Twenty-nine Candida isolates were assessed with green-coloured colonies using CHROMagar Candida medium with a positive germ-tube test. Based on morphological and biochemical tests, 29 strains were isolated from the oral cavity of children with leukaemia who were undergoing chemotherapy in Basrah, Iraq. Three (10.3%) of them were identified as Candida africana. Identification of the isolated yeasts was further confirmed at the molecular level by amplifying the internal transcribed spacer sequencing (ITS) region of rDNA comprising the ITS1-5.85-ITS2 regions of fungal rRNA genes. This study represented the first recovery of C. africana from the oral cavity for immunocompromised patients with leukaemia and considered the first record of species in Iraq.
Riparian habitats have high insect abundance and consequently provide good foraging opportunities for insectivorous bats. Here we investigate how insect abundance, temperature, season, and elevation affect the foraging behaviour of Daubenton’s (Myotis daubentonii) and common pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) bats along the river Wharfe in north Yorkshire. Insect abundance correlated positively with ambient air temperature. Abundance reached a maximum around sunset before dropping to low levels with frequent zero captures throughout the middle of the night. There was often a second smaller peak in insect abundance around sunrise. Insects at all elevation habitats were mainly dipterans, and most (92%) of these were nematocerans. There was a mismatch between peak insect abundance and bat detections, with highest insect detection just before bats arrived in the evening or after they left in the morning. Insect abundance and bat Feeding Buzz Ratios (FBR) did not differ significantly between treeless and tree-lined habitats. Significantly more M. daubentonii detections were recorded in August than in May, but there was no significant difference in the number of mean feeding buzzes between months. More P. pipistrellus FBRs were recorded at lower elevations; however, there was no elevational difference in FBR for M. daubentonii, although more FBRs were recorded for this species. Detections of M. daubentonii were fairly constant throughout the night, while P. pipistrellus exhibited large variations in number of passes per hour. P. pipistrellus arrived c.a. half an hour earlier at tree-lined habitats than tree-less habitats, likely taking advantage of protective tree cover to gain additional foraging time when insects are more abundant. M. daubentonii, on the other hand, generally arrived later. There was no correlation between FBR and number of aerial insects for either species. Bat detections (and therefore presence) is influenced by factors other than the availability of aerial prey.
A 61-year-old woman entered the emergency department due to worsening dyspnea. Severe mitral regurgitation was observed by transesophageal echocardiography. The patient had history of an ALCAPA (Anomalous Left Coronary Artery from Pulmonary Artery) syndrome having undergone coronary artery bypass grafting (saphenous venous graft to left anterior descending artery) 30 years before. Coronary angiography and computed tomography revealed patency of the graft, with the dilated vein running across the front of the ascending aorta and being responsible for the perfusion of the left anterior descending and circumflex arteries. To avoid injuring the patent graft, mitral valve replacement under ventricular fibrillation without aortic cross clamping was performed through a right minithoracotomy approach. Postoperative course was uneventful, and she was discharged on hospital day 7. This method appears safe, effective and useful for avoiding secondary injuries in patients with severe mitral regurgitation, previous sternotomy and patent bypass grafts.
Quantum-chemical “descriptors”, including atomic partial charges, orbitals, and electrostatic potentials are powerful tools for understanding chemical reactivity. Localized defects in graphene are a particular challenge for these tools, especially to model the adsorption processes and to predict the interactions of transition metals with these defects. Such defects often have little charge polarization and a combination of localized and delocalized states. Our orbital overlap distance D(r) measures the “size” of occupied orbital lobes about point r, distinguishing the hybridization state and compact vs. diffuse character of local electronic structure. Here we apply the overlap distance to graphene defects. We find that the overlap distance clearly distinguishes differential reactivities of different atoms at intrinsic defects. Combining the overlap distance and electrostatic potential provides a rich picture of extrinsic defect reactivity, including semiquantitative predictions of transition metal binding.
