Publications by authors named "Muhammad Bilal"

401 Publications

Development and characterization of regenerable chitosan-coated nickel selenide nano-photocatalytic system for decontamination of toxic azo dyes.

Int J Biol Macromol 2021 Apr 7. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

School of Life Science and Food Engineering, Huaiyin Institute of Technology, Huaian 223003, China. Electronic address:

In this investigation, chitosan-coated nickel selenide nano-photocatalyst (CS-NiSe) were successfully prepared through the chemical reduction method. FTIR spectroscopy confirmed the synthesis of CS-NiSe nano-photocatalyst. Further, XRD analysis exhibited a monoclinic crystalline phase of photocatalyst with a crystallite size of 32 nm based on Scherer's equation. The SEM micrographs showed that the photocatalyst has an average particle size of 60 nm. The bandgap of CS-NiSe was 2.85 eV in the visible region of the spectrum. Due to this reason, the CS-NiSe was applied under solar light illumination for the photocatalytic activity of Erythrosine and Allura red dyes. The CS-NiSe presented the highest degradation efficiency of 99.53% for Erythrosine dye in optimized experimental conditions of 100 min at 30 °C, 30 ppm concentration, pH 5.0, and 0.14 g catalyst dose. For Allura red dye, a high degradation of 96.12% was attained in 120 min at pH 4.0, 100 ppm initial dye concentration, 35 °C temperature, and 0.1 g catalyst dose. The CS-NiSe showed excellent degradation efficiency and reduced to (95% for Erythrosine and 91% for Allura red dye) after five consecutive batches. Moreover, the statistical and neural network modelling analysis showed the significant influence of all studied variables on dyes degradation performance. The results demonstrated that CS-NiSe exhibited excellent photocatalytic performances for Erythrosine and Allura red dyes and could be a better photocatalyst for removing these dyes from industrial effluents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2021.03.192DOI Listing
April 2021

Effective remediation of petrochemical originated pollutants using engineered materials with multifunctional entities.

Chemosphere 2021 Mar 29;278:130405. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Tecnologico de Monterrey, School of Engineering and Sciences, Monterrey, 64849, Mexico. Electronic address:

The highly robust, effective, and sustainable remediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated wastewater matrices, which is mainly generated from petroleum and related petrochemical industries, is of supreme interest. Owing to the notable presence of suspended solids, oil, and grease, organic matter, highly toxic elements, high salts, and recalcitrant chemicals, crude oil emulsions, and hydrocarbon-contaminated wastewater are considered a potential threat to the environments, animals, plants, and humans. To effectively tackle this challenging issue, magnetic hybrid materials assembled at nano- and micro-scale with unique structural, chemical, and functional entities are considered robust candidates for demulsification purposes. The current research era on magnetic materials has superwettability, leading to an effective system of superwettability, which is vibrant and promising. The wettability of magnetic and magnetic hybrid materials explaining the theme of superhydrophobicity and superhydrophilicity under the liquid. Herein, we reviewed the applications of magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) as effective demulsifiers. The demulsifier wettability, dose, pH, salinity, and surface morphology of compelling, magnetic nanoparticles are the main hidden factors in effective demulsifiers. There is a comprehensive discussion on the reuse and recyclability of MNPs after oil, water separation. Furthermore, the main challenges, coupled with the magnetic nanoparticles in the effective separation of emulsions, are intensified in detail. This review will compare the current literature and the utilization of MNPs for the demulsification of oil and water emulsions. This is envisioned that the MNPs would be critical in the petroleum and petrochemical industry to effectively eliminate water from a crude oil emulsion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.130405DOI Listing
March 2021

Exploitation of Marine-Derived Robust Biological Molecules to Manage Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Mar Drugs 2021 Mar 30;19(4). Epub 2021 Mar 30.

School of Engineering and Sciences, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Monterrey 64849, Mexico.

Naturally occurring biological entities with extractable and tunable structural and functional characteristics, along with therapeutic attributes, are of supreme interest for strengthening the twenty-first-century biomedical settings. Irrespective of ongoing technological and clinical advancement, traditional medicinal practices to address and manage inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are inefficient and the effect of the administered therapeutic cues is limited. The reasonable immune response or invasion should also be circumvented for successful clinical translation of engineered cues as highly efficient and robust bioactive entities. In this context, research is underway worldwide, and researchers have redirected or regained their interests in valorizing the naturally occurring biological entities/resources, for example, algal biome so-called "treasure of untouched or underexploited sources". Algal biome from the marine environment is an immense source of excellence that has also been demonstrated as a source of bioactive compounds with unique chemical, structural, and functional features. Moreover, the molecular modeling and synthesis of new drugs based on marine-derived therapeutic and biological cues can show greater efficacy and specificity for the therapeutics. Herein, an effort has been made to cover the existing literature gap on the exploitation of naturally occurring biological entities/resources to address and efficiently manage IBD. Following a brief background study, a focus was given to design characteristics, performance evaluation of engineered cues, and point-of-care IBD therapeutics of diverse bioactive compounds from the algal biome. Noteworthy potentialities of marine-derived biologically active compounds have also been spotlighted to underlying the impact role of bio-active elements with the related pathways. The current review is also focused on the applied standpoint and clinical translation of marine-derived bioactive compounds. Furthermore, a detailed overview of clinical applications and future perspectives are also given in this review.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/md19040196DOI Listing
March 2021

Biochemical, Ameliorative and Cytotoxic Effects of Newly Synthesized Curcumin Microemulsions: Evidence from In Vitro and In Vivo Studies.

Nanomaterials (Basel) 2021 Mar 23;11(3). Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Department of Chemistry, University of Zabol, P.O. Box. 98613-35856, Zabol, PIran.

