Scientifica The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2015 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Does Ramadan Fasting Adversely Affect Cognitive Function in Young Females? Mon, 30 Nov 2015 06:50:10 +0000 We examined the effects of Ramadan fasting on cognitive function in 17 female athletes. Data were obtained from participants of two fasting () and nonfasting () groups at three periods of the study (before Ramadan, at the third week in Ramadan, and after Ramadan). Digit span test (DST) and Stroop color test were employed to assess short-term memory and inhibition/cognitive flexibility at each time point. There were no significant changes for DST and Stroop task 1 in both groups, whereas Stroop task 2 and task 3 showed significant improvements in Ramadan condition (). Interference indices did not change significantly across the study except in post-Ramadan period of fasting group (). Group × week interaction was significant only for error numbers (). Athletes in nonfasting showed a significant decrease in number of errors in Ramadan compared to baseline (). The results suggest that Ramadan fasting may not adversely affect cognitive function in female athletes. Mahboubeh Ghayour Najafabadi, Laya Rahbar Nikoukar, Amir Memari, Hamed Ekhtiari, and Sara Beygi Copyright © 2015 Mahboubeh Ghayour Najafabadi et al. All rights reserved. An Analytic Contemplation of the Conspicuous Vicissitudes in the Histomorphology of Corpuscles of Stannius of a Freshwater Catfish Mystus tengara (Hamilton, 1822) due to the Exposure of ZnS Nanoparticles Sun, 29 Nov 2015 12:53:45 +0000 Enhanced surface photooxidation property associated with the ZnS nanoparticles caused the reduction of dissolved oxygen content in water in a dose dependent manner, when ZnS nanoparticles of different sizes are exposed to the water in various concentrations. This property was more prominent for ZnS nanoparticles with smaller sizes. Mystus tengara, exposed to ZnS nanoparticles, responded to hypoxia with varied behavioural, physiological, and cellular responses in order to maintain homeostasis and organ function in an oxygen-depleted environment. The histomorphology of corpuscles of Stannius of the fish showed conspicuous vicissitudes under exposure of ZnS nanoparticles. The population of the cell type with granular cytoplasm showed significant increase at the expense of the other that consisted of agranular cytoplasm with increasing nanoparticle concentration. This can be explained as the defence mechanism of the fish against ZnS nanoparticle induced hypoxia and environmental acidification. The altering histomorphology has been studied employing an analytical approach. Nilanjana Chatterjee and Baibaswata Bhattacharjee Copyright © 2015 Nilanjana Chatterjee and Baibaswata Bhattacharjee. All rights reserved. Evaluation of Gingival Microleakage in Class II Composite Restorations with Different Lining Techniques: An In Vitro Study Sun, 29 Nov 2015 11:41:01 +0000 Aim. To compare the microleakage in class II composite restorations without a liner/with resin modified glass ionomer and flowable composite liner. Method. Forty standardized MO cavities were prepared on human permanent mandibular molars extracted for periodontal reasons and then divided into 4 groups of ten specimens. The cavity preparations were etched, rinsed, blot dried, and light cured and Adper Single Bond 2 is applied. Group 1 is restored with Filtek P60 packable composite in 2 mm oblique increments. Group 2 is precure group where 1 mm Filtek Z350 flowable liner is applied and light cured for 20 sec. Group 3 is the same as Group 2, but the liner was cocured with packable composite. In Group 4, 1 mm RMGIC, Fuji Lining LC is applied and cured for 20 sec. All the teeth were restored as in Group 1. The specimens were coated with nail varnish leaving 1 mm around the restoration, subjected to thermocycling, basic fuchsin dye penetration, sectioned mesiodistally, and observed under a stereomicroscope. Results. The mean leakage scores of the individual study groups were Group 1 (33.40), Group 2 (7.85), Group 3 (16.40), and Group 4 (24.35). Group 1 without a liner showed maximum leakage. Flowable composite liner precured was the best. Vedavathi Bore Gowda, B. V. Sreenivasa Murthy, Swaroop Hegde, Swapna Devarasanahalli Venkataramanaswamy, Veena Suresh Pai, and Rashmi Krishna Copyright © 2015 Vedavathi Bore Gowda et al. All rights reserved. Antinociceptive and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Teucrium persicum Boiss. Extract in Mice Mon, 16 Nov 2015 08:09:07 +0000 Background. Therapeutic properties of Teucrium species as antioxidant, antibacterial, analgesic, anticancer, diuretic, and tonic compounds have been proved earlier. Materials and Methods. In this study, the antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of the aqueous extract of Teucrium persicum on chronic pain, sciatic nerve ligation as a model of neuropathic pain, and inflammatory models were investigated by formalin, hot-plate, and cotton pellet-induced granuloma models in mice, respectively. T. persicum aqueous extracts (100, 200, and 400 mg/kg) were orally gavaged for one week. On 8th day, the time spent and the number of lickings were recorded in formalin test. Morphine and Diclofenac were used intraperitoneally as positive controls. In sciatic nerve ligated animals, as a model of neuropathic pain, doses (100, 200, and 400 mg/kg) of T. persicum extract (TPE) were orally gavaged for 14 consecutive days. The analgesic effect of this extract was examined 14 days after sciatic nerve ligation using the hot-plate test. Controls received saline and Imipramine (40 mg/kg, i.p.) was used a positive control for neuropathic pain model. Results. In the formalin test, a week oral gavage of all TPE doses (100, 200, and 400 mg/kg) caused a significant decrease on the licking response compared to the control negative animals. In the hot-plate test, doses of 200 and 400 mg/kg showed significant analgesic effects in sciatic nerve