Publications by authors named "Priyanka Das"

54 Publications

Cancer scenario in North-East India & need for an appropriate research agenda.

Indian J Med Res 2021 07;154(1):27-35

National Centre for Disease Informatics & Research, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.

Background & Objectives: The North-Eastern (NE) region has the highest incidence of cancer in India, and is also burdened by higher prevalence of risk factors and inadequate cancer treatment facilities. The aim of this study was to describe the cancer profile of the NE region, focussing on the cancer sites that have high incidence and to identify research priorities.

Methods: Incidence data from population-based cancer registries (PBCRs) in the North-East region (8 States) were utilized and relevant literature was reviewed to identify risk factors.

Results: Aizawl district in Mizoram had the highest incidence of cancer in men [age-adjusted rate (AAR) of 269.4 per 100,000]. Among women, Papumpare district of Arunachal Pradesh had the highest incidence (AAR of 219.8) in India. East Khasi Hills district in Meghalaya had the highest incidence of oesophageal cancer (AAR of 75.4 in men and 33.6 in women). Aizawl district in Mizoram had the highest incidence of stomach (AAR-44.2 in men) and Papumpare district had highest incidence of stomach (AAR 27.1 in women), liver (AAR- 35.2 in men and 14.4 in women) and cervical cancers (AAR- 27.7). Lung cancer (AAR- 38.8 in men and 37.9 in women) and gall bladder cancer incidence (AAR- 7.9 in men and 16.2 in women) were highest in Aizawl and Assam (Kamrup urban) PBCRs, respectively. Nagaland had the highest incidence of nasopharyngeal cancer (AAR of 14.4 in men and 6.5 in women), a relatively rare cancer in other regions of India. Four States (Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Sikkim and Tripura) in NE had only one cancer treating facility.

Interpretation & Conclusions: Further research on specific aetiological factors in the region and multi-disciplinary research for development of tools, techniques and guidelines for cancer control are the need of the hour.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_347_20DOI Listing
July 2021

Perinatal telemedicine at lower-level birthing hospitals in Maryland. Lessons learned from a landscape analysis.

Minerva Obstet Gynecol 2021 Sep 9. Epub 2021 Sep 9.

Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Background: To assess the current perinatal telemedicine (PTM) landscape and inform the design and implementation of a PTM network linking Level I/II birthing hospitals with the two Level IV hospitals in Maryland to improve access to maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialist care.

Methods: Qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted with 24 clinicians and telemedicine experts during July-September 2020. We obtained data on 12 Level I/II and both Level IV hospitals.

Results: Less than half of Level I/II hospitals currently offer obstetric services through telemedicine, and both Level IV hospitals have interest and technical capacity to support implementation of a PTM network in Maryland. The Covid-19 related shift to telehealth and telemedicine was identified as a facilitator for such PTM programs. Perceived barriers to provider adoption of PTM services and network in Maryland included hospital leadership buy-in, information technology (IT) literacy, and patient triage complexities. Perceived barriers to patient adoption of PTM were access to technology, IT literacy, and language. Key benefits of PTM services included overall improved patient access, convenience, cost-savings, and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Influential factors for implementing a PTM network in Maryland included buy-in and approval from hospital and health system administration, a streamlined telehealth platform allowing for electronic medical record integration and interoperability, program funding, and sustainability.

Conclusions: Gaps in availability of MFM care at Level I/II birth hospitals call for expanded telemedicine programming to improve high-risk patients' access to specialty obstetric care and support the development of a PTM network in Maryland.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S2724-606X.21.04933-2DOI Listing
September 2021

Study on bacterial pathogens through multiplex polymerase chain reaction system and their antimicrobial resistance pattern in goats presumed with fever and/or diarrhea.

Vet World 2021 May 6;14(5):1080-1092. Epub 2021 May 6.

Department of Medicine and Surgery, Chattogram Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Chattogram, Bangladesh.

Background And Aim: Goat is one of the major livestock species, plays an important role in the economy of Bangladesh. However, the outbreak of different infectious diseases in goats causes high mortality and economic losses due to lack of proper diagnosis and treatment. Conventional culture-based methods for detecting specific pathogens as confirmatory diagnosis are laborious as well as time-consuming in comparison to multiplex polymerase chain reaction (mPCR), by which multiple pathogens can be detected at a time. The present study was aimed to perform faster molecular identification of bacterial pathogens from goats presumed with fever and/or diarrhea and their antimicrobial resistance (AMR) pattern.

Materials And Methods: A total of 200 blood samples were collected from goats at S. A. Quaderi Teaching Veterinary Hospital (SAQTVH) in Chattogram Veterinary and Animal Sciences University for the period of July 2017-April 2018. DNA was extracted and subsequently, mPCR assay was performed for the screening of several bacterial pathogens ( spp., , , , , , , , and ). An antimicrobial susceptibility test against ten antimicrobials for positive samples of each organism was conducted using the Kirby-Bauer Disk-Diffusion Method on selective media.

Results: , , , and spp. were detected from collected samples and their overall prevalence was 11.5%, 3.5%, 1%, and 20.5%, respectively. The most common clinical signs were mild fever, nasal discharge, dyspnea, and coughing (39.1%) for , diarrhea, convulsion, abdominal pain, and incoordination (57.1%) for , fever, protrusion of tongue, and incoordination (100%) for , and fever, anorexia, dehydration with mucous feces (36.6%) for spp. infection in goats. AntimGentamicinicrobial diagram of showed resistance against Cefotaxime (74%), Cefixime (65%), and Tetracycline (65%); highly sensitive against Amoxicillin (48%), Ciprofloxacin (44%), and Gentamicin (44%). On the other hand, showed highly resistant against Ampicillin (71%), Gentamicin (71%), sensitive against Penicillin (57%), and Cefotaxime (57%). were found to be sensitive to Penicillin (100%) and Cefixime (100%) and spp. showed resistance to Ampicillin (78%) and Amoxicillin (59%) but sensitive to Ciprofloxacin (54%).

