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Kaori Kinouchi, Kazutomo Ohashi
Background: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a smartphone-based reminder system in promoting pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) to help postpartum women manage urinary incontinence (UI). Methods: Forty-nine and 212 postpartum women in the intervention and control groups, respectively, received PFMT guidance using a leaflet and verbal instruction as the standard care at an obstetrics clinic in Japan. Women in the intervention group also received PFMT support using the smartphone-based reminder system between January and August 2014...
2018: PeerJ
Yu Lei, Chengkun Wang, Quan Jiang, Xiaoyi Sun, Yongzhong Du, Yaofeng Zhu, Yingmei Lu
The toxicity of engineered nanoparticles remains a concern. The knowledge of biohazards associated with particular nanoparticles is crucial to make this cutting-edge technology more beneficial and safe. Here, we evaluated the toxicity of Ga2O3nanoparticles (NPs), which are frequently used to enhance the performance of metal catalysts in a variety of catalytic reactions. The potential inflammatory signaling associated with the toxicity of HA/β-Ga2O3:Cr3+NPs in primary cortical neurons was examined. We observed a dose-dependent decrease in cell viability and an increase in apoptosis in neurons following various concentrations (0, 1, 5, 25, 50, 100 µg/ml) of HA/β-Ga2O3:Cr3+NPs treatment...
2018: PeerJ
Dimitrios-Georgios Kontopoulos, Bernardo García-Carreras, Sofía Sal, Thomas P Smith, Samraat Pawar
There is currently unprecedented interest in quantifying variation in thermal physiology among organisms, especially in order to understand and predict the biological impacts of climate change. A key parameter in this quantification of thermal physiology is the performance or value of a rate, across individuals or species, at a common temperature (temperature normalisation). An increasingly popular model for fitting thermal performance curves to data-the Sharpe-Schoolfield equation-can yield strongly inflated estimates of temperature-normalised rate values...
2018: PeerJ
Raul Reyna-Martinez, Ricardo Gomez-Flores, Ulrico López-Chuken, Ramiro Quintanilla-Licea, Diana Caballero-Hernandez, Cristina Rodríguez-Padilla, Julio Cesar Beltrán-Rocha, Patricia Tamez-Guerra
Cancer cases result in 13% of all deaths worldwide. Unwanted side effects in patients under conventional treatments have led to the search for beneficial alternative therapies. Microalgae synthesize compounds with known in vitro and in vivo biological activity against different tumor cell lines. Therefore, native microalgae from the State of Nuevo Leon, Mexico may become a potential source of antitumor agents. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the in vitro cytotoxic effect of Nuevo Leon regional Chlorella sorokiniana (Chlorellales: Chlorellaceae) and Scenedesmus sp...
2018: PeerJ
Bo-Christer Björk
Mega-journals are a new kind of scholarly journal made possible by electronic publishing. They are open access (OA) and funded by charges, which authors pay for the publishing services. What distinguishes mega-journals from other OA journals is, in particular, a peer review focusing only on scientific trustworthiness. The journals can easily publish thousands of articles per year and there is no need to filter articles due to restricted slots in the publishing schedule. This study updates some earlier longitudinal studies of the evolution of mega-journals and their publication volumes...
2018: PeerJ
Erika C Johnston, Zac H Forsman, Robert J Toonen
Species within the scleractinian genus Pocillopora Lamarck 1816 exhibit extreme phenotypic plasticity, making identification based on morphology difficult. However, the mitochondrial open reading frame (mtORF) marker provides a useful genetic tool for identification of most species in this genus, with a notable exception of P. eydouxi and P. meandrina . Based on recent genomic work, we present a quick and simple, gel-based restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) method for the identification of all six Pocillopora species occurring in Hawai'i by amplifying either the mtORF region, a newly discovered histone region, or both, and then using the restriction enzymes targeting diagnostic sequences we unambiguously identify each species ...
2018: PeerJ
Geert Cremers, Lavinia Gambelli, Theo van Alen, Laura van Niftrik, Huub J M Op den Camp
With the emergence of Next Generation Sequencing, major advances were made with regard to identifying viruses in natural environments. However, bioinformatical research on viruses is still limited because of the low amounts of viral DNA that can be obtained for analysis. To overcome this limitation, DNA is often amplified with multiple displacement amplification (MDA), which may cause an unavoidable bias. Here, we describe a case study in which the virome of a bioreactor is sequenced using Ion Torrent technology...
