Σάββατο, 28 Ιανουαρίου 2017

Give your old phone a new career as a remote eye

Don’t let it lie unloved in a drawer when it could be minding your valuables, helping your chess game or even studying your dog

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Society for Melanoma Research 2016 Congress



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Issue Information



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Welcome to the New Year!



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Editorial

Publication date: Available online 29 January 2017
Source:Biochimie
Author(s): F. Bouillaud, L. Casteilla, S. Klaus, B. Miroux




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Clr4 specificity and catalytic activity beyond H3K9 methylation

Publication date: Available online 29 January 2017
Source:Biochimie
Author(s): Denis Kusevic, Srikanth Kudithipudi, Nahid Iglesias, Danesh Moazed, Albert Jeltsch
In fission yeast, the catalytic activity of the protein lysine methyltransferase (PKMT) Clr4, the sole homolog of the mammalian SUV39H1 and SUV39H2 enzymes, majorly contributes to the formation of heterochromatin. The enzyme introduces histone 3 lysine 9 (H3K9) di- and tri-methylation, a central heterochromatic histone modification, and later it was also found to methylate the Mlo3 protein, which has a role in heterochromatin formation as well. Herein, we have investigated the substrate specificity of Clr4 using custom made mutational scanning peptide arrays. Our data show, that Clr4 recognizes an RK core motif, showing high preference for R8. In addition, it exhibits specific contacts at the S10, T11, G12 and G13 positions of the H3 peptide recognizing an R-K-SKRT-TCS-G sequence. Based on the specificity profile and in vitro methyltransferase assay targeted searches, 11 putative methylation sites in S. pombe proteins were identified from reported Clr4 interacting proteins including Mlo3. Peptide methylation was observed on Mlo3 and 7 novel target sites with strongest methylation signals on Spbc28F2.11 (HMG box-containing protein) at lysine 292 and Hrp3 (Chromodomain ATP-dep DNA helicase) at lysine 89. These data suggest that Clr4 has additional methylation substrates and it will be important to study the biological function of these novel methylation events. Furthermore, the specificity profile of Clr4 has been used to develop a quantitative method to compare and cluster specificity profiles of PKMTs. It shows that the specificity profile of Clr4 is most similar to that of the SUV39H2 enzyme, one of its human homologs. This approach will be helpful in the comparison of the recognition profiles of other families of PKMTs as well.

Graphical abstract

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Intranasal fluticasone associated with delayed tympanostomy tube placement in children with eustachian tube dysfunction

Publication date: March 2017
Source:International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, Volume 94
Author(s): Matthew G. Crowson, Marisa A. Ryan, Vaibhav H. Ramprasad, Kevin J. Choi, Eileen Raynor
ObjectivesPediatric patient caregivers may prefer to avoid a surgical intervention and request a medical management option for eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD). However, there are limited published data evaluating the efficacy of intranasal fluticasone in the medical management of ETD as an alternative to tympanostomy tube placement. The objectives of this study were to: 1) determine if intranasal fluticasone (INF) prevented tympanostomy tube placement in children with ETD, and 2) describe differences in patient response to INF related to cleft lip and/or palate (CLP) and Down syndrome.MethodsCase series with planned chart review at a Tertiary academic hospital. We reviewed pediatric patients treated with INF for ETD. Inclusion criteria included ETD, no prior intranasal or oral steroid therapy, and no prior tympanostomy tube placement. Outcomes included time-to- tympanostomy tube placement with or without INF and therapy compliance. Kaplan-Meier survival analyses with log-rank tests and Fisher's exact tests were used to examine outcome variables.Results676 fulfilled inclusion criteria. 393 (58.7%) were male, and 355 (52.5%) Caucasian with mean age of 27.1 months old. 92 (13.6%) had CLP and 46 (6.8%) had Down Syndrome. 266 (39.4%) received INF, and 202 (88.2%) were compliant at their next visit. 474 (70.1%) had tympanostomy tubes placed. Children treated with INF were less likely to have tympanostomy tubes placed than children not treated (52.6% vs. 81.5%; p < 0.0001). Using survival analyses, INF use was associated with significantly longer mean time-to-tympanostomy tube than no INF use (199.4 vs. 133.7 days; p < 0.0001). INF did not reduce time-to-tympanostomy tube in patients with CLP (p = 0.05) or Down Syndrome (p = 0.27).ConclusionINF significantly reduces the number of children requiring tympanostomy tube placement for ETD. The CLP and Down Syndrome anatomical variants may attenuate INF efficacy. Further in vivo characterization of INF action on eustachian tube tissues will help further substantiate these observations.



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Novel Mutations and Mutation Combinations of TMPRSS3 Cause Various Phenotypes in One Chinese Family with Autosomal Recessive Hearing Impairment

Autosomal recessive hearing impairment with postlingual onset is rare. Exceptions are caused by mutations in the TMPRSS3 gene, which can lead to prelingual (DFNB10) as well as postlingual deafness (DFNB8). TMPRSS3 mutations can be classified as mild or severe, and the phenotype is dependent on the combination of TMPRSS3 mutations. The combination of two severe mutations leads to profound hearing impairment with a prelingual onset, whereas severe mutations in combination with milder TMPRSS3 mutations lead to a milder phenotype with postlingual onset. We characterized a Chinese family (number FH1523) with not only prelingual but also postlingual hearing impairment. Three mutations in TMPRSS3, one novel mutation c.36delC [p.(Phe13Serfs12)], and two previously reported pathogenic mutations, c.916G>A (p.Ala306Thr) and c.316C>T (p.Arg106Cys), were identified. Compound heterozygous mutations of p.(Phe13Serfs12) and p.Ala306Thr manifest as prelingual, profound hearing impairment in the patient (IV: 1), whereas the combination of p.Arg106Cys and p.Ala306Thr manifests as postlingual, milder hearing impairment in the patient (II: 2, II: 3, II: 5), suggesting that p.Arg106Cys mutation has a milder effect than p.(Phe13Serfs12). We concluded that different combinations of TMPRSS3 mutations led to different hearing impairment phenotypes (DFNB8/DFNB10) in this family.

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Assessment of Pasteurella multocida A Lipopolysaccharide, as an Adhesin in an In Vitro Model of Rabbit Respiratory Epithelium

The role of the P. multocida lipopolysaccharide (LPS) as a putative adhesin during the early stages of infection with this bacterium in the respiratory epithelium of rabbits was investigated. By light microscopy and double enzyme labeling of nasal septa tissues, the amount of bacteria attached to the respiratory epithelium and the amount of LPS present in goblet cells at different experimental times were estimated. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and LPS labeling with colloidal gold particles were also used to determine the exact location of LPS in the cells. Septa that were challenged with LPS of P. multocida and 30 minutes later with P. multocida showed more adherent bacteria and more severe lesions than the other treatments. Free LPS was observed in the lumen of the nasal septum, forming bilamellar structures and adhering to the cilia, microvilli, cytoplasmic membrane, and cytoplasm of epithelial ciliated and goblet cells. The above findings suggest that P. multocida LPS plays an important role in the process of bacterial adhesion and that it has the ability of being internalized into host cells.

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A Diagnostic Dilemma of Recurrent Disseminated Peritoneal Leiomyomatosis with Hypertrophied Omental Vessels: Imaging and Embolization of Omental Branches with Positive Outcome

We present a case report of recurrent disseminated peritoneal leiomyomatosis in a 30-year-old female with a past history of laparoscopic myomectomy by a technique of morcellation for a large fibroid in 2014. After one year she presented in 2015 with a well-defined oval shaped fibroid along the anterior abdominal wall, which was supplied by the 10th intercostal artery and a branch of right internal mammary artery. She was again presented after 1 year in 2016 with a large pelvic-abdominal fibroid with blood supply from the omental artery, a branch from the right gastroepiploic artery, and sigmoid branches of inferior mesenteric artery.

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Effect of Modified Rubber Particles Mixing Amount on Properties of Cement Mortar

The crumb rubber cement mortar is prepared by the crumb rubber aggregates in 60 mesh which are modified by 1% polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) solution. Some mechanical properties of cement mortar with different crumb rubber aggregate amounts are researched including compressive strength, flexural strength, the ratio of compressive strength to flexural strength, impact resistance, and dry contraction percentage. In our tests, we consider six kinds of the rubber contents, 0%, 7.5%, 15%, 19%, 22.5%, and 30%, respectively. The optimal mixing amount of crumb rubber is determined by measuring three indices, the ratio of compressive strength to flexural strength, impact resistance, and dry contraction percentage. It is shown by test that the ratio of compressive strength to flexural strength is the smallest when the mixing amount of rubber is 19%; meanwhile high impact resistance and rational drying shrinkage are observed. The optimal mixing amount of the rubber particles is 19% determined by this test.

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Dynamic Reliability Evaluation of Road Vehicle Subjected to Turbulent Crosswinds Based on Monte Carlo Simulation

As a vehicle moves on roads, a complex vibration system of the running vehicle is formed under the collective excitations of random crosswinds and road surface roughness, together with the artificial handing by the drivers. Several numerical models in deterministic way to assess the safety of running road vehicles under crosswinds were proposed. Actually, the natural wind is a random process in time domain due to turbulence, and the surface roughness of a road is also a random process but in spatial domain. The nature of a running vehicle therefore is an extension of dynamic reliability excited by random processes. This study tries to explore the dynamic reliability of a road vehicle subjected to turbulent crosswinds. Based on a nonlinear vibration system, the dynamic responses of a road vehicle are simulated to obtain the dynamic reliability. Monte Carlo Simulation with Latin Hypercube Sampling is then applied on the possible random variables including the vehicle weight, road friction coefficient, and driver parameter to look at their effects. Finally, a distribution model of the dynamic reliability and a corresponding index for the wind-induced vehicle accident considering these random processes and variables is proposed and employed to evaluate the safety of the running vehicle.

