Κυριακή, 18 Ιουνίου 2017

Lipids of the Tail Gland, Body and Muzzle Fur of the Red Fox, Vulpes vulpes

Abstract

The tail gland of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) secretes lipids containing volatile terpenes used in social communication. We have analysed lipids extracted from fur of the tail gland, body (flanks) and muzzle of foxes. GC–MS showed a novel group of iso-valerate and tiglate monoesters of alkane-1,2-diols (C18:0–22:0). There was also a larger group of Type II diesters in which a second, longer chain, fatty acid (FA) was attached to the free alcohol group. LC–MS showed the full range of diol diesters, mostly C36:0–50:0, with smaller amounts of the corresponding mono-unsaturated tiglate esters. An additional group of diesters with higher MW (C49:0–62:0) containing two long-chain FA was present in the lipids of body and muzzle fur. After saponification and GC–MS, 98 fatty acids were characterized as their methyl esters. Apart from the C5 FA, most were saturated n-, iso-, anteiso- or other methyl-branched FA (C12:0–28:0) whose structures were determined by a combination of their mass spectra and Kovats retention indices. Several FA have not previously been found in nature or in vertebrates. Thirty-four alkane-1,2-diols were found as their TMS derivatives, mostly n-, iso- or anteiso-isomers of C16:0–25:0. The tail gland had the greatest amount of wax esters, from a greater variety of FA and diols, but lacked the esters with two long-chain FA. These findings show that fox skin lipids comprise mono- and di-esters of alkane-1,2-diols, and exhibit enormous complexity due to the diversity of their constituent FA, diols and the many possible isomers of their esters.



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Global Epidemiology of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC Epidemiology)



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Prescribing indicators in primary health care in Belo Horizonte, Brazil: associated factors

Abstract

Background The prescription is one of the factors that influences rational use of medicines. The evaluation of prescribing indicators should contribute to organization of primary health care services. Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate prescribing indicators and associated factors in primary health care in the northeast health district, Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Setting Twenty primary health care units in the Northeast Health District, Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Method The study was cross sectional. Indicators proposed by World Health Organization were used to evaluate rational use of medicines. Main outcome measure Indicators evaluated were average number of medicines per prescription, proportion of medicines with antibiotic, injectable, medicines prescribed by generic name and medicines present in the essential medicines list. Results Three hundred and ninety-nine patients were interviewed. The average number of medicines per prescription was 3.5 (SD 2.2). The proportion of medicines with antibiotic, injectable, medicines prescribed by generic name and medicines present in the essential medicines list was 17.8, 9.8, 94.9, 91.4%, respectively. Patient age ≥60 years was positively associated with number of medicines per prescription (P = 0.00). Conclusion In the northeast health district of Belo Horizonte, the proportion of prescriptions of antibiotics and injections, the adoption of prescribing by generic name and the prescribing of essential medicines were satisfactory in this study considering reference values for these indicators and international scientific literature. However, the mean number of prescribed medicines requires a more in-depth evaluation.



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Counselling pregnant women at the crossroads of Europe and Asia: effect of Teratology Information Service in Turkey

Abstract

Background Previous studies from western countries demonstrated the effectiveness of Teratology Information Service (TIS) counselling in reducing the teratogenic risk perception of pregnant women. Objective To assess whether TIS counselling would be effective in reducing the teratogenic risk perception of the Turkish pregnant women. Setting A TIS (Terafar) operating in a university hospital in Turkey. Methods A cross-sectional survey study. Pregnant women with non-teratogenic medication exposures were asked to assign scores on visual analogue scales (VAS) in response to the questions aiming to measure their teratogenic risk perception. The mean score before and after counselling were compared and the associations with maternal socio-demographic characteristics were analysed using SPSS (Version 20.0). Main outcome measures The differences in the mean scores of the perception regarding the baseline risk of pregnancy, own teratogenic risk and the likelihood of termination of pregnancy before and after counselling and their possible associations with maternal socio-demographic characteristics. Results 102 pregnant women participated in the study. The counselling significantly reduced the mean own teratogenic risk perception score and the mean score for the likelihood of termination of pregnancy whereas the mean baseline risk perception score was not significantly changed. Pregnancy week <8 and the exposed number of active ingredients <3 were significantly associated with the difference in the mean score for the likelihood of termination of pregnancy. Conclusions TIS counselling lowers the teratogenic risk perception of Turkish pregnant women and increases their likelihood to continue the pregnancy as it does in the western countries.



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A scaling method to individualise muscle force capacities in musculoskeletal models of the hand and wrist using isometric strength measurements

Abstract

Because the force-generating capacities of muscles are currently estimated using anatomical data obtained from cadaver specimens, hand musculoskeletal models provide only a limited representation of the specific features of individual subjects. A scaling method is proposed to individualise muscle capacities using dynamometric measurements and electromyography. For each subject, a strength profile was first defined by measuring net moments during eight maximum isometric contractions about the wrist and metacarpophalangeal joints. The capacities of the five muscle groups were then determined by adjusting several parameters of an initial musculoskeletal model using an optimisation procedure which minimised the differences between measured moments and model estimates. Sixteen volunteers, including three particular participants (one climber, one boxer and one arthritic patient), were recruited. Compared with the initial literature-based model, the estimated subject-specific capacities were on average five times higher for the wrist muscles and twice as high for the finger muscles. The adjustments for particular subjects were consistent with their expected specific characteristics, e.g. high finger flexor capacities for the climber. Using the subject-specific capacities, the model estimates were markedly modified. The proposed protocol and scaling procedure can capture the specific characteristics of the participants and improved the representation of their capacities in the musculoskeletal model.



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Spatial indices of repolarization correlate with non-ST elevation myocardial ischemia in patients with chest pain

Abstract

Mild-to-moderate ischemia does not result in ST segment elevation on the electrocardiogram (ECG), but rather non-specific changes in the T wave, which are frequently labeled as non-diagnostic for ischemia. Robust methods to quantify such T wave heterogeneity can have immediate clinical applications. We sought to evaluate the effects of spontaneous ischemia on the evolution of spatial T wave changes, based on the eigenvalues of the spatial correlation matrix of the ECG, in patients undergoing nuclear cardiac imaging for evaluating intermittent chest pain. We computed T wave complexity (TWC), the ratio of the second to the first eigenvalue of repolarization, from 5-min baseline and 5-min peak-stress Holter ECG recordings. Our sample included 30 males and 20 females aged 63 ± 11 years. Compared to baseline, significant changes in TWC were only seen in patients with ischemia (n = 10) during stress testing, but not among others. The absolute changes in TWC were significantly larger in the ischemia group compared to others, with a pattern that seemed to depend on the severity or anatomic distribution of ischemia. Our results demonstrate that ischemia-induced changes in T wave morphology can be meaningfully quantified from the surface 12-lead ECG, suggesting an important opportunity for improving diagnostics in patients with chest pain.



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