Lower Rates (lower + rate)

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Selected Abstracts

QTc-interval abnormalities in a forensic population

Sobhi Girgis
Background,Antipsychotic drugs have been linked to sudden death among psychiatric patients, with a suggestion that prolongation of the QT-interval detectable on a standard electrocardiogram may be linked to fatal cardiac arrhythmias in these circumstances. Patients in secure forensic psychiatric facilities may be particularly likely to be on high-dose antipsychotic medication, and yet, as far as the authors are aware, no study of QT-intervals among such patients has been reported. Aim,To investigate the prevalence of QT-interval abnormalities and associated known risk factors for fatal cardiac arrhythmias in a sample of forensic patients. Method,Participants had a 12-lead electrocardiogram taken at 50 mm/s. Information was collected on their age, gender, psychiatric diagnosis, history of cardiovascular, liver and kidney diseases, and smoking, on all medications and on history of seclusion over the previous 12 months. Analysis was carried out using binary logistic regression. Results,Lower rates of QT-interval abnormalities than might be expected for this population were found. It was also found that a high dose of antipsychotics was associated with QTc prolongation (Adjusted OR = 9.5, 95% CI 2.6,34.2), a result consistent with previous literature. Conclusion,Forensic patients need not be at increased risk of QTc abnormality provided risk factors are properly managed. A high dose of antipsychotic medication increases the risk of QTc prolongation. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ,,retinoid X receptor agonists induce beta-cell protection against palmitate toxicity

FEBS JOURNAL, Issue 23 2007
Karine Hellemans
Fatty acids can stimulate the secretory activity of insulin-producing beta-cells. At elevated concentrations, they can also be toxic to isolated beta-cells. This toxicity varies inversely with the cellular ability to accumulate neutral lipids in the cytoplasm. To further examine whether cytoprotection can be achieved by decreasing cytoplasmic levels of free acyl moieties, we investigated whether palmitate toxicity is also lowered by stimulating its ,-oxidation. Lower rates of palmitate-induced beta-cell death were measured in the presence of l -carnitine as well as after addition of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor , (PPAR,) agonists, conditions leading to increased palmitate oxidation. In contrast, inhibition of mitochondrial ,-oxidation by etomoxir increased palmitate toxicity. A combination of PPAR, and retinoid X receptor (RXR) agonists acted synergistically and led to complete protection; this was associated with enhanced expression levels of genes involved in mitochondrial and peroxisomal ,-oxidation, lipid metabolism, and peroxisome proliferation. PPAR,,RXR protection was abolished by the carnitine palmitoyl transferase 1 inhibitor etomoxir. These observations indicate that PPAR, and RXR regulate beta-cell susceptibility to long-chain fatty acid toxicity by increasing the rates of ,-oxidation and by involving peroxisomes in fatty acid metabolism. [source]

Can C4 plants contribute to aquatic food webs of subtropical streams?

Joanne E. Clapcott
Summary 1. Recent stable isotope studies have revealed that C4 plants play a minor role in aquatic food webs, despite their often widespread distribution and production. We compared the breakdown of C3 (Eucalyptus) and C4 (Saccharum and Urochloa) plant litter in a small rain forest stream and used laboratory feeding experiments to determine their potential contribution to the aquatic food web. 2. All species of litter broke down at a fast rate in the stream, although Urochloa was significantly faster than Eucalyptus and Saccharum. This was consistent with the observed higher total organic nitrogen of Urochloa compared with the other two species. 3. The breakdown of Urochloa and Saccharum was, however, not associated with shredding invertebrates, which were poorly represented in leaf packs compared with the native Eucalyptus. The composition of the invertebrate fauna in packs of Urochloa quickly diverged from that of the other two species. 4. Feeding experiments using a common shredding aquatic insect Anisocentropus kirramus showed a distinct preference for Eucalyptus over both C4 species. Anisocentropus was observed to ingest C4 plant litter, particularly in the absence of other choices, and faecal material collected was clearly of C4 origin, as determined by stable isotope analysis. However, the stable carbon isotope values of the larvae did not shift away from their C3 signature in any of the feeding trials. 5. These data suggest that shredders avoid the consumption of C4 plants, in favour of native C3 species that appear to be of lower food quality (based on C : N ratios). Lower rates of consumption and lack of assimilation of C4 carbon also suggest that shredders may have a limited ability to process this material, even in the absence of alternative litter sources. Large scale clearing of forest and vegetation for C4 crops such as sugarcane will undoubtedly have important consequences for stream ecosystem function. [source]

Population Ageing and Projections of Government Social Outlays in Australia

Ross S. Guest
This paper makes new projections of government social outlays for Australia. The calculations suggest that government social outlays will increase considerably as a percentage of GDP over the next 50 years, by 7.3 per cent of GDP in the base case. This is a greater increase than that found by previous investigators. Over 60 per cent of this increase will occur between 2011 and 2031, the years when the baby boom generation retires. The major contribution to this increase will have come from increased government outlays on social security. Lower rates of net immigration are shown to yield an even larger increase in the percentage of government social outlays in GDP. The paper also considers the disincentive effect of taxation and the effect of in-creasing the age of retirement. However, notwithstanding the trends suggested by the projections, the paper argues that there are a number of reasons to be sanguine about the implications of ageing on the share of government outlays in GDP. [source]

