ResearchPad - short-communication https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Bonuses and pitfalls of a paperless drive-through screening and COVID-19: A field report]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13708 As the world witnessed the rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2, the World Health Organization has called for governing bodies worldwide to intensify case findings, contact tracing, monitoring, and quarantine or isolation of contacts with COVID-19. Drive-through (DT) screening is a form of case detection which has recently gain preference globally. Proper implementation of this system can help remediate the outbreak.

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<![CDATA[Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations in 16-year-old Icelandic adolescent and its association with bone mineral density]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12758 The aim of the study was to assess the potential association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and whole-body bone mineral density (BMD) among 16-year-old adolescents and to study the prevalence of 25(OH)D insufficiency, defined as concentration under 50 nmol/l.Design:A cross-sectional study.Setting:Reykjavik, Iceland, latitude 64°08′N. Measurements took place in the Icelandic Heart Association's research lab during April–June 2015.Participants:In total, 411 students in Reykjavik, Iceland, were invited to participate, 315 accepted the invitation (76·6 %) and 289 had valid data (mainly Caucasian).Results:25(OH)D < 50 nmol/l was observed in 70 % of girls and 66·7 % of boys. 25(OH)D ≥ 50 nmol/l was significantly associated with higher whole-body BMD after adjusting for the influence of sex, height, fat mass and lean mass. A linear relationship between 25(OH)D and whole-body BMD was significant for 25(OH)D < 50 nmol/l (n 199, P < 0·05) but NS for 25(OH)D ≥ 50 nmol/l (n 86, P = 0·48).Conclusions:Our results are in line with some but not all previous studies on the relationship between BMD and 25(OH)D in adolescents. The observed difference in BMD between those with above v. below a 25(OH)D concentration of 50 nmol/l was of about a fifth of one SD, which may have a clinical relevance as one SD decrease in volumetric BMD has been associated with a 89 % increase in 2 years risk of fracture. Icelandic adolescents should be encouraged to increase their vitamin D intake as it is possible that their current intake is insufficient to achieve optimal peak bone mass. ]]> <![CDATA[Enhancement of membrane lipid peroxidation in lung cancer cells irradiated with monoenergetic X-rays at the K-shell resonance absorption peak of phosphorus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12620 The aim of this study was to determine whether membrane lipid peroxidation in mammalian cells is enhanced by X-ray irradiation at the K-shell resonance absorption peak of phosphorus. A549 and wild-type p53-transfected H1299 (H1299/wtp53) cell lines derived from human lung carcinoma were irradiated with monoenergetic X-rays at 2.153 keV, the phosphorus K-shell resonance absorption peak, or those at 2.147 or 2.160 keV, which are off peaks. Immunofluorescence staining for 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE), a lipid peroxidation product, was used as marker for protein modification. In both cell lines, the HNE production was significantly enhanced after irradiation at 2.153 keV compared to sham-irradiation. The enhancement (E) was calculated as the ratio of the fluorescence intensity of irradiated cells to that of sham-irradiated cells. In both the cell lines, E2.153 was significantly larger than E2.147 and no significant difference between E2.147 and E2.160 was observed. The extra enhancement at 2.153 keV was possibly caused by energy transition within the phosphorus K-shell resonance absorption. Our results indicate that membrane lipid peroxidation in cells is enhanced by the Auger effect after irradiation at the K-shell resonance absorption peak of phosphorus rather than by the photoelectric effect of the constituent atoms in the membrane lipid at 2.147 keV.