ligated animals. Oral gavaged of TPE revealed significant analgesic effect on chronic pain in both formalin test and sciatic nerve ligated animals. The TPEs did not have any significant anti-inflammatory effects in cotton pellet-induced granuloma formation in mice. Conclusions. These results suggest that the aqueous extract from T. persicum Boiss. produced antinociceptive effects. Its exact mechanism of action still remains indistinct. Abdolhossein Miri, Javad Sharifi-Rad, Kaveh Tabrizian, and Ali Akbar Nasiri Copyright © 2015 Abdolhossein Miri et al. All rights reserved. Impacts of Different Tree Species of Different Sizes on Spatial Distribution of Herbaceous Plants in the Nigerian Guinea Savannah Ecological Zone Thu, 05 Nov 2015 10:45:01 +0000 This study was aimed at finding the impacts of different tree species and individual trees of different sizes on species richness, diversity, and composition of the herbaceous layer. All the three tree species have greatly increased species richness and diversity both within and outside their crown zones compared with the open grassland. Both species richness and diversity were found to be higher under all the three tree species than outside their crowns, which was in turn higher than the open field. Daniella oliveri has the highest species richness and diversity both within and outside its crown zone followed by Vitellaria paradoxa and then Parkia biglobosa. The result also revealed that the same tree species with different sizes leads to different herbaceous species richness, diversity, and composition under and around the trees’ crowns. P. biglobosa and V. paradoxa trees with smaller sizes showed higher species richness and diversity under their crowns than the bigger ones. The dissimilarity of species composition differs between the inside and outside crown zones of the individuals of the same tree species and among the different trees species and the open field. Toma Buba Copyright © 2015 Toma Buba. All rights reserved. Biodegradation of PAHs by Burkholderia sp. VITRSB1 Isolated from Marine Sediments Wed, 28 Oct 2015 08:01:13 +0000 The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) pollution to the environment is a major threat to the living organisms, and hence the degradation of these PAHs is necessary. Studies on PAHs degrading bacteria have focussed on terrestrial microbes and the potential of marine derived microbes is undermined. Herein we report the isolation and characterization of PAHs degrading Burkholderia sp. from lagoon sediments collected at the Southern coast of India. The strain was Gram negative, rod-shaped, motile, and ∼2–5 μm in length. Based on the phylogenetic data the strain was identified as Burkholderia and designated as VITRSB1. Initial PAHs degradation ability of the strain was assessed using basal salt medium supplemented with diesel, kerosene, toluene, aniline, naphthalene, and phenol. The strain was found to be effectively degrading kerosene, diesel, toluene, and aniline even at higher concentration (1%). However, naphthalene and aniline were degraded only at lower concentration (0.1%) and phenol, camphor, and DAP inhibited the growth of the strain. Furthermore, the degraded end products of the PAHs were determined using FTIR. Notably, none of the end products were found to be toxic to the biosphere. Our results indicate that the isolated Burkholderia sp. could be a prospective candidate for the effective degradation of selective PAHs. T. Revathy, M. A. Jayasri, and K. Suthindhiran Copyright © 2015 T. Revathy et al. All rights reserved. Pharmacology and Phytochemistry of Oleo-Gum Resin of Commiphora wightii (Guggulu) Mon, 26 Oct 2015 11:33:07 +0000 Guggulu is an oleo-gum resin which exudes out as a result of injury from the bark of Commiphora wightii (Arnott) Bhandari [syn.  Commiphora mukul (Hook. Ex Stocks) Engl; Balsamodendron mukul (Hook. Ex Stocks); Family, Burseraceae]. It has been used in the Ayurveda since time immemorial for the treatment of variety of disorders such as inflammation, gout, rheumatism, obesity, and disorders of lipids metabolism. It is a mixture of phytoconstituents like volatile oil which contains terpenoidal constituents such as monoterpenoids, sesquiterpenoids, diterpenoids, and triterpenoids; steroids; flavonoids; guggultetrols; lignans; sugars; and amino acids. This review is an effort to compile all the information available on all of its chemical constituents which are responsible for its therapeutic potential. The wild occurrence of this species is restricted mainly to the dry regions of Rajasthan and Gujarat States of India, and the bordering regions of Pakistan. Oleo-gum resin, guggulu, tapped from the stems of this species, is consumed in high volumes by the Indian herbal industries. There has been a decline in its wild population over the last several decades, as a result of habitat loss and degradation, coupled with unregulated harvesting and tapping of oleo-gum resin. This species is consequently assessed as Critically Endangered and enlisted in the IUCN red list of threatened species. Prerna Sarup, Suman Bala, and Sunil Kamboj Copyright © 2015 Prerna Sarup et al. All rights reserved. Study of Collagen Birefringence in Different Grades of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Using Picrosirius Red and Polarized Light Microscopy Mon, 26 Oct 2015 09:33:45 +0000 Objectives. The present study was done to evaluate birefringence pattern of collagen fibres in different grades of oral squamous cell carcinoma using Picrosirius red stain and polarization microscopy and to determine if there is a change in collagen fibres between different grades of oral squamous cell carcinoma. Materials and Methods. Picrosirius red stained 5 μm thick sections of previously diagnosed different grades of squamous cell carcinoma and normal oral mucosa were studied under polarization microscopy for arrangement as well as birefringence of collagen fibres around tumour islands. Results. It was found that thin collagen fibres increased