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Parent-Child Adrenocortical Concordance in Early Childhood: The Moderating Role of Parental Depression and Child Temperament

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Publication date: Available online 29 January 2017
Source:Biological Psychology
Author(s): Stephanie M. Merwin, Victoria C. Smith, Marissa Kushner, Edward P. Lemay, Lea R. Dougherty
This study examined biological concordance between parent and child morning cortisol and whether parent and child-level risk factors for depression moderated this association. Participants included 136 parents and their preschool-aged children. Parents and children obtained salivary cortisol samples at waking, and 30 and 45minutes post-waking across two days to assess the cortisol awakening response. Parental lifetime depression was assessed using a clinical interview and child temperamental negative emotionality (NE) and positive emotionality (PE) were assessed using an observational laboratory-based assessment. Results indicated significant parent-child concordance between both average cortisol levels and cortisol fluctuations across waking. Greater concordance was observed for dyads with parents with a lifetime history of depression and with children high in NE and PE. These parent- and child-level moderators were associated with different indices of concordance. Findings highlight the need to examine the role of parent and child risk factors for depression on parent-child adrenocortical concordanc



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Conflict and Performance Monitoring throughout the Lifespan: An Event-Related Potential (ERP) and Temporospatial Component Analysis

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Publication date: Available online 28 January 2017
Source:Biological Psychology
Author(s): Ann Clawson, Peter E. Clayson, Cierra M. Keith, Christina Catron, Michael J. Larson
Cognitive control includes higher-level cognitive processes used to evaluate environmental conflict. Given the importance of cognitive control in regulating behavior, understanding the developmental course of these processes may contribute to a greater understanding of normal and abnormal development. We examined behavioral (response times [RTs], error rates) and event-related potential data (N2, error-related negativity [ERN], correct-response negativity [CRN], error positivity [Pe]) during a flanker task in cross-sectional groups of 45 youth (ages 8-18), 52 younger adults (ages 20-28), and 58 older adults (ages 56-91). Younger adults displayed the most efficient processing, including significantly reduced CRN and N2 amplitude, increased Pe amplitude, and significantly better task performance than youth or older adults (e.g., faster RTs, fewer errors). Youth displayed larger CRN and N2, attenuated Pe, and significantly worse task performance than younger adults. Older adults fell either between youth and younger adults (e.g., CRN amplitudes, N2 amplitudes) or displayed neural and behavioral performance that was similar to youth (e.g., Pe amplitudes, error rates). These findings point to underdeveloped neural and cognitive processes early in life and reduced efficiency in older adulthood, contributing to poor implementation and modulation of cognitive control in response to conflict. Thus, cognitive control processing appears to reach peak performance and efficiency in younger adulthood, marked by improved task performance with less neural activation.



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Issue Information



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Chloroethylating nitrosoureas in cancer therapy: DNA damage, repair and cell death signaling

Publication date: Available online 29 January 2017
Source:Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Reviews on Cancer
Author(s): Teodora Nikolova, Wynand P. Roos, Oliver H. Krämer, Herwig M. Strik, Bernd Kaina
Chloroethylating nitrosoureas (CNU), such as lomustine, nimustine, semustine, carmustine and fotemustine are used for the treatment of malignant gliomas, brain metastases of different origin, melanomas and Hodgkin disease. They alkylate the DNA bases and give rise to the formation of monoadducts and subsequently interstrand crosslinks (ICL). ICL are critical cytotoxic DNA lesions that link the DNA strands covalently and block DNA replication and transcription. As a result, S phase progression is inhibited and cells are triggered to undergo apoptosis and necrosis, which both contribute to the effectiveness of CNU-based cancer therapy. However, tumor cells resist chemotherapy through the repair of CNU-induced DNA damage. The suicide enzyme O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) removes the precursor DNA lesion O6-chloroethylguanine prior to its conversion into ICL. In cells lacking MGMT, the formed ICL evoke complex enzymatic networks to accomplish their removal. Here we discuss the mechanism of ICL repair as a survival strategy of healthy and cancer cells and DNA damage signaling as a mechanism contributing to CNU-induced cell death. We also discuss therapeutic implications and strategies based on sequential and simultaneous treatment with CNU and the methylating drug temozolomide.



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Studies on the formation of formaldehyde during 2-ethylhexyl 4-(dimethylamino)benzoate demethylation in the presence of reactive oxygen and chlorine species

Abstract

In order to protect the skin from UV radiation, personal care products (PCPS) often contain chemical UV-filters. These compounds can enter the environment causing serious consequences on the water ecosystems. The aim of this study was to examine, the effect of different factors, such as UV light, the presence of NaOCl and H2O2 on the formaldehyde formation during popular UV filter, 2-ethylhexyl 4-(dimethylamino)benzoate (ODPABA) demethylation. The concentration of formaldehyde was determined by VIS spectrophotometry after derivatization. The reaction mixtures were qualitatively analyzed using GC/MS chromatography. The highest concentration of formaldehyde was observed in the case of ODPABA/H2O2/UV reaction mixture. In order to describe two types of demethylation mechanisms, namely, radical and ionic, the experimental results were enriched with Fukui function analysis and thermodynamic calculations. In the case of non-irradiated system containing ODPABA and NaOCl, demethylation reaction probably proceeds via ionic mechanism. As it was established, amino nitrogen atom in the ODPABA molecule is the most susceptible site for the HOCl electrophilic attack, which is the first step of ionic demethylation mechanism. In the case of irradiated mixtures, the reaction is probably radical in nature. The results of thermodynamic calculations showed that abstraction of the hydrogen from N(CH3)2 group is more probable than from 2-ethylhexyl moiety, which indicates higher susceptibility of N(CH3)2 to the oxidation.



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IJMS, Vol. 18, Pages 291: A Mixture of Persistent Organic Pollutants and Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid Induces Similar Behavioural Responses, but Different Gene Expression Profiles in Zebrafish Larvae

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are widespread in the environment and some may be neurotoxic. As we are exposed to complex mixtures of POPs, we aimed to investigate how a POP mixture based on Scandinavian human blood data affects behaviour and neurodevelopment during early life in zebrafish. Embryos/larvae were exposed to a series of sub-lethal doses and behaviour was examined at 96 h post fertilization (hpf). In order to determine the sensitivity window to the POP mixture, exposure models of 6 to 48 and 48 to 96 hpf were used. The expression of genes related to neurological development was also assessed. Results indicate that the POP mixture increases the swimming speed of larval zebrafish following exposure between 48 to 96 hpf. This behavioural effect was associated with the perfluorinated compounds, and more specifically with perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). The expression of genes related to the stress response, GABAergic, dopaminergic, histaminergic, serotoninergic, cholinergic systems and neuronal maintenance, were altered. However, there was little overlap in those genes that were significantly altered by the POP mixture and PFOS. Our findings show that the POP mixture and PFOS can have a similar effect on behaviour, yet alter the expression of genes relevant to neurological development differently.

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IJMS, Vol. 18, Pages 289: Decreased Expression of Vitamin D Receptor Affects an Immune Response in Primary Biliary Cholangitis via the VDR-miRNA155-SOCS1 Pathway

Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) is an immune-mediated cholestatic disease. Vitamin D receptor (VDR)-dependent signaling constrains an inflammatory response by targeting the miRNA155-SOCS1 (suppressor of cytokine signaling 1) axis. The VDR-miRNA155-SOCS1 pathway was investigated in the context of the autoimmune response associated with PBC. Human liver tissues from non-cirrhotic PBC (n = 22), cirrhotic PBC (n = 22), cirrhotic primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC, n=13), controls (n = 23), and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) obtained from PBC (n = 16) and PSC (n = 10) patients and healthy subjects (n = 11) were used for molecular analyses. VDR mRNA and protein expressions were substantially reduced in PBC livers (51% and 59%, respectively). Correspondingly, the decrease of SOCS1 protein expression in PBC livers, after normalization to a marker of lymphocytes and forkhead family transcriptional regulator box P3 (FOXP3, marker of Treg), was observed, and this phenomenon was accompanied by enhanced miRNA155 expression. In PSC livers, protein expressions of VDR and SOCS1 were comparable to the controls. However, in PBM cells, protein expressions of VDR and SOCS1 were considerably decreased in both PBC and PSC. We demonstrated that VDR/miRNA155-modulated SOCS1 expression is decreased in PBC which may lead to insufficient negative regulation of cytokine signaling. These findings suggest that the decreased VDR signaling in PBC could be of importance in the pathogenesis of PBC.

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IJMS, Vol. 18, Pages 290: LOX-1 and Its Splice Variants: A New Challenge for Atherosclerosis and Cancer-Targeted Therapies

Alternative splicing (AS) is a process in which precursor messenger RNA (pre-mRNA) splicing sites are differentially selected to diversify the protein isoform population. Changes in AS patterns have an essential role in normal development, differentiation and response to physiological stimuli. It is documented that AS can generate both “risk” and “protective” splice variants that can contribute to the pathogenesis of several diseases including atherosclerosis. The main endothelial receptor for oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDLs) is LOX-1 receptor protein encoded by the OLR1 gene. When OLR1 undergoes AS events, it generates three variants: OLR1, OLR1D4 and LOXIN. The latter lacks exon 5 and two-thirds of the functional domain. Literature data demonstrate a protective role of LOXIN in pathologies correlated with LOX-1 overexpression such as atherosclerosis and tumors. In this review, we summarize recent developments in understanding of OLR1 AS while also highlighting data warranting further investigation of this process as a novel therapeutic target.

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IJERPH, Vol. 14, Pages 124: Current and Future Repellent Technologies: The Potential of Spatial Repellents and Their Place in Mosquito-Borne Disease Control

Every year, approximately 700,000 people die from complications associated with etiologic disease agents transmitted by mosquitoes. While insecticide-based vector control strategies are important for the management of mosquito-borne diseases, insecticide-resistance and other logistical hurdles may lower the efficacy of this approach, especially in developing countries. Repellent technologies represent another fundamental aspect of preventing mosquito-borne disease transmission. Among these technologies, spatial repellents are promising alternatives to the currently utilized contact repellents and may significantly aid in the prevention of mosquito-borne disease if properly incorporated into integrated pest management approaches. As their deployment would not rely on prohibitively expensive or impractical novel accessory technologies and resources, they have potential utility in developing countries where the burden of mosquito-borne disease is most prevalent. This review aims to describe the history of various repellent technologies, highlight the potential of repellent technologies in preventing the spread of mosquito-borne disease, and discuss currently known mechanisms that confer resistance to current contact and spatial repellents, which may lead to the failures of these repellents. In the subsequent section, current and future research projects aimed at exploring long-lasting non-pyrethroid spatial repellent molecules along with new paradigms and rationale for their development will be discussed.

