ResearchPad - alcohols https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Multipurpose chemical liquid sensing applications by microwave approach]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7700 In this work, a novel sensor based on printed circuit board (PCB) microstrip rectangular patch antenna is proposed to detect different ratios of ethanol alcohol in wines and isopropyl alcohol in disinfectants. The proposed sensor was designed by finite integration technique (FIT) based high-frequency electromagnetic solver (CST) and was fabricated by Proto Mat E33 machine. To implement the numerical investigations, dielectric properties of the samples were first measured by a dielectric probe kit then uploaded into the simulation program. Results showed a linear shifting in the resonant frequency of the sensor when the dielectric constant of the samples were changed due to different concentrations of ethanol alcohol and isopropyl alcohol. A good agreement was observed between the calculated and measured results, emphasizing the usability of dielectric behavior as an input sensing agent. It was concluded that the proposed sensor is viable for multipurpose chemical sensing applications.

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<![CDATA[Aspirin-triggered resolvin D1 attenuates PDGF-induced vascular smooth muscle cell migration via the cyclic adenosine monophosphate/protein kinase A (cAMP/PKA) pathway]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc0e7

Background and objectives

Resolvin D1 (RvD1) is a specialized pro-resolving lipid mediator that has been previously shown to attenuate vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) migration, a key process in the development of intimal hyperplasia. We sought to investigate the role of the cAMP/PKA pathway in mediating the effects of the aspirin-triggered epimer 17R-RvD1 (AT-RvD1) on VSMC migration.

Methods

VSMCs were harvested from human saphenous veins. VSMCs were analyzed for intracellular cAMP levels and PKA activity after exposure to AT-RvD1. Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-induced migration and cytoskeletal changes in VSMCs were observed through scratch, Transwell, and cell shape assays in the presence or absence of a PKA inhibitor (Rp-8-Br-cAMP). Further investigation of the pathways involved in AT-RvD1 signaling was performed by measuring Rac1 activity, vasodilator stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) phosphorylation and paxillin translocation. Finally, we examined the role of RvD1 receptors (GPR32 and ALX/FPR2) in AT-RvD1 induced effects on VSMC migration and PKA activity.

Results

Treatment with AT-RvD1 induced a significant increase in cAMP levels and PKA activity in VSMCs at 5 minutes and 30 minutes, respectively. AT-RvD1 attenuated PDGF-induced VSMC migration and cytoskeletal rearrangements. These effects were attenuated by the PKA inhibitor Rp-8-Br-cAMP, suggesting cAMP/PKA involvement. Treatment of VSMC with AT-RvD1 inhibited PDGF-stimulated Rac1 activity, increased VASP phosphorylation, and attenuated paxillin localization to focal adhesions; these effects were negated by the addition of Rp-8-Br-cAMP. The effects of AT-RvD1 on VSMC migration and PKA activity were attenuated by blocking ALX/FPR2, suggesting an important role of this G-protein coupled receptor.

Conclusions

Our results suggest that AT-RvD1 attenuates PDGF-induced VSMC migration via ALX/FPR2 and cAMP/PKA. Interference with Rac1, VASP and paxillin function appear to mediate the downstream effects of AT-RvD1 on VSMC migration.

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<![CDATA[Chitosan-propolis nanoparticle formulation demonstrates anti-bacterial activity against Enterococcus faecalis biofilms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc122

