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  • American Institute of Physics (AIP)  (154,287)
  • Hindawi
  • Sage Publications
  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-03-12
    Description: Background. The increase in intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) during closed abdominal hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) leads to major haemodynamic changes and potential organ dysfunction. We investigated these effects on hepatic blood flow (HBF) and liver function in patients undergoing HIPEC following cytoreductive surgery and fluid management guided by dynamic preload indices. Methods. In this prospective observational clinical study including 15 consecutive patients, we evaluated HBF by transesophageal echocardiography and liver function by determination of the indocyanine green plasma disappearance rate (ICG-PDR). Friedman’s two-way analysis of variance by ranks and Wilcoxon signed-rank test were performed for statistical analysis. Results. During HIPEC, HBF was markedly reduced, resulting in the loss of any pulsatile Doppler flow signal in all but one patient. The ICG-PDR, expressed as median (interquartile 25–75), decreased from 23 (20–30) %/min to 18 (12.5–19) %/min (). Despite a generous crystalloid infusion rate (27 (22–35) ml/kg/h), cardiac index decreased during the increased IAP period, inferior vena cava diameter decreased, stroke volume variation and pulse pressure variation increased, lung compliance dropped, and there was an augmentation in plateau pressure. All changes were significant () and reversed to baseline values post HIPEC. Conclusion. Despite optimizing intravenous fluids during closed abdominal HIPEC, we observed a marked decrease in HBF and liver function. Both effects were transient and limited to the period of HIPEC but could influence the choice between closed or open abdominal cavity procedure for HIPEC and should be considered in similar clinical situations of increased IAP.
    Print ISSN: 1687-6121
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-630X
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-03-12
    Description: This state-of-the-art review article aims to highlight the most recent evidence about the therapeutic options of surgical necrotizing enterocolitis, focusing on the molecular basis of the gut-brain axis in relevance to the neurodevelopmental outcomes of primary peritoneal drainage and primary laparotomy. Current evidence favors primary laparotomy over primary peritoneal drainage as regards neurodevelopment in the surgical treatment of necrotizing enterocolitis. The added exposure to inhalational anesthesia in infants undergoing primary laparotomy is an additional confounding variable but requires further study. The concept of the gut-brain axis suggests that bowel injury initiates systemic inflammation potentially affecting the developing central nervous system. Signals about microbes in the gut are transduced to the brain and the limbic system via the enteric nervous system, autonomic nervous system, and hypothalamic-pituitary axis. Preterm infants with necrotizing enterocolitis have significant differences in the diversity of the microbiome compared with preterm controls. The gut bacterial flora changes remarkably prior to the onset of necrotizing enterocolitis with a predominance of pathogenic organisms. The type of initial surgical approach correlates with the length of functional gut and microbiome equilibrium influencing brain development and function through the gut-brain axis. Existing data favor patients who were treated with primary laparotomy over those who underwent primary peritoneal drainage in terms of neurodevelopmental outcomes. We propose that this is due to the sustained injurious effect of the remaining diseased and necrotic bowel on the developing newborn brain, in patients treated with primary peritoneal drainage, through the gut-brain axis and probably not due to the procedure itself.
    Print ISSN: 0962-9351
    Electronic ISSN: 1466-1861
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2018-03-12
    Description: The switching model tracking algorithm based on hard decisions is an important method to solve the maneuvering target tracking problem. The use of Doppler velocity not only helps shorten the delay time of maneuvering detection but also provides information about the target motion model. A novel target maneuvering detection method named Multiple Parallel Cumulative Sum (M-CUSUM) for target multiple maneuvering models is proposed in this paper based on Doppler velocity. The main scheme of the proposed approach consists of the following: firstly, the problem framework of multiple model maneuvering detection is put forward; secondly, the statistic of acceleration is obtained through modeling the mapping relationship between Doppler velocity and the normal/tangential acceleration according to the geometry and kinematics; thirdly, the joint empirical distribution of the normal/tangential acceleration is obtained by the statistical experiment method and then the approximate joint probability distribution function of the normal/tangential acceleration is acquired by use of Gaussian Mixture Model (GMM) with Expectation Maximization (EM) algorithm; fourthly, it is taken as the prior information of target maneuvering which is introduced to the likelihood ratio of prediction measurement residual by the marginalization method; finally, the standard Cumulative Sum (CUSUM) detector is extended as Multiple Parallel CUSUM detector. Simulation results show that M-CUSUM detector has a smaller maneuver onset detection delay time compared with similar detectors and has the ability of pattern recognition of target maneuvers.
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    Electronic ISSN: 1563-5147
    Topics: Mathematics , Technology
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2018-03-12
    Description: We will provide statistical analysis of the square ratio of and random processes and its application in the signal-to-interference ratio (SIR) based performance analysis of wireless transmission subjected to the influence of multipath fading, modelled by fading model, and undesired occurrence of co-channel interference (CCI), distributed as random process. First contribution of the paper is deriving exact closed expressions for the probability density function (PDF) and cumulative distribution function (CDF) of square ratio of and random processes. Further, a verification of accuracy of these PDF and CDF expressions was given by comparison with the corresponding approximations obtained by the high-precision quadrature formulas of Gaussian type with respect to the weight functions on . The computational procedure of such quadrature rules is provided by using the constructive theory of orthogonal polynomials and the MATHEMATICA package OrthogonalPolynomials created by Cvetković and Milovanović (2004). Capitalizing on obtained expression, important wireless performance criteria, namely, outage probability (OP), have been obtained, as functions of transmission parameters. Also, possible performance improvement is observed through a glance at SC (selection combining) reception employment based on obtained expressions.
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2018-03-12
    Description: Aiming at low accuracy control of the flatness measuring system in cold rolling process, the wear of measuring rings of the flatness measuring roll is an important factor, which affects the flatness measurement accuracy and the strip quality. When the radial pressure and the width of the strip change, the wear thickness of the different measuring rings is also changed, which seriously increased the deviation between measured values and actual values. For thirty-eight measuring rings of flatness measuring roll, it is important to establish an accurate wear compensation model for each measuring ring to improve the measurement accuracy of the online flatness control model. Wear compensation model is established by the theory of Archard, definite integral method, and weighted coefficient method, and the data of the rolling length, strip width, and the radial force of the six million tons’ strip are used to analyze and discuss the wear compensation model of flatness measuring roll. The experiment result shows that the flatness control accuracy is improved effectively and the better strip shape can be achieved.
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2018-03-12
    Description: This work describes a computational tool, based on an evolutionary algorithm, for the synthesis and optimization of submarine pipeline routes considering the incorporation of on-bottom stability criteria (OBS). This comprises a breakthrough in the traditional pipeline design methodology, where the definition of a route and the stability calculations had been performed independently: firstly, the route is defined according to geographical-topographical issues (including manual/visual inspection of seabed bathymetry and obstacles); afterwards, stability is verified, and mitigating procedures (such as ballast weight) are specified. This might require several design spirals until a final configuration is reached, or (most commonly) has led to excessive costs for the mitigation of instability problems. The optimization tool evaluates each candidate route by incorporating, as soft and hard constraints, several criteria usually considered in the manual design (pipeline length, bathymetry data, obstacles); also, with the incorporation of OBS criteria into the objective function, stability becomes an integral part of the optimization process, simultaneously handling minimization of length and cost of mitigating procedures. Case studies representative of actual applications are presented. The results show that OBS criteria significantly influences the best route, indicating that the tool can reduce the design time of a pipeline and minimize installation/operational costs.
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2018-03-12
    Description: The acoustic vector sensor (AVS) can measure the acoustic pressure field’s spatial gradient, so it has directionality. But its channels may have nonideal gain/phase responses, which will severely degrade its performance in finding source direction. To solve this problem, in this study, a self-calibration algorithm based on all-phase FFT spectrum analysis is proposed. This method is “self-calibrated” because prior knowledge of the training signal’s arrival angle is not required. By measuring signals from different directions, the initial phase can be achieved by taking the all-phase FFT transform to each channel. We use the amplitude of the main spectrum peak of every channel in different direction to formulate an equation; the amplitude gain estimates can be achieved by solving this equation. In order to get better estimation accuracy, bearing difference of different training signals should be larger than a threshold, which is related to SNR. Finally, the reference signal’s direction of arrival can be estimated. This method is easy to implement and has advantage in accuracy and antinoise. The efficacy of this proposed scheme is verified with simulation results.
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2018-03-12
    Description: Nearly all applications in multiagent systems demand precision, robustness, consistency, and rapid convergence in designing of distributed consensus algorithms. Keeping this thing in our sight, this research suggests a robust consensus protocol for distributed multiagent networks, continuing asynchronous communications, where agent’s states values are updated at diverse interval of time. This paper presents an asynchronous communication for both reliable and unreliable network topologies. The primary goal is to delineate local control inputs to attain time synchronization by processing the update information received by the agents associated in a communication topology. Additionally in order to accomplish the robust convergence, modelling of convergence analysis is conceded by commissioning the basic principles of graph and matrix theory alongside the suitable lemmas. Moreover, statistical examples presenting four diverse scenarios are provided in the end; produced results are the recognisable indicator to authenticate the robust effectiveness of the proposed algorithm. Likewise, a simulation comparison of the projected algorithm with the other existing approaches is conducted, considering different performance parameters are being carried out to support our claim.
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2018-03-12
    Description: Adult stem cell-based therapeutic approaches for tissue regeneration have been proposed for several years. However, adult stem cells are usually limited in number and difficult to be expanded in vitro, and they usually tend to quickly lose their potency with passages, as they differentiate and become senescent. Culturing stem cells under reduced oxygen tensions (below 21%) has been proposed as a tool to increase cell proliferation, but many studies reported opposite effects. In particular, cell response to hypoxia seems to be very stem cell type specific. Nonetheless, it is clear that a major role in this process is played by the hypoxia inducible factor (HIF), the master regulator of cell response to oxygen deprivation, which affects cell metabolism and differentiation. Herein, we report that a chemical activation of HIF in human tendon stem cells reduces their proliferation and inhibits their differentiation in a reversible and dose-dependent manner. These results support the notion that hypoxia, by activating HIF, plays a crucial role in preserving stem cells in an undifferentiated state in the “hypoxic niches” present in the tissue in which they reside before migrating in more oxygenated areas to heal a damaged tissue.
