Likely Result (likely + result)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Medical Sciences

Selected Abstracts

Genetic determinants for activated fluoropyrimidine chemotherapy

William H. GmeinerArticle first published online: 5 JUN 200
Abstract Fluoropyrimidines (FPs) remain widely used for the treatment of diverse malignancies more than four decades following the initial report of 5-fluorouracil (5FU), the archetypal FP, as a novel compound with potential anti-neoplastic activity. Subsequent decades of research have enriched our understanding of the biochemical mechanisms that are important for FP activation as well as the genetic determinants that are predictive of the likely success, or failure, of FP chemotherapy for a particular individual. The concept that chemotherapy should be customized to complement the genetic profiles of cancer patients has become increasingly important as genotyping of tumor samples has become possible and as the number of available anticancer drugs has increased. Significant progress has been made in identifying the gene expression profiles for cancer patients who are likely to benefit from treatment with FPs. In this review, we will summarize the results of retrospective clinical studies correlating response to FP chemotherapy with the expression of specific genes, such as TS and DPD. We will also present a summary of FPs in current clinical use, including orally bioavailable FPs such as capecitabine, as well as FPs that are in pre-clinical development, such as FdUMP[10]. Refinement of a target population through pharmacogenetic analysis and development of novel FPs that evoke very high response rates in this target population will likely result in the use of FP regimens in the coming era when cancer becomes a largely manageable disease. Drug Dev. Res. 67:119,129, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Changes in grassland ecosystem function due to extreme rainfall events: implications for responses to climate change

Abstract Climate change is causing measurable changes in rainfall patterns, and will likely cause increases in extreme rainfall events, with uncertain implications for key processes in ecosystem function and carbon cycling. We examined how variation in rainfall total quantity (Q), the interval between rainfall events (I), and individual event size (SE) affected soil water content (SWC) and three aspects of ecosystem function: leaf photosynthetic carbon gain (), aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP), and soil respiration (). We utilized rainout shelter-covered mesocosms (2.6 m3) containing assemblages of tallgrass prairie grasses and forbs. These were hand watered with 16 I×Q treatment combinations, using event sizes from 4 to 53 mm. Increasing Q by 250% (400,1000 mm yr,1) increased mean soil moisture and all three processes as expected, but only by 20,55% (P,0.004), suggesting diminishing returns in ecosystem function as Q increased. Increasing I (from 3 to 15 days between rainfall inputs) caused both positive () and negative () changes in ecosystem processes (20,70%, P,0.01), within and across levels of Q, indicating that I strongly influenced the effects of Q, and shifted the system towards increased net carbon uptake. Variation in SE at shorter I produced greater response in soil moisture and ecosystem processes than did variation in SE at longer I, suggesting greater stability in ecosystem function at longer I and a priming effect at shorter I. Significant differences in ANPP and between treatments differing in I and Q but sharing the same SE showed that the prevailing pattern of rainfall influenced the responses to a given event size. Grassland ecosystem responses to extreme rainfall patterns expected with climate change are, therefore, likely to be variable, depending on how I, Q, and SE combine, but will likely result in changes in ecosystem carbon cycling. [source]

Liver stem cells and hepatocellular carcinoma,

HEPATOLOGY, Issue 1 2009
Lopa Mishra
Although the existence of cancer stem cells (CSCs) was first proposed over 40 years ago, only in the past decade have these cells been identified in hematological malignancies, and more recently in solid tumors that include liver, breast, prostate, brain, and colon. Constant proliferation of stem cells is a vital component in liver tissues. In these renewing tissues, mutations will most likely result in expansion of the altered stem cells, perpetuating and increasing the chances of additional mutations and tumor progression. However, many details about hepatocellular cancer stem cells that are important for early detection remain poorly understood, including the precise cell(s) of origin, molecular genetics, and the mechanisms responsible for the highly aggressive clinical picture of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Exploration of the difference between CSCs from normal stem cells is crucial not only for the understanding of tumor biology but also for the development of specific therapies that effectively target these cells in patients. These ideas have drawn attention to control of stem cell proliferation by the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-,), Notch, Wnt, and Hedgehog pathways. Recent evidence also suggests a key role for the TGF-, signaling pathway in both hepatocellular cancer suppression and endoderm formation, suggesting a dual role for this pathway in tumor suppression as well as progression of differentiation from a stem or progenitor stage. This review provides a rationale for detecting and analyzing tumor stem cells as one of the most effective ways to treat cancers such as HCC. (HEPATOLOGY 2009;49:318,329.) [source]

Human immunodeficiency virus,hepatitis C coinfection: swapping new problems for newer ones

J. Sasadeusz
Abstract Recent successes in HIV therapy have uncovered other health problems for HIV-infected individuals. Hepatitis C has become an especially significant problem, partly due to its faster progression in an immunocompromised setting. In addition, the higher viral loads in coinfected patients likely result in more efficient perinatal and perhaps even sexual transmission. Therapy has largely been neglected, despite data suggesting its efficacy in HIV,HCV coinfected patients. Studies of combination interferon and ribavirin studies are lacking, although underway. A major concern is the potential inactivation of certain thymidine analogues by ribavirin. Some antiretroviral therapies, such as ritonavir, indinavir and nevirapine, may enhance liver toxicity in coinfected patients and should be avoided if possible. The role of chronic low-grade liver function abnormalities remains uncertain and requires further investigation. (Intern Med J 2001; 31: 418,421) [source]

