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David Černý
The current discussion of the moral admissibility or inadmissibility of euthanasia should, in my opinion, consider the greatest possible number of the shared premises of the two opinion camps. That is why I followed a thesis in this paper that the question of the good life is the focus of ethical interest, as this is what connects the advocates and the opponents to euthanasia. In the first part of the paper I critically discuss the two main theories of the good life widely embraced among the advocates of euthanasia: hedonism and desire-fulfilment theory...
2018: Vnitr̆ní Lékar̆ství
Giovanni Tarantino, Luigi Barrea, Domenico Capone, Vincenzo Citro, Teresa Mosca, Silvia Savastano
Background: Literature data suggest with some criticism that full-fledged cardiovascular (CV) events (acute or chronic) are likely predicted by blood components, which are reported to be associated with the presence/severity of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This study was aimed at determining which marker(s) derived from blood count, such as white blood cells, neutrophils, neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio, platelet count, hemoglobin, mean corpuscular volume, hematocrit values were associated with ear or subclinical atherosclerosis, in obese patients of various classes suffering from NAFLD...
2018: Frontiers in Endocrinology
M Scalabrin, S M Dixit, M M Makshood, C E Krzemien, Daniele Fabris
With the goal of expanding the very limited toolkit of cross-linking agents available for nucleic acids and their protein complexes, we evaluated the merits of a wide range of bifunctional agents that may be capable of reacting with the functional groups characteristic of these types of biopolymers. The survey specifically focused on the ability of test reagents to produce desirable inter-molecular conjugates, which could reveal the identity of interacting components and the position of mutual contacts, while also considering a series of practical criteria for their utilization as viable nucleic acid probes...
May 9, 2018: Methods: a Companion to Methods in Enzymology
Mieczyslaw Pokorski, Malgorzata Poździk, Andrea Mazzatenta
Inflammation, tissue hypoxia, and impaired hypoxic ventilatory response (HVR) are the intricately entwined features of diabetes which perpetuate the disease and its sequelae. Hyperglycemia, notably, is an oxygen consuming process due to enhanced cellular metabolism. Oxidative stress underlies diabetic pathogenesis and also is a crucial modulator of the hypoxic chemoreflex. The present study seeks to determine if suppressed ventilation in diabetes could be improved by antioxidant treatment. The study was performed in streptozotocin-induced diabetes in awake rats...
May 8, 2018: Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology
Jun Yin, Haokui Xu, Jipeng Duan, Mowei Shen
Traditionally, objects of attention are characterized either as full-fledged entities or either as elements grouped by Gestalt principles. Because humans appear to use social groups as units to explain social activities, we proposed that a socially defined group, according to social interaction information, would also be a possible object of attentional selection. This hypothesis was examined using displays with and without handshaking interactions. Results demonstrated that object-based attention, which was measured by an object-specific attentional advantage (i...
May 1, 2018: Psychological Science
Rosa Maimone, Marco Guerini, Mauro Dragoni, Tania Bailoni, Claudio Eccher
Automatically monitoring and supporting healthy lifestyle is a recent research trend, fostered by the availability of low-cost monitoring devices, and it can significantly contribute to the prevention of chronic diseases deriving from incorrect diet and lack of physical activity. In this paper, we present a general purpose architecture for persuasion scenarios and behavioral change. The architecture is designed to be easily portable across languages and domains and has been implemented and evaluated in a specific system for Workplace Health Promotion (WHP) called PerKApp...
May 2, 2018: Journal of Biomedical Informatics
Xinxin Liang, Jiali Yu, Huan Wang, Zihui Zhang
The avian pectoralis muscle is responsible for the wing's downstroke, which provides birds with lift and thrust for flight. In the present study, architectural parameters were investigated through growth in the pigeon (Columba livia), an altricial bird species, from the ages of 4 days to 12 months, in order to assess the morphological changes and effects of increasing body mass. Muscle mass, fascicle length, and physiological cross-sectional area (PCSA) increased with strong positive allometry. As an indicator of force production capacity, the PCSA increased 30-fold with the changes in body mass; it grew rapidly during the nesting period and post-fledging period into sexual maturity...
