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Κυριακή, 12 Φεβρουαρίου 2017

Flexible conceptual combination: Electrophysiological correlates and consequences for associative memory

Abstract

When meaningful stimuli such as words are encountered in groups or pairs (e.g., “elephant-ferry”), they can be processed either separately or as an integrated concept (“an elephant ferry”). Prior research suggests that memory for integrated associations is supported by different mechanisms than is memory for nonintegrated associations. However, little is known about the neurocognitive mechanisms that support the integration of novel stimulus pairs. We recorded ERPs while participants memorized sequentially presented, unrelated noun pairs using a strategy that either did or did not involve attempting to construct coherent definitions. We varied the concreteness of the first noun in each pair to examine whether conceptual combination instructions would induce compositional concreteness effects, or differences in ERPs evoked by the second noun as a function of the concreteness of the first noun. We found that the conceptual combination task, but not the noncombinatory encoding task, produced compositional concreteness effects on a late frontal negativity previously linked to visual imagery. Moreover, word pairs studied under conceptual combination instructions showed evidence of more unitized or holistic memory representations on associative recognition and free recall tests. Finally, item analyses indicated that (a) items with higher normed imageability ratings were rated by participants as easier to conceptually combine, and (b) in the conceptual combination task, ease-of-combination ratings mediated an indirect relationship between imageability and subsequent associative memory. These data are suggestive of a role of compositional imagery in the online formation of novel concepts via conceptual combination.



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Evaluating the efficacy of fully automated approaches for the selection of eyeblink ICA components

Abstract

Independent component analysis (ICA) offers a powerful approach for the isolation and removal of eyeblink artifacts from EEG signals. Manual identification of the eyeblink ICA component by inspection of scalp map projections, however, is prone to error, particularly when nonartifactual components exhibit topographic distributions similar to the blink. The aim of the present investigation was to determine the extent to which automated approaches for selecting eyeblink-related ICA components could be utilized to replace manual selection. We evaluated popular blink selection methods relying on spatial features (EyeCatch), combined stereotypical spatial and temporal features (ADJUST), and a novel method relying on time series features alone (icablinkmetrics) using both simulated and real EEG data. The results of this investigation suggest that all three methods of automatic component selection are able to accurately identify eyeblink-related ICA components at or above the level of trained human observers. However, icablinkmetrics, in particular, appears to provide an effective means of automating ICA artifact rejection while at the same time eliminating human errors inevitable during manual component selection and false positive component identifications common in other automated approaches. Based upon these findings, best practices for (a) identifying artifactual components via automated means, and (b) reducing the accidental removal of signal-related ICA components are discussed.



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Spina Bifida: Pathogenesis, Mechanisms, and Genes in Mice and Humans

Spina bifida is among the phenotypes of the larger condition known as neural tube defects (NTDs). It is the most common central nervous system malformation compatible with life and the second leading cause of birth defects after congenital heart defects. In this review paper, we define spina bifida and discuss the phenotypes seen in humans as described by both surgeons and embryologists in order to compare and ultimately contrast it to the leading animal model, the mouse. Our understanding of spina bifida is currently limited to the observations we make in mouse models, which reflect complete or targeted knockouts of genes, which perturb the whole gene(s) without taking into account the issue of haploinsufficiency, which is most prominent in the human spina bifida condition. We thus conclude that the need to study spina bifida in all its forms, both aperta and occulta, is more indicative of the spina bifida in surviving humans and that the measure of deterioration arising from caudal neural tube defects, more commonly known as spina bifida, must be determined by the level of the lesion both in mouse and in man.

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Low-Grade Appendiceal Mucinous Neoplasm Presenting as an Adnexal Mass

Appendiceal tumors are rare, late diagnosed neoplasms that may not be differentiated from adnexal masses even by advanced imaging methods and other diagnostic procedures. They may be asymptomatic and remain undiagnosed until surgery. We report a case of an 80-year-old postmenopausal woman presenting with a pelvic mass and a history of weight loss. The patient underwent laparotomy which revealed an appendiceal mucocele, for which she received a full oncological procedure. The histology report showed a low-grade appendiceal mucinous neoplasm, and the patient underwent six cycles of chemotherapy. Appendiceal tumors should be kept in mind in patients with adnexal mass.

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Autonomous Rendezvous and Docking with Nonfull Field of View for Tethered Space Robot

In the ultra-close approaching phase of tethered space robot, a highly stable self-attitude control is essential. However, due to the field of view limitation of cameras, typical point features are difficult to extract, where commonly adopted position-based visual servoing cannot be valid anymore. To provide robot’s relative position and attitude with the target, we propose a monocular visual servoing control method using only the edge lines of satellite brackets. Firstly, real time detection of edge lines is achieved based on image gradient and region growing. Then, we build an edge line based model to estimate the relative position and attitude between the robot and the target. Finally, we design a visual servoing controller combined with PD controller. Experimental results demonstrate that our algorithm can extract edge lines stably and adjust the robot’s attitude to satisfy the grasping requirements.

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Characterization of the Resistance and Force of a Carbon Nanotube/Metal Side Contact by Nanomanipulation

A high contact resistance restricts the application of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in fabrication of field-effect transistors (FETs). Thus, it is important to decrease the contact resistance and investigate the critical influence factors such as the contact length and contact force. This study uses nanomanipulation to characterize both the resistance and the force at a CNT/Au side-contact interface inside a scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Two-terminal CNT manipulation methods, and models for calculating the resistance and force at contact area, are proposed to guide the measurement experiments of a total resistance and a cantilever’s elastic deformation. The experimental results suggest that the contact resistance of CNT/Au interface is large (189.5 kΩ) when the van der Waals force (282.1 nN) dominates the contact force at the interface. Electron-beam-induced deposition (EBID) is then carried out to decrease the contact resistance. After depositing seven EBID points, the resistance is decreased to 7.5 kΩ, and the force increases to 1339.8 nN at least. The resistance and force at the contact area where CNT was fixed exhibit a negative exponential correlation before and after EBID. The good agreement of this correlation with previous reports validates the proposed robotic system and methods for characterizing the contact resistance and force.

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Risk stratification of periprocedural myocardial infarction after percutaneous coronary intervention: Analysis based on the SCAI definition

Objectives

To investigate the predictors of and generate a risk prediction method for periprocedural myocardial infarction (PMI) after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) using the new PMI definition proposed by the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI).

Background

The SCAI-defined PMI was found to be associated with worse prognosis than the PMI diagnosed by other definitions. However, few large-sample studies have attempted to predict the risk of SCAI-defined PMI.

Methods

A total of 3,371 patients (3,516 selective PCIs) were included in this single-center retrospective analysis. The diagnostic criteria for PMI were set according to the SCAI definition. All clinical characteristics, coronary angiography findings and PCI procedural factors were collected. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to identify independent predictors of PMI. To evaluate the risk of PMI, a multivariable risk score (PMI score) was constructed with incremental weights attributed to each component variable according to their estimated coefficients.

Results

PMI occurred in 108 (3.1%) of all patients. Age, multivessel treatment, at least one bifurcation treatment and total treated lesion length were independent predictors of SCAI-defined PMI. PMI scores ranged from 0 to 20. The C-statistic of PMI score was 0.71 (95% confidence interval: 0.66–0.76). PMI rates increased significantly from 1.96% in the non-high-risk group (PMI score < 10) to 6.26% in the high-risk group (PMI score ≥ 10) (P < 0.001).

Conclusions

Age, multivessel treatment, at least one bifurcation treatment, and total treated lesion length are predictive of PMI. The PMI score could help identify patients at high risk of PMI after PCI. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.



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Prospective, open-label, rater-blinded and self-controlled pilot study of the treatment of proliferating superficial infantile hemangiomas with 0.5% topical timolol cream versus 595-nm pulsed dye laser

Abstract

Topical timolol and 595-nm pulsed dye laser (PDL) are both widely used in the treatment of superficial infantile hemangiomas (IH). However, to date, there is no reliable study comparing the therapeutic outcomes between the two treatment options. We designed the present study to evaluate and compare the efficacy and safety of timolol cream and PDL in the treatment of superficial proliferating IH. Twenty-one patients with superficial IH were included in the study. Each lesion was divided into two regions; one part was treated with 0.5% topical timolol cream four times daily, and the other part was treated monthly with PDL. Both treatments were continued for 2–6 months. Five independent and blinded assessors were asked to judge the results in both the topical timolol-treated and PDL-treated parts by comparing photographs taken before and after treatment. Both treatments resulted in significant clinical improvements after 3.39 sessions in the 2-month follow up. The average visual evaluation showed that PDL had significantly better results than topical timolol (6.55 ± 2.26 to 4.98 ± 2.92, P < 0.01). No patients experienced permanent side-effects during the treatment. Our short-term study revealed that PDL had better results compared with topical timolol cream application in the treatment of superficial proliferating IH. Further studies with longer follow-up time and larger sample size are required to validate our findings.



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Cutaneous phaeohyphomycosis caused by Exophiala jeanselmei in a healthy individual



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Acute edema/cutaneous distension syndrome due to POEMS syndrome



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LUMBAR syndrome: A case manifesting as cutaneous infantile hemangiomas of the lower extremity, perineum and gluteal region, and a review of published work

Abstract

We herein report a rare case of LUMBAR syndrome. A 1-month-old female infant presented with extensive segmental hemangiomas on the left lower extremity, left perineum and gluteal region with ulceration. Bilateral labia minoras were asymmetrical. Both legs were asymmetrical with left leg atrophy, and the intergluteal cleft was deviated. A dark red pustule and a sacrococcygeal dimple could be seen in the lumbosacral region. Lipomyelomeningocele, tethered cord and sacrum dysplasia were noted by magnetic resonance imaging. The patient was found to have an absent left kidney at 32 weeks of pregnancy. Eventually, we draw the diagnosis of LUMBAR syndrome. In addition, we discuss the clinical manifestation, diagnosis, treatment and pathogenesis by a review of published work.



