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Δευτέρα, 5 Φεβρουαρίου 2018

Clinical implementation of contrast-enhanced four-dimensional dual-energy computed tomography for target delineation of pancreatic cancer

The accurate delineation of pancreatic tumor with respiratory motion is challenging. This study demonstrates the application of contrast-enhanced four-dimensional dual-energy computed tomography (CE-4D-DECT) for tumor delineation and assesses the objective and subjective image quality.

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Mobility of 232Th and 210Po in red mud

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Publication date: April 2018
Source:Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Volumes 184–185
Author(s): Miklós Hegedűs, Edit Tóth-Bodrogi, Jácint Jónás, János Somlai, Tibor Kovács
The valorization of industrial by-products such as red mud became a tempting opportunity, but the understanding of the risks involved is required for the safe utilization of these products. One of the risks involved are the elevated levels of radionuclides (in the 100–1300 Bq/kg range for both the 238U and 232 Th decay chains, but usually lower than 1000 Bq/kg, which is the recommended limit for excemption or clearance according to the EU BSS released in 2013) in red mud that can affect human health. There is no satisfactory answer for the utilization of red mud; the main current solution is still almost exclusively disposal into a landfill. For the safe utilization and deposition of red mud, it is important to be able to assess the leaching behaviour of radionuclides. Because there is no commonly accepted measurement protocol for testing the leaching of radionuclides in the EU a combined measurement protocol was made and tested based on heavy metal leaching methods. The leaching features of red mud were studied by methods compliant with the MSZ-21470-50 Hungarian standard, the CEN/TS 14429 standard and the Tessier sequential extraction method for 232Th and 210Po. The leached solutions were taken to radiochemical separation followed by spontaneous deposition for Po and electrodeposition for Th. The 332 ± 33 Bq/kg 232Th content was minimally mobile, 1% became available for distilled water 1% and 6% for Lakanen-Erviö solution; the Tessier extraction showed minimal mobility in the first four steps, while more than 85% remained in the residue. The 210Po measurements had a severe disturbing effect in many cases, probably due to large amounts of iron present in the red mud, from the 310 ± 12 Bq/kg by aqua regia digestion, distilled water mobilized 23%, while Lakanen-Erviö solution mobilized ∼13%. The proposed protocol is suitable for the analysis of Th and Po leaching behaviour.



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Endovascular Treatment of Dural Arteriovenous Fistulas of the Anterior or Posterior Condylar Vein

Abstract

Dural arteriovenous fistulas (DAVF) involving the anterior and posterior condylar vein at the skull base are rare but important to recognize. Due to the highly variable anatomy of the venous system of the skull base, detailed anatomical knowledge is essential for correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment of these lesions. In this report we review the normal anatomy of the condylar veins and describe rare and, to our knowledge, not previously reported anatomical variants. We also highlight the treatment modalities for these lesions with focus on the endovascular transvenous occlusion based on four consecutive cases from our center.



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Corrective outcome and transverse stability after orthognathic surgery using a surgery-first approach in mandibular prognathism with and without facial asymmetry

Publication date: Available online 5 February 2018
Source:Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology
Author(s): Jinyuan Guo, Tongyue Wang, Jeong Joon Han, Seunggon Jung, Min-Suk Kook, Hong-Ju Park, Hee-Kyun Oh
ObjectivesTo evaluate corrective outcome and transverse stability after orthognathic surgery via a surgery-first approach (SFA) in mandibular prognathism with and without facial asymmetry using three-dimensional analysis.Study DesignTwenty-nine patients who received mandibular setback surgery using SFA were divided into two groups according to the menton deviation (4 mm): symmetry group (n=17) and asymmetry group (n=12). Using computed tomography images obtained before (T0), immediately after (T1), and 6 months after (T2) surgery, time-dependent changes in variables related to facial asymmetry including maxillary height, ramal length, frontal and lateral ramal inclination, mandibular body length, and mandibular body height were evaluated.ResultsImmediately after surgery, asymmetry group showed significantly decreased discrepancies between longer and non-longer sides for all variables (P < .05); there was no significant differences in discrepancies between the two groups. During the postoperative periods, no significant changes in discrepancies were found in any variable in either group. Compared with T0, the asymmetry group showed significantly decreased discrepancies in ramal length, frontal and lateral ramal inclination, and mandibular body length at T2.ConclusionVariables related to facial asymmetry showed significant improvement after surgical-orthodontic treatment using SFA, and corrected outcomes showed good postoperative stability in both symmetry and asymmetry groups.



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European Society of Neuroradiology (ESNR)



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New mechanistic insights on the metabolic-disruptor role of chlorpyrifos in apoE mice: a focus on insulin- and leptin-signalling pathways

Abstract

Recently, we have provided evidence, suggesting that mice expressing the human apolipoprotein E3 (apoE3) are more prone to develop an obesity-like phenotype and a diabetic profile when subchronically fed a chlorpyrifos (CPF)-supplemented diet. The aim of the current study was to examine the underlying mechanisms through which CPF alters both insulin- and leptin-signalling pathways in an APOE-dependent manner. Both adult apoE3- and E4-targeted replacement and C57BL/6 mice were exposed to CPF at 0 or 2 mg/kg body weight/day through the diet for 8 consecutive weeks. We determined the expression of JAK2, p-JAK2, STAT3, p-STAT3, SOCS3, IRS-1, p-IRS-1, AKT, p-AKT, GSK3β, p-GSK3β, and apoE in the liver, as well as hepatic mRNA levels of pon1, pon2, and pon3. CPF markedly disrupted both leptin and insulin homeostasis, particularly in apoE3 mice. Indeed, only CPF-fed apoE3 mice exhibited an increased phosphorylation ratio of STAT3, as well as increased total SOCS3 protein levels. Similarly, the exposure to CPF drastically reduced the phosphorylation ratio of both AKT and GSK3β, especially in apoE3 mice. Overall, CPF reduced the expression of the three pon genes, principally in C57BL/6 and apoE3 mice. These results provide notable mechanistic insights on the metabolic effects of the pesticide CPF, and attest the increased vulnerability of apoE3 carriers to its metabolic-disruptor role.



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Monilethrix: A case report imaged by trichoscopy, reflectance confocal microscopy and histopathology



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Interleukins and their signaling pathways in the Reactome biological pathway database

There is a wealth of biological pathway information available in the scientific literature but it is spread across many thousands of publications. Alongside publications that contain definitive experimental discoveries are many others that have been dismissed as spurious, or found to be irreproducible, or are contradicted by later results and consequently now considered controversial. Many descriptions and images of pathways are incomplete, stylized representations that assume the reader is an expert, familiar with the established details of the process, which are consequently not fully explained.

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Editorial Board

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Publication date: 1 February 2018
Source:Experimental Cell Research, Volume 363, Issue 1





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DN604: A platinum(II) drug candidate with classic SAR can induce apoptosis via suppressing CK2-mediated p-cdc25C subcellular localization in cancer cells

Publication date: Available online 4 February 2018
Source:Experimental Cell Research
Author(s): Feihong Chen, Xiufeng Jin, Jian Zhao, Shaohua Gou
DN604, a carboplatin analogue with a functional dicarboxylato ligand, was deeply investigated to explore its ability to induce apoptosis as well as its antitumor mechanism of action. Both in vitro and in vivo assays indicated that DN604 could effectively inhibit cell viability of SGC-7901 gastric cancer cells and exhibited stronger antitumor activity than carboplatin and comparable activity to cisplatin. Significantly in contrast to cisplatin, DN604 resulted in negligible toxic effects in vivo with the same tumor growth inhibition effect as cisplatin. The mechanism study indicated that DN604 inhibited CK2-phosphorylated cdc25C activation to decrease p-cdc25C subcellular localization, leading to the inactivation of cdc2/Cyclin B and G2/M cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in SGC-7901 cancer cells. Our research revealed for the first time that the dicarboxylato ligand containing a suitable functional moiety as the leaving group in the platinum(II) complex can effectively induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis via inhibiting key checkpoint proteins.

Graphical abstract

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Genotype prediction of ATRX mutation in lower-grade gliomas using an MRI radiomics signature

Abstract

Objectives

To predict ATRX mutation status in patients with lower-grade gliomas using radiomic analysis.

Methods

Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) patients with lower-grade gliomas were randomly allocated into training (n = 63) and validation (n = 32) sets. An independent external-validation set (n = 91) was built based on the Chinese Genome Atlas (CGGA) database. After feature extraction, an ATRX-related signature was constructed. Subsequently, the radiomic signature was combined with a support vector machine to predict ATRX mutation status in training, validation and external-validation sets. Predictive performance was assessed by receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. Correlations between the selected features were also evaluated.

