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Κυριακή, 23 Ιουλίου 2017

Distinct histopathologic features of radiation-induced chronic sinusitis

Background

Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is a commonly observed sequela after radiation therapy to the paranasal sinuses. The histopathologic features of radiation-induced CRS have yet to be determined and may have major implications in disease management.

Methods

A structured histopathology report was utilized to analyze sinus tissue removed during functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS). Histopathology variables, Lund-Mackay score (LMS), and 22-item Sino-Nasal Outcome Test (SNOT-22) scores were compared among patients with radiation-induced CRS (CRSr), CRS without nasal polyps (CRSsNP), and CRS with nasal polyps (CRSwNP).

Results

Fifteen CRSr, 43 CRSsNP, and 56 CRSwNP patients who underwent FESS were analyzed. Compared with CRSsNP, CRSr cases had increased squamous metaplasia (40.0% vs 9.3%, p < 0.013) and subepithelial edema (53.3% vs. 2.3%, p < 0.001). Compared with CRSwNP, CRSr cases had fewer eosinophils per high-power field (20.0% vs 50.0%, p < 0.034), less basement membrane thickening (33.3% vs 76.8%, p < 0.002), and fewer eosinophil aggregates (0.0% vs 30.4%, p < 0.009). CRSr had significantly greater mean LMS (13.47 ± 5.13 vs 7.07 ± 4.79, p < 0.001) compared with CRSsNP.

Conclusion

Radiation-induced CRS patients exhibited greater squamous metaplasia and subepithelial edema when compared with a cohort of patients with CRSsNP, and decreased eosinophilia and basement membrane thickening compared with a cohort of CRSwNP patients. CRSr cases demonstrated no difference in eosinophilia or neutrophilia compared with CRSsNP, and decreased eosinophilia compared with CRSwNP, lending further credence to the unique nature of radiation in the development of CRS in this patient group. These findings may have major implications with regard to extent of surgical intervention and medical management.



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Author’s Reply to Candau et al.: Comment on: “How Biomechanical Improvements in Running Economy Could Break the 2-Hour Marathon Barrier”



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Case of tumoral melanosis with a massive infiltration of CD163+ and CD68+ macrophages



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Dermatoscopy of palmar wart with falooda seed appearance



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A rare case of lues maligna with ocular involvement presenting as an unmasking immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome in a patient with HIV infection



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HTLV-1 carrier psoriasis patients treated by anti-IL-23/IL-17



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Comparative cranial ontogeny of Tapirus (Mammalia: Perissodactyla: Tapiridae)

Abstract

Skull morphology in tapirs is particularly interesting due to the presence of a proboscis with important trophic, sensory and behavioral functions. Several studies have dealt with tapir skull osteology but chiefly in a comparative framework between fossil and recent species of tapirs. Only one study examined an aspect of cranial ontogeny, development of the sagittal crest (Holbrook. J Zool Soc Lond 2002; 256; 215). Our goal is to describe in detail the morphological changes that occur during the postnatal ontogeny of the skull in two representative tapir species, Tapirus terrestris and Tapirus indicus, and to explore possible functional consequences of their developmental trajectories. We compared qualitative features of the skull on a growth series of 46 specimens of T. terrestris ordered on the basis of the sequence of eruption and tooth wear, dividing the sample into three age classes: class Y (very young juvenile), class J (from young juvenile to young adult) and class A (full and old adult). The qualitative morphological analysis consisted of describing changes in the series in each skull bone and major skull structure, including the type and degree of transformation (e.g. appearance, fusion) of cranial features (e.g. processes, foramina) and articulations (sutures, synchondroses, and synovial joints). We then measured 23 cranial variables in 46 specimens of T. terrestris that included the entire ontogenetic series from newborn to old adults. We applied statistical multivariate techniques to describe allometric growth, and compared the results with the allometric trends calculated for a sample of 25 specimens of T. indicus. Results show that the skull structure was largely conserved throughout the postnatal ontogeny in T. terrestris, so class Y was remarkably similar to class A in overall shape, with the most significant changes localized in the masticatory apparatus, specifically the maxillary tuber as a support of the large-sized permanent postcanine dentition, and correlated changes in diastemata, mandibular body, and sagittal and nuchal crests. In the nasal region, ontogenetic remodeling affected the space for the meatal diverticulum and the surfaces for the origin of the proboscis musculature. Overall, ontogenetic trajectories exhibited more negative allometric components in T. indicus than in T. terrestris, and they shared 47.83% of allometric trends. Tapirus indicus differed most significantly from T. terrestris in the allometry of postcanine toothrows, diastemata and mandibular body. Thus, some allometric trends seem to be highly conserved among the species studied, and the changes observed showed a strong functional and likely adaptive basis in this lineage of ungulates.



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A distinctive patchy osteomalacia characterises Phospho1-deficient mice

Abstract

The phosphatase PHOSPHO1 is involved in the initiation of biomineralisation. Bones in Phospho1 knockout (KO) mice show histological osteomalacia with frequent bowing of long bones and spontaneous fractures: they contain less mineral, with smaller mineral crystals. However, the consequences of Phospho1 ablation on the microscale structure of bone are not yet fully elucidated. Tibias and femurs obtained from wild-type and Phospho1 null (KO) mice (25–32 weeks old) were embedded in PMMA, cut and polished to produce near longitudinal sections. Block surfaces were studied using 20 kV backscattered-electron (BSE) imaging, and again after iodine staining to reveal non-mineralised matrix and cellular components. For 3D characterisation, we used X-ray micro-tomography. Bones opened with carbide milling tools to expose endosteal surfaces were macerated using an alkaline bacterial pronase enzyme detergent, 5% hydrogen peroxide and 7% sodium hypochlorite solutions to produce 3D surfaces for study with 3D BSE scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Extensive regions of both compact cortical and trabecular bone matrix in Phospho1 KO mice contained no significant mineral and/or showed arrested mineralisation fronts, characterised by a failure in the fusion of the calcospherite-like, separately mineralising, individual micro-volumes within bone. Osteoclastic resorption of the uncalcified matrix in Phospho1 KO mice was attenuated compared with surrounding normally mineralised bone. The extent and position of this aberrant biomineralisation varied considerably between animals, contralateral limbs and anatomical sites. The most frequent manifestation lay, however, in the nearly complete failure of mineralisation in the bone surrounding the numerous transverse blood vessel canals in the cortices. In conclusion, SEM disclosed defective mineralising fronts and extensive patchy osteomalacia, which has previously not been recognised. These data further confirm the role of this phosphatase in physiological skeletal mineralisation.



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Announcement



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Adolescent body mass index and risk of colon and rectal cancer in a cohort of 1.79 million Israeli men and women: A population-based study

BACKGROUND

This study examined the association between the body mass index (BMI) in late adolescence and the risk of colon and rectal cancer.

METHODS

This study analyzed a cohort of 1,087,358 Jewish men and 707,212 Jewish women who underwent health examinations at the ages of 16 to 19 years between 1967 and 2002 and were followed by linkage to the national cancer registry up to 2012. Cox regression was used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) for cancer according to age- and sex-adjusted BMI percentiles from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (overweight, 85th percentile to <95th percentile; obesity, ≥95th percentile).

RESULTS

Over a median follow-up of 23 years, 2967 incidence cases of colorectal cancer, including 1977 among men (1403 in the colon and 574 in the rectum) and 990 among women (764 in the colon and 226 in the rectum), were identified. Overweight and obesity were associated with the risk for colon cancer among both men (HR for overweight, 1.53; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.28-1.84; HR for obesity, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.15-2.06; statistically significant from a BMI of 23.4 kg/m2 [spline analysis]) and women (HR for overweight, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.22-1.93; HR for obesity, 1.51; 95% CI, 0.89-2.57; significant from a BMI of 23.6 kg/m2). Obesity, but not overweight, was associated with a risk for rectal cancer among men (HR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.11-2.65; significant from a BMI of 29.6 kg/m2) and women (HR, 2.03; 95% CI, 0.90-4.58; significant from a BMI of 30.6 kg/m2).

CONCLUSIONS

Being overweight or obese in adolescence was associated with an increased risk of subsequent colon cancers in men and women, whereas obesity was associated with rectal cancer. Cancer 2017. © 2017 American Cancer Society.



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Biofilm formation of Bacillus cereus under food-processing-related conditions

Abstract

This study aims to understand the biofilm formation abilities of eight Bacillus cereus strains under food-industry-related conditions. Biofilms were grown in microtiter plates in tryptic soy broth (TSB) or brain heart infusion (BHI) at 30 °C for 24 or 48 h and quantified via the crystal violet assay. A significantly larger of biofilm was formed in TSB than in BHI after 48 h. Selected strains were used to test biofilm formation under food-related conditions produced by different surfaces (e.g., stainless steel, plastic, or glass), temperatures (25 or 30 °C), carbon sources, (glucose or glycerol) and NaCl. Biofilm formation appeared to be affected by surface properties, temperature, and carbon sources. A larger biofilm was formed on stainless steel at 30 °C compared to plastic and glass surfaces at 25 and 30 °C. Moreover, addition of glucose in combination with NaCl in TSB produced significantly larger biofilm than glucose, glycerol and/or NaCl. These results indicate that food-industry-related conditions could promote B. cereus biofilm formation, which is relevant to food safety.



