Ideal Candidates (ideal + candidate)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Sphagnum under pressure: towards an ecohydrological approach to examining Sphagnum productivity

ECOHYDROLOGY, Issue 4 2008
D. K. Thompson
Abstract The genus Sphagnum is the key peat-forming bryophyte in boreal ecosystems. Relying entirely on passive capillary action for water transport, soil moisture is often the limiting factor in Sphagnum production, and hence peat accumulation. While several hydrological models of peat physics and peatland water movement exist, these models do not readily interface with observations and models of peatland carbon accumulation. A conflict of approaches exists, where hydrological studies primarily utilize variables such as hydraulic head, while ecological models of Sphagnum growth adopt the coarse hydrological variables of water table (WT), volumetric water content (VWC) or gravimetric water content (WC). This review examines the potential of soil pressure head as a measurement to link the hydrological and ecological functioning of Sphagnum in peatlands. The non-vascular structure of Sphagnum mosses and the reliance on external capillary transport of water in the mosses make them an ideal candidate for this approach. The main advantage of pressure head is the ability to mechanistically link plot-scale hydrology to cellular-scale water requirements and carbon exchange. Measurement of pressure head may improve photosynthetic process representation in the next generation of peatland models. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Orthogonal Patterning of PEDOT:PSS for Organic Electronics using Hydrofluoroether Solvents

Priscilla G. Taylor
By employing benign process solvents and specially tailored photopolymers, organic electronic materials can be lithographically patterned. Furthermore, because the process is acid stable, this is an ideal candidate for patterning acidic PEDOT:PSS, an important material for organic electronics. Fabrication of a multilayer OTFT demonstrates the potential of this orthogonal patterning process. [source]

An investigation into the morphology and electro-optical properties of 2-hydroxy ethyl methacrylate polymer dispersed liquid crystals

Huey-Ling Chang
Abstract Polymer dispersed liquid crystal (PDLC) films are fabricated using E7 liquid crystals, tetraethylene glycol diacrylate (TeGDA) crosslinking agent, and 0,66.49 mol % 2-hydroxy ethyl methacrylate (HEMA). The effects of different levels of HEMA addition on the microstructure and electro-optical properties of the PDLC samples are examined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, and UV-Vis spectroscopy, respectively. The results show that the refractive index of the PDLC films is insensitive to the level of HEMA addition. However, an increasing HEMA content improves the degree of phase separation during the polymerization process and increases the size and uniformity of the liquid crystal domain. As a result, the electro-optical properties of the PDLC films are significantly improved as the level of HEMA addition is increased. Overall, the results show that a PDLC comprising 40 wt % E7 liquid crystals, 33.51 mol % TeGDA and 66.49 mol % HEMA has a high contrast ratio (13 : 1) and a low driving voltage (10 V) and is therefore an ideal candidate for a wide variety of intelligent photoelectric applications. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010 [source]

Hydrocarbon degradation by thermophilic Nocardia otitidiscaviarum strain TSH1: physiological aspects

Majid Zeinali
Abstract Indigenous thermophilic hydrocarbon degraders are of special significance for the bioremediation of oil-contaminated desert soils with ambient temperature of 45,50 °C. The first objective of this study was to demonstrate the hydrocarbon-degrading capability of Nocardia otitidiscaviarum TSH1 (DSM 45036) which grows optimally at 50 °C. Analysis of the metabolic profile of the strain TSH1 showed that it could metabolize phenol, intermediate-chain-length n -alkanes and some polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) ranging in size from two to four fused rings efficiently, but not toluene and xylene. N. otitidiscaviarum TSH1 was able to survive and grow at phenol concentrations up to 875 mg l,1. For the first time, the physiological response of a thermophilic Nocardia strain to poorly available hydrophobic compounds was also investigated. When grown on a mineral salt medium with hexadecane, N. otitidiscaviarum TSH1 showed very high affinity for the organic phase. Additionally, PAH-grown cells were considerably hydrophobic. The capacity of PAH-utilizing N. otitidiscaviarum TSH1 isolate to produce biosurfactants was also investigated. Fatty acids (C14,C18) were detected by GC-MS analysis during bacterial growth in PAH supplemented mineral media. High cell surface hydrophobicity and capability of N. otitidiscaviarum TSH1 to degrade different hydrocarbons at 50 °C may make it an ideal candidate to treat oil-contaminated desert soils. (© 2008 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]

Wear in molded tibial inserts: Knee simulator study of H1900 and GUR1050 polyethylenes