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Epidemiology and cardiovascular comorbidities in patients with psoriasis: A Korean nationwide population-based cohort study

Abstract

There is a lack of nationwide studies examining the epidemiology and comorbidities of psoriasis vulgaris (PsV) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in Asian populations. The purpose of this study is to determine the demographics of psoriasis in Korea along with the incidence of cerebro-cardiovascular (CV) comorbidities and to compare these risks between populations with PsA and with PsV. This cohort study identified 15 484 patients with psoriasis among 855 003 subjects in the Korean National Health Insurance Database from 2002 through 2010. The cases were further classified into PsA and PsV. We used hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) from the univariate and age–sex adjusted logistic regression model to assess the risk of comorbidities in patients with PsA and PsV. The annual prevalence of psoriasis increased from 313.2 to 453.5/100 000 people from 2002 through 2010; however, the overall incidence rate for psoriasis slightly decreased (252.7–212.6/100 000 population). Of psoriatic patients, 10.8% had PsA, and after adjusting for age and sex, PsA patients had a significantly higher risk of dyslipidemia than PsV patients (adjusted HR, 1.185; 95% CI, 1.049–1.338). When stratified by age group, subjects aged 20–39 years had a higher risk of stroke and many CV risk factors. In conclusion, the prevalence of psoriasis, while within the range of previous reports, tended to increase over time. Patients with PsA had higher burdens of specific comorbid diseases than those with PsV, especially at a comparatively early age.



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Combined in vivo reflectance confocal microscopy and digital dermoscopy for follow up of patients at high risk of malignant melanoma: A prospective case series study

Abstract

Digital dermoscopy (DD) follow up is a useful strategy for monitoring patients at high risk of melanoma. Reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) is a valuable second-level examination after dermoscopy for the evaluation of difficult to diagnose lesions. The aim of this study was to assess the value of RCM in routine DD monitoring of patients at high risk of melanoma. In this prospective study, performed over 22 months, changing melanocytic lesions were detected by DD and excised. RCM imaging was performed before surgical excision of all the lesions, and histopathology used as the gold standard diagnostic test. Eighty-seven lesions, including 11 thin melanomas, were studied. Dermoscopic evaluation at follow up revealed a significant association between melanoma and asymmetry in two axes (P = 0.035). Enlargement and other changes in structure or color did not significantly differ between nevi and melanomas. Widespread pagetoid cells, non-edged papillae, irregular and dishomogeneous junctional clusters, and sheet-like structures were significantly associated with malignancy (P < 0.001). RCM allowed accurate diagnosis of melanoma in 10 of 11 cases (90.9%). The remaining case was classified as a dysplastic nevus. Forty-six lesions (52.8%) in which RCM revealed no atypia were deemed unnecessarily removed. This study was limited by sample size. In conclusion, combined DD and RCM facilitates the recognition of thin malignant melanomas and reduces unnecessary excisions.



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Infiltration of mast cells in pachydermia of pachydermoperiostosis



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Inflammatory demyelination induces ependymal modifications concomitant to activation of adult (SVZ) stem cell proliferation

Abstract

Ependymal cells (E1/E2) and ciliated B1cells confer a unique pinwheel architecture to the ventricular surface of the subventricular zone (SVZ), and their cilia act as sensors to ventricular changes during development and aging. While several studies showed that forebrain demyelination reactivates the SVZ triggering proliferation, ectopic migration, and oligodendrogenesis for myelin repair, the potential role of ciliated cells in this process was not investigated. Using conventional and lateral wall whole mount preparation immunohistochemistry in addition to electron microscopy in a forebrain-targeted model of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (tEAE), we show an early decrease in numbers of pinwheels, B1 cells, and E2 cells. These changes were transient and simultaneous to tEAE-induced SVZ stem cell proliferation. The early drop in B1/E2 cell numbers was followed by B1/E2 cell recovery. While E1 cell division and ependymal ribbon disruption were never observed, E1 cells showed important morphological modifications reflected by their enlargement, extended cytoskeleton, and reinforced cell–cell junction complexes overtime, possibly reflecting protective mechanisms against ventricular insults. Finally, tEAE disrupted motile cilia planar cell polarity and cilia orientation in ependymal cells. Therefore, significant ventricular modifications in ciliated cells occur early in response to tEAE suggesting a role for these cells in SVZ stem cell signalling not only during development/aging but also during inflammatory demyelination. These observations may have major implications for understanding pathophysiology of and designing therapeutic approaches for inflammatory demyelinating diseases such as MS.

Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Main Points

Major ventricular wall changes occur in response to forebrain EAE. The transient loss of B1/E2 cells, coinciding with activation of SVZ stem cell proliferation, suggests their major role in cell signaling in pathophysiological conditions such as EAE.



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Endobronchial brachytherapy for metastasis from extrapulmonary malignancies as an effective treatment for palliation of symptoms

Publication date: Available online 12 February 2017
Source:Brachytherapy
Author(s): E. Donovan, E. Timotin, T. Farrell, B. Donde, S. Puksa, R. Sur
PurposeEndobronchial metastasis (EBM) originating from primary cancers outside the lung is rare. External beam radiotherapy is often attempted for control of symptoms with variable effectiveness and retreatment is challenging if symptoms recur. There is limited documentation of high-dose-rate brachytherapy for EBM in the literature.Methods and MaterialsA prospective database was created from 2006 to 2015. Patients with EBM who received high-dose-rate brachytherapy were included. Cough, dyspnea, chest pain, and hemoptysis were assessed and graded (0-4) at the time of initial consult and in followup. Symptom-free survival and re-expansion were assessed.ResultsThirty-five patients with EBM were identified. Most patients received three fractions of 700 cGy, and 17 patients had prior external beam radiotherapy. Median symptom-free and overall survival were 67 and 117 days. After brachytherapy, improvement in cough was documented in 75.0%, hemoptysis in 76.4%, dyspnea in 60.0% for a median of 3-6 months. Of the 22 patients who had subsequent chest imaging, re-expansion was documented in 32%. There were no significant toxicities reported.ConclusionsBrachytherapy appears effective in achieving durable symptom control of cough hemoptysis, and dyspnea in patients with EBM and should be considered routinely for palliation where available. Further studies are required to better characterize expected symptom improvement, lung re-expansion rates, and efficacy in comparison with other local treatments.



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Hair loss

Hair loss: Hair loss is the thinning of hair on the scalp. The medical term for hair loss is alopecia. Alopecia can be temporary or permanent. The most common form of hair loss occurs gradually and is referred to as "androgenetic alopecia," meaning that a combination of hormones (androgens are male hormones) and heredity (genetics) is needed to develop the condition. Other types of hair loss include alopecia areata (patches of baldness that usually grow back), telogen effluvium (rapid shedding after childbirth, fever, or sudden weight loss); and traction alopecia (thinning from tight braids or ponytails).

Hair loss normally occurs gradually with age in both men and women, but is typically more pronounced in men.



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Mammary Alveolar Epithelial Cells Convert to Brown Adipocytes in Post-lactating Mice

Abstract

During pregnancy and lactation, subcutaneous white adipocytes in the mouse mammary gland transdifferentiate reversibly to milk-secreting epithelial cells. In this study, we demonstrate by transmission electron microscopy that in the post-lactating mammary gland interscapular multilocular adipocytes found close to the mammary alveoli contain milk protein granules. Use of the Cre-loxP recombination system allowed showing that the involuting mammary gland of whey acidic protein-Cre/R26R mice, whose secretory alveolar cells express the lacZ gene during pregnancy, contains some X-Gal-stained and uncoupling protein 1–positive interscapular multilocular adipocytes. These data suggest that during mammary gland involution some milk-secreting epithelial cells in the anterior subcutaneous depot may transdifferentiate to brown adipocytes, highlighting a hitherto unappreciated feature of mouse adipose organ plasticity. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved



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Speaking-related changes in cortical functional connectivity associated with assisted and spontaneous recovery from developmental stuttering

Publication date: Available online 13 February 2017
Source:Journal of Fluency Disorders
Author(s): Christian A. Kell, Katrin Neumann, Marion Behrens, Alexander W.von Gudenberg, Anne-Lise Giraud
We previously reported speaking-related activity changes associated with assisted recovery induced by a fluency shaping therapy program and unassisted recovery from developmental stuttering (Kell et al., Brain 2009). While assisted recovery re-lateralized activity to the left hemisphere, unassisted recovery was specifically associated with the activation of the left BA 47/12 in the lateral orbitofrontal cortex. These findings suggested plastic changes in speaking-related functional connectivity between left hemispheric speech network nodes.We reanalyzed these data involving 13 stuttering men before and after fluency shaping, 13 men who recovered spontaneously from their stuttering, and 13 male control participants, and examined functional connectivity during overt vs. covert reading by means of psychophysiological interactions computed across left cortical regions involved in articulation control.Persistent stuttering was associated with reduced auditory-motor coupling and enhanced integration of somatosensory feedback between the supramarginal gyrus and the prefrontal cortex. Assisted recovery reduced this hyper-connectivity and increased functional connectivity between the articulatory motor cortex and the auditory feedback processing anterior superior temporal gyrus. In spontaneous recovery, both auditory-motor coupling and integration of somatosensory feedback were normalized. In addition, activity in the left orbitofrontal cortex and superior cerebellum appeared uncoupled from the rest 18of the speech production network.These data suggest that therapy and spontaneous recovery normalizes the left hemispheric speaking-related activity via an improvement of auditory-motor mapping. By contrast, long-lasting unassisted recovery from stuttering is additionally supported by a functional isolation of the superior cerebellum from the rest of the speech production network, through the pivotal left BA 47/12.



