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William M Saidel, Naim Saglam, David Salas-de la Cruz, Ralph Saunders, Daniel H Shain
Species of medicinal leeches (Hirudo medicinalis, H. verbana, and H. sulukii) secrete hard-shelled cocoons. When initially deposited, a cocoon is surrounded by a foam. Over a short time, the foam is transformed into a three-dimensional structure. We show here that this peripheral structure likely forms by the solidification and dehydration of a moderately viscous, proteinaceous substance that surrounds bubbles of various sizes. The resulting matrix-like structure comprises a network of curved branches juxtaposed at ∼120° and taper in width as a function of distance from the outer cocoon wall...
December 11, 2017: Journal of Morphology
Richard Tee, Michael Woodfield
This study reports a case of an 8-year-old boy who suffered from a dog bite injury to the nose. The amputated nasal tissue measured approximately 1.0 × 1.5 cm and included part of the tip, alar, and soft triangle subunits. Both ends of an artery of less than 0.5 mm were found, and replantation was performed. Chemical leeching was performed postoperatively. At 5-year follow-up, a good aesthetic result was achieved.
December 2017: Clinical Case Reports
E Ruppé, A Cherkaoui, N Wagner, G C La Scala, J-Y Beaulieu, M Girard, J Frey, V Lazarevic, J Schrenzel
We report the selection in a 15-year-old boy of a multidrug-resistant, extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Aeromonas salmonicida after medicinal leech therapy that required an antibiotic prophylaxis based on piperacillin/tazobactam and cotrimoxazole. Whole genome sequencing of the strain indeed revealed 13 antibiotic resistance genes, including the ESBL CTX-M-3 and the unusual β-lactamase SCO-1.
January 2018: New Microbes and New Infections
Yi-Jyun Luo, Miyuki Kanda, Ryo Koyanagi, Kanako Hisata, Tadashi Akiyama, Hirotaka Sakamoto, Tatsuya Sakamoto, Noriyuki Satoh
Nemerteans (ribbon worms) and phoronids (horseshoe worms) are closely related lophotrochozoans-a group of animals including leeches, snails and other invertebrates. Lophotrochozoans represent a superphylum that is crucial to our understanding of bilaterian evolution. However, given the inconsistency of molecular and morphological data for these groups, their origins have been unclear. Here, we present draft genomes of the nemertean Notospermus geniculatus and the phoronid Phoronis australis, together with transcriptomes along the adult bodies...
December 4, 2017: Nature Ecology & Evolution
Thomas Peterson, Emily Supenia, Andrew Hashikawa
Hirudin is a potent anticoagulant found in the salivary glands of several species of leeches. We report a case of direct hirudin exposure after suspected leech bite causing significant penile ecchymosis. Diagnosis was not apparent on initial evaluation but made after a thorough history was obtained and the leech was found in the lining of his swim trunks, which he left at home. Although this presentation mimics several other potentially serious conditions, treatment is largely observational with anticipated rapid improvement over the course of hours without intervention...
November 20, 2017: Pediatric Emergency Care
Jin-Se Kim, Hee-Jin Kwak, Brenda Irene Medina Jiménez, Soon Cheol Park, Ping Xiao, David A Weisblat, Sung-Jin Cho
snail gene family members are zinc-finger transcription factors with key roles in morphogenesis. Involvement of snail family genes in mesoderm formation has been observed in insects and mammals. The snail genes are also involved in cell motility, neural differentiation, cell fate, survival decision, and left-right identity. The functions of snail genes have been studied primarily among ecdysozoans and deuterostomes, with relatively little work carried out in lophotrochozoans. In this study, we isolated two snail homologs (Hau-snail1 and Hau-snail2) from the leech Helobdella austinensis...
November 29, 2017: Development Genes and Evolution
Sara De Simoni, Peter O Jenkins, Niall J Bourke, Jessica J Fleminger, Peter J Hellyer, Amy E Jolly, Maneesh C Patel, James H Cole, Robert Leech, David J Sharp
Traumatic brain injury often produces executive dysfunction. This characteristic cognitive impairment often causes long-term problems with behaviour and personality. Frontal lobe injuries are associated with executive dysfunction, but it is unclear how these injuries relate to corticostriatal interactions that are known to play an important role in behavioural control. We hypothesized that executive dysfunction after traumatic brain injury would be associated with abnormal corticostriatal interactions, a question that has not previously been investigated...