and thick collagen fibres decreased with dedifferentiation of OSCC (). It was observed that there was change in polarization colours of thick fibres from yellowish orange to greenish yellow with dedifferentiation of OSCC indicating loosely packed fibres (). Conclusion. There was a gradual change of birefringence of collagen from yellowish orange to greenish yellow from well to poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinoma, indicating that there is a change from mature form of collagen to immature form as tumour progresses. Studying collagen fibres with Picrosirius red for stromal changes around tumour islands along with routine staining may help in predicting the prognosis of tumour. Pillai Arun Gopinathan, Ganganna Kokila, Mahadesh Jyothi, Chatterjee Ananjan, Linganna Pradeep, and Salroo Humaira Nazir Copyright © 2015 Pillai Arun Gopinathan et al. All rights reserved. Clinical Outcomes from Unselected “Real-World” Patients with Long Coronary Lesion Receiving 40 mm Biodegradable Polymer Coated Sirolimus-Eluting Stent Thu, 22 Oct 2015 07:41:36 +0000 Background. Long lesions being implanted with drug-eluting stents (DES) are associated with relatively high restenosis rates and higher incidences of adverse events. Objectives. We aimed to examine the safety and efficacy of the long (40 mm) biodegradable polymer coated Indolimus sirolimus-eluting stent (SES) in real-world patients with long coronary lesions. Methods. This study was observational, nonrandomized, retrospective, and carried out in real-world patients. A total of 258 patients were enrolled for the treatment of long coronary lesions, with 40 mm Indolimus. The primary endpoints in the study were incidence of major adverse cardiac events (MACE), a miscellany of cardiac death, myocardial infarction (MI), target lesion revascularization (TLR) or target vessel revascularization (TVR), and stent thrombosis (ST) up to 6-month follow-up. Results. The study population included higher proportion of males (74.4%) and average age was 53.2 ± 11.0 years. A total of 278 lesions were intervened successfully with 280 stents. The observed MACE at 6-month follow-up was 2.0%, which included 0.8% cardiac death and 1.2% MI. There were no TLR or TVR and ST observed during 6-month follow-up. Conclusions. The long (40 mm) Indolimus stent demonstrated low MACE rate and was proven to be safe and effective treatment for long lesions in “real-world” patients. Anurag Polavarapu, Raghava Sarma Polavarapu, Jayesh Prajapati, Kamlesh Thakkar, Asif Raheem, Tamanpreet Mayall, and Ashok Thakkar Copyright © 2015 Anurag Polavarapu et al. All rights reserved. Potential Use of Natural Killer Cell Transfer Therapy in the Perioperative Period to Improve Oncologic Outcomes Wed, 21 Oct 2015 11:15:19 +0000 Immune suppression after oncologic surgery is a common phenomenon. Several studies have demonstrated that it is associated with poor survival owing to cancer progression. Immunotherapy, especially NK cell transfer therapy, is an attractive alternative because current methodologies to isolate, generate, and expand NK cells have shown good safety profiles in current active investigations. We believe that the use of NK cell transfer therapy in the context of postoperative minimal residual disease deserves significant investigation. Juan P. Cata, Claudius Conrad, and Katy Rezvani Copyright © 2015 Juan P. Cata et al. All rights reserved. Adaptive Evolution Coupled with Retrotransposon Exaptation Allowed for the Generation of a Human-Protein-Specific Coding Gene That Promotes Cancer Cell Proliferation and Metastasis in Both Haematological Malignancies and Solid Tumours: The Extraordinary Case of MYEOV Gene Mon, 19 Oct 2015 09:45:40 +0000 The incidence of cancer in human is high as compared to chimpanzee. However previous analysis has documented that numerous human cancer-related genes are highly conserved in chimpanzee. Till date whether human genome includes species-specific cancer-related genes that could potentially contribute to a higher cancer susceptibility remains obscure. This study focuses on MYEOV, an oncogene encoding for two protein isoforms, reported as causally involved in promoting cancer cell proliferation and metastasis in both haematological malignancies and solid tumours. First we document, via stringent in silico analysis, that MYEOV arose de novo in Catarrhini. We show that MYEOV short-isoform start codon was evolutionarily acquired after Catarrhini/Platyrrhini divergence. Throughout the course of Catarrhini evolution MYEOV acquired a gradually elongated translatable open reading frame (ORF), a gradually shortened translation-regulatory upstream ORF, and alternatively spliced mRNA variants. A point mutation introduced in human allowed for the acquisition of MYEOV long-isoform start codon. Second, we demonstrate the precious impact of exonized transposable elements on the creation of MYEOV gene structure. Third, we highlight that the initial part of MYEOV long-isoform coding DNA sequence was under positive selection pressure during Catarrhini evolution. MYEOV represents a Primate Orphan Gene that acquired, via ORF expansion, a human-protein-specific coding potential. Spyros I. Papamichos, Dimitrios Margaritis, and Ioannis Kotsianidis Copyright © 2015 Spyros I. Papamichos et al. All rights reserved. Core Muscle Activity, Exercise Preference, and Perceived Exertion during Core Exercise with Elastic Resistance versus Machine Sun, 18 Oct 2015 15:56:31 +0000 Objectives. To investigate core muscle activity, exercise preferences, and perceived exertion during two selected core exercises performed with elastic resistance versus a conventional training machine. Methods. 