Propolis obtained from bee hives is a natural substance with antimicrobial properties. It is limited by its insolubility in aqueous solutions; hence ethanol and ethyl acetate extracts of Malaysian propolis were prepared. Both the extracts displayed antimicrobial and anti-biofilm properties against Enterococcus faecalis, a common bacterium associated with hospital-acquired infections. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis of propolis revealed the presence of flavonoids like kaempferol and pinocembrin. This study investigated the role of propolis developed into nanoparticles with chitosan for its antimicrobial and anti-biofilm properties against E. faecalis. Bacteria that grow in a slimy layer of biofilm are resistant to penetration by antibacterial agents. The use of nanoparticles in medicine has received attention recently due to better bioavailability, enhanced penetrative capacity and improved efficacy. A chitosan-propolis nanoformulation was chosen based on ideal physicochemical properties such as particle size, zeta potential, polydispersity index, encapsulation efficiency and the rate of release of the active ingredients. This formulation inhibited E. faecalis biofilm formation and reduced the number of bacteria in the biofilm by ~90% at 200 μg/ml concentration. When tested on pre-formed biofilms, the formulation reduced bacterial number in the biofilm by ~40% and ~75% at 200 and 300 μg/ml, respectively. The formulation not only reduced bacterial numbers, but also physically disrupted the biofilm structure as observed by scanning electron microscopy. Treatment of biofilms with chitosan-propolis nanoparticles altered the expression of biofilm-associated genes in E. faecalis. The results of this study revealed that chitosan-propolis nanoformulation can be deemed as a potential anti-biofilm agent in resisting infections involving biofilm formation like chronic wounds and surgical site infections.

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<![CDATA[Effectiveness of the Common Elements Treatment Approach (CETA) in reducing intimate partner violence and hazardous alcohol use in Zambia (VATU): A randomized controlled trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N3889b1ed-7187-41ba-b4d5-94f42ba3d649

Background

Both intimate partner violence (IPV) and alcohol misuse are highly prevalent, and partner alcohol misuse is a significant contributor to women’s risk for IPV. There are few evidence-based interventions to address these problems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). We evaluated the effectiveness of an evidence-based, multi-problem, flexible, transdiagnostic intervention, the Common Elements Treatment Approach (CETA) in reducing (a) women’s experience of IPV and (b) their male partner’s alcohol misuse among couples in urban Zambia.

Methods and findings

This was a single-blind, parallel-assignment randomized controlled trial in Lusaka, Zambia. Women who reported moderate or higher levels of IPV and their male partners with hazardous alcohol use were enrolled as a couple and randomized to CETA or treatment as usual plus safety checks (TAU-Plus). The primary outcome, IPV, was assessed by the Severity of Violence Against Women Scale (SVAWS) physical/sexual violence subscale, and the secondary outcome, male alcohol misuse, by the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). Assessors were blinded. Analyses were intent-to-treat. Primary outcome assessments were planned at post-treatment, 12 months post-baseline, and 24 months post-baseline. Enrollment was conducted between May 23, 2016, and December 17, 2016. In total, 123 couples were randomized to CETA, 125 to TAU-Plus. The majority of female (66%) and a plurality of male (48%) participants were between 18 and 35 years of age. Mean reduction in IPV (via SVAWS subscale score) at 12 months post-baseline was statistically significantly greater among women who received CETA compared to women who received TAU-Plus (−8.2, 95% CI −14.9 to −1.5, p = 0.02, Cohen’s d effect size = 0.49). Similarly, mean reduction in AUDIT score at 12 months post-baseline was statistically significantly greater among men who received CETA compared to men who received TAU (−4.5, 95% CI −6.9 to −2.2, p < 0.001, Cohen’s d effect size = 0.43). The Data and Safety Monitoring Board recommended the trial be stopped early due to treatment effectiveness following the 12-month post-baseline assessment, and CETA was offered to control participants. Limitations of the trial included the lack of a true control condition (i.e., that received no intervention), self-reported outcomes that may be subject to social desirability bias, and low statistical power for secondary IPV outcomes.

Conclusions

Results showed that CETA was more effective than TAU-Plus in reducing IPV and hazardous alcohol use among high-risk couples in Zambia. Future research and programming should include tertiary prevention approaches to IPV, such as CETA, rather than offering only community mobilization and primary prevention.

Trial registration

The trial was registered on ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02790827).

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<![CDATA[Understanding ambivalence in help-seeking for suicidal people with comorbid depression and alcohol misuse]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N5bd48253-819c-499c-aeec-83c12fc90159

Help-seeking prior to a suicide attempt is poorly understood. Participants were recruited from a previous research trial who reported a history of suicidal behaviours upon follow-up. Qualitative interviews were conducted with six adults to understand their lived experience of a suicide attempt and the issues affecting help-seeking prior to that attempt. Participants described being aware of personal and professional supports available; however, were ambivalent about accessing them for multiple reasons. This paper employs an ecological systems framework to better understand the complex and multi-layered interpersonal, societal and cultural challenges to help-seeking that people with suicidal ideation can experience.

