BioMed Research International The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2015 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Glutamine May Repress the Weak LPS and Enhance the Strong Heat Shock Induction of Monocyte and Lymphocyte HSP72 Proteins but May Not Modulate the HSP72 mRNA in Patients with Sepsis or Trauma Tue, 13 Oct 2015 17:10:03 +0000 Objective. We assessed the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or heat shock (HS) induction of heat shock protein-72 (HSP72) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of patients with severe sepsis (SS) or trauma-related systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), compared to healthy individuals (H); we also investigated any pre- or posttreatment modulating glutamine (Gln) effect. Methods. SS (11), SIRS (10), and H (19) PBMCs were incubated with 1 μg/mL LPS or 43°HS. Gln 10 mM was either added 1 h before or 1 h after induction or was not added at all. We measured monocyte (m), lymphocyte (l), mRNA HSP72, HSP72 polymorphisms, interleukins (ILs), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and cortisol levels. Results. Baseline lHSP72 was higher in SS , and mHSP72 in SIRS , compared to H. Only HS induced l/mHSP72/mRNA HSP72; LPS induced IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and MCP-1. Induced mRNA was related to l/mHSP72, and was related negatively to cytokines. Intracellular l/mHSP72/HSP72 mRNA was related to serum ILs, not being influenced by cortisol, illness severity, and HSP72 polymorphisms. Gln did not induce mRNA in any group but modified l/mHSP72 after LPS/HS induction unpredictably. Conclusions. HSP72 mRNA and l/mHSP72 are higher among critically ill patients, further induced by HS, not by LPS. HSP72 proteins and HSP72 mRNA are related to serum ILs and are negatively related to supernatant cytokines, not being influenced by HSP72 polymorphisms, cortisol, or illness severity. Gln may depress l/mHSP72 after LPS exposure and enhance them after HS induction, but it may not affect early induced HSP72 mRNA. Efrossini Briassouli, Marianna Tzanoudaki, Dimitris Goukos, Christina Routsi, Serafim Nanas, Kostas Vardas, Kleovoulos Apostolou, Maria Kanariou, George Daikos, and George Briassoulis Copyright © 2015 Efrossini Briassouli et al. All rights reserved. Building Integrated Ontological Knowledge Structures with Efficient Approximation Algorithms Tue, 13 Oct 2015 13:54:53 +0000 The integration of ontologies builds knowledge structures which brings new understanding on existing terminologies and their associations. With the steady increase in the number of ontologies, automatic integration of ontologies is preferable over manual solutions in many applications. However, available works on ontology integration are largely heuristic without guarantees on the quality of the integration results. In this work, we focus on the integration of ontologies with hierarchical structures. We identified optimal structures in this problem and proposed optimal and efficient approximation algorithms for integrating a pair of ontologies. Furthermore, we extend the basic problem to address the integration of a large number of ontologies, and correspondingly we proposed an efficient approximation algorithm for integrating multiple ontologies. The empirical study on both real ontologies and synthetic data demonstrates the effectiveness of our proposed approaches. In addition, the results of integration between gene ontology and National Drug File Reference Terminology suggest that our method provides a novel way to perform association studies between biomedical terms. Yang Xiang and Sarath Chandra Janga Copyright © 2015 Yang Xiang and Sarath Chandra Janga. All rights reserved. Bone Regeneration by Nanohydroxyapatite/Chitosan/Poly(lactide-co-glycolide) Scaffolds Seeded with Human Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells in the Calvarial Defects of the Nude Mice Tue, 13 Oct 2015 12:54:57 +0000 In the preliminary study, we have found an excellent osteogenic property of nanohydroxyapatite/chitosan/poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (nHA/CS/PLGA) scaffolds seeded with human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUCMSCs) in vitro and subcutaneously in the nude mice. The aim of this study was to further evaluate the osteogenic capacity of nHA/CS/PLGA scaffolds seeded with hUCMSCs in the calvarial defects of the nude mice. Totally 108 nude mice were included and divided into 6 groups: PLGA scaffolds + hUCMSCs; nHA/PLGA scaffolds + hUCMSCs; CS/PLGA scaffolds + hUCMSCs; nHA/CS/PLGA scaffolds + hUCMSCs; nHA/CS/PLGA scaffolds without seeding; the control group (no scaffolds) (). The scaffolds were implanted into the calvarial defects of nude mice. The amount of new bones was evaluated by fluorescence labeling, H&E staining, and Van Gieson staining at 4 and 8 weeks, respectively. The results demonstrated that the amount of new bones was significantly increased in the group of nHA/CS/PLGA scaffolds seeded with hUCMSCs (). On the basis of previous studies in vitro and in subcutaneous implantation of the nude mice, the results revealed that the nHA and CS also enhanced the bone regeneration by nHA/CS/PLGA scaffolds seeded with hUCMSCs in the calvarial defects of the nude mice at early stage. Fei Wang, Xiao-Xia Su, Yu-Cheng Guo, Ang Li, Yin-Cheng Zhang, Hong Zhou, Hu Qiao, Li-Min Guan, Min Zou, and Xin-Qin Si Copyright © 2015 Fei Wang et al. All rights reserved. Actions of Probiotics on Trinitrobenzenesulfonic Acid-Induced Colitis in Rats Tue, 13 Oct 2015 11:44:43 +0000 