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Negiin Pourafshar, Ashkan Karimi, Xuerong Wen, Eric Sobel, Shirin Pourafshar, Nikhil Agrawal, Emma Segal, Rajesh Mohandas, Mark S Segal
Background: Monitoring of mycophenolic acid (MPA) levels may be useful for effective mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) dosing. However, whether commonly obtained trough levels are an acceptable method of surveillance remains debatable. We hypothesized that trough levels of MPA would be a poor predictor of area under the curve (AUC) for MPA. Methods: A total of 51 patients with lupus nephritis who were on MMF 1500 mg twice a day and had a 4-h AUC done were included in this study...
March 13, 2018: Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation
Gordon G Wisbach, Joshua Peters, Jenise Leon Guerrero, Nelson Mozzini, Helen Metzger
Introduction: The obesity epidemic in the USA includes active duty service members in the military and effects physical readiness. At the Naval Medical Center San Diego command, the Health & Wellness Department is charged with administering the Weight Management Programs (WMP) for sailors in the San Diego area to ensure military physical readiness requirements. The optimal allocation of personnel and resources to manage these programs is paramount for mission success. We analyzed the cost and effectiveness of the WMPs for the active duty population stationed at Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) with the intent of offering potential recommendations for program optimization...
March 14, 2018: Military Medicine
Bryan W Heckman, K Michael Cummings, Georges J Nahas, Marc C Willemsen, Richard J O'Connor, Ron Borland, Alexander A Hirsch, Warren K Bickel, Matthew J Carpenter
Introduction: The demand for alternative nicotine/tobacco products is not well established. This paper uses a behavioral economic approach to test whether smokers have differential demand for conventional factory-made, electronic, and very low nicotine content cigarettes (FMCs/ECs/VLNCs) and uses the prospective cohort design to test the predictive validity of demand indices on subsequent use of commercially available FMCs and ECs. Methods: Daily smokers (>16 years) from the Netherlands completed an online survey in April 2014 (N=1215)...
March 14, 2018: Nicotine & Tobacco Research: Official Journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco
Benedikt Hacker, Christoph Schultheiß, Michael Döring, Ursula Kurzik-Dumke
This study provides first insights into the involvement of hNOT/ALG3, the human counterpart of the Drosophila NOT and yeast ALG3 gene, in various putative molecular networks. HNOT/ALG3 encodes two translated transcripts encoding precursor proteins differing in their N-terminus and showing 33% identity with the yeast asparagine-linked glycosylation 3 (ALG3) protein. Experimental evidence for the functional homology of the proteins of fly and man in the N-glycosylation has still to be provided. In this study, using the yeast two-hybrid technique we identify 17 molecular partners of hNOT-1/ALG3-1...
March 14, 2018: Human Molecular Genetics
Kelsey A Herrmann, Heather T Broihier
Although retrograde neurotrophin signaling has provided an immensely influential paradigm for understanding growth factor signaling in the nervous system, recent studies indicate that growth factors also signal via cell-autonomous, or autocrine, mechanisms. Autocrine signals have been discovered in many neuronal contexts, providing insights into their regulation and function. The growing realization of the importance of cell-autonomous signaling stems from advances in both conditional genetic approaches and in sophisticated analyses of growth factor dynamics, which combine to enable rigorous in vivo dissection of signaling pathways...
March 13, 2018: Current Opinion in Neurobiology
Rebekah Carter, Yenna Salamonson, Lucie M Ramjan, Elizabeth Halcomb
BACKGROUND: Timely and meaningful feedback is essential to promote active learning and student engagement with learning. However, achieving this remains elusive, particularly in undergraduate nursing programs that admit large student cohorts. One strategy to provide meaningful en masse feedback is to provide feed-forward support by using exemplars. To date, there has been limited evaluation of the effectiveness of this feedback strategy. OBJECTIVE: To review the impact of using exemplars as a feedback strategy to support student academic writing in higher education...
March 3, 2018: Nurse Education Today
Yaxin Qin, Guiying Li, Yanpeng Gao, Lizhi Zhang, Yong Sik Ok, Taicheng An
With the increased concentrations and kinds of refractory organic contaminants (ROCs) in aquatic environments, many previous reviews systematically summarized the applications of carbon-based materials in the adsorption and catalytic degradation of ROCs for their economically viable and environmentally friendly behavior. Interestingly, recent studies indicated that carbon-based materials in natural environment can also mediate the transformation of ROCs directly or indirectly due to their abundant persistent free radicals (PFRs)...
