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Published: 27 November 2020
by MDPI
Journal of Personalized Medicine, Volume 10; doi:10.3390/jpm10040251

Abstract:
Studies assessing the long-term outcome after heart transplantation HTX in patients with cardiomyopathy (CM) in the paediatric age range are rare. The aim of this study was to determine the survival rate of children with CM undergoing HTX and to analyse how aetiology of cardiomyopathy influenced morbidity and mortality. We retrospectively analysed the medical records of children; who were transplanted in our centre between June 1988 and October 2019. 236 heart transplantations were performed since 1988 (9 re-transplants). 98 of 227 patients (43.2%) were transplanted because of CM. Survival rates were 93% after 1; 84% after 10 and 75% after 30 years. Overall; the aetiology of CM could be clearly identified in 37 subjects (37.7%). This rate increased up to 66.6% (12/19) by applying a comprehensive diagnostic workup since 2016. The survival rate was lower (p < 0.05) and neurocognitive deficits were more frequent (p = 0.001) in subjects with systemic diseases than in individuals with cardiac-specific conditions. These data indicate that the long-term survival rate of children with CM after HTX in experienced centers is high. A comprehensive diagnostic workup allows unraveling the basic defect in the majority of patients with CM undergoing HTX. Aetiology of CM affects morbidity and mortality in subjects necessitating HTX.
Published: 27 November 2020
by MDPI
Microorganisms, Volume 8; doi:10.3390/microorganisms8121874

Abstract:
Intestinal bacterial communities are highly relevant to the digestion, nutrition, growth, reproduction, and immunity of animals, but little is known about the composition and function of intestinal microbiota in deep-sea invertebrates. In this study, the intestinal microbiota of six holothurian Molpadia musculus were investigated, showing that their midguts were predominantly occupied by Izemoplasmatales bacteria. Using metagenomic sequencing, a draft genome of 1,822,181 bp was successfully recovered. After comparison with phylogenetically related bacteria, genes involved in saccharide usage and de novo nucleotide biosynthesis were reduced. However, a set of genes responsible for extracellular nucleoside utilization and 14 of 20 amino acid synthesis pathways were completely retained. Under oligotrophic condition, the gut-associated bacterium may make use of extracellular DNA for carbon and energy supplement, and may provide essential amino acids to the host. The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) and restriction–modification (RM) systems presented in the genome may provide protection against invading viruses. A linear azol(in)e-containing peptide gene cluster for bacteriocin synthesize was also identified, which may inhibit the colonization and growth of harmful bacteria. Known virulence factors were not found by database searching. On the basis of its phylogenetic position and metabolic characteristics, we proposed that the bacterium represented a novel genus and a novel family within the Izemoplasmatales order and suggested it be named “Candidatus Bathyoplasma sp. NZ”. This was the first time describing host-associated Izemoplasmatales.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 17; doi:10.3390/ijerph17238804

Abstract:
Walking has a positive impact on people’s emotional health. However, in the case of serious air pollution, it is controversial whether walking exercise can still improve individuals’ emotional health. Using data from the 2014 wave of the China Labor-Force Dynamics Survey, this study explored the relationship between walking and emotional health with different levels of environmental pollution. The results indicated that respondents who took regular walks had better emotional health than those who did not walk regularly. For those whose main mode of physical exercise was walking, the average number of walks per week was significantly and positively correlated with their emotional health; however, the average duration of the walk had no significant impact on their emotional health. Moreover, for those whose main mode of physical exercise was walking and who lived in neighborhoods with a polluted environment, regular walking still had a positive impact on their emotional health. This suggests that even if environmental pollution is serious, walking still plays an important role in regulating individuals’ mental health. We propose that in order to promote the emotional health of residents, it is necessary to create more public spaces for outdoor activities and simultaneously increase efforts to control environmental pollution.
Published: 27 November 2020
by MDPI
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 21; doi:10.3390/ijms21239005