Results

Nine radiomic features were screened as an ATRX-associated radiomic signature of lower-grade gliomas based on the LASSO regression model. All nine radiomic features were texture-associated (e.g. sum average and variance). The predictive efficiencies measured by the area under the curve were 94.0 %, 92.5 % and 72.5 % in the training, validation and external-validation sets, respectively. The overall correlations between the nine radiomic features were low in both TCGA and CGGA databases.

Conclusions

Using radiomic analysis, we achieved efficient prediction of ATRX genotype in lower-grade gliomas, and our model was effective in two independent databases.

Key Points

• ATRX in lower-grade gliomas could be predicted using radiomic analysis.

• The LASSO regression algorithm and SVM performed well in radiomic analysis.

• Nine radiomic features were screened as an ATRX-predictive radiomic signature.

• The machine-learning model for ATRX-prediction was validated by an independent database.



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High-pitch low-voltage CT coronary artery calcium scoring with tin filtration: accuracy and radiation dose reduction

Abstract

Objectives

To investigate diagnostic accuracy and radiation dose of high-pitch CT coronary artery calcium scoring (CACS) with tin filtration (Sn100kVp) versus standard 120kVp high-pitch acquisition.

Methods

78 patients (58% male, 61.5±9.1 years) were prospectively enrolled. Subjects underwent clinical 120kVp high-pitch CACS using third-generation dual-source CT followed by additional high-pitch Sn100kVp acquisition. Agatston scores, calcium volume scores, Agatston score categories, percentile-based risk categorization and radiation metrics were compared.

Results

61/78 patients showed coronary calcifications. Median Agatston scores were 34.9 [0.7–197.1] and 41.7 [0.7–207.2] and calcium volume scores were 34.1 [0.7–218.0] for Sn100kVp and 35.7 [1.1–221.0] for 120kVp acquisitions, respectively (both p<0.0001). Bland-Altman analysis revealed underestimated Agatston scores and calcium volume scores with Sn100kVp versus 120kVp acquisitions (mean difference: 16.4 and 11.5). However, Agatston score categories and percentile-based risk categories showed excellent agreement (ĸ=0.98 and ĸ=0.99). Image noise was 25.8±4.4HU and 16.6±2.9HU in Sn100kVp and 120kVp scans, respectively (p<0.0001). Dose-length-product was 9.9±4.8mGy*cm and 40.9±14.4mGy*cm with Sn100kVp and 120kVp scans, respectively (p<0.0001). This resulted in significant effective radiation dose reduction (0.13±0.07mSv vs. 0.57±0.2mSv, p<0.0001) for Sn100kVp acquisitions.

Conclusion

CACS using high-pitch low-voltage tin-filtered acquisitions demonstrates excellent agreement in Agatston score and percentile-based cardiac risk categorization with standard 120kVp high-pitch acquisitions. Furthermore, radiation dose was significantly reduced by 78% while maintaining accurate risk prediction.

Key points

• Coronary artery calcium scoring with tin filtration reduces radiation dose by 78%.

• There is excellent correlation between high-pitch Sn100kVp and standard 120kVp acquisitions.

• Excellent agreement regarding Agatston score categories and percentile-based risk categorization was achieved.

• No cardiac risk reclassifications were observed using Sn100kVp coronary artery calcium scoring.



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Liver fibrosis: stretched exponential model outperforms mono-exponential and bi-exponential models of diffusion-weighted MRI

Abstract

Objectives

To compare the ability of diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) parameters acquired from three different models for the diagnosis of hepatic fibrosis (HF).

Methods

Ninety-five patients underwent DWI using nine b values at 3 T magnetic resonance. The hepatic apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) from a mono-exponential model, the true diffusion coefficient (Dt ), pseudo-diffusion coefficient (Dp ) and perfusion fraction (f) from a biexponential model, and the distributed diffusion coefficient (DDC) and intravoxel heterogeneity index (α) from a stretched exponential model were compared with the pathological HF stage. For the stretched exponential model, parameters were also obtained using a dataset of six b values (DDC#, α#). The diagnostic performances of the parameters for HF staging were evaluated with Obuchowski measures and receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis. The measurement variability of DWI parameters was evaluated using the coefficient of variation (CoV).

Results

Diagnostic accuracy for HF staging was highest for DDC# (Obuchowski measures, 0.770 ± 0.03), and it was significantly higher than that of ADC (0.597 ± 0.05, p < 0.001), Dt (0.575 ± 0.05, p < 0.001) and f (0.669 ± 0.04, p = 0.035). The parameters from stretched exponential DWI and Dp showed higher areas under the ROC curve (AUCs) for determining significant fibrosis (≥F2) and cirrhosis (F = 4) than other parameters. However, Dp showed significantly higher measurement variability (CoV, 74.6%) than DDC# (16.1%, p < 0.001) and α# (15.1%, p < 0.001).

Conclusions

Stretched exponential DWI is a promising method for HF staging with good diagnostic performance and fewer b-value acquisitions, allowing shorter acquisition time.

Key Points

• Stretched exponential DWI provides a precise and accurate model for HF staging.

• Stretched exponential DWI parameters are more reliable than D p from bi-exponential DWI model

• Acquisition of six b values is sufficient to obtain accurate DDC and α



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Are pancreatic IPMN volumes measured on MRI images more reproducible than diameters? An assessment in a large single-institution cohort

Abstract

Objectives

To assess reproducibility of volume and diameter measurement of intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs) on MRI images.

Methods

Three readers measured the diameters and volumes of 164 IPMNs on axial T2-weighted images and coronal thin-slice navigator heavily T2-weighted images using manual and semiautomatic techniques. Interobserver reproducibility and variability were assessed.

Results

Interobserver intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) for the largest diameter measured using manual and semiautomatic techniques were 0.979 and 0.909 in the axial plane, and 0.969 and 0.961 in the coronal plane, respectively. Interobserver ICCs for the volume measurements were 0.973 and 0.970 in axial and coronal planes, respectively. The highest intraobserver reproducibility was noted for coronal manual measurements (ICC 0.981) followed by axial manual measurements (ICC 0.969). For the diameter measurements, Bland-Altman analysis revealed the lowest interobserver variability for manual axial measurements with an average range of 95% limits of agreement (LOA) of 0.68 cm. Axial and coronal volume measurements showed similar 95% LOA ranges (8.9 cm3 and 9.4 cm3, respectively).

Conclusions

Volume and diameter measurements on axial and coronal images show good interobserver and intraobserver reproducibility. The single largest diameter measured manually on axial images showed the highest reproducibility and lowest variability. The 95% LOA may help define reproducible size changes in these lesions using measurements from different readers.

Key Points

• MRI measurements by different radiologists can be used for IPMN follow-up.

• Both diameter and volume measurements demonstrate excellent interobserver and intraobserver reproducibility.

• Manual axial measurements show the highest interobserver reproducibility in determining size.

• Axial and coronal volume measurements show similar limits of agreement.

• Manual axial measurements show the lowest variability in agreement range.



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Dual-energy CT: a phantom comparison of different platforms for abdominal imaging

Abstract

Objectives

Evaluation of imaging performance across dual-energy CT (DECT) platforms, including dual-layer CT (DLCT), rapid-kVp-switching CT (KVSCT) and dual-source CT (DSCT).

Methods

A semi-anthropomorphic abdomen phantom was imaged on these DECT systems. Scans were repeated three times for CTDIvol levels of 10 mGy, 20 mGy, 30 mGy and different fat-simulating extension rings. Over the available range of virtual-monoenergetic images (VMI), noise as well as quantitative accuracy of hounsfield units (HU) and iodine concentrations were evaluated.

Results

For all VMI levels, HU values could be determined with high accuracy compared to theoretical values. For KVSCT and DSCT, a noise increase was observed towards lower VMI levels. A patient-size dependent increase in the uncertainty of quantitative iodine concentrations is observed for all platforms. For a medium patient size the iodine concentration root-mean-square deviation at 20 mGy is 0.17 mg/ml (DLCT), 0.30 mg/ml (KVSCT) and 0.77mg/ml (DSCT).

Conclusion

Noticeable performance differences are observed between investigated DECT systems. Iodine concentrations and VMI HUs are accurately determined across all DECT systems. KVSCT and DLCT deliver slightly more accurate iodine concentration values than DSCT for investigated scenarios. In DLCT, low-noise and high-image contrast at low VMI levels may help to increase diagnostic information in abdominal CT.