17 untrained men aged 26–67 years participated in surface electromyography (EMG) measurements of five core muscles during torso-twists performed from left to right with elastic resistance and in the machine, respectively. The order of the exercises was randomized and each exercise consisted of 3 repetitions performed at a 10 RM load. EMG amplitude was normalized (nEMG) to maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVC). Results. A higher right erector spinae activity in the elastic exercise compared with the machine exercise (50% [95% CI 36–64] versus 32% [95% CI 18–46] nEMG) was found. By contrast, the machine exercise, compared with the elastic exercise, showed higher left external oblique activity (77% [95% CI 64–90] versus 54% [95% CI 40–67] nEMG). For the rectus abdominis, right external oblique, and left erector spinae muscles there were no significant differences. Furthermore, 76% preferred the torso-twist with elastic resistance over the machine exercise. Perceived exertion (Borg CR10) was not significantly different between machine (5.8 [95% CI 4.88–6.72]) and elastic exercise (5.7 [95% CI 4.81–6.59]). Conclusion. Torso-twists using elastic resistance showed higher activity of the erector spinae, whereas torso-twist in the machine resulted in higher activity of the external oblique. For the remaining core muscles the two training modalities induced similar muscular activation. In spite of similar perceived exertion the majority of the participants preferred the exercise using elastic resistance. Jonas Vinstrup, Emil Sundstrup, Mikkel Brandt, Markus D. Jakobsen, Joaquin Calatayud, and Lars L. Andersen Copyright © 2015 Jonas Vinstrup et al. All rights reserved. Perceptions of Nigerian Women about Human Papilloma Virus, Cervical Cancer, and HPV Vaccine Tue, 13 Oct 2015 16:44:05 +0000 Background. Cervical cancer caused by human papilloma virus (HPV) though preventable has claimed the lives of many women worldwide. This study was embarked upon to evaluate the general knowledge and perceptions of Nigerian women on HPV, cervical cancer, and HPV vaccine. Methods. Structured questionnaires were administered to a cross section of 737 women randomly selected from the general population in two southwestern States of Nigeria. Statistical analysis was done using SPSS computer software version 16. A value >0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results. One hundred and seventy-six (23.9%) of the respondents had knowledge of HPV; 474 (64.3%) are aware of cervical cancer but only 136 (18.5%) know that HPV causes cervical cancer. 200 (27.1%) are aware that there is an HPV vaccine while 300 (40.7%) had knowledge of Pap smear test. Two hundred and sixty (35.3%) of the respondents know that early detection of HPV can prevent cervical cancer and in spite of this, only 110 (14.9%) have taken the Pap smear test before while 151 (20.5%) are not willing to go for the test at all. Conclusions. There is therefore the need to create proper awareness on the HPV and its possible consequence of cervical carcinoma. Olusola Anuoluwapo Akanbi, Abiodun Iyanda, Folakemi Osundare, and Oluyinka Oladele Opaleye Copyright © 2015 Olusola Anuoluwapo Akanbi et al. All rights reserved. Antifungal Effect of Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula angustifolia) and Clotrimazole on Candida albicans: An In Vitro Study Tue, 13 Oct 2015 11:21:31 +0000 Background. The treatment of candidiasis infections is an important problem in the health care system. This study aimed to investigate the in vitro effect of lavender essential oil and clotrimazole on isolated C. albicans from vaginal candidiasis. Materials and Methods. In this clinical trial, C. albicans isolated from the vaginal discharge samples was obtained. Results. The pairwise comparison showed that lavender and clotrimazole had a significant difference; this difference in the lavender group was lower than clotrimazole. But, after 48 hours, there was no difference seen between groups. There was a significant difference between clotrimazole and DMSO groups. Comparing the changes between groups based on the same dilution, at 24 h and 48 h in clotrimazole group, showed a significant difference two times in the fungal cell count that its average during 48 h was less than 24 h. A significant difference was observed between the two periods in lavender group, only at the dilutions of 1/20 and 1/80. The average fungal cell count after 48 h was also lower in lavender group. Conclusions. Given that the lavender has antifungal activity, this can be used as an antifungal agent. However, more clinical studies are necessary to validate its use in candida infection. Fereshteh Behmanesh, Hajar Pasha, Ali Asghar Sefidgar, Mohsen Taghizadeh, Ali Akbar Moghadamnia, Hajar Adib Rad, and Leyla Shirkhani Copyright © 2015 Fereshteh Behmanesh et al. All rights reserved. Anthropometry of Iranian Guidance School Students with Different Ethnicities: A Comparative Study Thu, 08 Oct 2015 17:16:59 +0000 Objective. We measured some anthropometric dimensions of Iranian guidance school students selected from different ethnicities. Background. Anthropometric dimensions are used for design of equipment, furniture, and clothing. Furniture with inappropriate design not fulfilling the users’ anthropometric dimensions may have a negative effect on health. Method. A total of 7400 Iranian guidance school students aged 12–14 years entered the study and their static anthropometric dimensions were measured. Descriptive statistics such as mean, standard deviation, and key percentiles were calculated. All dimensions were compared among different ethnicities and different genders. Results. This study showed significant differences in a set of 22 anthropometric dimensions regarding gender, age, and ethnicity. Conclusion. According to the results of this study, difference between genders and among different ethnicities should be taken into account by designers and manufacturers of guidance school furniture. Application. This study has prepared a data bank of anthropometric dimensions of 12–14-year-old students which can be used as basic information to find appropriate dimensions of school furniture. Amir Houshang Mehrparvar, Rahmatollah Hafezi, Seyyed Jalil Mirmohammadi, Mehrdad Mostaghaci, and Mohammad Hossein Davari Copyright © 2015 Amir Houshang Mehrparvar