Hindawi Publishing Corporation http://www.hindawi.com The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2015 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. A Proposed Chaotic-Switched Turbo Coding Design and Its Application for Half-Duplex Relay Channel Thu, 16 Apr 2015 15:48:44 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ddns/2015/818421/ Both reliability and security are two important subjects in modern digital communications, each with a variety of subdisciplines. In this paper we introduce a new proposed secure turbo coding system which combines chaotic dynamics and turbo coding reliability together. As we utilize the chaotic maps as a tool for hiding and securing the coding design in turbo coding system, this proposed system model can provide both data secrecy and data reliability in one process to combat problems in an insecure and unreliable data channel link. To support our research, we provide different schemes to design a chaotic secure reliable turbo coding system which we call chaotic-switched turbo coding schemes. In these schemes the design of turbo codes chaotically changed depending on one or more chaotic maps. Extensions of these chaotic-switched turbo coding schemes to half-duplex relay systems are also described. Results of simulations of these new secure turbo coding schemes are compared to classical turbo codes with the same coding parameters and the proposed system is able to achieve secured reasonable bit error rate performance when it is made to switch between different puncturing and design configuration parameters especially with low switching rates. Tamer H. M. Soliman, Fengfan Yang, and S. Ejaz Copyright © 2015 Tamer H. M. Soliman et al. All rights reserved. Design of Unmanned Vehicle System for Disaster Detection Thu, 16 Apr 2015 15:48:09 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijdsn/2015/784298/ This work presents a novel unmanned vehicle system, capable of detecting risks in disaster areas. The rescuer can operate an unmanned vehicle to reach the disaster area via remote control. An android-based application program is used to control the remote vehicle via wireless network. The vehicle system is capable of detecting a variety of gases by the sensors deployed on it. The gas sensors can detect methane, ethane, and carbon dioxide. After detecting the gases, the vehicle passes the collected information to the rescuer for deciding which equipment can be used in the disaster. The gas detection sensors can reduce the injury risks of rescuers before they go into the disaster area. The vehicle is also equipped with a video surveillance camera to monitor the scene and find injured persons. A robotic arm is mounted on the head of the vehicle to grip objects and gather samples. Our unmanned system can effectively reduce casualties by gathering information about the disaster beforehand. Ming-Chih Chen, Chien-Hsing Chen, Ming-Sheng Huang, Jheng-Yu Ciou, and Guo-Tai Zhang Copyright © 2015 Ming-Chih Chen et al. All rights reserved. Time-Frequency Analysis of Clinical Percussion Signals Using Matrix Pencil Method Thu, 16 Apr 2015 15:47:07 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jece/2015/274541/ This paper discusses time-frequency analysis of clinical percussion signals produced by tapping over human chest or abdomen with a neurological hammer and recorded with an air microphone. The analysis of short, highly damped percussion signals using conventional time-frequency distributions (TFDs) meets certain difficulties, such as poor time-frequency localization, cross terms, and masking of the lower energy features by the higher energy ones. The above shortcomings lead to inaccurate and ambiguous representation of the signal behavior in the time-frequency plane. This work describes an attempt to construct a TF representation specifically tailored to clinical percussion signals to achieve better resolution of individual components corresponding to physical oscillation modes. Matrix Pencil Method (MPM) is used to decompose the signal into a set of exponentially damped sinusoids, which are then plotted in the time-frequency plane. Such representation provides better visualization of the signal structure than the commonly used frequency-amplitude plots and facilitates tracking subtle changes in the signal for diagnostic purposes. The performance of our approach has been verified on both ideal and real percussion signals. The MPM-based time-frequency analysis appears to be a better choice for clinical percussion signals than conventional TFDs, while its ability to visualize damping has immediate practical applications. Moinuddin Bhuiyan, Eugene V. Malyarenko, Mircea A. Pantea, Dante Capaldi, Alfred E. Baylor, and Roman Gr. Maev Copyright © 2015 Moinuddin Bhuiyan et al. All rights reserved. Self-Diagnosis and Self-Reconfiguration of Piezoelectric Actuator and Sensor Network for Large Structural Health Monitoring Thu, 16 Apr 2015 15:46:32 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijdsn/2015/207303/ For large structural health monitoring in practical applications, the sensor failure in large sensor network will generate the failure of the damage evaluation or the leaving of unmonitored area in a large structure. Hence, in order to realize a real-time and reliable evaluation for the large structural damage and satisfy the requirement of advanced maintenance of the structure, the paper introduces an efficient piezoelectric sensor failure monitoring approach integrated with self-diagnosis and self-reconfiguration reasoning method. Firstly, the developed method is introduced for large structural health monitoring. Then, the effects of piezoelectric actuator and sensor bonding defects on Lamb wave propagations are investigated in a real-world monitoring experiment for the large aviation aluminum plate. Lastly, the self-diagnosis and self-reconfiguration method of piezoelectric actuator and sensor network for large structural health monitoring based on Lamb wave for the passive and active damage monitoring is verified in the experiment. Based on the results shown in the experiment, a big potential in real-time application demonstrates that the method can accurately and rapidly identify the sensor failure by reasoning and analyzing Lamb wave propagations using proposed methods. Dong Liang, Liaoni Wu, Zhifeng Fan, and Yang Xu Copyright © 2015 Dong Liang et al. All rights reserved. The Effect of Changes in Lower Incisor Inclination on Gingival Recession Thu, 16 Apr 2015 15:45:58 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2015/193206/ Aim. Orthodontic treatment may promote development of recessions. The mechanism by which orthodontic treatment influences occurrence of recessions remains unclear. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that a change of mandibular incisor inclination promotes development of labial gingival recessions. Materials and Methods. The study sample comprised dental casts and lateral cephalograms obtained from 109 subjects before orthodontic treatment (Tb) and after orthodontic treatment (Ta). Depending on the change of lower incisor inclination during treatment, the subjects were divided into three groups: Retroclination (R), Stable Position (S), and Proclination (P). The presence of gingival recessions of mandibular incisors and clinical crown heights were assessed on plaster models. Results and Conclusions. From Tb to Ta, Inc_Incl showed a statistically significant change in the R, P, and S groups (). Increase of clinical crown heights of the lower incisors (42, 4, and 31) was not statistically significant in any group. The only statistically significant intergroup difference was the greater increase of the clinical crown height of tooth number 32 in the P group in comparison with the R group (). The change of lower incisor inclination during treatment did not lead to development of labial gingival recessions in the study sample. Gulen Kamak, Hasan Kamak, Hakan Keklik, and Hakan Gurcan Gurel Copyright © 2015 Gulen Kamak et al. All rights reserved. Biomarker Identification and Pathway Analysis by Serum Metabolomics of Lung Cancer Thu, 16 Apr 2015 15:45:05 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/183624/ Lung cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer death, for which no validated tumor biomarker is sufficiently accurate to be useful for diagnosis. Additionally, the metabolic alterations associated with the disease are unclear. In this study, we investigated the construction, interaction, and pathways of potential lung cancer biomarkers using metabolomics pathway analysis based on the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes database and the Human Metabolome Database to identify the top altered pathways for analysis and visualization. We constructed a diagnostic model using potential serum biomarkers from patients with lung cancer. We assessed their specificity and sensitivity according to the area under the curve of the receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves, which could be used to distinguish patients with lung cancer from normal subjects. The pathway analysis indicated that sphingolipid metabolism was the top altered pathway in lung cancer. ROC curve analysis indicated that glycerophospho-N-arachidonoyl ethanolamine (GpAEA) and sphingosine were potential sensitive and specific biomarkers for lung cancer diagnosis and prognosis. Compared with the traditional lung cancer diagnostic biomarkers carcinoembryonic antigen and cytokeratin 19 fragment, GpAEA and sphingosine were as good or more appropriate for detecting lung cancer. We report our identification of potential metabolic diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers of lung cancer and clarify the metabolic alterations in lung cancer. Yingrong Chen, Zhihong Ma, Lishan Min, Hongwei Li, Bin Wang, Jing Zhong, and Licheng Dai Copyright © 2015 Yingrong Chen et al. All rights reserved. Markers of Inflammation Associated with Plaque Progression and Instability in Patients with Carotid Atherosclerosis Thu, 16 Apr 2015 14:31:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2015/718329/ Atherosclerosis is the focal expression of a systemic disease affecting medium- and large-sized arteries, in which traditional cardiovascular risk factor and immune factors play a key role. It is well accepted that circulating biomarkers, including C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, reliably predict major cardiovascular events, including myocardial infarction or death. However, the relevance of biomarkers of systemic inflammation to atherosclerosis progression in the carotid artery is less established. The large majority of clinical studies focused on the association between biomarkers and subclinical atherosclerosis, that is, carotid intima-media thickening (cIMT), which represents an earlier stage of the disease. The aim of this work is to review inflammatory biomarkers that were associated with a higher atherosclerotic burden, a faster disease progression, and features of plaque instability, such as inflammation or neovascularization, in patients with carotid atherosclerotic plaque, which represents an advanced stage of disease compared with cIMT. The association of biomarkers with the occurrence of cerebrovascular events, secondary to carotid plaque rupture, will also be presented. Currently, the degree of carotid artery stenosis is used to predict the risk of future cerebrovascular events in patients affected by carotid atherosclerosis. However, this strategy appears suboptimal. The identification of suitable biomarkers could provide a useful adjunctive criterion to ensure better risk stratification and optimize management. Enrico Ammirati, Francesco Moroni, Giuseppe Danilo Norata, Marco Magnoni, and Paolo G. Camici Copyright © 2015 Enrico Ammirati et al. All rights reserved. Briefing in Application of Machine Learning Methods in Ion Channel Prediction Thu, 16 Apr 2015 14:21:04 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2015/945927/ In cells, ion channels are one of the most important classes of membrane proteins which allow inorganic ions to move across the membrane. A wide range of biological processes are involved and regulated by the opening and closing of ion channels. Ion channels can be classified into numerous classes and different types of ion channels exhibit different functions. Thus, the correct identification of ion channels and their types using computational methods will provide in-depth insights into their function in various biological processes. In this review, we will briefly introduce and discuss the recent progress in ion channel prediction using machine learning methods. Hao Lin and Wei Chen Copyright © 2015 Hao Lin and Wei Chen. All rights reserved. The Combination of N-Acetyl Cysteine, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, and Bromelain Shows High Anti-Inflammatory Properties in Novel In Vivo and In Vitro Models of Endometriosis Thu, 16 Apr 2015 14:20:47 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2015/918089/ To evaluate the efficacy of an association of N-acetyl cystein, alpha-lipoic acid, and bromelain (NAC/LA/Br) in the treatment of endometriosis we set up a new in vivo murine model. We explored the anti-inflammatory and proapoptotic effect of this combination on human endometriotic endothelial cells (EECs) and on endothelial cells isolated from normal uterus (UtMECs). We implanted fragments of human endometriotic cysts intraperitoneally into SCID mice to evaluate the efficacy of NAC/LA/Br treatment. UtMECs and EECs, untreated or treated with NAC/LA/Br, were activated with the proinflammatory stimulus TNF-α and their response in terms of VCAM1 expression was evaluated. The proapoptotic effect of higher doses of NAC/LA/Br on UtMECs and EECs was measured with a fluorogenic substrate for activated caspases 3 and 7. The preincubation of EECs with NAC/LA/Br prior to cell stimulation with TNF-α prevents the upregulation of the expression of the inflammatory “marker” VCAM1. Furthermore NAC/LA/Br were able to induce EEC, but not UtMEC, apoptosis. Finally, the novel mouse model allowed us to demonstrate that mice treated with NAC/LA/Br presented a lower number of cysts, smaller in size, compared to untreated mice. Our findings suggest that these dietary supplements may have potential therapeutic uses in the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases like endometriosis. C. Agostinis, S. Zorzet, R. De Leo, G. Zauli, F. De Seta, and R. Bulla Copyright © 2015 C. Agostinis et al. All rights reserved. Percentages of CD4+CD161+ and CD4−CD8−CD161+ T Cells in the Synovial Fluid Are Correlated with Disease Activity in Rheumatoid Arthritis Thu, 16 Apr 2015 14:19:38 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2015/563713/ Objective. CD161 has been identified as a marker of human IL-17-producing T cells that are implicated in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This study aimed to investigate the potential link between the percentage of CD161+ T cells and disease activity in RA patients. Methods. Peripheral blood (PB) from 54 RA patients and 21 healthy controls was evaluated. Paired synovial fluid (SF) (n = 17) was analyzed. CD161 expression levels on CD4+, CD8+, and CD4−CD8− T cells were assessed by flow cytometry. Results. The percentage of CD4+CD161+ T cells in RA SF was higher than RA PB, and it was positively correlated with DAS28, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and C-reactive protein (CRP). CD4−CD8−CD161+ T cell percentage was decreased in RA PB and was further reduced in RA SF, and its level in SF was inversely correlated with DAS28, ESR, and CRP. However, CD8+CD161+ T cell percentage was neither changed in RA PB and SF nor correlated with disease activity indices. Conclusion. An increased CD4+CD161+ T cell percentage and a decreased CD4−CD8−CD161+ T cell percentage are present in RA SF and are associated with disease activity, and the accumulation of CD4+CD161+ T cells in SF may contribute to the local inflammation of RA. Jinlin Miao, Kui Zhang, Feng Qiu, Tingting Li, Minghua Lv, Na Guo, Qing Han, and Ping Zhu Copyright © 2015 Jinlin Miao et al. All rights reserved. Optimal Control of Renewable Resources Based on the Effective Utilization Rate Thu, 16 Apr 2015 14:15:30 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2015/369493/ The effective utilization rate of exploited renewable resources affects the final total revenue and the further exploitation of renewable resources. Considering the effective utilization rate, we propose an optimal control model for the exploitation of the renewable resources in this study. Firstly, we can prove that the novel model is nonsingular compared with the singular basic model. Secondly, we solve the novel model and obtain the optimal solution by Bang-Bang theory. Furthermore, we can determine the optimal total resources and the maximal total revenue. Finally, a numerical example is provided to verify the obtained theoretical results. Rui Wu, Zhengwei Shen, and Fucheng Liao Copyright © 2015 Rui Wu et al. All rights reserved. Nanomaterial Synthesis, Characterization, and Application Thu, 16 Apr 2015 14:11:44 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnm/2015/892542/ Mahmood Ghoranneviss, Ajay Soni, Alireza Talebitaher, and Necdet Aslan Copyright © 2015 Mahmood Ghoranneviss et al. All rights reserved. The R21C Mutation in Cardiac Troponin I Imposes Differences in Contractile Force Generation between the Left and Right Ventricles of Knock-In Mice Thu, 16 Apr 2015 14:09:35 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/742536/ We investigated the effect of the hypertrophic cardiomyopathy-linked R21C (arginine to cysteine) mutation in human cardiac troponin I (cTnI) on the contractile properties and myofilament protein phosphorylation in papillary muscle preparations from left (LV) and right (RV) ventricles of homozygous R21C+/+ knock-in mice. The maximal steady-state force was significantly reduced in skinned papillary muscle strips from the LV compared to RV, with the latter displaying the level of force observed in LV or RV from wild-type (WT) mice. There were no differences in the Ca2+ sensitivity between the RV and LV of R21C+/+ mice; however, the Ca2+ sensitivity of force was higher in RV-R21C+/+ compared with RV-WT and lower in LV- R21C+/+ compared with LV-WT. We also observed partial loss of Ca2+ regulation at low [Ca2+]. In addition, R21C+/+-KI hearts showed no Ser23/24-cTnI phosphorylation compared to LV or RV of WT mice. However, phosphorylation of the myosin regulatory light chain (RLC) was significantly higher in the RV versus LV of R21C+/+ mice and versus LV and RV of WT mice. The difference in RLC phosphorylation between the ventricles of R21C+/+ mice likely contributes to observed differences in contractile force and the lower tension monitored in the LV of HCM mice. Jingsheng Liang, Katarzyna Kazmierczak, Ana I. Rojas, Yingcai Wang, and Danuta Szczesna-Cordary Copyright © 2015 Jingsheng Liang et al. All rights reserved. Biomarkers of Hemodynamic Stress and Aortic Stiffness after STEMI: A Cross-Sectional Analysis Thu, 16 Apr 2015 14:07:50 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/dm/2015/717032/ Aim. Increased aortic stiffness might adversely affect cardiac structure, function, and perfusion. Release of biomarkers of hemodynamic stress is thought to be enhanced by these alterations. We aimed to evaluate the association between biomarkers of hemodynamic stress and aortic stiffness assessed at a chronic stage after ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). Methods. Fifty-four patients four months after STEMI were enrolled in this cross-sectional, single-center study. N-terminal pro–B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), mid-regional pro–A-type natriuretic peptide (MR-proANP), and mid-regional proadrenomedullin (MR-proADM) levels were measured by established assays. Aortic stiffness was assessed by the measurement of pulse wave velocity using phase-contrast cardiovascular magnetic resonance. Results. NT-proBNP, MR-proANP, and MR-proADM concentrations were all correlated with aortic stiffness in univariate analysis (, , and ; all , resp.). In multiple linear regression analysis, NT-proBNP (, ) and MR-proADM (, ) levels were associated with increased aortic stiffness independently of age, blood pressure, and renal function. NT-proBNP was the strongest predictor for high aortic stiffness (area under the curve: 0.82, 95% CI 0.67–0.96). Conclusion. At a chronic stage after STEMI, concentrations of biomarkers for hemodynamic stress, especially NT-proBNP, are positively correlated with aortic stiffness. These biomarkers might also be useful as predictors of high aortic stiffness after STEMI. Sebastian Johannes Reinstadler, Hans-Josef Feistritzer, Gert Klug, Agnes Mayr, Luc Huybrechts, Angelika Hammerer-Lercher, Johannes Mair, Wolfgang-Michael Franz, and Bernhard Metzler Copyright © 2015 Sebastian Johannes Reinstadler et al. All rights reserved. Diagnostic Implications of an Elevated Troponin in the Emergency Department Thu, 16 Apr 2015 14:02:36 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/dm/2015/157812/ Objective. To determine the proportion of initial troponin (cTn) elevations associated with Type I MI versus other cardiovascular and noncardiovascular diagnoses in an emergency department (ED) and whether or not a relationship exists between the cTn level and the likelihood of Type I MI. Background. In the ED, cTn is used as a screening test for myocardial injury. However, the differential diagnosis for an initial positive cTn result is not clear. Methods. Hospital medical records were retrospectively reviewed for visits associated with an initial positive troponin I-ultra (cTnI), ≥0.05 μg/L. Elevated cTnI levels were stratified into low (0.05–0.09), medium (0.1–0.99), or high (≥1.0). Discharge diagnoses were classified into 3 diagnostic groups (Type I MI, other cardiovascular, or noncardiovascular). Results. Of 23,731 ED visits, 4,928 (21%) had cTnI testing. Of those tested, 16.3% had initial cTnI ≥0.05. Among those with elevated cTn, 11% were classified as Type I MI, 34% had other cardiovascular diagnoses, and 55% had a noncardiovascular diagnosis. Type I MI was more common with high cTnI levels (41% incidence) than among subjects with medium (9%) or low (6%). Conclusion. A positive cTn is most likely a noncardiovascular diagnosis, but Type I MI is far more common with cTnI levels ≥1.0. Maame Yaa Yiadom, Petr Jarolim, Cathy Jenkins, Stacy E. F. Melanson, Michael Conrad, and Joshua M. Kosowsky Copyright © 2015 Maame Yaa Yiadom et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Upstream Water Level on Dynamic Response of Earth Dam Thu, 16 Apr 2015 13:44:18 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/723904/ The island of Taiwan is located between the boundaries of the Eurasia and the Philippines Plates and thus earthquakes occurred frequently. The excitation of earthquake affects the integrity of earth dams situated in the mountainous area of the island. A study was conducted to evaluate the dynamic response and safety of one of the earthquake dams. The computer program and soil model used were calibrated for their appropriate use for the subject dam against a well-instrumented centrifuge model. Numerical simulation was then conducted to examine the influence of upstream water storage level on the response of the earth dam. The numerical results identified three locations in the dam where attentions are required because these locations were found susceptible to liquefaction. Shong-Loong Chen, Chun-Fu Lin, James C. Ni, and Meen-Wah Gui Copyright © 2015 Shong-Loong Chen et al. All rights reserved. Technoeconomical Assessment of Optimum Design for Photovoltaic Water Pumping System for Rural Area in Oman Thu, 16 Apr 2015 13:22:16 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijp/2015/514624/ Photovoltaic (PV) systems have been used globally for a long time to supply electricity for water pumping system for irrigation. System cost drops down with time since PV technology, efficiency, and design methodology have been improved and cost of wattage drops dramatically in the last decade. In the present paper optimum PV system design for water pumping system has been proposed for Oman. Intuitive and numerical methods were used to design the system. HOMER software as a numerical method was used to design the system to come up with optimum design for Oman. Also, REPS.OM software has been used to find the optimum design based on hourly meteorological data. The daily solar energy in Sohar was found to be 6.182 kWh/m2·day. However, it is found that the system annual yield factor is 2024.66 kWh/kWp. Furthermore, the capacity factor was found to be 23.05%, which is promising. The cost of energy and system capital cost has been compared with that of diesel generator and systems in literature. The comparison shows that the cost of energy is 0.180, 0.309, and 0.790 USD/kWh for PV-REPS.OM, PV-HOMER, and diesel systems, respectively, which sound that PV water pumping systems are promising in Oman. Hussein A. Kazem, Ali H. A. Al-Waeli, Atma H. K. Al-Kabi, and Asma Al-Mamari Copyright © 2015 Hussein A. Kazem et al. All rights reserved. Short Communication: Relationship between Urinary Neutrophil Gelatinase-Associated Lipocalin and Noninfectious Pyuria in Dogs Thu, 16 Apr 2015 13:15:22 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/dm/2015/387825/ Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) is a neutrophil-derived protein whose concentration increases in plasma and urine with ongoing renal damage. Urinary leucocytes can be a potential source of urinary NGAL. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of urinary neutrophil count and other urinary parameters on urinary NGAL values in urine with negative culture. Urinalysis, urine culture, and determination of urinary NGAL were performed on 33 clinically healthy nonproteinuric dogs with negative urinoculture. The median uNGAL concentration in dogs in this study population was 9.74 ng/mL (IQR 1.93–25.43 ng/mL). In samples with WBCs > 5 hpf (mean 15.9, 6–50 leucocytes/hpf), median uNGAL value was significantly higher than that in samples with WBCs < 5 hpf (mean 0.9, 0–3 leucocytes/hpf), (4.96 pg/mL (0.29–11.34) and 23.65 pg/mL (20.04–29.80), resp.; ). The severity of urinary pyuria and the UPC value were correlated with uNGAL concentration. The results of our study show that urinary NGAL concentration is correlated with WBCs number in urinary sediment of dogs with negative urinoculture. The present study suggests that noninfectious pyuria is significantly correlated with urinary NGAL values and might influence uNGAL values. D. Proverbio, E. Spada, L. Baggiani, G. Bagnagatti De Giorgi, E. Ferro, P. A. Martino, and R. Perego Copyright © 2015 D. Proverbio et al. All rights reserved. Retracted: Detection of Abnormal Hemoglobin Variants by HPLC Method: Common Problems with Suggested Solutions Thu, 16 Apr 2015 13:04:37 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2015/498230/ International Scholarly Research Notices Copyright © 2015 International Scholarly Research Notices. All rights reserved. Long-Lasting Cranial Nerve III Palsy as a Presenting Feature of Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy Thu, 16 Apr 2015 13:04:22 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crim/2015/769429/ We describe a patient with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) in which an adduction deficit and ptosis in the left eye presented several years before the polyneuropathy. A 52-year-old man presented with a 14-year history of unremitting diplopia, adduction deficit, and ptosis in the left eye. At the age of 45 a mild bilateral foot drop and impaired sensation in the four limbs appeared, with these symptoms showing a progressive course. The diagnostic workup included EMG/ENG which demonstrated reduced conduction velocity with bilateral and symmetrical sensory and motor involvement. Cerebrospinal fluid studies revealed a cytoalbuminologic dissociation. A prolonged treatment with corticosteroids allowed a significant improvement of the limb weakness. Diplopia and ptosis remained unchanged. This unusual form of CIDP presented as a long-lasting isolated cranial nerve palsy. A diagnostic workup for CIDP should therefore be performed in those patients in which an isolated and unremitting cranial nerve palsy cannot be explained by common causes. Rossella Spataro and Vincenzo La Bella Copyright © 2015 Rossella Spataro and Vincenzo La Bella. All rights reserved. Corrigendum to “Krasnosel’skii Type Hybrid Fixed Point Theorems and Their Applications to Fractional Integral Equations” Thu, 16 Apr 2015 13:03:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2015/467569/ H. M. Srivastava, Sachin V. Bedre, S. M. Khairnar, and B. S. Desale Copyright © 2015 H. M. Srivastava et al. All rights reserved. Spectroscopic and Thermogravimetric Investigation of Cd(II) Dinonyldithiophosphate: Removal of Cadmium from Aqueous Solutions Thu, 16 Apr 2015 12:56:04 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jchem/2015/695324/ Dinonyldithiophosphoric acid (HDDTP) was synthesised from the reaction of phosphorus pentasulphide and nonyl alcohol. Dinonyldithiophosphate complex of cadmium [Cd(DDTP)2] was prepared by mixing solutions of Cd(II) with HDDTP in ethanol at room temperature. The acid and its complex were characterised by elemental analysis and spectroscopy. The thermal behaviour of Cd(DNDTP)2 was investigated by thermogravimetric analysis. Removal of Cd(II) from aqueous media by HDDTP solution was also studied. The optimum conditions for removal of Cd(II) were investigated for effects of solvent, pH, contact time, concentration, and inorganic anions. Cd(II) was quantitatively removed from aqueous solutions at the pH range of , under the conditions that the stoichiometric ratio of HDDTP/Cd(II) ≥2/1. It can be stated that contact of the Cd(II) with HDDTP was sufficient for quantitative removing of cadmium from acidic aqueous solutions. Nermin Biricik, Hadice Budak Gümgüm, and Bahattin Gümgüm Copyright © 2015 Nermin Biricik et al. All rights reserved. Using Computed Tomography Scans and Patient Demographic Data to Estimate Thoracic Epidural Space Depth Thu, 16 Apr 2015 12:51:35 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/prt/2015/470240/ Background and Objectives. Previous studies have used varying methods to estimate the depth of the epidural space prior to placement of an epidural catheter. We aim to use computed tomography scans, patient demographics, and vertebral level to estimate the depth of the loss of resistance for placement of thoracic epidural catheters. Methods. The records of consecutive patients who received a thoracic epidural catheter were reviewed. Patient demographics, epidural placement site, and technique were collected. Preoperative computed tomography scans were reviewed to measure the skin to epidural space distance. Linear regression was used for a multivariate analysis. Results. The records of 218 patients were reviewed. The mean loss of resistance measurement was significantly larger than the mean computed tomography epidural space depth measurement by 0.79 cm (). Our final multivariate model, adjusted for demographic and epidural technique, showed a positive correlation between the loss of resistance and the computed tomography epidural space depth measurement (, ). Conclusions. The measured loss of resistance is positively correlated with the computed tomography epidural space depth measurement and patient demographics. For patients undergoing thoracic or abdominal surgery, estimating the loss of resistance can be a valuable tool. Alyssa Kosturakis, Jose Soliz, Jackson Su, Juan P. Cata, Lei Feng, Nusrat Harun, Ashley Amsbaugh, and Rodolfo Gebhardt Copyright © 2015 Alyssa Kosturakis et al. All rights reserved. The Evaluation of Plasma and Leukocytic IL-37 Expression in Early Inflammation in Patients with Acute ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction after PCI Thu, 16 Apr 2015 12:50:31 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2015/626934/ Objective. Acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (ASTEMI) is accompanied by increased expression of inflammation and decreased expression of anti-inflammation. IL-37 was found to be involved in the atherosclerosis-related diseases and increased in acute coronary syndrome. However, the level of IL-37 in blood plasma and leukocytes from patients with ASTEMI after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) has not been explored. Methods. We collected peripheral venous blood from consented patients at 12 h, 24 h, and 48 h after PCI and healthy volunteers. Plasma IL-37, IL-18, IL-18-binding protein (BP), and high sensitive C reaction protein (hs-CRP) were quantified by ELISA and leukocytic IL-37 and ICAM-1 by immunoblotting. Results. Plasma IL-37, IL-18, and IL-18 BP expression decreased compared to those in healthy volunteers while hs-CRP level was high. Both leukocytic IL-37 and ICAM-1 were highest expressed at 12 h point but significantly decreased at 48 h point. Conclusion. These findings suggest L-37 does not play an important role in the systematic inflammatory response but may be involved in leukocytic inflammation in ASTEMI after PCI. Xin Wang, Xiangna Cai, Lan Chen, Duanmin Xu, and Jilin Li Copyright © 2015 Xin Wang et al. All rights reserved. On the Analytical Approach to Present Engineering Problems: Photovoltaic Systems Behavior, Wind Speed Sensors Performance, and High-Speed Train Pressure Wave Effects in Tunnels Thu, 16 Apr 2015 12:41:54 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/897357/ At present, engineering problems required quite a sophisticated calculation means. However, analytical models still can prove to be a useful tool for engineers and scientists when dealing with complex physical phenomena. The mathematical models developed to analyze three different engineering problems: photovoltaic devices analysis; cup anemometer performance; and high-speed train pressure wave effects in tunnels are described. In all cases, the results are quite accurate when compared to testing measurements. Santiago Pindado, Javier Cubas, and Félix Sorribes-Palmer Copyright © 2015 Santiago Pindado et al. All rights reserved. Protective Effect of Hericium erinaceus on Alcohol Induced Hepatotoxicity in Mice Thu, 16 Apr 2015 12:37:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/418023/ We investigated the effects of Hericium erinaceus (HEM) on liver injury induced by acute alcohol administration in mice. Mice received ethanol (5 g/kg BW) by gavage every 12 hrs for a total of 3 doses. HEM (200 mg/kg BW) was gavage before ethanol administration. Subsequent serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level, aspartate aminotransaminase (AST) level, Maleic dialdehyde (MDA) level, hepatic total antioxidant status (TAOS), and activated nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) were determined by ELISA and immunohistochemistry, respectively. HEM administration markedly decreased serum ALT, AST, and MDA levels. The hepatic histopathological observations showed that HEM had a relatively significant role in mice model, which had alcoholic liver damage. In conclusion, we observed that HEM (200 mg/kg BW) supplementation could restrain the hepatic damage caused by acute alcohol exposure. Lijun Hao, Yuxi Xie, Guikai Wu, Aibin Cheng, Xiaogang Liu, Rongjuan Zheng, Hong Huo, and Junwei Zhang Copyright © 2015 Lijun Hao et al. All rights reserved. Dialysis Arteriovenous Fistula Causing Subclavian Steal Syndrome in the Absence of Subclavian Artery Stenosis Thu, 16 Apr 2015 12:34:44 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crivam/2015/720684/ We present a rare cause of subclavian steal syndrome secondary to a dialysis arteriovenous fistula (AVF). A 69-year-old female with end-stage renal disease presented with ataxia and recurrent fainting spells. Angiography revealed normal subclavian arteries bilaterally, a right VA origin occlusion, and an apparent left VA origin occlusion. However, carotid artery angiography demonstrated flow through the posterior communicating artery with retrograde filling of the basilar artery and left VA to its subclavian origin. Repeat left subclavian arteriography during external compression of the AVF demonstrated normal antegrade left VA flow. The AVF was subsequently ligated resulting in complete symptom resolution. Eesha Maiodna, Sudheer Ambekar, Jeremiah N. Johnson, and Mohamed Samy Elhammady Copyright © 2015 Eesha Maiodna et al. All rights reserved. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii Infection in Patients of Intensive Care Unit in China: A Hospital Based Study Thu, 16 Apr 2015 12:28:50 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/908217/ The objective of this study was to estimate the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in 394 patients of intensive care unit (ICU) in a hospital between April 2010 and March 2012 and analyze the association between T. gondii infection and ICU patients according to the species of disease. Toxoplasma serology was evaluated by ELISA method using a commercially available kit. Data of patients were obtained from the patients, informants, and medical examination records. Seventy-four (18.78%) of 394 patients were positive for anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies demonstrating latent infection. Of these, the highest T. gondii seroprevalence was found in the age group of 31–45 years (27.45%), and the lowest was found in the age group of <30 years (12.5%). In addition, females (21.6%) had a higher seroprevalence than males (18.36%). With respect to the species of disease, the patients with kidney diseases (57.14%), lung diseases (27.84%), and brain diseases (24%) had high T. gondii seroprevalence. The present study represents the first survey of T. gondii seroprevalence in ICU patients in China, revealing an 18.78% seropositivity. Considering the particularities of ICU patients, molecular identification, genetic characterization, and diagnosis of T. gondii should be considered in future study. Yong-Biao Zhang, Wei Cong, Zhi-Tao Li, Xiao-Gang Bi, Ying Xian, Yan-Hong Wang, Xing-Quan Zhu, and Kou-Xing Zhang Copyright © 2015 Yong-Biao Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Antifibrotic Activity of Acylated and Unacylated Ghrelin Thu, 16 Apr 2015 12:25:16 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ije/2015/385682/ Fibrosis can affect almost all tissues and organs, it often represents the terminal stage of chronic diseases, and it is regarded as a major health issue for which efficient therapies are needed. Tissue injury, by inducing necrosis/apoptosis, triggers inflammatory response that, in turn, promotes fibroblast activation and pathological deposition of extracellular matrix. Acylated and unacylated ghrelin are the main products of the ghrelin gene. The acylated form, through its receptor GHSR-1a, stimulates appetite and growth hormone (GH) release. Although unacylated ghrelin does not bind or activate GHSR-1a, it shares with the acylated form several biological activities. Ghrelin peptides exhibit anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and antiapoptotic activities, suggesting that they might represent an efficient approach to prevent or reduce fibrosis. The aim of this review is to summarize the available evidence regarding the effects of acylated and unacylated ghrelin on different pathologies and experimental models in which fibrosis is a predominant characteristic. Elia Angelino, Simone Reano, Michele Ferrara, Emanuela Agosti, Andrea Graziani, and Nicoletta Filigheddu Copyright © 2015 Elia Angelino et al. All rights reserved. Controlled Passage through Resonance for Flexible Vibration Units Thu, 16 Apr 2015 12:22:20 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/839105/ The problem of controlled passage through resonance zone for mechanical systems with several degrees of freedom is studied. Control algorithm design is based on speed-gradient method and estimate for the frequency of the slow motion near resonance (Blekhman frequency). The simulation results for two-rotor flexible vibration units illustrating efficiency of the proposed algorithms and fractal dependence of the passage time on the initial conditions are presented. The novelty of the results is in demonstration of good behavior of the closed loop system if flexibility is taken into account. Dmitry A. Tomchin, Olga P. Tomchina, and Alexander L. Fradkov Copyright © 2015 Dmitry A. Tomchin et al. All rights reserved. Cavernous Hemangioma of the Skull and Meningioma: Association or Coincidence? Thu, 16 Apr 2015 12:19:23 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crinm/2015/716837/ Intraosseous cavernous hemangiomas of the skull are rare. Meningiomas are quite frequently encountered in a neurosurgical practice. The association between these two entities is nevertheless very uncommon. The authors present a case of a 72-year-old woman suffering from headache. The MRI showed a parietal meningioma with adjacent thick bone. The meningioma and the bone were removed. The histological examination confirmed the diagnosis of meningioma and revealed a cavernoma of the skull. The relationship between the lesions suggests more than a coincidental association. Several hypotheses are proposed to explain common causal connections. M. Kilani, M. Darmoul, F. Hammedi, A. Ben Nsir, and M. N. Hattab Copyright © 2015 M. Kilani et al. All rights reserved. Survival Rate of Short, Locking Taper Implants with a Plateau Design: A 5-Year Retrospective Study Thu, 16 Apr 2015 12:19:13 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/197451/ Background. Short implants have become popular in the reconstruction of jaws, especially in cases with limited bone height. Shorter implants, those with locking tapers and plateau root shapes, tend to have longer survival times. We retrospectively investigated the cumulative survival rates of Bicon short implants (<8 mm) according to patient variables over a 5-year period. Materials and Methods. This study included 111 consecutively treated patients with 371 implants supporting fixed or removable prosthetics. Data were evaluated to acquire cumulative survival rates according to gender, age, tobacco use, surgical procedure, bone quality, and restoration type. Statistics were performed using chi-square, Mann-Whitney, and Kruskal Wallis H tests. Results. The survival rate was 97.3% with, on average, 22.8 months of follow-up. Patients older than 60 years had higher failure rate than the other age groups (). Placed region, age, and bone quality had adverse effects on survival rate in the <8 mm implant group with statistically significant difference (). Conclusions. Approximately 23-month follow-up data indicate that short implants with locking tapers and plateau-type roots have comparable survival rates as other types of dental implants. However, due to limitations of study, these issues remain to be further investigated in future randomized controlled clinical trials. Kemal Özgür Demiralp, Nihat Akbulut, Sebnem Kursun, Didem Argun, Nilsun Bagis, and Kaan Orhan Copyright © 2015 Kemal Özgür Demiralp et al. All rights reserved. Risk Factors for Delayed Inpatient Functional Recovery after Total Knee Arthroplasty Thu, 16 Apr 2015 12:07:49 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/167643/ Purpose. To determine the predictive value of surgery-related variables for delayed inpatient functional recovery (i.e., ≥3 days to reach functional independence) after TKA. Method. 193 consecutive people undergoing TKA were included in this prospective cohort study. Inpatient functional recovery was measured daily using the Iowa Level of Assistance scale (ILAS). Two persons reviewed medical records to extract patient characteristics (i.e., age, sex, and BMI) and surgical factors (i.e., blood loss, tourniquet time, postoperative morphine use, and surgical experience). Odds ratios (OR) and area under the curves (AUC) were calculated to determine the predictive value of the putative factors and of the model on delayed functional recovery, respectively. Results. Delayed functional recovery was apparent in 76 (39%) people. Higher age, female sex, and higher BMI were all independent risk factors for delayed functional recovery (AUC (95%-CI); 0.72 (0.65–0.80)), whereas blood loss (OR (95%-CI); 1.00 (0.99–1.01)), tourniquet time (OR = 1.00 (0.98–1.02)), and postoperative morphine use (OR = 0.88 (0.37–2.06)) did not statistically improve the predictive value of the model, while surgical experience did (OR = 0.31 (0.16–0.64); AUC = 0.76 (0.69–83)). Conclusions. Surgery-related factors contribute little to the patient-related characteristics in a predictive model explaining delayed functional recovery after TKA in daily orthopaedic practice. Thomas J. Hoogeboom, Nico L. U. van Meeteren, Kristin Schank, Raymond H. Kim, Todd Miner, and Jennifer E. Stevens-Lapsley Copyright © 2015 Thomas J. Hoogeboom et al. All rights reserved. Medial Clavicular Osteophyte: A Novel Cause of Paget-Schroetter Syndrome Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:50:28 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crivam/2015/723182/ Paget-Schroetter syndrome is a form of upper limb deep venous thrombosis usually seen in younger patients in association with repetitive activities of the affected limb. When occurring in more elderly patients or in those where it is difficult to appreciate a causative mechanism, other aetiologies should be considered. We present a case in which degenerative osteoarthritis of the sternoclavicular joint with osteophyte development impinged on the subclavian vein, leading to extensive upper limb thrombosis. The difficulties in identifying and managing this unusual cause of Paget-Schroetter are presented and discussed. Keagan Werner-Gibbings and Steven Dubenec Copyright © 2015 Keagan Werner-Gibbings and Steven Dubenec. All rights reserved. Reliable Control for Uncertain Singular Systems with Randomly Occurring Time-Varying Delay and Actuator Faults Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:49:59 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2015/238692/ The problem of reliable control is investigated for uncertain continuous singular systems with randomly occurring time-varying delay and actuator faults in this work. The delay occurs in a random way, and such randomly occurring delay obeys certain mutually uncorrelated Bernoulli distributed white noise sequences. The uncertainties under consideration are norm-bounded, and may vary with time. Then, with the constructed Lyapunov function, a sufficient condition is given to ensure the unforced system is mean-square exponentially stable and the corresponding controller can be derived from such condition, and the actuator faults problem is guaranteed. A numerical example is provided to show the effectiveness of the methods. Yu-Lin Li, Lin-Sheng Li, Zhi-Cheng Zhao, and Jing-Gang Zhang Copyright © 2015 Yu-Lin Li et al. All rights reserved. Aqueous Extract of Agaricus blazei Murrill Prevents Age-Related Changes in the Myenteric Plexus of the Jejunum in Rats Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:49:23 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/287153/ This study evaluated the effects of the supplementation with aqueous extract of Agaricus blazei Murrill (ABM) on biometric and blood parameters and quantitative morphology of the myenteric plexus and jejunal wall in aging Wistar rats. The animals were euthanized at 7 (C7), 12 (C12 and CA12), and 23 months of age (C23 and CA23). The CA12 and CA23 groups received a daily dose of ABM extract (26 mg/animal) via gavage, beginning at 7 months of age. A reduction in food intake was observed with aging, with increases in the Lee index, retroperitoneal fat, intestinal length, and levels of total cholesterol and total proteins. Aging led to a reduction of the total wall thickness, mucosa tunic, villus height, crypt depth, and number of goblet cells. In the myenteric plexus, aging quantitatively decreased the population of HuC/D+ neuronal and S100+ glial cells, with maintenance of the nNOS+ nitrergic subpopulation and increase in the cell body area of these populations. Supplementation with the ABM extract preserved the myenteric plexus in old animals, in which no differences were detected in the density and cell body profile of neurons and glial cells in the CA12 and CA23 groups, compared with C7 group. The supplementation with the aqueous extract of ABM efficiently maintained myenteric plexus homeostasis, which positively influenced the physiology and prevented the death of the neurons and glial cells. Ana Paula de Santi-Rampazzo, João Paulo Ferreira Schoffen, Carla Possani Cirilo, Mariana Cristina Vicente Umada Zapater, Fernando Augusto Vicentini, Andréia Assunção Soares, Rosane Marina Peralta, Adelar Bracht, Nilza Cristina Buttow, and Maria Raquel Marçal Natali Copyright © 2015 Ana Paula de Santi-Rampazzo et al. All rights reserved. Ginkgo biloba Extract Improves Insulin Signaling and Attenuates Inflammation in Retroperitoneal Adipose Tissue Depot of Obese Rats Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:44:49 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2015/419106/ Due to the high incidence and severity of obesity and its related disorders, it is highly desirable to develop new strategies to treat or even to prevent its development. We have previously described that Ginkgo biloba extract (GbE) improved insulin resistance and reduced body weight gain of obese rats. In the present study we aimed to evaluate the effect of GbE on both inflammatory cascade and insulin signaling in retroperitoneal fat depot of diet-induced obese rats. Rats were fed with high fat diet for 2 months and thereafter treated for 14 days with 500 mg/kg of GbE. Rats were then euthanized and samples from retroperitoneal fat depot were used for western blotting, RT-PCR, and ELISA experiments. The GbE treatment promoted a significant reduction on both food/energy intake and body weight gain in comparison to the nontreated obese rats. In addition, a significant increase of both Adipo R1 and IL-10 gene expressions and IR and Akt phosphorylation was also observed, while NF-κB p65 phosphorylation and TNF-α levels were significantly reduced. Our data suggest that GbE might have potential as a therapy to treat obesity-related metabolic diseases, with special interest to treat obese subjects resistant to adhere to a nutritional education program. Bruna Kelly Sousa Hirata, Renata Mancini Banin, Ana Paula Segantine Dornellas, Iracema Senna de Andrade, Juliane Costa Silva Zemdegs, Luciana Chagas Caperuto, Lila Missae Oyama, Eliane Beraldi Ribeiro, and Monica Marques Telles Copyright © 2015 Bruna Kelly Sousa Hirata et al. All rights reserved. Chemical Constituents and Evaluation of Antimicrobial and Cytotoxic Activities of Kielmeyera coriacea Mart. & Zucc. Essential Oils Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:36:21 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/842047/ Many essential oils (EOs) of different plant species possess interesting antimicrobial effects on buccal microorganisms and cytotoxic properties. EOs of Kielmeyera coriacea Mart. & Zucc. were analyzed by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The EO from leaves is rich in sesquiterpenes hydrocarbons and oxygenated sesquiterpenes. The three major compounds identified were germacrene-D (24.2%), (E)-caryophyllene (15.5%), and bicyclogermacrene (11.6%). The inner bark EO is composed mainly of sesquiterpenes hydrocarbons and the major components are alpha-copaene (14.9%) and alpha-(E)-bergamotene (13.0%). The outer bark EO is composed mainly of oxygenated sesquiterpenes and long-chain alkanes, and the major components are alpha-eudesmol (4.2%) and nonacosane (5.8%). The wood EO is mainly composed of long-chain alkanes and fatty acids, and the major components are nonacosane (9.7%) and palmitic acid (16.2%). The inner bark EO showed the strongest antimicrobial activity against the anaerobic bacteria Prevotella nigrescens (minimum inhibitory concentration-MIC of 50 µg mL−1). The outer bark and wood EOs showed MICs of 100 µg mL−1 for all aerobic microorganisms tested. The EOs presented low toxicity to Vero cells. These results suggest that K. coriacea, a Brazilian plant, provide initial evidence of a new and alternative source of substances with medicinal interest. Carla de M. Martins, Evandro A. do Nascimento, Sérgio A. L. de Morais, Alberto de Oliveira, Roberto Chang, Luís C. S. Cunha, Mário M. Martins, Carlos Henrique G. Martins, Thaís da S. Moraes, Paulla V. Rodrigues, Cláudio V. da Silva, and Francisco J. T. de Aquino Copyright © 2015 Carla de M. Martins et al. All rights reserved. Beneficial Effects of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Gestational Diabetes: Consequences in Macrosomia and Adulthood Obesity Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:30:41 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jdr/2015/731434/ Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are increasingly being used to prevent cardiovascular diseases, including diabetes and obesity. In this paper, we report data on the observed effects of omega-3 PUFA on major metabolic disorders and immune system disruption during gestational diabetes and their consequences on macrosomia. While controversies still exist about omega-3 PUFA effects on antioxidant status regarding the level of omega-3 PUFA in diet supplementation, their lipid-lowering effects are unanimously recognized by researchers. Animal studies have shown that omega-3 PUFA contributes to the maintenance of the immune defense system by promoting the differentiation of T helper (Th) cell to a Th2 phenotype in diabetic pregnancy and by shifting the Th1/Th2 ratio from a deleterious proinflammatory Th1 phenotype to a protective anti-inflammatory Th2 phenotype in macrosomia and in adulthood obesity that results from macrosomia at birth. Based on the available evidence, international nutritional and food agencies recommend administration of omega-3 PUFA as triglyceride-lowering agents, for the prevention of cardiovascular disease risk and during human pregnancy and lactation. Furthermore, studies targeting humans are still required to explore application of the fatty acids as supplement in the management of gestational diabetes and inflammatory and immune diseases. Akadiri Yessoufou, Magloire P. Nekoua, Adam Gbankoto, Yohana Mashalla, and Kabirou Moutairou Copyright © 2015 Akadiri Yessoufou et al. All rights reserved. Approximate Controllability of Semilinear Impulsive Evolution Equations Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:24:47 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2015/797439/ We prove the approximate controllability of the following semilinear impulsive evolution equation: where , and are Hilbert spaces, , is a bounded linear operator, are smooth functions, and is an unbounded linear operator in which generates a strongly continuous semigroup . We suppose that is bounded and the linear system is approximately controllable on for all . Under these conditions, we prove the following statement: the semilinear impulsive evolution equation is approximately controllable on . Hugo Leiva Copyright © 2015 Hugo Leiva. All rights reserved. Maternal Obesity Management Using Mobile Technology: A Feasibility Study to Evaluate a Text Messaging Based Complex Intervention during Pregnancy Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:24:42 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jobe/2015/814830/ Background. Maternal obesity and excessive gestational weight gain (GWG) are on the rise with negative impact on pregnancy and birth outcomes. Research into managing GWG using accessible technology is limited. The maternal obesity management using mobile technology (MOMTech) study aimed at evaluating the feasibility of text messaging based complex intervention designed to support obese women (BMI ≥ 30) with healthier lifestyles and limit GWG. Methods. Participants received two daily text messages, supported by four appointments with healthy lifestyle midwife, diet and activity goal setting, and self-monitoring diaries. The comparison group were obese mothers who declined to participate but consented for their routinely collected data to be used for comparison. Postnatal interviews and focus groups with participants and the comparison group explored the intervention’s acceptability and suggested improvements. Results. Fourteen women completed the study which did not allow statistical analyses. However, participants had lower mean GWG than the comparison group (6.65 kg versus 9.74 kg) and few (28% versus 50%) exceeded the Institute of Medicine’s upper limit of 9 kg GWG for obese women. Conclusions. MOMTech was feasible within clinical setting and acceptable intervention to support women to limit GWG. Before further trials, slight modifications are planned to recruitment, text messages, and the logistics of consultation visits. Hora Soltani, Alexandra M. S. Duxbury, Madelynne A. Arden, Andy Dearden, Penny J. Furness, and Carolyn Garland Copyright © 2015 Hora Soltani et al. All rights reserved. Characterization of the ZDSD Rat: A Translational Model for the Study of Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:19:44 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jdr/2015/487816/ Metabolic syndrome and T2D produce significant health and economic issues. Many available animal models have monogenic leptin pathway mutations that are absent in the human population. Development of the ZDSD rat model was undertaken to produce a model that expresses polygenic obesity and diabetes with an intact leptin pathway. A lean ZDF rat with the propensity for beta-cell failure was crossed with a polygenetically obese Crl:CD (SD) rat. Offspring were selectively inbred for obesity and diabetes for >30 generations. In the current study, ZDSD rats were followed for 6 months; routine clinical metabolic endpoints were included throughout the study. In the prediabetic metabolic syndrome phase, ZDSD rats exhibited obesity with increased body fat, hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, glucose intolerance, and elevated HbA1c. As disease progressed to overt diabetes, ZDSD rats demonstrated elevated glucose levels, abnormal oral glucose tolerance, increases in HbA1c levels, reductions in body weight, increased insulin resistance with decreasing insulin levels, and dyslipidemia. The ZDSD rat develops prediabetic metabolic syndrome and T2D in a manner that mirrors the development of metabolic syndrome and T2D in humans. ZDSD rats will provide a novel, translational animal model for the study of human metabolic diseases and for the development of new therapies. Richard G. Peterson, Charles V. Jackson, Karen Zimmerman, Willem de Winter, Norman Huebert, and Michael K. Hansen Copyright © 2015 Richard G. Peterson et al. All rights reserved. Copeptin Testing in Acute Myocardial Infarction: Ready for Routine Use? Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:13:31 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/dm/2015/614145/ Suspected acute myocardial infarction is one of the leading causes of admission to emergency departments. In the last decade, biomarkers revolutionized the management of patients with suspected acute coronary syndromes. Besides their pivotal assistance in timely diagnosis, biomarkers provide additional information for risk stratification. Cardiac troponins I and T are the most sensitive and specific markers of acute myocardial injury. Nonetheless, in order to overcome the remaining limitations of these markers, novel candidate biomarkers sensitive to early stage of disease are being extensively investigated. Among them, copeptin, a stable peptide derived from the precursor of vasopressin, emerged as a promising biomarker for the evaluation of suspected acute myocardial infarction. In this review, we summarize the currently available evidence for the usefulness of copeptin in the diagnosis and risk stratification of patients with suspected acute myocardial infarction in comparison with routine biomarkers. Sebastian Johannes Reinstadler, Gert Klug, Hans-Josef Feistritzer, Bernhard Metzler, and Johannes Mair Copyright © 2015 Sebastian Johannes Reinstadler et al. All rights reserved. Relation between Body Structure and Hearing during Soft Tissue Auditory Stimulation Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:09:25 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/172026/ Hearing is elicited by applying the clinical bone vibrator to soft tissue sites on the head, neck, and thorax. Two mapping experiments were conducted in normal hearing subjects differing in body build: determination of the lowest soft tissue stimulation site at which a 60 dB SL tone at 2.0 kHz was effective in eliciting auditory sensation and assessment of actual thresholds along the midline of the head, neck, and back. In males, a lower site for hearing on the back was strongly correlated with a leaner body build. A correlation was not found in females. In both groups, thresholds on the head were lower, and they were higher on the back, with a transition along the neck. This relation between the soft tissue stimulation site and hearing sensation is likely due to the different distribution of soft tissues in various parts of the body. Cahtia Adelman, Michal Kaufmann Yehezkely, Shai Chordekar, and Haim Sohmer Copyright © 2015 Cahtia Adelman et al. All rights reserved. Sex Differences and the Impact of Chronic Stress and Recovery on Instrumental Learning Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:05:26 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/neuroscience/2015/697659/ We have previously shown that 21-day chronic restraint stress impacts instrumental learning, but overall few studies have examined sex differences on the impact of stress on learning. We further examined sex differences in response to extended 42-day chronic stress on instrumental learning, as well as recovery from chronic stress. Rats were tested in aversive training tasks with or without prior appetitive experience, and daily body weight data was collected as an index of stress. Relative to control animals, reduced body weight was maintained from day 22 through day 42 across the stress period for males, but not for females. Stressed males had increased response speed and lower learning efficiency during appetitive acquisition and aversive learning. Males overall showed slower escape shaping times and more shock exposure. In contrast, stressed females showed slower appetitive response speeds and higher appetitive and aversive efficiency but overall reduced avoidance rates during acquisition and maintenance for transfer animals and during maintenance for aversive-only animals. These tasks reveal important nuances on the effect of stress on goal-directed behavior and further highlight sexually divergent effects on appetitive versus aversive motivation. Furthermore, these data underscore that systems are temporally impacted by chronic stress in a sexually divergent pattern. Angela L. McDowell, Kathryn M. H. Fransen, Kevin S. Elliott, Alhasan Elghouche, Polina V. Kostylev, Pamela K. O’Dea, and Preston E. Garraghty Copyright © 2015 Angela L. McDowell et al. All rights reserved. Effectiveness of a Nurse-Managed Protocol to Prevent Hypoglycemia in Hospitalized Patients with Diabetes Thu, 16 Apr 2015 11:00:02 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jdr/2015/173956/ Background. Hypoglycemia due to inadequate carbohydrate intake is a frequent complication of insulin treatment of diabetic in-patients. Objective. To assess the effectiveness of a nurse-managed protocol to prevent hypoglycemia during subcutaneous insulin treatment. Design. Prospective pre-post-intervention study. Methods. In 350 consecutive diabetic in-patients the incidence of hypoglycemia (blood glucose < 70 mg/dL) during subcutaneous insulin treatment was assessed before (phase A) and after (phase B) the protocol was adopted to permit (1) the patient to opt for substitutive food to integrate incomplete carbohydrate intake in the meal; (2) in case of lack of appetite or repeatedly partial intake of the planned food, prandial insulin administered at the end of the meal to be related to the actual amount of carbohydrates eaten; (3) intravenous infusion of glucose during prolonged fasting. Results. Eighty-four patients in phase A and 266 in phase B received subcutaneous insulin for median periods of, respectively, 7 (Q1–Q3 6–12) and 6 days (Q1–Q3 4–9). Hypoglycemic events declined significantly from 0.34 ± 0.33 per day in phase A to 0.19 ± 0.30 in phase B . Conclusions. A nurse-managed protocol focusing on carbohydrate intake reduced the incidence of hypoglycemia in patients with diabetes receiving subcutaneous insulin in hospital. Giuseppe Marelli, Fausto Avanzini, Giuseppe Iacuitti, Enrico Planca, Ilaria Frigerio, Giovanna Busi, Liliana Carlino, Laura Cortesi, Maria Carla Roncaglioni, and Emma Riva Copyright © 2015 Giuseppe Marelli et al. All rights reserved. Source Geolocation in Urban Environments Using Multipath Fingerprinting Thu, 16 Apr 2015 10:46:07 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijap/2015/453157/ A method for determining the location of Global Systems for Mobile Communications (GSM) mobile transmitters is proposed. Our approach estimates the location of a source without the use of multilateration or Line-of-Sight (LOS) techniques. A Multipath Characteristic Database (MCD) containing the multipath feature vectors, for each possible transmitter location within an area of interest, is populated via ray-tracing software simulations. The multipath characteristics of interest are angle-of-arrival (AOA) (azimuth) and time-of-arrival (TOA). By minimizing the “distance” between estimated and simulated multipath feature vectors, an estimate for the actual source location can be obtained. The development of the estimation method is presented, followed by a detailed analysis of its estimation accuracy. Since the proposed method utilizes a simulated multipath signature database based upon the knowledge of the environment and the terrain, the need for a priori soundings from the area of interest is eliminated, thus making this location estimation system suitable for application in denied territories. Location accuracies compare favorably with the requirements for the location of wireless 9-1-1 callers as recommended by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Ram M. Narayanan, Brian R. Phelan, and Erik H. Lenzing Copyright © 2015 Ram M. Narayanan et al. All rights reserved. Uptake of CCR7 by KIR2DS4+ NK Cells Is Induced upon Recognition of Certain HLA-C Alleles Thu, 16 Apr 2015 10:39:51 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2015/754373/ The KIR2DS4 receptor is the oldest KIR2DS expressed by human NK lymphocytes. The specificity of recognition of this receptor for various HLA class I alleles has been demonstrated; however it remains poorly understood whether these interactions may result in the activation of some specific functions in NK cells. Here, we examined the functional outcome of the KIR2DS4/HLA class I interaction by the use of an alternative functional system based on the ability of KIR2DS4 to regulate the mechanism of trogocytosis by NK cells. We demonstrate that KIR2DS4 can induce the uptake of CCR7 by KIR2DS4+ NKG2A+ NK cell clones after interacting with CCR7+ target cells expressing HLA-Cw4 and HLA-Cw6 alleles. However this interaction is not always sufficient to override the inhibition generated by NKG2A expressed on the same NK cells. The recognition of HLA-Cw4 was confirmed by experiments of cytotoxicity against HLA-C-transfected cells. We also show that, different from resting NK cells, the acquisition of CCR7 in response to IL-18 cannot occur in IL2-activated NK cells because of a marked downregulation in their IL-18Rα expression. As a consequence trogocytosis represents the major mechanism by which KIR2DS4+ activated NK cells acquire the expression of this chemokine receptor. Silvia Pesce, Simona Carlomagno, Alessandro Moretta, Simona Sivori, and Emanuela Marcenaro Copyright © 2015 Silvia Pesce et al. All rights reserved. Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cell Proteome Changes in Patients with Myelodysplastic Syndrome Thu, 16 Apr 2015 10:31:43 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/872983/ Our aim was to search for proteome changes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of MDS patients with refractory cytopenia with multilineage dysplasia. PBMCs were isolated from a total of 12 blood samples using a Histopaque-1077 solution. The proteins were fractioned, separated by 2D SDS-PAGE (pI 4–7), and double-stained. The proteomes were compared and statistically processed with Progenesis SameSpots; then proteins were identified by nano-LC-MS/MS. Protein functional association and expression profiles were analyzed using the EnrichNet application and Progenesis SameSpots hierarchical clustering software, respectively. By comparing the cytosolic, membrane, and nuclear fractions of the two groups, 178 significantly (, ANOVA) differing spots were found, corresponding to 139 unique proteins. Data mining of the Reactome and KEGG databases using EnrichNet highlighted the possible involvement of the identified protein alterations in apoptosis, proteasome protein degradation, heat shock protein action, and signal transduction. Western blot analysis revealed underexpression of vinculin and advanced fragmentation of fermitin-3 in MDS patients. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that proteome changes have been identified in the mononuclear cells of MDS patients. Vinculin and fermitin-3, the proteins involved in cell adhesion and integrin signaling, have been shown to be dysregulated in MDS. Klara Pecankova, Pavel Majek, Jaroslav Cermak, and Jan E. Dyr Copyright © 2015 Klara Pecankova et al. All rights reserved. What Augmented Physical Activity and Empowerment Can Bring to Patients Receiving Total Knee Replacement: Content, Implementation, and Comparative Effectiveness of a New Function-Tailored Care Pathway in a Routine Care Setting Thu, 16 Apr 2015 10:13:06 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/745864/ Background. In the routine setting of the 20-bed orthopaedic ward of a regional hospital in Netherlands, we developed, implemented, and evaluated a new, function-tailored perioperative care pathway for patients receiving total knee replacement (TKR), aimed at faster functional recovery by reduction of inactivity and stimulation of self-efficacy of the patients. Methods. To assess effectiveness, we compared, using prospectively collected data from medical files, patient groups before and after introduction of the new care pathway with respect to time to recovery of physical functioning during hospitalisation (five milestones), length of hospital stay (LoS), referrals to an inpatient rehabilitation facility, and readmissions. Multivariable regression was used to adjust results for differences between the two groups in preoperatively assessed risk factors for delayed recovery. Results. Comparison of patient groups before and after introduction of the tailored care pathway showed that the tailored rehabilitation pathway decreased the time to recovery of physical functioning (from 4.5 to 4.1 days, ), the mean LoS (from 5.2 days to 4.2 days, ). Conclusion. We demonstrated that the introduction of a function-tailored care pathway shortens the hospital stay and accelerates the recovery of physical functioning. G. van der Sluis, R. A. Goldbohm, R. Bimmel, F. Galindo Garre, J. Elings, T. J. Hoogeboom, and N. L. U. van Meeteren Copyright © 2015 G. van der Sluis et al. All rights reserved. The Effect of Interfacial Transition Zone Properties on the Elastic Properties of Cementitious Nanocomposite Materials Thu, 16 Apr 2015 09:54:31 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnm/2015/258384/ A parametric study was conducted to explore the effect of the interfacial transition zone (ITZ or interphase) on the overall elastic modulus of the CNT-reinforced cement. The effect of the ITZ properties on the elastic modulus of the CNT-reinforced cement was investigated using a four-phase axisymmetric model consisting of a single CNT aligned at the center of composite unit cell, an interface, an ITZ (or interphase), and a cement matrix. The CNT and cement matrix were assumed fully elastic while the interface was modeled using a cohesive surface framework. The width and mechanical properties of the ITZ and the interface were found to affect significantly the elastic modulus and the behavior of the composite material. Ala G. Abu Taqa, Rashid K. Abu Al-Rub, Ahmed Senouci, Nasser Al-Nuaimi, and Khaldoon A. Bani-Hani Copyright © 2015 Ala G. Abu Taqa et al. All rights reserved. Home-Based versus Hospital-Based Rehabilitation Program after Total Knee Replacement Thu, 16 Apr 2015 09:40:07 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/450421/ Objectives. To compare home-based rehabilitation with the standard hospital rehabilitation in terms of improving knee joint mobility and recovery of muscle strength and function in patients after a total knee replacement. Materials and Methods. A non-randomised controlled trial was conducted. Seventy-eight patients with a prosthetic knee were included in the study and allocated to either a home-based or hospital-based rehabilitation programme. Treatment included various exercises to restore strength and joint mobility and to improve patients’ functional capacity. The primary outcome of the trial was the treatment effectiveness measured by the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC). Results. The groups did not significantly differ in the leg side (right/left) or clinical characteristics (). After the intervention, both groups showed significant improvements () from the baseline values in the level of pain (visual analogue scale), the range of flexion-extension motion and muscle strength, disability (Barthel and WOMAC indices), balance, and walking. Conclusions. This study reveals that the rehabilitation treatments offered either at home or in hospital settings are equally effective. Remedios López-Liria, David Padilla-Góngora, Daniel Catalan-Matamoros, Patricia Rocamora-Pérez, Sagrario Pérez-de la Cruz, and Manuel Fernández-Sánchez Copyright © 2015 Remedios López-Liria et al. All rights reserved. Extramedullary Hematopoiesis in a Sentinel Lymph Node as an Early Sign of Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia Thu, 16 Apr 2015 09:35:14 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cripa/2015/594970/ Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) is a clonal hematopoietic malignancy with features of both a myeloproliferative neoplasm and a myelodysplastic syndrome. Even though extramedullary leukemic infiltration is common in CMML patients, lymph node involvement has rarely been reported in the literature. We present an unusual case of a 72-year-old female who was found to have extramedullary hematopoiesis (EMH) in a sentinel lymph node that was excised during mastectomy for lobular breast carcinoma. One year later bone marrow biopsy was performed due to persistent anemia, thrombocytopenia, and monocytosis and the patient was diagnosed with CMML. Our case illustrates the importance of recognizing EMH in a lymph node during routine histological examination, especially in adults. Proliferation of bone marrow elements in a lymph node, in a patient with no known hematologic disorder, should trigger immediate bone marrow evaluation, as this could be the first clue in diagnosing underlying bone marrow disorder. Joslin M. Bowen, Anamarija M. Perry, Erin Quist, and Mojtaba Akhtari Copyright © 2015 Joslin M. Bowen et al. All rights reserved. Sparse Matrix for ECG Identification with Two-Lead Features Thu, 16 Apr 2015 09:34:24 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2015/656807/ Electrocardiograph (ECG) human identification has the potential to improve biometric security. However, improvements in ECG identification and feature extraction are required. Previous work has focused on single lead ECG signals. Our work proposes a new algorithm for human identification by mapping two-lead ECG signals onto a two-dimensional matrix then employing a sparse matrix method to process the matrix. And that is the first application of sparse matrix techniques for ECG identification. Moreover, the results of our experiments demonstrate the benefits of our approach over existing methods. Kuo-Kun Tseng, Jiao Luo, Robert Hegarty, Wenmin Wang, and Dong Haiting Copyright © 2015 Kuo-Kun Tseng et al. All rights reserved. Characterization of the Prediabetic State in a Novel Rat Model of Type 2 Diabetes, the ZFDM Rat Thu, 16 Apr 2015 09:31:47 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jdr/2015/261418/ We recently established a novel animal model of obese type 2 diabetes (T2D), the Zucker fatty diabetes mellitus (ZFDM) rat strain harboring the fatty mutation (fa) in the leptin receptor gene. Here we performed a phenotypic characterization of the strain, focusing mainly on the prediabetic state. At 6–8 weeks of age, fa/fa male rats exhibited mild glucose intolerance and severe insulin resistance. Although basal insulin secretion was remarkably high in the isolated pancreatic islets, the responses to both glucose stimulation and the incretin GLP-1 were retained. At 10–12 weeks of age, fa/fa male rats exhibited marked glucose intolerance as well as severe insulin resistance similar to that at the earlier age. In the pancreatic islets, the insulin secretory response to glucose stimulation was maintained but the response to the incretin was diminished. In nondiabetic Zucker fatty (ZF) rats, the insulin secretory responses to both glucose stimulation and the incretin in the pancreatic islets were similar to those of ZFDM rats. As islet architecture was destroyed with age in ZFDM rats, a combination of severe insulin resistance, diminished insulin secretory response to incretin, and intrinsic fragility of the islets may cause the development of T2D in this strain. Ghupurjan Gheni, Norihide Yokoi, Masayuki Beppu, Takuro Yamaguchi, Shihomi Hidaka, Ayako Kawabata, Yoshikazu Hoshino, Masayuki Hoshino, and Susumu Seino Copyright © 2015 Ghupurjan Gheni et al. All rights reserved. On the Study of Oscillating Viscous Flows by Using the Adomian-Padé Approximation Thu, 16 Apr 2015 09:22:18 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jam/2015/864190/ The Adomian-Padé technique is applied to examine two oscillating viscous flows, the Stokes’ second problem and the pressure-driven pulsating flow. Main purposes for studying oscillating flows are not only to verify the accuracy of the approximation solution, but also to provide a basis for analyzing more problems by the present method with the help of Fourier analysis. Results show that the Adomian-Padé approximation presents a very excellent behavior in comparison with the exact solution of Stokes’ second problem. For the pulsating flow, only the Adomian decomposition method is required to perform the calculation as the fluid domain is finite where the Padé approximant may not provide a better solution. Based on present results, more problems can be mathematically solved by using the Adomian-Padé technique, the Fourier analysis, and powerful computers. Chi-Min Liu Copyright © 2015 Chi-Min Liu. All rights reserved. Construction, Expression, and Characterization of a Recombinant Immunotoxin Targeting EpCAM Thu, 16 Apr 2015 09:09:38 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2015/460264/ Epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) is a type I transmembrane glycoprotein overexpressed in human epithelioma but with relatively low expression in normal epithelial tissues. To exploit this differential expression pattern for targeted cancer therapy, an EpCAM-targeted immunotoxin was developed and its antitumor activity was investigated in vitro. An immunotoxin (scFv2A9-PE or APE) was constructed by genetically fusing a truncated form (PE38KDEL) of Pseudomonas aeruginosa exotoxin with an anti-EpCAM single-chain variable fragment (scFv). ELISA and flow cytometry were performed to verify immunotoxin (scFv2A9-PE or APE) antigen-binding activity with EpCAM. Cytotoxicity was measured by MTT assay. Confocal microscopy was used to observe its cellular localization. The results of ELISA and flow cytometry revealed that the immunotoxin efficiently recognized recombinant and natural EpCAM. Its antigen-binding activity was relatively lower than 2A9. MTT assay confirmed potent reduction in EpCAM-positive HHCC (human hepatocellular carcinoma) cell viability (IC50 50 pM). Immunofluorescence revealed that the immunotoxin localized to endoplasmic reticulum 24 h later. In conclusion, we described the development of an EpCAM-targeted immunotoxin with potent activity against tumor cells, which may lay the foundation for future development of therapeutic antibody for the treatment of EpCAM-positive tumors. Minghua Lv, Feng Qiu, Tingting Li, Yuanjie Sun, Chunmei Zhang, Ping Zhu, Xiaokun Qi, Jun Wan, Kun Yang, and Kui Zhang Copyright © 2015 Minghua Lv et al. All rights reserved. Inhibitory Effect of Methyleugenol on IgE-Mediated Allergic Inflammation in RBL-2H3 Cells Thu, 16 Apr 2015 09:04:38 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2015/463530/ Allergic diseases, such as asthma and allergic rhinitis, are common. Therefore, the discovery of therapeutic drugs for these conditions is essential. Methyleugenol (ME) is a natural compound with antiallergic, antianaphylactic, antinociceptive, and anti-inflammatory effects. This study examined the antiallergic effect of ME on IgE-mediated inflammatory responses and its antiallergy mechanism in the mast cell line, RBL-2H3. We found that ME significantly inhibited the release of β-hexosaminidase, tumor necrosis factor- (TNF-) α, and interleukin- (IL-) 4, and was not cytotoxic at the tested concentrations (0–100 μM). Additionally, ME markedly reduced the production of the proinflammatory lipid mediators prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), prostaglandin D2 (PGD2), leukotriene B4 (LTB4), and leukotriene C4 (LTC4). We further evaluated the effect of ME on the early stages of the FcεRI cascade. ME significantly inhibited Syk phosphorylation and expression but had no effect on Lyn. Furthermore, it suppressed ERK1/2, p38, and JNK phosphorylation, which is implicated in proinflammatory cytokine expression. ME also decreased cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) and 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) phosphorylation and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression. These results suggest that ME inhibits allergic response by suppressing the activation of Syk, ERK1/2, p38, JNK, cPLA2, and 5-LO. Furthermore, the strong inhibition of COX-2 expression may also contribute to the antiallergic action of ME. Our study provides further information about the biological functions of ME. Feng Tang, Feilong Chen, Xiao Ling, Yao Huang, Xiaomei Zheng, Qingfa Tang, and Xiaomei Tan Copyright © 2015 Feng Tang et al. All rights reserved. Acupuncture Therapy Is More Effective Than Artificial Tears for Dry Eye Syndrome: Evidence Based on a Meta-Analysis Thu, 16 Apr 2015 09:02:30 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/143858/ Background. The efficacy of acupuncture in dry eye syndrome patients remains controversial. Methods. Pubmed, Ovid, Cochrane libraries, CNKI, Wanfang, and CQVIP databases were electronically searched until October 1, 2014. Outcomes including tear break-up time (BUT), Schirmer I test (SIT), and cornea fluorescein staining (CFS) were analyzed. A meta-analysis was performed using both fixed- and random-effects models based on heterogeneity across studies. Results. Seven studies were included in this study; 198 and 185 patients were randomly treated with acupuncture and artificial tears, respectively. The overall BUT of patients in acupuncture group was significantly longer than that of the artificial tears group after treatment (). The SIT was significantly higher in the acupuncture group than that in the artificial tears group after treatment (). The CFS of patients in acupuncture group was significantly improved compared to that in artificial group (). Conclusions. Acupuncture therapy is effective for the dry eye patients, partly better than artificial tear treatment. Lei Yang, Zongguo Yang, Hong Yu, and Hui Song Copyright © 2015 Lei Yang et al. All rights reserved. Astragaloside IV Inhibits NF-κB Activation and Inflammatory Gene Expression in LPS-Treated Mice Thu, 16 Apr 2015 08:56:18 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2015/274314/ In this study we investigated the role of astragaloside IV (AS-IV), one of the major active constituents purified from the Chinese medicinal herb Astragalus membranaceus, in LPS-induced acute inflammatory responses in mice in vivo and examined possible underlying mechanisms. Mice were assigned to four groups: vehicle-treated control animals; AS-IV-treated animals (10 mg/kg b.w. AS-IV daily i.p. injection for 6 days); LPS-treated animals; and AS-IV plus LPS-treated animals. We found that AS-IV treatment significantly inhibited LPS-induced increases in serum levels of MCP-1 and TNF by 82% and 49%, respectively. AS-IV also inhibited LPS-induced upregulation of inflammatory gene expression in different organs. Lung mRNA levels of cellular adhesion molecules, MCP-1, TNFα, IL-6, and TLR4 were significantly attenuated, and lung neutrophil infiltration and activation were strongly inhibited, as reflected by decreased myeloperoxidase content, when the mice were pretreated with AS-IV. Similar results were observed in heart, aorta, kidney, and liver. Furthermore, AS-IV significantly suppressed LPS-induced NF-κB and AP-1 DNA-binding activities in lung and heart. In conclusion, our data provide new in vivo evidence that AS-IV effectively inhibits LPS-induced acute inflammatory responses by modulating NF-κB and AP-1 signaling pathways. Our results suggest that AS-IV may be useful for the prevention or treatment of inflammatory diseases. Wei-Jian Zhang and Balz Frei Copyright © 2015 Wei-Jian Zhang and Balz Frei. All rights reserved. Anti-Inflammatory and Immunoregulatory Functions of Artemisinin and Its Derivatives Thu, 16 Apr 2015 08:48:37 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2015/435713/ Artemisinin and its derivatives are widely used in the world as the first-line antimalarial drug. Recently, growing evidences reveal that artemisinin and its derivatives also possess potent anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory properties. Meanwhile, researchers around the world are still exploring the unknown bioactivities of artemisinin derivatives. In this review, we provide a comprehensive discussion on recent advances of artemisinin derivatives affecting inflammation and autoimmunity, the underlying molecular mechanisms, and also drug development of artemisinins beyond antimalarial functions. Chenchen Shi, Haipeng Li, Yifu Yang, and Lifei Hou Copyright © 2015 Chenchen Shi et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Electrode Shape on Impedance of Single HeLa Cell: A COMSOL Simulation Thu, 16 Apr 2015 08:39:21 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/871603/ In disease prophylaxis, single cell inspection provides more detailed data compared to conventional examinations. At the individual cell level, the electrical properties of the cell are helpful for understanding the effects of cellular behavior. The electric field distribution affects the results of single cell impedance measurements whereas the electrode geometry affects the electric field distributions. Therefore, this study obtained numerical solutions by using the COMSOL multiphysics package to perform FEM simulations of the effects of electrode geometry on microfluidic devices. An equivalent circuit model incorporating the PBS solution, a pair of electrodes, and a cell is used to obtain the impedance of a single HeLa cell. Simulations indicated that the circle and parallel electrodes provide higher electric field strength compared to cross and standard electrodes at the same operating voltage. Additionally, increasing the operating voltage reduces the impedance magnitude of a single HeLa cell in all electrode shapes. Decreasing impedance magnitude of the single HeLa cell increases measurement sensitivity, but higher operational voltage will damage single HeLa cell. Min-Haw Wang and Wen-Hao Chang Copyright © 2015 Min-Haw Wang and Wen-Hao Chang. All rights reserved. Evaluation of High Sensitive Troponin in Erectile Dysfunction Thu, 16 Apr 2015 08:31:16 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/dm/2015/548951/ Background. Evidence is accumulating in favour of a link between erectile dysfunction (ED) and coronary artery diseases. We investigated the presence of cardiac injury in patients who have had arteriogenic and nonarteriogenic ED using the hs-Tn levels. Methods. The diagnosis of ED was based on the International Index of Erectile Function 5-questionnaire (IIF-5) and patients were classified as arteriogenic (A-ED, ), nonarteriogenic (NA-ED, ), and borderline (BL-ED, ) patients in relation to the results of echo-color-Doppler examination of cavernous arteries. The level of hs-TnT and hs-TnI was measured in 120 men with a history of ED of less than one year with no clinical evidence of cardiac ischemic disease. Results. The levels of both hs-TnT and hs-TnI were within the reference range and there was no significant () difference between patients of the three groups. The hs-CRP values were higher in A-ED men compared with NA-ED () but not compared with BL-ED () and negatively correlated with IIF-5 (; ). Conclusions. In ED patients of the three groups the measurement of hs-Tn allows us to exclude the presence of cardiac involvement at least when the history of ED is less than one year and the men are without atherosclerotic risk factors. Alessandra Barassi, Raffaele Pezzilli, Antonio Maria Morselli-Labate, Elena Dozio, Luca Massaccesi, Francesca Ghilardi, Clara Anna Linda Damele, Giovanni Maria Colpi, Gian Vico Melzi d’Eril, and Massimiliano Marco Corsi Romanelli Copyright © 2015 Alessandra Barassi et al. All rights reserved. Fractional Cauchy Problem with Caputo Nabla Derivative on Time Scales Thu, 16 Apr 2015 08:22:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2015/486054/ The definition of Caputo fractional derivative is given and some of its properties are discussed in detail. After then, the existence of the solution and the dependency of the solution upon the initial value for Cauchy type problem with fractional Caputo nabla derivative are studied. Also the explicit solutions to homogeneous equations and nonhomogeneous equations are derived by using Laplace transform method. Jiang Zhu and Ling Wu Copyright © 2015 Jiang Zhu and Ling Wu. All rights reserved. Rational Quadratic Trigonometric Interpolation Spline for Data Visualization Thu, 16 Apr 2015 08:21:07 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/983120/ A new piecewise rational quadratic trigonometric spline with four local positive shape parameters in each subinterval is constructed to visualize the given planar data. Constraints are derived on these free shape parameters to generate shape preserving interpolation curves for positive and/or monotonic data sets. Two of these shape parameters are constrained while the other two can be set free to interactively control the shape of the curves. Moreover, the order of approximation of developed interpolant is investigated as . Numeric experiments demonstrate that our method can construct nice shape preserving interpolation curves efficiently. Shengjun Liu, Zhili Chen, and Yuanpeng Zhu Copyright © 2015 Shengjun Liu et al. All rights reserved. Spectrum of Surgical Presentation of Eosinophilic Enteritis Thu, 16 Apr 2015 08:09:01 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cris/2015/691904/ Eosinophilic enteritis is a rare disorder presenting mostly with diarrhea, malabsorption, abdominal pain, weight loss, and hypersensitivity. Surgical manifestation of eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders depends on the site and extent of involvement. In our case series of four patients two of them had ileocaecal masses with recurrent subacute intestinal obstruction with past history of intake of antitubercular drugs for 9 months. On histopathological examination both of them proved to have eosinophilic enterocolitis. Thus it is a clinical dilemma to differentiate between these two conditions. The other two patients presented as acute abdomen with perforation and intussusception. All four patients were treated surgically. Postoperatively they recovered well with no symptoms on one year follow-up. In Indian setup tuberculosis being rampant there may be under reporting or wrongly diagnosed cases of eosinophilic enteritis. Thus a strong clinical suspicion and awareness of this clinical entity are essential among surgical community. Spoorthy Sudhakar Shetty and Charan Kishor Shetty Copyright © 2015 Spoorthy Sudhakar Shetty and Charan Kishor Shetty. All rights reserved. Protective Effect of Ethanol Extracts of Hericium erinaceus on Alloxan-Induced Diabetic Neuropathic Pain in Rats Thu, 16 Apr 2015 07:58:42 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/595480/ We investigated the effects of Hericium erinaceus (HEE) on alloxan induced diabetic neuropathic pain in laboratory rats. Alloxan induced diabetic rats were administered orally HEE. After 6 weeks of treatments, treatment with HEE 40 mg/kg in diabetic animals showed significant increase in pain threshold and paw withdrawal threshold and significant decrease in serum glucose and urine glucose. We also observed a significant increase in lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), Lipid peroxidation (LPO), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity, glutathione reductase (GR) activity, catalase (CAT) activity, Na+K+ATPase activity, and glutathione S transferase (GST) activity along with significant decreased levels of glutathione (GSH) content in diabetic rats. The total antioxidant status (TAOS) in the HEE-treated groups was significantly lower than that in the alloxan-treated group. HEE can offer pain relief in diabetic neuropathic pain. The improvement in diabetic state after HEE treatment along with the antioxidant activity could be the probable way by which it had alleviated diabetic neuropathy. Zhang Yi, Yang Shao-long, Wang Ai-hong, Sun Zhi-chun, Zhuo Ya-fen, Xu Ye-ting, and He Yu-ling Copyright © 2015 Zhang Yi et al. All rights reserved. Lunar CubeSat Impact Trajectory Characteristics as a Function of Its Release Conditions Thu, 16 Apr 2015 07:57:26 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/681901/ As a part of early system design activities, trajectory characteristics for a lunar CubeSat impactor mission as a function of its release conditions are analyzed. The goal of this mission is to take measurements of surface magnetic fields to study lunar magnetic anomalies. To deploy the CubeSat impactor, a mother-ship is assumed to have a circular polar orbit with inclination of 90 degrees at a 100 km altitude at the Moon. Both the in- and out-of-plane direction deploy angles as well as delta-V magnitudes are considered for the CubeSat release conditions. All necessary parameters required at the early design phase are analyzed, including CubeSat flight time to reach the lunar surface, impact velocity, cross ranges distance, and associated impact angles, which are all directly affected by the CubeSat release conditions. Also, relative motions between these two satellites are analyzed for communication and navigation purposes. Although the current analysis is only focused on a lunar impactor mission, the methods described in this work can easily be modified and applied to any future planetary impactor missions with CubeSat-based payloads. Young-Joo Song, Ho Jin, and Ian Garick-Bethell Copyright © 2015 Young-Joo Song et al. All rights reserved. Deqi Sensation in Different Kinds of Acupuncture 2014 Thu, 16 Apr 2015 07:53:22 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/306138/ Cun-Zhi Liu, Gerhard Litscher, Fan-Rong Liang, Jian Kong, Lin-Peng Wang, and Lu Wang Copyright © 2015 Cun-Zhi Liu et al. All rights reserved. Mathematical Modeling of Subthreshold Resonant Properties in Pyloric Dilator Neurons Thu, 16 Apr 2015 07:43:53 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/135787/ Various types of neurons exhibit subthreshold resonance oscillation (preferred frequency response) to fluctuating sinusoidal input currents. This phenomenon is well known to influence the synaptic plasticity and frequency of neural network oscillation. This study evaluates the resonant properties of pacemaker pyloric dilator (PD) neurons in the central pattern generator network through mathematical modeling. From the pharmacological point of view, calcium currents cannot be blocked in PD neurons without removing the calcium-dependent potassium current. Thus, the effects of calcium and calcium-dependent potassium currents on resonant properties remain unclear. By taking advantage of Hodgkin-Huxley-type model of neuron and its equivalent RLC circuit, we examine the effects of changing resting membrane potential and those ionic currents on the resonance. Results show that changing the resting membrane potential influences the amplitude and frequency of resonance so that the strength of resonance (Q-value) increases by both depolarization and hyperpolarization of the resting membrane potential. Moreover, hyperpolarization-activated inward current and (in association with ) are dominant factors on resonant properties at hyperpolarized and depolarized potentials, respectively. Through mathematical analysis, results indicate that and affect the resonant properties of PD neurons. However, only has an amplifying effect on the resonance amplitude of these neurons. Babak Vazifehkhah Ghaffari, Mojgan Kouhnavard, Takeshi Aihara, and Tatsuo Kitajima Copyright © 2015 Babak Vazifehkhah Ghaffari et al. All rights reserved. Poorly Understood Aspects of Striated Muscle Contraction Thu, 16 Apr 2015 07:39:35 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/245154/ Muscle contraction results from cyclic interactions between the contractile proteins myosin and actin, driven by the turnover of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Despite intense studies, several molecular events in the contraction process are poorly understood, including the relationship between force-generation and phosphate-release in the ATP-turnover. Different aspects of the force-generating transition are reflected in the changes in tension development by muscle cells, myofibrils and single molecules upon changes in temperature, altered phosphate concentration, or length perturbations. It has been notoriously difficult to explain all these events within a given theoretical framework and to unequivocally correlate observed events with the atomic structures of the myosin motor. Other incompletely understood issues include the role of the two heads of myosin II and structural changes in the actin filaments as well as the importance of the three-dimensional order. We here review these issues in relation to controversies regarding basic physiological properties of striated muscle. We also briefly consider actomyosin mutation effects in cardiac and skeletal muscle function and the possibility to treat these defects by drugs. Alf Månsson, Dilson Rassier, and Georgios Tsiavaliaris Copyright © 2015 Alf Månsson et al. All rights reserved. Prognostic Value of Galectin-3 in Patients with Heart Failure Thu, 16 Apr 2015 07:39:32 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/dm/2015/690205/ Galectins are a family of soluble β-galactoside-binding lectins that have important role in inflammation, immunity, and cancer. Galectin-3 as a part of this lectin family plays a very important role in development of heart failure. According to recent papers, galectin-3 plasma level correlates with heart failure outcome, primarily with rehospitalisation and death from heart failure. This paper summarizes the most recent advances in galectin-3 research, with the accent on the role of galectin-3 in pathophysiology of myocardial remodelling and heart failure development—with preserved and reduced ejection fraction, and some implication on development of new disease modifying drugs. Ivica Bošnjak, Kristina Selthofer-Relatić, and Aleksandar Včev Copyright © 2015 Ivica Bošnjak et al. All rights reserved. Retracted: Quadrupole Excitation in Tunnel Splitting Oscillation in Nanoparticle Mn12 Thu, 16 Apr 2015 07:34:27 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/acmp/2015/191840/ Advances in Condensed Matter Physics Copyright © 2015 Advances in Condensed Matter Physics. All rights reserved. Computation of Program Source Code Similarity by Composition of Parse Tree and Call Graph Thu, 16 Apr 2015 07:33:38 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/429807/ This paper proposes a novel method to compute how similar two program source codes are. Since a program source code is represented as a structural form, the proposed method adopts convolution kernel functions as a similarity measure. Actually, a program source code has two kinds of structural information. One is syntactic information and the other is the dependencies of function calls lying on the program. Since the syntactic information of a program is expressed as its parse tree, the syntactic similarity between two programs is computed by a parse tree kernel. The function calls within a program provide a global structure of a program and can be represented as a graph. Therefore, the similarity of function calls is computed with a graph kernel. Then, both structural similarities are reflected simultaneously into comparing program source codes by composing the parse tree and the graph kernels based on a cyclomatic complexity. According to the experimental results on a real data set for program plagiarism detection, the proposed method is proved to be effective in capturing the similarity between programs. The experiments show that the plagiarized pairs of programs are found correctly and thoroughly by the proposed method. Hyun-Je Song, Seong-Bae Park, and Se Young Park Copyright © 2015 Hyun-Je Song et al. All rights reserved. A Kinase Anchoring Protein 9 Is a Novel Myosin VI Binding Partner That Links Myosin VI with the PKA Pathway in Myogenic Cells Thu, 16 Apr 2015 07:33:32 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/816019/ Myosin VI (MVI) is a unique motor protein moving towards the minus end of actin filaments unlike other known myosins. Its important role has recently been postulated for striated muscle and myogenic cells. Since MVI functions through interactions of C-terminal globular tail (GT) domain with tissue specific partners, we performed a search for MVI partners in myoblasts and myotubes using affinity chromatography with GST-tagged MVI-GT domain as a bait. A kinase anchoring protein 9 (AKAP9), a regulator of PKA activity, was identified by means of