Key Points

• Current dual-energy CT platforms provide accurate, reliable quantitative information.

• Dual-energy CT cross-platform evaluation revealed noticeable performance differences between different systems.

• Dual-layer CT offers constant noise levels over the complete energy range.



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Endovascular interventional modalities for haemorrhage control in abnormal placental implantation deliveries: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Abstract

Objectives

To examine the evidence regarding the effectiveness and safety of endovascular interventional modalities for haemorrhage control in abnormal placentation deliveries.

Methods

MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) were searched from inception to July 2017. Blood loss volume was regarded as the primary endpoint. Other important results are described. Random and fixed effects models were used for the meta-analysis.

Results

Of 385 studies identified, 69 (1,811 patients, mean age 32.9 years, range 23–39 years) were included. Mean gestational age at delivery was 35.1 weeks (range 27–38 weeks). Of 1,395 patients who underwent endovascular intervention, 587 (42%) had placenta accreta, 254 (18%) placenta increta and 313 (22%) placenta percreta. Prophylactic balloon occlusion of the internal iliac arteries (PBOIIA) was performed in 470 patients (33.6%), of the abdominal aorta (PBOAA) in 460 patients (33%), of the uterine artery (PBOUA) in 181 patients (13%), and of the common iliac arteries (PBOCIA) in 21 patients (1.5%). Primary embolization of the UA was performed in 246 patients (18%), of the pelvic collateral arteries in 12 patients (0.9%), and of the anterior division of the IIA in 5 patients (0.3%). Follow-up ranged from 0.5 to 42 months. Endovascular intervention was associated with less blood loss than no endovascular intervention (p < 0.001) with the lowest blood loss volume in patients who underwent PBOAA (p < 0.001). PBOAA was associated with a lower rate of hysterectomy (p = 0.030). Endovascular intervention did not result in increases in operative time or hospital stay.

Conclusions

Endovascular intervention is effective in controlling haemorrhage in abnormal placentation deliveries. PBOAA was associated with a lower rate of hysterectomy and less blood loss than other modalities.

Key points

• Endovascular intervention in abnormal placentation deliveries is effective in reducing blood loss.

• Endovascular intervention did not result in longer operative time or hospital stay.

• Prophylactic balloon occlusion of the abdominal aorta is superior to other modalities.



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Imaging prediction of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis using computed tomography texture analysis

Abstract

Objectives

To determine if texture analysis of non-contrast-enhanced CT (NECT) images is able to predict nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

Methods

NECT images from 88 patients who underwent a liver biopsy for the diagnosis of suspected NASH were assessed and texture feature parameters were obtained without and with filtration. The patient population was divided into a predictive learning dataset and a validation dataset, and further divided into groups according to the prediction of liver fibrosis as assessed by hyaluronic acid levels. The reference standard was the histological result of a liver biopsy. A predictive model for NASH was developed using parameters derived from the learning dataset that demonstrated areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of >0.65. The resulting model was then applied to the validation dataset.

Results

In patients without suspected fibrosis, the texture parameter mean without filter and skewness with a 2-mm filter were selected for the NASH prediction model. The AUC of the predictive model for the validation dataset was 0.94 and the accuracy was 94%. In patients with suspicion of fibrosis, the mean without filtration and kurtosis with a 4-mm filter were selected for the NASH prediction model. The AUC for the validation dataset was 0.60 and the accuracy was 42%.

Conclusions

In patients without suspicion of fibrosis, NECT texture analysis effectively predicted NASH.

Key Points

• In patients without suspicion of fibrosis, NECT texture analysis effectively predicted NASH.

• The mean without filtration and skewness with a 2-mm filter were modest predictors of NASH in patients without suspicion of liver fibrosis.

• Hepatic fibrosis masks the characteristic texture features of NASH.



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The unpalatable truth about your favourite foods

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Marion Nestle has been fighting food industry giants for decades. Now she wants to expose the way they skew scientific research for their own gain

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What are the main barriers to uptake of breast cancer screening in Iran? https://t.co/uIzUJFz5pn https://t.co/ctaP2U1ONw

What are the main barriers to uptake of breast cancer screening in Iran? https://t.co/uIzUJFz5pn https://t.co/ctaP2U1ONw

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The unpalatable truth about your favourite foods

Marion Nestle has been fighting food industry giants for decades. Now she wants to expose the way they skew scientific research for their own gain

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IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 273: Evaluating the Hydrologic Performance of Low Impact Development Scenarios in a Micro Urban Catchment

IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 273: Evaluating the Hydrologic Performance of Low Impact Development Scenarios in a Micro Urban Catchment

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15020273

Authors: Chunlin Li Miao Liu Yuanman Hu Rongqing Han Tuo Shi Xiuqi Qu Yilin Wu

As urbanization progresses, increasingly impervious surfaces have changed the hydrological processes in cities and resulted in a major challenge for urban stormwater control. This study uses the urban stormwater model to evaluate the performance and costs of low impact development (LID) scenarios in a micro urban catchment. Rainfall-runoff data of three rainfall events were used for model calibration and validation. The pre-developed (PreDev) scenario, post-developed (PostDev) scenario, and three LID scenarios were used to evaluate the hydrologic performance of LID measures. Using reduction in annual runoff as the goal, the best solutions for each LID scenario were selected using cost-effectiveness curves. The simulation results indicated that the three designed LID scenarios could effectively reduce annual runoff volumes and pollutant loads compared with the PostDev scenario. The most effective scenario (MaxPerf) reduced annual runoff by 53.4%, followed by the sponge city (SpoPerf, 51.5%) and economy scenarios (EcoPerf, 43.1%). The runoff control efficiency of the MaxPerf and SpoPerf scenarios increased by 23.9% and 19.5%, respectively, when compared with the EcoPerf scenario; however, the costs increased by 104% and 83.6%. The reduction rates of four pollutants (TSS, TN, TP, and COD) under the MaxPerf scenario were 59.8–61.1%, followed by SpoPerf (53.9–58.3%) and EcoPerf (42.3–45.4%), and the costs of the three scenarios were 3.74, 3.47, and 1.83 million yuan, respectively. These results can provide guidance to urban stormwater managers in future urban planning to improve urban water security.



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Is This the Year the Florida Grasshopper Sparrow Goes Extinct?

Things don’t look good for these critically endangered birds, but a captive-breeding program could help save them

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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Nanotechnology-based approach to cancer virotherapy

Researchers at Okayama University report in Scientific Reports a promising method for delivering viral DNA, able to eliminate cancerous cells, to a tumour.  The approach, involving encapsulation of the DNA in liposomes, has the potential to enable...

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Old drug may have new tricks for fighting cancer

In recent years, a powerful suite of drugs known as kinase inhibitors have been developed to treat cancer and other diseases. Primary targets of such drugs include a family of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) which protrude from cell surfaces like...

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Therapeutic targets for aggressive triple-negative breast cancers

As part of a breast-cancer diagnosis, doctors analyze the tumour to determine which therapies might best attack the malignancy. But for patients whose cancer is triple-negative -- that is, lacking receptors for estrogen, progesterone and Her2 -- the...

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High exposure to radiofrequency radiation linked to tumour activity in male rats

High exposure to radiofrequency radiation (RFR) in rodents resulted in tumours in tissues surrounding nerves in the hearts of male rats, but not female rats or any mice, according to draft studies from the National Toxicology Program (NTP). For more on...

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Cutting off tumour vascularisation

For a tumour to grow, it must develop blood vessels that supply nutrients and oxygen. Preventing tumour vascularisation is therefore an interesting anti-tumour therapy that has been explored over the last ten years. But how to be truly effective? By...

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Biosensors, Vol. 8, Pages 14: Self-Organized Nanostructure Modified Microelectrode for Sensitive Electrochemical Glutamate Detection in Stem Cells-Derived Brain Organoids

Biosensors, Vol. 8, Pages 14: Self-Organized Nanostructure Modified Microelectrode for Sensitive Electrochemical Glutamate Detection in Stem Cells-Derived Brain Organoids

Biosensors doi: 10.3390/bios8010014

Authors: Babak Nasr Rachael Chatterton Jason Yong Pegah Jamshidi Giovanna D’Abaco Andrew Bjorksten Omid Kavehei Gursharan Chana Mirella Dottori Efstratios Skafidas

Neurons release neurotransmitters such as glutamate to communicate with each other and to coordinate brain functioning. As increased glutamate release is indicative of neuronal maturation and activity, a system that can measure glutamate levels over time within the same tissue and/or culture system is highly advantageous for neurodevelopmental investigation. To address such challenges, we develop for the first time a convenient method to realize functionalized borosilicate glass capillaries with nanostructured texture as an electrochemical biosensor to detect glutamate release from cerebral organoids generated from human embryonic stem cells (hESC) that mimic various brain regions. The biosensor shows a clear catalytic activity toward the oxidation of glutamate with a sensitivity of 93 ± 9.5 nA·µM−1·cm−2. It was found that the enzyme-modified microelectrodes can detect glutamate in a wide linear range from 5 µM to 0.5 mM with a limit of detection (LOD) down to 5.6 ± 0.2 µM. Measurements were performed within the organoids at different time points and consistent results were obtained. This data demonstrates the reliability of the biosensor as well as its usefulness in measuring glutamate levels across time within the same culture system.



