The Scientific World Journal The latest articles from Hindawi © 2017 , Hindawi Limited . All rights reserved. Gabapentin Inhibits Protein Kinase C Epsilon Translocation in Cultured Sensory Neurons with Additive Effects When Coapplied with Paracetamol (Acetaminophen) Thu, 16 Feb 2017 08:57:17 +0000 Gabapentin is a well-established anticonvulsant drug which is also effective for the treatment of neuropathic pain. Although the exact mechanism leading to relief of allodynia and hyperalgesia caused by neuropathy is not known, the blocking effect of gabapentin on voltage-dependent calcium channels has been proposed to be involved. In order to further evaluate its analgesic mechanisms, we tested the efficacy of gabapentin on protein kinase C epsilon (PKCε) translocation in cultured peripheral neurons isolated from rat dorsal root ganglia (DRGs). We found that gabapentin significantly reduced PKCε translocation induced by the pronociceptive peptides bradykinin and prokineticin 2, involved in both inflammatory and chronic pain. We recently showed that paracetamol (acetaminophen), a very commonly used analgesic drug, also produces inhibition of PKCε. We tested the effect of the combined use of paracetamol and gabapentin, and we found that the inhibition of translocation adds up. Our study provides a novel mechanism of action for gabapentin in sensory neurons and suggests a mechanism of action for the combined use of paracetamol and gabapentin, which has recently been shown to be effective, with a cumulative behavior, in the control of postoperative pain in human patients. Vittorio Vellani and Chiara Giacomoni Copyright © 2017 Vittorio Vellani and Chiara Giacomoni. All rights reserved. New Records of Hyphoderma (Meruliaceae, Polyporales) for India Mon, 06 Feb 2017 06:30:17 +0000 An account of eight species of genus Hyphoderma (H. clavatum, H. definitum, H. echinocystis, H. litschaueri, H. nemorale, H. subpraetermissum, H. tibia, and H. transiens) is presented, which is based on collections made from Uttarakhand state during 2009–2014. All these species are cited and fully described for the first time from India. Sanjeev Kumar Sanyal, Ritu Devi, and Gurpaul Singh Dhingra Copyright © 2017 Sanjeev Kumar Sanyal et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Harvesting Stage on Sweet Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) Genotypes in Western Kenya Wed, 01 Feb 2017 09:55:49 +0000 Harvesting stage of sweet sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) cane is an important aspect in the content of sugar for production of industrial alcohol. Four sweet sorghum genotypes were evaluated for harvesting stage in a randomized complete block design. In order to determine sorghum harvest growth stage for bioethanol production, sorghum canes were harvested at intervals of seven days after anthesis. The genotypes were evaluated at different stages of development for maximum production of bioethanol from flowering to physiological maturity. The canes were crushed and juice fermented to produce ethanol. Measurements of chlorophyll were taken at various stages as well as panicles from the harvested canes. Dried kernels at 14% moisture content were also weighed at various stages. Chlorophyll, grain weight, absolute ethanol volume, juice volume, cane yield, and brix showed significant () differences for genotypes as well as the stages of harvesting. Results from this study showed that harvesting sweet sorghum at stages IV and V (104 to 117 days after planting) would be appropriate for production of kernels and ethanol. EUSS10 has the highest ethanol potential (1062.78 l ha−1) due to excellent juice volume (22976.9 l ha−1) and EUSS11 (985.26 l ha−1) due to its high brix (16.21). Moses Owuor Oyier, James O. Owuoche, Maurice E. Oyoo, Erick Cheruiyot, Betty Mulianga, and Justice Rono Copyright © 2017 Moses Owuor Oyier et al. All rights reserved. Wound Myiasis Caused by Sarcophaga (Liopygia) Argyrostoma (Robineau-Desvoidy) (Diptera: Sarcophagidae): Additional Evidences of the Morphological Identification Dilemma and Molecular Investigation Sun, 29 Jan 2017 00:00:00 +0000 In Mediterranean countries, Sarcophaga (Liopygia) crassipalpis, Sarcophaga (L.) argyrostoma, and Sarcophaga (L.) cultellata share the same ecological niche and can be responsible of myiasis. In this study, the main morphological characters of a larva found in a hospitalized woman were described and illustrated by light and SEM microscopy and the features discussed. Then, a fragment within the mitochondrial encoded cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (coxI) gene of ~735 bp was amplified and sequenced. The molecular investigation was necessary to confirm the species Sarcophaga (Liopygia) argyrostoma (99% of identity). Our findings showed that morphological descriptions of larvae of three Mediterranean species of Liopygia available in several papers might not be clear enough to allow for comparison and correct identification. Until results of reliable comparative studies of larvae of all three species will be available, the use of molecular tools is crucial, to avoid misleading or incomplete identification, and in particular when a myiasis becomes a legal issue. Annunziata Giangaspero, Marianna Marangi, Antonio Balotta, Claudio Venturelli, Krzysztof Szpila, and Antonella Di Palma Copyright © 2017 