Cryptic taxa have often been observed in the form of host‐associated species that diverged as the result of adaptation to alternate host plants. Untangling cryptic diversity in species complexes that encompass invasive species is a mandatory task for pest management. Moreover, investigating the evolutionary history of a species complex may help to understand the drivers of their diversification. The mealybug Hypogeococcus pungens was believed to be a polyphagous species from South America and has been reported as a pest devastating native cacti in Puerto Rico, also threatening cactus diversity in the Caribbean and North America. There is neither certainty about the identity of the pest, nor the source population from South America. Recent studies pointed to substantial genetic differentiation among local populations, suggesting that H. pungens is a species complex. In this study, we used a combination of genome-wide SNPs and mtDNA variation to investigate species diversity within H. pungens sensu lato to establish host plant ranges of each one of the putative members of the complex, to evaluate whether the pattern of host plant association drove diversification in the species complex, and to determine the source population of the Puerto Rican cactus pest. Our results suggested that H. pungens comprises at least five different species, each one strongly associated with specific host plants. We also established that the Puerto Rican cactus pest derives from southeastern Brazilian mealybugs. This is an important achievement because it will help to design reliable strategies for biological control using natural enemies of the pest from its native range.
Backgound: Extracellular deposits of amyloid-β (Aβ) in neuronal synapse have been considered as a major hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. Purpose: Here in we have investigated the neuroprotective potential of embelin Aβ-42 induced neurotoxicity in rats. Material and Methods: Amyloid β1-42 oligomer was infused (3nmol/3µl) intracerebroventrically twice on day-1to induced Alzheimer’s type dementia in rats. Spatial and non- spatial memory was assessed at different time intervals and terminally biochemical, neurochemical and neuroinflammatory parameters were determined in rat hippocampal brain tissue. One week following Aβ1-42 infused rats were treated with different doses of embelin (2.5, 5 and 10mg/kg/p.o.) till 21st day. Results: Amyloid β1-42 infusion produced significant deterioration in learning and memory while hippocampal tissue showed elevation in AChE activity, oxidative stress, and pro-inflammatory cytokine levels (TNF-α, IL-β etc.) and disturbed pattern of GABA/glutamate levels in Aβ1-42 infused rats. On the other side, embelin significantly attenuated Aβ1-42 induced cognitive deficit & other biochemical changes in rats. Embelin treated rats showed improved learning and memory was able to reduce the burden of hippocampal oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory cytokines and also restored the GABA/glutamate balance in rats. Conclusion and Implication: The pro-cognitive effect of embelin may be due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions. The observed results indicate the therapeutic potential of embelin in cognitive disorders. Key words: Alzheimer’s disease; Embelin; Amyloid-β; Neuroprotection; Dementia; Cognitive deficit.
Scientists are increasingly using volunteer efforts of citizen scientists to classify images captured by motion-activated trail-cameras. The rising popularity of citizen science reflects its potential to engage the public in conservation science and accelerate processing of the large volume of images generated by trail-cameras. While image classification accuracy by citizen scientists can vary across species, the influence of other factors on accuracy are poorly understood. Inaccuracy diminishes the value of citizen science derived data and prompts the need for specific best practice protocols to decrease error. We compare the accuracy between three programs that use crowdsourced citizen scientists to process images online: Snapshot Serengeti, Wildwatch Kenya, and AmazonCam Tambopata. We hypothesized that habitat type and camera settings would influence accuracy. To evaluate these factors, each photo was circulated to multiple volunteers. All volunteer classifications were aggregated to a single best answer for each photo using a plurality algorithm. Subsequently, a subset of these images underwent expert review and were compared to the citizen scientist results. Classification errors were categorized by the nature of the error (e.g. false species or false empty), and reason for the false classification (e.g. misidentification). Our results show that Snapshot Serengeti had the highest accuracy (97.9%), followed by AmazonCam Tambopata (93.5%), then Wildwatch Kenya (83.4%). Error type was influenced by habitat, with false empty images more prevalent in open-grassy habitat (27%) compared to woodlands (10%). For medium to large animal surveys across all habitat types, our results suggest that to significantly improve accuracy in crowdsourced projects, researchers should use a trail-camera set up protocol with a burst of three consecutive photos, a short field of view, and consider appropriate camera sensitivity. Accuracy level comparisons such as this study can improve reliability of future citizen science projects, and subsequently encourage the increased use of such data.