Breast Cancer in the Middle Eastern Population of California, 1988,2004

Kiumarss Nasseri DVM
Abstract:, This report presents the patterns of incidence, survival, and mortality of breast cancer in the Middle Eastern (ME) population of California. Cases were identified through surname recognition and population estimates were obtained from census public use files. Rates, trends, and survival in this ethnic group were compared with the non-Hispanic White (NHW) of California, as well as natives in the Middle East. Age-adjusted incidence rates for the insitu (22.8), invasive (126.2), and mortality (23.2) in ME women were significantly lower than similar rates of 26.0, 146.9, and 30.6 in the NHW women. Incidence rate in ME women in California was higher than rates in women in the Middle East. Lower rates for early stage and higher rates for late stage diagnoses in this ethnic population suggest lack of optimal access to preventive healthcare. Relative survival in the two groups is negatively associated with stage at diagnosis and is slightly higher in ME women, probably due to large numbers of lost to follow-up in ME women suggesting the presence of salmon bias. Positive association with socioeconomic standing was detected only in the NHW women. Incidence of breast cancer in ME men was significantly higher than that of NHW men. [source]

The development of a specialist hostel for the community management of personality disordered offenders

Stephen Blumenthal
Background,Since the late 1990s, in England and in Wales, there has been increasing interest in the particular challenges of managing offenders with personality disorder (PD). In 1999, a specialist hostel, managed by the probation service but with a high level of forensic mental health service input, was opened to high-risk PD offenders. Aims,To describe the first 93 high-risk residents with PD who were completing sentences under life licence, parole or probation, and their outcome. Methods,We investigated the nature of the offences residents had previously committed, their psychological profile in terms of personality patterns on the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI-III) and the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R), as well as staff commentary on their progress, to establish whether these factors related to outcome in terms of completion of stay in the hostel or premature discharge. Curfew failures and rearrest rates were also measured. Results,Of the 80 men who completed their residency within the two years of the study, the majority (50) left the hostel for positive reasons under mutual agreement. One-fifth were rearrested while resident, which is a lower rate than would be expected for such a group of offenders. PCL-R scores were predictive of outcome, but so was previous offending history. Self-defeating traits on the MCMI-III and negative comments written by hostel staff were also associated with failure. Conclusions,The hostel development demonstrated that probation and health services can work together to manage violent offenders with high levels of psychological dysfunction, and the evaluation provided some indications of how such arrangements might be enhanced. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Electrical and optical properties of CdS nanocrystalline semiconductors

Shikha Tiwari
Abstract II-VI semiconductor nanoparticles have recently attracted a lot of attention due to the possibility of their application in various devices. In the present study, chemical method has been used in synthesis of CdS nanoparticles and thiophenol was used as capping agent. X-ray diffraction studies of both samples were done. The dc conductivity of CdS increases at a lower rate or is approximately constant upto 500K and thereafter the conductivity increases at a rapid rate. Beyond Tc it is seen that the portion of the ,dc versus 1000/T is almost a straight line showing an Arrehenious behaviour. The dielectric constant of nanoparticles of CdS is found to be larger than the corresponding values of CdS crystals. It is clearly observed that at lower wavelengths nanocrystalline samples show a blue-shift. The three peaks of sample (S2), A, Band C can be ascribed to the transition from Cd-O complex donor formed by adsorbed oxygen to the valance band, Cd - excess acceptor and the surface states, respectively. (© 2005 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]