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<![CDATA[The effect of NaOH pretreatment on coal structure and biomethane production]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nec5b1db1-34f5-4425-bec1-1f1e431a6eb6

Biogenic CBM is an important component of detected CBM, which is formed by coal biodegradation and can be regenerated by anaerobic microorganisms. One of the rate-limiting factors for microbial degradation is the bioavailability of coal molecules, especially for anthracite which is more condense and has higher aromaticity compared with low-rank coal. In this paper, NaOH solution with different concentrations and treating time was employed to pretreat anthracite from Qinshui Basin to alter the coal structure and facilitate the biodegradation. The results showed that the optimal pretreatment conditions were 1.5 M NaOH treating for 12 h, under which the biomethane production was increased by 17.65% compared with untreated coal. The results of FTIR and XRD showed that NaOH pretreatment mainly reduced the multi-substituted aromatics, increased the C-O in alcohols and aromatic ethers and the branching degree of aliphatic chain, and decreased the aromatic ring structure, resulting in the improvement of coal bioavailability and enhancement of biomethane yield. And some organics with potential to generate methane were released to filtrate as revealed by GC-MS. Our results suggested that NaOH was an effective solution for pretreating coal to enhance biogenic methane production, and anthracite after treating with NaOH could be the better substrate for methanogenesis.

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<![CDATA[Identification of soil bacteria capable of utilizing a corn ethanol fermentation byproduct]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8c1951d5eed0c484b4d3e6

A commercial corn ethanol production byproduct (syrup) was used as a bacterial growth medium with the long-term aim to repurpose the resulting microbial biomass as a protein supplement in aquaculture feeds. Anaerobic batch reactors were used to enrich for soil bacteria metabolizing the syrup as the sole nutrient source over an eight-day period with the goal of obtaining pure cultures of facultative organisms from the reactors. Amplification of the V4 variable region of the 16S rRNA gene was performed using barcoded primers to track the succession of microbes enriched for during growth on the syrup. The resulting PCR products were sequenced using Illumina MiSeq protocols, analyzed via the program QIIME, and the alpha-diversity was calculated. Seven bacterial families were the most prevalent in the bioreactor community after eight days of enrichment: Clostridiaceae, Alicyclobacillaceae, Ruminococcaceae, Burkholderiaceae, Bacillaceae, Veillonellaceae, and Enterobacteriaceae. Pure culture isolates obtained from the reactors, and additional laboratory stock strains, capable of facultative growth, were grown aerobically in microtiter plates with the syrup substrate to monitor growth yield. Reactor isolates of interest were identified at a species level using the full 16S rRNA gene and other biomarkers. Bacillus species, commonly used as probiotics in aquaculture, showed the highest biomass yield of the monocultures examined. Binary combinations of monocultures yielded no apparent synergism between organisms, suggesting competition for nutrients instead of cooperative metabolite conversion.

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<![CDATA[Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) for prevention of heterosexual transmission of HIV and risk compensation in adult males in Soweto: Findings from a programmatic setting]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8acc83d5eed0c48498f8f2

Background

Clinical trials have clearly shown a reduction in HIV acquisition through voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC). However, data assessing risk compensation under programmatic conditions is limited.

Methods

This was a prospective cohort of HIV seronegative males aged 18–40 years receiving VMMC between November 2012 and July 2014. HIV serostatus was determined pre and post VMMC. Risk compensation was defined as a decrease in condom use at last sex act and/or an increase in concurrent sexual relationships, both measured twelve months post-circumcision.