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IJMS, Vol. 18, Pages 1598: An Appropriate Modulation of Lymphoproliferative Response and Cytokine Release as Possible Contributors to Longevity

IJMS, Vol. 18, Pages 1598: An Appropriate Modulation of Lymphoproliferative Response and Cytokine Release as Possible Contributors to Longevity

International Journal of Molecular Sciences doi: 10.3390/ijms18071598

Authors: Irene Martínez de Toda Carmen Vida Mónica De la Fuente

The decrease in the proliferative response of lymphocytes is one of the most evident among the age-related changes of the immune system. This has been linked to a higher risk of mortality in both humans and experimental animals. However, long-lived individuals, in spite of optimally maintaining most of the functions of the immune system, also seem to show an impaired proliferative response. Thus, it was hypothesized that these individuals may have distinct evolution times in this proliferation and a different modulatory capacity through their cytokine release profiles. An individualized longitudinal study was performed on female ICR-CD1 mice, starting at the adult age (40 weeks old), analyzing the proliferation of peritoneal leukocytes at different ages in both basal conditions and in the presence of the mitogen Concanavalin A, for 4, 24 and 48 h of culture. The cytokine secretions (IL-2, IL-17, IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α and IL-10) in the same cultures were also studied. Long-lived mice show a high proliferative capacity after short incubation times and, despite experiencing a functional decline when they are old, are able to compensate this decrease with an appropriate modulation of the lymphoproliferative response and cytokine release. This could explain their elevated resistance to infections and high longevity.



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IJMS, Vol. 18, Pages 1595: Redox Properties of Tryptophan Metabolism and the Concept of Tryptophan Use in Pregnancy

IJMS, Vol. 18, Pages 1595: Redox Properties of Tryptophan Metabolism and the Concept of Tryptophan Use in Pregnancy

International Journal of Molecular Sciences doi: 10.3390/ijms18071595

Authors: Kang Xu Hongnan Liu Miaomiao Bai Jing Gao Xin Wu Yulong Yin

During pregnancy, tryptophan (Trp) is required for several purposes, and Trp metabolism varies over time in the mother and fetus. Increased oxidative stress (OS) with high metabolic, energy and oxygen demands during normal pregnancy or in pregnancy-associated disorders has been reported. Taking the antioxidant properties of Trp and its metabolites into consideration, we made four hypotheses. First, the use of Trp and its metabolites is optional based on their antioxidant properties during pregnancy. Second, dynamic Trp metabolism is an accommodation mechanism in response to OS. Third, regulation of Trp metabolism could be used to control/attenuate OS according to variations in Trp metabolism during pregnancy. Fourth, OS-mediated injury could be alleviated by regulation of Trp metabolism in pregnancy-associated disorders. Future studies in normal/abnormal pregnancies and in associated disorders should include measurements of free Trp, total Trp, Trp metabolites, and activities of Trp-degrading enzymes in plasma. Abnormal pregnancies and some associated disorders may be associated with disordered Trp metabolism related to OS. Mounting evidence suggests that the investigation of the use of Trp and its metabolites in pregnancy will be meanful.



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Whole genome sequencing and functional features of UMX-103: a new Bacillus strain with biosurfactant producing capability

Abstract

The genus Bacillus is a Gram-positive, aerobic, endospore-forming, rod-shaped bacterium commonly found in the environment that have important industrial, medical, agriculture and environmental values. Here, we report the whole genome sequence analysis of UMX-103 which was isolated from a hydrocarbon contaminated site in Terengganu, Malaysia. An integration of both genomics and chemical approaches were conducted to analyse the biosurfactant production by the strain UMX-103. The genome was assembled using a combination of both de novo and reference-guided assembly methods. The genome size of UMX-103 is 4,234,627 bp with 4399 genes comprising of 4301 protein-coding genes and 98 RNA genes. The mapping results showed 93.44% of genome similarity with B. subtilis strain 168. We have identified 25 genes involved in biosurfactants production. Among the 25 identified genes, 14 genes were involved in surfactin biosynthesis and 11 genes were implicated in surfactin regulation. Fifteen genomic islands were identified which are different from other closely related Bacillus species. In addition, our study also revealed the genetic contents of this bacterium and genes which are involved in biosurfactant production.



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Complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Cucullaea labiata (Arcoida: Cucullaeidae) and phylogenetic implications

Abstract

The complete mitochondrial genome of Cucullaea labiata (Arcoida: Cucullaeidae) was firstly determined in this study in order to better understand the phylogenetic relationship between Cucullaeidae and Arcidae. The C. labiata mitochondrial genome was 25,845 bp in size and contained 12 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNA and 22 tRNA genes. The number and the location of the tRNA genes were different from three Arcidae species (Scapharca broughtonii, Scapharca kagoshimensis and Tegillarca granosa). Gene arrangement also differed dramatically. The length of the non-coding regions was 10,559 bp, in which the largest one (6057 bp) included eight point nine copies of a 659 bp repeat motif. The number of repeated sequences was different in different individuals, similar to the findings from the mitochondrial genome of S. broughtonii and Placopecten magellanicus. One intron was found in cox1 gene both in CL_98 and in CL_99 individuals of C. labiata. The reason why mitochondrial introns are retained so scarcely in bivalve taxa needs further research. Phylogenetic analyses based on 12 concatenated amino acid sequences of protein-coding genes supported Cucullaeidae was the sister group of Arcidae.



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Cannabis use, legalization and youth health [Letters]



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Long-term stroke prevention: We can do better [Commentary]



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A national health care data network is overdue [Editorial]



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Long-term morbidity and mortality in patients without early complications after stroke or transient ischemic attack [Research]

BACKGROUND:

Secondary prevention after stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA) has focused on high early risk of recurrence, but survivors of stroke can have substantial long-term morbidity and mortality. We quantified long-term morbidity and mortality for patients who had no early complications after stroke or TIA and community-based controls.

METHODS:

This longitudinal case–control study included all ambulatory or hospitalized patients with stroke or TIA (discharged from regional stroke centres in Ontario from 2003 to 2013) who survived for 90 days without recurrent stroke, myocardial infarction, all-cause admission to hospital, admission to an institution or death. Cases and controls were matched on age, sex and geographic location. The primary composite outcome was death, stroke, myocardial infarction, or admission to long-term or continuing care. We calculated 1-, 3- and 5-year rates of composite and individual outcomes and used cause-specific Cox regression to estimate long-term hazards for cases versus controls and for patients with stroke versus those with TIA.

RESULTS:

Among patients who were initially stable after stroke or TIA (n = 26 366), the hazard of the primary outcome was more than double at 1 year (hazard ratio [HR] 2.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.3–2.5), 3 years (HR 2.2, 95% CI 2.1–2.3) and 5 years (HR 2.1, 95% CI 2.1–2.2). Hazard was highest for recurrent stroke at 1 year (HR 6.8, 95% CI 6.1–7.5), continuing to 5 years (HR 5.1, 95% CI 4.8–5.5), and for admission to an institution (HR 2.1, 95% CI 1.9–2.2). Survivors of stroke had higher mortality and morbidity, but 31.5% (1789/5677) of patients with TIA experienced an adverse event within 5 years.

INTERPRETATION:

Patients who survive stroke or TIA without early complications are typically discharged from secondary stroke prevention services. However, these patients remain at substantial long-term risk, particularly for recurrent stroke and admission to an institution. Novel approaches to prevention, potentially embedded in community or primary care, are required for long-term management of these initially stable but high-risk patients.



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SOGC urges national enquiry into maternal deaths [News]



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Neurosyphilis mimicking autoimmune encephalitis in a 52-year-old man [Practice]



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Cannabis prohibition harms Canadas youth [Letters]



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Metastatic lung cancer presenting as cutaneous nodules [Practice]



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3D printing set to revolutionize medicine [News]



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The clinical trials on gamma globulin for polio: victims of marketing success [Humanities]



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WHO guidelines on ethical public health surveillance [News]



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Beyond integrating social sciences: Reflecting on the place of life sciences in empirical bioethics methodologies.

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Beyond integrating social sciences: Reflecting on the place of life sciences in empirical bioethics methodologies.

Med Health Care Philos. 2017 Jul 21;:

Authors: Mertz M, Schildmann J

Abstract
Empirical bioethics is commonly understood as integrating empirical research with normative-ethical research in order to address an ethical issue. Methodological analyses in empirical bioethics mainly focus on the integration of socio-empirical sciences (e.g. sociology or psychology) and normative ethics. But while there are numerous multidisciplinary research projects combining life sciences and normative ethics, there is few explicit methodological reflection on how to integrate both fields, or about the goals and rationales of such interdisciplinary cooperation. In this paper we will review some drivers for the tendency of empirical bioethics methodologies to focus on the collaboration of normative ethics with particularly social sciences. Subsequently, we argue that the ends of empirical bioethics, not the empirical methods, are decisive for the question of which empirical disciplines can contribute to empirical bioethics in a meaningful way. Using already existing types of research integration as a springboard, five possible types of research which encompass life sciences and normative analysis will illustrate how such cooperation can be conceptualized from a methodological perspective within empirical bioethics. We will conclude with a reflection on the limitations and challenges of empirical bioethics research that integrates life sciences.

PMID: 28733796 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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A Negative Slope Conductance of the Persistent Sodium Current Prolongs Subthreshold Depolarizations.

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A Negative Slope Conductance of the Persistent Sodium Current Prolongs Subthreshold Depolarizations.