Pathological gambling: an increasing public health problem

Article first published online: 7 JUL 200
Gambling has always existed, but only recently has it taken on the endlessly variable and accessible forms we know today. Gambling takes place when something valuable , usually money , is staked on the outcome of an event that is entirely unpredictable. It was only two decades ago that pathological gambling was formally recognized as a mental disorder, when it was included in the DSM-III in 1980. For most people, gambling is a relaxing activity with no negative consequences. For others, however, gambling becomes excessive. Pathological gambling is a disorder that manifests itself through the irrepressible urge to wager money. This disorder ultimately dominates the gambler's life, and has a multitude of negative consequences for both the gambler and the people they interact with, i.e. friends, family members, employers. In many ways, gambling might seem a harmless activity. In fact, it is not the act of gambling itself that is harmful, but the vicious cycle that can begin when a gambler wagers money they cannot afford to lose, and then continues to gamble in order to recuperate their losses. The gambler's ,tragic flaw' of logic lies in their failure to understand that gambling is governed solely by random, chance events. Gamblers fail to recognize this and continue to gamble, attempting to control outcomes by concocting strategies to ,beat the game'. Most, if not all, gamblers try in some way to predict the outcome of a game when they are gambling. A detailed analysis of gamblers' selfverbalizations reveals that most of them behave as though the outcome of the game relied on their personal ,skills'. From the gambler's perspective, skill can influence chance , but in reality, the random nature of chance events is the only determinant of the outcome of the game. The gambler, however, either ignores or simply denies this fundamental rule (1). Experts agree that the social costs of pathological gambling are enormous. Changes in gaming legislation have led to a substantial expansion of gambling opportunities in most industrialized countries around the world, mainly in Europe, America and Australia. Figures for the United States' leisure economy in 1996 show gross gambling revenues of $47.6 billion, which was greater than the combined revenue of $40.8 billion from film box offices, recorded music, cruise ships, spectator sports and live entertainment (2). Several factors appear to be motivating this growth: the desire of governments to identify new sources of revenue without invoking new or higher taxes; tourism entrepreneurs developing new destinations for entertainment and leisure; and the rise of new technologies and forms of gambling (3). As a consequence, prevalence studies have shown increased gambling rates among adults. It is currently estimated that 1,2% of the adult population gambles excessively (4, 5). Given that the prevalence of gambling is related to the accessibility of gambling activities, and that new forms of gambling are constantly being legalized throughout most western countries, this figure is expected to rise. Consequently, physicians and mental health professionals will need to know more about the diagnosis and treatment of pathological gamblers. This disorder may be under-diagnosed because, clinically, pathological gamblers usually seek help for the problems associated with gambling such as depression, anxiety or substance abuse, rather than for the excessive gambling itself. This issue of Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica includes the first national survey of problem gambling completed in Sweden, conducted by Volberg et al. (6). This paper is based on a large sample (N=9917) with an impressively high response rate (89%). Two instruments were used to assess gambling activities: the South Oaks Gambling Screen-Revised (SOGS-R) and an instrument derived from the DSM-IV criteria for pathological gambling. Current (1 year) and lifetime prevalence rates were collected. Results show that 0.6% of the respondents were classified as probable pathological gamblers, and 1.4% as problem gamblers. These data reveal that the prevalence of pathological gamblers in Sweden is significantly less than what has been observed in many western countries. The authors have pooled the rates of problem (1.4%) and probable pathological gamblers (0.6%), to provide a total of 2.0% for the current prevalence. This 2% should be interpreted with caution, however, as we do not have information on the long-term evolution of these subgroups of gamblers; for example, we do not know how many of each subgroup will become pathological gamblers, and how many will decrease their gambling or stop gambling altogether. Until this information is known, it would be preferable to keep in mind that only 0.6% of the Swedish population has been identified as pathological gamblers. In addition, recent studies show that the SOGS-R may be producing inflated estimates of pathological gambling (7). Thus, future research in this area might benefit from the use of an instrument based on DSM criteria for pathological gambling, rather than the SOGS-R only. Finally, the authors suggest in their discussion that the lower rate of pathological gamblers obtained in Sweden compared to many other jurisdictions may be explained by the greater availability of games based on chance rather than games based on skill or a mix of skill and luck. Before accepting this interpretation, researchers will need to demonstrate that the outcomes of all games are determined by other factor than chance and randomness. Many studies have shown that the notion of randomness is the only determinant of gambling (1). Inferring that skill is an important issue in gambling may be misleading. While these are important issues to consider, the Volberg et al. survey nevertheless provides crucial information about gambling in a Scandinavian country. Gambling will be an important issue over the next few years in Sweden, and the publication of the Volberg et al. study is a landmark for the Swedish community (scientists, industry, policy makers, etc.). This paper should stimulate interesting discussions and inspire new, much-needed scientific investigations of pathological gambling. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica Guido Bondolfi and Robert Ladouceur Invited Guest Editors References 1.,LadouceurR & WalkerM. The cognitive approach to understanding and treating pathological gambling. In: BellackAS, HersenM, eds. Comprehensive clinical psychology. New York: Pergamon, 1998:588 , 601. 2.,ChristiansenEM. Gambling and the American economy. In: FreyJH, ed. Gambling: socioeconomic impacts and public policy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1998:556:36 , 52. 3.,KornDA & ShafferHJ. Gambling and the health of the public: adopting a public health perspective. J Gambling Stud2000;15:289 , 365. 4.,VolbergRA. Problem gambling in the United States. J Gambling Stud1996;12:111 , 128. 5.,BondolfiG, OsiekC, FerreroF. Prevalence estimates of pathological gambling in Switzerland. Acta Psychiatr Scand2000;101:473 , 475. 6.,VolbergRA, AbbottMW, RönnbergS, MunckIM. Prev-alence and risks of pathological gambling in Sweden. Acta Psychiatr Scand2001;104:250 , 256. 7.,LadouceurR, BouchardC, RhéaumeNet al. Is the SOGS an accurate measure of pathological gambling among children, adolescents and adults?J Gambling Stud2000;16:1 , 24. [source]

Side-to-side stapled intra-thoracic esophagogastric anastomosis reduces the incidence of leaks and stenosis

D. J. Raz
SUMMARY. Trans-hiatal esophagectomy with a hand-sewn anastomosis was for 2 decades the preferred approach in our institution for patients with esophageal cancer. In our experience, this anastomotic technique was associated with a 12% leak rate and a 48% rate of stricture requiring dilatation. We sought to determine if a side-to-side intra-thoracic anastomosis was associated with a lower rate of anastomotic stricture and leak. Thirty-three consecutive patients with distal esophageal cancer or Barrett's esophagus with high grade dysplasia underwent a trans-thoracic esophagectomy with a side-to-side stapled intra-thoracic anastomosis. The overall morbidity was 27%, with no anastomotic stricture or leaks. One patient died (3%). The median time to the resumption of an oral diet was 7 days (range 5,28), and the median length of stay in hospital was 9 days (range 6,45). Trans-thoracic esophagectomy with a side-to-side stapled anastomosis is safe and it is associated with a very low rate of anastomotic complications. We consider this to be the procedure of choice for patients with distal esophageal cancers. [source]

