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Megan E Passey, Janelle M Stirling
BACKGROUND: Smoking during pregnancy is three times as common among Aboriginal women as non-Aboriginal women, with consequent higher rates of adverse health outcomes. Effective interventions to support Aboriginal women to quit smoking have not yet been identified. OBJECTIVES: To assess the feasibility and acceptability of implementing a culturally tailored, intensive smoking cessation program, including contingency-based financial rewards (CBFR), for pregnant Aboriginal women...
June 14, 2018: Public Health Research & Practice
Effie Apostolou, Matthias Stadtfeld
The discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has solidified the concept of transcription factors as major players in controlling cell identity and provided a tractable tool to study how somatic cell identity can be dismantled and pluripotency established. A number of landmark studies have established hallmarks and roadmaps of iPSC formation by describing relative kinetics of transcriptional, protein and epigenetic changes, including alterations in DNA methylation and histone modifications. Recently, technological advancements such as single-cell analyses, high-resolution genome-wide chromatin assays and more efficient reprogramming systems have been used to challenge and refine our understanding of the reprogramming process...
June 16, 2018: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
Philip R Nicovich, Joanna M Kwiatek, Yuanqing Ma, Aleš Benda, Katharina Gaus
The coexistence of lipid domains with different degrees of lipid packing in the plasma membrane of mammalian cells has been postulated, but direct evidence has so far been challenging to obtain because of the small size and short lifetime of these domains in live cells. Here, we use fluorescence spectral correlation spectroscopy in conjunction with a probe sensitive to the membrane environment to quantify spectral fluctuations associated with dynamics of membrane domains in live cells. With this method, we show that membrane domains are present in live COS-7 cells and have a lifetime lower bound of 5...
June 19, 2018: Biophysical Journal
Chi-Jui Feng, Balamurugan Dhayalan, Andrei Tokmakoff
Characterizing ensembles of intrinsically disordered proteins is experimentally challenging because of the ill-conditioned nature of ensemble determination with limited data and the intrinsic fast dynamics of the conformational ensemble. Amide I two-dimensional infrared (2D IR) spectroscopy has picosecond time resolution to freeze structural ensembles as needed for probing disordered-protein ensembles and conformational dynamics. Also, developments in amide I computational spectroscopy now allow a quantitative and direct prediction of amide I spectra based on conformational distributions drawn from molecular dynamics simulations, providing a route to ensemble refinement against experimental spectra...
June 19, 2018: Biophysical Journal
Le Yan, Riccardo Ravasio, Carolina Brito, Matthieu Wyart
Allosteric proteins transmit a mechanical signal induced by binding a ligand. However, understanding the nature of the information transmitted and the architectures optimizing such transmission remains a challenge. Here we show, using an in silico evolution scheme and theoretical arguments, that architectures optimized to be cooperative, which efficiently propagate energy, qualitatively differ from previously investigated materials optimized to propagate strain. Although we observe a large diversity of functioning cooperative architectures (including shear, hinge, and twist designs), they all obey the same principle of displaying a mechanism, i...
June 19, 2018: Biophysical Journal
Jinghao Lu, Chunyuan Li, Jonnathan Singh-Alvarado, Zhe Charles Zhou, Flavio Fröhlich, Richard Mooney, Fan Wang
In vivo calcium imaging using a 1-photon-based miniscope and a microendoscopic lens enables studies of neural activities in freely behaving animals. However, the high and fluctuating background, the inevitable movements and distortions of imaging field, and the extensive spatial overlaps of fluorescent signals emitted from imaged neurons inherent in this 1-photon imaging method present major challenges for extracting neuronal signals reliably and automatically from the raw imaging data. Here, we develop a unifying algorithm called the miniscope 1-photon imaging pipeline (MIN1PIPE), which contains several stand-alone modules and can handle a wide range of imaging conditions and qualities with minimal parameter tuning and automatically and accurately isolate spatially localized neural signals...
June 19, 2018: Cell Reports
Ira Kantrowitz-Gordon, Shannon Abbott, Rachel Hoehn
INTRODUCTION: The postpartum period can be a challenging experience for many women as they adjust to the physical and social changes after childbirth. Mindfulness-based interventions have been developed for stress reduction in a variety of health contexts, including pregnancy. These interventions provide strategies that may help new mothers handle the physical, emotional, and relationship challenges of the postpartum period and increase acceptance of postpartum physical changes and body image...
