Publications by authors named "Jose A Hernandez"

67 Publications

Thermoelectric properties of antimony selenide hexagonal nanotubes.

Nanotechnology 2021 Feb;32(9):095705

Department of Physics-University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras Campus, San Juan PR 00931, United States of America. Molecular Science Research Center-University of Puerto Rico, San Juan PR 00926, United States of America.

Antimony selenide (SbSe) is a material widely used in photodetectors and relatively new as a possible material for thermoelectric applications. Taking advantage of the new properties after nanoscale fabrication, this material shows great potential for the development of efficient low temperature thermoelectric devices. Here we study the synthesis, the crystal properties and the thermal and thermoelectric transport response of SbSe hexagonal nanotubes (HNT) in the temperature range between 120 and 370 K. HNT have a moderate electrical conductivity ∼10 S m while maintaining a reasonable Seebeck coefficient ∼430 μV K at 370 K. The electrical conductivity in SbSe HNT is about 5 orders of magnitude larger and its thermal conductivity one half of what is found in bulk. Moreover, the calculated figure of merit (ZT) at room temperature is the largest value reported in antimony selenide 1D structures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1361-6528/abcb31DOI Listing
February 2021

The utility and promise of Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta (REBOA) in the pediatric population: An evidence-based review.

J Pediatr Surg 2020 Oct 1;55(10):2128-2133. Epub 2020 Feb 1.

Texas Children's Hospital, Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery, Division of Pediatric Surgery, 6701 Fannin St, Houston, TX, 77030, USA. Electronic address:

Hemorrhage is the main cause of preventable death in both military and civilian trauma, and many of these patients die from non-compressible torso injuries. Resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta (REBOA) is a minimally invasive method used for hemodynamic control of the hemorrhaging patient and has been compared to resuscitative thoracotomy (RT) with cross clamping of the aorta. REBOA has received a great deal of attention in recent years for its applicability and promise in adult trauma and non-trauma settings, but its utility in children is mostly unknown. The purpose of this review article is to summarize and consolidate what is currently known about the use of REBOA in children. Some of the challenges in implementing REBOA in children include small vascular anatomy and lack of outcomes data. Although the evidence is limited, there are established instances in the literature of children and adolescents who have undergone endovascular occlusion of the aorta for hemorrhage control with positive outcomes and survival rates equivalent to their adult counterparts. There is a need for further formal evaluation of REBOA in pediatric patients with prospective studies to look at the safety, feasibility and efficacy of the technique. STUDY TYPE: Narrative Literature Review LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: IV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2020.01.052DOI Listing
October 2020

Antioxidant Metabolism and Chlorophyll Fluorescence during the Acclimatisation to Conditions of Micropropagated Bertoni Plants.

Antioxidants (Basel) 2019 Dec 3;8(12). Epub 2019 Dec 3.

Group of Fruit Tree Biotechnology, CEBAS-CSIC, 30100 Murcia, Spain.

In this study, the functioning of antioxidant metabolism and photosynthesis efficiency during the acclimatisation of plants to ex vitro conditions was determined. A high percentage of acclimatised plants (93.3%) was obtained after four weeks. According to the extent of lipid peroxidation, an oxidative stress occurred during the first hours of acclimatisation. A lower activity of monodehydroascorbate reductase (MDHAR) than dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR) was observed after 2 days of acclimatisation. However, after 7 days of acclimatisation, stevia plants activated the MDHAR route to recycle ascorbate, which is much more efficient energetically than the DHAR route. Superoxide dismutase and catalase activities showed a peak of activity after 7 days of acclimatisation, suggesting a protection against reactive oxygen species. Peroxidase activity increased about 2-fold after 2 days of acclimatisation and remained high until day 14, probably linked to the cell wall stiffening and the lignification processes. In addition, a progressive increase in the photochemical quenching parameters and the electronic transport rate was observed, coupled with a decrease in the non-photochemical quenching parameters, which indicate a progressive photosynthetic efficiency during this process. Taken together, antioxidant enzymes, lipid peroxidation, and chlorophyll fluorescence are proven as suitable tools for the physiological state evaluation of micropropagated plants during acclimatisation to ex vitro conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antiox8120615DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6943525PMC
December 2019

Mutations in the zebrafish gene reveal a novel function for isoprenoids during red blood cell development.

Blood Adv 2019 04;3(8):1244-1254

Department of Biological Sciences and Border Biomedical Research Center, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX.

Erythropoiesis is the process by which new red blood cells (RBCs) are formed and defects in this process can lead to anemia or thalassemia. The GATA1 transcription factor is an established mediator of RBC development. However, the upstream mechanisms that regulate the expression of are not completely characterized. Cholesterol is 1 potential upstream mediator of expression because previously published studies suggest that defects in cholesterol synthesis disrupt RBC differentiation. Here we characterize RBC development in a zebrafish harboring a single missense mutation in the gene (Vu57 allele). encodes the first enzyme in the cholesterol synthesis pathway and mutation of inhibits cholesterol synthesis. We analyzed the number of RBCs in mutants and their wild-type siblings. Mutation of resulted in a decrease in the number of mature RBCs, which coincides with reduced expression. We combined these experiments with pharmacological inhibition and confirmed that cholesterol and isoprenoid synthesis are essential for RBC differentiation, but that a expression is isoprenoid dependent. Collectively, our results reveal 2 novel upstream regulators of RBC development and suggest that appropriate cholesterol homeostasis is critical for primitive erythropoiesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2018024539DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6482358PMC
April 2019

A comparative study of the neuromuscular response during a dynamic activity after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

Eur J Orthop Surg Traumatol 2019 Apr 26;29(3):633-638. Epub 2018 Oct 26.

Orthopaedics Department, Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: Injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) not only causes mechanical instability but also produces proprioceptive deficit with an altered neuromuscular response. After ACL reconstruction, patients in general continue to complain of a feeling of knee instability. The objective of our study was to assess patient proprioception and its evolution over time by measuring the muscle latency time during a dynamic activity.