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Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 63: All-Round Manipulation of the Actin Cytoskeleton by HIV

Viruses, Vol. 10, Pages 63: All-Round Manipulation of the Actin Cytoskeleton by HIV

Viruses doi: 10.3390/v10020063

Authors: Alberto Ospina Stella Stuart Turville

While significant progress has been made in terms of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) therapy, treatment does not represent a cure and remains inaccessible to many people living with HIV. Continued mechanistic research into the viral life cycle and its intersection with many aspects of cellular biology are not only fundamental in the continued fight against HIV, but also provide many key observations of the workings of our immune system. Decades of HIV research have testified to the integral role of the actin cytoskeleton in both establishing and spreading the infection. Here, we review how the virus uses different strategies to manipulate cellular actin networks and increase the efficiency of various stages of its life cycle. While some HIV proteins seem able to bind to actin filaments directly, subversion of the cytoskeleton occurs indirectly by exploiting the power of actin regulatory proteins, which are corrupted at multiple levels. Furthermore, this manipulation is not restricted to a discrete class of proteins, but rather extends throughout all layers of the cytoskeleton. We discuss prominent examples of actin regulators that are exploited, neutralized or hijacked by the virus, and address how their coordinated deregulation can lead to changes in cellular behavior that promote viral spreading.



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We must stand up to bad politics, not hide in an ivory tower

gettyimages-671470240-800x533.jpg

Science journalism is about more than pure science. When powerful people of any political leaning go against the evidence, New Scientist cannot turn a blind eye

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Brain Sciences, Vol. 8, Pages 27: ABCA7 and Pathogenic Pathways of Alzheimer’s Disease

Brain Sciences, Vol. 8, Pages 27: ABCA7 and Pathogenic Pathways of Alzheimer’s Disease

Brain Sciences doi: 10.3390/brainsci8020027

Authors: Tomonori Aikawa Marie-Louise Holm Takahisa Kanekiyo

The ATP-binding cassette (ABC) reporter family functions to regulate the homeostasis of phospholipids and cholesterol in the central nervous system, as well as peripheral tissues. ABCA7 belongs to the A subfamily of ABC transporters, which shares 54% sequence identity with ABCA1. While ABCA7 is expressed in a variety of tissues/organs, including the brain, recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified ABCA7 gene variants as susceptibility loci for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD). More important, subsequent genome sequencing analyses have revealed that premature termination codon mutations in ABCA7 are associated with the increased risk for AD. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease and the most common cause of dementia, where the accumulation and deposition of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides cleaved from amyloid precursor protein (APP) in the brain trigger the pathogenic cascade of the disease. In consistence with human genetic studies, increasing evidence has demonstrated that ABCA7 deficiency exacerbates Aβ pathology using in vitro and in vivo models. While ABCA7 has been shown to mediate phagocytic activity in macrophages, ABCA7 is also involved in the microglial Aβ clearance pathway. Furthermore, ABCA7 deficiency results in accelerated Aβ production, likely by facilitating endocytosis and/or processing of APP. Taken together, current evidence suggests that ABCA7 loss-of-function contributes to AD-related phenotypes through multiple pathways. A better understanding of the function of ABCA7 beyond lipid metabolism in both physiological and pathological conditions becomes increasingly important to explore AD pathogenesis.



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CME Activities Calendar

The following offer AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM and meet the ABAI requirements for MOC:

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News & Notes

The 2018 AAAAI/WAO Joint Congress, March 2-5 in Orlando, Florida, is quickly approaching. Join thousands of allergist/immunologists, allied health and related healthcare professionals for four days of educational offerings covering the scope of the specialty. Keep reading to learn more about the highlights of the Joint Congress. If you have not registered at annualmeeting.aaaai.org yet, please note that walk-in registrations are welcome at our registration desk in the Orange County Convention Center, South Concourse, Level 2, S210 Concourse.

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Information for Readers



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Brief Overview of This Month's JACI



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Editorial Board



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Table of Contents



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Cover 1



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The Editors' Choice

Recent studies examining the relationship between early peanut introduction and peanut allergy have driven a major change in infant feeding recommendations. However, these studies have not accounted for maternal peanut consumption or breast-feeding. In this issue, Pitt et al (p 620) report a novel interaction between maternal and infant peanut consumption with the following findings:

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News Beyond Our Pages

Surfactant protein D (SP-D) is a known regulator of pulmonary immunity, and administration of a recombinant fragment of the protein (rfhSP-D) attenuates allergic airway inflammation in experimental murine models. Qassim et al (Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2017;196:1526-34; doi: http://ift.tt/2nFsJgh) examined the effect of rfhSP-D on grass pollen allergen–induced basophil and adaptive immune cell responses using primary blood cells and sera obtained from human subjects with known grass pollen allergy.

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Vaccine-associated hypersensitivity



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Corrigendum

In regards to the article in the January 2017 issue entitled “Primary immunodeficiency diseases: Genomic approaches delineate heterogeneous Mendelian disorders” (J Allergy Clin Immunol 2017;139:232-45), the authors have submitted a revised supplementary Table E1. In this revised table, the molecular details of patient 73.1 are being omitted. The authors state that this is being done because the group caring for this patient has undertaken an extensive molecular characterization of this patient and will be reporting their findings separately.

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Vaccine-associated hypersensitivity

Vaccine-associated hypersensitivity reactions are not infrequent; however, serious acute-onset, presumably IgE-mediated or IgG and complement-mediated anaphylactic or serious delayed-onset T cell–mediated systemic reactions are considered extremely rare. Hypersensitivity can occur because of either the active vaccine component (antigen) or one of the other components. Postvaccination acute-onset hypersensitivity reactions include self-limited localized adverse events and, rarely, systemic reactions ranging from urticaria/angioedema to full-blown anaphylaxis with multisystem involvement.

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Nasoseptal Perforation: from Etiology to Treatment

Abstract

Purpose of Review

Nasal septum perforation (NSP) is a communication between the two nasal cavities. This review contributes to the better knowledge of NSP causes, diagnosis, and treatment.

Recent Findings

NSP prevalence is about 1%. Clinical presentation may range from absence of symptoms to the presence of bothersome sinonasal symptoms. NSP is more frequently caused by trauma or post-surgery, inflammatory diseases, and abuse substances. Conservative management (nasal irrigation, topical use of antibiotic or lubricant ointments, or placement of prosthesis) is considered the first-line treatment. Symptomatic NSP not improving with local therapies usually requires surgical approach. Selection of the technique for the endoscopic septal repair depends on perforation characteristics and surgeon experience.

Summary

When NSP is diagnosed, its cause has to be promptly determined. Most of them can be controlled with conservative measures. Surgical/endoscopic approaches are usually needed in refractory cases, and new repair techniques have to be considered.



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We must stand up to bad politics, not hide in an ivory tower

Science journalism is about more than pure science. When powerful people of any political leaning go against the evidence, New Scientist cannot turn a blind eye

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The key to successful ageing is to be a master of 3 domains: physical health, mental wellbeing, and social connectedness

From The Lancet:

Life expectancy in the UK continues to increase by 2 years per decade. Unfortunately, these extra years do not seem to be spent in better health, with morbidity and dependency increasing over the past 20 years. So what can be done to develop resilience with increasing age? Seize control of your health and be better prepared—physically, mentally, and socially—for our later years. This a recurring theme covering 3 domains: physical, mental and social.

The Lancet reviewed the book Enlightened Aging: Building Resilience for a Long, Active Life, by Eric B Larson and Joan DeClaire. One of the most memorable vignette from the book was of Evangeline Shuler, a centenarian, with a “glass half full” approach to life: as she grew older and her friends died, her attitude was to go out and “make new ones”; an avid reader, as she became blind, she switched to audio books.

Translating scientific facts into practical strategies early in the life course can help us live better for longer. Here is what the science shows:

- Maintain a healthy heart, a healthy brain and healthy social existence to achieve successful ageing.