mass spectrometry as a possible MVI interacting partner both in undifferentiated and differentiating myoblasts and in myotubes. Coimmunoprecipitation and proximity ligation assay confirmed that both proteins could interact. MVI and AKAP9 colocalized at Rab5 containing early endosomes. Similarly to MVI, the amount of AKAP9 decreased during myoblast differentiation. However, in MVI-depleted cells, both cAMP and PKA levels were increased and a change in the MVI motor-dependent AKAP9 distribution was observed. Moreover, we found that PKA phosphorylated MVI-GT domain, thus implying functional relevance of MVI-AKAP9 interaction. We postulate that this novel interaction linking MVI with the PKA pathway could be important for targeting AKAP9-PKA complex within cells and/or providing PKA to phosphorylate MVI tail domain. Justyna Karolczak, Magdalena Sobczak, Krzysztof Skowronek, and Maria Jolanta Rędowicz Copyright © 2015 Justyna Karolczak et al. All rights reserved. Robotic Total Pelvic Exenteration with Laparoscopic Rectus Flap: Initial Experience Thu, 16 Apr 2015 07:29:20 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cris/2015/835425/ Total pelvic exenteration is a highly morbid procedure performed for locally advanced pelvic malignancies. We describe our experience with three patients who underwent robotic total pelvic exenteration with laparoscopic rectus flap and compare perioperative characteristics to our open experience. Demographic, tumor, operative, and perioperative factors were examined with descriptive statistics reported. Mean operative times were similar between the two groups. When compared to open total pelvic exenteration cases , median estimated blood loss, ICU stay, and hospital stay were all decreased. These data show robotic pelvic exenteration with laparoscopic rectus flap is technically feasible. The surgery was well tolerated with low blood loss and comparable operative times to the open surgery. Further study is needed to confirm the oncologic efficacy and the suggested improvement in surgical morbidity. Brian R. Winters, Gary N. Mann, Otway Louie, and Jonathan L. Wright Copyright © 2015 Brian R. Winters et al. All rights reserved. The Chemical Constituents and Pharmacological Actions of Cordyceps sinensis Thu, 16 Apr 2015 07:27:22 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/575063/ Cordyceps sinensis, also called DongChongXiaCao (winter worm, summer grass) in Chinese, is becoming increasingly popular and important in the public and scientific communities. This study summarizes the chemical constituents and their corresponding pharmacological actions of Cordyceps sinensis. Many bioactive components of Cordyceps sinensis have been extracted including nucleoside, polysaccharide, sterol, protein, amino acid, and polypeptide. In addition, these constituents’ corresponding pharmacological actions were also shown in the study such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumour, antiapoptosis, and immunomodulatory actions. Therefore can use different effects of C. sinensis against different diseases and provide reference for the study of Cordyceps sinensis in the future. Yi Liu, Jihui Wang, Wei Wang, Hanyue Zhang, Xuelan Zhang, and Chunchao Han Copyright © 2015 Yi Liu et al. All rights reserved. Hybrid Biogeography Based Optimization for Constrained Numerical and Engineering Optimization Thu, 16 Apr 2015 07:18:13 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/423642/ Biogeography based optimization (BBO) is a new competitive population-based algorithm inspired by biogeography. It simulates the migration of species in nature to share information. A new hybrid BBO (HBBO) is presented in the paper for constrained optimization. By combining differential evolution (DE) mutation operator with simulated binary crosser (SBX) of genetic algorithms (GAs) reasonably, a new mutation operator is proposed to generate promising solution instead of the random mutation in basic BBO. In addition, DE mutation is still integrated to update one half of population to further lead the evolution towards the global optimum and the chaotic search is introduced to improve the diversity of population. HBBO is tested on twelve benchmark functions and four engineering optimization problems. Experimental results demonstrate that HBBO is effective and efficient for constrained optimization and in contrast with other state-of-the-art evolutionary algorithms (EAs), the performance of HBBO is better, or at least comparable in terms of the quality of the final solutions and computational cost. Furthermore, the influence of the maximum mutation rate is also investigated. Zengqiang Mi, Yikun Xu, Yang Yu, Tong Zhao, Bo Zhao, and Liqing Liu Copyright © 2015 Zengqiang Mi et al. All rights reserved. Agaricoglycerides Protect against Hepatic Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury by Attenuating Inflammatory Response, Oxidative Stress, and Expression of NF-κB Thu, 16 Apr 2015 07:17:55 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/142736/ We have investigated the effects of agaricoglycerides (AG) in a mouse model of hepatic I/R injury. I/R triggered increases/changes in markers of liver injury, hepatic oxidative stress, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB). AG significantly reduced the extent of liver inflammation and oxidative stress and also attenuated the NF-κB activation as well as TNF-α and IL-1β production. Our results indicate that AG may represent a novel protective strategy against I/R-induced injury and inflammatory diseases. Xiang-qian Zhao, Bin Liang, Yang Liu, and Xiao-qiang Huang Copyright © 2015 Xiang-qian Zhao et al. All rights reserved. On the Fourier-Transformed Boltzmann Equation with Brownian Motion Thu, 16 Apr 2015 07:10:53 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2015/318618/ We establish a global existence theorem, and uniqueness and stability of solutions of the Cauchy problem for the Fourier-transformed Fokker-Planck-Boltzmann equation with singular Maxwellian kernel, which may be viewed as a kinetic model for the stochastic time-evolution of characteristic functions governed by Brownian motion and collision dynamics. Yong-Kum Cho and Eunsil Kim Copyright © 2015 Yong-Kum Cho and Eunsil Kim. All rights reserved. NT-proBNP as Early Marker of Subclinical Late Cardiotoxicity after Doxorubicin Therapy and Mediastinal Irradiation in Childhood Cancer Survivors Thu, 16 Apr 2015 07:02:53 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/dm/2015/513219/ Background. Childhood cancer survivors treated with anthracyclines and mediastinal irradiation are at risk for late onset cardiotoxicity. Aims of the Study. To assess the role of N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) as early predictors of late onset cardiotoxicity in asymptomatic survivors of childhood cancer treated with doxorubicin with or without mediastinal irradiation. Methods. A cross-sectional study on 58 asymptomatic survivors of childhood cancer who received doxorubicin in their treatment protocols and 32 asymptomatic Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivors who received anthracycline and mediastinal irradiation. Levels of NT-proBNP, TDI, and conventional echocardiography were determined. Results. Thirty percent of survivors had abnormal NT-proBNP levels. It was significantly related to age at diagnosis, duration of follow-up, and cumulative dose of doxorubicin. TDI detected myocardial affection in 20% more than conventional echocardiography. Furthermore, abnormalities in TDI and NT-pro-BNP levels were more common in Hodgkin lymphoma survivors receiving both chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Conclusions. TDI could detect early cardiac dysfunction even in those with normal conventional echocardiography. Measurement of NT-proBNP represents an interesting strategy for detecting subclinical cardiotoxicity. We recommend prospective and multicenter studies to validate the role of NT-proBNP as an early marker for late onset doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity. Amal Zidan, Laila M. Sherief, Amera El-sheikh, Safaa H. Saleh, Doaa A. Shahbah, Naglaa M. Kamal, Hanan S. Sherbiny, and Heba Ahmad Copyright © 2015 Amal Zidan et al. All rights reserved. Comparative Orbital Volumes between a Single Incisional Approach and a Double Incisional Approach in Patients with Combined Blowout Fracture Thu, 16 Apr 2015 06:59:29 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/982856/ Purpose. Blowout fracture characterized by concurrent floor and medial wall fractures is a rare entity. We compared surgical outcomes between a single approach and a double approach in patients with orbital fracture by measuring the postoperative orbital volume. Methods. We confirmed that 21 (8.5%) of a total of 246 patients with orbital fractures had fractures of the medial wall and floor through a retrospective chart review. Of these, 10 patients underwent the single approach and the remaining 11 patients had the double approach. We performed a statistical analysis of changes between the preoperative and postoperative orbital volumes at a 6-month follow-up. Results. Compared with the contralateral, nonaffected side, the orbital volume was 115.3 (±6.09)% preoperatively and 106.5 (±6.15)% postoperatively in the single approach group and 118.2 (±11.16)% preoperatively and 108.6 (±13.96)% postoperatively in the double approach. These results indicated that there was a significant difference between the preoperative and postoperative orbital volumes in each group (). However there was no significant difference between the single approach and the double approach (). Conclusions. Our results showed that there were no significant differences in surgical outcomes between the two modalities. The treatment modality may be selected based on the surgeons’ preference, as well as the fracture type. Hyun Ho Han, Sang Wook Park, Suk-Ho Moon, Bommie F. Seo, Jong Won Rhie, Sang Tae Ahn, and Deuk Young Oh Copyright © 2015 Hyun Ho Han et al. All rights reserved. Induction of Ankrd1 in Dilated Cardiomyopathy Correlates with the Heart Failure Progression Thu, 16 Apr 2015 06:40:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/273936/ Progression of idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (IDCM) is marked with extensive left ventricular remodeling whose clinical manifestations and molecular basis are poorly understood. We aimed to evaluate the clinical potential of titin ligands in monitoring progression of cardiac remodeling associated with end-stage IDCM. Expression patterns of 8 mechanoptotic machinery-associated titin ligands (ANKRD1, ANKRD2, TRIM63, TRIM55, NBR1, MLP, FHL2, and TCAP) were quantitated in endomyocardial biopsies from 25 patients with advanced IDCM. When comparing NYHA disease stages, elevated ANKRD1 expression levels marked transition from NYHA < IV to NYHA IV. ANKRD1 expression levels closely correlated with systolic strain depression and short E wave deceleration time, as determined by echocardiography. On molecular level, myocardial ANKRD1 and serum adiponectin correlated with low BAX/BCL-2 ratios, indicative of antiapoptotic tissue propensity observed during the worsening of heart failure. ANKRD1 is a potential marker for cardiac remodeling and disease progression in IDCM. ANKRD1 expression correlated with reduced cardiac contractility and compliance. The association of ANKRD1 with antiapoptotic response suggests its role as myocyte survival factor during late stage heart disease, warranting further studies on ANKRD1 during end-stage heart failure. Julius Bogomolovas, Kathrin Brohm, Jelena Čelutkienė, Giedrė Balčiūnaitė, Daiva Bironaitė, Virginija Bukelskienė, Dainius Daunoravičus, Christian C. Witt, Jens Fielitz, Virginija Grabauskienė, and Siegfried Labeit Copyright © 2015 Julius Bogomolovas et al. All rights reserved. Corrigendum to “Determination of Oxidative Stress Related Toxicity on Repeated Dermal Exposure of Hydroxyapatite Nanoparticles in Rats” Thu, 16 Apr 2015 06:38:31 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijbm/2015/320547/ Parayanthala Valappil Mohanan, Santhakumar Syama, and Arumugam Sabareeswaran Copyright © 2015 Parayanthala Valappil Mohanan et al. All rights reserved. The Association between Serum Cytokines and Damage to Large and Small Nerve Fibers in Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy Thu, 16 Apr 2015 06:35:28 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jdr/2015/547834/ Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is a frequent complication of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) and may involve small and large peripheral nerve fibers. Recent evidence suggests a role of cytokines in DPN. The paper is aimed at exploring whether the serum concentration of cytokines is associated with small and large nerve fiber function and with neuropathic pain (NP). We recruited a group of 32 type 2 DM patients who underwent serum cytokines (TNF-α, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, and IL-10) dosage as well as electrodiagnostic and quantitative sensory testing (QST) assessment to explore damage to large and small nerve fibers. Raised serum levels of IL-6 and IL-10 correlated with markers of large nerve fiber sensory and motor axonal damage. Raised IL-10 serum level was associated with signs of motor nerve demyelination. No differences were found in pain characteristics and electrodiagnostic and QST markers of small nerve fiber function in relation to cytokines serum levels. IL-6 and IL-10 serum levels were associated with large nerve fiber damage but not to small fibers function or NP. IL-6 and IL-10 cytokines might play a role in the pathogenesis of nerve fiber damage or represent a compensatory or neuroprotective mechanism. Francesca Magrinelli, Chiara Briani, Marcello Romano, Susanna Ruggero, Elisabetta Toffanin, Giuseppa Triolo, George Chummar Peter, Marialuigia Praitano, Matteo Francesco Lauriola, Giampietro Zanette, and Stefano Tamburin Copyright © 2015 Francesca Magrinelli et al. All rights reserved. Nonsecretory Multiple Myeloma Presenting as an Intestinal Tumor Thu, 16 Apr 2015 06:33:15 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crihem/2015/818715/ We report a case of a 43-year-old Caucasian man who presented with colicky abdominal pain and microcytic hypochromic anemia. The patient underwent a colonoscopy where a tumor was seen in the ascending colon; histology showed plasmacytoma of the colon. From the protein electrophoresis, no monoclonal band or free light chains were detected nor was urinary Bence Jones protein present. A bone marrow biopsy showed plasma cell myeloma. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case of nonsecretory multiple myeloma presenting as plasmacytoma of the colon. Diana Triantafyllopoulou, Stuart Mellor, Catherine Cargo, Ioannis Gkikas, Jagdish Adiyodi, Ayub Ali Bin, Neil Sahasrabudhe, and Margaret Rokicka Copyright © 2015 Diana Triantafyllopoulou et al. All rights reserved. Nonlinear Analysis: Optimization Methods, Convergence Theory, and Applications Thu, 16 Apr 2015 06:28:03 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2015/429595/ Gonglin Yuan, Gaohang Yu, Neculai Andrei, Yunhai Xiao, and Li Zhang Copyright © 2015 Gonglin Yuan et al. All rights reserved. Neuralgia of the Glossopharyngeal Nerve in a Patient with Posttonsillectomy Scarring: Recovery after Local Infiltration of Procaine—Case Report and Pathophysiologic Discussion Thu, 16 Apr 2015 06:24:35 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crinm/2015/560546/ We describe a patient with a three-year history of severe progressive left-sided glossopharyngeal neuralgia (GPN) that failed to adequately respond to various drug therapies. The application of lidocaine spray to the posterior pharyngeal wall provided no more than short-term relief. Apart from a large hypertrophic tonsillectomy scar on the left side all clinical and radiologic findings were normal. In terms of therapeutic local anaesthesia, the hypertrophic tonsillectomy scar tissue was completely infiltrated with the local anaesthetic (LA) procaine 1%. The patient has been almost completely pain-free ever since, and the lidocaine spray is no longer needed. Six weeks after the first treatment a repeat infiltration of the tonsillectomy scar led to the complete resolution of all symptoms. The patient has become totally symptom-free without the need to take any medication now for two and a half years. This is the first report of a successful therapeutic infiltration of a tonsillectomy scar using an LA in a patient with GPN that has been refractory to medical treatment for several years. A possible explanation may be that the positive feedback loop maintaining neurogenic inflammation is disrupted and “sympathetically maintained pain” resolved by LA infiltration. L. Fischer, S. M. Ludin, K. Puente de la Vega, and M. Sturzenegger Copyright © 2015 L. Fischer et al. All rights reserved. Activation of Sonic Hedgehog Leads to Survival Enhancement of Astrocytes via the GRP78-Dependent Pathway in Mice Infected with Angiostrongylus cantonensis Thu, 16 Apr 2015 06:22:26 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/674371/ Angiostrongylus cantonensis infection may cause elevation of ROS and antioxidants in the CSF of infected mice. Astrocytes may protect the surrounding neurons from oxidative stress-induced cell death by secreting Sonic hedgehog (Shh) via the PI3-K/AKT/Bcl-2 pathway. This study was conducted to determine the role of the Shh signaling pathway in A. cantonensis-infected BABL/c mice by coculturing astrocytes with living fifth-stage larvae or soluble antigens. The Shh pathway was activated with corresponding increases in the level of the Shh. Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and Shh were increased in astrocyte cocultured with living fifth-stage larvae or soluble antigens. The survival of astrocytes pretreated with Shh was significantly elevated in cocultures with the antigens but reduced by its inhibitor cyclopamine. The expression of GRP78 and Bcl-2 was significantly higher in astrocytes pretreated with recombinant Shh. These findings suggest that the expression of Shh may inhibit cell death by activating Bcl-2 through a GRP78-dependent pathway. Kuang-Yao Chen, Chien-Ju Cheng, and Lian-Chen Wang Copyright © 2015 Kuang-Yao Chen et al. All rights reserved. Dedifferentiated Paratesticular Liposarcoma with Osseous Metaplasia Thu, 16 Apr 2015 06:21:34 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/criu/2015/965876/ Paratesticular liposarcoma is a rare tumour of the genitourinary track but the most common of all sarcomas in adults. The dedifferentiated variation occurs only in 10% of liposarcoma cases. The typical clinical presentation is similar to an inguinal hernia or a benign lipoma. We present the case of a dedifferentiated paratesticular liposarcoma with osseous metaplasia of the spermatic cord, in a male presented with acute scrotum. Kostas Chondros, Ioannis Heretis, Michael Papadakis, Vasiliki Bozionelou, Emmanouil Mavromanolakis, Nikolaos Chondros, and Charalampos Mamoulakis Copyright © 2015 Kostas Chondros et al. All rights reserved. Association between Plasma Fibrinogen Levels and Mortality in Acute-on-Chronic Hepatitis B Liver Failure Thu, 16 Apr 2015 06:14:49 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/dm/2015/468596/ Acute-on-chronic liver failure (AoCLF) is the most common type of liver failure and is associated with high mortality. Fibrinogen is critical in maintaining primary and secondary hemostasis. Therefore, we prospectively analyzed the association between fibrinogen and outcomes in AoCLF patients. Plasma fibrinogen was measured in 169 AoCLF, 173 chronic hepatitis B (CHB), and 171 healthy patients using a coagulation method. The predictive ability of fibrinogen for 3-month mortality in AoCLF patients was assessed using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve and multivariable logistic regression analyses. Plasma fibrinogen was significantly lower in nonsurvivor AoCLF patients compared with survivor AoCLF, CHB, and control patients. The sensitivity, specificity, and area under the ROC curve of 1/fibrinogen predicting mortality in AoCLF patients were 66.7%, 72.5%, and 0.746 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.672–0.820, ), and the fibrinogen cutoff value was 0.90 g/L. On multivariate logistic regression analysis, low fibrinogen was an independent factor predicting mortality (odds ratio: 0.304; 95% CI: 0.094–0.983; ). Nonsurvivor AoCLF patients had significantly decreased fibrinogen levels, suggesting that low plasma fibrinogen may be a useful predictor of poor prognosis in AoCLF patients. Zhexin Shao, Ying Zhao, Limin Feng, Guofang Feng, Juanwen Zhang, and Jie Zhang Copyright © 2015 Zhexin Shao et al. All rights reserved. Time- or Space-Dependent Coefficient Recovery in Parabolic Partial Differential Equation for Sensor Array in the Biological Computing Thu, 16 Apr 2015 06:11:55 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/573932/ This study presents numerical schemes for solving a parabolic partial differential equation with a time- or space-dependent coefficient subject to an extra measurement. Through the extra measurement, the inverse problem is transformed into an equivalent nonlinear equation which is much simpler to handle. By the variational iteration method, we obtain the exact solution and the unknown coefficients. The results of numerical experiments and stable experiments imply that the variational iteration method is very suitable to solve these inverse problems. Guanglu Zhou, Boying Wu, Wen Ji, and Seungmin Rho Copyright © 2015 Guanglu Zhou et al. All rights reserved. The Active Fractional Order Control for Maglev Suspension System Thu, 16 Apr 2015 06:00:48 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/129129/ Maglev suspension system is the core part of maglev train. In the practical application, the load uncertainties, inherent nonlinearity, and misalignment between sensors and actuators are the main issues that should be solved carefully. In order to design a suitable controller, the attention is paid to the fractional order controller. Firstly, the mathematical model of a single electromagnetic suspension unit is derived. Then, considering the limitation of the traditional PD controller adaptation, the fractional order controller is developed to obtain more excellent suspension specifications and robust performance. In reality, the nonlinearity affects the structure and the precision of the model after linearization, which will degrade the dynamic performance. So, a fractional order controller is addressed to eliminate the disturbance by adjusting the parameters which are added by the fractional order controller. Furthermore, the controller based on LQR is employed to compare with the fractional order controller. Finally, the performance of them is discussed by simulation. The results illustrated the validity of the fractional order controller. Peichang Yu, Jie Li, and Jinhui Li Copyright © 2015 Peichang Yu et al. All rights reserved. Adaptive Synchronization in Complex Network with Different Order Node Dynamics Wed, 15 Apr 2015 14:24:49 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ddns/2015/919146/ This paper investigates the adaptive cluster synchronization in the complex networks with different orders. By means of Lyapunov stability theory and the adaptive control technique, a novel adaptive synchronization controller is developed. To demonstrate the validity of the proposed method, the examples for the synchronization of systems with the chaotic and hyperchaotic node dynamics are presented. Fan-di Zhang, Jin-ping Jia, and Li-xin Yang Copyright © 2015 Fan-di Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Application of Purified Lawsone as Natural Dye on Cotton and Silk Fabric Wed, 15 Apr 2015 14:23:23 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jtex/2015/932627/ The color which is obtained from the leaves of Henna, that is, Lawsonia inermis L., is used frequently in hair coloring. It is the chemical lawsone that is responsible for the reddish brown color. Its content makes it a substantive dye for dyeing the textile materials. This work concerns with the extraction and purification of natural dyestuff from a plant Lawsonia inermis L. and dyeing of cotton and silk fabric in exhaust dyeing method. The dye portion is isolated from the total extract by column chromatography and is evaluated by dyeing cotton and silk under different dyeing conditions. The color strength and fastness properties of the dye are undertaken by changing mordant and techniques of mordanting. The changes of colors have been noticed by using different types of mordant. The dye exhaustion percentage, wash, rubbing, and light fastness results reveal that the extract of henna can be used for coloration of cotton and silk fabric. Md. Mahabub Hasan, Khandakar Abu Nayem, Abu Yousuf Mohammad Anwarul Azim, and Nayon Chandra Ghosh Copyright © 2015 Md. Mahabub Hasan et al. All rights reserved. Evolutionary Pattern and Regulation Analysis to Support Why Diversity Functions Existed within PPAR Gene Family Members Wed, 15 Apr 2015 14:21:56 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/613910/ Peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor (PPAR) gene family members exhibit distinct patterns of distribution in tissues and differ in functions. The purpose of this study is to investigate the evolutionary impacts on diversity functions of PPAR members and the regulatory differences on gene expression patterns. 63 homology sequences of PPAR genes from 31 species were collected and analyzed. The results showed that three isolated types of PPAR gene family may emerge from twice times of gene duplication events. The conserved domains of HOLI (ligand binding domain of hormone receptors) domain and ZnF_C4 (C4 zinc finger in nuclear in hormone receptors) are essential for keeping basic roles of PPAR gene family, and the variant domains of LCRs may be responsible for their divergence in functions. The positive selection sites in HOLI domain are benefit for PPARs to evolve towards diversity functions. The evolutionary variants in the promoter regions and 3′ UTR regions of PPARs result into differential transcription factors and miRNAs involved in regulating PPAR members, which may eventually affect their expressions and tissues distributions. These results indicate that gene duplication event, selection pressure on HOLI domain, and the variants on promoter and 3′ UTR are essential for PPARs evolution and diversity functions acquired. Tianyu Zhou, Xiping Yan, Guosong Wang, Hehe Liu, Xiang Gan, Tao Zhang, Jiwen Wang, and Liang Li Copyright © 2015 Tianyu Zhou et al. All rights reserved. Low Frequency Electromagnetic Field Conditioning Protects against I/R Injury and Contractile Dysfunction in the Isolated Rat Heart Wed, 15 Apr 2015 14:11:17 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/396593/ Low frequency electromagnetic field (LF-EMF) decreases the formation of reactive oxygen species, which are key mediators of ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. Therefore, we hypothesized that the LF-EMF protects contractility of hearts subjected to I/R injury. Isolated rat hearts were subjected to 20 min of global no-flow ischemia, followed by 30 min reperfusion, in the presence or absence of LF-EMF. Coronary flow, heart rate, left ventricular developed pressure (LVDP), and rate pressure product (RPP) were determined for evaluation of heart mechanical function. The activity of cardiac matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) and the contents of coronary effluent troponin I (TnI) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were measured as markers of heart injury. LF-EMF prevented decreased RPP in I/R hearts, while having no effect on coronary flow. In addition, hearts subjected to I/R exhibited significantly increased LVDP when subjected to LF-EMF. Although TnI and IL-6 levels were increased in I/R hearts, their levels returned to baseline aerobic levels in I/R hearts subjected to LF-EMF. The reduced activity of MMP-2 in I/R hearts was reversed in hearts subjected to LF-EMF. The data presented here indicate that acute exposure to LF-EMF protects mechanical function of I/R hearts and reduces I/R injury. Dariusz Bialy, Magdalena Wawrzynska, Iwona Bil-Lula, Anna Krzywonos-Zawadzka, Mieczyslaw Wozniak, Virgilio J. J. Cadete, and Grzegorz Sawicki Copyright © 2015 Dariusz Bialy et al. All rights reserved. Feasibility and Safety of Continuous and Chronic Bilateral Deep Brain Stimulation of the Medial Forebrain Bundle in the Naïve Sprague-Dawley Rat Wed, 15 Apr 2015 14:10:25 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bn/2015/256196/ Objective. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the superolateral branch of the medial forebrain bundle (MFB) has provided rapid and dramatic reduction of depressive symptoms in a clinical trial. Early intracranial self-stimulation experiments of the MFB suggested detrimental side effects on the animals’ health; therefore, the current study looked at the viability of chronic and continuous MFB-DBS in rodents, with particular attention given to welfare issues and identification of stimulated pathways. Methods. Sprague-Dawley female rats were submitted to stereotactic microelectrode implantation into the MFB. Chronic continuous DBS was applied for 3–6 weeks. Welfare monitoring and behavior changes were assessed. Postmortem histological analysis of c-fos protein expression was carried out. Results. MFB-DBS resulted in mild and temporary weight loss in the animals, which was regained even with continuing stimulation. MFB-DBS led to increased and long-lasting c-fos expression in target regions of the mesolimbic/mesocortical system. Conclusions. Bilateral continuous chronic MFB-DBS is feasible, safe, and without impact on the rodent’s health. MFB-DBS results in temporary increase in exploration, which could explain the initial weight loss, and does not produce any apparent behavioral abnormalities. This platform represents a powerful tool for further preclinical investigation of the MFB stimulation in the treatment of depression. Luciano L. Furlanetti, Máté D. Döbrössy, Iñigo A. Aranda, and Volker A. Coenen Copyright © 2015 Luciano L. Furlanetti et al. All rights reserved. The Existence and Uniqueness of Global Solutions to the Initial Value Problem for the System of Nonlinear Integropartial Differential Equations in Spatial Economics: The Dynamic Continuous Dixit-Stiglitz-Krugman Model in an Urban-Rural Setting Wed, 15 Apr 2015 14:10:19 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2015/760136/ Assume that economic activities are conducted in a bounded continuous domain where workers move toward regions that offer higher real wages and away from regions that offer below-average real wages. The density of real wages is calculated by solving the nominal wage equation of the continuous Dixit-Stiglitz-Krugman model in an urban-rural setting. The evolution of the density of workers is described by an unknown function of the replicator equation whose growth rate is equal to the difference between the density of real wages and the average real wage. Hence, the evolution of the densities of workers and real wages is described by the system of the nominal wage equation and the replicator equation. This system of equations is an essentially new kind of system of nonlinear integropartial differential equations in the theory of functional equations. The purpose of this paper is to obtain a sufficient condition for the initial value problem for this system to have a unique global solution. Minoru Tabata and Nobuoki Eshima Copyright © 2015 Minoru Tabata and Nobuoki Eshima. All rights reserved. Dissociation of Calcium Transients and Force Development following a Change in Stimulation Frequency in Isolated Rabbit Myocardium Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:52:56 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/468548/ As the heart transitions from one exercise intensity to another, changes in cardiac output occur, which are modulated by alterations in force development and calcium handling. Although the steady-state force-calcium relationship at various heart rates is well investigated, regulation of these processes during transitions in heart rate is poorly understood. In isolated right ventricular muscle preparations from the rabbit, we investigated the beat-to-beat alterations in force and calcium during the transition from one stimulation frequency to another, using contractile assessments and confocal microscopy. We show that a change in steady-state conditions occurs in multiple phases: a rapid phase, which is characterized by a fast change in force production mirrored by a change in calcium transient amplitude, and a slow phase, which follows the rapid phase and occurs as the muscle proceeds to stabilize at the new frequency. This second/late phase is characterized by a quantitative dissociation between the calcium transient amplitude and developed force. Twitch timing kinetics, such as time to peak tension and 50% relaxation rate, reached steady-state well before force development and calcium transient amplitude. The dynamic relationship between force and calcium upon a switch in stimulation frequency unveils the dynamic involvement of myofilament-based properties in frequency-dependent activation. Kaylan M. Haizlip, Nima Milani-Nejad, Lucia Brunello, Kenneth D. Varian, Jessica L. Slabaugh, Shane D. Walton, Sandor Gyorke, Jonathan P. Davis, Brandon J. Biesiadecki, and Paul M. L. Janssen Copyright © 2015 Kaylan M. Haizlip et al. All rights reserved. The Sarcomeric M-Region: A Molecular Command Center for Diverse Cellular Processes Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:49:02 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/714197/ The sarcomeric M-region anchors thick filaments and withstands the mechanical stress of contractions by deformation, thus enabling distribution of physiological forces along the length of thick filaments. While the role of the M-region in supporting myofibrillar structure and contractility is well established, its role in mediating additional cellular processes has only recently started to emerge. As such, M-region is the hub of key protein players contributing to cytoskeletal remodeling, signal transduction, mechanosensing, metabolism, and proteasomal degradation. Mutations in genes encoding