Methods: Twenty-five patients with an ACL tear following sports injuries were included in a prospective, comparative, matched controlled study. The study group consisted of the injured knees in those patients, while the control group consisted of the contralateral non-injured knee in the same patients. The neuromuscular response in five leg muscles (vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, rectus femoris, semitendinosus and biceps femoris) was measured during a dynamic activity through the muscle latency time via the use of electromyography.

Results: The comparison of the reaction time in the vastus medialis showed that time in the injured knee was longer at pre-op, but it reduced over time reaching a value at 6 months post-op that was close to the reaction time in the non-injured knee group. In the rectus femoris, biceps femoris and semitendinosus muscles, the reaction times in the injured knee group were similar to those in the non-injured knee group at pre-op and post-op visits.

Conclusion: Before ACL surgery, the muscle latency time of the vastus medialis was significantly longer in the injured knee group than in the non-injured knee group. 'Muscle reflex reaction' as a response during a dynamic task improved in the ACL reconstructed patients at 6 months post-op.

Level Of Evidence: Prospective, comparative, matched controlled study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00590-018-2334-4DOI Listing
April 2019

HPLC Method for Quantification of Caffeine and Its Three Major Metabolites in Human Plasma Using Fetal Bovine Serum Matrix to Evaluate Prenatal Drug Exposure.

J Anal Methods Chem 2018 12;2018:2085059. Epub 2018 Aug 12.

Tecnologico de Monterrey, Escuela de Medicina y Ciencias de la Salud, Ave. Morones Prieto 3000, 64710 Monterrey, NL, Mexico.

Caffeine is recognized as the first-line therapeutic agent for apnea of prematurity. The dosage regimen is 10 mg/kg loading dose and 2.5 mg/kg maintenance dose. However, the plasma concentration achieved, not always, is therapeutically useful. It makes necessary to increase the doses to reach plasma concentration up to 30 or 35 g/mL or even higher to attain therapeutic effect. To study why neonates have these differences, and whether these effects are linked to prenatal caffeine exposure, we had to develop an analytical method for an accurate measurement of caffeine and metabolites concentration. The analysis was carried out using fetal bovine serum (FBS) as biological matrix in a high-performance liquid chromatography with an ultraviolet detector method. This method allows acceptable chromatographic resolution between analytes in 15 minutes. It was validated and proved to be linear in the 0.1-40 g/mL range for caffeine, paraxanthine, theobromine, and theophylline in the same chromatographic analysis. Accuracy for quality control samples for intra- and interday assays was ranged from 96.5 to 105.2% and 97.1 to 106.2%. Precision had CV no more than 10% in all concentration levels for all analytes. No differences were observed between quantification in human and FBS. This method was applied to quantify plasma drug concentration in mothers and their newborns in a Mexican northeast population. In our study, we confirmed self-reported caffeine maternal intake in 85.2% (=23); meanwhile, in their newborn's plasma, it was detected only in 78% (=21). Caffeine plasma concentrations in mother and newborn had a linear relationship, and no differences were observed between groups (mothers versus children). These results suggest that our analytical method and substitution of biological matrix was linear, precise, and accurate for caffeine quantification and could be used for measuring prenatal exposure and let us to study, in the future, concentration differences observed during apnea clinical treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2018/2085059DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6109507PMC
August 2018

Nitrate- and nitric oxide-induced plant growth in pea seedlings is linked to antioxidative metabolism and the ABA/GA balance.

J Plant Physiol 2018 Nov 16;230:13-20. Epub 2018 Aug 16.

Biotechnology of Fruit Trees Group, Dept. Plant Breeding, CEBAS-CSIC, Campus Universitario de Espinardo, 25. 30100 Murcia, Spain. Electronic address:

This study looks at the effects of potassium nitrate (KNO) and sodium nitroprusside (SNP), a nitric oxide (NO)-donor, on the development, antioxidant defences and on the abscisic acid (ABA) and gibberellin (GA) levels in pea seedlings. Results show that 10 mM KNO and 50 μM SNP stimulate seedling fresh weight (FW), although this effect is not reverted by the action of 2-4-carboxyphenyl-4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazoline-1-oxyl-3-oxide (cPTIO), a NO-scavenger. The KNO treatment increased peroxidase (POX) and ascorbate oxidase (AOX) activities. SNP, on the other hand, reduced monodehydroascorbate reductase (MDHAR) activity and produced a significant increase in superoxide dismutase (SOD), POX and AOX activities. The "KNO plus cPTIO" treatment increased ascorbate peroxidase (APX), MDHAR, glutathione reductase (GR) and SOD activities, but POX activity decreased in relation to the KNO treatment. The "SNP plus cPTIO" treatment increased APX and MDHAR activities, whereas a huge decrease in POX activity occurred. Both the KNO and the SNP treatments increased reduced ascorbate (ASC) concentrations, which reached control values in the presence of cPTIO. All treatments increased the dehydroascorbate (DHA) level in pea seedlings, leading to a decrease in the redox state of ascorbate. In the "KNO plus cPTIO" treatment, an increase in the redox state of ascorbate was observed. Glutathione contents, however, were higher in the presence of SNP than in the presence of KNO. In addition, KNO produced an accumulation of oxidised glutathione (GSSG), especially in the presence of cPTIO, leading to a decrease in the redox state of glutathione. The effect of SNP on reduced glutathione (GSH) levels was reverted by cPTIO, suggesting that NO has a direct effect on GSH biosynthesis or turnover. Both the KNO and SNP treatments produced an increase in GA4 and a decrease in ABA concentrations, and this effect was reverted in the presence of the NO-scavenger. Globally, the results suggest a relationship between antioxidant metabolism and the ABA/GA balance during early seedling growth in pea. The results also suggest a role for KNO and NO in the modulation of GA4 and ABA levels and antioxidant metabolism in pea seedlings. Furthermore, this effect correlated with an increase in the biomass of the pea seedlings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jplph.2018.08.003DOI Listing
November 2018

Thermoelectric properties of SnSe nanowires with different diameters.