Starling foraging success in relation to agricultural land-use

ECOGRAPHY, Issue 3 2002
Ola Olsson
Changes in agricultural land-use have been suggested to contribute to the decline of several bird species through negative effects on their food supply during breeding. One important change in land-use has been loss of pastures, especially permanent pastures. In this study we investigated how different forms of agricultural land-use affected foraging success of a declining bird species, the European starling Sturnus vulgaris. We let caged starlings forage in different forms of agricultural fields and determined time spent foraging and foraging success. The starlings' activity level (time spent actively foraging) as well as the number of prey caught per time unit was strongly related to the abundance of prey in soil samples. Also the body mass change during the experiment was positively related to activity level and prey capture rate. We found consistent differences in foraging variables between habitats. In spring sown grain starlings were least active and found fewer prey items at a lower rate than in any other habitat. The other three habitats differed less, but in general mowed hay fields appeared slightly more valuable than the cultivated and natural pastures. We did not find any differences between natural and cultivated pastures in foraging variables. Thus, starling foraging success is higher in grass-covered fields than in cultivated fields, but the management of the grass-covered fields mattered less. The results are consistent with starlings having higher population densities and breeding success in areas with higher availability of pasture. We suggest that the physical structure of the habitat (sward height) and moisture may be additional variables that need to be taken into account to explain starling breeding density and success in the agricultural landscape. [source]

Size-related differences in diel activity of two species of juvenile eel (Anguilla) in a laboratory stream

G. J. Glova
Abstract , The diel activity of three size groups (small=<100 mm; medium=100,199 mm; large=200,299 mm total length) of juvenile shortfinned ("shortfin") eels (Anguilla australis) and longfinned ("longfin") eels (A. dieffenbachii) was tested in a laboratory flow tank over a 48-h period during summer. All size groups of both species were nocturnally active, with the eels hiding in the substratum during the day and coming out on top of the cobbles from dusk to dawn, to feed. During the foraging period, the numbers and activity of all sizes of longfins visible were greater than those seen of shortfins, with the differences being more pronounced for small and medium eels. The activity of all eels consisted mostly of foraging by crawling, searching and probing for prey among the cobbles. Rate of activity increased with size of eel for both species. Small eels of either species did more swimming than eels of the larger sizes, whereas large eels were observed more frequently with only their head out of the substrate than were the smaller individuals. Feeding of small eels within the interstitial spaces of the streambed may explain their significantly lower activity on top of the substrate at night. The significantly lower rate of activity recorded for shortfins than longfins of all sizes may be due partly to their ability to feed within the interstices of the stream bed, and (or) longer time to recover from handling and habituate to the test environment., [source]

Smoking cessation patterns and predictors of quitting smoking among the Japanese general population: a 1-year follow-up study

ADDICTION, Issue 1 2010
Akiko Hagimoto
ABSTRACT Aim To examine the percentage of Japanese adult smokers who make quit attempts and succeed in smoking cessation over a 1-year period, and to identify predictors of attempts to stop and successful smoking cessation. Design and setting This study used Ipsos JSR Company's access panel, whose sampling framework is based on the Basic Resident Register in Japan. We tracked and monitored a selected sample of smokers who were at least 20 years of age through a baseline postal questionnaire survey in 2005 and a follow-up survey 1 year later. Participants The original response rate was 72.1% (1874 of 2600 smokers). There were 1627 current smokers in the baseline survey, and of those, 1358 were followed-up 1 year later. Findings Among the current smokers, 23.0% reported that they had attempted to quit smoking at least once in the past year. Of those who made quit attempts, 25.6% had achieved 1-week abstinence successfully and 13.5% reported having achieved sustained 6-month abstinence successfully at the time of the follow-up survey. The predictors associated with quit attempts were non-daily smoker, higher motivation to quit and previous attempts to stop smoking. Among smokers who made quit attempts, only 13.5% used nicotine replacement therapy. Higher nicotine dependence was associated with lower probability of success in quitting. Conclusions Japanese smokers attempt to quit at a lower rate than smokers in the United Kingdom and United States, but factors that predict attempts (primarily markers of motivation) and success of attempts (primarily dependence) are similar to those found in western samples. [source]

Prognostic Significance of Failure of the Initial Antiepileptic Drug in Children with Absence Epilepsy