March 9, 2018: Water Research
Ruiting Lin, Siyuan Xia, Changliang Shan, Dong Chen, Yijie Liu, Xue Gao, Mei Wang, Hee-Bum Kang, Yaozhu Pan, Shuangping Liu, Young Rock Chung, Omar Abdel-Wahab, Taha Merghoub, Michael Rossi, Ragini R Kudchadkar, David H Lawson, Fadlo R Khuri, Sagar Lonial, Jing Chen
Dietary supplements such as vitamins and minerals are widely used in the hope of improving health but may have unidentified risks and side effects. In particular, a pathogenic link between dietary supplements and specific oncogenes remains unknown. Here we report that chondroitin-4-sulfate (CHSA), a natural glycosaminoglycan approved as a dietary supplement used for osteoarthritis, selectively promotes the tumor growth potential of BRAF V600E-expressing human melanoma cells in patient- and cell line-derived xenograft mice and confers resistance to BRAF inhibitors...
March 15, 2018: Molecular Cell
Julianne Teresa Djordjevic, Sophie Lev
Invasive fungal diseases pose a serious threat, and new drugs are urgently needed. In this issue of Cell Chemical Biology, Pries et al. (2018) identified benzamide- and picolinamide-based small-molecule inhibitors with antifungal properties, including some active against pathogenic Candida species. These compounds target an essential component of the fungal secretion machinery, suggesting a new approach to antifungal development.
March 15, 2018: Cell Chemical Biology
Omar A Z Tutakhel, Frans Bianchi, Daniël A Smits, René J M Bindels, Joost G J Hoenderop, Jenny van der Wijst
The NaCl cotransporter (NCC) is essential for electrolyte homeostasis and control of blood pressure. The human SLC12A3 gene, which encodes NCC, gives rise to 3 isoforms, of which only the shortest isoform [NaCl cotransporter isoform 3 (NCC3 )] has been studied extensively. All NCC isoforms share key phosphorylation sites at T55 and T60 that are essential mediators of NCC function. Recently, a novel phosphorylation site at S811 was identified in isoforms 1 and 2 [NaCl cotransporter splice variant (NCCSV )], which are only present in humans and higher primates...
March 16, 2018: FASEB Journal: Official Publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Celine Tasset, Avilash Singh Yadav, Sridevi Sureshkumar, Rupali Singh, Lennard van der Woude, Maxim Nekrasov, David Tremethick, Martijn van Zanten, Sureshkumar Balasubramanian
Ambient temperature affects plant growth and even minor changes can substantially impact crop yields. The underlying mechanisms of temperature perception and response are just beginning to emerge. Chromatin remodeling, via the eviction of the histone variant H2A.Z containing nucleosomes, is a critical component of thermal response in plants. However, the role of histone modifications remains unknown. Here, through a forward genetic screen, we identify POWERDRESS (PWR), a SANT-domain containing protein known to interact with HISTONE DEACETYLASE 9 (HDA9), as a novel factor required for thermomorphogenesis in Arabidopsis thaliana...
March 16, 2018: PLoS Genetics
David Hasler, Dominik Obrist
The flow field past a prosthetic aortic valve comprises many details that indicate whether the prosthesis is functioning well or not. It is, however, not yet fully understood how an optimal flow scenario would look, i.e. which subtleties of the fluid dynamics in place are essential regarding the durability and compatibility of a prosthetic valve. In this study, we measured and analyzed the 3D flow field in the vicinity of a bio-prosthetic heart valve in function of the aortic root size. The measurements were conducted within aortic root phantoms of different size, mounted in a custom-built hydraulic setup, which mimicked physiological flow conditions in the aorta...
2018: PloS One
Cliff C Kerr, Salvador Dura-Bernal, Tomasz G Smolinski, George L Chadderdon, David P Wilson
When standard optimization methods fail to find a satisfactory solution for a parameter fitting problem, a tempting recourse is to adjust parameters manually. While tedious, this approach can be surprisingly powerful in terms of achieving optimal or near-optimal solutions. This paper outlines an optimization algorithm, Adaptive Stochastic Descent (ASD), that has been designed to replicate the essential aspects of manual parameter fitting in an automated way. Specifically, ASD uses simple principles to form probabilistic assumptions about (a) which parameters have the greatest effect on the objective function, and (b) optimal step sizes for each parameter...
