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Recent advances

Shelley D Copley
Most, if not all, enzymes are capable of catalyzing physiologically irrelevant secondary reactions-termed 'promiscuous' reactions-in addition to the reactions that they have evolved to catalyze. Promiscuous activities can provide the starting point for evolution of new enzymes, both in nature and in the hands of protein engineers. Recent work suggests that the universe of promiscuous activities available in nature is enormous. New high-throughput approaches have significantly advanced our ability to identify promiscuous activities, setting the stage for synthetic biology efforts to construct novel pathways using catalysts derived from promiscuous enzymes via directed evolution...
November 20, 2017: Current Opinion in Structural Biology
Michal Drozdzal, Gabriel Chartrand, Eugene Vorontsov, Mahsa Shakeri, Lisa Di Jorio, An Tang, Adriana Romero, Yoshua Bengio, Chris Pal, Samuel Kadoury
In this paper, we introduce a simple, yet powerful pipeline for medical image segmentation that combines Fully Convolutional Networks (FCNs) with Fully Convolutional Residual Networks (FC-ResNets). We propose and examine a design that takes particular advantage of recent advances in the understanding of both Convolutional Neural Networks as well as ResNets. Our approach focuses upon the importance of a trainable pre-processing when using FC-ResNets and we show that a low-capacity FCN model can serve as a pre-processor to normalize medical input data...
November 14, 2017: Medical Image Analysis
Andrei Popescu, Andrei Haidar, Rodica Maricela Anghel
Recent years have brought major advances in the treatment of malignant melanoma. One such an advance is the treatment with BRAF tyrosine-kinase inhibitors in metastatic malignant melanomas that harbor mutations in the BRAF gene. The trials that have been performed in this setting have demonstrated superior response rates and increased overall survival, however they mostly included patients with melanomas carrying the more common V600E and V600K mutations, not being able to assess the benefit of these treatments in situations where more rare mutations of the BRAF gene are present...
November 27, 2017: Romanian Journal of Internal Medicine, Revue Roumaine de Médecine Interne
Adam Volker, Deepak Kumar Prusty, Mathias Centola, Škugor Marko, Hannam Jeffrey, Julián Valero, Klöckner Bernhard, Michael Famulok
Photoregulation is among the most promising tools for development of dynamic DNA nanosystems, due to its high spatiotemporal precision, biocompatibility, and ease of use. So far, azobenzene and its derivatives have shown high potential in photocontrolling DNA duplex hybridization due to light-dependent photoisomerization. Despite many recent advances, sufficiently high photoswitching efficiency under conditions more suitable for work with DNA nanostructures are challenging. Here we introduce a pair of arylazopyrazoles as new photoswitches for efficient and reversible control of DNA hybridization achieved even at room temperature with a low number of required modifications...
November 23, 2017: Chemistry: a European Journal
J Porter Hunt, Song-Min Schinn, Matthew D Jones, Bradley C Bundy
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) are structurally diverse compounds that can interact with nuclear hormone receptors, posing significant risk to human and ecological health. Unfortunately, many conventional biosensors have been too structure-specific, labor-intensive or laboratory-oriented to detect broad ranges of EDC effectively. Recently, several technological advances are providing more rapid, portable, and affordable detection of endocrine-disrupting activity through ligand-nuclear hormone receptor interactions...
November 23, 2017: Analyst
Xuedong Wang, Tiancheng Li, Shudong Sun, Juan M Corchado
We review some advances of the particle filtering (PF) algorithm that have been achieved in the last decade in the context of target tracking, with regard to either a single target or multiple targets in the presence of false or missing data. The first part of our review is on remarkable achievements that have been made for the single-target PF from several aspects including importance proposal, computing efficiency, particle degeneracy/impoverishment and constrained/multi-modal systems. The second part of our review is on analyzing the intractable challenges raised within the general multitarget (multi-sensor) tracking due to random target birth and termination, false alarm, misdetection, measurement-to-track (M2T) uncertainty and track uncertainty...