2018: PeerJ
Aristóteles Góes-Neto, Marcelo V C Diniz, Daniel S Carvalho, Gilberto C Bomfim, Angelo A Duarte, Jerzy A Brzozowski, Thierry C Petit Lobão, Suani T R Pinho, Charbel N El-Hani, Roberto F S Andrade
Complex networks have been successfully applied to the characterization and modeling of complex systems in several distinct areas of Biological Sciences. Nevertheless, their utilization in phylogenetic analysis still needs to be widely tested, using different molecular data sets and taxonomic groups, and, also, by comparing complex networks approach to current methods in phylogenetic analysis. In this work, we compare all the four main methods of phylogenetic analysis (distance, maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian) with a complex networks method that has been used to provide a phylogenetic classification based on a large number of protein sequences as those related to the chitin metabolic pathway and ATP-synthase subunits...
2018: PeerJ
Jóhannes Guðbrandsson, Sigríður Rut Franzdóttir, Bjarni Kristófer Kristjánsson, Ehsan Pashay Ahi, Valerie Helene Maier, Kalina Hristova Kapralova, Sigurður Sveinn Snorrason, Zophonías Oddur Jónsson, Arnar Pálsson
Phenotypic differences between closely related taxa or populations can arise through genetic variation or be environmentally induced, leading to altered transcription of genes during development. Comparative developmental studies of closely related species or variable populations within species can help to elucidate the molecular mechanisms related to evolutionary divergence and speciation. Studies of Arctic charr ( Salvelinus alpinus ) and related salmonids have revealed considerable phenotypic variation among populations and in Arctic charr many cases of extensive variation within lakes (resource polymorphism) have been recorded...
2018: PeerJ
D Ross Robertson, Omar Dominguez-Dominguez, Benjamin Victor, Nuno Simoes
The Indo-West Pacific (IWP) coral-reef damselfish Neopomacentrus cyanomos is well established across the south-west Gulf of Mexico (SwGoMx). Comparisons of mtDNA sequences of the SwGoMx population with those from conspecifics from 16 sites scattered across its native geographic range show that the SwGoMx population is derived from two of four native lineages: one from the north-west Pacific Ocean, the other from the northern Indian Ocean. Three hypotheses address how this species was introduced to the SwGoMX: (1) aquarium release; (2) borne by cargo-ship; and (3) carried by offshore petroleum platform (petro-platform)...
2018: PeerJ
Guido Bonthond, Daniel G Merselis, Katherine E Dougan, Trevor Graff, William Todd, James W Fourqurean, Mauricio Rodriguez-Lanetty
Corals host diverse microbial communities that are involved in acclimatization, pathogen defense, and nutrient cycling. Surveys of coral-associated microbes have been particularly directed toward Symbiodinium and bacteria. However, a holistic understanding of the total microbiome has been hindered by a lack of analyses bridging taxonomically disparate groups. Using high-throughput amplicon sequencing, we simultaneously characterized the Symbiodinium , bacterial, and fungal communities associated with the Caribbean coral Siderastrea siderea collected from two depths (17 and 27 m) on Conch reef in the Florida Keys...
2018: PeerJ
Miquéias Ferrão, Rafael de Fraga, Jiří Moravec, Igor L Kaefer, Albertina P Lima
The genus Scinax is one of the most specious genera of treefrogs of the family Hylidae. Despite the high number of potential new species of Scinax revealed in recent studies, the rate of species descriptions for Amazonia has been low in the last decade. A potential cause of this low rate may be the existence of morphologically cryptic species. Describing new species may not only impact the taxonomy and systematics of a group of organisms but also benefit other fields of biology. Ecological studies conducted in megadiverse regions, such as Amazonia, often meet challenging questions concerning insufficient knowledge of organismal alpha taxonomy...
2018: PeerJ
Matthew A Jackson, Marc Jan Bonder, Zhana Kuncheva, Jonas Zierer, Jingyuan Fu, Alexander Kurilshikov, Cisca Wijmenga, Alexandra Zhernakova, Jordana T Bell, Tim D Spector, Claire J Steves
Microbes in the gut microbiome form sub-communities based on shared niche specialisations and specific interactions between individual taxa. The inter-microbial relationships that define these communities can be inferred from the co-occurrence of taxa across multiple samples. Here, we present an approach to identify comparable communities within different gut microbiota co-occurrence networks, and demonstrate its use by comparing the gut microbiota community structures of three geographically diverse populations...