Biophys J. 2017 Jul 18;:

Authors: Ceballos CC, Roque AC, Leão RM

Abstract
Neuronal subthreshold voltage-dependent currents determine membrane properties such as the input resistance (Rin) and the membrane time constant (τm) in the subthreshold range. In contrast with classical cable theory predictions, the persistent sodium current (INaP), a non-inactivating mode of the voltage-dependent sodium current, paradoxically increases Rin and τm when activated. Furthermore, this current amplifies and prolongs synaptic currents in the subthreshold range. Here, using a computational neuronal model, we showed that the creation of a region of negative slope conductance by INaP activation is responsible for these effects and the ability of the negative slope conductance to amplify and prolong Rin and τm relies on the fast activation of INaP. Using dynamic clamp in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons in brain slices, we showed that the effects of INaP on Rin and τm can be recovered by applying an artificial INaP after blocking endogenous INaP with tetrodotoxin. Furthermore, we showed that injection of a pure negative conductance is enough to reproduce the effects of INaP on Rin and τm and is also able to prolong artificial excitatory post synaptic currents. Since both the negative slope conductance and the almost instantaneous activation are critical for producing these effects, the INaP is an ideal current for boosting the amplitude and duration of excitatory post synaptic currents near the action potential threshold.

PMID: 28732557 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Bee Pollen Flavonoids as a Therapeutic Agent in Allergic and Immunological Disorders.

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Bee Pollen Flavonoids as a Therapeutic Agent in Allergic and Immunological Disorders.

Iran J Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2017 Jun;16(3):171-182

Authors: Jannesar M, Sharif Shoushtari M, Majd A, Pourpak Z

Abstract
Bee pollen grains, as the male reproductive part of seed-bearing plants contain considerable concentrations of various phytochemicals and nutrients. Since antiquity, people throughout the world used pollens to cure colds, flu, ulcers, premature aging, anemia and colitis. It is now well-documented that some bee pollen secondary metabolites (e.g. flavonoid) may have positive health effects. In recent years, the flavonoids have attracted much interest because of their wide range of biological properties and their beneficial effects on human health. The current review, points out potential therapeutic effects of bee pollen flavonoids as one of the main bee pollen bioactive compounds in allergic and immunological diseases. Due to the fact that some types of flavonoid components in bee pollen have anti-allergic, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, bee pollen flavonoids can be excellent candidates for future studies including phytotherapy, molecular pharmacology and substitutes for chemicals used in treating allergic and immunological disorders.

PMID: 28732430 [PubMed - in process]



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Is the flipped classroom model for all? Correspondence analysis from trainee instructional media designers

Abstract

The educational potentials and challenges of “flipping” a classroom are today well-documented. However, taking into account the contradictory results, literature on the benefits in using the flipped model as a socially inclusive technology-supported instructional design model is still in its infancy. This study seeks to investigate the perceptions of twenty-six (n = 26) trainee instructional media designers based on the access and use of a flipped instructional model, following an exploratory mixed method research with quantitative and qualitative data that was framed by learning concepts. Findings indicate that the flipped model supported really well exercises facilitating trainees’ participation, particularly those with specific reference to gender, age and web-based open educational resources (OER) level of frequency use. Regular recordings of difficulty with long-time content lectures were perceived as the most effective for flipped instructional model use showing that course design matters for knowledge gain. The study results also confirmed the view of flipped classroom as facilitating model for learning activities with trainees to be actively participated and not being passive receivers of the main instructor’s information or observers of other colleagues’ practices and experiments. In this context, which is defined by severe resource constraints and fear of using web-based transactions or sources among lecturers and trainees, the simplicity and accessibility of a flipped model promises a successful adoption for instructional media technology in Higher education.



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quality of care; +32 new citations

32 new pubmed citations were retrieved for your search. Click on the search hyperlink below to display the complete search results:

quality of care

These pubmed results were generated on 2017/07/23

PubMed comprises more than millions of citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.



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Polybrominated diphenyl ether flame retardant concentrations in faeces from young children in Queensland, Australia and associations with environmental and behavioural factors.

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Polybrominated diphenyl ether flame retardant concentrations in faeces from young children in Queensland, Australia and associations with environmental and behavioural factors.

Environ Res. 2017 Jul 19;158:669-676

Authors: English K, Chen Y, Toms LM, Jagals P, Ware RS, Mueller JF, Sly PD

Abstract
The aim of our study was to investigate children's exposure to the flame retardants polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) by analysing faecal content, a non-invasive matrix, as well as responses to an exposure-assessment questionnaire. A convenience sample of 61 parents with children (aged >3 months to <2 years) completed an online pre-tested questionnaire and provided faecal samples for analysis by high resolution gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. BDE-209 was the dominant congener in faecal samples adjusted to 8.3ng/g dry weight (dw), with >80% samples above the limit of detection (LOD). BDE-47 (0.23ng/g dw) and BDE-153 (0.03ng/g dw) were each detected above the LOD in approximately 60% of samples. Age was associated with BDE-47 (-7%/month) and BDE-153 (-12%/month) concentrations in faeces, but not BDE-209. Other variables associated with PBDE concentrations included features of the home (carpet, pets) and behaviour (hand-to-mouth, removing shoes, using a car sunshade, frequency of walks outdoors). However, given the small sample size of this study additional research is required to confirm these findings. In this study we demonstrated that faeces may be a viable alternative to monitor human exposure to PBDEs, but further validation studies are required.

PMID: 28734253 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Localized reductions in resting-state functional connectivity in children with prenatal alcohol exposure.

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Localized reductions in resting-state functional connectivity in children with prenatal alcohol exposure.

Hum Brain Mapp. 2017 Jul 22;:

Authors: Fan J, Taylor PA, Jacobson SW, Molteno CD, Gohel S, Biswal BB, Jacobson JL, Meintjes EM

Abstract
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) are characterized by impairment in cognitive function that may or may not be accompanied by craniofacial anomalies, microcephaly, and/or growth retardation. Resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI), which examines the low-frequency component of the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal in the absence of an explicit task, provides an efficient and powerful mechanism for studying functional brain networks even in low-functioning and young subjects. Studies using independent component analysis (ICA) have identified a set of resting-state networks (RSNs) that have been linked to distinct domains of cognitive and perceptual function, which are believed to reflect the intrinsic functional architecture of the brain. This study is the first to examine resting-state functional connectivity within these RSNs in FASD. Rs-fMRI scans were performed on 38 children with FASD (19 with either full fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) or partial FAS (PFAS), 19 nonsyndromal heavily exposed (HE)), and 19 controls, mean age 11.3 ± 0.9 years, from the Cape Town Longitudinal Cohort. Nine resting-state networks were generated by ICA. Voxelwise group comparison between a combined FAS/PFAS group and controls revealed localized dose-dependent functional connectivity reductions in five regions in separate networks: anterior default mode, salience, ventral and dorsal attention, and R executive control. The former three also showed lower connectivity in the HE group. Gray matter connectivity deficits in four of the five networks appear to be related to deficits in white matter tracts that provide intra-RSN connections. Hum Brain Mapp, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

PMID: 28734059 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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pH-sensitive amide proton transfer effect dominates the magnetization transfer asymmetry contrast during acute ischemia-quantification of multipool contribution to in vivo CEST MRI.

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pH-sensitive amide proton transfer effect dominates the magnetization transfer asymmetry contrast during acute ischemia-quantification of multipool contribution to in vivo CEST MRI.

Magn Reson Med. 2017 Jul 21;:

Authors: Wu Y, Zhou IY, Lu D, Manderville E, Lo EH, Zheng H, Sun PZ

Abstract
PURPOSE: To determine the origins of in vivo magnetization transfer asymmetry contrast during acute ischemic stroke, particularly in the diffusion lesion, perfusion lesion, and their mismatch using a middle cerebral artery occlusion rat model of acute stroke.
METHODS: Adult male Wistar rats underwent multiparametric MRI of diffusion, perfusion, T1 , and amide proton transfer (APT) imaging at 4.7 T following a middle cerebral artery occlusion procedure. A multipool Lorentzian model, including the nuclear Overhauser effect, magnetization transfer, direct water saturation, amine and amide chemical exchange saturation transfer effects, was applied for Z-spectrum fitting to determine the sources of in vivo magnetization transfer asymmetry following acute stroke.
RESULTS: We showed that changes in amine chemical exchange saturation transfer (2 ppm) and APT (3.5 ppm) effects, particularly the APT MRI effect, dominate the commonly used magnetization transfer asymmetry analysis and hence confer pH sensitivity to APT imaging of acute stroke. Also, the nuclear Overhauser effect and magnetization transfer show small changes that counteracted each other, contributing less than 0.3% to magnetization transfer asymmetry at 3.5 ppm. Moreover, we showed that diffusion lesion had worsened acidosis from perfusion/diffusion lesion mismatch (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: The study complements recent in vivo quantitative chemical exchange saturation transfer work to shed light on the sensitivity and specificity of endogenous APT MRI to tissue acidosis. Magn Reson Med, 2017. © 2017 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

PMID: 28733991 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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The Global Burden of Occupational Disease.

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The Global Burden of Occupational Disease.

Curr Environ Health Rep. 2017 Jul 21;:

Authors: Rushton L

Abstract
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Burden of occupational disease estimation contributes to understanding of both magnitude and relative importance of different occupational hazards and provides essential information for targeting risk reduction. This review summarises recent key findings and discusses their impact on occupational regulation and practice.
RECENT FINDINGS: New methods have been developed to estimate burden of occupational disease that take account of the latency of many chronic diseases and allow for exposure trends and workforce turnover. Results from these studies have shown in several countries and globally that, in spite of improvements in workplace technology, practices and exposures over the last decades, occupational hazards remain an important cause of ill health and mortality worldwide. Major data gaps have been identified particularly regarding exposure information. Reliable data on employment and disease are also lacking especially in developing countries. Burden of occupational disease estimates form an important part of decision-making processes.

