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12 pages, 10615 KiB  
Article
Histomorphology of Chorionic Villi of Term Placentae of Mothers Exposed to Retroviral and Hepatitis B Viruses
Acta Microbiol. Hell. 2024, 69(1), 29-40; https://doi.org/10.3390/amh69010005 - 26 Feb 2024
Abstract
Retroviral and hepatitis B infections can be potential threats to foetomaternal health through inducing distortions of the architecture and structure of the placenta. Improved insights into the effects of these infections on placental morphology would be integral to our understanding of maternal and [...] Read more.
Retroviral and hepatitis B infections can be potential threats to foetomaternal health through inducing distortions of the architecture and structure of the placenta. Improved insights into the effects of these infections on placental morphology would be integral to our understanding of maternal and neonatal health. Aim: To histomorphologically and stereologically investigate selected placental structures in virus-infected (HIV [human immunodeficiency virus] and hepatitis B virus [HBV]) and uninfected women at term. Method: This cross-sectional study involved the screening of 237 placentae collected at term (38 ± 2 weeks) from the maternity delivery units and surgical theatres of the LEKMA and Weija/Gbawe Municipal Hospitals in Accra. Venous blood samples from the umbilical vein and placenta basal plate blood were screened for HIV, HBV, and hepatitis C virus (HCV) using serological test kits (RDT). A total of 34 placentae were selected, comprising 20 cases and 14 controls that were gestational age-matched. Using stereology and a systematic random sampling technique with test point and intersection counting of photomicrographs, the mean volume densities of syncytial knots, syncytial denudations, foetal capillaries, and intervillous spaces of the placentae were estimated on a total of 2720 photomicrographs. Results: On stereological assessment, there was a statistically significant difference in the mean volume densities of syncytial knots (HIV-infected = 0.562 ± 0.115, HBV-infected = 0.516 ± 0.090, control group = 0.171 ± 0.018, p = 0.001), syncytial denudations (HIV-infected = 0.121 ± 0.022, HBV-infected = 0.111 ± 0.016, control group = 0.051 ± 0.00, p = 0.004), and foetal capillaries (HIV-infected = 0.725 ± 0.152, HBV-infected = 0.902 ± 0.078, control group = 0.451 ± 0.064, p = 0.006) among the different groups of placentae (control) at term. A statistically significant decrease in intervillous space (p = 0.022) was recorded in HBV-infected placentae compared to the control (from 15.450 ± 1.075 to 11.32 ± 0.952). Conclusion: Placental viral infections might lead to significant increases in syncytial knots, foetal capillaries, and syncytial denuded areas of the chorionic villi and a significant decrease in intervillous spaces. This finding could signify evidence of advanced gestation, placental malperfusion, hypermaturity of the placenta, and a possible vertical transmission of the viral antigen to the foetus, which may be crucial in understanding perinatal outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Microbiology in 2024)
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15 pages, 1134 KiB  
Systematic Review
Endometrial Microbiome and Its Correlation to Female Infertility: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Acta Microbiol. Hell. 2024, 69(1), 14-28; https://doi.org/10.3390/amh69010004 - 26 Feb 2024
Abstract
The endometrial cavity was considered sterile until the second half of the 20th century. Through modern technological advances and the sequencing of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene, it was proven that the area possesses its own unique microbiome, which can be categorised into [...] Read more.
The endometrial cavity was considered sterile until the second half of the 20th century. Through modern technological advances and the sequencing of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene, it was proven that the area possesses its own unique microbiome, which can be categorised into two types, Lactobacillus-dominant (LD, with a Lactobacillus spp. abundance percentage greater than 90%) and non-Lactobacillus-dominant (non-LD, with a Lactobacillus spp. abundance percentage smaller than 90%), with other species like Bifidobacterium, Gardnerella, Prevotella, and Streptococcus also being prominent. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible correlation of the endometrial microbiome to female infertility, through the identification and appraisal of studies published in the databases PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus. Moreover, 12 studies met the research criteria, including the analysis of endometrial fluid or tissue samples from infertile women through PCR, culturomics-based, or NGS methods. According to most of these studies, a eubiotic LD-type microbiome seems to be best for maximising endometrial receptivity and pregnancy chances, whereas a dysbiotic non-LD-type microbiome, with increased α-diversity and a higher number of pathogens, has a harmful effect. There were few studies that presented contradictory results without, however, a satisfactory explanation. Thus, more time and a greater number of studies are required to clarify contradictions and achieve more certain results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Microbiology in 2024)
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11 pages, 1894 KiB  
Article
Bibliographic Insights into Biofilm Engineering
Acta Microbiol. Hell. 2024, 69(1), 3-13; https://doi.org/10.3390/amh69010003 - 26 Feb 2024
Abstract
Biofilms exert a profound impact on various facets of human life. Positive instances of biofilm usage involve their capacity to immobilize pollutants such as heavy metals, while adverse cases result in infections like urinary tract infections. Therefore, the study of biofilm engineering emerges [...] Read more.