Conclusion: This study identified pathogens with their specific clinical signs in goats presumed fever and/or diarrhea through mPCR with their AMR pattern in SAQTVH, Chattogram. Potential risk factors, measuring the strength of association of disease caused by these particular pathogens, were also determined. mPCR may use as an effective tool for rapid detection of pathogens in animal.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14202/vetworld.2021.1080-1092DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8243672PMC
May 2021

Integrated health service delivery during COVID-19: a scoping review of published evidence from low-income and lower-middle-income countries.

BMJ Glob Health 2021 06;6(6)

Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Background: Integrated health service delivery (IHSD) is a promising approach to improve health system resilience. However, there is a lack of evidence specific to the low/lower-middle-income country (L-LMIC) health systems on how IHSD is used during disease outbreaks. This scoping review aimed to synthesise the emerging evidence on IHSD approaches adopted in L-LMIC during the COVID-19 pandemic and systematically collate their operational features.

Methods: A systematic scoping review of peer-reviewed literature, published in English between 1 December 2019 and 12 June 2020, from seven electronic databases was conducted to explore the evidence of IHSD implemented in L-LMICs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data were systematically charted, and key features of IHSD systems were presented according to the postulated research questions of the review.

Results: The literature search retrieved 1487 published articles from which 18 articles met the inclusion criteria and included in this review. Service delivery, health workforce, medicine and technologies were the three most frequently integrated health system building blocks during the COVID-19 pandemic. While responding to COVID-19, the L-LMICs principally implemented the IHSD system via systematic horizontal integration, led by specific policy measures. The government's stewardship, along with the decentralised decision-making capacity of local institutions and multisectoral collaboration, was the critical facilitator for IHSD. Simultaneously, fragmented service delivery structures, fragile supply chain, inadequate diagnostic capacity and insufficient workforce were key barriers towards integration.

Conclusion: A wide array of context-specific IHSD approaches were operationalised in L-LMICs during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Emerging recommendations emphasise the importance of coordination and integration across building blocks and levels of the health system, supported by a responsive governance structure and stakeholder engagement strategies. Future reviews can revisit this emerging evidence base at subsequent phases of COVID-19 response and recovery in L-LMICs to understand how the approaches highlighted here evolve.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2021-005667DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8210663PMC
June 2021

Evidence of integrated health service delivery during COVID-19 in low and lower-middle-income countries: protocol for a scoping review.

BMJ Open 2021 05 3;11(5):e042872. Epub 2021 May 3.

International Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Introduction: The importance of integrated, people-centred health systems has been recognised as a central component of Universal Health Coverage. Integration has also been highlighted as a critical element for building resilient health systems that can withstand the shock of health emergencies. However, there is a dearth of research and systematic synthesis of evidence on the synergistic relationship between integrated health services and pandemic preparedness, response, and recovery in low-income and lower-middle-income countries (LMICs). Thus, the authors are organising a scoping review aiming to explore the application of integrated health service delivery approaches during the emerging COVID-19 pandemic in LMICs.

Methods And Analysis: This scoping review adheres to the six steps for scoping reviews from Arksey and O'Malley. Peer-reviewed scientific literature will be systematically assembled using a standardised and replicable search strategy from seven electronic databases, including PubMed, Embase, Scopus, Web of Science, CINAHL Plus, the WHO's Global Research Database on COVID-19 and LitCovid. Initially, the title and abstract of the collected literature, published in English from December 2019 to June 2020, will be screened for inclusion which will be followed by a full-text review by two independent reviewers. Data will be charted using a data extraction form and reported in narrative format with accompanying data matrix.

Ethics And Dissemination: No ethical approval is required for the review. The study will be conducted from June 2020 to May 2021. Results from this scoping review will provide a snapshot of the evidence currently being generated related to integrated health service delivery in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in LMICs. The findings will be developed into reports and a peer-reviewed article and will assist policy-makers in making pragmatic and evidence-based decisions for current and future pandemic responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-042872DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8098290PMC
May 2021

Immunoproteomic analysis of fish ectoparasite, Argulus siamensis antigens.

Parasite Immunol 2021 07 16;43(7):e12837. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

ICAR-Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture, Bhubaneswar, India.

Aim: An immunoproteomic approach was followed to identify immunoreactive antigens of fish ectoparasite, Argulus siamensis with rohu (Labeo rohita) immune sera for screening of potential vaccine candidates.

Materials And Results: The whole adult Argulus antigen was run in 2D electrophoresis with IEF in 7 cm IPG strips of pH 4-7 and SDS-PAGE with 12% acrylamide concentration. Two parallel gels were run; one was stained with silver stain, and the other was Western blotted to nitrocellulose paper (NCP) and reacted with rohu anti-A siamensis sera. Fourteen protein spots corresponding to the spots developed in NCP were picked from the silver-stained gel and subjected to mass spectrometry in MALDI-TOF/TOF. The MS/MS spectra were analysed in MASCOT software with taxonomy 'other metazoa' and the proteins identified based on similarity with the proteins from heterologous species. The gene ontology analysis revealed a majority of proteins being involved in binding activity in 'molecular function' and belonging to metabolic processes in 'biologic process' categories. The possibility of these proteins as vaccine candidates against A siamensis is discussed in the paper.

Conclusion: Three of the identified proteins namely, bromodomain-containing protein, anaphase-promoting complex subunit 5 and elongation factor-2 could possibly serve as vaccine candidates against argulosis in carps.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pim.12837DOI Listing
July 2021

Recent developments in the synthesis of chemically modified nanomaterials for use in dielectric and electronics applications.

Nanotechnology 2021 Apr;32(14):142004

Department of Chemistry, Howard University, Washington DC, United States of America.