Curcumin is known to exhibit antioxidant and tissue-healing properties and has recently attracted the attention of the biomedical community for potential use in advanced therapies. This work reports the formulation and characterization of oil-in-water F127 microemulsions to enhance the bioavailability of curcumin Microemulsions showed a high encapsulation efficiency and prolonged release. To investigate the interactions of curcumin with one unit of the polymeric chain of surfactant F127, ethyl butyrate, and sodium octanoate, as well as the interaction between ethyl butyrate and one unit of the F127 polymer chain, the Density Functional Theory (DFT) calculations at the M06-2X level of theory, were performed in water solution. The MTT assay was used to assess the cytotoxicity of free and encapsulated curcumin on non-malignant and malignant cell lines. Combination effects were calculated according to Chou-Talalay's principles. Results of in vitro studies indicated that MCF7 and HepG2 cells were more sensitive to curcumin microemulsions. Moreover, a synergistic relationship was observed between curcumin microemulsions and cisplatin in all affected fractions of MCF7 and HepG2 cells (CI < 0.9). For in vivo investigation, thioacetamide-intoxicated rats received thioacetamide (100 mg/kg Sc) followed by curcumin microemulsions (30 mg/kg Ip). Thioacetamide-intoxicated rats showed elevated serum liver enzymes, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and creatinine levels, and a significant reduction in liver superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activities ( < 0.05). Curcumin microemulsions reduced liver enzymes and serum creatinine and increased the activity of antioxidant enzymes in thioacetamide-treated rats in comparison to the untreated thioacetamide-intoxicated group. Histopathological investigations confirmed the biochemical findings. Overall, the current results showed the desirable hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, and anti-cancer effects of curcumin microemulsions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nano11030817DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8004644PMC
March 2021

Simulation of the θ' Precipitation Process with Interfacial Anisotropy Effects in Al-Cu Alloys.

Materials (Basel) 2021 Mar 8;14(5). Epub 2021 Mar 8.

Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH, Max-Planck-Straße 1, 40237 Düsseldorf, Germany.

The effects of anisotropic interfacial properties and heterogeneous elasticity on the growth and ripening of plate-like θ'-phase (AlCu) in Al-1.69 at.% Cu alloy are studied. Multi-phase-field simulations are conducted and discussed in comparison with aging experiments. The precipitate/matrix interface is considered to be anisotropic in terms of its energy and mobility. We find that the additional incorporation of an anisotropic interfacial mobility in conjunction with the elastic anisotropy result in substantially larger aspect ratios of the precipitates closer to the experimental observations. The anisotropy of the interfacial energy shows comparably small effect on the precipitate's aspect ratio but changes the interface's shape at the rim. The effect of the chemo-mechanical coupling, i.e., the composition dependence of the elastic constants, is studied as well. We show that the inverse ripening phenomenon, recently evidenced for δ' precipitates in Al-Li alloys (Park et al. Sci. Rep. 2019, 9, 3981), does not establish for the θ' precipitates. This is because of the anisotropic stress fields built around the θ' precipitates, stemming from the precipitate's shape and the interaction among different variants of the θ' precipitate, that disturb the chemo-mechanical effects. These results show that the chemo-mechanical effects on the precipitation ripening strongly depend on the degree of sphericity and elastic isotropy of the precipitate and matrix phases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ma14051280DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7962538PMC
March 2021

Effects of different biochars on physicochemical properties and immobilization of potentially toxic elements in soil - A geostatistical approach.

Chemosphere 2021 Mar 21;277:130350. Epub 2021 Mar 21.

Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Peshawar, Peshawar, 25120, Pakistan. Electronic address:

The impact of different biochars (BCs) on the physicochemical properties and immobilization of potentially toxic elements (PTEs) in contaminated soil irrigated with industrial wastewater for the last three decades was studied. Furthermore, the efficacy of applied BCs in reducing geostatistical risks was also evaluated. For this purpose, BCs were prepared from green waste (Cynodon dactylon L.) for the first time at different pyrolysis temperature (400 °C, 600 °C and 800 °C), and amended the contaminated soil in pots with two different ratios of 2% and 5% (w/w) under controlled conditions. The BCs amended soil samples were analyzed after five months (equivalent to the life span of a wheat crop). The physicochemical impacts of applied BCs on the soil showed that the acidic soil was changed to basic. A tremendous increase in water holding capacity, cation exchange capacity, dissolved organic carbon, carbon, phosphorus and potassium contents was observed. The PTEs concentrations and geostatistical risks were significantly (p ≤ 0.05) decreased by all the BCs. Among them, BC prepared at 800 °C and applied at a ratio of 5% was showed the best effects by reducing the bioavailable concentrations of Cd, Pb, Cr, Ni, Cu, Mn, Fe, As, Co and Zn in 88%, 87%, 78%, 76%, 69%, 65%, 64%, 63%, 46% and 21%, respectively. Similarly, significant (p ≤ 0.05) reductions in geoaccumulation index, enrichment factor, contamination factor, and ecological risk were recorded. Therefore, BC prepared at 800 °C and applied at a ratio of 5% is recommended for soil remediation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.130350DOI Listing
March 2021

State Feedback and Synergetic controllers for tuberculosis in infected population.

IET Syst Biol 2021 Mar 30. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (SEECS), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious disease which can easily be disseminated in a society. A five state Susceptible, exposed, infected, recovered and resistant (SEIRs) epidemiological mathematical model of TB has been considered along with two non-linear controllers: State Feedback (SFB) and Synergetic controllers have been designed for the control and prevention of the TB in a population. Using the proposed controllers, the infected individuals have been reduced/controlled via treatment, and susceptible individuals have been prevented from the disease via vaccination. A mathematical analysis has been carried out to prove the asymptotic stability of proposed controllers by invoking the Lyapunov control theory. Simulation results using MATLAB/Simulink manifest that the non-linear controllers show fast convergence of the system states to their respective desired levels. Comparison shows that proposed SFB controller performs better than Synergetic controller in terms of convergence time, steady state error and oscillations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1049/syb2.12013DOI Listing
March 2021

Quercetin-loaded F127 nanomicelles: Antioxidant activity and protection against renal injury induced by gentamicin in rats.

Life Sci 2021 Mar 27;276:119420. Epub 2021 Mar 27.

