The emergence of Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-Of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI TOF MS) technology has expanded the capabilities for identifying microorganisms in clinical labs, replacing traditional biochemical testing with a proteomic approach. In the present study, we compared results between the two commercial MALDI TOF MS systems, Bruker Microflex LT Biotyper and Zybio EXS2600 Ex-Accuspec, for the identification of 1,979 urinary isolates by direct extraction method. Current study found that both systems identified a high percentage of isolates to at least the genus level – Bruker 95.6% of isolates, Zybio 92.4%. In the case of 89.5% of all analyzed spectra, the identification results were consistent between the used devices. The highest score values and the highest percentage of spectra identified to species were obtained for gram-negative bacteria. The results show that both systems are equally good choices in terms of analytical performance for routine microbiological diagnostic procedures.
The convergence of carbohydrate polymers and metal nanoparticles (MNPs) holds great promise for biomedical applications. Researchers aim to exploit the capability of carbohydrate matrices to modulate the physicochemical properties of MNPs, promote their therapeutic efficiency, improve targeted drug delivery, and enhance their biocompatibility. Therefore, understanding various attributes of both carbohydrates and MNPs is the key to harnessing them for biomedical applications. The many distinct types of carbohydrate-MNP systems confer unique capabilities for drug delivery, wound healing, tissue engineering, cancer treatment, and even food packaging. Here, we introduce distinct physicochemical/biological properties of carbohydrates and MNPs, and discuss their potentials and shortcomings (alone and in combination) for biomedical applications. We then offer an overview on carbohydrate-MNP systems and how they can be utilized to improve biomedical outcomes. Last but not least, future perspectives toward the application of such systems are highlighted.
Globally, fish are frequently introduced beyond their native range. Some, like Ponto-Caspian gobies, are becoming invasive, achieving high colonization rates and constituting frequent prey for native predators. However, little is known about the effectiveness of antipredator behaviors of the invaders, which may shape their role in the invaded community and contribute to the invasion success. We compared antipredator behaviors of invasive gobies and native fish species after their detection by the predator, when the danger becomes direct. We studied two fish pairs, each consisting of an invasive and native species co-occurring in the environment and belonging to the same prey guild: (1) the racer goby Babka gymnotrachelus vs. European bullhead Cottus gobio, (2) the monkey goby Neogobius fluviatilis vs. gudgeon Gobio gobio, facing a naïve predator (the Eurasian perch Perca fluviatilis). We analyzed behaviors of single prey individuals (escaping, staying in shelter, activity) and single predators (activity, searching, following, capturing, latency to prey consumption). In the predator presence, the bullhead was less active and more often managed to escape after capture than the racer goby. The gudgeon escaped before the capture more often than the monkey goby. The predator succeeded later with the bullhead compared to racer goby, whereas no differences in ingestion time occurred between the gudgeon and monkey goby. The results suggest that, in terms of hunting effort of native predators, the invasive gobies are equivalent or more profitable prey than their native analogues, which can facilitate the integration of the gobies into local food webs.
- Ashish Gupta
- Daniel Ruminski
- Alfonso Jimenez Villar
- Ireneusz Grulkowski
Background The shape and microstructure of the human crystalline lens alter with ageing, and this has an effect on the optical properties of the eye. The aim of this study was to characterise the age-related differences in the morphology and transparency of the eye lenses of healthy subjects through the optical signal discontinuity (OSD) zones in optical coherence tomography (OCT) images. We also investigated the association of those changes with the optical quality of the eye and visual function. Methods OCT images of the anterior segment of 49 eyes of subjects (9–78 years) were acquired, and the OSD zones (nucleus, C1–C4 cortical zones) were identified. Central thickness, curvature and optical density were measured. The eye’s optical quality was evaluated by the objective scatter index (OSI). Contrast sensitivity and visual acuity tests were performed. The correlation between extracted parameters and age was assessed. Results The increase in lens thickness with age was dominated by the thickening of the cortical zone C3 (0.0146 mm/year). The curvature radii of the anterior lens surface and both anterior and posterior nucleo-cortical interfaces decreased with age (− 0.053 mm/year, − 0.013 mm/year and − 0.006 mm/year, respectively), and no change was observed for the posterior lens radius. OCT-based densitometry revealed significant correlations with age for all zones except for C1β, and the highest increase in density was in the C2–C4 zones (R = 0.45, 0.74, 0.56, respectively, P < 0.001). Increase in OSI was associated with the degradation of visual function. Conclusions OCT enables the identification of OSD zones of the crystalline lens. The most significant age-related changes occur in the C3 zone as it thickens with age at a faster rate and becomes more opaque than other OSD zones. The changes are associated with optical quality deterioration and reduction of visual performance. These findings contribute to a better understanding of the structure–function relationship of the ageing lens and offer insights into both pathological and aging alterations.