Nursing shortages and international nurse migration

S. J. Ross mpa/id
Background:, The United Kingdom and the United States are among several developed countries currently experiencing nursing shortages. While the USA has not yet implemented policies to encourage nurse immigration, nursing shortages will likely result in the growth of foreign nurse immigration to the USA. Understanding the factors that drive the migration of nurses is critical as the USA exerts more pull on the foreign nurse workforce. Aim:, To predict the international migration of nurses to the UK using widely available data on country characteristics. Method:, The Nursing and Midwifery Council serves as the source of data on foreign nurse registrations in the UK between 1998 and 2002. We develop and test a regression model that predicts the number of foreign nurse registrants in the UK based on source country characteristics. We collect country-level data from sources such as the World Bank and the World Health Organization. Results:, The shortage of nurses in the UK has been accompanied by massive and disproportionate growth in the number of foreign nurses from poor countries. Low-income, English-speaking countries that engage in high levels of bilateral trade experience greater losses of nurses to the UK. Conclusion:, Poor countries seeking economic growth through international trade expose themselves to the emigration of skilled labour. This tendency is currently exacerbated by nursing shortages in developed countries. Countries at risk for nurse emigration should adjust health sector planning to account for expected losses in personnel. Moreover, policy makers in host countries should address the impact of recruitment on source country health service delivery. [source]

Effects of eutrophication on bioeroding sponge communities with the description of new West Indian sponges, Cliona spp. (Porifera: Hadromerida: Clionidae)

Katherine E. Holmes
Abstract. Pieces of coral rubble (Porites porites), collected from across 3 fringing reefs that lie along a eutrophication gradient, were examined for the presence of clionid sponges. A similarity analysis of species composition showed that reef zone had less effect on clionid community composition than did other factors affecting the reefs as a whole. Except on the back reef, the Zones, distances, and depths within the reefs had no significant influence on the number of clionid invasions. Reef comparisons demonstrated that clionid abundance increased with increasing eutrophication. Clionids were found in 41% of the pieces collected from the most eutrophic site vs. 24% from the least eutrophic. Because clionids are the principal bio-eroders of coral reefs, any increase in their abundance will likely result in greater bioerosion rates. The mean abundance of Type 3 corals (in which fragmentation is the primary mode of propagation) is positively related to the frequency of boring sponge invasion. suggesting that increased bioerosion may be partly responsible for community shifts toward Type 3 corals in polluted waters. Cliona cf. vastifica, found for the first time in Barbados, flourishes on the most eutrophic reef and may become an important bioeroder under the highly eutrophic conditions that have begun to plague West Indian reefs. Two new species of Cliona (Porifera: Hadro-merida: Clionidae) are described. [source]

Tectonic control of bioalteration in modern and ancient oceanic crust as evidenced by carbon isotopes

ISLAND ARC, Issue 1 2006
Harald Furnes
Abstract We review the carbon-isotope data for finely disseminated carbonates from bioaltered, glassy pillow rims of basaltic lava flows from in situ slow- and intermediate-spreading oceanic crust of the central Atlantic Ocean (CAO) and the Costa Rica Rift (CRR). The ,13C values of the bioaltered glassy samples from the CAO show a large range, between ,17 and +3, (Vienna Peedee belemnite standard), whereas those from the CRR define a much narrower range, between ,17, and ,7,. This variation can be interpreted as the product of different microbial metabolisms during microbial alteration of the glass. In the present study, the generally low ,13C values (less than ,7,) are attributed to carbonate precipitated from microbially produced CO2 during oxidation of organic matter. Positive ,13C values >0, likely result from lithotrophic utilization of CO2 by methanogenic Archaea that produce CH4 from H2 and CO2. High production of H2 at the slow-spreading CAO crust may be a consequence of fault-bounded, high-level serpentinized peridotites near or on the sea floor, in contrast to the CRR crust, which exhibits a layer-cake pseudostratigraphy with much less faulting and supposedly less H2 production. A comparison of the ,13C data from glassy pillow margins in two ophiolites interpreted to have formed at different spreading rates supports this interpretation. The Jurassic Mirdita ophiolite complex in Albania shows a structural architecture similar to that of the slow-spreading CAO crust, with a similar range in ,13C values of biogenic carbonates. The Late Ordvician Solund,Stavfjord ophiolite complex in western Norway exhibits structural and geochemical evidence for evolution at an intermediate-spreading mid-ocean ridge and displays ,13C signatures in biogenic carbonates similar to those of the CRR. Based on the results of this comparative study, it is tentatively concluded that the spreading rate-dependent tectonic evolution of oceanic lithosphere has a significant control on the evolution of microbial life and hence on the ,13C biosignatures preserved in disseminated biogenic carbonates in glassy, bioaltered lavas. [source]