The hemibiotrophic oomycetes are significant threats to a wide range of Cucurbitaceae species, causing substantial losses of plant productions. Particularly, Phytophthora melonis evokes severe symptoms, thus dramatically limiting yield in cucumber. However, information about cucumber–P. melonis interaction is still limited. This study explored changes in the activities of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), peroxidase (POX), catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and polyphenol oxidase (PPO) in cucumber roots of two resistant genotypes (Soheil and Ramezz), one moderately resistant genotype (Baby) and three highly susceptible genotypes (Extrem, Mini 6-23 and Yalda), over the time courses of 7, 14 and 21 days after inoculation (DAI). The results indicated that the activities of defence‐related enzymes differed between the resistant and highly susceptible genotypes. Although, the defense-related enzymatic activities were elevated sharply in the resistant and moderately resistant genotypes after inoculation, but no significant correlations were present between the activity trends of PPO, SOD and CAT and resistance characteristics. Moreover, no significant changes in enzyme activities were found in the control plants, non-inoculated plants of the six genotypes during the testing period. Altogether, the resistance of cucumber to P. melonis is related to POX and PAL activities, but does not show relationship with PPO, SOD and CAT activities. Studying the physiological metabolic pathways of POX and PAL appears to be an important direction in research to elucidate resistance to P. melonis in cucumber genotypes.
Introduction: Early recurrence (ER) of atrial fibrillation (AF) is defined as the recurrence of atrial tachyarrhythmias within 3 months after AF ablation, however, this definition is based on data from the era of radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA), without contact force (CF) technology. We investigated the significance of ER as a risk factor for late recurrence (LR) in paroxysmal AF (PAF) patients treated with CF and non-CF-guided ablation. Methods and Results: We studied 395 patients with PAF who underwent RFCA. Of these, 97 patients underwent RFCA without CF technology (Non-CF group) and 298 underwent with CF technology (CF group). Over a 2-year post-ablation follow-up period, LR occurred in 54 of 97 (55.7%) patients in the Non-CF group, and in 105 of 298 (35.2%) patients in the CF group. ER had a more significant relationship with LR in the CF than in the Non-CF group, and all patients in the CF group with ER in the 3rd month developed LR. Conclusion: ER in PAF patients who have undergone CF-guided ablation have a greater risk of LR than those who have undergone non-CF-guided ablation. ER in the 3rd month after CF-guided ablation may indicate an absolute risk of LR. Blanking period could be defined as 2 months in the CF era.
Graphene quantum dots (GQDs), the latest member of graphene family, have attracted outstanding interest in the last few years, due to their outstanding physical, chemical, electrical, optical and biological properties. Their strong size-dependent photoluminescence (PL) and the presence of many reactive groups on the graphene surface allow their multimodal conjugation with therapeutic agents, targeting ligands, polymers, light responsive agents, fluorescent dyes, and functional nanoparticles, making them valuable agents for cancer diagnosis and treatment. In this review, the very recent advances covering the last three years on the applications of GQDs as drug delivery systems (DDS) and theranostic tools for anticancer therapy are discussed, highlighting the relevant factors which regulate their biocompatibility. Among these factors, the size, kind and degree of surface functionalization have shown to greatly affect their use in biological systems. Toxicity issues, which still represent an open challenge for the clinical development of GQDs based therapeutic agents, are also discussed at cellular and animal levels.