In this work, amidequats and esterquats based on caprylic acid were investigated as promising compounds with surface properties and biological activity that are in harmony with the principles of green chemistry. Herein, caprylic acid, which is an essential component of the above compounds, is a noteworthy natural resource. Structural analysis was performed with the amphiphilic cations of the tested amidequats and esterquats, revealing two distinct factors, i.e., the elongation of the alkyl chain and the presence of two different functional groups; these factors undoubtedly affect the desired biological activity. These compounds were synthesized and characterized in terms of their physicochemical properties, among which surface activity is pivotal. In addition, the surfaces of the tested compounds were investigated through a detailed topographical analysis. The obtained results suggested that the esterquats exhibited higher surface activity, wettability and foamability than the amidequats. Antimicrobial studies, on the other hand, are not as conclusive. For shorter chains, esterquats are more active than amidequats, while for longer chains (over C12), the trend was the opposite. The amidequats and esterquats presented in this research may be a potential good replacement for antimicrobial formulations or as alternatives to surface-active agents used in industry.
Despite growing scholarly attention on the role of urban networks for understanding regional dynamics, there has been limited research examining the impact of cities’ transportation network connections on regional market integration. This paper analyzes China’s four major urban agglomerations: the Yangtze River Delta, the Pearl River Delta, Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, and Chengdu-Chongqing. Applying a spatial Durbin model to cross-sectional datasets for 2019, we provide insight into the role of cities’ transportation network connections in promoting regional market integration, considering both the potentially heterogeneous impact of network connections and the interplay between network and agglomeration externalities. Our results indicate that: (1) cities’ transportation network connections have an inverted ‘U’-shaped effect on regional market integration; (2) transportation network connections have spatial spillover effects; (3) the positive impact of transportation network connections on regional market integration becomes more pronounced as city size decreases; and (4) there are neither complementary nor substitution effects between network and agglomeration externalities. We reflect on the broader implications of our empirical findings for regional development strategies and discuss possible avenues for further research.
Planets with radii between that of the Earth and Neptune (hereafter referred to as ‘sub-Neptunes’) are found in close-in orbits around more than half of all Sun-like stars1,2. However, their composition, formation and evolution remain poorly understood³. The study of multiplanetary systems offers an opportunity to investigate the outcomes of planet formation and evolution while controlling for initial conditions and environment. Those in resonance (with their orbital periods related by a ratio of small integers) are particularly valuable because they imply a system architecture practically unchanged since its birth. Here we present the observations of six transiting planets around the bright nearby star HD 110067. We find that the planets follow a chain of resonant orbits. A dynamical study of the innermost planet triplet allowed the prediction and later confirmation of the orbits of the rest of the planets in the system. The six planets are found to be sub-Neptunes with radii ranging from 1.94R⊕ to 2.85R⊕. Three of the planets have measured masses, yielding low bulk densities that suggest the presence of large hydrogen-dominated atmospheres.
Aspergillus infections are one of the significant threats to crop plants such as peanuts, cottonseed, maize, tree nuts, food, and feed. The fungal members of this genus can cause up to 100% losses in fruit plants under favorable conditions. It is thus a necessity to control these phytopathogenic fungi by a renewable, non-hazardous technology. Phoma spp. are well known to synthesize antifungal metabolites like 4,8-dihydroxy-6-methoxy-3-methyl-3,4-dihydro-1H-isochromen-1-one, viridicatol, tenuazonic acid, alternariol, alternariol monomethyl ether, and phomafungin. In the present work, copper oxide nanoparticles (CuONPs) were synthesized using an aqueous extract of Phoma glomerata (MTCC-2210). They were assessed for in vitro antifungal activity against Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus niger. CuONPs showed absorption maxima at 630 nm and an average size of 119.6 nm, which were stable at a zeta potential of − 23.5 mV, forming the face-centered cubic (FCC) shaped crystalline structure as elucidated by XRD. FTIR confirmed the presence of various secondary metabolites from fungal extracts in the NPs capping. Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion assay indicated the antifungal activity with an average zone of inhibition of 19 ± 3 mm and 23 ± 4 mm diameter for A. niger and A. flavus, respectively. The serial dilution method showed the MIC of 180 and 220 µg/ml against A. niger and A. flavus, respectively. MIC values were significantly compared to standard fungicide mancozeb. Green synthesized CuONPs using Phoma extract indicated significant fungicidal activity against test pathogens and paved their way to be applied in the agriculture fields for crop applications as a novel substitute to chemical fungicides.