PMID: 28733964 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Detection of Plasma Biomarkers Using Immunomagnetic Reduction: A Promising Method for the Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease.

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Detection of Plasma Biomarkers Using Immunomagnetic Reduction: A Promising Method for the Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease.

Neurol Ther. 2017 Jul;6(Suppl 1):37-56

Authors: Yang SY, Chiu MJ, Chen TF, Horng HE

Abstract
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. The development of assay technologies able to diagnose early-stage AD is important. Blood tests to detect biomarkers, such as amyloid and total Tau protein, are among the most promising diagnostic methods due to their low cost, low risk, and ease of operation. However, such biomarkers in blood occur at extremely low levels and are difficult to detect precisely. In the early 2000s, a highly sensitive assay technology, immunomagnetic reduction (IMR), was developed. IMR involves the use of antibody-functionalized magnetic nanoparticles dispersed in aqueous solution. The concentrations of detected molecules are converted to reductions in the ac magnetic susceptibility of this reagent due to the association between the magnetic nanoparticles and molecules. To achieve ultra-high sensitivity, a high-Tc superconducting-quantum-interference-device (SQUID) ac magnetosusceptometer was designed and applied to detect the tiny reduction in the ac magnetic susceptibility of the reagent. Currently, a 36-channeled high-Tc SQUID-based ac magnetosusceptometer is available. Using the reagent and this analyzer, extremely low concentrations of amyloid and total Tau protein in human plasma could be detected. Further, the feasibility of identifying subjects in early-stage AD via assaying plasma amyloid and total Tau protein is demonstrated. The results show a diagnostic accuracy for prodromal AD higher than 80% and reveal the possibility of screening for early-stage AD using SQUID-based IMR.

PMID: 28733955 [PubMed]



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Risk and maintenance factors for young women's DSM-5 eating disorders.

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Risk and maintenance factors for young women's DSM-5 eating disorders.

Arch Womens Ment Health. 2017 Jul 21;:

Authors: Dakanalis A, Clerici M, Bartoli F, Caslini M, Crocamo C, Riva G, Carrà G

Abstract
Recent research with young women attending colleges, who are at the average age of eating disorder (ED) onset, established that the ED symptoms are not only prevalent but also relatively stable over the college period. Nonetheless, our knowledge regarding the course and modifiable factors associated with both the onset and maintenance of diagnosable (DSM-5) EDs in this population is limited. The objective of this report was to address these key research gaps. Data were examined from 2713 women who completed assessments of potential vulnerability factors and EDs in the autumn semester of the first (baseline) and fourth (follow-up) college years. A total of 13.1% of the sample met DSM-5 criteria for an ED diagnosis at baseline. At 4-year follow-up, 7.6% of the sample met DSM-5 criteria for an ED, with 67.5% of these cases representing women who had maintained an ED diagnosis from baseline, and 32.5% representing new onset EDs. Elevated appearance-ideal internalization, body dissatisfaction, self-objectification, dieting, and negative affectivity at baseline as well as changes in these factors between assessments all predicted onset and maintenance of DSM-5 EDs at 4-year follow-up. Self-objectification (thinking about and monitoring the body's appearance from an external observer's perspective) was the largest contributor to both ED onset and maintenance. In addition to enhancing our knowledge about the course of young women's (DSM-5) EDs during college, this work highlights potentially similar psychological foci for prevention and treatment efforts. Implications for improving existing preventive and treatment approaches are outlined.

PMID: 28733894 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Assisted reproductive technology treatments and quality of life: a longitudinal study among subfertile women and men.

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Assisted reproductive technology treatments and quality of life: a longitudinal study among subfertile women and men.

J Assist Reprod Genet. 2017 Jul 21;:

Authors: Agostini F, Monti F, Andrei F, Paterlini M, Palomba S, La Sala GB

Abstract
PURPOSE: Quality of life (QoL) may represent a comprehensive indicator for the assessment of the psychological impact of complex clinical conditions, such as infertility. Infertile women have a worse QoL compared to both infertile men and non-infertile controls. However, the initial phases of infertility treatments have been frequently investigated using cross-sectional study designs. This prospective longitudinal study aimed at assessing the health-related QoL change across different phases of assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatments in subfertile women and men.
METHODS: Eighty-five subfertile women and men undergoing ART cycles were assessed at the beginning of the ovarian stimulation, during oocyte retrieval before discharging, and around 14 days after the embryo transfer. QoL was assessed through the Short Form 36.
RESULTS: Irrespective of the cause of infertility, work status, and age, QoL levels decreased from the first to the third assessment, and women scored significantly lower than men to each QoL indicator. Additionally, a higher number of previous ART failures had a negative impact on QoL, irrespective of gender and the phase of treatment. ART outcome marginally affected women's QoL across time.
CONCLUSION: Infertile women have a worse QoL throughout all phases of ARTs compared to men, and this difference increases in infertile patients with more than one previous ART failure.

PMID: 28733802 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Estimates of health utility scores in chronic kidney disease.

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Estimates of health utility scores in chronic kidney disease.

Int Urol Nephrol. 2017 Jul 21;:

Authors: Sekercioglu N, Curtis B, Murphy S, Blackhouse G, Barrett B

Abstract
INTRODUCTION: Coverage decisions in publicly funded healthcare systems require a formal, systematic and transparent assessment process for policies related to distribution of resources. The process is complex and employs multiple types of information, such as clinical effectiveness, costs and health utility scores which are used to produce quality-adjusted life years. The purpose of this study was to create health utility scores for CKD patients within the Canadian population.
METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study of CKD patients. We administered the Short-Form 36 Quality of Life Questions to all participants and employed the Short-Form 6 Dimension index to create health utility scores which were created using a set of parametric preference weights, nonparametric preference weights and ordinal health state valuation techniques obtained from a sample of the general population.
RESULTS: Utility values in the dialysis group were lower than in the non-dialysis group. There was a significant relationship between age and health utility scores: As age increases, health utility scores decrease. Diabetes was associated with lower health utility scores in dialysis patients, whereas other covariates did not reach levels of statistical significance in our stepwise regression models. The parametric Bayesian model and standard gamble approach yielded the same results, while the correlation between the nonparametric and parametric methods was above 0.9.
CONCLUSION: Health utility scores were low relative to the general population norm in our study cohort. Longitudinal assessment of CKD patients to capture possible fluctuations in health utility scores may add useful information.

PMID: 28733768 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Reconsidering betaine as a natural anti-heat stress agent in poultry industry: a review.

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Reconsidering betaine as a natural anti-heat stress agent in poultry industry: a review.

Trop Anim Health Prod. 2017 Jul 21;:

Authors: Saeed M, Babazadeh D, Naveed M, Arain MA, Hassan FU, Chao S

Abstract
Betaine is found ubiquitously in plants, animals, microorganisms, and rich dietary sources including seafood, spinach, and wheat bran. The chief physiological role of betaine is to function as a methyl donor and an osmolyte. Betaine also acts as an osmolyte, to maintain the avian's cellular water and ion balance to improve the avian's capacity against heat stress via preventing dehydration and osmotic inactivation. It helps in maintaining the protective osmolytic activity, especially in heat-stressed birds. Betaine may promote various intestinal microbes against osmotic variations and thus improve microbial fermentation activity. Previous studies showed that dietary supplementation of betaine in poultry diets could positively affect nutrients' digestibility, reduce abdominal fat weight, and increase breast meat yield. In addition, betaine has been reported to protect internal organs and boost their performance. Its inclusion in poultry diet is sparing essential amino acids like choline and methionine. In addition, it may play an important role in lean meat production by positively affecting the lipid metabolism with increased fatty acids catabolism and thus reducing carcass fat deposition. The aim of this review article was to broaden the knowledge regarding betaine and its importance in the poultry industry to cope with the heat stress problem. Moreover, it should be added to the diet as a natural anti-stressor through different routes (water/feed) to overcome the heat stress problem. However, further studies need to be conducted at the genetic and molecular basis to elucidate the mechanism behind the betaine as a natural anti-heat agent to decrease the heat stress problem in the poultry industry.

PMID: 28733762 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Expert agreed standards for the selection and development of cancer support group leaders: an online reactive Delphi study.

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Expert agreed standards for the selection and development of cancer support group leaders: an online reactive Delphi study.

Support Care Cancer. 2017 Jul 21;:

Authors: Pomery A, Schofield P, Xhilaga M, Gough K

Abstract
PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to develop pragmatic, consensus-based minimum standards for the role of a cancer support group leader. Secondly, to produce a structured interview designed to assess the knowledge, skills and attributes of the individuals who seek to undertake the role.
METHODS: An expert panel of 73 academics, health professionals, cancer agency workers and cancer support group leaders were invited to participate in a reactive online Delphi study involving three online questionnaire rounds. Participants determined and ranked requisite knowledge, skills and attributes (KSA) for cancer support group leaders, differentiated ideal from required KSA to establish minimum standards, and agreed on a method of rating KSA to determine suitability and readiness.
RESULTS: Forty-five experts (62%) participated in round 1, 36 (49%) in round 2 and 23 (31%) in round 3. In round 1, experts confirmed 59 KSA identified via a systemic review and identified a further 55 KSA. In round 2, using agreement ≥75%, 52 KSA emerged as minimum standards for support group leaders. In round 3, consensus was reached on almost every aspect of the content and structure of a structured interview. Panel member comments guided refinement of wording, re-ordering of questions and improvement of probing questions.
CONCLUSIONS: Alongside a novel structured interview, the first consensus-based minimum standards have been developed for cancer support group leaders, incorporating expert consensus and pragmatic considerations. Pilot and field testing will be used to appraise aspects of clinical utility and establish a rational scoring model for the structured interview.

