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Cristiano Ialongo, Sergio Bernardini
BACKGROUND: The International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine has introduced in recent times the turnaround time (TAT) as mandatory quality indicator for the postanalytical phase. Classic TAT indicators, namely, average, median, 90th percentile and proportion of acceptable test (PAT), are in use since almost 40 years and to date represent the mainstay for gauging the laboratory timeliness. In this study, we investigated the performance of the Six Sigma Z-score, which was previously introduced as a device for the quantitative assessment of timeliness...
October 17, 2017: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine: CCLM
Takamichi Nijo, Yutaro Neriya, Hiroaki Koinuma, Nozomu Iwabuchi, Yugo Kitazawa, Kazuyuki Tanno, Yukari Okano, Kensaku Maejima, Yasuyuki Yamaji, Kenro Oshima, Shigetou Namba
Phytoplasmas are obligate intracellular parasitic bacteria that infect both plants and insects. We previously identified the sigma factor RpoD-dependent consensus promoter sequence of phytoplasma. However, the genome-wide landscape of RNA transcripts, including non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) and RpoD-independent promoter elements, was still unknown. In this study, we performed an improved RNA sequencing analysis for genome-wide identification of the transcription start sites (TSSs) and the consensus promoter sequences...
October 17, 2017: DNA and Cell Biology
Ali Sabea Hammood, Ahmed Faraj Noor, Mohammed Talib Alkhafagy
The present study investigates comparison between corrosion behavior of 2507 and 2205 DSS in artificial saliva for orthodontic wires. The heat treatment is necessary for 2507 and 2205 duplex stainless steel to remove or dissolve intermetallic phases, removed segregation and to relieve any residual thermal stress in DSS which may be formed during production processes. The corrosion behavior of a 2507 and 2205 DSS in artificial saliva was studied by SEM, HV test and potentiodynamic measurements. The results indicate that the corrosion resistance mainly depends on presence of secondary phases (sigma phase) and ferrite /austenite ratio, it's revealed that the corrosion resistance of 2507 DSS higher than 2205 DSS in artificial saliva at 37 °C...
October 17, 2017: Journal of Materials Science. Materials in Medicine
Susan M Abdel-Rahman, Ian M Paul, Paula Delmore, Laura James, Laura Fearn, Andrew M Atz, Brenda B Poindexter, Amira Al-Uzri, Andrew Lewandowski, Barrie L Harper, P Brian Smith
BACKGROUND: Anthropometric data prove valuable for screening and monitoring various medical conditions. In young infants, however, only weight, length and head circumference are represented in publically accessible databases. AIM: To characterise length and circumferential measures in preterm and full-term infants up to 90 days postnatal age. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: In eight U.S. medical centres, trained raters recorded humeral, ulnar, femoral, tibial, and fibular lengths along with mid-upper arm, mid-thigh, chest, abdominal, and neck circumference...
October 16, 2017: Annals of Human Biology
Arun Kumar Sagotra, Claudio Cazorla
Finding solid-state electrolytes with high ionic conductivity near room temperature is an important prerequisite for developing all-solid-state electrochemical batteries. Here, we investigate the effects of point defects (vacancies) and biaxial stress on the superionic properties of fast-ion conductors (represented by the archetypal compounds CaF$_{2}$, Li-rich anti-perovskite Li$_{3}$OCl, and AgI) by using classical molecular dynamics and first-principles simulation methods. We find that the critical superionic temperature of all analysed families of fast-ion conductors can be reduced by several hundreds of degrees through the application of relatively small biaxial stresses ($|\sigma| \le 1$~GPa) on slightly defective samples ($c_{v} \sim 1$\%)...
October 16, 2017: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Barbara A Mysona, Jing Zhao, Sylvia Smith, Kathryn E Bollinger
Glaucoma is an incurable optic neuropathy characterized by dysfunction and death of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is an essential neurotrophin that supports RGC function and survival. Despite BDNF's importance, our knowledge of molecular mechanisms that modulate BDNF processing and secretion is incomplete. Sigma-1 receptor (S1R) is associated with increased BDNF in hippocampus and with BDNF secretion by brain-derived astrocytes and neuronal cell lines. Much less is known about the relationship between S1R and BDNF in the visual system...
October 12, 2017: Experimental Eye Research
Arun Sasidharan, Sunil Kumar, Ajay Kumar Nair, Ammu Lukose, Vrinda Marigowda, John P John, Bindu M Kutty
OBJECTIVE: Sleep offers a unique window into the brain dysfunctions in schizophrenia. Many past sleep studies have reported abnormalities in both macro-sleep architecture (like increased awakenings) as well as micro-sleep-architecture (like spindle deficits) in patients with schizophrenia (PSZ). The present study attempts to replicate previous reports of macro- and micro-sleep-architectural abnormalities in schizophrenia. In addition, the study also examined sleep-stage changes and spindle-delta dynamics across sleep-cycles to provide further evidence in support of the dysfunctional thalamocortical mechanisms causing sleep instability and poor sleep maintenance associated with schizophrenia pathophysiology...
