisted Hydrothermal Method

This work demonstrates the possibility of synthesis of cadmium tungstate at low temperatures using oxide precursors. Cadmium tungstate (CdWO4) scintillator was produced via microwave-assisted hydrothermal reaction using the precursors CdO and WO3. The methodology was based on microwave radiation for heating, which is remarkably faster than the solid-state route or conventional hydrothermal procedure. CdWO4 monoclinic (wolframite) structure was successfully obtained at 120°C for synthesis times as short as 20 min. This route does not require the use of templates or surfactants and yields self-assembled nanorods with size of around 24 ± 9 nm width and 260 ± 47 nm length. The growth mechanism for the formation of CdWO4 involves microwave-induced dissociation of the reagents and solvation of Cd2+ and ions, which are free to move and start the nucleation process. The luminescence properties of the produced nanoparticles were investigated, presenting a broad emission band at around 500 nm, which is comparable to that observed for samples produced using other chemical routes. This result highlights the great potential of the proposed method as a low-cost and time saving process to fabricate luminescent oxide nanoparticles.

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Differentially Coexpressed Disease Gene Identification Based on Gene Coexpression Network

Screening disease-related genes by analyzing gene expression data has become a popular theme. Traditional disease-related gene selection methods always focus on identifying differentially expressed gene between case samples and a control group. These traditional methods may not fully consider the changes of interactions between genes at different cell states and the dynamic processes of gene expression levels during the disease progression. However, in order to understand the mechanism of disease, it is important to explore the dynamic changes of interactions between genes in biological networks at different cell states. In this study, we designed a novel framework to identify disease-related genes and developed a differentially coexpressed disease-related gene identification method based on gene coexpression network (DCGN) to screen differentially coexpressed genes. We firstly constructed phase-specific gene coexpression network using time-series gene expression data and defined the conception of differential coexpression of genes in coexpression network. Then, we designed two metrics to measure the value of gene differential coexpression according to the change of local topological structures between different phase-specific networks. Finally, we conducted meta-analysis of gene differential coexpression based on the rank-product method. Experimental results demonstrated the feasibility and effectiveness of DCGN and the superior performance of DCGN over other popular disease-related gene selection methods through real-world gene expression data sets.

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Presence of DQ2.2 Associated with DQ2.5 Increases the Risk for Celiac Disease

Background. Celiac disease (CD) is a genetically determined immune-mediated disorder in which gluten immunogenic peptides are presented to CD4 T cells by HLA-DQ2.5, DQ8, DQ2.2, and their combinations. Our aim is to establish a risk gradient for celiac disease based on HLA-DQ profile in a brazilian representative population and the relevance of DQ2.2 in celiac disease development. Materials and Methods. 237 celiac patients and 237 controls (both groups with 164 females and 73 males) were included. All samples were tested for the presence of predisposing HLA-DQ alleles using the PCR-SSP method. Results were considered significant when . Disease risk was expressed as 1 :  for each HLA-DQ category described at this study. Results. DQ2.5 and/or DQ8 were detected in 224 celiac patients (94.5%) and 84 controls (35.4%). Eight celiac patients (3.4%) and 38 controls (16%) disclosed only DQ2.2. Even though DQ2.2 (β2/β2 or β2/x) showed a low CD risk of 1 : 251 and 1 : 550, respectively, the genotype DQ2.5/DQ2.2 (β2/β2) showed high CD risk of 1 : 10 (). The disease risk gradient ranged from 1 : 3014 to 1 : 7. Conclusion. Our study allowed the determination of a risk gradient for celiac disease development in at-risk population, showing that DQ2.2 variant was relevant when associated with DQ2.5.