Sci Rep 2018 Aug 10;8(1):11966. Epub 2018 Aug 10.

Department of Physics, University of Texas, San Antonio Campus, San Antonio, TX, 78249, USA.

Tin selenide (SnSe) has been the subject of great attention in the last years due to its highly efficient thermoelectricity and its possibilities as a green material, free of Pb and Te. Here, we report for the first time a thermoelectricity and transport study of individual SnSe micro- and nano-wires with diameters in the range between 130 nm and 1.15 μm. X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy analyses confirm an orthorhombic SnSe structure with Pnma (62) symmetry group and 1:1 Sn:Se atomic ratio. Electrical and thermal conductivity and the Seebeck coefficient were measured in each individual nanowire using a specialized suspended microdevice in the 150-370 K temperature range, yielding a thermal conductivity of 0.55 Wm K at room temperature and ZT ~ 0.156 at 370 K for the 130 nm diameter nanowire. The measured properties were correlated with electronic information obtained by model simulations and with phonon scattering analysis. The results confirm these structures as promising building blocks to develop efficient temperature sensors, refrigerators and thermoelectric energy converters. The thermoelectric response of the nanowires is compared with recent reports on crystalline, polycrystalline and layered bulk structures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-30450-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6086875PMC
August 2018

Thermoelectric properties and thermal tolerance of indium tin oxide nanowires.

Nanotechnology 2018 Sep 14;29(36):364001. Epub 2018 Jun 14.

Department of Physics-University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras Campus, San Juan, PR 00931, United States of America.

Highly crystalline indium tin oxide (ITO) nanowires were grown via a vapor-liquid-solid method, with thermal tolerance up to ∼1300 °C. We report the electric and thermoelectric properties of the ITO nanowires before and after heat treatments and draw conclusions about their applicability as thermoelectric building blocks in nanodevices that can operate in high temperature conditions. The Seebeck coefficient and the thermal and electrical conductivities were measured in each individual nanowire by means of specialized micro-bridge thermometry devices. Measured data was analyzed and explained in terms of changes in charge carrier density, impurities and vacancies due to the thermal treatments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1361-6528/aaccd3DOI Listing
September 2018

A new prognostic model identifies patients aged 80 years and older with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma who may benefit from curative treatment: A multicenter, retrospective analysis by the Spanish GELTAMO group.

Am J Hematol 2018 07 6;93(7):867-873. Epub 2018 May 6.

Hematology Department, Hospital Universitario de Salamanca- IBSAL, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Cáncer (CIBERONC), Salamanca.

The means of optimally managing very elderly patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) has not been established. We retrospectively analyzed 252 patients aged 80-100 years, diagnosed with DLBCL or grade 3B follicular lymphoma, treated in 19 hospitals from the GELTAMO group. Primary objective was to analyze the influence of the type of treatment and comorbidity scales on progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). One hundred sixty-three patients (63%) were treated with chemotherapy that included anthracyclines and/or rituximab, whereas 15% received no chemotherapeutic treatment. With a median follow-up of 44 months, median PFS and OS were 9.5 and 12.5 months, respectively. In an analysis restricted to the 205 patients treated with any kind of chemotherapy, comorbidity scales did not influence the choice of treatment type significantly. Independent factors associated with better PFS and OS were: age < 86 years, cumulative illness rating scale (CIRS) score < 6, intermediate risk (1-2) R-IPI, and treatment with R-CHOP at full or reduced doses. We developed a prognostic model based on the multivariate analysis of the 108 patients treated with R-CHOP-like: median OS was 45 vs. 12 months (P = .001), respectively, for patients with 0-1 vs. 2-3 risk factors (age > 85 years, R-IPI 3-5 or CIRS > 5). In conclusion, treatment with R-CHOP-like is associated with good survival in a significant proportion of patients. We have developed a simple prognostic model that may aid the selection patients who could benefit from a curative treatment, although it needs to be validated in larger series.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajh.25107DOI Listing
July 2018

Interventions in children with renovascular hypertension: A 27-year retrospective single-center experience.

Congenit Heart Dis 2018 May 10;13(3):349-356. Epub 2018 Apr 10.

Department of Pediatrics, Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine, Lillie Frank Abercrombie Section of Cardiology, Houston, Texas.

Background: Renovascular hypertension (RVH) can be caused by renal artery stenosis (RAS) and/or middle aortic syndrome (MAS).

Methods: Patients who received surgical or transcatheter treatment for RVH between 1/1991 and 11/2017 were retrospectively reviewed using age = adjusted blood pressure ratio (BPR).

Results: Fifty-three patients diagnosed with RVH at a median age of 4.5 (0-18) years were included. Vascular involvement ranged from MAS with RAS (20), RAS only (32), and MAS only (1). The first intervention was transcatheter in 47 patients (transcatheter group: angioplasty = 41, stenting = 5, and thrombectomy = 1), and surgical in 6 patients (surgical group), occurring at a median age of 6.2 (0.1-19.6) years. There was a change toward transcatheter interventions as the first procedure over the study period. First reinterventions in the transcatheter group (27 lesions in 18 patients) were repeat transcatheter (in 20 lesions) and surgery (7 lesions) at a median of 92 (2-2555) days; in the surgical group (5 lesions in 4 patients) first reinterventions were transcatheter (4 lesions) and repeat surgery (1) at a median of 2.2 (1.1-12.0) years. A total of 136 transcatheter and 30 surgical discrete interventions were performed. There was a significant decline in antihypertensive medications and BPR at 4-6 months after the first intervention and on last follow-up in patients initially treated by transcatheter means while the decline was not significant in the surgical group (limited by small sample size). Complications were significantly more common in the surgical group (P < .01), 11/27 (41%) vs 10/136 (7.4%). Four patients died (2 from each group): 2 with congenital renal artery atresia and MAS, 2 with MAS and RAS. The median follow-up interval was 3.6 (0.1-35.2) years.