November 23, 2017: Sensors
Kaveh Movlaee, Mohmmad Reza Ganjali, Parviz Norouzi, Giovanni Neri
Iron oxide nanostructures (IONs) in combination with graphene or its derivatives-e.g., graphene oxide and reduced graphene oxide-hold great promise toward engineering of efficient nanocomposites for enhancing the performance of advanced devices in many applicative fields. Due to the peculiar electrical and electrocatalytic properties displayed by composite structures in nanoscale dimensions, increasing efforts have been directed in recent years toward tailoring the properties of IONs-graphene based nanocomposites for developing more efficient electrochemical sensors...
November 23, 2017: Nanomaterials
Lev M Berstein, Igor V Berlev, Alexandra N Baltrukova
The question hidden in the title of this manuscript (whether the topic develops or remains constant) is important for all areas of science. It is also a serious problem for endometrial cancer (EC) study. In recent times the incidence of EC gradually increases in parallel with obesity epidemics. The main point of this review was evaluation of changes in EC area in last few decades, which are not only seen in tumor incidence, but also in its biology, hormonal-metabolic characteristics of patients and in the ratio of risk and anti-risk factors...
November 23, 2017: Future Oncology
Stephan von Haehling
Wasting embraces muscle and tissue wasting in sarcopenia and cachexia. This article describes recent advances in the field published in the Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle concerning diagnostic tools, biomarker development, pathophysiology, and treatment. Studies discussed herein embrace those on sarcopenia and cachexia in heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cancer including also animal models.
December 2017: Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle
Huilin Pan, Kopin Liu, Adriana Caracciolo, Piergiorgio Casavecchia
Over the past ten years or so, great advances in our understanding of the dynamics of elementary (bimolecular) polyatomic reactions in the gas-phase have occurred. This has been made possible by critical improvements (a) in crossed molecular beam (CMB) instruments with rotating mass spectrometric detection and time-of-flight analysis, especially following the implementation of soft ionization (by tunable low energy electrons or vacuum-ultraviolet synchrotron radiation) for product detection with increased sensitivity and universal detection power, and (b) in REMPI-slice velocity map ion imaging (VMI) detection techniques in pulsed CMB experiments for obtaining product pair-correlated information through high-resolution measurements directly in the center of mass system...
November 23, 2017: Chemical Society Reviews
N Wehres, J Maßen, K Borisov, B Schmidt, F Lewen, U U Graf, C E Honingh, D R Higgins, S Schlemmer
We present first results on a newly built broadband emission spectrometer for the laboratory making use of a double sideband (DSB) heterodyne receiver. The new spectrometer is perfectly suited for high-resolution emission spectroscopy of molecules of astrophysical importance. The current SIS receiver operates at RF frequencies between 270 and 390 GHz, coincident with Band 7 of the ALMA telescope. The instantaneous bandwidth is 5 GHz (DSB). In this work the full spectrometer and its components are described...
November 23, 2017: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics: PCCP
Behide Saltepe, Ebru Sahin Kehribar, Side Selin Su Yirmibesoglu, Urartu Ozgur Safak Seker
: An increasing interest in building novel biological devices with designed cellular functionalities has triggered the search of innovative tools for biocomputation. Utilizing the tools of synthetic biology, numerous genetic circuits have been imple-mented such as engineered logic operation in analog and digital circuits. Whole cell biosensors are widely used biological devices that employ several biocomputation tools to program cells for desired functions. Up to date, a wide range of whole-cell biosensors have been designed and implemented for disease theranostics, biomedical applications and environmental monitoring...
November 23, 2017: ACS Sensors
Michael Doyle, Lisa Maher, Simon Graham, Handan Wand, Jenny Iversen
OBJECTIVE: To examine factors associated with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among a national sample of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people who inject drugs (PWID) in Australia. METHODS: Respondents were recruited from Australia's Needle Syringe Program Survey; an annual bio-behavioural surveillance project that monitors HCV antibody prevalence among PWID. Data from 2006-2015 were de-duplicated to retain only one record where individuals participated in >1 survey round...
November 22, 2017: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Zhongyi Zhu, Si Qiu, Kang Shao, Yong Hou
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) slough off primary tumor tissues and are swept away by the circulatory system. These CTCs can remain in circulation or colonize new sites, forming metastatic clones in distant organs. Recently, CTC analyses have been successfully used as effective clinical tools to monitor tumor progression and prognosis. With advances in next-generation sequencing (NGS) and single-cell sequencing (SCS) technologies, scientists can obtain the complete genome of a CTC and compare it with corresponding primary and metastatic tumors...