October 2017: Sleep Medicine
Bingbo Cui, Xiyuan Chen, Xihua Tang, Haoqian Huang, Xiao Liu
In order to improve the accuracy of GNSS/INS working in GNSS-denied environment, a robust cubature Kalman filter (RCKF) is developed by considering colored measurement noise and missing observations. First, an improved cubature Kalman filter (CKF) is derived by considering colored measurement noise, where the time-differencing approach is applied to yield new observations. Then, after analyzing the disadvantages of existing methods, the measurement augment in processing colored noise is translated into processing the uncertainties of CKF, and new sigma point update framework is utilized to account for the bounded model uncertainties...
October 10, 2017: ISA Transactions
Maríosa Kieran, Mary Cleary, Aoife De Brún, Aileen Igoe
Objective: To improve efficiency, reduce interruptions and reduce the time taken to complete oral drug rounds. Design: Lean Six Sigma methods were applied to improve drug round efficiency using a pre- and post-intervention design. Setting: A 20-bed orthopaedic ward in a large teaching hospital in Ireland. Participants: Pharmacy, nursing and quality improvement staff. Intervention(s): A multifaceted intervention was designed which included changes in processes related to drug trolley organization and drug supply planning...
August 19, 2017: International Journal for Quality in Health Care
Ivaylo Borislavov Iotchev, Anna Kis, Róbert Bódizs, Gilles van Luijtelaar, Enikő Kubinyi
Sleep spindles are phasic bursts of thalamo-cortical activity, visible in the cortex as transient oscillations in the sigma range (usually defined in humans as 12-14 or 9-16 Hz). They have been associated with sleep-dependent memory consolidation and sleep stability in humans and rodents. Occurrence, frequency, amplitude and duration of sleep spindles co-vary with age, sex and psychiatric conditions. Spindle analogue activity in dogs has been qualitatively described, but never quantified and related to function...
October 11, 2017: Scientific Reports
Zhipeng Wang, Shujing Wang, Yanbo Zhu, Pumin Xin
Ionospheric delay is one of the largest and most variable sources of error for Ground-Based Augmentation System (GBAS) users because inospheric activity is unpredictable. Under normal conditions, GBAS eliminates ionospheric delays, but during extreme ionospheric storms, GBAS users and GBAS ground facilities may experience different ionospheric delays, leading to considerable differential errors and threatening the safety of users. Therefore, ionospheric monitoring and assessment are important parts of GBAS integrity monitoring...
October 11, 2017: Sensors
Kyung Moon, Richard P Bonocora, David D Kim, Qing Chen, Joseph T Wade, Scott Stibitz, Deborah M Hinton
Nearly all virulence factors in Bordetella pertussis are activated by a master two-component system, BvgAS, composed of the sensor kinase BvgS and the response regulator BvgA. When BvgS is active, BvgA is phosphorylated (BvgA~P), and virulence-activated genes (vags) are expressed [Bvg(+) mode]. When BvgS is inactive and BvgA is not phosphorylated, virulence-repressed genes (vrgs) are induced [Bvg(-) mode]. Here, we have used transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) and reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) to define the BvgAS-dependent regulon of B...
October 10, 2017: MBio
Keesha E Erickson, James D Winkler, Danh Nyugen, Ryan T Gill, Anushree Chatterjee
Tolerance and resistance are complex biological phenotypes that are desirable bioengineering goals for those seeking to design industrial strains or prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance. Over decades of research, a wealth of information has been generated to attempt to decode a molecular basis for tolerance, but to fully achieve the goal of engineering tolerance, researchers must be able to easily learn from a variety of data sources. To this end, we here describe a resource designed to enable scrutiny of diverse tolerance phenotypes...
October 10, 2017: ACS Synthetic Biology
Elena Itzcovich, Massimo Riani, Walter G Sannita
We verified whether a stochastic resonance paradigm (SR), with random interference ("noise") added in optimal amounts, improves the detection of sub-threshold visual information by subjects with retinal disorder and impaired vision as it does in the normally sighted. Six levels of dynamic, zero-mean Gaussian noise were added to each pixel of images (13 contrast levels) in which alphabet characters were displayed against a uniform gray background. Images were presented with contrast below the subjective threshold to 14 visually impaired subjects (age: 22-53 yrs...