Results

A total of 233 males were enrolled and underwent voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) for prevention against HIV. There was no evidence of risk compensation post-circumcision as defined in this study. Significant increases in proportion of participants in the 18–24 years age group who knew the HIV status of their sexual partner (39% to 56%, p = 0.0019), self-reported condom use at last sex act (21% to 34%, p = 0.0106) and those reporting vaginal sexual intercourse in the past 12 months (67% to 79%, p-value = <0.0001) were found. In both 18–24 and 25–40 years age groups, there was a significant increase in perception of being at risk of contracting HIV (70% to 84%, p-value = <0.0001).

Conclusion

No significant risk compensation was observed in this study on comparing pre-and post-circumcision behaviour. An increase in proportion of participants in the 18–24 years age group who had vaginal intercourse in the first 12 months post-circumcision as a possibility of risk compensation was minimal and negated by an increase in proportion of those reporting using a condom at the last sex act, increase in knowledge of partner’s HIV status and lack of increase in alcohol post-circumcision.

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<![CDATA[Isolation and identification of aroma producing strain with esterification capacity from yellow water]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f1540d5eed0c48467af8c

Kaoliang is a refreshing fragranced type of Chinese spirits with slight apple fragrance that comes from ethyl acetate (EA). Special aromas are produced by esterification microorganisms, which affect the taste and quality of the wine. In this study, new yeast strains were isolated from yellow water, a by-product during fermentation process. Meanwhile, the optimal culture condition was determined for its growth and EA production. Three new strains, Kazachstaniaexigua, Candida humilis and Saccharomyces cerevisiae were identified from yellow water. Among these strains, S. cerevisiae S5 was the new and dominant strain. Results from response surface methodology showed that S. cerevisiae S5 produced 161.88 ppm of EA, in the medium with 4.91% yeast extract, 9.82% peptone, and 20.91% glucose after 96 hours of cultivation at 27.53°C. GC analysis showed that aroma compounds, such as EA, isoamyl acetate and 2-phenylethanol increased from the sample of optimal condition when compared to the one from initial fermentation condition.

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<![CDATA[Raman spectroscopic evaluation of human serum using metal plate and 785- and 1064-nm excitation lasers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c70675fd5eed0c4847c6f69

In this study, we utilized a stainless steel (SUS304) plate for measuring the Raman scattering spectra of body fluid samples. Using this stainless steel plate, we recorded the Raman scattering spectra of 99.5% ethanol and human serum samples by performing irradiation with 785- and 1064-nm lasers. Raman scattering spectra with intensities equal to or greater than those reported previously were obtained. In addition, the Raman scattering spectra acquired using the 1064-nm laser were less influenced by autofluorescence than those obtained via use of the shorter-wavelength laser. Moreover, the shapes of the spectra did not show any dependence on integration time, and denaturation of the samples was minimal. Our method, based on 1064-nm laser and the stainless steel plate, provides performance equal to or better than the methods reported thus far for the measurement of Raman scattering spectra from liquid samples. This method can be employed to rapidly evaluate the components of serum in liquid form without using surface-enhanced Raman scattering.

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<![CDATA[Health outcomes for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children born preterm, low birthweight or small for gestational age: A nationwide cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe08d5eed0c484e5b2ea

Objective

To examine health outcomes in Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children experiencing perinatal risk and identify protective factors in the antenatal period.

Methods

Baby/Child cohorts of the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children, born 2001–2008, across four annual surveys (aged 0–8 years, N = 1483). Children with ‘mild’ and ‘moderate-to-high’ perinatal risk were compared to children born normal weight at term for maternal-rated global health and disability, and body-mass-index measured by the interviewer.

Results

Almost one third of children had experienced mild (22%) or moderate-to-high perinatal risk (8%). Perinatal risk was associated with lower body-mass-index z-scores (regression coefficients adjusted for pregnancy and environment factors: mild = -0.21, 95% CI = -0.34, -0.07; moderate-to-high = -0.42, 95% CI = -0.63, -0.21). Moderate-to-high perinatal risk was associated with poorer global health, with associations becoming less evident in models adjusted for pregnancy and environment factors; but not evident for disability. A range of protective factors, including cultural-based resilience and smoking cessation, were associated with lower risk of adverse outcomes.