Polymer nanocomposites (PNC) have attracted enormous scientific and technological interest due to their applications in energy storage, electronics, biosensing, drug delivery, cosmetics and packaging industry. Nanomaterials (platelet, fibers, spheroids, whiskers, rods) dispersed in different types of polymer matrices constitute such PNC. The degree of dispersion of the inorganic nanomaterials in the polymer matrix, as well as the structured arrangement of the nanomaterials, are some of the key factors influencing the overall performance of the nanocomposite. To this end, the surface functionalization of the nanomaterials determines its state of dispersion within the polymer matrix. For energy storage and electronics, these nanomaterials are usually chosen for their dielectric properties for enhancing the performance of device applications. Although several reviews on surface modification of nanomaterials have been reported, a review on the surface functionalization of nanomaterials as it pertains to polymer dielectrics is currently lacking. This review summarizes the recent developments in the surface modification of important metal oxide dielectric nanomaterials including Silicon dioxide (SiO), titanium dioxide (TiO), barium titanate (BaTiO), and aluminum oxide (AlO) by chemical agents such as silanes, phosphonic acids, and dopamine. We report the impact of chemical modification of the nanomaterial on the dielectric performance (dielectric constant, breakdown strength, and energy density) of the nanocomposite. Aside from bringing novice and experts up to speed in the area of polymer dielectric nanocomposites, this review will serve as an intellectual resource in the selection of appropriate chemical agents for functionalizing nanomaterials for use in specific polymer matrix so as to potentially tune the final performance of nanocomposite.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1361-6528/abcf6cDOI Listing
April 2021

High broadband photoconductivity of few-layered MoS field-effect transistors measured using multi-terminal methods: effects of contact resistance.

Nanoscale 2020 Nov;12(45):22904-22916

Layered Materials and Device Physics Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, Physics and Atmospheric Science, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS 39217, USA.

Among the layered two dimensional semiconductors, molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) is considered to be an excellent candidate for applications in optoelectronics and integrated circuits due to its layer-dependent tunable bandgap in the visible region, high ON/OFF current ratio in field-effect transistors (FET) and strong light-matter interaction properties. In this study, using multi-terminal measurements, we report high broadband photocurrent response (R) and external quantum efficiency (EQE) of few-atomic layered MoS2 phototransistors fabricated on a SiO2 dielectric substrate and encapsulated with a thin transparent polymer film of Cytop. The photocurrent response was measured using a white light source as well as a monochromatic light of wavelength λ = 400 nm-900 nm. We measured responsivity using a 2-terminal configuration as high as R = 1 × 103 A W-1 under white light illumination with an optical power Popt = 0.02 nW. The R value increased to 3.5 × 103 A W-1 when measured using a 4-terminal configuration. Using monochromatic light on the same device, the measured values of R were 103 and 6 × 103 A W-1 under illumination of λ = 400 nm when measured using 2- and 4-terminal methods, respectively. The highest EQE values obtained using λ = 400 nm were 105% and 106% measured using 2- and 4-terminal configurations, respectively. The wavelength dependent responsivity decreased from 400 nm to the near-IR region at 900 nm. The observed photoresponse, photocurrent-dark current ratio (PDCR), detectivity as a function of applied gate voltage, optical power, contact resistances and wavelength were measured and are discussed in detail. The observed responsivity is also thoroughly studied as a function of contact resistance of the device.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0nr07311cDOI Listing
November 2020

A new species and new records of the genus Bolboceras Kirby, 1819 (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea: Geotrupidae: Bolboceratinae) from India.

Zootaxa 2020 Jun 2;4786(2):zootaxa.4786.2.9. Epub 2020 Jun 2.

Zoological Survey of India, M Block, New Alipore, Kolkata, 700053, West Bengal, India..

A new species of the genus Bolboceras Kirby, 1819; Bolboceras arunachalensis Chandra, Gupta Ghosh, new species (Coleoptera: Geotrupidae: Bolboceratinae) from Arunachal Pradesh, India is described, diagnosed, and illustrated. Bolboceras perpunctatum Krikken, 2013 is recorded for the first time from Central India.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4786.2.9DOI Listing
June 2020

Redescription of Afissa gibbera (Crotch, 1874) and Uniparodentata circummaculata (Pang amp; Mao, 1977) (Coccinellidae: Epilachnini) from India.

Zootaxa 2020 Aug 5;4822(2):zootaxa.4822.2.6. Epub 2020 Aug 5.

Zoological Survey of India, M Block, New Alipore, Kolkata, 700053, West Bengal, India.

Two poorly known species of the tribe Epilachnini (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) are redescribed and diagnosed from India: Afissa gibbera (Crotch) and Uniparodentata circummaculata (Pang Mao), supported with photographs of the male genitalia. Also, U. circummaculata is a new record to India.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4822.2.6DOI Listing
August 2020

Determining a global mid-upper arm circumference cut-off to assess underweight in adults (men and non-pregnant women).

Public Health Nutr 2020 12 17;23(17):3104-3113. Epub 2020 Aug 17.

Consultant, Washington, DC, USA.

Objective: To determine if a global mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) cut-off can be established to classify underweight in adults (men and non-pregnant women).

Design: We conducted an individual participant data meta-analysis (IPDMA) to explore the sensitivity (SENS) and specificity (SPEC) of various MUAC cut-offs for identifying underweight among adults (defined as BMI < 18·5 kg/m2). Measures of diagnostic accuracy were determined every 0·5 cm across MUAC values from 19·0 to 26·5 cm. A bivariate random effects model was used to jointly estimate SENS and SPEC while accounting for heterogeneity between studies. Various subgroup analyses were performed.

Setting: Twenty datasets from Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, North America and South America were included.

Participants: All eligible participants from the original datasets were included.

Results: The total sample size was 13 835. Mean age was 32·6 years and 65 % of participants were female. Mean MUAC was 25·7 cm, and 28 % of all participants had low BMI (<18·5 kg/m2). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for the pooled dataset was 0·91 (range across studies 0·61-0·98). Results showed that MUAC cut-offs in the range of ≤23·5 to ≤25·0 cm could serve as an appropriate screening indicator for underweight.

Conclusions: MUAC is highly discriminatory in its ability to distinguish adults with BMI above and below 18·5 kg/m2. This IPDMA is the first step towards determining a global MUAC cut-off for adults. Validation studies are needed to determine whether the proposed MUAC cut-off of 24 cm is associated with poor functional outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1368980020000397DOI Listing
December 2020

Genetic Manipulation for Improved Nutritional Quality in Rice.