et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of Podoplanin in Oral Leukoplakia and Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Thu, 08 Oct 2015 10:58:13 +0000 Background. Recent studies have demonstrated that podoplanin was expressed in some dysplastic lesions adjacent to primary oral cancers suggesting that podoplanin expression may occur in early oral tumorigenesis and lymphangiogenesis and therefore is related to tumor growth. The purpose of this study is to determine the role of podoplanin as a biomarker for cancer risk assessment in oral leukoplakia and correlation of podoplanin expression with grades of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Materials and Methods. In the present retrospective study, podoplanin expression was investigated immunohistochemically in 40 patients each of oral leukoplakia and OSCC. The scores were analyzed statistically using one-way ANOVA test followed by Tukey HSD. Results. By applying one-way ANOVA test, there was a highly significant increase of the podoplanin expression from mild to severe dysplasia and from well to poorly differentiated OSCC (). Statistically highly significant difference was present between scores of mild to moderate dysplasia, moderate to severe dysplasia, well to poorly differentiated OSCC, and moderately to poorly differentiated OSCC (Tukey HSD test, ). Conclusion. Podoplanin can be used as a biomarker for early oral tumorigenesis and for malignant transformation risk assessment of premalignant lesions and as a tumor progression biomarker for advanced grades of OSCC. Ashok Patil, Kishor Patil, Suyog Tupsakhare, Mahesh Gabhane, Shrikant Sonune, and Shilpa Kandalgaonkar Copyright © 2015 Ashok Patil et al. All rights reserved. Heavy Metal Detoxification by Different Bacillus Species Isolated from Solar Salterns Wed, 07 Oct 2015 09:52:52 +0000 The biosorption mechanism is an alternative for chemical precipitation and ultrafiltration which have been employed to treat heavy metal contamination with a limited success. In the present study, three species of Bacillus which were isolated from solar salterns were screened for their detoxification potential of the heavy metals, lead, chromium, and copper, by biosorption. Biosorption potential of each isolate was determined by Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS), Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-OES), and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) as the amount of metal present in the medium after the treatment with the isolates. Bacterial isolates, Bacillus licheniformis NSPA5, Bacillus cereus NSPA8, and Bacillus subtilis NSPA13, showed significant level of lead biosorption with maximum of 87–90% by Bacillus cereus NSPA8. The biosorption of copper and chromium was relatively low in comparison with lead. With the obtained results, we have concluded that the bacterial isolates are potential agents to treat metal contamination in more efficient and ecofriendly manner. Shameer Syed and Paramageetham Chinthala Copyright © 2015 Shameer Syed and Paramageetham Chinthala. All rights reserved. Three-Dimensional Kinetic Adaptations of Gait throughout Pregnancy and Postpartum Wed, 30 Sep 2015 09:13:12 +0000 Biomechanical adaptations that occur during pregnancy can lead to changes on gait pattern. Nevertheless, these adaptations of gait are still not fully understood. The purpose was to determine the effect of pregnancy on the biomechanical pattern of walking, regarding the kinetic parameters. A three-dimensional analysis was performed in eleven participants. The kinetic parameters in the joints of the lower limb during gait were compared at the end of the first, second, and third trimesters of pregnancy and in the postpartum period, in healthy pregnant women. The main results showed a reduction in the normalized vertical reaction forces, throughout pregnancy, particularly the third peak. Pregnant women showed, during most of the stance phase, medial reaction forces as a motor response to promote the body stability. Bilateral changes were observed in hip joint, with a decrease in the participation of the hip extensors and in the eccentric contraction of hip flexors. In ankle joint a decrease in the participation of ankle plantar flexors was found. In conclusion, the overall results point to biomechanical adjustments that showed a decrease of the mechanical load of women throughout pregnancy, with exception for few unilateral changes of hip joint moments. Marco Branco, Rita Santos-Rocha, Filomena Vieira, Liliana Aguiar, and António Prieto Veloso Copyright © 2015 Marco Branco et al. All rights reserved. Macrophage Heterogeneity and Plasticity: Impact of Macrophage Biomarkers on Atherosclerosis Sun, 27 Sep 2015 14:16:54 +0000 Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a global epidemic, currently representing the worldwide leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Atherosclerosis is the fundamental pathophysiologic component of CVD, where the immune system plays an essential role. Monocytes and macrophages are key mediators in this aspect: due to their heterogeneity and plasticity, these cells may act as either pro- or anti-inflammatory mediators. Indeed, monocytes may develop heterogeneous functional phenotypes depending on the predominating pro- or anti-inflammatory microenvironment within the lesion, resulting in classic, intermediate, and non-classic monocytes, each with strikingly differing features. Similarly, macrophages may also adopt heterogeneous profiles being mainly M1 and M2, the former showing a proinflammatory profile while the latter demonstrates anti-inflammatory traits; they are further subdivided in several subtypes with more specialized functions. Furthermore, macrophages may display plasticity by dynamically shifting between phenotypes in response to specific signals. Each of these distinct cell profiles is associated with diverse biomarkers which may be exploited for therapeutic intervention, including IL-10, IL-13, PPAR-γ, LXR, NLRP3 