- Proactively build resilience — the ability to adapt to changing circumstances and bounce back from injury, loss, or setbacks — in 3 areas: physical health, mental wellbeing, and social connectedness, to better enjoy our later years. Developing and strengthen emotional resilience.

- Financial independence. In many UK cities, there is a 10-year discrepancy in healthy life expectancy between more socially deprived and affluent areas.

References:

Eric B Larson and Joan DeClaire's Enlightened Aging: Building Resilience for a Long, Active Life.
Successful ageing - Lancet http://bit.ly/2BMMJla

Posted at Clinical Cases and Images. Stay updated and subscribe, follow us on Twitter and connect on Facebook.


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Intravoxel incoherent motion magnetic resonance imaging for differentiating metastatic and non-metastatic lymph nodes in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Abstract

Objectives

To evaluate the diagnostic potential of intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) DWI for differentiating metastatic and non-metastatic lymph node stations (LNS) in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC).

Methods

59 LNS histologically diagnosed following surgical resection from 15 patients were included. IVIM DWI with 12 b values was added to the standard MRI protocol. Evaluation of parameters was performed pre-operatively and included the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), pure diffusion coefficient (D), pseudo-diffusion coefficient (D*) and perfusion fraction (f). Diagnostic performance of ADC, D, D* and f for differentiating between metastatic and non-metastatic LNS was evaluated using ROC analysis.

Results

Metastatic LNS had significantly lower D, D*, f and ADC values than the non-metastatic LNS (p< 0.01). The best diagnostic performance was found in D, with an area under the ROC curve of 0.979, while the area under the ROC curve values of D*, f and ADC were 0.867, 0.855 and 0.940, respectively. The optimal cut-off values for distinguishing metastatic and non-metastatic lymph nodes were D = 1.180 × 10−3 mm2/s; D* = 14.750 × 10−3 mm2/s, f = 20.65 %, and ADC = 1.390 × 10−3 mm2/s.

Conclusion

IVIM DWI is useful for differentiating between metastatic and non-metastatic LNS in PDAC.

Key Points

IVIM DWI is feasible for diagnosing LN metastasis in PDAC.

Metastatic LNS has lower D, D*, f, ADC values than non-metastatic LNS.

D-value from IVIM model has best diagnostic performance, followed by ADC value.

D* has the lowest AUC value.



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Shear-wave elastography can evaluate annulus fibrosus alteration in adolescent scoliosis

Abstract

Objectives

In vitro studies showed that annulus fibrosus lose its integrity in idiopathic scoliosis. Shear-wave ultrasound elastography can be used for non-invasive measurement of shear-wave speed (SWS) in vivo in the annulus fibrosus, a parameter related to its mechanical properties. The main aim was to assess SWS in lumbar annulus fibrosus of scoliotic adolescents and compare it to healthy subjects.

Methods

SWS was measured in 180 lumbar IVDs (L3L4, L4L5, L5S1) of 30 healthy adolescents (13 ± 1.9 years old) and 30 adolescent idiopathic scoliosis patients (13 ± 2 years old, Cobb angle: 28.8° ± 10.4°). SWS was compared between the scoliosis and healthy control groups.

Results

In healthy subjects, average SWS (all disc levels pooled) was 3.0 ± 0.3 m/s, whereas in scoliotic patients it was significantly higher at 3.5 ± 0.3 m/s (p = 0.0004; Mann-Whitney test). Differences were also significant at all disc levels. No difference was observed between males and females. No correlation was found with age, weight and height.

Conclusion

Non-invasive shear-wave ultrasound is a novel method of assessment to quantitative alteration of annulus fibrosus. These preliminary results are promising for considering shear-wave elastography as a biomechanical marker for assessment of idiopathic scoliosis.

Key Points

Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis may have an altered lumbar annulus fibrosus.

Shear-wave elastography can quantify lumbar annulus fibrosus mechanical properties.

Shear-wave speed was higher in scoliotic annulus than in healthy subjects.

Elastography showed potential as a biomechanical marker for characterizing disc alteration.



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IJMS, Vol. 19, Pages 470: Key Aspects of Nucleic Acid Library Design for in Vitro Selection

IJMS, Vol. 19, Pages 470: Key Aspects of Nucleic Acid Library Design for in Vitro Selection

International Journal of Molecular Sciences doi: 10.3390/ijms19020470

Authors: Maria Vorobyeva Anna Davydova Pavel Vorobjev Alya Venyaminova

Nucleic acid aptamers capable of selectively recognizing their target molecules have nowadays been established as powerful and tunable tools for biospecific applications, be it therapeutics, drug delivery systems or biosensors. It is now generally acknowledged that in vitro selection enables one to generate aptamers to almost any target of interest. However, the success of selection and the affinity of the resulting aptamers depend to a large extent on the nature and design of an initial random nucleic acid library. In this review, we summarize and discuss the most important features of the design of nucleic acid libraries for in vitro selection such as the nature of the library (DNA, RNA or modified nucleotides), the length of a randomized region and the presence of fixed sequences. We also compare and contrast different randomization strategies and consider computer methods of library design and some other aspects.



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IJMS, Vol. 19, Pages 469: Induced Salt Tolerance of Perennial Ryegrass by a Novel Bacterium Strain from the Rhizosphere of a Desert Shrub Haloxylon ammodendron

IJMS, Vol. 19, Pages 469: Induced Salt Tolerance of Perennial Ryegrass by a Novel Bacterium Strain from the Rhizosphere of a Desert Shrub Haloxylon ammodendron

International Journal of Molecular Sciences doi: 10.3390/ijms19020469

Authors: Ao-Lei He Shu-Qi Niu Qi Zhao Yong-Sheng Li Jing-Yi Gou Hui-Juan Gao Sheng-Zhou Suo Jin-Lin Zhang

Drought and soil salinity reduce agricultural output worldwide. Plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) can enhance plant growth and augment plant tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Haloxylon ammodendron, a C4 perennial succulent xerohalophyte shrub with excellent drought and salt tolerance, is naturally distributed in the desert area of northwest China. In our previous work, a bacterium strain numbered as M30-35 was isolated from the rhizosphere of H. ammodendron in Tengger desert, Gansu province, northwest China. In current work, the effects of M30-35 inoculation on salt tolerance of perennial ryegrass were evaluated and its genome was sequenced to identify genes associated with plant growth promotion. Results showed that M30-35 significantly enhanced growth and salt tolerance of perennial ryegrass by increasing shoot fresh and dry weights, chlorophyll content, root volume, root activity, leaf catalase activity, soluble sugar and proline contents that contributed to reduced osmotic potential, tissue K+ content and K+/Na+ ratio, while decreasing malondialdehyde (MDA) content and relative electric conductivity (REC), especially under higher salinity. The genome of M30-35 contains 4421 protein encoding genes, 12 rRNA, 63 tRNA-encoding genes and four rRNA operons. M30-35 was initially classified as a new species in Pseudomonas and named as Pseudomonas sp. M30-35. Thirty-four genes showing homology to genes associated with PGPR traits and abiotic stress tolerance were identified in Pseudomonas sp. M30-35 genome, including 12 related to insoluble phosphorus solubilization, four to auxin biosynthesis, four to other process of growth promotion, seven to oxidative stress alleviation, four to salt and drought tolerance and three to cold and heat tolerance. Further study is needed to clarify the correlation between these genes from M30-35 and the salt stress alleviation of inoculated plants under salt stress. Overall, our research indicated that desert shrubs appear rich in PGPRs that can help important crops tolerate abiotic stress.



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Assessment of bone turnover in osteoporosis: harmonization of the total testing process

Authors: Vasikaran, Samuel


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A pragmatic bottom-up approach to harmonize the units of clinical chemistry tests among Belgian clinical laboratories, focusing on immunoassays

Authors: Demarteau, Marianne / Cammaert, Piet / Vandevelde, Nathalie M. / Callewaert, Nico / Coucke, Wim / China, Bernard / Verstraete, Alain G.