Department of Chemistry, International Hellenic University, Kavala, Greece. Electronic address:

Quercetin (Q) is formulated into oil-in-water F127 microemulsions to improve its bioavailability. The size of the Q-loaded microemulsions system was about 8 nm by dynamic light scattering analysis. To compare antioxidant activity of bulk solution and microemulsion of Q, free radical scavenging activity was evaluated against 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH). The IC50 values were 56.77 and 187.68 μM, respectively. The drug in the bulk form released 16.34 times faster than microemulsion form. Although gentamicin (GM) has potent efficacy against gram-negative bacteria, it induces renal toxicity. Poor solubility and low bioavailability of Q as a bioflavonoid with potent antioxidant activity, limit its therapeutic application. We aimed to compare the effect of free Q and nanoencapsulated (NEQ) against GM-induced renal damage in Wistar rats. Forty-two animals were divided into six groups. Control and GM groups received apo-nanomicelles and GM (100 mg/kg) for 10 days. Two groups received Q (50 mg/kg, i.g.) and NEQ (50 mg/kg, i.g.) respectively for 10 days. Remaining two groups received Q and NEQ (50 mg/kg, i.g.) plus GM (100 mg/kg, i.p.) simultaneously for 10 days. After the experiments, serum and kidneys were used for biochemical, molecular and histological examinations. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed to explore kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1) expression as a specific protein biomarker of renal injury. Our findings indicated oxidative stress and altered histological features in renal tissue with deviated serum renal biomarkers in GM-treated rats. Although Q treatment in GM group tried to protect against GM-induced nephrotoxicity, but there were still differences compared to control rats. However, NEQ administration corrected elevations in the levels of urea, creatinine, uric acid and decrements in serum total proteins of GM group. Meanwhile, NEQ restored renal oxidative injury in GM rats through attenuation of lipid peroxidation and enhancement of antioxidant defense systems, glutathione, catalase and superoxide dismutase. NEQ could also normalize GM-induced abnormal renal histology features including fibrosis. Furthermore, the result of immunohistochemistry study confirmed these findings by undetecting KIM-1 expression in NEQ treated GM group, meanwhile showing this renal biomarker in GM and Q treated GM groups. Therefore, NEQ seems to be useful in protecting against renal oxidative stress and kidney damage in a rat model of GM nephrotoxicity which deserve further evaluations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2021.119420DOI Listing
March 2021

Engineered nanocellulose-based hydrogels for smart drug delivery applications.

Int J Biol Macromol 2021 Mar 26;181:275-290. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

School of Life Science and Food Engineering, Huaiyin Institute of Technology, Huaian 223003, China. Electronic address:

Nanocellulose is a promising "green" nanomaterial that has recently gained scientific interest because of its excellent characteristics, such as less risks of toxicity, biocompatibility, biodegradability, recyclability, and tunable surface features. Initially, three nanocellulose types (i.e., bacterial nanocellulose, nanocrystals, and nanofibers) and their potential biotechnological production routes have been discussed in detail. Contemporary studies are discussed in the development of nanocellulose aerogels, responsive hydrogels, injectable hydrogels/implants, and magnetic nanocellulose. Moreover, the development of hydrogels and potential crosslinking agents for the induction of desired properties has been described. Studies have revealed that the release kinetics of nanocellulosic gels/hydrogels varies from few minutes to several days depending on the given physicochemical conditions. However, such systems provide sustained drug release properties, so they are considered "smart" systems. Recent studies on controlled drug delivery systems have demonstrated their considerable potential for the next-generation transport of therapeutic drugs to target sites via various administration routes. This review presents the selection of appropriate sources and processing methodologies for the development of target nanocellulose types. It explains the potential challenges and opportunities and recommends future research directions about the smart delivery of therapeutic drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2021.03.147DOI Listing
March 2021

A Frameshift Variant in Causes Postaxial Polydactyly.

Mol Syndromol 2021 Mar 3;12(1):20-24. Epub 2020 Dec 3.

Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Postaxial polydactyly (PAP) is characterized by counterproductive 5th digit (pinky finger) duplication on hands and/or feet which often leads to functional complications. To date, at least 11 genes involved in causing various types of nonsyndromic polydactylies have been reported. In the present study, a consanguineous family of Sindhi origin with a segregating nonsyndromic form of PAP in an autosomal recessive manner was clinically and genetically evaluated. Genotyping, using polymorphic microsatellite markers, established linkage in the family on chromosome 5q15 harboring the gene (MIM 617266). Sequence analysis of the gene revealed a novel frameshift variant leading to a premature stop codon [c.143delG, p.(Cys48Serfs*28)]. This is only the 4th novel variant in the gene that leads to PAP type A10 (PAPA10) (MIM 618498). Identification of variants in the PAP causative gene will support the diagnosis of patients with limb malformations in the Pakistani population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000512062DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7983616PMC
March 2021

Generation and characterization of a Meflin-CreERT2 transgenic line for lineage tracing in white adipose tissue.

PLoS One 2021 24;16(3):e0248267. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

First Department of Internal Medicine, University of Toyama, Toyama-shi, Toyama, Japan.

Meflin (Islr) expression has gained attention as a marker for mesenchymal stem cells, but its function remains largely unexplored. Here, we report the generation of Meflin-CreERT2 mice with CreERT2 inserted under the Meflin gene promoter to label Meflin-expressing cells genetically, thereby enabling their lineages to be traced. We found that in adult mice, Meflin-expressing lineage cells were present in adipose tissue stroma and had differentiated into mature adipocytes. These cells constituted Crown-like structures in the adipose tissue of mice after high-fat diet loading. Cold stimulation led to the differentiation of Meflin-expressing lineage cells into beige adipocytes. Thus, the Meflin-CreERT2 mouse line is a useful new tool for visualizing and tracking the lineage of Meflin-expressing cells.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0248267PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7990287PMC
March 2021

Distribution of hepatitis C virus genotypes in Punjab region, Pakistan, based on a study of 4177 specimens.

Infect Genet Evol 2021 Mar 16;91:104811. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

School of Life Science and Food Engineering, Huaiyin Institute of Technology, Huaian 223003, China.