May 5, 2018: Anatomical Record: Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology
Luís Bastião Silva, Alina Trifan, José Luís Oliveira
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Data catalogues are a common form of capturing and presenting information about a specific kind of entity (e.g. products, services, professionals, datasets, etc.). However, the construction of a web-based catalogue for a particular scenario normally implies the development of a specific and dedicated solution. In this paper, we present MONTRA, a rapid-application development framework designed to facilitate the integration and discovery of heterogeneous objects, which may be characterized by distinct data structures...
July 2018: Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine
Baohong Zhang, Shanrong Zhao, Isaac Neuhaus
Summary: We present a bioinformatics and systems biology visualization toolkit harmonizing real time interactive exploring and analyzing of big data, full-fledged customizing of look-n-feel, and producing multi-panel publication-ready figures in PDF format simultaneously. Availability: Source code and detailed user guides are available at,, and
May 3, 2018: Bioinformatics
Álvaro Ortiz Lledó, Javier Vidal Mateo, Vicente Urios Moliner
Background: A study on the Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida was carried out between 2002 and 2009 in wetlands of eastern Spain to evaluate how water level fluctuation affects its reproductive success (hatching, fledgling and breeding success). This species is catalogued as Vulnerable in Spain and has an unfavorable conservation status in Europe. Methods: Our study includes 18 sampling areas from five wetlands, covering a total of 663 nests, 1,618 eggs, 777 nestlings and 225 fledglings...
2018: PeerJ
Gábor Seress, Tamás Hammer, Veronika Bókony, Ernő Vincze, Bálint Preiszner, Ivett Pipoly, Csenge Sinkovics, Karl L Evans, András Liker
Urbanization can have marked effects on plant and animal populations' phenology, population size, predator-prey interactions and reproductive success. These aspects are rarely studied simultaneously in a single system, and some are rarely investigated, e.g. how insect phenology responds to urban development. Here, we study a tri-trophic system of trees - phytophagous insects (caterpillars) - insectivorous birds (great tits) to assess how urbanization influences i) the phenology of each component of this system, ii) insect abundance and iii) avian reproductive success...
April 20, 2018: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Sunil Manohar Keswani, Mukesh Gopinath Mishra, Shilpa Karnik, Shruti Dutta, Mamata Mishra, Sangita Panda, Reshmi Varghese, Tanvi Virkar, Vaishna Upendran
In India approximately 1 million people get burnt every year and most of them are from the lower or middle income strata. Therefore it is obligatory to find out an economic way of treatment for the affected populace. Since use of human skin allograft is the gold standard for the treatment of burn wound, in-house skin banking for a burn unit hospital is prerequisite to make the treatment procedure affordable. Although, there was one skin bank at India till 2009, but it was difficult for a single bank to cover the entire country's need...
April 13, 2018: Burns: Journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries
Christina Riehl, Meghan J Strong
Social animals often form long-lasting relationships with fellow group members, usually with close kin. In primates, strong social bonds have been associated with increased longevity, offspring survival and reproductive success. However, little is known about the fitness effects of social bonds between non-kin, especially outside of mammals. In this study, we use long-term field research on a cooperatively breeding bird, the greater ani ( Crotophaga major ), to ask whether adult females benefit by remaining in long-term associations with unrelated, co-breeding females...
April 11, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Gary Burness, Deanna Moher, Noah Ben-Ezra, Ryan J Kelly, Dennis Hasselquist, Eunice H Chin
Female birds transfer maternally derived antibodies (matAb) to their nestlings, via the egg yolk. These antibodies are thought to provide passive protection, and allow nestlings to avoid the costs associated with mounting an innate immune response. To test whether there is an energetic benefit to nestlings from receiving matAb, we challenged adult female tree swallows ( Tachycineta bicolor ) prior to clutch initiation with either lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or saline (Control). Following hatching, one half of each female's nestlings were immunized on day 8 post-hatch with LPS or saline, and the 4-h post-immunization nestling metabolic rate (MR) was measured...