Abstract:
Cardiac autonomic neuropathy (CAN) is one of the earliest complications of type 2 diabetes (T2D), presenting a silent cause of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Recent research relates the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease in T2D to an ensuing chronic, low-grade proinflammatory and pro-oxidative environment, being the hallmark of the metabolic syndrome. Metabolic inflammation emerges as adipose tissue inflammatory changes extending systemically, on the advent of hyperglycemia, to reach central regions of the brain. In light of changes in glucose and insulin homeostasis, dysbiosis or alteration of the gut microbiome (GM) emerges, further contributing to inflammatory processes through increased gut and blood–brain barrier permeability. Interestingly, studies reveal that the determinants of oxidative stress and inflammation progression exist at the crossroad of CAN manifestations, dictating their evolution along the natural course of T2D development. Indeed, sympathetic and parasympathetic deterioration was shown to correlate with markers of adipose, vascular, and systemic inflammation. Additionally, evidence points out that dysbiosis could promote a sympatho-excitatory state through differentially affecting the secretion of hormones and neuromodulators, such as norepinephrine, serotonin, and γ-aminobutyric acid, and acting along the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone axis. Emerging neuronal inflammation and concomitant autophagic defects in brainstem nuclei were described as possible underlying mechanisms of CAN in experimental models of metabolic syndrome and T2D. Drugs with anti-inflammatory characteristics provide potential avenues for targeting pathways involved in CAN initiation and progression. The aim of this review is to delineate the etiology of CAN in the context of a metabolic disorder characterized by elevated oxidative and inflammatory load.
Published: 27 November 2020
by MDPI
Photonics, Volume 7; doi:10.3390/photonics7040116

Abstract:
(1) Background: The purpose of the study is to present a simple theoretical account of the effect of translation of coma and spherical aberrations (SA) on refractive error and higher order aberrations. (2) Methods: A computer software algorithm was implemented based on previously published methods. The effect of translation (0 to +1 mm) was analyzed for SA (0 to +2 µm) and coma (0 to +2 µm) for a circular pupil of 6 mm, without any rotation or scaling effect. The relationship amongst Zernike representations of various aberrations was analyzed under the influence of translation. (3) Results: The translation of +0.40 µm of SA (C[4,0]) by +0.25 mm with a pupil diameter of 6mm resulted in induction of tilt (C[1,1]), −0.03D defocus (C[2,0]), +0.03D astigmatism (C[2,2]) and +0.21 µm coma (C[3,1]). The translation of +0.4 µm of coma (C[3,1]) by +0.25 mm with a pupil diameter of 6 mm resulted in induction of tilt (C[1,1]), −0.13D defocus (C[2,0]) and +0.13D astigmatism (C[2,2]). A theoretical quantitative relationship between SA, coma, astigmatism and defocus is presented under the influence of translation. (4) Conclusion: The results can act as a guide for the clinician, in order to readily assess theoretical impact of wavefront map translation from pupil center to the visual axis. The resultant refractive coupling has to be taken into consideration especially when treating eyes with an abnormal corneal shape and/or large pupil center to corneal vertex chord.
Published: 27 November 2020
by MDPI
Future Internet, Volume 12; doi:10.3390/fi12120212

Abstract:
One of the developmental directions of Future Internet technologies is the implementation of artificial intelligence systems for manipulating data and the surrounding world in a more complex way. Rule-based systems, very accessible for people’s decision-making, play an important role in the family of computational intelligence methods. The use of decision-making rules along with decision trees are one of the simplest forms of presenting complex decision-making processes. Decision support systems, according to the cross-industry standard process for data mining (CRISP-DM) framework, require final embedding of the learned model in a given computer infrastructure, integrated circuits, etc. In this work, we deal with the topic concerning placing the learned rule-based model of decision support in the database environment-exactly in the SQL database tables. Our main goal is to place the previously trained model in the database and apply it by means of single queries. In our work we assume that the decision-making rules applied are mutually consistent and additionally the Minimal Description Length (MDL) rule is introduced. We propose a universal solution for any IF THEN rule induction algorithm.
Published: 27 November 2020
by MDPI
Mathematics, Volume 8; doi:10.3390/math8122122

Abstract:
We consider the principle of least action in the context of fractional calculus. Namely, we derive the fractional Euler–Lagrange equation and the general equation of motion with the composition of the left and right fractional derivatives defined on infinite intervals. In addition, we construct an explicit representation of solutions to a model fractional oscillator equation containing the left and right Gerasimov–Caputo fractional derivatives with origins at plus and minus infinity. We derive a representation for the composition of the left and right derivatives with origins at plus and minus infinity in terms of the Riesz potential, and introduce special functions with which we give solutions to the model fractional oscillator equation with a complex coefficient. This approach can be useful for describing dissipative dynamical systems with the property of heredity.
Published: 27 November 2020
by MDPI
Electronics, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/electronics9122009

