ResearchPad - feature-articles https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[COVID-19: Unanswered questions on immune response and pathogenesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N4651b055-50e9-457a-804a-2d5f1bac8193 The novel coronavirus disease 2019 has rapidly increased in pandemic scale since it first appeared in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. In these troubled days the scientific community is asking for rapid replies to prevent and combat the emergency. It is generally accepted that only achieving a better understanding of the interactions between the virus and the host immune response and of the pathogenesis of infection is crucial to identify valid therapeutic tools to control virus entry, replication, and spread as well as to impair its lethal effects. On the basis of recent research progress of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and the results on previous coronaviruses, in this contribution we underscore some of the main unsolved problems, mostly focusing on pathogenetic aspects and host immunity to the virus. On this basis, we also touch important aspects regarding the immune response in asymptomatic subjects, the immune evasion of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in severe patients, and differences in disease severity by age and sex.

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<![CDATA[Opportunities and challenges of phenomics applied to livestock and aquaculture breeding in South America]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N0b2eb268-a953-4ef9-a053-9582dde4a80b <![CDATA[New Approaches to Identifying and Reducing the Global Burden of Disease From Pollution]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nbf7723dd-5647-4f8e-be7f-e9600ebe8e30

Abstract

Pollution from multiple sources causes significant disease and death worldwide. Some sources are legacy, such as heavy metals accumulated in soils, and some are current, such as particulate matter. Because the global burden of disease from pollution is so high, it is important to identify legacy and current sources and to develop and implement effective techniques to reduce human exposure. But many limitations exist in our understanding of the distribution and transport processes of pollutants themselves, as well as the complicated overprint of human behavior and susceptibility.

New approaches are being developed to identify and eliminate pollution in multiple environments. Community‐scale detection of geogenic arsenic and fluoride in Bangladesh is helping to map the distribution of these harmful elements in drinking water. Biosensors such as bees and their honey are being used to measure heavy metal contamination in cities such as Vancouver and Sydney. Drone‐based remote sensors are being used to map metal hot spots in soils from former mining regions in Zambia and Mozambique. The explosion of low‐cost air monitors has allowed researchers to build dense air quality sensing networks to capture ephemeral and local releases of harmful materials, building on other developments in personal exposure sensing. And citizen science is helping communities without adequate resources measure their own environments and in this way gain agency in controlling local pollution exposure sources and/or alerting authorities to environmental hazards. The future of GeoHealth will depend on building on these developments and others to protect a growing population from multiple pollution exposure risks.

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<![CDATA[The search for a structural basis for therapeutic intervention against the SARS coronavirus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N5d695543-f502-4d44-9b9a-f7a619d7b955

The 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), caused by a previously unknown coronavirus called SARS‐CoV, had profound social and economic impacts worldwide. Since then, structure–function studies of SARS‐CoV proteins have provided a wealth of information that increases our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of SARS. While no effective therapy is currently available, considerable efforts have been made to develop vaccines and drugs to prevent SARS‐CoV infection. In this review, some of the notable achievements made by SARS structural biology projects worldwide are examined and strategies for therapeutic intervention are discussed based on available SARS‐CoV protein structures. To date, 12 structures have been determined by X‐ray crystallography or NMR from the 28 proteins encoded by SARS‐CoV. One key protein, the SARS‐CoV main protease (M pro), has been the focus of considerable structure‐based drug discovery efforts. This article highlights the importance of structural biology and shows that structures for drug design can be rapidly determined in the event of an emerging infectious disease.