2018: PeerJ
Wei Zhong, Zhenyu Jiang, Jiang Wu, Yanfang Jiang, Ling Zhao
Background: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) disease has been shown to be associated with the generation of multiple auto-antibodies. Among these, anti-dsDNA antibodies (anti-DNAs) are specific and play a pathogenic role in SLE. Indeed, anti-DNA + SLE patients display a worse disease course. The generation of these pathogenic anti-DNAs has been attributed to the interaction between aberrant T helper (Th) cells and autoimmune B cells. Thus, in this study we have investigated whether CCR6 + Th cells have the ability to differentiate SLE patients based on anti-DNA status, and if their distribution has any correlation with disease activity...
2018: PeerJ
David J Harris, Shawn D Taylor, Ethan P White
Biodiversity forecasts are important for conservation, management, and evaluating how well current models characterize natural systems. While the number of forecasts for biodiversity is increasing, there is little information available on how well these forecasts work. Most biodiversity forecasts are not evaluated to determine how well they predict future diversity, fail to account for uncertainty, and do not use time-series data that captures the actual dynamics being studied. We addressed these limitations by using best practices to explore our ability to forecast the species richness of breeding birds in North America...
2018: PeerJ
Fazli Subhan, Raheem Shahzad, Isfahan Tauseef, Kashif Syed Haleem, Atta-Ur Rehman, Sajid Mahmood, In-Jung Lee
Background: Beaches are recreational spots for people. However, beach sand contains harmful microbes that affect human health, and there are no established methods for either sampling and identifying beach-borne pathogens or managing the quality of beach sand. Method: This study was conducted with the aim of improving human safety at beaches and augmenting the quality of the beach experience. Beach sand was used as a resource to isolate bacteria due to its distinctive features and the biodiversity of the beach sand biota...
2018: PeerJ
Xiaorong Deng, Qun Xiao, Feng Liu, Cihua Zheng
Background: The prognosis of gastric cancer is difficult to determine, although clinical indicators provide valuable evidence. Methods: In this study, using screened biomarkers of gastric cancer in combination with random forest variable hunting and multivariable Cox regression, a risk score model was developed to predict the survival of gastric cancer. Survival difference between high/low-risk groups were compared. The relationship between risk score and other clinicopathological indicators was evaluated...
2018: PeerJ
Jenny E House, Viviana Brambilla, Luc M Bidaut, Alec P Christie, Oscar Pizarro, Joshua S Madin, Maria Dornelas
Coral reefs are a valuable and vulnerable marine ecosystem. The structure of coral reefs influences their health and ability to fulfill ecosystem functions and services. However, monitoring reef corals largely relies on 1D or 2D estimates of coral cover and abundance that overlook change in ecologically significant aspects of the reefs because they do not incorporate vertical or volumetric information. This study explores the relationship between 2D and 3D metrics of coral size. We show that surface area and volume scale consistently with planar area, albeit with morphotype specific conversion parameters...
2018: PeerJ
Hitesh B Mistry
There is growing interest in applying detailed mathematical models of the heart for ion-channel related cardiac toxicity prediction. However, a debate as to whether such complex models are required exists. Here an assessment in the predictive performance between two established large-scale biophysical cardiac models and a simple linear model Bnet was conducted. Three ion-channel data-sets were extracted from literature. Each compound was designated a cardiac risk category using two different classification schemes based on information within CredibleMeds...
2018: PeerJ
Seyed Mohammad Sadeghi-Nassaj, Teresa S Catalá, Pedro A Álvarez, Isabel Reche
Background: Mono-specific aquaculture effluents contain high concentrations of nutrients and organic matter, which affect negatively the water quality of the recipient ecosystems. A fundamental feature of water quality is its transparency. The fraction of dissolved organic matter that absorbs light is named chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM). A sustainable alternative to mono-specific aquaculture is the multitrophic aquaculture that includes species trophically complementary named "extractive" species that uptake the waste byproducts...
2018: PeerJ
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