Objective To explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Study Design We performed a survey-based study from doctors working in the field of Obstetrics and Gynaecology across all Hospitals in United Kingdom. Surveyed information included demographics, past history of mental health conditions, screening for current symptoms of depression and anxiety, the significance of contributory factors and the effects of mental health on workplace behaviour. Results 207 doctors completed the survey. Of the respondents, 22.2% (n=46) had previously received treatment for a mental health condition. During the COVID-19 pandemic, O&G doctors as compared to UK-wide population estimate, reported significantly higher rates of both Major Depressive Disorder (15.94% versus 3.3%, p=0.023) and Generalised Anxiety Disorder (24.64% versus 5.9%, p=0.044). Sub-group analysis showed that anxiety was more common amongst female doctors as compared to males (27.5% versus 12.50%, p=0.047). Respondents felt that the most significant factors for work-related changes to mental health was keeping up to date with frequently changing guidelines and protocols related to COVID-19. Only 38.65% of respondents agreed that they felt able to talk to colleagues about their mental health. Conclusions This is the first reported study that assesses the impact of COVID-19 on mental health amongst Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Further research should focus on assessing if changes in the way rapidly changing guidelines and protocols are disseminated reduces the impact on mental health. Ongoing efforts are also needed to improve support networks and encourage normality around discussing mental health amongst doctors
Abstract Background: Cystic fibrosis may lead to left ventricular dysfunction. This dysfunction can be documented by methods such as tissue doppler echocardiographic imaging and two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography in early stage. Patients and Methods: A total of 34 patients diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (mean age and SD 9.9±4.9 years) and 37 healthy control subjects with a comparable gender and age distribution (mean age 9.8±4.3) were studied. The results for the two groups were compared along with the results of published reports. Result: Control group had higher diastolic and systolic dimentions compared to the patient group in M-mode measurements of left ventricle by conventional echocardiography (p <0.05). There was no significant relationship between the groups in terms of the dimensions of systolic and diastolic measurements of interventricular septum and posterior wall of left ventricle, and ejection fraction. Pulmonary artery systolic pressure was significantly higher in the patient group (p<0.001). Myocardial performance indices of left ventricle free wall and interventricular septum were increased in the patient group compared to the control group (p<0.05). ). As measured by speckle tracking echocardiography, 7 segments in left ventricular myocardial longitudinal strain and 3 segments in left ventricular myocardial circumferential strain showed significant reductions in patients with cystic fibrosis compared to controls (p <0.05). Conclusions: Tissue doppler echocardiographic imaging and speckle tracking echocardiography may help identifying subclinical left ventricular dysfunction in cystic fibrosis patients with unremarkable conventional echocardiography. Its may be considered for the routine follow-up of cystic fibrosis patients.
Abstract Background and purpose: To investigate the effect of hIgDFc-Ig (DG), a new biological agent targets competition for binding to IgD receptors, on collagen-induced arthritis and its potential mechanism in regulating B cell antigen-receptor signaling pathway. Experimental approach: DBA1 mice were used to establish collagen-induced arthritis model, three doses DG were administered by intraperitoneal injection. Clinical assessment of CIA, histopathological examination, flow cytometry, western blotting, immunofluorescence staining, protein chips and so on were used to evaluated therapeutic effects. The competitive effects on BCR-NF-κB signaling pathway were also evaluated in Daudi cell lines in vitro. Key results: We found that DG has a obvious therapeutic effect on CIA mice. DG relieved the clinical assessment of CIA mice and improved the pathology of joints and spleen. In addition, regulated B cell subsets in the PBMC and spleen of CIA mice, and decreased level of immunoglobulins. DG can inhibit the over-activation of BCR signal by increasing p-Lyn level, Co-treatment with DG (0.1-10 μg·ml-1) dose-dependently down-regulated the BCR signaling and decreased the iteraction between Syk and Btk stimulated by IgD in Daudi cell. Conclusion and Implications: DG may play a therapeutic role in CIA mice by regulating BCR-Lyn-Syk-NF-KB signaling pathway, and may be a new promising biological agent for rheumatoid arthritis. Key words: hIgDFc-Ig; B cell antigen receptor; Collagen-induced arthritis; NF-κB signaling pathway
SARS-CoV-2 not only causes viral pneumonia but has major implications for the cardiovascular system. Nevertheless, we assisted to a drastic reduction in the number of ACS during this period. Telemedicine and telecardiology, intended as integration to the traditional management appear precious tools especially in Covid-19 era. Given the decrease in new Covid-19 cases worldwide20, now we are approaching the so-called “Phase 2” challenge of a gradual return to pre-Covid-19 life. The epidemiological and clinical situation is rapidly evolving and practice patterns with policies depend on institutions and local availability.