Riichiro Tsukamoto
Abstract Hi-fax 1900Ô tibial inserts were used in the IB-1 total knee replacement (TKR) beginning 1978, soon followed by the AGC design. Such direct compression molded (DCM) inserts was relatively immune to oxidation. Unfortunately the Hi-fax 1900Ô resin (H1900) was taken off the market in year 2004. As an alternate, GUR1050 was introduced in the VanguardÔ TKR. However there appeared to be little or no wear comparisons of molded inserts. Therefore the study aim was to compare wear performance of GUR1050 to the historical H1900. The hypothesis was that Hi-fax and GUR1050 would show comparable wear performance. The VanguardÔ was a posterior-cruciate sacrificing design (Biomet Inc.). All tibial inserts were sterilized by gamma-radiation (3.2 Mrad) under argon. A 6-channel, displacement,controlled knee simulator was used with serum lubricant (protein concentration 20 mg/mL). Wear assessments were by gravimetric methods and linear regression techniques. The gross weight-loss trends over 2.5 Mc duration demonstrated excellent linear behavior with good agreement between TKR sets (<±10%). Fluid sorption artifacts in control represented less than 5% of gross wear magnitudes. Thus suitable corrections could be made in determining net wear. The H1900 and GUR1050inserts demonstrated net wear-rates of 3.6 and 3.4 mm3/Mc, respectively. This difference was not found to be statistically significant. This wear study demonstrated that GUR1050 inserts were indistinguishable from the Hi-fax 1900 in terms of laboratory wear performance, proving our hypothesis. Given the excellent clinical history of DCM Hi-fax 1900, the GUR1050 should be an ideal candidate for TKR. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 2008 [source]

About the oldest domesticates among fishes

E. K. Balon
Domestication of mammals such as cattle, dogs, pigs and horses preceded that of fishes by at least 10 000 years. The first domesticated fish was the common carp Cyprinus carpio. Initially it was held as an exploited captive and did not undergo major changes in body shape or colour variations. About 2000 years ago, wild common carp were most abundant in the inland delta of the Danube River. These fish were torpedo shaped, golden-yellow in colour and had two pairs of barbels and a mesh-like scale pattern. Large schools of them thrived and reproduced on the flood plains of the Danube. The Romans kept fishes in specially built ponds at that time. The common carp was an ideal candidate and its rearing became more popular in medieval times. Common carp culture gradually became the most profitable branch of agriculture in central Europe and many special ponds were built. Soon common carp were being produced in pond systems including spawning and growing ponds. Unintentional artificial selection had taken place between the 12th and mid-14th century, and deep bodied and variously scaled or scaleless domesticated forms appeared in nearly every pond system. Some colour aberrations appeared in the 1950s in Japan, which, as koi, became the most expensive of fish. Common carp were not originally domesticated in China but wild ,chi'Carassius auratus occasionally appeared as a xanthic form that, as the goldfish, has been known since 960 A.D. By the 1200s the fish were used as ornamental animals in the garden pools of rich landowners. Circa 1276 to 1546, the Chinese began keeping golden chi in aquarium-like vessels and soon rich and poor alike became breeders of the fancy domesticated goldfish. The variously shaped monstrosities and colour aberrants were freaks but they became very fashionable at that time and still are. Domesticated goldfish monstrosities were first exported from China to Japan and much later to Europe and around the world. More recently other species have been domesticated by aquarists, such as the guppy Poecilia reticulata or the neon tetra Paracheirodon innesi. Other fishes kept as ornamentals, like swordtails Xiphophorus hellerii and platies Xiphophorus maculatus, the discus and angelfishes (Cichlidae), as well as those cultured for food like the rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss, channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus or sturgeons (Acipenseridae) are merely exploited captives. [source]

Major histocompatibility complex variability in the clonal Amazon molly, Poecilia formosa: is copy number less important than genotype?

Abstract The evolution of sex is still a major unsolved puzzle in biology. One of the most promising theoretical models to answer this question is the Red Queen hypothesis. The Red Queen hypothesis proposes a fast adaptation of pathogens to common genotypes and therefore a negative frequency-dependent selection against common genotypes. Clonal organisms should be especially endangered when co-occurring with closely related sexual species. In this context, major histocompatibility (MHC) genes have been discussed to be auspicious candidates that could provide the genetic basis on which selection for immune competence could act. In this study, we investigated MHC variability in a clonal teleost fish: the Amazon molly, Poecilia formosa. The Amazon molly is an ideal candidate to test the Red Queen hypothesis as it is a clonal species but co-occurs with a closely related sexual species and should therefore be especially susceptible to pathogen infection. We found that allele numbers did in general not differ between sexual and clonal ,species' but that genotypic variability is reduced in the clonally reproducing fish, especially in the polyploids. We conclude that in clonal organisms, genotype frequency might be more important for immune competence than MHC allele number. Amazon mollies and their co-occurring parental species clearly fulfil a prerequisite of the Red Queen hypothesis and should therefore provide an ideal system to experimentally test this basic principle probably underlying the evolution of sex. [source]

Acyl carrier protein/SpoT interaction, the switch linking SpoT-dependent stress response to fatty acid metabolism