Front Genet 2020 24;11:776. Epub 2020 Jul 24.

Division of Plant Biology, Bose Institute, Kolkata, India.

Food with higher nutritional value is always desired for human health. Rice is the prime staple food in more than thirty developing countries, providing at least 20% of dietary protein, 3% of dietary fat and other essential nutrients. Several factors influence the nutrient content of rice which includes agricultural practices, post-harvest processing, cultivar type as well as manipulations followed by selection through breeding and genetic means. In addition to mutation breeding, genetic engineering approach also contributed significantly for the generation of nutrition added varieties of rice in the last decade or so. In the present review, we summarize the research update on improving the nutritional characteristics of rice by using genetic engineering and mutation breeding approach. We also compare the conventional breeding techniques of rice with modern molecular breeding techniques toward the generation of nutritionally improved rice variety as compared to other cereals in areas of micronutrients and availability of essential nutrients such as folate and iron. In addition to biofortification, our focus will be on the efforts to generate low phytate in seeds, increase in essential fatty acids or addition of vitamins (as in golden rice) all leading to the achievements in rice nutrition science. The superiority of biotechnology over conventional breeding being already established, it is essential to ascertain that there are no serious negative agronomic consequences for consumers with any difference in grain size or color or texture, when a nutritionally improved variety of rice is generated through genetic engineering technology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2020.00776DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7393646PMC
July 2020

Cancer Statistics, 2020: Report From National Cancer Registry Programme, India.

JCO Glob Oncol 2020 07;6:1063-1075

National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research, Bengaluru, India.

Purpose: The systematic collection of data on cancer is being performed by various population-based cancer registries (PBCRs) and hospital-based cancer registries (HBCRs) across India under the National Cancer Registry Programme-National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research of Indian Council of Medical Research since 1982.

Methods: This study examined the cancer incidence, patterns, trends, projections, and mortality from 28 PBCRs and also the stage at presentation and type of treatment of patients with cancer from 58 HBCRs (N = 667,666) from the pooled analysis for the composite period 2012-2016. Time trends in cancer incidence rate were generated as annual percent change from 16 PBCRs (those with a minimum of 10 years of continuous good data available) using Joinpoint regression.

Results: Aizawl district (269.4) and Papumpare district (219.8) had the highest age-adjusted incidence rates among males and females, respectively. The projected number of patients with cancer in India is 1,392,179 for the year 2020, and the common 5 leading sites are breast, lung, mouth, cervix uteri, and tongue. Trends in cancer incidence rate showed an increase in all sites of cancer in both sexes and were high in Kamrup urban (annual percent change, 3.8%; < .05). The majority of the patients with cancer were diagnosed at the locally advanced stage for breast (57.0%), cervix uteri (60.0%), head and neck (66.6%), and stomach (50.8%) cancer, whereas in lung cancer, distant metastasis was predominant among males (44.0%) and females (47.6%).

Conclusion: This study provides a framework for assessing the status and trends of cancer in India. It shall guide appropriate support for action to strengthen efforts to improve cancer prevention and control to achieve the national noncommunicable disease targets and the sustainable development goals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/GO.20.00122DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7392737PMC
July 2020

Performance Limits of GNSS Code-based Precise Positioning: GPS, Galileo & Meta-Signals.

Sensors (Basel) 2020 Apr 13;20(8). Epub 2020 Apr 13.

Telecommunications for Space and Aeronautics Lab (TéSA), 31500 Toulouse, France.

This contribution analyzes the fundamental performance limits of traditional two-step Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receiver architectures, which are directly linked to the achievable time-delay estimation performance. In turn, this is related to the GNSS baseband signal resolution, i.e., bandwidth, modulation, autocorrelation function, and the receiver sampling rate. To provide a comprehensive analysis of standard point positioning techniques, we consider the different GPS and Galileo signals available, as well as the signal combinations arising in the so-called GNSS meta-signal paradigm. The goal is to determine: (i) the ultimate achievable performance of GNSS code-based positioning systems; and (ii) whether we can obtain a GNSS code-only precise positioning solution and under which conditions. In this article, we provide clear answers to such fundamental questions, leveraging on the analysis of the Cramér-Rao bound (CRB) and the corresponding Maximum Likelihood Estimator (MLE). To determine such performance limits, we assume no external ionospheric, tropospheric, orbital, clock, or multipath-induced errors. The time-delay CRB and the corresponding MLE are obtained for the GPS L1 C/A, L1C, and L5 signals; the Galileo E1 OS, E6B, E5b-I, and E5 signals; and the Galileo E5b-E6 and E5a-E6 meta-signals. The results show that AltBOC-type signals (Galileo E5 and meta-signals) can be used for code-based precise positioning, being a promising real-time alternative to carrier phase-based techniques.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/s20082196DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7254259PMC
April 2020

De novo transcriptome analysis of halotolerant bacterium Staphylococcus sp. strain P-TSB-70 isolated from East coast of India: In search of salt stress tolerant genes.

PLoS One 2020 10;15(2):e0228199. Epub 2020 Feb 10.

Secretary, DARE and Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, India.