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An Experiment and Detection Scheme for Cavity-Based Light Cold Dark Matter Particle Searches

A resonance detection scheme and some useful ideas for cavity-based searches of light cold dark matter particles (such as axions) are presented, as an effort to aid in the on-going endeavors in this direction as well as for future experiments, especially in possibly developing a table-top experiment. The scheme is based on our idea of a resonant detector, incorporating an integrated tunnel diode (TD) and GaAs HEMT/HFET (High-Electron Mobility Transistor/Heterogeneous FET) transistor amplifier, weakly coupled to a cavity in a strong transverse magnetic field. The TD-amplifier combination is suggested as a sensitive and simple technique to facilitate resonance detection within the cavity while maintaining excellent noise performance, whereas our proposed Halbach magnet array could serve as a low-noise and permanent solution replacing the conventional electromagnets scheme. We present some preliminary test results which demonstrate resonance detection from simulated test signals in a small optimal axion mass range with superior signal-to-noise ratios (SNR). Our suggested design also contains an overview of a simpler on-resonance dc signal read-out scheme replacing the complicated heterodyne read-out. We believe that all these factors and our propositions could possibly improve or at least simplify the resonance detection and read-out in cavity-based DM particle detection searches (and other spectroscopy applications) and reduce the complications (and associated costs), in addition to reducing the electromagnetic interference and background.

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A Single Image Deblurring Algorithm for Nonuniform Motion Blur Using Uniform Defocus Map Estimation

One of the most common artifacts in digital photography is motion blur. When capturing an image under dim light by using a handheld camera, the tendency of the photographer’s hand to shake causes the image to blur. In response to this problem, image deblurring has become an active topic in computational photography and image processing in recent years. From the view of signal processing, image deblurring can be reduced to a deconvolution problem if the kernel function of the motion blur is assumed to be shift invariant. However, the kernel function is not always shift invariant in real cases; for example, in-plane rotation of a camera or a moving object can blur different parts of an image according to different kernel functions. An image that is degraded by multiple blur kernels is called a nonuniform blur image. In this paper, we propose a novel single image deblurring algorithm for nonuniform motion blur images that is blurred by moving object. First, a proposed uniform defocus map method is presented for measurement of the amounts and directions of motion blur. These blurred regions are then used to estimate point spread functions simultaneously. Finally, a fast deconvolution algorithm is used to restore the nonuniform blur image. We expect that the proposed method can achieve satisfactory deblurring of a single nonuniform blur image.

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Preoperative Antihypertensive Medication in Relation to Postoperative Atrial Fibrillation in Patients Undergoing Cardiac Surgery: A Meta-Analysis

Background. We undertake a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the effect of preoperative hypertension and preoperative antihypertensive medication to postoperative atrial fibrillation (POAF) in patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Methods. We searched PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library (from inception to March 2016) for eligible studies. The outcomes were the effects of preoperative hypertension, preoperative calcium antagonists regimen, preoperative ACE inhibitors regimen, and preoperative beta blocking agents regimen with POAF. We calculated pooled risk ratios (OR) and 95% CIs using random- or fixed-effects models. Results. Twenty-five trials involving 130087 patients were listed. Meta-analysis showed that the number of preoperative hypertension patients in POAF group was significantly higher (), while we found that there are no significant differences between two groups in Asia patients by subgroup analysis, which is in contrast to other outcomes. Compared with the Non-POAF group, the number of patients who used calcium antagonists and ACE inhibitors preoperatively in POAF group was significantly higher (). And we found that there were no significant differences between two groups of preoperative beta blocking agents used (). Conclusions. Preoperative hypertension and preoperative antihypertensive medication in patients undergoing cardiac operations seem to be associated with higher risk of POAF.

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WASTK: A Weighted Abstract Syntax Tree Kernel Method for Source Code Plagiarism Detection

In this paper, we introduce a source code plagiarism detection method, named WASTK (Weighted Abstract Syntax Tree Kernel), for computer science education. Different from other plagiarism detection methods, WASTK takes some aspects other than the similarity between programs into account. WASTK firstly transfers the source code of a program to an abstract syntax tree and then gets the similarity by calculating the tree kernel of two abstract syntax trees. To avoid misjudgment caused by trivial code snippets or frameworks given by instructors, an idea similar to TF-IDF (Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency) in the field of information retrieval is applied. Each node in an abstract syntax tree is assigned a weight by TF-IDF. WASTK is evaluated on different datasets and, as a result, performs much better than other popular methods like Sim and JPlag.

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Parasitological Indices of Malaria Transmission in Children under Fifteen Years in Two Ecoepidemiological Zones in Southwestern Burkina Faso

Twenty years after the latest publications performed on the parasitological indices of malaria transmission in northwest of the second city of Burkina Faso, it was important to update the epidemiological profile of malaria in children under the age of 15 years. The objective of this study was to determine and compare the parasitological parameters of malaria transmission by season, area, and age in the two zones (rice and savanna) in the northwest of Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. Overall, the results showed that there was no significant difference in the parasitological indices of malaria transmission within children under fifteen years between the rice site and the savannah site and whatever the season (). The profound environmental modifications that occurred in the rice zone would have led to changes in vector behavior and consequently to changes in the epidemiological profile of malaria, contrary to the results obtained since the last publications. An entomological study correlated with this study is therefore necessary for effective decision-making for the malaria control in both areas. Future research must now focus on the impact that these profound environmental modifications of rice area are having on malaria control in Burkina Faso.

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A Study on the Scattering Energy Properties of an Elastic Spherical Shell in Sandy Sediment Using an Improved Energy Method

An elastic wave is composed of compressional (longitudinal) waves and shear (transverse) waves which have different wave velocities in solids. The acoustic field presents complex interference patterns which means its phenomena and properties are difficult to reveal. Fortunately, the energy method is more accurate than the potential function approach in describing the physical properties of the acoustic field. However, the polarization state of particle vibration excited by an elastic wave is spatially periodic in the wave propagation direction. Therefore, the energy propagation direction is not consistent with the wave propagation direction using commonly used energy method. According to the polarization state of particle vibration, a time-space averaging method based on the spatial periodicity of energy flux in the solid is proposed. The method could eliminate the influence of the interference due to local energy exchange and retain the trend of energy propagation. Several conclusions are illustrated through the analysis of the scattering energy properties of a steel shell in sandy sediment. Sandy sediment can not be regarded as a fluid nor a general solid. Scattering energy excited by an incident shear wave mainly concentrates in the vicinity of the directions of backscattering and forward scattering. Especially, at low frequency, it plays an important role in the total scattering energy excited by an incident compressional and shear wave.

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Sparse Codebook Model of Local Structures for Retrieval of Focal Liver Lesions Using Multiphase Medical Images

Characterization and individual trait analysis of the focal liver lesions (FLL) is a challenging task in medical image processing and clinical site. The character analysis of a unconfirmed FLL case would be expected to benefit greatly from the accumulated FLL cases with experts’ analysis, which can be achieved by content-based medical image retrieval (CBMIR). CBMIR mainly includes discriminated feature extraction and similarity calculation procedures. Bag-of-Visual-Words (BoVW) (codebook-based model) has been proven to be effective for different classification and retrieval tasks. This study investigates an improved codebook model for the fined-grained medical image representation with the following three advantages: (1) instead of SIFT, we exploit the local patch (structure) as the local descriptor, which can retain all detailed information and is more suitable for the fine-grained medical image applications; (2) in order to more accurately approximate any local descriptor in coding procedure, the sparse coding method, instead of -means algorithm, is employed for codebook learning and coded vector calculation; (3) we evaluate retrieval performance of focal liver lesions (FLL) using multiphase computed tomography (CT) scans, in which the proposed codebook model is separately learned for each phase. The effectiveness of the proposed method is confirmed by our experiments on FLL retrieval.

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Location Privacy Protection Based on Improved -Value Method in Augmented Reality on Mobile Devices

With the development of Augmented Reality technology, the application of location based service (LBS) is more and more popular, which provides enormous convenience to people’s life. User location information could be obtained at anytime and anywhere. So user location privacy security suffers huge threats. Therefore, it is crucial to pay attention to location privacy protection in LBS. Based on the architecture of the trusted third party (TTP), we analyzed the advantages and shortages of existing location privacy protection methods in LBS on mobile terminal. Then we proposed the improved K-value location privacy protection method according to privacy level, which combines k-anonymity method with pseudonym method. Through the simulation experiment, the results show that this improved method can anonymize all service requests effectively. In addition to the experiment of execution time, it demonstrated that our proposed method can realize the location privacy protection more efficiently.

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Bioinspired Polyethersulfone Membrane Design via Blending with Functional Polyurethane

Polyurethanes (PUs) are currently considered to be biocompatible materials but limited by a low resistance to thrombus. We therefore design a heparin-like PU (HLPU) to modify polyethersulfone (PES) membranes approaching integrated antifouling and antithrombotic properties by bioinspiration of heparin structure. Poly(vinyl pyrrolidone)-HLPU (PVP-HLPU) was synthesized via reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization of VP using PU as a macroinitiator and then sulfonated by concentrated H2SO4. FTIR and NMR results demonstrated the successful synthesis of PVP-HLPU. By incorporation of PVP-HLPU, the cross-sectional structure of PES composite membranes altered from finger-like structure to sponge-like structure resulting in tunable permeability. The increased hydrophilicity verified by water contact angles benefited both the permeability and antifouling property. As a consequence, the composite membranes showed good blood compatibility, including decreased protein adsorption, suppressed platelet adhesion, lowered thrombin-antithrombin III generation, reduced complement activation, and prolonged clotting times. Interestingly, the PVP-capped HLPU showed better blood compatibility compared to polyethyleneglycol-capped and citric acid-capped HLPUs. The results demonstrated the enhanced antifouling and antithrombotic properties of PES hemodialysis membranes by the introduction of functional HLPUs. Also, the proposed method may forward the fabrication of hemocompatible membranes via bioinspired surface design.