Annunziata Giangaspero et al. All rights reserved. A Design of a New Column-Parallel Analog-to-Digital Converter Flash for Monolithic Active Pixel Sensor Tue, 24 Jan 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The CMOS Monolithic Active Pixel Sensor (MAPS) for the International Linear Collider (ILC) vertex detector (VXD) expresses stringent requirements on their analog readout electronics, specifically on the analog-to-digital converter (ADC). This paper concerns designing and optimizing a new architecture of a low power, high speed, and small-area 4-bit column-parallel ADC Flash. Later in this study, we propose to interpose an S/H block in the converter. This integration of S/H block increases the sensitiveness of the converter to the very small amplitude of the input signal from the sensor and provides a sufficient time to the converter to be able to code the input signal. This ADC is developed in 0.18 μm CMOS process with a pixel pitch of 35 μm. The proposed ADC responds to the constraints of power dissipation, size, and speed for the MAPS composed of a matrix of 64 rows and 48 columns where each column ADC covers a small area of 35 × 336.76 μm2. The proposed ADC consumes low power at a 1.8 V supply and 100 MS/s sampling rate with dynamic range of 125 mV. Its DNL and INL are 0.0812/−0.0787 LSB and 0.0811/−0.0787 LSB, respectively. Furthermore, this ADC achieves a high speed more than 5 GHz. Mostafa Chakir, Hicham Akhamal, and Hassan Qjidaa Copyright © 2017 Mostafa Chakir et al. All rights reserved. Development and Reliability of the Basic Skill Assessment Tool for Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder Sun, 22 Jan 2017 09:13:35 +0000 The purpose of this study was to improve upon the first version of the basic work skills assessment tool for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and examine interrater and intrarater reliability using Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC). The modified tool includes 2 components: (1) three tasks measuring work abilities and work attitudes and (2) a form to record the number of verbal and nonverbal prompts. 26 participants were selected by purposive sampling and divided into 3 groups—group 1 (10 subjects, aged 11–13 years), group 2 (10, aged 14–16 years), and group 3 (6, aged 17–19 years). The results show that interrater reliabilities of work abilities and work attitudes were high in all groups except that the work attitude in group 1 was moderate. Intrarater reliabilities of work abilities in group 1 and group 2 were high. Group 3 was moderate. Intrarater reliabilities of work attitudes in group 1 and group 3 were high but not in group 2 in which they were moderate. Nevertheless, interrater and intrarater reliabilities in the total scores of all groups were high, which implies that this tool is applicable for adolescents aged 11–19 years with consideration of relevance for each group. Maethisa Pongsaksri, Suchitporn Lersilp, and Sumana Suchart Copyright © 2017 Maethisa Pongsaksri et al. All rights reserved. Antimutagenic Effect of Hibiscus sabdariffa L. Aqueous Extract on Rats Treated with Monosodium Glutamate Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 +0000 Hibiscus sabdariffa L. is a plant of the Malvaceae family, commonly known as roselle. H. sabdariffa is known to contain antioxidant, cholesterol-lowering, antiobesity, insulin resistance reduction, antihypertensive, and skin cancer chemopreventive properties. This study evaluated the effects of H. sabdariffa aqueous extract against cyclophosphamide (CPA, 25 mg/Kg) induced damage to DNA in male Wistar rats by micronucleus test. Samples of H. sabdariffa calyx were obtained in the municipality of Barra do Garças, Mato Grosso, Brazil. The aqueous extract was prepared by infusion and each animal received a daily dose of 400 mg/Kg by gavage for 15 consecutive days of treatment. The presence of anthocyanins was confirmed by ferric chloride test and phenolic compounds using high-performance liquid chromatography, with emphasis on the identification of rutin. The animals were sacrificed by deepening of anaesthesia to obtain bone marrow and determination of the frequency of micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes. The group treated with the aqueous extract of H. sabdariffa revealed a 91% reduction in micronucleus frequency when compared with the positive control group. Under the conditions tested, H. sabdariffa L. presented a protective effect to CPA-induced damage to DNA of the treated animals, and it is a potential candidate as a chemopreventive agent against carcinogenesis. Ana Carla Guidini Valentini Gheller, Jacqueline Kerkhoff, Gerardo Magela Vieira Júnior, Kleber Eduardo de Campos, and Marina Mariko Sugui Copyright © 2017 Ana Carla Guidini Valentini Gheller et al. All rights reserved. Role of Alexithymia, Anxiety, and Depression in Predicting Self-Efficacy in Academic Students Thu, 05 Jan 2017 09:38:15 +0000 Objective. Little research is available on the predictive factors of self-efficacy in college students. The aim of the present study is to examine the role of alexithymia, anxiety, and depression in predicting self-efficacy in academic students. Design. In a cross-sectional study, a total of 133 students at Babol University of Medical Sciences (Medicine, Dentistry, and Paramedicine) participated