Latest Articles

Open AccessReview
Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Organ-Specific Metastases in Epithelial Ovarian Carcinoma
Cancers 2018, 10(11), 444; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers10110444 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Epithelial ovarian carcinoma is the most predominant type of ovarian carcinoma, the deadliest gynecologic malignancy. It is typically diagnosed late when the cancer has already metastasized. Transcoelomic metastasis is the most predominant mechanism of dissemination from epithelial ovarian carcinoma, although both hematogenously and
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Epithelial ovarian carcinoma is the most predominant type of ovarian carcinoma, the deadliest gynecologic malignancy. It is typically diagnosed late when the cancer has already metastasized. Transcoelomic metastasis is the most predominant mechanism of dissemination from epithelial ovarian carcinoma, although both hematogenously and lymphogenously spread metastases also occur. In this review, we describe molecular mechanisms known to regulate organ-specific metastasis from epithelial ovarian carcinoma. We begin by discussing the sites colonized by metastatic ovarian carcinoma and rank them in the order of prevalence. Next, we review the mechanisms regulating the transcoelomic metastasis. Within this chapter, we specifically focus on the mechanisms that were demonstrated to regulate peritoneal adhesion—one of the first steps in the transcoelomic metastatic cascade. Furthermore, we describe mechanisms of the transcoelomic metastasis known to regulate colonization of specific sites within the peritoneal cavity, including the omentum. Mechanisms underlying hematogenous and lymphogenous metastatic spread are less comprehensively studied in ovarian cancer, and we summarize mechanisms that were identified to date. Lastly, we discuss the outcomes of the clinical trials that attempted to target some of the mechanisms described in this review. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Role of Wine in Modulating Inflammatory Processes: A Review
Beverages 2018, 4(4), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/beverages4040088 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Several epidemiological studies associated the consumption of wine with the reduction of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, as well as for diabetes. These conditions are characterized by inflammatory mechanisms in addition to other biological mechanisms. Acute and chronic inflammation
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Several epidemiological studies associated the consumption of wine with the reduction of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, as well as for diabetes. These conditions are characterized by inflammatory mechanisms in addition to other biological mechanisms. Acute and chronic inflammation is mediated by a plethora of biomarkers production and pathway activation. Since the health promoting properties of wine in different pathological conditions may include the reduction of inflammation, the aim of this paper was to collect and review the in vitro, in vivo, and human studies performed to evaluate the effects of wine on different models of inflammation. Although great variability in wine intake, period of consumption, and content of phenolic compounds was observed, data from both human and animal studies showed a positive modulation of inflammatory biomarkers (cytokines, coagulation parameters) and oxidative stress (mainly malondialdehyde) involved in cardiovascular function. In addition, some convincing evidence was obtained in different models suggesting a positive modulation of risk factors for gastric and intestinal inflammation. Contradictory results were obtained for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. To date, no significant paper has been published in the area of immune function. Integrating in vivo data and in vitro studies, the NF-κB pathway has been identified as a critical target for the protective properties of a moderate wine consumption. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperCommunication
An Analysis of Geriatric Medicine in Malaysia-Riding the Wave of Political Change
Geriatrics 2018, 3(4), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics3040080 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Malaysia became the centre of international attention when it democratically removed a semi-authoritarian government of 62 years during its 14th general election this year. This electoral success has provided geriatric medicine in Malaysia with a high-impact ageing icon by installing the oldest prime
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Malaysia became the centre of international attention when it democratically removed a semi-authoritarian government of 62 years during its 14th general election this year. This electoral success has provided geriatric medicine in Malaysia with a high-impact ageing icon by installing the oldest prime minister in the world. A wave of optimism for the expansion of geriatric services in Malaysia, which met with numerous challenges in the last two decades, has emerged as a result of this political change. The number of geriatrics specialists and services had begun to see slow expansions under the previous government. However, existing geriatricians will need to reassess the landscape of delivery and access to care in our rapidly growing ageing population and develop new strategies to truly expand their services. In addition to unrelenting efforts in the recruitment and training of future geriatricians, the steady expansion of the geriatric workforce should take into account the inclusion of geriatric medicine in the undergraduate training curricula of all healthcare professionals. Expansion of geriatric services will also be a cost-effective strategy to reduce the growing national healthcare budget incurred by the growing needs of an ageing population. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Pilot of a Charter to Improve Management of Medicines and Oral Care for Residents with Dysphagia in Care Homes