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An Evaluation of the Gap Sizes of 3-Unit Fixed Dental Prostheses Milled from Sintering Metal Blocks

This study assessed the clinical acceptability of sintering metal-fabricated 3-unit fixed dental prostheses (FDPs) based on gap sizes. Ten specimens were prepared on research models by milling sintering metal blocks or by the lost-wax technique (LWC group). Gap sizes were assessed at 12 points per abutment (premolar and molar), 24 points per specimen (480 points in a total in 20 specimens). The measured points were categorized as marginal, axial wall, and occlusal for assessment in a silicone replica. The silicone replica was cut through the mesiodistal and buccolingual center. The four sections were magnified at 160x, and the thickness of the light body silicone was measured to determine the gap size, and gap size means were compared. For the premolar part, the mean (standard deviation) gap size was nonsignificantly () smaller in the SMB group (68.6 ± 35.6 μm) than in the LWC group (69.6 ± 16.9 μm). The mean molar gap was nonsignificantly smaller () in the LWC (73.9 ± 25.6 μm) than in the SMB (78.1 ± 37.4 μm) group. The gap sizes were similar between the two groups. Because the gap sizes were within the previously proposed clinically accepted limit, FDPs prepared by sintered metal block milling are clinically acceptable.

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Urinary Exosomal miR-193a Can Be a Potential Biomarker for the Diagnosis of Primary Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis in Children

Background. Glomerular upregulation of miR-193a has been detected in primary focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) but not in other glomerular diseases. We aimed to isolate exosomes from urine of children with primary FSGS and to assess the diagnostic potential of urinary exosomal miR-193a for primary FSGS. Methods. The first morning urine samples were collected from children with primary FSGS () and minimal change disease (MCD, ). Isolated urinary exosomes were confirmed by electron microscopy and Western blotting. Urinary exosomal microRNA was extracted, and the expression levels of exosomal miR-193a were quantified by real-time PCR. The diagnosis value of urinary exosomal miR-193a levels for primary FSGS was evaluated by ROC analysis. Results. The isolated vesicles were qualitatively compatible with exosomes. The levels of urinary exosomal miR-193a were significantly higher in children with primary FSGS than those in children with MCD. Moreover, the area under the ROC for the diagnosis of primary FSGS using urinary exosomal miR-193a was 0.85. Conclusions. A significant increase in the levels of urinary exosomal miR-193a in primary FSGS patients compared to those in MCD ones was observed. This study suggests that urinary exosomal miR-193a may be a new noninvasive biomarker for the diagnosis of primary FSGS.

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Fixed Full Arches Supported by Tapered Implants with Knife-Edge Thread Design and Nanostructured, Calcium-Incorporated Surface: A Short-Term Prospective Clinical Study

Purpose. To evaluate implant survival, peri-implant bone loss, and complications affecting fixed full-arch (FFA) restorations supported by implants with a knife-edge thread design and nanostructured, calcium-incorporated surface. Methods. Between January 2013 and December 2015, all patients referred for implant-supported FFA restorations were considered for enrollment in this study. All patients received implants with a knife-edge thread design and nanostructured calcium-incorporated surface (Anyridge®, Megagen, South Korea) were restored with FFA restorations and enrolled in a recall program. The final outcomes were implant survival, peri-implant bone loss, biologic/prosthetic complications, and “complication-free” survival of restorations. Results. Twenty-four patients were selected. Overall, 215 implants were inserted (130 maxilla, 85 mandible), 144 in extraction sockets and 71 in healed ridges. Thirty-six FFAs were delivered (21 maxilla, 15 mandible): 27 were immediately loaded and 9 were conventionally loaded. The follow-up ranged from 1 to 3 years. Two fixtures failed, yielding an implant survival rate of 95.9% (patient-based). A few complications were registered, for a “complication-free” survival of restorations of 88.9%. Conclusions. FFA restorations supported by implants with a knife-edge thread design and nanostructured, calcium-incorporated surface are successful in the short term, with high survival and low complication rates; long-term studies are needed to confirm these outcomes.

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Can the Diagnostics of Triangular Fibrocartilage Complex Lesions Be Improved by MRI-Based Soft-Tissue Reconstruction? An Imaging-Based Workup and Case Presentation

Introduction. The triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) provides both mobility and stability of the radiocarpal joint. TFCC lesions are difficult to diagnose due to the complex anatomy. The standard treatment for TFCC lesions is arthroscopy, posing surgery-related risks onto the patients. This feasibility study aimed at developing a workup for soft-tissue reconstruction using clinical imaging, to verify these results in retrospective patient data. Methods. Microcomputed tomography (μ-CT), 3 T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and plastination were used to visualize the TFCC in cadaveric specimens applying segmentation-based 3D reconstruction. This approach further trialed the MRI dataset of a patient with minor radiological TFCC alterations but persistent pain. Results. TFCC reconstruction was impossible using μ-CT only but feasible using MRI, resulting in an appreciation of its substructures, as seen in the plastinates. Applying this approach allowed for visualizing a Palmer 2C lesion in a patient, confirming ex postum the arthroscopy findings, being markedly different from MRI (Palmer 1B). Discussion. This preliminary study showed that image-based TFCC reconstruction may help to identify pathologies invisible in standard MRI. The combined approach of μ-CT, MRI, and plastination allowed for a three-dimensional appreciation of the TFCC. Image quality and time expenditure limit the approach’s usefulness as a diagnostic tool.

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Increased Expression of Toll-Like Receptors 4, 5, and 9 in Small Bowel Mucosa from Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

The aim of our study was to compare patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and healthy controls regarding the expression of toll-like receptors 2, 4, 5, and 9 (TLR2, TLR4, TLR5, and TLR9), the primary mucosal receptors of bacterial components, in small and large bowel mucosa. Methods. We analysed biopsies from jejunum and sigmoid colon of 22 patients (17 females) with IBS aged 18–66 (median: 39) years and 14 healthy volunteers (12 females) aged 22–61 (median: 42) years. Eight patients had constipation-predominant IBS (C-IBS), 7 had diarrhoea-predominant IBS (D-IBS), and 7 had IBS without predominance of constipation or diarrhoea. We analysed mRNA levels for TLRs using quantitative PCR and distribution of TLRs in mucosa using immunohistochemistry. Results. We found increased mRNA expression of TLR4 (mean fold change versus ; ), TLR5 ( versus ; ) and TLR9 ( versus ; ) but not of TLR2 in the small bowel mucosa from patients with IBS compared to the controls. There was no significant difference in mRNA levels for TLRs in colon mucosa between patients and controls. Conclusion. Upregulation of TLR4, TLR5, and TLR9 suggests the involvement of bacteria or dysregulation of the immune response to commensal flora in small bowel mucosa in IBS patients.

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Health Alert Network (HAN) No. 400 - Investigation of Seoul Virus Outbreak Associated with Home-based, Rat-breeding Facilities in Wisconsin and Illinois

CDC and health officials from Wisconsin and Illinois are conducting an investigation of Seoul virus infections among pet rats and persons exposed to rats at rat-breeding facilities in Wisconsin and Illinois. Seoul virus is a member of the hantavirus group of rodent-borne viruses. Trace-back and trace-out investigations of possibly infected rodents have identified distribution chains in other states that may require additional investigations. People who become infected with this virus often exhibit relatively mild or no symptoms, but some will develop a form of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) with death in approximately 1–2% of HFRS cases. Although serologic studies have indicated the presence of Seoul virus in wild rats in the United States, this is the first known outbreak associated with pet rats in the United States.

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Former NL Cy Young winner Randy Jones has throat cancer - Atlanta Journal Constitution


Atlanta Journal Constitution

Former NL Cy Young winner Randy Jones has throat cancer
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, a longtime Padres star and franchise icon, died of salivary gland cancer in 2014 that he believed was related to using tobacco during his major league career. Jones was drafted by the Padres in 1972 and became the club's first ...
Padres pitching great Randy Jones diagnosed with throat cancer, cites years of tobacco useESPN
Former Cy Young Award winner diagnosed with throat cancerThe Mercury News
Padres hall of famer Randy Jones battling throat cancer10News

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Impacts of Mangrove Density on Surface Sediment Accretion, Belowground Biomass and Biogeochemistry in Puttalam Lagoon, Sri Lanka

Abstract

Understanding the effects of seedling density on sediment accretion, biogeochemistry and belowground biomass in mangrove systems can help explain ecological functioning and inform appropriate planting densities during restoration or climate change mitigation programs. The objectives of this study were to examine: 1) impacts of mangrove seedling density on surface sediment accretion, texture, belowground biomass and biogeochemistry, and 2) origins of the carbon (C) supplied to the mangroves in Palakuda, Puttalam Lagoon, Sri Lanka. Rhizophora mucronata propagules were planted at densities of 6.96, 3.26, 1.93 and 0.95 seedlings m−2 along with an unplanted control (0 seedlings m−2). The highest seedling density generally had higher sediment accretion rates, finer sediments, higher belowground biomass, greatest number of fine roots and highest concentrations of C and nitrogen (N) (and the lowest C/N ratio). Sediment accretion rates, belowground biomass (over 1370 days), and C and N concentrations differed significantly between seedling densities. Fine roots were significantly greater compared to medium and coarse roots across all plantation densities. Sulphur and carbon stable isotopes did not vary significantly between different density treatments. Isotope signatures suggest surface sediment C (to a depth of 1 cm) is not derived predominantly from the trees, but from seagrass adjacent to the site.



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Immunotolerant indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase increases in condyloma acuminata

Abstract

Background

The tryptophan-depleting enzyme indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) is critical for the regulation of immune tolerance and plays an important role in immune-associated skin diseases.

Objectives

To analyze the level of IDO in condyloma acuminata (CA) and its role in this condition.