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<![CDATA[Absorbed radiation doses in the thyroid as estimated by UNSCEAR and subsequent risk of childhood thyroid cancer following the Great East Japan Earthquake]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12615 The identification of thyroid cancers among children after the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident propelled concerns regarding long-term radiation effects on thyroid cancer in children affected by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident in Fukushima, Japan. Herein we consider the potential association between absorbed dose in the thyroid and the risk of developing thyroid cancer as detected by ultrasonography on 300 473 children and adolescents aged 0–18 years in Fukushima. The absorbed dose mentioned in the present study indicates the sum of that from external exposure and that from internally deposited radionuclides. We grouped participants according to estimated absorbed doses in each of 59 municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture, based on The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) 2013 report. The 59 municipalities were assigned to quartiles by dose. We limited our analyses to participants aged ≥6 years because only one case of thyroid cancer was observed in participants aged ≤5 years; 164 299 participants were included in the final analysis. Compared with the lowest dose quartile, the age- and sex-adjusted rate ratios (95% confidence intervals) for the low-middle, high-middle and highest quartiles were 2.00 (0.84–4.80), 1.34 (0.50–3.59) and 1.42 (0.55–3.67) for the 6–14-year-old groups and 1.99 (0.70–5.70), 0.54 (0.13–2.31) and 0.51 (0.12–2.15) for the >15-year-old group, respectively. No dose-dependent pattern emerged from the geographical distribution of absorbed doses by municipality, as estimated by UNSCEAR, and the detection of thyroid cancer among participants within 4–6 years after the accident. Ongoing surveillance might further clarify the effects of low-dose radiation exposure on thyroid cancer in Fukushima.

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<![CDATA[Concentration ratios of <sup>238</sup>U and <sup>226</sup>Ra for insects and amphibians living in the vicinity of the closed uranium mine at Ningyo-toge, Japan]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12614 There is still a scarcity of data on the transfer of naturally occurring radionuclides to wildlife in various ecosystems. In the present study, concentration ratios (CRwo-media) of 238U and 226Ra were obtained for grasshoppers, frogs and newts in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. Soil, water and animal samples were collected for 2 years in the vicinity of the closed uranium mine at Ningyo-toge, Japan. Three sites with different 238U and 226Ra levels were of interest: (i) pond and its shore (PO); (ii) low-level stream and its shore near overburden dump (OD); and (iii) uranium mill tailings pond and its shore (MP). The activity concentrations in both soil and water were PO ≈ OD < MP for 238U, and PO < OD < MP for 226Ra. Regarding the wildlife, 238U was able to be determined for all samples, but the detection of 226Ra was observed only for part of the samples. The means and standard deviations of CRwo-soil or CRwo-water were then calculated and may indicate the insignificant dependence of CRwo-media on environmental conditions characterized by the tested sites. The present data on CRwo-media were compared to the corresponding data or surrogate data from the IAEA’s database, showing both agreement and discrepancy. Our data contribute to enhancing the available data for those radionuclides and animals. In particular, the transfer to amphibians, one of the main links in common food webs, is reported here for the first time.

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<![CDATA[Gene sequence analysis of toxins from the spider <i>Phoneutria nigriventer</i> revealed an intronless feature]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10912 Phoneutria nigriventer spider venom contains several cysteine-rich peptide toxins that act on different ion channels. Despite extensive studies on its venom and description of cDNA sequences of several of its toxin precursors, the gene structure of these toxins remains unknown.Methods:Genomic regions encoding the precursors of three previously characterized P. nigriventer toxins - PnTx1, PnTx2-5 and PnTx4(5-5) - were amplified by PCR using specific primers. PCR fragments were cloned and sequenced. Obtained sequences were compared with their corresponding cDNA sequences.Results:The size of PCR fragments obtained and sequences corresponding to genomic regions encoding for the toxin precursors matched their cDNA sequences.Conclusions:Despite a few nucleotide substitutions in the genomic regions encoding for the toxin precursors when compared with cDNA sequences, the results of the present work indicate that P. nigriventer toxins do not contain introns in their genes sequences. ]]> <![CDATA[Breast reconstruction in a patient with an implanted deep brain stimulator]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10688 Deep brain stimulators (DBSs) are sometimes used to treat refractory movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease. When DBSs are implanted in a subcutaneous pocket in the chest region, breast reconstruction becomes a challenge because monopolar electrocautery can lead to DBS dysfunction or brain tissue damage caused by heat. We report a patient with a DBS who underwent one-stage implant-based breast reconstruction. We switched off the DBS before surgery and used monopolar electromagnetic cautery with minimum power settings to undermine the subcutaneous pocket for the breast implant. The DBS was switched back on immediately after completion of the surgery. The patient's postoperative recovery was uneventful with the DBS fully functional.