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a heterogenetic infectious agent that affects a huge proportion of population around the globe. Diverse distribution of multiple subtypes of HCV makes it mandatory and remarkably imperative to understand the genotypic distribution in target population. It could serve as an indictive guideline for the improvement of diagnostic methodologies, and development of effective therapies against this viral infection, in order to improve the infected patients' quality of life. This study included HCV infected patients presented to the diagnostic facility of the Centre for Applied Molecular Biology, University of Punjab, Lahore, between 2016 and 2019. During the 4 years of study, samples were collected from 4177 subjects. Our data revealed no significant differences regarding the prevalence of various genotypes between genders in the adult population. Genotyping was carried out by following the Ohno protocol. The obtained results shown that genotype 3a is the most frequent genotype and accounts for 66.29% of cases. Among other genotypes, 1a is 2.11%, 1b is 0.07%, 3b is 1.89%, 5a is 0.02%, while genome of 28.23% patients was untypable; 1.22% of the samples were non-detectable as viremic. An important concern is that this untypable genome in HCV infected patients may indicate possible mutation of HCV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meegid.2021.104811DOI Listing
March 2021

Role of receptor tyrosine kinases mediated signal transduction pathways in tumor growth and angiogenesis-New insight and futuristic vision.

Int J Biol Macromol 2021 Mar 15;180:739-752. Epub 2021 Mar 15.

Hefei National Lab for Physical Sciences at the Microscale and the Centers for Biomedical Engineering, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230027, China. Electronic address:

In the past two decades, significant progress has been made in the past two decades towards the understanding of the basic mechanisms underlying cancer growth and angiogenesis. In this context, receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) play a pivotal role in cell proliferation, differentiation, growth, motility, invasion, and angiogenesis, all of which contribute to tumor growth and progression. Mutations in RTKs lead to abnormal signal transductions in several pathways such as Ras-Raf, MEK-MAPK, PI3K-AKT and mTOR pathways, affecting a wide range of biological functions including cell proliferation, survival, migration and vascular permeability. Increasing evidence demonstrates that multiple kinases are involved in angiogenesis including RTKs such as vascular endothelial growth factor, platelet derived growth factor, epidermal growth factor, insulin-like growth factor-1, macrophage colony-stimulating factor, nerve growth factor, fibroblast growth factor, Hepatocyte Growth factor, Tie 1 & 2, Tek, Flt-3, Flt-4 and Eph receptors. Overactivation of RTKs and its downstream regulation is implicated in tumor initiation and angiogenesis, representing one of the hallmarks of cancer. This review discusses the role of RTKs, PI3K, and mTOR, their involvement, and their implication in pro-oncogenic cellular processes and angiogenesis with effective approaches and newly approved drugs to inhibit their unrestrained action.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2021.03.075DOI Listing
March 2021

Trends in predictive biodegradation for sustainable mitigation of environmental pollutants: Recent progress and future outlook.

Sci Total Environ 2021 May 17;770:144561. Epub 2021 Jan 17.

Environmental Microbiology Laboratory, Environmental Toxicology Group, CSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (CSIR-IITR), Vishvigyan Bhawan, 31, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Lucknow 226001, Uttar Pradesh, India; Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR), Ghaziabad 201002, India. Electronic address:

The feasibility of in-silico techniques, together with the computational framework, has been applied to predictive bioremediation aiming to clean-up contaminants, toxicity evaluation, and possibilities for the degradation of complex recalcitrant compounds. Emerging contaminants from different industries have posed a significant hazard to the environment and public health. Given current bioremediation strategies, it is often a failure or inadequate for sustainable mitigation of hazardous pollutants. However, clear-cut vital information about biodegradation is quite incomplete from a conventional remediation techniques perspective. Lacking complete information on bio-transformed compounds leads to seeking alternative methods. Only scarce information about the transformed products and toxicity profile is available in the published literature. To fulfill this literature gap, various computational or in-silico technologies have emerged as alternating techniques, which are being recognized as in-silico approaches for bioremediation. Molecular docking, molecular dynamics simulation, and biodegradation pathways predictions are the vital part of predictive biodegradation, including the Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR), Quantitative structure-biodegradation relationship (QSBR) model system. Furthermore, machine learning (ML), artificial neural network (ANN), genetic algorithm (GA) based programs offer simultaneous biodegradation prediction along with toxicity and environmental fate prediction. Herein, we spotlight the feasibility of in-silico remediation approaches for various persistent, recalcitrant contaminants while traditional bioremediation fails to mitigate such pollutants. Such could be addressed by exploiting described model systems and algorithm-based programs. Furthermore, recent advances in QSAR modeling, algorithm, and dedicated biodegradation prediction system have been summarized with unique attributes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.144561DOI Listing
May 2021

Bioremediation of lignin derivatives and phenolics in wastewater with lignin modifying enzymes: Status, opportunities and challenges.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Feb 20;777:145988. Epub 2021 Feb 20.

Environmental Microbiology Laboratory, Environmental Toxicology Group CSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (CSIR-IITR), Vishvigyan Bhawan, 31, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Lucknow 226001, Uttar Pradesh, India; Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR), Ghaziabad 201002, India. Electronic address:

Lignin modifying enzymes from fungi and bacteria are potential biocatalysts for sustainable mitigation of different potentially toxic pollutants in wastewater. Notably, the paper and pulp industry generates enormous amounts of wastewater containing high amounts of complex lignin-derived chlorinated phenolics and sulfonated pollutants. The presence of these compounds in wastewater is a critical issue from environmental and toxicological perspectives. Some chloro-phenols are harmful to the environment and human health, as they exert carcinogenic, mutagenic, cytotoxic, and endocrine-disrupting effects. In order to address these most urgent concerns, the use of oxidative lignin modifying enzymes for bioremediation has come into focus. These enzymes catalyze modification of phenolic and non-phenolic lignin-derived substances, and include laccase and a range of peroxidases, specifically lignin peroxidase (LiP), manganese peroxidase (MnP), versatile peroxidase (VP), and dye-decolorizing peroxidase (DyP). In this review, we explore the key pollutant-generating steps in paper and pulp processing, summarize the most recently reported toxicological effects of industrial lignin-derived phenolic compounds, especially chlorinated phenolic pollutants, and outline bioremediation approaches for pollutant mitigation in wastewater from this industry, emphasizing the oxidative catalytic potential of oxidative lignin modifying enzymes in this regard. We highlight other emerging biotechnical approaches, including phytobioremediation, bioaugmentation, Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)-based technology, protein engineering, and degradation pathways prediction, that are currently gathering momentum for the mitigation of wastewater pollutants. Finally, we address current research needs and options for maximizing sustainable biobased and biocatalytic degradation of toxic industrial wastewater pollutants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145988DOI Listing
February 2021

Treatment of lymphomas via regulating the Signal transduction pathways by natural therapeutic approaches: A review.