June 20, 2018: Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health
Diana Mitsova
There is a growing understanding that cross-sector risks faced by critical infrastructure assets in natural disasters require a collaborative foresight from multiple disciplines. However, current contributions to infrastructure interdependency analysis remain centered in discipline-specific methodologies often constrained by underlying theories and assumptions. This perspective article contributes to ongoing discussions about the uses, challenges, and opportunities provided by interdisciplinary research in critical infrastructure interdependency analysis...
June 20, 2018: Risk Analysis: An Official Publication of the Society for Risk Analysis
J Reginald Fils-Aimé, David J Grelotti, Tatiana Thérosmé, Bonnie N Kaiser, Giuseppe Raviola, Yoldie Alcindor, Jennifer Severe, Emmeline Affricot, Katherine Boyd, Rupinder Legha, Shin Daimyo, Stephanie Engel, Eddy Eustache
This study evaluates the use of a mental health mobile clinic to overcome two major challenges to the provision of mental healthcare in resource-limited settings: the shortage of trained specialists; and the need to improve access to safe, effective, and culturally sound care in community settings. Employing task-shifting and supervision, mental healthcare was largely delivered by trained, non-specialist health workers instead of specialists. A retrospective chart review of 318 unduplicated patients assessed and treated during the mobile clinic's first two years (January 2012 to November 2013) was conducted to explore outcomes...
2018: PloS One
Nuol Aywel Madut, Adrian Muwonge, George William Nasinyama, John Bwalya Muma, Jacques Godfroid, Ambrose Samuel Jubara, James Muleme, Clovice Kankya
BACKGROUND: Brucellosis is a worldwide recognized bacterial zoonotic disease. There is currently no information on bovine brucellosis sero-prevalence in South Sudan regardless of the economic, social and public health impact on populations. Therefore, for the first time in 33 years, we report the sero-prevalence of brucellosis in cattle and their herders. Furthermore, we characterize the drivers associated with the disease at the human-animal interface in Bahr el Ghazal region, South Sudan...
June 2018: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Angela Carolina Finato, Thais Fernanda Fraga-Silva, Amanda Uliana Carvalho Prati, Amauri Alves de Souza Júnior, Bruna Fonseca Mazzeu, Lidiane Gaspareto Felippe, Rute Alves Pinto, Marjorie de Assis Golim, Maria Sueli Parreira Arruda, Maysa Furlan, James Venturini
In this study, we aimed to evaluate the immunomodulatory effects of crude leaf extracts from Piper gaudichaudianum Kunth, P. arboreum Aub., P. umbellata L., P. fuligineum Kunth, and Peperomia obtusifolia A. Dietr. on an in vitro model of inflammatory response. The crude extracts were previously obtained by maceration of the leaves. The half-maximal inhibitory concentration was determined by the MTT assay using human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Human monocytes were simultaneously challenged with each crude extract and lipopolysaccharide (LPS), the major component of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria, to induce a strong inflammatory response...
2018: PloS One
Marion McElwee, Swetha Vijayakrishnan, Frazer Rixon, David Bhella
Herpesviruses include many important human pathogens such as herpes simplex virus, cytomegalovirus, varicella-zoster virus, and the oncogenic Epstein-Barr virus and Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus. Herpes virions contain a large icosahedral capsid that has a portal at a unique 5-fold vertex, similar to that seen in the tailed bacteriophages. The portal is a molecular motor through which the viral genome enters the capsid during virion morphogenesis. The genome also exits the capsid through the portal-vertex when it is injected through the nuclear pore into the nucleus of a new host cell to initiate infection...
June 20, 2018: PLoS Biology
Jutta Gutberlet, Sayed Mohammad Nazim Uddin
Household waste has evolved into a core urban challenge, with increased quantities of waste being generated and with more complex material compositions, often containing toxic and hazardous elements. Critical systems theory understands cities as urban metabolisms, with different material and energy flows, highlighting the circularity in production, consumption, and discard. Waste pickers in low- and medium-income countries work on dumps and landfills, sifting through highly contaminated household waste and are exposed to health hazards...