Highly Valued Equity and Discretionary Accruals

Robert E. Houmes
Abstract:, Overvalued equity provides a strong incentive for managers to report earnings that do not disappoint the market ( Jensen, 2005). We find that this can be extended to highly valued equity more generally. In the year following the classification as highly valued and compared to firms with less extreme valuations, highly valued firms have significantly higher discretionary accruals and exhibit a more pronounced positive association between discretionary accruals and proxies for the likelihood of failing to meet earnings targets. These findings are consistent with the use of discretionary accruals to manage earnings in support of extreme valuation. Because highly valued equity will likely result in CEOs with valuable stock and stock option portfolios, we test whether and show that the overvalued equity incentive is incremental to a CEO's equity portfolio incentive. One implication is that directors and audit committees should be especially on guard for possible earnings management when a firm has extremely high valuation multiples and when the CEO has a lot of equity at risk. [source]

Depigmentation of the normally pigmented patches in universal vitiligo patients by cryotherapy

Mohammed Radmanesh
Abstract Background Complete depigmentation may occur, albeit rarely, in patients with universal vitiligo. They usually have one or more pigmented patches that remain normal, most frequently over the malar area of the face and dorsal aspects of forearms. Total repigmentation may not occur in these patients, even after receiving 150 session of PUVA therapy alone or in conjunction with other medical or surgical procedures, and there is possibility of recurrence after cessation of therapy. These patients are usually more interested in depigmentation rather than trying for repigmentation. Objective Because of the relatively high sensitivity of melanocytes to cryotherapy and the possibility of isomorphic phenomenon in vitiligo patients, removal of the remaining normally pigmented patches was attempted in patients with universal vitiligo using cryotherapy. Method Five volunteer patients with universal vitiligo were chosen, all of whom wished to have their pigmented patches removed. In all five patients a small area was tested first in order to assure the patients of what the procedure involved and to show its likely result. All pigmented areas were then treated to 1,3 sessions of cryotherapy using a closed contact CO2 cryogun, with 4,6-week intervals. Results Complete and permanent depigmentation was achieved in all five patients with excellent cosmetic results and no complications or scarring. Conclusion Cryotherapy is a cost effective, non-complicating, easily available procedure which can be used for depigmentation of normally pigmented patches in patients with universal vitiligo. [source]

Confidential Reproductive Health Services for Minors: The Potential Impact of Mandated Parental Involvement for Contraception

Rachel K. Jones
CONTEXT: Recent legislative efforts to implement mandated parental involvement for minor adolescents seeking family planning services threaten the rights of adolescents younger than 18 to access reproductive health care. METHODS: State and federal laws and policies pertaining to minor adolescents' rights to access services for contraception and sexually transmitted diseases are reviewed, and research examining issues of parental involvement among adolescents using clinic-based reproductive health services is synthesized. RESULTS: Attempts to mandate parental involvement for reproductive health care often focus on contraceptive services and are typically linked to federal or state funding. Studies of teenagers using clinic-based family planning services suggest that slightly more than one-half would obtain contraceptives at family planning clinics even if parental notification were required. Mandated parental involvement for contraception would discourage few teenagers from having sex, but would likely result in more teenagers' using the least effective methods, such as withdrawal, or no method at all. Family planning clinics encourage teenagers to voluntarily talk to their parents, but relatively little information is available about the extent to which activities to promote parent-child communication have been adopted. CONCLUSIONS: Mandated parental involvement for teenagers seeking contraceptive care would likely contribute to increases in rates of teenage pregnancy. Research that will help clinics implement and improve efforts to encourage voluntary parental involvement is urgently needed. [source]

Comparison of microarray-based detection rates for cytogenetic abnormalities in prenatal and neonatal specimens

Lisa G. Shaffer
Abstract Objective To compare the detection rate by microarray analysis for chromosome abnormalities in a prenatal population to that of a neonatal population referred for diagnostic testing. Methods Array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) analysis was performed for 151 prenatal cases and compared with the results from 1375 postnatal cases less than 3 months of age. Results Two of 151 prenatal cases (1.3%) showed a clinically significant cytogenetic abnormality. In contrast, of the 1375 postnatal cases studied, 11.4% showed a cytogenetic abnormality by aCGH. Many of these (40%) were referred for aCGH because of dysmorphic features, a clinical indication unlikely to be identified in the prenatal population. Conclusions The chance of detecting a chromosome abnormality in a prenatal population that has already been screened by routine cytogenetics is ,1.3%. However, given that many of the abnormal array results in the neonatal population were among those with dysmorphic features as the primary indication for testing, which are not easily identifiable by ultrasound, offering prenatal testing by aCGH to a wider population would likely result in a higher detection rate. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Lamb Wave Interactions with Non-symmetric Features at Structural Boundaries