Conclusion: Pediatric patients with RVH treated with transcatheter means as the first intervention had significant improvement in BPR, as well as decline in antihypertensive medications and were less likely to suffer major complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/chd.12608DOI Listing
May 2018

Isolation of Ovicidal Fungi from Fecal Samples of Captive Animals Maintained in a Zoological Park.

J Fungi (Basel) 2017 Jun 2;3(2). Epub 2017 Jun 2.

COPAR (Control of Parasites), Animal Pathology Department, Veterinary Faculty, Santiago de Compostela University, Campus Universitario, 27002 Lugo, Spain.

There are certain saprophytic fungi in the soil able to develop an antagonistic effect against eggs of parasites. Some of these fungal species are ingested by animals during grazing, and survive in their feces after passing through the digestive tract. To identify and isolate ovicidal fungi in the feces of wild captive animals, a total of 60 fecal samples were taken from different wild animals kept captive in the Marcelle Natureza Zoological Park (Lugo, Spain). After the serial culture of the feces onto Petri dishes with different media, their parasicitide activity was assayed against eggs of trematodes () and ascarids (). Seven fungal genera were identified in the feces. Isolates from , , , , and showed an ovicidal effect classified as type 3, because of their ability to adhere to the eggshell, penetrate, and damage permanently the inner embryo. and developed a type 1 effect (hyphae attach to the eggshell but morphological damage was not provoked). These results provide very interesting and useful information about fungi susceptible for being used in biological control procedures against parasites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jof3020029DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5715915PMC
June 2017

Functional analysis of the zebrafish ortholog of HMGCS1 reveals independent functions for cholesterol and isoprenoids in craniofacial development.

PLoS One 2017 7;12(7):e0180856. Epub 2017 Jul 7.

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Texas El Paso, El Paso, TX, United States of America.

There are 8 different human syndromes caused by mutations in the cholesterol synthesis pathway. A subset of these disorders such as Smith-Lemli-Opitz disorder, are associated with facial dysmorphia. However, the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying such facial deficits are not fully understood, primarily because of the diverse functions associated with the cholesterol synthesis pathway. Recent evidence has demonstrated that mutation of the zebrafish ortholog of HMGCR results in orofacial clefts. Here we sought to expand upon these data, by deciphering the cholesterol dependent functions of the cholesterol synthesis pathway from the cholesterol independent functions. Moreover, we utilized loss of function analysis and pharmacological inhibition to determine the extent of sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling in animals with aberrant cholesterol and/or isoprenoid synthesis. Our analysis confirmed that mutation of hmgcs1, which encodes the first enzyme in the cholesterol synthesis pathway, results in craniofacial abnormalities via defects in cranial neural crest cell differentiation. Furthermore targeted pharmacological inhibition of the cholesterol synthesis pathway revealed a novel function for isoprenoid synthesis during vertebrate craniofacial development. Mutation of hmgcs1 had no effect on Shh signaling at 2 and 3 days post fertilization (dpf), but did result in a decrease in the expression of gli1, a known Shh target gene, at 4 dpf, after morphological deficits in craniofacial development and chondrocyte differentiation were observed in hmgcs1 mutants. These data raise the possibility that deficiencies in cholesterol modulate chondrocyte differentiation by a combination of Shh independent and Shh dependent mechanisms. Moreover, our results describe a novel function for isoprenoids in facial development and collectively suggest that cholesterol regulates craniofacial development through versatile mechanisms.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0180856PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5501617PMC
September 2017

Salt-tolerance mechanisms induced in Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni: Effects on mineral nutrition, antioxidative metabolism and steviol glycoside content.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2017 Jun 26;115:484-496. Epub 2017 Apr 26.

Fruit Tree Biotechnology Group, Dept. of Plant Breeding, CEBAS-CSIC, Campus Universitario de Espinardo, Murcia, P.O. Box 164, E-30100, Spain. Electronic address:

In order to cope with challenges linked to climate change such as salinity, plants must develop a wide spectrum of physiological and molecular mechanisms to rapidly adapt. Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni plants are a case in point. According to our findings, salt stress has no significant effect on plant growth in these plants, which accumulate sodium (Na) in their roots, thus avoiding excessive Na accumulation in leaves. Furthermore, salt stress (NaCl stress) increases the potassium (K), calcium (Ca), chloride ion (Cl) and proline concentrations in Stevia leaves, which could contribute to osmotic adjustment. We also found that long-term NaCl stress does not produce changes in chlorophyll concentrations in Stevia leaves, reflecting a mechanism to protect the photosynthesis process. Interestingly, an increase in chlorophyll b (Chlb) content occured in the oldest plants studied. In addition, we found that NaCl induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation in Stevia leaves and that this accumulation was more evident in the presence of 5 g/L NaCl, the highest concentration used in the study. Nevertheless, Stevia plants are able to induce (16 d) or maintain (25 d) antioxidant enzymes to cope with NaCl-induced oxidative stress. Low salt levels did not affect steviolbioside and rebaudioside A contents. Our results suggest that Stevia plants induce tolerance mechanisms in order to minimize the deleterious effects of salt stress. We can thus conclude that saline waters can be used to grow Stevia plants and for Steviol glycosides (SGs) production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2017.04.023DOI Listing
June 2017

ROS formation is a differential contributory factor to the fungicidal action of Amphotericin B and Micafungin in Candida albicans.

Int J Med Microbiol 2017 Jun 4;307(4-5):241-248. Epub 2017 Apr 4.