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-9678
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: We extend the standard model with three right-handed singlet neutrinos and a real singlet scalar. We impose two and symmetries. We explain the tiny neutrino mass-squared differences with two - and -even right-handed neutrinos using type I seesaw mechanism. The -odd fermion and the -odd scalar can both serve as viable dark matter candidates. We identify new regions in the parameter space which are consistent with relic density of the dark matter from recent direct search experiments LUX-2016 and XENON1T-2017 and LHC data.
    Print ISSN: 1687-7357
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-7365
    Topics: Physics
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  • 11
    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: The NICE classification is an international endoscopic classification of colorectal neoplasia through a narrowband spectrum that on the basis of lesion colors, vascular pattern, and structure of the surface of the mucous membrane classifies colorectal neoplasms in three categories: type 1 as hyperplastic lesions, type 2 as adenomas, and type 3 as invasive tumors. The aim of this study was to verify diagnostic accuracy of the NICE classification system compared to the reference standard: histopathological analysis. This retrospective study was conducted by ten physicians on a sequential sample of 418 patients and 735 polyps. The total diagnostic accuracy of the NICE classification system is found to be 76.7%. Optical recognition is significantly better with larger polyps, high-risk lesions (HGIEN), and neoplastic lesions. This research has shown that the NICE classification system is at the moment inferior to histopathological analysis. However, it is noticed that some physicians achieve significantly better results, with the accuracy of diagnosis ranging from 59.5% to 84.2%. These results show that with proper training of physicians and the use of endoscope enhancements to improve image quality, the NICE classification system could in the future potentially replace the histopathological diagnosis process.
    Print ISSN: 1687-6121
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-630X
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  • 12
    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: Background. Patients with inflammatory bowel diseases could experience mouth and teeth disorders and alterations in psychological mood. Vice versa, the psychological status may influence the presence of oral diseases. Aim. To evaluate in inflammatory bowel disease patients the prevalence of sleep bruxism and its correlation with the presence of oral diseases, quality of sleep, and psychological disturbances. Methods. Patients were consecutively recruited in our clinic and examined for temporomandibular disorders, dental enamel disorders, sleep bruxism, and recurrent aphthous stomatitis by two dentists. Patients also underwent Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and Beck Depression Inventory Scale questionnaires. Results. 47 patients and 46 controls were included. Sleep bruxism and enamel wear disorders were more frequent in Crohn’s disease patients when compared with ulcerative colitis patients and controls ( and , resp.). Among groups, no differences were noted for enamel hypoplasia, temporomandibular disorders, recurrent aphthous stomatitis, depression, and quality of sleep. We found a positive correlation between bruxism and temporomandibular disorders (Spearman 0.6, ) and between bruxism and pathological sleep (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index 〉 5) (Spearman 0.3, ). Conclusion. Bruxism and enamel wear disorders should be routinely searched in Crohn’s disease patients. Moreover, the attention of healthcare givers to sleep disturbances should be addressed to all inflammatory bowel disease patients.
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  • 13
    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: Aims. To explore the risk factors for rebleeding in acute nonvariceal upper gastrointestinal bleeding patients with high-risk stigmata after endoscopic hemostasis and to develop a new scoring system for them. Methods. A retrospective single-center study was conducted from January 2012 to June 2017. The logistic regression model was used to explore risk factors of poor clinical outcomes. Accuracy of new scoring systems was compared with Rockall score (RS) and Glasgow-Blatchford score (GBS) using receiver operating characteristics curve. Results. Two hundred nine patients were included. In multivariate regression analysis, systolic blood pressure, endoscopic hemostasis method, hemoglobin, blood urea nitrogen, and serum creatinine were identified as indicators for rebleeding. New scoring systems with 4 variables and 5 variables based on these 5 risk factors were chosen. The 4-variable scoring system outperformed GBS in predicting rebleeding while 5-variable scoring system outperformed RS and GBS in predicting rebleeding significantly. Score 2 was identified as the best cut-off of these 2 scoring systems. Conclusions. Systolic blood pressure, endoscopic hemostasis method, hemoglobin, blood urea nitrogen, and serum creatinine were all associated with poor clinical outcomes. The new scoring systems had greater accuracy than RS and GBS in predicting rebleeding. Further external validation should be performed to verify the results.
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  • 14
    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: Streptococcus pneumoniae is one of the leading causes of serious morbidity and mortality worldwide, especially in young children and the elderly. In this study, a model of the spread and control of bacterial pneumonia under public health interventions that involve treatment and vaccination is formulated. It is found out that the model exhibits the disease-free and endemic equilibria. The disease-free equilibrium is stable if and only if the basic reproduction number and the disease will be wiped out of the population. For the endemic equilibrium is globally stable and the disease persists. We infer the effect of these interventions on the dynamics of the pneumonia through sensitivity analysis on the effective reproduction number from which it is revealed that treatment and vaccination interventions combined can eradicate pneumonia infection. Numerical simulation to illustrate the analytical results and establish the long term behavior of the disease is done. The impact of pneumonia infection control strategies is investigated. It is revealed that, with treatment and vaccination interventions combined, pneumonia can be wiped out. However, with treatment intervention alone, pneumonia persists in the population.
    Print ISSN: 1110-757X
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-0042
    Topics: Mathematics
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  • 15
    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: The olive plant has been extensively studied for its nutritional value, whereas its leaves have been specifically recognized as a processing by-product. Leaves are considered by-products of olive farming, representing a significant material arriving to the olive mill. They have been considered for centuries as an important herbal remedy in Mediterranean countries. Their beneficial properties are generally attributed to the presence of a range of phytochemicals such as secoiridoids, triterpenes, lignans, and flavonoids. With the aim to study the impact of geographical location on the phenolic compounds, Olea europaea leaves were handpicked from the Tunisian cultivar “Chemlali” from nine regions in the north, center, and south of Tunisia. The ground leaves were then extracted with methanol : water 80% () and analyzed by using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray time of flight and ion trap mass spectrometry analyzers. A total of 38 compounds could be identified. Their contents showed significant variation among samples from different regions. Hierarchical cluster analysis was applied to highlight similarities in the phytochemical composition observed between the samples of different regions.
    Print ISSN: 2090-8865
    Electronic ISSN: 2090-8873
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology
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  • 16
    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: Alantolactone and isoalantolactone are the major active ingredients of Inulae Radix. Their metabolism in vivo and in vitro was investigated by UPLC-Q-TOF-MS for the first time. As a result, nine metabolites in vivo including cysteine conjugates, oxidates, dehydrogenates, and hydrates were detected in rat bile after oral administration. The metabolites produced in vitro by incubation with rat liver microsomes were found to be substantially identical to those detected in vivo. However, no metabolites were detected in the samples of plasma, feces, and urine or in the incubates of gastric juice, intestinal juice, and intestinal bacteria. These results reveal that the liver is the main metabolic organ for alantolactone and isoalantolactone, and the first pass effect of the liver appears to be the reason for the low oral bioavailability of the two lactones.
    Print ISSN: 2090-9063
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology
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  • 17
    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: A convenient total synthesis of (Z)-12-tetradecenyl acetate (1a) and (E)-12-tetradecenyl acetate (1b), which are the sex pheromones of Ostrinia furnacalis (Guenée), has been achieved. The target mixture molecules, of a cis-to-trans-isomer ratio of 27 to 73, were synthesized in 40% overall yield and through [13C + 1C] synthetic strategy in five steps from commercially available and cheap industrial brassylic acid as key starting material. The electroantennogram (EAG) responses of synthetic sex pheromone to ACB male moths were conducted. The results showed that the target mixture molecules were found to have a good activity and displayed significantly stronger EAG responses ranging from 10 to 1000 μg, and the optimized stimulating dosage of the activity of synthetic sex pheromone to ACB males is 10 μg. Compared with the existing routes, this synthetic approach is operationally simple, good-yielding, and cost-effective, which could serve as a basis for developing the techniques of sex pheromone mass trapping or mating disruption and providing an environmentally benign method to control ACB pests.
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    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology
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  • 18
    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: The flavonoid fraction was extracted from the leaves of Abutilon theophrasti Medic., which are usually used as a traditional Chinese herbal medicine for the treatment of inflammation and joint pain. The current study focused on the extraction process, component analysis, and in vitro antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory activities of the flavonoid fraction as a part of ongoing research on bioactive substances from natural plant sources. This study evaluated the antioxidant activities via assays of DPPH radical scavenging capacity, ABTS radical scavenging capacity, and reducing power and investigated inhibitory activities against Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus. Moreover, the inflammatory activity of the flavonoid fraction was estimated by measurement of the content of tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-1-beta, interleukin-6, interleukin-10, nitric oxide, and cyclooxygenase-2 and the gene expression levels of several inflammation markers, such as inducible nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase-2, in RAW 264.7 macrophages after LPS treatment. In addition, the underlying anti-inflammatory mechanisms, that is, the activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways, were also revealed from the gene and protein expression levels. Taken together, these results suggested that the flavonoid fraction might exert in vitro antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory effects on LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages and will be potentially useful as an adjuvant treatment for oxidative stress and bacterial and inflammatory diseases.
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    Electronic ISSN: 1466-1861
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  • 19
    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: Background. Inflammation plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We evaluated the lncRNA and mRNA expression profile of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from healthy nonsmokers, smokers without airflow limitation, and COPD patients. Methods. lncRNA and mRNA profiling of PBMCs from 17 smokers and 14 COPD subjects was detected by high-throughput microarray. The expression of dysregulated lncRNAs was validated by qPCR. The lncRNA targets in dysregulated mRNAs were predicted and the GO enrichment was analyzed. The regulatory role of lncRNA ENST00000502883.1 on CXCL16 expression and consequently the effect on PBMC recruitment were investigated by siRNA knockdown and chemotaxis analysis. Results. We identified 158 differentially expressed lncRNAs in PBMCs from COPD subjects compared with smokers. The dysregulated expression of 5 selected lncRNAs NR_026891.1 (FLJ10038), ENST00000502883.1 (RP11-499E18.1), HIT000648516, XR_429541.1, and ENST00000597550.1 (CTD-2245F17.3), was validated. The GO enrichment showed that leukocyte migration, immune response, and apoptosis are the main enriched processes that previously reported to be involved in the pathogenesis of COPD. The regulatory role of ENST00000502883.1 on CXCL16 expression and consequently the effect on PBMC recruitment was confirmed. Conclusion. This study may provide clues for further studies targeting lncRNAs to control inflammation in COPD.