M. R. Mofakhami
The paper initially describes on a numerical basis how a Lamb wave would have to perform that has been initiated in a pure mode (either symmetric or anti,symmetric) and what the wave would have to anticipate in terms of mode conversion when being reflected at a surface not perpendicular to its traveling direction. The effects of changing in geometric specifications of non,symmetric artificial features like angle of sloping edge or partially sloping edges are studied. The results obtained from these studies are presented as the reflected and converted parts of the incident wave versus angle of the edge or percentage of the sloped edge. It has been further shown that Lamb waves being generated experimentally by a finite size transducer into a plate like structure thus most likely result in a combination of modes. Reflection of these combined modes at structural boundaries will therefore generate an even more complex coupling of modes. This situation is further aggravated if the structural boundary is not purely perpendicular to the traveling wave but has a slightly varying angle such as it might have to be anticipated at a countersunk rivet, a notch or even more extreme a crack in a metallic component. However from understanding the background of Lamb wave generation, mode separation and superposition, a systematic approach can be established that allows complex Lamb waves, such as they are observed when monitoring true structures, to be interpreted and understood. This approach has been explained on the basis of numerical result obtained from finite element analyses first before proving the findings by some fundamental experiments performed with variable angle beam transducers which demonstrates the difficulties in de,coupling Lamb wave modes and how to handle those coupled modes in terms of structural condition monitoring. (© 2008 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim) [source]

Improved accuracy of cell surface shaving proteomics in Staphylococcus aureus using a false-positive control

Nestor Solis
Abstract Proteolytic treatment of intact bacterial cells is an ideal means for identifying surface-exposed peptide epitopes and has potential for the discovery of novel vaccine targets. Cell stability during such treatment, however, may become compromised and result in the release of intracellular proteins that complicate the final analysis. Staphylococcus aureus is a major human pathogen, causing community and hospital-acquired infections, and is a serious healthcare concern due to the increasing prevalence of multiple antibiotic resistances amongst clinical isolates. We employed a cell surface "shaving" technique with either trypsin or proteinase- K combined with LC-MS/MS. Trypsin-derived data were controlled using a "false-positive" strategy where cells were incubated without protease, removed by centrifugation and the resulting supernatants digested. Peptides identified in this fraction most likely result from cell lysis and were removed from the trypsin-shaved data set. We identified 42 predicted S. aureus COL surface proteins from 260 surface-exposed peptides. Trypsin and proteinase- K digests were highly complementary with ten proteins identified by both, 16 specific to proteinase- K treatment, 13 specific to trypsin and three identified in the control. The use of a subtracted false-positive strategy improved enrichment of surface-exposed peptides in the trypsin data set to approximately 80% (124/155 peptides). Predominant surface proteins were those associated with methicillin resistance,surface protein SACOL0050 (pls) and penicillin-binding protein 2, (mecA), as well as bifunctional autolysin and the extracellular matrix-binding protein Ebh. The cell shaving strategy is a rapid method for identifying surface-exposed peptide epitopes that may be useful in the design of novel vaccines against S. aureus. [source]

Proteomics of ischemia/reperfusion injury in rabbit myocardium reveals alterations to proteins of essential functional systems

Melanie Y. White
Abstract Brief periods of myocardial ischemia prior to timely reperfusion result in prolonged, yet reversible, contractile dysfunction of the myocardium, or "myocardial stunning". It has been hypothesized that the delayed recovery of contractile function in stunned myocardium reflects damage to one or a few key sarcomeric proteins. However, damage to such proteins does not explain observed physiological alterations to myocardial oxygen consumption and ATP requirements observed following myocardial stunning, and therefore the impact of alterations to additional functional groups is unresolved. We utilized two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry to identify changes to the protein profiles in whole cell, cytosolic- and myofilament-enriched subcellular fractions from isolated, perfused rabbit hearts following 15 min or 60 min low-flow (1 mL/min) ischemia. Comparative gel analysis revealed 53 protein spot differences (> 1.5-fold difference in visible abundance) in reperfused myocardium. The majority of changes were observed to proteins from four functional groups: (i) the sarcomere and cytoskeleton, notably myosin light chain-2 and troponin C; (ii) redox regulation, in particular several components of the NADH ubiquinone oxidoreductase complex; (iii) energy metabolism, encompassing creatine kinase; and (iv) the stress response. Protein differences appeared to be the result of isoelectric point shifts most probably resulting from chemical modifications, and molecular mass shifts resulting from proteolytic or physical fragmentation. This is consistent with our hypothesis that the time course for the onset of injury associated with myocardial stunning is too brief to be mediated by large changes to gene/protein expression, but rather that more subtle, rapid and potentially transient changes are occurring to the proteome. The physical manifestation of stunned myocardium is therefore the likely result of the summed functional impairment resulting from these multiple changes, rather than a result of damage to a single key protein. [source]

The impact of fallback foods on wild ring-tailed lemur biology: A comparison of intact and anthropogenically disturbed habitats