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Borderline positive antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA)-PR3/MPO detection in a large cohort tertiary center: lessons learnt from a real-life experience

Authors: Watad, Abdulla / Bragazzi, Nicola L. / Sharif, Kassem / Gilburd, Boris / Yavne, Yarden / McGonagle, Dennis / Amital, Howard / Shoenfeld, Yehuda


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Pleiotropy of ABO gene: correlation of rs644234 with E-selectin and lipid levels

Authors: Arguinano, Alex-Ander Aldasoro / Ndiaye, Ndeye Coumba / Masson, Christine / Visvikis-Siest, Sophie


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Analysis of anti-ganglioside antibodies by a line immunoassay in patients with chronic-inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathies (CIDP)

Authors: Klehmet, Juliane / Märschenz, Stefanie / Ruprecht, Klemens / Wunderlich, Benjamin / Büttner, Thomas / Hiemann, Rico / Roggenbuck, Dirk / Meisel, Andreas


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Frontmatter



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Comparative study of the diagnostic and prognostic value of antibodies against chimeric citrullinated synthetic peptides and CCP3/CCP3.1 assays

Authors: Gómara, María J. / Rodríguez, Javier / Bleda, María J. / Salvador, Juan P. / Sanmartí, Raimon / Haro, Isabel


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Is it necessary for all samples to quantify 25OHD2 and 25OHD3 using LC-MS/MS in clinical practice?

Authors: Yu, Songlin / Zhang, Ruiping / Zhou, Weiyan / Cheng, Xinqi / Cheng, Qian / Xia, Liangyu / Xie, Shaowei / Yin, Yicong / Sun, Dandan / Su, Wei / Qiu, Ling


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Oxidation of PTH: in vivo feature or effect of preanalytical conditions?

Authors: Ursem, Stan R. / Vervloet, Marc G. / Hillebrand, Jacquelien J.G. / de Jongh, Renate T. / Heijboer, Annemieke C.


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Need for better PTH assays for clinical research and patient treatment

Authors: Hocher, Berthold / Zeng, Shufei


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Quantification of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D – value of manufacturers’ product information

Authors: Vogeser, Michael / Bidlingmaier, Martin / Wallaschowski, Henri / Lindner, Johanna / Kratzsch, Jürgen /


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In vivo interference of Ioversol in serum and urine capillary electrophoresis: an optimized protocol for sample collection

Authors: Quirós, Covadonga / Cillero, Ana Isabel / Bretaña, Laura / García, María / Prieto, Belén / Álvarez, Francisco V.


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Prevalence and causes of abnormal PSA recovery

Authors: Lautenbach, Noémie / Müntener, Michael / Zanoni, Paolo / Saleh, Lanja / Saba, Karim / Umbehr, Martin / Velagapudi, Srividya / Hof, Danielle / Sulser, Tullio / Wild, Peter J. / von Eckardstein, Arnold / Poyet, Cédric


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The frequency of occurrence of fish-shaped red blood cells in different haematologic disorders

Authors: Robier, Christoph / Körber, Carolin / Quehenberger, Franz / Neubauer, Manfred / Wölfler, Albert


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Serum omentin-1 is a novel biomarker for predicting the functional outcome of acute ischemic stroke patients

Authors: Xu, Tian / Zuo, Peng / Wang, Yuqin / Gao, Zhiwei / Ke, Kaifu


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Discussion group networks in occupational medicine: A tool for continuing education to promote the integration of workers with disabilities

Background

Despite their legal rights, individuals with disabilities face numerous obstacles to integration in the workplace which can result in their discharge from the labor force. Currently occupational physicians have few resources to help decide whether to integrate disabled workers in pre-placement, or in cases of return-to-work.

Methods

A network of 13 discussion groups comprised of the occupational physicians of each regional clinic of a large Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) in Israel was created to deal with disability management dilemmas. A moderator compiles and shares the physicians’ opinions and experiences with all network members thus assisting the consulting physician in decision-making.

Results

Successful management of three representative cases is described to illustrate real-life implementations of this network.

Conclusion

The network enables both the consulting and other physicians to tap a large knowledge base and decision-making experience concerning cases of occupational disability management, contributing to professional development and improved service delivery.



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Early labor force exit subsequent to permanently impairing occupational injury or illness among workers 50-64 years of age

Background

Severity of workplace injury tends to increase with age. Whether older workers who experience a workplace injury or illness exit the labor force sooner than comparable peers is not established.

Methods

A case-cohort study design and complementary log-log model were used to identify factors associated with average time to early substantial labor force exit among workers’ compensation claimants 50-64 years of age with permanent impairment from an occupational injury or illness. Analysis was based on Ontario's workers’ compensation claimant data from 1998 to 2006 linked with Canadian tax files.

Results

Workers with permanent impairment left the labor force earlier, on average, than peers without claims. Early retirement was associated with older age in the injury/illness year, greater impairment, lower pre-claim income, physically demanding jobs, and soft-tissue injuries.

Conclusions

Policies aiming to extend older adults’ working lives should account for the potentially disparate impacts on older workers of occupational injury and illness.



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Cancers, Vol. 10, Pages 43: Elevated Polyamines in Saliva of Pancreatic Cancer

Cancers, Vol. 10, Pages 43: Elevated Polyamines in Saliva of Pancreatic Cancer

Cancers doi: 10.3390/cancers10020043

Authors: Yasutsugu Asai Takao Itoi Masahiro Sugimoto Atsushi Sofuni Takayoshi Tsuchiya Reina Tanaka Ryosuke Tonozuka Mitsuyoshi Honjo Shuntaro Mukai Mitsuru Fujita Kenjiro Yamamoto Yukitoshi Matsunami Takashi Kurosawa Yuichi Nagakawa Miku Kaneko Sana Ota Shigeyuki Kawachi Motohide Shimazu Tomoyoshi Soga Masaru Tomita Makoto Sunamura

Detection of pancreatic cancer (PC) at a resectable stage is still difficult because of the lack of accurate detection tests. The development of accurate biomarkers in low or non-invasive biofluids is essential to enable frequent tests, which would help increase the opportunity of PC detection in early stages. Polyamines have been reported as possible biomarkers in urine and saliva samples in various cancers. Here, we analyzed salivary metabolites, including polyamines, using capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry. Salivary samples were collected from patients with PC (n = 39), those with chronic pancreatitis (CP, n = 14), and controls (C, n = 26). Polyamines, such as spermine, N1-acetylspermidine, and N1-acetylspermine, showed a significant difference between patients with PC and those with C, and the combination of four metabolites including N1-acetylspermidine showed high accuracy in discriminating PC from the other two groups. These data show the potential of saliva as a source for tests screening for PC.



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Pre-treatment magnetic resonance-based texture features as potential imaging biomarkers for predicting event free survival in anal cancer treated by chemoradiotherapy

Abstract

Aim

To assess regular MRI findings and tumour texture features on pre-CRT imaging as potential predictive factors of event-free survival (disease progression or death) after chemoradiotherapy (CRT) for anal squamous cell carcinoma (ASCC) without metastasis.

Materials and methods

We retrospectively included 28 patients treated by CRT for pathologically proven ASCC with a pre-CRT MRI. Texture analysis was carried out with axial T2W images by delineating a 3D region of interest around the entire tumour volume. First-order analysis by quantification of the histogram was carried out. Second-order statistical texture features were derived from the calculation of the grey-level co-occurrence matrix using a distance of 1 (d1), 2 (d2) and 5 (d5) pixels. Prognostic factors were assessed by Cox regression and performance of the model by the Harrell C-index.

Results

Eight tumour progressions led to six tumour-specific deaths. After adjusting for age, gender and tumour grade, skewness (HR = 0.131, 95% CI = 0-0.447, p = 0.005) and cluster shade_d1 (HR = 0.601, 95% CI = 0-0.861, p = 0.027) were associated with event occurrence. The corresponding Harrell C-indices were 0.846, 95% CI = 0.697-0.993, and 0.851, 95% CI = 0.708-0.994.

Conclusion

ASCC MR texture analysis provides prognostic factors of event occurrence and requires additional studies to assess its potential in an "individual dose" strategy for ASCC chemoradiation therapy.

Key Points

MR texture features help to identify tumours with high progression risk.

Texture feature maps help to identify intra-tumoral heterogeneity.

Texture features are a better prognostic factor than regular MR findings.



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Chlorophyll extraction from suji leaf ( Pleomele angustifolia Roxb. ) with ZnCl 2 stabilizer

Abstract

Suji (Pleomele angustifolia Roxb.) leaves are a prominent source of chlorophyll and well-known for their ability to produce green color for food ingredients. However, chlorophyll is suspectible to color degradation at high temperature. Color degradation occurred because porphyrin loses magnesium in its ring and it can be avoided by adding zinc. The aim of this work was to investigate the combined effect of independent variables on chlorophyll extraction process using ZnCl2 as a stabilizer. Suji leaves were blanched with boiling water for 2 min, Zn-chlorophyll synthesis was done by varying concentration of ZnCl2, Zn-chlorophyll extraction with ethanol, and UV–Vis spectrophotometry analysis of the final extracted solutions. A full three-level factorial design under response surface methodology was used to obtain the optimum condition of extraction process. The experimental data were analyzed by analysis of variance and fitted with second order polynomial equation. The coefficient of determination (R2) was found to be 81.99%. The optimum operating conditions were obtained at pH 7, ZnCl2 concentration of 700 ppm and temperature of 85 °C with desirability value of 1.0000. At the optimum conditions, the total chlorophyll content (TCC) was found to be 47.2975 mg/100 g fresh weight.