Although many sophisticated EEG analysis methods have been developed, they are rarely used in clinical practice. Individual differences in brain bioelectrical activity are quite substantial, therefore simple methods that can provide stable results reflecting the basic characteristics of individual neurodynamics are very important. Here, we explore the potential for brain disorder classification based on patterns extracted from the asymptotic spatial power distributions, and compare it with 4–20 microstates, providing information about the dynamics of clustered global power patterns. Applied to the 16-channel EEG data such methods gave discrimination between adolescent schizophrenia patients and a healthy control group at the level of 86–100%.
ABSTRACT Aim: The purpose of this paper is to present the application of balneoclimatology in the treatment of obesity in children. Materials and Methods: The literature presenting the application of balneoclimatology in the treatment of obesity in children is reviewed. Conclusion: Balneological treatment in children seems little appreciated and described in the literature of the subject by research publications. KEY WORDS: children, balneoclimatology, obesity
As societies age, the development of resources and strategies that foster healthy ageing from the beginning of life become increasingly important. Social and healthcare professionals are key agents in this process; therefore, their training needs to be in agreement with societal needs. We performed a scoping review on professional competences for social and health workers to adequately promote healthy ageing throughout life, using the framework described by Arksey and O’Malley and the Joanna Briggs Institute Guidelines. A stakeholder consultation was held in each of the participating countries, in which 79 experts took part. Results show that current literature has been excessively focused on the older age and that more attention on how to work with younger population groups is needed. Likewise, not all disciplines have equally reflected on their role before this challenge and interprofessional approaches, despite showing promise, have not been sufficiently described. Based on our results, health and social professionals working to promote healthy ageing across the lifespan will need sound competences regarding person-centred communication, professional communication, technology applications, physiological and pathophysiological aspects of ageing, social and environmental aspects, cultural diversity, programs and policies, ethics, general and basic skills, context and self-management-related skills, health promotion and disease prevention skills, educational and research skills, leadership skills, technological skills and clinical reasoning. Further research should contribute to establishing which competences are more relevant to each discipline and at what level they should be taught, as well as how they can be best implemented to effectively transform health and social care systems.
Orthostatic hypotension (OH) is common in older people. We examined the influence of self-reported occupational-related physical activity (PA) and leisure-time physical exercise (PE) on orthostatic response in a sample of older people over a 2 year period. Supine and orthostatic systolic blood pressure (sBP), diastolic blood pressure (dBP), and mean blood pressure (mBP) were assessed in response to Active Stand (AS) test in 205 older subjects (> 60 years old) at baseline and 2-year follow-up. OH was found in 24 subjects (11.71%) at baseline and 20 subjects (9.76%) after 2 years, with a significant degree of variability in the occurrence of OH after 2 years. Twenty-two subjects who had OH at baseline were free of it after 2 years, two subjects had persistent OH at baseline and after 2 years. After 2 years, adults with occupational PA showed no significant decrease of blood pressure in response to AS test, while lack of undertaking an occupation-related PA was significantly related with a greater decrease in sBP and mBP in response to AS testing in the 1st min. Occupation-related PA and leisure-time-related PE were related to an increase in the response of BP on AS in change between baseline and after 2 years. High between-subjects variance in OH over 2 years was noted. Occupations that involved continuous physical activity and leisure-time physical exercise in middle age were both protective for BP decline on orthostatic stress test within 2 years.
Barth syndrome (BTHS) is a life-threatening genetic disorder with unknown pathogenicity caused by mutations in TAFAZZIN (TAZ) that affect remodeling of mitochondrial cardiolipin (CL). TAZ deficiency leads to accumulation of mono-lyso-CL (MLCL), which forms a peroxidase complex with cytochrome c (cyt c) capable of oxidizing polyunsaturated fatty acid-containing lipids. We hypothesized that accumulation of MLCL facilitates formation of anomalous MLCL–cyt c peroxidase complexes and peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acid phospholipids as the primary BTHS pathogenic mechanism. Using genetic, biochemical/biophysical, redox lipidomic and computational approaches, we reveal mechanisms of peroxidase-competent MLCL–cyt c complexation and increased phospholipid peroxidation in different TAZ-deficient cells and animal models and in pre-transplant biopsies from hearts of patients with BTHS. A specific mitochondria-targeted anti-peroxidase agent inhibited MLCL–cyt c peroxidase activity, prevented phospholipid peroxidation, improved mitochondrial respiration of TAZ-deficient C2C12 myoblasts and restored exercise endurance in a BTHS Drosophila model. Targeting MLCL–cyt c peroxidase offers therapeutic approaches to BTHS treatment.