Michelle L. Sauther
Abstract Fallback foods are often viewed as central in shaping primate morphology, and influencing adaptive shifts in hominin and other primate evolution. Here we argue that fruit of the tamarind tree (Tamarindus indica) qualifies as a fallback food of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Beza Mahafaly Special Reserve (BMSR), Madagascar. Contrary to predictions that fallback foods may select for dental and masticatory morphologies adapted to processing these foods, consumption of tamarind fruit by these lemurs leaves a distinct pattern of dental pathology among ring-tailed lemurs at BMSR. Specifically, the physical and mechanical properties of tamarind fruit likely result in a high frequency of severe tooth wear, and subsequent antemortem tooth loss, in this lemur population. This pattern of dental pathology is amplified among lemurs living in disturbed areas at Beza Mahafaly, resulting from a disproportionate emphasis on challenging tamarind fruit, due to few other fruits being available. This is in part caused by a reduction in ground cover and other plants due to livestock grazing. As such, tamarind trees remain one of the few food resources in many areas. Dental pathologies are also associated with the use of a nonendemic leaf resource Argemone mexicana, an important food during the latter part of the dry season when overall food availability is reduced. Such dental pathologies at Beza Mahafaly, resulting from the use or overemphasis of fallback foods for which they are not biologically adapted, indicate that anthropogenic factors must be considered when examining fallback foods. Am J Phys Anthropol 140:671,686, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Does cortical mapping protect naming if surgery includes hippocampal resection?

Marla J. Hamberger PhD
Objective Preresection electrical stimulation mapping is frequently used to identify cortical sites critical for visual object naming. These sites are typically spared from surgical resection with the goal of preserving postoperative language. Recent studies, however, suggest a potential role of the hippocampus in naming, although this is inconsistent with neurocognitive models of language and memory. We sought to determine whether preservation of visual naming sites identified via cortical stimulation mapping protects against naming decline when resection includes the hippocampal region. Methods We assessed postoperative changes in visual naming in 33 patients, 14 who underwent left temporal resection including hippocampal removal and 19 who had left temporal resection without hippocampal removal. All patients had preresection cortical language mapping. Visual object naming sites identified via electrical stimulation were always preserved. Results Patients without hippocampal resection showed no significant naming decline, suggesting a clinical benefit from cortical mapping. In contrast, patients who had hippocampal resection exhibited significant postoperative naming decline, despite preresection mapping and preservation of all visual naming sites (p , 0.02). These group effects were also evident in individual patients (p = 0.02). More detailed, post hoc examination of patients who had hippocampal resection revealed that overall, patients who declined were those with a preoperative, structurally intact hippocampus, whereas patients with preoperative hippocampal sclerosis did not exhibit significant decline. Interpretation Despite cortical language mapping with preservation of visual naming sites from resection, removal of an intact dominant hippocampus will likely result in visual naming decline postoperatively. ANN NEUROL 2010;67:345,352 [source]

Grow-out of juvenile seahorse Hippocampus kuda (Bleeker; Teleostei: Syngnathidae) in illuminated sea cages

Luis Maria B Garcia
Abstract This paper examines the feasibility of rearing 10,15-day- and 0.7,1.5-month-old seahorse Hippocampus kuda in illuminated sea cages to continue existing hatchery protocols to mass produce H. kuda for trade and enhance depleted wild stocks in their natural habitats. Thawed Acetes (a planktonic crustacean abundant in inshore seas) was fed to juvenile seahorses in lighted and unlighted sea cages while one group in lighted cages was not fed Acetes. After 10,12 weeks of rearing, both mean body weight and stretch height increased in all treatment groups, with lighted cage-reared seahorses fed Acetes being heavier (2 g) and longer (8 cm) than the other two treatment groups. Although instantaneous growth rates declined during the rearing period, these were generally higher among Acetes -fed seahorses in lighted cages (0.02,0.07) compared with those in the unlighted cages with Acetes and lighted cages without Acetes feeding. Mean survivorship in all groups ranged from 9% to 74% after the trials, but mean survivorship of juveniles in lighted cages with Acetes feeding (9,74%) was consistently lower than the two treatment groups as a likely result of crustacean and piscine predators being attracted by light and the odour of leftover Acetes in the lighted cages. These results demonstrate that light-attracted zooplankton prey supplemented by Acetes feeding may provide essential nutrients for the growth of H. kuda juveniles in illuminated sea cages. With further improvement in the grow-out protocol, it may provide a possible alternative livelihood to seahorse fishers and sufficient seed to re-populate depleted wild stocks of H. kuda. [source]


ARCHAEOMETRY, Issue 1 2006
The restoration of a Greek black-figure amphora provided an opportunity to study the provenance and production technology of the vase. The composition of the ceramic body, determined by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP,OES), matches that of Attic products. Investigation by X-ray diffraction and reflectance spectroscopy suggests a maximum firing temperature around 900°C and a body re-oxidation temperature around 800°C, respectively. The morphology and composition of black, red and dark red surface areas were studied by scanning electron microscopy and X-ray energy-dispersive analysis; the black areas show the features of a typical well-vitrified black gloss, while the red areas were most probably obtained by simple burnishing of the body; the dark red additions, on the other hand, are the likely result of a partial re-oxidation of a clay,ochre mixture. [source]

Household income diversification and the production of local meat: the prospect of small-scale pig farming in Southern Yunnan, China

AREA, Issue 3 2009
Harvey Neo
This paper assesses the viability of small scale, specialised livestock farming led by the local government, to alleviate rural household poverty. In so doing, it reflects upon the prospect of niche livestock farming in an age where, ironically, demand for meat is ever-rising. It also highlights the ambiguous role that local government plays in poverty alleviation. The specific case study is on the Jinuo ethnic minority in Xishuangbanna autonomous region, located in Southwestern province of Yunnan, China. It is argued that thus far the Jinuo minority have had modest success in rearing indigenous pigs due to a confluence of factors. Nonetheless, a growing market will likely result in some degree of intensification in the production process that goes beyond the means of the upland farmers but will be eagerly exploited by the local government. If the pig rearing scheme is to remain an effective income diversification strategy in select marginalised mountainous communities, the march towards commodification, expansion and intensification, as well as the unchecked ambition of the local government, have to be carefully moderated. [source]

Design of an Artificial Left Ventricular Muscle: An Innovative Way to Actuate Blood Pumps?