M-region related proteins lead to development of severe and lethal cardiac and skeletal myopathies affecting mankind. Herein, we describe the main cellular processes taking place at the M-region, other than thick filament assembly, and discuss human myopathies associated with mutant or truncated M-region proteins. Li-Yen R. Hu, Maegen A. Ackermann, and Aikaterini Kontrogianni-Konstantopoulos Copyright © 2015 Li-Yen R. Hu et al. All rights reserved. Patellar Tendon Rupture after Lateral Release without Predisposing Systemic Disease or Steroid Use Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:43:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crior/2015/215796/ Arthroscopic technique for lateral release is the most widely used procedure for the correction of recurrent dislocations of the patella. In the relevant literature, several complications of lateral release are described, but the spontaneous patellar tendon rupture has never been suggested as a possible complication of this surgical procedure. Patellar tendon rupture is a rather infrequent and often unilateral lesion. Nevertheless, in case of systemic diseases (LES, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic renal insufficiency) that can weaken collagen structures, bilateral patellar tendon ruptures are described. We report a case of a 24-year-old girl with spontaneous rupture of patellar tendon who, at the age of 16, underwent an arthroscopic lateral release for recurrent dislocation of the patella. This is the first case of described spontaneous patellar tendon rupture that occurred some years after an arthroscopic lateral release. S. De Giorgi, A. Notarnicola, G. Vicenti, and B. Moretti Copyright © 2015 S. De Giorgi et al. All rights reserved. Relationship between Hyperuricemia and Haar-Like Features on Tongue Images Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:36:54 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/363216/ Objective. To investigate differences in tongue images of subjects with and without hyperuricemia. Materials and Methods. This population-based case-control study was performed in 2012-2013. We collected data from 46 case subjects with hyperuricemia and 46 control subjects, including results of biochemical examinations and tongue images. Symmetrical Haar-like features based on integral images were extracted from tongue images. T-tests were performed to determine the ability of extracted features to distinguish between the case and control groups. We first selected features using the common criterion , then conducted further examination of feature characteristics and feature selection using means and standard deviations of distributions in the case and control groups. Results. A total of 115,683 features were selected using the criterion . The maximum area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of these features was 0.877. The sensitivity of the feature with the maximum AUC value was 0.800 and specificity was 0.826 when the Youden index was maximized. Features that performed well were concentrated in the tongue root region. Conclusions. Symmetrical Haar-like features enabled discrimination of subjects with and without hyperuricemia in our sample. The locations of these discriminative features were in agreement with the interpretation of tongue appearance in traditional Chinese and Western medicine. Yan Cui, Shizhong Liao, Hongwu Wang, Hongyu Liu, Wenhua Wang, and Liqun Yin Copyright © 2015 Yan Cui et al. All rights reserved. Decadal Variation in Raindrop Size Distributions in Busan, Korea Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:21:57 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amete/2015/329327/ This paper investigated the variability of raindrop size distributions (DSDs) in Busan, Korea, using data from two different disdrometers: a precipitation occurrence sensor system (POSS) and a particle size velocity (Parsivel) optical disdrometer. DSDs were simulated using a gamma model to assess the intercomparability of these two techniques. Annual rainfall amount was higher in 2012 than in 2002, as were the annually averaged (which was 0.1 mm greater in 2012) and the frequency of convective rain. Severe rainfall (greater than 20 mm h−1) occurred more frequently and with a larger in 2012. The values of from July, August, and December, 2012, were much greater than from other months when compared with 2002. Larger raindrops contributed to the higher rain rates that were observed in the morning during 2012, whereas relatively smaller raindrops dominated in the afternoon. These results suggest that the increase in raindrop size that has been observed in Busan may continue in the future; however, more research will be required if we are to fully understand this phenomenon. Rainfall variables are highly dependent on drop size and so should be recalculated using the newest DSDs to allow more accurate polarimetric radar rainfall estimation. Cheol-Hwan You and Dong-In Lee Copyright © 2015 Cheol-Hwan You and Dong-In Lee. All rights reserved. Microsatellite Genotyping to Distinguish Somatic β-HCG Secreting Carcinoma from Epithelioid Trophoblastic Tumor Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:20:36 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cripa/2015/971970/ Objective. Morphologically, β-HCG secreting somatic carcinoma can be difficult to distinguish from epithelioid trophoblastic tumors (ETT). However, their distinction is critical due to their potentially differing prognoses and choice of chemotherapy. Presence of biparental alleles in ETT can be identified with molecular testing. We describe a patient who presented with metastatic carcinoma and elevated serum β-HCG and contrast this to an ETT in another patient. Data and Results. A 32-year-old female with recent possible miscarriage presented with pulmonary emboli and was found to have an increased serum β-HCG, a retroduodenal mass, and multiple nodules in her lungs, liver, and para-aortic lymph nodes. Biopsy showed a β-HCG and p63 positive epithelioid neoplasm with otherwise noncontributory immunohistochemistry. Molecular testing for biparental alleles in repeated length polymorphisms was negative, consistent with somatic origin. The second patient was a 35-year-old pregnant female with increased serum β-HCG and a uterine epithelioid tumor positive for β-HCG. Clinical and pathologic findings were characteristic of ETT and molecular testing was not required. These 2 cases illustrate that β-HCG secreting tumors of different etiologies may have similar appearances, and when clinical and/or IHC findings are inconclusive, molecular testing may be useful. Mary Anne Brett, Monalisa Sur, Dean Daya, Jefferson Terry, and Alice Lytwyn Copyright © 2015 Mary Anne Brett et al. All rights reserved. Dealing with Stigma: Experiences of Persons Affected by Disabilities and Leprosy Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:19:34 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/261329/ Persons affected by leprosy or by disabilities face forms of stigma that have an impact on their lives. This study seeks to establish whether their experiences of stigma are similar, with a view to enabling the two groups of people to learn from each other. Accounts of experiences of the impact of stigma were obtained using in-depth interviews and focus group discussion with people affected by leprosy and by disabilities not related to leprosy. The analysis shows that there are a lot of similarities in impact of stigma in terms of emotions, thoughts, behaviour, and relationships between the two groups. The main difference is that those affected by leprosy tended to frame their situation in medical terms, while those living with disabilities described their situation from a more social perspective. In conclusion, the similarities offer opportunities for interventions and the positive attitudes and behaviours can be modelled in the sense that both groups can learn and benefit. Research that tackles different aspects of stigmatization faced by both groups could lead to inclusive initiatives that help individuals to come to terms with the stigma and to advocate against exclusion and discrimination. Mimi Lusli, Marjolein B. M. Zweekhorst, Beatriz Miranda-Galarza, Ruth M. H. Peters, Sarah Cummings, Francisia S. S. E. Seda, Joske F. G. Bunders, and Irwanto Copyright © 2015 Mimi Lusli et al. All rights reserved. Immunological Hypoglycemia Associated with Insulin Antibodies Induced by Exogenous Insulin in 11 Chinese Patients with Diabetes Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:18:34 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jdr/2015/746271/ Aims. To investigate the characteristics of immunological hypoglycemia associated with insulin antibodies (IAbs) induced by exogenous insulin in Chinese patients with diabetes. Methods. The clinical data of patients with immunological hypoglycemia due to IAbs were retrospectively analyzed by screening patients with diabetes discharged from West China Hospital from 2007 to 2013. Results. A total of 11 patients (eight men and three women) were identified. Insulin-C-peptide separation was found in all patients via insulin and C-peptide release test. Previous insulin use was ceased after admission and was switched to oral hypoglycemic agents (OHAs) (8/11), lifestyle modification only (2/11), or regular human insulin (1/11). Hypoglycemia was ameliorated after a median of 20 days (interquartile range [IQR], 11–40), while IAbs turned negative after a median of 17 months (IQR, 4–19), and serum immunoreactive insulin (IRI) levels dropped substantially after a median of 22 months (IQR, 9–32) in these cases. Conclusions. In insulin-treated patients with unexpected and refractory hypoglycemia even after insulin therapy was gradually reduced or even withdrawn, IAbs induced by exogenous insulin should be considered, and insulin withdrawal might be promptly needed. The course of immunological hypoglycemia was benign and self-limited. Heng Quan, Huiwen Tan, Qianrui Li, Jianwei Li, and Sheyu Li Copyright © 2015 Heng Quan et al. All rights reserved. Congenital Cholesteatoma Localized to the Mastoid Cavity and Presenting as a Mastoid Abscess Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:15:27 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/criot/2015/305494/ Introduction. Congenital cholesteatoma is a pearly white mass that rarely originates from the mastoid process. Case Report. A 21-year-old male patient presented to our department with severe right mastoid pain and postauricular fluctuant swelling for 23 days. There was no preceding history of ear complaints and examination showed a normal right ear drum. Emergency exploration of the mastoid process was done on the same day and revealed localized cholesteatoma limited only to the mastoid cavity. Conclusion. Despite a rarity, the mastoid process should be always put in mind as a site of origin for congenital cholesteatoma. Salim M. Sloma Tabook, Hazem M. Abdel Tawab, and Naveen Kumar Gopal Copyright © 2015 Salim M. Sloma Tabook et al. All rights reserved. Decidualized Ovarian Mass Mimicking Malignancy Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:13:11 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/criog/2015/217367/ Deciduosis classically occurs in the context of known endometriosis in the pelvis, most commonly in the ovaries, but also in the peritoneum. However, ovarian deciduosis outside the context of endometriosis is rare and makes diagnosis difficult, especially as the sonographic appearance suggests a malignant process. We report a case of decidualized ovarian mass in a patient without prior history of endometriosis that mimicked an ovarian malignancy. MRI may be a useful imaging modality to monitor these lesions and guide management. Consultation with a multidisciplinary team accustomed to such conditions will help to tailor the management to each individual. Lufee Wong, Vola Botolahy, Thibault Carteret, Marion Marty, and Jean-Luc Brun Copyright © 2015 Lufee Wong et al. All rights reserved. A Giant Left Atrial Myxoma Neovascularized from the Right Coronary Artery Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:11:48 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cric/2015/614830/ Myxomas are benign and the most common tumors of the cardiac muscle (Reynen, 1995). They are predominantly located in the left atrium. Clinical manifestations may vary according to the localization and the size of the myxoma. On the other hand, imaging of a myxoma by contrast dye during coronary angiography is a rare sign, which displays the vascular supply of the tumor. Here, we report the case of a 51-year-old man presenting with presyncope and palpitations due to a giant left atrial myxoma having its vascular supply from the right coronary artery (RCA). Demet Menekse Gerede, Irem Muge Akbulut, Sadık Ersoz, and Mustafa Kilıckap Copyright © 2015 Demet Menekse Gerede et al. All rights reserved. The Natural History and Predictors for Intervention in Patients with Small Renal Mass Undergoing Active Surveillance Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:10:42 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/au/2015/692014/ Aim. To describe the natural history of small renal mass on active surveillance and identify parameters that could help in predicting the need for intervention in patients with small renal masses undergoing active surveillance. We also discuss the need for renal biopsy in the management of these patients. Methods. A retrospective analysis of 78 renal masses ≤4 cm diagnosed at our Urology Department at Bnai Zion Medical Center between September 2003 and March 2012. Results. Seventy patients with 78 small renal masses were analyzed. The mean age at diagnosis was 68 years (47–89). The mean follow-up period was 34 months (12–112). In 54 of 78 masses there was a growth of at least 2 mm between imaging on last available follow-up and diagnosis. Eight of the 54 (15%) masses which grew in size underwent a nephron-sparing surgery, of which two were oncocytomas and six were renal cell carcinoma. Growth rate and mass diameter on diagnosis were significantly greater in the group of patients who underwent a surgery. Conclusions. Small renal masses might eventually be managed by active surveillance without compromising survival or surgical approach. All masses that were eventually excised underwent a nephron-sparing surgery. None of the patients developed metastases. Zaher Bahouth, Sarel Halachmi, Gil Meyer, Ofir Avitan, Boaz Moskovitz, and Ofer Nativ Copyright © 2015 Zaher Bahouth et al. All rights reserved. Corrigendum to “Agro-Residues: Surface Treatment and Characterization of Date Palm Tree Fiber as Composite Reinforcement” Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:09:59 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jcomp/2015/242894/ Mohamed S. Aly-Hassan, Elsayed A. Elbadry, and Hiroyuki Hamada Copyright © 2015 Mohamed S. Aly-Hassan et al. All rights reserved. Efficient Multiway Relaying for Data Sharing in Energy Harvesting Sensor Networks Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:08:12 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/js/2015/285056/ In a wireless sensor network (WSN), sensors often need to share their measurements for applications like distributed estimation and detection or data aggregation. Here, we suggest using multiway relaying (MWR) for data sharing between energy harvesting sensors that cannot directly communicate with each other. We first start by studying the achievable data rate of amplify-and-forward (AF) MWR for energy harvesting sensors. Then, we show that, by backing off the transmit power at the sensors, not only better energy efficiency and longer lifetime are achieved, but also the data sharing rate increases. Based on this result, we further improve the performance of AF MWR in the assumed WSN by smartly adjusting the transmit power at the sensors. Our power allocation is devised in a way to improve the energy efficiency of MWR and increase the sum rate of data sharing between the sensors over the network lifetime. Simulation results are presented to verify the enhancement achieved by using our proposed power allocation technique. Moslem Noori and Masoud Ardakani Copyright © 2015 Moslem Noori and Masoud Ardakani. All rights reserved. Climatic Cycles and Gradients of the El Niño Core Region in North Peru Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:06:15 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amete/2015/750181/ Climatic processes in northern Peru are evaluated on surface observation independent of modelling studies. The region is characterized by regular oscillations, but episodic El Niño-events introduce strong disturbances. Conceptual models based on observations, remote sensing data, and output of regional climate models are compared with data from a new station network. The results show regular oscillations of all climate variables on the annual and daily time scale. The daily cycle is probably associated with thermotidal forcings, causing gravity waves to emanate from the Andes Cordillera. Main factors are the interaction of large scale pressure systems like the Southeast Pacific High and the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ). Also, there are regional factors: an extended sea-breeze system, the barrier-effect of the Andes, additional energy input by elevated radiation absorption at the mountain slopes, local wind systems, and the variations of the sea surface temperature. At the coast, a low-level jet works as a thermodynamic energy sink, suppressing deep convection and supporting the aridity. Those patterns are found in most of the station data and the processes of this climate can generally be confirmed. The overturning of this stable system with the onset of El Niño-conditions is possibly caused by disruptions of the regional circulation. Rütger Rollenbeck, Fabian Bayer, Jannes Münchow, Michael Richter, Rodolfo Rodriguez, and Nestor Atarama Copyright © 2015 Rütger Rollenbeck et al. All rights reserved. Particle Size Affects Concentration-Dependent Cytotoxicity of Chitosan Nanoparticles towards Mouse Hematopoietic Stem Cells Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:05:19 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnt/2015/919658/ Chitosan nanoparticles (CSNPs) have been extensively applied in medical and pharmaceutical fields as promising drug delivery systems. Despite that, the safety of CSNPs remains inadequate and needs further investigation, particularly on hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). CSNPs were prepared by ionic gelation method and later were characterized for their physical characteristics (particle size and zeta potential). Cytotoxicity of CSNPs was assessed by MTT assay. Particle size was highly influenced by chitosan concentration and molecular weight (medium and high molecular weight (MMW and HMW)). Higher chitosan concentration and molecular weight produced larger nanoparticles. Zeta potential of CSNPs was not significantly affected by chitosan concentrations and molecular weights used in the present study. MMW had a better stability than HMW CSNPs as their particle size and zeta potential were not significantly altered after autoclaving. Cytotoxicity of CSNPs was influenced by zeta potential and particle size. On the other hand, chitosan concentration and molecular weight indirectly influenced cytotoxicity by affecting particle size and zeta potential of CSNPs. In conclusion, cytotoxicity of CSNPs was mainly attributed to their physical characteristics and this opens a strategy to ensure the safety of CSNPs applications in stem cell technology. Siti Sarah Omar Zaki, Mohd Nazmi Ibrahim, and Haliza Katas Copyright © 2015 Siti Sarah Omar Zaki et al. All rights reserved. Conservative Treatment of Ewing’s Sarcoma of the Uterus in Young Women Wed, 15 Apr 2015 12:58:33 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/criog/2015/871821/ Ewing sarcoma-primitive neuroectodermal tumors (ES/PNETs) constitute a family of neoplasms characterized by a continuum of neuroectodermal differentiations. ES/PNET of the uterus is rare. There are 48 cases of ES/PNET of the uterus published in the literature as far as we know. We describe a case of Ewing sarcoma of the uterus occurring in a 17-year-old woman presenting with a two-month history of pelvic pain. After surgical excision and microscopic, immunohistochemical, and electron microscopy examination, the diagnosis of Ewing sarcoma of the uterus was suggested. This report will discuss the diagnosis and surgical and clinical management of Ewing uterine sarcoma in young women, according to the available literature. In spite of the rarity of ES/PNETs, they should be taken into account in the differential diagnosis of uterine neoplasms in young women. Giuseppe Loverro, Leonardo Resta, Edoardo Di Naro, Anna Maria Caringella, Salvatore Andrea Mastrolia, Mario Vicino, Massimo Tartagni, and Luca Maria Schonauer Copyright © 2015 Giuseppe Loverro et al. All rights reserved. Two Brothers with Bardet-Biedl Syndrome Presenting with Chronic Renal Failure Wed, 15 Apr 2015 12:57:12 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crin/2015/764973/ Bardet-Biedl Syndrome (BBS) is a rarely seen autosomal recessive transfer disease characterised by retinal dystrophy, obesity, extremity deformities, mental retardation, and renal and genital system anomalies. BBS shows heterogenic transfer. To date, 18 genes (BBS1–18) and 7 BBS proteins have been defined as related to BBS. All of the defined BBS genes have been shown to be related to the biogenesis or function of cilia. Renal failure accompanying the syndrome, especially in the advanced stages, is the most common cause of mortality. Therefore, as one of the major diagnostic criteria, renal damage is of great importance in early diagnosis. This paper presents the cases of two brothers with BBS who presented with chronic renal failure. Cem Sahin, Bulent Huddam, Gulhan Akbaba, Hasan Tunca, Emine Koca, and Mustafa Levent Copyright © 2015 Cem Sahin et al. All rights reserved. Phyllodes Tumor of the Breast Metastasizing to the Vulva Wed, 15 Apr 2015 12:54:08 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crionm/2015/589547/ Phyllodes tumors of the breast are rare breast tumors that resemble fibroadenoma. They are composed of two types of tissues: stromal and glandular tissues. Unlike fibroadenoma, they are commonly found in the third decade of life and they tend to grow more rapidly. Depending on the relative components of the cells and mitotic activity, they are classified into benign, borderline, and malignant. They are usually present as a lump in the breast. Phyllodes tumors are usually managed by wide excision. The excision should be wide enough to ensure a tumor-free margin. Recurrence rate is very high and most recurrences are usually local. Metastasis to the vulva has not been reported. Olusegun Kayode Ajenifuja, Nonna Kolomeyevskaya, Fadi Habib, Adekunle Odunsi, and Shashikant Lele Copyright © 2015 Olusegun Kayode Ajenifuja et al. All rights reserved. The Nonlinear Hydroelastic Response of a Semi-Infinite Elastic Plate Floating on a Fluid due to Incident Progressive Waves Wed, 15 Apr 2015 12:51:48 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amp/2015/308318/ The nonlinear hydroelastic response of very large floating structures (VLFSs) or an ice sheet floating on the surface of deep water, idealized as a semi-infinite thin elastic plate, is investigated analytically in the case of nonlinear incident waves. Assuming that the fluid is inviscid and incompressible and the motion is irrotational, we consider incident progressive waves with a given angular frequency within the framework of potential flow theory. With the aid of the homotopy analysis method (HAM), the convergent analytical series solutions are derived by solving the simultaneous equations in which we apply a convergence-control parameter to obtain convergent solutions with relatively few terms. The clear calculation results are represented to show nonlinear wave-plate interaction. The effects of different physical parameters, including incident wave amplitude, Young’s modulus, the thickness and density of the plate on the wave scattering, and the hydroelastic response of the floating plate, are considered. We find that the variations of the plate stiffness, thickness, and density greatly change amount of wave energy which is reflected into the open water region and is transmitted into the plate-covered region. Further, the hydroelastic response of the plate also can be affected by the amplitude of incident wave. Ping Wang Copyright © 2015 Ping Wang. All rights reserved. Pulmonary Nocardiosis in an Immunocompetent Patient with Cystic Fibrosis Wed, 15 Apr 2015 12:50:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cripu/2015/984171/ Nocardia spp. are bacteria of low virulence that cause infection classically in immunocompromised hosts with the lungs as the primary site of infection in the majority of cases. Patients with cystic fibrosis have pulmonary disease characterized by frequent and progressive bacterial infections. Reports of Nocardia spp. isolation in CF are rare in the literature and may represent colonization or active infection, the significance and optimal treatment of which are unknown. We report the second case to date of Nocardia transvalensis pulmonary infection in an immunocompetent patient with CF and the first in a child under the age of eighteen. Lucy Schoen, Jonathan D. Santoro, Carlos Milla, and Sumit Bhargava Copyright © 2015 Lucy Schoen et al. All rights reserved. Simulation of Ni-Based Super-Alloy and Optimizing of Its Mechanical Properties in a Near-Shaped Turbine Blade Part Wed, 15 Apr 2015 12:43:24 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijms/2015/413593/ This paper presents simulation of a Ni-based super-alloy during filling of a near-shaped turbine blade part to optimize its mechanical properties. Since geometrical shape of the airfoil is so complicated, a simple near-shaped part was made by plexiglass to water modeling. Condition and parameters of water modeling were obtained from the Procast software simulation. The flow pattern of the transparent systems, recorded by a high speed video camera, was analyzed. Air bubble amounts were quantitatively measured by an image analysis software. Quantified results were used to compare two systems in terms of ability to prevent bubble formation and entrainment. Both water modeling and computer simulating methods indicated that highest turbulences in bottom- and top-poured systems form in first initially pouring times. According to the water modeling results amount of bubble values was 40 and 18 percent for top-poured and bottom-poured systems, respectively. Then the Ni-base super-alloy IN939 is poured by investment casting in bottom- and top-poured systems and compared with each other. The results stated that bottom-poured system had higher mechanical properties compared to top-poured one. Ultimate tensile strength for the former was 820 MPa while for the part which was cast by bottom-poured system it was 850 MPa. Mohammd Reza Alizadeh Copyright © 2015 Mohammd Reza Alizadeh. All rights reserved. mRMR-ABC: A Hybrid Gene Selection Algorithm for Cancer Classification Using Microarray Gene Expression Profiling Wed, 15 Apr 2015 12:38:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/604910/ An artificial bee colony (ABC) is a relatively recent swarm intelligence optimization approach. In this paper, we propose the first attempt at applying ABC algorithm in analyzing a microarray gene expression profile. In addition, we propose an innovative feature selection algorithm, minimum redundancy maximum relevance (mRMR), and combine it with an ABC algorithm, mRMR-ABC, to select informative genes from microarray profile. The new approach is based on a support vector machine (SVM) algorithm to measure the classification accuracy for selected genes. We evaluate the performance of the proposed mRMR-ABC algorithm by conducting extensive experiments on six binary and multiclass gene expression microarray datasets. Furthermore, we compare our proposed mRMR-ABC algorithm with previously known techniques. We reimplemented two of these techniques for the sake of a fair comparison using the same parameters. These two techniques are mRMR when combined with a genetic algorithm (mRMR-GA) and mRMR when combined with a particle swarm optimization algorithm (mRMR-PSO). The experimental results prove that the proposed mRMR-ABC algorithm achieves accurate classification performance using small number of predictive genes when tested using both datasets and compared to previously suggested methods. This shows that mRMR-ABC is a promising approach for solving gene selection and cancer classification problems. Hala Alshamlan, Ghada Badr, and Yousef Alohali Copyright © 2015 Hala Alshamlan et al. All rights reserved. A Survey of the Practice and Perspectives of Chinese Acupuncturists on Deqi Wed, 15 Apr 2015 12:36:15 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/684708/ Deqi refers to the special sensation and reaction sensed mainly by both acupuncturist and patient when a needle was inserted into the acupoints and is considered to be vital to achieve acupuncture effect. For acupuncturist, it is important to judge and control Deqi in clinical practice. However, enough attention is paid to patients’ feelings rather than acupuncturists’ nowadays. We thus conducted this survey to determine acupuncturists’ perspectives about Deqi and to further find the proper way to induce Deqi. A total of 250 questionnaires were sent out to acupuncturists and 202 (80.8%) were returned. According to the results, most acupuncturists believe that Deqi is vital to obtain preferable clinical effects. The reliability of acupuncturists’ Deqi sensation ranks as sinking> tightening> astringent. The reliability of patients’ Deqi sensations ranks as sourness> numbness> distention> heaviness> pain. The reliability of influential factors ranks as manipulation> specificity of acupoint> TCM constitution> disease status> patient’s psychological condition> acupuncturists’ psychological guidance> clinical environment. This study is believed to provide additional evidence to the qualitative and quantitative research of Deqi in the future. Yu-lan Ren, Tai-pin Guo, Huai-bin Du, Hua-bin Zheng, Ting-ting Ma, Li Fang, Yu-jie Gao, Xu-guang Yang, Xue-zhi Li, Jing Shi, Liang Chen, Yi-wei Liu, Ru-wen Zhang, Hui Zheng, De-hua Li, Xi Wu, and Fan-rong Liang Copyright © 2015 Yu-lan Ren et al. All rights reserved. Neurophysiology of Drosophila Models of Parkinson’s Disease Wed, 15 Apr 2015 12:27:33 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/pd/2015/381281/ We provide an insight into the role Drosophila has played in elucidating neurophysiological perturbations associated with Parkinson’s disease- (PD-) related genes. Synaptic signalling deficits are observed in motor, central, and sensory systems. Given the neurological impact of disease causing mutations within these same genes in humans the phenotypes observed in fly are of significant interest. As such we observe four unique opportunities provided by fly nervous system models of Parkinson’s disease. Firstly, Drosophila models are instrumental in exploring the mechanisms of neurodegeneration, with several PD-related mutations eliciting related phenotypes including sensitivity to energy supply and vesicular deformities. These are leading to the identification of plausible cellular mechanisms, which may be specific to (dopaminergic) neurons and synapses rather than general cellular phenotypes. Secondly, models show noncell autonomous signalling within the nervous system, offering the opportunity to develop our understanding of the way pathogenic signalling propagates, resembling Braak’s scheme of spreading pathology in PD. Thirdly, the models link physiological deficits to changes in synaptic structure. While the structure-function relationship is complex, the genetic tractability of Drosophila offers the chance to separate fundamental changes from downstream consequences. Finally, the strong neuronal phenotypes permit relevant first in vivo drug testing. Ryan J. H. West, Rebecca Furmston, Charles A. C. Williams, and Christopher J. H. Elliott Copyright © 2015 Ryan J. H. West et al. All rights reserved. Local and Global Geometric Structure Preserving and Application to Hyperspectral Image Classification Wed, 15 Apr 2015 12:27:21 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/917259/ Locality Preserving Projection (LPP) has shown great efficiency in feature extraction. LPP captures the locality by the K-nearest neighborhoods. However, recent progress has demonstrated the importance of global geometric structure in discriminant analysis. Thus, both the locality and global geometric structure are critical for dimension reduction. In this paper, a novel linear supervised dimensionality reduction algorithm, called Locality and Global Geometric Structure Preserving (LGGSP) projection, is proposed for dimension reduction. LGGSP encodes not only the local structure information into the optimal objective functions, but also the global structure information. To be specific, two adjacent matrices, that is, similarity matrix and variance matrix, are constructed to detect the local intrinsic structure. Besides, a margin matrix is defined to capture the global structure of different classes. Finally, the three matrices are integrated into the framework of graph embedding for optimal solution. The proposed scheme is illustrated using both simulated data points and the well-known Indian Pines hyperspectral data set, and the experimental results are promising. Huiwu Luo, Yuan Yan Tang, Chunli Li, and Lina Yang Copyright © 2015 Huiwu Luo et al. All rights reserved. Conservative Management in Congenital Bilateral Upper Eyelid Eversion Wed, 15 Apr 2015 12:27:09 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/criopm/2015/389289/ Aim. To report the case of congenital bilateral upper eyelid eversion with severe chemosis that was successfully managed conservatively. Report. The patient was a six-hour-old male neonate with bilateral congenital upper eyelid eversion and severe chemosis, following uneventful delivery. Conservative management consisted of the application of antibiotic ointment and padding the exposed conjunctiva with 5% hypertonic saline-soaked gauze. The eyelids reverted spontaneously on day 3 and