Leuk Res 2021 Mar 2;104:106554. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

School of Engineering and Sciences, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Av. Eugenio Garza Sada 2501 Sur, Tecnológico, 64849, Monterrey, NL, Mexico.

Lymphoma is a heterogeneous group of malignancies, which comprises 4.2 % of all new cancer cases and 3.3 % of all cancer deaths in 2019, globally. The dysregulation of immune system, certain bacterial or viral infections, autoimmune diseases, and immune suppression are associated with a high risk of lymphoma. Although several conventional strategies have improved during the past few decades, but their detrimental impacts remain an obstacle to be resolved. However, natural compounds are considered a good option in the treatment of lymphomas because of their easy accessibility, specific mode of action, high biodegradability, and cost-effectiveness. Vegetables, fruits, and beverages are the primary sources of natural active compounds. The present review investigated the activities of different natural medicinal compounds including curcumin, MK615, resveratrol, bromelain, EGCG, and Annonaceous acetogenins to treat lymphomas. Moreover, in vitro and in vivo studies, classification, risk factors, and diagnosis of lymphoma are also discussed in the present review. The accumulated data proposed that natural compounds regulate the signaling pathways at the level of cell proliferation, apoptosis, and cell cycle to exhibit anti-lymphoma activities both in-vivo and in-vitro studies and suggested that these active compounds could be a good therapeutic option in the treatment of different types of lymphomas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2021.106554DOI Listing
March 2021

Polymer Networks Synthesized from Poly(Sorbitol Adipate) and Functionalized Poly(Ethylene Glycol).

Gels 2021 Feb 20;7(1). Epub 2021 Feb 20.

Department of Chemistry, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, D-06120 Halle (Saale), Germany.

Polymer networks were prepared by Steglich esterification using poly(sorbitol adipate) (PSA) and poly(sorbitol adipate)--poly(ethylene glycol) mono methyl ether (PSA--mPEG) copolymer. Utilizing multi-hydroxyl functionalities of PSA, poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) was first grafted onto a PSA backbone. Then the cross-linking of PSA or PSA--mPEG was carried out with disuccinyl PEG of different molar masses (Suc-PEG-Suc). Polymers were characterized through nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, gel permeation chromatography (GPC), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The degree of swelling of networks was investigated through water (DO) uptake studies, while for detailed examination of their structural dynamics, networks were studied using C magic angle spinning NMR (C MAS NMR) spectroscopy, H double quantum NMR (H DQ NMR) spectroscopy, and H pulsed field gradient NMR (H PFG NMR) spectroscopy. These solid state NMR results revealed that the networks were composed of a two component structure, having different dipolar coupling constants. The diffusion of solvent molecules depended on the degree of swelling that was imparted to the network by the varying chain length of the PEG based cross-linking agent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/gels7010022DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8006044PMC
February 2021

Expression profiling of miRNA-196a biomarker in naïve hepatitis C virus-infected and Sofosbuvir plus Daclatasvir-treated patients.

Arch Microbiol 2021 Mar 3. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

School of Life Science and Food Engineering, Huaiyin Institute of Technology, Huaian, 223003, China.

Micro-RNA (miRNA) is a short stretch of nucleotides that can regulate many genes associated with the various stages of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) life cycle and disease progression. This study evaluates the expression profiling of miRNA-196a in naïve HCV-infected, and Sofosbuvir plus Daclatasvir-treated patients. MiRNA-196a can inhibit HCV replication by silencing the HCV NS5A protein or downregulating the human BACH-I mRNA. The expression level of miRNA-196a was determined by quantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR) using the whole RNA extracted from the recruited participant's serum. Results showed a 0.83-fold decrease in the miRNA-196a level in naïve HCV-infected than controls. On the contrary, an increase in the expression level by 0.06-fold was observed in Sofosbuvir plus Daclatasvir-treated patients. A negative but significant correlation was recorded between the HCV-RNA load and miRNA-196a expression level in the naïve-infected patients. Serum miRNA-196a ROC curve analysis revealed an area under the curve of 0.8278 (95% CI 0.7033-0.9524, p < 0.0001) with 82.05% sensitivity and 76.19% specificity in discriminating the healthy controls from the HCV-infected samples. In conclusion, our study explored the comparative expression levels of miRNA-196a in HCV-infected and Sofosbuvir plus Daclatasvir patients. Further studies are needed to examine the possible role of miR-196a as a therapeutic agent for treating HCV-infected patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00203-021-02233-6DOI Listing
March 2021

Biopolymers and nanostructured materials to develop pectinases-based immobilized nano-biocatalytic systems for biotechnological applications.

Food Res Int 2021 Feb 17;140:109979. Epub 2020 Dec 17.

Tecnologico de Monterrey, School of Engineering and Sciences, Monterrey 64849, Mexico. Electronic address:

Pectinases are the emerging enzymes of the biotechnology industry with a 25% share in the worldwide food and beverage enzyme market. These are green and eco-friendly tools of nature and hold a prominent place among the commercially produced enzymes. Pectinases exhibit applications in various industrial bioprocesses, such as clarification of fruit juices and wine, degumming, and retting of plant fibers, extraction of antioxidants and oil, fermentation of tea/coffee, wastewater remediation, modification of pectin-laden agro-industrial waste materials for high-value products biosynthesis, manufacture of cellulose fibres, scouring, bleaching, and size reduction of fabric, cellulosic biomass pretreatment for bioethanol production, etc. Nevertheless, like other enzymes, pectinases also face the challenges of low operational stability, recoverability, and recyclability. To address the above-mentioned problems, enzyme immobilization has become an eminently promising approach to improve their thermal stability and catalytic characteristics. Immobilization facilitates easy recovery and recycling of the biocatalysts multiple times, leading to enhanced performance and commercial feasibility.In this review, we illustrate recent developments on the immobilization of pectinolytic enzymes using polymers and nanostructured materials-based carrier supports to constitute novel biocatalytic systems for industrial exploitability. The first section reviewed the immobilization of pectinases on polymers-based supports (ca-alginate, chitosan, agar-agar, hybrid polymers) as a host matrix to construct robust pectinases-based biocatalytic systems. The second half covers nanostructured supports (nano-silica, magnetic nanostructures, hybrid nanoflowers, dual-responsive polymeric nanocarriers, montmorillonite clay), and cross-linked enzyme aggregates for enzyme immobilization. The biotechnological applications of the resulted immobilized robust pectinases-based biocatalytic systems are also meticulously vetted. Finally, the concluding remarks and future recommendations are also given.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2020.109979DOI Listing
February 2021

Occurrence, potential ecological risks, and degradation of endocrine disrupter, nonylphenol, from the aqueous environment.