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From the Kalman Filter to the Particle Filter: A Geometrical Perspective of the Curse of Dimensionality

The aim of this contribution is to provide a description of the difference between Kalman filter and particle filter when the state space is of high dimension. In the Gaussian framework, KF and PF give the same theoretical result. However, in high dimension and using finite sampling for the Gaussian distribution, the PF is not able to reproduce the solution produced by the KF. This discrepancy is highlighted from the convergence property of the Gaussian law toward a hypersphere: in high dimension, any finite sample of a Gaussian law lies within a hypersphere centered in the mean of the Gaussian law and of radius square-root of the trace of the covariance matrix. This concentration of probability suggests the use of norm as a criterium that discriminates whether a forecast sample can be compatible or not with a given analysis state. The contribution illustrates important characteristics that have to be considered for the high dimension but does not introduce a new approach to face the curse of dimensionality.

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Efficacy of Synbiotics for Treatment of Bacillary Dysentery in Children: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study

Bacillary dysentery is a major cause of children’s admission to hospitals. To assess the probiotic and prebiotic (synbiotics) effects in children with dysentery in a randomized clinical trial, 200 children with dysentery were studied in 2 groups: the synbiotic group received 1 tablet/day of synbiotic for 3–5 days and the placebo group received placebo tablets (identical tablet form like probiotics). The standard treatment was administered for all patients. Duration of hospitalization, dysentery, fever, and the weight loss were assessed in each group. It was concluded that there was no significant difference in both groups in the baseline characteristics. The mean duration of dysentery reduced (). The mean duration of fever has been significantly reduced in the synbiotic group ( days) in comparison to the placebo group ( days) (). Average amount of weight loss was significantly lower in the synbiotic group in comparison to that in the placebo group ( grams and grams, resp.; ). There was no significant difference in the mean duration of hospitalization in both groups (). The use of synbiotics as an adjuvant therapy to the standard treatment of dysentery significantly reduces the duration of dysentery, fever, and rate of weight losses. The trial is registered with IRCT201109267647N1.

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Clinically Meaningful Use of Blood Tumor Markers in Oncology

Before the introduction of modern imaging techniques and the recent developments in molecular diagnosis, tumor markers (TMs) were among the few available diagnostic tools for the management of cancer patients. Easily obtained from serum or plasma samples, TMs are minimally invasive and convenient, and the associated costs are low. Single TMs were traditionally used but these have come under scrutiny due to their low sensitivity and specificity when used, for example, in a screening setting. However, recent research has shown superior performance using a combination of multiple TMs as a panel for assessment, or as part of validated algorithms that also incorporate other clinical factors. In addition, newer TMs have been discovered that have an increased sensitivity and specificity profile for defined malignancies. The aim of this review is to provide a concise overview of the appropriate uses of both traditional and newer TMs and their roles in diagnosis, prognosis, and the monitoring of patients in current clinical practice. We also look at the future direction of TMs and their integration with other diagnostic modalities and other emerging serum based biomarkers, such as circulating nucleic acids, to ultimately advance diagnostic performance and improve patient management.

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Lung Cancer Classification Employing Proposed Real Coded Genetic Algorithm Based Radial Basis Function Neural Network Classifier

A proposed real coded genetic algorithm based radial basis function neural network classifier is employed to perform effective classification of healthy and cancer affected lung images. Real Coded Genetic Algorithm (RCGA) is proposed to overcome the Hamming Cliff problem encountered with the Binary Coded Genetic Algorithm (BCGA). Radial Basis Function Neural Network (RBFNN) classifier is chosen as a classifier model because of its Gaussian Kernel function and its effective learning process to avoid local and global minima problem and enable faster convergence. This paper specifically focused on tuning the weights and bias of RBFNN classifier employing the proposed RCGA. The operators used in RCGA enable the algorithm flow to compute weights and bias value so that minimum Mean Square Error (MSE) is obtained. With both the lung healthy and cancer images from Lung Image Database Consortium (LIDC) database and Real time database, it is noted that the proposed RCGA based RBFNN classifier has performed effective classification of the healthy lung tissues and that of the cancer affected lung nodules. The classification accuracy computed using the proposed approach is noted to be higher in comparison with that of the classifiers proposed earlier in the literatures.