Benjamin Van Der Smissen
Abstract Blood pumps assist or take over the pump function of a failing heart. They are essentially activated by a pusher plate, a pneumatic compression of collapsible sacs, or they are driven by centrifugal pumps. Blood pumps relying upon one of these actuator mechanisms do not account for realistic wall deformation. In this study, we propose an innovative design of a blood pump actuator device which should be able to mimic fairly well global left ventricular (LV) wall deformation patterns in terms of circumferential and longitudinal contraction, as well as torsion. In order to reproduce these basic wall deformation patterns in our actuator device, we designed a novel kind of artificial LV "muscle" composed of multiple actively contracting cells. Its contraction is based on a mechanism by which pressurized air, inside such a cell, causes contraction in one direction and expansion perpendicular to this direction. The organization and geometry of the contractile cells within one artificial LV muscle, the applied pressure in the cells, and the governing LV loading conditions (preload and afterload) together determine the global deformation of the LV wall. Starting from a simple plastic bag, an experimental model based on the abovementioned principle was built and connected to a lumped hydraulic model of the vascular system (including compliance and resistance). The wall deformation pattern of this device was validated visually and its pump performance was studied in terms of LV volume and pressure and heart rate. Our experimental results revealed (i) a global LV motion resembling a real LV, and (ii) a close correlation between our model and a real LV in terms of end-systolic volume and pressure, end-diastolic volume and pressure, stroke volume, ejection fraction and pressure-volume relationship. Our proposed model appears promising and it can be considered as a step forward when compared to currently applied actuator mechanisms, as it will likely result in more physiological intracavity blood flow patterns. [source]

Allergic contact dermatitis from exposure to Grevillea robusta in New Zealand

José GB Derraik
ABSTRACT There are a number of reports in the literature of allergic contact dermatitis as a result of exposure to the sawdust and plant parts of Grevillea robusta. While this tree is prevalent in New Zealand, there seems to have been no previous published accounts of contact dermatitis, although anecdotal evidence indicates that such cases may be common. Two brief case reports are provided regarding severe phytodermatitis to G. robusta among professional arborists in New Zealand. As with other common plants capable of inducing allergic contact dermatitis, greater awareness among arborists, orchardists, forestry workers, gardeners, and health professionals will likely result in a reduction of cases. [source]

Bench-scale evaluation of in situ bioremediation strategies for soil at a former manufactured gas plant site

Jun Li
Abstract We examined the biodegradation and desorption of a set of 15 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) compounds in coal tar,contaminated soil at a former manufactured gas plant site to evaluate the feasibility of in situ bioremediation. Experiments were conducted in well-mixed aerobic soil suspensions containing various additives over a 93- to 106-d period. In general, both biotransformation and desorption decreased with PAH ring size, becoming negligible for the six-ring PAH compounds. Biodegradation by indigenous microorganisms was strongly accelerated by addition of inorganic nutrients (N, P, K, and trace metals). The rates of biotransformation of PAH compounds by indigenous microorganisms in nutrient-amended flasks outpaced their maximum (i.e., chelate-enhanced) rates of desorption to an infinite sink (Tenax®) in sterilized systems run in parallel, suggesting that indigenous organisms facilitated desorption. Biodegradation by indigenous organisms in nutrient-amended flasks appeared to be unaffected by the addition of a site-derived bacterial enrichment culture, resulting in approximately 100-fold higher aromatic dioxygenase levels, and by the addition of 0.01 M chelating agent (citrate or pyrophosphate), although such chelating agents greatly enhanced desorption in microbially inactivated flasks. The strong ability of nutrients to enhance degradation of the bioavailable PAHs indicates that their persistence for many decades at this site likely results from nutrient-limited natural biodegradation, and it also suggests that an effective strategy for their bioremediation could consist simply of adding inorganic nutrients. [source]

Sodium channel SCN1A and epilepsy: Mutations and mechanisms

EPILEPSIA, Issue 9 2010
Andrew Escayg
Summary Mutations in a number of genes encoding voltage-gated sodium channels cause a variety of epilepsy syndromes in humans, including genetic (generalized) epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (GEFS+) and Dravet syndrome (DS, severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy). Most of these mutations are in the SCN1A gene, and all are dominantly inherited. Most of the mutations that cause DS result in loss of function, whereas all of the known mutations that cause GEFS+ are missense, presumably altering channel activity. Family members with the same GEFS+ mutation often display a wide range of seizure types and severities, and at least part of this variability likely results from variation in other genes. Many different biophysical effects of SCN1A -GEFS+ mutations have been observed in heterologous expression systems, consistent with both gain and loss of channel activity. However, results from mouse models suggest that the primary effect of both GEFS+ and DS mutations is to decrease the activity of GABAergic inhibitory neurons. Decreased activity of the inhibitory circuitry is thus likely to be a major factor contributing to seizure generation in patients with GEFS+ and DS, and may be a general consequence of SCN1A mutations. [source]