Biofilms exert a profound impact on various facets of human life. Positive instances of biofilm usage involve their capacity to immobilize pollutants such as heavy metals, while adverse cases result in infections like urinary tract infections. Therefore, the study of biofilm engineering emerges as crucial. Employing a bibliographic research approach, this paper delves into biofilm engineering, identifying key species like Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus, among others. The investigation also unveils major research subjects and corresponding institutions dedicated to biofilm research. A comprehensive understanding of biofilm engineering holds profound implications for advancing knowledge in this domain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Medical Microbiology in 2024)
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8 pages, 987 KiB  
Case Report
Successful Bone Marrow Transplantation in a Patient with Acute Myeloid Leukemia Developed from Severe Congenital Neutropenia Using Modified Chemotherapy and Conditioning Regimen for Leukemia
Hematol. Rep. 2024, 16(1), 98-105; https://doi.org/10.3390/hematolrep16010010 - 26 Feb 2024
Abstract
Severe congenital neutropenia (SCN) is characterized by chronic neutropenia with recurrent infections from early infancy and a predisposition to myelodysplastic syndrome/acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is the only curative treatment for patients with SCN who develop myelodysplastic syndrome/AML. [...] Read more.
Severe congenital neutropenia (SCN) is characterized by chronic neutropenia with recurrent infections from early infancy and a predisposition to myelodysplastic syndrome/acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is the only curative treatment for patients with SCN who develop myelodysplastic syndrome/AML. We report an 8-year-old girl with SCN carrying an ELANE mutation that had been refractory to granulocyte colony-stimulating factor. The patient experienced recurrent infections and then developed AML. The counts of leukemic blasts that harbored both CSF3R and RUNX1 mutations spontaneously decreased with antimicrobial therapy, leading to partial remission. After AML recurrence, HSCT was successfully performed using modified chemotherapy and a conditioning regimen. Serial donor lymphocyte infusions against mixed chimerism induced complete donor chimerism over 4 years without any infections or AML relapse. This case suggests the importance of carefully managing neutropenia-related infections, leukemia progression, and HSCT in patients with SCN developing AML. Full article
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30 pages, 865 KiB  
Review
The Clinical Potential of Dimethyltryptamine: Breakthroughs into the Other Side of Mental Illness, Neurodegeneration, and Consciousness
Psychoactives 2024, 3(1), 93-122; https://doi.org/10.3390/psychoactives3010007 - 26 Feb 2024
Abstract
The human brain is an extraordinarily complex organ responsible for all aspects of cognition and control. Billions of neurons form connections with thousands of other neurons, resulting in trillions of synapses that create a vast and intricate network. This network is subjected to [...] Read more.
The human brain is an extraordinarily complex organ responsible for all aspects of cognition and control. Billions of neurons form connections with thousands of other neurons, resulting in trillions of synapses that create a vast and intricate network. This network is subjected to continuous remodeling that adapts to environmental and developmental changes. The resulting neuroplasticity is crucial to both healthy states and many forms of mental illness and neurodegeneration. This narrative review comprehensively examines N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a naturally occurring hallucinogen and psychedelic compound, focusing on its implications in promoting neuroplasticity via neuritogenesis. We examine DMT’s pharmacology, including its interaction with serotonergic, sigma-1, and trace amine-associated receptors and their associated signaling pathways. The therapeutic potential of DMT in both animal models and clinical trials is discussed with impacts on perception, cognition, emotion, and consciousness. We uniquely focus on current directions centered on unveiling the direct mechanisms of DMT’s therapeutic effects that demonstrate transformative effects on mental well-being, particularly for conditions like depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. We discuss the connection between DMT and neuroplasticity, offering the potential for forming new neural connections, improving learning, memory, and aiding recovery from brain injuries, including neurorehabilitation and neuroregeneration. The ultimate potential of DMT’s therapeutic efficacy to enhance neurogenesis, especially for neurodegenerative conditions, is also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Hallucinogens in Mental Health)
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12 pages, 263 KiB  
Article
Socioeconomic Disadvantage among Adolescents: Associations between Having Relatives with Severe Health Conditions, Parental Work Status, and Poor Mental Health
Youth 2024, 4(1), 304-315; https://doi.org/10.3390/youth4010021 - 26 Feb 2024
Abstract
Psychosocial risk factors, such as socioeconomic disadvantage and having close relatives with severe health conditions (RSHCs), may negatively impact an adolescent’s life. This study aimed to investigate the associations between adolescent experiences with RSHCs (no, one or several RSHCs), parental working status (PWS) [...] Read more.
Psychosocial risk factors, such as socioeconomic disadvantage and having close relatives with severe health conditions (RSHCs), may negatively impact an adolescent’s life. This study aimed to investigate the associations between adolescent experiences with RSHCs (no, one or several RSHCs), parental working status (PWS) (both parents working (both PW) or having ≥1 parent not working (≥1 PNW)) and the composite variable of RSCHs/PWS in relation to self-reported poor mental health. In 2020, population-based data on 15–18-year-olds (n = 3509) were collected from schools in Sörmland, Sweden. Relationships between the composite variable of RSCHs/PW and poor mental health were determined through logistic regression analyses in three different models. Odds ratios (ORs) are separately reported for girls and boys. Girls reporting several RSHCs/≥1 PNW displayed an OR of 5.05 (95% CI 2.82–9.04) in comparison with the reference group with no RSCHs/both PW when adjusting for grade and ethnicity. The corresponding OR for boys was 2.26 (95% CI 1.46–3.49). Further adjustments for protective factors for mental health attenuated the associations with poor mental health. In conclusion, adolescents with RSHC experiences in combination with parental unemployment are at increased risk of developing their own poor mental health, making this group particularly vulnerable. Full article
11 pages, 242 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Egg Quality and Performance in Late-Lay Hens Fed Different Combinations of Copper, Manganese, and Zinc Complexed with Sulfate or Amino Acid Ion
Poultry 2024, 3(1), 36-46; https://doi.org/10.3390/poultry3010004 - 26 Feb 2024
Abstract
Dietary inclusion of copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), and zinc (Zn) can improve egg shell quality through changing the membrane structure. This study aimed to compare the responses of egg shell to different mineral sources. In this study, 60-week-old laying hens (n = 378) [...] Read more.