in the study between 2014 and 2015. All participants completed the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), College Academic Self-Efficacy Scale (CASES), and 14 items on anxiety and depression derived from the 28 items of the General Health Questionnaire (28-GHQ). Results. Pearson correlation coefficients revealed negative significant relationships between alexithymia and the three subscales with student self-efficacy. There was no significant correlation between anxiety/depression symptoms and student self-efficacy. A backward multiple regression analysis revealed that alexithymia was a negative significant predictor of self-efficacy in academic students (, ). The prevalence of alexithymia was 21.8% in students. Multiple backward logistic analysis regression revealed that number of passed semesters, gender, mother’s education, father’s education, and doctoral level did not accurately predict alexithymia in college students. Conclusion. As alexithymia is prevalent in college students and affects self-efficacy and academic functioning, we suggest it should be routinely evaluated by mental physicians at universities. Mahbobeh Faramarzi and Soraya Khafri Copyright © 2017 Mahbobeh Faramarzi and Soraya Khafri. All rights reserved. Chemical Composition and In Vitro Antioxidant, Cytotoxic, Antimicrobial, and Larvicidal Activities of the Essential Oil of Mentha piperita L. (Lamiaceae) Sun, 01 Jan 2017 11:11:15 +0000 The essential oil was obtained by hydrodistillation and the identification and quantification of components were achieved with the use of GC-MS analysis. The antioxidant activity was evaluated by the method of sequestration of DPPH. Essential oils were used for study the cytotoxic front larvae of Artemia salina. In the evaluation of the antimicrobial activity of essential oils, we employed the disk-diffusion method. The potential larvicide in mosquito larvae of the third stage of development of Aedes aegypti to different concentrations of essential oils was evaluated. The major compounds found in the essential oils of M. piperita were linalool (51.8%) and epoxyocimene (19.3%). The percentage of antioxidant activity was %. The essential oil showed LC50 = 414.6 μg/mL front of A. saline and is considered highly toxic. It shows sensitivity and halos significant inhibition against E. coli. The essential possessed partial larvicidal efficiency against A. aegypti. Ryan da Silva Ramos, Alex Bruno Lobato Rodrigues, Ana Luzia Ferreira Farias, Ranggel Carvalho Simões, Mayara Tânia Pinheiro, Ricardo Marcelo dos Anjos Ferreira, Ledayane Mayana Costa Barbosa, Raimundo Nonato Picanço Souto, João Batista Fernandes, Lourivaldo da Silva Santos, and Sheylla Susan Moreira da Silva de Almeida Copyright © 2017 Ryan da Silva Ramos et al. All rights reserved. Optimized Extraction of Resveratrol from Arachis repens Handro by Ultrasound and Microwave: A Correlation Study with the Antioxidant Properties and Phenol Contents Tue, 27 Dec 2016 15:39:44 +0000 The vegetal species Arachis repens, commonly known as peanut grass, was studied and, for the first time, we detected the presence of the bioactive compound trans-resveratrol (-RSV). We compared the efficiency of three different methodologies (conventional maceration [CM], ultrasound-assisted extractions [UAE], and microwave-assisted extractions [MAE]) concerning total phenolics (TP) and resveratrol (-RSV) content, followed by antioxidant activity (AA) evaluation. By CM, at 1 h, the highest RSV content ( mg/L) and, correspondingly, the highest DPPH capture (%) were found. The TP contents, at 1 h, presented the highest value ( mg/g GAE). By the UAE, the maximum yields of TP (357.18 mg/g GAE) and RSV (2.14 mg/L), as well as, the highest AA (70.95%), were obtained by 5 min after a maceration pretreatment, on the solid-solvent ratio 1 : 40 w/v. For MAE, a central composite rotatable design (CCRD) was applied followed by the FFD design in order to evaluate the statistical effects of four independent variables on the extraction of RSV. The optimal conditions established for obtaining the highest recovery (2.516 mg/g) were 20 min; 90% MeOH aq.; 120 rpm; 60°C; and solid-solvent ratio: 1 : 35 w/v. Relevant correlations were established considering the TP and RSV contents, as well as the AA, corroborating obvious advantages of such techniques in terms of high extraction efficiency in shorter times. Leonardo Garcia, Renata Garcia, Georgia Pacheco, Felipe Sutili, Rodrigo De Souza, Elisabeth Mansur, and Ivana Leal Copyright © 2016 Leonardo Garcia et al. All rights reserved. Oregano Extract Added into the Diet of Dairy Heifers Changes Feeding Behavior and Concentrate Intake Tue, 27 Dec 2016 09:52:58 +0000 This experiment aimed to describe the effects of Oregano extract (OE) inclusion into the concentrate fed to dairy heifers on physiological parameters, feeding behavior, intake, and performance. Thirty-two Holstein heifers were randomly distributed into four treatments: C = control, without addition of OE; OE2.5 = 2.5 g; OE5.0 = 5.0 g and OE7.5 = 7.5 g of Oregano extract per heifer/day. Feeding behavior and concentrate intake were assessed individually every day and total dry matter intake (DMI) was determined on the last week of the trial. Compared to control group, OE7.5 reduced by 32% the latency time to approach the feed bunk but increased