the condition was completely resolved by the third week. Conclusion. Congenital upper lid eversion is usually a benign condition which responds well to conservative treatment. Creating awareness amongst healthcare professionals is essential. Viola Andin Dohvoma, Alice Nchifor, Aronette Nana Ngwanou, Elisabeth Attha, Faustin Ngounou, Assumpta Lucienne Bella, and Côme Ebana Mvogo Copyright © 2015 Viola Andin Dohvoma et al. All rights reserved. Recognizing Cursive Typewritten Text Using Segmentation-Free System Wed, 15 Apr 2015 12:26:46 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2015/818432/ Feature extraction plays an important role in text recognition as it aims to capture essential characteristics of the text image. Feature extraction algorithms widely range between robust and hard to extract features and noise sensitive and easy to extract features. Among those feature types are statistical features which are derived from the statistical distribution of the image pixels. This paper presents a novel method for feature extraction where simple statistical features are extracted from a one-pixel wide window that slides across the text line. The feature set is clustered in the feature space using vector quantization. The feature vector sequence is then injected to a classification engine for training and recognition purposes. The recognition system is applied to a data corpus which includes cursive Arabic text of more than 600 A4-size sheets typewritten in multiple computer-generated fonts. The system performance is compared to a previously published system from the literature with a similar engine but a different feature set. Mohammad S. Khorsheed Copyright © 2015 Mohammad S. Khorsheed. All rights reserved. The Significance of ST Depression in a Postmenopausal Woman on Estrogen Therapy during Regadenoson Myocardial SPECT Imaging Wed, 15 Apr 2015 12:20:47 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cric/2015/653760/ The incidence of false-positive stress tests has been noted in women, especially on hormone replacement therapy. Current literature describes this phenomenon in treadmill and adenosine stress tests. The introduction of regadenoson as a vasodilator agent has been widely adopted owing to its potency and specificity. To our knowledge, false-positive stress test with regadenoson in a postmenopausal woman on estrogen has never been described. Given the higher chronotropic response with regadenoson, we believe that normal perfusion images with a higher heart rate response indicate a good prognosis in such patients. Nishaki Kiran Mehta, Charles Hardebeck, and Martha Gulati Copyright © 2015 Nishaki Kiran Mehta et al. All rights reserved. Process Variation Aware Wide Tuning Band Pass Filter for Steep Roll-Off High Rejection Wed, 15 Apr 2015 11:56:34 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/vlsi/2015/408035/ A wide tuning band pass filter (BPF) with steep roll-off high rejection and low noise figure is presented. The design feature of steep roll-off high stopband rejection (>20 dB) and low noise figure (<6 dB) provides a wide tuning frequency span (1–2.04 GHz) to accept desirable signals and reject close interfering signals. The process variation aware design approach demonstrates robustness of the BPF after calibration from process variations, operating in 1.04 GHz tuning frequency span: almost zero deviation on center frequency, an average maximum deviation 1.16 dB on a nominal pass band gain of 55.6 dB, and an average maximum deviation 1.06 MHz on a nominal bandwidth of 12.3 MHz. Jian Chen and Chien-In Henry Chen Copyright © 2015 Jian Chen and Chien-In Henry Chen. All rights reserved. Managing the Newsvendor Modeled Product System with Random Capacity and Capacity-Dependent Price Wed, 15 Apr 2015 11:55:02 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/296132/ We consider a newsvendor modeled product system, where the firm provides products to the market. The supply capacity of the product is random, so the firm receives either the amount of order quantity or the realized capacity, whichever is smaller. The market price is capacity dependent. We consider two types of production cost structures: the procurement case and the in-house production case. The firm pays for the received quantity in the former case and for the ordered quantity in the latter case. We obtain the optimal order quantities for both cases. Comparing with the traditional newsvendor model, we find that the optimal order quantity in both the procurement case and the in-house production case are no greater than that in the traditional newsvendor model with a fixed selling price. We also find that the optimal order quantity for the procurement case is greater than that for the in-house production case. Numerical study is conducted to investigate the sensitivity of the optimal solution versus the distribution of the random capacity/demand. Qingying Li, Ciwei Dong, and Ruixin Zhuang Copyright © 2015 Qingying Li et al. All rights reserved. Vasorelaxant and Hypotensive Effects of Jaboticaba Fruit (Myrciaria cauliflora) Extract in Rats Wed, 15 Apr 2015 11:51:33 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/696135/ This study’s aim was to determine the effect of hydroalcoholic extract of M. cauliflora (HEMC) on vascular tension and blood pressure in rats. In our in vitro studies using precontracted isolated aortas from rats, HEMC and acetylcholine (positive control) induced relaxation only in vessels with endothelium. Pretreatment with L-NAME (NO synthase inhibitor) or ODQ (soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) inhibitor) abolished the HEMC-induced relaxation. The treatment with MDL-12,330A (adenylyl cyclase (AC) inhibitor) or diclofenac (COX inhibitor) reduced HEMC-induced vasorelaxation. The blockade of muscarinic and β-adrenergic receptors (by atropine and propranolol, resp.) did not promote changes in HEMC-induced vasorelaxation. In our in vivo studies, catheters were inserted into the right femoral vein and artery of anesthetized rats for HEMC infusion and the measurement of blood pressure, heart rate, and aortic blood flow. The intravenous infusion of HEMC produced hypotension and increased aortic blood flow with no changes in heart rate. These findings showed that HEMC induces endothelium-dependent vascular relaxation and hypotension with no alteration in heart rate. The NO/sGC/cGMP pathway seems to be the main cellular route involved in the vascular responsiveness. Daniela Medeiros Lobo de Andrade, Carolina de Fátima Reis, Patrícia Ferreira da Silva Castro, Leonardo Luiz Borges, Nathalia Oda Amaral, Ieda Maria Sapateiro Torres, Stefani Garcia Rezende, Eric de Souza Gil, Edemilson Cardoso da Conceição, Gustavo Rodrigues Pedrino, and Matheus Lavorenti Rocha Copyright © 2015 Daniela Medeiros Lobo de Andrade et al. All rights reserved. Wear Processes in a Mechanical Friction Clutch: Theoretical, Numerical, and Experimental Studies Wed, 15 Apr 2015 11:51:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/725685/ Mathematical modeling, theoretical/numerical analysis, and experimental verification of wear processes occurring on the contact surface of friction linings of a mechanical friction clutch are studied. In contrast to many earlier papers we take into consideration wear properties and flexibility of friction materials being in friction contact. During mathematical modeling and numerical simulations we consider a general nonlinear differential model of wear (differential wear model) and a model of wear in the integral form (integral wear model). Equations governing contact pressure and wear distributions of individual friction linings, decrease of distance between clutch shields, and friction torque transmitted by the clutch are derived and compared with experimental data. Both analytical and numerical analyses are carried out with the qualitative and quantitative theories of differential and integral equations, including the Laplace transform approach to ODEs. We show that theoretical results and numerical simulations agree with the experimental data. Finally, a numerical analysis of the proposed mathematical models was carried out in a wider range of parameters of the considered system. Dariusz Grzelczyk and Jan Awrejcewicz Copyright © 2015 Dariusz Grzelczyk and Jan Awrejcewicz. All rights reserved. Identification of Novel Breast Cancer Subtype-Specific Biomarkers by Integrating Genomics Analysis of DNA Copy Number Aberrations and miRNA-mRNA Dual Expression Profiling Wed, 15 Apr 2015 11:49:05 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/746970/ Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease with well-defined molecular subtypes. Currently, comparative genomic hybridization arrays (aCGH) techniques have been developed rapidly, and recent evidences in studies of breast cancer suggest that tumors within gene expression subtypes share similar DNA copy number aberrations (CNA) which can be used to further subdivide subtypes. Moreover, subtype-specific miRNA expression profiles are also proposed as novel signatures for breast cancer classification. The identification of mRNA or miRNA expression-based breast cancer subtypes is considered an instructive means of prognosis. Here, we conducted an integrated analysis based on copy number aberrations data and miRNA-mRNA dual expression profiling data to identify breast cancer subtype-specific biomarkers. Interestingly, we found a group of genes residing in subtype-specific CNA regions that also display the corresponding changes in mRNAs levels and their target miRNAs’ expression. Among them, the predicted direct correlation of BRCA1-miR-143-miR-145 pairs was selected for experimental validation. The study results indicated that BRCA1 positively regulates miR-143-miR-145 expression and miR-143-miR-145 can serve as promising novel biomarkers for breast cancer subtyping. In our integrated genomics analysis and experimental validation, a new frame to predict candidate biomarkers of breast cancer subtype is provided and offers assistance in order to understand the potential disease etiology of the breast cancer subtypes. Dongguo Li, Hong Xia, Zhen-ya Li, Lin Hua, and Lin Li Copyright © 2015 Dongguo Li et al. All rights reserved. Improving the Understanding of Pathogenesis of Human Papillomavirus 16 via Mapping Protein-Protein Interaction Network Wed, 15 Apr 2015 11:48:17 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/890381/ The human papillomavirus 16 (HPV16) has high risk to lead various cancers and afflictions, especially, the cervical cancer. Therefore, investigating the pathogenesis of HPV16 is very important for public health. Protein-protein interaction (PPI) network between HPV16 and human was used as a measure to improve our understanding of its pathogenesis. By adopting sequence and topological features, a support vector machine (SVM) model was built to predict new interactions between HPV16 and human proteins. All interactions were comprehensively investigated and analyzed. The analysis indicated that HPV16 enlarged its scope of influence by interacting with human proteins as much as possible. These interactions alter a broad array of cell cycle progression. Furthermore, not only was HPV16 highly prone to interact with hub proteins and bottleneck proteins, but also it could effectively affect a breadth of signaling pathways. In addition, we found that the HPV16 evolved into high carcinogenicity on the condition that its own reproduction had been ensured. Meanwhile, this work will contribute to providing potential new targets for antiviral therapeutics and help experimental research in the future. Yongcheng Dong, Qifan Kuang, Xu Dai, Rong Li, Yiming Wu, Weijia Leng, Yizhou Li, and Menglong Li Copyright © 2015 Yongcheng Dong et al. All rights reserved. Bioagriculture Outlier Elimination Based on 3D View of - Variance and Leverage Measurement Wed, 15 Apr 2015 11:47:18 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/375827/ Aiming at effective outlier elimination in the biological near-infrared spectral and achieving high accuracy predictive modeling, this paper proposes a novel outlier elimination method based on variance and leverage analysis. Firstly, the characters of near-infrared spectral are summarized; then residual sample -variance, leverage, and residual sample -variance are concatenated as a divergence measurement. We further compared the proposed method with variance, Mahalanobis distance, and Hotelling statistical analysis; the experiment results demonstrate that the proposed methods have competitive outlier elimination and better performance in time complexity and accuracy. The proposed method can also be adopted for other outlier elimination tasks. Weizheng Shen, Qingming Kong, Jianbo Wang, Nan Ji, and Zhongbin Su Copyright © 2015 Weizheng Shen et al. All rights reserved. Successful Treatment of Bronchial Fistula after Pulmonary Lobectomy by Endobronchial Embolization Using an Endobronchial Watanabe Spigot Wed, 15 Apr 2015 11:47:14 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cripu/2015/425694/ A bronchial fistula is one of the most serious complications that can occur following pulmonary lobectomy. We herein report a case of bronchial fistula that was successfully treated by endobronchial embolization using an Endobronchial Watanabe Spigot (EWS). A 72-year-old male underwent right lower lobectomy of the lung with nodal dissection for a pulmonary squamous cell carcinoma. A bronchial fistula developed 53 days after surgery. Tube drainage was performed, and air leakage was apparent. Under endoscopic observation, intrathoracic injection of indigo carmine revealed that a fistula existed at the peripheral site of the B2ai bronchus. After one EWS (small) was inserted into the B2a bronchus tightly using a bronchoscope, the air leakage was stopped. Pleurodesis was further carried out, the thoracostomy tube was subsequently removed, and the patient was discharged. Endobronchial embolization using an EWS is an option for the treatment of a bronchial fistula after pulmonary resection. Yuichiro Machida, Makoto Tanaka, Nozomu Motono, Sumiko Maeda, Katsuo Usuda, and Motoyasu Sagawa Copyright © 2015 Yuichiro Machida et al. All rights reserved. Analysis of Coinfections with A/H1N1 Strain Variants among Pigs in Poland by Multitemperature Single-Strand Conformational Polymorphism Wed, 15 Apr 2015 11:46:50 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/535908/ Monitoring and control of infections are key parts of surveillance systems and epidemiological risk prevention. In the case of influenza A viruses (IAVs), which show high variability, a wide range of hosts, and a potential of reassortment between different strains, it is essential to study not only people, but also animals living in the immediate surroundings. If understated, the animals might become a source of newly formed infectious strains with a pandemic potential. Special attention should be focused on pigs, because of the receptors specific for virus strains originating from different species, localized in their respiratory tract. Pigs are prone to mixed infections and may constitute a reservoir of potentially dangerous IAV strains resulting from genetic reassortment. It has been reported that a quadruple reassortant, A(H1N1)pdm09, can be easily transmitted from humans to pigs and serve as a donor of genetic segments for new strains capable of infecting humans. Therefore, it is highly desirable to develop a simple, cost-effective, and rapid method for evaluation of IAV genetic variability. We describe a method based on multitemperature single-strand conformational polymorphism (MSSCP), using a fragment of the hemagglutinin (HA) gene, for detection of coinfections and differentiation of genetic variants of the virus, difficult to identify by conventional diagnostic. Krzysztof Lepek, Beata Pajak, Lukasz Rabalski, Kinga Urbaniak, Krzysztof Kucharczyk, Iwona Markowska-Daniel, and Boguslaw Szewczyk Copyright © 2015 Krzysztof Lepek et al. All rights reserved. Mining Potential Spammers from Mobile Call Logs Wed, 15 Apr 2015 11:46:47 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijdsn/2015/143745/ With the rapid development of mobile telecommunication, voice call spam has become a growing problem in China. Many mobile phone users have become the victim of spam calls and suffered heavy financial loss. Discovering of call spammers can benefit mobile network operators as well as users. Nowadays, the popular method for the task of mining call spammers has been performed by different applications on smartphones. These applications combine manual and automatic methods to detect spammers. Although the results of these client-based solutions are quite satisfying, it is extremely unfortunate that many people still use feature phones, which can not be equipped with third party applications. In this paper, we propose a server-based solution and take a call log file as an example, to analyze the characteristics of mobile call patterns. A time-based graph model and a simple and effective call log rank (CLRank) algorithm with ranking and classification were proposed to find potential call spammers. Compared with existing methods, our model just uses link information, and thus protects user privacy to the maximum extent. Experimental results show that our proposed model can find spammers from call logs automatically, dynamically, and effectively (with 84.5~91.8% of accuracy) without any manual interventions. Zhipeng Liu, Dechang Pi, and Yunfang Chen Copyright © 2015 Zhipeng Liu et al. All rights reserved. Locomotion Strategy Selection for a Hybrid Mobile Robot Using Time of Flight Depth Sensor Wed, 15 Apr 2015 11:38:55 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/js/2015/425732/ The performance of a mobile robot can be improved by utilizing different locomotion modes in various terrain conditions. This creates the necessity of having a supervisory controller capable of recognizing different terrain types and changing the locomotion mode of the robot accordingly. This work focuses on the locomotion strategy selection problem for a hybrid legged wheeled mobile robot. Supervisory control of the robot is accomplished by the terrain recognizer, which classifies depth images obtained from a commercial time of flight depth sensor and selects different locomotion mode subcontrollers based on the recognized terrain type. For the terrain recognizer, a database is generated consisting of five terrain classes (Uneven, Level Ground, Stair Up, Stair Down, and Nontraversable). Depth images are enhanced using confidence map based filtering. The accuracy of the terrain classification using Support Vector Machine classifier for the testing database in five-class terrain recognition problem is 97%. Real-world experiments assess the locomotion abilities of the quadruped and the capability of the terrain recognizer in real-time settings. The results of these experiments show depth images processed in real time using machine learning algorithms can be used for the supervisory control of hybrid robots with legged and wheeled locomotion capabilities. Artur Saudabayev, Farabi Kungozhin, Damir Nurseitov, and Huseyin Atakan Varol Copyright © 2015 Artur Saudabayev et al. All rights reserved. Apigenin Attenuates Atherogenesis through Inducing Macrophage Apoptosis via Inhibition of AKT Ser473 Phosphorylation and Downregulation of Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor-2 Wed, 15 Apr 2015 11:32:53 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2015/379538/ Macrophage survival is believed to be a contributing factor in the development of early atherosclerotic lesions. Dysregulated apoptosis of macrophages is involved in the inflammatory process of atherogenesis. Apigenin is a flavonoid that possesses various clinically relevant properties such as anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet, and antitumor activities. Here we showed that apigenin attenuated atherogenesis in apo mice in an in vivo test. In vitro experiments suggested that apigenin induced apoptosis of oxidized low density lipoprotein- (OxLDL-) loaded murine peritoneal macrophages (MPMs). Proteomic analysis showed that apigenin reduced the expression of plasminogen activator inhibitor 2 (PAI-2). PAI-2 has antiapoptotic effects in OxLDL-loaded MPMs. Enhancing PAI-2 expression significantly reduced the proapoptosis effects of apigenin. Molecular docking assay with AutoDock software predicted that residue Ser473 of Akt1 is a potential binding site for apigenin. Lentiviral-mediated overexpression of Akt1 wild type weakened the proapoptosis effect of apigenin in OxLDL-loaded MPMs. Collectively, apigenin executes its anti-atherogenic effects through inducing OxLDL-loaded MPMs apoptosis. The proapoptotic effects of apigenin were at least partly attributed to downregulation of PAI-2 through suppressing phosphorylation of AKT at Ser473. Ping Zeng, Bin Liu, Qun Wang, Qin Fan, Jian-Xin Diao, Jing Tang, Xiu-Qiong Fu, and Xue-Gang Sun Copyright © 2015 Ping Zeng et al. All rights reserved. The Pre-Schwarzian Norm Estimate for Analytic Concave Functions Wed, 15 Apr 2015 11:26:24 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijmms/2015/814805/ Let denote the open unit disk and let denote the class of normalized univalent functions which are analytic in . Let be the class of concave functions , which have the condition that the opening angle of at infinity is less than or equal to , . In this paper, we find a sufficient condition for the Gaussian hypergeometric functions to be in the class . And we define a class , , which is a subclass of and we find the set of variabilities for the functional for . This gives sharp upper and lower estimates for the pre-Schwarzian norm of functions in . We also give a characterization for functions in in terms of Hadamard product. Young Jae Sim and Oh Sang Kwon Copyright © 2015 Young Jae Sim and Oh Sang Kwon. All rights reserved. Predictors of Contraceptive Adherence among Women Seeking Family Planning Services at Reproductive Health Uganda, Mityana Branch Wed, 15 Apr 2015 11:24:17 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijpr/2015/574329/ Poor adherence is one of the main causes of unintended pregnancies among women of reproductive age. The purpose of this study was to establish the predictors of contraceptive adherence. A total of 211 women were enrolled and interviewed while seeking family planning services at reproductive health Uganda facility. Binary logistic regression was used to analyze the association between adherence and the independent variables. Most of the respondents (83.4%) were currently using a hormonal contraceptive. Of the participants who were using contraceptives, 43% had discontinued use at some time for reasons other than pregnancy, 53.1% reported having short birth interval less than 2 years, and 7% reported having more children than desired. The predictors of poor contraceptive adherence included lower education level (OR 2.484, 95% CI 1.403–4.397) and lower self-efficacy (OR 1.698, 95% CI 1.959–3.004). Lack of male partner support (OR 2.014, 95% CI 1.140–3.557) and low education level (OR 2.103, 95% CI 1.196–3.699) were predictive of reporting short birth interval less than 2 years. The findings point to a number of predictors of contraceptive adherence that may have implications for designing and evaluating family planning programs. In the Ugandan context, studies to evaluate effective adherence improvement strategies are needed. Richard Muhindo, Joyce Nankumbi Okonya, Sara Groves, and Michelene Chenault Copyright © 2015 Richard Muhindo et al. All rights reserved. {2-[1-(3-Methoxycarbonylmethyl-1H-indol-2-yl)-1-methyl-ethyl]-1H-indol-3-yl}-acetic Acid Methyl Ester Inhibited Hepatocellular Carcinoma Growth in Bel-7402 Cells and Its Resistant Variants by Activation of NOX4 and SIRT3 Wed, 15 Apr 2015 11:18:05 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/491205/ 2-[1-(3-Methoxycarbonylmethyl-1H-indol-2-yl)-1-methyl-ethyl]-1H-indol-3-yl-acetic acid methyl ester (MIAM) is a novel indole compound, which possessed high efficacy against many cancers xenografted in mice without obvious toxicity. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effects of MIAM on human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) Bel-7402 cells and its resistant variants Bel-7402/5FU. MIAM inhibited the growth of HCC more potent in Bel-7402/5FU cells than its parent cells. MIAM increased cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, induced cell apoptosis, and arrested cell cycle in G0/G1 phase. MIAM might exert its action on Bel-7402/5FU cells through activation of NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX4)/p22, Sirtuin3 (SIRT3)/SOD2, and SIRT3/p53/p21 pathways. MIAM might inhibit HCC growth through the modulation of SIRT3. When SIRT3 was silenced, the inhibitory effect of MIAM on Bel-7402/5FU was lowered, showing the characteristic of resistance against MIAM, whereas Bel-7402/5FU cells with high expression of SIRT3 by SIRT3 adenovirus infection demonstrated the high sensitivity to MIAM. These results suggested that MIAM might exert its action against Bel-7402/5FU growth through upregulation of SIRT3. We suggested that MIAM might be a promising candidate compound which could develop as a potent anticancer agent targeting NOX4 and SIRT3 activation. Ye Li, Wenjing Wang, Xiaoxue Xu, Shiyue Sun, Xiaoyu Xu, and Xian-jun Qu Copyright © 2015 Ye Li et al. All rights reserved. A Smoothing Inexact Newton Method for Nonlinear Complementarity Problems Wed, 15 Apr 2015 11:15:02 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2015/731026/ A smoothing inexact Newton method is presented for solving nonlinear complementarity problems. Different from the existing exact methods, the associated subproblems are not necessary to be exactly solved to obtain the search directions. Under suitable assumptions, global convergence and superlinear convergence are established for the developed inexact algorithm, which are extensions of the exact case. On the one hand, results of numerical experiments indicate that our algorithm is effective for the benchmark test problems available in the literature. On the other hand, suitable choice of inexact parameters can improve the numerical performance of the developed algorithm. Zhong Wan, HuanHuan Li, and Shuai Huang Copyright © 2015 Zhong Wan et al. All rights reserved. IL-21: A Pleiotropic Cytokine with Potential Applications in Oncology Wed, 15 Apr 2015 11:03:59 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2015/696578/ Interleukin- (IL-) 21 is a pleiotropic cytokine that regulates the activity of both innate and specific immunity. Indeed, it costimulates T and natural killer (NK) cell proliferation and function and regulates B cell survival and differentiation and the function of dendritic cells. In addition, IL-21 exerts divergent effects on different lymphoid cell leukemia and lymphomas, as it may support cell proliferation or on the contrary induce growth arrest or apoptosis of the neoplastic lymphoid cells. Several preclinical studies showed that IL-21 has antitumor activity in different tumor models, through mechanism involving the activation of NK and T or B cell responses. Moreover, IL-21’s antitumor activity can be potentiated by its combination with other immune-enhancing molecules, monoclonal antibodies recognizing tumor antigens, chemotherapy, or molecular targeted agents. Clinical phase I-II studies of IL-21 in cancer patients showed immune stimulatory properties, acceptable toxicity profile, and antitumor effects in a fraction of patients. In view of its tolerability, IL-21 is also suitable for combinational therapeutic regimens with other agents. This review will summarize the biological functions of IL-21, and address its role in lymphoid malignancies and preclinical and clinical studies of cancer immunotherapy. Michela Croce, Valentina Rigo, and Silvano Ferrini Copyright © 2015 Michela Croce et al. All rights reserved. Artificial Bee Colony Optimizer with Bee-to-Bee Communication and Multipopulation Coevolution for Multilevel Threshold Image Segmentation Wed, 15 Apr 2015 10:28:33 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/272947/ This paper proposes a modified artificial bee colony optimizer (MABC) by combining bee-to-bee communication pattern and multipopulation cooperative mechanism. In the bee-to-bee communication model, with the enhanced information exchange strategy, individuals can share more information from the elites through the Von Neumann topology. With the multipopulation cooperative mechanism, the hierarchical colony with different topologies can be structured, which can maintain diversity of the whole community. The experimental results on comparing the MABC to several successful EA and SI algorithms on a set of benchmarks demonstrated the advantage of the MABC algorithm. Furthermore, we employed the MABC algorithm to resolve the multilevel image segmentation problem. Experimental results of the new method on a variety of images demonstrated the performance superiority of the proposed algorithm. Jun-yi Li, Yi-ding Zhao, Jian-hua Li, and Xiao-jun Liu Copyright © 2015 Jun-yi Li et al. All rights reserved. Activation of Vitamin D Regulates Response of Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells to Aspergillus fumigatus in an Autocrine Fashion Wed, 15 Apr 2015 10:03:01 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2015/208491/ Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) is one of the most common fungi to cause diseases in humans. Recent evidence has demonstrated that airway epithelial cells play an important role in combating A. fumigatus through inflammatory responses. Human airway epithelial cells have been proven to synthesize the active vitamin D, which plays a key role in regulating inflammation. The present study was conducted to investigate the impact of A. fumigatus infection on the activation of vitamin D and the role of vitamin D activation in A. fumigatus-elicited antifungal immunity in normal human airway epithelial cells. We found that A. fumigatus swollen conidia (SC) induced the expression of 1α-hydroxylase, the enzyme catalyzing the synthesis of active vitamin D, and vitamin D receptor (VDR) in 16HBE cells and led to increased local generation of active vitamin D. Locally activated vitamin D amplified SC-induced expression of antimicrobial peptides in 16HBE cells but attenuated SC-induced production of cytokines in an autocrine fashion. Furthermore, we identified β-glucan, the major A. fumigatus cell wall component, as the causative agent for upregulation of 1α-hydroxylase and VDR in 16HBE cells. Therefore, activation of vitamin D is inducible and provides a bidirectional regulation of the responses to A. fumigatus in 16HBE cells. Pei Li, Ting Wu, Xin Su, and Yi Shi Copyright © 2015 Pei Li et al. All rights reserved. Reflective Optics Design for an LED High Beam Headlamp of Motorbikes Wed, 15 Apr 2015 09:57:30 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2015/503171/ We propose a reflective optics design for an LED motorbike high beam lamp. We set the measuring screen as an elliptical zone and divide it into many small lattices and divide the spatial angle of the LED source into many parts and make relationships between them. According to the conservation law of energy and the Snell’s law, the reflector is generated by freeform optics design method. Then the optical system is simulated by Monte Carlo method using ASAP software. Light pattern of simulation could meet the standard. The high beam headlamp is finally fabricated and assembled into a physical object. Experiment results can fully comply with United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) vehicle regulations R113 revision 2 (Class C). Peng Ge, Xiang Wang, Yang Li, and Hong Wang Copyright © 2015 Peng Ge et al. All rights reserved. An Enhanced Communication Protocol for Location Privacy in WSN Wed, 15 Apr 2015 09:41:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijdsn/2015/697098/ Wireless sensor network (WSN) is built of many sensor nodes. The sensors can sense a phenomenon, which will be represented in a form of data and sent to an aggregator for further processing. WSN is used in many applications, such as object tracking and security monitoring. The objects in many situations need physical and location protection. In addition to the source location privacy, sink location privacy should be provided. Providing an efficient location privacy solution would be challenging due to the open nature of the WSN. Anonymity is a key solution for location privacy. We present a network model that is protected against local, multilocal, and global adversaries that can launch sophisticated passive and active attacks against the WSN. Abdel-Shakour Abuzneid, Tarek Sobh, and Miad Faezipour Copyright © 2015 Abdel-Shakour Abuzneid et al. All rights reserved. Optimal Resource Allocation for Energy-Efficient OFDMA Networks Wed, 15 Apr 2015 09:41:39 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/594024/ This paper focuses on radio resource allocation in OFDMA networks for maximizing the energy efficiency subject to the data rate requirements of users. We propose the energy-efficient water-filling structure to obtain the closed-form optimal energy-efficient power allocation for a given subcarrier assignment. Moreover, we establish a new sufficient condition for the optimal energy-efficient subcarrier assignment. Based on the theoretical analysis, we develop a joint energy-efficient resource allocation (JERA) algorithm to maximize the energy efficiency. Simulation results show that the JERA algorithm can yield optimal solution with significantly low computational complexity. Fan Wu, Yuming Mao, Xiaoyan Huang, and Supeng Leng Copyright © 2015 Fan Wu et al. All rights reserved. The Unexpected Pitter Patter: New-Onset Atrial Fibrillation in Pregnancy Wed, 15 Apr 2015 09:16:50 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/criem/2015/318645/ Background. Atrial fibrillation is a relatively uncommon but dangerous complication of pregnancy. Emergency physicians must know how to treat both stable and unstable tachycardias in late pregnancy. In this case, a 40-year-old female with a cerclage due to incompetent cervix and previous preterm deliveries presents in new-onset atrial fibrillation. Case Report. A previously healthy 40-year-old African American G2 P1 female with a 23-week twin gestation complicated