Dietary inclusion of copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), and zinc (Zn) can improve egg shell quality through changing the membrane structure. This study aimed to compare the responses of egg shell to different mineral sources. In this study, 60-week-old laying hens (n = 378) were assigned to one of seven treatments with 18 replicates each in an RCBD. Treatments included the following: control (basal + sulfated minerals (CuSO4, MnSO4, and ZnSO4)), and basal + amino acid complexed (AAC) minerals (AAC Cu, AAC Mn, AAC Zn, AAC Cu + Mn, AAC Mn + Zn, AAC Zn + Cu). Trace minerals were added to a basal diet containing 20 ppm MnSO4 and 20 ppm ZnSO4 to achieve overall target concentrations of 20 ppm Cu, 60 ppm Mn, and 60 ppm Zn. The hens were fed the treatment diet for 15 weeks, and egg production and egg quality were assessed during weeks 5, 10, and 15 of the experiment. Egg shells, egg contents, and excreta were analyzed for Cu, Mn, Zn, Ca, and P during weeks 10 and 15. No treatment differences (p > 0.05) were observed for production or egg quality. Differences between excreta mineral content were observed. The mineral content of egg shells and egg contents did not differ (p > 0.05) at any time point. The mineral source did not affect egg mineral deposition and egg quality measures (p > 0.05). Some AAC trace minerals enhanced retention of zinc, calcium, and manganese, although AAC Cu increased Cu excretion. Taken together, feeding AAC trace minerals does not significantly affect egg production or egg quality during the late-lay period. More research is needed to demonstrate whether Cu excretion is increased when feeding AAC Cu due to increased bioavailability or other factors. Full article
10 pages, 407 KiB  
Article
Effect of a Bacillus subtilis plus Yeast Cell Wall Synbiotic on Salmonella Enteritidis Colonization in Ceca of Layer Pullets
Poultry 2024, 3(1), 26-35; https://doi.org/10.3390/poultry3010003 - 26 Feb 2024
Abstract
Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) is a major contamination concern in eggs and risk for Salmonellosis in humans. Strains of Bacillus subtilis and yeast cell wall can be used as substitutes for antibiotic substances in feed against Salmonella in poultry. The objective of this study [...] Read more.
Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) is a major contamination concern in eggs and risk for Salmonellosis in humans. Strains of Bacillus subtilis and yeast cell wall can be used as substitutes for antibiotic substances in feed against Salmonella in poultry. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of BacPack® (Quality Technology International, Inc., Elgin, IL, USA) Q1+1 (BPQ11), a feed additive combination of a Bacillus subtilis strain and Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell wall, on SE cecal colonization in Lohmann LSL pullets. A control group (CON) and a test group (BPQ) were each randomly assigned 100-day-old chicks. CON was fed a corn–soybean meal-based vegetarian mash diet, and BPQ was fed the control diet supplemented with BPQ11 for the duration of the study. At 8 days of age, chicks were orally challenged with a nalidixic acid-resistant SE strain at a dose of 6.3 × 107 colony forming units (CFUs) per bird. At 7, 11, 15, and 19 days post-challenge (DPC), 25 birds per group were euthanized, and their cecal contents were collected and analyzed for SE. SE counts were 6.88, 7.98, 7.79, and 7.50 in CON and 7.18, 7.31, 6.35, and 6.30 log10 CFU/g in BPQ at 7, 11, 15, and 19 DPC, respectively. SE did not differ between CON and BPQ at 7 DPC; however, BPQ had lower (p < 0.0001) SE at 11 (−0.67), 15 (−1.45), and 19 (−1.20 log10 CFU/g) DPC. Results indicate that synbiotic BPQ11 may be a useful dietary pre-harvest tool for SE management in layer birds. Full article
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22 pages, 3836 KiB  
Article
In Silico Approach to Molecular Profiling of the Transition from Ovarian Epithelial Cells to Low-Grade Serous Ovarian Tumors for Targeted Therapeutic Insights
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2024, 46(3), 1777-1798; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb46030117 - 26 Feb 2024
Abstract
This paper aims to elucidate the differentially coexpressed genes, their potential mechanisms, and possible drug targets in low-grade invasive serous ovarian carcinoma (LGSC) in terms of the biologic continuity of normal, borderline, and malignant LGSC. We performed a bioinformatics analysis, integrating datasets generated [...] Read more.
