Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport for older adults in the United States. This study explored the impact exerted by service learning experiences on the mental health and ageist attitudes of undergraduates, as well as their stances on civic engagement. The study was conducted over five consecutive semesters between 2014 and 2016, with participants comprising 211 students enrolled in an event management course offered by a tourism department. All participating students were engaged in community-based service learning projects. Their service learning experiences were found to be associated with superior mental health and increased civic responsibility. The hosting of pickleball competitions for older adults by the undergraduate participants also possibly improved their mental health and reduced their ageism.
Global COVID-19 vaccine distribution to low-income countries has been a major challenge of the pandemic. To address supply chain issues, RBD virus-like particle (VLP) vaccines that are cost-effective and capable of large-scale production were developed and evaluated for efficacy in preclinical mouse studies.
Background Aseptic loosening of the cemented tibial component is a source of failure in total knee arthroplasty. This study examined common techniques for cement application by quantifying depth and volume of penetration into tibia models. Material and methods Thirty-six composite tibia models were cemented with a tibial component using 3 application techniques (gun, osteotome, and layered) with either early or late cement working time. Computed tomography and 3D-modeling were used to quantify volume and depth of penetration. Statistical analysis was conducted with analysis of variance with Bonferroni correction and Student’s t-test. Results No difference was found in overall volume of penetration between early and late cement application (P = .16). Beneath the baseplate, the layered technique had significantly less penetration and averaged less than 3 mm with early and late cement. The gun technique had the greatest depth of penetration with early cement and averaged greater than 3 mm in all zones regardless of cement working time. The osteotome technique achieved significantly greater depth of penetration around the keel with early and late cement, P < .01. Conclusions Using a cement gun ensures adequate penetration beneath the baseplate regardless of cement working time while the osteotome technique is effective to increase penetration around the implant keel. According to our study, applying cement early in its working time may not increase volume of penetration. This study raises concern regarding adequate cement penetration using the layered technique for cementing the tibial component in total knee arthroplasty, and future research is warranted.
Rotational ankle fractures are often accompanied with a syndesmotic injury. Furthermore, malreduction of syndesmosis and fibular shortening are frequent errors observed in these cases and often lead to poor functional outcomes. We present a case of Weber C lateral malleolus fracture and distal tibiofibular syndesmotic injury in an active 23-year-old patient. Various techniques for syndesmotic reduction and restoration of fibular length are discussed and demonstrated.
Objectives: Endoscopic laryngeal cleft repair (ELCR) with endolaryngeal suturing is an advanced surgical skill. This study objective was to assess the validity of 3-dimensionally (3D) printed laryngeal suturing simulator for ELCR. Study design: Development and validation of a simulator for ELCR. Methods: An ELCR model was developed using 3D printed and readily available materials. Participants were surveyed before and after a simulation session using five-point Likert scale questions. Performance data was assessed using blinded expert video review and rated using a novel objective structured assessment of technical skills (OSATS) for endoscopic laryngeal suturing. Results: Twenty-one participants ranging from residents to attendings completed the simulation session. Survey respondents reported on a five-point Likert scale that the model was "easy to use" and "quite realistic" (both mean of 4). Confidence improved significantly in 86% of participants (p < 0.01). Overall OSATS scores (out of a total of 55) showed a median improvement in technical skills of 11.7 points (p = 0.004). OSATS demonstrated good intra-rater (κ = 0.689 and 0.677) and moderate inter-rater (κ = 0.573) reliability. Completion times improved from the first to the last suture by a median time of 512 to 350 s (decrease of 202 s, p = 0.002). Participants with no prior ELCR experience improved more than those with in vivo experience. Conclusion: This study demonstrates the validity of a simulator utilizing 3D printed larynges for ELCR. A novel OSATS for endoscopic laryngeal suturing was successfully implemented. Confidence, technical skills, and completion times improved with the use of the model across a variety of participants. Laryngoscope, 2022.