Área de Microbiología, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Murcia, Spain; IMIB-Arrixaca, 30100 Murcia, Spain. Electronic address:

The hypothetical role played by the intracellular formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the fungicidal action carried out by Amphotericin B (AmB) and Micafungin (MF) was examined in Candida albicans, which remains the most prevalent fungal pathogen. The clinical MICs for MF and AmB were 0.016 and 0.12μg/ml, respectively. Whereas AmB (0.5-1.0×MIC) induced a marked production of intracellular ROS accompanied by a high degree of cell killing in the C. albicans SC5314 strain, the fungicidal effect of MF was still operative, but ROS generation was slight. Preincubation with thiourea suppressed the formation of ROS and caused a marked increase in cell viability, regardless of the antifungal used. Simultaneous measurement of several well established antioxidant enzymes (catalase, glutathione reductase and superoxide dismutase) revealed strong AmB-induced activation of the three enzymatic activities, whereas MF only had a weak stimulating effect. Likewise, AmB but not MF promoted a conspicuous rise in the mitochondrial membrane potential together with the intracellular synthesis of trehalose, the non-reducing disaccharide which acts as a specific protector against oxidative stress in C. albicans. Optical and electronic microscopy analysis revealed a significant damage to cell integrity and structural alterations caused by both antifungals. Taken together, our results strongly suggest that the induction of an internal oxidative stress in C. albicans through the accumulation of ROS is a preferential contributory factor to the antifungal action of a widely used polyene (AmB) but not of MF (echinocandin).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmm.2017.03.005DOI Listing
June 2017

Effect of the Filamentous Fungus Mucor circinelloides On The Development of Eggs of the Rumen Fluke Calicophoron daubneyi (Paramphistomidae).

J Parasitol 2017 06 6;103(3):199-206. Epub 2017 Feb 6.

Parasite Control Group (COPAR, GI-2120), Animal Pathology Department, Veterinary Faculty, Santiago de Compostela University, 27002-Lugo, Spain.

Ruminants infected by Paramphistomidae flukes shed eggs in the feces, which pass through different stages in the environment until the infective stages (metacercariae) are reached. The activity of the soil fungus Mucor circinelloides on the development of eggs of the rumen fluke Calicophoron daubneyi was presently tested with 3 probes, i.e., in petri plates, feces, and an aqueous environment (tubes). The effect of the fungus was assessed by recording the numbers of undeveloped, nonviable, and embryonated eggs. Nonviable eggs were considered when vacuolization occurred, the inner structures were not clearly observed, the eggshell was broken, or the embryo inside was destroyed. By considering the ability of hyphae of M. circinelloides to develop in the presence of C. daubneyi eggs, attach to their surface, and penetrate and destroy the inner embryo, this ovicidal effect was classified as type 3. After a period of 50 days, the percentage of undeveloped eggs in the feces of infected cattle was 40%; furthermore, 27% of the eggs were nonviable, and 33% were embryonated (1 miracidium inside). The addition of 4 doses of M. circinelloides spores directly onto the feces resulted in 9-31% undeveloped eggs, 38-60% nonviable eggs, and 9-21% embryonated eggs, and no statistical significances were obtained among the different doses. Placing the eggs of C. daubneyi into an aqueous solution containing 10 spores of M. circinelloides/ml for 29 days resulted in 43% undeveloped eggs, 40% nonviable eggs, and 17% embryonated eggs, whereas in the controls, the percentages were 48%, 12%, and 40%, respectively. These data demonstrate the usefulness of the spores of the fungus M. circinelloides in limiting the development of the eggs of the trematode C. daubneyi.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1645/16-76DOI Listing
June 2017

EXAFS reveals two Mo environments in the nitrogenase iron-molybdenum cofactor biosynthetic protein NifQ.

Chem Commun (Camb) 2016 Sep;52(79):11811-11814

Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas, Universidad Politénica de Madrid (UPM), Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA), Campus Montegancedo UPM, 28223, Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid, Spain.

Mo and Fe K-edge EXAFS analysis of NifQ shows the presence of a [MoFeS] cluster and a second independent Mo environment that includes Mo-O bonds and Mo-S bonds. Both environments are relevant to FeMo-co biosynthesis and may represent different stages of Mo biochemical transformations catalyzed by NifQ.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5061140PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c6cc06370eDOI Listing
September 2016

Expression of a functional oxygen-labile nitrogenase component in the mitochondrial matrix of aerobically grown yeast.

Nat Commun 2016 Apr 29;7:11426. Epub 2016 Apr 29.

Department of Biochemistry, Midwestern University, Glendale, Arizona 85308, USA.

The extreme sensitivity of nitrogenase towards oxygen stands as a major barrier to engineer biological nitrogen fixation into cereal crops by direct nif gene transfer. Here, we use yeast as a model of eukaryotic cell and show that aerobically grown cells express active nitrogenase Fe protein when the NifH polypeptide is targeted to the mitochondrial matrix together with the NifM maturase. Co-expression of NifH and NifM with Nif-specific Fe-S cluster biosynthetic proteins NifU and NifS is not required for Fe protein activity, demonstrating NifH ability to incorporate endogenous mitochondrial Fe-S clusters. In contrast, expression of active Fe protein in the cytosol requires both anoxic growth conditions and co-expression of NifH and NifM with NifU and NifS. Our results show the convenience of using mitochondria to host nitrogenase components, thus providing instrumental technology for the grand challenge of engineering N2-fixing cereals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms11426DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4855529PMC
April 2016

Lipids and Oxidative Stress Associated with Ethanol-Induced Neurological Damage.

Oxid Med Cell Longev 2016 5;2016:1543809. Epub 2016 Jan 5.

Unidad de Biofísica (CSIC, UPV/EHU) and Departamento de Bioquímica, Universidad del País Vasco, Apartado 644, 48080 Bilbao, Spain.