Chemosphere 2021 Feb 20;275:130013. Epub 2021 Feb 20.

School of Life Science and Food Engineering, Huaiyin Institute of Technology, Huai'an, 223003, China. Electronic address:

Nonylphenol (NP) is considered a potential endocrine-disrupting chemical affecting humans and the environment. Due to widespread occurrence in the aquatic environment and neuro-, immuno, reproductive, and estrogenic effects, nonylphenol calls for considerable attention from the scientific community, researchers, government officials, and the public. It can persist in the environment, especially soil, for a long duration because of its high hydrophobic nature. Nonylphenol is incorporated into the water matrices via agricultural run-off, wastewater effluents, agricultural sources, and groundwater leakage from the soil. In this regard, assessment of the source, fate, toxic effect, and removal of nonylphenol seems a high-priority concern. Remediation of nonylphenol is possible through physicochemical and microbial methods. Microbial methods are widely used due to ecofriendly in nature. The microbial strains of the genera, Sphingomonas, Sphingobium, Pseudomonas, Pseudoxanthomonas, Thauera, Novosphingonium, Bacillus, Stenotrophomonas, Clostridium, Arthrobacter, Acidovorax, Maricurvus, Rhizobium, Corynebacterium, Rhodococcus, Burkholderia, Acinetobacter, Aspergillus, Pleurotus, Trametes, Clavariopsis, Candida, Phanerochaete, Bjerkandera, Mucor, Fusarium and Metarhizium have been reported for their potential role in the degradation of NP via its metabolic pathway. This study outlines the recent information on the occurrence, origin, and potential ecological and human-related risks of nonylphenol. The current development in the removal of nonylphenol from the environment using different methods is discussed. Despite the significant importance of nonylphenol and its effects on the environment, the number of studies in this area is limited. This review gives an in-depth understanding of NP occurrence, fate, toxicity, and remediation from the environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.130013DOI Listing
February 2021

Risk management strategies and therapeutic modalities to tackle COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2.

J Infect Public Health 2021 Mar 29;14(3):331-346. Epub 2020 Dec 29.

Faculty of Medicine, Transilvania University of Brasov, Brasov 500036, Romania.

The recent emergence of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) triggered by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has resulted in substantial mortality worldwide. Presently, there is no approved treatment for COVID-19. Consequently, the clinical, scientific, and regulatory authorities have joint efforts to reduce the severe impact of COVID-19. To date, there is minimal arsenal with no definite curative drugs, licensed-vaccines, or therapeutic conducts to combat the COVID-19 infections. Keeping in view the threats of this pandemic, various global organizations, physicians, researchers, and scientists, are trying to recognize the epidemiological characteristics and pathogenic mechanisms of COVID-19 to discover potential treatment regimens, vaccines, and therapeutic modes for future anticipation. Herein, we summarize a contemporary overview of curative invasions and vaccines for COVID-19 based on the earlier information and considerate of similar earlier RNA coronaviruses. The information reviewed here establishes a paramount intellectual basis to promote ongoing research to develop vaccines and curative agents. Thus, this review suggests the furthermost accessible frontiers in the vaccine development to tackle or combat the COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jiph.2020.12.023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7837232PMC
March 2021

Polysaccharides-based bio-nanostructures and their potential food applications.

Int J Biol Macromol 2021 Apr 17;176:540-557. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

Institute of Organic and Polymeric Materials, National Taipei University of Technology, Taipei 10608, Taiwan. Electronic address:

Polysaccharides are omnipresent biomolecules that hold great potential as promising biomaterials for a myriad of applications in various biotechnological and industrial sectors. The presence of diverse functional groups renders them tailorable functionalities for preparing a multitude of novel bio-nanostructures. Further, they are biocompatible and biodegradable, hence, considered as environmentally friendly biopolymers. Application of nanotechnology in food science has shown many advantages in improving food quality and enhancing its shelf life. Recently, considerable efforts have been made to develop polysaccharide-based nanostructures for possible food applications. Therefore, it is of immense importance to explore literature on polysaccharide-based nanostructures delineating their food application potentialities. Herein, we reviewed the developments in polysaccharide-based bio-nanostructures and highlighted their potential applications in food preservation and bioactive "smart" food packaging. We categorized these bio-nanostructures into polysaccharide-based nanoparticles, nanocapsules, nanocomposites, dendrimeric nanostructures, and metallo-polysaccharide hybrids. This review demonstrates that the polysaccharides are emerging biopolymers, gaining much attention as robust biomaterials with excellent tuneable properties.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2021.02.107DOI Listing
April 2021

Lignin peroxidase in focus for catalytic elimination of contaminants - A critical review on recent progress and perspectives.

