Hindawi Publishing Corporation http://www.hindawi.com The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2016 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Medical Radioisotope Production in a Power-Flattened ADS Fuelled with Uranium and Plutonium Dioxides Wed, 04 May 2016 16:40:31 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/stni/2016/5302176/ This study presents the medical radioisotope production performance of a conceptual accelerator driven system (ADS). Lead-bismuth eutectic (LBE) is selected as target material. The subcritical fuel core is conceptually divided into ten equidistant subzones. The ceramic (natural U, Pu)O2 fuel mixture and the materials used for radioisotope production (copper, gold, cobalt, holmium, rhenium, thulium, mercury, palladium, thallium, molybdenum, and yttrium) are separately prepared as cylindrical rods cladded with carbon/carbon composite (C/C) and these rods are located in the subzones. In order to obtain the flattened power density, percentages of PuO2 in the mixture of UO2 and PuO2 in the subzones are adjusted in radial direction of the fuel zone. Time-dependent calculations are performed at 1000 MW thermal fission power () for one hour using the BURN card. The neutronic results show that the investigated ADS has a high neutronic capability, in terms of medical radioisotope productions, spent fuel transmutation and energy multiplication. Moreover, a good quasiuniform power density is achieved in each material case. The peak-to-average fission power density ratio is in the range of 1.02–1.28. Gizem Bakır, Saltuk Buğra Selçuklu, and Hüseyin Yapıcı Copyright © 2016 Gizem Bakır et al. All rights reserved. Antidiabetic and Antinephritic Activities of Aqueous Extract of Cordyceps militaris Fruit Body in Diet-Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Sprague Dawley Rats Wed, 04 May 2016 16:37:46 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2016/9685257/ Cordyceps militaris has long been used as a crude drug and folk tonic food in East Asia. The present study aims to evaluate the antidiabetic and antinephritic effects of the aqueous extract of the Cordyceps militaris fruit body (CM) in diet-streptozotocin- (STZ-) induced diabetic rats. During four weeks of continuous oral administration of CM at doses of 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 g/kg and metformin at 100 mg/kg, the fasting blood glucose and bodyweight of each rat were monitored. Hypoglycemic effects of CM on diabetic rats were indicated by decreases in plasma glucose, food and water intake, and urine output. The hypolipidemic activity of CM was confirmed by the normalization of total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in diabetic rats. Inhibitory effects on albuminuria, creatinine, urea nitrogen, and n-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase verified CM’s renal protective activity in diabetic rats. Furthermore, CM exerted beneficial modulation of inflammatory factors and oxidative enzymes. Compared with untreated diabetic rats, CM decreased the expression of phosphor-AKT and phosphor-GSK-3β in the kidneys. Altogether, via attenuating oxidative stress, CM displayed antidiabetic and antinephritic activities in diet-STZ-induced diabetic rats. Chungang Liu, Jingjing Song, Meiyu Teng, Xiaoyi Zheng, Xiangmei Li, Yue Tian, Minlian Pan, Yuhuan Li, Robert J. Lee, and Di Wang Copyright © 2016 Chungang Liu et al. All rights reserved. The Role of Open Lung Biopsy in Critically Ill Patients with Hypoxic Respiratory Failure: A Retrospective Cohort Study Wed, 04 May 2016 16:36:50 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crj/2016/8715024/ Background. The aim of this study was to assess the utility of open lung biopsy in patients with hypoxic respiratory failure of unknown etiology admitted to an ICU and to examine the use of steroid therapy in this patient population. Methods. A retrospective cohort study was performed of all consecutive patients admitted to three tertiary care, university-affiliated, ICUs during the period from January 2000 to January 2012 with the principal diagnosis of hypoxic respiratory failure and who underwent an open lung biopsy. Results. Open lung biopsy resulted in a diagnostic yield of 68% and in a 67% change of management in patients. A multivariable analysis of clinical variables associated with acute hospital mortality demonstrated that postbiopsy systemic steroid therapy (OR 0.24, 95% C.I 0.06–0.96) was significantly associated with improved survival. Complications arising from the biopsy occurred in 30% of patients. Conclusion. Open lung biopsy had significant diagnostic yield and led to major changes in management and aided in end-of-life decision-making in the ICU. Systemic steroid therapy was associated with improved survival. The risk-benefit ratio of open lung biopsy is still unclear, especially given the availability of newer diagnostic tests and possible empirical therapy with steroids. Abdullah Almotairi, Sharmistha Biswas, and Jason Shahin Copyright © 2016 Abdullah Almotairi et al. All rights reserved. 30 : 2: A Game Designed to Promote the Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Protocol Wed, 04 May 2016 16:35:39 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijcgt/2016/8251461/ Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a first-aid key survival technique used to stimulate breathing and keep blood flowing to the heart. Its effective administration can significantly increase the survival chances of cardiac arrest victims. We propose 30 : 2, a videogame designed to introduce the main steps of the CPR protocol. It is not intended for certification and training purpose. Driven by the 2010 European Resuscitation Council guidelines we have designed a game composed of eight mini games corresponding to the main steps of the protocol. The player acts as a helper and has to solve a different challenge. We present a detailed description of the game creation process presenting the requirements, the design decisions, and the implementation details. In addition, we present some first impressions of our testing users (25 children, five of each age from 8 to 12 years old and 12 males and 13 females). We evaluated clarity of instructions and three settings of the game: the aesthetics of scenarios, the playability, and the enjoyability of each mini game. All games were well punctuated, and there are no significantly differences between their sex. The proposed game can be a suitable tool to disseminate and promote CPR knowledge. Imma Boada, Antonio Rodriguez-Benitez, Juan Manuel Garcia-Gonzalez, Santiago Thió-Henestrosa, and Mateu Sbert Copyright © 2016 Imma Boada et al. All rights reserved. Exploring Self-Efficacy in Australian General Practitioners Managing Patient Obesity: A Qualitative Survey Study Wed, 04 May 2016 16:34:42 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijfm/2016/8212837/ Background. Obesity is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the Australian community, and general practitioners (GPs) are commonly approached by patients for assistance in losing weight. Previous studies have shown that GPs have low self-efficacy and low outcome expectation when it comes to managing overweight and obese patients, which affects their willingness to initiate and continue with weight counselling. This qualitative survey study aimed to explore the factors influencing confidence and behaviour in obesity management in GPs. Method. Twelve GPs recruited to deliver a pilot of an obesity management program participated in semistructured interviews, and interpretive analysis underpinned by social cognitive theory was performed on the transcripts. Results. Analysis identified five main themes: (1) perceived knowledge and skills, (2) structure to management approach, (3) the GP-patient relationship, (4) acknowledged barriers to weight loss and lifestyle change, and (5) prior experience and outcome expectation. Conclusions. GPs are likely to welcome tools which provide a more structured approach to obesity management. Shifting away from weight and BMI as sole yardsticks for success or failure and emphasising positive lifestyle changes for their own sake may improve GP self-efficacy and allow for a more authentic GP-patient interaction. Freya Ashman, Elizabeth Sturgiss, and Emily Haesler Copyright © 2016 Freya Ashman et al. All rights reserved. Chinese Medicinal Leech: Ethnopharmacology, Phytochemistry, and Pharmacological Activities Wed, 04 May 2016 16:32:47 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/7895935/ Hirudo (Shuizhi in Chinese) is an important Chinese medicine, which possesses many therapeutic properties for the treatment of the cerebral hemorrhage and other thrombosis-related diseases. The phytochemical investigation gave more than 51 compounds including pteridines, phosphatidylcholines, glycosphingolipids, and sterols, as well as some bioactive peptides from the Shuizhi derived from three animal species recorded in the current Chinese Pharmacopoeia. The pharmacological studies on the Shuizhi have revealed various activities such as anticoagulation, antithrombosis, antiatherosclerosis, antiplatelet aggregation, antitumor and anti-inflammatory as well as hemorheology improvement, and protective effects against cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury. However, some important issues based on the traditional uses of Shuizhi are still not clear. The aim of the present review is to provide comprehensive knowledge on the ethnopharmacology, phytochemistry, and pharmacological activities of Shuizhi. It will provide a potential guidance in exploring main active compounds of Shuizhi and interpreting the action mechanism for the further research. Han Dong, Ji-Xiang Ren, Jing-Jing Wang, Li-Shuai Ding, Jian-Jun Zhao, Song-Yan Liu, and Hui-Min Gao Copyright © 2016 Han Dong et al. All rights reserved. Combinatorial Antitumor Effect of Rapamycin and β-Elemene in Follicular Thyroid Cancer Cells Wed, 04 May 2016 16:31:40 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2016/6723807/ Background. mTOR signaling would be a promising target for thyroid cancer therapy. However, in clinical trials, objective response rate with mTOR inhibitor monotherapy in most cancer types was modest. A new focus on development of combinatorial strategies with rapalogs is increasing. Objective. Investigating the combinatorial antitumor effect of rapamycin and β-elemene in follicular thyroid cancer cells. Methods. MTT assay was used to determine the FTC-133 cell proliferation after culturing with rapamycin and/or β-elemene. To analyze their combinatorial effect, immunoblotting was performed to analyze the activation status of AKT. Moreover, β-elemene attenuated rapamycin-induced immunosuppression was tested in mice. Results. Combination of rapamycin and β-elemene exerted significant synergistic antiproliferative effects in FTC-133 cell lines in vitro, based on inhibiting the AKT feedback activation induced by rapamycin. In vivo, the β-elemene could attenuate rapamycin-induced immunosuppression via reversing imbalance of Treg/Th17, with the underlying mechanism needed to be declared. Conclusions. We demonstrate that the novel combination of mTOR inhibitor with β-elemene synergistically attenuates tumor cell growth in follicular thyroid cancer, which requires additional preclinical validation. Jun Zhou, Li-Li He, Xiao-Fei Ding, Qiu-Qi Yuan, Jian-Xin Zhang, Shuang-Chun Liu, and Guang Chen Copyright © 2016 Jun Zhou et al. All rights reserved. Early Social Enrichment Improves Social Motivation and Skills in a Monogenic Mouse Model of Autism, the Oprm1−/− Mouse Wed, 04 May 2016 16:30:28 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/np/2016/5346161/ Environmental enrichment has been proven to have positive effects on both behavioral and physiological phenotypes in rodent models of mental and neurodevelopmental disorders. In this study, we used mice lacking the µ-opioid receptor gene (Oprm1−/−), which has been shown to have deficits in social competence and communication, to assess the hypothesis that early enrichment can ameliorate sociability during development and adulthood. Due to the immaturity of sensory-motor capabilities of young pups, we chose as environmental stimulation a second lactating female, who provided extra maternal care and stimulation from birth. The results show that double mothering normalized the abnormal response to maternal separation in Oprm1−/− pups and increased social motivation in juveniles and adult knockout mice. Additionally, we observed that Oprm1−/− mice act as less attractive social partners than wild types, which suggests that social motivation can be modulated by the stimulus employed. This experiment supports previous findings suggesting that early social environmental stimulation has profound and long-term beneficial effects, encouraging the use of nonpharmacological interventions for the treatment of social defects in neurodevelopmental diseases. Luciana Garbugino, Eleonora Centofante, and Francesca R. D’Amato Copyright © 2016 Luciana Garbugino et al. All rights reserved. A Systematic Review on Existing Measures for the Subjective Assessment of Rehabilitation and Assistive Robot Devices Wed, 04 May 2016 16:27:18 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jhe/2016/1048964/ The objective of the current study is to identify and classify outcome measures currently used for the assessment of rehabilitation or assistive robot devices. We conducted a systematic review of the literature using PubMed, MEDLINE, CIRRIE, and Scopus databases for studies that assessed rehabilitation or assistive robot devices from 1980 through January 2016. In all, 31 articles met all inclusion criteria. Tailor-made questionnaires were the most commonly used tool at 66.7%, while the great majority (93.9%) of the studies used nonvalidated instruments. The study reveals the absence of a standard scale which makes it difficult to compare the results from different researchers. There is a great need, therefore, for a valid and reliable instrument to be available for use by the intended end users for the subjective assessment of robot devices. The study concludes by identifying two scales that have been validated in general assistive technology devices and could support the scope of subjective assessment in rehabilitation or assistive robots (however, with limited coverage) and a new one called PYTHEIA, recently published. The latter intends to close the gap and help researchers and developers to evaluate, assess, and produce products that satisfy the real needs of the end users. Yiannis Koumpouros Copyright © 2016 Yiannis Koumpouros. All rights reserved. A Mathematical Model of Regenerative Axon Growing along Glial Scar after Spinal Cord Injury Wed, 04 May 2016 14:30:41 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cmmm/2016/3030454/ A major factor in the failure of central nervous system (CNS) axon regeneration is the formation of glial scar after the injury of CNS. Glial scar generates a dense barrier which the regenerative axons cannot easily pass through or by. In this paper, a mathematical model was established to explore how the regenerative axons grow along the surface of glial scar or bypass the glial scar. This mathematical model was constructed based on the spinal cord injury (SCI) repair experiments by transplanting Schwann cells as bridge over the glial scar. The Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM) was used in this model for three-dimensional numerical simulation. The advantage of this model is that it provides a parallel and easily implemented algorithm and has the capability of handling complicated boundaries. Using the simulated data, two significant conclusions were made in this study: the levels of inhibitory factors on the surface of the glial scar are the main factors affecting axon elongation and when the inhibitory factor levels on the surface of the glial scar remain constant, the longitudinal size of the glial scar has greater influence on the average rate of axon growth than the transverse size. These results will provide theoretical guidance and reference for researchers to design efficient experiments. Xuning Chen and Weiping Zhu Copyright © 2016 Xuning Chen and Weiping Zhu. All rights reserved. A Case Study of MasterMind Chess: Comparing Mouse/Keyboard Interaction with Kinect-Based Gestural Interface Wed, 04 May 2016 14:27:19 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ahci/2016/4602471/ As gestural interfaces emerged as a new type of user interface, their use has been vastly explored by the entertainment industry to better immerse the player in games. Despite being mainly used in dance and sports games, little use was made of gestural interaction in more slow-paced genres, such as board games. In this work, we present a Kinect-based gestural interface for an online and multiplayer chess game and describe a case study with users with different playing skill levels. Comparing the mouse/keyboard interaction with the gesture-based interaction, the results of the activity were synthesized into lessons learned regarding general usability and design of game control mechanisms. These results could be applied to slow-paced board games like chess. Our findings indicate that gestural interfaces may not be suitable for competitive chess matches, yet it can be fun to play while using them in casual matches. Gabriel Alves Mendes Vasiljevic, Leonardo Cunha de Miranda, and Erica Esteves Cunha de Miranda Copyright © 2016 Gabriel Alves Mendes Vasiljevic et al. All rights reserved. Incorporation of Amphipathic Diblock Copolymer in Lipid Bilayer for Improving pH Responsiveness Wed, 04 May 2016 14:26:19 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijps/2016/5879428/ Diblock copolymers (mPEG-b-PDPA), which were designed to possess pH-sensitivity as well as amphipathy, were used as an intelligent lock in the liposomal membrane. The so-called pH-sensitive liposomes were prepared by simple mixing of the synthesized mPEG-b-PDPA with phospholipids and cholesterol. Fluorescence polarization at pH 7.4 showed that the membrane stability of the hybrid liposome was significantly increased compared with the pure liposome. Therefore, in the neutral environment, the leakage of doxorubicin (DOX) was inhibited. However, when pH decreased to 6.0, DOX release rate increased by 60% due to the escape of copolymer. The effects of the membrane composition and the PDPA segment length on bilayer membrane functions were investigated. These results revealed that the synthesized copolymers increased the difference in DOX cumulative release between pH 7.4 and 6.0, that is, improved the pH-controllability of the drug release from hybrid liposomes. Tian Xia, Weiju Hao, Yazhuo Shang, Shouhong Xu, and Honglai Liu Copyright © 2016 Tian Xia et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Saw Palmetto Supplements on Androgen-Sensitive LNCaP Human Prostate Cancer Cell Number and Syrian Hamster Flank Organ Growth Wed, 04 May 2016 14:01:08 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/8135135/ Saw palmetto supplements (SPS) are commonly consumed by men with prostate cancer. We investigated whether SPS fatty acids and phytosterols concentrations determine their growth-inhibitory action in androgen-sensitive LNCaP cells and hamster flank organs. High long-chain fatty acids-low phytosterols (HLLP) SPS ≥ 750 nM with testosterone significantly increased and ≥500 nM with dihydrotestosterone significantly decreased LNCaP cell number. High long-chain fatty acids-high phytosterols (HLHP) SPS ≥ 500 nM with dihydrotestosterone and high medium-chain fatty acids-low phytosterols (HMLP) SPS ≥ 750 nM or with androgens significantly decreased LNCaP cell number (; ). Five- to six-week-old, castrated male Syrian hamsters were randomized to control (), HLLP, HLHP, and HMLP SPS () groups. Testosterone or dihydrotestosterone was applied topically daily for 21 days to the right flank organ; the left flank organ was treated with ethanol and served as the control. Thirty minutes later, SPS or ethanol was applied to each flank organ in treatment and control groups, respectively. SPS treatments caused a notable but nonsignificant reduction in the difference between left and right flank organ growth in testosterone-treated SPS groups compared to the control. The same level of inhibition was not seen in dihydrotestosterone-treated SPS groups (). Results may suggest that SPS inhibit 5α-reductase thereby preventing hamster flank organ growth. Alexander B. Opoku-Acheampong, Kavitha Penugonda, and Brian L. Lindshield Copyright © 2016 Alexander B. Opoku-Acheampong et al. All rights reserved. A Cross-Study Biomarker Signature of Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells Infected with Respiratory Syncytial Virus Wed, 04 May 2016 13:52:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/av/2016/3605302/ Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of lower respiratory tract infections in children, elderly, and immunocompromised individuals. Despite of advances in diagnosis and treatment, biomarkers of RSV infection are still unclear. To understand the host response and propose signatures of RSV infection, previous studies evaluated the transcriptional profile of the human bronchial epithelial cell line—BEAS-2B—infected with different strains of this virus. However, the evolution of statistical methods and functional analysis together with the large amount of expression data provide opportunities to uncover novel biomarkers of inflammation and infections. In view of those facts publicly available microarray datasets from RSV-infected BEAS-2B cells were analyzed with linear model-based statistics and the platform for functional analysis InnateDB. The results from those analyses argue for the reevaluation of previously reported transcription patterns and biological pathways in BEAS-2B cell lines infected with RSV. Importantly, this study revealed a biosignature constituted by genes such as ABCC4, ARMC8, BCLAF1, EZH1, FAM118A, FAM208B, FUS, HSPH1, KAZN, MAP3K2, N6AMT1, PRMT2, S100PBP, SERPINA1, TLK2, ZNF322, and ZNF337 which should be considered in the development of new molecular diagnosis tools. Luiz Gustavo Gardinassi Copyright © 2016 Luiz Gustavo Gardinassi. All rights reserved. Environmental Risk Factors in Patients with Noninvasive Fungal Sinusitis Wed, 04 May 2016 13:42:09 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/scientifica/2016/5491694/ Objective. The aim of our study was to try to determine the possible environmental risk factors for noninvasive fungal sinusitis in Egyptian patients. Methods. This is a prospective epidemiological case control study on the environmental risk factors of noninvasive fungal sinusitis. It included 60 patients and 100 age and sex matched controls. Results. There was a statistically significant relation between apartment floor, surface area, exposure to dust, exposure to cockroaches, poor air conditioning, and fungal sinusitis. Yet, no statistical significance was found between allergy related occupations, exposure to animals or plants, although their percentages were higher among cases, smoking, and urban or rural residence. Conclusion. We suggest that for patients with noninvasive fungal sinusitis a change in their living environment must be implied with better exposure to sunlight, larger well ventilated homes, proper cleaning of dust and cockroach extermination, and if possible the judicious use of air conditioners. Badr Eldin Mostafa, Mohammed M. K. El Sharnoubi, Hesham A. A. El-Sersy, and Mohammed S. M. Mahmoud Copyright © 2016 Badr Eldin Mostafa et al. All rights reserved. Markov Chain Decomposition of Monthly Rainfall into Daily Rainfall: Evaluation of Climate Change Impact Wed, 04 May 2016 13:41:39 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amete/2016/7957490/ This study evaluates the effect of climate change on daily rainfall, especially on the mean number of wet days and the mean rainfall intensity. Assuming that the mechanism of daily rainfall occurrences follows the first-order Markov chain model, the possible changes in the transition probabilities are estimated by considering the climate change scenarios. Also, the change of the stationary probabilities of wet and dry day occurrences and finally the change in the number of wet days are derived for the comparison of current (1x CO2) and 2x CO2 conditions. As a result of this study, the increase or decrease in the mean number of wet days was found to be not enough to explain all of the change in monthly rainfall amounts, so rainfall intensity should also be modified. The application to the Seoul weather station in Korea shows that about 30% of the total change in monthly rainfall amount can be explained by the change in the number of wet days and the remaining 70% by the change in the rainfall intensity. That is, as an effect of climate change, the increase in the rainfall intensity could be more significant than the increase in the wet days and, thus, the risk of flood will be much highly increased. Chulsang Yoo, Jinwook Lee, and Yonghun Ro Copyright © 2016 Chulsang Yoo et al. All rights reserved. Multianalytical Method Validation for Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis of Solvents of Abuse in Oral Fluid by HS-GC/MS Wed, 04 May 2016 13:41:24 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijac/2016/1029286/ The use of oral fluid as a biological matrix to monitor the use of drugs of abuse is a global trend because it presents several advantages and good correlation to the blood level. Thus, the present work aimed to develop and validate an analytical method for quantification and detection of solvents used as inhalants of abuse in oral fluid (OF), using Quantisal™ as collector device by headspace and gas chromatography coupled with a mass detector (HS-GC/MS). Chromatographic separation was performed with a ZB-BAC1 column and the total time of analysis was 11.8 min. The method showed good linearity (correlation coefficient higher than 0.99 for all solvents). The limits of detection ranged from 0.05 to 5 mg/L, while the lower limits of quantification ranged from 2.5 to 12.5 mg/L. Accuracy, precision, matrix effect, and residual effect presented satisfactory results, meeting the criteria accepted for the validation of bioanalytical methods. The method showed good selectivity considering that, for solvents coeluting at the same retention time, resolution was performed by the mass detector. The method developed proved to be adequate when applied in OF samples from users of drugs and may be used to monitor the abuse of inhalants in routine forensic analyses. Bruna Claudia Coppe, Bruna Tassi Borille, Taís Regina Fiorentin, Ana Laura Bemvenuti Jacques, Ana Claudia Fagundes, Stela Maris de Jezus Castro, Lysa Silveira Remy, Flavio Pechansky, and Renata Pereira Limberger Copyright © 2016 Bruna Claudia Coppe et al. All rights reserved. Three-Dimensional Computer-Aided Detection of Microcalcification Clusters in Digital Breast Tomosynthesis Wed, 04 May 2016 13:40:04 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2016/8651573/ We propose computer-aided detection (CADe) algorithm for microcalcification (MC) clusters in reconstructed digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) images. The algorithm consists of prescreening, MC detection, clustering, and false-positive (FP) reduction steps. The DBT images containing the MC-like objects were enhanced by a multiscale Hessian-based three-dimensional (3D) objectness response function and a connected-component segmentation method was applied to extract the cluster seed objects as potential clustering centers of MCs. Secondly, a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) enhanced image was also generated to detect the individual MC candidates and prescreen the MC-like objects. Each cluster seed candidate was prescreened by counting neighboring individual MC candidates nearby the cluster seed object according to several microcalcification clustering criteria. As a second step, we introduced bounding boxes for the accepted seed candidate, clustered all the overlapping cubes, and examined. After the FP reduction step, the average number of FPs per case was estimated to be 2.47 per DBT volume with a sensitivity of 83.3%. Ji-wook Jeong, Seung-Hoon Chae, Eun Young Chae, Hak Hee Kim, Young-Wook Choi, and Sooyeul Lee Copyright © 2016 Ji-wook Jeong et al. All rights reserved. Comparison of Three Solid Phase Materials for the Extraction of Carboxylic Acids from River Water Followed by 2D GC × GC-TOFMS Determination Wed, 04 May 2016 13:39:05 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijac/2016/6396938/ The extraction and determination of aliphatic and aromatic carboxylic acids as well as their influence on the aromaticity and molecularity relationship of natural organic matter (NOM) in water are reported in this study. Three solid phase extraction (SPE) sorbents were used and their extraction efficiencies evaluated after chromatographic determinations (using gas chromatography with a time of flight mass spectrometer (GC × GC-TOFMS) and liquid chromatography with organic carbon detector (LC-OCD)). More than 42 carboxylic acids were identified in raw water from the Vaal River, which feeds the Lethabo Power Generation Station, South Africa, with cooling water. The aromatic carboxylic acid efficiency (28%) was achieved by using Strata™ X SPE while the highest aliphatic carboxylic acid efficiency (92.08%) was achieved by silica SPE. The hydrophobic nature of NOM in water depends on the nature of organic compounds in water, whether aromatic or aliphatic. The LC-OCD was used to assess the hydrophobicity levels of NOM as a function of these carboxylic acids in cooling water. The LC-OCD results showed that the aromatic nature of NOM in SPE filtered water followed the order Silica>Strata X>C-18. From the results, the hydrophobicity degree of the samples depended on the type and number of carboxylic acids that were removed by the SPE cartridges. G. O. Bosire, J. C. Ngila, and H. Parshotam Copyright © 2016 G. O. Bosire et al. All rights reserved. Randomized Phase II Study of Docetaxel plus Personalized Peptide Vaccination versus Docetaxel plus Placebo for Patients with Previously Treated Advanced Wild Type EGFR Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Wed, 04 May 2016 13:37:32 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2016/1745108/ Objectives. To evaluate the efficacy and safety of personalized peptide vaccination (PPV) combined with chemotherapy for patients with previously treated advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Patients and Methods. Previously treated PS0-1 patients with IIIB/IV EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) wild genotype NSCLC were randomly assigned to docetaxel (60 mg/m2 on Day 1) plus PPV based on preexisting host immunity or docetaxel plus placebo. Docetaxel administration was repeated every 3 weeks until disease progression. Personalized peptides or placebo was injected subcutaneously weekly in the first 8 weeks and biweekly in subsequent 16 weeks. The primary efficacy endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS). Results. PPV related toxicity was grade 2 or less skin reaction. The median PFS for placebo arm and PPV arm was 52 days and 59 days, respectively. There was no significant difference between two arms by log-rank test (). Interestingly, PFS and overall survival (OS) in humoral immunological responder were significantly longer than those in nonresponder. Conclusion. PPV did not improve the survival in combination with docetaxel for previously treated advanced NSCLC. However, PPV may be efficacious for the humoral immunological responders and a further clinical investigation is needed. Koichi Takayama, Shunichi Sugawara, Yasuo Saijo, Makoto Maemondo, Atsushi Sato, Shinzo Takamori, Taishi Harada, Tetsuro Sasada, Tatsuyuki Kakuma, Junji Kishimoto, Akira Yamada, Masanori Noguchi, Kyogo Itoh, and Yoichi Nakanishi Copyright © 2016 Koichi Takayama et al. All rights reserved. Modified Grey Wolf Optimizer for Global Engineering Optimization Wed, 04 May 2016 13:29:30 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/acisc/2016/7950348/ Nature-inspired algorithms are becoming popular among researchers due to their simplicity and flexibility. The nature-inspired metaheuristic algorithms are analysed in terms of their key features like their diversity and adaptation, exploration and exploitation, and attractions and diffusion mechanisms. The success and challenges concerning these algorithms are based on their parameter tuning and parameter control. A comparatively new algorithm motivated by the social hierarchy and hunting behavior of grey wolves is Grey Wolf Optimizer (GWO), which is a very successful algorithm for solving real mechanical and optical engineering problems. In the original GWO, half of the iterations are devoted to exploration and the other half are dedicated to exploitation, overlooking the impact of right balance between these two to guarantee an accurate approximation of global optimum. To overcome this shortcoming, a modified GWO (mGWO) is proposed, which focuses on proper balance between exploration and exploitation that leads to an optimal performance of the algorithm. Simulations based on benchmark problems and WSN clustering problem demonstrate the effectiveness, efficiency, and stability of mGWO compared with the basic GWO and some well-known algorithms. Nitin Mittal, Urvinder Singh, and Balwinder Singh Sohi Copyright © 2016 Nitin Mittal et al. All rights reserved. Reliability Evaluation of NC Machine Tools considering Working Conditions Wed, 04 May 2016 13:23:35 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2016/9842607/ Reliability evaluation is the basis for reliability design of NC machine tools. Since traditional reliability evaluation methods do not consider the working conditions’ effects on reliability, there is a great error of a result of a traditional method compared with an actual value. A new reliability evaluation model of NC machine tools is proposed based on the Cox proportional hazards model, which describes the mathematical relation between the working condition covariates and the reliability level of NC machine tools. Firstly, the coefficients of working condition covariates in the new reliability evaluation model are estimated by the partial likelihood estimation method; secondly, the working condition covariates which have no effects on the reliability of NC machine tools are eliminated by the likelihood ratio test; then parameters of the baseline failure rate function are estimated by the maximum likelihood estimation method. Thus, the reliability evaluation model of NC machine tool is obtained under different working conditions and the reliability level of NC machine tools is obtained. Case study shows that the proposed method could establish the relation between the working condition covariates and the reliability level of NC machine tools, and it would provide a new way for the reliability evaluation of NC machine tools. Hongzhou Li, Zhaojun Yang, Binbin Xu, Chuanhai Chen, Yingnan Kan, and Guofei Liu Copyright © 2016 Hongzhou Li et al. All rights reserved. Oxidative-Nitrosative Stress and Myocardial Dysfunctions in Sepsis: Evidence from the Literature and Postmortem Observations Wed, 04 May 2016 13:06:09 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2016/3423450/ Background. Myocardial depression in sepsis is common, and it is associated with higher mortality. In recent years, the hypothesis that the myocardial dysfunction during sepsis could be mediated by ischemia related to decreased coronary blood flow waned and a complex mechanism was invoked to explain cardiac dysfunction in sepsis. Oxidative stress unbalance is thought to play a critical role in the pathogenesis of cardiac impairment in septic patients. Aim. In this paper, we review the current literature regarding the pathophysiology of cardiac dysfunction in sepsis, focusing on the possible role of oxidative-nitrosative stress unbalance and mitochondria dysfunction. We discuss these mechanisms within the broad scenario of cardiac involvement in sepsis. Conclusions. Findings from the current literature broaden our understanding