We investigated the actions of probiotics, Streptococcus faecalis 129 BIO 3B (SF3B), in a trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid- (TNBS-) induced colitis model in rats. After TNBS was administered into the colons of rats for induction of colitis, the rats were divided into two groups: one group was given a control diet and the other group was given a diet containing SF3B for 14 days. There were no apparent differences in body weight, diarrhea period, macroscopic colitis score, and colonic weight/length ratio between the control group and SF3B group, suggesting that induction of colitis was not prevented by SF3B. Next, we investigated whether SF3B-containing diet intake affects the restoration of enteric neurotransmissions being damaged during induction of colitis by TNBS using isolated colonic preparations. Recovery of the nitrergic component was greater in the SF3B group than in the control group. A compensatory appearance of nontachykininergic and noncholinergic excitatory components was less in the SF3B group than in the control group. In conclusion, the present study suggests that SF3B-containing diet intake can partially prevent disruptions of enteric neurotransmissions induced after onset of TNBS-induced colitis, suggesting that SF3B has therapeutic potential. Takahiko Shiina, Takeshi Shima, Kiyotada Naitou, Hiroyuki Nakamori, Yuuki Sano, Kazuhiro Horii, Masaki Shimakawa, Hiroshi Ohno, and Yasutake Shimizu Copyright © 2015 Takahiko Shiina et al. All rights reserved. Computational Depth of Anesthesia via Multiple Vital Signs Based on Artificial Neural Networks Tue, 13 Oct 2015 09:35:01 +0000 This study evaluated the depth of anesthesia (DoA) index using artificial neural networks (ANN) which is performed as the modeling technique. Totally 63-patient data is addressed, for both modeling and testing of 17 and 46 patients, respectively. The empirical mode decomposition (EMD) is utilized to purify between the electroencephalography (EEG) signal and the noise. The filtered EEG signal is subsequently extracted to achieve a sample entropy index by every 5-second signal. Then, it is combined with other mean values of vital signs, that is, electromyography (EMG), heart rate (HR), pulse, systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and signal quality index (SQI) to evaluate the DoA index as the input. The 5 doctor scores are averaged to obtain an output index. The mean absolute error (MAE) is utilized as the performance evaluation. 10-fold cross-validation is performed in order to generalize the model. The ANN model is compared with the bispectral index (BIS). The results show that the ANN is able to produce lower MAE than BIS. For the correlation coefficient, ANN also has higher value than BIS tested on the 46-patient testing data. Sensitivity analysis and cross-validation method are applied in advance. The results state that EMG has the most effecting parameter, significantly. Muammar Sadrawi, Shou-Zen Fan, Maysam F. Abbod, Kuo-Kuang Jen, and Jiann-Shing Shieh Copyright © 2015 Muammar Sadrawi et al. All rights reserved. Prevalence of Malaria Infection and Risk Factors Associated with Anaemia among Pregnant Women in Semiurban Community of Hazaribag, Jharkhand, India Tue, 13 Oct 2015 08:39:51 +0000 The escalating burden, pathogenesis, and clinical sequel of malaria during pregnancy have combinatorial adverse impact on both mother and foetus that further perplexed the situation of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. This prompted us to evaluate the status of population at risk of MIP in Hazaribag, Jharkhand, India. Cross-sectional study was conducted over a year at Sadar Hospital, Hazaribag. Malaria was screened using blood smear and/or RDT. Anaemia was defined as haemoglobin concentration. Pretested questionnaires were used to gather sociodemographic, clinical, and obstetrical data. The prevalence of MIP was 5.4% and 4.3% at ANC and DU, and 13.2% malaria was in women without pregnancy. Interestingly, majority were asymptomatically infected with P. vivax (over 85%) at ANC and DU. Peripheral parasitemia was significantly associated with fever within past week, rural origin of subjects, and first/second pregnancies in multivariate analysis, with the highest risk factor associated with fever followed by rural residence. Strikingly in cohort, anaemia was prevalent in 86% at ANC as compared to 72% at DU, whereas severe anaemia was 13.6% and 7.8% at ANC and DU. Even more anaemia prevalence was observed in MIP group (88% and 89% at ANC and DU), whereas severe anaemia was 23% and 21%, respectively. In view of observed impact of anaemia, parasitemia and asymptomatic infection of P. vivax during pregnancy and delivery suggest prompt diagnosis regardless of symptoms and comprehensive drug regime should be offered to pregnant women in association with existing measures in clinical spectrum of MIP, delivery, and its outcome. Mohammad Sohail, Shayan Shakeel, Shweta Kumari, Aakanksha Bharti, Faisal Zahid, Shadab Anwar, Krishn Pratap Singh, Mazahirul Islam, Ajay Kumar Sharma, Sneh Lata, Vahab Ali, Tridibes Adak, Pradeep Das, and Mohammad Raziuddin Copyright © 2015 Mohammad Sohail et al. All rights reserved. Regulation of Synthesis and Roles of Hyaluronan in Peritoneal Dialysis Tue, 13 Oct 2015 08:06:16 +0000 Hyaluronan (HA) is a ubiquitous extracellular matrix glycosaminoglycan composed of repeated disaccharide units of alternating D-glucuronic acid and D-N-acetylglucosamine residues linked via alternating β-1,4 and β-1,3 glycosidic bonds. HA is synthesized in humans by HA