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<![CDATA[Dealing with complexity of new phenotypes in modern dairy cattle breeding]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N147cdb49-2962-4427-af0b-3fdc01118016 ]]> <![CDATA[Dairy cows: in the age of the genotype, #phenotypeisking]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne886de3e-9e85-47fa-be95-bae2a3bbc748 ]]> <![CDATA[Effects of genetic management on reproduction, growth, and survival in captive endangered pygmy rabbits (Brachylagus idahoensis)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nb6af6ebe-b420-4058-8f21-6a652971fabf

Abstract

A quarter of all lagomorph species worldwide are threatened with extinction. Captive breeding programs, such as that developed for the Columbia Basin (CB) pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis), sometimes are implemented as emergency conservation measures to restore small, genetically distinct populations. However, small source populations also may have low genetic diversity, which may influence attributes related to fitness, including growth, survival, and reproduction. We used mixed-effects regression models to explore the influence of genetic pedigree (% CB) on pairing success, growth, and survival during the 10-year captive breeding program at Washington State University, which included controlled pairings and outbreeding with pygmy rabbits from Idaho. Pairing success, juvenile growth, and juvenile survival declined with increasing CB pedigree of 1 or both parents, suggesting inbreeding depression among the small number of related founders. Demographic variables such as age, sex, and previous pregnancies, and environmental variables such as month and temperature at birth also were associated with production of pygmy rabbits. Our study illustrates the difficulty of retaining a unique genome of a small source population while simultaneously producing enough rabbits for restoration into natural habitat as part of endangered species recovery programs.

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<![CDATA[Reproductive Biology of the Coyote (Canis latrans): Integration of Mating Behavior, Reproductive Hormones, and Vaginal Cytology]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N04fb7499-b6ae-497f-b661-3eb2b5aca610

Abstract

The reproductive biology of wild Canis species is often described as unique among mammals because an unusual combination of behavioral and physiological characteristics including a seasonally monestrous cycle, copulatory lock or tie, obligatory pseudopregnancy, social monogamy, and biparental care of the young. We investigated social behavior, endocrine profiles, and vaginal cytology of female coyotes (Canis latrans) during 4 breeding seasons, 2000–2003. Blood levels of estradiol, progesterone, prolactin, and relaxin were measured, and mating behavior and changes in vaginal epithelium were documented. After aligning the data from each individual to her estimated day of ovulation, we compared pregnant coyotes with nonpregnant females and evaluated temporal relationships among hormone levels, behavior, and vaginal cytology. We found that patterns of proceptive and receptive behaviors correlated with the secretion of steroid hormones, as did vaginal epithelial cytomorphosis. In addition, although progesterone levels of pregnant and pseudopregnant coyotes were indistinguishable, prolactin demonstrated a discernible intergroup difference and relaxin was only detectable in pregnant females. Although this study included characteristics not previously published for this species, it also showed how key aspects of reproduction were correlated temporally, and emphasized the importance of an integrated perspective when addressing the reproductive biology of coyotes, or other wild species of canids.

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<![CDATA[Phylogeny and biogeography of western Indian Ocean Rousettus (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nd77e28cc-3b30-4a34-bed9-eacc62822f3a

Abstract

We examined patterns of genetic variation in Rousettus madagascariensis from Madagascar and R. obliviosus from the Comoros (Grande Comore, Anjouan, and Mohéli). Genetic distances among individuals on the basis of 1,130 base pairs of the mitochondrial cytochrome b (Cytb) locus were estimated from specimens collected from 17 sites on Madagascar, 3 sites on Grande Comore, 3 sites on Anjouan, and 2 sites on Mohéli. We observed little variation in Madagascar and nearshore island samples (maximum 1.1%) and interisland Comoros samples (maximum 1.8%). In contrast, pairwise distances between different sampled sites on Madagascar and the Comoros varied from 8.5% to 13.2%. For 131 Malagasy animals, 69 unique haplotypes were recovered with 86 variable sites, and for 44 Comorian individuals, 17 unique haplotypes were found with 30 variable sites. No haplotype was shared between Madagascar and the Comoros, adding to previous morphological evidence that these 2 populations should be considered separate species. Cytb data showed that Rousettus populations of Madagascar (including nearshore islands) and the Comoros are respectively monophyletic and display no geographic structure in haplotype diversity, and that R. madagascariensis and R. obliviosus are strongly supported as sister to each other relative to other Rousettus species. Genotypic data from 6 microsatellite loci confirm lack of geographic structure in either of the 2 species. In pairwise tests of population differentiation, the only significant values were between samples from the Comoro Islands and Madagascar (including nearshore islands). Estimates of current and historical demographic parameters support population expansion in both the Comoros and Madagascar. These data suggest a more recent and rapid demographic expansion in Madagascar in comparison with greater population stability on the Comoros. On the basis of available evidence, open-water crossings approaching 300 km seem rarely traversed by Rousettus, and, if successful, can result in genetic isolation and subsequent differentiation.