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Comparison on the Surface Structure Properties along with Fe(II) and Mn(II) Removal Characteristics of Rice Husk Ash, Inactive Saccharomyces cerevisiae Powder, and Rice Husk

This study selected solid wastes, such as rice husk ash (RHA), inactive Saccharomyces cerevisiae powder (ISP), and rice husk (RH), as the potential adsorbents for the removal of Fe(II) and Mn(II) in aqueous solution. The structural characteristics, functional groups, and elemental compositions were determined by scanning electron microscope (SEM) and Fourier translation infrared spectrum (FT-IR) analyses, respectively. Then the influence on the Fe(II) and Mn(II) removing efficiency by the factors, such as pH, adsorbent dosage, initial Fe(II) and Mn(II) concentration, and contact time, was investigated by the static batch test. The adsorption isotherm study results show that Langmuir equation can better fit the Fe(II) and Mn(II) adsorption process by the three adsorbents. The maximum adsorption amounts for Fe(II) were 6.211 mg/g, 4.464 mg/g, and 4.049 mg/g by RHA, ISP, and RH and for Mn(II) were 3.016 mg/g, 2.229 mg/g, and 1.889 mg/g, respectively. The adsorption kinetics results show that the pseudo-second-order kinetic model can better fit the Fe(II) and Mn(II) adsorption process. D-R model and thermodynamic parameters hint that the adsorption processes of Fe(II) and Mn(II) on the three adsorbents took place physically and the processes were feasible, spontaneous, and exothermic.

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Outcome of Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy for Insertional Achilles Tendinopathy with and without Haglund’s Deformity

Purpose. To compare the results of extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) for insertional Achilles tendinopathy (IAT) with or without Haglund’s deformity. Methods. Between September 2014 and May 2015, all patients who underwent ESWT were retrospectively enrolled in this study. A total of 67 patients were available for follow-up and assigned into nondeformtiy group () and deformtiy group (). Clinical outcomes were evaluated by VISA-A Score and 6-point Likert scale. Results. The VISA-A score increased in both groups, from at baseline to at months after treatment in nondeformity group () and from at baseline to at months after treatment in deformity group (). However, there was a greater improvement in VISA-A Score for the nondeformity group compared with deformity group (). For the 6-point Likert scale, there were decreases from at baseline to at the follow-up time point in nondeformity group () and from at baseline to at the follow-up time point in deformity group (). There was no significant difference in improvement of the 6-point Likert scale between both groups (). Conclusions. ESWT resulted in greater clinical outcomes in patients without Haglund’s deformity compared with patients with Haglund’s deformity.

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Nonparametric de-noising filter optimization using structure-based microscopic image classification


The Local Polynomial Approximation (LPA) is a nonparametric filter that performs pixel-wise polynomial fit on a certain neighborhood. This filter can be supported by the Intersection of Confidence Interval rule (ICI) as an adaptation algorithm to identify the most suited neighborhood at which the polynomial assumptions provide superior fit for the observations. However, the LPA-ICI is considered to be a near-optimal de-noising filter. Moreover, the ICI rule has several parameters that affect its performance. The current study applied an optimization algorithm, namely the Particle swarm optimization (PSO) to determine the optimal ICI parameter values for microscopic images de-noising. As the ICI parameters are image's structure based, bag-of-features classifier is used to classify the images based on their structure into different classes. Afterward, a generated optimal ICI parameters' table was created using the LPA-ICI-PSO for further direct use without optimization. This table included the optimal ICI parameters based on the image structure. Based on the image category, the generated table can be used to attain the suitable ICI optimal parameters without using PSO. This guarantees less computational time along with the optimal de-noising compared to the LPA-ICI as established by the performance metrics. The experimental results established the superiority of the proposed LPA-ICI-PSO over the classical LPA-ICI filter.