Aurélia Battesti
Summary Bacteria respond to nutritional stresses by producing an intracellular alarmone, guanosine 5,-(tri)diphosphate, 3,-diphosphate [(p)ppGpp], which triggers the stringent response resulting in growth arrest and expression of resistance genes. In Escherichia coli, upon fatty acid or carbon starvation, SpoT enzyme activity switches from (p)ppGpp degradation to (p)ppGpp synthesis, but the signal and mechanism for this response remain totally unknown. Here, we characterize for the first time a physical interaction between SpoT and acyl carrier protein (ACP) using affinity co-purifications and two-hybrid in E. coli. ACP, as a central cofactor in fatty acid synthesis, may be an ideal candidate as a mediator signalling starvation to SpoT. Accordingly, we show that the ACP/SpoT interaction is specific of SpoT and ACP functions because ACP does not interact with the homologous RelA protein and because SpoT does not interact with a non-functional ACP. Using truncated SpoT fusion proteins, we demonstrate further that ACP binds the central TGS domain of SpoT, consistent with a role in regulation. The behaviours of SpoT point mutants that do not interact with ACP reveal modifications of the balance between the two opposite SpoT catalytic activities thereby changing (p)ppGpp levels. More importantly, these mutants fail to trigger (p)ppGpp accumulation in response to fatty acid synthesis inhibition, supporting the hypothesis that the ACP/SpoT interaction may be involved in SpoT-dependent stress response. This leads us to propose a model in which ACP carries information describing the status of cellular fatty acid metabolism, which in turn can trigger the conformational switch in SpoT leading to (p)ppGpp accumulation. [source]

Review: On TRAIL for malignant glioma therapy?

J. M. A. Kuijlen
J. M. A. Kuijlen, E. Bremer, J. J. A. Mooij, W. F. A. den Dunnen and W. Helfrich (2010) Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology36, 168,182 On TRAIL for malignant glioma therapy? Glioblastoma (GBM) is a devastating cancer with a median survival of around 15 months. Significant advances in treatment have not been achieved yet, even with a host of new therapeutics under investigation. Therefore, the quest for a cure for GBM remains as intense as ever. Of particular interest for GBM therapy is the selective induction of apoptosis using the pro-apoptotic tumour necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL). TRAIL signals apoptosis via its two agonistic receptors TRAIL-R1 and TRAIL-R2. TRAIL is normally present as homotrimeric transmembrane protein, but can also be processed into a soluble trimeric form (sTRAIL). Recombinant sTRAIL has strong tumouricidal activity towards GBM cells, with no or minimal toxicity towards normal human cells. Unfortunately, GBM is a very heterogeneous tumour, with multiple genetically aberrant clones within one tumour. Consequently, any single agent therapy is likely to be not effective enough. However, the anti-GBM activity of TRAIL can be synergistically enhanced by a variety of conventional and novel targeted therapies, making TRAIL an ideal candidate for combinatorial strategies. Here we will, after briefly detailing the biology of TRAIL/TRAIL receptor signalling, focus on the promises and pitfalls of recombinant TRAIL as a therapeutic agent alone and in combinatorial therapeutic approaches for GBM. [source]

A statistically derived parameterization for the collagen triple-helix

PROTEIN SCIENCE, Issue 11 2002
Jan K. Rainey
Abstract The triple-helix is a unique secondary structural motif found primarily within the collagens. In collagen, it is a homo- or hetero-tripeptide with a repeating primary sequence of (Gly-X-Y)n, displaying characteristic peptide backbone dihedral angles. Studies of bulk collagen fibrils indicate that the triple-helix must be a highly repetitive secondary structure, with very specific constraints. Primary sequence analysis shows that most collagen molecules are primarily triple-helical; however, no high-resolution structure of any entire protein is yet available. Given the drastic morphological differences in self-assembled collagen structures with subtle changes in assembly conditions, a detailed knowledge of the relative locations of charged and sterically bulky residues in collagen is desirable. Its repetitive primary sequence and highly conserved secondary structure make collagen, and the triple-helix in general, an ideal candidate for a general parameterization for prediction of residue locations and for the use of a helical wheel in the prediction of residue orientation. Herein, a statistical analysis of the currently available high-resolution X-ray crystal structures of model triple-helical peptides is performed to produce an experimentally based parameter set for predicting peptide backbone and C, atom locations for the triple-helix. Unlike existing homology models, this allows easy prediction of an entire triple-helix structure based on all existing high-resolution triple-helix structures, rather than only on a single structure or on idealized parameters. Furthermore, regional differences based on the helical propensity of residues may be readily incorporated. The parameter set is validated in terms of the predicted bond lengths, backbone dihedral angles, and interchain hydrogen bonding. [source]

Analyzing Roll Calls with Perfect Spatial Voting: France 1946,1958

Howard Rosenthal
A recent methodological advance in legislative roll-call analysis is especially relevant to the study of legislative behavior outside the setting of the United States Congress. We argue that Poole's (2000) optimal classification method for roll-call analysis is preferable to parametric methods for studying many legislatures. This is because the nature of party discipline, near-perfect spatial voting, and parliamentary institutions that provides incentives for strategic behavior lead to severe violations of the error assumptions underlying parametric methods. The robustness of the nonparametric method to the stochastic nature of the data makes it an ideal candidate for studying strategic behavior in legislatures. We illustrate these points with an analysis of data from the French Fourth Republic (1946,1958). [source]