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<![CDATA[COVID-19 contagion and digital finance]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10583 Digital finance is going to be heavily affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. We present a statistical model which can be employed to understand the contagion dynamics of the COVID-19, so that its impact on finance can possibly be anticipated, and digitally monitored. The model is a Poisson autoregression of the daily new observed cases, and considers both short-term and long-term dependence in the infections counts. Model results are presented for the observed time series of China, the first affected country, but can be easily reproduced for all countries.

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<![CDATA[Viral dynamics in asymptomatic patients with COVID-19]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10446 Data are limited on the viral load, viral shedding patterns, and potential infectivity of asymptomatic patients (APs) with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This study included 31 adult patients who were virologically confirmed to have COVID-19 but were asymptomatic on admission. Among these 31 patients, 22 presented symptoms after admission and were defined as asymptomatic patients in the incubation period (APIs); the other nine patients remained asymptomatic during hospitalization and were defined as asymptomatic patients (APs). The median cycle threshold (Ct) value of APs (39.0, interquartile range (IQR) 37.5–39.5) was significantly higher than that of APIs (34.5, IQR 32.2–37.0), indicating a lower viral load in APs. However, the duration of viral shedding remained similar in the two groups (7 days, IQR 5–14 days vs. 8 days, IQR 5–16 days). The study findings demonstrated that although APs with COVID-19 have a lower viral load, they still have certain period of viral shedding, which suggests the possibility of transmission during their asymptomatic period. Further longitudinal surveillance of these asymptomatic cases via virus nucleic acid testing are warranted.

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<![CDATA[On the crucial role of multilingual biomedical databases in epidemic events (SARS-CoV-2 analysis)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10430 The need for multilingual biomedical databases was already pointed out by different authors. They argue about the need for making translations available in other languages and centralized access to regional databases and that one should not disregard citations in other languages. This fact could not be any more real in the current situation regarding the novel coronavirus. When considering treatment, diagnosis and prevention, around 44% of the articles in PubMed were written in Chinese. This prompts the urgent need for quality automatic translation to make such extremely valuable information available to medical personnel in as many languages as possible. We also point out that the community should also make efforts to guarantee editorial quality and to follow the best practices in editing and publishing. This is of critical importance as well, such that the content is properly scrutinized before being published.

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<![CDATA[Mental Demands at Work and Risk of Dementia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10084  High mental demands at work was examined as a possible protective factor to reduce the risk of dementia in 1,277 initially dementia-free participants, aged 60 years and older. The cohort was followed for a mean of 13.6 years. During follow-up, 376 participants developed all-cause dementia (Alzheimer’s disease = 199; vascular dementia = 145). The association between mental demands at work and dementia was analyzed with Cox hazard models, adjusted for a range of covariates. The results revealed no significant association between mental demands at work and incidence of dementia. Based on the measures used in this study, it was concluded that high mental demands at work may not reduce the risk of dementia later in life.