of the role of oxidative and nitrosative stress unbalance in the pathophysiology of cardiac dysfunction in sepsis, thus contributing to the establishment of a relationship between these settings and the occurrence of oxidative stress. The complex pathogenesis of septic cardiac failure may explain why, despite the therapeutic strategies, sepsis remains a big clinical challenge for effectively managing the disease to minimize mortality, leading to consideration of the potential therapeutic effects of antioxidant agents. M. Neri, I. Riezzo, C. Pomara, S. Schiavone, and E. Turillazzi Copyright © 2016 M. Neri et al. All rights reserved. Bioinformatics Applications in Life Sciences and Technologies Wed, 04 May 2016 12:59:07 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2016/3603827/ Sílvia A. Sousa, Jorge H. Leitão, Raul C. Martins, João M. Sanches, Jasjit S. Suri, and Alejandro Giorgetti Copyright © 2016 Sílvia A. Sousa et al. All rights reserved. Annexin A2 Coordinates STAT3 to Regulate the Invasion and Migration of Colorectal Cancer Cells In Vitro Wed, 04 May 2016 12:57:57 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/grp/2016/3521453/ The present study aimed to reveal the expression of STAT3 and Anxa 2 in CRC specimens and to investigate the effects of STAT3 and Anxa 2 signaling on the proliferation, invasion, and migration in CRC Caco-2 cells. Results demonstrated that both Anxa 2 and STAT3 were highly expressed in CRC specimens in both mRNA and protein levels, with or without phosphorylation (Tyrosine 23 in Anxa 2 and Tyrosine 705 in STAT3). And the upregulated Anxa 2 promoted the phosphorylation of STAT3 (Tyrosine 705) in CRC Caco-2 cells. The upregulated Anxa 2 promoted the proliferation, migration, and invasion of Caco-2 cells in vitro. Moreover, the STAT3 knockdown also repressed the proliferation, migration, and invasion of Caco-2 cells. In conclusion, the overexpressed Annexin A2 regulated the proliferation, invasion, and migration in CRC cells in an association with STAT3. Dianhui Xiu, Lin Liu, Fengli Qiao, Haishan Yang, Lu Cui, and Guifeng Liu Copyright © 2016 Dianhui Xiu et al. All rights reserved. Environmental Ligands of the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor and Their Effects in Models of Adult Liver Progenitor Cells Wed, 04 May 2016 12:55:32 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sci/2016/4326194/ The toxicity of environmental and dietary ligands of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) in mature liver parenchymal cells is well appreciated, while considerably less attention has been paid to their impact on cell populations exhibiting phenotypic features of liver progenitor cells. Here, we discuss the results suggesting that the consequences of the AhR activation in the cellular models derived from bipotent liver progenitors could markedly differ from those in hepatocytes. In contact-inhibited liver progenitor cells, the AhR agonists induce a range of effects potentially linked with tumor promotion. They can stimulate cell cycle progression/proliferation and deregulate cell-to-cell communication, which is associated with downregulation of proteins forming gap junctions, adherens junctions, and desmosomes (such as connexin 43, E-cadherin, β-catenin, and plakoglobin), as well as with reduced cell adhesion and inhibition of intercellular communication. At the same time, toxic AhR ligands may affect the activity of the signaling pathways contributing to regulation of liver progenitor cell activation and/or differentiation, such as downregulation of Wnt/β-catenin and TGF-β signaling, or upregulation of transcriptional targets of YAP/TAZ, the effectors of Hippo signaling pathway. These data illustrate the need to better understand the potential role of liver progenitors in the AhR-mediated liver carcinogenesis and tumor promotion. Jan Vondráček and Miroslav Machala Copyright © 2016 Jan Vondráček and Miroslav Machala. All rights reserved. Contrast Enhancement Method Based on Gray and Its Distance Double-Weighting Histogram Equalization for 3D CT Images of PCBs Wed, 04 May 2016 12:36:17 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2016/1529782/ Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) is a new detection method for 3D nondestructive testing of printed circuit boards (PCBs). However, the obtained 3D image of PCBs exhibits low contrast because of several factors, such as the occurrence of metal artifacts and beam hardening, during the process of CBCT imaging. Histogram equalization (HE) algorithms cannot effectively extend the gray difference between a substrate and a metal in 3D CT images of PCBs, and the reinforcing effects are insignificant. To address this shortcoming, this study proposes an image enhancement algorithm based on gray and its distance double-weighting HE. Considering the characteristics of 3D CT images of PCBs, the proposed algorithm uses gray and its distance double-weighting strategy to change the form of the original image histogram distribution, suppresses the grayscale of a nonmetallic substrate, and expands the grayscale of wires and other metals. The proposed algorithm also enhances the gray difference between a substrate and a metal and highlights metallic materials. The proposed algorithm can enhance the gray value of wires and other metals in 3D CT images of PCBs. It applies enhancement strategies of changing gray and its distance double-weighting mechanism to adapt to this particular purpose. The flexibility and advantages of the proposed algorithm are confirmed by analyses and experimental results. Lei Zeng, Bin Yan, and Weidong Wang Copyright © 2016 Lei Zeng et al. All rights reserved. Functional Properties of Human Stem Cell-Derived Neurons in Health and Disease Wed, 04 May 2016 12:30:06 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sci/2016/4190438/ Stem cell-derived neurons from various source materials present unique model systems to examine the fundamental properties of central nervous system (CNS) development as well as the molecular underpinnings of disease phenotypes. In order to more accurately assess potential therapies for neurological disorders, multiple strategies have been employed in recent years to produce neuronal populations that accurately represent in vivo regional and transmitter phenotypes. These include new technologies such as direct conversion of somatic cell types into neurons and glia which may accelerate maturation and retain genetic hallmarks of aging. In addition, novel forms of genetic manipulations have brought human stem cells nearly on par with those of rodent with respect to gene targeting. For neurons of the CNS, the ultimate phenotypic characterization lies with their ability to recapitulate functional properties such as passive and active membrane characteristics, synaptic activity, and plasticity. These features critically depend on the coordinated expression and localization of hundreds of ion channels and receptors, as well as scaffolding and signaling molecules. In this review I will highlight the current state of knowledge regarding functional properties of human stem cell-derived neurons, with a primary focus on pluripotent stem cells. While significant advances have been made, critical hurdles must be overcome in order for this technology to support progression toward clinical applications. Jason P. Weick Copyright © 2016 Jason P. Weick. All rights reserved. Retinal Ganglion Cell Atrophy in Homonymous Hemianopia due to Acquired Occipital Lesions Observed Using Cirrus High-Definition-OCT Wed, 04 May 2016 12:29:58 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/joph/2016/2394957/ Purpose. To report a reduction in macular ganglion cell layer and inner plexiform layer (GCL+IPL) thickness and circumpapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (cpRNFL) thickness using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography in patients with homonymous hemianopia due to posterior cerebral artery (PCA) stroke. Methods. Seven patients with PCA stroke were examined using Cirrus high-definition-OCT. The GCL+IPL thicknesses were divided into the hemianopic and unaffected sides. The relationship between the time after stroke and the GCL+IPL thicknesses in the hemianopic side was evaluated. Results. The average thicknesses of the GCL+IPL were 64.6 and 82.0 μm on the hemianopic and unaffected sides, respectively, and the measurement was significantly thinner on the former side (). A regression analysis revealed a negative linear relationship (, ) between the time after stoke and the GCL+IPL thicknesses on the hemianopic side. The supratemporal and inferotemporal cpRNFL thicknesses in the eyes ipsilateral to the stroke showed a significant reduction. Conclusion. Our findings confirmed our previous observations that the degeneration of retinal ganglion cells can occur after PCA stroke. GCL+IPL thinning was demonstrated in the hemiretinae corresponding to the affected hemifields. Also, it is suggested that the retinal changes observed are progressive. Tsutomu Yamashita, Atsushi Miki, Katsutoshi Goto, Syunsuke Araki, Go Takizawa, Yoshiaki Ieki, Junichi Kiryu, Akio Tabuchi, Yasuyuki Iguchi, Kazumi Kimura, and Yoshiki Yagita Copyright © 2016 Tsutomu Yamashita et al. All rights reserved. Investigation Progresses and Applications of Fractional Derivative Model in Geotechnical Engineering Wed, 04 May 2016 12:28:23 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2016/9183296/ Over the past couple of decades, as a new mathematical tool for addressing a number of tough problems, fractional calculus has been gaining a continually increasing interest in diverse scientific fields, including geotechnical engineering due primarily to geotechnical rheology phenomenon. Unlike the classical constitutive models in which simulation analysis gradually fails to meet the reasonable accuracy of requirement, the fractional derivative models have shown the merits of hereditary phenomena with long memory. Additionally, it is traced that the fractional derivative model is one of the most effective and accurate approaches to describe the rheology phenomenon. In relation to this, an overview aimed first at model structure and parameter determination in combination with application cases based on fractional calculus was provided. Furthermore, this review paper shed light on the practical application aspects of deformation analysis of circular tunnel, rheological settlement of subgrade, and relevant loess researches subjected to the achievements acquired in geotechnical engineering. Finally, concluding remarks and important future investigation directions were pointed out. Jinxing Lai, Sheng Mao, Junling Qiu, Haobo Fan, Qian Zhang, Zhinan Hu, and Jianxun Chen Copyright © 2016 Jinxing Lai et al. All rights reserved. Statistics and Analysis of the Relations between Rainstorm Floods and Earthquakes Wed, 04 May 2016 12:27:17 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amete/2016/4629235/ The frequent occurrence of geophysical disasters under climate change has drawn Chinese scholars to pay their attention to disaster relations. If the occurrence sequence of disasters could be identified, long-term disaster forecast could be realized. Based on the Earth Degassing Effect (EDE) which is valid, this paper took the magnitude, epicenter, and occurrence time of the earthquake, as well as the epicenter and occurrence time of the rainstorm floods as basic factors to establish an integrated model to study the correlation between rainstorm floods and earthquakes. 2461 severe earthquakes occurred in China or within 3000 km from China and the 169 heavy rainstorm floods occurred in China over the past 200+ years as the input data of the model. The computational results showed that although most of the rainstorm floods have nothing to do with the severe earthquakes from a statistical perspective, some floods might relate to earthquakes. This is especially true when the earthquakes happen in the vapor transmission zone where rainstorms lead to abundant water vapors. In this regard, earthquakes are more likely to cause big rainstorm floods. However, many cases of rainstorm floods could be found after severe earthquakes with a large extent of uncertainty. Baodeng Hou, Yongxiang Wu, Jianhua Wang, Kai Wu, and Weihua Xiao Copyright © 2016 Baodeng Hou et al. All rights reserved. Astrocyte Hypertrophy Contributes to Aberrant Neurogenesis after Traumatic Brain Injury Wed, 04 May 2016 11:44:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/np/2016/1347987/ Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a widespread epidemic with severe cognitive, affective, and behavioral consequences. TBIs typically result in a relatively rapid inflammatory and neuroinflammatory response. A major component of the neuroinflammatory response is astrocytes, a type of glial cell in the brain. Astrocytes are important in maintaining the integrity of neuronal functioning, and it is possible that astrocyte hypertrophy after TBIs might contribute to pathogenesis. The hippocampus is a unique brain region, because neurogenesis persists in adults. Accumulating evidence supports the functional importance of these newborn neurons and their associated astrocytes. Alterations to either of these cell types can influence neuronal functioning. To determine if hypertrophied astrocytes might negatively influence immature neurons in the dentate gyrus, astrocyte and newborn neurons were analyzed at 30 days following a TBI in mice. The results demonstrate a loss of radial glial-like processes extending through the granule cell layer after TBI, as well as ectopic growth and migration of immature dentate neurons. The results further show newborn neurons in close association with hypertrophied astrocytes, suggesting a role for the astrocytes in aberrant neurogenesis. Future studies are needed to determine the functional significance of these alterations to the astrocyte/immature neurons after TBI. Clark Robinson, Christopher Apgar, and Lee A. Shapiro Copyright © 2016 Clark Robinson et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Electroacupuncture on the Expression of Glycyl-tRNA Synthetase and Ultrastructure Changes in Atrophied Rat Peroneus Longus Muscle Induced by Sciatic Nerve Injection Injury Wed, 04 May 2016 11:42:34 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/7536234/ Glycyl-tRNA synthetase (GlyRS) is one of the key enzymes involved in protein synthesis. Its mutations have been reported to cause Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease which demonstrates muscular atrophy in distal extremities, particularly manifested in peroneus muscles. In this situation, the dysfunctions of mitochondria and sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) affect energy supply and excitation-contraction coupling of muscle fibers, therefore resulting in muscular atrophy. Although the treatment of muscular atrophy is a global urgent problem, it can be improved by electroacupuncture (EA) treatment. To investigate the mechanism underlying EA treatment improving muscular atrophy, we focused on the perspective of protein synthesis by establishing a penicillin injection-induced sciatic nerve injury model. In our model, injured rats without treatment showed decreased sciatic functional index (SFI), decreased peroneus longus muscle weight and muscle fiber cross-sectional area, aggregated mitochondria with vacuoles appearing, swollen SR, and downregulated mRNA and protein expression levels of GlyRS and myosin heavy chain IIb (MHC-IIb). The injured rats with EA treatment showed significant recovery. These results indicated that EA stimulation can alleviate peroneus longus muscular atrophy induced by iatrogenic sciatic nerve injury through promoting the recovery of GlyRS and muscle ultrastructure and increasing muscle protein synthesis. Meng Wang, Xiao Ming Zhang, and Sheng Bo Yang Copyright © 2016 Meng Wang et al. All rights reserved. Application of the Liver Maximum Function Capacity Test in Acute Liver Failure: A Helpful Tool for Decision-Making in Liver Transplantation? Wed, 04 May 2016 11:42:20 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crit/2016/7074636/ Background. Despite aggressive intensive medical management acute liver failure (ALF) may require high-urgency liver transplantation (LTx). Available prognostic scores do not apply for all patients; reliable tools to identify individuals in need of LTx are highly required. The liver maximum function capacity test (LiMAx) might represent an appropriate option. Referring to a case of ALF after Amanita phalloides-intoxication the potential of the LiMAx-test in this setting is discussed. Presentation of Case. LiMAx was performed in a 27-year-old patient prior to and after high-urgency LTx. In accordance with clinical appearance of hepatic encephalopathy, coagulopathy, and acute kidney failure, the LiMAx-test constituted a fulminant course of ALF with hardly any detectable metabolic activity. Following LTx with a marginal donor organ (95% hepatosteatosis), uptake of liver function was demonstrated by postoperative increase of the LiMAx-value. The patient was discharged from hospital on postoperative day 26. Discussion. ALF often is associated with a critical state of the patient that requires almost immediate decision-making regarding further therapy. Application of a noninvasive liver function test might help to determine the prognosis of ALF and support decision-making for or against LTx as well as acceptance of a critical donor organ in case of a critically ill patient. Florian Wolfgang Rudolf Vondran, Carsten Schumacher, Kai Johanning, Björn Hartleben, Wolfgang Knitsch, Olaf Wiesner, Elmar Jaeckel, Michael Peter Manns, Juergen Klempnauer, Hueseyin Bektas, and Frank Lehner Copyright © 2016 Florian Wolfgang Rudolf Vondran et al. All rights reserved. Biomaterial Applications in Cell-Based Therapy in Experimental Stroke Wed, 04 May 2016 11:39:30 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sci/2016/6810562/ Stroke is an important health issue corresponding to the second cause of mortality and first cause of severe disability with no effective treatments after the first hours of onset. Regenerative approaches such as cell therapy provide an increase in endogenous brain structural plasticity but they are not enough to promote a complete recovery. Tissue engineering has recently aroused a major interesting development of biomaterials for use into the central nervous system. Many biomaterials have been engineered based on natural compounds, synthetic compounds, or a mix of both with the aim of providing polymers with specific properties. The mechanical properties of biomaterials can be exquisitely regulated forming polymers with different stiffness, modifiable physical state that polymerizes in situ, or small particles encapsulating cells or growth factors. The choice of biomaterial compounds should be adapted for the different applications, structure target, and delay of administration. Biocompatibilities with embedded cells and with the host tissue and biodegradation rate must be considerate. In this paper, we review the different applications of biomaterials combined with cell therapy in ischemic stroke and we explore specific features such as choice of biomaterial compounds and physical and mechanical properties concerning the recent studies in experimental stroke. Ligia S. B. Boisserand, Tomonobu Kodama, Jérémie Papassin, Rachel Auzely, Anaïck Moisan, Claire Rome, and Olivier Detante Copyright © 2016 Ligia S. B. Boisserand et al. All rights reserved. Prevention and Therapeutic Effects and Mechanisms of Tanshinone IIA Sodium Sulfonate on Acute Liver Injury Mice Model Wed, 04 May 2016 11:28:53 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/4097398/ Tanshinone IIA sodium sulfonate (TSS) is a water-soluble derivative of tanshinone IIA, which is the main pharmacologically active component of Salvia miltiorrhiza. This study aimed to verify the preventive and therapeutic effects of TSS and its combined therapeutic effects with magnesium isoglycyrrhizinate (MI) in D-galactosamine- (D-Gal-) induced acute liver injury (ALI) in mice. The potential regulatory mechanisms of TSS on ALI were also examined. Our results may provide a basis for the development of novel therapeutics for ALI. Lunjie Lu, Jun Zhou, Jingying Zhang, Jun Che, Yang Jiao, and Yusong Zhang Copyright © 2016 Lunjie Lu et al. All rights reserved. Viscosity Solution of Mean-Variance Portfolio Selection of a Jump Markov Process with No-Shorting Constraints Wed, 04 May 2016 11:27:34 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jam/2016/4543298/ We consider the so-called mean-variance portfolio selection problem in continuous time under the constraint that the short-selling of stocks is prohibited where all the market coefficients are random processes. In this situation the Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman (HJB) equation of the value function of the auxiliary problem becomes a coupled system of backward stochastic partial differential equation. In fact, the value function often does not have the smoothness properties needed to interpret it as a solution to the dynamic programming partial differential equation in the usual (classical) sense; however, in such cases can be interpreted as a viscosity solution. Here we show the unicity of the viscosity solution and we see that the optimal and the value functions are piecewise linear functions based on some Riccati differential equations. In particular we solve the open problem posed by Li and Zhou and Zhou and Yin. Moussa Kounta Copyright © 2016 Moussa Kounta. All rights reserved. The Analgesic Effect of the Mitochondria-Targeted Antioxidant SkQ1 in Pancreatic Inflammation Wed, 04 May 2016 11:27:18 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2016/4650489/ Background. Chronic pancreatitis is one of the main risk factors for pancreatic cancer. In acute and chronic pancreatitis, oxidative stress is thought to play a key role. In this respect, the recently described mitochondria-targeted antioxidant SkQ1 effectively scavenges reactive oxygen species at nanomolar concentrations. Therefore, we aimed to characterize the influence of SkQ1 on tissue injury and pain in acute and chronic pancreatitis. Methods. Both acute and chronic pancreatitis were induced in C57BL/6 mice by intraperitoneal cerulein injections and treatment with SkQ1 was carried out by peroral applications. Hyperalgesia was assessed by behavioral observation and measurement of abdominal mechanical sensitivity. Blood serum and pancreatic tissue were harvested for analysis of lipase and histology. Results. SkQ1 did not influence pain, serological, or histological parameters of tissue injury in acute pancreatitis. In chronic pancreatitis, a highly significant reduction of pain-related behavior () was evident, but histological grading revealed increased tissue injury in SkQ1-treated animals (). Conclusion. After SkQ1 treatment, tissue injury is not ameliorated in acute pancreatitis and increased in chronic pancreatitis. However, we show an analgesic effect in chronic pancreatitis. Further studies will need to elucidate the risks and benefits of mitochondria-targeted antioxidants as an analgesic. Maximilian Weniger, Leonard Reinelt, Jens Neumann, Lesca Holdt, Matthias Ilmer, Bernhard Renz, Werner Hartwig, Jens Werner, Alexandr V. Bazhin, and Jan G. D’Haese Copyright © 2016 Maximilian Weniger et al. All rights reserved. Enhancing the Security of Customer Data in Cloud Environments Using a Novel Digital Fingerprinting Technique Wed, 04 May 2016 11:25:10 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijdmb/2016/8789397/ With the rapid rise of the Internet and electronics in people’s life, the data related to it has also undergone a mammoth increase in magnitude. The data which is stored in the cloud can be sensitive and at times needs a proper file storage system with a tough security algorithm. Whereas cloud is an open shareable elastic environment, it needs impenetrable and airtight security. This paper deals with furnishing a secure storage system for the above-mentioned purpose in the cloud. To become eligible to store data a user has to register with the cloud database. This prevents unauthorized access. The files stored in the cloud are encrypted with RSA algorithm and digital fingerprint for the same has been generated through MD5 message digest before storage. The RSA provides unreadability of data to anyone without the private key. MD5 makes it impossible for any changes on data to go unnoticed. After the application of RSA and MD5 before storage, the data becomes resistant to access or modifications by any third party and to intruders of cloud storage system. This application is tested in Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud Web Services. Nithya Chidambaram, Pethuru Raj, K. Thenmozhi, and Rengarajan Amirtharajan Copyright © 2016 Nithya Chidambaram et al. All rights reserved. Tanshinone IIA Alleviates the AD Phenotypes in APP and PS1 Transgenic Mice Wed, 04 May 2016 11:24:23 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2016/7631801/ Therapeutic approach for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is still deficient. To find active compounds from herbal medicine is of interest in the alleviation of AD symptoms. This study aimed to investigate the protective effects of Tanshinone IIA (TIIA) on memory performance and synaptic plasticity in a transgenic AD model at the early phase. 25–100 mg/kg TIIA (intraperitoneal injection, i.p.) was administered to the six-month-old APP and PS1 transgenic mice for 30 consecutive days. After treatment, spatial memory, synaptic plasticity, and related mechanisms were investigated. Our result showed that memory impairment in AD mice was mitigated by 50 and 100 mg/kg TIIA treatments. Hippocampal long-term potentiation was impaired in AD model but rescued by 100 mg/kg TIIA treatment. Mechanically, TIIA treatment reduced the accumulations of beta-amyloid 1–42, C-terminal fragments (CTFs), and p-Tau in the AD model. TIIA did not affect basal BDNF but promoted depolarization-induced BDNF synthesis in the AD mice. Taken together, TIIA repairs hippocampal LTP and memory, likely, through facilitating the clearance of AD-related proteins and activating synaptic BDNF synthesis. TIIA might be a candidate drug for AD treatment. Fengling Li, Guosheng Han, and Kexiang Wu Copyright © 2016 Fengling Li et al. All rights reserved. A Patient Specific Biomechanical Analysis of Custom Root Analogue Implant Designs on Alveolar Bone Stress: A Finite Element Study Wed, 04 May 2016 11:22:10 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijd/2016/8242535/ Objectives. The aim of this study was to analyse by means of FEA the influence of 5 custom RAI designs on stress distribution of peri-implant bone and to evaluate the impact on microdisplacement for a specific patient case. Materials and Methods. A 3D surface model of a RAI for the upper right canine was constructed from the cone beam computed tomography data of one patient. Subsequently, five (targeted) press-fit design modification FE models with five congruent bone models were designed: “Standard,” “Prism,” “Fins,” “Plug,” and “Bulbs,” respectively. Preprocessor software was applied to mesh the models. Two loads were applied: an oblique force (300 N) and a vertical force (150 N). Analysis was performed to evaluate stress distributions and deformed contact separation at the peri-implant region. Results. The lowest von Mises stress levels were numerically observed for the Plug design. The lowest levels of contact separation were measured in the Fins model followed by the Bulbs design. Conclusions. Within the limitations of the applied methodology, adding targeted press-fit geometry to the RAI standard design will have a positive effect on stress distribution, lower concentration of bone stress, and will provide a better primary stability for this patient specific case. David Anssari Moin, Bassam Hassan, and Daniel Wismeijer Copyright © 2016 David Anssari Moin et al. All rights reserved. Microcontroller Based Flexible Modulation Scheme of MLI Operation for Selective Lower Levels: A Knowledge Based Approach Wed, 04 May 2016 11:18:08 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/je/2016/9206124/ In today’s industrial world multilevel inverter (MLI) got a significant importance in medium voltage application and also a very potential topic for researchers. It is experienced that studying and comparing results of multilevel inverter (MLI) at distinct levels are a costlier and time consuming issue for any researcher if he fabricate different inverters for each level, as designing power modules simultaneously for different level is a cumbersome task. In this paper a flexible quotient has been proposed to recognize possible conversion of available MLI to few lower level inverters by appropriately changing microcontroller programming. This is an attempt to obtain such change in levels through simulation using MATLAB Simulink on inductive load which may also be applied to induction motor. Experimental results of pulse generation using dsPIC33EP256MC202 demonstrate the feasibility of proposed scheme. Proposed flexible quotient successfully demonstrates that a five-level inverter may be operated as three and two levels also. The paper focuses on odd levels only as common mode voltage (CMV) can be reduced to zero and performance of drives is better than even level. Simulated and experimental results are given in paper. R. K. Dhatrak, R. K. Nema, and D. M. Deshpande Copyright © 2016 R. K. Dhatrak et al. All rights reserved. Adaptability of Napiergrass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumach.) for Weed Control in Site of Animals Buried after Foot-and-Mouth Disease Infection Wed, 04 May 2016 11:08:06 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/scientifica/2016/6532160/ After the infection of foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks in Miyazaki, Japan, in 2010, cattle and swine were slaughtered and buried in a site of 100 ha, where weed control is difficult and costly since lands are unlevelled and prohibited to be plowed for 3 years. To consider the adaptability of napiergrass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumach.) to the animal burial site for weed control, two napiergrass varieties, normal Wruk wona (WK) and dwarf late-heading variety (DL), were transplanted, compared with sowing of maize (MZ) and sorghum (SR) in both burial (BU) and neighboring bordered area (BO) in mid-June 2011. Even though several weed control methods were subjected to lands, MZ and SR failed to be established stably at only 1/3–1/2 due to the suppression of growth by indigenous weeds, while WK and DL successfully established as high as 82–91 and 73–85, respectively, in 2011. The poor establishment of MZ and SR after sowing tended to be increased with the year from establishment. Plant dry matter yield and cellulose concentration were the highest in WK in 2011, while overwintering ability was constantly higher in DL in the 3 years. It is necessary to consider the utilization of forage plants on the animal burial site. Yasuyuki Ishii, Yusuke Iki, Kouhei Inoue, Shuhei Nagata, Sachiko Idota, Masato Yokota, and Aya Nishiwaki Copyright © 2016 Yasuyuki Ishii et al. All rights reserved. Composition Formulas of Bessel-Struve Kernel Function Wed, 04 May 2016 11:04:38 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2016/9560346/ The object of this paper is to study and develop the generalized fractional calculus operators involving Appell’s function due to Marichev-Saigo-Maeda. Here, we establish the generalized fractional calculus formulas involving Bessel-Struve kernel function to obtain the results in terms of generalized Wright functions. The representations of Bessel-Struve kernel function in terms of exponential function and its relation with Bessel and Struve function are also discussed. The pathway integral representations of Bessel-Struve kernel function are also given in this study. K. S. Nisar, S. R. Mondal, and P. Agarwal Copyright © 2016 K. S. Nisar et al. All rights reserved. Holding the Inflammatory System in Check: TLRs and Their Targeted Therapy in Asthma Wed, 04 May 2016 11:00:49 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2016/2180417/ Inflammation is a complex biological response to detrimental stimuli and can be a double-edged sword. Inflammation plays a protective role in removing pathogenic factors, but dysregulated inflammation is associated with several major fatal diseases such as asthma, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. Asthma is a complex heterogenous disease caused by genetic and environmental factors. TLRs are the primary proteins associated with the innate and adaptive immune responses to these fatal factors and play an important role in recognizing pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), which initiates the downstream immune response. Due to the complex TLRs cascade and nowadays unsuccessful control in asthma, new studies are focused on TLRs and other potential targets in TLR cascade to minimize airway inflammation. Zhiyong Dong, Lingxin Xiong, Weijie Zhang, Peter G. Gibson, Ting Wang, Yanjiao Lu, Guoqiang Wang, Hui Li, and Fang Wang Copyright © 2016 Zhiyong Dong et al. All rights reserved. Influence of βS-Globin Haplotypes and Hydroxyurea on Arginase I Levels in Sickle Cell Disease Wed, 04 May 2016 10:59:47 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/dm/2016/9172726/ Introduction. Sickle cell disease (SCD) is characterized by hemoglobin S homozygosity, leading to hemolysis and vasoocclusion. The hemolysis releases arginase I, an enzyme that decreases the bioavailability of nitric oxide, worsening the symptoms. The different SCD haplotypes are related to clinical symptoms and varied hemoglobin F (HbF) concentration. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of the βS gene haplotypes and HbF concentration on arginase I levels in SCD patients. Methods. Fifty SCD adult patients were enrolled in the study and 20 blood donors composed the control group. Arginase I was measured by ELISA. The βS haplotypes were identified by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). Statistical analyses were performed with GraphPad Prism program and the significance level was . Results. Significant increase was observed in the arginase I levels in SCD patients compared to the control group (). The comparison between the levels of arginase I in three haplotypes groups showed a difference between the Bantu/Bantu Bantu/Benin groups; Bantu/Bantu Benin/Benin, independent of HU dosage. An inverse correlation with the arginase I levels and HbF concentration was observed. Conclusion. The results support the hypothesis that arginase I is associated with HbF concentration, also measured indirectly by the association with haplotypes. J. A. Moreira, R. P. G. Machado, M. R. Laurentino, Romelia Pinheiro Gonçalves Lemes, M. C. Barbosa, T. E. Santos, I. C. J. Bandeira, and A. M. C. Martins Copyright © 2016 J. A. Moreira et al. All rights reserved. Business Information Exchange System with Security, Privacy, and Anonymity Wed, 04 May 2016 10:00:50 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jece/2016/7093642/ Business Information Exchange is an Internet Secure Portal for secure management, distribution, sharing, and use of business e-mails, documents, and messages. It has three applications supporting three major types of information exchange systems: secure e-mail, secure instant messaging, and secure sharing of business documents. In addition to standard security services for e-mail letters, which are also applied to instant messages and documents, the system provides innovative features of privacy and full anonymity of users and their locations, actions, transactions, and exchanged resources. In this paper we describe design, implementation, and use of the system. Sead Muftic, Nazri bin Abdullah, and Ioannis Kounelis Copyright © 2016 Sead Muftic et al. All rights reserved. Synthesis and Magnetic Characterization of Graphite-Coated Iron Nanoparticles Wed, 04 May 2016 09:58:21 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnt/2016/6571643/ Graphite-coated iron nanoparticles were prepared from magnetite nanoparticles by chemical vapour deposition (CVD) under methane and hydrogen atmosphere. After being purified from carbon excess, graphite-coated iron nanoparticles were tested for morphological and magnetic properties. It was found that, during the thermal process, magnetite nanoparticles 6 nm in size coalesce and transform into graphite-coated iron 200 nm in size, as revealed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Raman characterization assessed that high-quality graphite coats the iron core. Magnetic measurements revealed the phase change (magnetite to iron) as an increase in the saturation magnetization from 50 to 165 emu/g after the CVD process. A. M. Espinoza-Rivas, M. A. Pérez-Guzmán, R. Ortega-Amaya, J. Santoyo-Salazar, C. D. Gutiérrez-Lazos, and M. Ortega-López Copyright © 2016 A. M. Espinoza-Rivas et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of Qualitative Changes in Simulated Periodontal Ligament and Alveolar Bone Using a Noncontact Electromagnetic Vibration Device with a Laser Displacement Sensor Wed, 04 May 2016 09:57:58 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2016/9636513/ Evaluating periodontal tissue condition is an important diagnostic parameter in periodontal disease. Noncontact electromagnetic vibration device (NEVD) was previously developed to monitor this condition using mechanical parameters. However, this system requires accelerometer on the target tooth. This study assessed application of laser displacement sensor (LDS) to NEVD without accelerometer using experimental tooth models. Tooth models consisted of cylindrical rod, a tissue conditioner, and polyurethane or polyurethane foam to simulate tooth, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone, respectively. Tissue conditioner was prepared by mixing various volumes of liquid with powder. Mechanical parameters (resonant frequency, elastic modulus, and coefficient of viscosity) were assessed using NEVD with the following methods: Group A, measurement with accelerometer; Group B, measurement with LDS in the presence of accelerometer; and Group C, measurement with LDS in the absence of accelerometer. Mechanical parameters significantly decreased with increasing liquid volume. Significant differences were also observed between the polyurethane and polyurethane foam models. Meanwhile, no statistically significant differences were observed between Groups A and B; however, most mechanical parameters in Group C were significantly larger and more distinguishable than those of Groups A and B. LDS could measure mechanical parameters more accurately and clearly distinguished the different periodontal ligament and alveolar bone conditions. Hiroshi Kobayashi, Makoto Hayashi, Masaru Yamaoka, Takuya Yasukawa, Haruna Ibi, and Bunnai Ogiso Copyright © 2016 Hiroshi Kobayashi et al. All rights reserved. Expressing Redundancy among Linear-Epitope Sequence Data Based on Residue-Level Physicochemical Similarity in the Context of Antigenic Cross-Reaction Wed, 04 May 2016 09:57:04 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/abi/2016/1276594/ Epitope-based design of vaccines, immunotherapeutics, and immunodiagnostics is complicated by structural changes that radically alter immunological outcomes. This is obscured by expressing redundancy among linear-epitope data as fractional sequence-alignment identity, which fails to account for potentially drastic loss of binding affinity due to single-residue substitutions even where these might be considered conservative in the context of classical sequence analysis. From the perspective of immune function based on molecular recognition of epitopes, functional redundancy of epitope data (FRED) thus may be defined in a biologically more meaningful way based on residue-level physicochemical similarity in the context of antigenic cross-reaction, with functional similarity between epitopes expressed as the Shannon information entropy for differential epitope binding. Such similarity may be estimated in terms of structural differences between an immunogen epitope and an antigen epitope with reference to an idealized binding site of high complementarity to the immunogen epitope, by analogy between protein folding and ligand-receptor binding; but this underestimates potential for cross-reactivity, suggesting that epitope-binding site complementarity is typically suboptimal as regards immunologic specificity. The apparently suboptimal complementarity may reflect a tradeoff to attain optimal immune function that favors generation of immune-system components each having potential for cross-reactivity with a variety of epitopes. Salvador Eugenio C. Caoili Copyright © 2016 Salvador Eugenio C. Caoili. All rights reserved. Fast and Energy Efficient Multihop D2D Routing Scheme Wed, 04 May 2016 09:44:21 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijdsn/2016/2148734/ Device-to-device (D2D) communications are expected to offload cellular networks and enhance public safety. In addition to the capability of direct communication between devices, the capability of delivering data over multihops in an ad hoc manner by autonomous decision of each device is highly desired to expand application areas of D2D communications. To address this issue, we propose a fast and energy efficient D2D multihop routing method using the geographic locations of nodes. To expedite data delivery while saving transmission powers of nodes, we devise the next hop selection method considering the congestion levels of potential next hops. In addition, we devise a detour scheme to move around a routing hole that is encountered when a node cannot find a neighbor that is closer to the destination of a packet than itself. We also propose management procedures so that each node acquires the locations of destinations and its neighboring nodes. Through extensive simulations, we validate the proposed method by comparing the performance of the proposed method with those of maximum progress method (MaxP), cost over progress method (CoP), and congestion-aware forwarder selection method (CAFS). Even though the number of hops obtained by the proposed method is larger than those obtained by MaxP and CAFS, our method is superior to them in terms of the probability of successfully delivering packets to destinations and total amount of energy consumption. We also show that our method can reduce end-to-end delay considerably compared with CoP. Jaesung Park Copyright © 2016 Jaesung Park. All rights reserved. Diagnostic Value of White Blood Cell and C-Reactive Protein in Pediatric Appendicitis Wed, 04 May 2016 09:29:58 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2016/6508619/ Background. Acute appendicitis (AA) associated with acute phase reaction is the most prevalent disease which requires emergency surgery. Its delayed diagnosis and unnecessarily performed appendectomies lead to numerous complications. In our study, we aimed to detect the role of WBC and CRP in the exclusion of acute and complicated appendicitis and diagnostic accuracy in pediatric age group. Methods. Appendectomized patient groups were constructed based on the results of histological evaluation. The area under a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) was performed to examine diagnostic accuracy. Results. When WBC and CRP were used in combination, based on cut-off values of ≥13.1 × 103/μL for WBC counts and ≥1.17 mg/dL for CRP level, diagnostic parameters were as follows: sensitivity, 98.7%; specificity, 71.3%; PPV, 50.6%; NPV, 99.5%; diagnostic accuracy, 77.6%; LR(+), 3.44; LR(−), 0.017. AUC values were 0.845 (95% CI 0.800–0.891) for WBC and 0.887 (95% CI 0.841–0.932) for CRP. Conclusions. For complicated appendicitis, CRP has the highest degree of diagnostic accuracy. The diagnosis of appendicitis should be made primarily based on clinical examination, and obviously more specific and systemic inflammatory markers are needed. Combined use of cut-off values of WBC (≥13100/μL) and CRP (≥1.17 mg/L) yields a higher sensitivity and NPV for the diagnosis of complicated appendicitis. Sevgi Buyukbese Sarsu and Fatma Sarac Copyright © 2016 Sevgi Buyukbese Sarsu and Fatma Sarac. All rights reserved. Biodiesel Production from Castor Oil by Using Calcium Oxide Derived from Mud Clam Shell Wed, 04 May 2016 09:10:10 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jre/2016/5274917/ The catalytic potential of calcium oxide synthesized from mud clam shell as a heterogeneous catalyst for biodiesel production was studied. The mud clam shell calcium oxide was characterized using particle size analyzer, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and BET gas sorption analyzer. The catalyst performance of mud clam shell calcium oxide was studied in the transesterification of castor oil as biodiesel. Catalyst characterization and transesterification study results of synthesized catalyst proved the efficiency of the natural derived catalyst for biodiesel production. A highest biodiesel yield of 96.7% was obtained at optimal parameters such as 1 : 14 oil-to-methanol molar ratio, 3% w/w catalyst concentration, 60°C reaction temperature, and 2-hour reaction time. Catalyst reusability test shows that the synthesized calcium oxide from mud clam shell is reusable up to 5 times. S. Ismail, A. S. Ahmed, Reddy Anr, and S. Hamdan Copyright © 2016 S. Ismail et al. All rights reserved. Integrable 2D Time-Irreversible Systems with a Cubic Second Integral Wed, 04 May 2016 09:05:41 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amp/2016/8958747/ We construct a very rare integrable 2D mechanical system which admits a complementary integral of motion cubic in the velocities in the presence of conservative potential and velocity-dependent (gyroscopic) forces. Special cases are given interpretation as a motion of a particle on a sphere endowed with a Riemannian metric, a particle in the Euclidean plane, and new generalizations of two cases of motion of a rigid body with a cubic integral, known by names of Goriachev-Chaplygin and Goriachev. H. M. Yehia and A. A. Elmandouh Copyright © 2016 H. M. Yehia and A. A. Elmandouh. All rights reserved. Adjuvants: Classification, Modus Operandi, and Licensing Wed, 04 May 2016 09:02:11 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2016/1459394/ Vaccination is one of the most efficient strategies for the prevention of infectious diseases. Although safer, subunit vaccines are poorly immunogenic and for this reason the use of adjuvants is strongly recommended. Since their discovery in the beginning of the 20th century, adjuvants have been used to improve immune responses that ultimately lead to protection against disease. The choice of the adjuvant is of utmost importance as it can stimulate protective immunity. Their mechanisms of action have now been revealed. Our increasing understanding of the immune system, and of correlates of protection, is helping in the development of new vaccine formulations for global infections. Nevertheless, few adjuvants are licensed for human vaccines and several formulations are now being evaluated in clinical trials. In this review, we briefly describe the most well known adjuvants used in experimental and clinical settings based on their main mechanisms of action and also highlight the requirements for licensing new vaccine formulations. Juliana de Souza Apostólico, Victória Alves Santos Lunardelli, Fernanda Caroline Coirada, Silvia Beatriz Boscardin, and Daniela Santoro Rosa Copyright © 2016 Juliana de Souza Apostólico et al. All rights reserved. A Method to Control Dynamic Errors of the Stylus-Based Probing System for the Surface Form Measurement of Microstructures Wed, 04 May 2016 09:01:03 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnm/2016/3727514/ Dynamic errors of the stylus-based probing system seriously affect the measurement accuracy in surface quality detection on microstructures. A method, which is focused on measuring the surface form of microgears, microholes on the injector nozzle, and so forth, is proposed to control dynamic errors of the stylus-based probing system. Firstly, two kinematical models were built to systematically investigate the dynamic performance of the stylus-based probing system, and the relationship between the measuring force, scanning speed, fidelity, and dynamic errors was described. Then, numerical simulations of the surface form measurement, in which a sine-shaped microstructure was taken as a target surface, were carried out. Results of the numerical simulations reveal that the dynamic errors were affected by the scanning speed and the initial position of the measured specimen. Lastly, a method to control dynamic errors by properly setting up the scanning speed and the initial position of the specimen was proposed for the surface form measurement of microstructures. Hui Fang, Bin Xu, Deqiang Yin, and Shiping Zhao Copyright © 2016 Hui Fang et al. All rights reserved. The Proteome and Lipidome of Thermococcus kodakarensis across the Stationary Phase Wed, 04 May 2016 08:58:10 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/archaea/2016/5938289/ The majority of cells in nature probably exist in a stationary-phase-like state, due to nutrient limitation in most environments. Studies on bacteria and yeast reveal morphological and physiological changes throughout the stationary phase, which lead to an increased ability to survive prolonged nutrient limitation. However, there is little information on archaeal stationary phase responses. We investigated protein- and lipid-level changes in Thermococcus kodakarensis with extended time in the stationary phase. Adaptations to time in stationary phase included increased proportion of membrane lipids with a tetraether backbone, synthesis of proteins that ensure translational fidelity, specific regulation of ABC transporters (upregulation of some, downregulation of others), and upregulation of proteins involved in coenzyme production. Given that the biological mechanism of tetraether synthesis is unknown, we also considered whether any of the protein-level changes in T. kodakarensis might shed light on the production of tetraether lipids across the same period. A putative carbon-nitrogen hydrolase, a TldE (a protease in Escherichia coli) homologue, and a membrane bound hydrogenase complex subunit were candidates for possible involvement in tetraether-related reactions, while upregulation of adenosylcobalamin synthesis proteins might lend support to a possible radical mechanism as a trigger for tetraether synthesis. Emma J. Gagen, Marcos Y. Yoshinaga, Franka Garcia Prado, Kai-Uwe Hinrichs, and Michael Thomm Copyright © 2016 Emma J. Gagen et al. All rights reserved. Analytical Solutions for Composition-Dependent Coagulation Wed, 04 May 2016 08:57:25 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2016/1735897/ Exact solutions of the bicomponent Smoluchowski’s equation with a composition-dependent additive kernel are derived by using the Laplace transform for any initial particle size distribution. The exact solution for an exponential initial distribution is then used to analyse the effects of parameter on mixing degree of such bicomponent mixtures and the conditional distribution of the first component for particles with given mass. The main finding is that the conditional distribution of large particles at larger time is a Gaussian function which is independent of the parameter . Manli Yang, Zhiming Lu, and Jie Shen Copyright © 2016 Manli Yang et al. All rights reserved. Sequence- and Structure-Based Functional Annotation and Assessment of Metabolic Transporters in Aspergillus oryzae: A Representative Case Study Wed, 04 May 2016 08:47:34 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2016/8124636/ Aspergillus oryzae is widely used for the industrial production of enzymes. In A. oryzae metabolism, transporters appear to play crucial roles in controlling the flux of molecules for energy generation, nutrients delivery, and waste elimination in the cell. While the A. oryzae genome sequence is available, transporter annotation remains limited and thus the connectivity of metabolic networks is incomplete. In this study, we developed a metabolic annotation strategy to understand the relationship between the sequence, structure, and function for annotation of A. oryzae metabolic transporters. Sequence-based analysis with manual curation showed that 58 genes of 12,096 total genes in the A. oryzae genome encoded metabolic transporters. Under consensus integrative databases, 55 unambiguous metabolic transporter genes were distributed into channels and pores (7 genes), electrochemical potential-driven transporters (33 genes), and primary active transporters (15 genes). To reveal the transporter functional role, a combination of homology modeling and molecular dynamics simulation was implemented to assess the relationship between sequence to structure and structure to function. As in the energy metabolism of A. oryzae, the H+-ATPase encoded by the AO090005000842 gene was selected as a representative case study of multilevel linkage annotation. Our developed strategy can be used for enhancing metabolic network reconstruction. Nachon Raethong, Jirasak Wong-ekkabut, Kobkul Laoteng, and Wanwipa Vongsangnak Copyright © 2016 Nachon Raethong et al. All rights reserved. Development of a Wireless Temperature Sensor Using Polymer-Derived Ceramics Wed, 04 May 2016 08:35:22 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/js/2016/8624817/ A temperature sensor has been developed using an embedded system and a sensor head made of polymer-derived SiAlCN ceramics (PDCs). PDC is a promising material for measuring high temperature and the embedded system features low-power consumption, compact size, and wireless transmission. The developed temperature sensor has been experimentally tested to demonstrate the possibility of using such sensors for real world applications. Ran Zhao, Gang Shao, Ni Li, Chengying Xu, and Linan An Copyright © 2016 Ran Zhao et al. All rights reserved. An Efficient Electronic English Auction System with a Secure On-Shelf Mechanism and Privacy Preserving Wed, 04 May 2016 08:31:22 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jece/2016/6567146/ With the rapid development of the Internet, electronic commerce has become more and more popular. As an important element of e-commerce, many Internet companies such as Yahoo! and eBay have launched electronic auction systems. However, like most electronic commerce products, safety is an important issue that should be addressed. Many researchers have proposed secure electronic auction mechanisms, but we found that some of them do not exhibit the property of unlinkability, which leads to the leakage of users’ privacy. Considering the importance of privacy preservation, we have designed a new auction mechanism. Through symmetrical key establishment in the registration phase, all messages transmitted over the Internet would be protected and, meanwhile, achieve the property of unlinkability. The security analysis and performance analysis show that our protocol fulfills more security properties and is more efficient for implementation compared with recent works. Hong Zhong, Song Li, Ting-Fang Cheng, and Chin-Chen Chang Copyright © 2016 Hong Zhong et al. All rights reserved. Geometrically Nonlinear Aeroelastic Stability Analysis and Wind Tunnel Test Validation of a Very Flexible Wing Wed, 04 May 2016 08:18:18 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sv/2016/5090719/ VFAs (very flexible aircraft) have begun to attract significant attention because of their good flight performances and significant application potentials; however, they also bring some challenges to researchers due to their unusual lightweight designs and large elastic deformations. A framework for the geometrically nonlinear aeroelastic stability analysis of very flexible wings is constructed in this paper to illustrate the unique aeroelastic characteristics and convenient use of these designs in engineering analysis. The nonlinear aeroelastic analysis model includes the geometrically nonlinear structure finite elements and steady and unsteady nonplanar aerodynamic computations (i.e., the nonplanar vortex lattice method and nonplanar doublet-lattice method). Fully nonlinear methods are used to analyse static aeroelastic features, and linearized structural dynamic equations are established at the structural nonlinear equilibrium state to estimate the stability of the system through the quasimode of the stressed and deformed structure. The exact flutter boundary is searched via an iterative procedure. A wind tunnel test is conducted to validate this theoretical analysis framework, and reasonable agreement is obtained. Both the analysis and test results indicate that the geometric nonlinearity of very flexible wings presents significantly different aeroelastic characteristics under different load cases with large deformations. Changchuan Xie, Yi Liu, Chao Yang, and J. E. Cooper Copyright © 2016 Changchuan Xie et al. All rights reserved. Immune Signatures in Patients with Psoriasis Vulgaris of Blood-Heat Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Wed, 04 May 2016 08:04:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/9503652/ Objective. To determine whether immunological serum markers IFN-γ, IL-4, IL-17, IL-23, IL-6, TNF-α, and IL-10 are elevated or decreased in patients compared with healthy controls. Methods. A complete search of the literature on this topic within the past 30 years was conducted across seven databases. Seventeen studies including 768 individuals were identified. Differences in serum marker levels between subjects and controls were pooled as MDs using the random-effects model. Results. The pooled MDs were higher in patients than in healthy controls for IFN-γ (MD 24.9, 95% CI 12.36–37.43), IL-17 (MD 28.92, 95% CI 17.44–40.40), IL-23 (MD 310.60, 95% CI 4.96–616.24), and TNF-α (MD 19.84, 95% CI 13.80–25.87). Pooled IL-4 (MD −13.5, 95% CI −17.74–−9.26) and IL-10 (MD −10.33, 95% CI −12.03–−8.63) levels were lower in patients. Conclusion. The pooled analyses suggest that levels of IFN-γ, IL-17, IL-23, and TNF-α are significantly elevated and that levels of IL-4 and IL-10 are significantly decreased in sera of patients with psoriasis vulgaris of blood-heat syndrome. Measuring progression of blood-heat syndrome of psoriasis vulgaris will require additional high-quality data, with a low risk of bias and adequate sample sizes, before and after antipsoriatic therapy. Xin Li, Qing-qing Xiao, Fu-lun Li, Rong Xu, Bin Fan, Min-feng Wu, Min Zhou, Su Li, Jie Chen, Shi-guang Peng, and Bin Li Copyright © 2016 Xin Li et al. All rights reserved. Empirical Study of the Effects of Different Similarity Measures on Test Case Prioritization Wed, 04 May 2016 08:00:07 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2016/8343910/ Similarity-based test case prioritization algorithms have been applied to regression testing. The common characteristic of these algorithms is to reschedule the execution order of test cases according to the distances between pair-wise test cases. The distance information can be calculated by different similarity measures. Since the topologies vary with similarity measures, the distances between pair-wise test cases calculated by different similarity measures are different. Similarity measures could significantly influence the effectiveness of test case prioritization. Therefore, we empirically evaluate the effects of six similarity measures on two similarity-based test case prioritization algorithms. The obtained results are statistically analyzed to recommend the best combination of similarity-based prioritization algorithms and similarity measures. The experimental results, confirmed by a statistical analysis, indicate that Euclidean distance is more efficient in finding defects than other similarity measures. The combination of the global similarity-based prioritization algorithm and Euclidean distance could be a better choice. It generates not only higher fault detection effectiveness but also smaller standard deviation. The goal of this study is to provide practical guides for picking the appropriate combination of similarity-based test case prioritization techniques and similarity measures. Rongcun Wang, Shujuan Jiang, Deng Chen, and Yanmei Zhang Copyright © 2016 Rongcun Wang et al. All rights reserved. Role of NLRP3 Inflammasome in the Progression of NAFLD to NASH Wed, 04 May 2016 07:47:58 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cjgh/2016/6489012/ Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has been recognized as a major public health problem worldwide. Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is an advanced form of NAFLD that may progress to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. The pathogenesis of disease progression from NAFLD to NASH has not been fully understood. Immunological mechanisms that have been increasingly recognized in the disease progression include defects in innate immunity, adaptive immunity, Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling, and gut-liver axis. The NLRP3 inflammasome is an intracellular multiprotein complex involved in the production of mature interleukin 1-beta (IL-1β) and induces metabolic inflammation. NLRP3 inflammasome has been recently demonstrated to play a crucial role in the progression of NASH. This review highlights the recent findings linking NLRP3 inflammasome to the progression of NASH. Xingyong Wan, Chengfu Xu, Chaohui Yu, and Youming Li Copyright © 2016 Xingyong Wan et al. All rights reserved. Extraction of a Large Central Airway Foreign Body Using Flexible Bronchoscopy Combined with an Endobronchial Blocker Wed, 04 May 2016 07:42:21 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cris/2016/3179184/ Adult foreign body (FB) aspiration is an uncommon but potentially fatal event. Options for extraction include flexible bronchoscopy (FLXB), rigid bronchoscopy (RB), and surgical extraction. We report the case of a large, smooth aspirated rock causing airway obstruction in an elderly male. RB is generally the preferred approach for extraction of a large complex FB; however, due to its size, the FB had to be removed using FLXB combined with an endobronchial blocker. In this report, we describe the anesthetic and surgical considerations and the novel technique used to extract the FB. Tyler Paradis, Michael Wollenberg, and Brandon Tieu Copyright © 2016 Tyler Paradis et al. All rights reserved. Association of Nuclear Factor-Erythroid 2-Related Factor 2, Thioredoxin Interacting Protein, and Heme Oxygenase-1 Gene Polymorphisms with Diabetes and Obesity in Mexican Patients Wed, 04 May 2016 07:15:06 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2016/7367641/ The nuclear factor-erythroid 2- (NF-E2-) related factor 2 (Nrf2) is abated and its ability to reduce oxidative stress is impaired in type 2 diabetes and obesity. Thus, the aim of this study was to explore if polymorphisms in Nrf2 and target genes are associated with diabetes and obesity in Mexican mestizo subjects. The rs1800566 of NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) gene, rs7211 of thioredoxin interacting protein (TXNIP) gene, rs2071749 of heme oxygenase-1 (HMOX1) gene, and the rs6721961 and the rs2364723 from Nrf2 gene were genotyped in 627 diabetic subjects and 1020 controls. The results showed that the rs7211 polymorphism is a protective factor against obesity in nondiabetic subjects (CC + CT versus TT, OR = 0.40, ) and in women (CC versus CT + TT, OR = 0.7, ). TT carriers had lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and lower body mass index. The rs2071749 was positively associated with obesity (AA versus AG + GG, OR = 1.25, ). Finally, the rs6721961 was negatively associated with diabetes in men (CC versus CA + AA, OR = 0.62, ). AA carriers showed lower glucose concentrations. No association was found for rs1800566 and rs2364723 polymorphisms. In conclusion, the presence of Nrf2 and related genes polymorphisms are associated with diabetes and obesity in Mexican patients. Angélica Saraí Jiménez-Osorio, Susana González-Reyes, Wylly Ramsés García-Niño, Hortensia Moreno-Macías, Martha Eunice Rodríguez-Arellano, Gilberto Vargas-Alarcón, Joaquín Zúñiga, Rodrigo Barquera, and José Pedraza-Chaverri Copyright © 2016 Angélica Saraí Jiménez-Osorio et al. All rights reserved. Increase in Growth Cone Size Correlates with Decrease in Neurite Growth Rate Wed, 04 May 2016 07:14:08 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/np/2016/3497901/ Several important discoveries in growth cone cell biology were made possible by the use of growth cones derived from cultured Aplysia bag cell neurons, including the characterization of the organization and dynamics of the cytoskeleton. The majority of these Aplysia studies focused on large growth cones induced by poly-L-lysine substrates at early stages in cell culture. Under these conditions, the growth cones are in a steady state with very little net advancement. Here, we offer a comprehensive cellular analysis of the motile behavior of Aplysia growth cones in culture beyond this pausing state. We found that average growth cone size decreased with cell culture time whereas average growth rate increased. This inverse correlation of growth rate and growth cone size was due to the occurrence of large growth cones with a peripheral domain larger than 100 μm2. The large pausing growth cones had central domains that were less consistently aligned with the direction of growth and could be converted into smaller, faster-growing growth cones by addition of a three-dimensional collagen gel. We conclude that the significant lateral expansion of lamellipodia and filopodia as observed during these culture conditions has a negative effect on neurite growth. Yuan Ren and Daniel M. Suter Copyright © 2016 Yuan Ren and Daniel M. Suter. All rights reserved. Sound Attenuation of Membranes Loaded with Square Frame-Shaped Masses Wed, 04 May 2016 07:03:45 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2016/1740236/ This study examines sound transmission of thin membranes with square frame-shaped masses. Numerical results indicate that multiple transmission loss peaks can be generated by adding more frame mass inclusions. The number and the location of the peaks are controlled by the number of frames, the frame distribution, and the frame width. Near the transmission loss peak frequencies, the dynamic effective mass density turns from positive to negative. The validity of the present model has been verified by comparing the analytical results with FE results. Two types of cell arrangements are also considered in this study, namely, cells in series and cells in array. It is seen that either the stacked or array configurations can produce better sound attenuation than single-celled structures. Moreover, the frequency band where sound wave is blocked can be broadened by stacking more layers with different mass magnitudes. Furthermore, additional frequency bands due to the periodicity of the structure are found in the stacked configurations. J. S. Chen and D. W. Kao Copyright © 2016 J. S. Chen and D. W. Kao. All rights reserved. Nonlinear Dynamics of a Toxin-Phytoplankton-Zooplankton System with Self- and Cross-Diffusion Wed, 04 May 2016 06:23:48 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ddns/2016/4893451/ A nonlinear system describing the interaction between toxin-producing phytoplankton and zooplankton was investigated analytically and numerically, where the system was represented by a couple of reaction-diffusion equations. We analyzed the effect of self- and cross-diffusion on the system. Some conditions for the local and global stability of the equilibrium were obtained based on the theoretical analysis. Furthermore, we found that the equilibrium lost its stability via Turing instability and patterns formation then occurred. In particular, the analysis indicated that cross-diffusion can play an important role in pattern formation. Subsequently, we performed a series of numerical simulations to further study the dynamics of the system, which demonstrated the rich dynamics induced by diffusion in the system. In addition, the numerical simulations indicated that the direction of cross-diffusion can influence the spatial distribution of the population and the population density. The numerical results agreed with the theoretical analysis. We hope that these results will prove useful in the study of toxic plankton systems. Pengfei Wang, Min Zhao, Hengguo Yu, Chuanjun Dai, Nan Wang, and Beibei Wang Copyright © 2016 Pengfei Wang et al. All rights reserved. Identification of Susceptibility Genes of Adult Asthma in French Canadian Women Wed, 04 May 2016 06:21:03 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crj/2016/3564341/ Susceptibility genes of asthma may be more successfully identified by studying subgroups of phenotypically similar asthma patients. This study aims to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with asthma in French Canadian adult women. A pooling-based genome-wide association study was performed in 240 allergic asthmatic and 120 allergic nonasthmatic women. The top associated SNPs were selected for individual genotyping in an extended cohort of 349 asthmatic and 261 nonasthmatic women. The functional impact of asthma-associated SNPs was investigated in a lung expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) mapping study (). Twenty-one of the 38 SNPs tested by individual genotyping showed values lower than 0.05 for association with asthma. Cis-eQTL analyses supported the functional contribution of rs17801353 associated with C3AR1 (). The asthma risk allele for rs17801353 is associated with higher mRNA expression levels of C3AR1 in lung tissue. In silico functional characterization of the asthma-associated SNPs also supported the contribution of C3AR1 and additional genes including SYNE1, LINGO2, and IFNG-AS1. This pooling-based GWAS in French Canadian adult women followed by lung eQTL mapping suggested C3AR1 as a functional locus associated with asthma. Additional susceptibility genes were suggested in this homogenous subgroup of asthma patients. Jean-Christophe Bérubé, Nathalie Gaudreault, Emilie Lavoie-Charland, Laura Sbarra, Cyndi Henry, Anne-Marie Madore, Peter D. Paré, Maarten van den Berge, David Nickle, Michel Laviolette, Catherine Laprise, Louis-Philippe Boulet, and Yohan Bossé Copyright © 2016 Jean-Christophe Bérubé et al. All rights reserved. Lung Ultrasound Diagnostic Accuracy in Neonatal Pneumothorax Tue, 03 May 2016 16:33:49 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crj/2016/6515069/ Background. Pneumothorax (PTX) still remains a common cause of morbidity in critically ill and ventilated neonates. At the present time, lung ultrasound (LUS) is not included in the diagnostic work-up of PTX in newborns despite of excellent evidence of reliability in adults. The aim of this study was to compare LUS, chest X-ray (CXR), and chest transillumination (CTR) for PTX diagnosis in a group of neonates in which the presence of air in the pleural space was confirmed. Methods. In a 36-month period, 49 neonates with respiratory distress were enrolled in the study. Twenty-three had PTX requiring aspiration or chest drainage (birth weight 2120 ± 1640 grams; gestational age = 36 ± 5 weeks), and 26 were suffering from respiratory distress without PTX (birth weight 2120 ± 1640 grams; gestational age = 34 ± 5 weeks). Both groups had done LUS, CTR, and CXR. Results. LUS was consistent with PTX in all 23 patients requiring chest aspiration. In this group, CXR did not detect PTX in one patient while CTR did not detect it in 3 patients. Sensitivity and specificity in diagnosing PTX were therefore 1 for LUS, 0.96 and 1 for CXR, and 0.87 and 0.96 for CTR. Conclusions. Our results confirm that also in newborns LUS is at least as accurate as CXR in the diagnosis of PTX while CTR has a lower accuracy. Luigi Cattarossi, Roberto Copetti, Giacomo Brusa, and Stefano Pintaldi Copyright © 2016 Luigi Cattarossi et al. All rights reserved. Energy-Efficient Opportunistic Transmission Scheduling for Sparse Sensor Networks with Mobile Relays Tue, 03 May 2016 16:12:45 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2016/7024737/ Wireless sensing devices have been widely used in