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Plastein reaction enhanced bile-acid binding capacity of soybean protein hydrolysates and whey protein hydrolysates

Abstract

Plastein reaction is a modification reaction that can improve the functional properties of protein hydrolysate. The product of the reaction is a thixotropic aggregation of peptides. This study investigated the formation condition of soybean-whey plastein and bile acid binding capacity of plastein. Soy protein and whey protein were hydrolyzed by pepsin. The mixture (1:1, w/w) of two hydrolysates was modified by pepsin again. After the reaction, the decrease in free amino groups and the turbidity of the modified hydrolysate were measured to obtain appropriate reaction condition. Results showed that the concentration of hydrolysates 40% (w/v), enzyme ratio of 2.0 KU/g protein, pH 5.0, 37 °C, reaction time of 3.0 h respectively, were showed maximum changes in protein hydrolysates. Tricine SDS-PAGE analysis under denaturing conditions revealed that whey protein was more sensitive to pepsin and yielded different polypeptides (PPs) of molecular weight ranged from 3.5–17 kDa. However, a high molecular weight PP was completely hydrolyzed while PPs of 14.2–26 kDa were partially digested after pepsin treatment. Native page analysis further revealed the presence of a high-molecular weight PP in crude and purified plastein product. The bile acid binding capacity was improved by the plastein reaction. The amount of binding sodium deoxycholate, sodium taurocholate, and sodium cholate were 0.75, 2.0 and 1.87 μmol/100 mg respectively.



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Potential functional bakery products as delivery systems for prebiotics and probiotics health enhancers

Abstract

Several health benefits have been associated to probiotics and prebiotics, most of these are involved in the regulation of the host’s gut microbiome. Their incorporation to diverse food products has been done to develop potential functional foods. In the case of bakery products, their incorporation has been seen to improve several technological parameters such as volume, specific volume, texture along with sensorial parameters such as flavor and aroma. Scientific literature in this topic has been divided in three main research branches: nutrition, physical quality and sensory analyzes, however, studies rarely cover all of them. Due to the harsh thermal stress during baking, sourdough technology along with microencapsulation of probiotics, has been studied as an alternative to enhance its nutritional values and increase cell viability, though in few occasions. The potential functional baked goods have maintained acceptable physical characteristics and sensorial acceptability, while in some cases an improvement is seen due to the effect of probiotics and prebiotics. The results obtained from several studies done, have shown the viability of developing functional bakery products by applying prebiotics or probiotics. This could be used as an encouragement for more research to be done in this topic.



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Antioxidant capacity and amino acid profile of millet bran wine and the synergistic interaction between major polyphenols

Abstract

Millet bran, the by-product of millet processing industry, contains an abundance of phytochemicals, especially polyphenols. The main objective of this study was brewing antioxidant wine from millet bran, as well as the nutritional evaluation. The total polyphenol content of wine samples was determined by Folin–Ciocalteu colorimetric method, and the antioxidant capacity was evaluated by DPPH radical-scavenging capacity, Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC), and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP). Results showed that millet bran wine (MBW) contained as much as six times of total polyphenols compared with millet wine (MW), and performed considerably stronger antioxidant activity in DPPH, TEAC and FRAP assays. More than sixfold of total amino acids (AA) were found in MBW than in MW. Moreover, the indispensable AA and functional AA were also abundant in MBW. The major polyphenol compounds in MBW were identified using HPLC, including vanillic acid, syringic acid (SA), p-coumaric acid (CA) and ferulic acid (FA). They exhibited synergism in the antioxidant assays, especially the combinations of SA and CA, SA and FA. This study not only provides evidence for MBW as a nutraceutical with antioxidant activity, but also opens new avenues in the area of making comprehensive utilization of agricultural by-products.



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Multiple-sip temporal dominance of sensations associated with acceptance test: a study on special beers

Abstract

In this study, we proposed the use of a multiple-sip temporal dominance of sensations (TDS) test alongside with an acceptance test over repeated consumption for the analysis of special beers, with the aim of contributing to a deeper understanding of consumer behavior regarding temporal descriptions and sensory acceptance. Consumers of special beers sequentially evaluated six sips of a particular type of beer by TDS analysis and an acceptance test was performed for each sip. Four different kinds of specialty beers were evaluated [Bohemian Pilsner (BP), Witbier (WB), Belgian Strong Ale Dubbel (BD), and Russian Imperial Stout (RS)]. In general, the descriptive profile of beers varied temporally, i.e., there was an increased dominance of bitterness and a decreased dominance of fruity, floral, toffee, and coffee attributes. Concurrently, a reduction in sensory acceptance with an increased number of sips, especially the last sip, was observed in two kinds of beers that possessed a strong flavor, BD and RS. BP and WB presented smooth attributes and low notable characteristics, which could have contributed to the maintenance of the acceptance grades as the number of sips increased. The combination of TDS and acceptance over repeated sips can be useful for obtaining detailed descriptions of products that are closer to real time consumption by consumers, and thus aids in ensuring good product performance once released. The information obtained can also help product development scientists to fine-tune product formulations and ensure acceptability.



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IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 272: Primary Care Comprehensiveness Can Reduce Emergency Department Visits and Hospitalization in People with Hypertension in South Korea

IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 272: Primary Care Comprehensiveness Can Reduce Emergency Department Visits and Hospitalization in People with Hypertension in South Korea

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15020272

Authors: Nak-Jin Sung Yong-Jun Choi Jae-Ho Lee

Hypertension has been the leading risk factor contributing to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, which needs comprehensive measures to manage and can be controlled effectively in primary care. In the health care context of South Korea, where specialists can see patients directly at their own community clinics and there has been no consensus on the definition of primary care, the authors used the nationally representative 2013 Korea Health Panel data, categorized adults (≥18 years) with hypertension by types of usual source of care (USC), and analyzed the association of having a comprehensive community clinic (i.e., primary care) physician as a USC with experience of emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalization within a year. After adjusting for cofounding variables including Charlson comorbidity index scores, those having a primary care physician as a USC remained associated with a decrease in an experience of ED visits (OR: 0.61, 95% CI: 0.40–0.93) and hospitalization (OR: 0.69, 95% CI: 0.49–0.96), compared to those not having a usual physician. Health policies that promote having a primary care physician as a USC could decrease unnecessary experience of ED visits and hospitalization by adults with hypertension. This can partly reduce ED overcrowding and avoidable hospitalization in Korea.



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The microglial reaction signature revealed by RNAseq from individual mice

Abstract

Microglial cells have a double life as the immune cells of the brain in times of stress but have also specific physiological functions in homeostatic conditions. In pathological contexts, microglia undergo a phenotypic switch called “reaction” that promotes the initiation and the propagation of neuro-inflammation. Reaction is complex, molecularly heterogeneous and still poorly characterized, leading to the concept that microglial reactivity might be too diverse to be molecularly defined. However, it remains unknown whether reactive microglia from different pathological contexts share a common molecular signature. Using improved flow cytometry and RNAseq approaches we studied, with higher statistical power, the remodeling of microglia transcriptome in a mouse model of sepsis. Through bioinformatic comparison of our results with published datasets, we defined the microglial reactome as a set of genes discriminating reactive from homeostatic microglia. Ultimately, we identified a subset of 86 genes deregulated in both acute and neurodegenerative conditions. Our data provide a new comprehensive resource that includes functional analysis and specific molecular markers of microglial reaction which represent new tools for its unambiguous characterization.

Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Main Points

  • Investigation of microglia transcriptome dynamics in individual mice with high statistical power
  • Characterization of specific markers of microglia reactivity.
  • Identification of a core reaction signature across acute and chronic CNS diseases.