PMID: 28733698 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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After infection with Leishmania infantum, Golden Hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) become more attractive to female sand flies (Lutzomyia longipalpis).

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After infection with Leishmania infantum, Golden Hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) become more attractive to female sand flies (Lutzomyia longipalpis).

Sci Rep. 2017 Jul 21;7(1):6104

Authors: Nevatte TM, Ward RD, Sedda L, Hamilton JGC

Abstract
In Brazil, human and canine visceral leishmaniasis is caused by infection with Leishmania infantum, a Protist parasite transmitted by blood-feeding female Lutzomyia longipalpis sand flies. The objective of this study was to determine if the odour of hamsters, infected with Le. infantum, was more attractive than the odour of the same hamsters, before they were infected. The attractiveness of odour collected from individual hamsters (n = 13), before they were infected, was compared in a longitudinal study, with the attractiveness of the odour of the same hamster in a Y-tube olfactometer bioassay, at a late stage of infection. The odour of six of the golden hamsters was significantly more attractive to 50% of the female sand flies at the end of infection compared to before infection and the odour of four of the golden hamsters was significantly more attractive to 75% of the female sand flies at the end of infection. These results strongly indicate that hamsters infected with Le. infantum become significantly more attractive to a greater proportion of female sand flies as the infection progresses.

PMID: 28733676 [PubMed - in process]



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Improved Liver R2* Mapping by Averaging Decay Curves.

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Improved Liver R2* Mapping by Averaging Decay Curves.

Sci Rep. 2017 Jul 21;7(1):6158

Authors: Zhang X, Peng J, Wang C, Feng Y, Feng Q, Li X, Chen W, He T

Abstract
Liver R2* mapping is often degraded by the low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) especially in the presence of severe iron. This study aims to improve liver R2* mapping at low SNRs by averaging decay curves before the process of curve-fitting. Independently filtering echo images by nonlocal means (NLM) demonstrated improved quality of R2* mapping, but may introduce new errors due to the nonlinear nature of the NLM filter, during which the averaging weights may vary with different image contents at multiple echo times. In addition, the image denoising effect of the NLM may decline when no sufficient similar patches are available. To overcome these drawbacks, we proposed to filter decay curves instead of images. In this novel scheme, decay curves were averaged in a local window, each with a weight assigned according to the curve-similarity measured by the distance between one of the neighboring curves and the targeted one. The proposed method was tested on simulated, phantom and patient data. The results demonstrate that the proposed method can provide more accurate R2* mapping compared with the NLM algorithm, and hence has the potential to improve diagnosis and therapy in patients with liver iron.

PMID: 28733666 [PubMed - in process]



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Identification and analysis of mtDNA genomes attributed to Finns reveal long-stagnant demographic trends obscured in the total diversity.

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Identification and analysis of mtDNA genomes attributed to Finns reveal long-stagnant demographic trends obscured in the total diversity.

Sci Rep. 2017 Jul 21;7(1):6193

Authors: Översti S, Onkamo P, Stoljarova M, Budowle B, Sajantila A, Palo JU

Abstract
In Europe, modern mitochondrial diversity is relatively homogeneous and suggests an ubiquitous rapid population growth since the Neolithic revolution. Similar patterns also have been observed in mitochondrial control region data in Finland, which contrasts with the distinctive autosomal and Y-chromosomal diversity among Finns. A different picture emerges from the 843 whole mitochondrial genomes from modern Finns analyzed here. Up to one third of the subhaplogroups can be considered as Finn-characteristic, i.e. rather common in Finland but virtually absent or rare elsewhere in Europe. Bayesian phylogenetic analyses suggest that most of these attributed Finnish lineages date back to around 3,000-5,000 years, coinciding with the arrival of Corded Ware culture and agriculture into Finland. Bayesian estimation of past effective population sizes reveals two differing demographic histories: 1) the 'local' Finnish mtDNA haplotypes yielding small and dwindling size estimates for most of the past; and 2) the 'immigrant' haplotypes showing growth typical of most European populations. The results based on the local diversity are more in line with that known about Finns from other studies, e.g., Y-chromosome analyses and archaeology findings. The mitochondrial gene pool thus may contain signals of local population history that cannot be readily deduced from the total diversity.

PMID: 28733587 [PubMed - in process]



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MAIT cells accumulate in placental intervillous space and display a highly cytotoxic phenotype upon bacterial stimulation.

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MAIT cells accumulate in placental intervillous space and display a highly cytotoxic phenotype upon bacterial stimulation.

Sci Rep. 2017 Jul 21;7(1):6123

Authors: Solders M, Gorchs L, Erkers T, Lundell AC, Nava S, Gidlöf S, Tiblad E, Magalhaes I, Kaipe H

Abstract
During pregnancy, the maternal immune system must tolerate the developing foetus, and yet retain a potent antimicrobial response to prevent infections. Mucosal associated invariant T (MAIT) cells recognize microbial-derived vitamin B metabolites presented on the MR1 molecule, but their presence and function at the foetal-maternal interface is not known. We here isolated mononuclear cells from paired samples of peripheral blood (PB), intervillous blood (IVB), and decidua parietalis (DP) following uncomplicated term pregnancies. Interestingly, MAIT cells were highly enriched in IVB compared to PB and DP. The activation status of IVB MAIT cells was similar to that of PB MAIT cells, except for a lower expression of PD-1. Both IVB MAIT cells and conventional T cells were more dominated by an effector memory phenotype compared to PB MAIT cells and T cells. IVB MAIT cells also responded more vigorously with expression of IFN-γ, granzyme B, and perforin in response to Escherichia coli stimulation compared to PB. MR1 was not expressed in syncytiotrophoblasts, but in placental villous and decidual macrophages. These data indicate that maternal MAIT cells accumulate in the intervillous space of the placenta and that they are highly armed to quickly respond if bacteria are encountered at the foetal-maternal interface.

PMID: 28733576 [PubMed - in process]



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Increased risk for diabetes mellitus in patients with carbon monoxide poisoning.

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Increased risk for diabetes mellitus in patients with carbon monoxide poisoning.

Oncotarget. 2017 Jun 29;:

Authors: Huang CC, Ho CH, Chen YC, Lin HJ, Hsu CC, Wang JJ, Su SB, Guo HR

Abstract
Carbon monoxide poisoning (COP) causes hypoxic injury and inflammatory and immunological reactions in the brain and local organs including the pancreas. Therefore, it is plausible that COP may increase the risk for developing diabetes mellitus (DM), but studies on this possible association are limited. We conducted a nationwide study in Taiwan to fill the data gap. We used the Nationwide Poisoning Database and the Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2000 to identify all COP patients diagnosed between 1999 and 2012 (the study cohort) and then construct a comparison cohort of patients without COP through matching at 1:3 by the index date and age. The risk for DM between the two cohorts was compared by following up until 2013. We also investigated the independent predictors for DM in all the patients. During the study period, 22,308 COP patients were identified, and 66,924 non-COP patients were included in the comparison cohort accordingly. Patients with COP had an increased risk for DM with an adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) of 1.92 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.79-2.06) after adjusting for age, sex, comorbidities, and monthly income, especially in the subgroups of age <35 years, age ≥ 65 years, female sex, and comorbidities with congestive heart failure, hyperthyroidism, and polycystic ovary syndrome. Cox proportional hazard regression analysis showed that the increased risk for DM was highest in the first month after COP (AHR= 3.38; 95% CI: 2.29-4.99) and lasted even after 4 years (AHR= 1.82; 95% CI: 1.62-2.04). We found that COP, older age, male sex, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, hyperuricemia, and low monthly income were independent predictors for DM. Intervention studies are needed to validate the results and delineate the detailed mechanisms.

PMID: 28733546 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Effects of Chinese herbal medicines on the occurrence of diabetic retinopathy in type 2 diabetes patients and protection of ARPE-19 retina cells by inhibiting oxidative stress.

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Effects of Chinese herbal medicines on the occurrence of diabetic retinopathy in type 2 diabetes patients and protection of ARPE-19 retina cells by inhibiting oxidative stress.

Oncotarget. 2017 Jun 29;:

Authors: Tsai FJ, Li TM, Ko CH, Cheng CF, Ho TJ, Liu X, Tsang H, Lin TH, Liao CC, Li JP, Huang SM, Lin JC, Lin CC, Liang WM, Lin YJ

Abstract
Diabetic retinopathy is a microvascular complication of type 2 diabetes and the leading cause of acquired blindness. In Taiwan, Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) is a popular adjunctive therapy. In this study, we investigated the CHM prescription patterns and their effects. We identified 23,701 subjects with type 2 diabetes in a database, and after matching for age and gender, 6,948 patients each were assigned to CHM and non-CHM groups. In the female subgroups, the cumulative retinopathy probability was lower for the CHM users than that for the CHM non-users (P < 0.001, log-rank test). Among the top 10 CHMs, Jia-Wei-Xiao-Yao-San (JWXYS; 52.9%), Shu-Jing-Huo-Xue-Tang (SJHXT; 45.1%), and Ge-Gen-Tang (GGT; 43.7%) were the most common herbal formulas. Yan-Hu-Suo (48.1%), Ge-Gen (42.1%), and Huang-Qin (HQin; 40.1%) were the most common single herbs. CHM network analysis showed that JWXYS was the core CHM of cluster 1. JWXYS, DS, XF, and SZRT exhibited both of the reductions of H2O2-induced phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and p44/42 MAPK (Erk1/2) in human ARPE-19 retina cells. In cluster 2, SJHXT was the core CHM. SJHXT and NX showed both of the phosphorylation reductions. In cluster 3, GGT was the core CHM, and it reduced the phosphorylation of both MAPKs. In cluster 4, HQin was the core CHM, and it also reduced the phosphorylation of both MAPKs. Our study suggests that adjunctive CHM therapy may reduce diabetic retinopathy via antioxidant activity of the herbs and provides information on core CHM treatments for further scientific investigations or therapeutic interventions.