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  • 20
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: The octocoral Heliopora coerulea has emerged as one of the most dominant reef-building corals in the Bolinao Reef Complex, northern Philippines. One of the possible mechanisms that may contribute to the success of H. coerulea over scleractinian corals is its ability to compete effectively for space on the reef by inhibiting the settlement of coral larvae in its immediate vicinity. To determine whether H. coerulea can indeed inhibit larval recruitment, settlement tiles were deployed inside H. coerulea aggregations or on hard substrate at a distance of about 2 to 3 meters away. After three months of deployment, only a single H. coerulea recruit was observed on tiles placed within aggregations whereas many different coral recruits were observed on tiles placed on substrate away from the blue coral. These results suggest that adult H. coerulea can inhibit the settlement of scleractinian larvae. This effect may be mediated by various mechanisms, such as the production of allelopathic compounds, deployment of mesenterial filaments, and sweeper tentacles. However, further studies are needed to determine the modes of competition that are used by the coral.
    Print ISSN: 1687-9481
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-949X
    Topics: Biology
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  • 21
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: This study describes the relationship between mollusks, physicochemical properties of seawater, and sediments under natural conditions of low impact. Thirty-nine stations were sampled in October 1994 using a Van Veen grab (0.1 m−2). Temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations of bottom water were obtained with a CTD. Organic matter content and sediment grain analysis were determined. A total of 836 mollusks were collected. Gastropoda was the most abundant (52%) and diverse class with 27 genera, followed by Bivalvia with eight genera and Scaphopoda with only one genus. According to CCA analysis, dominant mollusks were significantly related with high DO concentrations. Donax, Natica, Acteocina, Bulla, Anachis, Odostomia, and Crucibulum can be classified as sensitive genera because they were found mainly in high oxygen concentrations (3.1–5.6 mL L−1); on the other hand, Cardiomya, Nuculana, Laevicardium, Chione, Truncatella, and Dentalium can be classified as tolerant genera (1.0–5.6 mL L−1). Todos Santos Bay hosts a diverse malacological fauna (36 genera); our results show that the dominant genera were mainly related to high dissolved oxygen concentrations. Mollusks can be a useful tool in environmental monitoring programs related with oxygen depletion in coastal areas.
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  • 22
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: One of the most well-known species in the bivalve family Limidae (d’Orbigny, 1846) is the brightly colored Ctenoides scaber (Born, 1778), commonly known as the rough file clam or flame scallop. Distinguishing this bivalve from its close relative, C. mitis (Lamarck, 1807), can be difficult using only morphological features and has led to much taxonomic confusion throughout the literature. In this study, morphological characters were compared to a molecular phylogeny constructed using three genes (COI, 28S, and H3) in order to differentiate C. scaber and C. mitis. The phylogeny recovered two well-supported clades that differ significantly in shell rib numbers, but not tentacle colors. The two species were then placed in a larger phylogenetic context of the Limidae family, which revealed the need for further systematic revision across genera. As these bivalves are popular in aquaria, cannot be tank-raised, and have been overcollected in the past, proper species identification is important for assessing sustainable collection practices.
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  • 23
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Sustainable operation of public-private partnership (PPP) infrastructure projects that are characterized by considerable external benefits is of vital importance. However, a liquidity shock might trigger an inefficient liquidation of a project by the special purpose vehicle (SPV) and the bank, whose objectives are to maximize the profits generated by the project. This study argues that performance guarantee and subsidy policies implemented by the government play a role in encouraging socially efficient decision-making by the SPV and the bank to ensure the continuation of socially valuable projects. The results show that both government subsidy and performance guarantee policies are effective in avoiding the inefficient liquidation of PPP infrastructure projects when the external benefits are large and certain. However, a performance guarantee policy might lead to inefficient continuation when the external benefits of a project are uncertain. Finally, we discuss the possibility that an integrated policy combining performance guarantees and government subsidies improves the efficiency of a PPP infrastructure project.
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  • 24
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: An effective hybrid model has been proposed by combining ANP, SERVQUAL, and DEMATEL techniques. This model aims to meet different purposes of the hotels and diverse needs of customers at different stages, that is, reservation, reception, accommodation, catering, and check-out. High quality services are ensured when customer expectations have been provided at the expectation level of the customers or beyond that. SERVQUAL model is used to assess the performance of the organizations in terms of five dimensions: responsiveness, empathy, reliability, assurance, and tangibles. Super matrix calculations and pair comparisons required in ANP model have been carried out using DEMATEL model in order to measure the influence of performance assessment measures on each other. In this paper, SERVQUAL model parameters have been considered as the expectations of the hotel clients. Then these customer expectations have been analyzed using DEMATEL model and finally have been ranked using ANP model. Parameters of SERVQUAL model are comprised of verbal and vague criteria in terms of the responses provided by the organizations and customers. This has led to fuzzy conditions in this research. The hybrid model provided better results compared with each individual model, in terms of meeting customer satisfaction and the organization’s objectives.
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  • 25
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: The main property of gyroscopic devices is maintaining the axis of a spinning rotor, a mathematical model formulated on the principle of the change in the angular momentum. This principle is used for mathematical modeling of the motions of a top at known publications. Nevertheless, practical tests of gyroscopic devices do not correspond to this analytical approach. Recent investigations have demonstrated that the origin of gyroscope properties is more complex than that represented in known publications. The applied torque on a gyroscope produces internal torques of the spinning rotor based on the action of the several inertial forces. These forces are the centrifugal, Coriolis, and common inertial forces as well as the change in the angular momentum generated by the mass elements and center-mass of the spinning rotor. The action of these torques manifests itself in the resistance and precession torques of the gyroscopic devices. These inertial torques act simultaneously and interdependently around two axes and represent the fundamental principles of the gyroscope theory. The new inertial torques enable deriving mathematical models for the motions of well-known top that is the simplest form of gyroscopic devices. The novelty of the work is mathematical models for the motions of the top based on action of eight inertial forces acting around its two axes. The obtained mathematical models for the top nutation and self-stabilization are represented in terms of machine dynamics and vibration analysis. The new analytical approach for motions of the well-balanced top and top with eccentricity of the center-mass definitely responds to the practical results.
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  • 26
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: In a nonlinear system, impasse points are singularities beyond which solutions are not continuable. In this article, we study two families of nonlinear electrical circuits, which can be represented by nonlinear Implicit Differential Equations. We set conditions that ensure the existence of impasse points in both families of circuits. In the literature, there exist general results to analyse the presence of such singularities in given differential equations of this type. However, the method proposed in this work allows detecting their existence in these electrical topologies in an extremely straightforward way, as illustrated by the examples of application.
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  • 27
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: The forebay of pumping stations is an important hydraulic structure that connects the channel with the inlet channel. Actual test observations and theoretical studies have shown that poor precursors produce backflow, vortex, and water flow disturbances in the forebay water. In this paper, taking a lateral inlet pump station as an example, we study the nonmeasures and five rectification measures—“Y” type diversion pier, “T” shaped diversion pier, narrow bottom hole, high and wide bottom, and diversion wall—through adopting the method of numerical simulation and model test. For the numerical simulation, the corresponding three-dimensional model is established by UG solid modeling software, and then the computational fluid is simulated numerically with CFX. Based on the analysis and comparison of the results during the test of numerical simulation and model test, the stability of the rectification measures is considered after taking into consideration the results of the uniformity test of the velocity distribution of the surface layer, the bottom layer, and the front section of each scheme. The proposed scheme (“T” diversion pier) is regarded as the pumping station flow control measures.
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  • 28
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Due to the limited communication resource and power, it is usually infeasible for sensor networks to gather data to a central processing node. Distributed algorithms are an efficient way to resolve this problem. In the algorithms, each sensor node deals with its own input data and transmits the local results to its neighbors. Each node fuses the information from neighbors and its own to get the final results. Different from the existing work, in this paper, we present an approach for distributed parameter estimation in wireless sensor networks based on the use of memory. The proposed approach consists of modifying the cost function by adding extra statistical information. A distributed least-mean squares (-LMS) algorithm, called memory -LMS, is then derived based on the cost function and analyzed. The theoretical performances of mean and mean square are analyzed. Moreover, simulation results show that the proposed algorithm outperforms the traditional -LMS algorithm in terms of convergence rate and mean square error (MSE) performance.
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  • 29
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: A method to estimate the (positive) largest Lyapunov exponent (LLE) from data using interval extensions is proposed. The method differs from the ones available in the literature in its simplicity since it is only based on three rather simple steps. Firstly, a polynomial NARMAX is used to identify a model from the data under investigation. Secondly, interval extensions, which can be easily extracted from the identified model, are used to calculate the lower bound error. Finally, a simple linear fit to the logarithm of lower bound error is obtained and then the LLE is retrieved from it as the third step. To illustrate the proposed method, the LLE is calculated for the following well-known benchmarks: sine map, Rössler Equations, and Mackey-Glass Equations from identified models given in the literature and also from two identified NARMAX models: a chaotic jerk circuit and the tent map. In the latter, a Gaussian noise has been added to show the robustness of the proposed method.
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  • 30
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Phagocytes fight fungi using canonical and noncanonical, also called LC3-associated phagocytosis (LAP), autophagy pathways. However, the outcomes of autophagy/LAP in shaping host immune responses appear to greatly vary depending on fungal species and cell types. By allowing efficient pathogen clearance and/or degradation of inflammatory mediators, autophagy proteins play a broad role in cellular and immune homeostasis during fungal infections. Indeed, defects in autophagic machinery have been linked with aberrant host defense and inflammatory states. Thus, understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the relationship between the different forms of autophagy may offer a way to identify drugable molecular signatures discriminating between selective recognition of cargo and host protection. In this regard, IFN-γ and anakinra are teaching examples of successful antifungal agents that target the autophagy machinery. This article provides an overview of the role of autophagy/LAP in response to fungi and in their infections, regulation, and therapeutic exploitation.