The complement system is an ancient part of innate immunity sensing highly pathogenic coronaviruses by Mannan-binding lectin resulting in lectin pathway-activation and subsequent generation of the anaphylatoxins (AT) C3a and C5a as important effector molecules. Complement deposition in endothelial cells and high blood C5a serum levels have been reported in COVID-19 patients with severe illness, suggesting vigorous complement activation leading to systemic thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA). Strikingly, SARS-CoV-2-infected African Americans suffer from high mortality. Complement regulator gene variants prevalent in African Americans have been associated with a higher risk for severe TMA and multi-organ injury. These findings allow us to apply our knowledge from other complement-mediated diseases to COVID-19 infection to better understand severe disease pathogenesis. Here we will discuss the multiple aspects of complement activation, regulation, crosstalk with other parts of the immune system and the options to target complement in COVID-19 patients to halt disease progression and death.
A 35-year-old male with history of recurrent arrhythmias presented for pulmonary vein isolation. He underwent pre-procedural screening for thromboembolism risk with transesophageal echocardiogram. He had an incidental finding of a rare fenestrated membrane overlying his left atrial appendage. Additional work-up throughout his clinical course revealed genetic mutations in the LMNA and SNTA1 genes. There have been no previous reported genetic mutations reported in cases with LAA membranes.
Based on the analysis of CpxP genes among Escherichia coli strains, CpxP gene-targeting short guide RNA (sgRNA) was designed and inserted into the pGL3-MGP-RNA. The donor sequences (MG-HR) for homologous repair were designed and cloned by PCR. MG-HR and pGL3-MGP-RNA were transformed into E. coli MG1655 (pCas9). The CpxP gene expression cassette was amplified by PCR and subcloned into pBBR1MCS-2. Then the pBBR-CpxP was independently transformed into E. coli MG1655. The results of motility experiment suggest that CpxP gene had a significant effect on the movement ability of E. coli strain. The CpxP protein had a significant inhibition of bacterial activity. The lastest 81 CpxP proteins sequences were selected and analyzed by multi-sequence alignment and molecular cluster. The CpxP proteins were roughly divided into three categories. Our results suggest that the CpxP protein was involved in bacterial motility, infection and pathogenicity.
As a precursor of graphene, graphene oxide (GO) exhibits excellent mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties, besides appreciable biocompatibility in tissue engineering applications. However, the current GO-3D fabrication technology is still in need of optimization and simplification in order to ensure fine architecture and reasonable mechanical property, which would further promote the performance of GO as bio-scaffolds in cell or microorganism attachment and in material transformation. To address this issue, we proposed a GO ink, with appreciable rheological properties and excellent printing performance via high-speed centrifugation and ferric ion-assisted cross-linking. A woodpile structure with controllable micro-pores was produced by micro-extrusion-based 3D printing technology followed by an optimized freeze-drying process. Cellular adhesion and viability were verified by inoculation and culture of HepaRG cells using the fabricated GO 3D structure, thus suggesting ferric ion-assisted cross-linking and controllable pore distribution to improve the performance of GO construct as a bio-scaffold for in-vitro liver tissue models.