EPILEPSIA, Issue 6 2001
Elaine Wirrell
Summary: ,Purpose: In children with childhood absence epilepsy (CAE) and juvenile absence epilepsy (JAE), to determine the impact of failure of initial antiepileptic drug (AED) for lack of efficacy in eventual seizure control and long-term remission of epilepsy. Methods: Centralized EEG records for the province of Nova Scotia allowed identification of all children seen with CAE or JAE between 1977 and 1985. Information regarding success or failure of initial AED in fully controlling seizures and long-term seizure control and remission of epilepsy was collected by patient questionnaire and chart review. Results: Eighty-six of 92 eligible patients were followed up (75 CAE, 11 JAE). Initial AED treatment was successful in 52 (60%) of 86. Success tended to be greater for valproate (VPA) than for other AEDs (p = 0.07), and lower if generalized tonic,clonic or myoclonic seizures coexisted (p < 0.004 and p < 0.03). Terminal remission was more likely if the initial AED was successful than if it had failed (69% vs. 41%; p < 0.02). Compared with those in whom the initial AED was successful, subjects whose initial AED had failed were more likely to progress to juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) at last follow-up (32% vs. 10%; p < 0.02) and to develop intractable epilepsy (17% vs. 2%; p < 0.04). Conclusions: Initial AED was successful in 60% of children with AE. If the first AED failed, the outcome was less favorable, with a lower rate of terminal remission and a higher rate of progression to JME and intractable epilepsy. [source]

Significantly lower rate of smoking in female compared to male patients with lung adenocarcinoma

To examine the relationship between smoking and lung adenocarcinoma in female patients, we performed a retrospective chart review for 470 patients with lung adenocarcinoma at our hospital. The proportions of non-smokers were higher in female patients than those of male patients. A significant difference in smoking history was found between female and male patients. Not only active smoking but also passive smoking may influence the development of female lung adenocarcinoma, which reinforces the need for effective programmes aimed refraining from smoking and cessation among men as well as women. [source]

BRIEF REPORT: No association of alcohol dependence with SLC6A5 and SLC6A9 glycine transporter polymorphisms

Gabriele Koller
ABSTRACT To determine whether glycine transporter polymorphisms are associated with alcoholism, three genetic variants of SLC6A5 and two polymorphisms of SLC6A9 were genotyped in 463 German non-alcoholic controls and 644 German alcohol-dependent subjects. Association was investigated employing chi-square statistics and haplotype analysis. There was a significant association between the SLC6A5 polymorphism (rs1443547) and alcohol dependence as alcoholic individuals had a lower rate of AG-allele (,2 = 6.048, P = 0.049, d.f. = 2), which did not remain significant after correction for multiple testing. There was no association between SLC6A9 glycine transporter polymorphisms and alcohol dependence, and also none in haplotype analysis. [source]

The effect of gentamicin sulphate on the fracture properties of a manually mixed bone cement

ABSTRACT This work investigates the effect of adding gentamicin, an antibiotic, on the fracture properties of bone cement. Endurance limit, fatigue crack propagation and fracture toughness were determined for a polymethylmethacrylate-based cement, containing 10% w/w of barium sulphate as radiopacifying agent, and the same formulation modified by the addition of 4.22% w/w of gentamicin sulphate. The antibiotic does not affect the endurance limit nor the fracture toughness of the material. There are significant differences in the parameters of the Paris' law fitting the crack growth data: once the main crack is nucleated, it initially propagates at a lower rate but thereafter accelerates faster in gentamicin loaded bone cement. Despite this difference, the growth rate for the same stress intensity factor remains of the same order of magnitude in both formulations. The addition of 4.22% w/w of gentamicin sulphate to radiopaque bone cement has a negligible total effect on the fracture properties of the material. [source]

Biosynthesis of the cyanobacterial reserve polymer multi-L-arginyl-poly-L-aspartic acid (cyanophycin)

FEBS JOURNAL, Issue 17 2000
Mechanism of the cyanophycin synthetase reaction studied with synthetic primers
Biosynthesis of the cyanobacterial nitrogen reserve cyanophycin (multi- l -arginyl-poly- l -aspartic acid) is catalysed by cyanophycin synthetase, an enzyme that consists of a single kind of polypeptide. Efficient synthesis of the polymer requires ATP, the constituent amino acids aspartic acid and arginine, and a primer like cyanophycin. Using synthetic peptide primers, the course of the biosynthetic reaction was studied. The following results were obtained: (a) sequence analysis suggests that cyanophycin synthetase has two ATP-binding sites and hence probably two active sites; (b) the enzyme catalyses the formation of cyanophycin-like polymers of 25,30 kDa apparent molecular mass in vitro; (c) primers are elongated at their C-terminus; (d) the constituent amino acids are incorporated stepwise, in the order aspartic acid followed by arginine, into the growing polymer. A mechanism for the cyanophycin synthetase reaction is proposed; (e) the specificity of the enzyme for its amino-acid substrates was also studied. Glutamic acid cannot replace aspartic acid as the acidic amino acid, whereas lysine can replace arginine but is incorporated into cyanophycin at a much lower rate. [source]

Effects of singlet oxygen on membrane sterols in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae

FEBS JOURNAL, Issue 6 2000
Till Böcking
Photodynamic treatment of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae with the singlet oxygen sensitizer toluidine blue and visible light leads to rapid oxidation of ergosterol and accumulation of oxidized ergosterol derivatives in the plasma membrane. The predominant oxidation product accumulated was identified as 5,,6,-epoxy-(22E)-ergosta-8,22-dien-3,,7,-diol (8-DED). 9(11)-dehydroergosterol (DHE) was identified as a minor oxidation product. In heat inactivated cells ergosterol is photooxidized to ergosterol epidioxide (EEP) and DHE. Disrupted cell preparations of S. cerevisiae convert EEP to 8-DED, and this activity is abolished in a boiled control indicating the presence of a membrane associated enzyme with an EEP isomerase activity. Yeast selectively mobilizes ergosterol from the intracellular sterol ester pool to replenish the level of free ergosterol in the plasma membrane during singlet oxygen oxidation. The following reaction pathway is proposed: singlet oxygen-mediated oxidation of ergosterol leads to mainly the formation of EEP, which is enzymatically rearranged to 8-DED. Ergosterol 7-hydroperoxide, a known minor product of the reaction of singlet oxygen with ergosterol, is formed at a much lower rate and decomposes to give DHE. Changes of physical properties of the plasma membrane are induced by depletion of ergosterol and accumulation of polar derivatives. Subsequent permeation of photosensitizer through the plasma membrane into the cell leads to events including impairment of mitochondrial function and cell inactivation. [source]

Decomposition of litter from submersed macrophytes: the indirect effects of high [CO2]

1.,We grew the submersed freshwater macrophyte Vallisneria americana under controlled conditions at low and high [CO2] to produce litter with high and low tissue nitrogen concentration ([N]), respectively. We then followed mass and nitrogen dynamics in situ in this litter to test the indirect effect of [CO2] on its subsequent decomposition and colonisation by macroinvertebrates. 2.,Litter from plants grown in high CO2 initially lost mass and N at a significantly lower rate but, by day 30, both litter types had lost about 90% of mass and N. Litter [N] did not appear to govern decay rate. 3.,There was no effect of CO2 on the pattern of macroinvertebrate colonisation. 4.,The potential exists for high [CO2] to increase rates of C and N cycling and, thereby, to increase internal N loading in macrophyte-dominated shallow water ecosystems. [source]

MEGX disposition in critically-ill trauma patients: subsequent assessments during the first week following trauma

Federico Pea
ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to evaluate MEGX disposition as a surrogate marker in assessing the influence that injury may exert on liver function during the first week after the traumatic event in young vs. elderly patients. The MEGX exposure over time was assessed at 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 4 and 6 h after the intravenous administration of a 1 mg/kg lidocaine test dose in 12 young and 7 elderly trauma patients on days1, 4 and 7 after a severe injury (Apache II score > 10). MEGX plasma concentration,time profiles were consistently different on day 1 in the elderly vs. young, consistent with a statistically significant lower rate of both lidocaine clearance and MEGX formation, and with a considerably longer MEGX elimination in the elderly than in the young. This suggests an impairment of liver blood flow as a result of splanchnic vasoconstriction occurring mainly in elderly trauma patients. A significant improvement in MEGX disposition occurred on days 4 and 7 vs. the day of trauma in most elderly, whereas minor changes were observed in the young. Multiple factors may account for these major changes in the elderly: the more severe status, the major sensitivity to the pathophysiologic changes induced by trauma, and also at least partially the ageing processes. Although referring to a limited number of observations, our findings on MEGX disposition suggest that liver function may be affected by the severity of injury, even if the influence of age should not be underestimated in these patients. [source]


ABSTRACT. The census concept of total cropland is a better measure of effective agricultural land than is total farmland, which includes extensive areas of woodland owned by farmers. The cropland area of the United States dropped from 478 million acres in 1949 to 431 million acres in 1997, for a net loss of less than 1 million acres, or roughly one-fifth of 1 percent, per year. In the midwestern agricultural heartland most counties changed less than 5 percent in the half-century, and more counties gained than lost. The West was a crazy quilt of change, and in the East most counties lost more than 10 percent. Major metropolitan counties lost a few percentage points more than did adjacent areas, but at a lower rate per capita than the nation as a whole. Most of the loss of cropland was in marginal agricultural counties with soils of low inherent fertility and topography unsuited to modern farm machinery. The loss of cropland to suburban encroachment may be cause for intense local concern, but attempts to thwart development cannot be justified on grounds of a net national loss of good cropland. [source]

Immunohistologic study on the expressions of ,-fetoprotein and protein induced by vitamin K absence or antagonist II in surgically resected small hepatocellular carcinoma

HEPATOLOGY, Issue 6 2001
Miwako Fujioka
Sixty-eight cases of single hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with less than 3 cm of diameter were immunohistochemically examined for the expressions of ,-fetoprotein (AFP) and protein induced by vitamin K absence or antagonist II (PIVKA-II). In cancerous tissues, the expression rate was significantly higher for PIVKA-II (34 cases [50%]) than AFP (21 cases [31%]) (P < .05), suggesting a higher specificity of PIVKA-II to small HCC. Sixteen of the 68 cases (24%) were positive to both AFP and PIVKA-II, and in 8 of the 16 cases, AFP and PIVKA-II expressing areas within a nodule were clearly divided by a fibrous septum. According to histologic grades, PIVKA-II expression was confirmed in 2 of the 15 well-differentiated HCCs, and in the well-differentiated component of 6 of the 12 "nodule-in-nodule",type well-differentiated HCCs. AFP expression was not found in well-differentiated HCCs, but found in 16 of the 40 moderately differentiated HCCs (40%) and in the moderately differentiated component of 3 of the 12 "nodule-in-nodule",type well-differentiated HCCs. The positive rate in the tissues was correlated to the serum levels for both AFP and PIVKA-II. In addition, frequency of tissue,PIVKA-II expression was higher than tissue-AFP expression in the cases whose serum protein level was within the normal range. This indicates that AFP and PIVKA-II have different patterns of tissue expression and of secretion to the blood. In comparison with tissue-AFP,negative cases, tissue-AFP,positive HCCs had a larger tumor size, higher frequencies of portal vein invasion and intrahepatic metastasis, a high Ki-67 labeling index, and a lower rate of recurrence-free survival. Thus, tissue-AFP,positive HCCs are suggested to be biologically more malignant than those HCCs that are AFP-negative and PIVKA-II,positive. [source]