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<![CDATA[Impaired differentiation of human induced neural stem cells by <i>TOR1A</i> overexpression]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_9990 DYT-TOR1A is the most common inherited dystonia caused by a three nucleotide (GAG) deletion (dE) in the TOR1A gene. Death early after birth and cortical anomalies of the full knockout in rodents underscore its developmental importance. We therefore explored the timed effects of TOR1A-wt and TOR1A-dE during differentiation in a human neural in vitro model. We used lentiviral tet-ON expression of TOR1A-wt and -dE in induced neural stem cells derived from healthy donors. Overexpression was induced during proliferation of neural precursors, during differentiation and after differentiation into mature neurons. Overexpression of both wildtype and mutated protein had no effect on the viability and cell number of neural precursors as well as mature neurons when initiated before or after differentiation. However, if induced during differentiation, overexpression of TOR1A-wt and -dE led to a pronounced reduction of mature neurons in a dose dependent manner. Our data underscores the importance of physiological expression levels of TOR1A as crucial for proper neuronal differentiation. We did not find evidence for a specific impact of the mutated TOR1A on neuronal maturation.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (10.1007/s11033-020-05390-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. ]]>
<![CDATA[iRhom2 in the pathogenesis of oral squamous cell carcinoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_9983 iRhom2 is an inactive rhomboid protease involved in diverse signalling events. It has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a number of cancer types, including oesophageal and ovarian cancer, while its closely associated family member, iRhom1, is implicated in head and neck cancer. However, a role for iRhom2 in head and neck cancer has not been investigated. Immunoblotting for iRhom2 in 54 oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and 24 paired normal tissues demonstrated higher levels of iRhom2 protein in tumour compared with normal samples (P < 0.05). iRhom2 over-expression correlated with poor patient survival (P < 0.0005) but with no other clinicopathological variable. Increased cell migration was observed in stably over-expressing iRhom2 clones of OSCC cell lines in the absence of increased cell proliferation, but not in the normal oral keratinocyte cell line, NOK-hTERT, and this was abrogated by knock-down of iRhom2. iRhom2 protein expression is increased in a proportion of OSCC and this up-regulation is associated with faster cell migration and decreased patient survival. These data implicate iRhom2-controlled signalling events in the pathogenesis of this cancer.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (10.1007/s11033-020-05381-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. ]]>
<![CDATA[From high- to one-dimensional dynamics of decision making: testing simplifications in attractor models]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_9843 Computational models introduce simplifications that need to be understood and validated. For attractor models of decision making, the main simplification is the high-level representation of different sub-processes of the complex decision system in one dynamic description of the overall process dynamics. This simplification implies that the overall process dynamics of the decision system are independent from specific values handled in different sub-processes. Here, we test the validity of this simplification empirically by investigating choice perseveration in a nonverbal, value-based decision task. Specifically, we tested whether choice perseveration occurred irrespectively of the attribute dimension as suggested by a simulation of the computational model. We find evidence supporting the validity of the simplification. We conclude that the simplification might capture mechanistic aspects of decision-making processes, and that the summation of the overall process dynamics of decision systems into one single variable is a valid approach in computational modeling. Supplement materials such as empirical data, analysis scripts, and the computational model are publicly available at the Open Science Framework (osf.io/7fb5q).

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<![CDATA[Carbon monoxide increases utero-placental angiogenesis without impacting pregnancy specific adaptations in mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_9152 Cigarette smokers have a reduced risk of developing preeclampsia, possibly attributed to an increase in carbon monoxide (CO) levels. Carbon monoxide is a gasotransmitter that has been implicated in maintaining vascular tone, increasing angiogenesis, and reducing inflammation and apoptosis at physiological concentrations. Moderately increasing CO concentrations may have therapeutic potential to prevent or treat preeclampsia; however, the effects of CO on pregnancy are under studied. Our objective was to investigate the effect of CO on major angiogenic and inflammatory markers in pregnancy, and to evaluate the effect of CO on indicators of placental health.FindingsPregnant CD-1 mice were constantly exposed to either ambient air or 250 ppm CO from conception until gestation day (GD)10.5 or GD16.5. Using a qRT-PCR array, we identified that CO increased expression of major angiogenic genes at the implantation site on GD10.5, but not GD16.5. Pro-inflammatory cytokines in the plasma and tissue lysates from implantation sites in treated mice were not significantly different compared to controls. Additionally, CO did not alter the implantation site phenotype, in terms of proliferative capacity, invasiveness of trophoblasts, or abundance of uterine natural killer cells.ConclusionsThis study suggests that CO exposure is pro-angiogenic at the maternal-fetal interface, and is not associated with demonstrable concerns during murine pregnancy. Future studies are required to validate safety and efficacy of CO as a potential therapeutic for vascular insufficiency diseases such as preeclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction. ]]> <![CDATA[Assessing changes in US public trust in science amid the COVID-19 pandemic]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8021 •Overall public trust in science and scientists in the United States did not shift between December 2019 and March 2020.•Political orientation and religious commitment were associated with overall trust in science and scientists.•Conservatives reported slightly more trust and liberals slightly less trust in science in March 2020 than in December 2019.