The excessive intake of alcohol is a serious public health problem, especially given the severe damage provoked by chronic or prenatal exposure to alcohol that affects many physiological processes, such as memory, motor function, and cognitive abilities. This damage is related to the ethanol oxidation in the brain. The metabolism of ethanol to acetaldehyde and then to acetate is associated with the production of reactive oxygen species that accentuate the oxidative state of cells. This metabolism of ethanol can induce the oxidation of the fatty acids in phospholipids, and the bioactive aldehydes produced are known to be associated with neurotoxicity and neurodegeneration. As such, here we will review the role of lipids in the neuronal damage induced by ethanol-related oxidative stress and the role that lipids play in the related compensatory or defense mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/1543809DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4753689PMC
December 2016

Integrating Molecular Testing in the Diagnosis and Management of Children with Thyroid Lesions.

Pediatr Dev Pathol 2016 Mar-Apr;19(2):94-100. Epub 2015 Sep 14.

1 Department of Pathology and Immunology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA.

Thyroid nodules occur in 1-2% of children, and identifying which nodules are malignant is often challenging. Cytologic evaluation facilitates the diagnosis of thyroid lesions (TLs), but in 10-40% of cases the interpretation is indeterminate. Patients with indeterminate diagnoses are often treated with hemithyroidectomy followed by completion thyroidectomy, if cancer is found in the initial specimen. Exposing patients to multiple surgeries increases costs and morbidity. The American Thyroid Association states that a combination of molecular markers is likely to optimize the management of patients with indeterminate cytology. However, few studies have addressed the molecular alterations present in pediatric TL. Twenty-seven thyroid carcinomas from patients 10 to 19 years of age were tested for alterations common in adult TL, including BRAF V600E mutation, RET fusions, and TERT promoter mutations. Mutation-negative cases were subsequently analyzed with a next-generation sequencing (NGS) mutation panel to search for additional targets. Histologic diagnoses included 12 classic papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTCs), 13 follicular variant PTCs, 1 medullary thyroid carcinoma, and 1 follicular carcinoma. Fourteen cases showed lymph node involvement, and 13 cases demonstrated lymphovascular invasion. The BRAF V600E mutation was detected in 10/27 cases, and RET fusions were detected in 6/27 cases. No TERT promoter mutations were identified in any of the cases. The NGS panel revealed additional RET and CTNNB1 pathogenic missense mutations. Our results demonstrate that molecular abnormalities are common in pediatric TLs and suggest that incorporation of molecular testing will be helpful in optimizing patient management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2350/15-05-1638-OA.1DOI Listing
June 2016

Ectopic overexpression of the cell wall invertase gene CIN1 leads to dehydration avoidance in tomato.

J Exp Bot 2015 Jun 21;66(11):3431-2. Epub 2015 May 21.

Institute of Plant Sciences, Department of Plant Physiology, University of Graz, 8010 Graz, Austria Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Copenhagen Plant Science Centre, University of Copenhagen, Højbakkegård Allé 13, DK-2630 Taastrup, Denmark Global Change Research Centre, Czech Globe AS CR, v.v.i.., Drásov 470, Cz-664 24 Drásov, Czech Republic.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erv134DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4449540PMC
June 2015

Analysis of the effect of soil saprophytic fungi on the eggs of Baylisascaris procyonis.

Parasitol Res 2015 Jul 2;114(7):2443-50. Epub 2015 Apr 2.

Parasitology, Zoonoses and Epidemiology (COPAR, GI-2120), Animal Pathology Department, Veterinary Faculty, Santiago de Compostela University, 27002, Lugo, Spain.

Baylisascaris procyonis is a soil-transmitted helminth mainly found in raccoons (Procyon lotor) which can also affect other domestic and sylvatic animals, as well as humans, when the eggs released in the feces of parasitized raccoons are accidentally ingested. Three assays have been conducted to assess the effect of three saprophytic fungi, Mucor circinelloides, Paecilomyces lilacinus, and Verticillium sp., on the eggs of B. procyonis. Firstly, their ovicidal effect was in vitro ascertained by placing 1 mL with 2 × 10(6) spores of each fungus in Petri plates with water-agar (2 %) and simultaneously adding 200 eggs of Baylisascaris/plate. Two in vivo probes were carried out, by spraying the fungal spores (3 mL containing about 2 × 10(6) spores/mL) on the feces of raccoons and coatis (Nasua narica) passing eggs of B. procyonis in a zoological park; the other assay consisted of evaluating the activity of the fungi after adding sand to fecal samples from raccoons. An ovicidal type 3 activity characterized by morphological damage of the eggshell with hyphal penetration, internal egg colonization, and embryo alteration was observed for all the tested fungi. In the plate assays, viability of Baylisascaris eggs reduced significantly by 53-69 % with Mucor, 45-62 % with Paecilomyces, and 52-67 % with Verticillium. A similar ovicidal effect was detected in the feces with sand. These results demonstrate the usefulness of spraying spores of M. circinelloides, Pa. lilacinus, or Verticillium sp. on the feces of animals infected by Baylisascaris to decrease the numbers of viable eggs and, thus, the risk of infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-015-4440-0DOI Listing
July 2015

Salts and nutrients present in regenerated waters induce changes in water relations, antioxidative metabolism, ion accumulation and restricted ion uptake in Myrtus communis L. plants.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2014 Dec;85:41-50

The use of reclaimed water (RW) constitutes a valuable strategy for the efficient management of water and nutrients in landscaping. However, RW may contain levels of toxic ions, affecting plant production or quality, a very important aspect for ornamental plants. The present paper evaluates the effect of different quality RWs on physiological and biochemical parameters and the recovery capacity in Myrtus communis L. plants. M. communis plants were submitted to 3 irrigation treatments with RW from different sources (22 weeks): RW1 (1.7 dS m(-1)), RW2 (4.0 dS m(-1)) and RW3 (8.0 dS m(-1)) and one control (C, 0.8 dS m(-1)). During a recovery period of 11 weeks, all plants were irrigated with the control water. The RW treatments did not negatively affect plant growth, while RW2 even led to an increase in biomass. After recovery,only plants irrigated with RW3 showed some negative effects on growth, which was related to a decrease in the net photosynthesis rate, higher Na accumulation and a reduction in K levels. An increase in salinity was accompanied by decreases in leaf water potential, relative water content and gas exchange parameters, and increases in Na and Cl uptake. Plants accumulated Na in roots and restricted its translocation to the aerial part. The highest salinity levels produced oxidative stress, as seen from the rise in electrolyte leakage and lipid peroxidation. The use of regenerated water together with carefully managed drainage practices, which avoid the accumulation of salt by the substrate, will provide economic and environmental benefits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2014.10.009DOI Listing
December 2014

Ectopic overexpression of the cell wall invertase gene CIN1 leads to dehydration avoidance in tomato.