Conclusions

Perinatal risks are associated with Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait children experiencing adverse health particularly lower body weight. Cultural-based resilience and smoking cessation may be two modifiable pathways to ameliorating health problems associated with perinatal risk.

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<![CDATA[RedCom: A strategy for reduced metabolic modeling of complex microbial communities and its application for analyzing experimental datasets from anaerobic digestion]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df347d5eed0c48458108e

Constraint-based modeling (CBM) is increasingly used to analyze the metabolism of complex microbial communities involved in ecology, biomedicine, and various biotechnological processes. While CBM is an established framework for studying the metabolism of single species with linear stoichiometric models, CBM of communities with balanced growth is more complicated, not only due to the larger size of the multi-species metabolic network but also because of the bilinear nature of the resulting community models. Moreover, the solution space of these community models often contains biologically unrealistic solutions, which, even with model linearization and under application of certain objective functions, cannot easily be excluded. Here we present RedCom, a new approach to build reduced community models in which the metabolisms of the participating organisms are represented by net conversions computed from the respective single-species networks. By discarding (single-species) net conversions that violate a minimality criterion in the exchange fluxes, it is ensured that unrealistic solutions in the community model are excluded where a species altruistically synthesizes large amounts of byproducts (instead of biomass) to fulfill the requirements of other species. We employed the RedCom approach for modeling communities of up to nine organisms involved in typical degradation steps of anaerobic digestion in biogas plants. Compared to full (bilinear and linearized) community models, we found that the reduced community models obtained with RedCom are not only much smaller but allow, also in the largest model with nine species, extensive calculations required to fully characterize the solution space and to reveal key properties of communities with maximum methane yield and production rates. Furthermore, the predictive power of the reduced community models is significantly larger because they predict much smaller ranges of feasible community compositions and exchange fluxes still being consistent with measurements obtained from enrichment cultures. For an enrichment culture for growth on ethanol, we also used metaproteomic data to further constrain the solution space of the community models. Both model and proteomic data indicated a dominance of acetoclastic methanogens (Methanosarcinales) and Desulfovibrionales being the least abundant group in this microbial community.

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<![CDATA[Community-, facility-, and individual-level outcomes of a district mental healthcare plan in a low-resource setting in Nepal: A population-based evaluation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f148bd5eed0c48467a299

Background

In low-income countries, care for people with mental, neurological, and substance use (MNS) disorders is largely absent, especially in rural settings. To increase treatment coverage, integration of mental health services into community and primary healthcare settings is recommended. While this strategy is being rolled out globally, rigorous evaluation of outcomes at each stage of the service delivery pathway from detection to treatment initiation to individual outcomes of care has been missing.

Methods and findings

A combination of methods were employed to evaluate the impact of a district mental healthcare plan for depression, psychosis, alcohol use disorder (AUD), and epilepsy as part of the Programme for Improving Mental Health Care (PRIME) in Chitwan District, Nepal. We evaluated 4 components of the service delivery pathway: (1) contact coverage of primary care mental health services, evaluated through a community study (N = 3,482 combined for all waves of community surveys) and through service utilisation data (N = 727); (2) detection of mental illness among participants presenting in primary care facilities, evaluated through a facility study (N = 3,627 combined for all waves of facility surveys); (3) initiation of minimally adequate treatment after diagnosis, evaluated through the same facility study; and (4) treatment outcomes of patients receiving primary-care-based mental health services, evaluated through cohort studies (total N = 449 depression, N = 137; AUD, N = 175; psychosis, N = 95; epilepsy, N = 42). The lack of structured diagnostic assessments (instead of screening tools), the relatively small sample size for some study components, and the uncontrolled nature of the study are among the limitations to be noted. All data collection took place between 15 January 2013 and 15 February 2017. Contact coverage increased 7.5% for AUD (from 0% at baseline), 12.2% for depression (from 0%), 11.7% for epilepsy (from 1.3%), and 50.2% for psychosis (from 3.2%) when using service utilisation data over 12 months; community survey results did not reveal significant changes over time. Health worker detection of depression increased by 15.7% (from 8.9% to 24.6%) 6 months after training, and 10.3% (from 8.9% to 19.2%) 24 months after training; for AUD the increase was 58.9% (from 1.1% to 60.0%) and 11.0% (from 1.1% to 12.1%) for 6 months and 24 months, respectively. Provision of minimally adequate treatment subsequent to diagnosis for depression was 93.9% at 6 months and 66.7% at 24 months; for AUD these values were 95.1% and 75.0%, respectively. Changes in treatment outcomes demonstrated small to moderate effect sizes (9.7-point reduction [d = 0.34] in AUD symptoms, 6.4-point reduction [d = 0.43] in psychosis symptoms, 7.2-point reduction [d = 0.58] in depression symptoms) at 12 months post-treatment.