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A Novel Trip Coverage Index for Transit Accessibility Assessment Using Mobile Phone Data

Transit accessibility is an important measure on the service performance of transit systems. To assess whether the public transit service is well accessible for trips of specific origins, destinations, and origin-destination (OD) pairs, a novel measure, the Trip Coverage Index (TCI), is proposed in this paper. TCI considers both the transit trip coverage and spatial distribution of individual travel demands. Massive trips between cellular base stations are estimated by using over four-million mobile phone users. An easy-to-implement method is also developed to extract the transit information and driving routes for millions of requests. Then the trip coverage of each OD pair is calculated. For demonstrative purposes, TCI is applied to the transit network of Hangzhou, China. The results show that TCI represents the better transit trip coverage and provides a more powerful assessment tool of transit quality of service. Since the calculation is based on trips of all modes, but not only the transit trips, TCI offers an overall accessibility for the transit system performance. It enables decision makers to assess transit accessibility in a finer-grained manner on the individual trip level and can be well transformed to measure transit services of other cities.

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Failure Characteristics of Joint Bolts in Shield Tunnels Subjected to Impact Loads from a Derailed Train

Impact loads generated by derailed trains can be extremely high, especially in the case of heavy trains running at high speeds, which usually cause significant safety issues to the rail infrastructures. In shield tunnels, such impact loads may not only cause the damage and deformation of concrete segments, but also lead to the failure of segmental joint bolts. This paper presents a numerical study on the failure behavior of segmental joint bolts in the shield tunnel under impact loading resulting from train derailments. A three-dimensional (3D) numerical model of a shield tunnel based on the finite element (FE) modelling strategy was established, in which the structural behavior of the segmental joint surfaces and the mechanical behavior of the segmental joint bolts were determined. The numerical results show that the occurrence of bolt failure starts at the joints near the impacted segment and develops along the travel direction of train. An extensive parametric study was subsequently performed and the influences of the bolt failure on the dynamic response of the segment were investigated. In particular, the proposed FE model and the analytical results will be used for optimizing the design method of the shield tunnel in preventing the failure of the joint bolts due to the impact load from a derailed HST.

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Antimicrobial Properties of Copper Nanoparticles and Amino Acid Chelated Copper Nanoparticles Produced by Using a Soya Extract

This paper reports a comparison of the antibacterial properties of copper-amino acids chelates and copper nanoparticles against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Enterococcus faecalis. These copper-amino acids chelates were synthesized by using a soybean aqueous extract and copper nanoparticles were produced using as a starting material the copper-amino acids chelates species. The antibacterial activity of the samples was evaluated by using the standard microdilution method (CLSI M100-S25 January 2015). In the antibacterial activity assays copper ions and copper-EDTA chelates were included as references, so that copper-amino acids chelates can be particularly suitable for acting as an antibacterial agent, so they are excellent candidates for specific applications. Additionally, to confirm the antimicrobial mechanism on bacterial cells, MTT assay (3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) was carried out. A significant enhanced antimicrobial activity and a specific strain were found for copper chelates over E. faecalis. Its results would eventually lead to better utilization of copper-amino acids chelate for specific application where copper nanoparticles can be not used.

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Interobserver Agreement in Magnetic Resonance of the Sacroiliac Joints in Patients with Spondyloarthritis

Background. Clinical, laboratory, and radiologic parameters are used for diagnosis and classification of spondyloarthritis (SpA). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of sacroiliac (SI) joints is being increasingly used to detect early sacroiliitis. We decided to evaluate the interobserver agreement in MRI findings of SI joints of SpA patients between a local radiologist, a rheumatologist, and an expert radiologist in musculoskeletal diseases. Methods. 66 MRI images of the SI joints of patients with established diagnosis of SpA were evaluated. Agreement was expressed in Cohen’s kappa. Results. Interobserver agreement between a local radiologist and an expert radiologist was fair (). Only acute findings showed a moderate agreement (), while chronic findings revealed 76.5% of disagreement (). A fair agreement was observed in acute findings () as well as chronic findings () between a local radiologist and a rheumatologist. There was a substantial agreement between an expert radiologist and a rheumatologist (). In acute findings, a 100% agreement was achieved. Also chronic and acute plus chronic findings showed high levels of agreement and 0.62, resp.). Conclusions. Our study shows that rheumatologists may have similar MRI interpretations of SI joints in SpA patients as an expert radiologist.

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Effects of Wrist Posture and Fingertip Force on Median Nerve Blood Flow Velocity

Purpose. The purpose of this study was to assess nerve hypervascularization using high resolution ultrasonography to determine the effects of wrist posture and fingertip force on median nerve blood flow at the wrist in healthy participants and those experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) symptoms. Methods. The median nerves of nine healthy participants and nine participants experiencing symptoms of CTS were evaluated using optimized ultrasonography in five wrist postures with and without a middle digit fingertip press (0, 6 N). Results. Both wrist posture and fingertip force had significant main effects on mean peak blood flow velocity. Blood flow velocity with a neutral wrist (2.87 cm/s) was significantly lower than flexed 30° (3.37 cm/s), flexed 15° (3.27 cm/s), and extended 30° (3.29 cm/s). Similarly, median nerve blood flow velocity was lower without force (2.81 cm/s) than with force (3.56 cm/s). A significant difference was not found between groups. Discussion. Vascular changes associated with CTS may be acutely induced by nonneutral wrist postures and fingertip force. This study represents an early evaluation of intraneural blood flow as a measure of nerve hypervascularization in response to occupational risk factors and advances our understanding of the vascular phenomena associated with peripheral nerve compression.

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Wearable Passive E-Textile UHF RFID Tag Based on a Slotted Patch Antenna with Sewn Ground and Microchip Interconnections

We present a wearable passive UHF RFID tag based on a slotted patch antenna comprising only textile materials (e-textile, textile substrate, and conductive yearn). As a novel manufacturing approach, we realize the patch-to-ground and antenna-to-IC interfaces using only conductive thread and a sewing machine. We outline the electromagnetic optimization of the antenna for body-worn operation through simulations and present a performance comparison between the e-textile tag and a tag produced using regular electronics materials and methods. The measured results show that the textile tag achieves the electrical performance required in practical applications and that the slotted patch type antenna provides stable electromagnetic performance in different body-worn configurations.

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Detection of Decreasing Vegetation Cover Based on Empirical Orthogonal Function and Temporal Unmixing Analysis

Vegetation plays an important role in the energy exchange of the land surface, biogeochemical cycles, and hydrological cycles. MODIS (MODerate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) EVI (Enhanced Vegetation Index) is considered as a quantitative indicator for examining dynamic vegetation changes. This paper applied a new method of integrated empirical orthogonal function (EOF) and temporal unmixing analysis (TUA) to detect the vegetation decreasing cover in Jiangsu Province of China. The empirical orthogonal function (EOF) statistical results provide vegetation decreasing/increasing trend as prior information for temporal unmixing analysis. Temporal unmixing analysis (TUA) results could reveal the dominant spatial distribution of decreasing vegetation. The results showed that decreasing vegetation areas in Jiangsu are distributed in the suburbs and newly constructed areas. For validation, the vegetation’s decreasing cover is revealed by linear spectral mixture from Landsat data in three selected cities. Vegetation decreasing areas pixels are also calculated from land use maps in 2000 and 2010. The accuracy of integrated empirical orthogonal function and temporal unmixing analysis method is about 83.14%. This method can be applied to detect vegetation change in large rapidly urbanizing areas.

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Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors Assay Using Colorimetric pH Sensitive Strips and Image Analysis by a Smartphone

Smartphones are widely spread and their usage does not require any trained personnel. Recently, smartphones were successfully used in analytical chemistry as a simple detection tool in some applications. This paper focuses on immobilization of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) onto commercially available pH strips with stabilization in the gelatin membrane. AChE degrades acetylcholine into choline and acetic acid which causes color change of acid-base indicator. Smartphone served as a tool for measurement of indicator color change from red to orange while inhibitors blocked this process. AChE inhibitors were measured with limits of detection, 149 nM and 22.3 nM for galanthamine and donepezil, respectively. Organic solvents were measured for method interferences. Measurement procedure was performed on 3D printed holder and digital photography was evaluated using red-green-blue (RGB) channels. The invented assay was validated to the standard Ellman’s test and verified on murine plasma samples spiked with inhibitors. We consider that the assay is fully suitable for practical performance.