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  • 31
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Purpose. To evaluate the regulating effect of Notch1 signaling on Th17/Treg immune imbalance in psoriasis vulgaris (PV). Materials and Methods. Notch1, Hes-1, RORγt, Foxp3, IL-17, and IL-10 mRNA expression, as well as Th17 and Treg cell percentages in peripheral CD4+ T cells, were detected by real-time quantitative RT-PCR and flow cytometry, and serum concentrations of IL-17 and IL-10 were detected by ELISA in 36 PV patients and 32 healthy controls. Additionally, CD4+ T cells from 12 PV patients were treated with γ-secretase inhibitor DAPT, and the above indexes were measured. Results. PV patients presented distinct Th17/Treg immune imbalance and highly expressed Notch1 and Hes-1 mRNA levels, which were positively correlated with psoriasis area and severity index (PASI) and the ratios of Th17/Treg and RORγt/Foxp3. DAPT treatment resulted in the obvious downregulation of Th17 cell percentage in cocultured CD4+ T cells, RORγt and IL-17 mRNA levels, and IL-17 concentration in cell-free supernatant from cocultured CD4+ T cells of PV patients in a dose-dependent manner, while there was no significant influence on Treg cell percentage, Foxp3, and IL-10 expression, therefore leading to the recovery of Th17/Treg immune imbalance. Conclusion. Notch1 signaling may contribute to the pathogenesis of PV by regulating Th17/Treg immune imbalance.
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  • 32
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Artemisia princeps var. orientalis (Asteraceae, A. princeps) is a well-known traditional medicinal herb used for treating various inflammatory disorders in Korea, Japan, China, and other Asian countries. In the present study, we investigated the effects of A. princeps extract (APO) on interleukin- (IL-) 1β regulation and inflammasome activation in bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) and monosodium urate- (MSU-) induced peritonitis mouse model in vivo. The APO treatment to BMDMs primed with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) attenuated the NLRP3 and AIM2 inflammasome activation induced by danger signals, such as ATP, nigericin, silica crystals, and poly (dA:dT), respectively. Mechanistic study revealed that APO suppressed the ASC oligomerization and speck formation, which are required for inflammasome activation. APO treatment also reduced the ASC phosphorylation induced by the combination of LPS and a tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor. In vivo evaluation revealed that intraperitoneal administration of APO reduced IL-1β levels, significantly () and dose dependently, in the MSU-induced peritonitis mouse model. In conclusion, our study is the first to report that the extract of A. princeps inhibits inflammasome activation through the modulation of ASC phosphorylation. Therefore, APO might be developed as therapeutic potential in the treatment of inflammasome-mediated inflammatory disorders, such as gouty arthritis.
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  • 33
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Aim. Postoperative ileus (POI) is common after surgery. Animal studies indicate that the POI mechanism involves an inflammatory response, which is also activated during postoperative complications. This study aimed to determine whether inflammatory biomarkers might facilitate an early detection of prolonged POI (PPOI) or infectious complications. Methods. Forty-seven adult patients who underwent oncological colorectal surgery were included. They filled out a perioperative diary to report their gastrointestinal symptoms. Blood samples were collected preoperatively, and on postoperative day (POD) 1 and 3. Levels of leucocytes, C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin (IL)-6, TNF-α, and IL-1β were analyzed. Results. Patients with PPOI had significantly longer stay in hospital than patients without (13.6 ± 10.5 versus 7.4 ± 3.2 days, ); they also had higher levels of IL-6 ratios, leucocytes, and CRP levels, but did not reach significance. Higher levels of postoperative IL-6 and CRP levels (, resp.) were found in patients with infectious complications. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis found better diagnostic values of IL-6 ratio on both POD 1 and 3 than that of CRP (POD 1: ROC 0.825, ). Conclusion. Blood levels of inflammatory cytokines cannot predict PPOI after colorectal surgery. Instead, postoperative IL-6 changes may predict the infectious complications with a better diagnostic value than the current leukocytes or CRP tests.
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  • 34
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: The chemotherapeutic agent paclitaxel is widely used for cancer treatment. Paclitaxel treatment impairs learning and memory function, a side effect that reduces the quality of life of cancer survivors. However, the neural mechanisms underlying paclitaxel-induced impairment of learning and memory remain unclear. Paclitaxel treatment leads to proinflammatory factor release and neuronal apoptosis. Thus, we hypothesized that paclitaxel impairs learning and memory function through proinflammatory factor-induced neuronal apoptosis. Neuronal apoptosis was assessed by TUNEL assay in the hippocampus. Protein expression levels of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) in the hippocampus tissue were analyzed by Western blot assay. Spatial learning and memory function were determined by using the Morris water maze (MWM) test. Paclitaxel treatment significantly increased the escape latencies and decreased the number of crossing in the MWM test. Furthermore, paclitaxel significantly increased the number of TUNEL-positive neurons in the hippocampus. Also, paclitaxel treatment increased the expression levels of TNF-α and IL-1β in the hippocampus tissue. In addition, the TNF-α synthesis inhibitor thalidomide significantly attenuated the number of paclitaxel-induced TUNEL-positive neurons in the hippocampus and restored the impaired spatial learning and memory function in paclitaxel-treated rats. These data suggest that TNF-α is critically involved in the paclitaxel-induced impairment of learning and memory function.
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  • 35
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Although there is evidence for metabolic dysfunction and chronic inflammation in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), circulating levels of soluble receptor for advanced glycation end products (sRAGE) and the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) ligand S100B have not been characterized. sRAGE is an important mediator in disease as it can act as a ligand decoy for RAGE and attenuate downstream inflammatory signaling. Cognitively healthy elderly and AD participants with and without type 2 diabetes () were stratified according to the clinical dementia rating (CDR; 0 = normal cognition (NC); ≥0.5 = AD). Total serum sRAGE, endogenous secretory RAGE (esRAGE), and S100B were assayed via ELISAs, and cleaved RAGE (cRAGE) and the cRAGE : esRAGE ratio were calculated. cRAGE : esRAGE was lower in AD compared to NC (). Metabolic substratifications were used to investigate the factors that influence sRAGE pathology in AD. Stratification by BMI classification, median fat mass, median HOMA-IR, median insulin, and median amylin were all metabolic or anthropometric factors which significantly interacted with sRAGE profiles within AD subjects. There were no significant differences in serum S100B between groups. These characterizations of sRAGE contribute evidence to the link between impaired metabolism and cognitive decline due to AD.
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  • 36
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: The expression of cytochrome P4501A1 (CYP1A1) enzyme is changed in various organs during the host response to inflammation or infection, leading to alterations in the metabolism of endogenous and exogenous compounds. Results of this study showed that CYP1A1 expression was significantly downregulated in the mammary tissue of bovine with mastitis, in inflammatory epithelial cells (INEs) extracted from the tissue, and in lipopolysaccharide- (LPS-) induced INEs compared with their corresponding counterparts. Overexpression of CYP1A1 in bovine mammary epithelial cells alleviated the LPS-induced inhibition of epithelial proliferation, abated the LPS-induced increase of gene expression and protein secretion of inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6, and attenuated the LPS-induced activation of NF-κB signaling. These findings suggest that CYP1A1 has immense potential in the regulation of inflammatory responses in bovine mammary epithelial cells during mastitis and may serve as a useful therapeutic target in mitigating injuries caused by inflammatory overreaction.
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  • 37
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD), a long-lasting cognitive decline after surgery, is currently a major clinical problem with no clear pathophysiological mechanism or effective therapy. Accumulating evidence suggests that neuroinflammation plays a critical role in POCD. After surgery, alarmins are leaked from the injury sites and proinflammatory cytokines are increased in the peripheral circulation. Neurons in the hippocampus, which is responsible for learning and memory, can be damaged by cytokines transmitted to the brain parenchyma. Microglia, bone marrow-derived macrophages, mast cells, and T cells in the central nervous system (CNS) can be activated to secrete more cytokines, further aggravating neuroinflammation after surgery. Conversely, blocking the inflammation network between these immune cells and related cytokines alleviates POCD in experimental animals. Thus, a deeper understanding of the roles of immune cells and the crosstalk between them in POCD may uncover promising therapeutic targets for POCD treatment and prevention. Here, we reviewed several major immune cells and discussed their functional roles in POCD.
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  • 38
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: This paper presents welding torch pose model and interpolation algorithm of trajectory control of saddle-shaped weld formed by intersection of two pipes; the working principle, interpolation algorithm, welding experiment, and simulation result of the automatic welding system of the saddle-shaped weld are described. A variable angle interpolation method is used to control the trajectory and pose of the welding torch, which guarantees the constant linear terminal velocity. The mathematical model of the trajectory and pose of welding torch are established. Simulation and experiment have been carried out to verify the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm and mathematical model. The results demonstrate that the interpolation algorithm is well within the interpolation requirements of the saddle-shaped weld and ideal feed rate stability.
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  • 39
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: In Sweden, the dam-safety guidelines call for an overhaul of many existing bottom outlets. During the opening of an outlet gate, understanding the transient air-water flow is essential for its safe operation, especially under submerged tailwater conditions. Three-dimensional CFD simulations are undertaken to examine air-water flow behaviors at both free and submerged outflows. The gate, hoisted by wire ropes and powered by AC, opens at a constant speed. A mesh is adapted to follow the gate movement. At the free outflow, the CFD simulations and model tests agree well in terms of outlet discharge capacity. Larger air vents lead to more air supply; the increment becomes, however, limited if the vent area is larger than 10 m2. At the submerged outflow, a hydraulic jump builds up in the conduit when the gate reaches approximately 45% of its full opening. The discharge is affected by the tailwater and slightly by the flow with the hydraulic jump. The flow features strong turbulent mixing of air and water, with build-up and break-up of air pockets and collisions of defragmented water bodies. The air demand rate is several times as much as required by steady-state hydraulic jump with free surface.