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Clinico mycological study of dermatophytosis

Source: International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences
B. Janardhan, G. Vani.
Background: Dermatophytoses is common, more prevalent in tropical and subtropical countries including India. Though not life threatening as it can cause great discomfort particularly in immunosuppressive conditions. It remains a general public health problem, which is prevalent in all age groups and both sexes. Aims: To study clinicomycological profile of patients. Methods: The Cross Sectional study was done on clinically diagnosed cases of Dermatophytosis with sample size of 200 cases for one and half year period. Results: The males to female ratio are 1.86:1. The common age group affected was 31-40years. Dermatophytosis was common in active workers, more common in urban than rural population particularly in low socioeconomic group of people and in summer season. Tinea corporis was the common clinical variant. 133 cases were both KOH and culture positive. The KOH mount was positive in 90% cases. In the present study 144 patients (72%) had positive culture results and 47 cases were KOH positive but culture negative, 11 cases were culture positive but KOH negative and 9 cases were both KOH and culture negative. Microsporum audoinii was isolated in 2%, Trichophyton mentagrophytes in 14%, Trichophyton rubrum in 52% and Trichophyton violaceum in 4%. Conclusions: Tinea corporis and Tinea cruris were the most common clinical types. Tinea corporis was predominantly a disease of adult males whereas Tinea capitis was seen mainly in pre- pubertal age group. Potassium hydroxide (KOH) wet mount and cultures were done for all the cases. T. rubrum was the commonest species isolated from most clinical types followed by T. mentagrophytes except T. capitis where T. violaceum was isolated.


Limitation of Simultaneous Analysis of T-Cell Receptor and κ-Deleting Recombination Excision Circles Based on Multiplex Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction in Common Variable Immunodeficiency Patients

Aim of Study: We used a triplex real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to classify our common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) patients into distinct groups according to the amount of their T-cell receptor excision circles (TRECs) and #x03BA;-deleting recombination excision circles (KRECs). Materials and Methods: TREC and KREC analysis was performed using a multiplex real-time PCR assay. The T- and B-lymphocyte subsets were measured by flow cytometry. Results: The copy number of TRECs and KRECs was significantly reduced in CVID patients compared to healthy controls. The TREC copy number was inversely correlated with age in both healthy subjects and patients; however, the KREC copy number was inversely correlated with age only in CVID patients. Moreover, no association was seen between TREC/KREC copy number and clinical manifestations such as bronchiectasis, splenomegaly, granulomata, autoimmune cytopenias, organ-specific autoimmunity, enteropathy and lymphoid hyperplasia. Conclusion: TREC and KREC quantification might be a useful tool to differentiate between CVID and combined immunodeficiency, but considering the results of this study a classification of CVID patients in certain groups is hardly possible.
Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2016;171:136-140

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Calcitriol Reduces Eosinophil Necrosis Which Leads to the Diminished Release of Cytotoxic Granules

Background: Asthma severity and eosinophilia correlate with a deficiency in vitamin D and its active metabolite calcitriol. Calcitriol modulates numerous leukocyte functions, but its effect on eosinophils is not fully understood. We postulated that calcitriol exerts a direct effect on eosinophil biology by modulating cell survival. Methods: Purified peripheral blood eosinophils from atopic donors were incubated in the presence of calcitriol for up to 14 days with or without IL-5. The effect of calcitriol on eosinophil viability was measured using the annexin-V/propidium iodide flow cytometry assay. We also examined the release of eosinophil peroxidase (EPX) in media using a flow cytometry assay with anti-EPX antibodies, and the enzymatic activity of EPX was measured by an OPD-based colorimetric assay. Results: We observed that calcitriol sustained cell viability in eosinophils with a concurrent reduction of necrotic cells. This effect was amplified by the addition of IL-5. In parallel, we observed that a physiological dose of calcitriol (10 nM) significantly reduced eosinophil necrosis and cytolytic release of EPX in media when coincubated with IL-5. Conclusion: These results suggest that calcitriol may exert a direct effect on eosinophils by reducing necrosis and the cytolytic release of inflammatory mediators like EPX.
Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2016;171:119-129