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Iron Reduces M1 Macrophage Polarization in RAW264.7 Macrophages Associated with Inhibition of STAT1

Iron metabolism in inflammation has been mostly characterized in macrophages exposed to pathogens or inflammatory conditions. The aim of this study is to investigate the cross-regulatory interactions between M1 macrophage polarization and iron metabolism. Firstly, we characterized the transcription of genes related to iron homeostasis in M1 RAW264.7 macrophages stimulated by IFN-γ. The molecular signature of M1 macrophages showed high levels of iron storage (ferritin), a low level of iron export (ferroportin), and changes of iron regulators (hepcidin and transferrin receptors), which favour iron sequestration in the reticuloendothelial system and are benefit for inflammatory disorders. Then, we evaluated the effect of iron on M1 macrophage polarization. Iron significantly reduced mRNA levels of IL-6, IL-1β, TNF-α, and iNOS produced by IFN-γ-polarized M1 macrophages. Immunofluorescence analysis showed that iron also reduced iNOS production. However, iron did not compromise but enhanced the ability of M1-polarized macrophages to phagocytose FITC-dextran. Moreover, we demonstrated that STAT1 inhibition was required for reduction of iNOS and M1-related cytokines production by the present of iron. Together, these findings indicated that iron decreased polarization of M1 macrophages and inhibited the production of the proinflammatory cytokines. The results expanded our knowledge about the role of iron in macrophage polarization.

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Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cell Devices Prepared with Composites of Conjugated Polymer and Zinc Oxide Nanorods

ZnO nanorods (Nrods) with ~20–50 nm lengths were synthesized using an aqueous solution of zinc acetate and glacial acetic acid. Bulk heterojunction solar cells were fabricated with the structure of indium tin oxide (ITO)/polyethylenedioxythiophene doped with polystyrene-sulfonic acid (PEDOT:PSS)/ZnO-Nrods + polymer/electron transport layer (ETL)/Al. Current density-voltage characterization of the resulting cells showed that, by adding an ETL and using polymers with a low band gap energy, the photoactive layer surface morphology and the device performance can be dramatically improved.

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Role Performance of Community Health Volunteers and Its Associated Factors in Kuching District, Sarawak

The objective of this study was to assess the role performance among KOSPEN community health volunteer in Kuching district and its associated factors. This was a cross-sectional study, conducted in 21 localities in Kuching with a total of 210 respondents. Data were collected using validated interviewer-administered questionnaires and analyzed using SPSS version 22.0. The respondents comprised 55.2% females, 81.9% married, and 41.4% aged above 45 and above and 72.4% completed their education up to secondary school. The result revealed that 59.0% of the respondents agreed and understood their role performances. Multiple Logistics analysis revealed that factors associated with role performance were age group (), education level (), marital status (), prestige and respect (), being seen as “doctor” in community (), job aids (), training location (), and supervision by community (). To increase and maintain the work performance of CHVs, commitment from the government, policy makers, stakeholders, and the communities is required.

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Sulfiredoxin involved in the protection of peroxiredoxins against hyperoxidation in the early hyperglycaemia

Publication date: Available online 12 February 2017
Source:Experimental Cell Research
Author(s): Sa Shi, Yunqiu Guo, Yanping Lou, Quanfeng Li, Xiaona Cai, Xin Zhong, Hong Li
As a direct consequence of hyperglycaemia, the excessive generation of ROS is central to the pathogenesis of diabetic cardiomyopathy. We hypothesize that stimulation of high glucose (HG) results in an increased sulfiredoxin (Srx) expression, which regulates ROS signaling through reducing the hyperoxidized peroxiredoxins (Prxs). We show that hyperoxidized Prxs were initially reduced in the preliminary stage but then dramatically increased in advanced stage and these changes corresponded to a significant increase of Srx expression in the heart of diabetic rats. These time-dependent changes were also confirmed in neonatal cardiomyocytes and H9c2 cells treated with HG. Moreover, the reduction rate of hyperoxidized Prxs was greatly improved in the HG 24hs group, which had an elevated expression of Srx. Our data also show that HG-induced AP1 activation and Srx expression were almost abolished by JNK inhibitor and N-acetylcysteine (NAC). In addition, siRNA-Srx suppressed HG-induced ANP and β-MHC gene expression. These observations suggest that activation of AP1 induced by HG is important for the expression of Srx and the reduction of hyperoxidized Prxs in cardiomyocytes. This Srx induction maybe is the pivotal compensatory protection mechanism against oxidative stress in diabetes or hyperglycaemia. Most interestingly, hyperoxidized Prxs/Srx pathway may be involved in the cardiac hypertrophy signaling of diabetes.



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Evaluation of transcriptomic signature as a valuable tool to study drug-induced cholestasis in primary human hepatocytes

Abstract

Primary human hepatocyte (PHH) sandwich cultures from five different donors were daily exposed to cyclosporine A (CsA), ibuprofen (IBU), chlorpromazine (CPZ), amiodarone (AMI) and paracetamol (APAP) at their respective Cmax (total) for short-term (1–3 days) and long-term treatment (14 days). Whole genome mRNA profiles (34,693 genes in total) were conducted using an Illumina microarray platform. The impact of compound treatments on gene signatures involved in liver differentiation, cholestasis and in bile acid homeostasis was evaluated. Notably, PHH from the five donors showed a highly comparable phenotype of terminally differentiated hepatocytes. As expected, PHH exposed to 100 µM APAP showed no signs of hepatotoxicity both after short- and long-term treatment. CsA at 0.7 µM, IBU at 100 µM, AMI at 2.5 µM and CPZ at 0.1–0.2 µM presented, in line with their cholestatic syndromes reported at therapeutic doses, transcriptomic signatures of cholestasis in PHH cultures; deregulation of genes involved in bile acid homeostasis further confirmed this finding. The strength of the cholestasis signature obtained after treatment with CsA, IBU and AMI could be directly related to the basal expression of the respective drug metabolizing enzymes in the various PHH cultures from different individuals. Our data show that the PHH model system combined with transcriptomics carries the future promise to identify individual gene expression profiles predictive of increased cholestasis risk. As the present work suggests possible correlation between mRNA levels of ADME relevant genes and a transcriptomic signature of cholestasis, particular focus on this research question could be the emphasis of additional data collection.



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Toxicity of two classes of arsenolipids and their water-soluble metabolites in human differentiated neurons

Abstract

Arsenolipids are lipid-soluble organoarsenic compounds, mainly occurring in marine organisms, with arsenic-containing hydrocarbons (AsHCs) and arsenic-containing fatty acids (AsFAs) representing two major subgroups. Recently, toxicity studies of several arsenolipids showed a high cytotoxic potential of those arsenolipids in human liver and bladder cells. Furthermore, feeding studies with Drosophila melanogaster indicated an accumulation of arsenolipids in the fruit fly’s brain. In this study, the neurotoxic potential of three AsHCs, two AsFAs and three metabolites (dimethylarsinic acid, thio/oxo-dimethylarsenopropanoic acid) was investigated in comparison to the toxic reference arsenite (iAsIII) in fully differentiated human brain cells (LUHMES cells). Thereby, in the case of AsHCs both the cell number and cell viability were reduced in a low micromolar concentration range comparable to iAsIII, while AsFAs and the applied metabolites were less toxic. Mechanistic studies revealed that AsHCs reduced the mitochondrial membrane potential, whereas neither iAsIII nor AsFAs had an impact. Furthermore, neurotoxic mechanisms were investigated by examining the neuronal network. Here, AsHCs massively disturbed the neuronal network and induced apoptotic effects, while iAsIII and AsFAs showed comparatively lesser effects. Taking into account the substantial in vitro neurotoxic potential of the AsHCs and the fact that they could transfer across the physiological barriers of the brain, a neurotoxic potential in vivo for the AsHCs cannot be excluded and needs to be urgently characterized.



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Safeguarding human health using in silico tools?



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Tributyltin exposure at noncytotoxic doses dysregulates pancreatic β-cell function in vitro and in vivo

Abstract

Tributyltin (TBT) is an endocrine disruptor. TBT can be found in food and in human tissues and blood. Several animal studies revealed that organotins induced diabetes with decreased insulin secretion. The detailed effect and mechanism of TBT on pancreatic β-cell function still remain unclear. We investigated the effect and mechanism of TBT exposure at noncytotoxic doses relevant to human exposure on β-cell function in vitro and in vivo. The β-cell-derived RIN-m5F cells and pancreatic islets from mouse and human were treated with TBT (0.05–0.2 μM) for 0.5–4 h. Adult male mice were orally exposed to TBT (25 μg/kg/day) with or without antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) for 1–3 weeks. Assays for insulin secretion and glucose metabolism were carried out. Unlike previous studies, TBT at noncytotoxic concentrations significantly increased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) in β-cells. The reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and phosphorylation of protein kinase C (PKC-pan) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 were also increased. These TBT-triggered effects could be reversed by antiestrogen ICI182780 and inhibitors of ROS, [Ca2+]i, and PKC, but not ERK. Similarly, islets treated with TBT significantly increased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, which could be reversed by ICI182780, NAC, and PKC inhibitor. Mice exposed to TBT for 3 weeks significantly increased blood glucose and plasma insulin and induced glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, which could be reversed by NAC. These findings suggest that low/noncytotoxic doses of TBT induce insulin dysregulation and disturb glucose homeostasis, which may be mediated through the estrogen receptor-regulated and/or oxidative stress-related signaling pathways.



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New developments and directions in the clinical application of the echinocandins

Abstract

The echinocandins—caspofungin, anidulafungin and micafungin—are semi-synthetic cyclic hexapeptide antimicrobial agents with modified N-linked acyl lipid side chains which anchor the compounds to the phospholipid bilayer of the fungal cell membrane, thereby inhibiting synthesis of fungal cell wall glucan. Over the last 10 years, echinocandins have become the first-line antifungal treatment of candidaemia and other forms of invasive candidiasis (IC). Echinocandins are generally well tolerated, but their use is limited by their requirement for daily intravenous dosing, lack of oral formulation and limited spectrum. In critically ill patients, it is also recognised that achievement of their pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic targets shows large inter-individual variability. As a drug class, they are safe to use and are associated with few adverse reactions and few drug–drug interactions of significance. Recent discovery of their ability to prevent and treat Candida biofilm formation particularly in the presence of invasive medical devices and also their ability to penetrate into mucosal surfaces such as vulvovaginal candidiasis has opened up new opportunities for research into their drug delivery. New dosing intervals are being explored to allow less frequent intravenous dosing in the ambulatory setting, and a new long-acting echinocandin, CD101, is being developed for weekly and topical administration.