This paper aims to elucidate the differentially coexpressed genes, their potential mechanisms, and possible drug targets in low-grade invasive serous ovarian carcinoma (LGSC) in terms of the biologic continuity of normal, borderline, and malignant LGSC. We performed a bioinformatics analysis, integrating datasets generated using the GPL570 platform from different studies from the GEO database to identify changes in this transition, gene expression, drug targets, and their relationships with tumor microenvironmental characteristics. In the transition from ovarian epithelial cells to the serous borderline, the FGFR3 gene in the “Estrogen Response Late” pathway, the ITGB2 gene in the “Cell Adhesion Molecule”, the CD74 gene in the “Regulation of Cell Migration”, and the IGF1 gene in the “Xenobiotic Metabolism” pathway were upregulated in the transition from borderline to LGSC. The ERBB4 gene in “Proteoglycan in Cancer”, the AR gene in “Pathways in Cancer” and “Estrogen Response Early” pathways, were upregulated in the transition from ovarian epithelial cells to LGSC. In addition, SPP1 and ITGB2 genes were correlated with macrophage infiltration in the LGSC group. This research provides a valuable framework for the development of personalized therapeutic approaches in the context of LGSC, with the aim of improving patient outcomes and quality of life. Furthermore, the main goal of the current study is a preliminary study designed to generate in silico inferences, and it is also important to note that subsequent in vitro and in vivo studies will be necessary to confirm the results before considering these results as fully reliable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Bioinformatics Approaches to Biomedicine)
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9 pages, 1410 KiB  
Brief Report
Induction of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress by Prodigiosin in Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2024, 46(3), 1768-1776; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb46030116 - 26 Feb 2024
Abstract
Prodigiosin, a red pigment produced by numerous bacterial species, exerts various antibiotic effects on prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. For instance, human carcinoma cell lines appear to suffer from endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in the presence of prodigiosin. Here, we demonstrated that prodigiosin also [...] Read more.
Prodigiosin, a red pigment produced by numerous bacterial species, exerts various antibiotic effects on prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. For instance, human carcinoma cell lines appear to suffer from endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in the presence of prodigiosin. Here, we demonstrated that prodigiosin also triggers the unfolded-protein response (UPR), which is a cytoprotective response against ER stress, in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. An S. cerevisiae mutant carrying a UPR-deficient mutation was hypersensitive to prodigiosin. Our observations cumulatively indicate that protein folding in the ER is impaired by prodigiosin, illustrating a new mode of action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Microbiology)
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11 pages, 5212 KiB  
Brief Report
Dual Immunoglobulin Domain-Containing Cell Adhesion Molecule Increases Early in Renal Tubular Cell Injury and Plays Anti-Inflammatory Role
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2024, 46(3), 1757-1767; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb46030115 - 26 Feb 2024
Abstract
Dual immunoglobulin domain-containing cell adhesion molecule (DICAM) is a type I transmembrane protein that presents in various cells including renal tubular cells. This study evaluated the expression and protective role of DICAM in renal tubular cell injury. HK-2 cells were incubated and treated [...] Read more.
Dual immunoglobulin domain-containing cell adhesion molecule (DICAM) is a type I transmembrane protein that presents in various cells including renal tubular cells. This study evaluated the expression and protective role of DICAM in renal tubular cell injury. HK-2 cells were incubated and treated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 30 μg/mL) or hydrogen peroxide (H2O2, 100 μM) for 24 h. To investigate the effect of the gene silencing of DICAM, small interfering RNA of DICAM was used. Additionally, to explain its role in cellular response to injury, DICAM was overexpressed using an adenoviral vector. DICAM protein expression levels significantly increased following treatment with LPS or H2O2 in HK-2 cells. In response to oxidative stress, DICAM showed an earlier increase (2–4 h following treatment) than neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) (24 h following treatment). DICAM gene silencing increased the protein expression of inflammation-related markers, including IL-1β, TNF-α, NOX4, integrin β1, and integrin β3, in H2O2-induced HK-2 cell injury. Likewise, in the LPS-induced HK-2 cell injury, DICAM knockdown led to a decrease in occludin levels and an increase in integrin β3, IL-1β, and IL-6 levels. Furthermore, DICAM overexpression followed by LPS-induced HK-2 cell injury resulted in an increase in occludin levels and a decrease in integrin β1, integrin β3, TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 levels, suggesting an alleviating effect on inflammatory responses. DICAM was elevated in the early stage of regular tubular cell injury and may protect against renal tubular injury through its anti-inflammatory properties. DICAM has a potential as an early diagnostic marker and therapeutic target for renal cell injury. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Molecular Mechanisms in Human Diseases)
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3 pages, 181 KiB  
Editorial
Exploring Myelin Dynamics in Demyelinating Disorders at the Molecular Level
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2024, 46(3), 1754-1756; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb46030114 - 26 Feb 2024
Abstract
Investigating the subtle molecular mechanisms underlying demyelinating disorders of the central nervous system (CNS) is pivotal in advancing therapeutic strategies and improving patient outcomes [...] Full article
11 pages, 1293 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Radiation Exposure and Influential Factors in Cone-Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) of the Head and Abdomen during Interventional Procedures
Tomography 2024, 10(3), 320-330; https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography10030025 - 26 Feb 2024
Abstract
Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) is a widely used imaging technique in interventional radiology. Although CBCT offers great advantages in terms of improving comprehension of complex angioarchitectures and guiding therapeutic decisions, its additional degree of radiation exposure has also aroused considerable concern. In this [...] Read more.
Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) is a widely used imaging technique in interventional radiology. Although CBCT offers great advantages in terms of improving comprehension of complex angioarchitectures and guiding therapeutic decisions, its additional degree of radiation exposure has also aroused considerable concern. In this study, we aimed to assess radiation exposure and its influential factors in patients undergoing CBCT scans of the head and abdomen during interventional procedures. A total of 752 patients were included in this retrospective study. Dose area product (DAP) and reference air kerma (RAK) were used as measures of patient dose. The results showed that the median values of DAP were 53.8 (50.5–64.4) Gy⋅cm2 for head CBCT and 47.4 (39.6–54.3) Gy⋅cm2 for that of the abdomen. Male gender and body mass index (BMI) were characterized by increased DAP and RAK values in both head and abdominal CBCT scans. Larger FOV size was associated with a higher DAP but a lower RAK value, especially in head CBCT scans. Exposure parameters under automatic exposure control (AEC) also varied according to patient BMI and gender. In conclusion, the patients received slightly higher radiation doses from head CBCT scans than from those applied to the abdomen. BMI, gender, and FOV size were the key factors that influenced the radiation dose administered to the patients during CBCT scans. Our results may help to define and minimize patients’ exposure to radiation. Full article
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13 pages, 1581 KiB  
Article
Early Exposure to Polyphenol-Rich Sugarcane Extract (PRSE) Mitigates Aging While Enhancing Thermotolerance in C. elegans
J. Ageing Longev. 2024, 4(1), 15-27; https://doi.org/10.3390/jal4010002 - 26 Feb 2024
Abstract
Previous research has established that polyphenols increase lifespan and stress resistance in C. elegans. However, the effects of timing of exposure on the extension of lifespan and the mechanisms involved are not completely understood. This study aims to clarify the influence of [...] Read more.
Previous research has established that polyphenols increase lifespan and stress resistance in C. elegans. However, the effects of timing of exposure on the extension of lifespan and the mechanisms involved are not completely understood. This study aims to clarify the influence of the timing of polyphenol-rich sugarcane extract (PRSE) administration on the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans. C. elegans worms were subjected to a diet containing PRSE powder at various larval stages until their death. The optimal concentration for lifespan extension was found to be 5 mg/mL PRSE, which increased the lifespan of N2 worms by 18.12% compared to the control group. Mutant strains were also tested, and worm thermotolerance assays were used to assess age-related health at different life stages. Lifespan was notably extended when PRSE was introduced at the first larval stage and 15 h thereafter. No significant extension of lifespan was observed when introduced later in life. The lifespan of DAF-16 and DAF-2 mutants remained unaffected by PRSE. Improved thermotolerance was observed, especially in young and middle-aged worms. Early initiation and sustained intake of PRSE might improve the heat stress and lifespan, implicating the insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway as a likely mediator in C. elegans. Full article
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23 pages, 12267 KiB  
Article
Random Forest Classifier Algorithm of Geographic Resources Analysis Support System Geographic Information System for Satellite Image Processing: Case Study of Bight of Sofala, Mozambique
Coasts 2024, 4(1), 127-149; https://doi.org/10.3390/coasts4010008 - 26 Feb 2024
Abstract
Mapping coastal regions is important for environmental assessment and for monitoring spatio-temporal changes. Although traditional cartographic methods using a geographic information system (GIS) are applicable in image classification, machine learning (ML) methods present more advantageous solutions for pattern-finding tasks such as the automated [...] Read more.
Mapping coastal regions is important for environmental assessment and for monitoring spatio-temporal changes. Although traditional cartographic methods using a geographic information system (GIS) are applicable in image classification, machine learning (ML) methods present more advantageous solutions for pattern-finding tasks such as the automated detection of landscape patches in heterogeneous landscapes. This study aimed to discriminate landscape patterns along the eastern coasts of Mozambique using the ML modules of a Geographic Resources Analysis Support System (GRASS) GIS. The random forest (RF) algorithm of the module ‘r.learn.train’ was used to map the coastal landscapes of the eastern shoreline of the Bight of Sofala, using remote sensing (RS) data at multiple temporal scales. The dataset included Landsat 8-9 OLI/TIRS imagery collected in the dry period during 2015, 2018, and 2023, which enabled the evaluation of temporal dynamics. The supervised classification of RS rasters was supported by the Scikit-Learn ML package of Python embedded in the GRASS GIS. The Bight of Sofala is characterized by diverse marine ecosystems dominated by swamp wetlands and mangrove forests located in the mixed saline–fresh waters along the eastern coast of Mozambique. This paper demonstrates the advantages of using ML for RS data classification in the environmental monitoring of coastal areas. The integration of Earth Observation data, processed using a decision tree classifier by ML methods and land cover characteristics enabled the detection of recent changes in the coastal ecosystem of Mozambique, East Africa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Measuring Shoreline Variability and Understanding It's Local Impacts)
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16 pages, 9244 KiB  
Article
Optimization of the Conditions for the Transformation of a Bacillus subtilis Strain L11 to Prepare Nano Selenium and Its Preliminary Application in Sheep Feed
Microbiol. Res. 2024, 15(1), 326-341; https://doi.org/10.3390/microbiolres15010022 - 26 Feb 2024
Abstract
Selenium nanoparticles (SeNPs) have greater bioavailability and safety than inorganic selenium, and was widely used in medical, agricultural, nutritional supplements, and antibacterial fields. The present study screened a strain L11 producing SeNPs from a selenium rich dairy cow breeding base in Hubei Province, [...] Read more.