PMID: 28733527 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Do depression and anxiety reduce the likelihood of remission in rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis? Data from the prospective multicentre NOR-DMARD study.

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Do depression and anxiety reduce the likelihood of remission in rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis? Data from the prospective multicentre NOR-DMARD study.

Ann Rheum Dis. 2017 Jul 21;:

Authors: Michelsen B, Kristianslund EK, Sexton J, Hammer HB, Fagerli KM, Lie E, Wierød A, Kalstad S, Rødevand E, Krøll F, Haugeberg G, Kvien TK

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the predictive value of baseline depression/anxiety on the likelihood of achieving joint remission in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) as well as the associations between baseline depression/anxiety and the components of the remission criteria at follow-up.
METHODS: We included 1326 patients with RA and 728 patients with PsA from the prospective observational NOR-DMARD study starting first-time tumour necrosis factor inhibitors or methotrexate. The predictive value of depression/anxiety on remission was explored in prespecified logistic regression models and the associations between baseline depression/anxiety and the components of the remission criteria in prespecified multiple linear regression models.
RESULTS: Baseline depression/anxiety according to EuroQoL-5D-3L, Short Form-36 (SF-36) Mental Health subscale ≤56 and SF-36 Mental Component Summary ≤38 negatively predicted 28-joint Disease Activity Score <2.6, Simplified Disease Activity Index ≤3.3, Clinical Disease Activity Index ≤2.8, ACR/EULAR Boolean and Disease Activity Index for Psoriatic Arthritis ≤4 remission after 3 and 6 months treatment in RA (p≤0.008) and partly in PsA (p from 0.001 to 0.73). Baseline depression/anxiety was associated with increased patient's and evaluator's global assessment, tender joint count and joint pain in RA at follow-up, but not with swollen joint count and acute phase reactants.
CONCLUSION: Depression and anxiety may reduce likelihood of joint remission based on composite scores in RA and PsA and should be taken into account in individual patients when making a shared decision on a treatment target.

PMID: 28733473 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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Helicobacter species are potent drivers of colonic T cell responses in homeostasis and inflammation.

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Helicobacter species are potent drivers of colonic T cell responses in homeostasis and inflammation.

Sci Immunol. 2017 Jul 21;2(13):

Authors: Chai JN, Peng Y, Rengarajan S, Solomon BD, Ai TL, Shen Z, Perry JSA, Knoop KA, Tanoue T, Narushima S, Honda K, Elson CO, Newberry RD, Stappenbeck TS, Kau AL, Peterson DA, Fox JG, Hsieh CS

Abstract
Specific gut commensal bacteria improve host health by eliciting mutualistic regulatory T (Treg) cell responses. However, the bacteria that induce effector T (Teff) cells during inflammation are unclear. We addressed this by analyzing bacterial-reactive T cell receptor (TCR) transgenic cells and TCR repertoires in a murine colitis model. Unexpectedly, we found that mucosal-associated Helicobacter species triggered both Treg cell responses during homeostasis and Teff cell responses during colitis, as suggested by an increased overlap between the Teff/Treg TCR repertoires with colitis. Four of six Treg TCRs tested recognized mucosal-associated Helicobacter species in vitro and in vivo. By contrast, the marked expansion of luminal Bacteroides species seen during colitis did not trigger a commensurate Teff cell response. Unlike other Treg cell-inducing bacteria, Helicobacter species are known pathobionts and cause disease in immunodeficient mice. Thus, our study suggests a model in which mucosal bacteria elicit context-dependent Treg or Teff cell responses to facilitate intestinal tolerance or inflammation.

PMID: 28733471 [PubMed]



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Erythritol production by Yarrowia lipolytica mutant strain M53 generated through atmospheric and room temperature plasma mutagenesis

Abstract

Mutants of Yarrowia lipolytica with high erythritol production were generated through an atmospheric and room temperature plasma (ARTP) mutation system. Among these mutants, Y. lipolytica M53 exhibited the highest erythritol yield. In a batch culture, M53 produced 64.8 g/L erythritol from 100 g/L glycerol. The yields of byproducts (e.g. mannitol, arabitol, and α-ketoglutaric acid) were low, and the mechanisms underlying these changes were examined by measuring enzyme activities in the pentose phosphate pathway. Up to 145.2 g/L erythritol was produced by M53 from 200 g/L of glycerol, and erythritol accumulation was promoted by 3.7 mg/L of Cu2+, 10.15 mg/L of Mn2+, and 30.37 g/L of NaCl. Fed-batch cultivation of M53 in a 5-L fermentor produced 169.3 g/L erythritol with low levels of byproducts within 168 h. This finding confirmed the potential of M53 as an erythritol producer on a commercial scale.



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Synergistic rheological behavior and morphology of yam starch and Auricularia auricula - judae polysaccharide-composite gels under processing conditions

Abstract

Polysaccharides from Auricularia auricula-judae (AP) have unique functionalities. The influence of AP-blending ratios (0.1–0.8%), temperature, pH, and ionic strength on the rheological interactions of yam starch (YS)–AP blends (YA, 6%) was investigated. YA gels showed shear-thinning behavior with flow-behavior indices of 0.28–0.37 and greater pseudoplasticity in the presence of 0.8% AP. With incremental AP addition, the viscosity and consistency indices significantly increased, whereas the activation energy decreased from 7.55 to 5.12 kJ/mol (p < 0.05). YA gels exhibited excellent thickening and heat tolerance and behaved as weak gels over an AP concentration range of 0.1–0.4% but as true gels at higher concentrations (e.g. 0.8%). The viscosity/elasticity of the combinations weakened with NaCl addition or extreme pH values. A complex 3-dimensional network structure of the YA system was confirmed by scanning electron microscopy. These results indicated that AP has great potential for functional applications in the starchy food industry.



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Survivorship of patients with head and neck cancer receiving care in a tertiary health facility in Nigeria - Dove Medical Press

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Survivorship of patients with head and neck cancer receiving care in a tertiary health facility in Nigeria
Dove Medical Press
Background: Head and neck cancer (HNC) is a major clinical and public health concern worldwide which impairs the vital functions of life. The treatment of metastatic HNCs is mainly palliative. This study examined the survival patterns and treatment ...



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Know the symptoms: Head and neck cancers often caught too late ... - New Zealand Herald

Know the symptoms: Head and neck cancers often caught too late ...
New Zealand Herald
Cosette Calder having radiation treatment for throat cancer. A plastic mask of her face was made to make sure she didn't move. Photo/Supplied. NZ Herald.
Throat cancer: The unmentioned cancer threat | Voxy.co.nzVoxy

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Know the symptoms: Head and neck cancers often caught too late - New Zealand Herald

Know the symptoms: Head and neck cancers often caught too late
New Zealand Herald
Since these cancers occurred in a range of sites, they could cause a range of different symptoms including an ulcer on the tongue, a one-sided sore throat, a husky or hoarse voice, a painless lump in the neck, swallowing problems or changes to your ...
Throat cancer: The unmentioned cancer threatVoxy

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Hamilton community rallies around Gorilla Cheese founder's battle with cancer - CHCH News

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CHCH News
Hamilton community rallies around Gorilla Cheese founder's battle with cancer
CHCH News
A special menu, games and face painting were a few features of the fundraising campaign held in Smith's honour. Smith was diagnosed in February with stage four cancer at the base of his tongue. A crowdfunding campaign was launched to provide support ...



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Mitochondrial Fatty Acid Oxidation Disorders Associated with Cardiac Disease

Abstract

Purpose of Review

To elucidate the role metabolic pathways have on pathophysiological mechanisms involving the heart, it is essential to understand how biochemical pathways influence pathophysiology, clinical findings, and treatment. In this review, we focus on fatty acid oxidation disorders that affect the heart. We enumerate the defects that arise from each step of fatty acid oxidation leading to cardiomyopathy, conduction defects, arrhythmias, and sudden death.

Recent Findings

With the advent of newborn screening, careful interpretation of diagnostic findings and early treatment, morbidity, and mortality associated with these conditions have significantly decreased. However, treatment of the energy defect alone is not enough. New potential therapies and pathobiological mechanisms will be mentioned.

Summary

Mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation disorders associated with energy defects leading to cardiac disease are reviewed (clinical, biochemical findings and treatment); while highlighting the biochemical pathways involved in the pathophysiology of these disorders.



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Thyroid cancer in a patient with Lynch syndrome – case report and literature review - Dove Medical Press

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Thyroid cancer in a patient with Lynch syndrome – case report and literature review
Dove Medical Press
Abstract: Lynch syndrome describes a familial cancer syndrome comprising germline mutations in one of four DNA mismatch repair genes, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2 and is characterized by colorectal, endometrial, and other epithelial malignancies.