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<![CDATA[Status report on porcine epidemic diarrhea virus in the United States]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nbbbed590-b823-47b7-9d65-67ac7ac4640f

Abstract

  • On 16 May 2013, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, National Veterinary Services Laboratories reported the detection of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus in the United States for the first time.

  • This virus causes severe diarrhea and vomiting in young pigs.

  • Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus does not infect humans and is not a food safety risk.

  • This virus is already found in many countries around the world, and there is no US official regulation of the virus and no export restrictions to other countries.

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<![CDATA[Spatial organization and activity patterns of the masked palm civet (Paguma larvata) in central-south China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N888caffe-5f6a-4630-b364-3debda1db511

Abstract

Movement and activity patterns are important components of life history, being central to resource acquisition and defense, mating behavior, and individual survival and fitness. Here, we present results from the 1st systematic radiotracking study of the masked palm civet (Paguma larvata), a widespread viverrid found in subtropical and tropical forests of Asia. From June 2004 to November 2007, we radiotracked 12 masked palm civets (5 males and 7 females) in central-south China. Mean individual home-range size based on 95% minimum convex polygons was 192.6 ha ± 42.6 SE (range = 64–451 ha). Although males had larger mean home-range sizes than females (276.8 and 136.5 ha, respectively), these differences were not statistically significant. Males also exhibited greater daily movement distances and extents than females, but we found no evidence of sexual dimorphism in body size. Masked palm civets were predominantly nocturnal, but were active intermittently during the day. No significant seasonal (monthly) differences in daily activity patterns were apparent. We did, however, observe reduced hours of activity—but not continuous inactivity—during winter; consequently, we concluded that our study animals did not hibernate or semihibernate. We speculate that our observations of home-range overlap among individuals may indicate group living in the masked palm civet.

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<![CDATA[Nonglycemic Outcomes of Antidiabetic Medications]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8d96207a-4302-4734-8b33-45532c9d3c70

IN BRIEF The number of medications used to treat diabetes has increased dramatically in the past 15 years. With so many options that have shown significant A1C improvement, it is important to consider side effects, precautions, and additional benefits these agents may offer. This article is a review of some of the most compelling literature available on the nonglycemic benefits of sulfonylureas, thiazolidinediones, biguanides, glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists, dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors, and sodium–glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors. Other classes of antihyperglycemic agents, such as dopamine agonists, meglitinides, and amylin agonists, are not discussed in this article.

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<![CDATA[Objectively Measured Physical Activity in Older Adults With and Without Diabetes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N99fea255-6a13-477e-8008-af87c97dc4b4

In Brief People with known diabetes were found to be 20% less active than people without diabetes as measured by objective accelerometers. A threshold of 6,000 steps per day was associated with the lowest risk of prevalent diabetes. The study also emphasizes the use of objective techniques to measure physical activity in subjects with diabetes.

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<![CDATA[Using Flash Continuous Glucose Monitoring in Primary Practice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne95873dd-9944-4417-a84b-7d82c39e3613

IN BRIEF Obstacles to realizing the clinical benefits of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) for daily diabetes management are being overcome with more affordable, user-friendly technologies. This article describes a novel category of CGM known as “flash” that may allow more routine use of continuous data for greater numbers of patients treated in primary care.