Emergence of variants of concern (VOC) during the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to the decreased efficacy of therapeutic monoclonal antibody treatments for severe cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition, the cost of creating these therapeutic treatments is high, making their implementation in low- to middle-income countries devastated by the pandemic very difficult. Here, we explored the use of polyclonal EpF(ab’)2 antibodies generated through the immunization of horses with SARS-CoV-2 WA-1 RBD conjugated to HBsAg nanoparticles as a low-cost therapeutic treatment for severe cases of disease. We determined that the equine EpF(ab’)2 bind RBD and neutralize ACE2 receptor binding by virus for all VOC strains tested except Omicron. Despite its relatively quick clearance from peripheral circulation, a 100μg dose of EpF(ab’)2 was able to fully protect mice against severe disease phenotypes following intranasal SARS-CoV-2 challenge with Alpha and Beta variants. EpF(ab’)2 administration increased survival while subsequently lowering disease scores and viral RNA burden in disease-relevant tissues. No significant improvement in survival outcomes or disease scores was observed in EpF(ab’)2-treated mice challenged using the Delta variant at 10μg or 100µg doses. Overall, the data presented here provide a proof of concept for the use of EpF(ab’)2 in the prevention of severe SARS-CoV-2 infections and underscore the need for either variant-specific treatments or variant-independent therapeutics for COVID-19.
Post-transplantation de novo malignancy in immunosuppressed organ recipients has become a major source of death, making early cancer surveillance through diagnosis and detection important in drastically improving survival rates. The focus of this work is on predicting de novo malignancy after liver transplantation using machine learning. Patients were chosen as those having developed malignancy after liver transplantation, with no history of cancer prior to transplantation, with donors being cancer-free as well. We analyzed a large volume of patients with post-transplant malignancy from the US Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). Several popular data mining methods were employed to characterize de novo malignancy after liver transplantation. Recipient’s bilirubin, creatinine, weight, gender, number of days in wait on the transplant list, Epstein Barr Virus (EBV), International normalized ratio (INR), and ascites were found to be among the most important factors affecting post-liver-transplantation de novo malignancy occurrence.
Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a major cause of cardiac death and heart transplantation. It has been known that black people have a higher incidence of heart failure and related diseases compared to white people. To identify the relationship between gene expression and cardiac function in DCM patients, we performed pathway analysis and weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) using RNA-sequencing data (GSE141910) from the NCBI Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database and identified several gene modules that were significantly associated with the left ventricle ejection fraction (LVEF) and DCM phenotype. Genes included in these modules are enriched in three major categories of signaling pathways: fibrosis-related, small molecule transporting-related, and immune response-related. Through consensus analysis, we found that gene modules associated with LVEF in African Americans are almost identical as in Caucasians, suggesting that the two groups may have more common rather than disparate genetic regulations in the etiology of DCM. In addition to the identified modules, we found that the gene expression level of Na/K-ATPase, an important membrane ion transporter, has a strong correlation with the LVEF. These clinical results are consistent with our previous findings and suggest the clinical significance of Na/K-ATPase regulation in DCM.
There is growing evidence that methamphetamine use during pregnancy may produce detrimental cardiovascular effects in the adult offspring. Prior work demonstrated that chronic methamphetamine exposure throughout the gestational period causes adult female offspring to become hypersensitive to myocardial ischemic injury. The goal of the present study was to determine whether this methamphetamine-induced effect occurs early or late in the gestational period. Pregnant female rats were divided into 4 experimental groups. Groups 1 and 2 received subcutaneous injections of saline (group 1) or methamphetamine (5 mg/kg) (group 2) throughout the gestational period. Group 3 received methamphetamine injections on days 1-11 and saline on days 12-22, and group 4 received saline on days 1-11 and methamphetamine on days 12-22. Hearts were isolated from adult (8 weeks) female offspring and subjected to 30 min ischemia and 2 hours reperfusion on a Langendorff isolated heart apparatus. Contractile function was measured via an intraventricular balloon, and infarct size was measured by triphenyltetrazolium chloride staining. Infarcts were significantly larger in methamphetamine exposed offspring regardless of whether they had been exposed to methamphetamine during the first half or the second half of the gestational period. Prenatal exposure to methamphetamine had no effect on preischemic contractile function or postischemic recovery of contractile function. These data indicate that methamphetamine use during either the first half or second half of pregnancy increases susceptibility to myocardial infarction in adult female offspring. These data provide further evidence that prenatal exposure to methamphetamine may increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases during adulthood.