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  • 40
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Qualitative simulation is a well-known reasoning technique that involves the use of simulation technologies. Reasoning is made to determine qualitative values and change directions of system variables, and it is done for each time point and time interval following the time point. Qualitative variables possess continuous qualitative value sets that are discretized by landmark points. Qualitative simulation uses qualitative time representation and its quantitative value is of no interest. The main purpose of this study was to develop a technique to determine time steps for a quantitative simulation under guidance of qualitative information. The proposed technique determined time advances using qualitative and quantitative information together to obtain a robust time step as wide as possible for simulation time advances. For this purpose, sign algebraic properties and derivation roots of quantitative equations and qualitative variable values with their change directions were used to compute time advances. In the approach, qualitative simulation determined landmark points to be advanced, and quantitative simulation calculated the duration required. Using the proposed algorithm, the simulation is advanced instead of iterating simulation time for a predefined time step and checking whether or not there is any activity in the interval, directly to the time points that are qualitatively different.
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  • 41
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: This paper proposes a method based on simulation techniques for fluctuation characterizations of unmanned surface vehicle (USV) operations under Sea State 3. In order to simulate the operations of a USV in Sea State 3, we generated the data of sea surfaces using linear wave theory and utilized the motion equation. Fluctuation analysis results by the proposed simulation method could provide crucial information for designing the stabilization system for the critical equipment on a USV. Through these works, it was verified that the design specifications such as range of motion, maximum speed, and acceleration could be estimated using the simulation data.
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  • 42
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: The melting of paraffin in thermal storage tube-and-shell and combine-and-shell models was conducted with the numerical research aim of decreasing the charge time through changing the shape of the tube into combining form. The results discussed are temperature contour, liquid-solid interface contour, temperature distribution, liquid fraction, and the average Nusselt number. The results show that the charge time in the tube-and-shell model is 2000 s, while the combine-and-shell model is 1200 s, meaning an overall decrease in charge time in the combine-and-shell model by 40% when compared to that of the tube-and-shell model.
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  • 43
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Background. RA patients have a higher incidence of cardiovascular diseases compared to the general population. Serum amyloid A (SAA) is an acute-phase protein, upregulated in sera of RA patients. Aim. To determine the effects of medications on SAA-stimulated human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAEC). Methods. HCAEC were preincubated for 2 h with medications from sterile ampules (dexamethasone, methotrexate, certolizumab pegol, and etanercept), dissolved in medium (captopril) or DMSO (etoricoxib, rosiglitazone, meloxicam, fluvastatin, and diclofenac). Human recombinant apo-SAA was used to stimulate HCAEC at a final 1000 nM concentration for 24 hours. IL-6, IL-8, sVCAM-1, and PAI-1 were measured by ELISA. The number of viable cells was determined colorimetrically. Results. SAA-stimulated levels of released IL-6, IL-8, and sVCAM-1 from HCAEC were significantly attenuated by methotrexate, fluvastatin, and etoricoxib. Both certolizumab pegol and etanercept significantly decreased PAI-1 by an average of 43%. Rosiglitazone significantly inhibited sVCAM-1 by 58%. Conclusion. We observed marked influence of fluvastatin on lowering cytokine production in SAA-activated HCAEC. Methotrexate showed strong beneficial effects for lowering released Il-6, IL-8, and sVCAM-1. Interesting duality was observed for NSAIDs, with meloxicam exhibiting opposite-trend effects from diclofenac and etoricoxib. This represents unique insight into specific responsiveness of inflammatory-driven HCAEC relevant to atherosclerosis.
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  • 44
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Spondyloarthropathy (SpA) is a unique type of joint inflammation characterized by coexisting erosive bone damage and pathological new bone formation. Previous genetic association studies have demonstrated that several cytokine pathways play a critical role in the pathogenesis of ankylosing spondylitis (AS), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), and other types of SpA. In addition to several well-known proinflammatory cytokines, recent studies suggest that IL-17 plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of SpA. Further evidence from human and animal studies have defined that IL-17 and IL-17-producing cells contribute to tissue inflammation, autoimmunity, and host defense, leading to the following pathologic events associated with SpA. Recently, several clinical trials targeting IL-17 pathways demonstrated the positive response of IL-17 blockade in treating AS, indicating a great potential of IL-17-targeting therapy in SpA. In this review article, we have discussed the contributing role of IL-17 and different IL-17-producing cells in the pathogenesis of SpA and provided an outline of therapeutic application of the IL-17 blockade in the treatment of SpA. Other targeted cytokines associated with IL-17 axis in SpA will also be included.
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  • 45
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Background. Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) occurred in genetically predisposed people exposed to environmental triggers. Diet has long been suspected to contribute to the development of IBD. Supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) protects against intestinal inflammation in rodent models while clinical trials showed no benefits. We hypothesized that intervention timing is crucial and dietary fatty acid pattern may influence intestinal environment to modify inflammation genesis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the dietary effect of PUFA composition on intestinal inflammation. Methods. Animals received diet varying in their PUFA composition for four weeks before TNBS-induced colitis. Colon inflammatory markers and gut barrier function parameters were assessed. Inflammatory pathway PCR arrays were determined. Results. n-3 diet significantly decreased colon iNOS, COX-2 expression, IL-6 production, and LTB4 production but tended to decrease colon TNFα production () compared to control diet. Tight junction protein (claudin-1, occludin) expressions and MUC2 and TFF3 mRNA levels were not different among groups. n-9 diet also decreased colon IL-6 production (). Conclusions. Dietary n-3 PUFA influence colitis development by attenuating inflammatory markers. Further research is required to better define dietary advice with a scientific rationale.
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  • 46
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Calophyllum brasiliense is a plant from the Brazilian rain forests and has been used in folk medicine for the treatment of various diseases, including leishmaniasis. This infectious disease depends on the Leishmania sp. and the host immune response. C. brasiliense antileishmanial activity is well known, but the effects on immune response remain to be investigated. This study showed the leishmanicidal and immunomodulatory effects of a 30 μg/mL of hydroalcoholic extract of C. brasiliense in murine macrophages before and after Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis infection. The semiquantitative cytokine RNA expression was determined by RT-PCR and the anti-Leishmania activity was measured by infection index (IF). Hydroalcoholic extract of C. brasiliense reduced more than 95% of IF when used before and after Leishmania infection, with 3 and 24 h of treatment (). C. brasiliense inhibited or reduced significantly () the TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-18, and IL-10 mRNA expression. The antileishmanial and anti-inflammatory effects showed the potential of C. brasiliense as an alternative therapy for leishmaniasis and it must be investigated.
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  • 47
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Objective. To profile maternal plasma metabolome in spontaneous preterm birth. Method. In this retrospective case-control study, we have examined plasma of patient with preterm birth (between 22 and 36 weeks of pregnancy ()), with threatened preterm labor (between 23 and 36 weeks of pregnancy ()), and with term delivery (). Plasma samples were analysed using liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC-Q-TOF-MS) in positive and negative polarity modes. Results. We found 168 differentially expressed metabolites that were significantly distinct between study groups. We determined 51 metabolites using publicly available databases that could be subdivided into one of the five groups: amino acids, fatty acids, lipids, hormones, and bile acids. PLS-DA models, verified by SVM classification accuracy, differentiated preterm birth and term delivery groups. Conclusions. Maternal plasma metabolites are different between term and preterm parturitions. Part of them may be related with preterm labor, while others may be affected by gestational age or the beginning of labor. Metabolite profile can classify preterm or term delivery groups raising the potential of metabolome as a biomarker to identify high-risk pregnancies. Metabolomic studies are also a tool to detect individual compounds that may be further tested in targeted researches.
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  • 48
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: The “long-life elixir” has long represented for humans a dream, a vanity’s sin for remaining young and to long survive. Today, because of ageing population phenomenon, the research of antiageing interventions appears to be more important than ever, for preserving health in old age and retarding/or delaying the onset of age-related diseases. A hope is given by experimental data, which evidence the possibility of retarding ageing in animal models. In addition, it has been also demonstrated in animal life-extending studies not only the possibility of increasing longevity but also the ability to retard the onset of age-related diseases. Interestingly, this recent evidence is leading to promise of obtaining the same effects in humans and resulting in benefits for their health in old ages. In order to achieve this goal, different approaches have been used ranging from pharmacological targeting of ageing, basic biological assays, and big data analysis to the recent use of young blood, stem cells, cellular, genetic, and epigenetic reprogramming, or other techniques of regenerative medicine. However, only a little fraction of these approaches has the features for being tested in clinical applications. Here, new emerging molecules, drugs, and procedures will be described, by evidencing potential benefits and limitations.
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  • 49
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: The innate immune system is the first line of defense against microbial pathogens. The activated innate immune system plays important roles in eliciting antimicrobial defenses. Despite the benefits of innate immune responses, excessive inflammation will cause host damage. Thus, tight regulation of these processes is required for the maintenance of immune homeostasis. Recently, a new class of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) has emerged as important regulators in many physiological and pathological processes. Dysregulated lncRNAs have been found to be associated with excessive or uncontrolled inflammation. In this brief review, we summarize the roles of functional lncRNAs in regulating innate immune responses. We also discuss the roles of lncRNAs in macrophage polarization, an important molecular event in the innate immune responses.
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  • 50
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Several studies suggest that curcumin and related compounds possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties including modulation of lipopolysaccharide- (LPS-) mediated signalling in macrophage cell models. We here investigated the effects of curcumin and the two structurally unrelated analogues GG6 and GG9 in primary human blood-derived macrophages as well as the signalling pathways involved. Macrophages differentiated from peripheral blood monocytes for 7 days were activated with LPS or selective Toll-like receptor agonists for 24 h. The effects of test compounds on cytokine production and immunophenotypes evaluated as CD80+/CCR2+ and CD206+/CD163+ subsets were examined by ELISA and flow cytometry. Signalling pathways were probed by Western blot. Curcumin (2.5–10 μM) failed to suppress LPS-induced inflammatory responses. While GG6 reduced LPS-induced IκB-α degradation and showed a trend towards reduced interleukin-1β release, GG9 prevented the increase in proinflammatory CD80+ macrophage subset, downregulation of the anti-inflammatory CD206+/CD163+ subset, increase in p38 phosphorylation, and increase in cell-bound and secreted interleukin-1β stimulated by LPS, at least in part through signalling pathways not involving Toll-like receptor 4 and nuclear factor-κB. Thus, the curcumin analogue GG9 attenuated the LPS-induced inflammatory response in human blood-derived macrophages and may therefore represent an attractive chemical template for macrophage pharmacological targeting.