J Exp Bot 2015 Feb 11;66(3):863-78. Epub 2014 Nov 11.

Institute of Plant Sciences, Department of Plant Physiology, University of Graz, 8010 Graz, Austria Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Copenhagen Plant Science Centre, University of Copenhagen, Højbakkegård Allé 13, DK-2630 Taastrup, Denmark Global Change Research Centre, Czech Globe AS CR, v.v.i., Drásov 470, Cz-664 24 Drásov, Czech Republic.

Drought stress conditions modify source-sink relations, thereby influencing plant growth, adaptive responses, and consequently crop yield. Invertases are key metabolic enzymes regulating sink activity through the hydrolytic cleavage of sucrose into hexose monomers, thus playing a crucial role in plant growth and development. However, the physiological role of invertases during adaptation to abiotic stress conditions is not yet fully understood. Here it is shown that plant adaptation to drought stress can be markedly improved in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) by overexpression of the cell wall invertase (cwInv) gene CIN1 from Chenopodium rubrum. CIN1 overexpression limited stomatal conductance under normal watering regimes, leading to reduced water consumption during the drought period, while photosynthetic activity was maintained. This caused a strong increase in water use efficiency (up to 50%), markedly improving water stress adaptation through an efficient physiological strategy of dehydration avoidance. Drought stress strongly reduced cwInv activity and induced its proteinaceous inhibitor in the leaves of the wild-type plants. However, the CIN1-overexpressing plants registered 3- to 6-fold higher cwInv activity in all analysed conditions. Surprisingly, the enhanced invertase activity did not result in increased hexose concentrations due to the activation of the metabolic carbohydrate fluxes, as reflected by the maintenance of the activity of key enzymes of primary metabolism and increased levels of sugar-phosphate intermediates under water deprivation. The induced sink metabolism in the leaves explained the maintenance of photosynthetic activity, delayed senescence, and increased source activity under drought stress. Moreover, CIN1 plants also presented a better control of production of reactive oxygen species and sustained membrane protection. Those metabolic changes conferred by CIN1 overexpression were accompanied by increases in the concentrations of the senescence-delaying hormone trans-zeatin and decreases in the senescence-inducing ethylene precursor 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) in the leaves. Thus, cwInv critically functions at the integration point of metabolic, hormonal, and stress signals, providing a novel strategy to overcome drought-induced limitations to crop yield, without negatively affecting plant fitness under optimal growth conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/eru448DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4321548PMC
February 2015

Sharka: how do plants respond to Plum pox virus infection?

J Exp Bot 2015 Jan 21;66(1):25-35. Epub 2014 Oct 21.

Fruit Trees Biotechnology Group, Department of Plant Breeding, CEBAS-CSIC, Campus Universitario de Espinardo, Murcia, PO Box 164, E-30100, Spain

Plum pox virus (PPV), the causal agent of sharka disease, is one of the most studied plant viruses, and major advances in detection techniques, genome characterization and organization, gene expression, transmission, and the description of candidate genes involved in PPV resistance have been described. However, information concerning the plant response to PPV infection is very scarce. In this review, we provide an updated summary of the research carried out to date in order to elucidate how plants cope with PPV infection and their response at different levels, including the physiological, biochemical, proteomic, and genetic levels. Knowledge about how plants respond to PPV infection can contribute to the development of new strategies to cope with this disease. Due to the fact that PPV induces an oxidative stress in plants, the bio-fortification of the antioxidative defences, by classical or biotechnological approaches, would be a useful tool to cope with PPV infection. Nevertheless, there are still some gaps in knowledge related to PPV-plant interaction that remain to be filled, such as the effect of PPV on the hormonal profile of the plant or on the plant metabolome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/eru428DOI Listing
January 2015

Trichoderma harzianum T-78 supplementation of compost stimulates the antioxidant defence system in melon plants.

J Sci Food Agric 2015 Aug 28;95(11):2208-14. Epub 2014 Oct 28.

Fruit Tree Biotechnology Group, Department of Plant Breeding, CEBAS-CSIC, P.O. Box 164, 30100, Espinardo, Murcia, Spain.

Background: Compost is emerging as an alternative plant growing medium in efforts to achieve more sustainable agriculture. The addition of specific microorganisms such as Trichoderma harzianum to plant growth substrates increases yields and reduces plant diseases, but the mechanisms of such biostimulants and the biocontrol effects are not yet fully understood. In this work we investigated how the addition of citrus and vineyard composts, either alone or in combination with T. harzianum T-78, affects the antioxidant defence system in melon plants under nursery conditions.

Results: Compost application and/or Trichoderma inoculation modulated the antioxidant defence system in melon plants. The combination of citrus compost and Trichoderma showed a biostimulant effect that correlated with an increase in ascorbate recycling enzymes (monodehydroascorbate reductase, dehydroascorbate reductase) and peroxidase. Moreover, the inoculation of both composts with Trichoderma increased the activity of antioxidant enzymes, especially those involved in ascorbate recycling.