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Multiple resistance to carcinogens and xenobiotics: P-glycoproteins as universal detoxifiers

Abstract

The detoxification of toxic substances is of general relevance in all biological systems. The plethora of exogenous xenobiotic compounds and endogenous toxic metabolic products explains the evolutionary pressure of all organisms to develop molecular mechanisms to detoxify and excrete harmful substances from the body. P-glycoprotein and other members of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter family extrude innumerous chemical compounds out of cells. Their specific expression in diverse biological contexts cause different phenotypes: (1) multidrug resistance (MDR) and thus failure of cancer chemotherapy, (2) avoidance of accumulation of carcinogens and prevention of carcinogenesis in healthy tissues, (3) absorption, distribution, metabolization and excretion (ADME) of pharmacological drugs in human patients, (4) protection from environmental toxins in aquatic organisms (multi-xenobiotic resistance, MXR). Hence ABC-transporters may have opposing effects for organismic health reaching from harmful in MDR of tumors to beneficial for maintenance of health in MXR. While their inhibition by specific inhibitors may improve treatment success in oncology and avoid carcinogenesis, blocking of ABC-transporter-driven efflux by environmental pollutants leads to ecotoxicological consequences in marine biotopes. Poisoned seafood may enter the food-chain and cause intoxications in human beings. As exemplified with ABC-transporters, joining forces in interdisciplinary research may, therefore, be a wise strategy to fight problems in human medicine and environmental sciences.



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The role of surface functionalization on the pulmonary inflammogenicity and translocation into mediastinal lymph nodes of graphene nanoplatelets in rats

Abstract

Graphene, a two-dimensional monocrystalline layer of carbon atoms, has potential in many applications not only in material sciences, but also in the biomedical fields, but there is little information about the role of surface modification on the toxicity of graphene-based nanomaterials. Here, we evaluated the role of surface functionalization of the graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) on the pulmonary inflammogenicity and translocation into mediastinal lymph nodes using a rat intratracheal instillation model. Six types of GNPs were used: All types of GNPs were based on the pristine GNPs (GNPdot), and different functional groups were conjugated onto them including a COOH (GNPCOOH), COH \(\left( __{2} }} } \right)\) , N–H \(\left( __{2} }} } \right)\) , Fx (GNPF), and N=H \(\left( __{2} }} } \right)\) . All types of GNPs showed very high potential for the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in a dose-dependent manner when measured by a 2′7′-dichlorofluorescin diacetate assay. GNPs were instilled into the lungs of rats at 0.3 and 1 mg/rat for the evaluation of acute (24 h) inflammation and at 3 mg/rat for chronic (1 and 4 weeks) inflammation. At 24 h after instillation, all types of GNPs showed good dose-dependent increases in polymorphonuclear leukocytes with a clear dose-dependency although significant increases compared to vehicle control were found only in positively charged GNPs \(\left( __{2} }} \;{\text{and}}\;{\text{GNP}}__{2} }} } \right)\) . While the acute inflammation in all treatment groups was returned to control levels at 1 and 4 weeks after instillation, GNPs showed similar patterns of translocation into the mediastinal lymph nodes with a higher degree over time. This study implies that the main factors of GNPs for producing lung inflammation are the potential for ROS generation and surface charge. In addition, functional groups on the GNPs might not play an important role in the extrapulmonary translocation into the mediastinal lymph nodes.



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The majority of patients with metastatic melanoma are not represented in pivotal phase III immunotherapy trials

Publication date: March 2017
Source:European Journal of Cancer, Volume 74
Author(s): Marco Donia, Marie Louise Kimper-Karl, Katrine Lundby Høyer, Lars Bastholt, Henrik Schmidt, Inge Marie Svane
BackgroundRecent randomised phase III trials have led to the approval of several immune checkpoint inhibitors for unresectable or metastatic melanoma (MM). These trials all employed strict patient selection criteria, and it is currently unknown how large proportion of ‘real-world’ patients diagnosed with MM is not represented in these trials.Patients and methodsThe Danish MM Database contains data on the entire, unselected population of MM within a nationwide geographical area. A total of 276 unselected cases of MM (ocular melanoma excluded), referred for first oncological evaluation in 2014, were included in the analysis. Seven pre-defined eligibility criteria, all used to select patients for enrolment in five recent randomised phase III immunotherapy trials, were analysed.ResultsFifty-five percent of the total population with MM did not meet one or more eligibility criteria (‘not eligible’ group) at first evaluation. PS ≥ 2 or active/untreated known brain metastases accounted alone for 74% of non-eligibility cases. Median overall survival in the ‘not eligible’ group was 5.43 months versus 18.3 months for the eligible (p < 0.0001, hazard ratio (HR) 2.44), reflected by significantly worse baseline prognostic features. However, patients treated with immunotherapy had similar survival outcomes regardless of eligibility.ConclusionOver half of the patients evaluated for systemic treatment of MM are not represented in phase III registration immunotherapy trials. The data reveal a huge knowledge gap regarding the usefulness of new immunotherapies in the ‘real-world’ patient population, and urge additional testing of known regimens in selected poor prognosis cohorts.



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Photogrammetric 3D Skull/Photo Superimposition: a pilot study

The identification of bodies through the examination of skeletal remains holds a prominent place in the field of forensic investigations because the main objective of such inquiries is to establish the identity of the person to whom the remains belong. The use of DNA analysis in identifying human remains has become much more widespread in recent years. However, it is not always possible to utilize DNA due to the fact that under certain circumstances it may be subject to so much degeneration that it makes it impossible to extract it.

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Deep-sea squid points a big, bulging eye up and a tiny eye down

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Videos reveal that the cock-eyed squid’s two contrasting eyes are adapted for entirely different hunting purposes

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Deep-sea squid points a big, bulging eye up and a tiny eye down

Videos reveal that the cock-eyed squid’s two contrasting eyes are adapted for entirely different hunting purposes

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Exosomal formulation of anthocyanidins against multiple cancer types

Over the last two decades, berries and berry bioactives particularly anthocyanins and their aglycones anthocyanidins (Anthos) have demonstrated excellent anti-oxidant, anti-proliferative, apoptotic and anti-inflammatory properties. However, their physicochemical and pharmacokinetic limitations such as low solubility, low permeability, and poor oral bioavailability are considered as unfavorable properties for development as drugs. Therefore there is a need to develop systems for efficient systemic delivery and robust bioavailability.

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Amino acid transporter SLC38A3 promotes metastasis of non-small cell lung cancer cells by activating PDK1

Tumor metastasis is a finely-tuned pathological process coupled to metabolic reprogramming that includes both glutamine and glucose. The solute carrier SLC38A3, a member of amino acid/polyamine/organocation (APC) superfamily, is an L-glutamine transporter. It is not clear whether SLC38A3 involves the metastasis of NSCLC (non small cell lung cancer).

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The Potential Clinical Promise of ‘Multimodality’ Metronomic Chemotherapy Revealed by Preclinical Studies of Metastatic Disease

We present a rationale for further clinical development and assessment of metronomic chemotherapy on the basis of unexpected results obtained in translational mouse models of cancer involving treatment of advanced metastatic disease. Historically, mouse cancer therapy models have been dominated by treating established primary tumors or early stage low volume microscopic disease. Treatment of primary tumors is also almost always the case when using genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMS) of cancer or patient-derived xenografts (PDXs).

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Transcriptional repression of miR-200 family members by Nanog in colon cancer cells induces epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT)

Publication date: 28 April 2017
Source:Cancer Letters, Volume 392
Author(s): Qiong Pan, Linkun Meng, Jun Ye, Xiaolong Wei, Yangyang Shang, Yin Tian, Yonghong He, Zhihong Peng, Lei Chen, Wensheng Chen, Xiuwu Bian, Rongquan Wang
Nanog is an important embryonic stem cell (ESC) gene that does not function as a classical oncogene, but needs to cooperate with other molecules to potentiate tumorigenic activity. The question addressed by the present study was whether a miRNA link exists between Nanog and epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT)-mesenchymal–epithelial transition (MET) plasticity. Here, we found that Nanog mRNA expression level was inversely correlated with miR-200c and miR-200b expression levels in colon cancer cell lines and human colorectal cancer tissues. Forced Nanog expression in low-Nanog colon cancer cells inhibited miR-200c and miR-200b expression, and interfered Nanog expression in high-Nanog colon cancer cells promoted miR-200c and miR-200b expression. Furthermore, we confirmed that Nanog directly repressed transcription of the miR-200c and miR-200b genes, and miR-200c and miR-200b mediated Nanog-induced EMT occurrence. Luciferase and ChIP assays determined that Nanog bound directly to the potential Nanog binding sites in the miR-200c and miR-200b promoters and repressed their transcription. In conclusion, our findings suggest that Nanog modulates EMT–MET plasticity by regulating miR-200 clusters via a direct transcriptional mechanism, and the Nanog-miR-200 axis may be a good therapeutic target for CRC control.