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  • 51
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: This review provides an overview on components of the sphingolipid superfamily, on their localization and metabolism. Information about the sphingolipid biological activity in cell physiopathology is given. Recent studies highlight the role of sphingolipids in inflammatory process. We summarize the emerging data that support the different roles of the sphingolipid members in specific phases of inflammation: (1) migration of immune cells, (2) recognition of exogenous agents, and (3) activation/differentiation of immune cells.
    Print ISSN: 0962-9351
    Electronic ISSN: 1466-1861
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 52
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: We present a technique for enhancing the performance of microwave absorbing materials in terms of weight, thickness, and bandwidth. The introduced technique is based on fabricating the microwave absorbing (MA) material in a structure comprised of an array of circular cylinder dielectric resonators (CDR) backed by a perfect electric conductor (PEC) ground plane. Numerical electromagnetic methods are employed to study the properties of the proposed MA array structures, where 3D full wave simulation using finite-element method is implemented. The obtained results show that the performance of the MA-CDR arrays significantly outperforms that of a flat layer composed of the same material and having equivalent thickness. A flat layer of MA material with thickness of 5 mm backed by perfect electric conductor (PEC) shows as low as  dB reflection loss (RL) peak and ~3 GHz 10-dB bandwidth, whereas an MA-CDR array, composed of the same MA material, of height of 4 mm can achieve as low as ~−50 dB RL peak and ~12 GHz 10-dB RL bandwidth.
    Print ISSN: 1687-5591
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-5605
    Topics: Computer Science , Technology
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  • 53
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Posttranscriptional gene regulation by microRNAs (miRNAs) contributes to the induction and maintenance of prostate carcinoma (PCa). To identify mRNAs enriched or removed from Ago2-containing RISC complexes, these complexes were immunoprecipitated from normal prostate fibroblasts (PNFs) and the PCa line DU145 and the bound mRNAs were quantified by microarray. The analysis of Ago complexes derived from PNFs or DU145 confirmed the enrichment or depletion of a variety of mRNAs already known from the literature to be deregulated. Novel potential targets were analyzed by luciferase assays with miRNAs known to be deregulated in PCa. We demonstrate that the mRNAs of the death effector domain-containing protein (DEDD), the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily, member 10b protein (TNFRSF10B), the tumor protein p53 inducible nuclear protein 1 (TP53INP1), and the secreted protein, acidic, cysteine-rich (SPARC; osteonectin) are regulated by miRNAs miR-148a, miR-20a, miR-24, and miR-29a/b, respectively. Therefore, these miRNAs represent potential targets for therapy. Surprisingly, overexpression of miR-24 induced focus formation and proliferation of DU145 cells, while miR-29b reduced proliferation. The study confirms genes deregulated in PCa by virtue of their presence/absence in the Ago2-complex. In conjunction with the already published miRNA profiles of PCa, the data can be used to identify miRNA-regulated mRNAs.
    Print ISSN: 2090-3111
    Electronic ISSN: 2090-312X
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 54
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most prevalent urological cancer that affects aging men in South Africa, and mechanisms underlying prostate tumorigenesis remain elusive. Research advancements in the field of PCa and epigenetics have allowed for the identification of specific alterations that occur beyond genetics but are still critically important in the pathogenesis of tumorigenesis. Anomalous epigenetic changes associated with PCa include histone modifications, DNA methylation, and noncoding miRNA. These mechanisms regulate and silence hundreds of target genes including some which are key components of cellular signalling pathways that, when perturbed, promote tumorigenesis. Elucidation of mechanisms underlying epigenetic alterations and the manner in which these mechanisms interact in regulating gene transcription in PCa are an unmet necessity that may lead to novel chemotherapeutic approaches. This will, therefore, aid in developing combination therapies that will target multiple epigenetic pathways, which can be used in conjunction with the current conventional PCa treatment.
    Print ISSN: 2090-3111
    Electronic ISSN: 2090-312X
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 55
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Introduction. Low back pain (LBP) is common in children and adolescents. There are many factors that cause LBP, including structural disorders, degenerative changes, Scheuermann’s disease, fractures, inflammation, and tumors. Magnetic Resonance Imaging is the gold standard for diagnosing spinal abnormalities and is mandatory when neurological symptoms exist. The study focuses on common MRI findings in adolescents with persistent LBP, without history of acute trauma or evidence of either inflammatory or rheumatic disease. Materials and Methods. Eleven adolescents were submitted to thoracic and/or lumbar spine MRI due to persistent LBP. The protocol consisted of T1 WI, T2 WI, and T2 WI with FS, in the axial, sagittal, and coronal plane. Results. MRI revealed structural abnormalities (scoliosis and kyphosis) in 4/11 (36.36%); disc abnormalities and endplate changes were found on 11/11 (100%). Typical Scheuermann’s disease was found in 3/11 (27.27%). Endplate changes were severe in Scheuermann’s patients and mild to moderate in the remaining 8/11 (72.72%). Kyphosis was in all cases secondary to Scheuermann’s disease. Disk bulges and hernias were found in 8/11 (72.72%), all located in the lumbar spine. Conclusion. In adolescents with LBP, structural spinal disorders, degenerative changes, and Scheuermann’s disease are commonly found on MRI; however, degenerative changes prevail.
    Print ISSN: 2090-1941
    Electronic ISSN: 2090-195X
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 56
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: The effect of the ceiling-mounted radiation shielding on the amount of the scatter radiation was assessed under conditions simulating obese patients for clinically relevant exposure parameters. Measurements were performed in different projections and with different positions of the ceiling-mounted shielding: without shielding; shielding closest to the patient; and shielding closest to the physician performing the procedure. The protection provided by the shielding was assessed for cardiology when the femoral access is used and for radiology when the physician performs the procedure in the abdominal area. The results show that the use of the ceiling-mounted shielding can decrease the dose from the scatter radiation by 95% at the position of the performing physician. In cardiology, the impact is more pronounced when the left oblique projection is used. In radiology, a large decrease was observed for right oblique projections, compared to cardiology. The ceiling-mounted shielding should be placed as close to the physician as possible. The idea of creating the largest radiation shadow by placing the radiation shielding as close to the patient as possible does not provide as effective radiation protection of the operator as it might be thought.
    Print ISSN: 2090-1941
    Electronic ISSN: 2090-195X
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  • 57
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Background. Clinical imaging guidelines (CIGs) are suitable tools to enhance justification of imaging procedures. Objective. To assess physicians’ knowledge on irradiation, their self-perception of imaging prescriptions, and the use of CIGs. Materials and Methods. A questionnaire of 21 items was self-administered between July and August 2016 to 155 referring physicians working in seven university-affiliated hospitals in Yaoundé and Douala (Cameroon). This pretested questionnaire based on imaging referral practices, the use and the need of CIGs, knowledge on radiation doses of 11 specific radiologic procedures, and knowledge of injurious effects of radiation was completed in the presence of the investigator. Scores were allocated for each question. Results. 155 questionnaires were completed out of 180 administered (86.1%). Participants were 90 (58%) females, 63 (40.64%) specialists, 53 (34.20%) residents/interns, and 39 (25.16%) general practitioners. The average professional experience was 7.4 years (1–25 years). The mean knowledge score was 11.5/59 with no influence of sex, years of experience, and professional category. CIGs users’ score was better than nonusers (means 14.2 versus 10.6; ). 80% of physicians (124/155) underrated radiation doses of routine imaging exams. Seventy-eight (50.3%) participants have knowledge on CIGs and half of them made use of them. “Impact on diagnosis” was the highest justification criteria follow by “impact on treatment decision.” Unjustified requests were mainly for “patient expectation or will” or for “research motivations.” 96% of interviewees believed that making available national CIGs will improve justification. Conclusion. Most physicians did not have appropriate awareness about radiation doses for routine imaging procedures. A small number of physicians have knowledge on CIGs but they believe that making available CIGs will improve justification of imaging procedures. Continuous trainings on radiation protection and implementation of national CIGs are therefore recommended.
    Print ISSN: 2090-1941
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  • 58
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: The application of optical-fiber thermal wave cavity (OF-TWC) technique was investigated to measure the thermal diffusivity of Ag nanofluids. The thermal diffusivity was obtained by measuring the thermal wavelength of sample in a cavity scan mode. The spherical Ag nanoparticles samples were prepared at various sizes using the microwave method. Applying the thermal wavelength measurement in a flexible OF-TWC technique requires only two experimental data sets. It can be used to estimate thermal diffusivity of a small amount of liquid samples (0.3 ml) in a brief period. UV-Vis spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy were used to measure the characterization of the Ag nanoparticles. The thermal diffusivity of distilled water, glycerol, and two different types of cooking oil was measured and has an excellent agreement with the reported results in the literature (difference of only 0.3%–2.4%). The nanofluids showed that the highest value of thermal diffusivity was achieved for smaller sized nanoparticles. The results of this method confirmed that the thermal wavelength measurement method using the OF-TWC technique had potential as a tool to measure the thermal diffusivity of nanofluids with different variables such as the size, shape, and concentration of the nanoparticles.
    Electronic ISSN: 1537-744X
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
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  • 59
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Population viability analysis (PVA) was used to (1) establish causes of roan population decline for the past 30 years in Ruma National Park (RNP), the only park where wild roans remain in Kenya, and (2) predict the probability of roan persistence under existing and alternative management options. PVA was done using long-term data based on population dynamics, life history, climatic conditions, and expert knowledge. Poaching was identified as the main cause of roan decline in RNP. Several antipoaching and prioritized habitat management interventions to promote population recovery and sustainable conservation of roans are described. PVA predictions indicated that, without these interventions, the roan population cannot persist more than 3 decades. Furthermore, ensuring sustainable conservation of roans in RNP will boost tourism in Western Kenyan and thus alleviate poverty in this part of the country. Improved income from tourism will reduce the possible pressures from hunting and give greater incentives for local people to be actively engaged in roan conservation.