Methods

IDO expression was assessed in the skin and peripheral blood of healthy subjects and patients with CA. To assess the role of skin IDO in immunity, the ability of isolated epidermal cells to metabolize tryptophan and the influence on polyclonal T cell mitogen (PHA)-stimulated T cell proliferation were explored.

Results

IDO median fluorescence intensities (MFIs) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from CA patients were similar to those from healthy controls. Immunohistochemistry showed that IDO(+) cells were rare in normal skin and the control skin of CA patients but were greatly accumulated in wart tissue. Most fluorescence signals of IDO(+) cells were not overlapping with those of CD1a(+) Langerhans cells (LCs). HPV DNA probe in situ hybridization showed a large number of IDO(+) cells in the HPV(-) site. Keratinocytes (KCs) in the skin of healthy subjects and the circumcised skin of CA patients could minimally transform tryptophan into kynurenine, but IDO-competent epidermal cells from warts could transform tryptophan. In addition, these IDO-competent epidermal cells could inhibit PHA-stimulated T cell proliferation. The addition of an IDO inhibitor 1-MT restored the inhibited T cell proliferation.

Conclusion

Abnormally localized high IDO expression might be involved in the formation of a local immune tolerant microenvironment.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.



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Organisation of the dermal matrix impacts the biomechanical properties of skin

Summary

Background

Human skin has the crucial roles of maintaining homeostasis and protecting against external environment. It offers protection against mechanical trauma due to the reversible deformation of its structure; these biomechanical properties are amenable to dynamic testing using non-invasive devices.

Objectives

To characterise the biomechanical properties of young, white Caucasian and black African/African-Caribbean skin from different anatomical sites; and to relate underlying skin architecture to biomechanical function.

Methods

Using cutometry and ballistometry, the biomechanical properties of buttock and dorsal forearm skin were determined in black African/African-Caribbean (n=18) and white Caucasian (n=20) individuals aged 18-30 years. Skin biopsies were obtained from a subset of the volunteers (black African/African-Caribbean: n=5; white Caucasian: n=6) and processed for histological and immunohistochemical detection of the major elastic fibre components and fibrillar collagens.

Results

We have determined that healthy skin from young African and Caucasian individuals has similar biomechanical properties (F3) in that skin is resilient (capable of returning to its original position following deformation; R1), exhibits minimal fatigue (R4) and is highly elastic (R2, R5 and R7). At the histological level, skin with these biomechanical properties is imbued with strong interdigitation of the rete ridges at the dermal-epidermal junction (DEJ) and candelabra-like arrays of elastic fibres throughout the papillary dermis. Dramatic disruption to this highly organised arrangement of elastic fibres, effacement of the rete ridges and alterations to the alignment of the fibrillar collagens is apparent in white Caucasian forearm and coincides with a marked decline in biomechanical function.

Conclusions

Maintenance of skin architecture – both epidermal morphology and elastic fibre arrangement – is essential for optimal skin biomechanical properties. Disruption to underlying skin architecture, as observed in young white Caucasian forearm, compromises biomechanical function.



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A case report of disappearing pigmented skin lesions associated with pembrolizumab treatment for metastatic melanoma

Abstract

Pembrolizumab is an immune checkpoint inhibitor that targets the programmed cell death (PD)-1 receptor. Common cutaneous adverse side effects of PD-1 inhibitors include maculopapular rash, pruritus, vitiligo, and lichenoid skin and mucosal reactions. Here, we describe a man in his sixties with metastatic melanoma treated with pembrolizumab who subsequently developed fading or disappearance of pigmented skin lesions, lightening of the skin, and poliosis of the eyebrows, eyelashes, and scalp and body hair. Compared to baseline high-resolution three-dimensional total body photography, we observed fading or disappearing of solar lentigines, seborrheic keratoses, and melanocytic naevi, suggesting that PD-1 inhibitors may affect the evolution of these benign skin lesions. With dermatoscopic follow-up, altered lesions showed either blue-grey peppering/granularity or fading in colour without other identifiable features. No halo lesions or lesions with surrounding inflammation were identified. One changed pigmented lesion that showed blue-grey peppering/granularity on dermoscopy was biopsied and interpreted as a macular seborrheic keratosis with melanophages. Further studies are required to elucidate the effects of PD-1 inhibition on benign skin lesions.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.



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Recommendations for treatment in Folliculotropic Mycosis Fungoides: Report of the Dutch Cutaneous Lymphoma Group

Summary

Background

Folliculotropic mycosis fungoides (FMF) is an aggressive variant of mycosis fungoides (MF) and generally less responsive to standard skin-directed therapies (SDTs). Recent studies distinguished an indolent (early-stage FMF) and a more aggressive (advanced-stage FMF) subgroup. The optimal treatment for both subgroups needs still to be defined.

Objectives

Evaluation of initial treatment results in patients with early- and advanced-stage FMF.

Methods

203 Patients (84 early-stage, 102 advanced-stage, 17 extracutaneous FMF), included in the Dutch Cutaneous Lymphoma Registry between 1985 and 2014 were studied. Type and results of initial treatment were retrieved from the Dutch Registry. Main outcomes were complete remission (CR), sustained complete remission (SCR), partial remission (>50% improvement; PR) and overall response (OR; CR+PR).

Results

Patients with early-stage FMF were treated with non-aggressive SDTs in 67 of 84 cases, resulting in CR and OR of 28% and 83% for monotherapy topical steroids, 0% and 83% for UVB and 30% and 88% for PUVA, respectively. In patients with advanced-stage FMF these SDTs were less effective (combined CR and OR: 10% and 52%, respectively). In patients with advanced-stage FMF local radiotherapy (CR 63%; OR: 100%), total skin electron beam irradiation (CR: 59%; OR: 100%) and PUVA combined with local radiotherapy (CR: 5%; OR: 75%) were most effective.

Conclusions

The results of the present study demonstrate that not all patients with FMF should be treated aggressively. Patients with early-stage FMF may benefit very well from standard SDTs also used in early-stage classic MF and have an excellent prognosis.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.



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Germophobe (germophobia)

Germophobe (alternate spelling germaphobe): see bacteriaphobia. Germaphobia also is slang for bacteriaphobia.



MedTerms (TM) is the Medical Dictionary of MedicineNet.com.
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Prostate-specific antigen density is predictive of outcome in suboptimal prostate seed brachytherapy

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Publication date: Available online 28 January 2017
Source:Brachytherapy
Author(s): David Benzaquen, Guila Delouya, Cynthia Ménard, Maroie Barkati, Daniel Taussky
PurposeIn prostate seed brachytherapy, a D90 of <130 Gy is an accepted predictive factor for biochemical failure (BF). We studied whether there is a subpopulation that does not need additional treatment after a suboptimal permanent seed brachytherapy implantation.Methods and MaterialsA total of 486 patients who had either BF or a minimum followup of 48 months without BF were identified. BF was defined according to the Phoenix definition (nadir prostate-specific antigen + 2). Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed, adjusting for known prognostic factors such as D90 and prostate-specific antigen density (PSAD) of ≥0.15 ng/mL/cm3, to evaluate their ability to predict BF.ResultsMedian followup for patients without BF was 72 months (interquartile range 56–96). BF-free recurrence rate at 5 years was 95% and at 8 years 88%. In univariate analysis, PSAD and cancer of the prostate risk assessment score were predictive of BF. On multivariate analysis, none of the factors remained significant. The best prognosis had patients with a low PSAD (<0.15 ng/mL/cm3) and an optimal implant at 30 days after implantation (as defined by D90 ≥ 130 Gy) compared to patients with both factors unfavorable (p = 0.006). A favorable PSAD was associate with a good prognosis, independently of the D90 (<130 Gy vs. ≥130 Gy, p = 0.7).ConclusionsPatients with a PSAD of <0.15 ng/mL/cm3 have little risk of BF, even in the case of a suboptimal implant. These results need to be validated in other patients' cohorts.



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Innovative Nanomaterials for Thermal Applications



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Enhancing Ductility of 1045 Nanoeutectic Steel Prepared by Aluminothermic Reaction through Annealing at 873 K

The 1045 steel with lamellar spacing of pearlite in nanometer was prepared by aluminothermic reaction casting and annealed at 873 K (600°C) with different time. Microstructures of steels were investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscope (SEM), and transmission electron microscope (TEM). Tensile properties of the steels were measured. The results showed that the lamellar spacing of the pearlite increased with the annealing time. It was found that the microstructure of steels consisted of nanocrystalline-ferrite matrix and laminar pearlite phase. The average grain sizes of the ferrite were 26.9, 27.0, 26.1, and 34.9 nm for the cast steel and samples annealed for 2, 4, and 6 h, respectively. As the annealing time increased, the volume fraction of the pearlite almost remained constant, while the laminar spacing of pearlite increased from 146 to 300 nm. The tensile and yield strength varied slightly; the elongation obviously improved. After annealing for 4 h, the elongation increased to be 33%, which was the reported highest value for the steel up to now and about twice of the conventional 1045 steel.

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Excess Body Mass Index Loss at 3 Months: A Predictive Factor of Long-Term Result after Sleeve Gastrectomy

Introduction. Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy (SG) is considered as successful if the percentage of Excess Body Mass Index Loss (% EBMIL) remains constant over 50% with long-term follow-up. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether early % EBMIL was predictive of success after SG. Methods. This retrospective study included patients who had SG with two years of follow-up. Patients had follow-up appointments at 3 (M3), 6, 12, and 24 months (M24). Data as weight and Body Mass Index (BMI) were collected systematically. We estimated the % EBMIL necessary to establish a correlation between M3 and M24 compared to % EBMIL speeds and calculated a limit value of % EBMIL predictive of success. Results. Data at operative time, M3, and M24 were available for 128 patients. Pearson test showed a correlation between % EBMIL at M3 and that at M24 (). % EBMIL speed between surgery and M3 () was significant but not between M3 and M24. A linear regression analysis proved that % EBMIL over 20.1% at M3 () predicted a final % EBMIL over 50%. Conclusions. % EBMIL at M3 after SG is correlated with % EBMIL in the long term. % EBMIL speed was significant in the first 3 months. % EBMIL over 20.1% at M3 leads to the success of SG.