synthase (HAS) enzymes 1, 2, and 3, which are encoded by the corresponding HAS genes. Previous in vitro studies have shown characteristic changes in HAS expression and increased HA synthesis in response to wounding and proinflammatory cytokines in human peritoneal mesothelial cells. In addition, in vivo models and human peritoneal biopsy samples have provided evidence of changes in HA metabolism in the fibrosis that at present accompanies peritoneal dialysis treatment. This review discusses these published observations and how they might contribute to improvement in peritoneal dialysis. Timothy Bowen, Soma Meran, Aled P. Williams, Lucy J. Newbury, Matthias Sauter, and Thomas Sitter Copyright © 2015 Timothy Bowen et al. All rights reserved. ATP Synthase Deficiency due to TMEM70 Mutation Leads to Ultrastructural Mitochondrial Degeneration and Is Amenable to Treatment Tue, 13 Oct 2015 06:44:05 +0000 TMEM70 is involved in the biogenesis of mitochondrial ATP synthase and mutations in the TMEM70 gene impair oxidative phosphorylation. Herein, we report on pathology and treatment of ATP synthase deficiency in four siblings. A consanguineous family of Roma (Gipsy) ethnic origin gave birth to 6 children of which 4 were affected presenting with dysmorphic features, failure to thrive, cardiomyopathy, metabolic crises, and 3-methylglutaconic aciduria as clinical symptoms. Genetic testing revealed a homozygous mutation (c.317-2A>G) in the TMEM70 gene. While light microscopy was unremarkable, ultrastructural investigation of muscle tissue revealed accumulation of swollen degenerated mitochondria with lipid crystalloid inclusions, cristae aggregation, and exocytosis of mitochondrial material. Biochemical analysis of mitochondrial complexes showed an almost complete ATP synthase deficiency. Despite harbouring the same mutation, the clinical outcome in the four siblings was different. Two children died within 60 h after birth; the other two had recurrent life-threatening metabolic crises but were successfully managed with supplementation of anaplerotic amino acids, lipids, and symptomatic treatment during metabolic crisis. In summary, TMEM70 mutations can cause distinct ultrastructural mitochondrial degeneration and almost complete deficiency of ATP synthase but are still amenable to treatment. Anne K. Braczynski, Stefan Vlaho, Klaus Müller, Ilka Wittig, Anna-Eva Blank, Dominique S. Tews, Ulrich Drott, Stephanie Kleinle, Angela Abicht, Rita Horvath, Karl H. Plate, Werner Stenzel, Hans H. Goebel, Andreas Schulze, Patrick N. Harter, Matthias Kieslich, and Michel Mittelbronn Copyright © 2015 Anne K. Braczynski et al. All rights reserved. The Evolving Genotypic Profile of HIV-1 Mutations Related to Antiretroviral Treatment in the North Region of Brazil Mon, 12 Oct 2015 14:16:53 +0000 HIV related mutations can be associated with decreased susceptibility to antiretrovirals and treatment failures. There is scarce information about HIV mutations in persons failing HIV treatment in North of Brazil. Our aim was to evaluate evolution of HIV subtypes and mutations patterns related to antiretroviral therapy in this region. We investigated HIV resistance profile in adults failing antiretroviral regimen in Northern Brazil from January, 2004, through December, 2013. Genotype data was evaluated through Stanford University algorithm. There were 377 genotypes from different individuals to evaluate. Resistance mutations were similar to worldwide reports and related to antiretroviral exposure. Most prevalent mutations in the reverse transcriptase gene were M184V (80.1%) and K130N (40.6%). Thymidine associated mutations were more frequent in multiexperienced patients. Most common protease mutations were M46I, V82A, I54V, L90M, I84V, M46L, and L76V. Subtype B was the most prevalent (90.7%). There were differences between subtypes B and non-B mutations. We documented for the first time subtypes and patterns of HIV associated mutations in Northern Brazil. A1 subtype was identified for the first time in this area. Depending on drug regimen and how experienced the patient is, an empirical switch of a failing antiretroviral treatment could be a reasonable option. Carmen Andréa F. Lopes, Marcelo A. Soares, Diego R. Falci, and Eduardo Sprinz Copyright © 2015 Carmen Andréa F. Lopes et al. All rights reserved. Cancer Diagnostic and Predictive Biomarkers 2015 Mon, 12 Oct 2015 14:04:29 +0000 Franco M. Buonaguro, C. David Pauza, Maria Lina Tornesello, Pierre Hainaut, and Renato Franco Copyright © 2015 Franco M. Buonaguro et al. All rights reserved. Predicting Drug-Target Interactions via Within-Score and Between-Score Mon, 12 Oct 2015 13:48:13 +0000 Network inference and local classification models have been shown to be useful in predicting newly potential drug-target interactions (DTIs) for assisting in drug discovery or drug repositioning. The idea is to represent drugs, targets, and their interactions as a bipartite network or an adjacent matrix. However, existing methods have not yet addressed appropriately several issues, such as the powerless inference in the case of isolated subnetworks, the biased classifiers derived from insufficient positive samples, the need of training a number of local classifiers, and the unavailable relationship between known DTIs and unapproved drug-target pairs (DTPs). Designing more effective approaches to address those issues is always desirable. In this paper, after presenting better drug similarities and target similarities, we characterize each DTP as a feature vector of within-scores and between-scores so as to