Categorizing immunoflourescence mapping in epidermolysis bullosa with pyloric atresia: Use as a broad prognostic indicator

John W Frew
ABSTRACT Epidermolysis bullosa with pyloric atresia is a form of junctional epidermolysis bullosa associated with gastrointestinal abnormalities, which may include pyloric atresia. Genotype phenotype correlation is poorly understood and prognosis is difficult, if not impossible, to predict. Immunoflourescence mapping is an ideal candidate for developing a broad prognostic indicator for epidermolysis bullosa with pyloric atresia without the need for genetic mutation analysis. However, the tool developed in this paper does have limitations due to the small number of cases available and the effects of deleterious mutations in highly conserved cysteine residues on the predicted length of survival. [source]

G-Quadruplex Aptamers with Peroxidase-Like DNAzyme Functions: Which Is the Best and How Does it Work?

Tao Li
Abstract Select the best: Five G-quadruplex hemin-binding aptamers are compared to determine the best candidate for DNAzyme-based sensing application. The structural model and catalytic mechanism of the hemin,G-quadruplex complex are proposed to indicate how it works in a manner similar to the peroxidase. Some G-quadruplex DNA aptamers have been found to strongly bind hemin to form DNAzymes with peroxidase-like activity. To help determine the most suitable DNAzymes and to understand how they work, five previously reported G-quadruplex aptamers were compared for their binding affinity and then the potential catalytic mechanism of their corresponding hemin-G-quadruplex DNAzymes was explored. Among these aptamers, a G-quadruplex named AGRO100 was shown to possess the highest hemin-binding affinity and the best DNAzyme function. This means that AGRO100 is the most ideal candidate for DNAzyme-based analysis. Furthermore, we found the peroxidase-like activity of DNAzyme to be primarily dependent on the concentration of H2O2 and independent of that of the peroxidase substrate (that is, 2,2,-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid)diammonium salt). Accordingly, a reaction mechanism for DNAzyme-catalyzed peroxidation is proposed. This study provides new insights into the G-quadruplex-based DNAzymes and will help us to further extend their applications in the analytical field. [source]

Streaming Surface Reconstruction Using Wavelets

J. Manson
Abstract We present a streaming method for reconstructing surfaces from large data sets generated by a laser range scanner using wavelets. Wavelets provide a localized, multiresolution representation of functions and this makes them ideal candidates for streaming surface reconstruction algorithms. We show how wavelets can be used to reconstruct the indicator function of a shape from a cloud of points with associated normals. Our method proceeds in several steps. We first compute a low-resolution approximation of the indicator function using an octree followed by a second pass that incrementally adds fine resolution details. The indicator function is then smoothed using a modified octree convolution step and contoured to produce the final surface. Due to the local, multiresolution nature of wavelets, our approach results in an algorithm over 10 times faster than previous methods and can process extremely large data sets in the order of several hundred million points in only an hour. [source]

Follicular Unit Extraction: Minimally Invasive Surgery for Hair Transplantation

William R. Rassman MD
background. Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) is performed using large numbers of naturally occuring individual follicular units obtained by single-strip harvesting and stereo-microscopic dissection. Donor wound scarring from strip excision, although an infrequent complication, still concerns enough patients that an alternative solution is warranted. objective. The purpose of this paper is to introduce Follicular Unit Extraction (The FOX Procedure), in which individual follicular units are removed directly from the donor region through very small punch excisions, and to describe a test (The FOX Test) that determines which patients are candidates for this procedure. This paper explores the nuances, limitations, and practical aspects of Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). methods. FUE was performed using 1-mm punches to separate follicular units from the surrounding tissue down to the level of the mid dermis. This was followed by extraction of the follicular units with forceps. The FOX test was developed to determine which patients would be good candidates for the procedure. The test was performed on 200 patients. Representative patients who were FOX-positive and FOX-negative were studied histologically. results. The FOX Test can determine which patients are suitable candidates for FUE. Approximately 25% of the patients biopsied were ideal candidates for FUE and 35% of the patients biopsied were good candidates for extraction. conclusion. FUE is a minimally invasive approach to hair transplantation that obviates the need for a linear donor incision. This technique can serve as an important alternative to traditional hair transplantation in certain patients. [source]

The metabolic syndrome: evolving evidence that thiazolidinediones provide rational therapy