Int J Biol Macromol 2021 Feb 10;177:58-82. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Environmental Microbiology Laboratory, Environmental Toxicology Group, CSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (CSIR-IITR), Vishvigyan Bhawan, 31, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Lucknow 226001, Uttar Pradesh, India; Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR), Ghaziabad 201002, India. Electronic address:

Lignin peroxidase (LiP) seems to be a catalyst for cleaving high-redox potential non-phenolic compounds with an oxidative cleavage of CC and COC bonds. LiP has been picked to seek a practical and cost-effective alternative to the sustainable mitigation of diverse environmental contaminants. LiP has been an outstanding tool for catalytic cleaning and efficient mitigation of environmental pollutants, including lignin, lignin derivatives, dyes, endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs), and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) for the past couple of decades. The extended deployment of LiP has proved to be a promising method for catalyzing these environmentally related hazardous pollutants of supreme interest. The advantageous potential and capabilities to act at different pH and thermostability offer its working tendencies in extended environmental engineering applications. Such advantages led to the emerging demand for LiP and increasing requirements in industrial and biotechnological sectors. The multitude of the ability attributed to LiP is triggered by its stability in xenobiotic and non-phenolic compound degradation. However, over the decades, the catalytic activity of LiP has been continuing in focus enormously towards catalytic functionalities over the available physiochemical, conventional, catalyst mediated technology for catalyzing such molecules. To cover this literature gap, this became much more evident to consider the catalytic attributes of LiP. In this review, the existing capabilities of LiP and other competencies have been described with recent updates. Furthermore, numerous recently emerged applications, such as textile effluent treatment, dye decolorization, catalytic elimination of pharmaceutical and EDCs compounds, have been discussed with suitable examples.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2021.02.032DOI Listing
February 2021

Immunotherapies and immunomodulatory approaches in clinical trials - a mini review.

Hum Vaccin Immunother 2021 Feb 12:1-13. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

Division of Pathology, ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute , Izatnagar, Uttar Pradesh, India.

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has created havoc worldwide. Due to the non-availability of any vaccine or drugs against COVID-19, immunotherapies involving convalescent plasma, immunoglobulins, antibodies (monoclonal or polyclonal), and the use of immunomodulatory agents to enhance immunity are valuable alternative options. Cell-based therapies including natural killer cells, T cells, stem cells along with cytokines and toll-like receptors (TLRs) based therapies are also being exploited potentially against COVID-19. Future research need to strengthen the field of developing effective immunotherapeutics and immunomodulators with a thrust of providing appropriate, affordable, convenient, and cost-effective prophylactic and treatment regimens to combat global COVID-19 crisis that has led to a state of medical emergency enforcing entire countries of the world to devote their research infrastructure and manpower in tackling this pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21645515.2020.1871295DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7885722PMC
February 2021

Synthesis and Characterization of Fe-TiO Nanomaterial: Performance Evaluation for RB5 Decolorization and In Vitro Antibacterial Studies.

Nanomaterials (Basel) 2021 Feb 9;11(2). Epub 2021 Feb 9.

Department of Environmental Sciences, Abbottabad Campus, COMSATS University Islamabad, Abbottabad 22060, Pakistan.

A photocatalytic system for decolorization of double azo reactive black 5 (RB5) dye and water disinfection of was developed. Sol gel method was employed for the synthesis of Fe-TiO photocatalysts and were characterized using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coupled with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) analysis. Results showed that photocatalytic efficiency was greatly influenced by 0.1 weight percent iron loading and 300 °C calcination temperature. The optimized reaction parameters were found to be the ambient temperature, working solution pH 6.2 and 1 mg g dose to completely decolorize RB5. The isotherm studies showed that RB5 adsorption by Fe-TiO followed the Langmuir isotherm with maximum adsorption capacity of 42.7 mg g and K 0.0079 L mg. Under illumination, the modified photocatalytic material had higher decolorization efficiency as compared to unmodified photocatalyst. Kinetic studies of the modified material under visible light irradiation indicated the reaction followed the pseudo-first-order kinetics. The illumination reaction followed the Langmuir-Hinshelwood (L-H) model as the rate of dye decolorization increased with an incremental increase in dye concentration. The L-H constant K was 1.5542 mg L∙h while K was found 0.1317 L mg. The best photocatalyst showed prominent percent reduction of in 120 min. Finally, 0.1Fe-TiO-300 could be an efficient photocatalyst and can provide a composite solution for RB5 decolorization and bacterial strain inhibition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nano11020436DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7915575PMC
February 2021

Penicillium fellutanum lipase as a green and ecofriendly biocatalyst for depolymerization of poly (ɛ-caprolactone): Biochemical, kinetic, and thermodynamic investigations.

Biotechnol Appl Biochem 2021 Feb 9. Epub 2021 Feb 9.

School of Life Science and Food Engineering, Huaiyin Institute of Technology, Huai'an, People's Republic of China.

Microbial lipases hold a prominent position in biocatalysis by their capability to mediate reactions in aqueous and nonaqueous media. Herein, a lipase from Penicillium fellutanum was biochemically characterized and investigated its potential to degrade poly (ɛ-caprolactone) (PCL). The lipase exhibited stability over a broad pH spectrum and performed best at pH 8.5 and 45 °C. The activation energy was determined to be 66.37 kJ/mol by Arrhenius plot, whereas K and V for pNPP hydrolysis were 0.75 mM and 83.33 μmol/mL/Min, respectively. A rise in temperature reduced the Gibbs free energy, whereas the enthalpy of thermal unfolding (∆H*) remains the same up to 54 °C following a modest decline at 61 °C. The entropy (∆S*) of the enzyme demonstrated an increasing trend up to 54 °C and dropped at 61 °C. Lipase retained stability by incubation with various industrially relevant organic solvents (benzene, hexanol, ether, and acetone). However, exposure to urea and guanidine hydrochloride influenced its catalytic activity to different extents. Under optimal operating conditions, lipase catalyzed the excellent degradation of PCL film degradation leading to 66% weight loss, increased surface erosion, and crystallinity. Fourier-transform infrared spectrometry, differential scanning calorimetry, and scanning electron microscopy studies monitored the weight loss after enzymatic hydrolysis. The findings indicate that P. fellutanum lipase would be a prospective biocatalytic system for polyesters depolymerization and environmental remediation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bab.2118DOI Listing
February 2021

Leveraging Deep Learning for Designing Healthcare Analytics Heuristic for Diagnostics.