Abstract:
This work presents an analytical series-form solution for the time-harmonic electromagnetic (EM) field components produced by an overhead current line source. The solution arises from casting the integral term of the complete representation for the generated axial electric field into a form where the non-analytic part of the integrand is expanded into a power series of the vertical propagation coefficient in the air space. This makes it possible to express the electric field as a sum of derivatives of the Sommerfeld integral describing the primary field, whose explicit form is known. As a result, the electric field is given as a sum of cylindrical Hankel functions, with coefficients depending on the position of the field point relative to the line source and its ideal image. Analogous explicit expressions for the magnetic field components are obtained by applying Faraday’s law. The results from numerical simulations show that the derived analytical solution offers advantages in terms of time cost with respect to conventional numerical schemes used for computing Sommerfeld-type integrals.
Published: 27 November 2020
by MDPI
Nanomaterials, Volume 10; doi:10.3390/nano10122351

Abstract:
In the present work, droplet-based microfluidics and sol-gel techniques were combined to synthesize highly monodisperse zinc oxide (ZnO) microspheres, which can be doped easily and precisely with dyes, such as rhodamine B (RhB), and whose size can be finely tuned in the 10–30 μm range. The as-synthesized microparticles were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and confocal microscopy. The results reveal that the microspheres exhibit an excellent size monodispersity, hollow feature, and a porous shell with a thickness of about 0.6 μm, in good agreement with our calculations. We show in particular by means of fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) analysis that the electric charges carried by ZnO nanoparticles primary units play a crucial role not just in the formation and structure of the synthesized ZnO microcapsules, but also in the confinement of dye molecules inside the microcapsules despite a demonstrated porosity of their shell in regards to the solvent (oil). Our results enable also the measurement of the diffusion coefficient of RhB molecules inside the microcapsules (DRhB=3.8×10−8 cm2/s), which is found two order of magnitude smaller than the literature value. We attribute such feature to a strong interaction between dye molecules and the electrical charges carried by ZnO nanoparticles. These results are important for potential applications in micro-thermometry (as shown recently in our previous study), photovoltaics, or photonics such as whispering gallery mode resonances.
Published: 27 November 2020
by MDPI
Pharmaceuticals, Volume 13; doi:10.3390/ph13120425

Abstract:
The SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with pulmonary coagulopathy, which determines the deposition of fibrin in the air spaces and lung parenchyma. The resulting lung lesions compromise patient pulmonary function and increase mortality, or end in permanent lung damage for those who have recovered from the COVID-19 disease. Therefore, local pulmonary fibrinolysis can be efficacious in degrading pre-existing fibrin clots and reducing the conversion of lung lesions into lasting scars. Plasminogen is considered a key player in fibrinolysis processes, and in view of a bench-to-bedside translation, we focused on the aerosolization of an orphan medicinal product (OMP) for ligneous conjunctivitis: human plasminogen (PLG-OMP) eye drops. As such, the sterile and preservative-free solution guarantees the pharmaceutical quality of GMP production and meets the Ph. Eur. requirements of liquid preparations for nebulization. PLG-OMP aerosolization was evaluated both from technological and stability viewpoints, after being submitted to either jet or ultrasonic nebulization. Jet nebulization resulted in a more efficient delivery of an aerosol suitable for pulmonary deposition. The biochemical investigation highlighted substantial protein integrity maintenance with the percentage of native plasminogen band > 90%, in accordance with the quality specifications of PLG-OMP. In a coherent way, the specific activity of plasminogen is maintained within the range 4.8–5.6 IU/mg (PLG-OMP pre-nebulization: 5.0 IU/mg). This is the first study that focuses on the technological and biochemical aspects of aerosolized plasminogen, which could affect both treatment efficacy and clinical dosage delivery. Increasing evidence for the need of local fibrinolytic therapy could merge with the availability of PLG-OMP as an easy handling solution, readily aerosolizable for a fast translation into an extended clinical efficacy assessment in COVID-19 patients.
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