November 23, 2017: Brain: a Journal of Neurology
Fatemeh Geranmayeh, Tsz Wing Chau, Richard J S Wise, Robert Leech, Adam Hampshire
We hypothesized that the recovery of speech production after left hemisphere stroke not only depends on the integrity of language-specialized brain systems, but also on 'domain-general' brain systems that have much broader functional roles. The presupplementary motor area/dorsal anterior cingulate forms part of the cingular-opercular network, which has a broad role in cognition and learning. Consequently, we have previously suggested that variability in the recovery of speech production after aphasic stroke may relate in part to differences in patients' abilities to engage this domain-general brain region...
July 1, 2017: Brain: a Journal of Neurology
Jing-Kui Wu, Qiao Yang, Yang-Yang Li, Dong-Jie Xie
To explore the effect of leech on proliferation and apoptosis of vascular smooth muscle cells(VSMCs) in early atherosclerosis rats via p38MAPK signaling pathway and investigate its possible mechanism. Biochemical analyzer was used to examine the regulation of leech on levels of triglycerides(TG), total cholesterol(TC), low-density lipoprotein(LDL-C), and high-density lipoprotein(HDL-C) in blood lipid of rats. The expression of transforming growth factor-beta 1(TGF-β1) in serum was detected by ELISA. Immunological histological chemistry (IHC) was taken to measure the expression levels of proliferating cell nucleus antigen(PCNA) and cell apoptosis proteinase-3(Caspase-3), while the protein expression levels of MKK3, p38 and C-myc were detected by Western blot...
August 2017: Zhongguo Zhong Yao za Zhi, Zhongguo Zhongyao Zazhi, China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica
Martin Dinov, Robert Leech
Part of the process of EEG microstate estimation involves clustering EEG channel data at the global field power (GFP) maxima, very commonly using a modified K-means approach. Clustering has also been done deterministically, despite there being uncertainties in multiple stages of the microstate analysis, including the GFP peak definition, the clustering itself and in the post-clustering assignment of microstates back onto the EEG timecourse of interest. We perform a fully probabilistic microstate clustering and labeling, to account for these sources of uncertainty using the closest probabilistic analog to KM called Fuzzy C-means (FCM)...
2017: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Javier Manjarrez, Martha Pacheco-Tinoco, Crystian S Venegas-Barrera
The Mexican Garter Snake (Thamnophis eques) is a terrestrial-aquatic generalist that feeds on both aquatic and terrestrial prey. We describe size-related variation and sexual variation in the diet of T. eques through analysis of 262 samples of identifiable stomach contents in snakes from 23 locations on the Mexican Plateau. The snake T. eques we studied consumed mostly fish, followed in lesser amounts by leeches, earthworms, frogs, and tadpoles. Correspondence analysis suggested that the frequency of consumption of various prey items differed between the categories of age but not between sex of snakes, and the general pattern was a reduction of prey item diversity with size of snake...
2017: PeerJ
Samantha E Franks, James W Pearce-Higgins, Sian Atkinson, James R Bell, Marc S Botham, Tom M Brereton, Richard Harrington, David I Leech
A consequence of climate change has been an advance in the timing of seasonal events. Differences in the rate of advance between trophic levels may result in predators becoming mismatched with prey availability, reducing fitness and potentially driving population declines. Such "trophic asynchrony" is hypothesized to have contributed to recent population declines of long-distance migratory birds in particular. Using spatially extensive survey data from 1983 to 2010 to estimate variation in spring phenology from 280 plant and insect species and the egg-laying phenology of 21 British songbird species, we explored the effects of trophic asynchrony on avian population trends and potential underlying demographic mechanisms...
November 20, 2017: Global Change Biology
Sujin Bahk, GyeongHyeon Doh, Ki Yong Hong, SooA Lim, SuRak Eo
Reconstruction of soft tissue defects in the foot remains a challenge due to its specialized tissue for weightbearing and ambulation. Considering the principle of replacing "like with like," adjacent soft tissues would be a best option for a donor site. Although several kinds of reverse-flow island flaps for the lower leg have been well described, intrinsic foot reverse flow flaps have been rarely reported. We describe 3 kinds of reverse-flow intrinsic fasciocutaneous flaps (RIFFs) for foot reconstruction. From September 2012 to August 2015, a retrospective study was done on case notes of all patients who had a RIFF for coverage of soft tissue defects within the foot following trauma or tumor ablation...