hold the following superiorities: (1) a uniform vector of all types of DTPs, (2) only one global classifier with less bias benefiting from adequate positive samples, and (3) more importantly, the visualized relationship between known DTIs and unapproved DTPs. The effectiveness of our approach is finally demonstrated via comparing with other popular methods under cross validation and predicting potential interactions for DTPs under the validation in existing databases. Jian-Yu Shi, Zun Liu, Hui Yu, and Yong-Jun Li Copyright © 2015 Jian-Yu Shi et al. All rights reserved. Improving Performance of Clinical Research: Development and Interest of Electronic Health Records Mon, 12 Oct 2015 12:43:58 +0000 Ariel Beresniak, Andreas Schmidt, Danielle Dupont, Mats Sundgren, Dipak Kalra, and Georges J. E. De Moor Copyright © 2015 Ariel Beresniak et al. All rights reserved. Acute Effects of the Novel Psychoactive Drug 2C-B on Emotions Mon, 12 Oct 2015 11:55:01 +0000 Background. 2C-B (Nexus) is one of the most widespread novel psychoactive substances. There is limited information about its pharmacological properties, and few studies in humans concern its acute and chronic effects. 2C-B has been classified as a stimulant, hallucinogen, entactogen, and/or empathogen. Objectives. To evaluate the emotional, subjective, and cardiovascular effects of 2C-B. Methods. Twenty healthy recreational 2C-B users (12 women) self-administered a 20 mg dose of 2C-B. Evaluations included emotional (IAPS, FERT, and speech), subjective (visual analog scales, ARCI, VESSPA, HRS, and POMS questionnaires), and cardiovascular effects (blood pressure and heart rate). Results. Positive subjective effects predominated with a reduction of anger under the influence of 2C-B. It did, however, increase reactivity to negative emotional stimuli and decrease the ability to recognize expressions of happiness. Augmented emotionality in speech could be appreciated by others. 2C-B induced euphoria and well-being, changes in perceptions, and slight hallucinogenic states. Mild sympathetic actions were observed. Conclusions. The specific profile that 2C-B exerts on emotions suggests its classification as an entactogen with psychedelic properties. Débora González, Marta Torrens, and Magí Farré Copyright © 2015 Débora González et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Exercise Training on Autonomic Function in Chronic Heart Failure: Systematic Review Mon, 12 Oct 2015 11:30:01 +0000 Objectives. Cardiac autonomic imbalance accompanies the progression of chronic heart failure (CHF). It is unclear whether exercise training could modulate autonomic control in CHF. This study aimed to review systematically the effects of exercise training on heart rate recovery (HRR) and heart rate variability (HRV) in patients with CHF. Methods. Literatures were systematically searched in electronic databases and relevant references. Only published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) focusing on exercise training for CHF were eligible for inclusion. Outcome measurements included HRR and HRV parameters. Results. Eight RCTs were eligible for inclusion and provided data on 280 participants (186 men). The participants were 52–70 years of age with New York Heart Association functional class II-III of CHF. Each study examined either aerobic or resistance exercise. Two trials addressed outcome of HRR and six HRV among these studies. Two RCTs showed that moderate aerobic exercise could improve HRR at 2 minutes after exercise training in CHF. Five of six RCTs demonstrated positive effects of exercise training on HRV which revealed the increments in high frequency (HF) and decrements in LF (low frequency)/HF ratio after training. Conclusion. Participation in an exercise training program has positive effects on cardiac autonomic balance in patients with CHF. Chung-Yin Hsu, Ping-Lun Hsieh, Shu-Fang Hsiao, and Meng-Yueh Chien Copyright © 2015 Chung-Yin Hsu et al. All rights reserved. Sequence-Based Prediction of RNA-Binding Proteins Using Random Forest with Minimum Redundancy Maximum Relevance Feature Selection Mon, 12 Oct 2015 11:18:29 +0000 The prediction of RNA-binding proteins is one of the most challenging problems in computation biology. Although some studies have investigated this problem, the accuracy of prediction is still not sufficient. In this study, a highly accurate method was developed to predict RNA-binding proteins from amino acid sequences using random forests with the minimum redundancy maximum relevance (mRMR) method, followed by incremental feature selection (IFS). We incorporated features of conjoint triad features and three novel features: binding propensity (BP), nonbinding propensity (NBP), and evolutionary information combined with physicochemical properties (EIPP). The results showed that these novel features have important roles in improving the performance of the predictor. Using the mRMR-IFS method, our predictor achieved the best performance (86.62% accuracy and 0.737 Matthews correlation coefficient). High prediction accuracy and successful prediction performance suggested that our method can be a useful approach to identify RNA-binding proteins from sequence information. Xin Ma, Jing Guo, and Xiao Sun Copyright © 2015 Xin Ma et al. All rights reserved. Goal-Directed Resuscitation Aiming Cardiac Index Masks Residual Hypovolemia: An Animal Experiment Mon, 12 Oct 2015 10:57:30 +0000 The aim of this study was to compare stroke volume (SVI) to cardiac index (CI) guided resuscitation in a bleeding-resuscitation experiment. Twenty six pigs