In the present study, we identified salt stress tolerant genes from the marine bacterium Staphylococcus sp. strain P-TSB-70 through transcriptome sequencing. In favour of whole-genome transcriptome profiling of Staphylococcus sp. strain P-TSB-70 (GenBank Accn. No. KP117091) which tolerated upto 20% NaCl stress, the strain was cultured in the laboratory condition with 20% NaCl stress. Transcriptome analyses were performed by SOLiD4.0 sequencing technology from which 10280 and 9612 transcripts for control and treated, respectively, were obtained. The coverage per base (CPB) statistics were analyzed for both the samples. Gene ontology (GO) analysis has been categorized at varied graph levels based on three primary ontology studies viz. cellular components, biological processes, and molecular functions. The KEGG analysis of the assembled transcripts using KAAS showed presumed components of metabolic pathways which perhaps implicated in diverse metabolic pathways responsible for salt tolerance viz. glycolysis/gluconeogenesis, oxidative phosphorylation, glutathione metabolism, etc. further involving in salt tolerance. Overall, 90 salt stress tolerant genes were identified as of 186 salt-related transcripts. Several genes have been found executing normally in the TCA cycle pathway, integral membrane proteins, generation of the osmoprotectants, enzymatic pathway associated with salt tolerance. Recognized genes fit diverse groups of salt stress genes viz. abc transporter, betaine, sodium antiporter, sodium symporter, trehalose, ectoine, and choline, that belong to different families of genes involved in the pathway of salt stress. The control sample of the bacterium showed elevated high proportion of transcript contigs (29%) while upto 20% salt stress treated sample of the bacterium showed a higher percentage of transcript contigs (31.28%). A total of 1,288 and 1,133 transcript contigs were measured entirely as novel transcript contigs in both control and treated samples, respectively. The structure and function of 10 significant salt stress tolerant genes of Staphylococcus sp. have been analyzed in this study. The information acquired in the present study possibly used to recognize and clone the salt stress tolerant genes and support in developing the salt stress-tolerant plant varieties to expand the agricultural productivity in the saline system.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0228199PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7010390PMC
April 2020

Real-Time Fluorescence Imaging in Thoracic Surgery.

Korean J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2019 Aug 5;52(4):205-220. Epub 2019 Aug 5.

Gordon Center for Medical Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence imaging provides a safe and cost-efficient method for immediate data acquisition and visualization of tissues, with technical advantages including minimal autofluorescence, reduced photon absorption, and low scattering in tissue. In this review, we introduce recent advances in NIR fluorescence imaging systems for thoracic surgery that improve the identification of vital tissues and facilitate the resection of tumorous tissues. When coupled with appropriate NIR fluorophores, NIR fluorescence imaging may transform current intraoperative thoracic surgery methods by enhancing the precision of surgical procedures and augmenting postoperative outcomes through improvements in diagnostic accuracy and reductions in the remission rate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5090/kjtcs.2019.52.4.205DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6687041PMC
August 2019

A unique bZIP transcription factor imparting multiple stress tolerance in Rice.

Rice (N Y) 2019 Aug 2;12(1):58. Epub 2019 Aug 2.

Stress Physiology and Molecular Biology Laboratory, School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 110067, India.

Background: Rice productivity is adversely affected by environmental stresses. Transcription factors (TFs), as the regulators of gene expression, are the key players contributing to stress tolerance and crop yield. Histone gene binding protein-1b (OsHBP1b) is a TF localized within the Saltol QTL in rice. Recently, we have reported the characterization of OsHBP1b in relation to salinity and drought tolerance in a model system tobacco. In the present study, we over-express the full-length gene encoding OsHBP1b in the homologous system (rice) to assess its contribution towards multiple stress tolerance and grain yield.

Results: We provide evidence to show that transgenic rice plants over-expressing OsHBP1b exhibit better survival and favourable osmotic parameters under salinity stress than the wild type counterparts. These transgenic plants restricted reactive oxygen species accumulation by exhibiting high antioxidant enzyme activity (ascorbate peroxidase and superoxide dismutase), under salinity conditions. Additionally, these transgenic plants maintained the chlorophyll concentration, organellar structure, photosynthesis and expression of photosynthesis and stress-related genes even when subjected to salinity stress. Experiments conducted for other abiotic stresses such as drought and high temperature revealed improved tolerance in these transgenic plants with better root and shoot growth, better photosynthetic parameters, and enhanced antioxidant enzyme activity, in comparison with WT. Further, the roots of transgenic lines showed large cortical cells and accumulated a good amount of callose, unlike the WT roots, thus enabling them to penetrate hard soil and prevent the entry of harmful ions in the cell.

Conclusion: Collectively, our results show that rice HBP1b gene contributes to multiple abiotic stress tolerance through several molecular and physiological pathways and hence, may serve as an important gene for providing multiple stress tolerance and improving crop yield in rice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12284-019-0316-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6890918PMC
August 2019

Dual-Channel Fluorescence Imaging of Hydrogel Degradation and Tissue Regeneration in the Brain.

Theranostics 2019 31;9(15):4255-4264. Epub 2019 May 31.

Interdisciplinary Program in Bioengineering, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, South Korea.

The ability of brain tissue to regenerate is limited; therefore, brain diseases (i.e., trauma, stroke, tumors) often lead to irreversible motor and cognitive impairments. Therapeutic interventions using various types of injectable biomaterials have been investigated to promote endogenous neural differentiation. Despite promising results in pre-clinical studies, the translation of regenerative medicine to the clinic has many challenges due to the lack of reliable imaging systems to achieve accurate evaluation of the treatment efficacy. : In this study, we developed a dual-channel fluorescence imaging technique to simultaneously monitor tissue ingrowth and scaffold disintegration. Enzymatically crosslinked gelatin-hyaluronic acid hydrogel was labeled with 800 nm fluorophore, ZW800-3a, while the regenerated tissue was highlighted with 700 nm brain-specific contrast agent, Ox1. : Using the multichannel fluorescence imaging system, tissue growth and degradation of the NIR hydrogel were simultaneously imaged in the brain of mice. Images were further analyzed and reconstructed to show both visual and quantitative information of each stage of a therapeutic period. : Dual-channel imaging systems can provide highly accurate visual and quantitative information of the brain tissue ingrowth for the evaluation of the therapeutic effect of NIR hydrogel through a simple and fast operating procedure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7150/thno.35606DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6599647PMC
July 2020

Isolation and characterization of marine bacteria from East Coast of India: functional screening for salt stress tolerance.

Heliyon 2019 Jun 13;5(6):e01869. Epub 2019 Jun 13.

Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, India.