Plants synthetize a large spectrum of secondary metabolites with substantial structural and functional diversity, making them a rich reservoir of new biologically active compounds. Among different plant lineages, the evolutionarily ancient branch of non-vascular plants (Bryophytes) is of particular interest as these organisms produce many unique biologically active compounds with highly promising antibacterial properties. Here, we characterized antibacterial activity of metabolites produced by different ecotypes (strains) of the model mosses Physcomitrium patens and Sphagnum fallax. Ethanol and hexane moss extracts harbor moderate but unstable antibacterial activity, representing polar and non-polar intracellular moss metabolites, respectively. In contrast, high antibacterial activity that was relatively stable was detected in soluble exudate fractions of P. patens moss. Antibacterial activity levels in P. patens exudates significantly increased over four weeks of moss cultivation in liquid culture. Interestingly, secreted moss metabolites are only active against a number of Gram-positive, but not Gram-negative, bacteria. Size fractionation, thermostability and sensitivity to proteinase K assays indicated that the secreted bioactive compounds are relatively small (less than <10 kDa). Further analysis and molecular identification of antibacterial exudate components, combined with bioinformatic analysis of model moss genomes, will be instrumental in the identification of specific genes involved in the bioactive metabolite biosynthesis.
Precipitation events have been predicted and observed to become fewer, but larger, as the atmosphere warms. Water-limited ecosystems are especially sensitive to changes in water cycling, yet evidence suggests that productivity may either increase or decrease in response to precipitation intensification. Interactions among climate, soil properties, and vegetation type may explain different responses, but this is difficult to experimentally test over large spatial scales. Simulation modeling may reveal the mechanisms through which climate, soils, and vegetation interact to affect plant growth. We use an individual-based plant ecohydrological model to simulate the effects of 25%, 50%, and 100% increases in precipitation event sizes on water cycling and shrub, grass, and forb biomass in 200 shrub-steppe sites spanning 651,000 km² of the Intermountain West, USA. Simulations did not change annual precipitation amounts and were performed for 0, 3, and 5 °C warming. Larger precipitation events decreased evaporation and ‘pushed’ water into shrub root zones in arid and semi-arid sites, but ‘pushed’ water below shrub root zones in mesic sites resulting in increased shrub biomass in arid and semi-arid, but not mesic, sites. Positive effects of precipitation intensification on shrub growth partially counteracted negative effects of warming. Grasses and forbs showed no consistent response to precipitation intensification. Results indicate that increased precipitation intensity creates a competitive advantage for shrubs in arid and semi-arid sites. This advantage results in greater shrub relative abundance and suggests that precipitation intensification contributes to woody plant encroachment observed globally in arid and semi-arid ecosystems.
Complete occlusion of the sinoatrial node artery can be a complication of percutaneous intervention (PCI) to the right coronary artery (RCA). When this happens, dysfunction of the sinus node may follow resulting in sinus arrest. When this occurs, it is usually transient and as such, is typically not accompanied by hemodynamic instability. Permanent sinus arrest and shock state may, however, occur on rare occasions. The presence of junctional rhythms on the electrocardiogram (ECG) may predict the occurrence of these permanent arrhythmias and cardiogenic shock. In this case report, we present a 78-year-old woman who developed cardiogenic shock secondary to sinus arrest following PCI to RCA. Her ECG showed junctional rhythm, and she went on to require permanent ventricular pacing. This illustrates a known but rare complication of PCI to RCA.