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Valve Calcification in Aortic Stenosis: Etiology and Diagnostic Imaging Techniques

Aortic stenosis is the most common valvulopathy in the Western world. Its prevalence has increased significantly in recent years due to population aging; hence, up to 8% of westerners above the age of 84 now have severe aortic stenosis (Lindroos et al., 1993). This causes increased morbidity and mortality and therein lies the importance of adequate diagnosis and stratification of the degree of severity which allows planning the best therapeutic option in each case. Long understood as a passive age-related degenerative process, it is now considered a rather more complex entity involving mechanisms and factors similar to those of atherosclerosis (Stewart et al., 1997). In this review, we summarize the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the onset and progression of the disease and analyze the current role of cardiac imaging techniques for diagnosis.

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A Guide on Spectral Methods Applied to Discrete Data in One Dimension

This paper provides an overview about the usage of the Fourier transform and its related methods and focuses on the subtleties to which the users must pay attention. Typical questions, which are often addressed to the data, will be discussed. Such a problem can be the origin of frequency or band limitation of the signal or the source of artifacts, when a Fourier transform is carried out. Another topic is the processing of fragmented data. Here, the Lomb-Scargle method will be explained with an illustrative example to deal with this special type of signal. Furthermore, the time-dependent spectral analysis, with which one can evaluate the point in time when a certain frequency appears in the signal, is of interest. The goal of this paper is to collect the important information about the common methods to give the reader a guide on how to use these for application on one-dimensional data. The introduced methods are supported by the spectral package, which has been published for the statistical environment prior to this article.

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Solitary Skull Metastasis as the First Presentation of a Metachronous Primary Lung Cancer in a Survivor from Pancreatic Cancer

Skull metastasis from lung cancer is relatively common, yet the first presentation for this malignant disease is a rare occurrence. We herein report a case of a 54-year-old female, who had a good outcome following Whipple procedure for periampullary adenocarcinoma five years before her current presentation. During a routine follow-up, she was found to have a slowly progressive painless right parietal swelling. The systemic screening workup revealed no abdominal disease, but a solitary pulmonary nodule was identified. The presence of these two lesions raised the diagnosis of metastases from a previously treated pancreatic adenocarcinoma. The patient underwent complete excision of the skull lesion and subsequent lung biopsy, both of which proved on histopathological examination to be consistent with a primary lung cancer. This case emphasizes the importance of imaging and histopathological correlation in the diagnosis of solitary skull metastases and their effect on the subsequent management.

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Syntool: A Novel Region-Based Intolerance Score to Single Nucleotide Substitution for Synonymous Mutations Predictions Based on 123,136 Individuals

Background. Synonymous mutation is the single nucleotide change that does not cause an amino acid change but can affect the rate and efficiency of translation. So recent increase in our knowledge has revealed a substantial contribution of synonymous mutations to human disease risk and other complex traits. Nevertheless, there are still rarely synonymous mutation prediction methods. Methods. Nonsynonymous and synonymous coding SNPs show similar likelihood and effect size of human disease association. Here we defined synonymous and missense variation as single nucleotide substitution variation. And then we evaluated the intolerance of genic transcripts to single nucleotide substitution variation based on gnomAD 123136 individuals. After regressing all variations on common variations, we defined residuals of regression model as every genomics region intolerance scores. Results. We constructed a total of 24799 nonoverlapped region-based intolerance score by their intolerance to single nucleotide substitution variation (Syntool). The results show that Syntool score can discriminate synonymous disease causing mutations in Human Gene Mutation Database (HGMD Professional) and ClinVar database much better than others. Taken together, this study provides a novel prediction system for synonymous mutations, called Syntool, which could be helpful in identifying candidate synonymous disease causing mutations.

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Classifying Aerosols Based on Fuzzy Clustering and Their Optical and Microphysical Properties Study in Beijing, China

Classification of Beijing aerosol is carried out based on clustering optical properties obtained from three Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) sites. The fuzzy -mean (FCM) clustering algorithm is used to classify fourteen-year (2001–2014) observations, totally of 6,732 records, into six aerosol types. They are identified as fine particle nonabsorbing, two kinds of fine particle moderately absorbing (fine-MA1 and fine-MA2), fine particle highly absorbing, polluted dust, and desert dust aerosol. These aerosol types exhibit obvious optical characteristics difference. While five of them show similarities with aerosol types identified elsewhere, the polluted dust aerosol has no comparable prototype. Then the membership degree, a significant parameter provided by fuzzy clustering, is used to analyze internal variation of optical properties of each aerosol type. Finally, temporal variations of aerosol types are investigated. The dominant aerosol types are polluted dust and desert dust in spring, fine particle nonabsorbing aerosol in summer, and fine particle highly absorbing aerosol in winter. The fine particle moderately absorbing aerosol occurs during the whole year. Optical properties of the six types can also be used for radiative forcing estimation and satellite aerosol retrieval. Additionally, methodology of this study can be applied to identify aerosol types on a global scale.

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Anopheles gambiae: Metabolomic Profiles in Sugar-Fed, Blood-Fed, and Plasmodium falciparum-Infected Midgut

The mosquito midgut is a physiological organ essential for nutrient acquisition as well as an interface that encounters various mosquito-borne pathogens. Metabolomic characterization would reveal biochemical fingerprints that are generated by various cellular processes. The metabolite profiles of the mosquito midgut will provide an overview of the biochemical events in both physiological states and the dynamic responses to pathogen infections. In this study, the midgut metabolic profiles of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes following feeding with sugar, human blood, mouse blood, and Plasmodium falciparum-infected human blood were examined. A mass spectrometry system coupled to liquid and gas chromatography produced a time series of metabolites in the midgut at discrete conditions (sugar feeding, 24 h and 48 h post-normal blood and P. falciparum-infected blood feeding). Triplicates were included to ensure system validity. A total of 512 individual compounds were identified; 511 were assigned to 8 superpathways and 75 subpathways. The dataset can be used for further inquiry into the metabolic dynamics of sugar and blood digestion and of malaria parasite infection. The dataset is accessible at the repository Dryad.

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Analyses of the TIARA 43 MeV Proton Benchmark Shielding Experiments Using the ARES Transport Code

ARES is a multidimensional parallel discrete ordinates particle transport code with arbitrary order anisotropic scattering. It can be applied to a wide variety of radiation shielding calculations and reactor physics analysis. To validate the applicability of the code to accelerator shielding problems, ARES is adopted to simulate a series of accelerator shielding experiments for 43 MeV proton-7Li quasi-monoenergetic neutrons, which is performed at Takasaki Ion Accelerator for Advanced Radiation Application. These experiments on iron and concrete were analyzed using the ARES code with FENDL/MG-3.0 multigroup libraries and compared to direct measurements from the BC501A detector. The simulations show good agreement with the experimental data. The ratios of calculated values to experimental data for integrated neutron flux at peak and continuum energy regions are within 64% and 25% discrepancy for the concrete and iron experiments, respectively. The results demonstrate the accuracy and efficiency of ARES code for accelerator shielding calculation.

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Review of 3D Printed Millimeter-Wave and Terahertz Passive Devices

The 3D printing technology is catching attention nowadays. It has certain advantages over the traditional fabrication processes. We give a chronical review of the 3D printing technology from the time it was invented. This technology has also been used to fabricate millimeter-wave (mmWave) and terahertz (THz) passive devices. Though promising results have been demonstrated, the challenge lies in the fabrication tolerance improvement such as dimensional tolerance and surface roughness. We propose the design methodology of high order device to circumvent the dimensional tolerance and suggest specific modelling of the surface roughness of 3D printed devices. It is believed that, with the improvement of the 3D printing technology and related subjects in material science and mechanical engineering, the 3D printing technology will become mainstream for mmWave and THz passive device fabrication.

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A Decoupling Control Method for Shunt Hybrid Active Power Filter Based on Generalized Inverse System

In this paper, a novel decoupling control method based on generalized inverse system is presented to solve the problem of SHAPF (Shunt Hybrid Active Power Filter) possessing the characteristics of 2-input-2-output nonlinearity and strong coupling. Based on the analysis of operation principle, the mathematical model of SHAPF is firstly built, which is verified to be invertible using interactor algorithm; then the generalized inverse system of SHAPF is obtained to connect in series with the original system so that the composite system is decoupled under the generalized inverse system theory. The PI additional controller is finally designed to control the decoupled 1-order pseudolinear system to make it possible to adjust the performance of the subsystem. The simulation results demonstrated by MATLAB show that the presented generalized inverse system strategy can realise the dynamic decoupling of SHAPF. And the control system has fine dynamic and static performance.

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Statistical Similarity Based Change Detection for Multitemporal Remote Sensing Images

Change detection (CD) of any surface using multitemporal remote sensing images is an important research topic since up-to-date information about earth surface is of great value. Abrupt changes are occurring in different earth surfaces due to natural disasters or man-made activities which cause damage to that place. Therefore, it is necessary to observe the changes for taking necessary steps to recover the subsequent damage. This paper is concerned with this issue and analyzes statistical similarity measure to perform CD using remote sensing images of the same scene taken at two different dates. A variation of normalized mutual information (NMI) as a similarity measure has been developed here using sliding window of different sizes. In sliding window approach, pixels’ local neighborhood plays a significant role in computing the similarity compared to the whole image. Thus the insignificant global characteristics containing noise and sparse samples can be avoided when evaluating the probability density function. Therefore, NMI with different window sizes is proposed here to identify changes using multitemporal data. Experiments have been carried out using two separate multitemporal remote sensing images captured one year apart and one month apart, respectively. Experimental analysis reveals that the proposed technique can detect up to 97.71% of changes which outperforms the traditional approaches.