Genomic and immunophenotypical differences between hepatocellular carcinoma with and without cirrhosis

Maria S Tretiakova
Tretiakova M S, Shabani-Rad M T, Guggisberg K, Hart J, Anders R A & Gao Z-h (2010) Histopathology,56, 683,693 Genomic and immunophenotypical differences between hepatocellular carcinoma with and without cirrhosis Aims:, To compare the expression of genes involved in p53, Wnt/,-catenin, and retinoblastoma (Rb) 1 pathways between cirrhosis-associated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC-C) and hepatocellular carcinoma arising in non-cirrhotic liver (HCC-NC). Methods and results:, The gene expression profile was analysed using oligo-DNA arrays, and then validated at protein level in a tissue microarray using immunohistochemistry. Compared with their background non-neoplastic liver tissue, HCC-C showed a significantly higher rate of p53, ,-catenin (protein only) and cyclin D1 expression, whereas HCC-NC showed a significantly higher rate of p21Waf1/cip1 and p27Kip1 expression. HCC-C had a significantly higher rate of p53 expression and a significantly lower rate of p21waf1/cip1 expression than HCC-NC. There was no statistically significant association between the expression of genetic markers and tumour histological grade, underlying aetiology, or lymphovascular invasion. Aberrant ,-catenin expression was more commonly seen in single tumours in comparison with multiple tumours. Increased p16INK4 and p21waf1/cip1 expression was more commonly observed in large-sized tumours (>50 mm) than small-sized tumours. Conclusions:, Alteration of the p53 pathway plays a more important role in the pathogenesis of HCC-C, whereas alterations in cell cycle regulators p21waf1/cip1 and p27Kip1 play a more important role in the pathogenesis of HCC-NC. [source]

The anatomic location of pancreatic cancer is a prognostic factor for survival

HPB, Issue 5 2008
Avo Artinyan
Abstract Background. Pancreatic cancers of the body and tail (BT) appear to have poorer survival compared with head (HD) lesions. We hypothesized that potential disparities in outcome may be related to tumor location. Our objective was to examine the relationship between tumor location and survival. Methods. The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registry identified 33,752 patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma and 6443 patients who underwent cancer-directed surgery between 1988 and 2004. Differences in survival and relationships between tumor location and clinical factors were assessed. Multivariate analysis was performed to determine the prognostic significance of tumor location. Results. Median survival for the entire cohort was five months and was significantly lower for BT compared to HD lesions (four vs. six months, p<0.001). Distant metastases (67% vs. 36%, p<0.001) were greater and cancer-directed surgery (16% vs. 30%, p<0.001) was lower for BT tumors. Of 6443 resected patients, HD patients (n=5118) were younger, had a greater number of harvested lymph nodes, were more likely to be lymph node-positive, and had a higher proportion of T3/T4 lesions. Significant univariate predictors of survival included age, T-stage, number of positive and harvested lymph nodes. On multivariate analysis, BT location was a significant prognostic factor for decreased survival (OR 1.11, 95% CI 1.00,1.23, p=0.05). Discussion. Pancreatic BT cancers have a lower rate of resectability and poorer overall survival compared to HD lesions. Prospective large-cohort studies may definitively prove that tumor location is a prognostic factor for survival in patients with pancreatic cancer. [source]

Family-friendly work practices in Britain: Availability and perceived accessibility

John W. Budd
Using linked data for British workplaces and employees, we find a low base rate of workplace-level availability, and a substantially lower rate of individual-level perceived accessibility, for five family-friendly work practices' parental leave, paid leave, job sharing, subsidized child care, and working at home. Our results demonstrate that statistics on workplace availability drastically overstate the extent to which employees perceive that family-friendly policies are accessible to them personally. British workplaces appear to be responding slowly, and perhaps disingenuously, to pressures to enhance family-friendly work practices. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]

Predicting developmental deficiencies at the age of four based on data from the first seven months of life,