Geriatrics 2018, 3(4), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics3040078 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Research in care homes has demonstrated that medication management practices in patients with dysphagia and those receiving medicines covertly may be inappropriate, illegal, and potentially cause harm. This paper presents the results of a feasibility study piloting a resident and healthcare professional best
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Research in care homes has demonstrated that medication management practices in patients with dysphagia and those receiving medicines covertly may be inappropriate, illegal, and potentially cause harm. This paper presents the results of a feasibility study piloting a resident and healthcare professional best practice charter to improve such practices in care home residents with dysphagia. A charter was developed through a multi-professional expert panel, implemented in one care home, and then piloted in 22 homes in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. A website was setup and developed iteratively to support the process. Care home staff and residents provided initial feedback on the implementation process and on perceived outcomes six months post implementation. A total of 16 (88.9%) out of 18 respondents from nine homes for six months reported a positive response to the charter. More than 80% of responses regarding the implementation process, impact on staff confidence, and perceived usefulness of the charter were positive. Perceived effectiveness and usefulness could, however, be further improved especially the perceived effect on frequency of medication review, which is reliant on external stakeholder involvement. The charter and supporting website were well received with respondents believing that it was useful, staff showing more confidence, and residents having enhanced care. Approaches to enhancing the charter’s effectiveness were identified. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Successful Aging and Frailty: A Systematic Review
Geriatrics 2018, 3(4), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics3040079 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The terms successful aging (SA) and frailty appear to have much in common, both in terms of overlapping constructs and common challenges with consensus and operationalization. The aim of this review is to summarize existing literature that defines that relationship. Primary and secondary
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The terms successful aging (SA) and frailty appear to have much in common, both in terms of overlapping constructs and common challenges with consensus and operationalization. The aim of this review is to summarize existing literature that defines that relationship. Primary and secondary source articles that used either term in the title or abstract were systematically reviewed for relevance to the study objective. Of 61 articles that met these criteria, 30 were secondary source, and of these four were highly relevant. Four of the remaining 31 original research articles were selected, and the prevalence of frailty and SA in populations with different characteristics were described and compared. The same model of frailty was used in all primary studies, but definitions for successful aging were heterogeneous. The prevalence of frailty ranged from 11.8% to 44.0% and that of SA ranged from 10.4% to 47.2%. The definitions used for each, especially the extent of multidimensionality, appeared to reflect the degree of overlap between SA and frailty. Whether frailty and SA are part of the same or different constructs, there is a pressing need for an ordered taxonomy to advance research that translates into clinical practice. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Blockchain-Based Supply Chain for Postage Stamps
Informatics 2018, 5(4), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics5040042 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Counterfeit and unaccounted postage stamps used on mailings cost postal administrations a significant amount of money each year. Corporate and individual clients become victim to stamp fraud and incur losses when security teams investigate such mailings. The blockchain technology is supposed to be
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Counterfeit and unaccounted postage stamps used on mailings cost postal administrations a significant amount of money each year. Corporate and individual clients become victim to stamp fraud and incur losses when security teams investigate such mailings. The blockchain technology is supposed to be a solution to make postage stamps market transparent and to guarantee invariability of stamps volume produced and used. The blockchain-based supply chain for postage stamps is introduced in the article. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Extracellular Vesicles: A Potential Novel Regulator of Obesity and Its Associated Complications
Children 2018, 5(11), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/children5110152 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Childhood obesity continues to be a major public health concern. Obesity causes various metabolic complications, including insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), dyslipidemia, and cardiovascular disease. However, currently, we have a limited understanding of the pathophysiology in