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<![CDATA[Debriefing: A Place for Enthusiastic Teaching and Learning at a Distance]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7979 The current pandemic has required a quick response to the unprecedented suspension of face-to-face instruction in higher education worldwide. The rapid conversion of didactic, laboratory, and clinical courses to distance learning has been challenging, requiring integration of screen-based virtual simulations and other innovative learning activities. The importance of a robust debriefing of these learning opportunities is often neglected, which could be to the detriment of the students. Debriefing is based on strong narrative pedagogy, requiring an engaging and enthusiastic dialog. Despite long days of screen time, it is even more imperative to connect with students to create meaningful learning through a rich verbal debriefing.

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<![CDATA[Identification of SARS-CoV RBD-targeting monoclonal antibodies with cross-reactive or neutralizing activity against SARS-CoV-2]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7896 •Identified six anti-SARS-CoV-RBD mAbs with cross-reactivity against SARS-CoV-2 RBD.•Two SARS-CoV RBD-specific mAbs had cross-neutralizing activity against SARS-CoV-2.•18F3 mAb recognized conserved epitopes on SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 RBDs.•7B11 mAb blocked binding of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 RBDs to ACE2 receptor.

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<![CDATA[Mental health consequences during the initial stage of the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) in Spain]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7891 The pandemic caused by Covid-19 has been an unprecedented social and health emergency worldwide. This is the first study in the scientific literature reporting the psychological impact of the Covid-19 outbreak in a sample of the Spanish population. A cross-sectional study was conducted through an online survey of 3480 people. The presence of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was evaluated with screening tests from 14 March. Sociodemographic and Covid-19-related data was collected. Additionally, spiritual well-being, loneliness, social support, discrimination and sense of belonging were assessed. Descriptive analyses were carried out and linear regression models compiled. The 18.7% of the sample revealed depressive, 21.6% anxiety and 15.8% PTSD symptoms. Being in the older age group, having economic stability and the belief that adequate information had been provided about the pandemic were negatively related to depression, anxiety and PTSD. However, female gender, previous diagnoses of mental health problems or neurological disorders, having symptoms associated with the virus, or those with a close relative infected were associated with greater symptomatology in all three variables. Predictive models revealed that the greatest protector for symptomatology was spiritual well-being, while loneliness was the strongest predictor of depression, anxiety and PTSD. The impact on our mental health caused by the pandemic and the measures adopted during the first weeks to deal with it are evident. In addition, it is possible to identify the need of greater psychological support in general and in certain particularly vulnerable groups.

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<![CDATA[Preliminary clinical experience of low-level laser therapy for the treatment of canine osteoarthritis-associated pain: A retrospective investigation on 17 dogs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7728 Osteoarthritis (OA) is common in dogs and causes chronic pain that affects the quality of life and may not respond to analgesics.Objective:The objective of this study was to determine whether low-level laser therapy (LLLT) would improve the quality of life and help reducing systemic analgesics, in dogs with OA.Methods:Seventeen client-owned dogs diagnosed with OA and associated pain were included. The diagnosis of OA was confirmed by orthopedic and radiographic examination. Pain was evaluated in each dog with the canine brief pain inventory (CBPI), compiled by the dog owners, as well as with a visual analog scale (VAS) and the colorado state canine chronic pain scale, used by the clinician. The LLLT was performed weekly in each study dog, for a total period of 6 weeks. The CBPI was then repeated at 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks after the first laser session, whereas the VAS was reassessed at weeks 2 and 6. The dogs were observed for the occurrence of laser-related side effects.Results:Both CBPI and VAS were significantly reduced after the first laser session (9.2 ± 3.8 and 5.2 ± 1.1, respectively) compared to pretreatment values (11.8 ± 3.6 and 7.6 ± 0.9, respectively; and p = 0.018 and p < 0.001, respectively) and continued to decrease over time until the end of the therapy. Based on these results and improved function, as assessed by the orthopedic surgeon, the pharmacological analgesic therapy was reduced by the clinician at week 2 in 13 of 17 dogs. Laser-related side effects were not observed.Conclusion:This retrospective report provides a basis for future investigations, needed to clarify whether laser therapy may be beneficial to treat canine OA-associated pain. The preliminary findings are promising and suggest that LLLT may help reducing the analgesic administration and improving client satisfaction and the quality of life of dogs with OA. ]]>