civilian and military applications over the past decade. In some application scenarios, the sensors are sparsely deployed in the field and are costly or infeasible to have stable communication links for delivering the collected data to the destined server. A possible solution is to utilize the motion of entities that are already present in the environment to provide opportunistic relaying services for sensory data. In this paper, we design and propose a new scheduling scheme that opportunistically schedules data transmissions based on the optimal stopping theory, with a view of minimizing the energy consumption on network probes for data delivery. In fact, by exploiting the stochastic characteristics of the relay motion, we can postpone the communication up to an acceptable time deadline until the best relay is found. Simulation results validate the effectiveness of the derived optimal strategy. Wei Liu, Xiaojie Zhao, Yuan An, Xiangjun Dai, Qingtian Ma, and Hongjian Guo Copyright © 2016 Wei Liu et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of Multiple Immunoassay Technology Platforms to Select the Anti-Drug Antibody Assay Exhibiting the Most Appropriate Drug and Target Tolerance Tue, 03 May 2016 16:12:13 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2016/5069678/ The aim of this study was, at the assay development stage and thus with an appropriate degree of rigor, to select the most appropriate technology platform and sample pretreatment procedure for a clinical ADA assay. Thus, ELISA, MSD, Gyrolab, and AlphaLISA immunoassay platforms were evaluated in association with target depletion and acid dissociation sample pretreatment steps. An acid dissociation step successfully improved the drug tolerance for all 4 technology platforms and the required drug tolerance was achieved with the Gyrolab and MSD platforms. The target tolerance was shown to be better for the ELISA format, where an acid dissociation treatment step alone was sufficient to achieve the desired target tolerance. However, inclusion of a target depletion step in conjunction with the acid treatment raised the target tolerance to the desired level for all of the technologies. A higher sensitivity was observed for the MSD and Gyrolab assays and the ELISA, MSD, and Gyrolab all displayed acceptable interdonor variability. This study highlights the usefulness of evaluating the performance of different assay platforms at an early stage in the assay development process to aid in the selection of the best fit-for-purpose technology platform and sample pretreatment steps. Justine Collet-Brose, Pierre-Jean Couble, Maureen R. Deehan, Robert J. Nelson, Walter G. Ferlin, and Sabrina Lory Copyright © 2016 Justine Collet-Brose et al. All rights reserved. Two New 1,1,3,3-Tetramethylguanidinium Halochromates (C5H14N3CrO3X) (X: Cl, F): Efficient Reagents for Oxidation of Organic Substrates under Solvent-Free Conditions and Microwave Irradiation Tue, 03 May 2016 15:46:53 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jchem/2016/3518102/ Two new mild oxidizing agents 1,1,3,3-tetramethylguanidinium fluorochromate (TMGFC) and 1,1,3,3-tetramethylguanidinium chlorochromate (TMGCC) were prepared in high yields by reacting tetramethylguanidine with CrO3 and related acid. These reagents are suitable to oxidize various primary and secondary alcohols and oximes to the corresponding carbonyl compounds under solvent-free conditions and microwave irradiation. Kıvılcım Şendıl, H. Beytiye Özgün, and Ebru Üstün Copyright © 2016 Kıvılcım Şendıl et al. All rights reserved. A 12-Week Vigorous Exercise Protocol in a Healthy Group of Persons over 65: Study of Physical Function by means of the Senior Fitness Test Tue, 03 May 2016 15:46:46 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2016/7639842/ The aim of this study was to assess the effects of vigorous exercise on functional abilities by means of a Senior Fitness Test (SFT) in a group of elderly adults. Twenty healthy and inactive people performed vigorous exercise (VE: 12 men and 8 women, aged 69.6 ± 3.9 years). At the beginning of the study (T0) and after 3 months (T1), each subject’s functional ability was tested for muscular strength, agility, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and balance. The VE was designed with continuous and interval exercise involving large muscle activities. Functional exercises were performed between 60% and 84% of heart rate reserve (HRR) for a duration of 65 minutes. Five out of the 6 SFTs performed were found significantly improved: Chair Stand (T0 12.4 ± 2.4, T1 13.5 ± 2.6, ), Arm Curl (T0 14.2 ± 3.6, T1 16.6 ± 3.6, ), 2 min step (T0 98.2 ± 15.7, T1 108.9 ± 16.2, ), Chair Sit-and-Reach (T0 −9.9 ± 7.7 cm, T1 1.7 ± 6.3 cm, ), and Back Scratch (T0 −15.8 ± 10.9 cm, T1 −8.4 ± 13.1 cm, ). Our results suggest that a high intensity protocol and functional exercises can improve functional mobility and muscle endurance in those over 65 years of age. SFTs are an effective method for assessing improvements in the functional capacity of elderly adults. Francesco Todde, Franco Melis, Roberto Mura, Massimiliano Pau, Francesco Fois, Sara Magnani, Gianfranco Ibba, Antonio Crisafulli, and Filippo Tocco Copyright © 2016 Francesco Todde et al. All rights reserved. Human Papilloma Virus Infection in Patients with Male Accessory Gland Infection: Usefulness of the Ultrasound Evaluation Tue, 03 May 2016 15:21:15 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ije/2016/9174609/ This study evaluated the ultrasound (US) features of 20 patients with MAGI and concomitant papilloma virus (HPV) infection compared to 20 patients with microbial (presence of Chlamydia trachomatis alone) MAGI and 20 patients with amicrobial (inflammatory) MAGI. Patients with HPV infection showed significantly () higher total prostate, seminal vesicles, and epididymal US signs (18.0 ± 2.0) compared to the other 2 groups (12.0 ± 4.0 versus 10.0 ± 3.0, resp.). In addition, patients with MAGI and HPV had a higher prevalence of complicated forms of MAGI [prostatovesiculitis (PV) and prostate-vesiculo-epididymitis (PVE)] and a higher frequency of the fibrosclerotic variant compared to the other groups (70.0 ± 10.0% versus 48.0 ± 5.0% versus 15.0 ± 10.0%). Moreover, HPV infected patients had a higher number of US criteria suggestive for MAGI in the periurethral region of the prostate compared to the other groups. In particular, the patients showed a higher ratio between periurethral and lobar US criteria distribution (5.0 versus 0.5). Finally, the seminal fluid concentration of leukocytes (2.0 ± 0.2 versus 1.3 ± 0.3 versus 1.0 ± 0.3 mil/mL) was significantly higher and sperm progressive motility was significantly lower in these patients compared to other groups. Rosita A. Condorelli, Enzo Vicari, Laura M. Mongioi, Giorgio I. Russo, Giuseppe Morgia, Sandro La Vignera, and Aldo E. Calogero Copyright © 2016 Rosita A. Condorelli et al. All rights reserved. A Case of Spontaneous Osteonecrosis of the Knee with Early and Simultaneous Involvement of the Medial Femoral Condyle and Medial Tibial Plateau Tue, 03 May 2016 15:15:26 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crior/2016/2574975/ Spontaneous osteonecrosis of the knee (SPONK) usually involves a single condyle, most often the medial femoral condyle (MFC). Involvement of the medial tibial plateau (MTP) is less common, occurring in about 2% of knees with SPONK. Early onset SPONK on the ipsilateral side of the medial compartment is very rare, with, to our knowledge, only four cases reported to date. We describe a very rare case of SPONK with early simultaneous development in the MFC and MTP. Serial plain radiographs and magnetic resonance imaging showed that SPONK in both condyles followed a similar progressive course. The pathological findings in these lesions were similar to those observed in subchondral insufficiency fractures. Shinya Fujita, Yuji Arai, Kuniaki Honjo, Shuji Nakagawa, and Toshikazu Kubo Copyright © 2016 Shinya Fujita et al. All rights reserved. Prior to Conception: The Role of an Acupuncture Protocol in Improving Women’s Reproductive Functioning Assessed by a Pilot Pragmatic Randomised Controlled Trial Tue, 03 May 2016 15:07:48 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/3587569/ The global average of couples with fertility problems is 9%. Assisted reproductive technologies are often inaccessible. Evidence points to acupuncture offering an opportunity to promote natural fertility. This study asked whether providing a multiphasic fertility acupuncture protocol to women with sub/infertility would increase their awareness of fertility and achieve normalisation of their menstrual cycle compared with a lifestyle control. In a pragmatic randomised controlled trial sub/infertile women were offered an intervention of acupuncture and lifestyle modification or lifestyle modification only. There was a statistically significant increase in fertility awareness in the acupuncture group (86.4%, 19) compared to 40% () of the lifestyle only participants (Relative Risk (RR) 2.38, 95% confidence interval (CI) of 1.25, 4.50), with an adjusted value of 0.011. Changes in menstrual regularity were not statistically significant. There was no statistical difference in the pregnancy rate with seven women (adjusted ) achieving pregnancy during the course of the study intervention. Those receiving the acupuncture conceived within an average of 5.5 weeks compared to 10.67 weeks for the lifestyle only group (). The acupuncture protocol tested influenced women who received it compared to women who used lifestyle modification alone: their fertility awareness and wellbeing increased, and those who conceived did so in half the time. Suzanne Cochrane, Caroline A. Smith, Alphia Possamai-Inesedy, and Alan Bensoussan Copyright © 2016 Suzanne Cochrane et al. All rights reserved. The Relationships between Anabolic Hormones and Body Composition in Middle-Aged and Elderly Men with Prediabetes: A Cross-Sectional Study Tue, 03 May 2016 15:06:36 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jdr/2016/1747261/ The influence of anabolic hormones and body composition in men with prediabetes (PD) is unknown. In a cross-sectional study we investigated the relationships between total testosterone (TT), calculated free testosterone (cFT), dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and body composition assessed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) method in 84 patients with PD (40–80 years) and 56 men in control group. Patients with PD had lower TT, cFT, and DHEAS levels but similar IGF-1 levels in both groups. Patients with PD presented the higher total and abdominal fat as well as the lower total and abdominal lean than control (, , and , resp.). We observed negative relationship between TT and total fat () and positive with abdominal lean mass (), while cFT was negatively associated with abdominal (), trunk (), and leg fat () and positively associated with total () and trunk lean (). DHEAS were negatively associated with total fat (), and IGF-1 were positively associated with abdominal () and leg lean (). In conclusion, the lowered anabolic hormones are involved in body composition rearrangement in men with PD. Further studies are needed to establish whether the androgen replacement therapy would be beneficial in men with PD. Michał Rabijewski, Lucyna Papierska, and Paweł Piątkiewicz Copyright © 2016 Michał Rabijewski et al. All rights reserved. Chemokines and Heart Disease: A Network Connecting Cardiovascular Biology to Immune and Autonomic Nervous Systems Tue, 03 May 2016 13:57:11 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2016/5902947/ Among the chemokines discovered to date, nineteen are presently considered to be relevant in heart disease and are involved in all stages of cardiovascular response to injury. Chemokines are interesting as biomarkers to predict risk of cardiovascular events in apparently healthy people and as possible therapeutic targets. Moreover, they could have a role as mediators of crosstalk between immune and cardiovascular system, since they seem to act as a “working-network” in deep linkage with the autonomic nervous system. In this paper we will describe the single chemokines more involved in heart diseases; then we will present a comprehensive perspective of them as a complex network connecting the cardiovascular system to both the immune and the autonomic nervous systems. Finally, some recent evidences indicating chemokines as a possible new tool to predict cardiovascular risk will be described. Veronica Dusi, Alice Ghidoni, Alice Ravera, Gaetano M. De Ferrari, and Laura Calvillo Copyright © 2016 Veronica Dusi et al. All rights reserved. Adaptive Neuromorphic Circuit for Stereoscopic Disparity Using Ocular Dominance Map Tue, 03 May 2016 13:52:23 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/neuroscience/2016/8751874/ Stereopsis or depth perception is a critical aspect of information processing in the brain and is computed from the positional shift or disparity between the images seen by the two eyes. Various algorithms and their hardware implementation that compute disparity in real time have been proposed; however, most of them compute disparity through complex mathematical calculations that are difficult to realize in hardware and are biologically unrealistic. The brain presumably uses simpler methods to extract depth information from the environment and hence newer methodologies that could perform stereopsis with brain like elegance need to be explored. This paper proposes an innovative aVLSI design that leverages the columnar organization of ocular dominance in the brain and uses time-staggered Winner Take All (ts-WTA) to adaptively create disparity tuned cells. Physiological findings support the presence of disparity cells in the visual cortex and show that these cells surface as a result of binocular stimulation received after birth. Therefore, creating in hardware cells that can learn different disparities with experience not only is novel but also is biologically more realistic. These disparity cells, when allowed to interact diffusively on a larger scale, can be used to adaptively create stable topological disparity maps in silicon. Sheena Sharma, Priti Gupta, and C. M. Markan Copyright © 2016 Sheena Sharma et al. All rights reserved. Transcranial Alternating Current and Random Noise Stimulation: Possible Mechanisms Tue, 03 May 2016 13:50:17 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/np/2016/3616807/ Background. Transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) is a relatively recent method suited to noninvasively modulate brain oscillations. Technically the method is similar but not identical to transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). While decades of research in animals and humans has revealed the main physiological mechanisms of tDCS, less is known about the physiological mechanisms of tACS. Method. Here, we review recent interdisciplinary research that has furthered our understanding of how tACS affects brain oscillations and by what means transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS) that is a special form of tACS can modulate cortical functions. Results. Animal experiments have demonstrated in what way neurons react to invasively and transcranially applied alternating currents. Such findings are further supported by neural network simulations and knowledge from physics on entraining physical oscillators in the human brain. As a result, fine-grained models of the human skull and brain allow the prediction of the exact pattern of current flow during tDCS and tACS. Finally, recent studies on human physiology and behavior complete the picture of noninvasive modulation of brain oscillations. Conclusion. In future, the methods may be applicable in therapy of neurological and psychiatric disorders that are due to malfunctioning brain oscillations. Andrea Antal and Christoph S. Herrmann Copyright © 2016 Andrea Antal and Christoph S. Herrmann. All rights reserved. Feline Coronavirus 3c Protein: A Candidate for a Virulence Marker? Tue, 03 May 2016 13:28:44 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2016/8560691/ Feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV) is highly virulent and responsible for the highly fatal disease feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), whereas feline enteric coronavirus (FECV) is widespread among the feline population and typically causes asymptomatic infections. Some candidates for genetic markers capable of differentiating these two pathotypes of a unique virus (feline coronavirus) have been proposed by several studies. In the present survey, in order to search for markers that can differentiate FECV and FIPV, several clones of the 3a–c, E, and M genes were sequenced from samples obtained from cats with or without FIP. All genes showed genetic diversity and suggested the presence of FCoV mutant spectrum capable of producing a virulent pathotype in an individual-specific way. In addition, all the feline coronavirus FIPV strains demonstrated a truncated 3c protein, and the 3c gene was the only observed pathotypic marker for FCoVs, showing that 3c gene is a candidate marker for the distinction between the two pathotypes when the mutant spectrum is taken into account. A. S. Hora, P. O. Tonietti, S. A. Taniwaki, K. M. Asano, P. Maiorka, L. J. Richtzenhain, and P. E. Brandão Copyright © 2016 A. S. Hora et al. All rights reserved. Synaptic Cell Adhesion Molecules in Alzheimer’s Disease Tue, 03 May 2016 13:09:55 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/np/2016/6427537/ Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative brain disorder associated with the loss of synapses between neurons in the brain. Synaptic cell adhesion molecules are cell surface glycoproteins which are expressed at the synaptic plasma membranes of neurons. These proteins play key roles in formation and maintenance of synapses and regulation of synaptic plasticity. Genetic studies and biochemical analysis of the human brain tissue, cerebrospinal fluid, and sera from AD patients indicate that levels and function of synaptic cell adhesion molecules are affected in AD. Synaptic cell adhesion molecules interact with Aβ, a peptide accumulating in AD brains, which affects their expression and synaptic localization. Synaptic cell adhesion molecules also regulate the production of Aβ via interaction with the key enzymes involved in Aβ formation. Aβ-dependent changes in synaptic adhesion affect the function and integrity of synapses suggesting that alterations in synaptic adhesion play key roles in the disruption of neuronal networks in AD. Iryna Leshchyns’ka and Vladimir Sytnyk Copyright © 2016 Iryna Leshchyns’ka and Vladimir Sytnyk. All rights reserved. Acute Chest Pain Related to Pericardial Fat Necrosis Tue, 03 May 2016 12:59:54 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crj/2016/1948325/ Gilbert R. Ferretti and Dominique Rigaud Copyright © 2016 Gilbert R. Ferretti and Dominique Rigaud. All rights reserved. Solo Sonographically Guided PCNL under Spinal Anesthesia: Defining Predictors of Success Tue, 03 May 2016 12:52:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/scientifica/2016/5938514/ Aim. Sonography has been brought in percutaneous nephrolithotripsy (PCNL) as an adjunct to or substitute for X-ray to restrict radiation exposure. This study was designed to investigate the possible predictors for the success of the solo sonographically guided PCNL. Methods. 148 consecutive cases were prospectively enrolled. All steps of PCNL were performed solely with sonography guidance under spinal anesthesia. Residual stones were evaluated the day after surgery using sonography and plain radiography. Results. The mean age was years; 40% of kidneys had hydronephrosis. The mean stone burden was  mm2. The mean duration of surgery was minutes. The early stone-free rate was 92% in inferior or middle calyceal stones, 89.5% in single pelvic stones, 81.5% in partial staghorn stones, and 61.9% in staghorn stones. The mean residual stone size was  mm. Logistic regression showed that a lower age and a larger stone burden significantly predicted positive residual stones. Fifteen percent of patients presented with grade I or II and six percent showed grade III complication based on Clavien classification. There was no cases of organ injury or death. Conclusion. Solo ultrasonographically guided PCNL under spinal anesthesia is feasible with an acceptable stone-free rate and complication rate. Akbar Nouralizadeh, Hamid Pakmanesh, Abbas Basiri, Mohammad Aayanifard, Mohammad Hossein Soltani, Ali Tabibi, Farzaneh Sharifiaghdas, Seyed Amir Mohsen Ziaee, Naser Shakhssalim, Reza Valipour, Behzad Narouie, and Mohammad Hadi Radfar Copyright © 2016 Akbar Nouralizadeh et al. All rights reserved. The Relationship between Betatrophin Levels in Blood and T2DM: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Tue, 03 May 2016 12:40:01 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/dm/2016/9391837/ Background. In order to clarify previous ambiguous research conclusions, a meta-analysis was made to investigate the relationship between betatrophin levels in blood and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Methods. We have searched all the English and Chinese references regarding the relationship between betatrophin and diabetes in database both manually and online. Strict criteria have been established to include and exclude articles, with Mean and Standard Deviation as statistics to evaluate strength of association. We have chosen either fixed- or random effect model according to heterogeneity inspection results and used Begg’s test and Egger’s test to analyze publication bias. Results. A total of 11 studies were included in this meta-analysis. Meta-analysis indicated a significant association between betatrophin and T2DM (Mean: 329.46; 95% confidence interval: 182.51 to 476.42, ). However, in the subgroup analysis, there was no significant statistic between betatrophin concentration and T2DM within Caucasian population (Mean: 98.40; 95% confidence interval: −1585.08 to 1781.88, ). Conclusions. Such relationship may suggest preference for association between betatrophin and T2DM in different population. Song Yue, Jingyang Wu, Jiahua Zhang, Lei Liu, and Lei Chen Copyright © 2016 Song Yue et al. All rights reserved. A Dynamic Programming Solution for Energy-Optimal Video Playback on Mobile Devices Tue, 03 May 2016 12:30:28 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/misy/2016/1042525/ Due to the development of mobile technology and wide availability of smartphones, the Internet of Things (IoT) starts to handle high volumes of video data to facilitate multimedia-based services, which requires energy-efficient video playback. In video playback, frames have to be decoded and rendered at high playback rate, increasing the computation cost on the CPU. To save the CPU power, dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS) dynamically adjusts the operating voltage of the processor along with frequency, in which appropriate selection of frequency on power could achieve a balance between performance and power. We present a decoding model that allows buffering frames to let the CPU run at low frequency and then propose an algorithm that determines the CPU frequency needed to decode each frame in a video, with the aim of minimizing power consumption while meeting buffer size and deadline constraints, using a dynamic programming technique. We finally extend this algorithm to optimize CPU frequencies over a short sequence of frames, producing a practical method of reducing the energy required for video decoding. Experimental results show a system-wide reduction in energy of , compared with a processor running at full speed. Minseok Song and Jinhan Park Copyright © 2016 Minseok Song and Jinhan Park. All rights reserved. Genetic Engineering of Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Induce Their Migration and Survival Tue, 03 May 2016 12:30:27 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sci/2016/4956063/ Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are very attractive for regenerative medicine due to their relatively easy derivation and broad range of differentiation capabilities, either naturally or induced through cell engineering. However, efficient methods of delivery to diseased tissues and the long-term survival of grafted cells still need improvement. Here, we review genetic engineering approaches designed to enhance the migratory capacities of MSCs, as well as extend their survival after transplantation by the modulation of prosurvival approaches, including prevention of senescence and apoptosis. We highlight some of the latest examples that explore these pivotal points, which have great relevance in cell-based therapies. Adam Nowakowski, Piotr Walczak, Barbara Lukomska, and Miroslaw Janowski Copyright © 2016 Adam Nowakowski et al. All rights reserved. Bioceramic-Based Root Canal Sealers: A Review Tue, 03 May 2016 12:28:06 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijbm/2016/9753210/ Bioceramic-based root canal sealers are considered to be an advantageous technology in endodontics. The aim of this review was to consider laboratory experiments and clinical studies of these sealers. An extensive search of the endodontic literature was made to identify publications related to bioceramic-based root canal sealers. The outcome of laboratory and clinical studies on the biological and physical properties of bioceramic-based sealers along with comparative studies with other sealers was assessed. Several studies were evaluated covering different properties of bioceramic-based sealers including physical properties, biocompatibility, sealing ability, adhesion, solubility, and antibacterial efficacy. Bioceramic-based sealers were found to be biocompatible and comparable to other commercial sealers. The clinical outcomes associated with the use of bioceramic-based root canal sealers are not established in the literature. Afaf AL-Haddad and Zeti A. Che Ab Aziz Copyright © 2016 Afaf AL-Haddad and Zeti A. Che Ab Aziz. All rights reserved. Alternative Synthesis of 1,8-Difluoroanthracene via the Balz-Schiemann Reaction Tue, 03 May 2016 11:27:36 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ac/2016/9061621/ An alternative and improved method for the synthesis of 1,8-difluoroanthracene 5 is described. The precursor 1,8-difluoro-9,10-anthraquinone 4 was synthesized by precipitating the water-soluble 1,8-diazonium-9,10-anthraquinone fluoroborate 3 using isopropanol, before thermally decomposing it via the Balz-Schiemann reaction to yield 4 in the form of pure sublimed crystals. Compound 5 was later synthesized with 84% yield by reducing 4 in a Zn/NH4OH mixture. Using isopropanol to quantitatively precipitate water-soluble diazonium fluoroborate salts was also used to synthesize other fluoroanthraquinone derivatives with improved yields. Rabih O. Al-Kaysi Copyright © 2016 Rabih O. Al-Kaysi. All rights reserved. Treatment of Dermatological Conditions Associated with HIV/AIDS: The Scarcity of Guidance on a Global Scale Tue, 03 May 2016 11:13:30 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/art/2016/3272483/ Background. Skin diseases associated with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. In resource-limited settings, nondermatologists and lay health care providers on the front line of HIV care provide much of the treatment for these conditions. Objective. To evaluate guidelines for treatment of HIV-related skin conditions and assess their accessibility, comprehensiveness, and quality of evidence employed. Methods. A review was undertaken of all national and society guidelines which included treatment information on the ten highest burden HIV-related skin conditions. The search strategy included gray and peer-reviewed literature. Results. Of 430 potential guidelines, 86 met inclusion criteria, and only 2 were written specifically to address HIV-related skin diseases as a whole. Treatment information for HIV-related skin conditions was embedded within guidelines written for other purposes, primarily HIV/AIDs treatment guidelines (49%). Development of guidelines relied either partially or completely on expert opinion (62%). Only 16% of guidelines used gradation of evidence quality and these were primarily from high-income countries . Limitations. Due to the nature of gray literature, not all guidelines may have been identified. Conclusion. This review highlights the need for evidence-based summary guidelines that address treatment for HIV-related skin conditions in an accessible format. Suchismita Paul, Rachel Evans, Toby Maurer, Lulu M. Muhe, and Esther E. Freeman Copyright © 2016 Suchismita Paul et al. All rights reserved. Determination of Natamycin in Turkish Yoghurt Tue, 03 May 2016 11:06:51 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijac/2016/8480963/ This study was aimed at developing RP-HPLC method for determination of natamycin in Turkish yoghurt. Chromatographic separation was achieved on a C8 column (150 mm × 4.6 mm × 5 µm) with a mobile phase of methanol : water : acetic acid (12 : 8 : 1 v/v/v), at 1 mL/min flow rate with a detection of 303 nm. Natamycin was spiked into handmade yoghurt samples and used for validation. The method has been fully validated according to ISO 9233-2, 2007 (IDF 140-2, 2007). It was successfully applied to determination of 28 different Turkish yoghurt products. Findings dealing with the presence of natamycin in cheese samples are presented. Dilek Bilgic Alkaya and Ozlem Karalomlu Copyright © 2016 Dilek Bilgic Alkaya and Ozlem Karalomlu. All rights reserved. Optimizing Data Access for Wind Farm Control over Hierarchical Communication Networks Tue, 03 May 2016 10:28:43 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijdsn/2016/5936235/ We investigate a centralized wind farm controller which runs periodically. The controller attempts to reduce the damage a wind turbine sustains during operation by estimating fatigue based on the wind turbine state. The investigation focuses on the impact of information access and communication networks on the controller performance. We start by investigating the effects of a communication network that introduces delays in the information access for the central controller. The control performance as measured by accumulated fatigue is shown to be significantly impacted by communication delays and also by the choice of the time instances at which sensor information is accessed. In order to optimize the latter, we introduce an information quality metric and a mathematical model based on Markov chains, which are compared performance-wise to a heuristic approach for finding this parameter. This information quality metric is called mismatch probability, mmPr, and is used to express quantitatively the information accuracy in a given scenario. Lastly, measurements of different communication technologies have been performed in order to carry out the analysis in a practically relevant scenario with respect to the communication network delays. These measurements are done in regard to packet loss and communication delays, and the simulations are rerun using either the traces from the measurements or scenarios constructed from the delay parameters. Jacob Madsen, Mislav Findrik, Tatiana Madsen, and Hans-Peter Schwefel Copyright © 2016 Jacob Madsen et al. All rights reserved. Ultrasmall, Ligand-Free Ag Nanoparticles with High Antibacterial Activity Prepared by Pulsed Laser Ablation in Liquid Tue, 03 May 2016 10:08:54 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jchem/2016/4143560/ Since ancient times, silver and its compounds have been known to have a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activities for bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Due to the increasing bacterial resistance to classic antibiotics, the investigations of Ag NPs have increased. Herein, we present the preparation of ligand-free Ag NPs with 3 and 20 nm sizes by applying picosecond laser ablation in liquid at 355 and 1065 nm. Our laser processing system allows a high control on particle sizes. The produced nanoparticles were characterized by means of transmission electron microscopy, UV-Vis spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction. The size effect on the antibacterial activity of Ag NPs was tested against E. coli and S. aureus. The growth curves of bacteria were monitored at 0–5 mg/L of Ag NPs by a multimode microplate reader. The size effects as well as the concentration of Ag NPs on their antibacterial activity are discussed. László Kőrösi, Marina Rodio, Dora Dömötör, Tamás Kovács, Szilvia Papp, Alberto Diaspro, Romuald Intartaglia, and Szabolcs Beke Copyright © 2016 László Kőrösi et al. All rights reserved. Thoracic Stent Graft Implantation for Aortic Coarctation with Patent Ductus Arteriosus via Retroperitoneal Iliac Approach in the Presence of Small Sized Femoral Artery Tue, 03 May 2016 10:04:07 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cric/2016/7941051/ Endovascular stent graft implantation is a favorable method for complex aortic coarctation accompanied by patent ductus arteriosus. Herein, an 18-year-old woman with complex aortic coarctation and patent ductus arteriosus was successfully treated by endovascular thoracic stent graft via retroperitoneal approach. The reason for retroperitoneal iliac approach was small sized common femoral arteries which were not suitable for stent graft passage. This case is the first aortic coarctation plus patent ductus arteriosus case described in the literature which is treated by endovascular thoracic stent graft via retroperitoneal approach. Ozge Korkmaz, Osman Beton, Sabahattin Goksel, Hakkı Kaya, and Ocal Berkan Copyright © 2016 Ozge Korkmaz et al. All rights reserved. Prevalence and Perspectives of Complementary and Alternative Medicine among University Students in Atlanta, Newcastle upon Tyne, and New Delhi Tue, 03 May 2016 09:48:03 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2016/9309534/ Objective. A cross-cultural comparative study was developed that surveyed university students in Atlanta (United States), New Delhi (India), and Newcastle upon Tyne (United Kingdom) to understand the prevalence and perspectives of CAM in three urban societies with different healthcare systems. Design. Surveys were sent to students in the three aforementioned cities. Survey distribution occurred over 6 months from May to November 2015. A total of 314 surveys were received. Results. Dietary and vitamin supplements had the highest prevalence collectively (), followed by meditation, yoga, and massage. Commentary analysis showed the importance of science and evidence in justifying CAM practice. Conclusions. Matching the most prevalent practices with their designated NCCAM categories suggested that the students were attracted to biologically based, body-based, and mind-body practices as the central themes of attraction. Selected and prevalent CAM practices suggested the students’ desire to maintain physical and mental fitness. Access to healthcare may have influence on the prevalence of CAM. Indian students were more likely to view CAM as a viable alternative to conventional medicine. Kritika Subramanian and Inuka Midha Copyright © 2016 Kritika Subramanian and Inuka Midha. All rights reserved. Evaluation of Clinical Alvarado Scoring System and CT Criteria in the Diagnosis of Acute Appendicitis Tue, 03 May 2016 09:44:34 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/rrp/2016/9739385/ Aim. The aim was to evaluate the clinical Alvarado scoring system and computed tomography (CT) criteria for the diagnosis of acute appendicitis. Material and Methods. 117 patients with acute abdominal pain who underwent abdominal CT were enrolled in this retrospective study. Patient demographics, clinical Alvarado scoring, CT images, and pathologic results of the patients were evaluated. Results. 