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<![CDATA[Reducing the Stigma of Diabetes in Medical Education: A Contact-Based Educational Approach]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N0a45d905-be73-41e5-afe9-a5737aaa2dc5

IN BRIEF In this feasibility study, we evaluated the impact of a contact-based education patient panel in an Endocrine and Metabolism course on second-year medical students’ diabetes attitudes and diabetes stigma. Prior to the patient panel, some medical students harbored stigma toward people with diabetes, thus confirming patients’ reports in the literature of diabetes stigma on the part of health care professionals. Importantly, the one-time contact-based educational approach improved students’ diabetes attitudes and reduced diabetes stigma.

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<![CDATA[Use of Glucagon in Patients With Type 1 Diabetes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nf482d01e-c0da-4a37-b5c2-0191b29a742b

IN BRIEF Glucagon is an invaluable tool for patients with type 1 diabetes who experience severe hypoglycemia, but little is known about the actual use of rescue glucagon in this patient population. This survey study found that patients with type 1 diabetes were not adequately prescribed glucagon or educated about the use of glucagon, and patients reported various administration issues in using it. These results strongly suggest the need for standards of practice to increase the prescribing of glucagon and the provision of initial and ongoing education about its use and administration and the development of a glucagon rescue device or a glucagon product that would eliminate the complexity of its current formulation and packaging.

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<![CDATA[Evaluation of Effects of Health Literacy, Numeracy Skills, and English Proficiency on Health Outcomes in the Population of People With Diabetes in East Harlem]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nf1c7fbeb-0c70-47ce-84db-7475adfc470d

IN BRIEF In the management of diabetes, adequate health literacy is necessary to help patients monitor their caloric and carbohydrate intake and monitor their blood glucose to achieve adequate glycemic control. This cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the health literacy of patients with diabetes from East Harlem in New York City using the validated Newest Vital Sign screening tool and to investigate its association with microvascular complications of diabetes. Lower health literacy was found to be associated with higher microvascular complications in these patients with diabetes.

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<![CDATA[The Language of Diabetes Complications: Communication and Framing of Risk Messages in North American and Australasian Diabetes-Specific Media]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N69be9909-0db3-4efe-a0a9-3b07ce87d1d3

IN BRIEF Reducing the risk of diabetes complications requires the delivery of accurate and constructive information for people with diabetes to make informed self-management choices. This article reports on a study assessing the language and framing of risk messages about long-term complications featured in publications produced by North American and Australasian diabetes organizations. Findings highlight problems with the language, content, and framing of messages about risk of long-term diabetes complications presented by diabetes-specific media. These poorly communicated messages may be contributing to distorted perceptions of complications risk and diabetes distress and may interfere with optimal self-management.

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<![CDATA[Is It Distress, Depression, or Both? Exploring Differences in the Diabetes Distress Scale and the Patient Health Questionnaire in a Diabetes Specialty Clinic]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ndcf4cb18-689e-41f1-8f12-742c1644c343

IN BRIEF Patients (n = 314) completed the Patient Health Questionnaire and the Diabetes Distress Scale as part of standard care. Although most patients (70.4%) had no symptoms of depression or diabetes-related distress, 23.9% scored high on the distress questionnaire in at least one of its four domains. Regular screening for distress related to the demands of living with diabetes is crucial in identifying and preventing poor health outcomes associated with diabetes-related distress.

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<![CDATA[Insulin Detemir Versus Insulin Glargine in the Hospital: Do Hypoglycemia Rates Differ?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N3ac6e164-a84b-412b-bada-8f468dc3d7aa

IN BRIEF Several studies have compared the safety and efficacy of insulin detemir and insulin glargine; however, most have been conducted in the ambulatory care setting. This retrospective cohort study compared hypoglycemia rates between the two basal insulin analogs in hospitalized patients with diabetes. No difference was found between the two insulin cohorts in the proportion of patients who experienced hypoglycemic events.

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