Modulation of macrophage polarization is required for effective tissue repair and regenerative therapies. Therapeutic modulation of macrophages from an inflammatory M1 to a fibrotic M2 phenotype could help in diseases, such as chronic wounds, which are stalled in a prolonged and heightened inflammatory stage within the wound healing process. This study evaluates the efficiency of a pullulan/gelatin nanofiber scaffold loaded with retinoic acid (RA) and adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ASCs) to modulate M1 to M2 anti-inflammatory transition. For this, scaffolds were fabricated by electrospinning, and crosslinked using ethylene glycol diglycidyl ether (EGDE). Exposure of RA and/or ASCs to cultured macrophages have been shown to promote M1 to M2 transition. Pullulan was chosen as a scaffold material due to its ability to quench reactive oxygen species, key signaling molecules that play an important role in the progression of inflammation, as well as for its excellent mechanical properties. Gelatin was chosen as an additional scaffold component due to the presence of cell-binding motifs and its biocompatibility. Scaffold compositions examined were 75:25 and 50:50, pullulan:gelatin. The scaffolds were crosslinked in 1:70 and 1:50 EGDE:EtOH. The scaffold composition was determined via FTIR. For the present study, the 75:25 pullulan:gelatin crosslinked with 1:70 EGDE:EtOH, forming nanofibers 328 ± 47.9 nm (mean ± SD) in diameter, was chosen as the scaffold composition due to its lower degradation and release rate, which allows a sustained delivery of RA. This scaffold composition degraded to approximately 80% after 14 days, with approximately 38% of the drug released after 7 days. THP-1 monocytic cells were induced into a M1 macrophage phenotype through stimulation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and gamma interferon (IFN-γ). These M1 macrophages were the exposed to scaffolds loaded with RA and ASCs, to induce differentiation to an M2 phenotype. Gene expression quantitation by qPCR showed a reduction of M1 biomarkers, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and interleukin 1β (IL1β), and an increase of M2 biomarker CCL22 after 2 days of exposure, suggesting successful M1 to M2 transition.
Introduction Life-threatening infections such as infective endocarditis (IE) are increasing simultaneously with the injection drug use epidemic in West Virginia (WV). We utilized a newly developed, statewide database to describe epidemiologic characteristics and healthcare utilization among patients with (DU-IE) and without (non-DU-IE) drug use-associated IE in WV over five years. Materials and methods This retrospective, observational study, incorporating manual review of electronic medical records, included all patients aged 18–90 years who had their first admission for IE in any of the four university-affiliated referral hospitals in WV during 2014–2018. IE was identified using ICD-10-CM codes and confirmed by chart review. Demographics, clinical characteristics, and healthcare utilization were compared between patients with DU-IE and non-DU-IE using Chi-square/Fisher’s exact test or Wilcoxon rank sum test. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was conducted with discharge against medical advice/in-hospital mortality vs. discharge alive as the outcome variable and drug use as the predictor variable. Results Overall 780 unique patients had confirmed first IE admission, with a six-fold increase during study period (p = .004). Most patients (70.9%) had used drugs before hospital admission, primarily by injection. Compared to patients with non-DU-IE, patients with DU-IE were significantly younger (median age: 33.9 vs. 64.1 years; p < .001); were hospitalized longer (median: 25.5 vs. 15 days; p < .001); had a higher proportion of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolates (42.7% vs. 29.9%; p < .001), psychiatric disorders (51.2% vs. 17.3%; p < .001), cardiac surgeries (42.9% vs. 26.6%; p < .001), and discharges against medical advice (19.9% vs. 1.4%; p < .001). Multivariable regression analysis showed drug use was an independent predictor of the combined outcome of discharge against medical advice/in-hospital mortality (OR: 2.99; 95% CI: 1.67–5.64). Discussion and conclusion This multisite study reveals a 681% increase in IE admissions in WV over five years primarily attributable to injection drug use, underscoring the urgent need for both prevention efforts and specialized strategies to improve outcomes.
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