by 6% the time spent eating the concentrate. Each inclusion of 2.5 grams of OE into the concentrate increased the occurrence of postingestive licking the feed bunk with abundant saliva production 1.2 times () and tended to increase the occurrence of sneeze events 1.2 times (). No statistical difference was detected between treatments for total DMI, but concentrate DMI was 9% lower for OE7.5 when compared to control and OE2.5. The inclusion of 7.5 grams/day of OE causes small but negative effects in feeding behavior and concentrate intake, without change on total dry matter intake. Giovani Jacob Kolling, Dejani Maíra Panazzolo, Alexandre Mossate Gabbi, Marcelo Tempel Stumpf, Marcel Batista dos Passos, Eduardo Augusto da Cruz, and Vivian Fischer Copyright © 2016 Giovani Jacob Kolling et al. All rights reserved. Emerging Advancements in Canine and Feline Metabolism and Nutrition Tue, 27 Dec 2016 09:40:21 +0000 Anna K. Shoveller, Maria R. C. De Godoy, Jennifer Larsen, and Elizabeth Flickinger Copyright © 2016 Anna K. Shoveller et al. All rights reserved. Kinetics Extraction Modelling and Antiproliferative Activity of Clinacanthus nutans Water Extract Mon, 26 Dec 2016 13:44:27 +0000 Clinacanthus nutans is widely grown in tropical Asia and locally known “belalai gajah” or Sabah snake grass. It has been used as a natural product to treat skin rashes, snake bites, lesion caused by herpes, diabetes, fever, and cancer. Therefore, the objectives of this research are to determine the maximum yield and time of exhaustive flavonoids extraction using Peleg’s model and to evaluate potential of antiproliferative activity on human lung cancer cell (A549). The extraction process was carried out on fresh and dried leaves at 28 to 30°C with liquid-to-solid ratio of 10 mL/g for 72 hrs. The extracts were collected intermittently analysed using mathematical Peleg’s model and RP-HPLC. The highest amount of flavonoids was used to evaluate the inhibitory concentration (IC50) via 2D cell culture of A549. Based on the results obtained, the predicted maximum extract density was observed at 29.20 ± 14.54 hrs of extraction (). However, the exhaustive time of extraction to acquire maximum flavonoids content exhibited approximately 10 hrs earlier. Therefore, 18 hrs of extraction time was chosen to acquire high content of flavonoids. The best antiproliferative effect (IC50) on A549 cell line was observed at 138.82 ± 0.60 µg/mL. In conclusion, the flavonoids content in Clinacanthus nutans water extract possesses potential antiproliferative properties against A549, suggesting an alternative approach for cancer treatment. Farah Nadiah Mohd Fazil, Nur Syarafina Mohd Azzimi, Badrul Hisham Yahaya, Nurulain Atikah Kamalaldin, and Saiful Irwan Zubairi Copyright © 2016 Farah Nadiah Mohd Fazil et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of the Expression of the Human Epithelial Receptor 2 (HER2) in Gastric Carcinoma Sun, 25 Dec 2016 07:21:40 +0000 Objective. To evaluate the HER2 expression on gastric adenocarcinoma from a Brazilian population and also to analyze the relations between the receptor and clinical characteristics, as well as the survival status. Materials and Methods. A retrospective analysis was conducted from January of 2008 to July of 2012, considering only gastrectomies with curative intent. Tumors were tested for HER2 status using immunohistochemistry. The relation between HER2 status and clinical aspects, surgical findings, and survival were also analyzed. Results. 222 patients with gastric carcinoma were submitted to surgery during that period, but only 121 (54,5%) were with curative intention. The immunohistochemistry revealed that 4 patients (3,3%) were HER2-positive, 6 patients (4,9%) HER2-undetermined, and 111 patients (91,7%) HER2-negative. There was no statistical concordance between HER2 status and survival or the clinical aspects. Conclusion. The HER2 overexpression rate was very low in this Brazilian population sample and cannot be considered as a prognostic factor. Roberto de Moraes Cordts Filho, Paulo Kassab, Laura Carolina Lopez Claro, Mabel Tatty de Medeiros Fracassi, Patrícia Colombo-Souza, Daniel Kenji Fukuhara, Fábio Rodrigues Thuler, Wilson Rodrigues de Freitas Junior, Elias Jirjoss Ilias, and Carlos Alberto Malheiros Copyright © 2016 Roberto de Moraes Cordts Filho et al. All rights reserved. Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Protein Kinase Inhibitor Pyrrol Derivate Thu, 22 Dec 2016 07:56:28 +0000 In our previous studies we showed antitumor and anti-inflammatory activities of protein kinases inhibitor pyrrol derivate 1-(4-Cl-benzyl)-3-Cl-4-(CF3-fenylamino)-1H-pyrrol-2,5-dione (MI-1) on rat colon cancer model. Therefore anti-inflammatory effect of MI-1 on rat acetic acid induced ulcerative colitis (UC) model was aimed to be discovered. The anti-inflammatory effects of MI-1 (2.7 mg/kg daily) compared to reference drug Prednisolone (0.7 mg/kg daily) after 14-day usage were evaluated on macro- and light microscopy levels and expressed in 21-grade scale. Redox status of bowel mucosa was also estimated. It was shown that in UC group the grade of total injury (GTI) was equal to 9.6 (). Increase of malonic dialdehyde (MDA) by 89% and protein carbonyl groups (PCG) by 60% and decrease of superoxide dismutase (SOD) by 40% were also observed. Prednisolone decreased