A diverse silver−lactoferrin (AgLTF) complex, comprising silver ions (Ag +) and silver nanoparticles, displayed a synergistic antibacterial effect while being almost five times more lethal than LTF alone. Gas chromatography−mass spectrometry and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry�in linear (LP) and reflectron (RP) positive modes�were used to comprehensively analyze metabolites and proteins profiles of bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus (SA), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) and Enterococcus faecalis (EF)) treated using AgLTF complex versus exclusively Ag +. Although both agents resulted in similar metabolic shifts in bacteria, AgLTF significantly triggered the production of sulfides (related to bacterial stress resistance), ethanol, 2-butanol (indicating exhaustion of cell respiration), decanoic acid, and nonane (suggesting ongoing oxidative stress). Keto acids formation and fermentation pathways were enhanced by AgLTF and suppressed by Ag +. Furthermore, AgLTF appears to interact with proteins fraction of bacteria in a concentration-dependent manner. EF molecular profiles showed less changes between treated and untreated bacteria. On the other hand, SA and PA proteins and metabolic patterns were the most differentiated from untreated bacteria. In conclusion, our study may provide valuable insights regarding the molecular mechanisms involved in AgLTF antimicrobial action.
Limited evidence exists regarding the 2‐deoxy‐2‐[fluorine‐18]‐fluoro‐D‐glucose (FDG) avidity of Warthin tumors, the second most common benign parotid gland tumor. This study aims to clarify this aspect by analyzing patients who underwent FDG positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) and quantifying tumor standardized uptake values (SUV). Medical records of 29 patients with fine needle aspiration (FNA)‐confirmed Warthin tumors who underwent FDG‐PET/CT near the diagnosis of Warthin tumor were reviewed. Key parameters included cancer history, cytologic diagnosis of Warthin tumor, maximum SUV on FDG PET/CT, and tumor localization. Among the cohort, 18 males and 11 females (average age: 67.9 years) were included. Most patients had malignant neoplasms (lung, head and neck, breast, others). One patient had synchronous liver cancer. Three individuals had bilateral Warthin tumors, and three had bifocal tumors, resulting in 35 tumors for analysis. Tumors were located in the parotid gland (28) and vicinity (7). SUVmax for the Warthin tumors ranged from 3.6 to 26.8, with an average SUVmax of 10.1. Warthin tumors exhibit significant and variable FDG accumulation, exceeding expectations and mimicking high‐grade malignancies. Awareness of this phenomenon is crucial for accurate staging and timely management. In cases of positive FDG PET/CT uptake in periparotid, perimandibular, and upper jugular areas, FNA is recommended to avoid misinterpretation or delays in management.
Many questions arise regarding the compatibility between scientific and religious education. While some voices have pointed to issues that stem from a traditional model in which science becomes a factor or religious crisis and doubt, other views reveal surprising forms of collaboration and complementarity between both dimensions in the educational curriculum. To better understand how those directly involved – the students – perceive that possible conflict, an international team has launched an extensive survey in three Catholic countries – Italy, Poland and Spain – to assess to what extent that relationship is viewed in a more or less problematic way. The results point to an overcoming of the conflictive model by those with more religious formation and practice, and point towards a possible arrangement between both science and religion in regular education.
Both navigation abilities and gait can be affected by the atrophy in the medial temporal cortex. This study aimed to determine whether navigation abilities could differentiate seniors with and without medial temporal lobe atrophy who complained about their cognitive status. The participants, classified to either the medial temporal atrophy group ( n = 23) or the control group ( n = 22) underwent neuropsychological assessment and performed a spatial navigation task while their gait parameters were recorded. The study showed no significant differences between the two groups in memory, fluency, and semantic knowledge or typical measures of navigating abilities. However, gait parameters, particularly the propulsion index during certain phases of the navigation task, distinguished between seniors with and without medial temporal lobe lesions. These findings suggest that the gait parameters in the navigation task may be a valuable tool for identifying seniors with cognitive complaints and subtle medial temporal atrophy.
Institution pages aggregate content on ResearchGate related to an institution. The members listed on this page have self-identified as being affiliated with this institution. Publications listed on this page were identified by our algorithms as relating to this institution. This page was not created or approved by the institution. If you represent an institution and have questions about these pages or wish to report inaccurate content, you can contact us here.