Conclusions

These combined results make a promising case for the feasibility and impact of community- and primary-care-based services delivered through an integrated district mental healthcare plan in reducing the treatment gap and increasing effective coverage for MNS disorders. While the integrated mental healthcare approach does lead to apparent benefits in most of the outcome metrics, there are still significant areas that require further attention (e.g., no change in community-level contact coverage, attrition in AUD detection rates over time, and relatively low detection rates for depression).

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<![CDATA[Stress response, behavior, and development are shaped by transposable element-induced mutations in Drosophila]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c758ad5eed0c4843cfe7b

Most of the current knowledge on the genetic basis of adaptive evolution is based on the analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Despite increasing evidence for their causal role, the contribution of structural variants to adaptive evolution remains largely unexplored. In this work, we analyzed the population frequencies of 1,615 Transposable Element (TE) insertions annotated in the reference genome of Drosophila melanogaster, in 91 samples from 60 worldwide natural populations. We identified a set of 300 polymorphic TEs that are present at high population frequencies, and located in genomic regions with high recombination rate, where the efficiency of natural selection is high. The age and the length of these 300 TEs are consistent with relatively young and long insertions reaching high frequencies due to the action of positive selection. Besides, we identified a set of 21 fixed TEs also likely to be adaptive. Indeed, we, and others, found evidence of selection for 84 of these reference TE insertions. The analysis of the genes located nearby these 84 candidate adaptive insertions suggested that the functional response to selection is related with the GO categories of response to stimulus, behavior, and development. We further showed that a subset of the candidate adaptive TEs affects expression of nearby genes, and five of them have already been linked to an ecologically relevant phenotypic effect. Our results provide a more complete understanding of the genetic variation and the fitness-related traits relevant for adaptive evolution. Similar studies should help uncover the importance of TE-induced adaptive mutations in other species as well.

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<![CDATA[The prevalence of religiosity and association between religiosity and alcohol use, other drug use, and risky sexual behaviours among grade 8-10 learners in Western Cape, South Africa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dca34d5eed0c48452a8c1

Background

Alcohol and other drug use (AOD) and risky sexual behaviours remain high among adolescents in South Africa and globally. Religiosity influences, mitigates and provides resilience against engaging in risky behaviours among young people but few South African studies have explored potential associations between religiosity, AOD use and risky sex. We report the prevalence of religiosity and association between religiosity and AOD use and risky sexual behaviours among learners in the Western Cape Province, South Africa.

Methods

Between May and August 2011, a cross sectional survey was conducted among 20 227 learners from 240 public schools randomly selected through a stratified multistage sampling design to determine the prevalence of AOD use and sexual risk behaviours. We performed univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses to assess the association between religiosity, AOD use and risky sexual behaviours.

Results

The learners were aged 10–23 years. Almost three quarters (74%) of learners reported high religiosity (defined as attending religious services or activities at least 1–2 times a month). More female than male learners had high religiosity. The prevalence of past 30 day reported alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use was 23%, 19% and 8% respectively. Compared to learners with low religiosity, those with high religiosity were less likely to engage in AOD use: specifically alcohol use, (AOR = 0.86, 95%CI: 0.76–0.97), tobacco use (AOR = 0.76, 95%CI: 0.67–0.87), cannabis use (AOR = 0.57, 95%CI: 0.48–0.68) in the last 30 days. They were also less likely to engage in risky sexual behaviours (AOR = 0.90, 95%CI: 0.81–0.99).