    Electronic ISSN: 1537-744X
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
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  • 60
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: The paper investigates the hypothesis that biotoxicities of trace metals depend not only on the concentration as expressed by the total amount, but also on their geochemical fractions and bioavailability. Airborne particles were collected using SKC Air Check XR 5000 high volume Sampler at a human breathing height of 1.5–2.0 meters, during the dry season months from November 2014 to March 2015 at different locations in Akure (7°10′N and 5°15′E). The geochemical-based sequential extractions were performed on the particles using a series of increasingly stringent solutions selected to extract metals (Cd, Cu, Cr, Ni, Pb, Zn, and Mn) into four operational geochemical phases—exchangeable, reducible, organic, and residual—and then quantified using an Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer. The results showed metals concentration of order Pb 〉 Cr 〉 Cd 〉 Zn 〉 Ni 〉 Cu 〉 Mn. However, most metals in the samples exist in nonmobile fractions: exchangeable (6.43–16.2%), reducible (32.58–47.39%), organic (4.73–9.88%), and residual (18.28–27.53%). The pollution indices show ingestion as the leading route of metal exposure, with noncarcinogenic (HQ) and cancer risk (HI) for humans in the area being higher than 1.0 × 10−4, indicating a health threat.
    Electronic ISSN: 1537-744X
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
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  • 61
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Multiple observational studies have demonstrated that psoriasis is associated with nephropathy; however, the renal involvement in psoriasis remains largely a matter of debate. The current study was designed to investigate if psoriatic patients are at increased risk of renal abnormalities, in absence of any other comorbidities. Forty patients (11 women, 29 men, mean age 44.9 ± 15.45 years) with moderate to severe chronic plaque type psoriasis who were not under systemic therapy and 40 age- and gender-matched control subjects were enrolled in the study. Patients and controls with history of diabetes, hypertension, and chronic renal disease were excluded. Urinalysis by dipstick and microscopic evaluation and 24 h proteinuria and albuminuria were measured in all patients and controls. Patients with psoriasis and controls were not significantly different with respect to the prevalence of abnormal urinalysis (7.5% versus 5%, P = 1.0), mean 24 h proteinuria (70.40 ± 24.38 mg/24 h versus 89.40 ± 26.78 mg/24 h, P = 0.30), and albuminuria (14.15 ± 8.12 mg/24 h versus 16.62 ± 8.21 mg/24 h, P = 0.18). The presence of abnormal urinalysis was not more common in patients with psoriasis than in controls. Our study demonstrated that psoriatic patients without any other comorbidities are not at increased risk of kidney disease.
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  • 62
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Asian Indians develop type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) much earlier as compared to White Caucasians, due to unique phenotypic and genetic architecture. Periodontitis in T2DM patients is often a neglected clinical feature. This study was conducted to derive predictor variables for gingival index in middle-aged Asian Indians with T2DM in a semiurban population of Dravidian ethnicity from Tamil Nadu, India. T2DM patients (, mean age: years) with periodontitis (, mean age: years) and without periodontitis (, mean age: years) were recruited between 2014 and 2016 by purposive sampling method. Dental examinations for pocket depth (PD) and clinical attachment level (CAL) were performed and gingival index was calculated. Fasting venous blood samples were analysed for measures of glycaemia and cholesterol. Significant positive correlation () was observed for gingival index with glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c), pocket depth, presence of T2DM, and clinical attachment level. Stepwise multiple linear regression analysis derived increased pocket depth (), elevated HbA1c (), clinical attachment level (), and presence of diabetes () as significant predictors ( value = 0.67) for increased gingival index in middle aged patients with T2DM. These variables significantly () predispose middle-aged T2DM patients to increased gingival index, thus warranting appropriate intervention.
    Electronic ISSN: 1537-744X
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  • 63
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: This work aims to study the impact of solvent mixture (between 0 and 50% ethanol/water mixture) and temperature (between 25°C and 75°C) levels on the solid-liquid extraction of phenolic compounds (quantity and bioactivity) from apricot pomace. Results show that the mean augmentation of 1% ethanol in the range [0–12%] enhances by three times the extraction of polyphenols compared to the same augmentation in the range [0–50%]. Similarly, the mean augmentation of 1°Celcius in the range [0–25°Celcius] enhances by two times the extraction of polyphenols compared to the same augmentation in the range [0–75°Celcius]. Moreover, 1% of ethanol exhibited a greater impact on the phenolic compound extraction than 1°Celsius. The response surface methodology showed that the optimal extraction condition was reached with 50% ethanol/water at 75°C giving a total phenolic content (TPC) of 9.8 mg GAE/g DM, a flavonoids content (FC) of 8.9 mg CE/g DM, a tannin content (TC) of 4.72 mg/L, and an antiradical activity (AA) of 44%. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis showed that polyphenols were influenced by the selectivity of the solvent as well as the properties of each phenolic compound. Apricot pomace extracts could therefore be used as natural bioactive molecules for many industrial applications.
    Electronic ISSN: 1537-744X
    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
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  • 64
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Aim. To compare digital images of conventional radiographs with the original radiographs for perceived clarity of periapical lesions and the quality of root canal treatment. Materials and Methods. One hundred and four intraoral periapical radiographs of patients with endodontically treated teeth were randomly selected. The radiographs were digitized using an MD300 USB X-ray Reader. The digital images were transferred to an HP laptop. Three evaluators compared each conventional radiograph with the matching digital image. The images were ranked for clarity and assessed for diagnostic quality; data were analyzed using the Reliability Calculation “ReCal.” Results. Both the digital images and conventional films had comparable clarity and diagnostic quality. Results indicated a moderate agreement between the evaluators. Conclusions. Conventional radiographs digitized using an MD300 USB X-ray Reader have similar clarity and diagnostic quality in comparison to the original radiographs.
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    Topics: Natural Sciences in General
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  • 65
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Nitrogenated heterocyclic compounds are present in both natural and synthetic drugs, and hexahydropyrimidine derivatives may prove to be efficient in treating dermatomycosis causing fungi. This study evaluated the antifungal activity of four hexahydropyrimidine derivatives against the dermatomycosis causing fungi. These derivatives were synthesized, characterized, and assessed in terms of their activity against Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Microsporum canis, Microsporum gypseum, Trichophyton rubrum, Fusarium oxysporum, and Epidermophyton floccosum between concentrations 7.8 and 1,000 μg mL−1. Scanning electron micrographs were assessed for the active derivatives and reference drugs, and these micrographs revealed that new agents cause morphological changes in fungi. The derivatives HHP1, HHP3, and HHP4 revealed poor activity against the four fungal strains (MICs range 500–1000 μg mL−1). Compound HHP3 was found to be the best potential antifungal agent among those tested and was the most effective among all the active derivatives that caused morphological changes in the susceptible strains.
    Electronic ISSN: 1537-744X
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  • 66
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Schinopsis brasiliensis Engl. is a native plant of Caatinga which has high concentrations of compounds capable of absorbing ultraviolet light, suggesting its potential application for the development of sunscreen preparations. After its identification and collection, this vegetable drug was submitted to a physicochemical analysis through the preparation of ethanolic extract. The phytochemical screening and analysis of extracts were carried out by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) evaluation. The antioxidant activity of the extract was evaluated by 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) method and β-carotene bleaching test. Inhibitory hemolytic activity and morphological deformation of erythrocytes induced by H2O2 were also demonstrated and the antimicrobial activity was analyzed by the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimal bactericidal concentration (MBC) method. For the in vitro determination of the sun protection factor (SPF), the spectrophotometric method was used. From the analyses carried out with this species, this plant showed significant results for the antioxidant and antimicrobial activities, as well as sunscreen action. Important flavonoids were identified. These data are an important step for the development of new photoprotective cosmetic with Caatinga species, revealing importance and representing another incentive for the preservation of the species involved and analyzed in the study.
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  • 67
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Early skin-to-skin contact (SSC) after birth is a physiological practice that is internationally recommended and has well-documented importance for the baby and for the mother. This study aims to examine SSC with a cohort of mothers or fathers in the operating room after a Cesarean section (C-section) and its relationship with duration of breastfeeding. From January 1, 2012, to December 31, 2012, at the Castelli Hospital in Verbania, Italy, a Baby Friendly designated hospital, 252 consecutive women who had a C-section were enrolled in the study and followed for 6 months. The sample was later divided into three groups depending on the real outcomes in the operating room: SSC with the mother (57.5%), SSC with the father (17.5%), and no SSC (25%). Our study showed a statistical association between skin-to-skin contact with the mother and the exclusive breastfeeding rates on discharge. This effect is maintained and statistically significant at three and six months, as compared to the groups that had paternal SSC or no SSC. After a C-section, skin-to-skin contact with the mother can be an important practice for support, promotion, and duration of breastfeeding.
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  • 68
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Sophorae Radix (Sophora flavescens Aiton) has long been used in traditional medicine in East Asia due to the various biological activities of its secondary metabolites. Endogenous contents of phenolic compounds (phenolic acid, flavonol, and isoflavone) and the main bioactive compounds of Sophorae Radix were analyzed based on the qualitative HPLC analysis and evaluated in different organs and at different developmental stages. In total, 11 compounds were detected, and the composition of the roots and aerial parts (leaves, stems, and flowers) was significantly different. trans-Cinnamic acid and p-coumaric acid were observed only in the aerial parts. Large amounts of rutin and maackiain were detected in the roots. Four phenolic acid compounds (benzoic acid, caffeic acid, ferulic acid, and chlorogenic acid) and four flavonol compounds (kaempferol, catechin hydrate, epicatechin, and rutin) were higher in aerial parts than in roots. To identify putative genes involved in phenolic compounds biosynthesis, a total of 41 transcripts were investigated. Expression patterns of these selected genes, as well as the multiple isoforms for the genes, varied by organ and developmental stage, implying that they are involved in the biosynthesis of various phenolic compounds both spatially and temporally.