Neural Process Lett 2021 Feb 2:1-27. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Future Networking Research Group, Ton Duc Thang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Healthcare Informatics is a phenomenon being talked about from the early 21st century in the era in which we are living. With evolution of new computing technologies huge amount of data in healthcare is produced opening several research areas. Managing the massiveness of this data is required while extracting knowledge for decision making is the main concern of today. For this task researchers are doing explorations in big data analytics, deep learning (advanced form of machine learning known as deep neural nets), predictive analytics and various other algorithms to bring innovation in healthcare. Through all these innovations happening it is not wrong to establish that disease prediction with anticipation of its cure is no longer unrealistic. First, Dengue Fever (DF) and then Covid-19 likewise are new outbreak in infectious lethal diseases and diagnosing at all stages is crucial to decrease mortality rate. In case of Diabetes, clinicians and experts are finding challenging the timely diagnosis and analyzing the chances of developing underlying diseases. In this paper, Louvain Mani-Hierarchical Fold Learning healthcare analytics, a hybrid deep learning technique is proposed for medical diagnostics and is tested and validated using real-time dataset of 104 instances of patients with dengue fever made available by Holy Family Hospital, Pakistan and 810 instances found for infectious diseases including prognosis of; Covid-19, SARS, ARDS, Pneumocystis, Streptococcus, Chlamydophila, Klebsiella, Legionella, Lipoid, etc. on GitHub. Louvain Mani-Hierarchical Fold Learning healthcare analytics showed maximum 0.952 correlations between two clusters with Spearman when applied on 240 instances extracted from comorbidities diagnostic data model derived from 15696 endocrine records of multiple visits of 100 patients identified by a unique ID. Accuracy for induced rules is evaluated by Laplace (Fig. 8) as 0.727, 0.701 and 0.203 for 41, 18 and 24 rules, respectively. Endocrine diagnostic data is made available by Shifa International Hospital, Islamabad, Pakistan. Our results show that in future this algorithm may be tested for diagnostics on healthcare big data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11063-021-10425-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7852051PMC
February 2021

A comparison of characteristics and outcomes of patients with community-acquired and hospital-acquired COVID-19 in the United Kingdom: An observational study.

Respir Med 2021 03 28;178:106314. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, Liverpool, L7 8XP, United Kingdom.

Background And Objectives: Reports comparing the characteristics of patients and their clinical outcomes between community-acquired (CA) and hospital-acquired (HA) COVID-19 have not yet been reported in the literature. We aimed to characterise and compare clinical, biochemical and haematological features, in addition to clinical outcomes, between these patients.

Methods: This multi-centre, retrospective, observational study enrolled 488 SARS-CoV-2 positive patients - 339 with CA infection and 149 with HA infection. All patients were admitted to a hospital within the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust between March 7th and May 18th 2020.

Results: The CA cohort comprised of a significantly younger population, median age 75 years, versus 80 years in the HA cohort (P = 0·0002). Significantly less patients in the HA group experienced fever (P = 0·03) and breathlessness (P < 0·0001). Furthermore, significantly more patients had anaemia and hypoalbuminaemia in the HA group, compared to the CA group (P < 0·0001 for both). Hypertension and a lower median BMI were also significantly more pronounced in the HA cohort (P = 0·03 and P = 0·0001, respectively). The mortality rate was not significantly different between the two cohorts (34% in the CA group and 32% in the HA group, P = 0·64). However, the CA group required significantly greater ICU care (10% versus 3% in the HA group, P = 0·009).

Conclusion: Hospital-acquired and community-acquired COVID-19 display similar rates of mortality despite significant differences in baseline characteristics of the respective patient populations. Delineation of community- and hospital-acquired COVID-19 in future studies on COVID-19 may allow for more accurate interpretation of results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rmed.2021.106314DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7843030PMC
March 2021

Impact of COVID-related lockdowns on environmental and climate change scenarios.

Environ Res 2021 04 4;195:110839. Epub 2021 Feb 4.

School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Automotive Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Environmental and Computing, Coventry University, Coventry CV1 5FB, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has emerged as a major challenge from human health perspective. The alarming exponential increase in the transmission and fatality rates related to this disease has brought the world to a halt so as to cope up with its stern consequences. This has led to the imposition of lockdown across the globe to prevent the further spread of this disease. This lock down brought about drastic impacts at social and economic fronts. However, it also posed some positive impacts on environment as well particularly in the context of air quality due to reduction in concentrations of particulate matter (PM), NO and CO across the major cities of the globe as indicated by several research organizations. In China, Italy, France and Spain, there were about 20-30% reduction in NO emission while in USA 30% reduction in NO emission were observed. Compared to previous year, there was 11.4% improvement in the air quality in China. Drastic reductions in NO (-77.3%), NO (-54.3%) and CO (-64.8%) (negative sign indicating a decline) concentrations were observed in Brazil during partial lockdown compared to the five year monthly mean. In India there were about -51.84, -53.11, -17.97, -52.68, -30.35, 0.78 and -12.33% reduction in the concentration of PM PM, SO NO CO, O and NH respectively. This article highlights the impact of lockdown on the environment and also discusses the pre and post lockdown air pollution scenario across major cities of the world. Several aspect of environment such as air, water, noise pollution and waste management during, pre and post lockdown scenario were studied and evaluated comprehensively. This research would therefore serve as a guide to environmentalist, administrators and frontline warriors for fighting our the way to beat this deadly disease and minimize its long term implications on health and environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.110839DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7860963PMC
April 2021

Nano and micro architectured cues as smart materials to mitigate recalcitrant pharmaceutical pollutants from wastewater.

Chemosphere 2021 Jan 29;274:129785. Epub 2021 Jan 29.

School of Life Science and Food Engineering, Huaiyin Institute of Technology, Huai'an, China. Electronic address:

Pharmaceuticals have been recognized for saving billions of lives, but they also appear as a novel group of environmental pollutants. The presence of pharmaceutically active residues in seawater, surface water, wastewater treatment plants, sludges, and soils has been widely reported. Their persistence in the environment for extended durations exerts various adverse consequences, such as gene toxicity, hormonal interference, antibiotic resistance, sex organs imposition, and many others. Various methodologies have been envisioned for their removal from the aqueous media. Different processes have been restricted due to high cost, inefficient removal, generation of toxic materials, and high capital requirement. The employment of nanostructured materials to mitigate pharmaceutical contaminants has been increasing during the last decades. The adsorptive nanomaterials have a high surface area, low cost, eco-friendliness, and high affinity for inorganic and organic molecules. In this review, we have documented the rising concerns of environmental pharmaceutical contamination and their remediation by applications of nanomaterials. Nanomaterials could be a robust candidate for the removal of an array of environmental contaminants in water.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.129785DOI Listing
January 2021