Conclusion: Based on the long-established relationship between ascorbic acid and plant defence responses as well as plant growth and development, it can be suggested that ascorbate recycling activities play a major role in the protection provided by Trichoderma and its biostimulant effect and that these outcomes are linked to increases in antioxidant enzymes. We can conclude that the combination of citrus compost and T. harzianum T-78 constitutes a viable, environmentally friendly strategy for improving melon plant production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.6936DOI Listing
August 2015

Analysis of exposure to electromagnetic fields in a healthcare environment: simulation and experimental study.

Health Phys 2013 Nov;105(5 Suppl 3):S209-22

*Telemedicine and eHealth Research Unit, Health Institute Carlos III, C/ Sinesio Delgado 6, 28029, Madrid, Spain; †Department of Engineering, Hospital Universitario de Canarias, Ofra, s/n. La Cuesta, 38320, La Laguna (Santa Cruz de Tenerife), Spain.

Recent advances in wireless technologies have lead to an increase in wireless instrumentation present in healthcare centers. This paper presents an analytical method for characterizing electric field (E-field) exposure within these environments. The E-field levels of the different wireless communications systems have been measured in two floors of the Canary University Hospital Consortium (CUHC). The electromagnetic (EM) conditions detected with the experimental measures have been estimated using the software EFC-400-Telecommunications (Narda Safety Test Solutions, Sandwiesenstrasse 7, 72793 Pfullingen, Germany). The experimental and simulated results are represented through 2D contour maps, and have been compared with the recommended safety and exposure thresholds. The maximum value obtained is much lower than the 3 V m(-1) that is established in the International Electrotechnical Commission Standard of Electromedical Devices. Results show a high correlation in terms of E-field cumulative distribution function (CDF) between the experimental and simulation results. In general, the CDFs of each pair of experimental and simulated samples follow a lognormal distribution with the same mean.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HP.0b013e31828e5c15DOI Listing
November 2013

Transabdominal ligation of the thoracic duct with pericardial-peritoneal shunting in a case of primary idiopathic chylous pericardial effusion.

J Pediatr Surg 2013 Jun;48(6):1434-7

Universidad Central del Caribe, School of Medicine, Bayamón, Puerto Rico.

Primary chylous pericardial effusion is a rare entity with few cases reported so far. We report a case of idiopathic etiology in a previously healthy 16-year-old boy. The patient presented with intermittent chest pain and dizziness caused by a chronic pericardial effusion. An echocardiogram revealing a pericardial effusion and open pericardiocentesis with a drainage of approximately of 500 ml of chylous fluid established the diagnosis. Patient had no history of trauma, cardiac surgery, central insertion of subclavian catheters or blunt injury. Computed tomography ruled out malignancies in the abdomen and chest. Clinical, laboratory and radiological investigations for the possible underlying cause of the condition were not determined. Management with a dietary regimen consisting of a medium-chain triglyceride-rich diet, octreotide pharmacological treatment and initial subxiphoid resection with pericardial tube drainage was unsuccessful. Surgical approach was required consisting of pericardio-peritoneal window with trans-abdominal ligation (clipping) of the thoracic duct above the diaphragm. Postoperative outcome was uneventful and there was a rapid recovery after surgical management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2013.04.004DOI Listing
June 2013

Chloroplast protection in plum pox virus-infected peach plants by L-2-oxo-4-thiazolidine-carboxylic acid treatments: effect in the proteome.

Plant Cell Environ 2013 Mar 19;36(3):640-54. Epub 2012 Sep 19.

Group of Fruit Tree Biotechnology, CEBAS-CSIC, Murcia, Spain.

Sharka, a disease caused by plum pox virus (PPV), has a significant economic impact on fruit tree production. In this work, we analysed the effect of (2,1,3)-benzothiadiazole (BTH) and L-2-oxo-4-thiazolidine-carboxylic acid (OTC) on plant growth and virus content. OTC reduced sharka symptom, stimulated plant growth and alleviated PPV-induced oxidative stress, indicated by a lack of changes in some oxidative stress parameters. PPV infection reduced chloroplast electron transport efficiency. However, in the presence of BTH or OTC, no changes in the chlorophyll fluorescence parameters were observed. PPV produced an alteration in chloroplast ultrastructure, giving rise to a decrease in starch contents that was less dramatic in OTC-treated plants. Furthermore, PPV reduced the abundance of proteins associated with photosynthesis, carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism and photorespiration. These changes did not take place in OTC-treated plants, and increases in the expression of proteins related with the aforementioned processes, including ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase, were produced, which correlated with the lower decrease in starch contents observed in PPV-infected plants treated with OTC. The results suggested that OTC treatment provides protection to the photosynthetic machinery and/or the chloroplast metabolism in PPV-infected peaches. Thus, OTC could have practical implications in agriculture in improving the vigour of different plant species as well as in immunizing plants against pathogens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pce.12003DOI Listing
March 2013

Patient safety and electromagnetic protection: a review.

Health Phys 2011 May;100(5):530-41

Telemedicine and eHealth research Unit, Health Institute Carlos III, C/Sinesio Delgado 6, 28029 Madrid, Spain.

A systematic literature review was carried out to study patient security and possible harmful effects, immunity and interferences on medical devices, and effectiveness and transmission problems in healthcare and hospital environments due to electromagnetic interferences. The objective was to determine already-reported cases of patient security, immunity of medical devices, and transmission/reception failure in order to evaluate safety and security of patients. Literature published in the last 10 years has been reviewed by searching in bibliographic databases, journals, and proceedings of conferences. Search strategies developed in electronic databases identified a total of 820 references, with 50 finally being included. The study reveals the existence of numerous publications on interferences in medical devices due to radiofrequency fields. However, literature on effectiveness, transmission problems and measurements of electromagnetic fields is limited. From the studies collected, it can be concluded that several cases of serious interferences in medical instruments have been reported. Measures of electromagnetic fields in healthcare environments have been also reported, concluding that special protective measures should be taken against electromagnetic interferences by incoming radio waves.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HP.0b013e3181f0cad5DOI Listing
May 2011