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Vol.23 No.3

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Vol.25 No.3

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Vol.25 No.4

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Vol.22 No.1

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Vol.22 No.2

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Vol.32 No.3

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Vol.9 No.3

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Vol.5 No.3

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Vol.9 No.2

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Vol.21 No.3

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Vol.9 No.1

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Vol.29 No.3

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Vol.4 No.1

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Vol.8 No.3

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Vol.5 No.4

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Vol.8 No.2

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Vol.27 No.3

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Vol.8 No.1

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Vol.30 No.3

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Circulating human leucine-rich α-2-glycoprotein 1 mRNA and protein levels to detect acute appendicitis in patients with acute abdominal pain

Publication date: Available online 12 February 2017
Source:Clinical Biochemistry
Author(s): TH Rainer, LY Leung, CPY Chan, YK Leung, NM Cheng, PBS Lai, YS Cheung, CA Graham
BackgroundElevated levels of circulating plasma and urine leucine-rich-2-glycoprotein-1 (LRG1) protein has been found in patients with acute appendicitis (AA) and may be useful for diagnosis. This study aimed to investigate whether combined tests including circulating LRG1 mRNA levels improves the early diagnosis of AA.MethodsBetween December 2011 and October 2012, a prospective study was conducted on patients aged 18years or older presenting to the ED with acute abdominal pain (<7days of symptom onset). Levels of whole blood LRG1 mRNA levels and plasma LRG1 protein taken from these patients within 24h of arrival (mean 12.4h) were analyzed. The primary outcome was AA.ResultsEighty-four patients (40 (47.6%) with AA and 44 (52.4%) without AA; mean age 35years; 41.6% males) were recruited. Median whole blood LRG1 mRNA and plasma LRG1 levels were higher in AA patients than in non-AA. Of 40 AA patients, 13 (32.5%) were diagnosed as complicated AA. In ROC analysis of LRG1 mRNA (normalized to GAPDH), LRG1 protein and Alvarado score for discriminating AA and non-AA, the areas under the curve (AUC) were 0.723, 0.742 and 0.805 respectively. The AUC of combination of normalized LRG1 mRNA, LRG1 protein and Alvarado score was 0.845.ConclusionA combination of modified whole blood LRG1 mRNA levels, serum LRGI protein and Alvarado score at the ED may be useful to diagnose simple and complicated AA from other causes of abdominal pain.



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Evaluation of smear layer removal and marginal adaptation of root canal sealer after final irrigation using ethylenediaminetetraacetic, peracetic, and etidronic acids with different concentrations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of different irrigation solutions on the smear layer removal and marginal adaptation of a resin-based sealer to root canal dentine. A total of 152 instrumented roots were irrigated with the following irrigants: 9,18% etidronic acid (HEBP), 0.5, 1,2% peracetic acid (PAA), 17% ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), saline. The amount of smear layer was evaluated using scanning electron microscope (SEM) in seventy root samples. Eighty-two roots were filled with AH Plus and gutta-percha. Slices obtained from apical third of each specimen were viewed with SEM to assess marginal adaptation. Use of 9% and 18% HEBP resulted in more efficient smear layer removal in the apical third than the other chelators (p < 0.05). Higher smear layer scores in the coronal and middle thirds were obtained from 0.5%, 1% PAA groups. Regarding marginal adaptation, 18% HEBP group showed the lowest gap size values (p < 0.05), and better marginal adaptation. Etidronic acid is a promising candidate for final irrigation of root canals.



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A white man with Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease mimicking lymphoma, preceded by frequent episodes of tonsillitis: a case report

Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease is a very rare cause of benign lymphadenopathy affecting mainly young Asiatic females. Little is known about the causative agent of Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease; however, there are hypothe...

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Stability Analysis for Stochastic Neutral-Type Memristive Neural Networks with Time-Varying Delay and S-Type Distributed Delays

In this paper, we consider the input-to-stability for a class of stochastic neutral-type memristive neural networks. Neutral terms and S-type distributed delays are taken into account in our system. Using the stochastic analysis theory and Itô formula, we obtain the conditions of mean-square exponential input-to-stability for system. A numerical example is given to illustrate the correctness of our conclusions.

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Multisensors Cooperative Detection Task Scheduling Algorithm Based on Hybrid Task Decomposition and MBPSO

A multisensor scheduling algorithm based on the hybrid task decomposition and modified binary particle swarm optimization (MBPSO) is proposed. Firstly, aiming at the complex relationship between sensor resources and tasks, a hybrid task decomposition method is presented, and the resource scheduling problem is decomposed into subtasks; then the sensor resource scheduling problem is changed into the match problem of sensors and subtasks. Secondly, the resource match optimization model based on the sensor resources and tasks is established, which considers several factors, such as the target priority, detecting benefit, handover times, and resource load. Finally, MBPSO algorithm is proposed to solve the match optimization model effectively, which is based on the improved updating means of particle’s velocity and position through the doubt factor and modified Sigmoid function. The experimental results show that the proposed algorithm is better in terms of convergence velocity, searching capability, solution accuracy, and efficiency.

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β-Arrestin1/miR-326 Transcription Unit Is Epigenetically Regulated in Neural Stem Cells Where It Controls Stemness and Growth Arrest

Cell development is regulated by a complex network of mRNA-encoded proteins and microRNAs, all funnelling onto the modulation of self-renewal or differentiation genes. How intragenic microRNAs and their host genes are transcriptionally coregulated and their functional relationships for the control of neural stem cells (NSCs) are poorly understood. We propose here the intragenic miR-326 and its host gene β-arrestin1 as novel players whose epigenetic silencing maintains stemness in normal cerebellar stem cells. Such a regulation is mediated by CpG islands methylation of the common promoter. Epigenetic derepression of β-arrestin1/miR-326 by differentiation signals or demethylating agents leads to suppression of stemness features and cell growth and promotes cell differentiation. β-Arrestin1 inhibits cell proliferation by enhancing the nuclear expression of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27. Therefore, we propose a new mechanism for the control of cerebellar NSCs where a coordinated epigenetic mechanism finely regulates β-arrestin1/miR-326 expression and consequently NSCs stemness and cell growth.

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The Cervical Split: A Pseudofracture

SplitCervicalVertebra.png
A horizontal line projecting over a cervical vertebral body on lateral radiographs can simulate a fracture or a butterfly vertebral body. This pseudofracture, the so-called cervical split, can result from the lucency between contiguous uncovertebral osteophytes, or, as in the case above, cervical scoliosis resulting in projection of the facet joint over the vertebral body.
A cervical split due to uncovertebral joint osteophyte formation is said to be always accompanied by disc space narrowing.

References



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IJERPH, Vol. 14, Pages 180: The Impact of Heat Exposure and Sleep Restriction on Firefighters’ Work Performance and Physiology during Simulated Wildfire Suppression

This study was designed to examine the effects of ambient heat on firefighters’ physical task performance, and physiological and perceptual responses when sleep restricted during simulated wildfire conditions. Thirty firefighters were randomly allocated to the sleep restricted (n = 17, SR; 19 °C, 4-h sleep opportunity) or hot and sleep restricted (n = 13, HOT + SR; 33 °C, 4-h sleep opportunity) condition. Firefighters performed two days of simulated, intermittent, self-paced work circuits comprising six firefighting tasks. Heart rate, and core temperature were measured continuously. After each task, firefighters reported their rating of perceived exertion and thermal sensation. Effort sensation was also reported after each work circuit. Fluids were consumed ad libitum. Urine volume and urine specific gravity were analysed. Sleep was monitored using polysomnography. There were no differences between the SR and HOT + SR groups in firefighters’ physiological responses, hydration status, ratings of perceived exertion, motivation, and four of the six firefighting tasks (charged hose advance, rake, hose rolling, static hose hold). Black out hose and lateral repositioning were adversely affected in the HOT + SR group. Working in hot conditions did not appear to consistently impair firefighters work performance, physiology, and perceptual responses. Future research should determine whether such findings remain true when individual tasks are performed over longer durations.

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Thrombosis of the Azygos Anterior Cerebral Artery

The azygos anterior cerebral artery is a rare variant, characterized by the absence of the anterior communicating artery and the union of two proximal segments of the anterior cerebral artery, forming a single trunk and ascending through the interhemispheric fissure. The incidence in the population varies from 0.3 to 2%. The presence of occlusion for this vessel causes bifrontal infarcts, with potentially devastating functional consequences, hence the importance of recognizing this anatomical variation in imaging exams.

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Channel Rectification and Signal Estimation Based on EIV Model in Massive MIMO System

The performance of Massive MIMO is severely limited by channel estimation error, which is caused by pilot contamination and channel aging. In this paper, we propose an estimation algorithm based on the weighted total least-squares method with errors-in-variables (EIV) model to alleviate the influence of pilot contamination and channel aging. Then, a channel rectification method has been investigated to diminish the inaccuracy of channel estimation. Comparing with the traditional methods, it not only helps to make the signal estimation more accurate, but also provides opportunities to correct the channel model with estimation error and update the aged channel statement information. Simulations are provided to verify the efficacy of this method.

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Flexural Behavior of Concrete Beam Strengthened by Near-Surface Mounted CFRP Reinforcement Using Equivalent Section Model

FRP (fiber reinforced polymer) has found wide applications as an alternative to steel rebar not only for the repair and strengthening of existing structures but also for the erection of new structures. Near-surface mounted (NSM) strengthening was introduced as an alternative of externally bonded reinforcement (EBR) but this method also experiences early bond failure, which stresses the importance of predicting accurately the bond failure behavior in order to evaluate precisely the performance of NSM reinforcement. This study proposes the equivalent section model assuming monolithic behavior of the filler and CFRP reinforcement. This equivalent section model enables establishing a bond failure model applicable independently of the sectional shape of the CFRP reinforcement. This so-derived bond failure model is then validated experimentally by means of beams flexure-strengthened by NSM CFRP reinforcements with various cross-sections. Finally, analytical analysis applying the bond failure model considering the equivalent section and defined failure criteria is performed. The results show the accuracy of the prediction of the failure mode as well as the accurate prediction of the experimental results regardless of the sectional shape of the CFRP reinforcement.

