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Genetic Diversity of Shanlan Upland Rice (Oryza sativa L.) and Association Analysis of SSR Markers Linked to Agronomic Traits
Shanlan upland rice, a kind of unique rice germplasm in Hainan Island, was used to evaluate genetic diversity and association between SSR markers and agronomic traits. A total of 239 alleles were detected in 57 Hainan upland rice varieties using 35 SSR markers, and the number of alleles per locus was 2-19. The observed heterozygosity was 0.0655-0.3115. The Shannon diversity index was 0.1352-0.4827. The genetic similarity coefficient was 0.6736-0.9707, and 46 varieties were clustered into one group, indicating that the genetic base of the Shanlan upland rice germplasm was narrow. A total of 25 SSR markers significantly related to plant height, effective panicle number per plant, panicle length, total grain number, filled grain number, seed rating rate, and 1000-grain weight were obtained (), with the percentage of the total variations explained ranging from 0.12% to 42.62%. RM208 explained 42.62% of the total variations in plant height of Shanlan upland rice. RM493 was significantly associated with 6 agronomic traits. We can speculate that RM208 may flank QTLs responsible for plant height and RM493 may flank QTLs playing a fundamental role in the intertwined regulatory network of agronomic traits of Shanlan upland rice.
In Vitro Anticancer Activity of Imperata cylindrica Root’s Extract toward Human Cervical Cancer and Identification of Potential Bioactive Compounds
Imperata cylindrica is traditionally used to cure several diseases including cancer, wounds, and hypertension. The present study was designed to investigate the anticancer activity of the methanolic root extract of I. cylindrica (IC-MeOH). The water-soluble tetrazolium-1 and colony formation assays were used to check the proliferation ability of the cells. Cell apoptosis and cell cycle were measured by flow cytometry-based fluorescence-activated cell sorting. The ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography-high-resolution mass spectrometry (UHPLC-HRMS) analysis was used for the metabolites profiling of IC-MeOH. Based on high-mass accuracy, spectral data, and previous reports, tentative compound identifications were assigned. Our findings revealed that IC-MeOH inhibited the proliferation of HeLa and CaSki cells. The plant extract was also found to induce a concentration- and time-dependent apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in the G0/G1 phase (IC50 value) in CaSki cell line. Analysis of IC-MeOH permitted the identification of 10 compounds already reported for their anticancer activity, epicatechin, curcumin, (-)-yatein, caffeic acid, myricetin, jatrorrhizine, harmaline, cinnamaldehyde, dobutamine, and syringin. In conclusion, IC-MeOH is a rich source of cytotoxic metabolites that inhibits human cervical cancer proliferation via apoptosis and cell cycle arrest.
HIV Preventive Behaviors and Associated Factors among Gold Mining Workers in Dima District, Southwest Ethiopia, 2019: Community-Based Cross-Sectional Study
Background. HIV/AIDS is becoming more prevalent over time, resulting in a considerable number of deaths. In 2017, 36.9 million (35.1 million adults) people worldwide were living with HIV, 1.8 million people were newly infected with HIV, and 940 000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses. Mining workers are at a high risk of contracting HIV and infecting others, and effective prevention is a critical. Objective. To assess HIV preventive behaviors and associated factors among gold mining workers in Dima district, southwest Ethiopia, 2019. Methods and Materials. A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted from November 1st to 30th, 2019. A convenience sampling technique was used to get mining workers for the interview.The data were collected through face-to-face interviews. The collected data were coded and entered into EpiData version 22.214.171.124, cleaned, and analyzed using SPSS version 21 statistical software. A binary logistic regression was conducted to determine the association using odds ratios at 95% confidence intervals. A value of less than 0.05 considered the level of significance for HIV preventive behaviors. Results. From a total of 455 mining worker, 279 (61.3%) of them have good practices of HIV prevention. Factors associated with good preventive practice were not alcohol drinkers (, 95% CI: 1.30-6.29), not chew khat (, 95% CI: 1.09-4.02), having good knowledge about HIV (, CI: 1.16-2.83), favorable attitude towards HIV prevention (, 95% CI: 3.02-7.49), and high perceived susceptibility to HIV (, 95% CI: 1.63-4.24). Conclusion. Only about 61% of the mining workers in the study area were practiced HIV preventive behaviors. Not alcohol drinkers, having good knowledge about HIV, having a favorable attitude toward HIV prevention, and having high perceived susceptibility to HIV were factors associated with the practice of HIV preventive behaviors. Efforts have to be made by local governments and other concerned bodies to increase preventive behavior.