were randomized and bled in both groups till baseline SVI () dropped by 50% (), followed by resuscitation with crystalloid solution until initial SVI or CI was reached (). Similar amount of blood was shed but animals received significantly less fluid in the CI-group as in the SVI-group: median = 900 (interquartile range: 850–1780) versus 1965 (1584–2165) mL, , respectively. In the SVI-group all variables returned to their baseline values, but in the CI-group animals remained underresuscitated as indicated by SVI, heart rate (HR) and stroke volume variation (SVV), and central venous oxygen saturation () at as compared to : SVI = 23.8 ± 5.9 versus 31.4 ± 4.7 mL, HR: 117 ± 35 versus 89 ± 11/min SVV: 17.4 ± 7.6 versus 11.5 ± 5.3%, and : 64.1 ± 11.6 versus 79.2 ± 8.1%, , respectively. Our results indicate that CI-based goal-directed resuscitation may result in residual hypovolaemia, as bleeding caused stress induced tachycardia “normalizes” CI, without restoring adequate SVI. As the SVI-guided approach normalized most hemodynamic variables, we recommend using SVI instead of CI as the primary goal of resuscitation during acute bleeding. Krisztián Tánczos, Márton Németh, Domonkos Trásy, Ildikó László, Péter Palágyi, Zsolt Szabó, Gabriella Varga, and József Kaszaki Copyright © 2015 Krisztián Tánczos et al. All rights reserved. Efficient and Specific Detection of Salmonella in Food Samples Using a stn-Based Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification Method Mon, 12 Oct 2015 10:17:04 +0000 The Salmonella enterotoxin (stn) gene exhibits high homology among S. enterica serovars and S. bongori. A set of 6 specific primers targeting the stn gene were designed for detection of Salmonella spp. using the loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) method. The primers amplified target sequences in all 102 strains of 87 serovars of Salmonella tested and no products were detected in 57 non-Salmonella strains. The detection limit in pure cultures was 5 fg DNA/reaction when amplified at 65°C for 25 min. The LAMP assay could detect Salmonella in artificially contaminated food samples as low as 220 cells/g of food without a preenrichment step. However, the sensitivity was increased 100-fold (~2 cells/g) following 5 hr preenrichment at 35°C. The LAMP technique, with a preenrichment step for 5 and 16 hr, was shown to give 100% specificity with food samples compared to the reference culture method in which 67 out of 90 food samples gave positive results. Different food matrixes did not interfere with LAMP detection which employed a simple boiling method for DNA template preparation. The results indicate that the LAMP method, targeting the stn gene, has great potential for detection of Salmonella in food samples with both high specificity and high sensitivity. Mevaree Srisawat and Watanalai Panbangred Copyright © 2015 Mevaree Srisawat and Watanalai Panbangred. All rights reserved. Postmarketing Safety Study Tool: A Web Based, Dynamic, and Interoperable System for Postmarketing Drug Surveillance Studies Mon, 12 Oct 2015 10:02:48 +0000 Postmarketing drug surveillance is a crucial aspect of the clinical research activities in pharmacovigilance and pharmacoepidemiology. Successful utilization of available Electronic Health Record (EHR) data can complement and strengthen postmarketing safety studies. In terms of the secondary use of EHRs, access and analysis of patient data across different domains are a critical factor; we address this data interoperability problem between EHR systems and clinical research systems in this paper. We demonstrate that this problem can be solved in an upper level with the use of common data elements in a standardized fashion so that clinical researchers can work with different EHR systems independently of the underlying information model. Postmarketing Safety Study Tool lets the clinical researchers extract data from different EHR systems by designing data collection set schemas through common data elements. The tool interacts with a semantic metadata registry through IHE data element exchange profile. Postmarketing Safety Study Tool and its supporting components have been implemented and deployed on the central data warehouse of the Lombardy region, Italy, which contains anonymized records of about 16 million patients with over 10-year longitudinal data on average. Clinical researchers in Roche validate the tool with real life use cases. A. Anil Sinaci, Gokce B. Laleci Erturkmen, Suat Gonul, Mustafa Yuksel, Paolo Invernizzi, Bharat Thakrar, Anil Pacaci, H. Alper Cinar, and Nihan Kesim Cicekli Copyright © 2015 A. Anil Sinaci et al. All rights reserved. Assessment of the Knowledge and Attitudes of Saudi Mothers towards Newborn Screening Mon, 12 Oct 2015 09:41:47 +0000 Objective. To assess the attitude and knowledge of the Saudi mothers toward newborn screening (NBS) program. Methods. A total of 425 Saudi women (only mothers who have at least one pregnancy) participated in the study from different regions in Saudi Arabia and completed the structured questionnaire which sought their views on the NBS services. Results. A majority of the participating women (91.1%) supported the NBS program and felt it was very important and useful. However, knowledge of NBS was found to be very limited and only 34.6% knew that NBS was a test to detect genetic disorders. A lack of communication and counseling to NBS clients by health authorities offering screening is implied. Conclusion. In general, there is a positive attitude towards the NBS program among Saudi women. However, they have several