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Physical Layer Authentication Enhancement Using Maximum SNR Ratio Based Cooperative AF Relaying

Physical layer authentication techniques developed in conventional macrocell wireless networks face challenges when applied in the future fifth-generation (5G) wireless communications, due to the deployment of dense small cells in a hierarchical network architecture. In this paper, we propose a novel physical layer authentication scheme by exploiting the advantages of amplify-and-forward (AF) cooperative relaying, which can increase the coverage and convergence of the heterogeneous networks. The essence of the proposed scheme is to select the best relay among multiple AF relays for cooperation between legitimate transmitter and intended receiver in the presence of a spoofer. To achieve this goal, two best relay selection schemes are developed by maximizing the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the legitimate link to the spoofing link at the destination and relays, respectively. In the sequel, we derive closed-form expressions for the outage probabilities of the effective SNR ratios at the destination. With the help of the best relay, a new test statistic is developed for making an authentication decision, based on normalized channel difference between adjacent end-to-end channel estimates at the destination. The performance of the proposed authentication scheme is compared with that in a direct transmission in terms of outage and spoofing detection.

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Impact of In Situ Stress Distribution Characteristics on Jointed Surrounding Rock Mass Stability of an Underground Cavern near a Hillslope Surface

In this paper, a series of numerical simulations are performed to analyze the in situ stress distribution characteristics of the rock mass near different slope angles hillslope surfaces, which are subjected to the vertical gravity stress and different horizontal lateral stresses and the influence which the in situ stress distribution characteristics of 45° hillslope to the integral stability of surrounding rock mass when an underground cavern is excavated considering three different horizontal distances from the underground cavern to the slope surface. It can be concluded from the numerical results that different slope angles and horizontal lateral stresses have a strong impact on the in situ stress distribution and the integral surrounding rock mass stability of the underground cavern when the horizontal distance from the underground cavern to the slope surface is approximately 100 m to 200 m. The relevant results would provide some important constructive suggestions to the engineering site selection and optimization of large-scale underground caverns in hydropower stations.

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A Frequency-Tracking and Impedance-Matching Combined System for Robust Wireless Power Transfer

One of the greatest challenges to power embedded devices using magnetically coupled resonant wireless power transfer (WPT) system is that the amount of power delivered to the load is very sensitive to load impedance variations. Previous adaptive impedance-matching (IM) technologies have drawbacks because adding IM networks, relay coils, or other compensating components in the receiver-side will significantly increase the receiver size. In this paper, a novel frequency-tracking and impedance-matching combined system is proposed to improve the robustness of wireless power transfer for embedded devices. The characteristics of the improved WPT system are investigated theoretically based on the two-port network model. Simulation and experimental studies are carried out to validate the proposed system. The results suggest that the frequency-tracking and impedance-matching combined WPT system can quickly find the best matching points and maintain high power transmission efficiency and output power when the load impedance changes.

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Primary Pure Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Gallbladder Locally Invading the Liver, Duodenum, and Stomach: A Case Report and Literature Review

Primary pure squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the gallbladder is an exceptionally rare type of tumor that comprises only 1% of all gallbladder cancer. SCC of the gallbladder portends a worse prognosis than the more common adenocarcinoma variant because of its aggressive invasion to local structures and because it is often diagnosed at an advanced stage. Owing to its rarity, diagnosis and management can be challenging. Herein, we present the case of a 75-year-old female complaining of abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Computed tomography and ultrasonography results of the abdomen were consistent with acute cholecystitis and cholelithiasis. Histologic evaluation of the resected mass revealed a malignant tumor with prominent keratinization, confirming the diagnosis of an invasive primary pure SCC of the gallbladder. Microscopic examination showed direct infiltration to the liver, duodenum, and stomach. This case report describes the hospital course of a patient with SCC of the gallbladder and suggests that gallbladder cancer should be considered as part of the differential diagnosis in elderly patients presenting with acute cholecystitis. In addition, this article will review existing literature to examine the utility of different diagnostic techniques and treatment modalities available in the management of gallbladder cancer.

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Chaos Control and Synchronization via Switched Output Control Strategy

This paper investigates the control and synchronization of a class of chaotic systems with switched output which is assumed to be switched between the first and the second state variables of chaotic system. Some novel and yet simple criteria for the control and synchronization of a class of chaotic systems are proposed via the switched output. The generalized Lorenz chaotic system is taken as an example to show the feasibility and efficiency of theoretical results.

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Antiproteinase 3 Positive Eosinophilic Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis Presenting with Heart Failure and Intraventricular Thrombosis

Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA) is a rare systemic vasculitis commonly with cardiac complications. We describe a case of anti-PR3 ANCA-positive EGPA complicated by congestive heart failure and intraventricular thrombosis. Interestingly, the thrombus was resolved rapidly with steroid and cyclophosphamide in the setting of interrupted anticoagulation. To the best of our knowledge, we report the first case of anti-PR3 positive EGPA with extensive cardiac involvement. Our patient had overlapping features with previously studied ANCA-positive and ANCA-negative EGPA cases. We also hypothesize that the thrombogenic potential of eosinophils may play a central role in thrombogenesis in EGPA and aggressive immunosuppressive therapy remains the cornerstone of treatment, and the addition of anticoagulation therapy in the setting of thrombus formation and also very high risk of bleeding needs to be considered cautiously.

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Dynamic Response of Parallel Hoisting System under Drive Deviation between Ropes with Time-Varying Length

The dynamic responses of parallel hoisting system with time-varying length and rigid guidance under drive deviation are investigated considering tension and torsion characteristics of the ropes. The variable-domain three-node elements of rope are employed and the corresponding differential algebraic equations (DAEs) are derived using Lagrange’s equations of the first kind. The slack situation of the rope is considered, and the dynamic equations which are systems of DAEs are transformed to ordinary differential equations (ODEs). The dynamic responses of tension, torsion, and acceleration are analyzed considering radius’ error of the drums, which indicates that the drive deviation between ropes can cause large influence on the tension difference and even cause one of the ropes to slack. However, the torsion of the corresponding rope is active. And unreasonable discordance between ropes should be controlled for the design and manufacture of drum on super deep parallel hoisting system.

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Planning Solid Waste Collection with Robust Optimization: Location-Allocation, Receptacle Type, and Service Frequency

Consider the problem faced by a purchaser of solid waste management services, who needs to identify waste collection points, the assignment of waste generation points to waste collection points, and the type and number of receptacles utilized at each collection point. Receptacles whose collection schedule is specified in advance are charged a fixed fee according to the number of times the receptacle is serviced (emptied) per week. For other receptacles, the purchaser pays a fee comprised of a fixed service charge, plus a variable cost that is assessed on a per-ton-removed basis. We develop a mathematical programming model to minimize the costs that the purchaser pays to the waste management provider, subject to a level of service that is sufficient to collect all of the purchaser’s required waste. Examining historical data from the University of Missouri, we observed significant variability in the amount of waste serviced for nonscheduled receptacles. Because this variability has a significant impact on cost, we modified our model using robust optimization techniques to address the observed uncertainty. Our model’s highly robust solution, while slightly more expensive than the nonrobust solution in the most-optimistic scenario, significantly outperforms the nonrobust solution for all other potential scenarios.

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Stellate Cell Activation and Imbalanced Expression of TGF-β1/TGF-β3 in Acute Autoimmune Liver Lesions Induced by ConA in Mice

Objective. To study the pathogenic feature of liver injury, activation of hepatic stellate cells, and dynamic expression of TGF-β1/TGF-β3 to reveal their role in liver injury induced by ConA. Methods. Mice were randomly divided into control group and ConA treatment group. ConA (20 mg/kg) was injected through vena caudalis in ConA treatment group; the controls received the same volume of saline injection. After injection for 2 h, 8 h, 24 h, and 48 h, animals were terminated. Blood, liver, and spleen were harvested. Liver function and histopathology were studied. α-SMA, vimentin, TGF-β1, and TGF-β3 were detected. Results. After ConA injection, liver damage started to increase. Expression of α-SMA, vimentin, TGF-β1, and TGF-β3 was significantly enhanced; all above indicators reached peak at 8 h; but from 24 h after ConA injection, TGF-β3 expression began to decline, while the TGF-β1/TGF-β3 ratio at 48 h was significantly lower than control. Conclusion. () Autoimmune liver injury induced by ConA showed time-based features, in which the most serious liver lesions happened at 8 h after ConA injection. () Early activation of HSC and imbalance expression of TGF-β1 and TGF-β3 existed in ConA-induced acute autoimmune liver injury, which may be associated with liver dysfunction and the mechanisms of progression to fibrosis.

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Investigation on Surface Roughness of Inconel 718 in Photochemical Machining

The present work is focused on estimating the optimal machining parameters required for photochemical machining (PCM) of an Inconel 718 and effects of these parameters on surface topology. An experimental analysis was carried out to identify optimal values of parameters using ferric chloride (FeCl3) as an etchant. The parameters considered in this analysis are concentration of etchant, etching time, and etchant temperature. The experimental analysis shows that etching performance as well as surface topology improved by appropriate selection of etching process parameters. Temperature of the etchant found to be dominant parameter in the PCM of Inconel 718 for surface roughness. At optimal etching conditions, surface roughness was found to be 0.201 μm.

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Design of a SIW Bandpass Filter Using Defected Ground Structure with CSRRs

In this paper, a substrate integrated waveguide (SIW) bandpass filter using defected ground structure (DGS) with complementary split ring resonators (CSRRs) is proposed. By using the unique resonant properties of CSRRs and DGSs, two passbands with a transmission zero in the middle have been achieved. The resonant modes of the two passbands are different and the bandwidth of the second passband is much wider than that of the first one. In order to increase out-of-band rejection, a pair of dumbbell DGSs has been added on each side of the CSRRs. The structure is analyzed using equivalent circuit models and simulated based on EM simulation software. For validation, the proposed filter is fabricated and measured. The measurement results are in good agreement with the simulated ones.