Genetic similarity among Eurasian subspecies of boreal owls Aegolius funereus

Marni E. Koopman
Boreal owls Aegolius funereus (referred to as Tengmalm's owls in Europe) breed in boreal forests throughout the Holarctic region and in high-elevation subalpine forests further south. They are currently classified as seven subspecies; six found throughout Eurasia, and one in North America. The geographic distribution of boreal owls in North America and Eurasia is similar, as are their patterns of dispersal and irruption. Because a recent genetic study of boreal owls in North America found very little genetic differentiation among widely disparate locations, we expected that boreal owls in Eurasia similarly would have very little genetic differentiation. Using seven microsatellite markers, we analyzed genetic samples from 275 boreal owls in North America, 36 in Norway, and five in eastern Russia. We found no detectable genetic differentiation between Norwegian and Russian owls, but notable differentiation between North American and Eurasian owls. Low intra-continental genetic differentiation likely results from high rates of long-distance dispersal among subpopulations of boreal owls. In light of these results, we recommend further genetic sampling of boreal owls throughout Eurasia in order to determine whether six separate subspecies here are warranted. [source]

Mechanism and dynamics of organic reactions: 1,2-H shift in methylchlorocarbene,

Elfi Kraka
Abstract The unified reaction valley approach (URVA) was used to investigate the mechanism of the rearrangement of methylchlorocarbene to chloroethene [reaction(1)] in the gas phase with special emphasis on the role of H tunneling. The reaction valley of (1) was explored using different methods (HF, MP2 and DFT/B3LYP) and different basis sets [6,31G(d), 6,31G(d,p) and cc-pVTZ]. Results were analyzed characterizing normal modes, reaction path vector and curvature vector in terms of generalized adiabatic modes associated with internal parameters that are used to describe the reaction complex. For reaction (1), H tunneling plays a significant role even at room temperature, but does not explain the strongly curved Arrhenius correlations observed experimentally. The probability of H tunneling can be directly related to the curvature of the reaction path and the associated curvature couplings. The reaction is preceeded in the forward and reverse direction by energy-consuming conformational changes that prepare the reactant for the actual 1,2-H shift, which requires only little energy. The effective energy needed for CH bond breaking is just 6,kcal,mol,1 for (1). The gas-phase and the solution-phase mechanisms of (1) differ considerably, which is reflected by the activation enthalpies: 11.4 (gas, calculated) and 4.3,kcal,mol,1 (solution, measured). Stabilizing interactions with solvent molecules take place in the latter case and reduce the importance of H tunneling. The non-linearity of the measured Arrhenius correlations most likely results from bimolecular reactions of the carbene becoming more important at lower temperatures. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Chronic Ethanol Consumption Decreases Murine Langerhans Cell Numbers and Delays Migration of Langerhans Cells as Well as Dermal Dendritic Cells

ALCOHOLISM, Issue 4 2008
Kristin J. Ness
Background:, Chronic alcoholics experience increased incidence and severity of infections, the mechanism of which is incompletely understood. Dendritic cells (DC) migrate from peripheral locations to lymph nodes (LN) to initiate adaptive immunity against infection. Little is known about how chronic alcohol exposure affects skin DC numbers or migration. Methods:, Mice received 20% EtOH in the drinking water for up to 35 weeks. Baseline Langerhans cell (LC) and dermal DC (dDC) numbers were enumerated by immunofluorescence (IF). LC repopulation after inflammation was determined following congenic bone marrow (BM) transplant and ultraviolet (UV) irradiation. Net LC loss from epidermis was determined by IF following TNF-, or CpG stimulation. LC and dDC migration into LN was assessed by flow cytometry following epicutaneous FITC administration. Results:, Chronic EtOH consumption caused a baseline reduction in LC but not dDC numbers. The deficit was not corrected following transplantation with non-EtOH-exposed BM and UV irradiation, supporting the hypothesis that the defect is intrinsic to the skin environment rather than LC precursors. Net loss of LC from epidermis following inflammation was greatly reduced in EtOH-fed mice versus controls. Ethanol consumption for at least 4 weeks led to delayed LC migration into LN, and consumption for at least 8 weeks led to delayed dDC migration into LN following epicutaneous FITC application. Conclusions:, Chronic EtOH consumption causes decreased density of epidermal LC, which likely results in decreased epidermal immunosurveillance. It also results in altered migratory responsiveness and delayed LC and dDC migration into LN, which likely delays activation of adaptive immunity. Decreased LC density at baseline appears to be the result of an alteration in the skin environment rather than an intrinsic LC defect. These findings provide novel mechanisms to at least partially explain why chronic alcoholics are more susceptible to infections, especially those following skin penetration. [source]