concerns to improve the availability of medication and formulas, genetic counseling, medical interventions, communication, education materials, and awareness. Ayman Al-Sulaiman, Altaf A. Kondkar, Mohammad Y. Saeedi, Amal Saadallah, Ali Al-Odaib, and Khaled K. Abu-Amero Copyright © 2015 Ayman Al-Sulaiman et al. All rights reserved. Physiological and Neural Adaptations to Eccentric Exercise: Mechanisms and Considerations for Training Mon, 12 Oct 2015 09:39:20 +0000 Eccentric exercise is characterized by initial unfavorable effects such as subcellular muscle damage, pain, reduced fiber excitability, and initial muscle weakness. However, stretch combined with overload, as in eccentric contractions, is an effective stimulus for inducing physiological and neural adaptations to training. Eccentric exercise-induced adaptations include muscle hypertrophy, increased cortical activity, and changes in motor unit behavior, all of which contribute to improved muscle function. In this brief review, neuromuscular adaptations to different forms of exercise are reviewed, the positive training effects of eccentric exercise are presented, and the implications for training are considered. Nosratollah Hedayatpour and Deborah Falla Copyright © 2015 Nosratollah Hedayatpour and Deborah Falla. All rights reserved. Protective Effect of Intravenous High Molecular Weight Polyethylene Glycol on Fatty Liver Preservation Mon, 12 Oct 2015 09:21:58 +0000 Ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) leads to significant tissue damage in liver surgery. Polyethylene glycols (PEGs) are water soluble nontoxic polymers that have proved their effectiveness against IRI. The objective of our study was to investigate the potential protective effects of intravenous administration of a high molecular weight PEG of 35 kDa (PEG 35) in steatotic livers subjected to cold ischemia reperfusion. In this study, we used isolated perfused rat liver model to assess the effects of PEG 35 intravenous administration after prolonged cold ischemia (24 h, 4°C) and after reperfusion (2 h, 37°C). Liver injury was measured by transaminases levels and mitochondrial damage was determined by confocal microscopy assessing mitochondrial polarization (after cold storage) and by measuring glutamate dehydrogenase activity (after reperfusion). Also, cell signaling pathways involved in the physiopathology of IRI were assessed by western blot technique. Our results show that intravenous administration of PEG 35 at 10 mg/kg ameliorated liver injury and protected the mitochondria. Moreover, PEG 35 administration induced a significant phosphorylation of prosurvival protein kinase B (Akt) and activation of cytoprotective factors e-NOS and AMPK. In conclusion, intravenous PEG 35 efficiently protects steatotic livers exposed to cold IRI. Mohamed Bejaoui, Eirini Pantazi, Emma Folch-Puy, Arnau Panisello, María Calvo, Gianfranco Pasut, Antoni Rimola, Miquel Navasa, René Adam, and Joan Roselló-Catafau Copyright © 2015 Mohamed Bejaoui et al. All rights reserved. RNAseq by Total RNA Library Identifies Additional RNAs Compared to Poly(A) RNA Library Mon, 12 Oct 2015 09:19:06 +0000 The most popular RNA library used for RNA sequencing is the poly(A) captured RNA library. This library captures RNA based on the presence of poly(A) tails at the 3′ end. Another type of RNA library for RNA sequencing is the total RNA library which differs from the poly(A) library by capture method and price. The total RNA library costs more and its capture of RNA is not dependent on the presence of poly(A) tails. In practice, only ribosomal RNAs and small RNAs are washed out in the total RNA library preparation. To evaluate the ability of detecting RNA for both RNA libraries we designed a study using RNA sequencing data of the same two breast cancer cell lines from both RNA libraries. We found that the RNA expression values captured by both RNA libraries were highly correlated. However, the number of RNAs captured was significantly higher for the total RNA library. Furthermore, we identify several subsets of protein coding RNAs that were not captured efficiently by the poly(A) library. One of the most noticeable is the histone-encode genes, which lack the poly(A) tail. Yan Guo, Shilin Zhao, Quanhu Sheng, Mingsheng Guo, Brian Lehmann, Jennifer Pietenpol, David C. Samuels, and Yu Shyr Copyright © 2015 Yan Guo et al. All rights reserved. Contribution of Avian Salmonella enterica Isolates to Human Salmonellosis Cases in Constantine (Algeria) Mon, 12 Oct 2015 09:18:16 +0000 An epidemiological investigation was carried out on one hundred Salmonella isolates from broiler farms, slaughterhouses, and human patients in the Constantine region of Algeria, in order to explore the contribution of avian strains to human salmonellosis cases in this region over the same period of time. The isolates were characterized by phenotypic as well as genotypic methods. A large variety of antimicrobial resistance profiles was found among human isolates, while only seven profiles were found among avian isolates. Enterobacterial Repetitive Intergenic Consensus-PCR (ERIC-PCR), Insertion Sequence 200-PCR (IS200-PCR), and Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) resulted in the allocation of the isolates to 16, 20, and 34 different profiles, respectively. The 3 genotyping methods led to complementary results by underlining the clonality of some serovars with the diffusion and persistence of a single clone in the Constantine area as well as stressing the polymorphism present in isolates belonging to other serovars, indicating