Exploring Molecular Mechanisms Involved in the Development of the Depression-Like Phenotype in Interleukin-18-Deficient Mice
Interleukin-18 (IL-18) is an inflammatory cytokine that has been linked to energy homeostasis and psychiatric symptoms such as depression and cognitive impairment. We previously revealed that deficiency in IL-18 led to hippocampal abnormalities and resulted in depression-like symptoms. However, the impact of IL-18 deficiency on other brain regions remains to be clarified. In this study, we first sought to confirm that IL-18 expression in neural cells can be found in human brain tissue. Subsequently, we examined the expression of genes in the prefrontal cortex of Il18−/− mice and compared it with gene expression in mice subjected to a chronic mild stress model of depression. Extracted genes were further analyzed using Ingenuity® Pathway Analysis, in which 18 genes common to both the chronic mild stressed model and Il18−/− mice were identified. Of those, 16 were significantly differentially expressed between Il18+/+ and Il18−/− mice. We additionally measured protein expression of α-2-HS-glycoprotein (AHSG) and transthyretin (TTR) in serum and the brain. In the prefrontal cortex of Il18−/− mice, TTR but not AHSG was significantly decreased. Conversely, in the serum of Il18−/− mice, AHSG was significantly increased but not TTR. Therefore, our results suggest that in IL-18-deficit conditions, TTR in the brain is one of the mediators causally related to depression, and AHSG in peripheral organs is one of the regulators inducing energy imbalance. Moreover, this study suggests a possible “signpost” to clarify the molecular mechanisms commonly underlying the immune system, energy metabolism, neural function, and depressive disorders.
Development and Validation of a Novel Ferroptosis-Related Gene Signature for Predicting Prognosis and the Immune Microenvironment in Gastric Cancer
Ferroptosis is a mode of regulated cell death that depends on iron and plays pivotal roles in regulating various biological processes in human cancers. However, the role of ferroptosis in gastric cancer (GC) remains unclear. In our study, a total of 2721 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were filtered based on The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) () dataset. Weighted gene coexpression network (WGCNA) analysis was then used and identified 7 modules, of which the blue module with the most significant enrichment result was selected. By taking the intersections of the blue module and ferroptosis-related genes (FRGs), we obtained 23 common genes. Functional analysis was performed to explore the biological function of the genes of interest, and with univariate Cox regression (UCR) analysis, survival genes were screened to construct a prognostic model based on 3 genes (SLC1A5, ANGPTL4, and CGAS), which could play a role in predicting the survival of GC patients. UCR and multivariate Cox regression (MCR) analysis revealed that the prognostic index could be used as an independent prognostic indicator and validated using another GSE84437 dataset. Notably, patients in the high-risk group had higher mutation frequencies, such as TTN and TP53. TIMER analysis demonstrated that the risk score strongly correlated with macrophage and CD4+ T cell infiltration. In addition, the high- and low-risk groups illustrated different distributions of different immune statuses. Furthermore, the low-risk group had a higher immunophenoscore (IPS), which meant a better response to immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). Finally, gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) revealed several significant pathways involved in GC. In this study, a novel FRG signature was built that could predict GC prognosis and reflect the status of the tumor immune microenvironment.
Identification of Preferred Learning Style of Medical and Dental Students Using VARK Questionnaire
Students have unique preferences when it comes to knowledge acquisition, information processing, retention in memory, and recall. This study is aimed at examining the preferred learning styles of medical and dental undergraduate students of Pakistan. It is also aimed at investigating the influence of gender, preclinical or clinical academic year, and academic record on the preferred learning style. A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in Pakistan. The learning styles of undergraduate students were identified using visual, aural, read/write, and kinesthetic (VARK) questionnaire. Students were also asked about their satisfaction towards teaching style of their teachers in institute. Descriptive statistics were done to characterize the learning styles of the students. The Fisher test and chi-square test were used to compare the learning preferences between genders and public/private sector students and among preclinical/clinical years. A value of less than 0.05 was considered significant. A total of 1473 students participated in the study. Among the students, 39.37% preferred unimodal learning style whereas 60.62% preferred multimodal style. Kinesthetic (K) and visual (V) were the most preferred unimodal styles. The preferred learning styles of female students are aural (A), visual (V), and kinesthetic (K), whereas male students preferred visual (V) and kinesthetic more (K). Students with lower academic record chose unimodal styles in comparison to high achievers that chose multimodal styles. Students of clinical year preferred multimodal and quadmodal styles in comparison to preclinical year students. An alarming 78% of students were dissatisfied with their teacher’s instructional style. Majority of students prefer multimodal learning styles over unimodal style. Gender, public/private sector, and academic record have influence on the preference of learning styles. Majority of the students are dissatisfied with their teacher’s instructional style and rely on social media platforms for understanding. Academics need to adapt their teaching methods according to student preferences in order to get better graduates.