Kathleen L. Wyne
The metabolic syndrome, also known as the dysmetabolic syndrome, syndrome X or the insulin resistance syndrome, refers to the clustering of cardiovascular disease risk factors that are present in many individuals who are at increased risk for both cardiovascular events and type 2 diabetes. Prediabetic subjects typically exhibit an atherogenic pattern of cardiovascular risks that is associated with hyperinsulinaemia. Thus, identification of components of the metabolic syndrome is important if patients are to be treated early enough to prevent cardiovascular events and other complications related to diabetes. Therapies targeted to specific components of the metabolic syndrome such as improving glycaemic control, managing dyslipidaemia and reducing the prothrombotic state should help to minimize cardiovascular risk, particularly if initiated early. Traditional pharmacologic agents used to manage the individual components of the metabolic syndrome do not typically impact the other components. The thiazolidinediones, a new class of agents that improve insulin resistance, have the ability, in addition to their glucose-lowering effects, to exert several powerful anti-atherogenic properties, including anti-inflammatory effects in the vascular endothelium, redistribution of visceral fat and reduction of insulin resistance, hyperinsulinaemia and hyperproinsulinaemia. This makes the thiazolidinediones ideal candidates for the early treatment of many components associated with the metabolic syndrome. [source]

Electrochemical Sensing of Explosives

Joseph Wang
Abstract This article reviews recent advances in electrochemical sensing and detection of explosive substances. Escalating threats of terrorist activities and growing environmental concerns have generated major demands for innovative field-deployable tools for detecting explosives in a fast, sensitive, reliable and simple manner. Field detection of explosive substances requires that a powerful analytical performance be coupled to miniaturized low-cost instrumentation. Electrochemical devices offer attractive opportunities for addressing the growing explosive sensing needs. The advantages of electrochemical systems include high sensitivity and selectivity, speed, a wide linear range, compatibility with modern microfabrication techniques, minimal space and power requirements, and low-cost instrumentation. The inherent electroactivity of nitroaromatic, nitramine and nitroester compounds makes them ideal candidates for electrochemical detection. Recent activity in various laboratories has led to the development of disposable sensor strips, novel electrode materials, submersible remote sensors, and electrochemical detectors for microchip (,Lab-on-Chip') devices for on-site electrochemical detection of explosive substances. The attractive behavior of these electrochemical monitoring systems makes them very promising for addressing major security and environmental problems. [source]

Strategies for surgical treatment of epilepsies in developing countries

EPILEPSIA, Issue 3 2008
Ali A. Asadi-Pooya
Summary Epilepsy surgery has been proved to be efficacious, safe and cost-effective in developing countries. However, the success of epilepsy surgery depends on selecting suitable candidates based on the available resources and technologies. Some of the challenges to provide appropriate surgical treatment for epilepsy patients in developing countries include providing human and technological resources and developing realistic presurgical protocols. Detection of ideal candidates for epilepsy surgery is possible for well-trained epileptologists with the help of basic investigative technologies, for example, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and electroencephalography (EEG). Patients with potentially epileptogenic, well-circumscribed lesions on MRI and patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) are reasonable candidates for surgery. Palliative epilepsy surgeries include corpus callosotomy and other disconnections. These operations are feasible in developing countries with a knowledgeable team consisting of an epileptologist, neurosurgeon and technicians and with using MRI and EEG as basic investigative technologies. [source]

Prognostic Factors for the Surgery for Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy: Longitudinal Analysis

EPILEPSIA, Issue 8 2005
Sang-Wuk Jeong
Summary:,Purpose: Determining long-term prognostic factors of surgery for mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) is important for identifying ideal candidates and predicting the prognosis for individual patients. We tried to identify the prognostic factors of anterior temporal lobectomy (ATL) for MTLE with longitudinal multivariate analysis. Methods: Two hundred twenty-seven patients with MTLE were included in this study. The primary outcome variable was patient status 1,5 years after surgery: seizure free, or not. Clinical characteristics and recent diagnostic modalities were considered as prognostic factors. Univariate and standard multiple logistic-regression analysis for outcome at 1 and 5 years after surgery and the generalized estimation equation (GEE) model for longitudinal multiple logistic regression of the 5-year follow-up period were used. Results: The seizure-free rate at 1 year was 81.1% and decreased to 75.2% at 5 years after surgery. By the univariate or standard multiple logistic-regression analysis, age at surgery or hippocampal sclerosis on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) ipsilateral to surgery was significant for the postsurgical outcome. However, the longitudinal analysis by the GEE model revealed that younger age at surgery [odds ratio (OR), 0.59; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.43,0.81], absence of secondarily generalized tonic,clonic seizure (2°GTCS; OR, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.26,0.79), and hippocampal sclerosis on MRI (OR, 2.44; 95% CI, 1.11,5.26) were significant predictors of a good surgical outcome. Conclusions: Age at surgery, presence of 2°GTCS, and hippocampal sclerosis on MRI are independent prognostic factors for ATL in MTLE. These findings suggest that MTLE is a progressive disorder, and surgical outcome is better when early ATL is performed. [source]