the diversity of potential reservoirs of nontyphoidal Salmonella. Altogether, our results seem to indicate that nontyphoidal avian Salmonella may play an important role in human salmonellosis in the Constantine region. Rachid Elgroud, Sophie A. Granier, Muriel Marault, Annaëlle Kerouanton, Abdesslem Lezzar, Chafia Bouzitouna-Bentchouala, Anne Brisabois, and Yves Millemann Copyright © 2015 Rachid Elgroud et al. All rights reserved. Construction of Pancreatic Cancer Classifier Based on SVM Optimized by Improved FOA Mon, 12 Oct 2015 08:57:17 +0000 A novel method is proposed to establish the pancreatic cancer classifier. Firstly, the concept of quantum and fruit fly optimal algorithm (FOA) are introduced, respectively. Then FOA is improved by quantum coding and quantum operation, and a new smell concentration determination function is defined. Finally, the improved FOA is used to optimize the parameters of support vector machine (SVM) and the classifier is established by optimized SVM. In order to verify the effectiveness of the proposed method, SVM and other classification methods have been chosen as the comparing methods. The experimental results show that the proposed method can improve the classifier performance and cost less time. Huiyan Jiang, Di Zhao, Ruiping Zheng, and Xiaoqi Ma Copyright © 2015 Huiyan Jiang et al. All rights reserved. Wheelchair Propulsion Biomechanics in Junior Basketball Players: A Method for the Evaluation of the Efficacy of a Specific Training Program Mon, 12 Oct 2015 08:55:10 +0000 As participation in wheelchair sports increases, the need of quantitative assessment of biomechanical performance indicators and of sports- and population-specific training protocols has become central. The present study focuses on junior wheelchair basketball and aims at (i) proposing a method to identify biomechanical performance indicators of wheelchair propulsion using an instrumented in-field test and (ii) developing a training program specific for the considered population and assessing its efficacy using the proposed method. Twelve athletes (10 M, 2 F, age = 17.1 ± 2.7 years, years of practice = 4.5 ± 1.8) equipped with wheelchair- and wrist-mounted inertial sensors performed a 20-metre sprint test. Biomechanical parameters related to propulsion timing, progression force, and coordination were estimated from the measured accelerations and used in a regression model where the time to complete the test was set as dependent variable. Force- and coordination-related parameters accounted for 80% of the dependent variable variance. Based on these results, a training program was designed and administered for three months to six of the athletes (the others acting as control group). The biomechanical indicators proved to be effective in providing additional information about the wheelchair propulsion technique with respect to the final test outcome and demonstrated the efficacy of the developed program. Bergamini Elena, Morelli Francesca, Marchetti Flavia, Vannozzi Giuseppe, Polidori Lorenzo, Paradisi Francesco, Traballesi Marco, Cappozzo Aurelio, and Anna Sofia Delussu Copyright © 2015 Bergamini Elena et al. All rights reserved. OperomeDB: A Database of Condition-Specific Transcription Units in Prokaryotic Genomes Mon, 12 Oct 2015 08:53:14 +0000 Background. In prokaryotic organisms, a substantial fraction of adjacent genes are organized into operons—codirectionally organized genes in prokaryotic genomes with the presence of a common promoter and terminator. Although several available operon databases provide information with varying levels of reliability, very few resources provide experimentally supported results. Therefore, we believe that the biological community could benefit from having a new operon prediction database with operons predicted using next-generation RNA-seq datasets. Description. We present operomeDB, a database which provides an ensemble of all the predicted operons for bacterial genomes using available RNA-sequencing datasets across a wide range of experimental conditions. Although several studies have recently confirmed that prokaryotic operon structure is dynamic with significant alterations across environmental and experimental conditions, there are no comprehensive databases for studying such variations across prokaryotic transcriptomes. Currently our database contains nine bacterial organisms and 168 transcriptomes for which we predicted operons. User interface is simple and easy to use, in terms of visualization, downloading, and querying of data. In addition, because of its ability to load custom datasets, users can also compare their datasets with publicly available transcriptomic data of an organism. Conclusion. OperomeDB as a database should not only aid experimental groups working on transcriptome analysis of specific organisms but also enable studies related to computational and comparative operomics. Kashish Chetal and Sarath Chandra Janga Copyright © 2015 Kashish Chetal and Sarath Chandra Janga. All rights reserved. Occurrence, Persistence, and Virulence Potential of Listeria ivanovii in Foods and Food Processing Environments in the Republic of Ireland Mon, 12 Oct 2015 08:51:41 +0000 The aim of this study was to assess the occurrence of L. ivanovii in foods and food processing environments in Ireland, to track persistence, and to characterize the disease causing potential of the isolated strains. A total of 2,006 samples (432 food samples and 1,574 environmental swabs) were collected between March 2013 and March 2014 from 48 food business operators (FBOs) belonging to different production sectors (dairy, fish, meat, and fresh-cut vegetable). Six of the forty-eight FBOs had samples positive for L. ivanovii on at least one sampling occasion. L. ivanovii was present in fifteen samples (fourteen environmental samples and one food sample). All but one of those positive samples derived from the dairy sector, where L. ivanovii prevalence was 1.7%. Six distinguishable pulsotypes were obtained by PFGE analysis, with one pulsotype being persistent in the environment of a dairy food business. Sequence analysis of the sigB gene showed that fourteen isolates belonged to L. ivanovii subsp. londoniensis, while only one isolate was L. ivanovii subsp. ivanovii. Cell invasion assays demonstrated that the majority of L. ivanovii strains were comparable to L. monocytogenes EGDe in their ability to invade CACO-2 epithelial cells whilst four isolates had significantly higher invasion efficiencies. Avelino Alvarez-Ordóñez, Dara Leong, Ciara A. Morgan, Colin Hill, Cormac G. M. Gahan, and Kieran Jordan Copyright © 2015 Avelino Alvarez-Ordóñez et al. All rights reserved. Decreased Splenic T-Lymphocytes in Apolipoprotein M Gene Deficient Mice Mon, 12 Oct 2015 08:48:50 +0000 Spleen T-lymphocytes, especially CD4+ T-cells, have been demonstrated to be involved in broad immunomodulation and host-defense activity in vivo. Apolipoprotein M gene (apoM) may have an important role in the regulation of immunoprocess and inflammation, which could be hypothesized to the apoM containing sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P). In the present study we demonstrate that the splenic CD4+ T-lymphocytes were obviously decreased in the apoM gene deficient (apoM−/−) mice compared to the wild type (apoM+/+). Moreover, these mice were treated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and it was found that even more pronounced decreasing CD4+ T-lymphocytes occurred in the spleen compared to the apoM+/+ mice. The similar phenomena were found in the ratio of CD4+/CD8+ T-lymphocytes. After administration of LPS, the hepatic mRNA levels of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) were markedly increased; however, there were no statistical differences observed between apoM+/+ mice and apoM−/− mice. The present study demonstrated that apoM might facilitate the maintenance of CD4+ T-lymphocytes or could modify the T-lymphocytes subgroups in murine spleen, which may further explore the importance of apoM in the regulation of the host immunomodulation, although the detailed mechanism needs continuing investigation. Zhigang Wang, Guanghua Luo, Yuehua Feng, Lu Zheng, Hongyao Liu, Yun Liang, Zhonghua Liu, Peng Shao, Maria Berggren-Söderlund, Xiaoying Zhang, and Ning Xu Copyright © 2015 Zhigang Wang et al. All rights reserved. A Series of Imidazole Derivatives: Synthesis, Two-Photon Absorption, and Application for Bioimaging Mon, 12 Oct 2015 08:48:42 +0000 A new series of D-π-A type imidazole derivatives have been synthesized and characterized. Two corresponding imidazolium salts (iodine and hexafluorophosphate) were prepared from the imidazole compound. Their electron-withdrawing ability can be largely tunable by salt formation reaction or ion exchange. UV-vis absorption and single-photon fluorescence spectra have been systematically investigated in different solvents. The two-photon cross sections of the imidazole derivatives are measured by two-photon excited fluorescence (2PEF) method. Compared with those of T-1 (107 GM) and T-3 (96 GM), T-2 (imidazolium iodine salt) has a large two-photon absorption (2PA) cross section value of 276 GM. Furthermore, the cytotoxicity and applications in bioimaging for the imidazole derivatives were carried out. The results showed that T-1 can be used as a lysosomal tracker with high stability and water solubility within pHs of 4–6, while T-2 and T-3 can be used as probes for cell cytoplasm. Yingzhong Zhu, Lufei Xiao, Meng Zhao, Jiazheng Zhou, Qiong Zhang, Hui Wang, Shengli Li, Hongping Zhou, Jieying Wu, and Yupeng Tian Copyright © 2015 Yingzhong Zhu et al. All rights reserved. Anagrus breviphragma Soyka Short Distance Search Stimuli Mon, 12 Oct 2015 08:04:39 +0000 Anagrus breviphragma Soyka (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae) successfully parasitises eggs of Cicadella viridis (L.) (Homoptera: Cicadellidae), embedded in vegetal tissues, suggesting the idea of possible chemical and physical cues, revealing the eggs presence. In this research, three treatments were considered in order to establish which types of cue are involved: eggs extracted from leaf, used as a control, eggs extracted from leaf and cleaned in water and ethanol, used to evaluate the presence of chemicals soluble in polar solvents, and eggs extracted from leaf and covered with Parafilm (M), used to avoid physical stimuli due to the bump on the leaf surface. The results show that eggs covered with Parafilm present a higher number of parasitised eggs and a lower probing starting time with respect to eggs washed with polar solvents or eggs extracted and untreated, both when the treatments were singly tested or when offered in sequence, independently of the treatment position. These results suggest that the exploited stimuli are not physical due to the bump but chemicals that can spread in the Parafilm, circulating the signal on the whole surface, and that the stimuli that elicit probing and oviposition are not subjected to learning. Elisabetta Chiappini, Alessia Berzolla, and Annalisa Oppo Copyright © 2015 Elisabetta Chiappini et al. All rights reserved.