GTI to 3 and leveled SOD activity, but MDA and PCG remained higher than control ones by 52% and 42%, respectively. MI-1 restored colon mucosa integrity and decreased mucosa inflammation down to GTI = 0.5 and leveled PCG and SOD. Thus, MI-1 possessed anti-inflammatory properties, which were more expressed that Prednisolone ones, as well as normalized mucosa redox balance, and so has a prospect for correction of inflammatory processes. Halyna M. Kuznietsova, Maryna S. Yena, Iryna P. Kotlyar, Olexandr V. Ogloblya, and Volodymyr K. Rybalchenko Copyright © 2016 Halyna M. Kuznietsova et al. All rights reserved. Management Practices of Cats Owned by Faculty, Staff, and Students at Two Midwest Veterinary Schools Tue, 20 Dec 2016 12:32:58 +0000 Understanding cat owners’ housing, care, and management practices is important for promoting cat welfare. A survey study was conducted on the housing and management practices used for cats by students, faculty, and staff of The Ohio State University and Purdue University veterinary colleges. Subjects were 138 cat-owner dyads. Most cats (74%) were housed strictly indoors in keeping with common US veterinary recommendations. However, many did not implement best practices outlined for behavior and other welfare needs of indoor cats. The percentage of respondents placing resources where cats could be disrupted while using them was 31%, 53%, and 30% for resting areas, food/water dishes, and litter boxes, respectively. Many cats were not provided a litter box in a private area (35%), in multiple areas of the house (51%), or that was regularly washed (73%). Horizontal scratching opportunities were not provided to 38% of cats; 32% were not provided toys that mimic prey and 91% of cats were fed a diet consisting of >75% dry food. These findings suggest a need for more concerted efforts to educate owners about meeting their cats’ welfare needs so as to attenuate risks and improve cat physical and behavioral welfare outcomes. Judith L. Stella and Candace C. Croney Copyright © 2016 Judith L. Stella and Candace C. Croney. All rights reserved. Centering Ability of ProTaper Next and WaveOne Classic in J-Shape Simulated Root Canals Thu, 08 Dec 2016 07:22:53 +0000 Introduction. The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the shaping and centering ability of ProTaper Next (PTN; Dentsply Maillefer, Ballaigues, Switzerland) and WaveOne Classic systems (Dentsply Maillefer) in simulated root canals. Methods. Forty J-shaped canals in resin blocks were assigned to two groups ( for each group). Photographic method was used to record pre- and postinstrumentation images. After superimposition, centering and shaping ability were recorded at 9 different levels from the apex using the software Autocad 2013 (Autodesk Inc., San Rafael, USA). Results. Shaping procedures with ProTaper Next resulted in a lower amount of resin removed at each reference point level. In addition, the pattern of centering ability improved after the use of ProTaper Next in 8 of 9 measurement points. Conclusions. Within the limitations of this study, shaping procedures with ProTaper Next instruments demonstrated a lower amount of resin removed and a better centering ability than WaveOne Classic system. Giuseppe Troiano, Mario Dioguardi, Armando Cocco, Michele Giuliani, Cristiano Fabiani, Alfonso D’Alessandro, Domenico Ciavarella, and Lorenzo Lo Muzio Copyright © 2016 Giuseppe Troiano et al. All rights reserved. Assessment of Cytotoxic Activity of Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.), Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.), and Ginger (Zingiber officinale R.) Essential Oils in Cervical Cancer Cells (HeLa) Wed, 30 Nov 2016 11:16:05 +0000 The objective of this study was to evaluate the cytotoxic activity of rosemary (REO, Rosmarinus officinalis L.), turmeric (CEO, Curcuma longa L.), and ginger (GEO, Zingiber officinale R.) essential oils in HeLa cells. Cytotoxicity tests were performed in vitro, using tetrazolium (MTT) and neutral red assays for evaluation of antiproliferative activity by different mechanisms, trypan blue assay to assess cell viability and evaluation of cell morphology for Giemsa to observe the cell damage, and Annexin V to evaluate cell death by apoptosis. CEO and GEO exhibited potent cytotoxic activity against HeLa cells. IC50 obtained was 36.6 μg/mL for CEO and 129.9 μg/mL for GEO. The morphology of HeLa cells showed condensation of chromatin, loss of cell membrane integrity with protrusions (blebs), and cell content leakage for cells treated with CEO and GEO, from the lowest concentrations studied, 32.81 μg/mL of CEO and 32.12 μg/mL of GEO. The Annexin V assay revealed a profile of cell death by apoptosis for both CEO and GEO. The results indicate cytotoxic activity in vitro for CEO and GEO, suggesting potential use as anticancer agents for cervical cancer cells. P. A. S. R. Santos, G. B. Avanço, S. B. Nerilo, R. I. A. Marcelino, V. Janeiro, M. C. Valadares, and Miguel Machinski Copyright © 2016 P. A. S. R. Santos et al. All rights reserved. Klebsiella pneumoniae Planktonic and Biofilm Reduction by Different Plant Extracts: In Vitro Study Mon, 28 Nov 2016 11:26:50 +0000 This study evaluated the action of Pfaffia paniculata K., Juglans regia L., and Rosmarius officinalis L. extracts against planktonic form and biofilm of Klebsiella pneumoniae (ATCC 4352). Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum microbicidal concentration (MMC) values were determined for each extract by microdilution broth method, according to Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute. Next, antimicrobial activity of the extracts on biofilm was analyzed. For this, standardized suspension at 107 UFC/mL of K. pneumoniae was distributed into 96-well microplates () and after 48 h at 37°C and biofilm was subjected to treatment for 5 min with the extracts at a concentration of 200 mg/mL. ANOVA and Tukey tests (5%) were used to verify statistical significant reduction () of planktonic form and biofilm. P paniculata K., R. officinalis L., and J. regia L. showed reductions in biomass of 55.6, 58.1, and 18.65% and cell viability reduction of 72.4, 65.1, and 31.5%, respectively. The reduction obtained with P. paniculata and R. officinalis extracts was similar to the reduction obtained with chlorhexidine digluconate 2%. In conclusion, all extracts have microbicidal action on the planktonic form but only P. paniculata K. and R. officinalis L. were effective against biofilm. Lucas De Paula Ramos, Carlos Eduardo da Rocha Santos, Daphne Camargo Reis Mello, Lígia Nishiama Theodoro, Felipe Eduardo De Oliveira, Graziella N. Back Brito, Juliana Campos Junqueira, Antonio Olavo Cardoso Jorge, and Luciane Dias de Oliveira Copyright © 2016 Lucas De Paula Ramos et al. All rights reserved. Psychomotor Development in Cri du Chat Syndrome: Comparison in Two Italian Cohorts with Different Rehabilitation Methods Mon, 28 Nov 2016 11:21:22 +0000 The Cri du Chat syndrome (CdC) is a rare genetic disorder caused by variable size deletions of the short arm of chromosome 5 (5p−). It is well known that home-reared patients show better performances as compared to institutionalised cases, and it was reported that continuous educational intervention can ameliorate their performances. To assess the efficacy of educational intervention and to develop new CdC oriented programs of rehabilitation, we compare the results obtained for many developmental skills in two groups of CdC patients undergoing two different rehabilitation programs. Using data on the development of a group of CdC patients obtained by validated Italian translation for the Denver Developmental Screening Test II, we compared a group of 13 patients undergoing an educational program developed for CdC patients, the Mayer Project (MP), with a second group of 15 cases in whom caring was not specifically oriented. A positive impact of the MP was reported by parents, observing an improvement in social skills obtained, even if no significant differences were observed when the items of the Denver Test are studied. The need for personalized care in CdC patients and the choice of different methods to compare the results are also discussed. Andrea Guala, Marianna Spunton, Fabio Tognon, Marilena Pedrinazzi, Luisa Medolago, Paola Cerutti Mainardi, Silvia Spairani, Michela Malacarne, Enrico Finale, Mario Comelli, and Cesare Danesino Copyright © 2016 Andrea Guala et al. All rights reserved. Reliability and Factorial Structure of the Farsi Version of the Arabic Scale of Death Anxiety in an Iranian Middle-Aged Sample Mon, 28 Nov 2016 09:10:56 +0000 The present study aimed to explore the psychometric properties of the Arabic Scale of Death Anxiety (ASDA) in an Iranian middle-aged sample. A sample of 55 volunteer Iranian persons took part in the study. Cronbach’s alpha of the ASDA was found to be high (0.91) and Spearman-Brown and Guttman Split-Half coefficients were 0.86. The factor analysis of the ASDA items yielded five factors accounting for 72.49% of the total variance and labeled (F1) fear of death and fear of dead people; (F2) fear of postmortem events and fear of tombs; (F3) fear of lethal disease; (F4) preoccupation with after death, and death fear in sleep; and (F5) fear of deprivation of own ones. The ASDA has a good validity and reliability, and it can be used in clinical, educational, and research settings. Mahboubeh Dadfar and Fazel Bahrami Copyright © 2016 Mahboubeh Dadfar and Fazel Bahrami. All rights reserved. Histological and Metabolic State of Dams Suckling Small Litter or MSG-Treated Pups Sun, 27 Nov 2016 07:54:08 +0000 Lactation is an important function that is dependent on changes in the maternal homeostasis and sustained by histological maternal adjustments. We evaluated how offspring manipulations during the lactational phase can modulate maternal morphologic aspects in the mammary gland, adipose tissue, and pancreatic islets of lactating dams. Two different models of litter-manipulation-during-lactation were used: litter sizes, small litters (SL) or normal litters (NL) and subcutaneous injections in the puppies of monosodium glutamate (MSG), or saline (CON). SL Dams and MSG Dams presented an increase in WAT content and higher plasma levels of glucose, triglycerides, and insulin, in relation to NL Dams and CON Dams, respectively. The MG of SL Dams and MSG Dams presented a high adipocyte content and reduced alveoli development and the milk of the SL Dams presented a higher calorie and triglyceride content, compared to that of the NL Dams. SL Dams presented a reduction in islet size and greater lipid droplet accumulation in BAT, in relation to NL Dams. SL Dams and MSG Dams present