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Nano-CL-20/HMX Cocrystal Explosive for Significantly Reduced Mechanical Sensitivity

Spray drying method was used to prepare cocrystals of hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane (CL-20) and cyclotetramethylene tetranitramine (HMX). Raw materials and cocrystals were characterized using scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry, Raman spectroscopy, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Impact and friction sensitivity of cocrystals were tested and analyzed. Results show that, after preparation by spray drying method, microparticles were spherical in shape and 0.5–5 µm in size. Particles formed aggregates of numerous tiny plate-like cocrystals, whereas CL-20/HMX cocrystals had thicknesses of below 100 nm. Cocrystals were formed by C–HO bonding between –NO2 (CL-20) and –CH2– (HMX). Nanococrystal explosives exhibited drop height of 47.3 cm, and friction demonstrated explosion probability of 64%. Compared with raw HMX, cocrystals displayed significantly reduced mechanical sensitivity.

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Wound Myiasis Caused by Sarcophaga (Liopygia) Argyrostoma (Robineau-Desvoidy) (Diptera: Sarcophagidae): Additional Evidences of the Morphological Identification Dilemma and Molecular Investigation

In Mediterranean countries, Sarcophaga (Liopygia) crassipalpis, Sarcophaga (L.) argyrostoma, and Sarcophaga (L.) cultellata share the same ecological niche and can be responsible of myiasis. In this study, the main morphological characters of a larva found in a hospitalized woman were described and illustrated by light and SEM microscopy and the features discussed. Then, a fragment within the mitochondrial encoded cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (coxI) gene of ~735 bp was amplified and sequenced. The molecular investigation was necessary to confirm the species Sarcophaga (Liopygia) argyrostoma (99% of identity). Our findings showed that morphological descriptions of larvae of three Mediterranean species of Liopygia available in several papers might not be clear enough to allow for comparison and correct identification. Until results of reliable comparative studies of larvae of all three species will be available, the use of molecular tools is crucial, to avoid misleading or incomplete identification, and in particular when a myiasis becomes a legal issue.

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Existence and Uniqueness of Solutions for BVP of Nonlinear Fractional Differential Equation

In this paper, we study the existence and uniqueness of solutions for the following boundary value problem of nonlinear fractional differential equation: ,  , , where , , , and . The main tools used are nonlinear alternative of Leray-Schauder type and Banach contraction principle.

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A 7 μW Offset- and Temperature-Compensated pH-to-Digital Converter

This paper demonstrates a micropower offset- and temperature-compensated smart pH sensor, intended for use in battery-powered RFID systems that monitor the quality of perishable products. Low operation power is essential in such systems to enable autonomous logging of environmental parameters, such as the pH level, over extended periods of time using only a small, low-cost battery. The pH-sensing element in this work is an ion-sensitive extended-gate field-effect transistor (EGFET), which is incorporated in a low-power sensor front-end. The front-end outputs a pH-dependent voltage, which is then digitized by means of a co-integrated incremental delta-sigma ADC. To compensate for the offset and temperature cross-sensitivity of the EGFET, a compensation scheme using a calibration process and a temperature sensor has been devised. A prototype chip has been realized in a 0.16 μm CMOS process. It occupies 0.35 × 3.9 mm2 of die area and draws only 4 μA from a 1.8 V supply. Two different types of custom packaging have been used for measurement purposes. The pH sensor achieves a linearity of better than ±0.1 for pH values ranging from 4 to 10. The calibration and compensation scheme reduces errors due to temperature cross-sensitivity to less than ±0.1 in the temperature range of 6°C to 25°C.

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Exploring Complexity of Deliberate Self-Poisoning through Network Analysis

The purpose of this research was to examine the complexity of circumstances that result in deliberate self-poisoning cases. For the purposes of this paper, the cases were patients that presented for care and were admitted to the specialty hospital in Northwest of Iran. The research examined the problems preceding deliberate self-poisoning and the interrelations among them by applying network analysis methods. The network was scored for degrees of centrality and betweenness centrality. Structural analysis of network also was conducted using block modelling. The results showed that family conflicts had the highest score for degree of centrality among women, while the highest score for degree of centrality among men belonged to those dealing with drug addiction. Analysis for degree of betweenness centrality revealed that drug addiction had the highest score among men, whereas the highest score for women on betweenness centrality was related to physical illness. Structural analysis of the network showed differences in role that various problems played in intentional self-poisoning. The findings from this research can be used by public health authorities to create prevention programs that address the problems leading to deliberate self-poisoning.

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Adaptive Active Noise Suppression Using Multiple Model Switching Strategy

Active noise suppression for applications where the system response varies with time is a difficult problem. The computation burden for the existing control algorithms with online identification is heavy and easy to cause control system instability. A new active noise control algorithm is proposed in this paper by employing multiple model switching strategy for secondary path varying. The computation is significantly reduced. Firstly, a noise control system modeling method is proposed for duct-like applications. Then a multiple model adaptive control algorithm is proposed with a new multiple model switching strategy based on filter-u least mean square (FULMS) algorithm. Finally, the proposed algorithm was implemented on Texas Instruments digital signal processor (DSP) TMS320F28335 and real time experiments were done to test the proposed algorithm and FULMS algorithm with online identification. Experimental verification tests show that the proposed algorithm is effective with good noise suppression performance.

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IJMS, Vol. 18, Pages 287: The Glia Response after Peripheral Nerve Injury: A Comparison between Schwann Cells and Olfactory Ensheathing Cells and Their Uses for Neural Regenerative Therapies

The peripheral nervous system (PNS) exhibits a much larger capacity for regeneration than the central nervous system (CNS). One reason for this difference is the difference in glial cell types between the two systems. PNS glia respond rapidly to nerve injury by clearing debris from the injury site, supplying essential growth factors and providing structural support; all of which enhances neuronal regeneration. Thus, transplantation of glial cells from the PNS is a very promising therapy for injuries to both the PNS and the CNS. There are two key types of PNS glia: olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs), which populate the olfactory nerve, and Schwann cells (SCs), which are present in the rest of the PNS. These two glial types share many similar morphological and functional characteristics but also exhibit key differences. The olfactory nerve is constantly turning over throughout life, which means OECs are continuously stimulating neural regeneration, whilst SCs only promote regeneration after direct injury to the PNS. This review presents a comparison between these two PNS systems in respect to normal physiology, developmental anatomy, glial functions and their responses to injury. A thorough understanding of the mechanisms and differences between the two systems is crucial for the development of future therapies using transplantation of peripheral glia to treat neural injuries and/or disease.

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IJMS, Vol. 18, Pages 286: High-Level γ-Glutamyl-Hydrolase (GGH) Expression is Linked to Poor Prognosis in ERG Negative Prostate Cancer

γ-glutamyl-hydrolase (GGH) is a ubiquitously-expressed enzyme that regulates intracellular folate metabolism for cell proliferation, DNA synthesis, and repair. Employing GGH immunohistochemistry on a tissue microarray with 12,427 prostate cancers, we found that GGH expression was negative to low in normal prostate epithelium, whereas 88.3% of our 10,562 interpretable cancers showed GGH expression. GGH staining was considered as low intensity in 49.6% and as high intensity in 38.6% of cancers. High GGH expression was linked to the TMPRSS2:ERG-fusion positive subset of cancers (p < 0.0001), advanced pathological tumor stage, and high Gleason grade (p < 0.0001 each). Further analysis revealed that these associations were merely driven by the subset of ERG-negative cancers, High GGH expression was weakly linked to early biochemical recurrence in ERG negative cancers (p < 0.0001) and independent from established histo-pathological parameters. Moreover, GGH expression was linked to features of genetic instability, including presence of recurrent deletions at 3p, 5q, 6q, and 10q (PTEN, p ≤ 0.01 each), as well as to accelerated cell proliferation as measured by Ki67 immunohistochemistry (p < 0.0001). In conclusion, the results of our study identify GGH as an ERG subtype specific molecular marker with modest prognostic relevance, which may have clinical relevance if analyzed in combination with other molecular markers.

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IJMS, Vol. 18, Pages 288: Adenosine Monophosphate (AMP)-Activated Protein Kinase: A New Target for Nutraceutical Compounds

Abstract: Adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is an important energy sensor which is activated by increases in adenosine monophosphate (AMP)/adenosine triphosphate (ATP) ratio and/or adenosine diphosphate (ADP)/ATP ratio, and increases different metabolic pathways such as fatty acid oxidation, glucose transport and mitochondrial biogenesis. In this sense, AMPK maintains cellular energy homeostasis by induction of catabolism and inhibition of ATP-consuming biosynthetic pathways to preserve ATP levels. Several studies indicate a reduction of AMPK sensitivity to cellular stress during aging and this could impair the downstream signaling and the maintenance of the cellular energy balance and the stress resistance. However, several diseases have been related with an AMPK dysfunction. Alterations in AMPK signaling decrease mitochondrial biogenesis, increase cellular stress and induce inflammation, which are typical events of the aging process and have been associated to several pathological processes. In this sense, in the last few years AMPK has been identified as a very interesting target and different nutraceutical compounds are being studied for an interesting potential effect on AMPK induction. In this review, we will evaluate the interaction of the different nutraceutical compounds to induce the AMPK phosphorylation and the applications in diseases such as cancer, type II diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases or cardiovascular diseases.

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Looking for phosphate-accumulating bacteria in activated sludge processes: a multidisciplinary approach

Abstract

Over the past decades, an increasing need in renewable resources has progressively appeared. This trend concerns not only fossil fuels but also mineral resources. Wastewater and sewage sludge contain significant concentrations in phosphate and can be considered as a fertilizer source of the utmost importance. In wastewater treatment plants, the biological uptake of phosphate is performed by a specific microbiota: the phosphate-accumulating organisms. These microorganisms are recovered in sewage sludge. Here, we aimed to investigate the occurrence of phosphate accumulators in four wastewater treatment plants. A 16S metagenetic analysis identified the main bacterial phyla extracted from the aerobic treatment: α-Proteobacteria, β-Proteobacteria, and Sphingobacteria. An enrichment stage was performed to stimulate the specific growth of phosphate-accumulating bacteria in an acetate medium. An analysis of metabolic activities of sulfur and phosphorus highlighted strong modifications related to phosphorus and much less distinguishable effects with sulfur. A solid acetate medium containing 5-Br-4-Cl-3-indolyl phosphate was used to select potential phosphate-accumulating bacteria from the enriched consortia. The positive strains have been found to belong in the genera Acinetobacter, Corynebacterium, and Pseudomonas. Finally, electron microscopy was applied to the strains and allowed to confirm the presence of polyphosphate granules. Some of these bacteria contained granules the size of which exceeded 100 nm.