Selenium nanoparticles (SeNPs) have greater bioavailability and safety than inorganic selenium, and was widely used in medical, agricultural, nutritional supplements, and antibacterial fields. The present study screened a strain L11 producing SeNPs from a selenium rich dairy cow breeding base in Hubei Province, China. The strain was identified as Bacillus subtilis through physiological, biochemical, and molecular biology analysis. By adjusting the cultivation conditions, the experiment determined the ideal parameters for L11 to efficiently produce SeNPs. These parameters include a pH value of 6, a cultivation temperature of 37 °C, a concentration of 4 mmol/L Na2SeO3, and a cultivation of 48 h. X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), Scanning Electron Microscope-Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) were used to verify that the Se particles produced by L11 are SeNPs with diameters ranging from 50 to 200 nm. The combination of the protein analysis of different cell components and TEM analysis showed that L11 mainly produces SeNPs through the transformation of the cell’s periplasmic space, cell membrane, and cell wall. Adding the L11 SeNPs complex to sheep feed can significantly enhance the antioxidant activity and immunity of sheep, and increase the Se content in the neck muscles, liver, and spleen tissues. Full article
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9 pages, 455 KiB  
Article
Increased Risk for Non-Union in First Metatarsophalangeal Joint Arthrodesis Following High-Velocity Reaming: A Retrospective Study
BioMed 2024, 4(1), 50-58; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomed4010004 - 26 Feb 2024
Abstract
Objective: Arthrodesis of the first metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ) is a reliable procedure for treating various pathologies related to this joint. However, non-union is a common and debilitating complication of the procedure. The purpose of this study was to assess whether the use of [...] Read more.
Objective: Arthrodesis of the first metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ) is a reliable procedure for treating various pathologies related to this joint. However, non-union is a common and debilitating complication of the procedure. The purpose of this study was to assess whether the use of a mechanical reamer to prepare the joint surface increases the risk of non-union compared to traditional manual osteotomy. Methods: A retrospective study of all patients who underwent their first MTPJ arthrodesis surgery in our medical center between 2010 and 2015. The articular surface preparation of the MTPJ was either manually performed (Group 1) or mechanically conducted with reamers (Group 2). Data regarding demographic characteristics, indications for surgery, osteosynthesis methods, and post-operative complications, including non-union, infection, and revision rates, were collected for all patients. Results: A total of 83 patients with 92 primary first MTPJ arthrodesis (44 cases in Group 1 and 48 cases in Group 2) were included with a mean follow-up time of 45.3 months (SD 16.8). The two groups were comparable in terms of age, gender, comorbidities, indication for surgery, and follow-up time. The non-union rate was 15.9% in Group 1 and 25% in Group 2. (p = 0.28) Group 2 showed a significantly higher rate of revision surgery compared to Group 1 (43.7% vs. 22.7%, p = 0.03). Conclusions: The mechanical reamer group had a higher non-union rate and a significantly higher rate of revision surgery compared to low-energy manual joint preparation. In light of these findings, the use of mechanical reamers for joint preparation in the first MTPJ arthrodesis was discontinued at our medical center. Full article
7 pages, 288 KiB  
Case Report
Haploidentical Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for Patients with Severe Aplastic Anemia—Single-Centre Experience
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(3), 1246-1252; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31030093 - 26 Feb 2024
Abstract
Severe aplastic anemia (SAA) is a life-threatening type of aplastic anemia for which allogeneic stem cell transplantation or immunosuppressive therapy are the principal treatment modalities. Only about 25–30% of patients have a matched sibling donor, and finding an unrelated donor in ethnic minorities [...] Read more.
Severe aplastic anemia (SAA) is a life-threatening type of aplastic anemia for which allogeneic stem cell transplantation or immunosuppressive therapy are the principal treatment modalities. Only about 25–30% of patients have a matched sibling donor, and finding an unrelated donor in ethnic minorities is a challenge. The use of related haploidentical donor transplants in severe aplastic anemia is uncommon. We would like to report our experience with the first four patients who underwent haploidentical transplants for severe aplastic anemia. This is a retrospective study. We collected data from our transplant database of all haploidentical hematopoietic stem cell transplants for SAA from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2021. The transplant protocol used was the Hopkins’ protocol. There were three patients who underwent haploidentical transplants as primary therapy for SAA. A fourth patient received a haploidentical transplant after immunosuppressive therapy failure. The median age of the patients at transplant was 24 y (range 20–29). All patients were engrafted. Neutrophil engraftment occurred at a median of 21 days (range 17–22). Any active infections resolved with the recovery of blood counts. The median hospitalization time was 27 days (range 22–41). Only one patient had grade 2 acute GVHD involving the skin. There was no chronic GVHD. All patients had complete lymphoid and myeloid donor chimerism on day 60. Based on our experience and the emerging literature, haplo-identical transplantation should be considered for select young patients with SAA who have low chances of responding to immunosuppressive therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Hematology)
11 pages, 2602 KiB  
Article
Colorectal Cancer Patients’ Reported Frequency, Content, and Satisfaction with Advance Care Planning Discussions
Curr. Oncol. 2024, 31(3), 1235-1245; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol31030092 - 26 Feb 2024
Abstract
(1) Background: This observational cohort study describes the frequency, content, and satisfaction of advance care planning (ACP) conversations with healthcare providers (HCPs), as reported by patients with advanced colorectal cancer. (2) Methods: The patients were recruited from two tertiary cancer centers in Alberta, [...] Read more.