November 22, 2017: Cell Biology and Toxicology
Akira Matsumoto, Yuji Kanaoka, Takeshi Baba, Reo Takizawa, Masayuki Hara, Koji Maeda, Katsunori Nishikawa, Yutaka Suzuki, Katsuhiko Yanaga, Takao Ohki
BACKGROUND: Bleeding from the thoracic aorta is potentially fatal in patients with advanced esophageal cancer. Thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) was recently applied for aortic invasion by esophageal cancer. However, only a few case reports have been published. This study was performed to clarify the effectiveness and safety of TEVAR for patients with advanced esophageal cancer. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed 18 patients who underwent TEVAR for esophageal cancer...
November 22, 2017: World Journal of Surgery
Roshni A Desai, Kenneth J Smith
Increasing evidence suggests a key role for tissue energy failure in the pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis (MS). Studies in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a commonly used model of MS, have been instrumental in illuminating the mechanisms that may be involved in compromising energy production. In this article, we review recent advances in EAE research focussing on factors that conspire to impair tissue energy metabolism, such as tissue hypoxia, mitochondrial dysfunction, production of reactive oxygen/nitrogen species, and sodium dysregulation, which are directly affected by energy insufficiency, and promote cellular damage...
2017: F1000Research
Rajiv Kumar, Shashi Bhushan Chauhan, Susanna S Ng, Shyam Sundar, Christian R Engwerda
Leishmaniasis encompasses a group of diseases caused by protozoan parasites belonging to the genus Leishmania. These diseases range from life threatening visceral forms to self-healing cutaneous lesions, and each disease manifestations can progress to complications involving dissemination of parasites to skin or mucosal tissue. A feature of leishmaniasis is the key role host immune responses play in disease outcome. T cells are critical for controlling parasite growth. However, they can also contribute to disease onset and progression...
2017: Frontiers in Immunology
Shuobo Shi, Huimin Zhao
Oleaginous yeasts have been increasingly explored for production of chemicals and fuels via metabolic engineering. Particularly, there is a growing interest in using oleaginous yeasts for the synthesis of lipid-related products due to their high lipogenesis capability, robustness, and ability to utilize a variety of substrates. Most of the metabolic engineering studies in oleaginous yeasts focused on Yarrowia that already has plenty of genetic engineering tools. However, recent advances in systems biology and synthetic biology have provided new strategies and tools to engineer those oleaginous yeasts that have naturally high lipid accumulation but lack genetic tools, such as Rhodosporidium, Trichosporon, and Lipomyces...
2017: Frontiers in Microbiology
Walaa F Alsanie, Jonathan C Niclis, Cameron P Hunt, Isabelle R De Luzy, Vanessa Penna, Christopher R Bye, Colin W Pouton, John Haynes, Jaber Firas, Lachlan H Thompson, Clare L Parish
Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) are a valuable tool for interrogating development, disease modelling, drug discovery and transplantation. Despite the burgeoned capability to fate restrict human PSCs to specific neural lineages, comparative protocols for mouse PSCs have not similarly advanced. Mouse protocols fail to recapitulate neural development, consequently yielding highly heterogeneous populations, yet mouse PSCs remain a valuable scientific tool as differentiation is rapid, cost effective and an extensive repertoire of transgenic lines provides an invaluable resource for understanding biology...
November 22, 2017: Scientific Reports
Emily Elizabeth Bowen, Richard John Mark Coward
Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is major global health care issue as it is the leading cause of acute kidney injury in children. It is a triad of acute kidney injury, microangiopathic hemolytic anemia and thrombocytopenia. It is classified as a glomerular thrombotic microangiopathy. In recent years major advances in our understanding of complement driven inherited rare forms of HUS have been achieved. However, 90% of cases of HUS are associated with a Shiga toxin producing enteric pathogen. The precise pathological mechanisms in this setting are yet to be elucidated...
November 22, 2017: American Journal of Physiology. Renal Physiology
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