inflammasomes, and microRNAs. Direct modulation of the molecular pathways concerning these potential macrophage-related targets represents a promising field for new therapeutic alternatives in atherosclerosis and CVD. Joselyn Rojas, Juan Salazar, María Sofía Martínez, Jim Palmar, Jordan Bautista, Mervin Chávez-Castillo, Alexis Gómez, and Valmore Bermúdez Copyright © 2015 Joselyn Rojas et al. All rights reserved. Will the Increasing of Anthropogenic Pressures Reduce the Biopotential Value of Sponges? Sun, 20 Sep 2015 14:05:48 +0000 Production of bioactive compounds from marine benthic organisms is suggested to relate ecologically with environment. However, anthropogenic pressures cause a considerable damage to coral reefs environment. This research aimed to define the pattern sponges biopotential values at the increasing of anthropogenic pressures to coral reef environment. Three representative sponges were selected (Theonella sp., Hyrtios sp., and Niphates sp.) and study had been conducted in Hoga Island, Indonesia, to define the relationship between seawater variables (DO, pH, phosphate, and ammonia ions), sponges spatial competition, and their bioactivity level (Brine Shrimp Lethality Test). The study showed anthropogenic pressures affect the reef environment, as abiotic cover was increased and eutrophication was detected at the site closer to the run-off domesticated area. Statistical multivariate analyses revealed sponges spatial competition was significantly different () between groups of high, moderate, and low bioactivity level. Abiotic cover was detected as the major factor (36.19%) contributed to the differences and also the most discriminant factor distinguishing sponges spatial competition in the groups of bioactivity level (93.91%). These results showed the increasing anthropogenic pressures may result in a higher abiotic area and may directly be a consequence to the lower production of bioactive compounds in sponges. Hedi Indra Januar, Asri Pratitis, and Aditya Bramandito Copyright © 2015 Hedi Indra Januar et al. All rights reserved. The Relationship between Metabolic Control and Growth in Children with Type I Diabetes Mellitus in Southwest of Iran Sun, 20 Sep 2015 13:57:11 +0000 Background. Metabolic control is an important factor in growth of children with type I diabetes. This study assessed the relationship between growth and metabolic control in such children. Materials and Methods. 83 children with diabetes were studied. They were examined for weight and height gain and HbA1C was quantified every 3 months for one year. The growth process was studied in patients who were divided into 3 groups according to their HbA1C amounts, consisting of good, intermediate, and poor metabolic control. Results. Mean age of cases was 7.6 ± 2. The presenting sign at the onset of disease was diabetic ketoacidosis in 44.6%. The average HbA1C amount was 8.89%. The average weight SDS at diagnosis was −0.18 and at the end of the study was 0.45 (). The average height SDS at diagnosis was −0.04 and at the end of the study was −0.07 (). A significant difference in weight SDS changes was only seen between patients with good and poor metabolic control (). Conclusion. Poor metabolic control can decrease height growth but has minimal influence on weight. Metabolic control was not the only predictive factor of physical growth in children with diabetes. Shide Assar, Koroush Riahi, Shiva Bashirnezhad, Leila Yazdanpanah, and Seyed Mahmoud Latifi Copyright © 2015 Shide Assar et al. All rights reserved. Appraisal of Total Phenol, Flavonoid Contents, and Antioxidant Potential of Folkloric Lannea coromandelica Using In Vitro and In Vivo Assays Thu, 17 Sep 2015 12:05:26 +0000 The aim of this study was to determine the impending antioxidant properties of different extracts of crude methanolic extract (CME) of leaves of Lannea coromandelica (L. coromandelica) and its two ethyl acetate (EAF) and aqueous (AqF) subfractions by employing various established in vitro systems and estimation of total phenolic and flavonoid content. The results showed that extract and fractions possessed strong antioxidant activity in vitro and among them, EAF had the strongest antioxidant activity. EAF was confirmed for its highest phenolic content, total flavonoid contents, and total antioxidant capacity. The EAF was found to show remarkable scavenging activity on 2,2-diphenylpicrylhydrazyl (DPPH) (EC50 63.9 ± 0.64 µg/mL), superoxide radical (EC50 8.2 ± 0.12 mg/mL), and Fe2+ chelating activity (EC50 6.2 ± 0.09 mg/mL). Based on our in vitro results, EAF was investigated for in vivo antioxidant assay. Intragastric administration of the EAF can significantly increase levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione (GSH), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) levels, and decrease malondialdehyde (MDA) content in the liver and kidney of CCl4-intoxicated rats. These new evidences show that L. coromandelica bared antioxidant activity. Tekeshwar Kumar and Vishal Jain Copyright © 2015 Tekeshwar Kumar and Vishal Jain. All rights reserved. Greek Physicians’ Perceptions on Generic Drugs in the Era of Austerity Thu, 17 Sep 2015 11:18:55 +0000 Purpose. To assess the beliefs and preferences of Greek physicians, regarding generic drugs, in the years of financial crisis. Setting. Multicentered, nationwide survey. Material and Methods. A custom questionnaire based on former similar studies was developed and administered to Greek physicians. The variable “perception on generics” was constructed after an exploratory study and the instrument was validated by conventional and Rasch analysis methods. 22 items formed 5 subscales that constructed the variable in question. Results. 