Anne Margrethe Rostad
The study examines very young children with the aim of identifying precursors of developmental problems during the first 7 months of age. Information from screening and observations in the birth clinic, in the first level of health care, and from parents was collected on five different occasions. The information that was included concerning the child and family was defined as either optimal or nonoptimal. At the age of 4 years, a clinical group was identified (11.1% of the total population). Logistic regression analyses were performed to detect risk factors. Twenty-one precursors were used to create a screening questionnaire that provided useful information (sensitivity = 56.1%, specificity = 98.8%) for predicting developmental problems of the children. The contribution of sociodemographic data was significant; medical information was less significant. The highest prediction rate surprisingly was found in the moderate clinical subgroup (62.1%), compared to the group with more severe problems that had a slightly lower rate (46.7%). The conclusion of the study is that it is possible to detect infants in need of early intervention using a continuous process of observation and screening. [source]

New once-daily formulation for trospium in overactive bladder

C. Chapple
Summary Aims:, We examined the relative efficacy and safety of trospium 20 mg bid and 60 mg extended release formulations and position this drug against other antimuscarinic agents. Methods:, Data were identified on the pharmacology and pharmacokinetics of trospium chloride. Key publications on trospium 20-mg and 60-mg clinical studies in patients with overactive bladder (OAB) were identified and efficacy and safety compared between these formulations as well as other antimuscarinic agents. Results:, Trospium offers the principal advantage over other antimuscarinic agents that, as it is a quaternary amine, it does not cross the blood,brain barrier and is therefore less likely to cause central nervous system effects observed with several other agents. Moreover, with its minimal liver metabolisation, independent of the main cytochrome pathways, trospium has a low risk of drug,drug interaction in patients taking multiple pharmacological agents. Trospium 60 mg ER is as effective as trospium 20 mg bid in improving the key outcome parameters associated with OAB, but with a lower rate of dry mouth, the most common side effect of these agents. Trospium has comparable efficacy and safety to the other antimuscarinic agents currently marketed. Discussion:, Good patient persistence with treatment has been reported with trospium. There are currently a large number of antimuscarinic drugs on the market without clear evidence to distinguish one agent from another in terms of efficacy, provided that an adequate dose is used in the clinical setting. Conclusion:, The new formulation of trospium is certainly worth considering as a pharmacological treatment of patients with OAB, particularly in the elderly, in whom one wants to avoid the potential for cognitive dysfunction. [source]

Predictors of rehospitalization after total weight recovery in adolescents with anorexia nervosa

Josefina Castro
Abstract Objective The current study analyzed the variables related to rehospitalization after total weight recovery in adolescents with anorexia nervosa. Method One hundred and one patients first admitted for inpatient treatment, aged 11,19 years, were followed up for 12 months after discharge. Results Twenty-five subjects (24.8%) required readmission after complete weight recovery and 76 (75.2%) did not. Duration of disorder, weight loss, body mass index at first admission, and global body image distortion were similar in the two groups. Patients needing readmission had a lower rate of weight gain (p < .001), a lower mean age (p = .007), a higher mean score on the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT; p = .009), and a higher percentage of hips overestimation (p = .049). In a stepwise logistic regression analysis, these three variables predicted readmission and correctly classified 77.6% of patients. Taken as discrete variables, age younger than 15 years old, EAT score above 55, and a rate of weight gain lower than 150 grams per day were associated with a higher percentage of readmissions. Discussion The variables most clearly related to readmission were young age, abnormal eating attitudes, and a low rate of weight gain. © 2004 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 36: 22,30, 2004. [source]

Barriers to girls' education in Mozambique at household and community levels: an exploratory study

Jini L. Roby
Although education of children is universally accepted as a leading mechanism of poverty eradication and social development, many developing nations continue to struggle in achieving gender parity in primary and secondary education. While Mozambique has recently accelerated its efforts to reduce this gap, girls are still enrolled and attending school at a much lower rate than boys. The present study explored the barriers to children's , especially girls' , education in central Mozambique, based on information on 738 children in two separate communities. Household, child, environmental, and social/cultural factors are examined in the context of global and regional data. The study found girls to be impacted more negatively by every correlating factor, including the lingering practice, in rural areas, of early marriage. Policy and research implications are discussed. [source]

Achieving a natural glanular meatus for distal hypospadias with a narrow and shallow plate: Tubularized incised plate versus modified Barcat repair

Yutaro Hayashi
Objectives: Although the tubularized incised plate (TIP) repair has become the most popular surgical procedure for distal hypospadias, some authors suggest that this is not suitable for hypospadias with a narrow plate or shallow groove. Methods: The configuration and position of the reconstructed meatus were postoperatively analyzed in patients with distal hypospadias whose preoperative urethral plates were shallow or narrow. The findings were compared between six patients undergoing TIP repair and seven patients undergoing modified Barcat (BAVIS) repair. Results: Among those undergoing the TIP procedure, a slit-like meatus at the tip of the glans was achieved in one patient, a slit-like meatus at the mid portion of the glans in four patients and a round meatus at the mid portion of the glans in one patient. In those repaired by the BAVIS procedure, a slit-like meatus at the tip of glans was achieved in three patients, a round or irregularly shaped meatus at the tip of the glans in two patients, an irregularly shaped meatus at the mid portion of the glans in one patient and neourethral dehiscence in one patient. Conclusions: The present study confirms that a higher rate of achieving slit-like meatus but a lower rate of locating in the glans tip can be attained after TIP repair. On the other hand, there is a higher rate of locating the meatus in the glans tip but a lower rate of achieving a slit-like meatus after BAVIS repair. [source]