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Childhood obesity continues to be a major public health concern. Obesity causes various metabolic complications, including insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), dyslipidemia, and cardiovascular disease. However, currently, we have a limited understanding of the pathophysiology in the development of these processes. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are nano-sized vesicles secreted by different cell types that travel to various organ systems carrying molecular and genetic information. These vesicles have been proposed as a novel intercellular communication mode in systemic metabolic regulation and in several pathophysiologic processes. In particular, recent studies indicate that EVs play a critical role in the pathogenesis of obesity and its metabolic complications. In this study, we reviewed the current literature that supports the role of EVs in the regulation of metabolic homeostasis and pathogenesis of obesity and its associated metabolic complications, with a short discussion about future directions in the EV research field. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Failure Modes, Mechanisms, Effects, and Criticality Analysis of Ceramic Anodes of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
Electronics 2018, 7(11), 323; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics7110323 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are a highly efficient chemical to electrical energy conversion devices that have potential in a global energy strategy. The wide adoption of SOFCs is currently limited by cost and concerns about cell durability. Improved understanding of their degradation
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Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are a highly efficient chemical to electrical energy conversion devices that have potential in a global energy strategy. The wide adoption of SOFCs is currently limited by cost and concerns about cell durability. Improved understanding of their degradation modes and mechanisms combined with reduction–oxidation stable anodes via all-ceramic-anode cell technology are expected to lead to durability improvements, while economies of scale for production will mitigate cost of commercialization. This paper presents an Ishikawa analysis and a failure modes, mechanisms, effects, and criticality analysis (FMMECA) for all-ceramic anode based SOFCs. FMMECA takes into account the life cycle conditions, multiple failure mechanisms, and their potential effects on fuel-cell health and safety. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Equivalent Circuit Model for Cu(In,Ga)Se2 Solar Cells Operating at Different Temperatures and Irradiance
Electronics 2018, 7(11), 324; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics7110324 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The modeling of photovoltaic cells is an essential step in the analysis of the performances and characterization of PV systems. This paper proposes an experimental study of the dependence of the five parameters of the one-diode model on atmospheric conditions, i.e., irradiance and
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The modeling of photovoltaic cells is an essential step in the analysis of the performances and characterization of PV systems. This paper proposes an experimental study of the dependence of the five parameters of the one-diode model on atmospheric conditions, i.e., irradiance and temperature in the case of thin-film solar cells. The extraction of the five parameters was performed starting from two sets of experimental data obtained from Cu(In,Ga)Se2 solar cells fabricated by the low-temperature pulsed electron deposition technique. A reduced form approach of the one-diode model has been adopted, leading to an accurate identification of the cell. It was possible to elaborate suitable relations describing the behavior of the parameters as functions of the environmental conditions. This allowed accurately predicting the trends of the parameters from a pair of curves, instead of a whole set of measurements. The developed model describing the dependence on irradiance and temperature was validated by means of a large set of experimental measurements on several Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) devices built with the same technological process. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Dual-Family Peptidylprolyl Isomerases (Immunophilins) of Select Monocellular Organisms
Biomolecules 2018, 8(4), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom8040148 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The dual-family peptidylprolyl cis-trans isomerases (immunophilins) represent a naturally occurring chimera of the classical FK506-binding protein (FKBP) and cyclophilin (CYN), connected by a flexible linker. They are found exclusively in monocellular organisms. The modular builds of these molecules represent two distinct types: CYN-(linker)-FKBP
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The dual-family peptidylprolyl cis-trans isomerases (immunophilins) represent a naturally occurring chimera of the classical FK506-binding protein (FKBP) and cyclophilin (CYN), connected by a flexible linker. They are found exclusively in monocellular organisms. The modular builds of these molecules represent two distinct types: CYN-(linker)-FKBP and FKBP-3TPR (tetratricopeptide repeat)-CYN. Abbreviated respectively as CFBP and FCBP, the two classes also exhibit distinct organism preference, the CFBP being found in prokaryotes, and the FCBP in eukaryotes. This review summarizes the mystery of these unique class of prolyl isomerases, focusing on their host organisms, potential physiological role, and likely routes of evolution. Full article
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