Multifunctional host defense peptides: antiparasitic activities

FEBS JOURNAL, Issue 22 2009
Amram Mor
Whereas significant knowledge is accumulating on the antibacterial and antifungal properties of host defense peptides (HDPs) and their synthetic mimics, much less is known of their activities against parasites. A variety of in vitro and in vivo antiparasitic assays suggest that these notorious antimicrobial compounds could represent a powerful tool for the development of novel drugs to fight parasites in the vertebrate host or to complement current therapeutic strategies, albeit the fact that HDPs essentially act by nonspecific mechanisms casts serious doubt on their ability to exert sufficient selectivity to be considered ideal candidates for drug development. This minireview summarizes recent efforts to assess the antiparasitic properties of HDPs and their synthetic derivatives, focusing on two of the most used models ,Plasmodium and Leishmania species , for antiparasitic assays against the different development stages. [source]

Cover Picture: Synthesis of Gadolinium-Labeled Shell-Crosslinked Nanoparticles for Magnetic Resonance Imaging Applications (Adv. Funct.

Abstract Robust, amphiphilic core,shell nanoparticles that are selectively labeled with gadolinium in the hydrophilic and water-swollen shell layer are depicted in the cover picture. These well-defined nanostructured materials exhibit high relaxivity, a large loading capacity, and are based upon a biocompatible platform for ultimate function in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) applications, as reported by Wooley and co-workers on p.,1248. Shell-crosslinked knedel-like nanoparticles (SCKs; "knedel" is a Polish term for dumplings) were derivatized with gadolinium chelates and studied as robust magnetic-resonance-imaging-active structures with hydrodynamic diameters of 40,±,3,nm. SCKs possessing an amphiphilic core,shell morphology were produced from the aqueous assembly of diblock copolymers of poly-(acrylic acid) (PAA) and poly(methyl acrylate) (PMA), PAA52,b,PMA128, and subsequent covalent crosslinking by amidation upon reaction with 2,2,-(ethylenedioxy)bis(ethylamine) throughout the shell layer. The properties of these materials, including non-toxicity towards mammalian cells, non-immunogenicity within mice, and capability for polyvalent targeting, make them ideal candidates for utilization within biological systems. The synthesis of SCKs derivatized with GdIII and designed for potential use as a unique nanometer-scale contrast agent for MRI applications is described herein. Utilization of an amino-functionalized diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid,Gd analogue allowed for direct covalent conjugation throughout the hydrophilic shell layer of the SCKs and served to increase the rotational correlation lifetime of the Gd. In addition, the highly hydrated nature of the shell layer in which the Gd was located allowed for rapid water exchange; thus, the resulting material demonstrated large ionic relaxivities (39,s,1,mM,1) in an applied magnetic field of 0.47,T at 40,°C and, as a result of the large loading capacity of the material, also demonstrated high molecular relaxivities (20,000,s,1,mM,1). [source]

Synthesis, Structure, and Optical Properties of Terminally Sulfur-Functionalized Core-Substituted Naphthalene-Bisimide Dyes

Alfred B, aszczyk
Abstract The synthesis, characterization, and optical properties of a series of new 2,6-disubstituted naphthalene-bisimide dyes as molecular rods comprising terminal AcS groups is reported. The first series of dyes (1,3), comprising phenylhetero (Ph-X) core substituents, cover a broad range of the VIS spectrum, ranging from yellow (2) over red (3) to blue (1). The second series of dyes contains benzylhetero (Bn-X) core substituents (4,7). For the same heteroatom connecting the substituent to the naphthalene core, both series were found to display comparable colors. For the second series, the colors were blue (4), red (5), and violet (6, 7). The Ph-X-substituted dyes 1,3 are nonfluorescent, in contrast to the Bn-X-substituted compounds 4,7. This rich variety of optical features that can be adjusted by rather small alterations of the core substituents makes these structurally very comparable molecular rods ideal candidates for optically triggered molecular-transport investigations. Also, thanks to the terminal AcS groups, these compounds can be placed between nobel-metal electrodes for optically triggered transport experiments. [source]

Laparoscopic management of benign liver diseases: where are we?

HPB, Issue 4 2004
Jean-François Gigot
Background The role of laparoscopic surgery in the management of benign cystic and solid liver tumours appears to differ according to each tumour type. As regards congenital liver cysts, laparoscopic treatment is now the gold standard for treating selected, huge, accessible, highly symptomatic or complicated cysts. In contrast, the laparoscopic approach is not useful for patients suffering from adult polycystic liver disease (PLD), except for type I PLD with large multiple hepatic cysts. For benign hepatocellular tumours, the surgical management has recently benefited from a better knowledge of the natural history of each type of tumour and from the improvement of imaging techniques in assuring a precise diagnosis of tumour nature. Thus the general tendency has led to a progressive restriction and tailoring of indications for resection in benign liver tumours, selecting only patients with huge, specifically symptomatic or compressive benign tumours or patients suffering from liver cell adenoma. Despite the enthusiastic use of the laparoscopic approach, selective indications for resection of benign liver tumours should indeed remain unchanged. For all types of benign liver tumours, the best indication remains small, superficial lesions, located in the anterior or the lateral segments of the liver. Deep, centrally located lesions or tumours in contact with major vascular or biliary trunks are not ideal candidates for laparoscopic liver resections. When performed by expert liver and laparoscopic surgeons using an adequate surgical technique, the laparoscopic approach is safe for performing minor liver resections and is accompanied by the usual postoperative benefits of laparoscopic surgery. When applied in selected patients and tumours, laparoscopic management of benign liver diseases appears to be a promising technique for hepatobiliary surgeons. [source]