908 physicians successfully participated in the study (response rate: 80%). Mean total scores to the instrument were 60.63 ± 12.12 for men and significantly less (58.24 ± 11.73) for women (p = 0.04). Greek physicians were not persuaded on the potential economic gain (45.79 ± 10.53); moreover they identified that Greek authorities cannot address the increased pharmacovigilance mandates. Physicians working in Athens and those working in surgical units demonstrated significantly worse scores than their colleagues from the rest of Greece and those working in Internal Medicine wards (p = 0.03).  Conclusion. Our results suggest an overall poor acceptance of the national initiative on generic drugs by Greek physicians. This trial is registered with identifier: NCT01855802. Georgios Labiris, Michael Fanariotis, Catherine Kastanioti, Georgios Alexias, Adonis Protopapas, Theodoros Karampitsakos, and Dimitris Niakas Copyright © 2015 Georgios Labiris et al. All rights reserved. Tuberculosis of the Penis: A Review of the Literature Tue, 08 Sep 2015 06:38:56 +0000 Background. Tuberculosis of the penis (TBP) is rare. Aim. To review the literature. Method. Various internet data bases were searched. Literature Review. TBP could be primary or secondary, may develop following circumcision performed by a person who had pulmonary Tb, and may be transmitted to the penis from ejaculation, contamination from clothing, or from contact with endometrial secretions, following an earlier pulmonary Tb or Tb elsewhere. TBP presents with a painless/painful small nodule, ulcer, mass on penis which gradually enlarges, and induration/swelling of penis, with or without erectile dysfunction. Inguinal lymph nodes may or may not be palpable. The patient’s voiding is normal. There may or may not be history of circumcision, pulmonary Tb, and BCG immunization. TBP mimics penile carcinoma, granulomatous syphilis penile ulcer, genital herpes simplex, granuloma inguinale, and HIV infection. Diagnosis is established by microscopic examination finding of granulomas +/−AFB in penile discharge or biopsy of lesion or culture of Tb organism from discharge or biopsy specimens or positive Elisa serology/PCR for Tb. PTBs respond to first- or 2nd-line anti-Tb 6-month treatment. Close contacts should be screened. Extrapulmonary Tb should be excluded. Conclusions. Clinicians should consider possibility of PTB in cases of penile lesions and erectile failure. Anthony Kodzo-Grey Venyo Copyright © 2015 Anthony Kodzo-Grey Venyo. All rights reserved. Pediatric Patient and Parental Anxiety and Impressions Related to Initial Gastrointestinal Endoscopy: A Japanese Multicenter Questionnaire Study Mon, 31 Aug 2015 07:13:45 +0000 Objective. To assess anxiety among pediatric patients and their parents related to initial gastrointestinal endoscopy. Methods. Patients aged <19 years undergoing initial gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy and their parents were invited to complete a self-administered questionnaire related to endoscopy in 13 institutions in Japan. Results. The subjects were 128 children, aged 1 month to 17 years. Forty-eight patients (37.5%) underwent esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), 32 (25%) underwent colonoscopy (CS), 39 (30.5%) underwent both EGD and CS, 3 (2.3%) underwent balloon enteroscopy (BE), 3 (2.3%) underwent capsule endoscopy (CE), and 3 (2.3%) underwent CE and other endoscopic procedures. In the preendoscopy questionnaire, the most common concerns of the patients and parents before undergoing the procedure were “Pain” (45% of the patients underwent EGD or BE via the oral approach, and 52% of the patients underwent CS or BE via the anal approach) and “Procedural accidents related to the endoscopy” (63% of parents). In the postendoscopy questionnaire, the most common difficulty that patients and parents actually experienced before and after undergoing the procedure was “Hunger.” Conclusion. A preparatory intervention including an explanation regarding specific concerns before initial GI endoscopy, which this study revealed, could reduce anxiety experienced by both pediatric patients and parents. Shin-ichiro Hagiwara, Yoshiko Nakayama, Manabu Tagawa, Katsuhiro Arai, Takashi Ishige, Takatsugu Murakoshi, Hiroko Sekine, Daiki Abukawa, Hiroyuki Yamada, Mikihiro Inoue, Takeshi Saito, Takahiro Kudo, and Yoshitaka Seki Copyright © 2015 Shin-ichiro Hagiwara et al. All rights reserved. Chloroplast DNA Variations in Wild Brassicas and Their Implication in Breeding and Population Genetics Studies Mon, 10 Aug 2015 11:52:41 +0000 Evaluation of chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) diversity in wild relatives of crop brassicas is important for characterization of cytoplasm and also for population genetics/phylogeographic analyses. The former is useful for breeding programs involving wide hybridization and synthesis of alloplasmic lines, while the latter is important for formulating conservation strategies. Therefore, PCR-RFLP (Polymerase Chain Reaction-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism) technique was applied to study cpDNA diversity in 14 wild brassicas (including 31 accessions) which revealed a total of 219 polymorphic fragments. The combination of polymorphisms obtained by using only two primer pair-restriction enzyme combinations was sufficient to distinguish all 14 wild brassicas. Moreover, 11 primer pairs-restriction enzyme combinations revealed intraspecific polymorphisms in eight wild brassicas (including endemic and endangered species, B. cretica and B. insularis, resp.). Thus, even within a small number of accessions that were screened, intraspecific polymorphisms were observed, which is important for population genetics analyses in wild brassicas and consequently for conservation studies. Bharti Sarin, Juan Pedro Martín, Babeeta Chrungu Kaula, and Aparajita Mohanty Copyright © 2015 Bharti Sarin et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of Physicochemical Properties of South African Cashew Apple Juice as a Biofuel Feedstock Tue, 04 Aug 2015 11:58:42 +0000 Cashew apple juice (CAJ) is one of the feedstocks used for biofuel production and ethanol yield depends on the physical and chemical properties of the extracted juice. As far as can be ascertained, information on physical and