2018: PloS One
Sangrok Jin, Jeongae Bak, Jongwon Kim, TaeWon Seo, Hwa Soo Kim
This paper presents a switching PD-based sliding mode control (PD-SMC) method for the 6-degree-of-freedom (DOF) hovering motion of the underwater robot with tilting thrusters. Four thrusters of robot can be tilted simultaneously in the horizontal and vertical directions, and the 6-DOF motion is achieved by switching between two thruster configurations. Therefore, the tilting speed of thruster becomes the most essential parameter to determine the stability of hovering motion. Even though the previous PD control ensures stable hovering motion within a certain ranges of tilting speed, a PD-SMC is suggested in this paper by combining PD control with sliding mode control in order to achieve acceptable hovering performance even at the much lower tilting speeds...
2018: PloS One
Barbara J Wilson, Laura J Zitella, Colleen H Erb, Jackie Foster, Mary Peterson, Sylvia K Wood
BACKGROUND: Cancer-related infections lead to increases in mortality, antibiotic use, and hospital stays. Other adverse outcomes include dose delays and reductions, which can result in suboptimal treatment outcomes. OBJECTIVES: Effective implementation of risk assessment and evidence-based interventions for the prevention and treatment of infection are essential to improve care and reduce costs related to infections in patients with cancer receiving immunosuppressive therapy...
April 1, 2018: Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing
George Kunnackal John, Lin Wang, Julie Nanavati, Claire Twose, Rajdeep Singh, Gerard Mullin
Dietary alteration of the gut microbiome is an important target in the treatment of obesity. Animal and human studies have shown bidirectional weight modulation based on the probiotic formulation used. In this study, we systematically reviewed the literature and performed a meta-analysis to assess the impact of prebiotics, probiotics and synbiotics on body weight, body mass index (BMI) and fat mass in adult human subjects. We searched Medline (PubMed), Embase, the Cochrane Library and the Web of Science to identify 4721 articles, of which 41 were subjected to full-text screening, yielding 21 included studies with 33 study arms...
March 16, 2018: Genes
Corina T Madreiter-Sokolowski, Armin A Sokolowski, Markus Waldeck-Weiermair, Roland Malli, Wolfgang F Graier
Senescence is related to the loss of cellular homeostasis and functions, which leads to a progressive decline in physiological ability and to aging-associated diseases. Since mitochondria are essential to energy supply, cell differentiation, cell cycle control, intracellular signaling and Ca2+ sequestration, fine-tuning mitochondrial activity appropriately, is a tightrope walk during aging. For instance, the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) ensures a supply of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), but is also the main source of potentially harmful levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS)...
March 16, 2018: Genes
Yiming Zhang, Mandan Liu, Qingwei Liu
Clustering, as an essential part in an hierarchy protocol that can prolong the network lifetime, is influenced by the cluster head selection and clustering scheme. A new clustering algorithm called clustering by fast search and finding of density peaks (CFSFDP) based on local density and distance is implementable and efficient. In this paper, we combine this clustering algorithm with a hierarchy protocol in wireless sensor networks (WSNs). However, energy consumption in each round is unbalanced only considering these two variables during the clustering phase, which leads to the early death of the first node...
March 16, 2018: Sensors
Ayaka Sato, Yuya Ikeda, Koichi Yamaguchi, Varun Vohra
Facile detection and the identification of hazardous organic solvents are essential for ensuring global safety and avoiding harm to the environment caused by industrial wastes. Here, we present a simple method for the fabrication of silver-coated monodisperse polystyrene nanoparticle photonic structures that are embedded into a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) matrix. These hybrid materials exhibit a strong green iridescence with a reflectance peak at 550 nm that originates from the close-packed arrangement of the nanoparticles...
March 16, 2018: Nanomaterials
Alisa L Gallant, Walt Sadinski, Jesslyn F Brown, Gabriel B Senay, Mark F Roth
Assessing climate-related ecological changes across spatiotemporal scales meaningful to resource managers is challenging because no one method reliably produces essential data at both fine and broad scales. We recently confronted such challenges while integrating data from ground- and satellite-based sensors for an assessment of four wetland-rich study areas in the U.S. Midwest. We examined relations between temperature and precipitation and a set of variables measured on the ground at individual wetlands and another set measured via satellite sensors within surrounding 4 km² landscape blocks...
March 16, 2018: Sensors
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