(1) Background: This observational cohort study describes the frequency, content, and satisfaction of advance care planning (ACP) conversations with healthcare providers (HCPs), as reported by patients with advanced colorectal cancer. (2) Methods: The patients were recruited from two tertiary cancer centers in Alberta, Canada. Using the My Conversations survey with previously validated questions, the patients were asked about specific ACP elements discussed, with which HCPs these elements were discussed, their satisfaction with these conversations, and whether they had a goals of care designation (GCD) order. We surveyed and analyzed data from the following four time points: enrollment, months 1, 2, and 3. (3) Results: In total, 131 patients were recruited. At enrollment, 24% of patients reported discussing at least one ACP topic. From enrollment to month 3, patients reported a high frequency of discussions (80.2% discussed fears, 71.0% discussed prognosis, 54.2% discussed treatment preferences at least once); however, only 44.3% of patients reported discussing what is important to them in considering health care preferences. Patients reported having ACP conversations most often with their oncologists (84.7%) and cancer clinic nurses (61.8%). Patients reported a high level of satisfaction with their ACP conversations, with over 80% of patients reported feeling heard and understood. From enrollment to month 3, there was an increase in the number of patients with a GCD order from 53% to 74%. (4) Conclusions: Patients reported more frequent conversations compared to the literature and clinical documentation. While the satisfaction with these conversations is high, there is room for quality improvement, particularly in eliciting patients’ personal goals for their treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Palliative and Supportive Care)
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16 pages, 936 KiB  
Article
Development of New Open-Set Speech Material for Use in Clinical Audiology with Speakers of British English
Audiol. Res. 2024, 14(2), 264-279; https://doi.org/10.3390/audiolres14020024 - 26 Feb 2024
Abstract
Background: The Chear open-set performance test (COPT), which uses a carrier phrase followed by a monosyllabic test word, is intended for clinical assessment of speech recognition, evaluation of hearing-device performance, and the fine-tuning of hearing devices for speakers of British English. This paper [...] Read more.
Background: The Chear open-set performance test (COPT), which uses a carrier phrase followed by a monosyllabic test word, is intended for clinical assessment of speech recognition, evaluation of hearing-device performance, and the fine-tuning of hearing devices for speakers of British English. This paper assesses practice effects, test–retest reliability, and the variability across lists of the COPT. Method: In experiment 1, 16 normal-hearing participants were tested using an initial version of the COPT, at three speech-to-noise ratios (SNRs). Experiment 2 used revised COPT lists, with items swapped between lists to reduce differences in difficulty across lists. In experiment 3, test–retest repeatability was assessed for stimuli presented in quiet, using 15 participants with sensorineural hearing loss. Results: After administration of a single practice list, no practice effects were evident. The critical difference between scores for two lists was about 2 words (out of 15) or 5 phonemes (out of 50). The mean estimated SNR required for 74% words correct was −0.56 dB, with a standard deviation across lists of 0.16 dB. For the participants with hearing loss tested in quiet, the critical difference between scores for two lists was about 3 words (out of 15) or 6 phonemes (out of 50). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rehabilitation of Hearing Impairment: 2nd Edition)
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10 pages, 237 KiB  
Review
Navigating the Usher Syndrome Genetic Landscape: An Evaluation of the Associations between Specific Genes and Quality Categories of Cochlear Implant Outcomes
Audiol. Res. 2024, 14(2), 254-263; https://doi.org/10.3390/audiolres14020023 - 26 Feb 2024
Abstract
Usher syndrome (US) is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous disorder that involves three main features: sensorineural hearing loss, retinitis pigmentosa (RP), and vestibular impairment. With a prevalence of 4–17/100,000, it is the most common cause of deaf-blindness worldwide. Genetic research has provided crucial [...] Read more.
Usher syndrome (US) is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous disorder that involves three main features: sensorineural hearing loss, retinitis pigmentosa (RP), and vestibular impairment. With a prevalence of 4–17/100,000, it is the most common cause of deaf-blindness worldwide. Genetic research has provided crucial insights into the complexity of US. Among nine confirmed causative genes, MYO7A and USH2A are major players in US types 1 and 2, respectively, whereas CRLN1 is the sole confirmed gene associated with type 3. Variants in these genes also contribute to isolated forms of hearing loss and RP, indicating intersecting molecular pathways. While hearing loss can be adequately managed with hearing aids or cochlear implants (CIs), approved RP treatment modalities are lacking. Gene replacement and editing, antisense oligonucleotides, and small-molecule drugs hold promise for halting RP progression and restoring vision, enhancing patients’ quality of life. Massively parallel sequencing has identified gene variants (e.g., in PCDH15) that influence CI results. Accordingly, preoperative genetic examination appears valuable for predicting CI success. To explore genetic mutations in CI recipients and establish correlations between implant outcomes and involved genes, we comprehensively reviewed the literature to gather data covering a broad spectrum of CI outcomes across all known US-causative genes. Implant outcomes were categorized as excellent or very good, good, poor or fair, and very poor. Our review of 95 cochlear-implant patients with US, along with their CI outcomes, revealed the importance of presurgical genetic testing to elucidate potential challenges and provide tailored counseling to improve auditory outcomes. The multifaceted nature of US demands a comprehensive understanding and innovative interventions. Genetic insights drive therapeutic advancements, offering potential remedies for the retinal component of US. The synergy between genetics and therapeutics holds promise for individuals with US and may enhance their sensory experiences through customized interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Hearing Loss—Volume II)
25 pages, 2796 KiB  
Review
Organic Amendments: Enhancing Plant Tolerance to Salinity and Metal Stress for Improved Agricultural Productivity
Stresses 2024, 4(1), 185-209; https://doi.org/10.3390/stresses4010011 - 26 Feb 2024
Abstract
Salinity and metal stress are significant abiotic factors that negatively influence plant growth and development. These factors lead to diminished agricultural yields on a global scale. Organic amendments have emerged as a potential solution for mitigating the adverse effects of salinity and metal [...] Read more.