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Infraspecific variability in baseline element composition of the epiphytic lichen Pseudevernia furfuracea in remote areas: implications for biomonitoring of air pollution

Abstract

The epiphytic lichen Pseudevernia furfuracea is widely used as biomonitor of airborne trace elements and other contaminants and consists of two taxonomic varieties (var. furfuracea and var. ceratea). Here, we assessed the occurrence of inter-varietal differences in the elemental composition of paired samples of var. furfuracea and var. ceratea collected in 20 remote sites of Italian mountains. The concentration of 40 elements was measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy, after digestion with HNO3 and aqua regia. The magnitude of inter-varietal differences compared to the effect of large-scale site-dependent environmental factors (i.e., lithological substrate, host tree species, and altitude) on overall element content was explored by multivariate analysis techniques and tested by generalized linear mixed modeling (GLMM). Further GLMMs were separately fitted for each element testing taxonomic-related variability against uncertainty associated to the analytical procedure. Inter-varietal differences were statistically significant only for Hg and P, with higher content in var. ceratea at most sites, and for Mg and Zn, showing the opposite pattern. Since the elemental composition of P. furfuracea in remote sites was mostly affected by local lithology and climatic conditions, our results confirm that lichen material for active biomonitoring should be collected in a single ecologically homogeneous remote area. We also indicate sites in the Eastern Alps where P. furfuracea showed the minimum content of most elements, which are suggested as locations to collect lichen material for transplants. Besides the context-dependency at large spatial scale, variations of elemental composition apparently related to taxonomy, could possibly be due to unequal incidence of morphological traits of the collected material. Further research is needed to clarify this issue, and how it affects bioaccumulation phenomena.



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A global prospective of income distribution and its effect on life cycle assessment of municipal solid waste management: a review

Abstract

This study reviewed the municipal solid waste (MSW) composition, the management practices, and the use of life cycle assessment (LCA) tool for MSW management (MSWM) options in the various income group countries. LCA studies require inventory data, which is difficult to procure for any country including higher income group countries, and this issue gets compounded in low-income and lower middle-income group countries, which limits the implementation of LCA. This paper compared the use of LCA for MSWM between high-income and low-income group countries and also highlights the gap in using LCA for MSWM. A very limited number of LCA studies on MSWM were found for low-income group countries in comparison to high-income group countries. The study also provided a critical discussion on the challenges in applications of LCA in MSWM for better solid waste management in low-income and lower middle-income group countries. The study will help in taking up LCA studies in low-income countries to improve the overall MSWM efficiency.



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Biosynthesis of metal nanoparticles using three marine plant species: anti-algal efficiencies against “ Oscillatoria simplicissima ”

Abstract

This study aims at controlling of the cyanobacteria Oscillatoria simplicissima, those that produce neurotoxins and have negative impacts on the aquatic organisms, using biosynthesized metal nanoparticles (NPs). Silver-NPs (Ag-NPs) have been successfully biosynthesized using Nannochloropsis oculata and Tetraselmis tetrathele cultures. Also, Ag-NPs and iron oxide-NPs (Fe3O4-NPs) were synthesized by Halophila stipulacea aqueous extract. The structural composition of the different biosynthesized NPs was studied. The algae cultures and the extract were used as reductants of AgNO3, and brown colors due to Ag-NP biosynthesis were observed. Silver signals were recorded in their corresponding EDX spectra. FTIR analyses showed that proteins in N. oculata and T. tetrathele cultures reduced AgNO3, and aromatic compounds stabilized the biogenic Ag-NPs. H. stipulacea extract contains proteins and polyphenols that could be in charge for the reduction of silver and iron ions into nanoparticles and polysaccharides which stabilized the biosynthesized Ag-NPs and Fe3O4-NPs. The Ag-NPs biosynthesized by T. tetrathele cultures and H. stipulacea aqueous extract exerted outstanding negative impacts on O. simplicissima (optical density and total chlorophyll) and the Ag-NPs biosynthesized using N. oculata culture exerted the moderate performance. The study results suggest that the bioactive compounds present in the FTIR profiles of the Ag-NPs and or ionic silver may be the main contributors in their anti-algal effects. A trial to use the biosynthesized Fe3O4-NPs using H. stipulacea aqueous extract to separate Ag-NPs was successfully carried out. Since the synthesis and applications of nanomaterials is a hot subject of research, the study outcomes not only provide a green approach for the synthesis of metal-NPs but also open the way for more nanoparticle applications.



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Presence and distribution of current-use pesticides in surface marine sediments from a Mediterranean coastal lagoon (SE Spain)

Abstract

The spatial and seasonal distributions of current-use pesticides (CUPs), including triazines, organophosphorus pesticides, and tributylphosphate, were characterized in surface sediments from the Mar Menor lagoon during 2009 and 2010. The impact of two flash flood events on the input of CUPs and their distribution in the lagoon were also assessed. The total (dissolved + sorbed phase) input of CUPs in the two flash floods through the El Albujón watercourse into the lagoon was estimated at 38.9 kg, of which 9.9 kg corresponded to organophosphorus pesticides and 5.5 kg to triazines. CUP distribution onto sediments was not homogeneous in the lagoon due to the different contaminant sources, sediment types, and the physicochemical and hydrodynamic conditions of the Mar Menor lagoon. Thirteen CUPs were detected in 2009 and 19 in 2010, including mainly herbicides, insecticides, and the additive tributylphosphate. Mean CUP concentrations in the lagoon were generally below 20 ng g−1, except for chlorpyrifos and tributylphosphate in 2010. The highest concentrations were detected in depositional areas of the lagoon, in the area of influence of the El Albujón watercourse and other wadis with groundwater contributions such as El Mirador (north) and Los Alcázares (east) and that of marine water from El Estacio channel. In fact, the maximum concentration was detected close to El Albujón watercourse (chlorpyrifos, 102.8 ng g−1 dry weight). Four herbicides, two insecticides, two fungicides, and tributylphosphate showed a risk quotient higher than 1, with that for chlorpyrifos ranging from 96 to 35,200 after flash flood events.



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IJERPH, Vol. 14, Pages 134: PM2.5-Induced Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Damage in the Nasal Mucosa of Rats

Exposure to PM2.5 (particulate matter ≤2.5 μm) increases the risk of nasal lesions, but the underlying mechanisms, especially the mechanisms leading to mitochondrial damage, are still unclear. Thus, we investigated the in vivo effects of PM2.5 exposure on the inflammatory response, oxidative stress, the enzyme activities of Na+K+-ATPase and Ca2+-ATPase, and the morphology and function of mitochondria in the nasal mucosa of rats. Exposure to PM2.5 occurred through inhalation of a PM2.5 solution aerosol. The results show that the PM2.5 exposure induced increased levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) and levels of proinflammatory mediators, including interleukin 6 (IL-6), IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). These changes were accompanied by decreases in the activities of total superoxide dismutase (T-SOD), Na+K+-ATPase, and Ca2+-ATPase in rat nasal mucosa. PM2.5 significantly affected the expression of specific mitochondrial fission/fusion genes (OPA1, Mfn1, Fis1, and Drp1) in nasal mucosa. These changes were accompanied by abnormal alterations of mitochondrial structures, including mitochondrial swelling, cristae disorder, and even fission resulting from higher doses of PM2.5. Our data shows that oxidative damage, inflammatory response, and mitochondrial dysfunction may be the toxic mechanisms that cause nasal lesions after exposure to PM2.5.

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Check Your Neck for Thyroid Abnormalities - Arizona Daily Star


Arizona Daily Star

Check Your Neck for Thyroid Abnormalities
Arizona Daily Star
"The number of cases of thyroid cancer is rising, and while in most cases the outcomes of treatment are favorable, some patients present with disease that has progressed and may be more difficult to treat," said Dr. Ilya Likhterov. He is an ear, nose ...



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IL-5 blocks apoptosis and tau hyperphosphorylation induced by Aβ 25–35 peptide in PC12 cells

Abstract

The primary features of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are extracellular amyloid plaques consisting mainly of deposits of amyloid β (Aβ) peptides and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). Sets of evidence suggest that interleukin-5 (IL-5) is involved in the pathogenesis of AD. Herein, we investigated the protective role of IL-5 in PC12 cells, to provide new insights into understanding this disease. Western blot was employed to assess the protein levels of Bax and phospho-tau as well as phospho-JAK2; MTT assay was performed to decipher cell viability. Treatment of IL-5 decreased Aβ25–35-induced tau phosphorylation and apoptosis, effects blunted by JAK2 inhibition. IL-5 prevents Aβ25–35-evoked tau protein hyperphosphorylation and apoptosis through JAK2 signaling.



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IJMS, Vol. 18, Pages 264: Circulating Cell Free Tumor DNA Detection as a Routine Tool forLung Cancer Patient Management

Circulating tumoral DNA (ctDNA), commonly named “liquid biopsy”, has emerged as a new promising noninvasive tool to detect biomarker in several cancers including lung cancer. Applications involving molecular analysis of ctDNA in lung cancer have increased and encompass diagnosis, response to treatment, acquired resistance and prognosis prediction, while bypassing the problem of tumor heterogeneity. ctDNA may then help perform dynamic genetic surveillance in the era of precision medicine through indirect tumoral genomic information determination. The aims of this review were to examine the recent technical developments that allowed the detection of genetic alterations of ctDNA in lung cancer. Furthermore, we explored clinical applications in patients with lung cancer including treatment efficiency monitoring, acquired therapy resistance mechanisms and prognosis value.