by an incompetent cervix requiring a cervical cerclage presented to the emergency department with intermittent palpitations and shortness of breath for the past two months. EMS noted the patient to have a tachydysrhythmia, atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response. She was placed on a diltiazem drip, which was titrated to 15 mg/hr without successful rate control. Her heart rate remained in the 130s and the rhythm continued to be atrial fibrillation with RVR. Digoxin was then added as a second agent, and discussions about the potential risks of cardioversion in pregnancy ensued. Fortunately, the patient converted to sinus rhythm before cardioversion became necessary. The digoxin was discontinued; the diltiazem was also discontinued after the patient subsequently developed hypotension. “Why Should Emergency Physicians Be Aware of This?” New-onset atrial fibrillation is rare in pregnancy but can increase the mortality and morbidity of the mother and fetus if not treated promptly. Sarah White, Janna Welch, and Lawrence H. Brown Copyright © 2015 Sarah White et al. All rights reserved. Coexpression Pattern Analysis of NPM1-Associated Genes in Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia Wed, 15 Apr 2015 09:10:06 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/610595/ Background. Nucleophosmin 1 (NPM1) plays an important role in ribosomal synthesis and malignancies, but NPM1 mutations occur rarely in the blast-crisis and chronic-phase chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) patients. The NPM1-associated gene set (GCM_NPM1), in total 116 genes including NPM1, was chosen as the candidate gene set for the coexpression analysis. We wonder if NPM1-associated genes can affect the ribosomal synthesis and translation process in CML. Results. We presented a distribution-based approach for gene pair classification by identifying a disease-specific cutoff point that classified the coexpressed gene pairs into strong and weak coexpression structures. The differences in the coexpression patterns between the normal and the CML groups were reflected from the overall structure by performing two-sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov test. Our developed method effectively identified the coexpression pattern differences from the overall structure: for the maximum deviation . Moreover, we found that genes involved in the ribosomal synthesis and translation process tended to be coexpressed in the CML group. Conclusion. Our developed method can identify the coexpression difference between two different groups. Dysregulation of ribosomal synthesis and translation process may be related to the CML disease. Our significant findings may provide useful information for the novel CML mechanism exploration and cancer treatment. Fengfeng Wang, Lawrence W. C. Chan, Nancy B. Y. Tsui, S. C. Cesar Wong, Parco M. Siu, S. P. Yip, and Benjamin Y. M. Yung Copyright © 2015 Fengfeng Wang et al. All rights reserved. Bioactive Natural Products: Facts, Applications, and Challenges Wed, 15 Apr 2015 09:07:32 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/684109/ Yiannis Kourkoutas, Kimon A. G. Karatzas, Vasilis P. Valdramidis, and Nikos Chorianopoulos Copyright © 2015 Yiannis Kourkoutas et al. All rights reserved. Prediction of Antifungal Activity of Gemini Imidazolium Compounds Wed, 15 Apr 2015 08:44:15 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/392326/ The progress of antimicrobial therapy contributes to the development of strains of fungi resistant to antimicrobial drugs. Since cationic surfactants have been described as good antifungals, we present a SAR study of a novel homologous series of 140 bis-quaternary imidazolium chlorides and analyze them with respect to their biological activity against Candida albicans as one of the major opportunistic pathogens causing a wide spectrum of diseases in human beings. We characterize a set of features of these compounds, concerning their structure, molecular descriptors, and surface active properties. SAR study was conducted with the help of the Dominance-Based Rough Set Approach (DRSA), which involves identification of relevant features and relevant combinations of features being in strong relationship with a high antifungal activity of the compounds. The SAR study shows, moreover, that the antifungal activity is dependent on the type of substituents and their position at the chloride moiety, as well as on the surface active properties of the compounds. We also show that molecular descriptors MlogP, HOMO-LUMO gap, total structure connectivity index, and Wiener index may be useful in prediction of antifungal activity of new chemical compounds. Łukasz Pałkowski, Jerzy Błaszczyński, Andrzej Skrzypczak, Jan Błaszczak, Alicja Nowaczyk, Joanna Wróblewska, Sylwia Kożuszko, Eugenia Gospodarek, Roman Słowiński, and Jerzy Krysiński Copyright © 2015 Łukasz Pałkowski et al. All rights reserved. Determination of the Stress State of a Piecewise Homogeneous Elastic Body with a Row of Cracks on an Interface Surface Subject to Antiplane Strains with Inclusions at the Tips Wed, 15 Apr 2015 08:41:30 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/851548/ The stress state of a bimaterial elastic body that has a row of cracks on an interface surface is considered. It is subjected to antiplane deformations by uniformly distributed shear forces acting on the horizontal sides of the body. The governing equations of the problem, the stress intensity factors, the deformation of the crack edges, and the shear stresses are derived. The solution of the problem via the Fourier sine series is reduced to the determination of a singular integral equation (SIE) and consequently to a system of linear equations. In the end, the problem is solved in special cases with inclusions. The results of this paper and the previously published results show that the used approach based on the Gauss-Chebyshev quadrature method can be considered as a generalized procedure to solve the collinear crack problems in mode I, II, or III loadings. Ali Golsoorat Pahlaviani and Suren Mkhitaryan Copyright © 2015 Ali Golsoorat Pahlaviani and Suren Mkhitaryan. All rights reserved. Feature Selection Combined with Neural Network Structure Optimization for HIV-1 Protease Cleavage Site Prediction Wed, 15 Apr 2015 08:27:29 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/263586/ It is crucial to understand the specificity of HIV-1 protease for designing HIV-1 protease inhibitors. In this paper, a new feature selection method combined with neural network structure optimization is proposed to analyze the specificity of HIV-1 protease and find the important positions in an octapeptide that determined its cleavability. Two kinds of newly proposed features based on Amino Acid Index database plus traditional orthogonal encoding features are used in this paper, taking both physiochemical and sequence information into consideration. Results of feature selection prove that , , , and are the most important positions. Two feature fusion methods are used in this paper: combination fusion and decision fusion aiming to get comprehensive feature representation and improve prediction performance. Decision fusion of subsets that getting after feature selection obtains excellent prediction performance, which proves feature selection combined with decision fusion is an effective and useful method for the task of HIV-1 protease cleavage site prediction. The results and analysis in this paper can provide useful instruction and help designing HIV-1 protease inhibitor in the future. Hui Liu, Xiaomiao Shi, Dongmei Guo, Zuowei Zhao, and Yimin Copyright © 2015 Hui Liu et al. All rights reserved. SNCA Gene, but Not MAPT, Influences Onset Age of Parkinson’s Disease in Chinese and Australians Wed, 15 Apr 2015 08:18:39 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/135674/ Background. α-Synuclein (SNCA) and microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) are the two major genes independently, but not jointly, associated with susceptibility for Parkinson’s disease (PD). The SNCA gene has recently been identified as a major modifier of age of PD onset. Whether MAPT gene synergistically influences age of onset of PD is unknown. Objective. To investigate independent and joint effects of MAPT and SNCA on PD onset age. Methods. 412 patients with PD were recruited from the Australian PD Research Network (123) and the Neurology Department, Ruijin Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University, China (289). MAPT (rs17650901) tagging H1/H2 haplotype and SNCA (Rep1) were genotyped in the Australian cohort, and MAPT (rs242557, rs3744456) and SNCA (rs11931074, rs894278) were genotyped in the Chinese cohort. SPSS regression analysis was used to test genetic effects on age at onset of PD in each cohort. Results. SNCA polymorphisms associated with the onset age of PD in both populations. MAPT polymorphisms did not enhance such association in either entire cohort. Conclusion. This study suggests that, in both ethnic groups, SNCA gene variants influence the age at onset of PD and α-synuclein plays a key role in the disease course of PD. Yue Huang, Gang Wang, Dominic Rowe, Ying Wang, John B. J. Kwok, Qin Xiao, Frank Mastaglia, Jun Liu, Sheng-Di Chen, and Glenda Halliday Copyright © 2015 Yue Huang et al. All rights reserved. Glucocorticoid-Induced Tumour Necrosis Factor Receptor-Related Protein: A Key Marker of Functional Regulatory T Cells Wed, 15 Apr 2015 08:11:11 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2015/171520/ Glucocorticoid-induced tumour necrosis factor receptor-related protein (GITR, TNFRSF18, and CD357) is expressed at high levels in activated T cells and regulatory T cells (Tregs). In this review, we present data from mouse and human studies suggesting that GITR is a crucial player in the differentiation of thymic Tregs (tTregs), and expansion of both tTregs and peripheral Tregs (pTregs). The role of GITR in Treg expansion is confirmed by the association of GITR expression with markers of memory T cells. In this context, it is not surprising that GITR appears to be a marker of active Tregs, as suggested by the association of GITR expression with other markers of Treg activation or cytokines with suppressive activity (e.g., IL-10 and TGF-), the presence of GITR+ cells in tissues where Tregs are active (e.g., solid tumours), or functional studies on Tregs. Furthermore, some Treg subsets including Tr1 cells express either low or no classical Treg markers (e.g., FoxP3 and CD25) and do express GITR. Therefore, when evaluating changes in the number of Tregs in human diseases, GITR expression must be evaluated. Moreover, GITR should be considered as a marker for isolating Tregs. Simona Ronchetti, Erika Ricci, Maria Grazia Petrillo, Luigi Cari, Graziella Migliorati, Giuseppe Nocentini, and Carlo Riccardi Copyright © 2015 Simona Ronchetti et al. All rights reserved. Identification of Novel Potential Vaccine Candidates against Tuberculosis Based on Reverse Vaccinology Wed, 15 Apr 2015 08:06:14 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/483150/ Tuberculosis (TB) is a chronic infectious disease, considered as the second leading cause of death worldwide, caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The limited efficacy of the bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine against pulmonary TB and the emergence of multidrug-resistant TB warrants the need for more efficacious vaccines. Reverse vaccinology uses the entire proteome of a pathogen to select the best vaccine antigens by in silico approaches. M. tuberculosis H37Rv proteome was analyzed with NERVE (New Enhanced Reverse Vaccinology Environment) prediction software to identify potential vaccine targets; these 331 proteins were further analyzed with VaxiJen for the determination of their antigenicity value. Only candidates with values ≥0.5 of antigenicity and 50% of adhesin probability and without homology with human proteins or transmembrane regions were selected, resulting in 73 antigens. These proteins were grouped by families in seven groups and analyzed by amino acid sequence alignments, selecting 16 representative proteins. For each candidate, a search of the literature and protein analysis with different bioinformatics tools, as well as a simulation of the immune response, was conducted. Finally, we selected six novel vaccine candidates, EsxL, PE26, PPE65, PE_PGRS49, PBP1, and Erp, from M. tuberculosis that can be used to improve or design new TB vaccines. Gloria P. Monterrubio-López, Jorge A. González-Y-Merchand, and Rosa María Ribas-Aparicio Copyright © 2015 Gloria P. Monterrubio-López et al. All rights reserved. Transcriptomic Analysis of mRNAs in Human Monocytic Cells Expressing the HIV-1 Nef Protein and Their Exosomes Wed, 15 Apr 2015 07:57:37 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/492395/ The Nef protein of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) promotes viral replication and progression to AIDS. Besides its well-studied effects on intracellular signaling, Nef also functions through its secretion in exosomes, which are nanovesicles containing proteins, microRNAs, and mRNAs and are important for intercellular communication. Nef expression enhances exosome secretion and these exosomes can enter uninfected CD4 T cells leading to apoptotic death. We have recently reported the first miRNome analysis of exosomes secreted from Nef-expressing U937monocytic cells. Here we show genome-wide transcriptome analysis of Nef-expressing U937 cells and their exosomes. We identified four key mRNAs preferentially retained in Nef-expressing cells; these code for MECP2, HMOX1, AARSD1, and ATF2 and are important for chromatin modification and gene expression. Interestingly, their target miRNAs are exported out in exosomes. We also identified three key mRNAs selectively secreted in exosomes from Nef-expressing U937 cells and their corresponding miRNAs being preferentially retained in cells. These are AATK, SLC27A1, and CDKAL and are important in apoptosis and fatty acid transport. Thus, our study identifies selectively expressed mRNAs in Nef-expressing U937 cells and their exosomes and supports a new mode on intercellular regulation by the HIV-1 Nef protein. Madeeha Aqil, Saurav Mallik, Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay, Ujjwal Maulik, and Shahid Jameel Copyright © 2015 Madeeha Aqil et al. All rights reserved. African Flora Has the Potential to Fight Multidrug Resistance of Cancer Wed, 15 Apr 2015 07:47:01 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/914813/ Background. Continuous efforts from scientists of diverse fields are necessary not only to better understand the mechanism by which multidrug-resistant (MDR) cancer cells occur, but also to boost the discovery of new cytotoxic compounds to fight MDR phenotypes. Objectives. The present review reports on the contribution of African flora in the discovery of potential cytotoxic phytochemicals against MDR cancer cells. Methodology. Scientific databases such as PubMed, ScienceDirect, Scopus, Google Scholar, and Web of Knowledge were used to retrieve publications related to African plants, isolated compounds, and drug resistant cancer cells. The data were analyzed to highlight cytotoxicity and the modes of actions of extracts and compounds of the most prominent African plants. Also, thresholds and cutoff points for the cytotoxicity and modes of action of phytochemicals have been provided. Results. Most published data related to the antiproliferative potential of African medicinal plants were from Cameroon, Egypt, Nigeria, or Madagascar. The cytotoxicity of phenolic compounds isolated in African plants was generally much better documented than that of terpenoids and alkaloids. Conclusion. African flora represents an enormous resource for novel cytotoxic compounds. To unravel the full potential, efforts should be strengthened throughout the continent, to meet the challenge of a successful fight against MDR cancers. Victor Kuete and Thomas Efferth Copyright © 2015 Victor Kuete and Thomas Efferth. All rights reserved. Hafnia alvei Urosepsis in a Kidney Transplant Patient Wed, 15 Apr 2015 07:31:44 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crit/2015/863131/ Hafnia alvei, a gram-negative facultative anaerobic, rod-shaped bacterium, is a rare cause of infection in humans. We report on a renal transplant patient who developed H. alvei pyelonephritis and urosepsis. The source of infection remains enigmatic but is most likely the intestinal tract. Appropriate antibiotic therapy with cefepime followed by oral ciprofloxacin brought about rapid resolution of symptoms and complete recovery. H. alvei may cause severe infection in transplant patients without predisposing factors such as hospitalization, invasive procedures, or antibiotic treatment. Mario Stanic, Edgar Meusburger, Gabriele Hartmann, and Karl Lhotta Copyright © 2015 Mario Stanic et al. All rights reserved. Decrease in Circulating Dendritic Cell Precursors in Patients with Peripheral Artery Disease Wed, 15 Apr 2015 07:14:51 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2015/450957/ Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a common manifestation of atherosclerosis. Inflammation is important for initiation and progression of the disease. Dendritic cells (DCs) as antigen-presenting cells play an important role in the immune system. Therefore, we hypothesize that, in patients with PAD, DCPs might be reduced in blood due to their recruitment into the vascular wall and induce a proinflammatory response. The numbers of myeloid DCPs, plasmacytoid DCPs, and total DCPs were analyzed by flow cytometry in blood of patients with PAD () compared to controls (). Femoralis plaques () of patients who underwent surgery were immunostained for CD209 and CD83 (mDCs) as well as CD304, CD123 (pDCs), and HLA-DR. In patients with PAD, a significant decrease in mDCPs, pDCPs, and tDCPs was observed. In immunostaining, markers indicative for mDCs (CD209: 16 versus 8 cells/0.1 mm2, ; CD83: 19 versus 5 cells/0.1 mm2, ) were significantly elevated in femoralis plaques compared to control vessels. We show for the first time that mDCPs, pDCPs, and tDCPs are significantly reduced in patients with PAD. Immunohistochemical analysis unraveled that the decrease in DCPs might be due to their recruitment into atherosclerotic plaques. Daniel Kretzschmar, Ilonka Rohm, Sebastian Schäller, Stefan Betge, Rudin Pistulli, Yevgeniya Atiskova, Hans-R. Figulla, and Atilla Yilmaz Copyright © 2015 Daniel Kretzschmar et al. All rights reserved. A Note on Continuity of Solution Set for Parametric Weak Vector Equilibrium Problems Wed, 15 Apr 2015 07:06:05 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2015/503091/ We consider the parametric weak vector equilibrium problem. By using a weaker assumption of Peng and Chang (2014), the sufficient conditions for continuity of the solution mappings to a parametric weak vector equilibrium problem are established. Examples are provided to illustrate the essentialness of imposed assumptions. As advantages of the results, we derive the continuity of solution mappings for vector optimization problems. Pakkapon Preechasilp and Rabian Wangkeeree Copyright © Pakkapon Preechasilp and Rabian Wangkeeree. All rights reserved. Estimation of Nonlinear Functions of State Vector for Linear Systems with Time-Delays and Uncertainties Wed, 15 Apr 2015 07:04:42 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/217253/ This paper focuses on estimation of a nonlinear function of state vector (NFS) in discrete-time linear systems with time-delays and model uncertainties. The NFS represents a multivariate nonlinear function of state variables, which can indicate useful information of a target system for control. The optimal nonlinear estimator of an NFS (in mean square sense) represents a function of the receding horizon estimate and its error covariance. The proposed receding horizon filter represents the standard Kalman filter with time-delays and special initial horizon conditions described by the Lyapunov-like equations. In general case to calculate an optimal estimator of an NFS we propose using the unscented transformation. Important class of polynomial NFS is considered in detail. In the case of polynomial NFS an optimal estimator has a closed-form computational procedure. The subsequent application of the proposed receding horizon filter and nonlinear estimator to a linear stochastic system with time-delays and uncertainties demonstrates their effectiveness. Il Young Song, Georgy Shevlyakov, and Vladimir Shin Copyright © 2015 Il Young Song et al. All rights reserved. Seismic Analysis of a Viscoelastic Damping Isolator Wed, 15 Apr 2015 07:01:21 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amse/2015/280625/ Seismic prevention issues are discussed much more seriously around the world after Fukushima earthquake, Japan, April 2011, especially for those countries which are near the earthquake zone. Approximately kilograms of explosive energy will be released from a magnitude 9 earthquake. It destroys most of the unprotected infrastructure within several tens of miles in diameter from the epicenter. People can feel the earthquake even if living hundreds of miles away. This study is a seismic simulation analysis for an innovated and improved design of viscoelastic damping isolator, which can be more effectively applied to earthquake prevention and damage reduction of high-rise buildings, roads, bridges, power generation facilities, and so forth, from earthquake disaster. Solidworks graphic software is used to draw the 3D geometric model of the viscoelastic isolator. The dynamic behavior of the viscoelastic isolator through shock impact of specific earthquake loading, recorded by a seismometer, is obtained via ANSYS finite element package. The amplitude of the isolator is quickly reduced by the viscoelastic material in the device and is shown in a time response diagram. The result of this analysis can be a crucial reference when improving the design of a seismic isolator. Bo-Wun Huang, Jao-Hwa Kuang, Jung-Ge Tseng, Jyun-Cin Wang, and Yu-Xian Qiu Copyright © 2015 Bo-Wun Huang et al. All rights reserved. Diabetes and Its Link with Cancer: Providing the Fuel and Spark to Launch an Aggressive Growth Regime Wed, 15 Apr 2015 06:56:34 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/390863/ Diabetes is a disease involving metabolic derangements in multiple organs. While the spectrum of diabetic complications has been known for years, recent evidence suggests that diabetes could also contribute to the initiation and propagation of certain cancers. The mechanism(s) underlying this relationship are not completely resolved but likely involve changes in hormone and nutrient levels, as well as activation of inflammatory and stress-related pathways. Interestingly, some of the drugs used clinically to treat diabetes also appear to have antitumour effects, further highlighting the interaction between these two conditions. In this contribution we review recent literature on this emerging relationship and explore the potential mechanisms that may promote cancer in diabetic patients. Sanket Joshi, Menghan Liu, and Nigel Turner Copyright © Sanket Joshi et al. All rights reserved. Peripheral Signals Mediate the Beneficial Effects of Gastric Surgery in Obesity Wed, 15 Apr 2015 06:35:48 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/grp/2015/560938/ Obesity is nowadays a public health problem both in the industrialized world and developing countries. The different treatments to fight against obesity are not very successful with the exception of gastric surgery. The mechanism behind the achievement of this procedure remains unclear although the modifications in the pattern of gastrointestinal hormones production appear to be responsible for the beneficial effect. The gastrointestinal tract has emerged in the last time as an endocrine organ in charge of response to the different stimulus related to nutritional status by the modulation of more than 30 signals acting at central level to modulate food intake and body weight. The production of some of these gastric derived signals has been proved to be altered in obesity (ghrelin, CCK, and GLP-1). In fact, bariatric surgery modifies the production of both gastrointestinal and adipose tissue peripheral signals beyond the gut microbiota composition. Through this paper the main peripheral signals altered in obesity will be reviewed together with their modifications after bariatric surgery. Silvia Barja-Fernández, Cintia Folgueira, Cecilia Castelao, Rosaura Leis, Felipe F. Casanueva, and Luisa M. Seoane Copyright © 2015 Silvia Barja-Fernández et al. All rights reserved. Predict and Analyze Protein Glycation Sites with the mRMR and IFS Methods Wed, 15 Apr 2015 06:14:19 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/561547/ Glycation is a nonenzymatic process in which proteins react with reducing sugar molecules. The identification of glycation sites in protein may provide guidelines to understand the biological function of protein glycation. In this study, we developed a computational method to predict protein glycation sites by using the support vector machine classifier. The experimental results showed that the prediction accuracy was 85.51% and an overall MCC was 0.70. Feature analysis indicated that the composition of -spaced amino acid pairs feature contributed the most for glycation sites prediction. Yan Liu, Wenxiang Gu, Wenyi Zhang, and Jianan Wang Copyright © 2015 Yan Liu et al. All rights reserved. Chemical Composition and Disruption of Quorum Sensing Signaling in Geographically Diverse United States Propolis Wed, 15 Apr 2015 06:10:02 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/472593/ Propolis or bee glue has been used for centuries for various purposes and is especially important in human health due to many of its biological and pharmacological properties. In this work we showed quorum sensing inhibitory (QSI) activity of ten geographically distinct propolis samples from the United States using the acyl-homoserine lactone- (AHL-) dependent Chromobacterium violaceum strain CV026. Based on GC-MS chemical profiling the propolis samples can be classified into several groups that are as follows: (1) rich in cinnamic acid derivatives, (2) rich in flavonoids, and (3) rich in triterpenes. An in-depth analysis of the propolis from North Carolina led to the isolation and identification of a triterpenic acid that was recently isolated from Hondurian propolis (Central America) and ethyl ether of p-coumaric alcohol not previously identified in bee propolis. QSI activity was also observed in the second group US propolis samples which contained the flavonoid pinocembrin in addition to other flavonoid compounds. The discovery of compounds that are involved in QSI activity has the potential to facilitate studies that may lead to the development of antivirulence therapies that can be complementary and/or alternative treatments against antibiotic resistant bacterial pathogens and/or emerging pathogens that have yet to be identified. Michael A. Savka, Lucas Dailey, Milena Popova, Ralitsa Mihaylova, Benjamin Merritt, Marissa Masek, Phuong Le, Sharifah Radziah Mat Nor, Muhammad Ahmad, André O. Hudson, and Vassya Bankova Copyright © 2015 Michael A. Savka et al. All rights reserved. On Newton-Kantorovich Method for Solving the Nonlinear Operator Equation Tue, 14 Apr 2015 17:02:54 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2015/219616/ We develop the Newton-Kantorovich method to solve the system of nonlinear Volterra integral equations where the unknown function is in logarithmic form. A new majorant function is introduced which leads to the increment of the convergence interval. The existence and uniqueness of approximate solution are proved and a numerical example is provided to show the validation of the method. Hameed Husam Hameed, Z. K. Eshkuvatov, Anvarjon Ahmedov, and N. M. A. Nik Long Copyright © 2015 Hameed Husam Hameed et al. All rights reserved. A Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry Based Study on Urine Metabolomics in Rats Chronically Poisoned with Hydrogen Sulfide Tue, 14 Apr 2015 17:02:10 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/295241/ Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GS-MS) in combination with multivariate statistical analysis was applied to explore the metabolic variability in urine of chronically hydrogen sulfide- (H2S-) poisoned rats relative to control ones. The changes in endogenous metabolites were studied by partial least squares-discriminate analysis (PLS-DA) and independent-samples t-test. The metabolic patterns of H2S-poisoned group are separated from the control, suggesting that the metabolic profiles of H2S-poisoned rats were markedly different from the controls. Moreover, compared to the control group, the level of alanine, d-ribose, tetradecanoic acid, L-aspartic acid, pentanedioic acid, cholesterol, acetate, and oleic acid in rat urine of the poisoning group decreased, while the level of glycine, d-mannose, arabinofuranose, and propanoic acid increased. These metabolites are related to amino acid metabolism as well as energy and lipid metabolism in vivo. Studying metabolomics using GC-MS allows for a comprehensive overview of the metabolism of the living body. This technique can be employed to decipher the mechanism of chronic H2S poisoning, thus promoting the use of metabolomics in clinical toxicology. Mingjie Deng, Meiling Zhang, Fa Sun, Jianshe Ma, Lufeng Hu, Xuezhi Yang, Guanyang Lin, and Xianqin Wang Copyright © 2015 Mingjie Deng et al. All rights reserved. An Integrated Modeling and Experimental Approach to Study the Influence of Environmental Nutrients on Biofilm Formation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Tue, 14 Apr 2015 16:59:46 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/506782/ The availability of nutrient components in the environment was identified as a critical regulator of virulence and biofilm formation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This work proposes the first systems-biology approach to quantify microbial biofilm formation upon the change of nutrient availability in the environment. Specifically, the change of fluxes of metabolic reactions that were positively associated with P. aeruginosa biofilm formation was used to monitor the trend for P. aeruginosa to form a biofilm. The uptake rates of nutrient components were changed according to the change of the nutrient availability. We found that adding each of the eleven amino acids (Arg, Tyr, Phe, His, Iso, Orn, Pro, Glu, Leu, Val, and Asp) to minimal medium promoted P. aeruginosa biofilm formation. Both modeling and experimental approaches were further developed to quantify P. aeruginosa biofilm formation for four different availability levels for each of the three ions that include ferrous ions, sulfate, and phosphate. The developed modeling approach correctly predicted the amount of biofilm formation. By comparing reaction flux change upon the change of nutrient concentrations, metabolic reactions used by P. aeruginosa to regulate its biofilm formation are mainly involved in arginine metabolism, glutamate production, magnesium transport, acetate metabolism, and the TCA cycle. Zhaobin Xu, Sabina Islam, Thomas K. Wood, and Zuyi Huang Copyright © 2015 Zhaobin Xu et al. All rights reserved. Computer-Simulated Biopsy Marking System for Endoscopic Surveillance of Gastric Lesions: A Pilot Study Tue, 14 Apr 2015 16:57:39 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/197270/ Endoscopic tattoo with India ink injection for surveillance of premalignant gastric lesions is technically cumbersome and may not be durable. The aim of the study is to evaluate the accuracy of a novel, computer-simulated biopsy marking system (CSBMS) developed for the endoscopic marking of gastric lesions. Twenty-five patients with history of gastric intestinal metaplasia received both CSBMS-guided marking and India ink injection in five points in the stomach at index endoscopy. A second endoscopy was performed at three months. Primary outcome was accuracy of CSBMS (distance between CSBMS probe-guided site and tattoo site measured by CSBMS). The mean accuracy of CSBMS at angularis was  mm, antral lesser curvature  mm, antral greater curvature  mm, antral anterior wall  mm, and antral posterior wall  mm. CSBMS ( versus seconds; ) required less procedure time compared to endoscopic tattooing. No adverse events were encountered. CSBMS accurately identified previously marked gastric sites by endoscopic tattooing within 1 cm on follow-up endoscopy. Weiling Hu, Bin Wang, Leimin Sun, Shujie Chen, Liangjing Wang, Kan Wang, Jiaguo Wu, John J. Kim, Jiquan Liu, Ning Dai, Huilong Duan, and Jianmin Si Copyright © 2015 Weiling Hu et al. All rights reserved. Polymorphous Low-Grade Adenocarcinoma of the Tongue Base Treated by Transoral Robotic Surgery Tue, 14 Apr 2015 15:38:18 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/criot/2015/981436/ Polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinoma is a rare malignancy arising from the minor salivary glands in the aerodigestive system, most frequently the hard palate. The treatment of choice is wide surgical resection, and the efficacy of radiotherapy has not been confirmed. A 54-year-old male presenting with a mass at the base of the tongue performed transoral laser microsurgery. The pathologic diagnosis was polymorphous low-grade adenocarcinoma. Complete surgical excision was performed via transoral robotic surgery without a flap reconstruction of the surgical defect. Without complications of bleeding or injury to the hypoglossal nerve, proper surgical margins were obtained, and no recurrence was found after 6 months after surgery. The patient did not complain of dysphagia or aspiration. We conclude that, in surgery for tongue base tumors with unknown malignant potential, transoral robotic surgery can be considered for achieving a definite resection avoiding a mandibulotomy without complications of dysphagia or aspiration after confirmation of malignancy with a frozen biopsy. Jeong Hong Kim, Chang Lim Hyun, and Gil Chai Lim Copyright © 2015 Jeong Hong Kim et al. All rights reserved. A Meshless Method Based on the Fundamental Solution and Radial Basis Function for Solving an Inverse Heat Conduction Problem Tue, 14 Apr 2015 15:36:15 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amp/2015/256726/ We propose a new meshless method to solve a backward inverse heat conduction problem. The numerical scheme, based on the fundamental solution of the heat equation and radial basis functions (RBFs), is used to obtain a numerical solution. Since the coefficients matrix is ill-conditioned, the Tikhonov regularization (TR) method is employed to solve the resulted system of linear equations. Also, the generalized cross-validation (GCV) criterion is applied to choose a regularization parameter. A test problem demonstrates the stability, accuracy, and efficiency of the proposed method. Muhammad Arghand and Majid Amirfakhrian Copyright © 2015 Muhammad Arghand and Majid Amirfakhrian. All rights reserved. Fusional Vergence Detected by Prism Bar and Synoptophore in Chinese Childhood Intermittent Exotropia Tue, 14 Apr 2015 14:33:49 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/joph/2015/987048/ Purpose. To measure the changes in fusional vergence in Chinese children with intermittent exotropia (IXT) and the association with the control of IXT. Methods. Ninety-two patients with IXT (8–15 years old) were compared with 86 controls. Exodeviation control was evaluated using the Revised Newcastle Control Score. Angle of deviation was measured using prism and alternate cover testing at distance and near. Fusional vergence was measured using prism bar and synoptophore. This study was registered with ChiCTR-RCC-13003920. Results. Using prism bar, convergence break points were lower whereas divergence break points were higher in children with IXT at distance () and near () compared with controls. There was no significant difference in mean divergence amplitudes between the two groups when testing using a synoptophore (). In children with IXT, the distance between recovery point and break point in both convergence (distance: ; near: ) and divergence (distance: ; near: ) was larger than controls when detected by prism bar and synoptophore (convergence: ; divergence: ). Conclusions. Children with IXT have reduced convergence amplitudes as detected by both prism bar and synoptophore. Tao Fu, Jing Wang, Moran Levin, Qing Su, Dongguo Li, and Junfa Li Copyright © 2015 Tao Fu et al. All rights reserved. Neonatal Urinary Ascites: A Report of Three Cases Tue, 14 Apr 2015 14:33:12 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crin/2015/942501/ Urinary ascites in neonates is not a common condition. Three cases of urinary ascites are presented and each of them has a different aetiology. Neonates with urinary ascites usually present as clinical emergency, requiring resuscitation, ventilator support, and subsequent drainage of urine. The ultimate management depends on the site of extravasation and the underlying cause. Adaobi Solarin, Priya Gajjar, and Peter Nourse Copyright © 2015 Adaobi Solarin et al. All rights reserved. Preparation, Characterization, and Dissolution Rate In Vitro Evaluation of Total Panax Notoginsenoside Nanoparticles, Typical Multicomponent Extracts from Traditional Chinese Medicine, Using Supercritical Antisolvent Process Tue, 14 Apr 2015 14:27:09 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnm/2015/439540/ Total Panax notoginsenosides nanoparticles, typical multicomponent extracts from traditional Chinese medicine, were prepared with a supercritical antisolvent (SAS) process using ethanol as solvent and carbon dioxide as antisolvent. The optimum conditions were determined to be as follows: TPNS solution concentration of 2.5 mg/mL, TPNS solution flow rate of 6.6 mL/min, precipitation temperature of 40°C, and precipitation pressure of 20 MPa. Under the optimum conditions, TPNS nanoparticles with a MPS of 141.5 ± 18.2 nm and total saponins amounts (TSA) of 78.9% were obtained. The TPNS nanoparticles obtained were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), dynamic light scattering (DLS), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), differential scanning calorimeters (DSC), and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The results showed that the chemical and crystal structure of the obtained TPNS nanoparticles has not changed. Dissolution in vitro studies showed that the solubility and dissolution rate of notoginsenosides R1 and ginsenoside Rb1 in TPNS nanoparticles are higher than these in raw TPNS, with no obvious difference in Rg1. These results suggest that TPNS nanoparticles can be helpful to the improvement of its bioavailability for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Ying Zhang, Xiuhua Zhao, Wengang Li, Yuangang Zu, Yong Li, and Kunlun Wang Copyright © 2015 Ying Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Cardioprotective Activity of Pongamia pinnata in Streptozotocin-Nicotinamide Induced Diabetic Rats Tue, 14 Apr 2015 14:21:31 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/403291/ Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre has been used in traditional medicine for the treatment for diabetes and metabolic disorder. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of petroleum ether extract of the stem bark of P. pinnata (known as PPSB-PEE) on cardiomyopathy in diabetic rats. Diabetes was induced in overnight fasted Sprague-Dawley rats by using injection of streptozotocin (55 mg/kg, i.p.). Nicotinamide (100 mg/kg, i.p.) was administered 20 min before administration of streptozotocin. Rats were divided into group I: nondiabetic, group II: diabetic control (tween 80, 2%; 10 mL/kg, p.o.) as vehicle, and group III: PPSB-PEE (100 mg/kg, p.o.). The blood glucose level, ECG, hemodynamic parameters, cardiotoxic and antioxidant biomarkers, and histology of heart were carried out after 4 months after STZ with nicotinamide injection. PPSB-PEE treatment improved the electrocardiographic, hemodynamic changes; LV contractile function; biological markers; oxidative stress parameters; and histological changes in STZ induced diabetic rats. PPSB-PEE (100 mg/kg, p.o.) decreased blood glucose level, improved electrocardiographic parameters (QRS, QT, and QTc intervals) and hemodynamic parameters (SBP, DBP, EDP, max , contractility index, and heart rate), controlled levels of cardiac biomarkers (CK-MB, LDH, and AST), and improved oxidative stress (SOD, MDA, and GSH) in diabetic rats. PPSB-PEE is a promising remedy against cardiomyopathy in diabetic rats. Sachin L. Badole, Swapnil M. Chaudhari, Ganesh B. Jangam, Amit D. Kandhare, and Subhash L. Bodhankar Copyright © 2015 Sachin L. Badole et al. All rights reserved. A Silent Alarm at Occupational Evaluation Two Months after a Normal Painful ECG: A Case of Wellens’ syndrome Tue, 14 Apr 2015 14:10:53 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/cric/2015/819205/ We describe a case of a 42-year-old man, with a previous episode of angina and a normal ECG and serum cardiac markers, and a two months later finding of biphasic T wave in leads V2-V3 and deeply inverted T wave in V4-V5 at a asymptomatic occupational evaluation. This is a typical ECG pattern of Wellens’ syndrome. A subsequent coronary angiography showed a critical stenosis of proximal left anterior descendent. We underline the careful value of prolonged observation in chest pain unit and repetitive ECG evaluation also during pain-free period after an angina episode, to exclude an earlier T wave pseudonormalization. Giuseppe Di Stolfo, Sandra Mastroianno, Giovanni De Luca, Domenico Rosario Potenza, Nicola Marchese, Carlo Vigna, and Raffaele Fanelli Copyright © 2015 Giuseppe Di Stolfo et al. All rights reserved. Prevention of Cerebral Embolism Progression by Emergency Surgery of the Left Atrial Myxoma Tue, 14 Apr 2015 14:09:08 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/crim/2015/151802/ A 21-year-old woman developed left hemiparesis during work and was hospitalized. Her National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score was 4. Hyperintense areas in the left basal ganglia, corona radiata, and cortex of the temporal lobe were found by brain diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging, indicating acute cerebral infarction. Echocardiography showed a giant mass of diameter 7 × 4 cm in the left atrium. Therefore, she was diagnosed with cerebral embolism due to a left atrial myxoma. Currently, thrombolytic therapy may continue to be effective because the embolic source may be composed of tumor tissue itself. In case of atrial myxoma, we considered that the use of tPA as emergency treatment in all patients with infarction by atrial myxoma may be questioned. Thus, cardiac tumor extraction was performed the next day after hospitalization without thrombolytic therapy. The excised myxoma measured 7 × 6 × 4 cm. The patient recovered and her neurological symptoms also improved. Furthermore, her National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score improved to 0. Thirteen days after admission, the patient was discharged from our hospital. Cardiac myxoma is often associated with a high risk of embolic episodes, which emphasizes the need for prompt surgical excision as soon as the diagnosis is confirmed. Syuichi Tetsuka and Kunihiko Ikeguchi Copyright © 2015 Syuichi Tetsuka and Kunihiko Ikeguchi. All rights reserved. Head-Neck Taper Corrosion in Hip Arthroplasty Tue, 14 Apr 2015 14:00:34 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/758123/ Modularity at the head-neck junction of the femoral component in THA became popular as a design feature with advantages of decreasing implant inventory and allowing adjustment of leg length, offset, and soft tissue balancing through different head options. The introduction of a new modular interface to femoral stems that were previously monoblock, or nonmodular, comes with the potential for corrosion at the taper junction through mechanically assisted crevice corrosion. The incidence of revision hip arthroplasty is on the rise and along with improved wear properties of polyethylene and ceramic, use of larger femoral head sizes is becoming increasingly popular. Taper corrosion appears to be related to all of its geometric parameters, material combinations, and femoral head size. This review article discusses the pathogenesis, risk factors, clinical assessment, and management of taper corrosion at the head-neck junction. S. Hussenbocus, D. Kosuge, L. B. Solomon, D. W. Howie, and R. H. Oskouei Copyright © 2015 S. Hussenbocus et al. All rights reserved. Low-Power and Reliable Communications for UWB-Based Wireless Monitoring Sensor Networks in Underground Mine Tunnels Tue, 14 Apr 2015 13:45:56 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijdsn/2015/456460/ This paper investigates the bit-error-rate (BER) and maximum allowable data throughput (MADTh) performance of a novel low-power mismatched Rake receiver structure for ultra wideband (UWB) wireless monitoring sensor networks in underground mine tunnels. This receive node structure provides a promising solution for low-power and reliable communications in underground mine tunnels with more than 90% reduction in power consumption. The BER and MADTh of the proposed receive nodes are investigated via Monte-Carlo simulations in UWB line-of-sight (LOS) and non-line-of-sight (NLOS) underground mine tunnels. The proposed mismatched receive nodes achieve a MADTh and BER performance approaching the corresponding optimal nodes with ≈1 dB and 1.5 dB BER performance degradation in LOS and NLOS scenarios, respectively. The mismatched PRake (M-PRake) receiver model with represents the best choice for low-power and reliable communications in sensor networks in underground mine tunnels with BER performance degradation of 1 dB and 3 dB in LOS and NLOS scenarios, respectively, as compared to the optimum detector. This minimal degradation in performance is traded for more than 90% reduction in power consumption. Mohamad Abou El-Nasr and Heba Shaban Copyright © 2015 Mohamad Abou El-Nasr and Heba Shaban. All rights reserved. Human Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells Inhibit the Function of Allogeneic Activated Vγ9Vδ2 T Lymphocytes In Vitro Tue, 14 Apr 2015 13:45:42 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/317801/ Background. Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (UC-MSCs) can regulate the function of immune cells. However, whether and how UC-MSCs can modulate the function of Vγ9Vδ2 T cells has not been fully understood. Methods. The PBMCs or Vγ9Vδ2 T cells were activated and expanded with pamidronate (PAM) and interleukin-2 (IL-2) with or without the presence UC-MSCs. The effects of UC-MSCs on the proliferation, cytokine expression, and cytotoxicity of Vγ9Vδ2 T cells were determined by flow cytometry. The effects of UC-MSCs on Fas-L, TRAIL-expressing Vγ9Vδ2 T cells, and Vγ9Vδ2 T cell apoptosis were determined by flow cytometry. Results. UC-MSCs inhibited Vγ9Vδ2 T cell proliferation in a dose-dependent but cell-contact independent manner. Coculture with UC-MSCs reduced the frequency of IFNγ+ but increased granzyme B+ Vγ9Vδ2 T cells. UC-MSCs inhibited the cytotoxicity of Vγ9Vδ2 T cells against influenza virus H1N1 infected A549 cells and also reduced the frequency of Fas-L+, TRAIL+ Vγ9Vδ2 T cells but failed to modulate the apoptosis of Vγ9Vδ2 T cells. Conclusions. These results indicated that UC-MSCs efficiently suppressed the proliferation and cytotoxicity of Vγ9Vδ2 T cells and modulated their cytokine production. Fas-L and TRAIL were involved in the regulation. Cell contact and apoptosis of Vγ9Vδ2 T cells were not necessary for the inhibition. Xiaohuan Liu, Ting Feng, Tianxiang Gong, Chongyang Shen, Tingting Zhu, Qihong Wu, Qiang Li, and Hong Li Copyright © 2015 Xiaohuan Liu et al. All rights reserved. Strain US Elastography for the Characterization of Thyroid Nodules: Advantages and Limitation Tue, 14 Apr 2015 13:43:29 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ije/2015/908575/ Thyroid nodules, with their high prevalence in the general population, represent a diagnostic challenge for clinicians. Ultrasound (US), although absolutely reliable in detecting thyroid nodules, is still not accurate enough to differentiate them into benign and malignant. A promising novel modality, US elastography, has been introduced in order to further increase US accuracy. The purpose of this review article is to assess the thyroid application of US strain elastography, also known as real-time elastography or quasistatic elastography. We provide a presentation of the technique, and of up-to-date literature, analyzing the most prominent results reported for thyroid nodules differentiation. The practical advantages and limitations of strain elastography are extensively discussed herein. Vito Cantisani, Hektor Grazhdani, Elena Drakonaki, Vito D’Andrea, Mattia Di Segni, Erton Kaleshi, Fabrizio Calliada, Carlo Catalano, Adriano Redler, Luca Brunese, Francesco Maria Drudi, Angela Fumarola, Giovanni Carbotta, Fabrizio Frattaroli, Nicola Di Leo, Mauro Ciccariello, Marcello Caratozzolo, and Ferdinando D’Ambrosio Copyright © 2015 Vito Cantisani et al. All rights reserved. Vitex agnus-castus L. (Verbenaceae) Improves the Liver Lipid Metabolism and Redox State of Ovariectomized Rats Tue, 14 Apr 2015 12:54:36 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/212378/ Vitex agnus-castus (VAC) is a plant that has recently been used to treat the symptoms of menopause, by its actions on the central nervous system. However, little is known about its actions on disturbances in lipid metabolism and nonalcoholic fat liver disease (NAFLD), frequently associated with menopause. Ovariectomized (OVX) rats exhibit increased adiposity and NAFLD 13 weeks after ovary removal and were used as animal models of estrogen deficiency. The rats were treated with crude extract (CE) and a butanolic fraction of VAC (ButF) and displayed the beneficial effects of a reduction in the adiposity index and a complete reversion of NAFLD. NAFLD reversion was accompanied by a general improvement in the liver redox status. The activities of some antioxidant enzymes were restored and the mitochondrial hydrogen peroxide production was significantly reduced in animals treated with CE and the ButF. It can be concluded that the CE and ButF from Vitex agnus-castus were effective in preventing NAFLD and oxidative stress, which are frequent causes of abnormal liver functions in the postmenopausal period. Franciele Neves Moreno, Lilian Brites Campos-Shimada, Silvio Claudio da Costa, Rosângela Fernandes Garcia, Alessandra Lourenço Cecchini, Maria Raquel Marçal Natali, Adriana de Souza Vitoriano, Emy Luiza Ishii-Iwamoto, and Clairce Luzia Salgueiro-Pagadigorria Copyright © 2015 Franciele Neves Moreno et al. All rights reserved. A Fuzzy Kernel Maximum Margin Criterion for Image Feature Extraction Tue, 14 Apr 2015 12:52:16 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/mpe/2015/641510/ Based on kernel principal component analysis, fuzzy set theory, and maximum margin criterion, a novel image feature extraction and recognition method, called fuzzy kernel maximum margin criterion (FKMMC), is proposed. In the proposed method, two new fuzzy scatter matrixes are redefined. The new fuzzy scatter matrix can reflect fully the relation between fuzzy membership degree and the offset of the training sample to subclass center. Besides, a concise reliable computational method of the fuzzy between-class scatter matrix is provided. Experimental results on four face databases (AR, extended Yale B, GTFD, and FERET) demonstrate that the proposed method outperforms other methods. Shibin Xuan Copyright © 2015 Shibin Xuan. All rights reserved. Temporal Patterns of Shrub Vegetation and Variation with Precipitation in Gurbantunggut Desert, Central Asia Tue, 14 Apr 2015 11:58:29 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/amete/2015/157245/ The relationship between shrub vegetation and precipitation is one important component of desert vegetation responses to climate change, but it has not been understood completely because of its complexity and nonlinearity. In this study, we used MODIS NDVI data and precipitation data from 2004 to 2012 to evaluate the relationship between the shrub vegetation and precipitation within Gurbantunggut Desert, Central Asia. Correlation analysis was employed to explore the relationship between NDVI and precipitation within growing season, within cross growing season, and on interannual scale. The results showed that NDVI could be classified into three temporal changing patterns within growing season, and NDVI was significantly correlated with the precipitation integrated by time durations and time lags within growing season; NDVI was significantly correlated with precipitation in the early growing season, but this relationship was not so obvious in the middle or late growing season; and the NDVI variational patterns depended on mean annual precipitation and the distribution of precipitation throughout the year. Precipitation had significant influence on shrub vegetation within Gurbantunggut Desert. Our findings provide basic knowledge for the relationship between precipitation and shrub vegetation, and it is helpful to understand how the desert vegetation responds to climate change in the future. Yuguang Yang, Chengyi Zhao, Ming Han, Yike Li, and Ruihong Yang Copyright © 2015 Yuguang Yang et al. All rights reserved. Molecular Mechanoneurobiology: An Emerging Angle to Explore Neural Synaptic Functions Tue, 14 Apr 2015 11:53:13 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/486827/ Neural synapses are intercellular asymmetrical junctions that transmit biochemical and biophysical information between a neuron and a target cell. They are very tight, dynamic, and well organized by many synaptic adhesion molecules, signaling receptors, ion channels, and their associated cytoskeleton that bear forces. Mechanical forces have been an emerging factor in regulating axon guidance and growth, synapse formation and plasticity in physiological and pathological brain activity. Therefore, mechanical forces are undoubtedly exerted on those synaptic molecules and modulate their functions. Here we review current progress on how mechanical forces regulate receptor-ligand interactions, protein conformations, ion channels activation, and cytoskeleton dynamics and discuss how these regulations potentially affect synapse formation, stabilization, and plasticity. Wei Hu, Chenyi An, and Wei J. Chen Copyright © 2015 Wei Hu et al. All rights reserved. On the Relation between Phase-Type Distributions and Positive Systems Tue, 14 Apr 2015 11:51:02 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aaa/2015/731261/ The relation between phase-type representation and positive system realization in both the discrete and continuous time is discussed. Using the Perron-Frobenius theorem of nonnegative matrix theory, a transformation from positive realization to phase-type realization is derived under the excitability condition. In order to explain the connection, some useful properties and characteristics such as irreducibility, excitability, transparency, and order reduction for positive realization and phase-type representation are discussed. In addition, the connection between the phase-type renewal process and the feedback positive system is discussed in the stabilization concept. Kyungsup Kim Copyright © 2015 Kyungsup Kim. All rights reserved. A Novel Animal Model of Impaired Glucose Tolerance Induced by the Interaction of Vitamin E Deficiency and 60Co Radiation Tue, 14 Apr 2015 11:34:30 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/457246/ Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), known as the prediabetes stage, is usually induced by habits of life or environmental factors. Established IGT animal models are mostly conducted with chemical compounds such as streptozocin or genetic modification. However, the occasion of exposure to these factors in daily life is seldom. The objective of this study was to establish a new animal model of IGT induced by VE deficiency in diet and exposure to radiation. SD rats were treated individually or in combination of these two factors. In the combination group, the calculated insulin sensitivity index decreased; then HOMA-β value increased. Oxidative damage and IGT were observed. Insulin secretion level in perfusate from pancreas response to glucose was characterized by a rapid but reduced first phase and an obviously defective second phase upon pancreas perfusion. Histopathological images demonstrated the pathological changes. Western blotting analysis showed that the insulin signaling pathway was downregulated. The interaction of VE deficiency in diet and exposure to radiation could break the equilibrium of oxidation and antioxidation and result in IGT. More importantly, a new IGT model was successfully established which may be conducive to further research into development of drugs against human IGT. Yue Guan, Yan Cheng, Ying Yin, Jialin Duan, Guo Wei, Yan Weng, Chao Guo, Yanrong Zhu, Yanhua Wang, Miaomiao Xi, and Aidong Wen Copyright © 2015 Yue Guan et al. All rights reserved. Stochastic Phenomena in One-Dimensional Rulkov Model of Neuronal Dynamics Tue, 14 Apr 2015 11:34:14 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ddns/2015/495417/ We study the nonlinear Rulkov map-based neuron model forced by random disturbances. For this model, an overview of the variety of stochastic regimes is given. For the parametric analysis of these regimes, the stochastic sensitivity functions technique is used. In a period-doubling zone, we analyze backward stochastic bifurcations modelling changes of modality of noisy neuron spiking. Noise-induced transitions in a zone of bistability are considered. It is shown how such random transitions can generate a new neuronal regime of the stochastic bursting and transfer the system from order to chaos. A transient zone of values of noise intensity corresponding to the onset of noise-induced bursting and chaotization is localized by the stochastic sensitivity functions technique. Irina Bashkirtseva Copyright © 2015 Irina Bashkirtseva. All rights reserved. The Involvement of GAS6 Signaling in the Development of Obesity and Associated Inflammation Tue, 14 Apr 2015 11:33:07 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ije/2015/202513/ Growth arrest-specific 6 (GAS6), a vitamin K-dependent protein, plays a role in the survival, proliferation, migration, differentiation, adhesion, and apoptosis of cells. GAS6 is highly expressed during growth arrest, followed by a sharp decrease during differentiation in adipocytes. The functions of GAS6 signaling are limited to TAM (Tyro3, Axl, and Mer) receptors and are dependent on the cell type. While many studies have focused on the role of GAS6 in inflammation and cancer, only few studies focused on its roles of GAS6 in obesity. Accordingly, the participation of GAS6 in the progression of obesity remains controversial. In this review, we summarize the results of current studies from clinical and basic research to elucidate the possible role of GAS6 signaling in obesity and associated disorders. In addition, this summary may offer a direction to develop clinical therapeutic strategies for the prevention and treatment of obesity and related complications. Kuo-Sheng Wu, Yi-Jen Hung, Chien-Hsing Lee, Fone-Ching Hsiao, and Po-Shiuan Hsieh Copyright © 2015 Kuo-Sheng Wu et al. All rights reserved. Oscillation Criteria of Third-Order Nonlinear Damped Dynamic Equations on Time Scales Tue, 14 Apr 2015 11:31:42 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ddns/2015/231261/ We establish oscillation criteria of third-order nonlinear damped dynamic equations on time scales of the form by employing functions in some function classes and the generalized Riccati transformation. Two examples are given to show the significance of the conclusions. Yang-Cong Qiu Copyright © 2015 Yang-Cong Qiu. All rights reserved. Progress and Challenges toward the Development of Vaccines against Avian Infectious Bronchitis Tue, 14 Apr 2015 11:30:14 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2015/424860/ Avian infectious bronchitis (IB) is a widely distributed poultry disease that has huge economic impact on poultry industry. The continuous emergence of new IBV genotypes and lack of cross protection among different IBV genotypes have been an important challenge. Although live attenuated IB vaccines remarkably induce potent immune response, the potential risk of reversion to virulence, neutralization by the maternal antibodies, and recombination and mutation events are important concern on their usage. On the other hand, inactivated vaccines induce a weaker immune response and may require multiple dosing and/or the use of adjuvants that probably have potential safety risks and increased economic burdens. Consequently, alternative IB vaccines are widely sought. Recent advances in recombinant DNA technology have resulted in experimental IB vaccines that show promise in antibody and T-cells responses, comparable to live attenuated vaccines. Recombinant DNA vaccines have also been enhanced to target multiple serotypes and their efficacy has been improved using delivery vectors, nanoadjuvants, and in ovo vaccination approaches. Although most recombinant IB DNA vaccines are yet to be licensed, it is expected that these types of vaccines may hold sway as future vaccines for inducing a cross protection against multiple IBV serotypes. Faruku Bande, Siti Suri Arshad, Mohd Hair Bejo, Hassan Moeini, and Abdul Rahman Omar Copyright © 2015 Faruku Bande et al. All rights reserved. Intuitive Web-Based Experimental Design for High-Throughput Biomedical Data Tue, 14 Apr 2015 11:18:12 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/958302/ Big data bioinformatics aims at drawing biological conclusions from huge and complex biological datasets. Added value from the analysis of big data, however, is only possible if the data is accompanied by accurate metadata annotation. Particularly in high-throughput experiments intelligent approaches are needed to keep track of the experimental design, including the conditions that are studied as well as information that might be interesting for failure analysis or further experiments in the future. In addition to the management of this information, means for an integrated design and interfaces for structured data annotation are urgently needed by researchers. Here, we propose a factor-based experimental design approach that enables scientists to easily create large-scale experiments with the help of a web-based system. We present a novel implementation of a web-based interface allowing the collection of arbitrary metadata. To exchange and edit information we provide a spreadsheet-based, humanly readable format. Subsequently, sample sheets with identifiers and metainformation for data generation facilities can be created. Data files created after measurement of the samples can be uploaded to a datastore, where they are automatically linked to the previously created experimental design model. Andreas Friedrich, Erhan Kenar, Oliver Kohlbacher, and Sven Nahnsen Copyright © 2015 Andreas Friedrich et al. All rights reserved. Nanoparticle Enhanced MRI Scanning to Detect Cellular Inflammation in Experimental Chronic Renal Allograft Rejection Tue, 14 Apr 2015 11:16:17 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijmi/2015/507909/ Objectives. We investigated whether ultrasmall paramagnetic particles of iron oxide- (USPIO-) enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can detect experimental chronic allograft damage in a murine renal allograft model. Materials and Methods. Two cohorts of mice underwent renal transplantation with either a syngeneic isograft or allograft kidney. MRI scanning was performed prior to and 48 hours after USPIO infusion using -weighted protocols. values were calculated to indicate the degree of USPIO uptake. Native kidneys and skeletal muscle were imaged as reference tissues and renal explants analysed by histology and electron microscopy. Results. values in the allograft group were higher compared to the isograft group when indexed to native kidney (median 1.24 (interquartile range: 1.12 to 1.36) versus 0.96 (0.92 to 1.04), ). values were also higher in the allograft transplant when indexed to skeletal muscle (6.24 (5.63 to 13.51)) compared to native kidney (2.91 (1.11 to 6.46) ). Increased signal in kidney allograft was associated with macrophage and iron staining on histology. USPIO were identified within tissue resident macrophages on electron microscopy. Conclusion. USPIO-enhanced MRI identifies macrophage. S. R. Alam, G. H. Tse, C. Stirrat, T. J. MacGillivray, R. J. Lennen, M. A. Jansen, D. E. Newby, L. Marson, and P. A. Henriksen Copyright © 2015 S. R. Alam et al. All rights reserved. Molecularly Imprinted Nanomicrospheres as Matrix Solid-Phase Dispersant Combined with Gas Chromatography for Determination of Four Phosphorothioate Pesticides in Carrot and Yacon Tue, 14 Apr 2015 11:15:10 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jamc/2015/385167/ An efficient, rapid, and selective method for sample pretreatment, namely, molecularly imprinted matrix solid-phase dispersion (MI-MSPD) coupled with gas chromatography (GC), was developed for the rapid isolation of four phosphorothioate organophosphorus pesticides (tolclofos-methyl, phoxim, chlorpyrifos, and parathion-methyl) from carrot and yacon samples. New molecularly imprinted polymer nanomicrospheres were synthesized by using typical structural analogue tolclofos-methyl as a dummy template via surface grafting polymerization on nanosilica. Then, these four pesticides in carrot and yacon were extracted and adsorbed using the imprinted nanomicrospheres and further determined by gas chromatography. Under the optimized conditions, a good linearity of four pesticides was obtained in a range of 0.05–17.0 ng·g−1 with R varying from 0.9971 to 0.9996, and the detection limit of the method was 0.012~0.026 ng·g−1 in carrot and yacon samples. The recovery rates at two spiked levels were in the range of 85.4–105.6% with RSD ≤9.6%. The presented MI-MSPD method combined the advantages of MSPD for allowing the extraction, dispersion, and homogenization in two steps and the advantages of MIPs for high affinity and selectivity towards four phosphorothioate pesticides, which could be applied to the determination of pesticide residues in complicated vegetal samples. Mengchun Zhou, Nana Hu, Shaohua Shu, and Mo Wang Copyright © 2015 Mengchun Zhou et al. All rights reserved. Increased Clearance of Reactive Aldehydes and Damaged Proteins in Hypertension-Induced Compensated Cardiac Hypertrophy: Impact of Exercise Training Tue, 14 Apr 2015 11:13:11 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2015/464195/ Background. We previously reported that exercise training (ET) facilitates the clearance of damaged proteins in heart failure. Here, we characterized the impact of ET on cardiac protein quality control during compensated ventricular hypertrophy in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Methods and Results. SHR were randomly assigned into sedentary and swimming-trained groups. Sedentary SHR displayed cardiac hypertrophy with preserved ventricular function compared to normotensive rats, characterizing a compensated cardiac hypertrophy. Hypertensive rats presented signs of cardiac oxidative stress, depicted by increased lipid peroxidation. However, these changes were not followed by accumulation of lipid peroxidation-generated reactive aldehydes and damaged proteins. This scenario was explained, at least in part, by the increased catalytic activity of both aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) and proteasome. Of interest, ET exacerbated cardiac hypertrophy, improved ventricular function, induced resting bradycardia, and decreased blood pressure in SHR. These changes were accompanied by reduced cardiac oxidative stress and a consequent decrease in ALDH2 and proteasome activities, without affecting small chaperones levels and apoptosis in SHR. Conclusion. Increased cardiac ALDH2 and proteasomal activities counteract the deleterious effect of excessive oxidative stress in hypertension-induced compensated cardiac hypertrophy in rats. ET has a positive effect in reducing cardiac oxidative stress without affecting protein quality control. Juliane Cruz Campos, Tiago Fernandes, Luiz Roberto Grassmann Bechara, Nathalie Alves da Paixão, Patricia Chakur Brum, Edilamar Menezes de Oliveira, and Julio Cesar Batista Ferreira Copyright © 2015 Juliane Cruz Campos et al. All rights reserved.