similar responses to offspring manipulation during lactation, resulting in changes in metabolic parameters. These alterations were associated with higher fat accumulation in BAT and changes in milk composition only in SL Dams. Claudia Regina Capriglioni Cancian, Nayara Carvalho Leite, Elisangela Gueiber Montes, Stefani Valeria Fisher, Leticia Waselcoski, Emily Caroline Lopes Stal, Renata Zanardini Christoforo, and Sabrina Grassiolli Copyright © 2016 Claudia Regina Capriglioni Cancian et al. All rights reserved. Excretory Function of Intestinal Tract Enhanced in Kidney Impaired Rats Caused by Adenine Tue, 15 Nov 2016 07:15:21 +0000 The main aim of the study was to prove the compensative effect of intestine for renal function. Rat kidney was impaired by intragastrically administrating adenine (400 mg per day for 5 days). Intestinal tract was harvested and equally divided into 20 segments except cecum. Kidneys were harvested and histologically examined with hematoxylin-eosin staining kits. Uric acid, urea (BUN), and creatinine in serum were determined with assay kits, and BUN and creatinine in every intestinal segment were also determined. The results showed that adenine was able to increase uric acid level in serum from  μg/mL to  μg/mL and cause renal function damage with BUN (from  mM to 12. mM) and creatinine (from μM to μM) increasing in serum and with abnormally micromorphological changes in kidney. The amount of BUN and creatinine distributed in intestinal tract was positively correlated with those in blood. In impaired renal function rats, the amount of BUN (from μMole to 10.μMole) and creatinine (from nMole to nMole) distributed in intestinal tract significantly increased. All the results proved that intestinal tract had excretory function compensative for renal function. Yu Yun, Tao Gao, Yue Li, Zhiyi Gao, Jinlian Duan, Hua Yin, and Weigang Duan Copyright © 2016 Yu Yun et al. All rights reserved. Assessment of Natural Radioactivity Levels and Radiation Hazards in Agricultural and Virgin Soil in the State of Kedah, North of Malaysia Mon, 14 Nov 2016 06:16:17 +0000 The activity concentrations of naturally occurring radionuclides 226Ra, 232Th, and 40K were determined in 30 agricultural and virgin soil samples randomly collected from Kedah, north of Malaysia, at a fertile soil depth of 0–30 cm. Gamma-ray spectrometry was applied using high-purity germanium (HPGe) gamma-ray detector and a PC-based MCA. The mean radioactivity concentrations of 226Ra, 232Th, and 40K were found to be 102.08 ± 3.96, 133.96 ± 2.92, and 325.87 ± 9.83 Bq kg−1, respectively, in agricultural soils and 65.24 ± 2.00, 83.39 ± 2.27, and 136.98 ± 9.76 Bq kg−1, respectively, in virgin soils. The radioactivity concentrations in agricultural soils are higher than those in virgin soils and compared with those reported in other countries. The mean values of radium equivalent activity (), absorbed dose rates (nGy h−1), annual effective dose equivalent, and external hazard index () are 458.785 Bq kg−1, 141.62 nGy h−1, and 0.169 mSv y−1, respectively, in agricultural soils and 214.293 Bq kg−1, 87.47 nGy h−1, and 0.106 mSv y−1, respectively, in virgin soils, with average of 0.525. Results were discussed and compared with those reported in similar studies and with internationally recommended values. Ghazwa Alzubaidi, Fauziah B. S. Hamid, and I. Abdul Rahman Copyright © 2016 Ghazwa Alzubaidi et al. All rights reserved. Fetal Hemodynamic Parameters in Low Risk Pregnancies: Doppler Velocimetry of Uterine, Umbilical, and Middle Cerebral Artery Sun, 13 Nov 2016 14:14:41 +0000 Objective. To elaborate curves of longitudinal reference intervals of pulsatility index (PI) and systolic velocity (SV) for uterine (UtA), umbilical (UA), and middle cerebral arteries (MCA), in low risk pregnancies. Methods. Doppler velocimetric measurements of PI and SV from 63 low risk pregnant women between 16 and 41 weeks of gestational age. Means (±SD) for intervals of gestational age and percentiles 5, 50, and 95 were calculated for each parameter. The Intraclass Correlation Coefficients (ICC) were also estimated for assessing intra- and intervariability of measurements. Results. Mean PI of UtA showed decreasing values during pregnancy, but no regular pattern was identified for mean SV. For UA, PI decreased and SV increased along gestation. MCA presented PI increasing values until 32–35 weeks. SV showed higher levels with increasing gestation. High ICC values indicated good reproducibility. Conclusions. Reference intervals for the assessment of SV and PI of UtA, UA, and MCA were established. These reference intervals showed how a normal pregnancy is expected to progress regarding these Doppler velocimetric parameters and are useful to follow high risk pregnancies. The comparison between results using different curves may provide insights about the best patterns to be used. C. O. Figueira, F. G. Surita, M. S. Dertkigil, S. L. Pereira, J. R. Bennini Jr., S. S. Morais, J. Mayrink, and J. G. Cecatti Copyright © 2016 C. O. Figueira et al. All rights reserved. Intake, Nutrient Apparent Digestibility, and Ruminal Constituents of Crossbred Dorper × Santa Inês Sheep Fed Diets with Babassu Mesocarp Flour Sun, 13 Nov 2016 07:48:58 +0000 The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect on intake, apparent digestibility, and ruminal constituents