Conclusion

Religiosity was associated with lower odds of reported AOD use and risky sexual behaviours among learners in the Western Cape. This calls for further exploration on how to incorporate religiosity into AOD use and risky sexual behaviour interventions.

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<![CDATA[Optimization of a polyphenol extraction method for sweet orange pulp (Citrus sinensis L.) to identify phenolic compounds consumed from sweet oranges]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b5293d5eed0c4842bcbe6

The consumption of sweet oranges has been linked to several health benefits, many of which are attributed to hesperidin, a flavanone that is present in high amounts in these fruits. However, other phenolic compounds can contribute to the bioactivity of sweet orange. To link those effects to their phenolic profile, the complete characterization of the phenolic profile is mandatory. Although many studies have profiled the phenolic composition of orange juices, their pulps, which retain phenolic compounds, are overlooked. This fact is particularly relevant because dietary guidelines recommend the consumption of whole fruits. Therefore, this study aimed to develop a specific method for the optimal extraction of phenolics from orange pulp and to use this method to characterize these fruits grown at different locations by HPLC-ESI-MS/MS. The extraction conditions that reported the highest total polyphenol content (TPC) and hesperidin contents were 20 mL/g, 55 °C, and 90% methanol. The extraction time and number of sequential steps were further evaluated and optimized as 20 min and two extraction steps, respectively. Although lower extraction rates were achieved when using ethanol as the extraction solvent, high TPC and hesperidin yields were obtained, suggesting the potential use of this methodology to produce phenolic-rich extracts for the food industry. By applying the optimized methodology and analyzing the extracts by HPLC-ESI-MS/MS, geographic cultivation regions were demonstrated to affect the phenolic profiles of oranges. In short, we developed a quick, easy-to-perform methodology that can be used to extract orange phenolics from pulp for their identification and quantification and to evaluate the factors that affect the phenolic profile in sweet orange pulps.

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<![CDATA[Cilostazol protects hepatocytes against alcohol-induced apoptosis via activation of AMPK pathway]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59fed6d5eed0c48413570c

Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is a worldwide health problem and hepatocyte apoptosis has been associated with the development/progression of ALD. However, no definite effective pharmacotherapy for ALD is currently available. Cilostazol, a selective type III phosphodiesterase inhibitor has been shown to protect hepatocytes from ethanol-induced apoptosis. In the present study, the underlying mechanisms for the protective effects of cilostazol were examined. Primary rat hepatocytes were treated with ethanol in the presence or absence of cilostazol. Cell viability and intracellular cAMP were measured. Apoptosis was detected by Hoechst staining, TUNEL assay, and caspase-3 activity assay. The roles of cAMP and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathways in the action of CTZ were explored using pharmacological inhibitors and siRNAs. Liver from mice received ethanol (5 g/kg body weight) by oral gavage following cilostazol treatment intraperitoneally was obtained for measurement of apoptosis and activation of AMPK pathway. Cilostazol inhibited ethanol-induced hepatocyte apoptosis and potentiated the increases in cAMP level induced by forskolin. However, the anti-apoptotic effect of cilostazol was not reversed by an inhibitor of adenylyl cyclase. Interestingly, cilostazol activated AMPK and increased the level of LC3-II, a marker of autophagy. The inhibition of AMPK abolished the effects of cilostazol on LC3-II expression and apoptosis. Moreover, the inhibition of LKB1 and CaMKK2, upstream kinases of AMPK, dampened cilostazol-inhibited apoptosis as well as AMPK activation. In conclusion, cilostazol protected hepatocytes from apoptosis induced by ethanol mainly via AMPK pathway which is regulated by both LKB1 and CaMKK2. Our results suggest that cilostazol may have potential as a promising therapeutic drug for treatment of ALD.