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IJMS, Vol. 18, Pages 269: Uridine Triphosphate Thio Analogues Inhibit Platelet P2Y12 Receptor and Aggregation

Platelet P2Y12 is an important adenosine diphosphate (ADP) receptor that is involved in agonist-induced platelet aggregation and is a valuable target for the development of anti-platelet drugs. Here we characterise the effects of thio analogues of uridine triphosphate (UTP) on ADP-induced platelet aggregation. Using human platelet-rich plasma, we demonstrate that UTP inhibits P2Y12 but not P2Y1 receptors and antagonises 10 µM ADP-induced platelet aggregation in a concentration-dependent manner with an IC50 value of ~250 °µM. An eight-fold higher platelet inhibitory activity was observed with a 2-thio analogue of UTP (2S-UTP), with an IC50 of 30 µM. The 4-thio analogue (4S-UTP) with an IC50 of 7.5 µM was 33-fold more effective. A three-fold decrease in inhibitory activity, however, was observed by introducing an isobutyl group at the 4S- position. A complete loss of inhibition was observed with thio-modification of the γ phosphate of the sugar moiety, which yields an enzymatically stable analogue. The interaction of UTP analogues with P2Y12 receptor was verified by P2Y12 receptor binding and cyclic AMP (cAMP) assays. These novel data demonstrate for the first time that 2- and 4-thio analogues of UTP are potent P2Y12 receptor antagonists that may be useful for therapeutic intervention.

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IJMS, Vol. 18, Pages 270: Expansion of T Cells with Interleukin-21 for Adoptive Immunotherapy of Murine Mammary Carcinoma

We previously demonstrated that culturing antigen-sensitized draining lymph node (DLN) lymphocytes from BALB/c mice in interleukin (IL)-7/15 after activation with bryostatin/ionomycin (B/I) is superior to culture in IL-2 for expansion, differentiation to cluster of differentiation (CD)8+ cells and anti-tumor activity. We sought to determine whether the substitution or addition of IL-21 to culture had a similar effect. DLN lymphocytes were antigen-sensitized with 4T1 mammary carcinoma 10 days prior to harvest, activated with B/I, and expanded in culture for 7 days with either IL-2, IL-21, IL-2/21, IL-7/15, or IL-7/15/21. Cellular expansion, phenotype, interferon (IFN)-γ responses, and in vivo anti-tumor activity were compared. We found that T cells grown in IL7/15/21 demonstrated significantly greater lymphocyte expansion than IL-2, IL-21, IL-2/21, and IL-7/15 (38.4-fold vs. 5.5, 6.6, 9.5, and 23.9-fold, respectively). Of these expanded cells, IL-7/15/21 significantly expanded the greatest percentage of CD8+ cells (67.1% vs. 22.2%, 47.2%, 47.4%, and 55.3%, respectively), and the greatest number of T central memory cells (TCM) compared to IL-2, IL-21 and IL-2/21 (45.8% vs. 11.1%, 7.7%, and 12.1%, respectively). IL-21 and IL-2/21-expanded T cells preferentially differentiated into T naïve cells (TN) vs. those expanded in IL-2, IL-7/15 and IL-7/15/21 (27.6% and 23.2% vs. 1.7%, 4.5%, and 10.4%, respectively), and demonstrated the highest IFN-γ levels in vitro. In vivo adoptive immunotherapy (AIT) experiments demonstrated anti-tumor efficacy was equally effective using IL-2, IL-21, IL-2/21, IL-7/15 and IL-7/15/21-cultured lymphocytes vs. control or cyclophosphamide alone, even at lower doses or with greater initial size of tumor prior to treatment.

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Molecular epidemiology of pseudorabies virus in Yunnan and the sequence analysis of its gD gene

Abstract

Outbreaks of pseudorabies (PRs) have occurred in Yunnan, China, which caused significant economic loss. To determine the prevalence and origin of PR in Yunnan, especially among vaccinated pigs, overall 791 samples of blood, tissue, semen, and sera were analyzed by serological methods, PCR, and sequence analysis of gD gene. Detection with viral gI antibody or PCR showed that the yearly positive rates of PR virus (PRV) in Yunnan from 2010 to 2014 were 48.15, 21.26, 2.17, 5.22, and 0.35%, respectively, with an average of 15.43%. In general, the incidence declined through the period of 2010–2014 probably due to the application of PRV eradication strategies. A phylogenetic tree was constructed based on the complete sequence of gD gene, with all strains clustered into two independent clades, i.e., Asian and European–American clades. The virus isolates from Henan, Tianjin, Heilongjiang, Sichuan, Shandong, Fujian, Xinjiang, Hubei, Guangdong, and Yunnan fell into Asian group, which harbored South Korea isolate. Four Yunnan virus isolates together with South Korean Namyangju fell into in the European–American clade. It showed that PR was pandemic as there was not a clear clue about the geographical origin of the PRV isolates in China since 2010.



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Electrocatalytic water treatment using carbon nanotube filters modified with metal oxides

Abstract

This study examined the electrocatalytic activity of multi-walled carbon nanotube (CNT) filters for remediation of aqueous phenol in a sodium sulfate electrolyte. CNT filters were loaded with antimony-doped tin oxide (Sb-SnO2; SS) and bismuth- and antimony-codoped tin oxide (Bi-Sb-SnO2; BSS) via electrosorption at 2 V for 1 h and then assembled into a flow-through batch reactor as anode–cathode couples with perforated titanium foils. The as-synthesized pristine CNT filters were composed of 50–60-nm-thick tubular carbons with smooth surfaces, whereas the tubes composing the SS-CNT and BSS-CNT filters were slightly thicker and bumpy, because they were coated with SS and BSS particles ~50 nm in size. Electrochemical characterization of the samples indicated a positive shift in the onset potential and a decrease in the current magnitude in the modified CNT filters due to passivation and oxidation inhibition of the bare CNT filters. These filters exhibited a similar adsorption capacity for phenol (5–8%), whereas loadings of SS and BSS enhanced the degradation rate of phenol by ~1.5 and 2.1 times, respectively. In particular, the total organic carbon removal performance and mineralization efficiency of the BSS-CNT filters were approximately twice those of the bare CNT filters. The BSS-CNT filters also exhibited an enhanced oxidation of ferrocyanide [FeII(CN)64−], which was not adsorbed onto the CNT filters. The enhanced electrocatalytic performance of the modified CNT filters was attributed to an effective generation of OH radicals. The surfaces of the filters were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy.



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IJERPH, Vol. 14, Pages 123: Effects of Gender on the Association of Urinary Phthalate Metabolites with Thyroid Hormones in Children: A Prospective Cohort Study in Taiwan

Phthalates are considered endocrine disruptors. Our study assessed the gender-specific effects of phthalate exposure on thyroid function in children. In total, 189 Taiwanese children were enrolled in the study. One-spot urine and blood samples were collected for analyzing 12 phthalate metabolites in urine and thyroid hormones. The association between urinary phthalate metabolites and serum thyroid hormones was determined using a generalized linear model with a log link function; the children were categorized into groups for analysis according to the 33rd and 66th percentiles. The data were stratified according to gender and adjusted for a priori defined covariates. In girls, a positive association existed between urinary di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) metabolites (mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, mono-(2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl) phthalate, and mono-(2-ethyl-5-hydroxyhexyl) phthalate) and free thyroxine (T4). In boys, urinary dibutyl phthalate (DBP) metabolites (mono-i-butyl phthalate and mono-n-butyl phthalate) were positively associated with free triiodothyronine (T3). After categorizing each exposure into three groups, urinary DEHP metabolites were positively associated with free T3 levels in boys. Our results suggested that DEHP is associated with free T4 in girls and that DBP is associated with free T3 in boys. Higher DEHP metabolite concentrations exerted larger effects on free T3 in boys. These results reveal the gender-specific relationships between phthalate metabolites and thyroid hormones.

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IJERPH, Vol. 14, Pages 125: Recruitment of Refugees for Health Research: A Qualitative Study to Add Refugees’ Perspectives

Research is needed to understand refugees’ health challenges and barriers to accessing health services during settlement. However, there are practical and ethical challenges for engaging refugees as participants. Despite this, there have been no studies to date specifically investigating refugee perspectives on factors affecting engagement in health research. Language-concordant focus groups in British Columbia, Canada, with four government-assisted refugee language groups (Farsi/Dari, Somali, Karen, Arabic) inquired about willingness to participate in health research. Twenty-three variables associated with the willingness of refugees to participate in health research were elicited. Variables related to research design included recruitment strategies, characteristics of the research team members and the nature of the research. Variables related to individual participants included demographic features such as gender and education, attitudes towards research and previous experience with research. This research can be used to increase opportunities for refugees’ engagement in research and includes recommendations for subgroups of refugees that may have more difficulties engaging in research.

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IJERPH, Vol. 14, Pages 133: Similarities and Differences Matter: Considering the Influence of Gender on HIV Prevention Programs for Young Adults in an Urban HBCU

Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) disproportionately burdens African American youth and young adults. In studies conducted in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) settings, African American youth generally perceive themselves as having a low risk of contracting HIV and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) despite having higher rates of unprotected sexual encounters, multiple sex partners, and particularly low rates of HIV testing and awareness of HIV status. These findings position HBCUs in a pivotal role for theory-based research and practice to modify behaviors in order to decrease HIV acquisition risk. Get Students Mobilized and Retooled to Transform (SMART) is an interventional research project in an urban HBCU in a northeastern metropolitan area in the US. The project is designed to assess and then address irresponsible behavior among students on college campuses that leads to illicit drug use, excessive alcohol consumption and underage drinking, and risky sexual behaviors that increase the likelihood of acquiring HIV and STDs. As gender plays a critical role in interventions, this article explores gender similarities and differences to inform the planning and implementation of Get SMART and any subsequent projects that address substance and alcohol use and HIV in an HBCU setting. Survey research was conducted to find similar and different factors that may be valuable in implementing and tailoring evidence-based interventions in a predominantly African American campus setting. Survey results revealed that more young adult women consume alcohol and use marijuana than young adult men. Young adult men were also more likely to be tested for HIV when compared to young adult women.

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