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Knowledge, Beliefs, and Practices on Epilepsy among High School Students of Central Nepal

Introduction. Epilepsy continues to increase worldwide but, unfortunately, many high school students have inadequate knowledge of and negative beliefs towards the disease. We aimed to assess the knowledge, beliefs, and practices of epilepsy among high school students of Central Nepal. Materials and Methods. A cross-sectional study was performed involving 1360 high school students from 33 private schools across Bharatpur, from June 2013 to July 2013, to assess their knowledge, beliefs, and practices (KBP) on epilepsy using a standardized questionnaire. The differences in mean KBP scores between different sexes, religions, and those personally knowing versus not knowing someone with epilepsy were assessed using independent -tests; a Pearson correlation was calculated to assess the relationship between KBP scores and age. Results. Of 1360 participants, 79 (5.8%) students had never heard or read about epilepsy and were consequently excluded from statistical analysis. Only 261 out of 1360 (19.2%) had personally known someone with epilepsy. The mean KBP scores were 5.0/8, 7.4/12, and 1.7/3, respectively. Statistically significant differences were only observed in the knowledge component of the KBP score; female scored higher than males () and, interestingly, students who had personally known a person with epilepsy actually knew less than those who had not known one (). We also found a significant negative correlation between knowledge and age (). Conclusions. The overall knowledge, beliefs, and practices appear to be inadequate, emphasizing the need for further educational intervention.

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Protective Effects of the Segmental Renal Artery Clamping Technique on Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury in db/db Diabetic Mice

Renal ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury is inevitable in partial nephrectomy and other kidney surgeries, with a higher incidence in patients with renal insufficiency. This study aimed to investigate the protective effects of precise segmental renal artery clamping (SRAC) against renal I/R injury in db/db diabetic mice, compared with conventional renal artery clamping (RAC). Grape seed extract, a powerful free radical scavenger, was administered to diabetic mice for 4 weeks before operation in subgroups (30 mg/kg/d). The unilateral renal pedicle was ligatured, and I/R injury to the contralateral kidney was induced (ischemia for 30 min followed by reperfusion for 24 h). Blood glucose value, creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, and urine microalbumin/urine creatinine ratio increased gradually and showed no preoperative statistical differences among six subgroups. These parameters were significantly lower in the SRAC than in the RAC group 24 h postoperatively. Moreover, the nonischemic area in the SRAC group expressed less KIM-1 and TNF- mRNA and also revealed minor histopathological damage induced by I/R. These findings suggest that SRAC effectively reduces early renal injury induced by I/R and accelerates the recovery of renal function in diabetic mice. Thus, SRAC may be an ideal technique in partial nephrectomy, especially for patients with diabetic nephropathy and other renal insufficiencies.

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Predictors of distant metastasis in human papillomavirus-associated oropharyngeal cancer.

Predictors of distant metastasis in human papillomavirus-associated oropharyngeal cancer.

Head Neck. 2017 Feb 11;:

Authors: Weller MA, Ward MC, Berriochoa C, Reddy CA, Trosman S, Greskovich JF, Nwizu TI, Burkey BB, Adelstein DJ, Koyfman SA

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive oropharyngeal cancer is associated with favorable outcomes, prompting investigations into treatment deintensification. The purpose of this study was for us to present the predictors of distant metastases in patients with HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer treated with cisplatin-based chemoradiotherapy (CRT) or cetuximab-based bioradiotherapy (bio-RT).
METHODS: In patients with stage III to IVb HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer, the Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to calculate distant metastases rates. Univariate analysis (UVA) and multivariate analysis (MVA) were used to identify factors associated with distant metastases.
RESULTS: Increased distant metastases rates were noted in active smokers versus never/former smokers (22% vs 5%), T4 vs T1 to T3 (15% vs 6%), and cetuximab-based bio-RT versus CRT (23% vs 5%). All remained significant on MVA.
CONCLUSION: T4 tumors and active smokers have substantial rates of distant metastases, and trials investigating intensified systemic therapies may be considered. Higher rates of distant metastases observed with concurrent cetuximab are hypothesis generating, but further data are needed. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2017.

PMID: 28188964 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Minimizing adjuvant treatment after transoral robotic surgery through surgical margin revision and exclusion of radiographic extracapsular extension: A Prospective observational cohort study.

Minimizing adjuvant treatment after transoral robotic surgery through surgical margin revision and exclusion of radiographic extracapsular extension: A Prospective observational cohort study.

Head Neck. 2017 Feb 11;:

Authors: Morisod B, Venara-Vulpe II, Alzuphar S, Monnier Y, Bongiovanni M, Hagmann P, Bouchaab H, Bourhis J, Simon C

Abstract
BACKGROUND: We investigated in a prospective cohort of patients treated with trans-oral robotic surgery (TORS) for oropharyngeal cancer (OPC), who were selected for the absence of radiographic extra-capsular extension (ECS) and surgically revised for inadequate margins, the possibility of reducing adjuvant radiation (RT)/chemo-radiation therapy (CRT) without jeopardizing tumor control and functional outcome.
METHODS: We conducted a prospective observational cohort of patients treated with TORS for oropharyngeal cancer.
RESULTS: Twenty-nine patients with T1/2N0 to N2B stage cancers were treated with TORS. Forty-five percent of them were treated for secondary primaries. Nine of 29 patients (31%) were revised for close/positive margins. Adjuvant RT was prescribed for 2 of 19 patients with early squamous cell carcinoma (SCCs) and CRT for 1 of 10 patients with advanced oropharyngeal SCCs. Overall survival (OS), disease-specific survival (DSS), and locoregional control at 2 years were 85%, 96%, and 93%, respectively. Posttreatment Functional Outcome Swallowing Scale (FOSS) scores worsened with prior or adjuvant RT, local recurrence, site, and revision for margins.
CONCLUSION: Patients with early and moderately advanced oropharyngeal SCC selected for radiographic ECS and revised for inadequate margins have excellent tumor control and favorable functional recovery. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2017.

PMID: 28188953 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Abnormal regional activity and functional connectivity in resting-state brain networks associated with etiology confirmed unilateral pulsatile tinnitus in the early stage of disease.

Abnormal regional activity and functional connectivity in resting-state brain networks associated with etiology confirmed unilateral pulsatile tinnitus in the early stage of disease.

Hear Res. 2017 Feb 07;:

Authors: Lv H, Zhao P, Liu Z, Li R, Zhang L, Wang P, Yan F, Liu L, Wang G, Zeng R, Li T, Dong C, Gong S, Wang Z

Abstract
Abnormal neural activities can be revealed by resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) using analyses of the regional activity and functional connectivity (FC) of the networks in the brain. This study was designed to demonstrate the functional network alterations in the patients with pulsatile tinnitus (PT). In this study, we recruited 45 patients with unilateral PT in the early stage of disease (less than 48 months of disease duration) and 45 normal controls. We used regional homogeneity (ReHo) and seed-based FC computational methods to reveal resting-state brain activity features associated with pulsatile tinnitus. Compared with healthy controls, PT patients showed regional abnormalities mainly in the left middle occipital gyrus (MOG), posterior cingulate gyrus (PCC), precuneus and right anterior insula (AI). When these regions were defined as seeds, we demonstrated widespread modification of interaction between the auditory and non-auditory networks. The auditory network was positively connected with the cognitive control network (CCN), which may associate with tinnitus related distress. Both altered regional activity and changed FC were found in the visual network. The modification of interactions of higher order networks were mainly found in the DMN, CCN and limbic networks. Functional connectivity between the left MOG and left parahippocampal gyrus could also be an index to reflect the disease duration. This study helped us gain a better understanding of the characteristics of neural network modifications in patients with pulsatile tinnitus.

PMID: 28188881 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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In vitro activity of clarithromycin in combination with other antimicrobial agents against mycobacterium abscessus and mycobacterium massiliense.

In vitro activity of clarithromycin in combination with other antimicrobial agents against mycobacterium abscessus and mycobacterium massiliense.

Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2017 Feb 07;:

Authors: Zhang Z, Lu J, Liu M, Wang Y, Zhao Y, Pang Y

Abstract
Macrolides, especially clarithromycin (CLA), remain the cornerstone of therapy for Mycobacterium abscessus complex infections. The purpose of this study was to gather results from in vitro drug susceptibility testing of M. abscessus and Mycobacterium massiliense for the combination of CLA with various other agents, including linezolid (LZD), moxifloxacin (MOX), amikacin (AMK) and tigecycline (TGC). A total of 40 M. abscessus complex isolates were studied, comprising 20 M. abscessus and 20 M. massiliense strains. In vitro drug susceptibility testing revealed that the percentage of TGC-resistant isolates among M. massiliense was significantly lower than that among M. abscessus (P = 0.047). In addition, 17 (85.0%) of 20 M. massiliense isolates showed a synergistic effect for the CLA + MOX combination, which was significantly higher than for M. abscessus (1/20; 5.0%) (P < 0.001). Similarly, synergy for the CLA + TGC combination was found in 5 (25.0%) M. abscessus isolates and 13 (65.0%) M. massiliense isolates, with a significant difference between the two subspecies (P = 0.038). For CLA + LZD and CLA + AMK combinations, statistical analysis demonstrated that there was no significant difference in the proportion of synergistic effect between the two subspecies (P > 0.05). In conclusion, these data demonstrate that M. abscessus and M. massiliense exhibit significant differences in TGC susceptibility. In addition, the activity of CLA in combination with MOX or TGC showed better synergistic activity against M. massiliense than against M. abscessus.

PMID: 28188830 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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