April 4, 2018: Biology Open
Bjørn Hofmann
Connecting the circulatory system of old and young mice (parabiosis) is documented to have rejuvenating effects on cells, tissues, organs, and functions. A wide range of benefits are envisioned. Blood-based rejuvenation can come to totally change population health and aging. The first blood rejuvenation studies on humans with Alzheimer's disease have started. It puts blood at the center of therapy and revitalizes the historical line of humoral pathology from Hippocrates and Harvey, creating a new type of 'bloodletting...
January 2018: Transfusion Medicine and Hemotherapy
Guillaume von der Weid
The drug industry has a poor public image. Although its role is to treat disease, it has a poorer reputation than cigarette makers or the automotive industry. This situation must be analysed from three overlapping points of view: 1) the complexity of a market, in which most of the costs are hidden; 2) the difficulty of a connected society to organize debates on political questions related to basic values, and finally 3) the pervading distinction between morality and profits. This clarification might help the industry to become a fully fledged actor in the field of healthcare in order to participate in the improvement of the healthcare offer for the population...
January 2018: Santé Publique: Revue Multidisciplinaire Pour la Recherche et L'action
Lea Maronde, Sylvain Losdat, Heinz Richner
Early-life trade-offs faced by developing offspring can have long-term consequences for their future fitness. Young offspring use begging displays to solicit resources from their parents and have been selected to grow fast to maximize survival. However, growth and begging behaviour are generally traded-off against self-maintenance. Oxidative stress, a physiological mediator of life-history trade-offs, may play a major role in this trade-off by constraining, or being costly to, growth and begging behaviour. Yet, despite implications for the evolution of life-history strategies and parent-offspring conflicts, the interplay between growth, begging behaviour and resistance to oxidative stress remains to be investigated...
March 26, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Xue Dong, Weina Zhang, Haiyan Wu, Jinyan Huang, Ming Zhang, Pengran Wang, Hao Zhang, Zhu Chen, Sai-Juan Chen, Guoyu Meng
Oncogenic fusions are major drivers in leukemogenesis and may serve as potent targets for treatment. DUX4/IGHs have been shown to trigger the abnormal expression of ERGalt through binding to DUX4-Responsive-Element (DRE), which leads to B-cell differentiation arrest and a full-fledged B-ALL. Here, we determined the crystal structures of Apo- and DNADRE -bound DUX4HD2 and revealed a clamp-like transactivation mechanism via the double homeobox domain. Biophysical characterization showed that mutations in the interacting interfaces significantly impaired the DNA binding affinity of DUX4 homeobox...
March 15, 2018: Leukemia: Official Journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K
Rosiane M Martins, Fernanda Nedel, Victoria B S Guimarães, Adriana F da Silva, Pio Colepicolo, Claudio M P de Pereira, Rafael G Lund
Background: Macroalgae are sources of bioactive compounds due to the large number of secondary metabolites they synthesize. The Antarctica region is characterized by extreme weather conditions and abundant aggregations of macroalgae. However, current knowledge on their biodiversity and their potential for bio-prospecting is still fledging. This study evaluates the antimicrobial and cytotoxic activity of different extracts of four macroalgae ( Cystosphaera jacquinotii, Iridaea cordata, Himantothallus grandifolius , and Pyropia endiviifolia ) from the Antarctic region against cancer and non-cancer cell lines...
2018: Frontiers in Microbiology
Lisabertha L Clark, Rachael C Shaw
Hoarding or caching behaviour is a widely-used paradigm for examining a range of cognitive processes in birds, such as social cognition and spatial memory. However, much is still unknown about how caching develops in young birds, especially in the wild. Studying the ontogeny of caching in the wild will help researchers to identify the mechanisms that shape this advantageous foraging strategy. We examined the ontogeny of food caching behaviour in a wild New Zealand passerine, the North Island robin (Petroica longipes)...
June 2018: Behavioural Processes
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