39 of the 53 patients who were operated on had pathologically proven acute appendicitis. CT criteria of appendiceal diameter, presence of periappendiceal inflammation, fluid, appendicolith, and white blood cell (WBC) count were significantly correlated with the inflammation of the appendix. The best cut-off value for appendiceal diameter was 6.5 mm. The correlation between appendiceal diameter and WBC count was 80% (). The correlation between appendiceal diameter and Alvarado score was 78.7% (). Conclusion. Presence of CT criteria of appendiceal diameter above 6.5 mm, periappendiceal inflammation, fluid, and appendicolith should prompt the diagnosis of acute appendicitis. Since patients with acute appendicitis may not always show the typical signs and symptoms, CT is a helpful imaging modality for patients with relatively low Alvarado score and leukocytosis and when physical examination is confusing. Idil Gunes Tatar, Kerim Bora Yilmaz, Alpaslan Sahin, Hasan Aydin, Melih Akinci, and Baki Hekimoglu Copyright © 2016 Idil Gunes Tatar et al. All rights reserved. Managing Sleep Disturbances in Cirrhosis Tue, 03 May 2016 09:40:43 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/scientifica/2016/6576812/ Sleep disturbances, particularly daytime sleepiness and insomnia, are common problems reported by patients suffering from liver cirrhosis. Poor sleep negatively impacts patients’ quality of life and cognitive functions and increases mortality. Although sleep disturbances can be an early sign of hepatic encephalopathy (HE), many patients without HE still complain of poor quality sleep. The pathophysiology of these disturbances is not fully understood but is believed to be linked to impaired hepatic melatonin metabolism. This paper provides an overview for the clinician of common comorbidities contributing to poor sleep in patients with liver disease, mainly restless leg syndrome and obstructive sleep apnea. It discusses nondrug and pharmacologic treatment options in these patients, such as the use of light therapy and histamine (H1) blockers. Xun Zhao and Philip Wong Copyright © 2016 Xun Zhao and Philip Wong. All rights reserved. Vagal Reactions during Cryoballoon-Based Pulmonary Vein Isolation: A Clue for Autonomic Nervous System Modulation? Tue, 03 May 2016 09:40:10 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2016/7286074/ Although paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF) is known to be initiated by rapid firing of pulmonary veins (PV) and non-PV triggers, the crucial role of cardiac autonomic nervous system (ANS) in the initiation and maintenance of AF has long been appreciated in both experimental and clinical studies. The cardiac intrinsic ANS is composed of ganglionated plexi (GPs), located close to the left atrium-pulmonary vein junctions and a vast network of interconnecting neurons. Ablation strategies aiming for complete PV isolation (PVI) remain the cornerstone of AF ablation procedures. However, several observational studies and few randomized studies have suggested that GP ablation, as an adjunctive strategy, might achieve better clinical outcomes in patients undergoing radiofrequency-based PVI for both paroxysmal and nonparoxysmal AF. In these patients, vagal reactions (VR) such as vagally mediated bradycardia or asystole are thought to reflect intrinsic cardiac ANS modulation and/or denervation. Vagal reactions occurring during cryoballoon- (CB-) based PVI have been previously reported; however, little is known on resulting ANS modulation and/or prevalence and significance of vagal reactions during PVI with the CB technique. We conducted a review of prevalence, putative mechanisms, and significance of VR during CB-based PVI. Michaël Peyrol, Jérémie Barraud, Linda Koutbi, Baptiste Maille, Lory Trevisan, Elisa Martinez, Samuel Lévy, Franck Paganelli, and Frederic Franceschi Copyright © 2016 Michaël Peyrol et al. All rights reserved. Sociodemographic and Obstetric Characteristics of Anaemic Pregnant Women Attending Antenatal Clinic in Bolgatanga Regional Hospital Tue, 03 May 2016 09:27:18 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/scientifica/2016/4687342/ The study determined the sociodemographic and obstetric characteristics of pregnant women which contribute to the risk of developing anaemia. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 400 pregnant women attending their first antenatal visit at the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital Antenatal Clinic. Anaemia was significantly associated () with younger maternal age, parity, gravidity, trimester of pregnancy, and source of drinking water. Multivariate logistic regression identified the following factors with adjusted odds ratios (aOR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI): unemployment (aOR = 4.76 (CI: 2.26–11.33); ), rural dwelling (aOR = 3.10 (CI: 2.16–4.91); ), primigravida (aOR = 2.13 (CI: 1.34–3.18); ), nulliparity (aOR = 1.92 (CI: 1.23–2.86); ), first antenatal visit at second trimester (aOR = 1.71 (CI: 1.33–3.12); ) and first antenatal visit at third trimester (aOR = 2.73 (CI: 1.24–4.35); ), drinking from well and boreholes (aOR = 2.78 (CI: 2.27–5.21); ), and the presence of domestic livestock (aOR = 2.15 (CI: 1.33–3.68); ). This study has shown the various sociodemographic and obstetric factors which significantly contribute to anaemia in pregnancy. Benjamin Ahenkorah, Kwabena Nsiah, and Peter Baffoe Copyright © 2016 Benjamin Ahenkorah et al. All rights reserved. Imaging Evidence for Cerebral Hyperperfusion Syndrome after Intravenous Tissue Plasminogen Activator for Acute Ischemic Stroke Tue, 03 May 2016 09:22:01 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crinm/2016/8725494/ Background. Cerebral hyperperfusion syndrome (CHS), a rare complication after cerebral revascularization, is a well-described phenomenon after carotid endarterectomy or carotid artery stenting. However, the imaging evidence of CHS after intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (iv tPA) for acute ischemic stroke (AIS) has not been reported. Case Report. Four patients were determined to have manifestations of CHS with clinical deterioration after treatment with iv tPA, including one patient who developed seizure, one patient who had a deviation of the eyes toward lesion with worsened mental status, and two patients who developed worsened hemiparesis. In all four patients, postthrombolysis head CT examinations were negative for hemorrhage; CT angiogram showed patent cervical and intracranial arterial vasculature; CT perfusion imaging revealed hyperperfusion with increased relative cerebral blood flow and relative cerebral blood volume and decreased mean transit time along with decreased time to peak in the clinically related artery territory. Vascular dilation was also noted in three of these four cases. Conclusions. CHS should be considered in patients with clinical deterioration after iv tPA and imaging negative for hemorrhage. Cerebral angiogram and perfusion studies can be useful in diagnosing CHS thereby helping with further management. Yi Zhang, Abhay Kumar, John B. Tezel, and Yihua Zhou Copyright © 2016 Yi Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Demographic and Clinical Features of Endometrial Polyps in Patients with Endometriosis Tue, 03 May 2016 09:18:01 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2016/1460793/ Aims. To compare the clinical features of endometrial polyps (EPs) between patients with endometriosis (EM) (EM group) and without EM (non-EM group). Methods and Results. Seventy-six cases in the EM group and 133 cases in the non-EM group underwent laparotomy or hysteroscopy and laparoscopy; later, it was confirmed that the results by pathology from July 2002 to April 2008 in the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University. The recurrence of EPs was followed up after the surgery until 2013. The following parameters were assessed: age, gravidity, parity, infertility, and menstrual cycle changes, as well as polyps diameters, locations, number, association with the revised American Fertility Society (r-AFS) classification, and their recurrence. On review, 76 EPs cases of EM group histologically resembled EPs but the majority of EPs with EM occurred in primary infertility cases and in fewer pregnancy rate women who had stable and smaller EPs without association with the AFS stage. The recurrence rate of EPs in EM group was higher than that in non-EM group. Conclusion. It is important to identify whether infertile patients with EM are also having EPs. Removing any coexisting EPs via hysteroscopy would be clinically helpful in treating endometriosis-related infertility in these patients. Ningning Wang, Yufeng Zhang, and Bin Liu Copyright © 2016 Ningning Wang et al. All rights reserved. The Impact of General Strike on Government Healthcare Delivery in Kerala State in India Tue, 03 May 2016 09:16:40 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jeph/2016/8096082/ General strike (also known as hartal) is used as a mode of protest by organizations and political parties in India. It is generally thought that hartals negatively impact the healthcare delivery in a society. We used the Right to Information Act to obtain data from government health centers in Kerala state in India for four hartal days (H-day) and two control days (A-day and B-day) for each H-day, from sixteen health centers including 6 Community Health Center (CHC), 6 Secondary Health Center (SHC), and 4 Tertiary Health Center (THC). Data on emergency room visits was available for six HCs. 15 HCs had a statistically significant decrease in the number of outpatient visits on H-day. There was no difference in the number of outpatient visits between the two control days (A and B) in 15 HCs, suggesting the lack of a posthartal surge in visits. Median decrease in outpatient visits in CHCs, SHCs, and THCs was 50.4%, 59.5%, and 47.4%, respectively. Hartal did not impact the number of emergency room visits in 6 out of 7 health centers assessed. Our study identified a significant harmful impact on government healthcare delivery due to hartals in Kerala. These findings have major public health implications. Aasems Jacob, Heidi Weiss, and Aju Mathew Copyright © 2016 Aasems Jacob et al. All rights reserved. Changes in Characteristics of Kithul (Caryota urens) Flour Prepared by Different Modification Techniques Tue, 03 May 2016 09:07:47 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jfp/2016/7820102/ Flour has been an ample source of research and most abundant material for a number of food applications. The aim of this study is to introduce modified Kithul flour for certain industrial requirements. Several physical and chemical treatments were employed to modify Kithul (Caryota urens) flour. The effects of pregelatinization (PG-I and II), acid modification (AC), and dextrinization (DX) on their swelling power, solubility, granular morphology, viscosity, and X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns were studied. At 75°C, pregelatinized treated (PG-II) flour had a high solubility (5.31), while at 70°C pregelatinized treated (PG-I) flour had a low solubility (4.47) as compared to the solubility of native flour sample (RW = 4.88). Same pattern has been followed by the swelling power while viscosity showed the highest value for PG-II (7296.51 Cp) and lowest value for DX treatment (873.40 Cp) as peak viscosities. There were no significant changes in granular size of all treatments compared with the native Kithul flour (45.52 μm). X-ray diffraction (XRD) also followed the same pattern by presenting Bragg’s angle () positions near 15 (Peak 1), 17 (Peak 2), 18 (Peak 3), and 23 (Peak 4) providing evidence for the presence of crystallites which belong to type A in all modified and native Kithul flour treatments. J. A. A. C. Wijesinghe, I. Wickramasinghe, and K. H. Saranandha Copyright © 2016 J. A. A. C. Wijesinghe et al. All rights reserved. Numerical Investigations and Analysis of Cu2ZnSnS4 Based Solar Cells by SCAPS-1D Tue, 03 May 2016 08:53:19 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijp/2016/2152018/ This paper reports numerical investigation, using SCAPS-1D program, of the influence of Cu2ZnSnS4 (the so-called CZTS) material features such as thickness, holes, and defects densities on the performances of ZnO:Al/i-ZnO/CdS/CZTS/Mo solar cells structure. We found that the electrical parameters are seriously affected, when the absorber thickness is lower than 600 nm, mainly due to recombination at CZTS/Molybdenum interface that causes the short-circuit current density loss of 3.6 mA/cm2. An additional source of recombination, inside the absorber layer, affects the short-circuit current density and produces a loss of about 2.1 mA/cm2 above this range of absorber thickness. The characteristic shows that the performance of the device is also limited by a double diode behavior. This effect is reduced when the absorber layer is skinny. Our investigations showed that, for solar cells having a CZTS absorber layer of thin thickness and high-quality materials (defects density ~1015 cm−3), doping less than 1016 cm−3 is especially beneficial. Such CZTS based solar cell devices could lead to conversion efficiencies higher than 15% and to improvement of about 100 mV on the open-circuit voltage value. Our results are in conformity with experimental reports existing in the literature. M. Djinkwi Wanda, S. Ouédraogo, F. Tchoffo, F. Zougmoré, and J. M. B. Ndjaka Copyright © 2016 M. Djinkwi Wanda et al. All rights reserved. Assessment of the Economic Structure of Brazilian Agribusiness Tue, 03 May 2016 08:52:39 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2016/7517806/ This paper presents an economic assessment of Brazilian agribusiness and its relationship with other economic sectors. It was found that, in 2011, agribusiness had a share of 18.45% (basic prices) and 19.77% (market prices) of Brazilian GDP. The tax burden of agribusiness (20.68%) was higher than that of other sectors (13.59%), despite agribusiness being a major contributor to the generation of foreign exchange, employment, and essential products, such as food. Brazilian agribusiness is a major employer, responsible for 29.39% of national employment. However, its average income is lower than in the other sectors of the Brazilian economy. Finally, agribusiness was found to be the biggest generator of foreign exchange, with a positive balance of trade. It was possible to conclude that agribusiness forms a strong link between agriculture and livestock, industry, and services in other economic sectors. For this reason, it can be said that the development of agribusiness is highly relevant to the process of Brazilian economic development and is therefore important to the progress of economic policies. Vilmar Rodrigues Moreira, Ricardo Kureski, and Claudimar Pereira da Veiga Copyright © 2016 Vilmar Rodrigues Moreira et al. All rights reserved. Solitary Myofibroma of the Bladder Trigone in a 3-Month-Old Patient: First Case Report Tue, 03 May 2016 08:50:01 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cripe/2016/1951840/ Visceral solitary myofibromas are uncommon in childhood. We report a case of a solitary asymptomatic visceral myofibroma of the bladder trigone occurring in a 3-month-old boy. Once malignancies were ruled out by cystoscopy, radical excision was performed in order to avoid any potential impairment of bladder dynamic. Postoperative course was uneventful and patient was discharged on day 3 after surgery. After 36 months of follow-up, the patient is toilet-trained and remains well; bladder function is normal. Marco Pensabene, Fortunato Siracusa, Vito Rodolico, Giuseppe Li Voti, Elisa Zambaiti, and Marcello Cimador Copyright © 2016 Marco Pensabene et al. All rights reserved. A Quantitative Assessment of Surface Urban Heat Islands Using Satellite Multitemporal Data over Abeokuta, Nigeria Tue, 03 May 2016 08:22:02 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijas/2016/3170789/ The fast urban expansion has led to the transformation of the natural landscape into anthropogenic surfaces. The city of Abeokuta, for instance, is located in a region experiencing rapid urbanization, which has produced a remarkable effect on the surface thermal response. This effect significantly influences urban internal microclimatology on a regional scale. In this study, the surface temperatures and land cover types retrieved from Landsat TM and ETM+ images of Abeokuta city for 1984, 2003, and 2014 were analyzed. A quantitative approach was used to assess surface urban heat islands through the relationships among surface temperature and land cover types. Results showed that impervious surface areas were found to be correlated positively with high temperatures. Conversely, vegetated areas and bare surfaces correlated positively with mid temperature zones. This study found that areas with increasing impervious surfaces will accelerate LST rise and consequently lead to increasing effect of surface urban heat islands. These findings pose a major challenge to urban planners. However, the study would help to quantify the impacts of different scenarios (e.g., vegetation loss to accommodate urban growth) on LST and consequently to devise appropriate policy measures. K. A. Ishola, E. C. Okogbue, and O. E. Adeyeri Copyright © 2016 K. A. Ishola et al. All rights reserved. Prediction of Load-Carrying Capacity in Steel Shear Wall with Opening Using Artificial Neural Network Tue, 03 May 2016 08:21:54 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/je/2016/4039407/ The effects of different parameters on steel plate shear wall (SPSW) are investigated. The studied parameters are thickness of plate, location of the opening, thickness of diagonal stiffeners, and thickness of circular stiffener. Load-carrying capacity of the SPSW is studied under static load using nonlinear geometrical and material analysis in ABAQUS and the obtained simulation results are verified. An artificial neural network (ANN) is proposed to model the effects of these parameters. According to the results the circular stiffener has more effect compared with the diagonal stiffeners. However, the thickness of the plate has the most significant effect on the SPSW behavior. The results show that the best place for the opening location is the center of SPSW. Multilayer perceptron (MLP) neural network was used to predict the maximum load in SPSW with opening. The predicted maximum load values using the proposed MLP model were compared with the simulated validated data. The obtained results show that the proposed ANN model has achieved good agreement with the validated simulated data, with correlation coefficient of more than 0.9975. Therefore, the proposed model is useful, reliable, fast, and cheap tools to predict the maximum load in SPSW. E. Khalilzadeh Vahidi and M. M. Roshani Copyright © 2016 E. Khalilzadeh Vahidi and M. M. Roshani. All rights reserved. In Vitro Evaluation of Bacterial Leakage at Implant-Abutment Connection: An 11-Degree Morse Taper Compared to a Butt Joint Connection Tue, 03 May 2016 08:09:23 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijbm/2016/8527849/ Background and Aim. The geometry of implant-abutment interface (IAI) affects the risk of bacterial leakage and invasion into the internal parts of the implant. The aim of this study was to compare the bacterial leakage of an 11-degree Morse taper IAI with that of a butt joint connection. Materials and Methods. Two implants systems were tested ( per group): CSM (submerged) and TBR (connect). The deepest inner parts of the implants were inoculated with 2 μL of Streptococcus mutans suspension with a concentration of 108 CFU/mL. The abutments were tightened on the implants. The specimens were stored in the incubator at a temperature of 37°C for 14 days and the penetration of the bacterium in the surrounding area was determined by the observation of the solution turbidity and comparison with control specimens. Kaplan-Meier survival curve was traced for the estimation of bacterial leakage and the results between two groups of implants were statistically analyzed by chi-square test. Results. No case of the implant system with the internal conical connection design revealed bacterial leakage in 14 days and no turbidity of the solution was reported for it. In the system with butt joint implant-abutment connection, 1 case showed leakage on the third day, 1 case on the eighth day, and 5 cases on the 13th day. In total, 7 (70%) cases showed bacterial leakage in this system. Significant differences were found between the two groups of implants based on the incidence of bacterial leakage (). Conclusion. The 11-degree Morse taper demonstrated better resistance to microbial leakage than butt joint connection. Hooman Khorshidi, Saeed Raoofi, Afagh Moattari, Atoosa Bagheri, and Mohammad Hassan Kalantari Copyright © 2016 Hooman Khorshidi et al. All rights reserved. Biodegradation and Environmental Impacts of Pesticides Tue, 03 May 2016 07:51:51 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/scientifica/2016/1598325/ Pesticides are widely used for the control of weeds, diseases, and pests of cultivated plants all over the world, mainly since the period after the Second World War. The use of pesticides is very extensive to control harm of pests all over the globe. Persistent nature of most of the synthetic pesticides causes serious environmental concerns. Decontamination of these hazardous chemicals is very essential. This review paper elaborates the potential of various biological agents in decontamination of agricultural soils. The agricultural crop fields are contaminated by the periodic applications of pesticides. Biodegradation is an ecofriendly, cost-effective, highly efficient approach compared to the physical and chemical methods which are expensive as well as unfriendly towards environment. Biodegradation is sensitive to the concentration levels of hydrogen peroxide and nitrogen along with microbial community, temperature, and pH changes. Experimental work for optimum conditions at lab scale can provide very fruitful results about specific bacterial, fungal strains. This study revealed an upper hand of bioremediation over physicochemical approaches. Further studies should be carried out to understand mechanisms of biotransformation. Muhammad Kashif Javaid, Mehrban Ashiq, and Muhammad Tahir Copyright © 2016 Muhammad Kashif Javaid et al. All rights reserved. Racial Differences in Serum Adipokine and Insulin Levels in a Matched Osteoarthritis Sample: A Pilot Study Tue, 03 May 2016 07:16:36 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jobe/2016/8746268/ Background. In an attempt to correlate biomarkers with disease, serum-based biomarkers often are compared between individuals with osteoarthritis (OA) and control subjects. However, variable results have been reported. Some studies have suggested an association between certain adipokines and insulin and OA. We know that there are racial differences in OA prevalence and incidence, and from general population-based studies, those of Asian race consistently demonstrate a unique adipokine/insulin serum concentration profile as compared to Caucasians. Whether similar racial differences exist within OA samples is unknown and may have implications for selecting appropriate controls in comparative studies. Methods. Serum levels of adipokines, leptin, and adiponectin, along with insulin, were determined by ELISA in patients scheduled for total hip or knee replacement surgery for OA. Fifteen Asian patients were matched 1 : 1 on age (±2 years), gender, body mass index (±1.5 kg/m2), and surgical joint with Caucasian patients. Differences in serum concentrations were tested using paired -tests. Results. Serum leptin and insulin levels were significantly higher in Asians compared to Caucasians (). While serum adiponectin levels were lower among Asians, the difference did not reach statistical significance (). Conclusion. Findings from this work suggest that when studying serum biomarker concentrations in OA versus controls, race may be an important factor to consider. Our findings warrant confirmation in larger studies. Rajiv Gandhi, Anirudh Sharma, Mohit Kapoor, Kala Sundararajan, and Anthony V. Perruccio Copyright © 2016 Rajiv Gandhi et al. All rights reserved. Semantic Signature: Comparative Interpretation of Gene Expression on a Semantic Space Tue, 03 May 2016 06:55:02 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cmmm/2016/5174503/ Background. Interpretation of microarray data remains challenging because biological meaning should be extracted from enormous numeric matrices and be presented explicitly. Moreover, huge public repositories of microarray dataset are ready to be exploited for comparative analysis. This study aimed to provide a platform where essential implication of a microarray experiment could be visually expressed and various microarray datasets could be intuitively compared. Results. On the semantic space, gene sets from Molecular Signature Database (MSigDB) were plotted as landmarks and their relative distances were calculated by Lin’s semantic similarity measure. By formal concept analysis, a microarray dataset was transformed into a concept lattice with gene clusters as objects and Gene Ontology terms as attributes. Concepts of a lattice were located on the semantic space reflecting semantic distance from landmarks and edges between concepts were drawn; consequently, a specific geographic pattern could be observed from a microarray dataset. We termed a distinctive geography shared by microarray datasets of the same category as “semantic signature.” Conclusions. “Semantic space,” a map of biological entities, could serve as a universal platform for comparative microarray analysis. When microarray data were displayed on the semantic space as concept lattices, “semantic signature,” characteristic geography for a microarray experiment, could be discovered. Jihun Kim, Keewon Kim, and Ju Han Kim Copyright © 2016 Jihun Kim et al. All rights reserved. Phytochemical Evaluation of Moth Bean (Vigna aconitifolia L.) Seeds and Their Divergence Sat, 30 Apr 2016 14:35:56 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bri/2016/3136043/ In the present study, phytochemical contents of 25 moth bean (Vigna aconitifolia) seed accessions were evaluated. This includes protease inhibitors, phytic acid, radical scavenging activity, and tannins. The studies revealed significant variation in the contents of theses phytochemicals. Presence of photochemical composition was correlated with seed storage proteins like albumin and globulin. Qualitative identification of total seed storage protein abundance across two related moth bean accessions using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2D-GE) was performed. Over 20 individual protein fractions were distributed over the gel as a series of spots in two moth bean accessions. Seed proteome accumulated spots of high intensity over a broad range of pI values of 3–10 in a molecular weight range of 11–170 kDa. In both seed accessions maximum protein spots are seen in the pI range of 6–8. Neha Gupta, Nidhi Shrivastava, Pramod Kumar Singh, and Sameer S. Bhagyawant Copyright © 2016 Neha Gupta et al. All rights reserved. Electrodeposition-Based Fabrication and Characteristics of Tungsten Trioxide Thin Film Sat, 30 Apr 2016 14:35:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnm/2016/3623547/ In this study, tungsten trioxide (WO3) thin films were electrodeposited on indium tin oxide (ITO) glass to form WO3-coated glass. The electrodeposition (ED) time () and ED current () were varied to control the film thickness and morphology. Furthermore, the crystallization of the thin films was controlled by annealing them at 250°C, 500°C, and 700°C. The results showed that the thickness of the WO3 thin films increased with and . The as-deposited thin films and those annealed at 250°C were amorphous, whereas the WO3 thin films annealed at 500 and 700°C were in the anorthic phase. Moreover, the amorphous WO3-coated glass exhibited high transmittance in visible light and low transmittance in near-infrared light, whereas the anorthic WO3-coated glass had high transmittance in near-infrared light. An empirical formula for determining the thickness of WO3 thin films was derived through multiple regressions of the ED process parameters. Li Lin, Chin-Pao Cheng, and Tun-Ping Teng Copyright © 2016 Li Lin et al. All rights reserved. Early Treatment of Acute Complex Regional Pain Syndrome after Fracture or Injury with Prednisone: Why Is There a Failure to Treat? A Case Series Sat, 30 Apr 2016 14:35:32 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/prm/2016/7019196/ Background. Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) after fracture is a cause of pain, dysfunction, and potentially permanent disability. The evidence for treatment with oral corticosteroids is growing and supported by several international guidelines; however, treatment is not widely offered. Objective. Rapid recognition and treatment of complex regional pain in the upper extremity after acute injury as a disease modifying and potentially curative treatment. Methods. The present study was a case series involving three patients who developed CRPS after a trauma to the neck and/or upper limb. Patients were screened by clinical examination and bone scan and met the Budapest criteria. Results. Resolution of pain, swelling, and disability in all three patients. Discussion. There is increasing support, based on the existing evidence and clinical outcomes, for the use of prednisone to treat the acute phase of CRPS and as a promising treatment to halt the progression of the phenomenon and potentially cure the condition; however, widespread use of prednisone likely remains low, potentially resulting in long-term pain, joint contracture, and disability. A large-scale randomized control trial has not been performed. Conclusion. Corticosteroids can be an effective treatment option for CRPS after fracture. Paul Winston Copyright © 2016 Paul Winston. All rights reserved. Canaloplasty: Current Value in the Management of Glaucoma Sat, 30 Apr 2016 14:35:20 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/joph/2016/7080475/ Canaloplasty is a nonpenetrating blebless surgical technique for open-angle glaucoma, in which a flexible microcatheter is inserted within Schlemm’s canal for the entire 360 degrees. When the microcatheter exits the opposite end, a 10-0 prolene suture is tied and it is then withdrawn, by pulling microcatheter back through the canal in the opposite direction. Ligation of prolene suture provides tension on the canal and facilitates aqueous outflow. The main advantage of canaloplasty is that this technique avoids the major complications of fistulating surgery related to blebs and hypotony. Currently, canaloplasty is performed in glaucoma patients with early to moderate disease and combination with cataract surgery is a suitable option in patients with clinically significant lens opacities. Carlo Cagini, Claudia Peruzzi, Tito Fiore, Leopoldo Spadea, Myrta Lippera, and Stefano Lippera Copyright © 2016 Carlo Cagini et al. All rights reserved. Research on Properties of Foamed Concrete Reinforced with Small Sized Glazed Hollow Beads Sat, 30 Apr 2016 14:35:16 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amse/2016/5820870/ Foamed concrete (400 kg/m3) was prepared through a physical foaming method using ordinary Portland cement (42.5R), vegetable protein foaming agent, fly ash, and glazed hollow beads (GHB, K46) as raw materials. The performance of cement paste as well as the structure and distribution of air voids was characterized by rheometry, SEM, and XRD analyses with imaging software. The effects of GHBs on the compressive strength and thermal conductivity of the foamed concrete sample were also explored. Results show that the proportion of 50–400 μm air voids, average air-void diameter, 28 d compressive strength, and thermal conductivity of the test sample mixed with 2.4 wt% GHBs are 94.44%, 182.10 μm, 2.39 MPa, and 0.0936 w/(m·k), respectively. Excessive amount of GHBs (>2.4 wt%) increases the amount of air voids with diameter smaller than 50 μm in the hardened foamed concrete as well as the degree of open porosity. Moreover, the proportion of 50–400 μm air voids, average air-void diameter, 28 d compressive strength, and thermal conductivity of the sample mixed with 4.0 wt% GHBs are 88.54%, 140.50 μm, 2.05 MPa, and 0.0907 w/(m·k), respectively. Chi Hu, Hui Li, Zhongwei Liu, and Qingyuan Wang Copyright © 2016 Chi Hu et al. All rights reserved. Foodborne Listeria monocytogenes: A Real Challenge in Quality Control Sat, 30 Apr 2016 14:34:13 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/scientifica/2016/5768526/ Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen, and the detection and differentiation of this bacterium from the nonpathogenic Listeria species are of great importance to the food industry. Differentiation of Listeria species is very difficult, even with the sophisticated MALDI-TOF MS technique because of the close genetic relationship of the species and the usual gene transfer. The present paper emphasizes the difficulties of the differentiation through the standardized detection and confirmation according to ISO 11290-1:1996 and basic available L. monocytogenes detection methods and tests (such as API Listeria test, MALDI-TOF MS analysis, and hly gene PCR). With the increase of reports on the pathogenesis of atypical Listeria strains in humans, the significance of species level determination has become questionable, especially in food quality control, and the detection of pathogenic characteristics seems to be more relevant. Tünde Pusztahelyi, Judit Szabó, Zsuzsanna Dombrádi, Szilvia Kovács, and István Pócsi Copyright © 2016 Tünde Pusztahelyi et al. All rights reserved. Differential Proteomics Analysis of Colonic Tissues in Patients of Slow Transit Constipation Sat, 30 Apr 2016 14:08:05 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2016/4814702/ Objective. To investigate and screen the different expression of proteins in STC and normal group with a comparative proteomic approach. Methods. Two-dimensional electrophoresis was applied to separate the proteins in specimens from both 5 STC patients and 5 normal controls. The proteins with statistically significant differential expression between two groups were identified by computer aided image analysis and matrix assisted laser desorption ionization tandem time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS). Results. A total of 239 protein spots were identified in the average gel of the normal control and 215 in patients with STC. A total of 197 protein spots were matched and the mean matching rate was 82%. There were 14 protein spots which were expressed with statistically significant differences from others. Of those 14 protein spots, the expression of 12 spots increased markedly, while that of 2 spots decreased significantly. Conclusion. The proteomics expression in colonic specimens of STC patients is statistically significantly different from that of normal control, which may be associated with the pathogenesis of STC. Songlin Wan, Weicheng Liu, Cuiping Tian, Xianghai Ren, Zhao Ding, Qun Qian, Congqing Jiang, and Yunhua Wu Copyright © 2016 Songlin Wan et al. All rights reserved. A Novel Inward Gradient Self-Lubrication Layer with Soft Alloys and Its Lubricating Mechanism Sat, 30 Apr 2016 13:53:31 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amse/2016/9286450/ A novel ceramic composite inward gradient distribution layer has been developed. The layer is a lubricating layer in which soft-metal lubricants are compounded into the ceramic matrix by high frequency induction infiltrating method. The design of the layer and its lubricating mechanism are investigated in the paper. The results show that the property of the layer greatly depends on the wetting angle of the soft-metal lubricants on the matrix and the proportion of Ag, Cu, Sn, and Pb as well as the infiltrating parameters. Based on a lot of experiments, a novel inward gradient layer with Pb28Sn19Ag6Cu has been developed. The layer has an excellent lubricating property (friction coefficient about 0.2~0.3 at 600°C). The research reveals the lubricating mechanism, observing the phenomenon that the soft-metal in the matrix diffuses out of the frictional surface, and measures the lubricating film thickness as about 20 μm on the worn surface. Songshan Yan, Ling Qin, Rui Hu, and Zuomin Liu Copyright © 2016 Songshan Yan et al. All rights reserved. Serological