Particle size distributions from small-angle scattering using global scattering functions

G. Beaucage
Control and quantification of particle size distribution is of importance in the application of nanoscale particles. For this reason, polydispersity in particle size has been the focus of many simulations of particle growth, especially for nanoparticles synthesized from aerosols such as fumed silica, titania and alumina. Single-source aerosols typically result in close to a log-normal distribution in size and micrograph evidence generally supports close to spherical particles, making such particles ideal candidates for considerations of polydispersity. Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) is often used to measure particle size in terms of the radius of gyration, Rg, using Guinier's law, as well as particle surface area, S/V, from the Porod constant B and the scattering invariant Q. In this paper, the unified function is used to obtain these parameters and various moments of the particle size distribution are calculated. The particle size obtained from BET analysis of gas adsorption data directly agrees with the moment calculated from S/V. Scattering results are also compared with TEM particle-counting results. The potential of scattering to distinguish between polydisperse single particles and polydisperse particles in aggregates is presented. A generalized index of polydispersity for symmetric particles, PDI = BRg4/(1.62G), where G is the Guinier prefactor, is introduced and compared with other approaches to describe particle size distributions in SAXS, specifically the maximum-entropy method. [source]

Modelling the efficacy of entomopathogenic nematodes in the regulation of invertebrate pests in glasshouse crops

A. Fenton
Summary 1. ,Entomopathogenic nematodes belonging to the families Heterorhabditidae and Steinernematidae are lethal obligate parasites of a wide range of invertebrate species. These nematodes exhibit many characteristics that make them ideal candidates as biological control agents of insect pests (rapid host death, high reproductive rates, easily mass-reared in vitro, easy application techniques). 2. ,However, at present, the number of pest species to which these nematodes are applied successfully is small. Clearly, there is a need to develop existing knowledge of the nematode into a more complete understanding of the nematode,pest system as a whole. 3. ,To consider the potential of entomopathogenic nematodes as biological control agents, we adopted a generalized analytical modelling approach and, using realistic parameter estimates, determined the conditions under which these nematodes can regulate a pest population. 4. ,Stability analyses suggested that entomopathogenic nematodes may not be capable of regulating a host population to a stable equilibrium. Long-term persistence of the host and nematode population is unlikely, due to the highly destabilizing effects of the parasite,host relationship. As such, these nematodes may be better suited to short-term control through inundative application techniques rather than long-term regulation. 5. ,This preliminary generalized model highlights areas where further work is needed. This includes estimation of the probability of nematode infection in the field, the effect of host size on the transmission cycle and the influence of spatial heterogeneity on stability. [source]

Future-biased search: the quest for the ideal

Suzanne B. Shu
Abstract Decision-makers with ideal candidates already in mind often extend search beyond optimal endpoints when searching for the best option among a sequential list of alternatives. Extended search is investigated here using three laboratory experiments; individuals in these tasks exhibit future-bias, delaying choice beyond normative benchmarks. Searchers' behavior is consistent with setting high thresholds based on a focal ideal outcome without full attention to its probability or the value of second-best alternatives; the behavior is partially debiased by manipulating which outcomes are in the searchers' focal set. Documenting future-bias in sequential search tasks offers new insights for understanding self-control and intertemporal choice by providing a situation in which thresholds may be set too high and myopic behavior does not prevail. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Novel amorphous perfluorocopolymeric system: Copolymers of perfluoro-2-methylene-1,3-dioxolane derivatives

Yu Yang
Abstract Perfluorotetrahydro-2-methylene-furo[3,4- d][1,3]dioxole (monomer I) and perfluoro-2-methylene-4-methoxymethyl-1,3-dioxolane (monomer II) are soluble in perfluorinated or partially fluorinated solvents and readily polymerize in solution or in bulk when initiated by a free-radical initiator, perfluorodibenzoyl peroxide. The copolymerization parameters have been determined with in situ19F NMR measurements. The copolymerization reactivity ratios are rI = 1.80 and rII = 0.80 in 1,1,2-trichlorotrifluoroethane at 41 °C and rI = 0.97 and rII = 0.85 for the bulk polymerization. These data show that this copolymerization pair has a good copolymerization tendency and yields nearly ideal random copolymers. The copolymers have only one glass-transition temperature from 101 to 168 °C, depending on the copolymer compositions. Melting endotherms have not been observed in their differential scanning calorimetry traces, and this indicates that all the copolymers with different compositions are completely amorphous. These copolymers are thermally stable (the initial decomposition temperatures are higher than 350 °C under an N2 atmosphere) and have low refractive indices and high optical transparency from UV to near-infrared. Copolymer films prepared by casting were flexible and tough. These properties make the copolymers ideal candidates as optical and electrical materials. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part A: Polym Chem 44: 1613,1618, 2006 [source]