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Novel Thiazole Derivatives of Medicinal Potential: Synthesis and Modeling

This paper reports on the synthesis of new thiazole derivatives that could be profitably exploited in medical treatment of tumors. Molecular electronic structures have been modeled within density function theory (DFT) framework. Reactivity indices obtained from the frontier orbital energies as well as electrostatic potential energy maps are discussed and correlated with the molecular structure. X-ray crystallographic data of one of the new compounds is measured and used to support and verify the theoretical results.

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Changes of Blood Flux at BL21 and Points along BL Meridian Resulted from Acupuncture or Moxibustion: Case Cross Design Study

Acupuncture (Acup) and moxibustion (Moxi) are commonly used interventions in clinical practice. However, the difference between Acup and moxibustion mechanisms is unclear. In current study, blood perfusion responses resulted from Acup or Moxi at Weishu acupoint (BL21) and control points were explored, respectively. The time series of blood flux signals at BL21 and control points were transformed with Morlet wavelet, and the differences in each frequency interval were observed. The results suggested that acupoint response to different stimulation is a comprehensive process which related to all components of blood perfusion signals. Whereas the different response at control points was not observed, there has been significant difference coherence value between Acup and Moxi stimulation. The results suggested the influence of Acup and Moxi not only on the level of blood perfusion at local area; the intrinsic relevance after stimulation which can be evaluated by coherence analysis is also an appropriate index to distinguish different stimulations.

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Tendon-Sheath Mechanisms in Flexible Membrane Wing Mini-UAVs: Control and Performance

Flexible membrane wings (FMWs) are known for two inherent advantages, that is, adaptability to gusty airflow as the wings can flex according to the gust load to reduce the effective angle of attack and the ability to be folded for compact storage purposes. However, the maneuverability of UAV with FMWs is rather limited as it is impossible to install conventional ailerons. The maneuver relies only on the rudders. Some applications utilize torque rods to warp the wings, but this approach makes the FMW become unfoldable. In this research, we proposed the application of a tendon-sheath mechanism to manipulate the wing shape of UAV. Tendon-sheath mechanism is relatively flexible; thus, it can also be folded together with the wings. However, its severe nonlinearity in its dynamics makes the wing warping difficult to control. To compensate for the nonlinearity, a dedicated adaptive controller is designed and implemented. The proposed approach is validated experimentally in a wind tunnel facility with imitated gusty condition and subsequently tested in a real flight condition. The results demonstrate a stable and robust wing warping actuation, while the adaptive washout capability is also validated. Accurate wing warping is achieved and the UAV is easily controlled in a real flight test.

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Modified Mahalanobis Taguchi System for Imbalance Data Classification

The Mahalanobis Taguchi System (MTS) is considered one of the most promising binary classification algorithms to handle imbalance data. Unfortunately, MTS lacks a method for determining an efficient threshold for the binary classification. In this paper, a nonlinear optimization model is formulated based on minimizing the distance between MTS Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) curve and the theoretical optimal point named Modified Mahalanobis Taguchi System (MMTS). To validate the MMTS classification efficacy, it has been benchmarked with Support Vector Machines (SVMs), Naive Bayes (NB), Probabilistic Mahalanobis Taguchi Systems (PTM), Synthetic Minority Oversampling Technique (SMOTE), Adaptive Conformal Transformation (ACT), Kernel Boundary Alignment (KBA), Hidden Naive Bayes (HNB), and other improved Naive Bayes algorithms. MMTS outperforms the benchmarked algorithms especially when the imbalance ratio is greater than 400. A real life case study on manufacturing sector is used to demonstrate the applicability of the proposed model and to compare its performance with Mahalanobis Genetic Algorithm (MGA).

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Effect of Solidification Rate and Rare Earth Metal Addition on the Microstructural Characteristics and Porosity Formation in A356 Alloy

The present study was performed on A356 alloy with the main aim of investigating the effects of La and Ce additions to 356 alloys (with and without 100 ppm Sr) on the microstructure and porosity formation in these alloys. Measured amounts of La, Ce, and Sr were added to the molten alloy. The results showed that, in the absence of Sr, addition of La and Ce leads to an increase in the nucleation temperature of the α-Al dendritic network with a decrease in the temperature of the eutectic Si precipitation, resulting in increasing the freezing range. Addition of 100 ppm Sr results in neutralizing these effects. The presence of La or Ce in the casting has a minor effect on eutectic Si modification, in spite of the observed depression in the eutectic temperature. It should be noted that Ce is more effective than La as an alternate modifying agent. According to the atomic radius ratio, is 1.604 and is 1.559, theoretically, which shows that Ce is relatively more effective than La. The present findings confirm that Sr is the most dominating modification agent. Interaction between rare earth (RE) metals and Sr would reduce the effectiveness of Sr. Although modification with Sr causes the formation of shrinkage porosity, it also reacts with RE-rich intermetallics, resulting in their fragmentation.

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Prediction of Frost-Heaving Behavior of Saline Soil in Western Jilin Province, China, by Neural Network Methods

In this study, backpropagation neural network (BPNN) and generalized regression neural network (GRNN) approaches are used to predict the frost-heaving ratio (FR) of the saline soil specimen collected from Nong’an, Western Jilin, China. Four variables, namely, water content (WC), compactness, temperature, and content of soluble salts (CSS), are considered in predicting FR. A total of 360 pieces of data, collected from the experimental results, in which 30 pieces of data were selected randomly as the testing set data and the rest of the data were treated as the training set data, are applied to develop the prediction models. The predicted data from the models are compared with the experimental data. Then, the results of the two approaches are compared to obtain a relatively reliable model. Results indicate that the prediction model for the FR of saline soil in Nong’an can be successfully established using the GRNN method. Four new GRNN models are constructed for sensitivity analysis to assess the influence degree of the influencing factors, and the results indicate that water content is the most influential variable in the FR of the saline soil specimen, whereas content of soluble salts is the least influential variable.

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Corrigendum to “Prenatal Diagnosis of Cardiac Diverticulum with Pericardial Effusion in the First Trimester of Pregnancy with Resolution after Early Pericardiocentesis”



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Baseline Characteristics of the Paediatric Observation Priority Score in Emergency Departments outside Its Centre of Derivation

Objectives and Background. Scoring systems in Emergency Departments (EDs) are rarely validated. This study aimed to examine the Paediatric Observation Priority Score (POPS), a method of quantifying patient acuity, in EDs in the United Kingdom, and determine baseline performance characteristics. Methods. POPS was implemented in 4 EDs for children (ages of 0 to 16) with participants grouped into 3 categories: discharged from ED, discharged but with return within 7 days, and admitted for less or more than 24 hours. Results. 3323 participants with POPS scores ranging from 0 to 11 (mean = 2.33) were included. The proportion of each POPS score varied between sites with approximately 10–20% being POPS 0 and 12–25% POPS greater than 4. Odds ratio of readmission with POPS 5–9 against 0–4 was 2.05 (CI 1.20 to 3.52). POPS 0–4 showed no significant difference (p = 0.93) in relation to admission/discharge rates between sites with a significant difference found (p 5. Conclusion. It is feasible to implement POPS into EDs with similar performance characteristics to the original site of development. There is now evidence to support a wider health service evaluation to refine and improve the performance of POPS.

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Whole-Body SPECT/CT versus Planar Bone Scan with Targeted SPECT/CT for Metastatic Workup

Purpose. The use of SPECT/CT in bone scans has been widespread in recent years, but there are no specific guidelines concerning the optimal acquisition protocol. Two strategies have been proposed: targeted SPECT/CT for equivocal lesions detected on planar images or systematic whole-body SPECT/CT. Our aim was to compare the diagnostic accuracy of the two approaches. Methods. 212 consecutive patients with a history of cancer were referred for bone scans to detect bone metastases. Two experienced readers randomly evaluated for each patient either planar images with one-field SPECT/CT targeted on equivocal focal uptakes (targeted SPECT/CT) or a whole-body (two-field) SPECT/CT acquisition from the base of the skull to the proximal femurs (whole-body SPECT/CT). The exams were categorized as “nonmetastatic,” “equivocal,” or “metastatic” on both protocols. The presence or absence of any extra-axial skeletal lesions was also assessed. The sensitivity and specificity of both strategies were measured using the results of subsequent imaging follow-up as the reference standard. Results. Whole-body SPECT/CT had a significantly higher sensitivity than targeted SPECT/CT to detect bone metastases and to detect extra-axial metastases . There was no significant difference in specificity among the two approaches. Conclusion. Whole-body SPECT/CT is the optimal modality of choice for metastatic workup, including detection of extra-axial lesions, with improved sensitivity and similar specificity compared to targeted SPECT/CT.

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Antifungal Activity of New Eugenol-Benzoxazole Hybrids against Candida spp.

Eugenol is a natural allylphenol responsible for a wide range of biological activities, especially antimicrobial. Benzoxazoles are heterocycles with recognized antimicrobial activities. This paper describes the design, synthesis, and the biological results for benzoxazole type derivatives of eugenol as antifungal agents. The products were obtained in good yields by a four-step synthetic sequence involving aromatic nitration, nitroreduction, amide formation, and cycle condensation. They were evaluated against species of Candida spp. in microdilution assays, and four products (5a, 5b′, 5c, and 5d′) were about five times more active than eugenol against C. albicans and C. glabrata. Two of them (5b′ and 5d′) showed good activity against C. krusei, a species which is naturally resistant to fluconazole. Furthermore, the active products were more selective than eugenol against human blood cells, showing that they are interesting substances for further optimization.

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