and Molecular Evidence of Q Fever in Domestic Ruminants in Bangladesh Sat, 30 Apr 2016 13:52:42 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/vmi/2016/9098416/ The objective of this study was to know the herd and animal level prevalence of Q fever in domestic ruminants in some selected districts in Bangladesh. Randomly collected 111 bulk milk and 94 sera samples of cattle, sheep, and goats were tested by indirect ELISA (iELISA). DNA extracted from 23 aborted fetal membranes was analyzed by real time (rt) PCR. The positive cut-off value of iELISA in bulk milk and individual animal sera was ≥30% and ≥40%, respectively. The overall herd level prevalence of Q fever in dairy cattle was 15.6%. The prevalence of Q fever in dairy cattle was significantly higher in Sirajganj in comparison to Satkhira District (). The overall seroprevalence of Q fever in domestic ruminants was 5.06%. Although statistically insignificant, the seroprevalence of Q fever was relatively higher in sheep (9.52%) in comparison to goats (3.33%) and cattle (3.57%). Out of 23 aborted fetal membranes, only one sheep placenta was positive in rt PCR. Q fever is present in all of the three important species of domestic ruminants in Bangladesh. It may have some role in sheep abortion as the seroprevalence is relatively higher and also one sheep placenta is rt PCR positive. Md. Arifur Rahman, Md. Mahbub Alam, Md. Aminul Islam, A. K. Fazlul Haque Bhuiyan, and A. K. M. Anisur Rahman Copyright © 2016 Md. Arifur Rahman et al. All rights reserved. Inspection and Numerical Analysis of an Ottoman Railway Bridge in Jordan Sat, 30 Apr 2016 13:50:17 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amse/2016/9039483/ The construction of bridges represents a big challenge, since they require enormous economic effort and specialized technical skills. Bridges were historically important as they help connecting people and thus diffusing cultures, sharing ideas, and providing the backbone of transportation networks. This study focuses on the inspection and structural analysis of a 20th-century Ottoman railway stone arched bridge located on the Hejaz railway network in Jordan. The bridge has a very important cultural heritage value which stems from its history. The bridge stone material was cut and tested to determine its strength, in order to be used in the analysis. The structural analysis was carried out to assess the structural condition of the bridge and its suitability for reuse. The study includes static analysis under gravity loads and seismic analysis under earthquake loads. Despite the existence of deterioration in the bridge body construction materials due to a combination of human and natural factors, the analysis results proved enough structural capability to sustain the imposed gravity loads, but not a strong earthquake. Amin H. Almasri and Qusai Fandi Al-Waked Copyright © 2016 Amin H. Almasri and Qusai Fandi Al-Waked. All rights reserved. Cognitive-Enhancing Effect of Aronia melanocarpa Extract against Memory Impairment Induced by Scopolamine in Mice Sat, 30 Apr 2016 13:49:13 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/6145926/ Aronia melanocarpa (A. melanocarpa) berries are a fruit with a marked antioxidant effect. The objective of this study was to confirm the effect of A. melanocarpa berries extract against scopolamine-induced memory impairment in mice using the Morris water maze and passive avoidance test. Moreover, we determined a possible mechanism of the cognitive-enhancing effect involving AChE activity and BDNF and p-CREB expression in the hippocampus of mice. A. melanocarpa berries extract attenuated the learning and memory impairment induced by scopolamine in the Morris water maze (79.3 ± 0.8 s of 200 mg/kg and 64.4 ± 10.7 s of 400 mg/kg on day 4) and passive avoidance tests (46.0 ± 41.1 s of 200 mg/kg and 25.6 ± 18.7 s of 400 mg/kg). A. melanocarpa berries extract reduced the acetylcholinesterase level in the hippocampus of scopolamine-injected mice and increased BDNF and p-CREB expression in the hippocampus. The major compound, cyanidin-3-O-galactoside, also reversed memory impairment. These results showed that A. melanocarpa berries extract improved memory impairment by inhibiting AChE and increasing BDNF and p-CREB expression, and cyanidin-3-O-galactoside may be responsible for the effect of A. melanocarpa berries extract. Hyeon Yong Lee, Jin Bae Weon, Youn Sik Jung, Nam Young Kim, Myong Ki Kim, and Choong Je Ma Copyright © 2016 Hyeon Yong Lee et al. All rights reserved. Tuberculous Gastric Abscess in a Patient with AIDS: A Rare Presentation Sat, 30 Apr 2016 13:47:46 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/criid/2016/5675036/ Tuberculosis is a healthcare concern that affects millions of individuals around the globe. Coinfection with HIV has changed both the clinical presentation and the outcome of the disease dramatically in the last few decades. Extrapulmonary tuberculosis is seen more frequently in the immunocompromised host. An unusual case of gastric tuberculosis in an AIDS patient is reported here. A 49-year-old female with AIDS was admitted for fever and epigastric pain. A gastric submucosal abscess was observed on imaging and confirmed by biopsy showing numerous neutrophils and acid-fast bacilli. Aspirate grew Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This report highlights a very unusual presentation of tuberculosis in an immunodeficient patient. High clinical suspicion for opportunistic infections in unusual locations should be maintained in these patients presenting with clinical syndromes that do not respond to standard treatments. New diagnostic modalities facilitate accurate identification of these infections. Ekta Nayyar, Julian A. Torres, and Carlos D. Malvestutto Copyright © 2016 Ekta Nayyar et al. All rights reserved. CryJ-LAMP DNA Vaccines for Japanese Red Cedar Allergy Induce Robust Th1-Type Immune Responses in Murine Model Sat, 30 Apr 2016 13:47:26 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2016/4857869/ Allergies caused by Japanese Red Cedar (JRC) pollen affect up to a third of Japanese people, necessitating development of an effective therapeutic. We utilized the lysosomal targeting property of lysosomal-associated membrane protein-1 (LAMP-1) to make DNA vaccines that encode LAMP-1 and the sequences of immunodominant allergen CryJ1 or CryJ2 from the JRC pollen. This novel strategy is designed to skew the CD4 T cell responses to the target allergens towards a nonallergenic Th1 response. CryJ1-LAMP and CryJ2-LAMP were administrated to BALB/c mice and antigen-specific Th1-type IgG2a and Th2-type IgG1 antibodies, as well as IgE antibodies, were assayed longitudinally. We also isolated different T cell populations from immunized mice and adoptively transferred them into naïve mice followed by CryJ1/CryJ2 protein boosts. We demonstrated that CryJ-LAMP immunized mice produce high levels of IFN-γ and anti-CryJ1 or anti-CryJ2 IgG2a antibodies and low levels of IgE antibodies, suggesting that a Th1 response was induced. In addition, we found that CD4+ T cells are the immunological effectors of DNA vaccination in this allergy model. Together, our results suggest the CryJ-LAMP Vaccine has a potential as an effective therapeutic for JRC induced allergy by skewing Th1/Th2 responses. Yan Su, Michael Connolly, Anthony Marketon, and Teri Heiland Copyright © 2016 Yan Su et al. All rights reserved. An Enhanced Hybrid Social Based Routing Algorithm for MANET-DTN Sat, 30 Apr 2016 13:46:07 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/misy/2016/4803242/ A new routing algorithm for mobile ad hoc networks is proposed in this paper: an Enhanced Hybrid Social Based Routing (HSBR) algorithm for MANET-DTN as optimal solution for well-connected multihop mobile networks (MANET) and/or worse connected MANET with small density of the nodes and/or due to mobility fragmented MANET into two or more subnetworks or islands. This proposed HSBR algorithm is fully decentralized combining main features of both Dynamic Source Routing (DSR) and Social Based Opportunistic Routing (SBOR) algorithms. The proposed scheme is simulated and evaluated by replaying real life traces which exhibit this highly dynamic topology. Evaluation of new proposed HSBR algorithm was made by comparison with DSR and SBOR. All methods were simulated with different levels of velocity. The results show that HSBR has the highest success of packet delivery, but with higher delay in comparison with DSR, and much lower in comparison with SBOR. Simulation results indicate that HSBR approach can be applicable in networks, where MANET or DTN solutions are separately useless or ineffective. This method provides delivery of the message in every possible situation in areas without infrastructure and can be used as backup method for disaster situation when infrastructure is destroyed. Martin Matis, L’ubomír Doboš, and Ján Papaj Copyright © 2016 Martin Matis et al. All rights reserved. Synthesis, Spectral Characterization, and Antibacterial and Antifungal Studies of PANI/V2O5 Nanocomposites Sat, 30 Apr 2016 13:45:43 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijce/2016/3479248/ The present study deals with the synthesis and characterization of nanocrystalline vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) nanoparticles and their antibacterial and antifungal activity on Staphylococcus aureus and Aspergillus niger, respectively, by agar diffusion method. The metal oxide has been synthesized by employing the sol-gel method, polyaniline (PANI) has been synthesized by chemical oxidation, and PANI/V2O5 composites have been synthesized by in situ polymerization method with different ratios (10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 weight%) of V2O5 in PANI. The newly prepared composites were characterized by FTIR and powder X-ray diffraction (P-XRD) techniques and are found to be formed of PANI/V2O5 nanocomposites, and also the compounds showed moderate antibacterial and antifungal activity. Chakradhar Sridhar B, Nagesh Gunvanthrao Yernale, and M. V. N. Ambika Prasad Copyright © 2016 Chakradhar Sridhar B et al. All rights reserved. Miller-Fisher Syndrome: Are Anti-GAD Antibodies Implicated in Its Pathophysiology? Sat, 30 Apr 2016 13:37:51 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crinm/2016/3431849/ Miller-Fisher syndrome (MFS) is considered as a variant of the Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) and its characteristic clinical features are ophthalmoplegia, ataxia, and areflexia. Typically, it is associated with anti-GQ1b antibodies; however, a significant percentage (>10%) of these patients are seronegative. Here, we report a 67-year-old female patient who presented with the typical clinical features of MFS. Workup revealed antibodies against glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) in relatively high titers while GQ1b antibodies were negative. Neurological improvement was observed after intravenous gamma globulin and follow-up examinations showed a continuous clinical amelioration with simultaneous decline of anti-GAD levels which finally returned to normal values. This case indicates that anti-GAD antibodies may be associated with a broader clinical spectrum and future studies in GQ1b-seronegative patients could determine ultimately their clinical and pathogenetic significance in this syndrome. Ioannis E. Dagklis, Sotirios Papagiannopoulos, Varvara Theodoridou, Dimitrios Kazis, Ourania Argyropoulou, and Sevasti Bostantjopoulou Copyright © 2016 Ioannis E. Dagklis et al. All rights reserved. Excisional Treatment of Cervical Dysplasia in Australia 2004–2013: A Population-Based Study Sat, 30 Apr 2016 13:35:41 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jo/2016/3056407/ Background. Excisional treatment of preinvasive cervical dysplasia has been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. We aimed to examine trends in the rate of excisional treatment in reproductive age women in the era of HPV vaccination. Methods. National data for Australia regarding histological diagnoses of cervical dysplasia and excisional treatment for the period from 2004 to 2013 inclusive were obtained from two datasets and used to calculate age-stratified incidence rates of excisional treatment and of excisional treatments per diagnosis of dysplasia. Results. The incidence of low-grade squamous dysplasia fell in all age groups, while the incidence of high-grade dysplasia fell in the 20-to-24-year group but rose slightly for older age groups. The rate of excisional treatment fell in women aged under 35 but there was no significant change for women 35 years or older. The rate of all excisional treatments (loop excision + cone biopsy) per high-grade diagnosis (CIN2 + CIN3 + adenocarcinoma in situ) fell across all three age-bands in both datasets. Conclusion. To ensure that the use of excisional treatment is appropriate, with lower rates for younger HPV-vaccinated women, close surveillance, audit, and ongoing education will be required. Gregory Robertson and Stephen J. Robson Copyright © 2016 Gregory Robertson and Stephen J. Robson. All rights reserved. Challenges in the Diagnosis and Management of Acquired Nontraumatic Urethral Strictures in Boys in Yaoundé, Cameroon Sat, 30 Apr 2016 13:35:19 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/criu/2016/2586458/ Introduction. Urethral strictures in boys denote narrowing of the urethra which can be congenital or acquired. In case of acquired strictures, the etiology is iatrogenic or traumatic and rarely infectious or inflammatory. The aim of this study was to highlight the diagnostic and therapeutic difficulties of acquired nontraumatic urethral strictures in boys in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Methodology. The authors report five cases of nontraumatic urethral strictures managed at the Pediatric Surgery Department of the YGOPH over a two-year period (November 2012–November 2014). In order to confirm the diagnosis of urethral stricture, all patients were assessed with both cystourethrography and urethrocystoscopy. Results. In all the cases the urethra was inflammatory with either a single or multiple strictures. The surgical management included internal urethrotomy (), urethral dilatation (), vesicostomy (), and urethral catheterization (). With a median follow-up of 8.2 months (4–16 months) all patients remained symptoms-free. Conclusion. The authors report the difficulties encountered in the diagnosis and management of nontraumatic urethral strictures in boys at a tertiary hospital in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The existence of an inflammatory etiology of urethral strictures in boys deserves to be considered. F. F. Mouafo Tambo, G. Fossi kamga, C. Kamadjou, L. Mbouche, A. S. Nwaha Makon, J. Birraux, O. G. Andze, F. F. Angwafo, and P. Y. Mure Copyright © 2016 F. F. Mouafo Tambo et al. All rights reserved. Discovery of Azurin-Like Anticancer Bacteriocins from Human Gut Microbiome through Homology Modeling and Molecular Docking against the Tumor Suppressor p53 Sat, 30 Apr 2016 13:22:47 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2016/8490482/ Azurin from Pseudomonas aeruginosa is known anticancer bacteriocin, which can specifically penetrate human cancer cells and induce apoptosis. We hypothesized that pathogenic and commensal bacteria with long term residence in human body can produce azurin-like bacteriocins as a weapon against the invasion of cancers. In our previous work, putative bacteriocins have been screened from complete genomes of 66 dominant bacteria species in human gut microbiota and subsequently characterized by subjecting them as functional annotation algorithms with azurin as control. We have qualitatively predicted 14 putative bacteriocins that possessed functional properties very similar to those of azurin. In this work, we perform a number of quantitative and structure-based analyses including hydrophobic percentage calculation, structural modeling, and molecular docking study of bacteriocins of interest against protein p53, a cancer target. Finally, we have identified 8 putative bacteriocins that bind p53 in a same manner as p28-azurin and azurin, in which 3 peptides (p1seq16, p2seq20, and p3seq24) shared with our previous study and 5 novel ones (p1seq09, p2seq05, p2seq08, p3seq02, and p3seq17) discovered in the first time. These bacteriocins are suggested for further in vitro tests in different neoplastic line cells. Chuong Nguyen and Van Duy Nguyen Copyright © 2016 Chuong Nguyen and Van Duy Nguyen. All rights reserved. Combined Bone Marrow and Kidney Transplantation for the Induction of Specific Tolerance Sat, 30 Apr 2016 13:21:11 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ah/2016/6471901/ The induction of specific tolerance, in order to avoid the detrimental effects of lifelong systemic immunosuppressive therapy after organ transplantation, has been considered the “Holy Grail” of transplantation. Experimentally, tolerance has been achieved through clonal deletion, through costimulatory blockade, through the induction or infusion of regulatory T-cells, and through the establishment of hematopoietic chimerism following donor bone marrow transplantation. The focus of this review is how tolerance has been achieved following combined bone marrow and kidney transplantation. Preclinical models of combined bone marrow and kidney transplantation have shown that tolerance can be achieved through either transient or sustained hematopoietic chimerism. Combined transplants for patients with multiple myeloma have shown that organ tolerance and prolonged disease remissions can be accomplished with such an approach. Similarly, multiple clinical strategies for achieving tolerance in patients without an underlying malignancy have been described, in the context of either transient or durable mixed chimerism or sustained full donor hematopoiesis. To expand the chimerism approach to deceased donor transplants, a delayed tolerance approach, which will involve organ transplantation with conventional immunosuppression followed months later by bone marrow transplantation, has been successful in a primate model. As combined bone marrow and organ transplantation become safer and increasingly successful, the achievement of specific tolerance may become more widely applicable. Yi-Bin Chen, Tatsuo Kawai, and Thomas R. Spitzer Copyright © 2016 Yi-Bin Chen et al. All rights reserved. Utility of the Measurement of Carboxyhemoglobin Level at the Site of Acute Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Rural Areas Sat, 30 Apr 2016 13:17:54 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/scientifica/2016/6192369/ Objective. This study examined the hypothesis that correlations exist between the carbon monoxide exposure time and the carboxyhemoglobin concentration at the site of carbon monoxide poisoning, using a pulse carbon monoxide oximeter in rural areas or the carboxyhemoglobin concentration measured at a given medical institution. Background. In previous studies, no definitive relationships between the arterial blood carboxyhemoglobin level and the severity of carbon monoxide poisoning have been observed. Method. The subjects included patients treated for acute carbon monoxide poisoning in whom a medical emergency team was able to measure the carboxyhemoglobin level at the site of poisoning. We examined the relationship between the carboxyhemoglobin level at the site of poisoning and carbon monoxide exposure time and the relationships between the arterial blood carboxyhemoglobin level and carbon monoxide exposure time. Results. A total of 10 patients met the above criteria. The carboxyhemoglobin levels at the site of poisoning were significantly and positively correlated with the exposure time (rs = 0.710, ), but the arterial blood carboxyhemoglobin levels were not correlated with the exposure time. Conclusion. In rural areas, the carboxyhemoglobin level measured at the site of carbon monoxide poisoning correlated with the exposure time. Makoto Onodera, Yasuhisa Fujino, Satoshi Kikuchi, Masayuki Sato, Kiyofumi Mori, Takaaki Beppu, and Yoshihiro Inoue Copyright © 2016 Makoto Onodera et al. All rights reserved. Nanotechnology Based Approaches for Enhancing Oral Bioavailability of Poorly Water Soluble Antihypertensive Drugs Sat, 30 Apr 2016 11:31:28 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/scientifica/2016/8525679/ Oral administration is the most convenient route among various routes of drug delivery as it offers high patient compliance. However, the poor aqueous solubility and poor enzymatic/metabolic stability of drugs are major limitations in successful oral drug delivery. There are several approaches to improve problems related to hydrophobic drugs. Among various approaches, nanotechnology based drug delivery system has potential to overcome the challenges associated with the oral route of administration. Novel drug delivery systems are available in many areas of medicine. The application of these systems in the treatment of hypertension continues to broaden. The present review focuses on various nanocarriers available in oral drug administration for improving solubility profile, dissolution, and consequently bioavailability of hydrophobic antihypertensive drugs. Mayank Sharma, Rajesh Sharma, and Dinesh Kumar Jain Copyright © 2016 Mayank Sharma et al. All rights reserved. Long-Term Precipitation Analysis and Estimation of Precipitation Concentration Index Using Three Support Vector Machine Methods Sat, 30 Apr 2016 11:30:47 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amete/2016/7912357/ The monthly precipitation data from 29 stations in Serbia during the period of 1946–2012 were considered. Precipitation trends were calculated using linear regression method. Three CLINO periods (1961–1990, 1971–2000, and 1981–2010) in three subregions were analysed. The CLINO 1981–2010 period had a significant increasing trend. Spatial pattern of the precipitation concentration index (PCI) was presented. For the purpose of PCI prediction, three Support Vector Machine (SVM) models, namely, SVM coupled with the discrete wavelet transform (SVM-Wavelet), the firefly algorithm (SVM-FFA), and using the radial basis function (SVM-RBF), were developed and used. The estimation and prediction results of these models were compared with each other using three statistical indicators, that is, root mean square error, coefficient of determination, and coefficient of efficiency. The experimental results showed that an improvement in predictive accuracy and capability of generalization can be achieved by the SVM-Wavelet approach. Moreover, the results indicated the proposed SVM-Wavelet model can adequately predict the PCI. Milan Gocic, Shahaboddin Shamshirband, Zaidi Razak, Dalibor Petković, Sudheer Ch, and Slavisa Trajkovic Copyright © 2016 Milan Gocic et al. All rights reserved. A Review of Computational Electromagnetic Methods for Graphene Modeling Sat, 30 Apr 2016 11:28:35 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijap/2016/7478621/ Graphene is a very promising optoelectronic material and has gained more and more attention. To analyze its electromagnetic properties, several numerical methods have been developed for graphene simulation. In this paper, a review of application of graphene in electronic and photonic device is provided, as well as some widely used computational electromagnetic algorithms for graphene modeling. The advantages and drawbacks of each method are discussed and numerical examples of these methods are given to illustrate their performance and application. Yu Shao, Jing Jing Yang, and Ming Huang Copyright © 2016 Yu Shao et al. All rights reserved. A Novel Energy-Efficient k-Coverage Algorithm Based on Probability Driven Mechanism of Wireless Sensor Networks Sat, 30 Apr 2016 11:26:05 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijdsn/2016/7474926/ In the process of fulfilling -coverage over target nodes, a large quantity of redundant data may be produced, which will cause network congestion, reduce communication efficiency, impair coverage quality, and exhaust network energy quickly. To solve this problem, the paper proposes an Energy-Efficient k-Coverage Algorithm (EEKCA), which attempts to construct a network coverage model by utilizing the relative positions of nodes. Through analyzing the model, the coverage expectations for nodes in the monitored area and the minimum number of nodes required for full coverage are computed. As for power consumption, the paper presents an energy shifting function between working nodes and neighboring nodes, by use of which the scheduling for low-energy node is completed, balancing the energy consumption over the entire network and optimizing network resources. Finally, simulation results suggest that the proposed algorithm not only can improve the coverage quality of network but also can prevent the rapid depletion of node energy, thus achieving the goal of extending network lifetime. Chuanfeng Li, Zeyu Sun, Huihui Wang, and Houbing Song Copyright © 2016 Chuanfeng Li et al. All rights reserved. Influence of the Total Gas Flow at Different Reaction Times for CVD-Graphene Synthesis on Polycrystalline Nickel Sat, 30 Apr 2016 11:22:37 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnm/2016/7083284/ Optimization of the total gas flow (CH4+H2) during the reaction step for different reaction times for CVD-graphene synthesis on polycrystalline nickel foil using an atmospheric pressure set-up is reported. A thickness value related to number of graphene layers in each of the synthesized samples was determined using an Excel-VBA application. This method assigned a thickness value between 1 and 1000 and provided information on the percentage of each type of graphene (monolayer, bilayer, and multilayer) deposited onto the polycrystalline nickel sheet. The influence of the total gas flow during the reaction step and the reaction time was studied in detail. Optical microscopy showed that samples were covered with different types of graphene, such as multilayer, few-layer, bilayer, and monolayer graphene. The synthesis variables were optimized according to the thickness value and the results were verified by Raman spectroscopy. The best conditions were obtained with a reaction temperature of 980°C, a CH4/H2 flow rate ratio of 0.07 v/v, a reaction time of 1 minute, and a total gas flow of 80 NmL/min. In the sample obtained under the optimized conditions, 80% of the area was covered with monolayer graphene and less than 1% with multilayer graphene. M. P. Lavin-Lopez, J. L. Valverde, L. Sanchez-Silva, and A. Romero Copyright © 2016 M. P. Lavin-Lopez et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Acute Endurance Exercise on Plasma Protein Profiles of Endurance-Trained and Untrained Individuals over Time Sat, 30 Apr 2016 11:21:04 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2016/4851935/ Acute physical exercise and repeated exercise stimuli affect whole-body metabolic and immunologic homeostasis. The aim of this study was to determine plasma protein profiles of trained (EET, ) and untrained (SED, ) individuals at rest and in response to an acute bout of endurance exercise. Participants completed a bicycle exercise test at an intensity corresponding to 80% of their . Plasma samples were taken before, directly after, and three hours after exercise and analyzed using multiplex immunoassays. Seventy-eight plasma variables were included in the final analysis. Twenty-nine variables displayed significant acute exercise effects in both groups. Seven proteins differed between groups, without being affected by acute exercise. Among these A2Macro and IL-5 were higher in EET individuals while leptin showed elevated levels in SED individuals. Fifteen variables revealed group and time differences with elevated levels for IL-3, IL-7, IL-10, and TNFR2 in EET individuals. An interaction effect could be observed for nine variables including IL-6, MMP-2, MMP-3, and muscle damage markers. The proteins that differ between groups indicate a long-term exercise effect on plasma protein concentrations. These findings might be of importance in the development of exercise-based strategies in the prevention and therapy of chronic metabolic and inflammatory diseases and for training monitoring. Marius Schild, Gerrit Eichner, Thomas Beiter, Martina Zügel, Ilke Krumholz-Wagner, Jens Hudemann, Christian Pilat, Karsten Krüger, Andreas M. Niess, Jürgen M. Steinacker, and Frank C. Mooren Copyright © 2016 Marius Schild et al. All rights reserved. Psoralen and Isopsoralen Ameliorate Sex Hormone Deficiency-Induced Osteoporosis in Female and Male Mice Sat, 30 Apr 2016 11:20:18 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2016/6869452/ Osteoporosis is a systemic skeletal disease, which is characterized by a systemic destruction of bone mass and microarchitecture. With life standard improved, the treatment of osteoporosis attracted more attention. The aim of this study is to verify the osteoprotective effect of psoralen and isopsoralen in females and males. Female and male mice were divided into 7 groups in this study: control group (sham-operation), model group (by ovariectomy or orchidectomy), positive control group (females given estradiol valerate; males given alendronate sodium), psoralen groups (10 mg/kg and 20 mg/kg), and isopsoralen groups (10 mg/kg and 20 mg/kg). After administration of psoralen and isopsoralen for 8 weeks, osteoporosis was ameliorated with increasing bone strength and improving trabecular bone microstructure as indicated by CT scan and pathology. Serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP), tartrate resistant acid phosphatase (TRACP), osteocalcin (OC), and C-terminal cross-linking telopeptides of type I collagen (CTX-1) were examined. Decreased TRACP and increased ALP/TRACP suggested restoring from bone destruction. These results suggest that psoralen and isopsoralen may be used as good natural compounds for the treatment of osteoporosis in males, as well as females. Xiaomei Yuan, Yanan Bi, Zeman Yan, Weiling Pu, Yuhong Li, and Kun Zhou Copyright © 2016 Xiaomei Yuan et al. All rights reserved. Protecting Clock Synchronization: Adversary Detection through Network Monitoring Sat, 30 Apr 2016 11:12:48 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jece/2016/6297476/ Nowadays, industrial networks are often used for safety-critical applications with real-time requirements. Such applications usually have a time-triggered nature with message scheduling as a core property. Scheduling requires nodes to share the same notion of time, that is, to be synchronized. Therefore, clock synchronization is a fundamental asset in real-time networks. However, since typical standards for clock synchronization, for example, IEEE 1588, do not provide the required level of security, it raises the question of clock synchronization protection. In this paper, we identify a way to break synchronization based on the IEEE 1588 standard, by conducting a man-in-the-middle (MIM) attack followed by a delay attack. A MIM attack can be accomplished through, for example, Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) poisoning. Using the AVISPA tool, we evaluate the potential to perform a delay attack using ARP poisoning and analyze its consequences showing both that the attack can, indeed, break clock synchronization and that some design choices, such as a relaxed synchronization condition mode, delay bounding, and using knowledge of environmental conditions, can make the network more robust/resilient against these kinds of attacks. Lastly, a Configuration Agent is proposed to monitor and detect anomalies introduced by an adversary performing attacks targeting clock synchronization. Elena Lisova, Marina Gutiérrez, Wilfried Steiner, Elisabeth Uhlemann, Johan Åkerberg, Radu Dobrin, and Mats Björkman Copyright © 2016 Elena Lisova et al. All rights reserved. Neuroinfection as a Mask of Lung Cancer: A Case Series Sat, 30 Apr 2016 11:10:36 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/criid/2016/6061350/ Introduction. The diagnosis of lung cancer may still be difficult due to the fact that the first symptoms very often mimic symptoms of other diseases. Case Presentation. In this paper we present two cases, in which initial diagnosis of neuroinfection delayed proper diagnosis. Conclusion. Based on our experience we concluded that neurological symptoms in the area endemic for tick-borne diseases suggesting neuroinfection require careful differential diagnosis. Moreover, neurological symptoms in heavy smokers may be associated with metastases of lung cancer. Beata Kuklińska, Anna Moniuszko-Malinowska, Robert Mróz, Sławomir Pancewicz, and Joanna Zajkowska Copyright © 2016 Beata Kuklińska et al. All rights reserved. First Autologous Cord Blood Therapy for Pediatric Ischemic Stroke and Cerebral Palsy Caused by Cephalic Molding during Birth: Individual Treatment with Mononuclear Cells Sat, 30 Apr 2016 11:06:36 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crit/2016/1717426/ Intracranial laceration due to traumatic birth injury is an extremely rare event affecting approximately one newborn per a population of 4.5 million. However, depending on the mode of injury, the resulting brain damage may lead to lifelong sequelae, for example, cerebral palsy for which there is no cure at present. Here we report a rare case of neonatal arterial ischemic stroke and cerebral palsy caused by fetal traumatic molding and parietal depression of the head during delivery caused by functional cephalopelvic disproportion due to a “long pelvis.” This patient was treated by autologous cord blood mononuclear cells (45.8 mL, cryopreserved, TNC ) with a remarkable recovery. Active rehabilitation was provided weekly. Follow-up examinations were at 3, 18, 34, and 57 months. Generous use of neonatal head MRI in case of molding, craniofacial deformity, and a sentinel event during parturition is advocated to enhance diagnosis of neonatal brain damage as a basis for fast and potentially causative treatment modalities including autologous cord blood transplantation in a timely manner. A. Jensen and E. Hamelmann Copyright © 2016 A. Jensen and E. Hamelmann. All rights reserved. Equilibrium Investment Strategy for DC Pension Plan with Inflation and Stochastic Income under Heston’s SV Model Sat, 30 Apr 2016 10:57:05 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2016/2391849/ We consider a portfolio selection problem for a defined contribution (DC) pension plan under the mean-variance criteria. We take into account the inflation risk and assume that the salary income process of the pension plan member is stochastic. Furthermore, the financial market consists of a risk-free asset, an inflation-linked bond, and a risky asset with Heston’s stochastic volatility (SV). Under the framework of game theory, we derive two extended Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman (HJB) equations systems and give the corresponding verification theorems in both the periods of accumulation and distribution of the DC pension plan. The explicit expressions of the equilibrium investment strategies, corresponding equilibrium value functions, and the efficient frontiers are also obtained. Finally, some numerical simulations and sensitivity analysis are presented to verify our theoretical results. Jingyun Sun, Zhongfei Li, and Yongwu Li Copyright © 2016 Jingyun Sun et al. All rights reserved. α-Amylase and α-Glucosidase Inhibitory Saponins from Polyscias fruticosa Leaves Sat, 30 Apr 2016 10:54:53 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jchem/2016/2082946/ Three bisdesmosidic saponins 3-O-[β-D-glucopyranosyl-(14)-β-D-glucuronopyranosyl] oleanolic acid 28-O-β-D-glucopyranosyl ester (1), polyscioside D (2), and 3-O--D-glucopyranosyl-(12)-[β-D-glucopyranosyl-(14)]-β-D- oleanolic acid 28-O-β-D-glucopyranosyl-(12)-β-D-galactopyranosyl ester (3) were isolated from a methanol extract of Polyscias fruticosa (L.) Harms leaves. Compound 1 was obtained as a main constituent and compound 3 was reported for the first time and named as polyscioside I. Saponin 1 inhibited porcine pancreas α-amylase and yeast α-glucosidase activities while 2 and 3 were inactive. Synergistic inhibitory effect on α-amylase was observed from the combination of low concentrations of 1 and acarbose. The findings suggest the use of P. fruticosa and its major saponin 1 for the prevention and treatment of diabetes and its complications. Tran Thi Hong Hanh, Nguyen Hai Dang, and Nguyen Tien Dat Copyright © 2016 Tran Thi Hong Hanh et al. All rights reserved. Weighted Estimates of a Class of Integral Operators with Three Parameters Sat, 30 Apr 2016 10:51:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jfs/2016/1045459/ We characterize the validity of a Hardy-type inequality with a kernel and three parameters under some conditions on three weight functions , , and . Ryskul Oinarov and Aigerim Kalybay Copyright © 2016 Ryskul Oinarov and Aigerim Kalybay. All rights reserved. One-Dimensional TiO2-B Crystals Synthesised by Hydrothermal Process and Their Antibacterial Behaviour on Escherichia coli Sat, 30 Apr 2016 08:47:46 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnm/2016/7213672/ We have successfully synthesised one-dimensional single crystals of monoclinic phase titanium dioxide nanostructures (TiO2-B), prepared by a hydrothermal process. Morphological characterization was carried out by atomic force and scanning and transmission electron microscopy techniques. In order to study the crystalline structure, samples were calcined at 500°C in an air-filled chamber. X-ray diffraction results indicated that as-prepared samples presented diffraction patterns of hydrate hydrogen titanate and those calcined at 500°C exhibited the TiO2-B and anatase phases, confirmed by Raman spectroscopy. Scanning electron microscopy results showed that the one-dimensional nanostructures had high contrast and uniform widths for those synthesised and calcined, indicating the formation of a phase of monocrystals. Besides, a proof of the antibacterial effect was carried out of the monoclinic phase of TiO2-B on Escherichia coli pure cultures, where the viability of the bacterium decreases in presence of TiO2-B nanostructures plus UV illumination. Monocrystals did not change after photocatalytic tests, suggesting a possible application as long-term antibacterial protection. Sergio León-Ríos, Rodrigo Espinoza González, Sandra Fuentes, Emigdio Chávez Ángel, Alex Echeverría, Antonio E. Serrano, Cecilia S. Demergasso, and R. Antonio Zárate Copyright © 2016 Sergio León-Ríos et al. All rights reserved. CooperSense: A Cooperative and Selective Picture Forwarding Framework Based on Tree Fusion Sat, 30 Apr 2016 08:39:48 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijdsn/2016/6968014/ Mobile crowd photographing has become a major crowd sensing paradigm, which allows people to use cameras on smart devices for local sensing. In MCP, pictures taken by different people in close proximity or time period can be highly similar and different MCP tasks have diverse constraints or needs to deal with such duplicate data. In order to save the network cost and improve the transmitting efficiency, pictures will be preselected by mobile clients and then uploaded to the server in an opportunistic manner. In this paper, CooperSense, a multitask MCP framework for cooperative and selective picture forwarding, was designed. Based on the sensing context of pictures and task constraints, CooperSense structures sequenced pictures into a hierarchical context tree. When two participants encounter, their mobile clients will just exchange their context trees and at the same time automatically accomplish forwarding high-quality pictures to each other via a tree fusion mechanism. Via virtual or real pruning and grafting, mobile clients learn which picture should be sent to the encounter and which one should be abandoned. Our experimental results indicate that the transmission and storage cost of CooperSense are much lower comparing with the traditional Epidemic Routing (ER) method, while their efficiency is almost the same. Huihui Chen, Bin Guo, and Zhiwen Yu Copyright © 2016 Huihui Chen et al. All rights reserved. Self-Managing Postoperative Pain with the Use of a Novel, Interactive Device: A Proof of Concept Study Sat, 30 Apr 2016 08:29:23 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/prm/2016/9704185/ Background. Pain is commonly experienced following surgical procedures. Suboptimal management is multifactorial. Objectives. The primary objective was to assess whether patients used a device (Navimed) to self-report pain over and above a normal baseline of observations. Secondary outcome measures included comparison of pain scores and patient use of and feedback on the device. Methods. In a prospective randomized controlled trial, elective gynaecological surgery patients received standard postoperative pain care or standard care plus the Navimed, which allowed them to self-report pain and offered interactive self-help options. Results. 