Soil salinization has become a severe constraint for crop production world-wide which necessitated development or induced enhancement of salt stress tolerance in plant life to sustain production in saline lands. Recognition and prospecting of valuable stress tolerant genes from natural microbial resources of saline habitat is obscure to date. Therefore, the investigation was towards isolation and characterization of marine salt stress tolerant microbes along the East coast of India for revelation of effective salt stress tolerant genes. Salt stress tolerance was assessed from 98 bacterial isolates obtained from 28 water and soil samples. Among them, 35 isolates which failed to grow beyond 4% salt were discarded and remainder 63 isolates were selected for further functional analysis and only seven isolates recorded ≥8% NaCl stress tolerance. Phylogeny revealed that four isolates belong to Firmicutes and three isolates were members of Proteobacteria. Ribosomal Database Project Release-11 and SILVA SSU database based genotyping and taxonomic identity analysis confirmed that the higher (20%) salt stress tolerant bacteria were sp., sp., sp. and sp. To investigate candidate, as well as, novel salt stress tolerant genes, the seven bacterial isolates would provide new horizon to focus on the recent developments of salinity stress tolerance. In addition, the findings evidently point out the diversity of salt stress tolerant marine bacteria in coastal Odisha and West Bengal, India.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2019.e01869DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6581878PMC
June 2019

Surveillance of maternal deaths in Barpeta district of Assam.

Natl Med J India 2018 Jul-Aug;31(4):206-210

Department of Community Medicine, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Medical College, Barpeta, Assam, India.

Background: Assam has the highest maternal mortality in India. It is difficult to make a precise estimate of maternal mortality because the available information from various surveys has a wide confidence interval. Biomedical causes of maternal mortality are known, but there is little information on determinants of sociocultural and health system aspects. Delays at various levels such as at home (first level), during transportation (second level) and at hospital (third level) operate in a maternal death. Information on these determinants will give a better understanding of the circumstances of death. We aimed to estimate the maternal mortality ratio of Barpeta district in Assam and to understand the sociocultural factors and delays at various levels, which contribute to maternal death.

Method: We did a community-based, cross-sectional study. During the surveillance period of 1 year, all maternal deaths occurring in the district were identified from multiple sources and informants. These included all deaths occurring in the health facility or in the community. In 50% of such deaths, social autopsy was conducted. The data were analysed manually for descriptive statistics and thematic areas.

Results: The maternal mortality ratio of the district is 225 per 100 000 live-births. About 95% of respondents availed antenatal services and 57% delivered in hospital. The routine maternal death surveillance system is sensitive and detected 94% of maternal deaths. However, community-based verbal autopsy is yet to be functional. Most maternal deaths occur among women from low socioeconomic conditions. Delay at the first level occurred in 10 maternal deaths, at the second level in 18 maternal deaths and at the third level in 8 maternal deaths.

Conclusions: Health-seeking behaviour is favourable and 90% of mothers sought services. Improved and functioning infrastructure will ensure better transportation facilities and early referral to a secondary- or tertiary-level health facility, which can prevent many maternal deaths.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/0970-258X.258218DOI Listing
October 2019

Trends in incidence of Ewing sarcoma of bone in India - Evidence from the National Cancer Registry Programme (1982-2011).

J Bone Oncol 2018 Sep 17;12:49-53. Epub 2018 May 17.

National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research (NCDIR), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Bengaluru, India.

Background: Ewing sarcoma is a malignant tumour found mainly in childhood and adolescence. The present study aims at analyzing the data on Ewing sarcoma cases of bone from the National Cancer Registry Programme, India to provide incidence, patterns, and trends in the Indian population.

Materials And Methods: The data of five Population Based Cancer Registries (PBCR) of Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Bhopal and Delhi over 30 years period (1982- 2011) were used to calculate the Age Specific and Age Standardized Incidence Rates (ASpR and ASIR), and trends in incidence was analyzed by linear and Joinpoint Regression.

Results: Ewing sarcoma comprised around 15 % of all bone malignancies. Sixty-eight percent were 0-19 years, with 1.6 times risk of tumour in bones of limbs as compared to other bones. The highest incidence rate (per million) was in the 10-14 years age group (male -4.4, female -2.9) with significantly increasing trend in ASpR observed in both sexes. Pooled ASIR per million for all ages was higher in male (1.6) than female (1.0) with an increasing rate ratio of ASIR with increase in age. Trend of pooled ASIR for all ages was significantly increased in both sexes. Twelve percent cases were reported in ≥30 years of age.

Conclusion: This paper has described population based measurements on burden and trends in incidence of skeletal Ewing in India. These may steer further research questions on the clinical and molecular epidemiology to explain factors associated with the increasing incidence of Ewing sarcoma bone observed in India.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbo.2018.04.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6142187PMC
September 2018

Transcriptome analysis of grapevine under salinity and identification of key genes responsible for salt tolerance.

Funct Integr Genomics 2019 Jan 19;19(1):61-73. Epub 2018 Jul 19.

Division of Plant Biology, Bose Institute, P1/12, CIT Scheme, VIIM, Kankurgachi, Kolkata, West Bengal, 700054, India.

The negative effects of soil salinity towards grape yield depend upon salt concentration, cultivar type, developmental stage, and rootstock. Thompson Seedless variety of grape plant is considered moderately sensitive to salinity when grown upon its own root stock. In recent epoch, identification of key genes responsive to salinity offers hope to generate salinity-tolerant crop plants by their overexpression through genetic manipulation. In the present report, salt responsive transcriptome analysis of Thompson Seedless grape variety was done to identify vital genes involved in salinity tolerance which could be used further to generate salt liberal grape plant or other crop plants. Transcriptome libraries for control and 150-mM-NaCl-treated grape leaves were sequenced on Illumina platform where 714 genes were found to be differentially expressed. Gene ontology analysis indicated that under salinity conditions, the genes involved in metabolic process were highly enriched. Keto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes analysis revealed that, among the top 22 enriched pathways for the salt stress upregulated genes, the carbohydrate metabolism, signal transduction, energy metabolism, amino acid metabolism, biosynthesis of secondary metabolite, and lipid metabolism pathways possessed the largest number of transcripts. Key salinity-induced genes were selected and validated through qRT-PCR analysis which was comparable to RNA-seq results. Real-time PCR analysis also revealed that after 24 days of salinity, the expression of most of the selected key genes was highest. These salinity-induced genes will be characterized further in a model plant and also in Vitis vinifera through transgenic approach to disclose their role towards salt tolerance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10142-018-0628-6DOI Listing
January 2019

The validity of mid-upper arm circumference as an indicator of low BMI in population screening for undernutrition: a study among adult slum dwellers in eastern India.