June 20, 2018: International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health
Kwanghyun Han, Nam-Ho Kim, Dongjun Shin
There is a growing interest in soft actuators for human-friendly robotic applications. However, it is very challenging for conventional soft actuators to achieve both a large working distance and high force. To address this problem, we present a high-contraction ratio pneumatic artificial muscle (HCRPAM), which has a novel actuation concept. The HCRPAM can contract substantially while generating a large force suitable for a wide range of robotic applications. Our proposed prototyping method allows for an easy and quick fabrication, considering various design variables...
June 20, 2018: Soft Robotics
Amir Ali Amiri Moghadam, Seyedhamidreza Alaie, Suborna Deb Nath, Mahdie Aghasizade Shaarbaf, James K Min, Simon Dunham, Bobak Mosadegh
Pneumatically actuated soft robots address many challenges with interfacing with delicate objects, but these actuators/robots are still bulky and require many hours to fabricate, limiting their widespread use. This article reports a novel design and manufacturing method for ultrathin soft robots and actuators (∼70 μm) using a laser-cutting machine that cuts/welds sheets of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) from a 2D CAD drawing. Using this method, five different soft actuators (e.g., bending, rotating, contracting) are designed, fabricated, and characterized with both planar and nonplanar motions...
June 20, 2018: Soft Robotics
Glen Gawarkiewicz, Anna Malek Mercer
Engaging ocean users, including fishing fleets, in oceanographic and ecological research is a valuable method for collecting high-quality data, improving cost efficiency, and increasing societal appreciation for scientific research. As research partners, fishing fleets provide broad access to and knowledge of the ocean, and fishers are highly motivated to use the data collected to better understand the ecosystems in which they harvest. Here, we discuss recent trends in collaborative research that have increased the capacity of and access to scientific data collection...
June 20, 2018: Annual Review of Marine Science
Susanne Wiegand, Gunnar Wichmann, Andreas Dietz
BACKGROUND: Extensive lymphatic malformations are low-flow vascular malformations that can cause devastating complications. Treatment of these malformations is challenging. This systematic review presents current use of sirolimus in patients with extensive lymphatic malformations. METHODS: MEDLINE and Google scholar search was conducted for studies on sirolimus treatment of lymphatic malformations up to July 2017. Search items included "lymphatic malformation," "lymphangioma," "cystic hygroma," "vascular malformation," "low-flow malformation," "sirolimus," "rapamycin," and "mTOR inhibitor...
June 20, 2018: Lymphatic Research and Biology
Ilana R Yurkiewicz, Pamela Simon, Michaela Liedtke, Gary Dahl, Tamara Dunn
PURPOSE: Adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients with cancer face significant challenges with regard to fatigue, reduced physical activity, and social isolation, which may negatively impact quality of life. This study investigated whether the use of digital wearable technology (Fitbits, along with synced iPads) can affect health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in AYA aged patients with cancer. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a prospective cohort study that offered Fitbits and iPads to all AYA patients aged 15 to 29 at an academic medical center at the time of cancer diagnosis...
June 20, 2018: Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology
Elyse Ona Singer
I analyze the alternative tactics and logics of Las Fuertes, a feminist organization that has taken an "alegal" approach to realizing the human right to abortion in the conservative Mexican state of Guanajuato. Since a series of United Nations agreements throughout the 1990s enshrined reproductive rights as universal human rights, Mexican feminists have adopted the human rights platform as a lobbying tool to pressure the government to reform restrictive abortion laws. This strategy bore fruit in Mexico City, with passage of the historic 2007 abortion legalization...
June 20, 2018: Medical Anthropology
Vaibhav Pandey, Poonam Saini
MapReduce (MR) computing paradigm and its open source implementation Hadoop have become a de facto standard to process big data in a distributed environment. Initially, the Hadoop system was homogeneous in three significant aspects, namely, user, workload, and cluster (hardware). However, with growing variety of MR jobs and inclusion of different configurations of nodes in the existing cluster, heterogeneity has become an essential part of Hadoop systems. The heterogeneity factors adversely affect the performance of a Hadoop scheduler and limit the overall throughput of the system...
June 2018: Big Data
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