52 female patients, 26 in each of device and standard groups, did not differ in the frequency of nurse-documented pain scores or mean pain scores provided to nurses. The device group additionally reported pain on the device (means 18.50 versus 11.90 pain ratings per day, , ) that was significantly worse than reported to nurses but retrospectively rated significantly less anxiety. 80% of patients found the device useful. Discussion and Conclusion. This study demonstrates that patients used the Navimed to report pain and to help manage it. Further work is required to investigate the difference in pain scores reported and to develop more sophisticated software. Luke Mordecai, Frances H. L. Leung, Clarissa Y. M. Carvalho, Danielle Reddi, Martin Lees, Stephen Cone, Zoe Fox, Amanda C. de C. Williams, and Brigitta Brandner Copyright © 2016 Luke Mordecai et al. All rights reserved. Minimizing the Average Waiting Time of Unequal-Size Data Items in a Mobile Computing Environment Sat, 30 Apr 2016 08:15:57 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/misy/2016/9371563/ In a mobile computing environment, waiting time is an important indicator of customer satisfaction. In order to achieve better customer satisfaction and shorter waiting times, we need to overcome different constraints and make the best use of limited resources. In this study, we propose a minimization problem, allocating unequal-size data items to broadcast channels with various bandwidths. The main idea is to solve the problem in the continuous space . First, we map the discrete optimization problem from to . Second, the mapped problem is solved in optimally. Finally, we map the optimal solution from back to . With the theoretical analyses, we can ensure the solution quality and execution speed. Computational experiments show that the proposed algorithm performs well. The worst mean relative error can be reduced to 0.353 for data items with a mean size of 100. Moreover, almost all the near-optimal solutions can be obtained within 1 millisecond, even for , where is the number of data items, that is, the problem size. Jen-Ya Wang Copyright © 2016 Jen-Ya Wang. All rights reserved. Berberine Inhibition of Fibrogenesis in a Rat Model of Liver Fibrosis and in Hepatic Stellate Cells Sat, 30 Apr 2016 08:12:19 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/8762345/ Aim. To examine the effect of berberine (BBR) on liver fibrosis and its possible mechanisms through direct effects on hepatic stellate cells (HSC). Methods. The antifibrotic effect of BBR was determined in a rat model of bile duct ligation- (BDL-) induced liver fibrosis. Multiple cellular and molecular approaches were introduced to examine the effects of BBR on HSC. Results. BBR potently inhibited hepatic fibrosis induced by BDL in rats. It exhibited cytotoxicity to activated HSC at doses nontoxic to hepatocytes. High doses of BBR induced apoptosis of activated HSC, which was mediated by loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and Bcl-2/Bax imbalance. Low doses of BBR suppressed activation of HSC as evidenced by the inhibition of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) expression and cell motility. BBR did not affect Smad2/3 phosphorylation but significantly activated 5′ AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signalling, which was responsible for the transcriptional inhibition by BBR of profibrogenic factors α-SMA and collagen in HSC. Conclusion. BBR is a promising agent for treating liver fibrosis through multiple mechanisms, at least partially by directly targeting HSC and by inhibiting the AMPK pathway. Its value as an antifibrotic drug in patients with liver disease deserves further investigation. Ning Wang, Qihe Xu, Hor Yue Tan, Ming Hong, Sha Li, Man-Fung Yuen, and Yibin Feng Copyright © 2016 Ning Wang et al. All rights reserved. Sprayed Pyrolyzed ZnO Films with Nanoflake and Nanorod Morphologies and Their Photocatalytic Activity Sat, 30 Apr 2016 08:08:39 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnm/2016/5981562/ There is an increasing interest on the application of ZnO nanorods in photocatalysis and many growth methods have been applied, in particular the spray pyrolysis technique which is attractive for large scale production. However it is interesting to know if the nanorod morphology is the best considering its photocatalytic activity, stability, and cost effectiveness compared to a nonoriented growth. In this work we present a systematic study of the effect of the precursor solution (type of salt, solvent, and concentration) on the morphology of sprayed ZnO films to obtain nanoflakes and nanorods without the use of surfactants or catalysts. The surface properties and structural characteristics of these types of films were investigated to elucidate which morphology is more favorable for photocatalytic applications. Wettability and photocatalytic experiments were carried out in the same conditions. After UV irradiation both morphologies became hydrophilic and achieved a dye discoloration efficiency higher than 90%; however, the nanoflake morphology provided the highest photocatalytic performance (99% dye discoloration) and stability and the lowest energy consumption during the synthesis process. The surface-to-volume ratio revealed that the nanoflake morphology is more adequate for photocatalytic water treatment applications and that the thin nanorods should be preferred over the large ones. Nora S. Portillo-Vélez and Monserrat Bizarro Copyright © 2016 Nora S. Portillo-Vélez and Monserrat Bizarro. All rights reserved. Vaccinating Adult Patients with Cirrhosis: Trends over a Decade in the United States Sat, 30 Apr 2016 07:57:54 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/grp/2016/5795712/ Introduction. The progression of chronic liver disease to cirrhosis involves both innate and adaptive immune system dysfunction resulting in increased risk of infectious complications. Vaccinations against pneumococcus, hepatitis A virus (HAV), and hepatitis B virus (HBV) are well tolerated and effective in disease prevention and reduction in morbidity and mortality. Prior studies assessing vaccination rates in patients with cirrhosis have specific limitations and to date no study has provided a comprehensive evaluation of vaccination rates in patients with cirrhosis in the United States. Aim. This study assessed vaccination rates for pneumococcus, HAV, and HBV in patients with cirrhosis. Results. Overall 59.7% of patients with cirrhosis received at least 1 vaccination during the study period. Vaccination rates within the same or following year of cirrhosis diagnosis were 19.9%, 7.7%, and 11.0% against pneumococcus, HAV, and HBV, respectively. Trend analysis revealed significant increases in vaccination rates for pneumococcus in all patients with cirrhosis and within subgroups based on age, gender, and presence of concomitant diabetes. Conclusion. The study demonstrated that vaccination rates in patients with cirrhosis remain suboptimal. Ultimately, the use of electronic medical record (EMR) reminders improved communication between healthcare professionals and public health programs to increase awareness are fundamental to reducing morbidity, mortality, and health-care related costs of vaccine preventable diseases in patients with cirrhosis. Abhijeet Waghray, Nisheet Waghray, Hicham Khallafi, and K. V. Narayanan Menon Copyright © 2016 Abhijeet Waghray et al. All rights reserved. Stretched Gelatin Phantom for Detection of Residual Dipolar Couplings in MR Spectra and Data Analysis of Carnosine Sat, 30 Apr 2016 07:54:17 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jspec/2016/4596542/ Peak splitting due to the residual dipolar coupling (RDC) represents a potentially applicable spectral parameter for diagnostic purposes. Several of the skeletal muscle metabolites were previously reported to display the RDC splitting in in vivo MR spectra. We constructed an in vitro model consisting of mechanically stretched gelatin cylinder soaked with the muscle metabolite carnosine. We describe the preparation procedure of an upscaled 50 mL stretched gelatin sample with carnosine that can be used as a phantom for setting-up and testing of spectroscopic measurements of RDC in a MR scanner. We also report on analysis of the RDC splittings in 1H and 13C high resolution MR spectra of carnosine. Karel Bernášek, Marián Grocký, Martin Burian, and Jan Lang Copyright © 2016 Karel Bernášek et al. All rights reserved. Multiple Coronary Artery Microfistulas in a Girl with Kleefstra Syndrome Sat, 30 Apr 2016 07:50:53 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crig/2016/3056053/ Kleefstra syndrome is characterized by hypotonia, developmental delay, dysmorphic features, congenital heart defects, and so forth. It is caused by 9q34.3 microdeletions or EHMT1 mutations. Herein a 20-month-old girl with Kleefstra syndrome, due to a de novo subterminal deletion, is described. She exhibits a rare and complex cardiopathy, encompassing multiple coronary artery microfistulas, VSD/ASD, and PFO. Euthymia Vargiami, Athina Ververi, Hamda Al-Mutawa, Georgia Gioula, Spyridon Gerou, Fotios Rouvalis, Marios Kambouris, and Dimitrios I. Zafeiriou Copyright © 2016 Euthymia Vargiami et al. All rights reserved. Coexistent Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia with Extrapulmonary Sequestration Sat, 30 Apr 2016 07:49:51 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crj/2016/1460480/ Bronchopulmonary foregut malformations are a heterogeneous but interrelated group of abnormalities that may contain more than one histologic feature. It is helpful to be familiar with the presentation and imaging features of bronchopulmonary foregut malformations presenting as a congenital mass or mass-like lesion, as imaging plays a central role in the evaluation of these lesions since, when symptomatic, clinical features are usually nonspecific. With imaging, the presence of other associated lesions can be determined, facilitating appropriate management to prevent the potential complications. We report a case of coexisting extralobar pulmonary sequestration and ipsilateral diaphragmatic hernia in a term neonate. Nao Kawamura and Samarjeet Bhandal Copyright © 2016 Nao Kawamura and Samarjeet Bhandal. All rights reserved. Predictive Factors for Medical Consultation for Sore Throat in Adults with Recurrent Pharyngotonsillitis Thu, 28 Apr 2016 17:19:48 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijoto/2016/6095689/ Objects. To seek patient- and episode-related factors that associate with medical consultation for acute sore throat because these factors may affect the patient being referred to specialist care and tonsillectomy for recurrent pharyngotonsillitis. Methods. In a secondary analysis of two prior randomised controlled trials, sore throat episodes and medical visits were explored among 156 adult patients referred for tonsillectomy because of recurrent pharyngotonsillitis. Results. The 156 patients (104 females, mean age of 26 years) suffered from 208 acute pharyngotonsillitis episodes during 5-6 months of follow-up. Forty (25%) patients visited a physician, and female gender (adjusted hazard ratio, HR, 3.3; 95% confidence interval 1.4–8.0) and finding of chronically infected tonsils (HR 2.7; 1.2–6.1) were associated with medical consultation. Thirty-six (17%) episodes led to medical consultation during the first 7 days of symptoms. Presence of severe throat pain was related to medical visit (HR 4.3; 1.0–18.5). Conclusions. Even among patients with recurrent pharyngotonsillitis, the acute sore throat episodes were usually mild and only few resulted in medical consultation, with female gender, chronically infected tonsils, and having severe throat pain increasing the consultation rate. T. Koskenkorva, P. Koivunen, and O.-P. Alho Copyright © 2016 T. Koskenkorva et al. All rights reserved. Utility of Plasmapheresis in Autoimmune-Mediated Encephalopathy in Children: Potentials and Challenges Thu, 28 Apr 2016 17:14:55 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/nri/2016/7685807/ Autoimmune-mediated encephalopathy in children continues to constitute a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge in pediatric population. Utility and usefulness in this clinical setting of plasmapheresis have seldom been evaluated in current pediatric literature. Children with immune-mediated encephalopathies represent a uniquely different group among patients presenting to intensive care units or neurological services worldwide. Arriving at a final diagnosis is not an easy task for treating physicians. It is very crucial to consider early use of first-line immunotherapy modalities, save those children’s lives and improve outcomes. Plasmapheresis is an emerging, potentially beneficial first-line therapy in such patients. However, indications, value, logistics, and procedural difficulties are often faced. This study is mainly meant to review the current knowledge in regard to the clinical value of plasmapheresis in children with immune-mediated encephalopathy. Abdulhafeez M. Khair Copyright © 2016 Abdulhafeez M. Khair. All rights reserved. Dyspepsia: When and How to Test for Helicobacter pylori Infection Thu, 28 Apr 2016 17:13:47 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/grp/2016/8463614/ Dyspepsia is defined as symptoms related to the upper gastrointestinal tract. Approximately 25% of western populations complain of dyspeptic symptoms each year. 70% of them do not have an organic cause and symptoms are related to the so-called functional dyspepsia, characterized by epigastric pain, early satiety, and/or fullness during or after a meal occurring at least weekly and for at least 6 months according to ROME III criteria. In order to avoid invasive procedures and adverse effects, to minimize costs, to speed up diagnosis, and to provide the most appropriate treatments, primary care physicians need to recognize functional dyspepsia. Because symptoms do not reliably discriminate between organic and functional forms of the disease, anamnesis, family history of peptic ulcer and/or of gastric cancer, medication history, especially for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, age, and physical examination could help the physician in discerning between functional dyspepsia and organic causes. For patients without alarm symptoms, noninvasive testing for H. pylori, with either carbon-13-labeled urea breath testing or stool antigen testing, is recommended as a first-line strategy. In this review, we provide recommendations to guide primary care physicians for appropriate use of diagnostic tests and for H. pylori management in dyspeptic patients. Maria Pina Dore, Giovanni Mario Pes, Gabrio Bassotti, and Paolo Usai-Satta Copyright © 2016 Maria Pina Dore et al. All rights reserved. A Comparative Evaluation of the Mechanical Properties of Two Calcium Phosphate/Collagen Composite Materials and Their Osteogenic Effects on Adipose-Derived Stem Cells Thu, 28 Apr 2016 17:12:55 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sci/2016/6409546/ Adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) are ideal seed cells for use in bone tissue engineering and they have many advantages over other stem cells. In this study, two kinds of calcium phosphate/collagen composite scaffolds were prepared and their effects on the proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of ADSCs were investigated. The hydroxyapatite/β-tricalcium phosphate (HA/β-TCP) composite scaffolds (HTPSs), which have an additional β-tricalcium phosphate, resulted in better proliferation of ADSCs and showed osteogenesis-promoting effects. Therefore, such composite scaffolds, in combination with ADSCs or on their own, would be promising for use in bone regeneration and potential clinical therapy for bone defects. Qing Li, Tong Wang, Gui-feng Zhang, Xin Yu, Jing Zhang, Gang Zhou, and Zhi-hui Tang Copyright © 2016 Qing Li et al. All rights reserved. Synaptic Plasticity, a Prominent Contributor to the Anxiety in Fragile X Syndrome Thu, 28 Apr 2016 17:12:27 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/np/2016/9353929/ Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is an inheritable neuropsychological disease caused by expansion of the CGG trinucleotide repeat affecting the fmr1 gene on X chromosome, resulting in silence of the fmr1 gene and failed expression of FMRP. Patients with FXS suffer from cognitive impairment, sensory integration deficits, learning disability, anxiety, autistic traits, and so forth. Specifically, the morbidity of anxiety in FXS individuals remains high from childhood to adulthood. By and large, it is common that the change of brain plasticity plays a key role in the progression of disease. But for now, most studies excessively emphasized the one-sided factor on the change of synaptic plasticity participating in the generation of anxiety during the development of FXS. Here we proposed an integrated concept to acquire better recognition about the details of this process. Tao Yang, Huan Zhao, Changbo Lu, Xiaoyu Li, Yingli Xie, Hao Fu, and Hui Xu Copyright © 2016 Tao Yang et al. All rights reserved. Inverse Relationship of the CMKLR1 Relative Expression and Chemerin Serum Levels in Obesity with Dysmetabolic Phenotype and Insulin Resistance Thu, 28 Apr 2016 17:08:30 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2016/3085390/ Background. In obesity there is a subclinical chronic low-grade inflammatory response where insulin resistance (IR) may develop. Chemerin is secreted in white adipose tissue and promotes low-grade inflammatory process, where it expressed CMKLR1 receptor. The role of chemerin and CMKLR1 in inflammatory process secondary to obesity is not defined yet. Methods. Cross-sectional study with 134 individuals classified as with and without obesity by body mass index (BMI) and IR. Body fat storage measurements and metabolic and inflammatory markers were measured by routine methods. Soluble chemerin and basal levels of insulin by ELISA and relative expression of CMKLR1 were evaluated with qPCR and method. Results. Differences () were observed between obesity and lean individuals in body fat storage measurements and metabolic-inflammatory markers. Both CMKLR1 expression and chemerin levels were increased in obesity without IR. Soluble chemerin levels correlate with adiposity and metabolic markers (% to 38.5%), . Conclusion. The increment of CMKLR1 expression was associated with insulin production. Increased serum levels of chemerin in obesity were observed, favoring a dysmetabolic response. The results observed in this study suggest that both chemerin and CMKLR1 have opposite expression in the context of low-grade inflammatory response manifested in the development of IR. Fernanda-Isadora Corona-Meraz, Rosa-Elena Navarro-Hernández, Sandra-Luz Ruíz-Quezada, Perla-Monserrat Madrigal-Ruíz, Jorge Castro-Albarrán, Efraín Chavarría-Ávila, Milton-Omar Guzmán-Ornelas, Eduardo Gómez-Bañuelos, Marcelo-Herón Petri, Joel-Isidro Ramírez-Cedano, María-Elena Aguilar-Aldrete, Clara Ríos-Ibarra, and Mónica Vázquez-Del Mercado Copyright © 2016 Fernanda-Isadora Corona-Meraz et al. All rights reserved. Experimental Method of Temperature and Strain Discrimination in Polymer Composite Material by Embedded Fiber-Optic Sensors Based on Femtosecond-Inscribed FBGs Thu, 28 Apr 2016 17:06:36 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/js/2016/3230968/ Experimental method of temperature and strain discrimination with fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs) sensors embedded in carbon fiber-reinforced plastic is proposed. The method is based on two-fiber technique, when two FBGs inscribed in different fibers with different sensitivities to strain and/or temperature are placed close to each other and act as a single sensing element. The nonlinear polynomial approximation of Bragg wavelength shift as a function of temperature and strain is presented for this method. The FBGs were inscribed with femtosecond laser by point-by-point inscription technique through polymer cladding of the fiber. The comparison of linear and nonlinear approximation accuracies for array of embedded sensors is performed. It is shown that the use of nonlinear approximation gives 1.5–2 times better accuracy. The obtained accuracies of temperature and strain measurements are 2.6–3.8°C and 50–83 με in temperature and strain range of 30–120°C and 0–400 με, respectively. Victor V. Shishkin, Vadim S. Terentyev, Denis S. Kharenko, Alexandr V. Dostovalov, Alexey A. Wolf, Victor A. Simonov, Mikhail Yu. Fedotov, Anton M. Shienok, Ivan S. Shelemba, and Sergey A. Babin Copyright © 2016 Victor V. Shishkin et al. All rights reserved. Personalized Medicine Based on Theranostic Radioiodine Molecular Imaging for Differentiated Thyroid Cancer Thu, 28 Apr 2016 17:04:01 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2016/1680464/ Molecular imaging based personalized therapy has been a fascinating concept for individualized therapeutic strategy, which is able to attain the highest efficacy and reduce adverse effects in certain patients. Theranostics, which integrates diagnostic testing to detect molecular targets for particular therapeutic modalities, is one of the key technologies that contribute to the success of personalized medicine. Although the term “theranostics” was used after the second millennium, its basic principle was applied more than 70 years ago in the field of thyroidology with radioiodine molecular imaging. Differentiated thyroid cancer, which arises from follicular cells in the thyroid, is the most common endocrine malignancy, and theranostic radioiodine has been successfully applied to diagnose and treat differentiated thyroid cancer, the applications of which were included in the guidelines published by various thyroid or nuclear medicine societies. Through better pathophysiologic understanding of thyroid cancer and advancements in nuclear technologies, theranostic radioiodine contributes more to modern tailored personalized management by providing high therapeutic effect and by avoiding significant adverse effects in differentiated thyroid cancer. This review details the inception of theranostic radioiodine and recent radioiodine applications for differentiated thyroid cancer management as a prototype of personalized medicine based on molecular imaging. Byeong-Cheol Ahn Copyright © 2016 Byeong-Cheol Ahn. All rights reserved. Genomic Analysis Unravels Reduced Inorganic Sulfur Compound Oxidation of Heterotrophic Acidophilic Acidicaldus sp. Strain DX-1 Thu, 28 Apr 2016 16:19:29 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2016/8137012/ Although reduced inorganic sulfur compound (RISC) oxidation in many chemolithoautotrophic sulfur oxidizers has been investigated in recent years, there is little information about RISC oxidation in heterotrophic acidophiles. In this study, Acidicaldus sp. strain DX-1, a heterotrophic sulfur-oxidizing acidophile, was isolated. Its genome was sequenced and then used for comparative genomics. Furthermore, real-time quantitative PCR was performed to identify the expression of genes involved in the RISC oxidation. Gene encoding thiosulfate: quinone oxidoreductase was present in Acidicaldus sp. strain DX-1, while no candidate genes with significant similarity to tetrathionate hydrolase were found. Additionally, there were genes encoding heterodisulfide reductase complex, which was proposed to play a crucial role in oxidizing cytoplasmic sulfur. Like many heterotrophic sulfur oxidizers, Acidicaldus sp. strain DX-1 had no genes encoding enzymes essential for the direct oxidation of sulfite. An indirect oxidation of sulfite via adenosine-5′-phosphosulfate was proposed in Acidicaldus strain DX-1. However, compared to other closely related bacteria Acidiphilium cryptum and Acidiphilium multivorum, which harbored the genes encoding Sox system, almost all of these genes were not detected in Acidicaldus sp. strain DX-1. This study might provide some references for the future study of RISC oxidation in heterotrophic sulfur-oxidizing acidophiles. Yuanyuan Liu, Hongying Yang, Xian Zhang, Yunhua Xiao, Xue Guo, and Xueduan Liu Copyright © 2016 Yuanyuan Liu et al. All rights reserved. (+)-CSA Catalyzed Multicomponent Synthesis of 1-[(1,3-Thiazol-2-ylamino)methyl]-2-naphthols and Their Ring-Closure Reaction under Ultrasonic Irradiation Thu, 28 Apr 2016 16:18:59 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jchem/2016/9315614/ New 1-[(1,3-thiazol-2-ylamino)methyl]-2-naphthols were obtained by condensation of 2-aminothiazole, aromatic aldehydes, and 2-naphthol in the presence of (+)-camphor-10-sulfonic acid ((+)-CSA) as an effective catalyst under ultrasound-promoted solvent-free conditions. The 1-[(1,3-thiazol-2-ylamino)methyl]-2-naphthol derivatives were converted in ring-closure reaction with formaldehyde to the corresponding naphthoxazine derivatives. Emel Pelit and Zuhal Turgut Copyright © 2016 Emel Pelit and Zuhal Turgut. All rights reserved. 8-Hydroxyeicosapentaenoic Acid Decreases Plasma and Hepatic Triglycerides via Activation of Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Alpha in High-Fat Diet-Induced Obese Mice Thu, 28 Apr 2016 16:13:30 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jl/2016/7498508/ PPARs regulate the expression of genes involved in lipid homeostasis. PPARs serve as molecular sensors of fatty acids, and their activation can act against obesity and metabolic syndromes. 8-Hydroxyeicosapentaenoic acid (8-HEPE) acts as a PPAR ligand and has higher activity than EPA. However, to date, the PPAR ligand activity of 8-HEPE has only been demonstrated in vitro. Here, we investigated its ligand activity in vivo by examining the effect of 8-HEPE treatment on high fat diet-induced obesity in mice. After the 4-week treatment period, the levels of plasma and hepatic triglycerides in the 8-HEPE-fed mice were significantly lower than those in the HFD-fed mice. The expression of genes regulated by PPARα was significantly increased in 8-HEPE-fed mice compared to those that received only HFD. Additionally, the level of hepatic palmitic acid in 8-HEPE-fed mice was significantly lower than in HFD-fed mice. These results suggested that intake of 8-HEPE induced PPARα activation and increased catabolism of lipids in the liver. We found no significant differences between EPA-fed mice and HFD-fed mice. We demonstrated that 8-HEPE has a larger positive effect on metabolic syndrome than EPA and that 8-HEPE acts by inducing PPARα activation in the liver. Hidetoshi Yamada, Sayaka Kikuchi, Mayuka Hakozaki, Kaori Motodate, Nozomi Nagahora, and Masamichi Hirose Copyright © 2016 Hidetoshi Yamada et al. All rights reserved. Projective Invariants from Multiple Images: A Direct and Linear Method Thu, 28 Apr 2016 15:46:36 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2016/8523604/ The projective reconstruction of 3D structures from 2D images is a central problem in computer vision. Existing methods for this problem are usually nonlinear or indirect. In the previous direct methods, we usually have to solve a system of nonlinear equations. They are very complicated and hard to implement. The previous linear indirect methods are usually imprecise. This paper presents a linear and direct method to derive projective structures of 3D points from their 2D images. Algorithms to compute projective invariants from two images, three images, and four images are given. The method is clear, simple, and easy to implement. For the first time in the literature, we present explicit linear formulas to solve this problem. Mathematica codes are provided to demonstrate the correctness of the formulas. Yuanbin Wang, Xingwei Wang, and Bin Zhang Copyright © 2016 Yuanbin Wang et al. All rights reserved. Outer Synchronization between Two Coupled Complex Networks and Its Application in Public Traffic Supernetwork Thu, 28 Apr 2016 15:05:15 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ddns/2016/8920764/ The paper presents a new urban public traffic supernetwork model by using the existing bus network modeling method, consisting of the conventional bus traffic network and the urban rail traffic network. We investigate the synchronization problem of urban public traffic supernetwork model by using the coupled complex network’s outer synchronization theory. Analytical and numerical simulations are given to illustrate the impact of traffic dispatching frequency and traffic lines optimization to the urban public traffic supernetwork balance. Wen-ju Du, Jian-gang Zhang, Xin-lei An, Shuang Qin, and Jian-ning Yu Copyright © 2016 Wen-ju Du et al. All rights reserved. Stage of Change and Motivation to a Healthier Lifestyle before and after an Intensive Lifestyle Intervention Thu, 28 Apr 2016 15:03:35 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jobe/2016/6421265/ Objective. Lifestyle modification programs are different but typically include both nutritional aspects and physical activity as main domains with different behavioral and/or psychological strategies designed to affect change. A fundamental role in modifying unhealthy habits is played by personal motivation for change. The present study sought to investigate, in a group of 100 overweight/obese outpatients with and/or without TMD2, treatment seeking, the effect of an intensive lifestyle program on medical measures and motivational profile for physical activity (PA) and healthy nutrition (NUTR). Method. Subjects participated in an intensive multidisciplinary lifestyle intervention at C.U.R.I.A.MO. Before and after the intervention, patients received a comprehensive evaluation of their clinical, anthropometric, and metabolic states and motivation to lifestyle changes. Results. Data showed differences before and after intervention in both medical and motivational measures. Before the intervention patients reported to be ready, open, and determined to change and gave importance to healthy habits. After the intervention patients continued to be determined but increased the actions toward the change showing a higher degree of maintenance and of acquisition of habits especially in the physical domain of the new lifestyle. Conclusion. Data support the notion that the motivation should be followed during all the lifestyle interventions to support the change on both domains of the lifestyle program. Buratta Livia, Reginato Elisa, Ranucci Claudia, Pippi Roberto, Aiello Cristina, Sbroma Tomaro Emilia, Perrone Chiara, Tirimagni Alberto, Russo Angelo, De Feo Pierpaolo, and Mazzeschi Claudia Copyright © 2016 Buratta Livia et al. All rights reserved. Balancing Lexicographic Multi-Objective Assembly Lines with Multi-Manned Stations Thu, 28 Apr 2016 14:32:35 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2016/9315024/ In a multi-manned assembly line, tasks of the same workpiece can be executed simultaneously by different workers working in the same station. This line has significant advantages over a simple assembly line such as shorter line length, less work-in-process, smaller installation space, and less product flow time. In many realistic line balancing situations, there are usually more than one objective conflicting with each other. This paper presents a preemptive goal programming model and some heuristic methods based on variable neighborhood search approach for multi-objective assembly line balancing problems with multi-manned stations. Three different objectives are considered, minimizing the total number of multi-manned stations as the primary objective, minimizing the