November 1, 2017: International Journal of Lower Extremity Wounds
Yanqing Wang, Brian D Burrell
Endocannabinoids, such as 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) and anandamide, can elicit long-term depression of both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. This latter effect will result in disinhibition and would therefore be expected to produce an increase in neural circuit output. However, there have been no examples directly linking endocannabinoid-mediated disinhibition to a change in a functional neurobehavioral circuit. The present study uses the well-characterized central nervous system (CNS) of the medicinal leech, Hirudo verbana, to examine the functional/behavioral relevance of endocannabinoid modulation of an identified afferent synapse...
November 8, 2017: Journal of Neurophysiology
Christopher Timmermann, Meg J Spriggs, Mendel Kaelen, Robert Leech, David J Nutt, Rosalyn J Moran, Robin L Carhart-Harris, Suresh D Muthukumaraswamy
Under the predictive coding framework, perceptual learning and inference are dependent on the interaction between top-down predictions and bottom-up sensory signals both between and within regions in a network. However, how such feedback and feedforward connections are modulated in the state induced by lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is poorly understood. In this study, an auditory oddball paradigm was presented to healthy participants (16 males, 4 female) under LSD and placebo, and brain activity was recorded using magnetoencephalography (MEG)...
October 31, 2017: Neuropharmacology
Kristan A Leech, Hyosub E Kim, Thomas George Hornby
Many studies highlight the remarkable plasticity demonstrated by spinal circuits following an incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI). Such plasticity can contribute to improvements in volitional motor recovery, such as walking function, although similar mechanisms underlying this recovery may also contribute to the manifestation of exaggerated responses to afferent input, or spastic behaviors. Rehabilitation interventions directed towards augmenting spinal excitability have shown some initial success in improving locomotor function...
November 1, 2017: Journal of Neurophysiology
Kwang Seog Kim, Ho Seup Sim, Jun Ho Shin, Jae Ha Hwang, Sam Yong Lee
BACKGROUND: The use of leeches can effectively increase the salvage rate of flap congestion. However, the first reaction from patients and carers in using leeches in clinical fields is strong aversion. This can be due to the fact that development of our culture from agriculture to industrial society, coming across leeches became fairly rare. Also because of the biological traits that leeches carry; staying attached to a leg or other body parts of the host, sucking blood, and leaving wounds...
September 2017: Archives of Craniofacial Surgery
Deok Hyeon Ryu, Si Young Roh, Jin Soo Kim, Dong Chul Lee, Kyung Jin Lee
Background: Venous anastomosis is an important component of digital replantation but is not always feasible in all cases, which can require external bleeding to prevent or treat venous congested in the replanted tissue. Our study evaluates the relationship between number of vein anastomosis and survival rate for Tamai zone I replantations. Methods: A retrospective review was performed for all patients who received replantation of fingertip amputation between 2014 and 2016...
October 27, 2017: Archives of Plastic Surgery
Siew Siew Pang, Lakshmi C Wijeyewickrema, Lilian Hor, Sheareen Tan, Emilie Lameignere, Edward M Conway, Anna M Blom, Frida C Mohlin, Xuyu Liu, Richard J Payne, James C Whisstock, Robert N Pike
Complement is crucial to the immune response, but dysregulation of the system causes inflammatory disease. Complement is activated by three pathways: classical, lectin, and alternative. The classical and lectin pathways are initiated by the C1r/C1s (classical) and MASP-1/MASP-2 (lectin) proteases. Given the role of complement in disease, there is a requirement for inhibitors to control the initiating proteases. In this article, we show that a novel inhibitor, gigastasin, from the giant Amazon leech, potently inhibits C1s and MASP-2, whereas it is also a good inhibitor of MASP-1...
October 23, 2017: Journal of Immunology: Official Journal of the American Association of Immunologists
Kathryn Leech, Ran Wei, Jeffrey R Harring, Meredith L Rowe
Preschool children's use of decontextualized language, or talk about abstract topics beyond the here-and-now, is predictive of their kindergarten readiness and is associated with the frequency of parents' own use of decontextualized language. Does a brief, parent-focused intervention conveying the importance of decontextualized language cause parents to increase their use of these conversations, and as a result, their children's? We examined this question by randomly assigning 36 parents of 4-year-old children into a decontextualized language training condition or a no-treatment control condition and used mixed effects modeling to measure change (from baseline) in parent and child decontextualized language at 4 subsequent home mealtimes during the following month (N = 174 interactions including the baseline)...
October 23, 2017: Developmental Psychology
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