AI Vinik
OBJECTIVE: To review evidence for a relationship between dermal neurovascular dysfunction and other components of the metabolic syndrome of type 2 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We review and present data supporting concepts relating dermal neurovascular function to prediabetes and the metabolic syndrome. Skin blood flow can be easily measured by laser Doppler techniques. RESULTS: Heat and gravity have been shown to have specific neural, nitrergic, and independent mediators to regulate skin blood flow. We describe data showing that this new tool identifies dermal neurovascular dysfunction in the majority of type 2 diabetic patients. The defect in skin vasodilation is detectable before the development of diabetes and is partially correctable with insulin sensitizers. This defect is associated with C-fiber dysfunction (i.e., the dermal neurovascular unit) and coexists with variables of the insulin resistance syndrome. The defect most likely results from an imbalance among the endogenous vasodilator compound nitric oxide, the vasodilator neuropeptides substance P and calcitonin gene-related peptide, and the vasoconstrictors angiotensin 11 and endothelin. Hypertension per se increases skin vasodilation and does not impair the responses to gravity, which is opposite to that of diabetes, suggesting that the effects of diabetes override and counteract those of hypertension. CONCLUSIONS: These observations suggest that dermal neurovascular function is largely regulated by peripheral C-fiber neurons and that dysregulation may be a component of the metabolic syndrome associated with type 2 diabetes. [source]

HIV-associated neuropathies: role of HIV-1, CMV, and other viruses

Dennis L. Kolson
Abstract The role of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other viruses in the development of neuropathies associated with HIV infection is controversial. Distal symmetric polyneuropathy (DSP), the most common subtype of HIV-associated neuropathy, is characterized by an abundance of reactive macrophages within the peripheral nerve, but HIV replication is limited to a small percentage of the macrophages. Thus, the pathological destruction may be mediated by pro-inflammatory signals amplified by activated glial elements within the nerve, similar to the proposed mechanism of damage caused by HIV within the central nervous system. In contrast, in mononeuropathy multiplex (MM) and progressive polyneuropathy (PP), cytomegalovirus (CMV) replication in the peripheral nerve is consistently demonstrable, and this replication likely results in direct damage to the infected cells (neurons and glia). The rarest form of HIV-associated neuropathy, the diffuse infiltrative lymphocytosis syndrome (DILS), is characterized by an intense CD8+ T lymphocyte infiltration into the nerve and abundant HIV infection of macrophages. Finally, while other viruses (varicella zoster, herpes simplex) are associated with myelitis in HIV-infected individuals, there is little support for a role for these viruses in HIV-associated neuropathy. [source]

Aluminate and Magnesiate Complexes as Propagating Species in the Anionic Polymerization of Styrene and Dienes

Alain Deffieux
Abstract The influence of MgR2 and AlR3 additives on alkyllithium initiators in the anionic polymerization of butadiene has been investigated in non polar solvents. A strong decrease of the diene polymerization rate in the presence of the two Lewis acids was observed, similarly to that observed in the retarded anionic polymerisation of styrene. With n,s-Bu2Mg, the percentage of 1,2 vinyl units increases with the [Mg]/[Li] ratio. This behavior is specific to magnesium derivatives bearing secondary alkyl groups and likely results from the additional complexation of lithium species by free dialkylmagnesium and/or a 1,4- to 1,2- chain end isomerization process during chain exchanges between polybutadienyl active chains and dormant ones attached to magnesium species. These reversible exchanges also lead to the formation of one supplementary chain by initial dialkyl magnesium which acts as reversible chain transfer agent. On the contrary with the R3Al/RLi systems the number of chains is only determined by the concentration of initial alkyllithium and no modification of the polybutadiene microstructure compared to lithium initiators (1,4 units = 80%) is noticed. Dialkyl magnesiate complexes with alkali metal derivatives (i.e. alkoxide) are also able to influence the stereochemistry of the styrene insertion during the propagation reaction. Polystyrenes with different tacticities ranging from predominantly isotactic (85% triad iso) to syndiotactic (80% triad syndio) can be obtained with these initiators. [source]

Comparative phylogeography of sympatric sister species, Clevelandia ios and Eucyclogobius newberryi (Teleostei, Gobiidae), across the California Transition Zone

M. N Dawson
Abstract It is paradigmatic in marine species that greater dispersal ability often, but not always, results in greater gene flow and less population structure. Some of the exceptions may be attributable to studies confounded by comparison of species with dissimilar evolutionary histories, i.e. co-occurring species that are not closely related or species that are closely related but allopatric. Investigation of sympatric sister species, in contrast, should allow differences in phylogeographic structure to be attributed reliably to recently derived differences in dispersal ability. Here, using mitochondrial DNA control region sequence, we first confirm that Clevelandia ios and Eucyclogobius newberryi are sympatric sister taxa, then demonstrate considerably shallower phylogeographic structure in C. ios than in E. newberryi. This shallower phylogeographic structure is consistent with the higher dispersal ability of C. ios, which most likely results from the interaction of habitat and life-history differences between the species. We suggest that the paradigm will be investigated most rigorously by similar studies of other sympatric sister species, appended by thorough ecological studies, and by extending this sister-taxon approach to comparative phylogeographic studies of monophyletic clades of sympatric species. [source]