total number of workers as the secondary objective, and smoothing the number of workers at stations as the tertiary objective. A set of test instances taken from the literature is solved to compare the performance of all methods, and results are presented. Talip Kellegöz Copyright © 2016 Talip Kellegöz. All rights reserved. Isolation and Characterization of a Broad Spectrum Bacteriocin from Bacillus amyloliquefaciens RX7 Thu, 28 Apr 2016 14:20:45 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2016/8521476/ We isolated a Bacillus strain, RX7, with inhibitory activity against Listeria monocytogenes from soil and identified it as Bacillus amyloliquefaciens based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The inhibitory activity was stable over a wide range of pH and was fully retained after 30 min at 80°C, after which it decreased gradually at higher temperatures. The activity was sensitive to the proteolytic action of α-chymotrypsin, proteinase-K, and trypsin, indicating its proteinaceous nature. This bacteriocin was active against a broad spectrum of bacteria and the fungus Candida albicans. Direct detection of antimicrobial activity on a sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel suggested an apparent molecular mass of approximately 5 kDa. Ammonium sulfate precipitation and anion-exchange and gel permeation chromatography integrated with reverse phase-high-performance liquid chromatography were used for bacteriocin purification. Automated N-terminal Edman degradation of the purified RX7 bacteriocin recognized the first 15 amino acids as NH2-X-Ala-Trp-Tyr-Asp-Ile-Arg-Lys-Leu-Gly-Asn-Lys-Gly-Ala, where the letter X in the sequence indicates an unknown or nonstandard amino acid. Based on BLAST similarity search and multiple alignment analysis, the obtained partial sequence showed high homology with the two-peptide lantibiotic haloduracin (HalA1) from Bacillus halodurans, although at least two amino acids differed between the sequences. A time-kill study demonstrated a bactericidal mode of action of RX7 bacteriocin. Kong Boon Lim, Marilen P. Balolong, Sang Hoon Kim, Ju Kyoung Oh, Ji Yoon Lee, and Dae-Kyung Kang Copyright © 2016 Kong Boon Lim et al. All rights reserved. Resource Allocation in a Generalized Framework for Virtualized Heterogeneous Wireless Network Thu, 28 Apr 2016 14:19:33 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/misy/2016/8570568/ As a prevailing concept in 5G, virtualization provides efficient coordination among multiple radio access technologies (RATs) and enables multiple service providers (SPs) to share different RATs’ infrastructure. This paper proposes a generic framework for virtualizing heterogeneous wireless network with different RATs. A novel “VMAC” (virtualized medium access control) concept is introduced to converge different RAT protocols and perform inter-RAT resource allocation. To suit the proposed framework, a virtualization based resource allocation scheme is devised. We formulate the problem as a mixed combinatorial optimization, which jointly considers network access and rate allocation. First, to solve the network access problem, “adaptability ratio” is developed to model the fact that different RATs possess different adaptability to different services. And a Grey Relational Analysis (GRA) method is adopted to calculate the adaptability ratio. Second, services are modeled as players, bargaining for RAT resources in a Nash bargaining game. And a closed-form Nash bargaining solution (NBS) is derived. Combining adaptability ratio with NBS, a novel resource allocation algorithm is devised. Through simulation, the superiority and feasibility of the proposed algorithm are validated. Bo Fan, Hui Tian, Yuan Zhang, and Xiao Yan Copyright © 2016 Bo Fan et al. All rights reserved. Thermal Equilibrium Dynamic Control Based on DPWM Dual-Mode Modulation of High Power NPC Three-Level Inverter Thu, 28 Apr 2016 14:17:43 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2016/5842947/ In some special applications of NPC three-level inverters, such as mine hoist, there exist special conditions of overloading during the whole hoisting process and large overload in starting stage, during which the power-loss calculation of power devices and thermal control are important factors affecting the thermal stability of inverters. The principles of SVPWM and DPWM were described in this paper firstly, based on which the dynamic power losses of the two modulations of hoist in single period were calculated. Secondly, a thermal equilibrium dynamic control based on DPMW dual-mode modulation was proposed, which can switch the modulation dynamically according to the change of dynamic power loss to realize dynamic control of power loss and thermal equilibrium of inverter. Finally, simulation and experiment prove the effectiveness of the proposed strategy. Shi-Zhou Xu and Feng-You He Copyright © 2016 Shi-Zhou Xu and Feng-You He. All rights reserved. Design of a Load Torque Based Control Strategy for Improving Electric Tractor Motor Energy Conversion Efficiency Thu, 28 Apr 2016 14:16:30 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2016/2548967/ In order to improve the electrical conversion efficiency of an electric tractor motor, a load torque based control strategy (LTCS) is designed in this paper by using a particle swarm optimization algorithm (PSO). By mathematically modeling electric-mechanical performance and theoretical energy waste of the electric motor, as well as the transmission characteristics of the drivetrain, the objective function, control relationship, and analytical platform are established. Torque and rotation speed of the motor’s output shaft are defined as manipulated variables. LTCS searches the working points corresponding to the best energy conversion efficiency via PSO to control the running status of the electric motor and uses logic and fuzzy rules to fit the search initialization for load torque fluctuation. After using different plowing forces to imitate all the common tillage forces, the simulation of traction experiment is conducted, which proves that LTCS can make the tractor use electrical power efficiently and maintain agricultural applicability on farmland conditions. It provides a novel method of fabricating a more efficient electric motor used in the traction of an off-road vehicle. Mengnan Liu, Liyou Xu, and Zhili Zhou Copyright © 2016 Mengnan Liu et al. All rights reserved. Biodegradable Polymers for Medical Applications Thu, 28 Apr 2016 14:08:44 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijps/2016/6047284/ Anezka Lengalova, Alenka Vesel, Yakai Feng, and Vitor Sencadas Copyright © 2016 Anezka Lengalova et al. All rights reserved. Huge Congenital Segmental Dilatation of the Sigmoid Colon in a Neonate: A “Rarity to Meet” and a “Challenge to Treat” Thu, 28 Apr 2016 14:07:17 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cripe/2016/9685307/ Only ten cases of neonatal congenital segmental dilatation (CSD) of the colon have been described so far. We present a full-term female newborn with trisomy 21, ventricular septal defect, and gross abdominal distension. Plain abdominal radiographs revealed a huge cystic lesion occupying the left hemiabdomen. Upon laparotomy on day 4 a CSD of the distal sigmoid and proximal rectum was confirmed and resected. The proximal colon was exteriorized and the distal part closed as a Hartmann pouch. Histology confirmed a huge segmental dilatation of the sigmoid without dysganglionosis or pseudodiverticula, but normal intestinal architecture. After correction of the ventricular septal defect a low rectal end-to-end anastomosis could be performed at an age of 5 months. The postoperative course was uneventful. CSD of the sigmoid colon is extremely “rare to meet” and a “challenge to treat” in the newborn period, but clinical awareness of this entity prompts pediatric surgical success. Margarita Kaiser, Christoph Castellani, Georg Singer, Robert Marterer, Manfred Ratschek, and Holger Till Copyright © 2016 Margarita Kaiser et al. All rights reserved. Bone Cutting Forceps: A Safe Approach for Saving Strangulated Penis Thu, 28 Apr 2016 14:03:32 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crim/2016/1274124/ Penile strangulation is considered a rare andrological emergency that may lead to a wide range of complications. Penile strangulation may be related to mental retardation in children or hypersexuality, abnormal sexual preferences in adults. This case report shows a 23-year-old male who presented to the emergency room with agonizing pain related to a metallic ring placed at the base of the penis for more than 8 hours during an attempt of masturbation. Removing this metallic ring and saving the patient’s penis from gangrene without causing injury were very challenging. Patient was successfully managed and had an uneventful recovery. Mohamed Ahmed Abd El Salam, Ahmed Gamal, and Hossam Elenany Copyright © 2016 Mohamed Ahmed Abd El Salam et al. All rights reserved. A Frequency Agile Semicircular Slot Antenna For Cognitive Radio System Thu, 28 Apr 2016 14:03:30 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijmst/2016/2648248/ A frequency agile antenna is proposed with its ground plane having a semicircular shaped slot which is capable of switching the frequency to different bands, one at a time, in the wide frequency range of 5.33 GHz to 9.90 GHz. To achieve frequency agility, switching of six RF PIN diodes which are placed along the slot length is done in various combinations. Frequency tuning ratio of about 1.85 : 1 can be achieved using this design. Results such as return losses, gain, bandwidth, and radiation patterns are presented in this paper. Rajeev Kumar and Ritu Vijay Copyright © 2016 Rajeev Kumar and Ritu Vijay. All rights reserved. Split Common Fixed Point Problem for a Class of Total Asymptotic Pseudocontractions Thu, 28 Apr 2016 14:03:27 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jam/2016/3435078/ We study the split common fixed point problem (SCFP) for a class of total asymptotically pseudocontractive mappings. We obtain some important properties of our class of mappings including the demiclosedness property and the closedness and convexity of the fixed point set. We then propose an algorithm and prove weak and strong convergence theorems for the approximation of solutions of the SCFP for certain class of these mappings. E. E. Chima and M. O. Osilike Copyright © 2016 E. E. Chima and M. O. Osilike. All rights reserved. Input-to-State Stability of Linear Stochastic Functional Differential Equations Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:59:08 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jfs/2016/8901563/ The purpose of the paper is to show how asymptotic properties, first of all stochastic Lyapunov stability, of linear stochastic functional differential equations can be studied via the property of solvability of the equation in certain pairs of spaces of stochastic processes, the property which we call input-to-state stability with respect to these spaces. Input-to-state stability and hence the desired asymptotic properties can be effectively verified by means of a special regularization, also known as “the -method” in the literature. How this framework provides verifiable conditions of different kinds of stochastic stability is shown. Ramazan Kadiev and Arcady Ponosov Copyright © 2016 Ramazan Kadiev and Arcady Ponosov. All rights reserved. Characterization of the ATP-Dependent Lon-Like Protease in Methanobrevibacter smithii Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:48:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/archaea/2016/5759765/ The Lon protease is highly evolutionarily conserved. However, little is known about Lon in the context of gut microbial communities. A gene encoding a Lon-like protease (Lon-like-Ms) was identified and characterized from Methanobrevibacter smithii, the predominant archaeon in the human gut ecosystem. Phylogenetic and sequence analyses showed that Lon-like-Ms and its homologs are newly identified members of the Lon family. A recombinant form of the enzyme was purified by affinity chromatography, and its catalytic properties were examined. Recombinant Lon-like-Ms exhibited ATPase activity and cleavage activity toward fluorogenic peptides and casein. The peptidase activity of Lon-like-Ms relied strictly on Mg2+ (or other divalent cations) and ATP. These results highlight a new type of Lon-like protease that differs from its bacterial counterpart. Jihua Pei, Jianfang Yan, and Yi Jiang Copyright © 2016 Jihua Pei et al. All rights reserved. Ectomesenchymal Chondromyxoid Tumour of the Dorsal Tongue Presenting with Impaired Speech Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:38:39 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/criot/2016/7342910/ Ectomesenchymal chondromyxoid tumours (ECTs) are rare mesenchymal soft tissue neoplasms that typically present as a slow-growing asymptomatic mass on the anterior dorsum of the tongue. Our patient presented with impaired speech articulation and pain associated with upper respiratory tract infections when the lesion on his dorsal tongue would swell, and he would accidentally bite down on it. Microscopically, ECTs appear as unencapsulated, well-circumscribed proliferations of uniform round to fusiform cells embedded within chondromyxoid matrices. Most cases of ECT have been detected in the third to the sixth decades of life, with no sex preference. ECT may cause a range of symptoms that negatively impact patients’ quality of life, including pain, dysphagia, odynophagia, bleeding, and, in the case of our patient, impairment of speech. We provide a unique preoperative clinical photograph and case description that should help readers in recognizing this neoplasm. Considering the rarity of ECT presenting clinically as well as in the literature, we believe this report will add to our growing understanding of ECT and its management. We report a case of ECT presenting on the anterior dorsal tongue that was successfully surgically resected under local anesthesia with clear margins, accompanied by a review of the pertinent literature. Laura A. Schep, Martin J. Bullock, and S. Mark Taylor Copyright © 2016 Laura A. Schep et al. All rights reserved. Clinical Outcomes Associated with Home Mechanical Ventilation: A Systematic Review Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:35:12 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crj/2016/6547180/ Background. The prevalence of patients supported with home mechanical ventilation (HMV) for chronic respiratory failure has increased. However, the clinical outcomes associated with HMV are largely unknown. Methods. We performed a systematic review of studies evaluating patients receiving HMV for indications other than obstructive lung disease, reporting at least one clinically relevant outcome including health-related quality of life (HRQL) measured by validated tools; hospitalization requirements; caregiver burden; and health service utilization. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, the Cochrane library, clinical trial registries, proceedings from selected scientific meetings, and bibliographies of retrieved citations. Results. We included 1 randomized control trial (RCT) and 25 observational studies of mixed methodological quality involving 4425 patients; neuromuscular disorders (NMD) (); restrictive thoracic diseases (RTD) (); obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS) (); and others (). HRQL was generally described as good for HMV users. Mental rather than physical HRQL domains were rated higher, particularly where physical assessment was limited. Hospitalization rates and days in hospital appear to decrease with implementation of HMV. Caregiver burden associated with HMV was generally high; however, it is poorly described. Conclusion. HRQL and need for hospitalization may improve after establishment of HMV. These inferences are based on relatively few studies of marked heterogeneity and variable quality. Erika J. MacIntyre, Leyla Asadi, Doug A. Mckim, and Sean M. Bagshaw Copyright © 2016 Erika J. MacIntyre et al. All rights reserved. Mechanisms Underlying Adaptation of Respiratory Network Activity to Modulatory Stimuli in the Mouse Embryo Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:32:41 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/np/2016/3905257/ Breathing is a rhythmic behavior that requires organized contractions of respiratory effector muscles. This behavior must adapt to constantly changing conditions in order to ensure homeostasis, proper body oxygenation, and CO2/pH regulation. Respiratory rhythmogenesis is controlled by neural networks located in the brainstem. One area considered to be essential for generating the inspiratory phase of the respiratory rhythm is the preBötzinger complex (preBötC). Rhythmogenesis emerges from this network through the interplay between the activation of intrinsic cellular properties (pacemaker properties) and intercellular synaptic connections. Respiratory activity continuously changes under the impact of numerous modulatory substances depending on organismal needs and environmental conditions. The preBötC network has been shown to become active during the last third of gestation. But only little is known regarding the modulation of inspiratory rhythmicity at embryonic stages and even less on a possible role of pacemaker neurons in this functional flexibility during the prenatal period. By combining electrophysiology and calcium imaging performed on embryonic brainstem slice preparations, we provide evidence showing that embryonic inspiratory pacemaker neurons are already intrinsically sensitive to neuromodulation and external conditions (i.e., temperature) affecting respiratory network activity, suggesting a potential role of pacemaker neurons in mediating rhythm adaptation to modulatory stimuli in the embryo. Marc Chevalier, Rafaël De Sa, Laura Cardoit, and Muriel Thoby-Brisson Copyright © 2016 Marc Chevalier et al. All rights reserved. Role of Wheat Based Diet on the Pathology of Necrotic Enteritis in Turkeys Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:30:48 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/scientifica/2016/4381067/ The study was conducted to investigate the effects of wheat based diet on the pathology of necrotic enteritis in turkeys. Turkeys were divided into four groups. Groups A and B were kept as noninoculated and fed normal commercial diet while groups C and D were challenged orally with C. perfringens and fed wheat based diet to promote the development of experimental disease. Infected turkeys showed clinical signs of depression, ruffled feathers, and dark yellowish faeces showing the most prominent disease signs in turkeys of group D with 30% mortality. Similarly, turkeys of group D showed more striking gross and histopathologic lesions as compared to turkeys of group C. The most severe gross lesions comprised intestinal distension, small necrotic spots and haemorrhages on intestine, fragile intestinal wall, and gas bubble formation in the small intestine. Histologically, inoculated turkeys showed patchy necrosis, desquamation of intestinal epithelium, and intense leukocyte infiltration in the intestine. Microscopic examination showed significant decrease in the height of intestinal villi of inoculated birds. Haematological studies showed significant influence of necrotic enteritis on the blood profile of turkeys in group D. The findings revealed that simultaneous feeding of wheat enhanced the pathology of necrotic enteritis in turkeys. Sajid Umar, Muhammad Younus, Muhammad Shahzad, Kiran Aqil, Rizwan Qayyum, Aqsa Mushtaq, Muhammad Ali Abdullah Shah, and Muhammad Tanveer Munir Copyright © 2016 Sajid Umar et al. All rights reserved. A Very Rare Complication of Acute Appendicitis: Appendicovesical Fistula Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:30:36 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/criu/2016/4517029/ Appendicovesical fistula (AVF) is an uncommon type of enterovesical fistula and a very rare complication of acute appendicitis. Herein, we report a case of 39-year-old male patient who presented with persistent urinary tract infection, recurrent abdominal pain, and pneumaturia. Imaging techniques including ultrasonography (USG), computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were performed to identify the abnormality. However, definitive diagnosis of AVF was made by cystoscopy. Deniz Alis, Cesur Samanci, Yesim Namdar, Fethi Emre Ustabasioglu, Elif Yamac, Onur Tutar, Burak Ucpinar, and Bulent Onal Copyright © 2016 Deniz Alis et al. All rights reserved. Adsorption and Photocatalytic Kinetics of Visible-Light Response N-Doped TiO2 Nanocatalyst for Indoor Acetaldehyde Removal under Dark and Light Conditions Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:29:50 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijp/2016/3058429/ Understanding the removal nature of the indoor volatile organic compounds under realistic environment conditions would give clear guidance for the development of air purification devices. The study investigated the removal of indoor acetaldehyde using visible-light-responsive N-doped TiO2 (N-TiO2) photocatalyst under visible-light irradiation (light) and in the absence of light (dark). The adsorption kinetics of acetaldehyde onto N-TiO2 followed a pseudo-second-order model. The magnitude of acetaldehyde adsorption is proportional to temperature, and the results were fitted to the Langmuir isotherm model. Moreover, the effect of initial acetaldehyde concentration and visible-light intensity on the photooxidation of acetaldehyde was well described by the Langmuir-Hinshelwood model. Results show that the mesoporous N-TiO2 catalyst had a high ability to absorb acetaldehyde in the dark condition, and then acetaldehyde was subsequently photooxidized under visible-light irradiation. The adsorption capacity was found to increase with decreasing temperature. The negative value of ° and the positive value of ° indicate that the adsorption of acetaldehyde onto N-TiO2 was a spontaneous process. Finally, a reaction scheme for removal process of indoor acetaldehyde by N-TiO2 was proposed. Yu-Hao Lin, Chih-Huang Weng, Jing-Hua Tzeng, and Yao-Tung Lin Copyright © 2016 Yu-Hao Lin et al. All rights reserved. Role of Dielectric Constant on Ion Transport: Reformulated Arrhenius Equation Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:29:47 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amse/2016/2527013/ Solid and nanocomposite polymer electrolytes based on chitosan have been prepared by solution cast technique. The XRD results reveal the occurrence of complexation between chitosan (CS) and the LiTf salt. The deconvolution of the diffractogram of nanocomposite solid polymer electrolytes demonstrates the increase of amorphous domain with increasing alumina content up to 4 wt.%. Further incorporation of alumina nanoparticles (6 to 10 wt.% Al2O3) results in crystallinity increase (large crystallite size). The morphological (SEM and EDX) analysis well supported the XRD results. Similar trends of DC conductivity and dielectric constant with Al2O3 concentration were explained. The TEM images were used to explain the phenomena of space charge and blocking effects. The reformulated Arrhenius equation () was proposed from the smooth exponential behavior of DC conductivity versus dielectric constant at different temperatures. The more linear behavior of DC conductivity versus reveals the crucial role of dielectric constant in Arrhenius equation. The drawbacks of Arrhenius equation can be understood from the less linear behavior of DC conductivity versus . The relaxation processes have been interpreted in terms of Argand plots. Shujahadeen B. Aziz Copyright © 2016 Shujahadeen B. Aziz. All rights reserved. Hepatic Stellate Cell-Derived Microvesicles Prevent Hepatocytes from Injury Induced by APAP/H2O2 Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:28:50 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/sci/2016/8357567/ Hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), previously described for liver-specific mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), appear to contribute to liver regeneration. Microvesicles (MVs) are nanoscale membrane fragments, which can regulate target cell function by transferring contents from their parent cells. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of HSC-derived MVs on xenobiotic-induced liver injury. Rat and human hepatocytes, BRL-3A and HL-7702, were used to build hepatocytes injury models by n-acetyl-p-aminophenol n-(APAP) or H2O2 treatment. MVs were prepared from human and rat HSCs, LX-2, and HST-T6 and, respectively, added to injured BRL-3A and HL-7702 hepatocytes. MTT assay was utilized to determine cell proliferation. Cell apoptosis was analyzed by flow cytometry and hoechst33258 staining. Western blot was used for analyzing the expression of activated caspase-3. Liver injury indicators, alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in culture medium were also assessed. Results showed that (1) HSC-MVs derived from LX-2 and HST-T6 were positive to CD90 and annexin V surface markers; (2) HSC-MVs dose-dependently improved the viability of hepatocytes in both injury models; (3) HSC-MVs dose-dependently inhibited the APAP/H2O2 induced hepatocytes apoptosis and activated caspase-3 expression and leakage of LDH, ALT, and AST. Our results demonstrate that HSC-derived MVs protect hepatocytes from toxicant-induced injury. Renwei Huang, Qunwen Pan, Xiaotang Ma, Yan Wang, Yaolong Liang, Bingyan Dai, Xiaorong Liao, Mingyi Li, and Huilai Miao Copyright © 2016 Renwei Huang et al. All rights reserved. Medical Evidence Influence on Inpatients and Nurses Pain Ratings Agreement Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:26:13 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/prm/2016/9267536/ Biased pain evaluation due to automated heuristics driven by symptom uncertainty may undermine pain treatment; medical evidence moderators are thought to play a role in such circumstances. We explored, in this cross-sectional survey, the effect of such moderators (e.g., nurse awareness of patients’ pain experience and treatment) on the agreement between inpatients’ self-reported pain and nurses’ pain ratings using a numerical rating scale. We assessed the mean of absolute difference, agreement (κ-statistics), and correlation (Spearman rank) of inpatients and nurses’ pain ratings and analyzed congruence categories’ (CCs: underestimation, congruence, and overestimation) proportions and dependence upon pain categories for each medical evidence moderator ( analysis). Pain ratings agreement and correlation were limited; the CCs proportions were further modulated by the studied moderators. Medical evidence promoted in nurses overestimation of low and underestimation of high inpatients’ self-reported pain. Knowledge of the negative influence of automated heuristics driven by symptoms uncertainty and medical-evidence moderators on pain evaluation may render pain assessment more accurate. Boaz Gedaliahu Samolsky Dekel, Alberto Gori, Alessio Vasarri, Maria Cristina Sorella, Gianfranco Di Nino, and Rita Maria Melotti Copyright © 2016 Boaz Gedaliahu Samolsky Dekel et al. All rights reserved. Influence of the Melissa officinalis Leaf Extract on Long-Term Memory in Scopolamine Animal Model with Assessment of Mechanism of Action Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:24:58 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2016/9729818/ Melissa officinalis (MO, English: lemon balm, Lamiaceae), one of the oldest and still most popular aromatic medicinal plants, is used in phytomedicine for the prevention and treatment of nervous disturbances. The aim of our study was to assess the effect of subchronic (28-fold) administration of a 50% ethanol extract of MO leaves (200 mg/kg, p.o.) compared with rosmarinic acid (RA, 10 mg/kg, p.o.) and huperzine A (HU, 0.5 mg/kg, p.o.) on behavioral and cognitive responses in scopolamine-induced rats. The results were linked with acetylcholinesterase (AChE), butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE), and beta-secretase (BACE-1) mRNA levels and AChE and BuChE activities in the hippocampus and frontal cortex of rats. In our study, MO and HU, but not RA, showed an improvement in long-term memory. The results were in line with mRNA levels, since MO produced a decrease of AChE mRNA level by 52% in the cortex and caused a strong significant inhibition of BACE1 mRNA transcription (64% in the frontal cortex; 50% in the hippocampus). However, the extract produced only an insignificant inhibition of AChE activity in the frontal cortex. The mechanisms of MO action are probably more complicated, since its role as a modulator of beta-secretase activity should be taken into consideration. Marcin Ozarowski, Przemyslaw L. Mikolajczak, Anna Piasecka, Piotr Kachlicki, Radoslaw Kujawski, Anna Bogacz, Joanna Bartkowiak-Wieczorek, Michal Szulc, Ewa Kaminska, Malgorzata Kujawska, Jadwiga Jodynis-Liebert, Agnieszka Gryszczynska, Bogna Opala, Zdzislaw Lowicki, Agnieszka Seremak-Mrozikiewicz, and Boguslaw Czerny Copyright © 2016 Marcin Ozarowski et al. All rights reserved. The Impact of Serum Amyloid P-Component on Gene Expression in RAW264.7 Mouse Macrophages Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:17:10 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2016/9380290/ Serum amyloid P-component (SAP) contributes to host defense and prevents fibrosis. Macrophages are the most abundant inflammatory cell type in atherosclerotic plaques. In the present study, using 3H-cholesterol-labeled counting radioactivity assay, we demonstrated that the apoAI-mediated cholesterol efflux in RAW264.7 macrophages was increased by SAP treatment in a time- and dose-dependent manner. We analyzed global gene expression changes upon SAP treatment using RNA sequencing. As a result, a total of 175 differentially expressed genes were identified, of which 134 genes were downregulated and 41 genes were upregulated in SAP treated cells compared to control cells. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis confirmed decreased expression of 5 genes and an increase in expression of 1 gene upon SAP treatment. Gene ontology analysis showed that genes involved in response to stimulus were significantly enriched in differentially expressed genes. Beyond protein-coding genes, we also identified 8 differentially expressed long noncoding RNAs. Our study may provide new insights into mechanisms underlying the functional role of SAP in macrophages. Dan Xi, Jinzhen Zhao, Jichen Liu, Haowei Xiong, Wenshuai He, Jing Hu, Wenyan Lai, and Zhigang Guo Copyright © 2016 Dan Xi et al. All rights reserved. Coffee Consumption and the Incidence of Colorectal Cancer in Women Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:14:13 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jce/2016/6918431/ Background. Higher coffee consumption has been associated with decreased incidence of colorectal cancer. Our objective was to examine the relationship of coffee intake to colorectal cancer incidence in a large observational cohort of postmenopausal US women. Methods. Data were collected for the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study providing a follow-up period of 12.9 years. The mean age of our sample (,778 women) was 63.5 years. Daily coffee intake was grouped into 3 categories: None, moderate (>0–<4 cups), and high (4+ cups). Proportional hazards modeling was used to evaluate the relationship between coffee intake and colorectal cancer. Results. There were 1,282 (1.53%) new cases of colorectal cancer during follow-up. Compared to nondrinkers, moderate and high coffee drinkers had an increased incidence of colorectal cancer in multivariate analysis (HR 1.15, 1.02–1.29; HR 1.14, 0.93–1.38). Moderate drip brew coffee intake (HR 1.20, 1.05–1.36) and high nondrip brew coffee intake (HR 1.43, 1.01–2.02) were associated with increased odds. Conclusion. Our results suggesting increased incidence of colorectal cancer associated with higher coffee consumption contradict recent meta-analyses but agree with a number of other studies showing that coffee increases risk or has no effect. Brew method results are novel and warrant further research. Erik J. Groessl, Matthew A. Allison, Joseph C. Larson, Samuel B. Ho, Linda G. Snetslaar, Dorothy S. Lane, Katie M. Tharp, and Marcia L. Stefanick Copyright © 2016 Erik J. Groessl et al. All rights reserved. Maximum Matchings of a Digraph Based on the Largest Geometric Multiplicity Thu, 28 Apr 2016 12:54:36 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2016/4702387/ Matching theory is one of the most forefront issues of graph theory. Based on the largest geometric multiplicity, we develop an efficient approach to identify maximum matchings in a digraph. For a given digraph, it has been proved that the number of maximum matched nodes has close relationship with the largest geometric multiplicity of the transpose of the adjacency matrix. Moreover, through fundamental column transformations, we can obtain the matched nodes and related matching edges. In particular, when a digraph contains a cycle factor, the largest geometric multiplicity is equal to one. In this case, the maximum matching is a perfect matching and each node in the digraph is a matched node. The method is validated by an example. Yunyun Yang and Gang Xie Copyright © 2016 Yunyun Yang and Gang Xie. All rights reserved. The Investigation of EM Scattering from the Time-Varying Overturning Wave Crest Model by the IEM Thu, 28 Apr 2016 12:48:24 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/physri/2016/3274147/ Investigation of the electromagnetic (EM) scattering of time-varying overturning wave crests is a worthwhile endeavor. Overturning wave crest is one of the reasons of sea spike generation, which increases the probability of false radar alarms and reduces the performance of multitarget detection in the environment. A three-dimensional (3D) time-varying overturning wave crest model is presented in this paper; this 3D model is an improvement of the traditional two-dimensional (2D) time-varying overturning wave crest model. The integral equation method (IEM) was employed to investigate backward scattering radar cross sections (RCS) at various incident angles of the 3D overturning wave crest model. The super phenomenon, where the intensity of horizontal polarization scattering is greater than that of vertical polarization scattering, is an important feature of sea spikes. Simulation results demonstrate that super phenomena may occur in some time samples as variations in the overturning wave crest. Xiao Meng, Li-xin Guo, and Tian-qi Fan Copyright © 2016 Xiao Meng et al. All rights reserved. Two-Stage Multiobjective Optimization for Emergency Supplies Allocation Problem under Integrated Uncertainty Thu, 28 Apr 2016 12:47:28 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2016/2823835/ This paper proposes a new two-stage optimization method for emergency supplies allocation problem with multisupplier, multiaffected area, multirelief, and multivehicle. The triplet of supply, demand, and the availability of path is unknown prior to the extraordinary event and is descriptive with fuzzy random variable. Considering the fairness, timeliness, and economical efficiency, a multiobjective expected value model is built for facility location, vehicle routing, and supply allocation decisions. The goals of proposed model aim to minimize the proportion of demand nonsatisfied and response time of emergency reliefs and the total cost of the whole process. When the demand and the availability of path are discrete, the expected values in the objective functions are converted into their equivalent forms. When the supply amount is continuous, the equilibrium chance in the constraint is transformed to its equivalent one. To overcome the computational difficulty caused by multiple objectives, a goal programming model is formulated to obtain a compromise solution. Finally, an example is presented to illustrate the validity of the proposed model and the effectiveness of the solution method. Xuejie Bai Copyright © 2016 Xuejie Bai. All rights reserved.