Quality of Care for Acute Myocardial Infarction in Elderly Patients with Alcohol-Related Diagnoses

ALCOHOLISM, Issue 1 2006
David A. Fiellin
Background: Elderly adults with alcohol-related diagnoses represent a vulnerable population that may receive lower quality of treatment during hospitalization for acute myocardial infarction. We sought to determine whether elderly patients with alcohol-related diagnoses are less likely to receive standard indicators of quality care for acute myocardial infarction. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort analysis using administrative and medical record data from the Cooperative Cardiovascular Project. Subjects were Medicare beneficiaries with a confirmed principal discharge diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction from all acute care hospitals in the United States over an 8-month period. Our primary outcome was the receipt of 7 guideline-recommended care measures among all eligible patients and patients who were ideal candidates for a given measure. Results: In all, 1,284 (1%) of the 155,026 eligible patients met criteria for an alcohol-related diagnosis. Among the alcohol-related diagnoses, 1,077/1,284 (84%) were for the diagnoses of alcohol dependence or alcohol abuse. Patients with alcohol-related diagnoses were less likely than those without alcohol-related diagnoses to receive ,-blockers at the time of discharge (55% vs. 60%, p=0.02). We found no other significant differences in performance of the quality indicators after stratifying by indication and adjustment for baseline characteristics. Conclusions: Alcohol-related diagnoses are not a barrier to receiving most quality of care measures in elderly patients hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction. [source]

When North and South don't mix: genetic connectivity of a recently endangered oceanic cycad, Cycas micronesica, in Guam using EST-microsatellites

Abstract Subject to environmental changes and recurrent isolation in the last ca. 250 Ma, cycads are often described as relicts of a previously common lineage, with populations characterized by low genetic variation and restricted gene flow. We found that on the island of Guam, the endemic Cycas micronesica has most of the genetic variation of 14 EST-microsatellites distributed within each of 18 genetic populations, from 24 original sampling sites. There were high levels of genetic variation in terms of total number of alleles and private alleles, and moderate levels of inbreeding. Restricted but ongoing gene flow among populations within Guam reveals a genetic mosaic, probably more typical of cycads than previously assumed. Contiguous cycad populations in the north of Guam had higher self-recruitment rates compared to fragmented populations in the south, with no substantial connection between them except for one population. Guam's genetic mosaic may be explained by the influence of forest continuity, seed size, edaphic differences, and human transport of cycads. Also important are the extent of synchrony among flushes of reproductive female seed-bearing sporophylls and restricted pollen movement by an obligate mutualist and generalist insects. An NADH EST-locus under positive selection may reflect pressure from edaphic differences across Guam. This and three other loci are ideal candidates for ecological genomic studies. Given this species' vulnerability due to the recent introduction of the cycad aulacaspis scale, we also identify priority populations for ex situ conservation, and provide a genetic baseline for understanding the effects of invasive species on cycads in the Western Pacific, and islands in general. [source]

An overview of the antifungal properties of allicin and its breakdown products , the possibility of a safe and effective antifungal prophylactic

MYCOSES, Issue 2 2005
Stephen R Davis
Summary Reports about the safe and successful intravenous (i.v.) use of garlic derivatives in China against invasive fungal infections have been made, but little has been done to seriously investigate the in vivo use of these derivatives in the West. Laboratories have demonstrated impressive in vitro MICs using allitridium, one of these derivatives, against a range of medically important fungi. In addition, it has been demonstrated that allitridium shows in vitro synergy with amphotericin B, one of the main i.v. antifungal agents. Some of the breakdown products of allicin, the main parent antifungal compound in garlic, have been investigated for their general antimicrobial, anticancer and anticholesterol properties, and it appears that there is a common mode of action that underlies these activities. It appears that these small molecules have the ability to cross cell membranes and combine with sulfur-containing molecular groups in amino acids and proteins, thus interfering with cell metabolism. It has been suggested that the reason human cells are not poisoned by allicin derivatives is that they contain glutathione, a sulfur-containing amino acid that combines with the allicin derivative, thus preventing cell damage. In addition to their biochemical mechanism, these derivatives appear to stimulate cellular immunity, an important ability lacking in conventional antifungal chemotherapy. These derivatives appear to be safe, cheap, wide-spectrum and immunostimulatory, as well as possibly synergistic with conventional antifungal therapy, making them ideal candidates for investigation into their use as prophylactic antifungal agents. [source]