of sheep in response to the addition of increasing levels of babassu mesocarp flour (BMF) to the diet. Twenty crossbred sheep ( kg) were used in a randomized complete block design. Lambs were confined for 21 days, with 16 days for diet adaptation and 5 days for data collection, in which they were fed an isonitrogenous diet ( CP, DM basis) containing 70% of concentrate and 30% (DM basis) of Tifton 85 hay. Increasing levels of BMF were 0, 10, 20, and 30% (DM basis). There was a quadratic effect () on the DM intake, nutrients intake, and digestibility of CP and NFC. The digestibility of DM, OM, TC, and NDF decreased linearly, while EE digestibility increased linearly with increasing levels of BMF. The high NDF content presented in the chemical composition of the babassu mesocarp flour ranked the same as fibrous food, which can limit the inclusion in the diet of high production animals. So, babassu mesocarp flour is an alternative for energy source in lambs feed and can be added at levels up to 10%. Osman José de Aguiar Gerude Neto, Michelle de Oliveira Maia Parente, Henrique Nunes Parente, Arnaud Azevedo Alves, Paull Andrews Carvalho dos Santos, Miguel Arcanjo Moreira Filho, Anderson de Moura Zanine, Daniele de Jesus Ferreira, Leilson Rocha Bezerra, and Ruan Mourão da Silva Gomes Copyright © 2016 Osman José de Aguiar Gerude Neto et al. All rights reserved. Origanum majorana Essential Oil Lacks Mutagenic Activity in the Salmonella/Microsome and Micronucleus Assays Mon, 07 Nov 2016 10:36:50 +0000 The present study aimed to investigate the in vitro mutagenic activity of Origanum majorana essential oil. The most abundant compounds identified by GC-MS were γ-terpinene (25.73%), α-terpinene (17.35%), terpinen-4-ol (17.24%), and sabinene (10.8%). Mutagenicity was evaluated by the Salmonella/microsome test using the preincubation procedure on TA98, TA97a, TA100, TA102, and TA1535 Salmonella typhimurium strains, in the absence or in the presence of metabolic activation. Cytotoxicity was detected at concentrations higher than 0.04 μL/plate in the absence of S9 mix and higher than 0.08 μL/plate in the presence of S9 mix and no gene mutation increase was observed. For the in vitro mammalian cell micronucleus test, V79 Chinese hamster lung fibroblasts were used. Cytotoxicity was only observed at concentrations higher than or equal to 0.05 μg/mL. Moreover, when tested in noncytotoxic concentrations, O. majorana essential oil was not able to induce chromosome mutation. The results from this study therefore suggest that O. majorana essential oil is not mutagenic at the concentrations tested in the Salmonella/microsome and micronucleus assays. Andrea dos Santos Dantas, Luiz Carlos Klein-Júnior, Miriana S. Machado, Temenouga N. Guecheva, Luciana D. dos Santos, Régis A. Zanette, Fernanda B. de Mello, João Antonio Pêgas Henriques, and João Roberto Braga de Mello Copyright © 2016 Andrea dos Santos Dantas et al. All rights reserved. Qualitative Theory of Differential Equations, Difference Equations, and Dynamic Equations on Time Scales Wed, 26 Oct 2016 09:59:40 +0000 Tongxing Li, Martin Bohner, Tuncay Candan, Yuriy V. Rogovchenko, and Qi-Ru Wang Copyright © 2016 Tongxing Li et al. All rights reserved. On the Interval Stability of Weak-Nonlinear Control Systems with Aftereffect Sun, 23 Oct 2016 12:17:48 +0000 Sufficient conditions of interval absolute stability of nonlinear control systems described in terms of systems of the ordinary differential equations with delay argument and also neutral type are obtained. The Lyapunov-Krasovskii functional method in the form of the sum of a quadratic component and integrals from nonlinearity is used at construction of statements. Andriy Shatyrko and Denys Khusainov Copyright © 2016 Andriy Shatyrko and Denys Khusainov. All rights reserved. Meeting the Vitamin A Requirement: The Efficacy and Importance of β-Carotene in Animal Species Wed, 19 Oct 2016 08:01:02 +0000 Vitamin A is essential for life in all vertebrate animals. Vitamin A requirement can be met from dietary preformed vitamin A or provitamin A carotenoids, the most important of which is β-carotene. The metabolism of β-carotene, including its intestinal absorption, accumulation in tissues, and conversion to vitamin A, varies widely across animal species and determines the role that β-carotene plays in meeting vitamin A requirement. This review begins with a brief discussion of vitamin A, with an emphasis on species differences in metabolism. A more detailed discussion of β-carotene follows, with a focus on factors impacting bioavailability and its conversion to vitamin A. Finally, the literature on how animals utilize β-carotene is reviewed individually for several species and classes of animals. We conclude that β-carotene conversion to vitamin A is variable and dependent on a number of factors, which are important to consider in the formulation and assessment of diets. Omnivores and herbivores are more efficient at converting β-carotene to vitamin A than carnivores. Absorption and accumulation of β-carotene in tissues vary with species and are poorly understood. More comparative and mechanistic studies are required in this area to improve the understanding of β-carotene metabolism. Alice S. Green and Andrea J. Fascetti Copyright © 2016 Alice S. Green and Andrea J. Fascetti. All rights reserved.