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IJMS, Vol. 19, Pages 467: Prediction of Effective Drug Combinations by an Improved Naïve Bayesian Algorithm

IJMS, Vol. 19, Pages 467: Prediction of Effective Drug Combinations by an Improved Naïve Bayesian Algorithm

International Journal of Molecular Sciences doi: 10.3390/ijms19020467

Authors: Li-Yue Bai Hao Dai Qin Xu Muhammad Junaid Shao-Liang Peng Xiaolei Zhu Yi Xiong Dong-Qing Wei

Drug combinatorial therapy is a promising strategy for combating complex diseases due to its fewer side effects, lower toxicity and better efficacy. However, it is not feasible to determine all the effective drug combinations in the vast space of possible combinations given the increasing number of approved drugs in the market, since the experimental methods for identification of effective drug combinations are both labor- and time-consuming. In this study, we conducted systematic analysis of various types of features to characterize pairs of drugs. These features included information about the targets of the drugs, the pathway in which the target protein of a drug was involved in, side effects of drugs, metabolic enzymes of the drugs, and drug transporters. The latter two features (metabolic enzymes and drug transporters) were related to the metabolism and transportation properties of drugs, which were not analyzed or used in previous studies. Then, we devised a novel improved naïve Bayesian algorithm to construct classification models to predict effective drug combinations by using the individual types of features mentioned above. Our results indicated that the performance of our proposed method was indeed better than the naïve Bayesian algorithm and other conventional classification algorithms such as support vector machine and K-nearest neighbor.



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IJMS, Vol. 19, Pages 468: Neutrophils: Beneficial and Harmful Cells in Septic Arthritis

IJMS, Vol. 19, Pages 468: Neutrophils: Beneficial and Harmful Cells in Septic Arthritis

International Journal of Molecular Sciences doi: 10.3390/ijms19020468

Authors: Daiane Boff Helena Crijns Mauro Teixeira Flavio Amaral Paul Proost

Septic arthritis is an inflammatory joint disease that is induced by pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus. Infection of the joint triggers an acute inflammatory response directed by inflammatory mediators including microbial danger signals and cytokines and is accompanied by an influx of leukocytes. The recruitment of these inflammatory cells depends on gradients of chemoattractants including formylated peptides from the infectious agent or dying cells, host-derived leukotrienes, complement proteins and chemokines. Neutrophils are of major importance and play a dual role in the pathogenesis of septic arthritis. On the one hand, these leukocytes are indispensable in the first-line defense to kill invading pathogens in the early stage of disease. However, on the other hand, neutrophils act as mediators of tissue destruction. Since the elimination of inflammatory neutrophils from the site of inflammation is a prerequisite for resolution of the acute inflammatory response, the prolonged stay of these leukocytes at the inflammatory site can lead to irreversible damage to the infected joint, which is known as an important complication in septic arthritis patients. Thus, timely reduction of the recruitment of inflammatory neutrophils to infected joints may be an efficient therapy to reduce tissue damage in septic arthritis.



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IJMS, Vol. 19, Pages 466: BC-Box Motif-Mediated Neuronal Differentiation of Somatic Stem Cells

IJMS, Vol. 19, Pages 466: BC-Box Motif-Mediated Neuronal Differentiation of Somatic Stem Cells

International Journal of Molecular Sciences doi: 10.3390/ijms19020466

Authors: Hiroshi Kanno Yuqun Xu Taykua Miyakawa Atsuhiko Kubo Tetsuhiro Higashida Nahoko Kobayashi Tetsuhiko Yoshida Masaru Tanokura

Von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor protein (pVHL) functions to induce neuronal differentiation of neural stem/progenitor cells (NSCs) and skin-derived precursors (SKPs). Here we identified a neuronal differentiation domain (NDD) in pVHL. Neuronal differentiation of SKPs was induced by intracellular delivery of a peptide composed of the amino-acid sequences encoded by the NDD. Neuronal differentiation mediated by the NDD was caused by the binding between it and elongin C followed by Janus kinase-2 (JAK2) ubiquitination of JAK2 and inhibition of the JAK2/the signal transducer and activator of transcription-3(STAT)3 pathway. The NDD in pVHL contained the BC-box motif ((A,P,S,T)LXXX (A,C) XXX(A,I,L,V)) corresponding to the binding site of elongin C. Therefore, we proposed that other BC-box proteins might also contain an NDD; and subsequently also identified in them an NDD containing the amino-acid sequence encoded by the BC-box motif in BC-box proteins. Furthermore, we showed that different NDD peptide-delivered cells differentiated into different kinds of neuron-like cells. That is, dopaminergic neuron-like cells, cholinergic neuron-like cells, GABAnergic neuron-like cells or rhodopsin-positive neuron-like cells were induced by different NDD peptides. These novel findings might contribute to the development of a new method for promoting neuronal differentiation and shed further light on the mechanism of neuronal differentiation of somatic stem cells.



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Breast screening uptake drops to new low in England

2016_12_06_12_25_03_674_breast_screeningThe proportion of women in England between the ages of 50 and 70 taking up...


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Primal Pictures partners with Penny Medical

U.K. human anatomy software developer Primal Pictures partnered with Penny...


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Is the mammography debate an example of 'fake science'?

2016_09_06_13_31_23_491_question_mark_blIn today's world of "fake news" and "alternative facts," is the debate over...


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IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 270: Epidemiological Characteristics and Spatial-Temporal Distribution of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease in Chongqing, China, 2009–2016

IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 270: Epidemiological Characteristics and Spatial-Temporal Distribution of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease in Chongqing, China, 2009–2016

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15020270

Authors: Li Qi Wenge Tang Han Zhao Hua Ling Kun Su Hua Zhao Qin Li Tao Shen

(1) Objective: Even with licensed vaccine for enterovirus 71 (EV71) put into market in 2016 in China, hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is still a threat for children’s health in Chongqing. We described the epidemiological characteristics and spatial–temporal patterns of HFMD in Chongqing from 2009 to 2016, in order to provide information and evidence for guiding public health response and intervention. (2) Methods: We retrieved the HFMD surveillance data from January 2009 to December 2016 from “National Disease Reporting Information System”, and then analyzed demographic and geographical information integrally. Descriptive analysis was conducted to evaluate the epidemic features of HFMD in Chongqing. The spatial–temporal methods were performed to explore the clusters at district/county level. (3) Results: A total of 276,207 HFMD cases were reported during the study period (total population incidence: 114.8 per 100,000 per year), including 641 severe cases (129 deaths). The annual incidence of HFMD sharply increased in even-numbered years, but remained stable or decreased in odd-numbered years. A semiannual seasonality was observed during April to July, and October to December in each year. The male-to-female ratios of the mild and severe cases were 1.4:1 and 1.5:1, with the median age of 2.3 years and 1.9 years, respectively. More than 90% of the cases were children equal to and less than 5 years old. High-incidence clustered regions included the main urban districts and northeast regions according to incidence rates comparison or space–time cluster analysis. A total of 19,482 specimen were collected from the reported cases and 13,277 (68.2%) were positive for enterovirus. EV71 was the major causative agent for severe cases, while other enteroviruses were the predominant serotype for mild cases. (4) Conclusions: The characteristics of HFMD in Chongqing exhibited a phenomenon of increasing incidence in two-year cycles and semiannual seasonality in time distribution. Children ≤5 years old, especially boys, were more affected by HFMD. EV71 was the major causative agent for severe cases. We suggest initiating mass EV71 vaccination campaigns among children aged 6 months to 5 years in Chongqing, especially in the main urban districts and northern regions, in order to reduce case fatality, and take integrated measurements for controlling and preventing HFMD attributed to other enteroviruses.



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IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 271: Empirical Study on the Sustainability of China’s Grain Quality Improvement: The Role of Transportation, Labor, and Agricultural Machinery

IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 271: Empirical Study on the Sustainability of China’s Grain Quality Improvement: The Role of Transportation, Labor, and Agricultural Machinery

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15020271

Authors: Ming Zhang Fang Duan Zisen Mao

As a major part of farming sustainability, the issues of grain production and its quality improvement have been important in many countries. This paper aims to address these issues in China. Based on the data from the main production provinces and by applying the stochastic frontier analysis methodology, we find that the improvement of transportation and the use of agricultural machinery have become the main driving forces for grain quality improvement in China. After further studying different provinces’ potentials of grain quality improvement, we show that grain quality has increased steadily. Therefore, we can conclude China’s grain quality improvement is indeed sustainable. Furthermore, different grains like rice, wheat, and corn share similar characteristics in terms of quality improvement, but the improvement rate for rice is relatively low, while those of corn and wheat are relatively high. Moreover, the overall change of efficiency gain of grain quality improvement is not significant for different provinces. The efficiency gains of the quality improvements for rice and wheat even decrease slightly. In addition, we find that only expanding grain quality improvement potential can simultaneously achieve the dual objectives of improving grain quality and increasing yield.



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Lichen sclerosus on the face



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The Burden of Influenza: a Complex Problem



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