Public Health Nutr 2018 10 30;21(14):2575-2583. Epub 2018 May 30.

2Department of Anthropology,Dinabandhu Mahavidyalaya,Bongaon,North 24 Parganas,743235 West Bengal,India.

Objective: To explore the possibility for a statistically appropriate value of mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) to identify the state of severe undernutrition, based on very low BMI, among adult Indian slum dwellers.

Design: Cross-sectional study on adults. Height and MUAC were recorded and BMI was computed. Chronic energy deficiency (CED) was determined using the WHO international guidelines as BMI<18·5 kg/m2 and normal as BMI≥18·5 kg/m2. Besides calculating mean, sd and 25th, 50th and 75th percentile values, multiple linear regression analysis was undertaken to assess the associations between age, MUAC and BMI. Receiver-operating characteristic curve analysis was performed to determine the best MUAC cut-off to identify CED status. The χ 2 test was used to assess significance of the difference in CED prevalence across MUAC categories.

Setting: An urban slum in Midnapore town, West Bengal State, India.

Subjects: Male (n 467) and female (n 488) Indian slum dwellers.

Results: MUAC of 22·7 and 21·9 cm, respectively, in males and females were the best cut-off points to differentiate CED from non-CED.

Conclusions: Results supported the validity of the WHO-recommended MUAC cut-offs for adults. There is still a need to establish statistically appropriate MUAC cut-offs to predict undernutrition and morbidity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1368980018001301DOI Listing
October 2018

3D-Printed Models of Cleft Lip and Palate for Surgical Training and Patient Education.

Cleft Palate Craniofac J 2018 03 14;55(3):323-327. Epub 2017 Dec 14.

1 Analytical Imaging and Modeling Center, Children's Health, Dallas, TX, USA.

Background: Sculpted physical models and castings of the anatomy of cleft lip and palate are used for parent, patient, and trainee education of cleft lip and palate conditions. In this study, we designed a suite of digital 3-dimensional (3D) models of cleft lip and palate anatomy with additive manufacturing techniques for patient education.

Methods: CT scans of subjects with isolated cleft palate, unilateral and bilateral cleft lip and palate, and a control were obtained. Soft tissue and bony structures were segmented and reconstructed into digital 3D models. The oral soft tissues overlying the cleft palate were manually molded with silicone putty and scanned using CT to create digital 3D models. These were then combined with the original model to integrate with segmentable soft tissues. Bone and soft tissues were 3D printed in different materials to mimic the rigidity/softness of the relevant anatomy. These models were presented to the parents/patients at our craniofacial clinic. Visual analog scale (VAS) surveys were obtained pertaining to the particular use of the models, to ascertain their value in parental education.

Results: A total of 30 parents of children with cleft conditions completed VAS evaluations. The models provided the parents with a better understanding of their child's condition with an overall evaluation score of 9.35 ± 0.5.

Conclusions: We introduce a suite of 3D-printed models of cleft conditions that has a useful role in patient, parental, and allied health education with highly positive feedback.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1055665617738998DOI Listing
March 2018

Overview of Methods for Assessing Salinity and Drought Tolerance of Transgenic Wheat Lines.

Methods Mol Biol 2017 ;1679:83-95

Stress Physiology and Molecular Biology Laboratory, School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 110067, Delhi, India.

Salinity and drought are interconnected, causing phenotypic, physiological, biochemical, and molecular changes in a cell. These stresses are the major factors adversely affecting growth and productivity in cereals. Genetic engineering methods have advanced to enable development of genotypes with improved salinity and drought tolerance. The resulting transgenic plant produces a group of progenies which includes moderate to high-stress tolerant transgenic lines. Development of reproducible screening methods to identify high-stress tolerant germplasm under laboratory, greenhouse, or field conditions is must. Further, field level demonstration of improved phenotypes and yield under salinity and drought stress conditions is both challenging and expensive. Fast and efficient screening techniques that could be used to screen transgenic lines under greenhouse conditions, for salt and drought stress tolerance, may contribute toward the identification of promising lines for field conditions. This chapter provides information on various approaches which can be developed during different stages of plant development for selecting salinity and drought tolerant plants in cereals, especially wheat.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-7337-8_5DOI Listing
May 2018

Manipulation of glyoxalase pathway confers tolerance to multiple stresses in rice.

Plant Cell Environ 2018 05 2;41(5):1186-1200. Epub 2017 Jun 2.

Plant Stress Biology, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi, 110067, India.

Crop plants face a multitude of diverse abiotic and biotic stresses in the farmers' fields. Although there now exists a considerable knowledge of the underlying mechanisms of response to individual stresses, the crosstalk between response pathways to various abiotic and biotic stresses remains enigmatic. Here, we investigated if the cytotoxic metabolite methylglyoxal (MG), excess of which is generated as a common consequence of many abiotic and biotic stresses, may serve as a key molecule linking responses to diverse stresses. For this, we generated transgenic rice plants overexpressing the entire two-step glyoxalase pathway for MG detoxification. Through assessment of various morphological, physiological and agronomic parameters, we found that glyoxalase-overexpression imparts tolerance towards abiotic stresses like salinity, drought and heat and also provides resistance towards damage caused by the sheath blight fungus (Rhizoctonia solani) toxin phenylacetic acid. We show that the mechanism of observed tolerance of the glyoxalase-overexpressing plants towards these diverse abiotic and biotic stresses involves improved MG detoxification and reduced oxidative damage leading to better protection of chloroplast and mitochondrial ultrastructure and maintained photosynthetic efficiency under stress conditions. Together, our findings indicate that MG may serve as a key link between abiotic and biotic stress response in plants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pce.12968DOI Listing
May 2018

Floral Induction of .

Bio Protoc 2017 Jan 20;7(2):e2104. Epub 2017 Jan 20.

Department of Botany, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, India.