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<![CDATA[Combining green cards, telephone calls and postcards into an intervention algorithm to reduce suicide reattempt (AlgoS): P-hoc analyses of an inconclusive randomized controlled trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df34fd5eed0c484581138

Background

Brief contact interventions (BCIs) might be reliable suicide prevention strategies. BCI efficacy trials, however, gave equivocal results. AlgoS trial is a composite BCI that yielded inconclusive results when analyzed with Intention-To-Treat strategy. In order to elicit intervention strengths and weaknesses, post-hoc analyses of AlgoS data were performed.

Methods

AlgoS was a randomized controlled trial conducted in 23 French hospitals. Suicide attempters were randomly assigned to either the intervention group (AlgoS) or the control group (Treatment as usual TAU). In the AlgoS arm, first-time suicide attempters received crisis cards; non first-time suicide attempters received a phone call, and post-cards if the call could not be completed, or if the participant was in crisis and/or non-compliant with the post-discharge treatment. An As Treated strategy, accounting for the actual intervention received, was combined with subgroup analyses.

Results

1,040 patients were recruited and randomized into two groups of N = 520, from which 53 withdrew participation; 15 were excluded after inclusion/exclusion criteria reassessment. AlgoS first attempters were less likely to reiterate suicide attempt (SA) than their TAU counterparts at 6 and 13–14 months (RR [95% CI]: 0.46 [0.25–0.85] and 0.50 [0.31–0.81] respectively). AlgoS non-first attempters had similar SA rates as their TAU counterparts at 6 and 13–14 months (RR [95% CI]: 0.84 [0.57–1.25] and 1.00 [0.73–1.37] respectively). SA rates were dissimilar within the AlgoS non-first attempter group.

Conclusions

This new set of analysis suggests that crisis cards could be efficacious to prevent new SA attempts among first-time attempters, while phone calls were probably not significantly efficacious among multi-attempters. Importantly, phone calls were informative of new SA risk, thus a key component of future interventions.

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<![CDATA[Dissecting the pathways coordinating patterning and growth by plant boundary domains]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c536af0d5eed0c484a47c21

Boundary domains play important roles during morphogenesis in plants and animals, but how they contribute to patterning and growth coordination in plants is not understood. The CUC genes determine the boundary domains in the aerial part of the plants and, in particular, they have a conserved role in regulating leaf complexity across Angiosperms. Here, we used tooth formation at the Arabidopsis leaf margin controlled by the CUC2 transcription factor to untangle intertwined events during boundary-controlled morphogenesis in plants. Combining conditional restoration of CUC2 function with morphometrics as well as quantification of gene expression and hormone signaling, we first established that tooth morphogenesis involves a patterning phase and a growth phase. These phases can be separated, as patterning requires CUC2 while growth can occur independently of CUC2. Next, we show that CUC2 acts as a trigger to promote growth through the activation of three functional relays. In particular, we show that KLUH acts downstream of CUC2 to modulate auxin response and that expressing KLUH can compensate for deficient CUC2 expression during tooth growth. Together, we reveal a genetic and molecular network that allows coordination of patterning and growth by CUC2-defined boundaries during morphogenesis at the leaf margin.

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<![CDATA[HPV-driven oropharyngeal squamous cell cancer in Croatia — Demography and survival]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df339d5eed0c484580f3c

Objectives

Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is the sixth most common malignancy worldwide. Main HNSCC risk factors are tobacco, alcohol, and high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV+ oropharyngeal squamous cell cancer (OPSCC) usually have different etiology, increasing incidence and often show an improved survival when compared to HPV-negative cases. The objective of the current study was to retrospectively examine the influence of HPV on the survival of OPSCC patients in a non-Western population setting.

Materials and methods

We determined the presence of HPV DNA and/or RNA in 99 formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue samples of OPSCC patients treated between 2002 and 2015. Patients were compared based on laboratory, demographic, clinical, life style characteristics and survival.

Results

HPV RNA was found in 29.3% cases. However, groups based on HPV data (either RNA, DNA or retrospectively collected p16 staining) did not show significant differences. Overall, 5-year survival was 30% with minimal influence of the HPV positivity.

Conclusions

The HPV influence on survival of OPSCC patients is not identical between populations probably due to other factors overshadowing the HPV effect. This should be taken into account when treatment or policy decisions are made in each particular setting.

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