chemical properties of South African cashew apple juice is limited in open literature. Therefore, this study provides information on the physical and chemical properties of the South African cashew apple juice. Physicochemical characteristics of the juice, such as specific gravity, pH, sugars, condensed tannins, Vitamin C, minerals, and total protein, were measured from a mixed variety of cashew apples. Analytical results showed the CAJ possesses specific gravity and pH of 1.050 and 4.52, respectively. The highest sugars were glucose (40.56 gL−1) and fructose (57.06 gL−1). Other chemical compositions of the juice were condensed tannin (55.34 mgL−1), Vitamin C (112 mg/100 mL), and total protein (1.78 gL−1). The minerals content was as follows: zinc (1.39 ppm), copper (2.18 ppm), magnesium (4.32 ppm), iron (1.32 ppm), sodium (5.44 ppm), and manganese (1.24 ppm). With these findings, South African CAJ is a suitable biomass feedstock for ethanol production. Evanie Devi Deenanath, Karl Rumbold, Michael Daramola, Rosemary Falcon, and Sunny Iyuke Copyright © 2015 Evanie Devi Deenanath et al. All rights reserved. Prevalence of Plasmid-Mediated Quinolone Resistance Determinants and OqxAB Efflux Pumps among Extended-Spectrum -Lactamase Producing Klebsiella pneumoniae Isolated from Patients with Nosocomial Urinary Tract Infection in Tehran, Iran Sun, 02 Aug 2015 13:39:01 +0000 Objective. Plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR) plays an important role in the development of clinical resistance to quinolone. The aim of this study was to investigate PMQR determinants among extended-spectrum β-lactamases- (ESBL-) producing Klebsiella pneumoniae recovered from patients with nosocomial urinary tract infection (UTI). Methods. A total of 247 ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae isolates were collected from 750 patients with UTI. ESBL production was confirmed by double disc synergy test and combined disc diffusion test. The prevalence of PMQR determinants among ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae was assessed using PCR method. Results. The rates of resistance to antimicrobial agents in present study varied from 14.2% to 98.8%. In comparison with other PMQR genotypes, the frequency of aac(6′)-Ib (68.8%) was strikingly high. Of the 247 isolates tested, qnrA, qnrB, qnrS, and qepA genes were present in 3.6%, 1.6%, 1.2, and 2%, respectively. oqxA and oqxB were detected in 56.7% and 54.6% of isolates. The predominant coexisting ESBL and PMQR profile among our isolates included and aac(6′)-Ib, oqxA, oqxB (28.3%) and , and aac(6′)-Ib, oqxA, and oqxB (19.4%) profile.  Conclusion. Given the linkage observed between resistance to quinolones and beta lactam antibiotics, therapeutic protocol with fluoroquinolones and beta lactam antibiotics should be seriously revised in Tehran hospitals. Mehdi Goudarzi, Mehdi Azad, and Sima Sadat Seyedjavadi Copyright © 2015 Mehdi Goudarzi et al. All rights reserved. An Improved Micropropagation Protocol by Ex Vitro Rooting of Passiflora edulis Sims. f. flavicarpa Deg. through Nodal Segment Culture Sun, 26 Jul 2015 07:16:18 +0000 A procedure for rapid clonal propagation of Passiflora edulis Sims. f. flavicarpa Deg. (Passifloraceae) has been developed in this study. Nodal explants were sterilized with 0.1% HgCl2 and inoculated on Murashige and Skoog (MS) basal medium. The addition of 2.0 mgL−1 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP) to MS medium caused an extensive proliferation of multiple shoots () primordial from the nodal meristems. Subculturing of these multiple shoots on the MS medium augmented with 1.0 mgL−1 of each BAP and Kinetin (Kin) was successful for the multiplication of the shoots in vitro with maximum numbers of shoots () within four weeks of incubation. Shoots were rooted best ( roots/shoots) on half strength MS medium supplemented with 2.0 mgL−1 indole-3 butyric acid (IBA). All in vitro regenerated shoots were rooted by ex vitro method, and this has achieved 6-7 roots per shoot by pulsing of cut ends of the shoots using 200 as well as 300 mgL−1 IBA. The plantlets were hardened in the greenhouse for 4-5 weeks. The hardened plantlets were shifted to manure containing nursery polybags after five weeks and then transferred to a sand bed for another four weeks for acclimatization before field planting with 88% survival rate. Mahipal S. Shekhawat, M. Manokari, and C. P. Ravindran Copyright © 2015 Mahipal S. Shekhawat et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Salvadora persica Extract on the Hematological and Biochemical Alterations against Immobilization-Induced Rats Sun, 28 Jun 2015 11:44:01 +0000 A total of 24 rats were divided into 4 groups: control, stress, extract alone, and stress + extract ( each), for total 21 days of treatment. The immobilization stress was induced in rats by putting them in 20 cm × 7 cm plastic tubes for 2 h/day for 21 days. Rats were postorally treated with Salvadora persica at a dose of 900 mg/kg body weight via intragastric intubations. At the end of the test period, hematological and biochemical parameters were determined in blood and serum samples with determination of vital organs weights. The vital organ weights were not significantly affected in stressed rats as compared to control rats. Compared to the control group, the stress treated group showed significances in several hematological parameters, including decreases in WBC, RBC, and PLT counts. Furthermore, in comparison to the control group, the stress group showed significantly increased blood glucose, serum total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and triacylglycerols levels and decreased HDL-cholesterol level. The hematological and biochemical parameters in the stress + extract treated group were approximately similar to control group. The SP extract restored the changes observed following stress treatment. Kholoud S. Ramadan and Salha A. Alshamrani Copyright © 2015 Kholoud S. Ramadan and Salha A. Alshamrani. All rights reserved.