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Disease Manifestation and Inflammatory Activity as Modulators of Th17/Treg Balance and RORC/FoxP3 Methylation in Systemic Sclerosis

Background: There is much evidence that T cells are strongly involved in the pathogenesis of localized and systemic forms of scleroderma (SSc). A dysbalance between FoxP3+ regulatory CD4+ T cells (Tregs) and inflammatory T-helper (Th) 17 cells has been suggested. Methods: The study aimed (1) to investigate the phenotypical and functional characteristics of Th17 and Tregs in SSc patients depending on disease manifestation (limited vs. diffuse cutaneous SSc, dcSSc) and activity, and (2) the transcriptional level and methylation status of Th17- and Treg-specific transcription factors. Results: There was a concurrent accumulation of circulating peripheral IL-17-producing CCR6+ Th cells and FoxP3+ Tregs in patients with dcSSc. At the transcriptional level, Th17- and Treg-associated transcription factors were elevated in SSc. A strong association with high circulating Th17 and Tregs was seen with early, active, and severe disease presentation. However, a diminished suppressive function on autologous lymphocytes was found in SSc-derived Tregs. Significant relative hypermethylation was seen at the gene level for RORC1 and RORC2 in SSc, particularly in patients with high inflammatory activity. Conclusions: Besides the high transcriptional activity of T cells, attributed to Treg or Th17 phenotype, in active SSc disease, Tregs may be insufficient to produce high amounts of IL-10 or to control proliferative activity of effector T cells in SSc. Our results suggest a high plasticity of Tregs strongly associated with the Th17 phenotype. Future directions may focus on enhancing Treg functions and stabilization of the Treg phenotype.
Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2016;171:141-154

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The Efficacy of Sublingual Immunotherapy for Allergic Rhinitis May Vary with the Time of Day

Background: Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is a safe and effective treatment for allergic rhinitis (AR). However, many issues regarding SLIT remain to be resolved, including the optimal timing of administration. This study investigated the effect of time of day on SLIT efficacy with the goal of optimizing the therapeutic outcome. Methods: We performed prophylactic SLIT at different times of day (10 a.m. or 10 p.m.) in 2 mouse models of AR: an ovalbumin (OVA)-induced AR model and Cry j 1-induced AR model, and compared the effects. Results: In the OVA-induced AR model, mice sublingually receiving OVA at 10 a.m. exhibited a greater decrease in total and OVA-specific IgE levels than mice treated at 10 p.m. In addition, mice treated at 10 a.m. exhibited reductions in OVA-specific IL-4, IL-10, and IL-13 production by splenocytes relative to mice treated at 10 p.m. Furthermore, we observed a more efficient capture of sublingually administered OVA in submandibular lymph nodes at 10 a.m. than at 10 p.m. in mice. Similar results were observed in the Cry j 1-induced AR model using Japanese cedar pollen extract for SLIT. Conclusions: Given the allergen-specific antibody and T cell responses, we suggest that SLIT may be more effective in the resting phase than in the active phase (note that mice are nocturnal animals). Thus, we propose that a chronotherapeutic approach should be considered for SLIT to maximize its effectiveness.
Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2016;171:111-118

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Seeing reason: How to change minds in a ‘post-fact’ world


We all skew evidence-based information to fit our beliefs – figuring out when and why could show us how to restore the delusion-busting power of facts

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Five minutes . . . with Tim Hodgetts

“On 23 November a group of civilian and military clinicians launched citizenAID (www.citizenaid.org), a system for the general public to be empowered to do the right thing in a bombing, shooting, or...
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Coping with self management

Patient activation, self management, shared decision making . . . all of these sound great. I would be very happy to self manage—if I could figure out how.Seven years ago I was diagnosed with stage 4...
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Letter to the Editor

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Response to BDRA-16-0130.R1 – Letter to the Editor

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