Salinity and metal stress are significant abiotic factors that negatively influence plant growth and development. These factors lead to diminished agricultural yields on a global scale. Organic amendments have emerged as a potential solution for mitigating the adverse effects of salinity and metal stress on plants. When plants experience these stresses, they produce reactive oxygen species, which can impair protein synthesis and damage cellular membranes. Organic amendments, including biochar, vermicompost, green manure, and farmyard manure, have been shown to facilitate soil nitrogen uptake, an essential component for protein synthesis, and enhance various plant processes such as metabolism, protein accumulation, and antioxidant activities. Researchers have observed that the application of organic amendments improves plant stress tolerance, plant growth, and yield. They achieve this by altering the plant’s ionic balance, enhancing the photosynthetic machinery, boosting antioxidant systems, and reducing oxidative damage. The potential of organic amendments to deal effectively with high salinity and metal concentrations in the soil is gaining increased attention and is becoming an increasingly popular practice in the field of agriculture. This review aims to provide insights into methods for treating soils contaminated with salinity and heavy metals by manipulating their bioavailability through the use of various soil amendments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Plant and Photoautotrophic Stresses)
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15 pages, 2506 KiB  
Entry
Smart Factories for Mass Individualization
Encyclopedia 2024, 4(1), 415-429; https://doi.org/10.3390/encyclopedia4010028 - 26 Feb 2024
Definition
With the rise of individualism as a social trend and the wide use of the Internet and social media, today’s customers increasingly want to design and build unique products that fit their individual preferences and needs. Mass individualization is defined as a manufacturing [...] Read more.
With the rise of individualism as a social trend and the wide use of the Internet and social media, today’s customers increasingly want to design and build unique products that fit their individual preferences and needs. Mass individualization is defined as a manufacturing paradigm that aims to produce individualized products cost-effectively. This paradigm differs from the previous paradigms in which the manufacturing company designed and manufactured the products, and the customer chose a product. In the mass individualization paradigm, the customers will be actively involved in product design, and the manufacturer will produce a unique product for each customer at a reasonable cost and of reliable quality. Due to the need for smooth communication and interactions between the buyer and the factory, new factories for individualized products will be located near potential buyers, which will have a significant impact on local economies. This entry explores the relationship between mass individualization and other emerging manufacturing paradigms and concepts in the Industry 4.0/5.0 era, and discusses how smart factories can improve manufacturing efficiency and facilitate the realization of the mass individualization paradigm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Encyclopedia of Engineering)
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15 pages, 3528 KiB  
Article
Low-Impact Ampakine CX1739 Exerts Pro-Cognitive Effects and Reverses Opiate-Induced Respiratory Depression in Rodents
Future Pharmacol. 2024, 4(1), 173-187; https://doi.org/10.3390/futurepharmacol4010012 - 26 Feb 2024
Abstract
AMPA-glutamate receptors (AMPARs) are expressed throughout the CNS and mediate the majority of fast excitatory synaptic transmission. Ampakines are orally available small molecules that bind allosterically to AMPARs and enhance excitatory currents elicited by the endogenous agonist glutamate. In preclinical studies, ampakines are [...] Read more.
AMPA-glutamate receptors (AMPARs) are expressed throughout the CNS and mediate the majority of fast excitatory synaptic transmission. Ampakines are orally available small molecules that bind allosterically to AMPARs and enhance excitatory currents elicited by the endogenous agonist glutamate. In preclinical studies, ampakines are effective in ameliorating symptoms in a battery of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases in which excitatory transmission is compromised. However, the development of ampakines as medicines was slowed by the emergence of neurotoxicity and seizures in rodents due to some ampakines. Here, we describe the preclinical pharmacology of a novel ampakine, N-methyl-N-(tetrahydro-2H-pyran-4-yl)benzo[c][1,2,5] oxadiazole-5-carboxamide (CX1739), that does not induce seizures in animals or humans at efficacious doses. CX1739 dose-dependently enhanced long-term potentiation in vivo in rats, a process thought to be a molecular substrate of learning and memory. Correspondingly, CX1739 dose-dependently enhanced performance in assays that probed multiple aspects of cognition—the novel object recognition test, the win shift radial arm maze, and the five-choice serial reaction time task in rats. CX1739 also abrogated amphetamine-induced locomotor activity, demonstrating that it may be given in conjunction with stimulants for pro-cognitive gains while mitigating the side effects of stimulant-based ADHD medications. CX1739 also rapidly reversed opioid-induced respiratory depression. While efficacy in these tests occurred at doses of 0.03–18 mg/kg, there were no adverse events detected in safety studies in rats up to 2000 mg/kg. These preclinical findings suggest that CX1739 can be translated safely into the clinical setting to potentially treat dementia, neuropsychiatric disorders, and the life-threatening complication of opiate-induced suppression of endogenous inspiratory breathing rhythms. Full article
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