Floral initiation and development in the angiosperms is the essential step on which the yield of the plant depends. Sometimes external climate or any abiotic stress hinders the floral initiation and ultimately affect the plant yield. Hence, floral induction and development can help to overcome the external climatic factor. Furthermore, the protocol for floral induction in the parasitic angiosperm like has not been reported yet. We have standardized the protocol for floral induction in the parasitic plant . In this study it is established that MMS (modified Murashige Skoog) media supplemented with 2 mg L NAA (naphthalene acetic acid, plant growth regulator) and 2 mg L 2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxy acetic acid, plant growth regulator) supported floral induction after shooting . Furthermore, we found that MMS media supplemented with 2 mg L 2,4-D rapidly induced floral buds directly from the nodal explants without any shoot elongation. This protocol will help the researcher to induce flower in the other angiosperm plants along with .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21769/BioProtoc.2104DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8376540PMC
January 2017

Protein, enzyme and carbohydrate quantification using smartphone through colorimetric digitization technique.

J Biophotonics 2017 May 31;10(5):623-633. Epub 2016 May 31.

Applied Photonics and Nanophotonics Laboratory, Department of Physics, Tezpur University, Napaam, Assam, 784028, India.

In this paper the utilization of smartphone as a detection platform for colorimetric quantification of biological macromolecules has been demonstrated. Using V-channel of HSV color space, the quantification of BSA protein, catalase enzyme and carbohydrate (using D-glucose) have been successfully investigated. A custom designed android application has been developed for estimating the total concentration of biological macromolecules. The results have been compared with that of a standard spectrophotometer which is generally used for colorimetric quantification in laboratory settings by measuring its absorbance at a specific wavelength. The results obtained with the designed sensor is found to be similar when compared with the spectrophotometer data. The designed sensor is low cost, robust and we envision that it could promote diverse fields of bio-analytical investigations. Schematic illustration of the smartphone sensing mechanism for colorimetric analysis of biomolecular samples.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jbio.201500329DOI Listing
May 2017

Time Trends in Breast Cancer Among Indian Women Population: An Analysis of Population Based Cancer Registry Data.

Indian J Surg Oncol 2015 Dec 8;6(4):427-34. Epub 2015 Sep 8.

National Cancer Registry Programme, National Center for Disease Informatics and Research (Indian Council of Medical Research), II Floor of Nirmal Bhawan, ICMR Complex, Poojanhalli Road, Off NH-7 (Adjacent to Trumpet Flyover of BIAL), Kannamangala Post Bangalore, Bangalore, 562 110 Karnataka India.

Background: The trends observed in cancer breast among Indian women are an indication of effect of changing lifestyle in population. To draw an appropriate inference regarding the trends of a particular type of cancer in a country, it is imperative to glance at the reliable data collected by Population Based Cancer Registries over a period of time.

Objective: To give an insight of changing trends of breast cancer which have taken place over a period of time among women in Cancer Registries of India. Breast Cancer trends for invasive breast cancer in women in Indian Registries have varied during the selected period. Occurrence of breast cancers has also shown geographical variation in India.

Materials And Methods: This data was collected by means of a 'Standard Core Proforma' designed by NCRP conforming to the data fields as suggested by International norms. The Proforma was filled by trained Registry workers based on interview/ hospital medical records/ supplementing data by inputs from treating surgeons/radiation oncologists/involved physicians/pathologists. The contents of the Proforma are entered into specifically created software and transmitted electronically to the coordinating center at Bangalore. The registries contributing to more number of years of data are called as older registries, while other recently established registries are called newer registries.

Results: While there has been an increase recorded in breast cancer in most of the registries, some of them have recorded an insignificant increase. Comparison of Age Adjusted Rates (AARs) among Indian Registries has been carried out after which trends observed in populations covered by Indian Registries are depicted. A variation in broad age groups of females and the proneness of females developing breast cancer over the period 1982 to 2010 has been shown. Comparisons of Indian registries with International counterparts have also been carried out.

Conclusions: There are marked changes in incidence rates of cancer breast which have occurred in respective registries in a developing country like India. A steady increase in AARs in most of the registries of India including the newly established registries is indicative of the fact that cancer breast poses a threat to women in India.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13193-015-0467-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4809853PMC
December 2015

Reorganization of Motor Cortex by Vagus Nerve Stimulation Requires Cholinergic Innervation.

Brain Stimul 2016 Mar-Apr;9(2):174-81. Epub 2016 Jan 8.

School of Behavioral Brain Sciences, The University of Texas at Dallas, 800 West Campbell Road, GR41, Richardson, TX 75080-3021, USA; Texas Biomedical Device Center, The University of Texas at Dallas, 800 West Campbell Road, Richardson, TX 75080-3021, USA.

Background: Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) paired with forelimb training drives robust, specific reorganization of movement representations in the motor cortex. The mechanisms that underlie VNS-dependent enhancement of map plasticity are largely unknown. The cholinergic nucleus basalis (NB) is a critical substrate in cortical plasticity, and several studies suggest that VNS activates cholinergic circuitry.

Objective: We examined whether the NB is required for VNS-dependent enhancement of map plasticity in the motor cortex.

Methods: Rats were trained to perform a lever pressing task and then received injections of the immunotoxin 192-IgG-saporin to selectively lesion cholinergic neurons of the NB. After lesion, rats underwent five days of motor training during which VNS was paired with successful trials. At the conclusion of behavioral training, intracortical microstimulation was used to document movement representations in motor cortex.

Results: VNS paired with forelimb training resulted in a substantial increase in the representation of proximal forelimb in rats with an intact NB compared to untrained controls. NB lesions prevent this VNS-dependent increase in proximal forelimb area and result in representations similar to untrained controls. Motor performance was similar between groups, suggesting that differences in forelimb function cannot account for the difference in proximal forelimb representation.

Conclusions: Together, these findings indicate that the NB is required for VNS-dependent enhancement of plasticity in the motor cortex and may provide insight into the mechanisms that underlie the benefits of VNS therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brs.2015.12.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4789078PMC
February 2017
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