October 9, 2017: Scientific Reports
Satoshi Matsuoka
Glyceroglycolipids are very important in Gram-positive bacteria and cyanobacteria. In Bacillus subtilis, a model organism for the Gram-positive bacteria, the ugtP mutant, which lacks glyceroglucolipids, shows abnormal morphology. Lack of glucolipids has many consequences: abnormal localization of the cytoskeletal protein MreB and activation of some extracytoplasmic function (ECF) sigma factors (σ(M), σ(V) and σ(X)) in the log phase are two examples. Conversely, the expression of monoglucosyldiacylglycerol (MGlcDG) by 1,2-diacylglycerol 3-glucosyltransferase from Acholeplasma laidlawii (alMGS) almost completely suppresses the ugtP disruptant phenotype...
October 6, 2017: Genes & Genetic Systems
Davide Pisu, Roberta Provvedi, Dulce Mata Espinosa, Jorge Barrios Payan, Francesca Boldrin, Giorgio Palù, Rogelio Hernandez-Pando, Riccardo Manganelli
Emergence and spread of drug resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains threatens our ability the possibility to treat this disease in the future. Even if two new antitubercular drugs were recently introduced, there is still the need to design new molecules whose mechanism of action could reduce treatment length. We showed that two alternative sigma factors of M. tuberculosis (SigE and SigB) have a major role in determining the level of basal resistance to several drugs and the amount of persisters surviving long drug treatment...
October 9, 2017: Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Dong Li, Shu-Zhuo Zhang, Yu-Hong Yao, Yun Xiang, Xiao-Yun Ma, Xiao-Li Wei, Hai-Tao Yan, Xiao-Yan Liu
INTRODUCTION: Sigma-1 receptors (Sig-1Rs) are unique endoplasmic reticulum proteins that have been implicated in both neurodegenerative and ischemic diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and stroke. Accumulating evidence has suggested that Sig-1R plays a role in neuroprotection and axon outgrowth. The underlying mechanisms of Sig-1R-mediated neuroprotection have been well elucidated. However, the mechanisms underlying the effects of Sig-1R on axon outgrowth are not fully understood. METHODS: To clarify this issue, we utilized immunofluorescence to compare the axon lengths of cultured naïve hippocampal neurons before and after the application of the Sig-1R agonist, SA4503...
October 8, 2017: CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics
Guang-Jie Zhu, Lu-Sen Shi, Han Zhou, Ye Yang, Jie Chen, Xia Gao
Enlarged vestibular aqueduct (EVA)‑associated hearing loss is frequently detected in individuals carrying the SLC26A4 mutation in the Chinese population. The present study aimed to identify the causative SLC26A4 coding mutations in a patient group with nonsyndromic hearing loss (NSHL) and EVA. Genomic DNA was extracted from blood samples obtained from 52 NSHL patients with EVA and from 60 normal controls. The mutation analysis for 20 coding exons of SLC26A4 was performed by direct sequencing. The results of the mutational analysis showed that there were two probands from two separate families suffering from bilateral sensorineural hearing loss with EVA, carrying the same novel compound heterozygous mutation of SLC26A4 (c...
October 2, 2017: Molecular Medicine Reports
F Mark Chadwick, Alasdair I McKay, Antonio J Martinez-Martinez, Nicholas H Rees, Tobias Krämer, Stuart A Macgregor, Andrew S Weller
Single-crystal to single-crystal solid/gas reactivity and catalysis starting from the precursor sigma-alkane complex [Rh(Cy2PCH2CH2PCy2)(η(2)η(2)-NBA)][BAr(F)4] (NBA = norbornane; Ar(F) = 3,5-(CF3)2C6H3) is reported. By adding ethene, propene and 1-butene to this precursor in solid/gas reactions the resulting alkene complexes [Rh(Cy2PCH2CH2PCy2)(alkene) x ][BAr(F)4] are formed. The ethene (x = 2) complex, [Rh(Cy2PCH2CH2PCy2)(ethene)2][BAr(F)4]-Oct, has been characterized in the solid-state (single-crystal X-ray diffraction) and by solution and solid-state NMR spectroscopy...
August 1, 2017: Chemical Science
Marie Fahrenhold, Sonja Rakic, John Classey, Carol Brayne, Paul G Ince, James A R Nicoll, Delphine Boche
Mutation in the triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells (TREM) 2 gene has been identified as a risk factor for several neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD). Experimental studies using animal models of AD have highlighted a number of functions associated with TREM2 and its expression by microglial cells. It has therefore been assumed that this is also the case in humans. However, there is very limited information concerning the cellular expression of TREM2 in the human brain. As part of investigations of microglia using post-mortem resources provided by the Medical Research Council Cognitive Function and Ageing Studies (MRC-CFAS), we immunostained the cerebral cortex of 299 participants for TREM2 using the Sigma antibody HPA010917 and compared with the macrophage/microglial markers Iba1 and CD68...
October 7, 2017: Brain Pathology
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