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  • 69
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Objective. The aim of this study was to perform an analysis of angular measurements (from both the full face and profile), according to shapes of the human face. Method. It was a descriptive and cross-sectional study of 108 black Ivorian subjects. For each subject selected, two standardized photographs (full face and profile) were taken, followed by anthropometric measurements. The data collected were analyzed using the SPSS 20.0 statistics software for Windows. Results. In the present work, the faces were considered according to three particular qualifiers: broad face, medium face, and narrow face. Thus, 45.37% of the faces in this study were large, 31.48% on average, and 23.15% narrow. The interlabial angles of average face and long face were wider than that of large face with . The angle of the facial width was higher for large face and average face, compared to narrow face (). Conclusion. Median and bilateral angles lead to rational understanding of the various shapes of the human face.
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  • 70
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: A full scale snow melting system with heat pipe technology is built in this work, which avoids the negative effects on concrete structure and environment caused by traditional deicing chemicals. The snow melting, ice-freezing performance and temperature distribution characteristics of heat pipe concrete runway were discussed by the outdoor experiments. The results show that the temperature of the concrete pavement is greatly improved with the heat pipe system. The environment temperature and embedded depth of heat pipe play a dominant role among the decision variables of the snow melting system. Heat pipe snow melting pavement melts the snow completely and avoids freezing at any time when the environment temperature is below freezing point, which is secure enough for planes take-off and landing. Besides, the exportation and recovery of geothermal energy indicate that this system can run for a long time. This paper will be useful for the design and application of the heat pipe used in the runway snow melting.
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  • 71
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Background. Phlebotominae sand flies are the main vectors of leishmaniasis and some other diseases. Materials and Methods. Using sticky traps, sand flies were collected fortnightly from outdoors and indoors areas of selected sites. Results. A total of 2032 specimens (498 in the city and 1534 in the outskirts of Yazd) belonging to 11 species were collected. The activity of sand flies started in early-April and ended in mid-November. There were two peaks of activity in the end of April and mid-September. Phlebotomus sergenti and P. papatasi were the most abundant species in the city and outskirts of Yazd city, respectively. Other species were P. salehi, P. ansarii, P. kazerouni, P. caucasicus, P. andrejevi, P. alexandri, P. mongolensis, Sergentomyia sintoni, and S. palestinensis. Conclusion. In comparison to some other parts of Iran, the extended period between two peaks suggests that the larvae to adult development of sand fly were delayed by the higher temperature of the summer months in Yazd province.
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  • 72
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: The aim of this study was to evaluate whether there is an association between risk behavior for eating disorders (EDs) and dental erosion and caries. A controlled cross-sectional study was conducted in Brazil, involving 850 randomly selected female adolescents. After evaluating risk behavior for eating disorders through the Bulimic Investigatory Test of Edinburgh, 12 adolescents were identified with severe risk behavior for EDs and matched to 48 adolescents without such risk. Dental examinations, anthropometric measurements, and eating habits and oral hygiene were performed. Adolescents with high severity eating disorder condition were not more likely to show dental caries (; OR = 2.2, 95% CI: 0.35–13.72) or dental erosion (; OR = 2.33; 95% CI: 0.56–9.70). Adolescents with high body mass index (BMI) were five times more likely to have high severity eating disorder condition (; OR = 5.1; 95% CI: 1.61–23.07). Therefore, high severity risk behavior for EDs was not significantly associated with dental caries and dental erosion. However, high BMI was a risk factor for developing eating disorders and should be an alert for individuals with this condition.
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  • 73
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: The exploitation of resources by closely related species with similar niches may be mediated by differences in activity patterns, which may vary in nycthemeral scale and seasonal scale. Piranhas Serrasalmus gibbus and Serrasalmus rhombeus are Neotropical predators that occur sympatrically in many environments of the Amazon basin. To evaluate the strategies adopted by these two species in a restricted environment (a reservoir), nycthemeral and seasonal samples were made, identifying the composition of the diet and their activity patterns. A total of 402 specimens were collected: 341 S. gibbus and 61 S. rhombeus. Both species fed themselves primarily on fish, with some seasonal variation being found in S. gibbus during the flood season, when plant material was consumed. There was considerable temporal overlap in the foraging behavior of the two species, although S. rhombeus presented a bimodal pattern of abundance over the 24-hour cycle. S. rhombeus was more active during the nighttime, between dusk and early morning, whereas S. gibbus was active throughout the nycthemeral cycle. These findings indicate low levels of competition between the two species, which allowed for a considerable overlap in nighttime foraging, following distinct nycthemeral patterns of foraging activity and allowing their coexistence.
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  • 74
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Background and Aim. Healthy aging is the permanent right of all people. Thus, the purpose of this work was to investigate the expectation confirmation model constructs on intention of continuing to consume fruit and vegetables among the rural elderly. Materials and Methods. This cross-sectional study was conducted on 332 elderly. The expectation confirmation model served as a theoretical framework. A random sampling was recruited. Data were collected through face-to-face visit in the second 6 months of 2016. The data were then analyzed using LISREL 8.5 and SPSS 16 software. Results. This model could explain 79% of intention to continue fruit and vegetable consumption. The usefulness and satisfaction had the most effect on the intention to continue the consumption of fruit and vegetables. Conclusion. Expectation confirmation model depicted a proper application in explaining the intention to continue the consumption of fruit and vegetables in the elderly. Since perceived benefits were the most important factor in determining the intention to continue F&V consumption in this study, it is required that policymakers utilize suitable efficient strategies to promote the perception of benefits of F&V consumption in the elderly by means of campaigns in the society, organizations, and families.
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  • 75
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Calcium phosphate cement (CPC) that is based on α-tricalcium phosphate (α-TCP) is considered desirable for bone tissue engineering because of its relatively rapid degradation properties. However, such cement is relatively weak, restricting its use to areas of low mechanical stress. Wollastonite fibers (WF) have been used to improve the mechanical strength of biomaterials. However, the biological properties of WF remain poorly understood. Here, we tested the response of osteoblast-like cells to being cultured on CPC reinforced with 5% of WF (CPC-WF). We found that both types of cement studied achieved an ion balance for calcium and phosphate after 3 days of immersion in culture medium and this allowed subsequent long-term cell culture. CPC-WF increased cell viability and stimulated cell differentiation, compared to nonreinforced CPC. We hypothesize that late silicon release by CPC-WF induces increased cell proliferation and differentiation. Based on our findings, we propose that CPC-WF is a promising material for bone tissue engineering applications.
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  • 76
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
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  • 77
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Cervical cancer is the second most frequent tumor type in women worldwide with cases developing clinical recurrence, metastasis, and chemoresistance. The cancer stem cells (CSC) may be implicated in tumor resistance to therapy. RESveratrol (RES), a natural compound, is an antioxidant with multiple beneficial activities. We previously determined that the expression of RAD51 is decreased by RES. The aim of our study was to examine molecular mechanism by which CSC from HeLa cultures exhibit chemoresistance. We hypothesized CSC repair more efficiently DNA breaks and that RAD51 plays an important role in this mechanism. We found that CSC, derived from cervical cancer cell lines, overexpress RAD51 and are less sensitive to Etoposide (VP16). We inhibited RAD51 in CSC-enriched cultures using RES or siRNA against RAD51 messenger RNA and observed a decrease in cell viability and induction of apoptosis when treated simultaneously with VP16. In addition, we found that inhibition of RAD51 expression using RES also sensitizes CSC to VP16 treatment. Our results suggest that resveratrol is effective to sensitize cervical CSC because of RAD51 inhibition, targeting high RAD51 expressing CD49f-positive cells, which supports the possible therapeutic application of RES as a novel agent to treat cancer.
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-9678
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by Hindawi
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  • 78
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: The adipose tissue is a good source of mesenchymal stromal cells that requires minimally invasive isolation procedures. To ensure reproducibility, efficacy, and safety for clinical uses, these procedures have to be in compliant with good manufacturing practices. Techniques for harvesting and processing human adipose tissue have rapidly evolved in the last years, and Lipogems® represents an innovative approach to obtain microfragmented adipose tissue in a short time, without expansion and/or enzymatic treatment. The aim of this study was to assess the presence of mesenchymal stromal cells in the drain bag of the device by using a prototype Lipogems processor to wash the lipoaspirate in standardized condition. We found that, besides oil and blood residues, the drain bag contained single isolated cells easy to expand and with the typical characteristics of mesenchymal stromal cells that can be loaded with paclitaxel to use for drug-delivery application. Our findings suggest the possibility to replace the drain bag with a “cell culture chamber” obtaining a new integrated device that, without enzymatic treatment, can isolate and expand mesenchymal stromal cells in one step with high good manufacturing practices compliance. This system could be used to obtain mesenchymal stromal cells for regenerative purposes and for drug delivery.
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-9678
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by Hindawi
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  • 79
    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been increasingly applied into clinical therapy. Exosomes are small (30–100 nm in diameter) membrane vesicles released by different cell types and possess the similar functions with their derived cells. Human umbilical cord MSC-derived exosomes (hucMSC-Ex) play important roles in liver repair. However, the effects and mechanisms of hucMSC-Ex on liver injury development remain elusive. Mouse models of acute and chronic liver injury and liver tumor were induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) injection, followed by administration of hucMSC-Ex via the tail vein. Alleviation of liver injury by hucMSC-Ex was determined. We further explored the production of oxidative stress and apoptosis in the development of liver injury and compared the antioxidant effects of hucMSC-Ex with frequently used hepatic protectant, bifendate (DDB) in liver injury. hucMSC-Ex alleviated CCl4-induced acute liver injury and liver fibrosis and restrained the growth of liver tumors. Decreased oxidative stress and apoptosis were found in hucMSC-Ex-treated mouse models and liver cells. Compared to bifendate (DDB) treatment, hucMSC-Ex presented more distinct antioxidant and hepatoprotective effects. hucMSC-Ex may suppress CCl4-induced liver injury development via antioxidant potentials and could be a more effective antioxidant than DDB in CCl4-induced liver tumor development.
    Electronic ISSN: 1687-9678
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by Hindawi
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  • 80
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